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Undercover in Unova
Misty held the phone up to her ear, listening to the hum that seemed to ring on endlessly. She must be in the garden… She thought as she waited. Finally the ringing was cut short and the voice of a woman answered on the other end, sounding out of breath. "Hello?" Misty asked. "It's me, Misty."
"Oh hello Misty!" She activated the video function of the phone and-as Misty suspected- Delia had on a straw garden hat, work clothes and sweat dripping from her forehead. "Wow, you sure have grown!"
"Y-yeah, I guess so." Misty said and scratched the back of her neck. She winced inwardly at this habit- she had developed it from Ash. "Working in the garden I see." She was determined to be polite and make small talk, although her heart yearned to ask what she had called for.
"Mm hmm. Right when the season's right, me and Mimey are out in the garden." appeared in the background at the mention of his name with a cheerful Mime Mime! "So what can I do for you Misty?" She asked with a friendly smile.
"Um, actually I was wondering if Ash has gotten home from Sinnoh yet." Misty asked, her heart pounding as she waited for a reply. There was a very small chance that he was home. Whenever he got home he seemed to be off again in a new region. There was no stopping the energetic Pokemon Master, what was the point in even trying?
"Yes actually," She began, making Misty's heart leap to her throat. "…But he already left to go to another region- Unova."
Misty sighed. She knew it, she had just missed him. "Alright, thank you ." She said in a more cheerful tone to cover her disappointment.
"No problem Misty- and sorry that you missed him."
"That's alright. I'll let you get back to gardening. Bye."
"Bye, have a nice day." His mom answered and hung up.
Misty slowly set the phone down and stood there for a minute. Why did she even try contacting him? He never contacted her. He had the gym's number and there was a phone in every Pokemon center. Yet he just- never did.
"Man little sis, you look bluer than the pool." The sudden voice breaking the silence made her jump and spin around.
"Daisy! You're home!" Misty said with a smile.
Her blonde sister took off her sunglasses that she was wearing and put them on her head.
"Yeah, I've got a bit of a break so I thought I'd drop in. You seem to be keeping the place up pretty good."
"Of course. I haven't given out a badge for quite a while, my Pokemon are pretty strong." She said proudly.
But Daisy didn't seem to be listening, she was looking Misty over, making her feel uneasy. "Are you alright? You look bummed."
"Bummed? What are you talking about? I'm fine-just tired."
Daisy leaned against the doorway with a knowing look in her eyes. "…I heard your conversation with Mrs.Ketchum." She informed her.
Misty's heart sank. Great, she'd never hear the end of this one. "I was just checking on him. I mean, I wanted to make sure he didn't die or anything."
Daisy still looked unconvinced. "Mm hmm…"
"He's my friend! Don't I have a right to call my friend every once in a while?" Misty challenged.
"Of course, that would be if he was 'just your friend'." Daisy said slyly with a shrug.
"He is! Why do you always think that he's something else?"
Daisy crossed the room to be at her sister's side. "Because I know you." She looked into her eyes. "Last time I was here you were moping around the gym like a zombie. I know you miss him."
Misty growled. "No I don't!"
"Then why did you go to his house to meet him when he came home, staying there for like a week?"
Misty blushed, how could she argue with that?
"And it seems you wanted to see if you could meet up with him again. Look Mist, there's nothing wrong with missing him."
"Yes there is!" Misty spat. "There's no point! I have my life and he has his! That's the way it is and should be! I'm too busy being a gym leader and he's too self-absorbed in Pokemon to…" She couldn't finish her sentence.
"Go to him." Daisy said after a few moments of silence.
"What?" Misty's head snapped up.
"Go visit him in Onionville or wherever his mom said he was."
"B-But what about the gym?" She couldn't believe her ears- but then again, this was probably going to be one of those teaser visits that only last a day or so again.
"We'll take care of it, don't sweat it. After all, we're gym leaders too." Daisy replied with a wink.
"For how long?"
"You can stay for a while this time, we'll work something out."
Misty narrowed her eyes. "And you promise not to just give away badges?"
"I promise. We can't let the gym's rep plummet after all. As long as you leave me with some decent Pokemon."
Misty's heart was pounding with joy. She was actually going to see him again- and Brock. "Thank you!" She couldn't contain her excitement and glomped her sister.
"Whoa! Your welcome!" She said with a chuckle.
Misty broke away from the hug. "But what if he doesn't recognize me? He hasn't seen me in so long, maybe he's already forgotten about me."
Daisy thought for a moment before smirking. Without a reply she left the room. Misty followed in confusion as her sister went into her room and dug through her closet.
"If he may not recognize you then why not have some fun with it…?" She turned holding a large black jacket and a bowler hat. "…By going in disguise." She had the biggest grin on her face as she threw the outfit to Misty. "Try it."
Misty looked at it disdainfully. "I don't really like sleeves…" She lifted one sleeve up before dropping it. "…Or coats." She looked up. "Is all this really necessary?"
"Just try it! It'll make you look dark, mysterious…. And sexy."
Misty wanted to pound her head in for that remark.
"Look, just put it on and if you don't like it then I'll find you something else. But I guarantee that you'll love it!"
'Unlikely.' Misty thought but still went to put it on. She didn't have to change, it just slipped on over her clothes.
She loved it! Sure, she hated the sleeves and the fact that it was kind of stuffy but she felt like she was a secret agent- she felt young again. The jacket came down to about her knees but split open at a certain point, just showing her legs. The sleeves went all the way to her wrists and she wore gray gloves with them. And she wore the bowlers hat with her hair down- a factor that Misty complained that her sister was trying to push her way out of her comfort zone.
But as Misty looked at herself in Daisy's bedroom mirror, she could hardly recognize herself.
"See, you look great. Now go get him." She smiled.
She tried to ignore her remark. "Okay so I left you some Pokemon but I'm still taking Azurill, Staryu and Gyarados, I guess I'll catch the rest there."
"Alright alright, you told me already. Stop worrying so much, sis!" Daisy said and started hustling her out the door.
"Thanks again Daisy, I really appreciate it."
Misty turned to go but turned back as Daisy called her again. "Oh and Misty," she said. "Be sure to tell him." She said.
"Tell him what?" Misty asked cautiously, dreadingly knowing what her sister was going to say.
"Tell him that you love him."
She just shot her sister a glare before walking towards Vermillion City to get her ticket to go to Unova: to see Ash again.
Misty had received her ticket for the airplane boat- which was much more convenient than transferring through many ferry systems- and was now staring out the window as she snacked on plane peanuts. Azurill dozed in her lap, curled up in a ball.
For a while, all Misty could see was a vast stretch of sparkling blue ocean with familiar Pokemon swimming in it. The red jewels of Tentecruel sailed the surface of the water, flanked by a school of Magikarp and Goldeen. A flock of Pidgey and Pidgeotto rode the air, lead by a Pidgeot- Which made Misty wonder if that was Ash's Pidgeot he had let go to lead the Pidgey flock so long ago. (Amazingly she still remembered that)
But after a while the familiar Pokemon had disappeared in the water and sky, seeming to be like a void in the Earth. But this void didn't last too long because soon after some unfamiliar Pokemon appeared- and as if prompted, the intercom let the passengers know that they were preparing to land in Unova.
The land had come into view and Misty's nerves rose to its peak.What was she going to say to Ash when she found him? When she had visited Ash and Brock last, she was going to the 'Togepi Festival'- she had had a reason. She hadn't even contacted him- her sister demanded it be a surprise- no e-mail or anything. Misty was annoyed by her childish fears. She had traveled with Ash for a long time and he was her friend, no big deal- But a lot had changed.
The plane-boat landed at the harbor. Misty nudged her Azurill gently to wake it before getting up from her seat and exiting the boat.
The Unova region seemed to have a strange air to it- at least different from Kanto. This town, all the people and Pokemon were all strangers to her. Ash must be in heaven. Misty thought with a smirk. She knew how Ash loved traveling and discovering new Pokemon. Once he found a new region, it was inevitable that he would explore it.
As Misty started wandering around, a voice startled her and she turned to see a random person walking up to her. "What is that Pokemon?!" The guy asked.
Misty blinked. "An Azurill, why?"
"Hey! An Azurill, that's a Hoenn region Pokemon!" Another person chimed in, walking up to get a closer look.
Within seconds, she was the center of attention and became surrounded by tons of people admiring her Azurill. Tears started to from in Azurill's eyes.
As her anger rose, an outburst erupted from her mouth and made everone jump back with wide eyes. "LEAVE AZURILL ALONE!!!" She had yelled as her Pokemon started crying.
Everyone cleared a path for her as she tried to calm her baby down and escape the crowd. What was that about anyways?! Why is it such a surprise to see an Azurill?
"That's a rare Pokemon you've got there." Another voice said. Misty turned to see a tall women with brown hair put up in a strange hair style.
"Why is Azurill considered rare?" Misty growled-she was still irritated by the previous scuffle with the crowd.
"Well it's just that it's a rarity to see a Pokemon that's not in the Unova region here. In fact, there was a young man here not too long ago from Kanto with a Pikachu who was also the center of attention."
Misty's heart leaped from her chest. "He came through here?" Misty asked her hopefully
"Yeah." The woman answered, "A friend of his I'm guessing?"
Misty nodded. "How long ago was he here?"
She scratched her head as she looked like she was making an effort to remember. "Well... Hmm, let's see... Actually, not too long ago. But..." She started pressing buttons on a watch she was wearing. "I have his Xtranciever number if you want."
Misty would have said yes but Daisy would never let her hear the end of it if she made it 'that easy', plus that would make her disguise pointless. "N-No, that won't be necessary." She said quickly.
The woman looked at her strangely. "Are you sure? Unova is a pretty big region..."
Misty thought for a moment before coming up with an idea. "Could you ask him where he is but not say anything about me?" She requested.
"Sure, but he may leave there if we don't tell him to wait." The woman blinked at her.
"It's alright." Misty assured her, although inwardly regretting it. Here she had direct contact to Ash where she could meet up with him easily. But it wasn't just her sister's nagging that was keeping her from revealing herself, it was also this whole idea of it being a surprise and her being undercover- she wanted to have fun with it.
As the woman started to contact him, Misty backed away out of view so he wouldn't see her but she could still see the Xtranciever screen from a distance.
"Hello Ash!" The woman said cheerfully as his face appeared on the screen.
"Professor Juniper!" He said in surprise.
"I just thought I'd call to check on your progress." Prof Juniper explained-only half the truth.
"Oh, I just got my second badge!" He boasted and pulled out his badge case to reveal two shimmering badges. "And now I'm heading to Castelia City to get my next badge!"
"Ah, Castelia City. That's past the Skyarrow Bridge right?" The Prof checked, catching Misty's eye.
"Yep." He responded.
"Careful not to get lost there, that's a huge city."
This was killing Misty, it was taking all her willpower not to shove her face in view of the phone and talk to him. She just wished that the Prof would hang up already.
A girl then peeked her face into the phone with a strange Pokemon poking out of her gigantic hair. "Don't worry Prof, I won't let this little kid get lost."
Misty raised a brow. Little kid?
"Stop calling me a kid." Ash grumbled in a tone that suggested she had called him that many times before. "And when have I ever gotten us lost?!"
That was too much for Misty, she couldn't stop the laugh that escaped her. When they used to travel together, Ash had always gotten them lost. In fact, he was notorious for his bad sense of direction.
"What was that?" Ash asked, blinking.
Misty put a lid on it, covering her mouth with her hands and making an effort to stay quiet.
"Erm... That was a Pidove. They're real noisy you know." Prof Juniper lied lamely. But of course Ash fell for it.
"Don't worry Professor. I have the map, we won't get lost." A man with green hair said as he came into view of the screen.
This made Misty sad. Where was Brock? Was he no longer traveling with Ash? She wanted so badly to ask Ash where Brock was. Hang up! She urged silently.
"Alright well I'll let you get back to your journey. Good luck Ash." Professor Juniper said.
"Thanks Professor!" Ash responded, followed by a 'Pika Pi' from Pikachu as the Xtranciever went black.
"So they're in Castelia City. That's not too far away but it's pretty far if you want to catch up to him." Prof Juniper explained.
"Well I'm not stopping at the gyms to get badges, I'll be able to catch up to him pretty easily." Misty assured her. "Thanks for checking where he was."
"No problem and good luck!" The Professor waved to her as she started through the town.
People still bugged Misty about Azurill and she was on her last nerve. "Maybe I should send Azurill back to Daisy…" She murmured doubtfully.
"Azuu?" Azurill asked and looked up at her with wide eyes.
"Oh… How could I leave you?!" She hugged her baby with a coo before frowning. "But I'm never going to hear the end of it. How does Ash and Pikachu stand it?"
But as Misty exited the town she began to see less people and more Pokemon. She let out an audible sigh as she strolled leisurely, now she could rest easy.
All the Pokemon were unfamiliar. There were pigeon, chipmunk, pink deer and puppy Pokemon. But the ones that caught Misty's eye were a flock of swan Pokemon.
"Oh! They're so beautiful!" She said with sparkly eyes and clasped hands. She shifted positions to hold onto Azurill with one hand and grab a Pokeball with the other. "I might as well catch some Pokemon while I'm here. Maybe there will be some cool water Pokemon here."
She was about to send out Gyarados but thought against it because she might scare them of before she could weaken them. Instantly she regretted leaving so many of her Pokemon at the gym for Daisy, but she wanted to ensure that her sister would actually battle the challengers… And that took a lot of motivation.
She sent out her only other Pokemon she brought besides Azurill. "Misty calls Staryu!" She cried and threw the ball.
Her old faithful starfish Pokemon appeared with a flash of light.
"Staryu, use Rapid Spin on one of those swans!"
"Heiia!" Staryu cried as it spun and slammed into one of the Swannas.
The flock of Swannas- other than the one that was hit- flew away. The Swanna that was hit stood up at full height to tower over Staryu while fluffing out its feathers and cawing angrily.
"Staryu! Use Bubblebeam!"
Staryu released bubbles from its top that bombarded Swanna- a hit that seemed to do some damage but also just made it more mad.
"Alright Staryu! Now use Rapid Spin again!"
Staryu spun towards Swanna but before it could strike a blow, Swanna waked it away with a powerful wing.
"Keep going Staryu!" Misty encouraged with clenched fists.
It spun toward Swanna again but this time it didn't get close because Swanna had started flapping its large, elegant wings to whip up a powerful gust of wind. Staryu was shot back and slammed into a tree.
"No! Staryu!" Misty cried and ran up to her Pokemon- who had slid down the tree and now slumped on the ground with a flashing jewel. "Oh no, this looks bad…" She turned to see that the Swanna was getting ready to take off.
Misty then remembered the new move Staryu had learned. Perfect! She thought and stood up. "Staryu, use Power Gem!"
Staryu sat up straight as its gem began to radiate with a blinding light. Glowing gem particles shot out of its jewel and struck Swanna hard as it tried to take off. It fell to the ground, stunned by the direct blow.
"Great job Staryu!" Misty praised before pulling out a Pokeball. "Go Pokeball!" She threw the ball just as a blue Pokemon walked obliviously in front of the Swanna and was captured in the ball instead. It shook a couple of times with a glowing with a glowing dout before sealing.
Misty stood blinking in confusion. "What happened?"
The Swanna regained its strength and flew away. "No! Wait! Staryu, use Power Gem again!"
Staryu tried to attack but the Swanna was too far away and too fast in the sky.
"I really wanted that Pokemon!" Misty sighed in disappointment before spinning around to glare daggers at the now-still Pokeball. "What stupid Pokemon prevented me from catching my swan?!" She growled and stomped towards the Pokeball. She picked it up and opened the ball. "Go Pokemon." She grumbled.
The Pokemon that had come out was a blue duck with big dopey eyes. Misty's eye twitched, those dopey eyes looked all too familiar. It took all her willpower to not whip out her mallet and smack this stupid duck across the region.
Ducklett stared at her with big, blank eyes before idiotically cawing, "Ducklett!" and waving a wing.
Misty snapped. "YOU IDIOTIC DUCK!!!" She screamed and pulled out her mallet and started swinging as she pursued the innocent Pokemon. Ducklett flapped its wings frantically to flee from the red head's swinging mallet. "I DON'T WANT ANOTHER PSYDUCK, I WANT A SWAN!!!"
Ducklett flew up high enough to be just out of reach of the mallet and used a powerful water gun in an attempt to cool its raging trainer down.
Misty stopped in her tracks- soaked to the bone- and slumped to the ground.
But Ducklett wasn't finished yet, it continued by sending a huge gust of wind down to Misty.
Misty sat shivering. "W-w-wow, this d-duck is s-s-strong, not another Psy- ACHOO! STOP IT!" She screamed.
Ducklett obeyed Misty's command but still stayed high enough in the air in case Misty tried to attack it again.
Misty let out a sigh of relief before rubbing her freezing arms and looking up at her new Pokemon. She may have lost the swan but this Pokemon didn't seem too bad. "Hey Pokemon, come down here." She wished that she had Ash with her with the Pokedex to tell her what this Pokemon was. But then again, if he was with her, the greedy Pokemon Trainer would try to capture the Pokemon instead. That was one of the many things that annoyed her about him, that whenever she wanted to catch a Pokemon- which was basically only one type- he always wanted it instead.
Better just catch all the Pokemon I can before I meet up with him. She thought and realized her Pokemon had still not budged. "Come down here! I'm sorry I tried to hit you." She called up to Ducklett.
"Duck…" It looked hesitant.
"Come on, I won't hurt you. I promise." She made her voice sound reassuring.
"Ducklett…" It flew down slowly, eyes fixed on the mallet and body tensed as if ready to flee again.
Misty followed its gaze and put the mallet away, making a little less tense. She kneeled down in front of it and held her hand out gently. "I'm sorry that I got so mad at you, I was just upset. Friends?" Misty apologized a lot more now since her sisters forced her to be more polite… but that doesn't mean she was any less stubborn, hot headed or loud mouthed- just polite when she had to be.
Ducklett looked up at Misty and seemed to be reassured by her smile so it hopped on her hand and slowly climbed up her arm until it reached her shoulder.
"Want to ride up there for a while?" Misty asked and pat its head.
Ducklett flinched at first but relaxed when it finally decided that it could trust its trainer now. "Ducklett!" It cawed and flapped its wings.
"Ducklett… Is that what you're called?" Misty asked and rubbed under its beak. "Duck Duck!" It nodded happily.
"Azuu Azurill!" Azurill cried happily as it bounced up to Misty.
Misty smiled and picked Azurill up in her arms. "Let's keep going." She pulled out her Pokeball. "Return Staryu." She recalled it , put the Pokeball away and continued down the road. She paused at a sign that said "Accumula Town."
"Take your time getting your next gym badge," she said quietly. "because I'm coming Ash."
"Your Staryu is now at full health." Nurse Joy said cheerfully as she handed Misty her Pokeball.
"Thanks Nurse Joy." Misty was amazed. Not only were the Pokemon all different but so were the Nurse Joys! With a smirk she remembered how Brock would go after every Nurse Joy- scratch that- every GIRL he met, confessing his undying love for them. She would always have to keep him in line every time he did. This made her wonder who kept him in line all this time. Ash? And had Brock rubbed off on Ash at all yet? She was mystified (no pun intended) at how anyone could stay oblivious with Brock around.
"No problem, good luck on your adventure." Nurse Joy responded.
"Thanks." Misty nodded slightly to Nurse Joy before exiting the center. She wondered where she should go next but the response came from her stomach.
"That's right, the only thing I've eaten since breakfast were plane peanuts." Misty realized and started searching for a restaurant. She had money with her but not enough to make a habit out of eating out. "I need to find the group soon so we can have Brock's delicious cooking again." She said and her taste buds got pumped. That was one of the things she missed about Brock- having to cook for herself for months with her sisters being gone- and a cooked meal would be nice.
She found a cheap restaurant and got the food to go, retracing her steps back to a grassy field with a pond she had found on the way to the town so that she could feed the Pokemon too. "Come on out Staryu and Gyarados." She threw their Pokeballs in the water, catching them as they flew back to her. The two Pokemon popped out of the water, Gyarados roaring and spraying some misty (no pun) water from its mouth.
Misty set Azurill down and Ducklett flew off of her shoulder as she took off her jacket and started digging through her Spheal backback- which she had had on under her jacket. She pulled out some Pokemon food and fed each of her Pokemon before she herself started eating. "None of it's as good as Brock's but we'll meet up with them eventually."
She looked down at her burger she had bought with a sigh. Why were salads so expensive? She didn't really feel like having a greasy hamburger today. But she still ate it, along with her french fries and soft drink until it was nothing more than a bag and wrappers.
"Everyone done?" She asked her Pokemon.
They all responded with a nod and their respectful cries.
"Alright, because it's getting pretty late. I'd better find a place to turn in for the night." She looked towards the setting sun; which was turning the sky pink, purple and orange with breathtaking beauty.
"Return everyone." She simultaneously returned Staryu and Gyarados. When she tried to return Ducklett though, it dodged it and shook its head repeatedly.
"Duck duck ducklett!" It protested.
"Hmm? You want to continue to travel on my shoulder?" Misty asked.
"Ducklett!" It cheered and hopped on her shoulder, nuzzling her.
"Alright! Alright! Just let me put my backpack and jacket back on." She said while giggling.
She gently put Ducklett down, put her backpack and jacket back on and then picked up Azurill. "Come on Ducklet, let's go."
The blue duck flew back up onto her shoulder and so the trainer started walking back towards Accumula town.
As she entered the town, she noticed a big crowd gathered together.
"Wonder what's going on over there." Misty pondered aloud.
"Let's go check it out." Misty walked over to the crowd and squeezed her way in until she could see what they were gathered around.
Up on a makeshift stage were men in strange suits holding up poles with waving flags that had the words 'PZ' and a medieval design on it. In the center of the line of strange men was a man in a kingly robe with wavy green hair and a weird device over his left eye.
"My name is Ghestis. I am here representing Team Plasma. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to talk to you about Pokemon liberation." The kingly man began.
"Huh?" One person asked.
"What?" Another murmured.
"I'm sure most of you believe that we humans and Pokemon are partners that have come to live together because we want and need each other. However... Is that really the truth? Have you ever considered that perhaps we humans... only assume that this is the truth?
"Pokemon are subject to the selfish commands of trainers... They get pushed around when they are our "partners" at work... Can anyone say with confidence that there is no truth in what I'm saying?" Ghetsis challenged.
"I don't know..."
"No way." Misty input softly in disagreement.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen, Pokemon are different from humans. They are living beings that contain unknown potential. They are living beings from whom we humans have much to learn. Tell me, what is our responsibility toward these wonderful beings called Pokemon?"
"What could it be?"
"Liberation?" Someone guessed.
"That's right! We must liberate the Pokemon! Then, and only then, will humans and Pokemon truly be equals. Everyone, I end my words here today by imploring you to consider the relationship between people and Pokemon... and the correct way to proceed.
"We sincerely appreciate your attention." Ghetsis dipped his head curtly as the other strange men picked up their poles, lined up, and gathered around Ghetsis as if they were protecting him. With that they all made their way towards the exit of the town.
As the group of strange people left, the crowd of bystanders started to break up but were still talking about what they had just heard. Misty considered what they said but she didn't believe it.
People and Pokemon were friends and they helped each other out. If the Pokemon were unhappy, wouldn't they have left their trainers by now? Refused to battle? Misty loved her Pokemon, but did they really love her back?
Her thoughts were interrupted as she heard a man calling out his Pokemon. She turned her attention to him to see that he had sent out a little alligator Pokemon.
STOP!!! Now open another tab and look up the Pokemon track: "Tears after the Storm" That song just randomly started playing in my head as I was writing this. Lol. Seriously, try it. It's perfect with it!
"Sandile, I had no idea I was making you so unhappy." The man kneeled down to be at the Pokemon's eye level. It looked up at him curiously, looking slightly concerned since it most likely sensed his emotions. "I never thought about what you might have been feeling having to battle all those Pokemon. I know the best way to make it up to you is to liberate you. I'm... I'm so sorry!" The man was getting choked up, despite his rough appearence.
Sandile crawled closer to its trainer, looking up at him with a mixture of curiosity and sadness. "Sand sandile?" It asked.
"I'm sorry for everything." The man stood up and started to walk away.
The man turned back. "You're free." He set its Pokeball to release. "Now go, you are no longer my servant!"
Sandile looked extremely hurt and confused. "Sandile? Sand!" It cried out as its trainer walked away from it.
Misty couldn't believe what just happened. That trainer let his Pokemon go just because of that speech. And the Pokemon looked sad, not relieved to be liberated. She stomped up to the man and stood in front of him with a glare. "How could you do that to your Pokemon!?"
The man looked at her in shock before shaking his head. "I was making my Pokemon my servant by making it battle for me. It deserves better than that."
"You're wrong! You're making it unhappy now, look at it!" She gestured towards the Sandile, who was still staring after the man in disbelief and sadness. "It has no idea why you just released it! Wouldn't your Pokemon be fleeing for the wild by now if it had really been suffering? It loves you, and right now it thinks you're abandoning it, not setting it free! Don't let that speech ruin a friendship."
The man looked back at his Pokemon with eyes full of emotion. He stared at Sandile for a while as if deep in thought before closing his eyes and turning away. "I'm doing what's best for my Pokemon."
"Stay out of my business, I know what I'm doing." The man growled before walking away without another glance at Sandile.
Sandile stared after his former trainer before turning away, crestfallen, and walking away sadly with its head hung and its tail dragging the ground.
Misty's heart was breaking at the sight of this. How could he just let his Pokemon go like that? "You call yourself a trainer when you just abandoned your Pokemon!?" She spat after him.
The man just ignored her and kept walking.
"Ugh! Why do people have to be so stubborn!?" She sighed in exasperation.
They both looked at her in concern.
"What's wrong?" Misty looked at her Pokemon to see them staring after the Sandile. "Don't worry. I wouldn't do that to you guys."
They looked at her for reassurance. "Really. Unless of course you ever wanted to be set free."
They looked reassured by this and knew they could rest easy.
"Well, let's turn in for the night." Misty said aloud and shot one last disgusted look at the trainer who just abandoned his Sandile before going to the Pokemon Center.
Misty woke up as the sun peaked onto her face with its warm rays. She slowly got out of bed as not to disturb her sleeping Pokemon and exited the room. She entered the main room of the Pokemon center and went straight to one of the phones there.
Misty dialed the number and waited for the relentless ringing to cease before an answer finally came. It was audio only, a setting that Misty had set for safety purposes on the Cerulean phone that could be activated to picture and audio if the caller was trusted.
"Hello, Waterflower residance, Daisy speaking." Her sister had answered.
"Hey Daisy, it's me, Misty." Misty responded.
"Oh hey! You like made it." Daisy switched the phone to video. "Did you find your boyfriend yet?"
"No, and he's NOT my boyfriend! I told you I just miss him." Misty protested angrily.
Daisy just smirked. "Not YET at least."
Misty glared at Daisy before sighing. "So how's everything going with the gym?"
"Don't sweat it little sis, I've got everything under control." Daisy waved a hand in dismissal.
Misty wasn't positive if she believed her so she pressed further. "Keeping the Pokemon fed?"
"Uh, yeah..." Daisy looked at her with a 'duh' look.
Misty gave her a hard stare. "And the tank clean?"
"Like it doesn't need cleaning YET!" Daisy gave her an exasperated look.
"And how are you doing with battling?" Misty asked the question that really bugged her.
"No problem." But Daisy looked slightly nervous.
Misty narrowed her eyes. "Are you sure? How many battles did you win?"
"Well, we ARE just here to provide these trainers with badges aren't we?"
Misty's stare became harder. "Answer the question Daisy."
"Well, I kinda like, gave away a badge to a trainer or two..." Daisy answered nervously.
"'Or two?'" Misty repeated with a growl.
"Or three... Okay! All of the trainers that entered yesterday!" Daisy admitted. "I tried to battle, I swear! But it was just SO tiring!"
Misty was about to give her sister a piece of her mind but reminded herself of the favor Daisy was doing her and contained her anger. "Daisy, do you want our reputation to suffer? It took me a while to build up that reputation. Battles really are pretty fun when you get into it."
Daisy sighed. "Alright, alright. I'll try again. But just for you."
Daisy then narrowed her eyes. "But only on one condition." She could barely contain the evil grin coming to her lips.
Misty dreaded what her sister was going to say and reluctantly asked "and what's that?"
Daisy's grin widened. "If you promise me nieces and nephews from me letting you go visit this guy."
"WHAT!?" Misty screamed at the screen and stood up abruptly with people staring at her. Her face was red as a tomato and her eyes blazed.
Daisy just laughed. "Bye little sis." She hung up before Misty could scream at her.
Smart move. Misty thought angrily before turning away from the screen and back to her room, feeling people still staring at her.
Azurill and Ducklett had woken up and looked up at her as she entered the room. "Are you guys hungry?"
They both nodded.
"Okay, we'll grab some food before we leave this town. I wonder how far it is until that bridge and whatever city the Professor said Ash was heading to." She thought aloud as she packed her belongings. "Oh well, the faster we get there, the better." She picked up her Pokemon and left the center.
Misty grabbed some more food from a fast food restaurant and found another nice, relatively secluded area for her and her Pokemon to eat. She couldn't help but feel rushed and impatient, she just wanted to be with the group again- traveling alone made her feel a little lonely.
She had found a town map in the Pokemon center and figured out that she had to go to Striaton and then Nacrene city before she got to the bridge that lead to Castelia. Sighing, Misty closed her eyes and tried to relax. She still had so far to go.
"If only I could have brought my bike. Stupid plane wouldn't let me take it on." Misty muttered before taking an irritated bite out of her chicken nugget ( idk.). "If I had my bike I could have been there by now." Reminiscence crept up on her as she remembered this thought had run through her head often after Pikachu had fried her bike and she followed Ash, demanding that he pay her back.
"And then it got fixed..." She muttered grimly. She knew that wasn't the real reason that she had to leave but she couldn't help but remember it. Why was she even here? Ash looked like he was happy to see her the last time she visited him, that proved that he didn't see her as his annoying stalker. But at the same time he didn't seem like he cared too much that she had to leave again.
Her mind kept going back to that day she had to leave for the first time.
"You did a great job on it Nurse Joy." Ash had said enthusiastically. "now Misty can get home to Cerulean faster." He was referring to Misty's bike that had been repaired from it's charred state.
That comment hurt. It was bad enough that she had to cease traveling with Ash and Brock to watch over the stupid gym without Ash sounding so happy about her having to leave.
Her face scrunched up in anger and pain. "Gee thanks a lot Ash!" She spat.
He looked at her in confusion. "Why are you being so grouchy?"
"Just leave me alone!" She snarled and ran out of the center, trying not to show how much his harsh words were hurting her.
It seemed like he didn't care. Later he proved that they were still friends and promised that they'd see each other again. But were those hollow words or did he really mean it?
Misty shook her head repeatedly. She was really over analyzing things. He didn't hate her... did he?
Azurill looked at her in concern and leaped into her lap, nuzzling her comfortingly. But Misty hardly noticed, she was busy sighing for what seemed like the millionth time that day. Why did she even care so much? He most likely didn't care this much for her, all he cared about was Pokemon. But she knew deep inside that that was one of the things she liked- no, loved- about him: how much he cared for Pokemon.
She didn't want to dwell on her thoughts any longer so she stood up and returned her Pokemon. "Come on guys, the faster we get to the next town, the better." But as she continued down the road, she found herself starting to dread every step that brought her closer to finding Ash.
"Dang it!" Misty spat as the tail of the Tympole that just got away disappeared in the water. She was soaked from head to toe with her hat dripping water. Shaking her wet sleeves, she shot a glare at the water. Who knew that a whole huge group of Tympole would come and overwhelm Misty and Ducklett so that the one they were trying to catch could get away?
"Oh well, guess that's the wrong type of Pokemon to try and catch." Misty grumbled.
Ducklett looked disappointed at its failure, although it wasn't its fault.
"It's alright Ducklett." Misty assured it and patted its head. "You did great, it's just our bad luck that the Pokemon's group came." She stood up. "Let's go, we're almost to Striaton."
They started walking towards the city that had just come into view. Before they could make it to the city though, a voice stopped them.
"Hey you! Stop right there!"
Misty turned to see a random kid holding up a Pokeball.
"You're not going anywhere without battling me first!"
Misty sighed. "Look kid, I'm in a hurry here."
The kid gave her a mocking look. "I think you're just scared of losing."
Misty glared. "That's not it!"
"Chicken!" He made chicken noises and started walking around like a chicken.
"Fine! I accept your challenge! But make it quick!" Misty snapped.
The kid smirked. "You got it."
"Go Ducklett!" Misty called and pointed a finger. Ducklett flew off of Misty's shoulder and spread its wings with a caw.
"Ducklett!" It quacked.
"Go Patrat!" The kid threw his Pokeball and a chipmunk with strange eyes appeared.
"Patrat, use growl!"
"Ducklett, water pulse!"
Patrat growled, lowering Ducklett's attack. However, Water Pulse was unaffected and still connected at full power.
"Patrat!" The kid cried as the Pokemon was blown back and started staggering around in confusion.
"Ducklett, Wing Attack!"
"No Patrat! Snap out of it! Bite!"
Ducklett rushed at Patrat but before its wings could strike, Patrat came to and bit it.
Ducklett cawed in pain.
"Oh no! Ducklett, get it off of you with Wing Attack"
Ducklett swung its wing but the Patrat held on tight.
"Bite harder Patrat!" The kid ordered.
Ducklett squaked in pain.
"Ducklett! Think Misty..." She then remembered a powerful attack that Ducklett had used on her. "That's right! Ducklett, use that wind attack you used on me earlier!"
Ducklett looked back at her in confusion before cawing in realization and flapping its wings powerfully as a large gust of wind formed and hurled the Patrat off of it. The Pokemon was flung through the air and hit a tree hard, knocking it out.
"No! Patrat!" The kid ran to his Pokemon. "Are you okay?"
The Patrat nodded at him weakly.
"Great job, return." He turned to Misty. "Wow, you're strong! I thought Ducklett didn't learn Hurricane until they evolved into Swanna."
"Thanks- wait WHAT?" She looked at Ducklett with wide eyes. "Ducklett evolves into the swan?"
The kid gave her a weird look. "Yeah... Of course."
"Alright." Misty smirked, she would have gotten the swan eventually anyways it seemed. And now she also knew the name of that powerful attack.
The kid started to walk away.
"Hey, where are you going? Aren't we still battling?"
The kid sweat dropped. "Erm, that's my only Pokemon. Gotta heal him, bye!" With that, the kid ran into Striaton City.
Misty sighed and followed slowly. She needed to heal Ducklett too. "Great job." She told it, receiving a cheerful caw.
"Okay so there's a gym here. That means that Ash has gotten at least one badge so far." Misty figured. She hoped that with how long she was taking that she wouldn't miss him. "No time for sight seeing, I'll just drop by the shop to restock my supplies and then I'll start for the next town." She decided aloud. Nothing much was happening in the town anyways.
Misty got her supplies and walked out of the shop. As she did, she caught the conversation of two girls passing by.
"I can't believe Cilan went to travel with that kid!" One girl said to the other.
"Yeah! I know, now there are only two gym leaders to battle at the gym!" The other responded in exasperation.
"Hmm?" Misty wondered curiously but shrugged it off. It didn't really concern her anyways.
She walked out of the town, speed walking. She was tired of it taking so long, she just wanted to be there already. The town she had come from was already far behind her but it still seemed to be taking forever. As she looked up at the sky, she became worried at how dark it was getting already. "Don't tell me I'm gonna have to go another night without getting there!" She groaned. An idea hit her. "Ducklett, fly ahead and see how far we still have to go."
Ducklett nodded and took to the skies. Misty was about to follow Ducklett but was interrupted by a sound that came from her arms. She looked down to see Azurill with a discontented look on its face.
"You're hungry huh?" Misty asked and received a nod and a sad 'Azuu...'
"Alright, we'll stop for another food break while we wait for Ducklett to return. I'll just save some food for it." She sighed. With all these set backs, she'd never get there. But she couldn't just let her baby starve.
Misty had let her Pokemon out again and as they ate, she sat frowning. Where was Ducklett? Was it really that far to Castelia?
But as if her thoughts had summoned it, the blue duck came into view with a squawk to announce its arrival.
Misty stood up to meet it. "Welcome back Ducklett. I saved you some food." She held up the dish before putting it back down. "Did you see the city?"
Ducklett landed at the food bowl and nodded up at her before pecking at its food.
She sighed. "Far away huh?"
Ducklett looked back up at her and nodded.
The sun was now dipping below the horizon, only barely visible above the mountains.
"I Guess I have to set up camp, too far away from town to go back now." This would be the first time she camped out since she traveled with Ash, she was so used to her bed now that her sleeping bag would be hard to get used to again.
Everyone besides Ducklett was done eating so she recalled them and started to get camp ready. She went to gather some firewood and brought it back to the clearing to start a fire. By the time she was done, it was already dark and getting chilly.
"I will find a way to get to the city before tomorrow is over." She vowed to herself as she uncurled her sleeping bag and crawled in.
Azurill crawled in and cuddled up to her. Ducklett lie on the back side of her head and fluffed up its feathers for warmth before dozing off.
"Good night guys." She yawned before she herself drifted to sleep.
Misty was standing in a field overlooking the clearing she had gone to sleep at, the grass blades swaying in the wind and brushing against her ankles.
Azurill and Ducklett were still asleep but Misty couldn't sleep, she was too anxious. She closed her eyes and just took the moment to try and calm herself and feel the nice breeze. She would get there soon enough, rushing too much would wear her out.
The sound of footsteps behind her snapped her out of her thoughts. She didn't open her eyes or even pretend to acknowledge them though. It was probably another random kid wanting to battle. She would relax a little but she had no time for any more setbacks.
The footsteps just kept coming closer until the sound disappeared. She opened her eyes just slightly in confusion, casting a glance behind her by the corner of her eyes. What she saw made her heart jump.
Behind her a boy sat with his back to her on the opposite edge of the hill she was on. He seemed focused on something in the distance and apparently didn't even notice or care that she was there. All she could see from the back of the kid's head was that he had black hair and a hat. Even though the similarities of this boy obviously pointed to Ash, the thing that helped insure her assumption was correct was the Pikachu sitting next to him.
Misty stood frozen for a moment, not knowing what to say. Although she was impatient to meet up with him, she was still glad that she had time to gather her thoughts and be prepared when she met him. What was he doing here? Had he backtracked or something?
"Ash?" She finally spoke, looking down at him.
He looked up in surprise at her, his dazzling brown eyes sparkling with confusion. "Yeah? How do you know my name?"
Misty was hurt for a heartbeat before she remembered that she was wearing a disguise. She didn't care about it anymore, she was just glad to finally see Ash again. "It's me Ash, don't you remember me?" She asked as she took her hat off.
He looked like he was on to something but still looked stumped.
She sighed, he hardly ever saw her with her hair down. "Does this help?" Misty asked as she held a clump of her hair up like a ponytail.
Ash blinked before standing up slowly. "M-Misty?" He asked in disbelief.
She smiled. "I guess you do remember me."
"What are you doing here? I thought you had to take over the gym!" He said as a smile came to his face as well.
Pikachu perked up as it realized who she was and leaped into her arms with a happy 'pika!'
Misty laughed. "Hey Pikachu! Long time no see!" She looked back up at Ash. "My sister let me come here. I was um... Looking for you. I wanted to visit you."
"It's great to see you again!" Ash said happily. "I really missed you ya know."
Misty couldn't stop the blush from spreading onto her face. "Really?"
He looked confused. "Of course. You thought I didn't?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. I missed you too though." She added the last part with a smile.
He looked at her for a moment before looking down and saying in a hesitant voice "erm, Misty?"
"I uh, have something that I feel I need to tell you. But I don't think you're gonna like it." He was still avoiding eye contact and he seemed very reluctant to say what he wanted to say.
"You can tell me Ash, I probably won't mind." Her heart couldn't help but pound.
He glanced up at her sheepishly. "You sure you won't hate me for telling you?"
Her expression became soft with a voice to match. "I would never hate you Ash." She responded.
He looked up at her with a still uncertain look before taking a step back and looking in her eyes intensely.
As she stared back into them she felt as if she were being hypnotized by them. Her heart was hammering uncontrollably in her chest as she waited for him to speak.
"You have a bug on your face."
Misty's eyes shot open as she felt something pressed up against her face. That was a weird dream, why had he said there was a bug on her...?
A scream filled the area as Misty sprang to her feet and in one swift motion, picked up Azurill and her sleeping bag and left Ducklett to fly after her as she darted away with a dust cloud following her. There had been a creepy bug with a leaf ON HER FACE! Even though she was sure the bug was far away from her, she wanted to distance herself as much from that disgusting bug as she could. In fact, she could have sworn she passed through a town in her rush.
A person came into view but before she could stop herself, she slammed right into him and Azurill went flying. Fortunately though, Ducklett came just in time to catch it before it hit the ground and lowered it slowly to safety.
"Ugh." Misty groaned as she sat up and rubbed her head discontentedly. "Sorry about that-"
"Why don't you look where you're going?" The kid spat as he glared at her.
"Hey! I said I was sorry!" She shot back at him.
The kid ignored her and stood up, dusting himself off and checking the camera that was strung around his neck. He seemed as if he remembered something and spun around before turning back, even angrier than before. "Great going, you made me lose it!"
Misty blinked. "Lose what?"
"That Blitzle I was about to catch. What were you running for anyways?" The kid asked in an annoyed voice.
"Th-that's none of your business!" She yelled, blushing slightly in embarrassment.
"And who wears that kind of outfit anyways? You look like some cliche secret agent wannabe."
"Who do you think you are? You don't even know me!" Misty spat and crossed her arms. "You're just wasting my time, I happen to be in a big hurry." She picked up Azurill and her sleeping bag and started to walk away. "Let's go guys."
"My name is Tripp, and you owe me a battle."
She turned to look at him with a glare. "Who says?"
He eyed her coldly. "Well, it's the LEAST you can do after knocking me over and making me lose that Pokemon."
Misty growled inwardly. "Fine but make it quick." She snapped.
"Actually, I wanted a full battle." Tripp snorted.
"No way! For one, I told you a million times that I'm in a hurry and for another... I don't have six Pokemon."
"Fine, how many DO you have?"
"Four." She responded.
"Fine, a four on four battle then. It's still early in the morning, wherever you're going can't demand you to be there that early can it?" Tripp asked with a raised brow.
"No, I guess not..." She grumbled. "Let's just get this done with already." She set Azurill down beside her and was about to send her Pokemon out when Tripp suddenly pulled out his Pokedex.
"What's THAT Pokemon?" He scanned Azurill on his Pokedex.
Misty sighed. Great, another person to go nuts over Azurill.
He started taking pictures of Azurill, annoying Misty even more. "What are you? A Pokemon photographer?" As soon as she asked that, she remembered another old friend that she had met on her journey with Ash; Todd. She briefly wondered how he was doing before she got her answer from Tripp.
"No, I'm recording my journey and an Azurill in Unova is a big deal." He responded in the same agrivating tone as he continued to take pictures of Azurill.
"Believe me, I know." Misty grumbled as she let out an exasperated sigh.
"Where did you get it?" He demanded.
"Hmm? Well you see, I'm not from around here. I come from Kanto."
He sighed. "Great, another trainer from the boonies."
"Boonies?" She snarled, her temper rising. "You sure talk big, let's see if your battling matches it!"
"Let's get to it then." Tripp said and pulled out a Pokeball.
"Hmm, let's see... Who should I choose?" Misty muttered as she tried to decide which Pokemon to choose but what interrupted by Ducklett.
"Ducklett!" It cawed.
"You want to go?"
Ducklett nodded with a determined look in its eyes.
"Okay." She looked up at Tripp. "Ready?"
"Yep. Let's get this started."
"Go!" They simultaneously yelled, Misty pointing and Tripp throwing a Pokeball.
The grass snake appeared with a flash of light and stared at Ducklett with a cocky expression. They say Pokemon act like their trainers. She thought with a smirk.
"Servine, use vine whip!"
The vines shot out and Ducklett flew up to dodge them but Servine just redirected the vines higher and smacked Ducklett down.
As the bird fell, Tripp ordered "leap and use quick attack!"
Servine leaped and shot towards Ducklett like a bullet.
"No, Ducklett! Quick, snap out of it and whack it away with a wing attack!" Misty yelled.
Ducklett opened its eyes, and barely had time to readjust itself in the air before it had to swiftly strike Servine with its wing.
Servine was shot back but landed on its feet when it hit the ground.
"Good, now use vine whip again!"
"Dodge and use wing attack!"
Servine shot its vines at Ducklett again as the bird rushed at it with its wings extended. Ducklett dodged the vines narrowly by weaving side to side before its attack connected. It shot past Servine after the attack.
"Quickly Servine, grab it now!"
Servine quickly turned and shot its vines before Ducklett could turn around or react and wrapped its wings against its body so it couldn't fly.
"Ducklett! No!" Misty called out.
"Throw it hard Servine!" Trip ordered and pointed towards a tree.
Servine swung its vines around once before letting go and slamming Ducklett against the tree.
"Ducklett!" Misty cried out and ran towards it.
"Looks like the first round is done already." Tripp said to his Servine.
But before Misty could reach Ducklett, she saw it starting to get up. "Wait!"
Ducklett stood up, panting and glared at Servine.
"It looks too beat to go on. Stubborness will just get it hurt." Tripp shrugged.
But suddenly Ducklett started to glow.
Misty's eyes widened. Was Ducklett about to evolve?
But then the glowing faded and Ducklett was still a Ducklett. It looked different though, like its health had been restored.
"Lucky you, Ducklett knows Roost." Tripp said. "I guess this round is still going on."
"Great! Let's win this Ducklett!" Misty encouraged.
"Duck!" It cawed in determination.
"It's time to end this! Servine, use leaf tornado!"
Servine held itself up by its hands as a grassy tornado formed on its tail and was shot towards Ducklett.
"Quick Ducklett, use Hurricane to counter it!"
Ducklett swiftly flapped its wings and a powerful wind met the tornado. Neither surpassed each other but both storm attacks tried to break past.
"Keep going Ducklett, you can do it!"
"Servine, come on!"
"More power!" They both yelled and both Pokemon put all their strength into it.
It finally just broke and the field was filled with intense wind, dust and leaves. Both trainers had to cover their eyes as the gust hit them. They slowly opened their eyes as they waited for the dust to clear.
When the dust cleared, both Pokemon were still standing but they looked like they would collapse at any moment. They stared each other down for a moment before they both collapsed simultaneously.
Misty ran to her Pokemon and picked it up. "Are you okay Ducklett?" Ducklett opened its eyes and nodded slowly. "You did great Ducklett, take a rest." She set it down next to Azurill.
Misty turned to see Tripp talking to his Pokemon, kneeled by its side. "Good job Servine, return." He returned it to its Pokeball before standing up and taking out another Pokeball.
"Azuu!" Azurill cried and ran forward.
"Azurill? You want to battle?"
"Azuu!" It replied and nodded.
"Alright, good luck!"
"Go Frillish!" He called and sent out a blue jellyfish Pokemon.
Misty couldn't stand it. "OOOOOOHHHHHH! Its SO cute!" She ran up to it and gave it a huge hug. "I love water Pokemon and this one is adorable! Don't tell me I have to battle you!"
She then remembered that this was Tripp's Pokemon and looked at him with a large sweat drop. He was looking at her with an eyebrow raised and was- to her surprise- taking a picture of her.
"Hey! Why are you taking pictures of me?" She yelled.
"I'm recording my journey and you're the strangest trainer I've ever met."
"Shut up!" She spat, let go of the Frillish and got back into position. "And stop taking pictures, we're in the middle of a battle here!"
He raised an eyebrow. "Then stop hugging the opponent's Pokemon, we're in the middle of a battle here." He shot back at her.
"Grr! Go Azurill! Use slam!"
Azurill used slam with the big ball on its tail but went right through.
"What? But how?" Misty gasped.
"Frillish may be a water type but its also part ghost so normal attacks don't effect it."
"Well since Azurill is a normal type but knows water attacks that means-"
"This is a water only battle." They both said simultaneously.
"Frillish! Water pulse!"
Azurill bounced into the air and narrowly dodged the attack.
"Now use water gun!"
The attack hit and knocked Frillish back a bit.
"Use water pulse!"
Frillish shot water pulse again and this time it hit.
This did significant damage since Azurill was a normal type and not a water type.
"Use water gun again!"
Azurill tried but nothing happened.
"Huh? What's wrong Azurill?"
"It's Frillish's ability; Cursed Body," Tripp explained. "There's a chance that it might disable one of the attacks that hit it."
"Great, now Azurill can only use bubble." Misty grumbled and looked up at Tripp. "And it seems that Frillish can only use water pulse..."
But before the bubbles hit, Tripp ordered Frillish to use protect. 'I guess I was wrong...' Misty thought in annoyance.
"Water pulse again Frillish."
It hit its mark and Azurill started dancing around in a confused daze.
"No, Azurill! Snap out of it and use bubble again."
But it couldn't do it.
"Finish it with water pulse."
"No, wait!" Misty cries but the water was already released. So Misty leaped in front and took the attack with a pained wince. "You alright Azurill?"
"Why did you do that?" Tripp spat.
She glared at him. "Azurill is just a baby!" She yelled and picked it up, setting it down next to Ducklett. She knew that wasn't true. Azurill was a big baby if anything that just hadn't evolved yet. She knew she had to stop treating Azurill like a baby or it would never grow up to be a strong Pokemon but her motherly instincts made it very difficult for her. She stood up and pulled out her next Pokeball.
"Go Tranquil!" The bird appeared with a cry.
"Go Staryu!" She sent out her starfish Pokemon.
Tripp checked his Pokedex on Staryu before scoffing. "ANOTHER water Pokemon? Don't you have any other types?"
"Nope, I specialize in water type Pokemon!" Misty replied proudly.
"You should really learn the basics! Specializing in only one type puts you at a huge disadvantage against types weak to it."
"I know how to handle types strong against water!" She spat. "Why don't YOU learn the basics? I bet I've been a trainer A LOT longer than you!"
"Whatever. Tranquil, use arial ace!"
Misty knew how to deal with flying types very well now. "Staryu, Power Gem!"
As Tranquil attacked, the gems shot at it. The arial ace hit but didn't do as much damage to Staryu as the power gem did to it.
"Quick, air cutter!"
"Break through it with rapid spin!"
Tranquil flapped its wings and the air flew towards Staryu but the starfish used rapid spin to break right through it, only taking some damage and kept heading towards Tranquil.
"Double team, Tranquil!"
Tranquil multiplied and as Staryu's rapid spin hit, it hit the wrong one.
Misty's eyes glinted. "That won't work! Staryu, use swift!"
The swift hit the target, making the multiples disappear.
"Finish it with another power gem!"
But the gems hit before Tranquil could dodge and knocked it to the ground with swirly eyes.
"Great job Staryu!" Misty cheered and ran up to hug it. "Return." She returned it and looked up at Trip to see him with a shocked expression on his face as to how quickly the battle had ended. "I told you, I've been a trainer for longer and Staryu was one of my first Pokemon so its a much higher level."
"This isn't over yet! We're tied now, this battle determines who wins." He said, snapping out of his shock.
Misty realized that he was right. The battle between Ducklett and Servine had resulted in a tie, Azurill vs Frillish ended up in Frillish winning, and now Staryu had won against Tranquil. But her remaining Pokemon was one of her strongest.
She looked at the Pokeball containing the Pokemon that had been her worst fear for the longest time but had also saved her life.
The two Pokemon appeared, one being a large water serpent and the other being an... ice cream cone? Misty started craving ice cream after seeing it.
She had been so focused on Vanilite that she barely caught the look of slight fear that flashed on Tripp's face for only a split second before he whipped out his Pokedex. Misty couldn't help but snicker softly.
He gave her a hard look. "What are you so happy about? Your Pokemon is part flying and Vanilite is ice, you don't stand a chance."
Misty tried not to smirk. "I guess you're right, but it doesn't hurt to try now does it?" She shrugged nonchalantly.
"In this situation it does! Vanilite use ice beam!"
Vanilite shot the ice beam at Gyarados.
Misty's hidden smirk became a grin. "Gyarados, use flamethrower!"
"WHAT?" Tripp almost fell back in surprise as Gyarados opened its mouth wide and fire shot out of it, melting the ice beam right as it reached it and engulfing Vanilite. When the fire disappeared, Vanilite was blackened and had swirly eyes- it was an instant knock out.
If Tripp's face was surprised when Staryu beat Tranquil so quickly, it was more in the lines of horrified now. "Return." He choked out and returned his Pokemon.
"Great job Gyarados." Misty couldn't stop grinning for the life of her, she had showed Tripp up big time. She wished she had a camera herself to take a picture of his face, it was priceless. She returned Gyarados before walking up to the stunned Tripp.
"Hey, great battle." She held out a hand to him.
Tripp slowly looked up at her before nodding and shaking her hand. "Great battle." He muttered before walking off.
"Hey, where are you going now?" Misty asked curiously.
He didn't bother to turn around as he answered "Castelia City, I have to heal my Pokemon."
"Okay, see you later." She made a mental note that she might be seeing him later before packing up her sleeping bag that she had never packed away from earlier that day and getting her Pokemon together to continue on.
Little did she know, right when Tripp was out of view, he started running towards the next city.
"How much longer until the next town Cilan?" Ash groaned and leaned forward to emphasize his point. Even Pikachu was sprawled over his shoulder in exhaustion although it had not walked nearly as much as its trainer or his friends.
"Well, we're almost to the place where it forks to either Sky Arrow Bridge or Pinwheel Forest."
Ash perked up. "A forest is a great place to catch some more Pokemon!"
"But Ash," Cilan cautioned, "if we go through Pinwheel Forest, we still have to go across the bridge, and the bridge is VERY long."
"That's fine with me!" Ash said and fist pumped. "As long as I run into more Pokemon."
Iris sighed in exasperation. "First he wanted to get there right away and now he wants to take the long way around, he'll be complaining later. What. A. Kid."
Ash did his best to ignore her but his attention was swayed from her anyways as he heard footsteps rushing hurriedly through the undergrowth behind them. The group turned around to see that it was Tripp.
"Hey Tripp, why are you in such a hurry." Ash asked curiously.
Tripp gave him an annoyed look as he stopped, gasping for air. "I need to heal my Pokemon before their condition gets too bad."
Cilan's eyebrows rose. "What made them so badly injured?"
"I just finished a four on four battle with a trainer and she was more powerful than I expected."
Ash blinked before a determined grin came to his face. Great, a challenge. He hoped he would meet her soon so that he could battle this 'powerful' trainer too. "What kind of trainer was she?" He asked excitedly.
Tripp looked at him strangely before saying. "She specializes in water types if that's what you're asking."
Ash was thoughtful at this, that was familiar, very familiar.
"Wow! Just like I specialize in dragon types?" Iris asked excitedly.
"Not exactly Iris, although you come from the village of dragons, not ALL of your Pokemon are dragon types and all of her's were water types. Am I right?" Cilan explained to Iris and then looked at Tripp as he asked the question.
"Oh yeah, right." Iris sighed.
"Anyways, I have to go, see you guys later." With that, Tripp headed for the town.
"Wow, I wonder who this 'powerful trainer' is. The fact that she specializes in water types must give her a cool demeanor along with a tang of spice with her powerful attacks." Cilan stated and gestured with his hands.
"How do you know all that just by knowing the fact that she specializes in only water Pokemon?" Iris asked.
"I told you! I'm a Pokemon Connoisseur."
"Yeah, you told me. It still amazes me though." Iris said as she sweat dropped a little.
While Iris and Cilan were talking, Ash was lost in thought- something that was kind of rare for him. Someone calling him snapped him out of his thoughts.
"Huh? What?" He looked to see Iris looking at him strangely.
"Are you okay? You were spacing out or something."
"Yeah, I was just thinking..." Ash started to explain.
"Really? That's a first."
Ash glared at her. "Thanks." He grumbled sarcastically.
"Thinking about what?" Cilan asked.
"Just that... Tripp said that the trainer specializes in water Pokemon..."
"So what? You have Snivy, Pikachu, and some water Pokemon that could beat her." Iris responded.
"No, that's not what I'm thinking about. It's that I know someone who specializes in water Pokemon."
"Well, maybe it's her." Iris shrugged.
"No, it couldn't be her. You see, she's a gym leader back in Kanto so she can't really leave the gym to travel." Ash explained.
"Well, if it IS her than it would make sense that she's really powerful, being a gym leader." Cilan pointed out.
"That's true..." Ash said thoughtful.
"Alright, we're here at the fork. We're going to Pinwheel Forest right?" Cilan checked.
"Yep! Maybe we'll meet some Pokemon there." Ash said, pushing his thoughts to the back of his mind.
"And maybe we'll meet that trainer in Castelia City, then you can find out for yourself if she's your friend or not." Cilan said.
"Yeah, so let's go!" Ash fist pumped again.
"Pika!" Pikachu imitated its trainer as the group walked into the forest.
Back with Misty...
"Okay, so I have the choice between a forest that's most likely crawling with bugs and that's easy to get lost in or a nice bridge that is very hard to get lost on and doesn't have any Pokemon. Hmm, which should I choose?" Misty said aloud sarcastically. "I vote bridge!" With that she started towards Sky Arrow Bridge.
"UGH!" Misty groaned as she finally stumbled into the city. "I thought that bridge would NEVER end!" She looked at her Pokemon. "You're lucky you didn't have to walk."
They both sweat dropped.
Misty stumbled around aimlessly in exhaustion until she spotted the object of her desire; a simple park bench. She slumped into the bench, her arms hanging off of the bench as she just sat there for a while, catching her breath.
She closed her eyes and steadied her breathing to calm down her throbbing heart. Something suddenly nudged her hand.
"Azurill, Ducklett, please let me rest for a minute." She grumbled.
"Azuu?" The voice came from her lap.
"Duck?" The voice was next to her ear.
"Whatever you are, go away and let me rest." She moaned.
The nudge was harder this time.
Misty finally opened her eyes to glare at whatever was nudging her and instantly wished she hadn't. There next to her was a Venipede.
Ash, Iris and Cilan had reached the city in sight of ash’s next gym badge and its famous Castelia Cones. They met up with Burgh- the Castelia city gym leader, who they had met in Pinwheel Forest- to find that there was something wrong with the bug Pokemon and so they decided to investigate.
After their scrimmage in the sewer with a Venipede stuck in a pipe and a swarm of Venipede stampeding through, they surfaced the manhole to see the city in distress.
Venipede were everywhere! Swarming through the city, crawling up buildings, groups were even tipping over cars! Something was seriously wrong.
Ash opened his mouth to say something but before he could even utter a word, an earsplitting scream filled the city.
“What in the world was that?!” Iris exclaimed, both her and Axew shaken up by the sudden loud noise.
As if to answer her question, a black blur followed by a dust cloud zoomed in front of them and choked them with the dust. “Let’s get out of this town! DISGUSTING BUGS! EVERYWHERE!!!” The voice cried and a Ducklett was seen flying after the person, trying desperately to catch up to its trainer.
“What’s HER problem?!” Iris coughed and glared after the mysterious person’s retreating figure.
“It seems as if she has a bit of a bug phobia.” Cilan stated.
“What a kid,” Iris huffed. “What’s so scary about bugs anyway?”
“I bet that she would say the same thing about your fear of ice Pokemon.” Cilan chuckled.
“Come on! We must find Nurse Joy!” Burgh interrupted them.
“Ash! Stop spacing out! We need to go!” Iris yelled to Ash, who was staring after the girl’s retreating figure, in thought again.
“Huh? R-right, let’s go!” He ran after the group as they left for the Pokemon center.
Misty slammed the door of the Pokemon center behind her and leaned against the door, breathing heavily. Ducklett collapsed on her shoulder, panting with its tongue sticking out.
“I was in such a rush to get to Castelia City,” she panted, “and now I just want to leave already.” She heard something outside and turned to look through the clear doors, seeing a group of people outside, one of them being Tripp.
Tripp and the other gathered trainers used fire attacks to drive back the bugs. Misty leaped up with a fist pump. “Yeah! Drive out those hideous things!” But all their attacks seemed to do was make the Venipede even more angry, creeping Misty out more with their rattling noises. “I am NOT leaving this Pokemon centre until they get rid of those disgusting things!” The Pokemon’s attacks suddenly stopped and Misty looked to see a group of people run up. Misty froze before glaring at the bugs. “You just love to spite me don’t you?!” She yelled aloud with a pout.
The group that had run up included Ash among them but, as much as she wanted to see him, she wasn’t going out there now. “Great…” She muttered and watched Ash converse with Tripp before the group ran off again.
Misty sighed and went over to the couches in the centre and plopped down. “How long am I going to have to wait here?!”
(Team plasma stuff…)
“Pokemon will be slaves at the hands of man! They will be forced to build the very buildings that took their homes away. Pokemon need nature to survive, they need to be in their homes, not inside a ball until we call upon them. Man thinks they control everything, including these wonderful creatures that deserve to have freedom as much as any of us. Liberate your Pokemon and work towards making the world a better place for them. Thank you for your time.”
The crowd cleared out, muttering again and Misty hoped to Mew that no one was going to release their Pokemon again- and that Team Plasma would become as annoying to them as they were becoming to her. “Who do they think they are?! They’re splitting up strong relationships between people and Pokemon! That Sandile was NOT suffering! Misty huffed but stopped as a voice murmured something next to her.
“These Pokemon are suffering because of Humans, they are angry because they are in pain from Human disturbances and we are retaliating without understanding.” A man with long green hair and a black and white cap looking out the window said.
He turned to face Misty and stared at her with his deep green eyes. “I heard that you hate bug Pokemon, they terrify you.”
“How did you-” Misty started to ask but was interrupted.
“But although you hate them, do you think that they or any being deserves to suffer? They do have feelings as well as you and I.”
With his enticing eyes and deep words, Misty couldn’t help but agree with him. “No creature deserves to suffer, but some Pokemon have formed such a strong bond with their trainers that being liberated is the last thing that they want.”
“What about the Pokemon’s family?” He challenged softly, but with as much effect as if he were yelling the words. “Their family member is taken away from them and the Pokeball tames the Pokemon, making it tolerate the human who captured it. Have you ever wondered why Pokemon resist capture in the wild? They don’t want to be captured, taken away from their family.
“They don’t want to be liberated because they have spent so much time with their captor that they begin to replace their family figures with them. Humans cannot fulfill a Pokemon’s motherly need, not fully.”
Misty was speechless, how could she argue these points? It really made her rethink being a trainer.
He went on by petting Azurill on the head. “This little one, did you catch it in the wild as a baby or…?”
“I hatched it from an egg.” Misty answered.
“I see…” He paused and looked at the Azurill with a thoughtful expression. “Your Azurill thinks you are its mother.”
“And I’ve raised it like a mother would.” Misty stated proudly. “The same as I did for Togepi. Humans may keep their Pokemon but if they want to leave, most people will let them go. But the parting is hard on both. And when the Pokemon wants to be outside of the Pokeball, I don’t force them to stay in it, I let them travel with me.”
He still looked thoughtful as he looked at her Pokemon. “I can hear your Pokemon speaking. It seems they support your thoughts. But is that support from fear, friendship, or truth? Your Pokemon tell me they don’t want to be free…”
Misty raised an eyebrow. “You can hear them speaking?” She asked in a tone of disbelief.
“Yes. And your Pokemon say that you are a special trainer as well. Different than most… Who are you?” He asked.
“Misty, gym leader of the Cerulean Gym.” She said automatically before wondering if she should really give that information out to this person. But she felt as if she could confide in him for some reason. This person who seemed to know her Pokemon better than she did. “And you are?”
Before he could answer, the Team Plasma member who spoke earlier walked up to them. “Lord N, shall we make our way to Nimbasa now?”
Misty blinked. Lord N?! She thought in confusion.
He looked out the window and nodded to the member. “Yes, it seems that the Venipede are starting to clear out. Let us go.” He looked at Misty. “Perhaps our paths will cross again Misty of Cerulean.” He said before leaving with the Plasma member outside of the center.
Misty stood there for a minute in a daze as she played through the conversation in her head again.
The Venipede looked to have cleared out and so Misty was able to walk outside and breathe easy. “Whew! They finally got rid of those bugs! The city looks so much nicer when it’s not covered with them.” Misty stretched and looked between two buildings to see that the sun was low on the horizon and would set soon. “There went my day…” Misty grumbled as she started to walk around. How was she supposed to find Ash now? This city was huge! Maybe he’s at the gym. She thought and started walking around in search of the gym but it seemed as though she were going in circles.
“Alright, every big city has a core. If we find that, maybe there will be a map or something. I just have to make sure I can get back to the Pokemon centre before dark or I’ll really be lost.” She spoke to herself and looked between buildings to try and navigate herself to the center of the city.
“Oh come on!” Misty yelled as she came to the center of the city. “They were supposed to get them OUT of the city! Not move them to the center where most people like to go!” The Venipede had been relocated to the center of the city until the problem could be figured out as to why they were so angry. Just to spite Misty again, the map of the city was standing right in the middle of the flurry with the largest Venipede on top of it. The Venipede suddenly glared at her and started making the rattling sound again.
“Okay! Okay! I’m going!” She cried, turned tail, and ran. But before she could get too far, she ran into someone again. “Ouch, I really need to break this habit…” Misty muttered as she sat on the ground from falling back. She looked to see the one she had ran into was a Team Plasma member.
He got up and glared down at her. “Watch where you’re going you brat!” He spat.
She stood up. “You don’t have to be such a jerk about it! I’m sorry okay?!” She spat back with just as much venom as he used.
“Azuu Azuu!” Azurill yelled with its trainer.
“Ducklett!” Ducklett flew onto her head, spread out its wings in an intimidating way and cawed at him loudly.
He looked at the Pokemon and then back at Misty. “Have you heard our speeches about Liberating Pokemon?” He asked in a voice obviously straining to sound more polite.
“Yeah and I’m not interested!” She growled.
“Why you selfish brat! You’re using these Pokemon for your own selfish needs and refuse to open your eyes! Consider their feelings for once!” He snarled at her.
She stared at him like he was a pathetic idiot. “You know, your ways of persuasion won’t get you very far. And I am considering their feelings! They’re not interested either!” She tried to walk past him. “Anyways, you Team Plasma people are really getting on my nerves! I need to get back to the Pokemon centre before it gets too late.”
“You little- Fine! If you won’t liberate your Pokemon, I’ll just have to do it for you!” The guy said before running in front of Misty and yanking Azurill out of her arms. He took off running, holding the crying Pokemon.
“Azurill!” Misty screamed and ran after the Team Plasma guy. “Give it back! Ducklett, get Azurill back!” She ordered and Ducklett flew after him squawking angrily and pecked his head repeatedly.
“Yeah! That’s the way Ducklett!” Misty cheered as she still pursued him.
“You’re not getting this Pokemon b- OUCH! Stop it you stupid bird! Take care of it Purrloin!” The man sent out Purrloin.
Misty couldn’t help but smirk at the irony. “So the great liberator has a Pokemon of his own?”
“We need them until we have convinced others to liberate theirs.”
Misty kept a raised brow. “Yeah right.”
“Purrloin! Use slash on this Ducklett! OW!”
Purrloin leaped up and landed on its trainer’s shoulder before leaping up to use slash on Ducklett. Ducklett dodged though, making Purrloin’s slash hit its trainer’s head instead and slice open the cloth covering it.
“YOWCH!!! Attack the Ducklett, not me!” He yowled in pain. “Use Shadow Ball.”
Purrloin shot out the ball and it struck Ducklett.
“Quick, use fury swipes before it recovers!”
Purrloin leaped off of its trainer’s head and slashed Ducklett rapidly.
“Ducklett, no! Fight back with wing attack!”
But Purrloin leaped out of the way of its wing and spun around to strike Ducklett with tail slap, knocking it to the ground.
“Ducklett, get up! I know you can do it!” Misty encouraged.
“Duck…” Ducklett tried to lift its head with much difficulty.
The man started to walk away. “It’s a good thing that I’m freeing this Pokemon from you. You don’t deserve to be a trainer anyways.” He laughed and started to run again, Purrloin following.
“Oh no you don’t.” Misty growled, her anger flaring. She ran after the man again, picking up Ducklett as she went and starting to reach for a Pokeball. “Time for reinforcement. Go-”
Before she could throw the Pokeball the man ordered Purrloin to use flash. The unprepared Misty tried to shut her eyes against it but the harsh light still broke through, blinding her. “Argh! Azurill! Azurill, where are you?!” She stumbled around in a blind daze and called out, receiving no reply. When her eyes finally snapped out of being blind, she looked around desperately to see that the Team Plasma member had made a getaway.
“Where did he go?!” Misty asked aloud in a panic. “Azurill! Where are you?!” She started running to where he might have gone but found no trace of him. She started traveling down winding paths and just taking every direction she could, not caring how lost she was probably getting. She even asked some people if they had seen an Azurill anywhere but no one had.
Misty kept looking, even when the sun had gone down, lead by the lights coming from windows and streetlights, but still found nothing. Her hope of finding Azurill started to fade and numbed her with shock and pain. How could she lose her baby? It must be so scared with that man… What if he released it into an unfamiliar place and it got lost… Or hurt?! Misty clamped her eyes shut and hung her head. “Azurill, I’m so sorry. Please be alright!” Tears started to form in her eyes.
She had just been blindly walking and so Ducklett had to watch where they were going. “Ducklett!” It cawed at her.
Misty’s head snapped up, hoping that Ducklett spotted Azurill. But all that lay in front of her was the Pokemon Centre. She sighed sadly. “Alright Ducklett. I guess searching at night is doing no good. We’ll search again early in the morning.” She reluctantly made her way to the Pokemon centre to turn in for the night, but sleep did not come easy for Misty.
“AZURILL! NO!” Misty screamed, sitting up in bed abruptly.
Ducklett had fallen on the floor with shock at the outburst. “Duck…” It groaned.
Misty leaped out of bed and ran out of the room, leaving Ducklett to get up and fly after her.
She checked with Nurse Joy to see if an Azurill had been seen before exiting the centre to continue her search in the city.
“When I see that guy, I’ll be sure to let my mallet have a couple wacks at him before toasting him with Gyarados.” She growled as she looked from side to side with a glare so deadly that it would scare a ghost Pokemon. “Azurill!” She continued to call again.
As she was searching, she passed by an alleyway. She back tracked her steps and concealed herself partially behind the wall and peaked into the alley.
Inside the alley, three people dressed in outfits much like her’s- despite their sunglasses- were crouched in front of a computer. The outfits of these people weren’t the reason that Misty had become so curious, but the fact that these people looked familiar. As she took a closer look at them, she instantly knew who they were. She strained to hear what was being said.
“I received a tip that Team Plasma may be in the city, keep an eye out and find out what they’re doing there. Also take care to eavesdrop on the conversations of the citizens, they may provide some crucial information as well. Report your findings to me.” The man on the screen ordered them.
“Yes sir, if there is any information on them here, we will find it.” The woman with very long magenta hair replied.
With that, the computer screen went black.
The man sitting next to her- one with blue hair- looked at her with an expression Misty couldn’t read due to the sunglasses covering all of their eyes. “This city is huge, how do you propose we find any information on Team Plasma?”
The talking meowth- Misty’s dead giveaway of this being Team Rocket- looked at them both and said, “just like ‘da boss said. We listen to ‘dem.”
“Alright, let’s go then.” Jessie said and they all stood up to leave the alley.
Misty thought for a moment and a crazy idea came to her mind. Team Rocket was looking for any leads on Team Plasma, and she was looking for the one who had stolen her Azurill. Perhaps if she tricked Team Rocket into helping her, she could get Azurill back. And if they’re still stalking Ash- and haven’t gotten a life yet- then I could find him too. What’s the worse that could happen? It’s just these clowns. Making that snap decision, she leaped out into the open and called out, “I hear you’re looking for Team Plasma! Well I have information for you!”
She waited as the three turned to face her and started to have doubts if her plan was actually a good idea.
"Who are you?" Jessie demanded, most likely glaring at Misty under her dark sunglasses.
Misty thought fast and answered on impulse, not really the best idea but she had to speak as if she were sure of her answers or they wouldn't believe her. But then again, it WAS just Team Rocket, she could probably fool those idiots without much thought at all.
"I don't reveal my name to anyone unless the need arises. All you need to know is that I'm just the person you need to get some information on Team Plasma."
"Alright, what information do you have?" James asked.
Misty waved a finger at them. "Uh uh. Not so fast. I will give you the information you need only if you guys let me join with you to help you search for Team Plasma."
"Why do you need to find them?" James asked in surprise.
"Ummm, I… I have my reasons!" Misty stammered before clearing her throat. "So do we have a deal?"
They paused before responding, "give us a moment" and going into a huddle to discuss the matter.
Misty waited anxiously.
They came out of their huddle and faced her.
Jessie spoke up. "Fine, you can accompany us for a while but you'd have to ask the boss about actually joining Team Rocket."
Misty stopped herself from making a disgusted face at the thought of joining Team Rocket. What she had to do now was already unnerving. "I'll see what it's like working with you first." She answered gruffly.
"And don't you dare even t'ink about tryin' to mess up our mission! Got it?" Meowth warned while pointing a claw at her.
"Got it." Misty answered, unfazed.
Jessie then stepped forward and took off her sunglasses. "Welcome to the team Short-Stuff." She held out her hand.
Misty shook it. "Thanks I- WHAT?! Short-Stuff?!" She spat at her, having a somewhat delayed reaction.
Jessie shrugged. "Well you are pretty short." She stared down at her pathetically. "What are you, twelve?"
Misty let go of Jessie's hand and pouted at her. "No! For your information, I'm sixteen." (Yes, Misty is sixteen in my fanfic. About four years have gone by. Ash is fourteen. Misty was twelve when he was ten- as proved by the manga- and so… That's what I think.)
Jessie rolled her eyes. "Whatever Shorty, let's start looking for Team Plasma."
Misty followed them out of the alley, fuming.
Misty strolled through the town leisurely, playing with the new toy Team Rocket had lent her. It was a watch that didn't just tell time, it also worked as a walkie-talkie and a town map with a GPS locater on it as well. She had decided to test it out by putting a GPS marker on Ducklett as it searched ahead for any traces of Team Plasma or Azurill.
She and Team Rocket had split up to search the gigantic city, each could be seen on the GPS and they were supposed to call each other if anything could be found. This is great. I never would have been able to find Azurill in this huge city on my own. All I need to do is find it and then I can leave Team Rocket and go back to searching for Ash.
Misty hadn't actually thought about Ash until just then. Finding Azurill and making sure it was safe had become the only thing on her mind, nothing could distract her from it, not even the boy who had been the reason she had come to this region. If I don't find Azurill, I'll never be able to forgive myself.
"Did you find anything?" Jessie's voice sounded from Misty's wrist.
Misty held the watch up to her face, trying to find the button Team Rocket had said to press to respond. She found it, held it and spoke into where she guessed the microphone was. "Nope, it seems they might have cleared out of the city."
"Well get back here. You can find our location on the GPS. We should check for them outside of the city."
"I'll be right there." Misty responded and headed in their direction.
"It took you long enough to get here runt. I guess it's just because you don't have as long of legs as us." Jessie shrugged.
Misty gave her a deathly glare and was half tempted to whip out her mallet. "Oh shut up! It's not as if this GPS has the best map in the world. It fails to indicate where there are buildings in the way."
"Whatever, let's go." Jessie huffed and led the way out of the city.
"While we was waitin' we might've already lost the twerps." Meowth said with a sigh.
Misty blinked. "Twerps?" She asked, although she already knew the answer. They were going after Ash's Pikachu… Again! They really HADN'T gotten a life after all these years.
"Yes, we've been after this rare and powerful Pokemon to capture for the boss for years now. But we know we'll catch it one of these days." James explained.
Misty rolled her eyes. "Well if you haven't caught it after so many years, doesn't that kind of give the hint that you should stop trying? Besides, wouldn't your boss be happier if you actually did the job he assigned you?"
"But we could keep an eye out for Team Plasma while we try to steal Pikachu. We have a machine that just can't fail us this time!" James responded.
Misty sighed and grumbled inaudible words softly.
"You will help us with this, won't you runt?" Jessie asked.
Misty glared at her. "I might if you stop calling me runt."
"Fine, but it'd help if you told us your name. We are working together after all."
"Alright then… My name is…" Misty racked her brain for a random name that she could use for herself and suddenly remembered the day she had to make up a name before. Anne Chovie… "…Anne, my name is Anne."
"Alright Anne, with you helping us, we might actually be able to get Pikachu this time." Jessie said.
Misty looked away with a frown. Fat chance. She thought and trudged along with them as they searched for the 'twerps'.
"Team Rocket!" Ash yelled angrily with clenched fists.
"Trying to steal Pikachu again?" Iris huffed with a glare at the trio.
Team Rocket was standing atop their latest machine, a giant Trubbish robot with a see-through body. Pikachu was inside of it, using Thunderbolt to try and get out but it was 'pika proof' again.
The trio laughed and stated this very fact before beginning to recite their motto again.
"What a question, twerpish indeed!" Jessie stated as she held a hand to her ear.
"We'll answer these questions when we feel the need!" James added as he stood by her with his arms crossed.
"Bringing the blinding white light of evil into the future!" Said Jessie as she stood with a dramatic background of a skyline with a silhouette of Reshiram, which became a blinding white.
"Thrusting the hammer of justice down onto the black darkness of the universe!" James said and a background of space appeared behind him with the silhouette of Zekrom, suddenly it was swallowed in darkness.
"Carving our names in the Rock of Eternity!" Meowth chimed in as he sliced the air with his claws, his background being a rock face with a large 'R' carved into it- the silhouette of Kyurem standing atop the cliff before a blizzard overtook the background.
"The fiery destroyer, Jessie!" Jessie just had a firey background behind her.
"And with thunderous emotion, I am James!" James appeared to stand back to back with her, an electric background joining with her fire background.
"Wisest of the wise, Meowth!" Meowth hopped atop both of their heads, his blizzard background joining with theirs.
"And now gather, under the name of Team Rocket!" All three finished with a large 'R' forming on top of the chaotic backgrounds.
"Hey, I t'ink we forgot someone." Meowth pointed out when the dramatic scene ended with their motto.
"That's right." James realized. "We forgot to include our new member in the motto."
Jessie waved her hand in dismissal. "We can just have her say something at the end to make up for Wobaffet's absence."
Iris scratched her head in confusion. "New member?" She echoed.
"That's right Twerpette! We will get Pikachu for sure this time because we have a new member to help us out." James announced. "Say hello to our member…"
"An- Huh?!" All three members were about to announce Misty's 'name' but stopped in mid-sentence when realizing that she wasn't there. "Where'd she go?!" They started searching around frantically for Misty
Below, Ash and co blinked up at them in confusion.
"It seems that their flavor is missing an ingredient." Cilan commented.
"So where's this new member of yours?" Ash asked.
"They don't have a new member." Iris huffed. "How pathetic. They're so desperate that they're starting to pretend that they have a new edition to their pitiful team. I would say 'what kids' but they're older so…"
"We're not making it up!" Jessie yelled. "Oh never mind her, let's just get Pikachu. We'll deal with her later."
James and Meowth nodded. "Right."
"Yes! I caught it!" Misty cheered as she held the Pokeball up in the air that contained her new Pokemon.
Misty had waited until the perfect opportunity arose to sneak away from Team Rocket. She didn't want any part of trying to steal Ash's Pikachu and she also knew that they had a 101% chance of blasting off, a fate she didn't want to share. In that time away from them, she had come across a heart shaped Pokemon that reminded her of an over sized Luvdisk. She had no idea what it was called unfortunately though.
"I could really use a Pokedex right now." Misty sighed before sending her newly caught Pokemon out.
"Momo." The Pokemon chimed.
"Momo? Is that what you're called?" Misty asked before placing a bowl of Pokemon food in front of it. She looked around to make sure she was alone before sending out the rest of her Pokemon and feeding them as well.
"Alooo." It hummed as it ate.
"Alo? Ugh! What is your name?" Misty asked in frustration.
It looked up at her with wide eyes. "Alo? Alomomola?"
"Alomomola?" Misty repeated, stumbling on her words a little. "Geez, that's a mouthful. I've never nicknamed my Pokemon but this time I might make an exception."
As she was mulling over a nickname, a loud explosion sounded nearby, making the earth tremble. Before Misty could even voice her curiosity about the whereabouts of the explosion, Team Rocket shot into the air with jet packs on their backs. Wow, they don't 'blast off' anymore? Oh well, maybe hanging out with them won't be as bad as I thought it would… Before she could finish her thoughts, she realized that she needed to recall her Pokemon before they noticed all of her Pokemon from the Kanto region and asked questions.
She went to recall them but before she could, pieces of the Trubbish robot flew through the air because the robot had been VERY nearby, below the area that Misty was in fact. Misty quickly ducked to the ground in an attempt to dodge the pieces. "Get down everyone!" She yelled.
Her Pokemon took notice to the flying metal and started ducking or dodging pieces. The only one who wasn't taking notice was Gyarados, who was eating its food contentedly, unaware of a piece coming right toward him.
"Look out Gyarados!" Misty yelled a moment too late. The metal hit Gyarados in the side. It was small enough to not do a lot of damage but it was still enough to shock and enrage a Gyarados.
Gyarados roared angrily and started using hyper beam in a blind rage.
"Gyarados!" Misty cried out. "Return, everyone." She recalled the frightened Pokemon back to their Pokeballs and tried to recall Gyarados but the Pokemon was moving too much for the red beam to consume it. "Gyarados! It'll be okay! We'll get you to a Pokemon Center right away and get you healed." She called out, getting up and taking a step toward her Pokemon with her hands out in front of her, one holding Gyarados's Pokeball.
Gyarados's hyper beam suddenly struck close to her, causing an explosion that sent her flying. She screamed as she was hurled off the cliff, one hand instinctively holding her hat on her head as she closed her eyes and waited for her fall to be ended by the impact of hitting the ground. She just hoped she'd land in some nice, soft grass or something.
Ducklett flew down to her hurriedly and tried to grab onto her and soften her fall but it was too small to help its heavier trainer much. Ducklett's panic was suddenly replaced by relief at the following events.
Misty's fall seemed to last only seconds when it suddenly stopped. And the way it stopped wasn't at all like she expected. She didn't hit anything hard or soft; the only place she felt pressure was at the crook of her legs and her armpits. The rest of her body felt as if it was still in the air.
She dared to open one eye slowly, although fearing what she would see. Am I dead or something? She wondered. After opening one eye, the other snapped open in shock and color exploded across her face. If I'm dead, don't bring me back! She thought as she stared up into the chocolate brown eyes of Ash Ketchum himself.
They had destroyed the machine using a combination of Tepig's ember, Pansage's solarbeam and Axew's dragon rage. The explosion was enough to open a hole in the machine's stomach so that Pikachu could leap out and run to its trainer.
"Pikachu!" Ash said as he gathered the Pokemon into a hug. "Alright buddy, are you ready to help us blast them off?" He asked.
"Pika!" Pikachu responded and leaped on Ash's shoulder.
"Alright Pikachu, use Thunderbolt! Tepig, use your strongest ember attack!" Ash commanded and the Pokemon got prepped for their attacks.
"Pansage, solarbeam!" Cilan called out.
"Axew, use dragon rage again!" Iris ordered.
All of the Pokemon's attacks formed into one and destroyed the machine completely. Team Rocket had blasted out of the smoke with their jet packs a second before the machine completely exploded, getting barely out of range before disappearing into the sky.
The group below had to watch out for the pieces of flying metal that had scattered on impact of the explosion.
"Whoa, is everyone okay?" Ash asked from where he had ducked down, looking around to check on everyone.
"Yeah, I'm alright." Iris responded. "What about you Axew?"
The small green dragon poked its head out of her large hair and nodded with wide red eyes.
The Pokemon also nodded and murmured their names while slowly getting up.
"That machine was quite a dangerous one. Some Pokemon could have gotten hurt." Cilan commented as he looked at the burning stump of a machine. "The fire should be put out as well before it catches on to any trees or grass."
"Right! Go Oshawott and Palpitoad!" Ash called as he threw the Pokeballs, sending out the otter and frog Pokemon. "Oshawott, use your water gun and Palpitoad, use mud slap. Put out the fire."
The Pokemon did as they were ordered and left the stump wet and blackened.
"Great job guys, return." Ash said and returned Tepig, Oshawott and Palpitoad. "Alright so now wh-" He was about to ask but was interrupted by the sound of intense roaring and loud explosions happening all over the place somewhere above them. "Whoa! What's going on up there?" Ash gasped.
"I don't know but we should probably check it out." Cilan said.
"The explosions are everywhere up there though. If we go up, we might get blasted right back down, and it's a long way down." Iris pointed out.
"Well we have to do something. Someone could be in troub-" he was about to say but stopped when a scream split the air. The group turned around to see someone falling off of the cliff with a Ducklett trying to catch them.
Ash acted on impulse like he often does and ran for the falling person and caught her- unknowingly- bridal style. When she fell into his arms, he jerked down abruptly from the weight but straightened up after recovering from the temporary shock to his muscles. He held her up with one hand under her armpit and the other on the back of her leg on the bending point. Ash was surprised to find that she was actually pretty light despite seeming to be taller than him.
Her eyes were clenched shut and one of her hands clutched her hat for dear life, which made Ash wonder if she loved her hats as much as he loved his. He wanted to wait for her to open her eyes before asking her if she was okay.
She opened one eye slowly and the other snapped open and she seemed to be in shock and her face was red as a tomato. Ash wondered why. Did she not expect anyone to save her or something? Now close up he could tell that she in fact was female- the long jacket and hat being misleading from far away. But those eyes, that hair; they seemed familiar, but he couldn't put his finger on how it was familiar.
He pushed all these thoughts away and looked down at the shocked girl. "Are you okay?" He asked.
"Are you okay?" He asked her as he stared down at her worriedly.
Misty opened her mouth to try and say something but she found that she couldn't speak; her face was so red that she thought she'd catch on fire. This was a new thing for her. Misty wasn't exactly a person who had a problem with having something to say, being speechless kind of scared her. What did this boy do to her?
She swallowed and tore her eyes away from his so that she could speak again, in the process she heard snickering and looked down to see Pikachu standing below her, snickering up at them. She shot it a glare before looking back at Ash, still avoiding his eyes. "Y-yeah, I'm fine. Thanks for catching me." She hated how her voice came out as a squeak. Get a hold of yourself Misty, you've known him for years. So big deal, he saved you from falling to your death, he saves a lot of people. And big deal, he's holding you… bridal style… Oh god. She blushed a deeper red, if that was even possible.
"That's a relief!" Ash said with his goofy smile, one of the things Misty loved. He tried to put her down, struggling with this task. When Misty's feet hit the ground and he let go, her legs weren't prepared and she lost her balance and fell into Ash.
Misty was almost positive that he could feel the heat radiating from her enflamed face. "C-clumsy me." She choked out and stumbled away from him.
Ducklett flew onto her shoulder, cawing happily and rubbing against her. "Hey Ducklett, you're okay."
"So what was going on up there anyways?" Iris asked as her and Cilan walked up to them.
"Huh? Up there?" She echoed absentmindedly before hearing another explosion followed by the roar and she remembered why she had fallen. "Gyarados!" She burst out and looked up at the high cliff, trying to determine how she could get back up.
Ash blinked. "What? Gyarados?"
Misty's heart skipped a beat. Something inside of her wanted to keep her identity a secret. She hadn't been prepared to meet up with him again and she still needed to find Azurill. She needed Team Rocket's help to find Team Plasma and Ash and his friends may not understand that. She would tell him who she was later but for now she needed to focus on just getting Azurill back- and now on helping Gyarados.
"What? Gyarados? No, I didn't say Gyarados. You see, I was trying to say 'gotta go' and 'adios' and couldn't decide on one word so it came out as 'gadigos'. What's a Gyarados anyways…?" She scratched the back of her neck nervously. It was such a lame lie but Misty hoped that Ash would believe it.
"Hmm? Oh, Gyarados is a Pokemon." Ash answered her.
"Oh, alright, Well yeah, g-gotta go. Later." She was about to dash away when Ash stopped her.
"Hey wait, what's your name anyways? Mine is Ash and this is Pikachu." Ash gestured to himself first and then to his shoulder buddy.
"Pika!" Pikachu chimed in.
"And I'm Iris, I'm training to be a dragon master." Iris said and her Axew popped out of her hair, making Misty look at it strangely for a moment. "And this is Axew."
"Axew!" Axew cheered.
"And I'm Cilan, a Pokemon connoisseur." He bowed as he said this.
"Nice to meet you all, I'm Mi- I- I mean Anne." She scratched the back of her neck absentmindedly, paused, withdrew her hand and glared at it. She had picked that habit up from Ash and had it ever since she last saw him. She took her hand and grabbed her other wrist with it, acting as if she was strangling it before remembering people were still watching.
They all sweat dropped.
She looked at them and swiftly put her hands behind her back. "Well, anyways… Gotta go, come on Ducklett!" She rushed off before they could say anything to try and find a way back up the cliff.
Iris snorted with her hands on her hips. "What a kid… She seems more flighty than Bianca… and that's saying something."
"There's a mysterious ingredient to this flavor… She seemed as if she had something to hide, especially with that jacket and hat." Cilan pondered aloud.
"Huh? You think so Cilan? What would she be hiding?" Ash asked.
Cilan shrugged. "Who knows…"
Misty came back from the other side of the cliff where she was trying to find a way up but the only way was a very long way. "Do any of you have any bird Pokemon that could help me up onto the top of the cliff?" Misty asked them, feeling defeated.
"Uh, sure." Ash said and sent out Tranquill. "But I don't know if you'd be too heavy for it or not…" He muttered.
Misty couldn't stop her anger from flaring at this remark, getting back into the mindset of when they used to fight with each other all of the time. "Excuse me! Are you calling me fat Ashy-boy?!" She spat, making Ash and the others look at her in shock. She covered her mouth quickly after realizing her mistake of calling him 'Ashy-boy', a nickname only Gary and she called him. "I mean… If you could help, that'd be great." She murmured and looked away.
Ash blinked in a stunned silence for a moment before nodding. "Okay, Tranquill, see if you can carry her up to the top of the cliff."
"Tranquill!" It cooed and went to her other shoulder opposite of Ducklett.
"You help too okay Ducklett?" She turned her head to the Pokemon on her shoulder.
"Ducklett!" It cawed.
Together, the two birds lifted Misty up to the top of the cliff and made sure she had her footing before Tranquill flew above her.
"Thanks Tranquill." She smiled at it.
"Tranquill!" It responded and flew back down to the group.
"Hey! Do you need help up there?" Cilan called up to her.
"No! That's fine, thanks!" Misty called down to them before turning back toward her Gyarados, who seemed to calm down a bit, to return it to her Pokeball. All the while, she was smiling and humming lightly to herself in a dreamlike state.
Ash returned Tranquill and then turned back to the group. "So now what?" He asked them.
"Well we can find a place to camp out for tonight and I'll make dinner for us." Cilan said.
"Alright! Let's go!" Ash cheered, looking forward to eating another one of Cilan's meals.
"And I could gather the berries and herbs you need for the meal if you want." Iris suggested.
"Sure Iris, that'd be great." Cilan responded.
They continued on their way to find a nice place to camp out for the night. As they were walking, Ash fell into his thoughts again, conjuring back up the thoughts of how familiar that girl seemed. He even felt like he knew that voice… But he still couldn't figure out who this person reminded him of for the life of him.
"Ash…?" Cilan broke into his thoughts.
"Huh? Yeah Cilan?" Ash asked, still distracted.
"That girl… She had a Ducklett like the Bug-Phobic girl we met in Castelia city didn't she? From what I could see of her retreating figure, she looked a lot like her too. What do you think?"
Ash suddenly felt like there was a knot in his throat at this realization of who the girl reminded him of. He dismissed these thoughts with a slight shake of his head. It's impossible. It can't be her. Besides, even if it was, why would she disguise herself as someone else? "Yeah… Maybe."
Misty had returned Gyarados to its poke ball and backtracked to Castelia city to have it looked at as she promised. She had kept an eye on Team Rocket's whereabouts on her GPS so that she wouldn't lose them. As she waited for Gyarados to have treatment, she took a walk around the city.
As she walked- no direction in particular- she played the previous events of her meeting with Ash in her mind. It had all happened so suddenly that looking back on it, it all seemed like a dream. As she replayed the memory in her mind, regret started to overtake her. She had wanted so much to reveal herself and stay with Ash after finally finding him; but she couldn't. She had to keep her identity a secret until she could find Azurill again. Team Rocket may well be one of her only chances to get it back and she couldn't risk jeopardizing that chance; even if it meant avoiding Ash for a little longer.
But what if her cover was already blown? After all, she had indicated enough to make her identity obvious to anyone who knew her. But then again, Ash WASN'T just anyone. He was so oblivious that she could wack him over the head with her trusty mallet and he STILL wouldn't know that it was her.
"'Dare she is!" A familiar voice pulled her out of her thoughts and she turned to see Meowth pointing an accusing claw at her. Jessie and James were standing with their arms crossed, their expressions unreadable by their dark sunglasses.
"Yep, here I am," Misty answered dryly. "I ran into a little trouble and had to heal my Pokemon."
"Where were you when we faced the twerps?" Jessie growled.
Misty shrugged. "I was catching a new Pokemon."
"Well if you're going to work with us then you should be present more often," Jessie retorted.
Misty shook her head. "I said that I was assisting you in matters with TEAM PLASMA, not chasing some boy's Pikachu like an obsessed Houndour chasing its tail."
"We do whatever assignment the boss assigns us. Since there was no assignment we tried a new idea to catch Pikachu." James explained.
Misty rolled her eyes. "Whatever, I think Gyarados is ready for me to pick him up from the centre. Then we can move out again." Without another word, she went to go get Gyarados.
Misty stuck with Team Rocket as they did petty little assignments that the boss assigned them. None of these projects concerned Team Plasma though. Misty was also agitated to find that it was Team Rocket's fault that the Venipede rampaged through the city.
She looked for traces of Team Plasma while she assisted them in the other missions but found no trace of them. It was as if they had fallen from the face of the Earth.
But there was one mission that Misty had refused to help them on.
"Why not?" James questioned her.
"Because," she spat. "I have a bad feeling about that place! Ducklett can feel it too." She gestured to her slightly trembling duck as he stared up at the mansion in front of them.
It was a large mansion that stood in front of them with a forbodding aura coming from it. She remembered last time that she had gone into a tower/mansion like that it had been full of ghosts.
"I'll keep an eye out for Team Plasma outside while you check the place out or whatever you need to do." Misty explained and waved them off.
Team Rocket looked at each other before Jessie turned back toward the mansion. "Fine, let's go you two."
Misty sighed in relief, glad that they hadn't tried to force her to go into that place- which just happened to be the Litwik mansion.
Misty explored the forest around the area and found a clearing with a large lake in the center. She sent out Alomomola; whom she had nicknamed Momo for short.
"Aloo!" Momo chimed as it clapped its top and bottom fins together.
"Alright Momo, I haven't used you in battle yet so we'll have a practice session. You'll be battling Ducklett." One of the reasons that Misty was one of the best gym leaders was that she didn't just wait for rookie trainers to come along and challenge her gym, only getting training from them. She made sure that her Pokemon had regular practice sessions with each other. When the gym was closed, she would also sometimes find wild Pokemon to battle or challenge some of the locals just for practice.
"Ducklett!" The duck cawed and hopped down from Misty's shoulder at this cue. "Alright Momo, show me what attacks you have. Attack Ducklett."
Momo looked confused for a moment but nodded in understanding when Misty ordered it to use a water attack. The word 'water' sounded close enough to one of its known attacks; Water Pulse.
Momo shot out the water at Ducklett.
"Ducklett, counter it with YOUR Water Pulse!" The two attacks collided. "Now keep the attack up and strike forward with Wing Attack."
Ducklett did as it was ordered and started forward.
"Now Momo, stop your attack and dodge!" Misty ordered swiftly.
Momo stopped her water attack midstream and leaped to the side, narrowly dodging Ducklett's wings.
Before Misty could order another attack, Momo battered Ducklett's flank with both of her fins.
'Doubleslap.' Misty made a mental note of the two attacks that she knew Momo had so far. "Great job Momo!" Misty encouraged before ordering in another tone, "Ducklett, use Hurricane!"
Ducklett used a swift wing attack to wack Momo away from it before flapping its wings rapidly and causing a gust of wind that took Momo into the air and spun it around before tossing her out.
She swayed back and forth; confused.
"Momo! Snap out of it!" She yelled and then looked at Ducklett. "Another trainer wouldn't wait until she snapped out of confusion; they'd take advantage of it. So we need to also. Ducklett, water pulse."
Ducklett shot water at Momo.
Misty worked on trying to get Momo to snap out of her confusion. "Snap out of it! Momo!"
Before the water hit Momo, she suddenly started glowing. When the water hit her, it didn't seem to affect her at all; she actually looked refreshed. Blue rings started circling around her.
'Aqua Ring!' Misty thought excitedly. 'Great, both Ducklett and Momo have healing attacks!' "Great job Momo. Ducklett, use Roost."
As the bird started to glow, Misty turned back to Momo. "Get ready to use Water Pulse right when it stops glowing. Attacking it during doesn't help."
Momo nodded in understanding and started forming her attack.
Ducklett stopped glowing.
"Now!" Misty cried.
Momo released her attack and it hit Ducklett, knocking it back and making it stumble as well.
"Momo, use Doubleslap while its confused!"
Momo started toward Ducklett.
"Ducklett! Snap out of it and use wing attack when Momo comes into reach."
But Ducklett couldn't snap out of its confusion before Momo caught it in a flurry of Doubleslaps.
"Ducklett!" She called out.
Ducklett tried to fight back but just kept hurting itself in its own confusion.
Momo suddenly backed away and was summoning another attack. She shot water up into the air and it crashed down on Ducklett, seeming to damage it significantly due to the fact that it was down to about half health.
'Brine,' Misty acknowleged. "Ducklett, use Roost! Come on!"
Momo looked at Misty and Misty nodded. "A rival trainer wouldn't stop there. Momo, use Doubleslap again." She hoped that Ducklett would snap out of confusion before it was too late but it didn't happen.
Momo pulled away from the attack to leave a fainted Ducklett.
Misty went over to Ducklett and checked it. "Are you alright, Ducklett?" She asked.
Ducklett opened its eyes and looked at her, exaustion glimmering in its eyes.
"Great training session both of you. You both deserve a nice break. Go ahead and swim in the lake."
The two Pokemon were glad to oblige. They went over to the lake, leaped in, and instantly started swimming around.
"I thought I heard something." A slightly familiar voice said, making her jump.
She stood up and spun around to see Tripp standing there. "Oh hey… Tripp, right?"
"Yes," he answered. "I've been training a lot lately. I would like to have a rematch with you sometime."
"Sometime," she answered. "But not now. My Pokemon just had a training session and it's not easy directing two Pokemon at once."
"Then you wouldn't do that well in double or triple battles." Tripp muttered.
"What?" Misty asked, seriously not hearing him.
"Nothing." He looked over at the lake before wrinkling his nose. "You caught ANOTHER water Pokemon?" He asked in disgust.
She put her hands on her hips. "Yeah, so? I told you already that I specialize in water Pokemon. And our last battle proved that training one type doesn't mean that you don't have a chance of winning."
Tripp looked at her. "But why don't you catch other types too?"
Misty shrugged and sighed irritably. "I love water Pokemon but I'm also a Gym Leader."
His eyes widened. "That explains a lot. So what town is your gym in and why are you traveling instead of managing your gym?"
"Well I'm not from around here, as I've mentioned before. I'm a Gym Leader in a region called Kanto."
"Oh," Tripp said and turned away. "Now I remember, you were another trainer from the boonies."
"Boonies?!" Misty snarled and clenched her fists. "I'll make you eat those words-"
"Anyways, I've got to go. Let's battle later." Tripp said and walked away.
Misty was about to give him a piece of her mind when she realized what he said. 'ANOTHER trainer from the boonies?' She echoed before realizing that meant that he knew Ash. Worry momentarily struck her as she thought that he might tell Ash information that could lead to her cover being blown but she pushed it away. Tripp didn't seem like the kind of trainer who would care enough to tell Ash anything about her.
She sighed and settled down in the grass, watching her Pokemon play. Glancing at her GPS, she saw that Team Rocket were still in that mansion. The sun was starting to go down and Misty didn't think that Team Rocket would be done any time soon so she got her sleeping bag out. She fed all of her Pokemon and recalled all of them except for Ducklett, who flew to her side as she got into the sleeping bag.
She hugged herself as she tried to get to sleep, feeling again the emptiness in the crook of her arms where Azurill was supposed to be. Pain stabbed her heart as she looked up at the sky and wondered again where Azurill was and if it was okay. A tear rolled down her cheek as she drifted into sleep.
When she woke up again, she ate breakfast with her Pokemon. Looking at her food supply; she frowned. 'I hope we'll get to the next town soon so I can buy more food.' She hoped. 'Backtracking to Castelia city all the time is a pain.' She looked at her GPS again to see that Team Rocket's location remained stationary.
After her Pokemon had eaten and played in the lake for a bit, Misty returned them, looking at the lake longingly. She had been in her stuffy outfit for days, besides bedtime when not around Team Rocket of course. She knew the risk of taking a swim, thus abandoning her disguise but she had to take it- she was burning up.
Looking around to make sure that the coast was clear first, she took off her jacket and hat to reveal her regular outfit; the yellow vest with a burgundy undertop and yellow shorts. She took the next step by taking off her vest and shorts, proving the undertop to actually be a one-piece swimsuit.
Misty left her clothes in a pile and leaped into the lake without another moment of hesitation. She let out a sigh of content as the cool water soothed her. For a minute she started swimming around the lake steadily but resorted to just relaxing in the water by floating on her back.
She floated like that for a while, relaxing without a care in the world. But then she suddenly heard a sound nearby. Her eyes snapped open and she turned toward the shore to see Pikachu standing there, watching her. "Pikachu!" She cried in surprise and looked around frantically. Wherever Pikachu was, Ash was sure to be nearby.
She swam to the shore cautiously, staring at the eager Pikachu. "Oh, how cute. It's a Pikachu. Do you have a trainer?" She asked it, acting as if she had never seen it before.
Pikachu blinked before frowning in anger. "Pika pika chuuu."
Misty was able to understand Pikachu just slightly from the time when she traveled with Ash, but it was very rusty. "You're saying that I know you?" Misty echoed.
"Pika." He answered and nodded.
"I've never met a Pikachu in person before." She lied and unfortunately, Pikachu saw right through it.
"Pika pi." Pikachu responded, making Misty's heart skip a beat.
Pikachu recognized her, which meant that he could easily tell Ash. "Misty? N-no, my name's ummm… Anne! Yeah! I think you have me confused with someone else!"
Pikachu glared at her. "Pika…" His cheeks started sparking.
"Eep! Don't do anything rash, Pikachu! Okay, okay! Don't shock me!" She cried.
Pikachu stopped and looked at her.
Misty sighed. "Fine, you got me. It's me."
"Pika pi!" Pikachu cheered and leaped into her arms, avoiding the water since Misty was currently standing in the shallow end.
Pikachu hugged her and she hugged it back. "Hey Pikachu, I've missed you too."
"Chaaa," Pikachu cooed before looking up at her. "Pika pi pika chu chu."
"N-no! We can't." Misty said quickly.
Pikachu blinked. "Pika?"
Pikachu had said that they needed to tell Ash that she was there. She couldn't let her cover be blown this soon. But if she didn't tell Pikachu not to tell him, he might anyways.
"We just… can't. Do you remember Azurill?"
"Pika." He nodded.
"Well, Azurill got stolen from me." She said sadly.
"Pika?!" He cried in shock.
"Yeah, and I haven't been able to find it. So I'm teaming up with Team Rocket for now because they have information on the people who took Azurill. So don't hate me if you see me with Team Rocket okay?"
"Pika…" He looked up at her reassuringly.
"But you understand why we can't tell Ash, right? He may not understand what I have to do and insist on helping me himself. Team Rocket has more information on them than any of us."
"Pikachu pi." 'He'd understand.' Is what Pikachu said.
"I'm sorry, but I just can't chance it Pikachu. I'll reveal who I am and travel with you guys once I get Azurill back, I promise." Misty soothed and stroked Pikachu's head.
"Pika pi…" His ears drooped.
"Pikachu! Where are you, Pikachu?" Ash's voice called from somewhere nearby.
Misty froze. "Please don't tell Ash. Promise me that you won't, okay?"
Pikachu reluctantly nodded.
"You'd better go, I'll see you again when I get Azurill back."
Pikachu leaped from her arms and landed on the shore.
Misty was about to hide behind a rock when she realized that her clothes were still in the clearing; a dead givaway. "Pikachu! Wait, before you go, could you hide my clothes somewhere?" She asked in a panic.
Pikachu turned around and sweat dropped as he looked at her but did what he was asked of anyways.
In the meantime, Misty went back underwater and reemerged behind a large rock. She peeked around it cautiously to see Pikachu run out from behind a rock where he had hidden Misty's clothes to meet Ash in the clearing.
"Hey Pikachu, what were you doing out here?" Ash asked as he knelt down to scratch Pikachu's chin.
Misty held her breath as she awaited Pikachu's response but he just responded 'nothing, just exploring' in his tongue.
Ash's eyes briefly flicked across the lake, making Misty withdraw further behind the rock swiftly.
"Well, we ate breakfast and are ready to set off again. You ready buddy?" She heard Ash ask.
"Pika!" Pikachu responded.
Misty waited until she no longer heard their voices to carefully peak around the rock. When she saw no one there, she swam out into the open, sighing in relief. 'That was WAY TOO CLOSE.' She thought and made her way to the shore. She couldn't take another risk like that.
After she got dressed, she realized in shock that Ducklett was gone. "Ducklett?! Ducklett, where are you?!" She cried, spinning around.
"Duck duck…" A voice said sleepily above her head. She looked up to see Ducklett lounging in a tree and looking down at her tiredly.
"Good, you were out of sight when Ash got here too." Misty sighed, glancing at her GPS again. "They're STILL in there! Ugh, how long will they take!?" She yelled at the sky.
Right as she yelled, dark clouds seemed to appear out of nowhere and rain poured from them with frightening intensity.
"Ahh! Where did this storm come from?!" She yelled. "Come on Ducklett, we need to find a place out of the rain." Ducklett flew down from the tree and landed on its trainer's shoulder. They ran through the rain until they found a small cave. They went inside and were pleased to find that it was just small enough for them and not some other Pokemon that could be lurking within.
Misty settled down in the cave and looked out at the rain. It was so dark that it gave it the appearance of being night time. "We can't start a fire," she said in a hopeless tone. "The wood would be too wet. We'll just have to wait it out."
She shivered slightly from being wet and cold as she stared at the falling rain. A random image came into her mind of Ash being in the cave with her. Ducklett was on her shoulder, Azuril in her arms; and Pikachu was in his arms. They were sitting up against each other, her head on his shoulder with a content smile on her face.
Misty shook her head swiftly, a blush flooding to her face. 'No Misty, stop it.' She scolded herself and tried to push the image to the back of her mind but found that she couldn't. How could you just push feelings like that to the back of your mind when you have felt them for so long?
The rain had finally stopped after a long while and Misty walked out, relishing the sunlight. She glanced again at her GPS to see that Team Rocket were FINALLY leaving the mansion. She left to go meet up with them.
Ash stood in an area of stifling darkness. No matter where he looked, he couldn't see anything or anyone. "Hello? Is anyone there?" He called out, starting to walk further in the dark. "Pikachu? Cilan? Iris?" He suddenly saw a light up ahead and ran toward it; afraid of losing it.
But the single light suddenly burst into a multitude of separate lights. Ash stopped abruptly and stared in horror at the lights in front of him. They were Litwick. Another light flared and a Lampent appeared, floating above them.
Ash took a step back. "No, I won't let you lead me into the spirit world!" He yelled, realizing for the first time that his voice was actually echoing.
The Pokemon just stared at him with their ominous smiles.
Ash was slowly backing away from them but froze when a voice spoke behind him. He spun around.
"Hey little one, are you lost?" The sweet voice chimed, staring down at a lone Litwick. Litwick started hopping ahead of the girl. "You want me to follow you?" She asked as she started following the Pokemon deeper into the darkness.
Ash's heart turned to ice. "No! Don't follow it! It's a trap!" He yelled as he ran after the girl. But the girl didn't turn or take any notice to him. "Stop! Come back Misty!"
The darkness opened into a large purplish and wispy portal in front of the red head.
Ash ran, continuing his yelling with no success. He finally reached her before she walked into the portal and grabbed her by the shoulders, trying to pull her back.
It was then that she finally turned around and noticed him. "Ash?" She asked in surprise.
"Come on, we need to get away from the portal." Ash said urgently, still trying to pull her back.
But before they could get very far, the portal opened larger and many Litwick floated in from it, all of them with their evil smirks plastered to their faces.
"Come on Misty, run!" He said through gritted teeth and was about to turn around when suddenly the Litwick shot shadow balls at him, knocking him away from Misty.
He got back up quickly to see the Litwick pushing her into the portal. It suddenly sucked her in with an abrupt surge. He leaped forward, reaching for her. But his hand just barely missed her's and all he could do was watch her horrified face staring up at him as she called his name before she disappeared.
"MISTY!!! NO!" He momentarily forgot that he was on the edge of the portal. He just stared into its ghostly depths, Misty's horrified face forever scorched in his mind.
"Ash…" A hauntingly alluring voice chimed.
His heart leaped. He stood up and spun around to see the girl in the long black jacket with the hat; the girl that he had a sneaking suspicion was Misty.
"M-Misty?" His breath caught in his throat as he slowly stepped toward her.
She didn't respond, just kept her head slightly down so that her hat covered her eyes.
He crossed over to her and stood in front of her. "Misty?" He asked again.
She slowly lifted her head to look at him.
Ash froze in horror. 'Her eyes!' They were the same beautiful aqua color that he remembered but the light had gone from them; actually, the LIFE had left them. "Misty! What happened to you?!"
She stared dully at him for a minute and Ash was aware of Litwick closing in on them from all sides. Her lips suddenly curved up into the same ominous smile that the Litwick all had. "Goodbye, Ash." She hummed in that same haunting voice.
She began moving backwards away from him; her dull eyes locked with his, that Litwick smile glued to her face. He reached out for her but couldn't reach her. "MISTY! Come back!" He started running after her but something held him back. All he could do was struggle helplessly and reach for Misty as she got further and further away. "MISTY! MISTY!" He cried out. All he could see was her haunting face until the Litwick engulfed him.
"MISTY!" Ash yelled as he came back into consciousness, sweating tremendously. He was laying in his sleeping bag at the campsite.
"Geez, Ash. How can anyone get any sleep with you yelling like that?" Iris's agitated voice came from the tree above Ash. She poked her head down at him. "Who is this 'Misty' girl anyways?"
Ash felt a slight blush come to his face. He was yelling in his sleep? But those images of Misty- both the horrified one as she fell into the portal and the haunting one- were still fresh in his mind. It just felt so real… He could still feel the pain that had struck his heart when he lost her. "N-no one. Sorry, go back to sleep."
"I will if I CAN." Iris spat with biting sarcasm as she disappeared back up into the darkness of the tree.
If Cilan had woken up from Ash's outburst, he didn't show it.
Ash layed back down and stared up at the sky with no desire to go back to sleep. He didn't want to chance dreaming that nightmare again. But more than that, he was afraid of it really coming true. He wished that he didn't have a hunch of her being there in Unova, instead of safe at the gym. Having her with him again would be one of the best things that could happen to him, but he didn't want her to get hurt- he couldn't lose her.
"I really miss you Mist…" He murmured to the sky before sleep overtook him.
Misty found Team Rocket wandering around aimlessly. Raising an eyebrow, she made her way over to them.
"Hey guys." She called out.
They turned to her, their eyes looking distant and haunted.
"What happened to you in that mansion?" Misty asked in surprise.
"You don't want to know." They muttered in unison.
She shrugged. "I knew there was something weird about that place. I'm sure glad that I didn't go in."
They didn't respond and their expressions were still dull and distant.
"Well come on, let's get going. Team Plasma could be in the next town for all we know!" Misty urged them and the trio followed in a daze.
Much to Misty's dismay, they had missions before getting to the next town… most of them involving the "twerps" intervening. So Misty had helped out as little as possible on the missions and disappeared when Ash and co appeared.
She didn't want him to see her with Team Rocket. It'd be too many awkward questions having to be answered when she DID reveal her true identity to him. It'd be SO much easier to just reveal her identity after she found Azurill and was never seen with Team Rocket.
One mission they had done was to steal a flock of Cottonee. Misty had input her tiny bit of help into the mission before sneaking off again. She found Ash and co with a Cottonee and watched them from afar.
They were counseling a Cottonee with low self esteem who was trying to tell a girl Cottonee that he liked her.
This reminded Misty of when Ash had let his Butterfree go long ago and how they were trying to help him court a pink Butterfree that he liked.
Misty face palmed as she heard them talk to the Cottonee. Ash was so unbelievably dense!
He was telling the Cottonee to go to his "buddy" and stuff, totally missing the whole romance concept.
'Well that puts a damper on part of the reason I'm here.' Misty thought.
She didn't intend to tell Ash her feelings but she had wanted to know if he had grown up any since she had last seen him. But he still seemed to have the same personality and spirit that she had fallen in love with four or so years ago. Of course, his denseness still remained as well.
'Oh well, I'd better go check on Team Rocket.'
He and Tripp had engaged in a battle and Ash had learned the reason why Oshawott's aqua jet didn't work thanks to Tripp's camera.
"Hmm, we're gonna have to work on that Oshawott." He said to the Pokemon, who in turn looked up at him and scratched its head nervously.
"Well I'm leaving." Tripp informed them and started to walk away.
But before he could walk away, a mechanical arm extended and grabbed Pikachu off of Ash's shoulder.
He spun around. "Pikachu!"
Tripp stopped and turned back around, his face lighting up in slight interest.
Meowth was holding the glass case that held Pikachu with a light bulb on top.
Jessie and James laughed evilly and started into their motto.
But Ash wasn't focused on them; instead, he was focused on the girl standing next to them.
It was the girl who he had caught when she fell off the cliff- the one who he had a sneaking suspicion was Misty. But seeing that girl with Team Rocket made all of those ideas vanish in an instant.
'That can't be Misty. She would never work with Team Rocket.'
They had tricked her! They told her that the boss informed them of a location that Team Plasma had been spotted and that they needed to go there right away.
Misty's heart had soared with renounced hope. She might be able to get Azurill back!
She went with them to that location and realized too late that it was actually a trick.
"We have our eyes on you so you don't leave us again." Jessie turned to her and said.
"Huh? What are you talking about?" Misty asked.
At that moment, Meowth shot the mechanical hand at Pikachu and reeled him back in.
Misty stared in horror down from the cliff that they were standing on to see Ash and co with Tripp below, looking up at them.
'Great! Now I'll have to answer why I was working with Team Rocket when I reveal my identity. But on the bright side, my cover won't be blown so easily.'
Misty noticed that Ash was staring up at her in disbelief. She blinked. 'Did he already guess who I am? Or maybe he just can't believe that the person he saved would be a member of Team Rocket.' She shrugged.
"Ash! Why are you just standing there gawking? We need to save Pikachu!" Iris yelled to him.
He blinked and turned to her. "R-right. Oshawott, use-"
"What are YOU doing with idiots like THEM?" Tripp was saying to the girl in the jacket.
Ash turned to him. "Huh? You know her?"
Misty felt her heart skip a beat and turned to look at Tripp anxiously. How much would he reveal? Her cover couldn't be blown NOW! Especially not in front of Team Rocket.
"That's the water Pokemon trainer from the Boonies that I told you about." Tripp responded.
"Water trainer from the… Boonies…? Wait…" Ash was muttering. Misty could almost see that light bulb starting to glow above his head; which activated her panic mode.
Iris and Cilan were busy watching Ash and Tripp in curiosity and she turned to see Team Rocket staring down at Ash and co in confusion, Pikachu being the only one looking at her. Meowth had set Pikachu down next to them on the cliff; the perfect opportunity for Misty. Taking her chance to do something before it was too late; she mouthed 'sorry' to Pikachu before stealthily and whipping out her mallet and…
The glass container with Pikachu went flying and Misty swiftly put her mallet away before yelling, "Pikachu! Come back!" Getting everyone's attention.
Ash snapped out of his daze and ran to Pikachu, diving and catching the glass before it hit the ground. He let him out and the Pokemon leaped into his arms. "Pikachu! I'm glad you're alright!" Ash said as he hugged his buddy.
Meowth looked up at Misty in shock. "What happened?! Pikachu was right here!"
Misty acted as if she were in shock as well. "I don't know! Something flashed by me and knocked Pikachu off the cliff. It might have been some kind of Pokemon but I couldn't see what it was."
"Nevermind that," Jessie growled. "We need to get it back before its too late."
"Alright Axew, don't let them get Pikachu back. Use Dragon Rage." Iris called out suddenly.
"Pansage, use solar beam." Cilan input.
Ash turned back to them swiftly. "G-guys, wait!" But it was too late, the attacks were already released.
Misty hurriedly whipped out the jet pack that Team Rocket had loaned her and took off saying, "go ahead and stick around if you want but I'm out of here." She took off into the sky with Team Rocket hard on her trail just before the attacks struck. They disappeared from view.
"WHEW!" Misty sighed and collapsed against a tree. "That was a close one."
Team Rocket stood with arms folded, looking down on her. "You obviously have never been blasted off." James observed.
She opened one eye to look at him. "And I don't ever want to either."
"Well, we lost Pikachu again." Jessie stated.
"And I thought for sure that we'd catch it with our secret weapon." James groaned.
Misty rolled her eyes. "Maybe we should just stick to the missions that your boss assigns us."
"Fine," James groaned.
The other two didn't respond but they nodded slowly.
Misty didn't believe them. If they were STILL trying to steal Pikachu after all this time, then they would NEVER stop it seemed. She just needed to find Azurill right away before she lost her nerve and accidently revealed her identity to them herself.
Pikachu leaped back onto Ash's shoulder as Ash turned back to Tripp, who was walking away.
"Hey wait up, Tripp!" He called and ran after him.
Tripp turned around. "What?" He snapped in his usual irritable tone.
"What else do you know about that girl- the water trainer?" Ash asked.
Tripp raised a brow. "Why do you want to know?"
Ash haulted. "Erm, I… Just wanted to battle her. So I'd like to know all that I can about her."
Pikachu input an assuring, "Pika!"
Tripp sighed and turned back around. "I didn't know that you studied your opponents before you battled them. But it IS a good idea to study her, she's pretty tough." He admitted while grabbing his camera and pressing some buttons. "Alright, I got some shots on some of her Pokemon."
Ash peeked over at his camera and sweat dropped at the picture. Now THAT was familiar.
"Yeah, she's pretty strange. But don't let that fool you." Tripp explained.
The picture was of the girl hugging and squealing over Tripp's Frillish. But Ash still wasn't completely convinced. "Do you have any other pictures?" He asked.
Tripp switched over to the picture before that and Ash could have sworn that his heart stopped.
"This is the only other picture that I got. That's one of her Pokemon… Azurill… I think it was called." Tripp said.
Now Ash was positive, that HAD to be Misty's Azurill! And everything else pointed to one conclusion. The only doubt in Ash's mind was the fact that she was with Team Rocket… But Ash was still too sure of himself to back out now.
"Thanks Tripp! Gotta go!" Ash said in a hurry and started running toward the area the girl and Team Rocket had disappeared.
"Ash! Where are you going?!" Iris yelled.
"I guess we'd better follow him." Cilan responded and returned Pansage before following.
Iris groaned as she followed. "Ugh, what a kid."
Ash continued running with Pikachu hanging on. 'I'll find you Misty, then I'll be able to figure out what's going on.'
'I'll never find Azurill if I don't look ahead a little myself.' Misty thought as she made her way through the forest, hoping that she wouldn't run into any bugs.
She had told Team Rocket that she would scout ahead to look for anything interesting. They had went their own way and agreed to meet up at the same place they had split up by the end of the day.
"I wonder if that Team Plasma member set Azurill free…" She thought aloud. "If so, then it could be anywhere." She continued to look around for a blue figure.
"Duck! Duck!" Ducklett cawed suddenly.
Misty turned in the direction that Ducklett was focused on to see the bushes rustling. "Azurill?" She asked hopefully.
But instead of a blue figure, a yellow figure leaped into view.
Misty's disappointment was replaced by slight nervousness. "Hey, Pikachu. I-"
"Pikachu! Did you find her?" Ash's voice called from nearby.
Misty froze. 'Her?' She echoed. 'Was he looking for me?'
"Pikapi!" Pikachu called out.
Misty turned away from Pikachu and started to walk away in hopes of escaping. But this hope was shattered when she heard Ash call after her.
"Hey, wait up! I wanna talk to you!" Ash called as he ran toward her.
With a sigh, Misty turned around to face him to see him catching his breath.
"Oh hey… Ash, was it? Thanks again for saving me." Misty said.
"Huh? Oh yeah, no problem." He scratched the back of his head.
She turned slightly and started backing up as if trying to leave. "Well… I'd love to stay and chat but I've gotta run."
"Wait," he reached his hand out to her. "I've wanted to talk to you."
"Really? About what?" She asked.
"Well…" He paused for a moment as if trying to figure out what to say. "Tripp told me about you. Like how you're a water trainer and everything… And I wanted to challenge you to a battle."
Relief flooded over Misty. He wasn't on to her, he just wanted to battle. 'Good thing he's so dense.' She thought. "Sorry, I'm really busy right now. We'll battle later though." Misty responded, still moving away slowly to leave.
He didn't bother hiding his disappointment.
"We'll battle later, okay? Right now, I really have to go." She turned to leave.
"Going back to Team Rocket, Misty?" He asked, resentment in his tone.
Misty's heart skipped a beat and it took a minute too accept that he actually said her name and that she wasn't hearing things. He DID know! But Misty had to force herself not to flinch. She couldn't show that this name meant anything to her or her cover would be blown for sure.
She turned around. "Huh? My name's not Misty, it's Anne, remember?"
But Ash looked determined. "No way! I know it's you, Misty."
Misty raised an eyebrow. "What are you talking about? You must have me confused with someone else."
"No, I'm positive of it. You ARE Misty. You're too much like her to not be her. Now why are you hiding from me?"
'Great, he's not going to give up, is he? Well, neither am I.' She thought in determination and glared at him. "Look kid, I don't know who this friend of your's is but I'm NOT HER. I need to go and I'll battle you later." She growled and started walking away.
She hadn't walked two steps when a sudden weight was on her shoulders and then hit her over the back of the head.
Her first thoughts were that Ash threw something at her. She instinctively touched her head where she was hit and realized that something was missing. She would have turned around and given him bruises to remember her by when a flash of yellow suddenly landed in front of her.
Pikachu turned around to look at her and Misty noticed in horror that he was holding her hat. Her hands flew up to where her hat was supposed to be. She hoped that Ash wouldn't remember what she looked like with her hair down.
She slowly turned to face him to see him staring at her.
"It really IS you, Misty."
“So it IS you Misty.” Ash said.
Misty stared at him for a moment, trying to calm down her fluttering heart. She held onto the hope that there was still an inkling of a chance that she could hide her true identity, despite Ash’s persistence.
“For the hundredth time, I-AM-NOT-MISTY!” She yelled. “Your Pikachu took off my hat, so what?! That doesn’t prove anything!”
Ash took a step forward. “You look just like her. You have the same hair, the same eyes, the same temper… everything.”
She crossed her arms. “There are a lot of look-alikes in the world.”
“Well you love water Pokemon.”
“There are a lot of Pokemon type specialists, not just one.” She countered.
“And you’re afraid of bug Pokemon.”
“A lot of people could be the same.”
“Not many are afraid of bugs AND love water Pokemon while being from Kanto too.” Ash pointed out.
Misty bit her lip. She was about to reply but he spoke first.
“Plus the fact that you have an Azurill.”
“No I don’t!”
“Yeah you do! Tripp showed me from his camera.”
“He must have been mistaken because I don’t.”
“Yeah you do! He couldn’t have taken the picture if you didn’t have one.”
“No I don’t!”
“Yeah you do!”
“No I DON’T!”
“Yeah you DO!”
“Pika!” Pikachu shouted but the two ignored him and continued their arguing. He decided to put an end to all this by running up to Misty, slipping under her long coat and leaping up to the bag she wore under it. From here, he tapped all of her Pokeballs and leaped back down. Before Misty knew what had happened, all of her Pokemon appeared in flashes of light behind her.
Misty spun around to look at her Pokemon, sweat dropped, and then turned back to Ash and said meekly, “I told you that I didn’t have Azurill… with me right now that is.”
Ash looked at the Pokemon. “Ha! I know that Staryu and that Gyarados. I bet that Gyarados uses flamethrower too. I only know ONE Gyarados that can use flamethrower and it belongs to Misty.” Ash gloated.
Misty glared daggers at him. “And this very Gyarados can burn you to a crisp if you don’t shut up!”
“So it does have flamethrower then?”
She glared at him for a moment before finally snapping, “fine! Yes, yes! I AM Misty! Are you happy now?!”
“Yeah, actually.” He grinned at her. “I knew it! You didn’t fool me one bit.”
She snorted. “THAT’S a first. You used to be so dense, what happened?”
“Hey! I was NOT!” He yelled.
She put her hands on her hips. “You have NO idea how unbelievably dense you were and still are.”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you are!”
“Geez, you guys argue like five year olds!” Iris spat, coming into view. “What kids!”
“Well, two exciting flavors so exquisite yet alike must clash sometimes.” Cilan added as he appeared behind Iris.
“More like all the time.” Ash muttered with a sideways glance at Misty.
Misty returned the look with narrowed eyes. “It’s not MY fault that you do a lot of stupid things.”
“Hey! I-” He started but stopped when Misty raised one finger, smirked and winked at him.
“Just like old times, eh Ash?”
“Huh?” He blinked at her before smiling. “Yeah, just like old times.”
“Huh?” Iris asked in confusion and glanced at Cilan, who was contemplating.
“Wait,” Cilan piped up suddenly. “Is this your gym leader friend who you thought this young lady may be?”
Ash turned to him. “Yeah, this is Misty. Misty, this is Iris and Cilan.”
“Hey,” Misty greeted with a raised hand. “Yeah, I remember you guys when you were introducing yourselves to ‘Anne’.”
“So why were you hiding your identity anyways?” Iris asked before becoming slightly distracted by noticing Misty’s Pokemon for the first time. Her eyes became wide and sparkly and she dashed off toward them.
“That’s what I’d like to know.” Ash said.
Misty sighed. “Long story… but I guess I have to tell you sometime- aaaahhhh!” She cut off as she had glanced to see what Iris was doing with her Pokemon and saw that she was heading toward one in particular. “Iris, that’s not a good idea!”
Iris turned to look at her with still sparkling eyes. “Why not?!”
“Gyarados doesn’t exactly like strangers and can have one nasty temper.” Misty responded with a slight nervous chuckle.
“But it’s a dragon isn’t it?” Iris questioned excitedly.
Misty blinked. “Technically I guess…”
“Well I have a way with dragons so I’ll be fine.” She turned back to Gyarados. “Hey Gyarados! You are so amazing!” she rushed towards it a little too quickly and it roared at her, making her stop.
“Axew!” Her Pokemon yelped and hid in her hair.
“It’s alright, I’m not gonna hurt you.” Iris soothed to Gyarados and continued toward it.
“Perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to Misty,” Cilan cautioned. “She does know more about her Pokemon.”
Misty crossed her arms and waited. If Iris was going to be an idiot, she would get what she deserved. Her only job was to make sure that Gyarados didn’t hurt her TOO much.
Gyarados was glaring at her and growling as she got closer and closer. The closer she got, the more it intensified. When she was too close it roared at her and made Axew leap out of her hair in terror. Right when Axew leaped out of the way, a hydro pump surged out of Gyarados’s mouth and soaked Iris, flattening her hair and making some drape down in her face.
Ash burst out laughing and Misty just smirked at her.
Grumbling, Iris brushed some of the dripping hair out of her face with slumped shoulders.
“You’re lucky Iris.” Misty called out sarcastically. “Gyarados only used hydro pump, it knows flamethrower too.”
Iris turned to her with wide eyes before backing away from Gyarados slowly.
“Anyways, what was I saying?” Misty asked.
“Why you were hiding your identity, I believe.” Cilan answered.
Ash looked at her expectantly. “And why you’re with Team Rocket.”
“Oh yeah,” Misty sighed. “Well it all happened when Daisy let me travel to Unova…” She explained how she wore the disguise to surprise Ash and see if he could guess who she was. Then she got into how Azurill was stolen and that it was the only reason that she was working with Team Rocket. “Working with them is a pain but they may be my only chance to find Azurill.” She rubbed her temples.
“Why didn’t you ask us to help look for Azurill?” Ash asked. “We can do it.” He fist pumped.
“Pika!” Pikachu agreed and mimicked his trainer.
“I didn’t want to chance it. Team Rocket has more resources in finding them and I didn’t want any of you to accidentally slip my name or something and ruin those chances.” She looked at him with a determined expression. “I have to find Azurill, no matter what the cost.”
“We could keep your identity secret while looking for Azurill ourselves as well. But I must caution,” Cilan added, “working with Team Rocket may be a dangerous affair if you get caught.”
Misty scoffed. “Dangerous? Those idiots? Don’t make me laugh!” She waved her hand in dismissal. “I’m not worried about being in any danger with them; I’m just worried about going insane with their stifling idiocy before I can complete my mission.”
Ash stared at her with furrowed brows. “So you’re going to travel with us after you find Azurill right?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t spend any more time with them than I have to. I was hoping that I’d be able to travel with you guys at least…”
“Yeah! Of course you can travel with us!” Ash responded. “We’ll find Azurill, I promise.”
Misty sighed. “I sure hope so. I’m really worried about it…” She looked down sadly.
Ash put a hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be okay Misty, we’ll find it.” He comforted.
Misty smiled at him. “Thanks Ash.”
There was a moment of silence between them and Ash looked as if he was trying to find something to say to break it.
“I-I’ve missed you a lot Mist…” Ash said and stared at her.
Misty didn’t really know how to take that. She should have been happy, knowing that the boy she had come to see really did miss her and that she wasn’t wasting her time. She should have blushed at this remark and shook off the blush with some witty comment like she always did. But she didn’t. Her initial reaction was not happiness; it took the opposite turn into rage.
Misty’s smile turned into a scowl and she jerked away from the hand on her shoulder. “Oh really?!” She snarled while glaring daggers at her shocked friend. “I could tell how much you missed me by all the phone calls you gave me. After all, there IS a phone in EVERY Pokemon center!”
Ash took a step away from her with his hands out defensively before blinking in confusion. “Phone calls? I never gave you any phone calls.”
Misty face palmed, gritting her teeth. He really didn’t get it, did he? She towered over him with a glare rivaling Gyarados in intimidation, making him and Pikachu cower down in terror. “I WAS BEING SARCASTIC, YOU IDIOT!” With this yell she pulled out her trusty mallet, giving Pikachu only a split second to leap off Ash’s shoulder with a yelp before the hammer slammed down on Ash’s head.
“Ooooowwwwww… What’d you do… that for Mistyyyyy?” He asked in a dazed voice as he swayed dizzily and then collapsed on the ground with swirly eyes.
“Because you’re an idiot.” Misty answered simply. “If you missed me so much then why did you never take the time to call me or at least stop in between regions when you go home for that little bit of time?”
Ash sat up, rubbing his head where a huge bump would inevitably appear. “I’m sorry Misty. I just never visited you because you were a gym leader and all. I thought that you’d be too busy for a visit.”
Misty snorted. “I would love to have more visitors that aren’t just looking to win a badge.”
“Oh…” He scratched the back of his neck before slowly standing up. “I’m sorry Misty. I promise to visit with you more. You know how I get side tracked with my Pokemon journeys and all… Forgive me?”
Misty blinked. She had never seen him apologize so much or even this level of sincerity from him. And Misty could hardly keep her temper with those pleading chocolate brown eyes staring at her. She sighed and tried to hide the blush that threatened to appear on her face. “Yeah… I forgive you Ash. It’s been too long since I’ve seen you. I don’t want to start off the reunion with a fight…”
Ash smirked. “Too late for that.” He rubbed his head with a wince.
She held her mallet over her shoulder like a sword and smirked at him. “You should have seen that coming. You deserved it.”
He gave her an irritated look. “I didn’t expect that my best friend that I hadn’t seen in ages would greet me by nearly giving me a concussion. Geez, I’m sorry that I said I missed you.”
Misty nudged his shoulder. “Oh stop trying to make me feel sorry for you.” Her smirk turned into a sweet smile. “But… I’ve missed you too Ash… More than you know.”
They stared at each other for a moment, forgetting the world around them. They were suddenly jolted back to reality when a ringing sound started from Misty’s bag.
“Oh, hold on a sec.” Misty muttered in an irritable tone and pulled out her bag from under her jacket with some difficulty. She finally pulled out her Poke’gear to catch the call at the tail end of the relentless ringing. “Hello?” She answered.
“Misty! You don’t need to, like, be at a Pokemon Center to check in with me! You have a Poke’gear you know?!” Daisy’s voice yelled on the other end.
Misty sweat dropped. “Sorry Daisy, I almost forgot that I even had one.”
“Well anyways, did you find your boyfriend yet?”
“Yeah, sorta… And I told you that he’s not…” She glanced at Ash. “…That!”
“Whatever sis. You should really, like, stop being in denial. I know that he’s not much of a catch but he can’t be THAT bad, can he?” Daisy responded.
Misty growled softly to herself before asking in the same tone, “So how’s everything going at the gym?”
“Oh yeah! That’s what I called about!” Daisy piped up in realization. “You need to get over to a Pokemon center’s video phone right away!”
“Why? I thought that I didn’t need to since I have my Poke’gear…”
“Because we need, like, more than just the calling function.”
Misty started to get uneasy. “Why? Is something going wrong at the gym?” From the corner of her eye she could have sworn she saw worry gleaming in Ash’s eyes.
“The battling and everything is going fine but there IS a problem. Just, like, get to a Pokemon center right away and call me. Okay, Misty?” Daisy said.
Misty sighed. “Alright, I’ll get there as soon as I can. Bye.” She hung up the Poke’gear and looked at the group to see that there was in fact worry in Ash’s expression and that he was staring at her intently. “I have to back track to Castelia City… Again! Daisy wants me to call her from a video phone there.”
“Why? Is everything okay?” Ash asked.
She shrugged. “I don’t know. She’s waiting to tell me until I get to the Pokemon Center I guess.”
“B-but you don’t have to go back to the gym already do you?” Ash asked in obvious panic.
So that’s why he looks so worried! Misty realized. She sighed. “I sure hope not… I haven’t been here for very long and I just now revealed who I was to you. Although I kept wondering if it was too good to be true that she was letting me go…”
“Please Misty; I don’t want you to go! You just got here and I was hoping that you could travel with us more!” Ash practically glomped Misty, shocking her beyond belief and making a blush explode across her face. This was so unlike Ash! Maybe he really did miss her…and here she was thinking that he might have forgotten her!
“I-I don’t want to go either but… that may not even be the case. It could be something simple that I could solve over the phone. But I won’t leave without a fight.” She smiled reassuringly to him, hesitantly returning the hug.
He pulled away from the hug and looked down at her- yes, down. She realized that he had grown at least an inch or two taller than her. Amazing since she thought he’d be shorter than her forever. “Plus you have to get Azurill back first.”
Misty nodded. “I know, I’ll let her know that situation if needed.”
He looked at her with intense eyes. “Just promise me something Mist… If you do have to go, don’t leave without coming back and saying bye first.”
She giggled slightly. “What kind of friend leaves without saying goodbye? Of course I will silly.”
He took a step back, looking slightly relieved. “Okay.”
“Anyways, see ya’ guys later. I’ll try to come back after the call. That is… unless you-know-who stops me.” She turned on her heel and waved as she walked away. Pulling out her Pokeballs, she returned Staryu, Gyarados and Momo before disappearing from sight back toward Castelia City.
Ash had been overjoyed to find that ‘Anne’ really was Misty. He was also glad to know the reason that she was working with Team Rocket. Even though his head still throbbed painfully from when she had whacked him with her mallet; he couldn’t be happier. Unless he had won a battle making him a Pokemon Master of course… But this was still a close second to that. He had missed her so much that simply seeing her again made his heart soar and Butterfree flutter in his stomach.
“Well Ash, your friend sure has a fiery personality with hair to match.” Cilan commented, jerking Ash out of his thoughts.
“Huh? Oh, yeah.” Ash said in a daze.
Iris smirked. “Oh leave him be Cilan. He’s probably daydreaming about his girlfriend.”
“WHAT?! She’s NOT my girlfriend!” Ash yelled with a blush.
“You deny it like a kid would. Don’t worry Ashy, she won’t give you cooties if you kiss her.” She pulled an apple out of seemingly no where and took a bite. “What a kid.” She said with her mouth full, making Cilan sweat drop.
Ash’s face turned a brighter red than before at this remark and he almost fell over in surprise. “I-I know that!!! Shut up! I am NOT a kid and she is NOT my girlfriend!” He yelled, trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Whatever. Denying won’t get you anywhere.” Iris continued with her mouth still full.
“What causes you to get so hungry when talking about love?” Cilan asked, still sweat dropping.
Iris shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me.”
Ash sighed and looked in the direction where Misty disappeared. He had become so worried when Daisy called and that there might be something wrong. She may have to return back to the gym already, not able to travel with him again.
He couldn’t help but remember that day that they had to part ways. He really didn’t want her to leave but it seemed as if her dream of becoming a gym leader was coming true and he didn’t want to make her miss out on that just because he didn’t want her to leave. So he tried to be happy for her; he tried to be optimistic about her leaving to become a gym leader but it seemed that him doing that only hurt her more.
Brock pointed out that she may not want to leave; which made Ash feel horrible with how he spoke to her. But it seemed that there was no way out of her having to leave anyways so he continued to try and be optimistic, although it was painfully hard not to beg her to stay like he had just done.
I promised that we’d see each other again… Sure we have but it was always HER making that happen when it was ME who made the promise. I should have visited her more! Ash looked down sadly, feeling horrible.
“Pikapi?” Pikachu asked in worry, sensing his master’s sorrow.
Ash smiled for his buddy and scratched behind his ear, making Pikachu chaa in happiness. As he did this he thought back to his conversation with Misty and recalled a certain thing that she had said. I’ve missed you too Ash… More than you know.
How had she felt in that gym alone? She didn’t want to return, meaning that she really wasn’t happy being a gym leader like he thought she would be. He sighed and just hoped that she didn’t have to leave so that he could set everything right.
Misty made it back to Castelia City and found the Pokemon Center with a little help from the map on her tracking device. She sat at a video phone and dialed her sister’s number, waiting anxiously for her to answer.
Daisy’s face appeared on the screen and had a quite irritated expression to it.
“Look, I got here as fast as I could Daisy. I can only walk so fast!” She defended herself before Daisy could even say anything.
Daisy sighed. “I’m not irritated at you Misty.”
Misty blinked. “Then who is irritating you?”
“This!” Daisy held up Psyduck and its dopey face stared at her with a blank expression as it held its head.
Misty held back a laugh. “Is that what this is about?! What did Psyduck do this time?!”
“It totally, like, messed up my gym battle! It’s hard enough to battle without this dopey thing interfering.” Daisy said in exasperation.
Misty couldn’t help but be amused and continued to try and not laugh. “How’d it do that?”
Daisy became more flustered. “It’s not funny Mist! That thing popped out of its Pokeball while I was in an intense battle and appeared, like, right on the battle platform. It got hit by an attack when it did and, like, started flailing around in the water. I had to help the thing and while I was distracted, the trainer, like, knocked out my Pokemon. I was so irritated at that dumb duck! So you can still stay there on one condition Misty!” She picked up Psyduck again. “You take Psyduck with you!”
Misty now understood her sister’s irritance. Countless times Psyduck had appeared and messed up her battles as well. She sighed. “Alright. I’ll take it with me.”
“Good.” Daisy responded and recalled Psyduck before putting the Pokeball in the transfer machine. In a matter of seconds the Pokeball appeared at Misty’s transfer machine.
“Got it.” Misty said and held up the Pokeball to show Daisy.
“Thank you!” Daisy sighed heavily. “That, like, takes a huge burden off my shoulders.”
Misty laughed softly. “No problem Daisy. Good luck and I’ll talk to you later.”
“Okay, bye sis. And I hope that the jacket is working for you.”
Misty smirked. The jacket had caused all that was going on and how she was able to work with Team Rocket to get Azurill back. “Yeah, the jacket’s working great.” Misty answered.
“Good to know. Bye.” Daisy responded before the screen went black.
Misty sat at the video phone for a moment, staring at the Pokeball holding Psyduck.
“Ducklett?” It asked curiously.
“You’re not the only duck Pokemon.” Misty answered and pet Ducklett on the head. She threw the Pokeball up in the air. “Come on out Psyduck!”
Psyduck appeared and stared at her blankly. “Psy yi yi.”
Ducklett flew off of Misty’s shoulder and landed in front of Psyduck and stared it down.
“Psy yi yi duck.”
Misty started to get a headache from their staring contest and looked away just in time to see three figures in black coats entering the room.
“Eep! Psyduck, return!” She said in a panic and returned it.
“Duck?” Ducklett asked and flew back on to her shoulder.
“I couldn’t let Team Rocket see Psyduck. They may remember it and my cover would be blown.” She explained in a whisper.
Team Rocket caught sight of her and walked toward her. She met them half way, an explanation loaded and ready to go.
“We saw that you had come back here from the tracking machine. What were you doing?” Jessie demanded.
“I had a call that I needed to attend to on the video phone.” Misty answered.
“Any sight of Team Plasma?” James asked.
“No. You guys have any luck?”
“No.” James sounded downhearted.
“We’re going to head toward Nimbasa Town. That’s where the twerps are headed.” Jessie explained. “Let’s go. Maybe we can stop them before they get there.”
Misty sighed and followed Team Rocket out of the Center. “Still on your relentless mission to capture Pikachu?”
“Of course! We’ll never stop until we have given it to the boss!” James explained.
Misty sighed. “Of course… So, just curious, how do you always know where the group is? Do you follow them that closely all the time or are you just lucky and keep running into them?” This question had always lingered in her mind and this was the perfect opportunity to find out.
“I can tell you ‘dat!” Meowth said. “I created ‘dis device, you see. It was genius! Better ‘den any device I’ve ever made! It was a tracking device that was fool proof! No matter what scuffles that twiyp got into, it would never be destroyed!”
Misty now became interested. “And how was it that it never could be destroyed?” She asked.
Meowth had a huge grin on his face. “Dat’s cuz it’s a device on the inside! It’s a non-digestable - for a certain amount of time- tracking device ‘dat we’ve put inside the twiyp with the Pikachu.”
Misty paled. She felt sick and wished with every fiber of her being that she hadn’t asked. “W-what?!”
“Yeah! We sneak it in ‘da twiyp’s food and it’s so small ’dat he doesn’t even notice. Sure, we have to replace it every month or so but it woiks great!”
“See? We have a separate dot here for the twerps’ location!” James added cheerfully and pointed to a dot on his watch.
Misty felt seriously sick and disturbed. Team Rocket was so determined to get Pikachu that they snuck a tracking device in his food?! No wonder they always found him no matter where he was! “Y-you haven’t done that to me have you?!” Misty asked in horror.
“Of course not. It’s expensive enough replacing the twerp’s device. And besides, you have your watch as a tracking device already.” Jessie explained.
Misty sighed in relief. But she still felt horribly sick. She wished that she could just forget that she ever asked.
They stopped at a cave. “What are we doing here?” Misty asked.
“We got word from the boss that Pokemon with powerful energy stored within them dwell in this cave. We need to capture them and give them to him.” James said.
Misty sighed. Great. Another day of pointless missions that Ash will just ruin for them.
They had got in a machine and started capturing rock Pokemon called Roggenrola. Their mission was going well… too well. They drove outside and Misty looked around for Ash, Iris and Cilan. They were nowhere in sight but Misty knew that they would come soon.
“Three, two, one…” Misty counted down softly. Right on cue, Ash and the gang appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Misty secretly got her jetpack ready and waited for the battle to foil Team Rocket’s plans. She was the first to lift off into the sky before the machine was destroyed, Team Rocket hot on her trail. They landed somewhere else and Misty put her jetpack away, hoping that this was the last mission of the day.
She had noticed in the battle with Ash that his Pokemon’s attacks weren’t as powerful as usual. Or rather, they were purposely weaker, although they still got the job done. She knew why too; he didn’t want to hurt her in the process. She was personally grateful for this but he couldn’t go too easy or they may get away.
Team Rocket had made her use her Pokemon to help too and she was careful to choose only Ducklett and Momo, praying that Psyduck wouldn’t pop out unexpectedly. She always had her Pokemon dodge Ash’s attacks until they were in front of the machine, which they would then dodge a final time so the attack would hit it. With Ash going easy on her Pokemon, it made it easy to deliberately foil Team Rocket’s plans. She just hoped that they wouldn’t notice what she was doing.
Team Rocket got another call from their boss about another Pokemon called Audino that he wanted… after his irritance at them about failing the Rogginrola mission of course.
“Alright, let’s go get then.” Jessie said.
Misty sighed. More missions…
Team Rocket’s plan actually seemed like it had some thought to it. They were hypnotizing the Audino and luring them to the base. Much safer than a frontal attack and steal like they normally did. But of course Ash and co, along with officer Jenny, foiled their plans once again and they made their escape. Misty looked down at Ash sadly from the sky as she took off. She wished that she’d find Azurill so that she could be with him again…
The next day brought more missions. They first tried to capture an Archen, which was apparently a fossil Pokemon. Failed. Then they tried to trick people by setting up a fishing contest and stealing the Pokemon they caught. Failed again. Right when Misty was ready to tear her hair out, they arrived in Nimbasa Town.
“Ugh! Finally! I thought that we’d NEVER get here!” Misty said in exasperation and collapsed to her knees on the ground.
“Get up Anne.” Jessie said in irritance. “We aren’t staying here. The boss told us that we have another mission, remember? The subway is in Nimbasa City so we have to keep moving.”
Misty sighed and looked around. She saw a big crowd at a nearby building and saw the words Nimbasa Town Tournament written on it. She also could have sworn that she saw Ash in the crowd.
She looked back up at Team Rocket. “I am exhausted! I need somewhat of a break or I’ll just be dragging all day! Why don’t you guys head on to Nimbasa City without me and I’ll rush over there when I’m all rested up?”
Jessie narrowed her eyes before turning away. “Fine, have it your way. Let’s go guys.”
“Right!” James and Meowth said and followed.
Misty sighed in relief and waited for them to disappear from sight before getting up and rushing toward the tournament area. It was true that she was tired… tired of being with them really… but she also wanted to see Ash preform in the tournament since she was curious to see how his battle skills had become since she last saw him. She went to the ticket booth and got a ticket for the audience. She didn’t really feel like battling in this one but if there was another tournament then she would be sure to try it out.
She sat in the stands and waited until Ash’s turn was up. Misty grinned and got pumped up. “Good luck Ash.” She murmured.
The Nimbassa town tournament was nearing its beginning with excitement in the air. Misty sat in the stands closest to the area where the competitors were seated and so she could pick up on some of their conversations.
Misty was mainly attending the tournament to see how Ash’s battling skills had gotten since she’d seen him last. But the drama going on between the competitors Misty saw was amusing to watch.
The announcers welcomed everyone to the tournament and showed each of the competitors on a mega screen above them. They matched up the trainers but Misty only recognized four of the people there.
Ash was to face a girl with purple hair and a fancy outfit that started spewing what Misty thought was French out of her mouth and stated that she wanted to beat Cilan… something about getting revenge on him. ‘Hmm.’ She glanced at Cilan. ‘He doesn’t look or seem the type to do something bad to someone…’
Cilan was to face Tripp, which Misty thought would be an interesting battle since she had faced Tripp already and was curious to see how he would do against another gym leader- which he stated that Cilan was. Iris was to face some guy in what looked like a… Pokemon suit? ‘Talk about obsessed…’ Misty scoffed. Then she randomly imagined Ash in a full body Pikachu suit. ‘I would definitely knock some sense into him then…’ Her eyebrow twitched at the thought.
Other contestants were announced but the names went in one ear and out the other for Misty since she didn’t recognize any of them. The first battle was about to start and it was between two people that Misty didn’t know but Iris obviously knew the red-headed one named Georgia. They openly started yelling at each other, making the person Georgia was actually facing, sweat drop. The argument was something about Georgia being a dragon buster and Iris’s defense was how much of a kid she acted like.
When the battle FINALLY started, Georgia sent out a huge polar bear like Pokemon and the other sent out…
“A bug!” Misty yelped, receiving some weird looks. She replied to the looks with a glare of her own before yelling, “Go Georgia or whatever your name was! Knock out that disgusting bug!”
Her yell made Georgia sweat drop. “Thanks… I think…”
Beartic was WAY larger than Joltik so it seemed like Beartic would definitely win. But Joltik’s speed was faster and so it dodged all of Beartic’s attacks, ending with a Shock Wave. Beartic fell over… On top of Joltik! This squished the poor Pokemon and acted as an instant knockout. Beartic looked sort of confused of how it won.
Georgia was surprised at first but started taunting Iris with calling her “Iris the kid”, to which Iris commented that “Georgia was an even littler kid than she thought.”
Watching those two go at it made Misty want popcorn with this show; it was better than those Soap Operas that her sisters often watched. ‘But is that kid insult the ONLY one that Iris uses? Maybe I need to teach her a thing or two about comebacks when I travel with them.’ Misty thought before realizing that the next round was beginning already.
Other rounds went by with the contestants and their Pokemon. The competition was intense and made for an excellent tournament. Next up was Ash versus the purple haired girl named Burgandy, who still was going on about how she wanted to face Cilan instead.
Ash was being his old self saying how he wanted to win but Burgandy was saying something about Ash doing a full Pokemon team replacement or something.
“Geez,” Misty groaned. “This IS like a soap opera! Miss one thing and you’re confused the whole time!”
Burgandy spewed out random French again and sent out a Scoutland; against Scoutland was Ash’s Palpitoad. When the announcers told of it being a water and ground type, Misty couldn’t help but get starry eyed.
“Ooh!!! I thought it looked like a water type! So cute too!” She squealed.
The battle started with Palpitoad using Mud Shot to splash mud on Scoutland’s face. Scoutland shook it off.
“How rude covering Scoutland’s face with mud!” Burgandy spat and then ordered it to use a tackle attack, which sent Palpitoad flying. While in the air, Burgandy had Scoutland catch it in its teeth and use Thunder Fang. Palpitoad was unaffected.
“Having Scoutland use Thunder Fang was a big mistake.” Misty heard Cilan comment with a smirk.
But Burgandy had a sly grin on her face. “Use Ice Fang!”
Everyone was shocked as ice began to form on Palpitoad while within Scoutland’s grip.
“Oh no! This is bad!” Cilan exclaimed.
“He’s finished.” Tripp snorted rather pessimistically.
Misty glared down at Tripp. Knowing Ash, this was far from over. “Come on Ash! You can get past this!” Misty yelled her encouragements.
“Palpitoad, use supersonic!” Ash called. Palpitoad did as it was told and broke free of the Ice Fang’s hold.
“Wow! That was a really smart move!” Misty exclaimed. Ash had really gotten smart in battling. ‘If only he could get that way with everything else too…’ Misty thought with narrowed eyes.
Burgandy spewed more French before ordering Scoutland to use Tackle again. Once Palpitoad was in the air, it was about to use Fire Fang.
“Palpitoad, Mud Shot!” Ash called out quickly.
The Mud Shot doused the flames in Scoutland’s mouth and left it spitting out mud.
“Alright Palpitoad, use Hydro Pump!” Ash called with a fist pump.
Palpitoad shot out the powerful Hydro Pump and it hit Scoutland dead on, slamming it into the wall and knocking it out.
“Yeah, Ash!” Misty cheered.
“Ducklett! Duck!” Ducklett cheered from her shoulder.
“Yay! Yay! Yay!” A blonde haired girl cheered from the contestants stand, making Misty wonder how close she was to Ash.
“Lucky break…” Tripp snorted.
Misty glared at him. “Let’s see if YOU get that lucky break next round.” She muttered and waited as Ash and Burgandy returned to their seats with Cilan and Tripp taking their place on the field.
“Wow, I can’t wait to see how the rest of the tournament will go.” Misty said to no one in particular. She then decided to yell words of praise to Ash. “Hey, Ash!”
He turned around, looking around in confusion before she waved to show where she was.
His face brightened. “Hey Mist!”
“You did grea-“ Before Misty could finish her sentence, Psyduck popped out of its Pokeball and into the participants’ area. “PSYDUCK!!! GET BACK HERE!!!” Misty screamed at her dumb duck.
Ash sweat dropped and scratched the back of his neck. “Brought Psyduck along with you I see…”
“I didn’t have much of a choice.” Misty growled and leaned forward with her Pokeball in an attempt to return Psyduck. Psyduck was just out of reach of the Pokeball, sitting with Pikachu. Annoyed, Misty leaned forward more to get in closer but suddenly lost her balance and started flailing her arms around in a panic.
“Whoa! Misty, look out!” Ash called and ran towards where she would fall.
“Eep! I’m gonna fall!” Misty cried.
“Ducklett duck! Duck!” Ducklett cawed and grabbed onto her jacket in an attempt to stop her from falling. But the cloth was ripped from its beak and it flew down in a panic as its trainer fell from the stands to the long drop in the participants’ area.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” Misty screamed, but the scream was cut short as she was caught by Ash… again!
“Whoa, you okay Mist?” He asked and stared down at her.
A blush spread across her face as she stared up at him. “Y-Yeah, fine. Thanks Ash.”
He scratched the back of his neck with one hand. “No problem Mist.”
“Duck…” Ducklett sighed in relief as it landed on one of the seats.
“Psy yi yi?” Psyduck asked and stared at them with its blank stare.
Misty glared daggers at it. “Can’t you EVER do anything right?!” She spat and returned it to its Pokeball before sighing. “That dumb duck will be the death of me…”
“Why did you bring Psyduck with you in the first place?” Ash asked.
“As I said, I had no choice. That was the whole reason that Daisy called me to the Pokemon Center. She made ME take Psyduck because SHE couldn’t deal with it!” Misty vented.
“Hey! Shut it Ketchum! It’s not funny!” She spat.
“Yeah it is.” He smirked.
“No it’s no-“ Misty cut off when she heard giggling from someone. She looked to see the blonde from before looking at them with starry eyes.
“You two look SOOO adorable together!” She cooed.
Misty flashed her an annoyed look but then realized… He was STILL holding her. “Erm… Ash…”
“Huh? Yeah Misty?” Ash asked, oblivious to everything as always.
“You can… put me down now.” She tried to hide her blush by looking away.
“Oh! Sorry!” He put her down.
“As long as the judges don’t tell me to move, I’m going to stay down here… It’s much safer.” Misty said.
“Fine by me.” Ash shrugged and looked back at the battle. “Hey look, Cilan looks like he’s doing pretty well.”
“Yeah, even being at a disadvantage with Tripp’s Gurrdurr, his Dwebble is still doing really good.” Iris said, not seeing Misty fall from the stands.
“Ax axew!” Axew cheered.
Misty was about to go watch the battle as well but the blonde haired girl had appeared in her face suddenly. “Excuse me but you haven’t seen Zorua, have you?” She asked.
“Zorua?” Misty echoed in confusion. “What’s that?”
“It’s this adorable Pokemon that looks kind of like a fox and I can’t find it anywhere!” She explained.
“Oh… Sorry, I haven’t seen a Pokemon like that.” Misty answered.
“Ohhhh, where could it be? Zorua!” She called out and hurried away to continue her search.
Misty kept a mental note to look out for a Pokemon like that to help with the girl’s search before standing beside Ash and Iris to watch the rest of the battle.
After an intense battle between Dwebble and Gurrdurr, Dwebble came out victorious, meaning that Cilan would go on to the next round.
The blonde, Bianca battled next. Her Minccino versus a Zebstrika owned by a guy named Steven? Was that his name? Anyways, Bianca lost that battle although it had seemed to be going in her favor.
“I love you Minccino!” A random girl from the stands stood up and screamed out, receiving some weird looks.
Misty blinked. Did she look like that when she swooned over water Pokemon? ‘But it doesn’t matter how I look. I love them and if anyone thinks I’m weird for it, they will have to answer to my mallet.’
Misty couldn’t help but feel bad for Bianca though. First she lost her Pokemon, or so Misty thought- it was really someone else’s Pokemon that she just adored- and then she lost the battle. Bianca stuck around to watch the rest of the tournament though. More than could be said for Tripp, who disappeared after his loss.
After a couple more exhilarating battles, the announcers stated that the tournament would continue the next day. All the participants headed to the Pokemon Center to heal and get a place to stay for the night. Misty tagged along with the group.
“So, does Team Rocket know you’re here?” Cilan asked Misty.
“They know I’m in Nimbassa Town… they just don’t know that I’m with you guys.” Misty shrugged. “They’re off doing their own thing in Nimbassa City.”
“At least they didn’t come crash the tournament.” Iris sighed in relief.
“Ax axew…” Axew agreed.
Misty glanced at her watch. “Nope, they’re still in Nimbassa City. This handy device helps me keep tabs on them so they won’t be sneaking up on us.”
They walked into the Pokemon Center and saw Tripp talking to Nurse Joy, receiving his Pokeballs.
“Hey Tripp,” Ash called.
“What?!” He snapped, turning to face them.
“Where are you going?” Ash asked, unfazed by his tone.
“None of your business.” He said and started to walk away.
“Aren’t you going to watch the rest of the tournament?”
Tripp snorted. “It’s not like my Pokemon are going to get any stronger from watching others battle. I have no reason to stick around.” He continued walking out the door.
Ash blinked. “Tripp!”
“Some people don’t change who they are.” Cilan commented.
Ash just smiled. “Hey Tripp, let’s battle when we meet up again, okay?” He called after him.
Tripp just indicated that he heard with a simple hand gesture.
Misty admired how Ash could still be so optimistic, even with a jerk for a rival. If he were her rival, she’d be giving him a piece of her mind with every uncouth comment he made.
An idea then struck her. “Maybe a tag battle, Tripp?” She called, making him pause momentarily before walking on.
She blinked in confusion at this reaction but shrugged it off.
“So, who’s hungry?” Cilan asked.
“Me! Me! Me!” Ash cheered, leaping up and down with a raised hand like a five year old.
“Big surprise there…” Misty muttered sarcastically.
“Geez Ash, we all know that Cilan’s cooking is amazing but you don’t have to be such a little kid about it.” Iris scolded.
Misty sighed. There was that ‘kid’ insult again. ‘I can see this getting old fast…’
“Thanks Iris.” Cilan blushed slightly at her compliment.
“I worked up an appetite battling today. I’m starving!” Ash pouted.
“Your Pokemon did the battling, you just gave the commands. Your Pokemon are probably the ones working up appetites since they did the work.” Misty scolded Ash, but it didn’t even seem like her saying it. She thought back to N’s words of Pokemon not wanting to be captured and taken away from their families and one of the Team Plasma speaker’s words about Pokemon being slaves to humans. Were their words really affecting her? She shook her head. ‘Whether their points are valid or not doesn’t matter! They still took Azurill away from me. And I can never forgive them for that!’
Ash gave her a weird look. “Huh? What are you talking about Mist?”
“N-nothing,” Misty answered.
“Come on! Are we going to go eat or what?” Iris asked impatiently.
“Yeah, you don’t have to ask ME twice.” Ash grinned.
Cilan chuckled and got their room key from Nurse Joy.
Several of the contestants- the group’s friends- gathered in the dining section of the Pokemon Center to enjoy a meal that Cilan fixed for them.
“Wow! This is amazing Cilan!” Misty complimented as she ate some of the delicious food that he had prepared.
“Yeah, you can say that again.” Iris piped in as she chowed down.
“Axew!” Axew agreed.
“Yeah!” Ash added with his mouth full, making Cilan sweat drop.
“Thank you everyone.” Cilan responded.
Stephan sat down at their table with a huge plate equaling the size of Ash’s. “Great food man.”
“Ready for tomorrow Steven?” Ash asked, mouth full again.
“Swallow before you talk Ash. No one wants to see that.” Misty growled and took a bite of her food. She looked over her shoulder to check on her Pokemon, who were eating with everyone else’s. “Enjoying the food guys?” She asked in a more cheerful tone. They all responded with their respectful cries in a positive matter.
“The name’s Stephan Ash!” Stephan said in an irritated matter, obviously the name mispronunciation was a continuing thing. “But whatever,” he shrugged it off. “I’m ready, are you ready to lose?” He took a big bite of his food, a challenging gleam in his eyes.
“No way! I’m gonna win!” Ash argued and took a bigger bite out of his food.
“No, me!” Stephan protested and gobbled down his food.
“No, ME!” Ash yelled with a still full mouth and stuffed more food in.
Misty stared at the two pathetically. ‘Looks more like they’re having an eating contest instead of an argument over who’s gonna win the tournament.’
“Oh hey Zorua.” Iris suddenly said.
Misty turned to see… Another Iris?! Am I seeing things?! And I thought Bianca said that Zorua was a Pokemon!
Bianca then came skipping in with her hands behind her back and looked at the other Iris. “Oh Zorua, let’s eat together! I have some yummy Pokemon food!”
The Iris duplicate suddenly transformed into a duplicate of Iris’s Axew. Axew was flustered at Zorua but Zorua seemed to be having fun as it giggled mischievously.
Bianca picked up one of the Axew but it happened to be the real Axew. Axew struggled in her arms.
“Excuse me, but that’s my Axew that you’re squeezing!” Iris spat.
“Sorry, but this is Zorua.” Bianca replied innocently.
“No, it’s Axew!” She tried to grab her Pokemon back.
“No, it’s Zorua!” Bianca argued and held on tight to Axew.
“Axew!” Iris tugged.
“Zorua!” Bianca tugged.
Misty turned to Cilan, who was eating in silence, sweat dropping at the scene. “Are things ALWAYS this hectic?”
“No, I’m gonna win!” Ash yelled, still in his argument/ eating contest with Stephan.
“No, I will!” Stephan yelled back.
The Axew that hadn’t been picked up giggled and transformed back into a Zorua; running to a boy with a camera.
“There you are Zorua. You really need to stop running off like that.” The boy scolded.
Bianca instantly let go of Axew when she saw Zorua, making Iris fall over with Axew in her hands.
“Zorua! Come back!” She ran over to Zorua but it ran out of the room, resulting in her following.
Cilan looked back at Misty. “Pretty much.” He answered her question with a sweat drop.
Over the next two days, the tournament raged on and lead them to the last day where Ash and Iris were the finalists.
“How cool! I can’t wait to see how this battle turns out!” Misty said.
“Ducklett Duck!” Ducklett cheered and flapped its wings enthusiastically.
“I too am thrilled to see this battle. Both Ash and Iris have unique battle skills with strength that makes the outcome impossible to foresee.” Cilan commented.
“So, who do think will win?” Misty asked.
“I really have no idea, we’ll just have to wait and see.” Cilan replied.
“Well we’ll never know until the end but I personally hope that Ash will win. No offense to Iris but I’ve just known Ash longer.”
Cilan chuckled. “Well I’ve known both of them an equal amount of time so I’m personally torn. I can’t bring myself to cheer for one or the other.”
Misty smiled. “I understand.” She looked back to the battle field. “Oh look, it’s starting!”
Ash sent Pikachu out on the field and Iris decided to use her Excadrill.
“Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!” Ash began.
Cilan rose his eyebrows in surprise.
The electric attack had no effect on Excadrill, seeing that it was a part ground type.
“What a kid! Don’t you know that Excadrill is part ground?” Iris scolded before ordering, “use Drill Run Excadrill.”
“ARGH!!!” Misty yelled, making Cilan jump and glance at her in surprise. “That ‘kid’ insult is REALLY starting to get old! Use something else already!”
Cilan chuckled softly with a sweat drop. Misty then realized that he and Burgandy were having a ‘Connoisseur Showdown’ during Ash’s battle. Misty just turned back to the battle, not caring much for the commentary.
Ash smirked as if he had an idea. “Use Quick Attack!” Using this made Pikachu able to dodge the attack easier.
But Excadrill grabbed Pikachu’s tail between its claws and hurled it across the arena, slamming it down with Metal Claw.
Pikachu flipped back onto its feet and goes to use Iron Tail. Excadrill rushes at it with another Metal Claw. Pikachu dodges and slams Excadrill to the ground.
The battle had gone on for a bit with both powerful opponents but ended with Excadrill’s Focus Blast attack, which slammed Pikachu into the wall and made it faint.
Ash ran over to Pikachu and scooped him up in his arms. “You did awesome buddy. Have a good rest.” He said and faced Iris. “Great battle.”
“You too Ash!” Iris smiled and they shook hands.
Misty was slightly disappointed that Ash lost but it was a great battle and Iris didn’t seem like a bad person… she just overuses an insult too much.
“Great battle guys!” Misty said when the two joined them in the Participants Area again.
“Thanks.” They both said in unison.
Misty glanced at her watch and sighed. “Well, I’d better get going.”
“Huh?” Ash asked, blinking in confusion.
“I’ve stayed too long already. I told Team Rocket that I was just resting for a little bit and then joining them in Nimbasa City.” Misty explained.
Ash frowned and looked at her sadly. “Mist, I swear. We WILL find Azurill! You don’t need to stick around Team Rocket for that.”
Misty sighed. “I’ll do what I can Ash…” That was the only reply she was willing to give him before she started to walk away, feeling guilty from Ash’s sad looks. She turned back around with an optimistic smile to hide it. “It was fun watching the tournament and hanging out with you guys. I’ll join you again soon. I just know it!” She tried to assure them before exiting the stadium.
She sighed and looked at the sky. The setting sun bathed the town in a beautiful orange light as it made its slow decent behind a mountain. ‘Staying another night might be a good idea… but I can cover more ground if I travel before the sun goes down too.’ Tearing her eyes away from the beautiful scenery, she started heading out of the town. A voice suddenly called her name. Turning, she saw Ash rushing toward her.
“Ash?” Misty asked and stopped, waiting for him to reach her.
He stopped right in front of her, staring at her for a moment before embracing her in a tight hug.
A blush exploded across her face. “A-Ash!” She stuttered.
“What will it take to make you stay?!” He asked with a cracking voice.
Misty blinked in shock. This was so unlike Ash! Had he actually changed in the years she hadn’t seen him in? Tears threatened to well up in her eyes at the tone of his voice but she fought them. There was no way that her pride would allow Ash to see her cry. “We’re still in the same region…” She said in a soft voice.
He pulled away but still held her in a loose hug as he stared intensely at her. “Yeah, I know we’re in the same region! But when you have to keep going back to Team Rocket, it feels like we’re regions apart!”
She stared into his beautiful eyes, a blush prominent on her face and tried even harder to hold back her tears. “Ash…” She whispered.
“It’s been too long already.” He muttered, putting his head down to where his hat covered his eyes.
Misty couldn’t stand it anymore. His words pained her so much. She already longed to travel with him again but she needed to find Azurill. She couldn’t hold back the tears anymore as she basically fell against him and wrapped her arms around him. “I’m so sorry Ash!” She sobbed into his shirt. “I trust you guys to help me find Azurill, I really do! I… I have to go.”
She turned swiftly, breaking her tear line with the swift movement and started running.
“If you really trust us, then leave them!” He called after her.
She stopped and turned to look at him. ‘Team Rocket may have better resources to find Team Plasma but they don’t use them very well. All this has been was a waste of time. I should leave them. Then I can stop hiding.’ Her mind made up, she smiled at him. “I- I think I will…”
Ash finally smiled at this assurance. “So… you’ll come back then Mist? For good?”
“Yeah… Right after I tell them to buzz off.” She giggled at him.
“Can’t wait.” He responded, the orange light of the sunset making his eyes sparkle even more.
Smiling to herself, Misty left him and continued toward Team Rocket’s location in Nimbassa City.
The next morning, the gentle breeze blew through the trees and the birdsong of the Pidove sounded through the air.
Iris walked out of the Pokemon Center and stretched contentedly. “Ahhhh! What a beautiful morning!” She sighed cheerfully.
“Indeed! After the few days of bustle and noise around the tournament, the city seems so peaceful and quiet now.” Cilan agreed.
Ash walked out behind them, Pikachu staring at him worriedly.
They turned to him. “Ash! You STILL haven’t woken up?!” Iris asked.
Ash stared at them in a tired daze. “I’m up.” He stated. Dark circles had begun to form under his eyes.
“It seems that you had a bad night Ash.” Cilan commented sympathetically.
“I guess,” Ash shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep last night.”
“Are you anxious about your next gym battle?” Iris asked.
“…Yeah.” Ash lied after a moment of hesitation. He would never admit the real reason for his insomnia.
“Live for the moment Ash; worrying will get you nowhere.” Cilan advised him.
“Thanks Cilan.” Ash smiled at him but it was obvious that something was still bothering him.
“No problem,” Cilan responded before looking between the two. “Shall we start toward Nimbassa City now?”
“What about breakfast?” Ash piped up; finally catching up with the flow of the day due to the thought of food.
“Yeah,” Iris clenched her stomach. “I’m starting to get hungry too.”
“Axew…” Axew mimicked its trainer.
“Well, I was going to say that we set up breakfast on the road since I’m missing some ingredients needed to make what I want and they’re found easier- and cheaper- in nature.” Cilan explained.
“Alright, let’s hurry and get going then!” Iris said and started walking, Cilan following.
“Wait!” Ash called and they turned to look at him with confusion. “Sh-shouldn’t we wait for Misty? You could cook something here, right Cilan?”
Iris and Cilan exchanged looks before looking back at Ash. “Ash, Misty went to go with Team Rocket didn’t she?” Cilan asked.
“She said that she’d come back after she told them that she was leaving them.” Ash explained.
Iris sighed. “Look Ash, we can’t wait around here all day for your girlfriend. We’ll probably run into her on the road. We can keep an eye out for her.” She started walking away again.
“She’s not my girlfriend!!!” Ash protested, flustered. He still decided to follow though.
“Whatever, you still deny like a little kid. She hasn’t even been around that long and I can see that you two are totally goo-goo eyeing each other.” Iris teased, pulled out an apple and took a bite. “Just admit it; you’re in love with her.” She stated with a full mouth.
“WHAT?!” Ash said, blushing. “I am not!”
“Are so!” She took another bite. “Why don’t you just kiss her already?”
Ash’s face turned beat red. “W-w-w-what?! N-No! She’s my best friend! And besides, she’d kill me if I even THOUGHT of doing something like that!”
“So? Best friends can fall in love.” Iris shrugged and swallowed the mouthful of her apple before taking another bite and continuing. “So you HAVE thought of doing it?” She asked slyly.
“Yeah… wait, thought of doing what? WAIT! NO! I HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF IT!!! I JUST SAID THAT SHE’D KILL ME IF I DID!!!” Ash sputtered with an even bigger blush than before, if that was possible.
“Haha! You said ‘yeah’!” Iris chortled. “You liiiiiikkke her! You wanna kiiiiiiiissss her?” She teased in a sing-song voice.
“Shut up Iris! You tricked me!!!”
“Grow up for once in your life Ash!”
“I AM grown up!” Ash protested.
“Iris,” Cilan interrupted, “would you be so kind as to gather some berries for me?”
“Huh? Sure Cilan.” Iris smiled. “Be back in a flash.” She stuck her tongue out at Ash playfully before climbing up a tree.
Ash stuck his tongue out right back at her although she was already long gone.
“Ash,” Cilan said, “this would be a perfect place to play with the Pokemon. After that tedious tournament they need a bit of a break.”
“You’re right Cilan!” Ash grinned and sent out all of his Pokemon.
Cilan sent out all of his Pokemon as well.
“Alright guys; no battle training today. You all should just take a break.” Ash told the Pokemon with his hands behind his head in a carefree matter.
They all cheered their respectful names before running around the clearing that they were in.
“Just don’t wander too far!” Cilan called after them.
Ash ran over to play with the Pokemon.
“Good, that worked to stop those two from bickering.” Cilan sighed when he left. He then smirked. “Although, I too must admit that I’ve seen feelings spark between Ash and Misty.”
Iris leaped down from a nearby tree and walked over to Cilan. “Are these good Cilan?” She asked as she held them out to show him.
“Yes, those are perfect. Thank you Iris.”
Iris smiled, making Cilan blush. Ah, what a radiantly beautiful smile she has… “No problem Cilan.” She handed him the berries and their fingers brushed, causing Cilan to blush even more. Little did he know when Iris turned away- almost too quickly- she was hiding her blush.
Cilan smiled softly to himself as he watched Iris send out all of her Pokemon and join in their play before going back to cooking.
“Breakfast is ready!” Cilan called. “Remember to clean your hands guys!”
Ash glanced at his filthy hands. “Aw man… I’m starving…” Ash muttered. He then smiled deviously and saw if he could get away with it. Running up to Cilan he reached for a plate. “Thanks Cilan!”
But before he could grab the plate, Cilan jerked it away. “Show me your hands Ash.”
“Why? Don’t ya trust me?” Ash asked.
Cilan just stared intently at him.
Ash sighed and showed him his hands.
“Go clean them and then you can eat, Ash.” Cilan said.
Ash groaned softly and turned to go clean them in a nearby lake.
Iris ran up with clean hands and took a plate. “Oh Ash, stop being such a kid about it and just do it!” She scolded.
“Stop calling me a kid!” Ash yelled out as he kept going toward the lake.
Iris turned to Cilan with an evil smile plastered on her face.
“Why so mischievous Iris?” Cilan asked.
“Oh, you’ll see…” Iris smirked and took her seat at their make shift table.
“Okay…” Cilan sweat dropped.
Ash came back, flashed his hands at Cilan and then eagerly received a plate of Cilan’s tasty Berry Sandwiches before sitting down.
Cilan joined them and watched as Iris tried to hide her smile.
“Hey Ash, I just remembered something I saw when going to get berries.” Iris piped up, barely containing her smile.
“What, Iris?” Ash asked curiously.
“I saw Misty!” Iris said.
Cilan blinked in confusion and Ash’s expression turned eager.
“Really?!” He asked.
“Yeah, she was kissing Tripp.” By this time, she couldn’t suppress her huge grin.
Ash’s face fell and turned into horror. He stood up abruptly. “WHAT?!” He yelled in a voice of obvious horror and anger. “Alright, where is he?!”
Iris was laughing uncontrollably at his reaction. “Ch-chill out Ash,” she choked out between laughs. “I was just kidding.”
He gave her a death glare that could almost be as scary as one of Misty’s glares.
“Alright, Iris, don’t be so cruel.” Cilan said with a slight nervous chuckle.
Iris tried to stop laughing, wiping her eyes that were now full of tears from laughing so hard. “Sorry Cilan. But I’m just trying to get this kid to admit his feelings for her.”
“There’s no feelings to admit!” Ash yelled and took an angry bite out of his sandwich.
Iris sighed. “Whatever…”
Ash sat back down and continued to eat but it was evident that he was still fuming.
As the group was finishing their breakfast, Tepig and Axew were playing and leaped into a bush. They suddenly both leaped out in alarm, getting the attention of the trainers.
The group rushed over to the bush and looked behind it, astonished to see an unconscious Meowth.
“It can’t be!” Ash gasped.
“It’s Meowth!” They all yelled.
Cilan carefully lifted Meowth’s head to examine him. “No doubt, this IS Team Rocket’s Meowth.”
“Well I don’t see any sign of the other two…” Ash said as he looked around.
Cilan felt Meowth’s forehead and gasped. “Meowth needs help!” He realized urgently.
They made Meowth a medicine drink and slid the liquid in his mouth. He slowly opened his eyes but they shot open when he saw the ‘twerps’.
“The twiy’ps!” He yelled, leaping up a little too quickly and winced in pain.
“What happened to you Meowth?” Iris asked.
“Yeah, and where’s the rest of Team Rocket.” Ash added.
Meowth looked away and clenched his eyes shut. “I’m not a member of Team Rocket anymore!”
“Huh?” They all asked in surprise.
“Just drop it,” he spat and then started walking away. “Thanks for getting me back up to speed…” He grunted gruffly before starting to run away but collapsing.
“Meowth!” They all ran up to him.
“Take it easy…” Cilan soothed.
“Since you twiy’ps have been so nice to me, I guess I can tell you what happened.”
They looked at him intently.
“Ya’ see, I had a mission and I messed up bad. Woy’d got back to ‘da boss and he gave me ‘da boot. Jessie and James left me to go on my own and so I had a jouy’ney. Next t’ing I knew, I was waking up to you twiy’ps.” Meowth explained.
Cilan rested his index finger and thumb on his chin in thought. “I think that we should take Meowth with us for a while.” He said.
“Huh?!” Ash and Iris looked at him in shock before getting the same thoughtful expressions. “Hmm…”
Meowth stared up at them with wide eyes before shaking his head. “Naw, I don’t wanna be a load on you lugs.”
“It’d be no problem.” Iris insisted.
“Do you promise not to do anything bad anymore?” Ash asked.
“I’m not with Team Rocket so I don’t NEED to do anything bad anymore!” Meowth spat defensively.
“Then I don’t see why not.” Iris said.
“Yeah, how ‘bout you come with us Meowth?” Ash asked.
Meowth’s eyes became all teary. “Aw, you twiy’ps… Okay, I’ll go wit’ you.”
Following Team Rocket’s location on the tracking device, Misty found them outside of Nimbassa City. It was already mid day the day after she started her travels by the time she reached them.
“It took you long enough to catch up with us.” Jessie growled as Misty walked up to them.
Misty shrugged. “Sorry, I thought that I’d catch the tournament while I was there resting up. I just didn’t expect it to take so long.”
Jessie and James both narrowed their eyes at her.
She looked past them, suddenly noticing that one member was missing. “Hey, where’s Meowth?”
“He messed up a mission, word got back to the boss and he was fired from Team Rocket.” Jessie explained in a tone that acted as if she were simply giving Misty directions.
Misty stared at them in shock. “W-what happened to him? Where’d he go?”
Jessie shrugged. “Who knows? We left him to go on his own. After all, WE’RE still members of Team Rocket.”
Misty couldn’t believe her ears. “Meowth has been your partner for Arceus knows how long! And once he gets fired, you just abandon him?! You’re no better than Team Plasma!”
“You wouldn’t understand.” James said, looking slightly away from her. He had put on his glasses so she couldn’t read his expression.
“We don’t have to explain ourselves to you. YOU, however, have some explaining to do to US.” Jessie said.
“Explaining? For what?”
“How about why you were watching the tournament with the twerp for the last few days?” James inquired.
Misty blinked. ‘How in the world did they know I was with Ash?!’ “Th-the twerp? You mean that kid with a Pikachu? There were plenty of people at the tournament so he could have been too.” She shrugged nonchalantly.
Jessie stepped closer, glaring at her with cold eyes and a voice to match. “THAT TIME may have been a mere coincidence but what about the OTHER TIMES?”
“O-other times? What are you talking about?” Misty took a step back. ‘Are they spying on me?!’
“There were two other times that you were with the twerp. Once was when we tried to steal the twerp’s Pikachu and you vanished on us. The other time was a few days ago and you spent a considerable amount of time with them both times.”
Misty was shocked. ‘They can keep track of me by my tracking device but how would they know that I was with Ash?’
“You DO remember that we put a tracking device inside the twerp as well as your watch acting as one right? So every time that you’re with the twerp, we can see it.” Jessie explained as if she could read her mind. “So what do you have to say for yourself Anne, if that’s even who you really are.”
‘That disturbed me beyond belief, how could I forget?!’ Misty mentally cursed herself for not remembering that. ‘Well, I came here to leave them anyways so there’s no point in trying too hard to hide my identity anymore.’ She took a step back. “Okay, you got me. I’m not really a member of Team Rocket. I only joined up with you because Team Plasma stole my Pokemon and I wanted to get it back. But you two have been no help to me whatsoever. You’ve been nothing but a waste of time. So, sorry that I deceived you but I’ll leave now.” Misty explained and turned to leave.
“Not so fast,” Jessie spat and blocked her path. “You’ve already stayed with us for too long and know too much about our missions. We can’t let you leave.”
Misty smirked. “You two, trying to keep me captive? I’d like to see you try.” She pulled out a Pokeball that contained none other than her Gyarados.
“Oh no you don’t! Go, Yamask!” James threw a Pokeball and his ghost Pokemon appeared. “Yamask, stop her with your Night Shade.”
Misty tried to leap out of the way but the Night Shade just redirected and struck her. I… can’t move…
“Duck duck…” Ducklett struggled as well but couldn’t get out of the hold.
Great… Ducklett can’t go get help if it can’t get away either… Misty thought in frustration and struggled helplessly. She clenched her teeth and glared at Team Rocket. “What are you planning to do with me?! You can’t keep this Night Shade up forever!”
Jessie smirked. “Before we can answer that, we need to know who you really are. Who knows, we may be able to use it to our advantage.”
Misty glared at them defiantly. “I’ll never tell you!”
Jessie started pacing around her. “We often wondered why you kept your identity so secret… You wouldn’t even take your disguise off at night to sleep… Either that or you would disappear to sleep elsewhere. You often disappeared when it came to confronting the twerp and we saw by the tracking device that you have been with him several times.” She looked at her. “Do you have any ties with the twerps?”
“I don’t have to tell you anything!” Misty spat.
“If you don’t tell us what we want to know then we’ll have to take drastic measures!” James threatened.
“You two idiots couldn’t do anything drastic if your lives depended on it!” Misty snorted.
“Tell us or things will get ugly!” Jessie yelled.
“Things are already ugly because YOU’RE here, you old hag!”
“Now she’s done it…” James muttered.
“Old… HAG?!?!” Jessie’s anger veins started popping out of her head. “I WILL MAKE YOU PAY, YOU BRAT! TELL ME WHO YOU ARE OR I’LL BEAT IT OUT OF YOU!” Jessie screamed with fire in her eyes and raised a clenched fist toward Misty.
“NO! I will never tell-“ Misty started but a light suddenly flashed from her bag. ‘Oh no! Please tell me that’s not who I think it is!’ Misty thought with a horrified look on her face.
Much to Misty’s dismay, Psyduck appeared from the flash of light. “Psy yi yi.”
‘If I could move my hand to facepalm… I would.’ Misty thought as she stared at Psyduck.
Jessie and James stared at Psyduck pathetically. “That… dopey face looks familiar…” Jessie mused.
“Who could forget a thing like that?” James added.
“Psy yi yi…”
“OF ALL TIMES TO COME OUT OF YOUR BALL, THIS WAS THE WORSE!!!” Misty screamed at Psyduck.
They turned back to Misty. “You know… you remind a lot of someone who owned a Psyduck like this.” Jessie stated.
“I think it IS her.” James muttered.
“Well, enough guessing. The only way to find out is by taking off her disguise.” Jessie removed the frozen Misty’s hat, ignoring her protests. Not many people had seen Misty with her hair down so this hairstyle would be unfamiliar to Team Rocket. But if they were to remove her jacket… The outfit would give it away.
“What do you think Jess?” James asked.
“I think we need to remove the rest to find out.” Jessie started moving toward her again.
“I don’t have clothes on under my jacket!” Misty lied in a panic.
“Oh well, that’s your own fault. James, turn away.” Jessie waved her hand at James and he turned away.
Misty bit her lip and waited to see what would happen.
Jessie took off her jacket, revealing Misty’s Hoenn clothing. “Just as I thought, you’re the redheaded twerp.”
“Took you long enough to figure it out.” Misty said snidely.
“Hmm…” Jessie mused, ignoring Misty’s comment. “This could really work to our advantage. We have the twerp’s little girlfriend.”
Misty’s face turned red. “I’M NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND!”
“Whatever,” she waved her hand in dismissal. “You could still be used as bait.”
“B-bait?” Misty didn’t like the sound of that.
“We could trade you for Pikachu.” Jessie explained.
“What?! You guys are nuts! Ash wouldn’t trade Pikachu for the world! Much less me…” The last part had a hint of sadness to its tone.
“If he cares for you AT ALL, he’ll trade. Unless he wants to see you get hurt.”
“You two couldn’t hurt a ‘Caterpie’!” Misty retorted.
Jessie grinned evilly, glancing at James, who also gained the same grin.
“We’re not the same villains that you remember, twerp.” James chortled with an evil laugh.
“We have new methods of getting what we want… And you’re giving us a perfect opportunity to do just that. He’ll never get you back if he doesn’t trade Pikachu.” Jessie laughed manically.
Misty was more afraid of their creepy grins than their words. She didn’t believe them. Ash would blast them off like he always did. ‘If I’m so sure then why do I have such a bad feeling about this?’ She wondered to herself as they grabbed her and transported her to a huge robot.
The group and their newest addition- Meowth, were continuing on their way to Nimbasa City when a soft groaning sound caught their attention.
“Pika!” Pikachu exclaimed, his ears twitching, and then ran over toward the sound. The group followed close behind and stopped in their tracks when seeing what had caused the groaning.
“No way! It can’t be!” Ash said with wide eyes.
“Can’t be what? What is it Ash?” Iris asked.
There before them lay an unconscious Pokemon with some wounds. It was white with red and blue triangles and little wings on its back.
Ash ran over to the Pokemon, whom Pikachu was already nudging frantically.
“Pipipi! Pipipi!” Pikachu cried worriedly.
Ash picked up the Pokemon gently and walked back over to Iris and Cilan. “It’s a Togetic.”
Cilan blinked. “Togetic? What in the world is a Togetic doing in Unova?”
“Aww, the poor thing looks really hurt.” Iris said sympathetically.
“Hey, ain’t ‘dat Togetic…” Meowth started and Ash nodded at him.
“Yeah, I think that’s why its here in Unova.” Ash answered.
“Huh?” Iris and Cilan asked.
Ash looked at them. “I’m almost positive of it… I think that this is Misty’s Togetic and it came to Unova looking for her.” He looked down the fainted Pokemon before glancing at Pikachu. “What do you think buddy?”
“Pika.” Pikachu nodded and stared at Togetic with worried eyes.
“Well, whatever it’s here for, it needs medical help. Let’s get some medicine for it.” Cilan stated.
“Right,” Ash and Iris agreed and the group went to go get some ingredients.
They slid the medicine drink in Togetic’s mouth and waited for it to open its eyes and look at them.
“Toge…?” It chirped softly.
“It’s alright Togetic. We won’t hurt you.” Ash soothed. “Remember me?”
“Togetic toge?” It blinked up at Ash.
“Pipipi!” Pikachu cheered and leaped down on the grass next to it.
“Toge toge!” Togetic cheered and flew up slightly at the sight of its old friend. “Toge togeticu tic tic.”
“Pikachupi? Pika pika pi chu.” Pikachu responded.
Ash glanced at Meowth. “What are they saying?”
“Togetic is askin’ where its mom is- which is apparently ‘da redheaded twiy’p.” Meowth started. “And Pikachu said ‘dat she’s here in ‘dis region.”
Ash looked at Togetic. “So you ARE Misty’s Togetic… I thought that you were in Paradise with the Togepi.”
“Togeticu. Toge toge tic…”
“Togetic says ‘dat it’s a long story.” Meowth translated.
“We have time.” Iris piped up.
“Toge,” Togetic started. “Togeticu toge togetic geticu tic tic tog toge toge ticu tic ge toge.”
Meowth took a deep breath. “It says ‘dat it was taking care of all ‘da Togepi but it really missed its mom and so sorrow was taking over ‘da garden because of its own sadness.”
“Togeticu toge… Togetic tic tic toge toge togeticu. Togeticuuuu togetic.” It continued.
“And so… ‘da King’s old Togepi saw ‘dis and told me to go and find her. I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want not’in’ bad to happen to ‘dem.”
“Togetic toge toge ticu tic tic toge. Togeticu toge! Togetic tic tic! Toge, togetic tog toge tic togetic tog toge tic toge.”
“’Da bad man escaped and tried to rule ‘da kingdom again secretly but ‘da King’s Togepi evolved and fought him off. Seeing ‘dat Paradise would be safe, I was convinced to go.”
“Togeticu toge toge ge tic tic togeeee… Togetic ticu tog ge tic.” It took in a deep breath. “Toge tic tic togeeeee togeticu toge toge tic…” It looked down sadly.
The group looked intently at Meowth.
“I returned home on a long jou’ney to find ‘dat mom wasn’t ‘dere. I was told to come here and so I searched for her. During my search a Pokemon attacked me just because I asked for directions and knocked me unconscious.” Meowth finished and then took a deep breath. “Geez, ‘dat story sure is a Meowth-ful.”
“Don’t worry Togetic,” Ash fist pumped. “We’ll get you to Misty.”
“Pika!” Pikachu agreed and mimicked its trainer.
“Toge. Togeticu!” Togetic cheered happily.
“Now just to find her…” Ash mused.
Iris laughed. “That shouldn’t be TOO hard. If she’s with Team Rocket, just let THEM find US.”
Right as she said this, as if her words summoned them, a huge robot shaped like a Golett crashed through the trees and came into view.
“What’s that?!” Ash gasped and stood up.
Maniacal laughter came from within the robot. “What a question, twerpish indeed…” Jessie’s voice filled the air.
“We’ll answer this question when we feel the need.” James’s voice joined in.
“Bringing the blinding white light of evil into the future!” Jessie leaped on top of the robot’s head.
“Thrusting the hammer of justice down onto the black darkness of the universe!” James leaped up beside her with arms crossed. They then paused awkwardly.
“Carving our names in ‘da Rock of Etey’nity.” Meowth grumbled softly as if he couldn’t stand but join in on the motto.
“The fiery destroyer, Jessie!” Jessie continued and did a little turn.
“And with thunderous emotion, I am James!” James fist pumped in the air dramatically.
“Wisest of the wise, Meowth.” Meowth mumbled and turned away from them gruffly.
“And now gather, under the name of Team Rocket!” The two finished as if hearing Meowth.
“Meowth, I see that you’re with the twerps now.” James observed.
Meowth just glared up at them wordlessly.
“What do you want?!” Ash spat.
“Here to steal Pikachu again, no doubt.” Iris added.
“Not stealing…” James started.
“More like trading for something you might want.” Jessie finished.
“What?! There’s no way that I’d ever trade Pikachu for anything!” Ash yelled.
“Are you sure twerp? What if the trade isn’t a Pokemon, but someone who you may not want to see get hurt?” Jessie asked with an evil grin.
“Huh? What are you talking about?” Ash blinked.
James pushed a button and the metal on the belly of the Golett robot started opening. When it finished, they were able to see the inside of the robot through some see-through material. Inside was a cage, and in the cage was Misty out of her undercover outfit.
“Misty!” Ash gasped. “Let her go!”
Jessie waved a finger at him. “Uh uh uh. Not so fast. If you want your twerpy girlfriend back… you have to trade Pikachu for her.”
Ash glanced at Misty, who was sitting down in the cage with a bored look on her face. “I’m fine Ash, just blow up the stupid robot. No need to trade Pikachu.” She called down to him.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” James warned. “If you refuse to trade, we’ll have to take drastic measures to change your mind.”
Misty rolled her eyes.
“Drastic? Right.” Iris laughed. “Let’s blow up this thing guys.”
Ash nodded. “Right. Pikachu, use Electro Ball!”
“Axew, use Dragon Rage!” Iris ordered.
Cilan sent out Pansage. “Pansage, use Solarbeam.”
Pikachu leaped in the air and formed a ball of electricity on its tail and shot it at the robot.
Axew opened its mouth and released an energy blast.
Pansage formed a ball of light in its hands and shot it out.
Misty braced herself to try and escape when the attacks strike, but suddenly she noticed something open above her head and looked to see a hole in the ceiling directly above her cage. She then noticed that a hose had appeared outside of the robot and was facing the attacks. It was then that she realized, a split second before the attacks reached the hose, that the hose was sucking in the attacks and the hose lead to the hole right above her cage.
Her heart leaped and before she could yell out anything, the combined attacks went through the hose and shot right down into her cage. She screamed as pain shot through her from the attacks and collapsed to the ground after the attack ended.
“Misty!” Ash gasped.
Misty slowly stood up, leaning up against the cage. “I-I’m fine Ash…” She said with clenched teeth. ‘They weren’t kidding about ‘drastic measures’… They’ve gotten so desperate to get Pikachu.’
The two Rocket members laughed maniacally and grinned down at the group.
“Believe us now?” James asked.
“Here’s how it’s going to go twerp. You’re going to hand over Pikachu or your girlfriend is going to suffer.” Jessie stated coldly.
“I’m not his girlfriend!” Misty yelled instinctively and blinked in confusion when she didn’t hear Ash deny it as well. She looked down at him to see an angered expression on his face as he glared up at Team Rocket.
“Every attack that you twerps do will just be sucked up by our hose and transferred to the twerpette. And even if you don’t attack, we have some incentive too.” Jessie continued and glanced at James.
He pushed another button on his remote control and a shock wave shot into the cage and shocked Misty.
She screamed in pain again and fell to the ground.
“Stop it!” Ash yelled desperately.
“Pikachupi!” Pikachu cried.
“So, do we have a deal?” James asked, controlling the hose to sway around in a teasing manner.
Ash looked down with clenched fists. “I…”
‘This is all my fault! If I hadn’t have worked with Team Rocket in the first place, none of this would have happened! I can’t let Ash give Pikachu to Team Rocket because of me.’ Staggering to her feet and pulling out her mallet, she started hitting the cage bars as hard as she could but couldn’t break through.
What we need right now is a miracle… Just as Misty thought this, a light flashed from her backpack, which was on a table away from the cage with all of her stuff on it. From this light appeared Psyduck. “Psyduck!” Misty said with hope. “Get me out of here if you can.”
It cocked its head with its claws still clutching it. “Psy yi yi?” It walked over to the inner control part of the robot and started pushing random buttons, making the robot sway around.
“What’s going on?” James asked and pushed a button, making a door in the head of the robot open. Jessie and James leaped inside the door to get in the robot. They noticed Psyduck pushing buttons and began panicking. “Get that duck!”
Before they could reach Psyduck, it pushed a button that detached the hose from the robot.
“Yeah! Great job Psyduck!” Misty cheered.
“Psyduck?” It asked.
“Why you- GET OVER HERE!” Jessie snarled and rushed at Psyduck.
“PSYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI!” It cried and ran as Team Rocket chased it around the robot.
“Alright, we can attack the robot now.” Cilan said. “Pansage, use Solarbeam!”
“Axew, Dragon Rage!”
“Pikachu, use-“ Ash started but Togetic flew past him swiftly. “Togetic?! What are you doing?!”
“Togeticu!” Togetic flew into the hole left by the hose and squeezed into Misty’s cage.
“Togetic?! Is that really you?” Misty whispered in shock.
“Toge!” It nodded happily and started to glow. A force field surrounded them as Solarbeam and Dragon Rage hit the robot and destroyed the cage around Misty.
(It used Safeguard. In the show it was used to block an attack and not prevent status problems like in the games. It’s used in the way of blocking attacks now.)
“Togetic! Thank you so much!” Misty said.
“Togeticu!” Togetic cried cheerfully.
Misty then glared toward Team Rocket before running to the table and grabbing her Pokeballs and undercover outfit. “Great job Psyduck, you really saved the day.” She said and returned it to the Pokeball.
“Huh?” Jessie and James asked, realizing that Misty escaped. “Oh no!”
She threw another Pokeball in the air. “Staryu, break Ducklett’s cage with Rapid Spin.” Staryu appeared and broke the cage that was holding Ducklett captive.
“Stop her Yamask!” James was about to throw out the Pokeball.
“Staryu, Water Gun.” She pointed to them and it swiftly shot the water out of its top and slammed them against the wall before James could send out Yamask.
“Great job Staryu.” She returned it and threw another Pokeball outside of the robot and Gyarados appeared. She stared at them, her face shadowed with rage. “You two messed with the wrong ‘twerpette’.” With that she leaped out of the robot and onto Gyarados’s head. “I’ve got this, guys!” She called to the group before pointing to the robot. “Gyarados, use Hyper Beam!”
Gyarados’s mouth gaped open larger and a golden beam formed and shot at the robot with sheer force, exploding it upon impact.
Jessie and James were sent flying through the air. “Aw man, we didn’t get our jetpacks on in time.” James groaned.
“Oh well, it’s not like we haven’t done this a million times. One more won’t kill us.” Jessie shrugged.
“You’re right.” James sighed. “So I guess…”
“We’re blasting off again!” They both cried and were sent out of sight with a ‘ding’.
Gyarados lowered its head to the ground so that Misty could hop off. “Great job Gyarados, thank you.” She said and returned it.
“Togeticu!” Togetic cheered.
“Oh Togetic… Is it really you? I thought that you were in the Togepi Paradise.” Misty asked, her eyes sparkling with emotion.
“It came back ‘cuz it missed you so much.” Ash explained, walking up to her and Togetic.
“Oh Togetic… I’ve missed you too.” She embraced her Pokemon. “I’m so glad to have you back.”
“Toge…” It agreed.
When they pulled away, Ash took its place by practically glomping her and making her stagger backwards from the force. ‘I guess Ash hugging me is becoming a regular thing… Not that I mind it or anything.’ She blushed.
“I’m so sorry Mist!” He cried as he embraced her. “I’m sorry that you had to go through that! You’re okay right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Don’t worry about it Ash. It was my fault for working with those idiots in the first place. Just forget that it ever happened.” Misty assured him.
Ash pulled away from the hug and smiled in relief.
“Pikachupi!” Pikachu cried and leaped into Misty’s arms.
“Hey Pikachu,” she cooed. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
“It’s great to have you back Mist.” Ash said “Now you can stop wearing that disguise and hiding. You can just travel with us like old times.”
Misty looked down at the jacket and hat in her hands. “Actually…”
Pikachu leaped out of her arms and looked at her curiously.
She took a step back and put the hat on. “I’ve really come to like this outfit.” She put on the jacket and grinned at the group. “I think I’ll keep wearing it.”
“Whatever you say Misty.” Ash grinned.
She then noticed that Meowth was there. “Meowth?! This is where you ended up after Team Rocket abandoned you?”
“Yep, he’s traveling with us for a while.” Iris explained.
“So, shall we continue to Nimbassa City?” Cilan asked.
“Yeah! I need to get my next gym badge!” Ash fist pumped. “Nimbassa City, here we come!” He ran ahead of the group, Pikachu following.
Misty smiled. ‘There’s the Ash I missed…’
The group ran after the enthusiastic Pokemon trainer as he ran toward Nimbassa City, the sight of his next gym battle.
The group was continuing on their way to Nimbassa City.
“It’s much better traveling with you guys!” Misty sighed. “The whole time I had been in Unova I was either traveling alone- with the exception of my Pokemon of course- or with those idiots.” She glanced at Meowth. “No offense.”
“None taken.” He grunted. “By ‘da way, aren’t ya’ gonna’ take off ‘dat tracking watch?”
“Oh yeah!” Misty glanced at her wrist. “I almost forgot that I had it on.”
“Yeah, that way they won’t always know where we are.” Iris agreed.
“Actually…” Misty glanced at Ash. “Whether I break this watch or not, they’ll still know where we are…”
“Huh? How so?” Ash asked.
“You see Ash,” she looked at him sympathetically, “while with Team Rocket I learned that they sneak a tracking device in your food basically every month. So that’s how they can always find you no matter where you are.”
Ash’s face turned ghost white. “I… have a tracking device inside of me?” He glanced down at his stomach.
“Yep! And I was ‘da one who designed it!” Meowth grinned widely with a laugh.
“I think I’m gonna be sick…” Ash groaned.
“Just curious,” Misty glanced at Meowth, “why didn’t you stick it in Pikachu’s food since it’s PIKACHU that you’re trying to capture and not ASH?”
“Da twiy’p’s food was just so much easier to sneak it in. In Pokemon food it’d stick out like a sore thump. Pikachu is always wit’ ‘da twiy’p anyways.” Meowth explained.
“ARGH!!!” Ash yelled, clenching his stomach and glaring at Meowth. “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!”
Meowth looked at him slyly. “If you would have just given us Pikachu before ‘dat, we wouldn’t have had to take drastic measures.”
“Ugh. Don’t even say ‘drastic measures’…” Misty groaned, face-palming. “You guys are getting TOO desperate to get Pikachu…”
“Hey, don’t include ME in ‘dat!” Meowth said defensively. “It wasn’t MY idea to trade you for Pikachu! ‘Dey planned ‘dat AFTER ditching me!” He looked at the group. “I’m cool wit’ you twiy’ps since you all have been so kind to me.” He smiled at them and then looked at Misty. “So, about ‘dat watch…”
“Oh yeah.” Misty took it off, set it on the ground and crushed it with her boots, receiving a sharp gasp from Meowth. “What?”
Meowth frowned. “Not’in… ‘dat was just an expensive watch and all…”
Misty scoffed. “What did you expect me to do? Return it to Team Rocket? After all they put me through; I should at least get to have THAT revenge on them.”
Meowth groaned softly but didn’t say anymore. He then smiled brightly at the group as they continued on the road. “So, you’re going to Nimbassa City to battle ‘da gym, ain’t ‘ya twiy’p- I mean Ash?”
“Yeah, I am.” Ash smiled.
“There’s no doubt ‘dat you’ll win. After all, you’re such a great trainer.” Meowth complimented.
“Hey, thanks.” Ash grinned.
“Piiiiiiiiika…” (Imagine the unhappy Pikachu on Pokemon Channel here. xD) Pikachu glared suspiciously at Meowth.
Misty shared Pikachu’s feeling of suspicion. Even if Meowth wasn’t with Team Rocket anymore, it was still strange for him to compliment the trainer he and his teammates have been trying to steal from for years.
He moved on. “And t’anks for letting me have some of your leftover grub from breakfast. Your cooking is top notch carrothead twiy’p- I mean Cilan.”
Cilan laughed heartily. “Why thank you!”
“And I can’t forget ‘dis lovely lady and her Axew!” He gestured to Iris.
“Lovely lady?” She echoed in confusion.
Pikachu glared at Meowth all through his complimenting.
“And of course I gotta give kudos to our cunning trickster here. You were better at your disguise than Team Rocket!” He laughed.
“Uh… Thanks?” Misty raised a brow. ‘Okay, either Meowth is trying to be nice so we won’t distrust him or he’s up to something… or maybe even a little of both.’ She looked over at Ash. “Hey Ash?”
Ash looked back at her. “Yeah, Mist?”
“Where’s Brock? I noticed that he wasn’t swooning over Professor Juniper when she called you so I assumed he wasn’t there.”
“Whoa, you were the reason that the professor randomly called me?” Ash asked and she nodded. He suddenly pointed at her in realization. “So YOU were the noisy, laughing Pidove!”
“Yep, that’s me… a noisy, laughing Pidove…” Misty grumbled sarcastically. “Answer my question, Ash.”
“Oh, Brock? I thought he would have called you and told you by now…”
Misty shook her head. “No, I haven’t heard from him since sometime in the… uh… Sinnoh region, I think it was.” She looked at Ash curiously. “So what didn’t he tell me?”
“Well, he left because he decided to become a Pokemon Doctor instead of a Breeder and so he had to go home to study.”
Misty was shocked to hear this. “A Pokemon Doctor?! But he wanted to be a Breeder for so long! Why would he just change his mind after all that time?!”
“Well, everyone changes their mind or dreams sometimes when they find their true calling.” Cilan explained. “Maybe this Brock guy found HIS true calling.”
Misty narrowed her eyes. “Either that or he wanted to be near Nurse Joy.”
“Actually, that’s not why… Surprisingly.” Ash said. “You see, we ran into this conflict back in Sinnoh where a bunch of Pokemon were poisoned and Brock helped Nurse Joy heal them.”
“Hey! I t’ink I remember ‘dat!” Meowth piped up. “It was when ‘dose Tentecruel chased us.”
Ash gave him a look. “You should remember it since it was you guys’ fault.”
“TENTECRUEL?!” Misty’s eyes became bubbly. “I would have loved to see Tentecruel.” She sighed dreamily.
“But the point is that they poisoned all the Pokemon-” Ash began again but was cut off.
“-Then that must have been Team Rocket’s fault because Tentecruel wouldn’t do that without being provoked.” Misty glared at Meowth, making him sweat drop.
“…It WAS their fault. But anyways, what happened was-”
“Ah, Tentecruel. So dreamy and beautiful…”
“I want a Tentecrue-”
“MISTY!” Ash yelled.
“Huh?” She snapped out of her trance.
“Let me finish the story, will ya’?” He asked in exasperation.
“Oh right, sorry.” She sweat dropped and giggled sheepishly.
“So Brock helped Nurse Joy take care of all the poisoned Pokemon and because of that, decided to become a doctor. That whole time that he was around girls, he didn’t go into girl-crazy Brock mode.” Ash explained, making Misty’s eyes widen in shock.
“Really?! That’s a first!” Misty gasped.
“Yeah,” he rolled his eyes. “But then, DAWN had to ruin it for him by pointing out that he could be with Nurse Joy if he becomes a doctor. THAT activated his girl-crazy mode. The poor guy didn’t deserve the Poison Jab that Croagunk gave him that time. That was Dawn’s fault.” He shook his head.
“Who’s Croagunk?” She asked. ‘And more importantly…’ “Who’s Dawn?”
“Oh, Croagunk is Brock’s Pokemon. He took over for Max and Max had taken over for you with the role of getting Brock away from the girls.” He laughed. “And Dawn traveled with me and Brock through the Sinnoh region.”
“Oh, well- WAIT WHAT?! CROAGUNK POISON JABBED HIM?!” She gasped.
“Yeah…?” Ash blinked.
“That’s HORRIBLE!!! That could really damage him!”
Ash snickered. “…Says the one who pulled his ear.”
“But I didn’t pour POISON in his ear!”
Ash shrugged. “Maybe this’ll make him stop then…”
“Yeah… I think I’ll call him at the next Pokemon Center.” Misty sweat dropped. “Make sure that Croagunk hasn’t killed the poor guy…”
Iris and Cilan just listened in silence, confused.
“And Dawn…” ‘Another replacement apparently…’ “I think that May told me about Dawn. She said that she was girly.”
Ash laughed. “Yeah, Dawn’s girly alright. She’s basically the opposite of you.”
Misty stuck her nose up. “Hmph! Well May also said that she was pretty so I bet that that’s opposite of me too, huh?” She asked resentfully.
“Huh? No, I didn’t say that. I said that she’s BASICALLY opposite.” Ash waved his hands in front of himself.
She turned back to him. “So… does that mean that you think I AM pretty?” She blushed as the words left her mouth.
He turned red. “Well, I… uh…”
All of a sudden something shiny fell into the middle of the path and Axew ran toward it.
“Huh? Axew, where are you going?” Iris asked and the group followed after it.
Before they could reach Axew, the shiny thing- that really happened to be on a string and used as bait- disappeared and a hooded Pokemon grabbed Axew.
“Axew!” Iris cried.
The Pokemon glared at them.
“Toge! Togeticu toge toge…” Togetic clenched onto Misty’s hat and hid behind it as it saw the Pokemon.
“Togetic says ‘dat ‘dats ‘da Pokemon ‘dat knocked it unconscious.” Meowth translated.
“What IS it?” Ash asked and whipped out his Pokedex. <Insert Pokedex entry here> “Whoa, a Scrafty?”
The hooded Scrafty ran off while still holding Axew and the group ran after it. They followed it to a shed where it growled something before slamming the door. Meowth ran in front of the group with his claws out. “Hold on a minute twiy’ps! That Scrafty said not to go in ‘dere or it’d huy’t Axew.”
“But we gotta’ save it!” Ash insisted and tried to go closer.
“Dis t’ing is serious!” Meowth spat and kept trying to block them.
Pikachu leaped down beside Meowth and nodded to Ash. “Pikapi, pi pi pichu!” It agreed with Meowth.
“What can we do to save Axew then?” Iris asked, obviously frustrated.
From inside the hut, a Dragon Rage shot through the roof but the little dragon wasn’t seen running out afterwards so it was presumed to have failed.
“Perhaps we should wait out here until things calm down.” Cilan suggested.
“But who knows how long Scrafty will hold Axew there if we just WAIT.” Misty pointed out.
“I’ll take it from here!” Meowth said with a grin. “When it comes to negotiatin’, I’m just ‘da cat for ‘da job.”
Meowth slowly made his way to the hut and called for Scrafty to come out.
Scrafty cracked the door open and looked out at Meowth.
“Hey chump, I’m ‘da negotiator. Now why are ya’ doing ‘dis?” Meowth asked.
“Scraf scraf scrafty. Scrafty scraf scraf.” It grunted.
“Mmhmm. I see.” Meowth answered.
Meanwhile, Ash snuck around the back carefully and quietly, refusing Misty’s request to let Ducklett check it out- much to her annoyance. She just hoped that Ash wouldn’t get caught, resulting in Axew getting hurt.
Meowth returned to the group, shortly followed by Ash.
“Scrafty says ‘dat it’ll release Axew if it gets a Pokemon to help it in a fight.” Meowth explained.
“A fight?” Iris echoed.
“And I found a window that we could get Axew out of. Meowth,” Ash looked at the Pokemon, “you should talk to Scrafty more while I rescue Axew.”
“Well Scrafty is ‘da evolved form of Scraggy so you should have it come wit’ me to distract it.” Meowth suggested.
“Okay.” He let out Scraggy. “Go with Meowth, okay Scraggy?”
“Scraggy!” It complied, pulling up its loose skin before running with Meowth.
Ash let out Snivy and she started attacking Meowth with Vine Whip before he could get too far. “Wait, Snivy! Meowth’s our friend now!” He explained.
She looked confused but shrugged it off and put her nose in the air with a snide ‘vii!’
Meowth left with Scraggy back to the hut and Ash snuck around back again with Snivy.
The rest of the group watched nervously.
Meowth called Scrafty out again and introduced Scraggy to it. He requested that Scrafty teach it some good moves. Scrafty accepted and started teaching Scraggy how to use High Jump Kick. While Scrafty was distracted, Ash had Snivy use Vine Whip to pull Axew up through the window and to safety.
Meowth alerted Scrafty that Axew was missing. It spun around and Meowth grabbed Scraggy and took this opportunity to run as Pikachu took their place and used Thunderbolt on Scrafty, running as well.
Ash joined up with the group and they made their way away from the hut.
“Oh Axew!” Iris cried and hugged her Pokemon. “I’m so glad you’re alright!”
“Ax axew!” It cried in reply.
“Scraggy…” Scraggy murmured.
“Huh? What’s up Scraggy?” Ash asked.
“It’s worried about Scrafty.” Meowth explained.
“Huh?!” Iris gasped. “Why would it be WORRIED about it?”
Before her question could be answered, Scrafty appeared and was apparently challenging them.
“Alright, if it’s a challenge you want, it’s a challenge you’ll get.” Ash said and held up a Pokeball.
“Hold on Ash,” Misty stepped forward, “I wanna help.”
“No way, Misty; I’ve got this one.” Ash shook his head.
“Why are you so stubborn?! Just let me help out!” Misty spat.
“Will someone just throw a Pokeball already?!” Iris yelled.
Before Misty could react, Ash released his Tepig. “Fine.” She pouted.
Tepig won the battle easily. Meowth and Cilan tried to see why Scrafty was doing all of those things and got the answer out of it that its nest was taken over and it needs help but no one would help it.
“Why did you attack Togetic then?” Misty spat and Togetic hid behind its mom once again.
Scrafty looked up at Togetic with an apologetic expression. “Scraf scraf scrafty scraf scra scrafty…”
“It says ‘dat it’s sorry and was just frustrated ‘dat no one would help and he was in no mood to help anyone else.” Meowth translated.
“Scrafty scra scraf scraft.” It continued.
“It just pushed it but didn’t mean to push it so hard. ‘Dats when we came along and found it.” Meowth explained what Scrafty said.
“Well I think that we should help Scrafty!” Ash said.
“I agree.” Misty stated. “If we don’t then no one else may help it.”
The other three agreed and so Scrafty led them to its nest. There atop it sat a Vulture looking Pokemon with a bone on its head. Ash scanned it with his Pokedex to reveal that it was a Mandibuzz.
Scrafty tried attacking it but was easily knocked out by her Shadow Ball attack.
Scraggy decided to help and knocked her out using its newly learned High Jump Kick technique.
The gang found that Mandibuzz had stolen Scrafty’s nest because she was kicked out of her flock due to eating all the food.
Misty smirked at Ash. “You’re lucky that WE don’t kick YOU out of the group for eating so much food.” She joked.
“Oh come on, you know that you’d miss me too much, Mist.” He poked her side playfully.
She turned away to hide her blush. “Watch out, if your head gets too big, it might explode.” She replied teasingly.
“Hey, why don’t we pick up some food for Mandibuzz to take back to her flock?” Meowth suggested.
“Great idea.” Cilan agreed.
They had Mandibuzz lead them back to her flock, picking up food on the way. After seeing the food as the peace-offering, Mandibuzz was allowed back into the flock.
“Wow Meowth,” Iris said, “your negotiation skills are amazing!”
The group nodded in agreement. It was strange having Meowth with them in the group but he really helped them that day.
“You’d be a perfect addition to my team!” Iris stated and pulled out a Pokeball, throwing it at Meowth.
Ash and Misty gasped in shock.
Before the ball stopped shaking, it broke open and Meowth appeared from it, gasping in horror. “I belong to no one!” He yelled and glared at Iris. “Look, I’ll keep traveling wit’ you twiy’ps if you stop trying to catch me, got it?”
“Alright…” Iris agreed, disappointed.
“It’s getting late. We should find a place to camp out for the night.” Cilan stated as he watched the sun set behind the mountains; painting the sky a beautiful purple, orange and peach.
“Well, this seems like an okay place.” Misty said as she looked at their surroundings. There was a sparkling pond next to the clearing that they stood at with trees all around them.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right Misty. I’ll start preparing dinner. Iris-” By the time he turned to her, she was already up a tree and clenching a vine.
“I’m on it, Cilan.” She said and swung on the vine. “I’ll bring back some tasty berries for us!”
“Wait!” Cilan called but she was already out of earshot. He groaned softly in disappointment. “She didn’t give me the chance to tell her which berries to get for what I wanted to prepare. Oh well, I suppose that I’ll make due with what she gives me.”
“Anything that you cook up will be great, Cilan.” Ash encouraged.
“Thanks Ash.” Cilan smiled and began to set up his cooking materials, sending Ash to go get firewood.
Misty sat at the table where Cilan was waiting for Iris to return with the ingredients and Meowth was relaxing under a tree.
Misty looked up at the darkening sky. “It looks like a clear night.” She mused.
“Yes, I don’t see a single cloud in the sky.” Cilan agreed.
“I think I’ll send out my Pokemon to enjoy it.” She released all of her Pokemon into the pond, briefly forgetting that Psyduck couldn’t swim. It splashed around in a panic before Misty scooped it out with a sigh. “Oh Psyduck, what am I going to do with you?” She took off her jacket and searched her bag for the item she was seeking. It just so happened that she packed Psyduck’s arm floats. She stuck them on it and Psyduck happily leaped in the water.
Ducklett and Togetic flew off of their perches and joined the other Pokemon.
Misty smiled fondly at her Pokemon and put her jacket back on, walking back over to Cilan- who had just received berries from Iris and started cooking.
Iris and Cilan let out all of their Pokemon to enjoy the beautiful night as well and Iris disappeared back up a tree to swing around more.
Misty sat back down at the table and inhaled the scent of the food Cilan was preparing. “Mmm! It smells great already.” She took off her hat and let the breeze run through her hair.
“Thank you Misty.” Cilan smiled. “It’s like Iris knew the perfect ingredients to get. It’s amazing.” He stared off in the direction that she had disappeared with a sort of dreamy look.
Misty knew that look. “Hey, Cilan?”
He turned back to her, snapped out of his trance. “Yeah, Misty?”
“Do you like Iris?”
Cilan blushed. “O-of course I do. She’s my friend after all.”
“No, I mean do you like, like her? Do you fancy her?” Misty explained.
“Uh, well…” He hesitated, his blush growing darker. “She is a very admirable girl and I love her wild playfulness and determination but… I…” He started twiddling his fingers nervously.
“It’s alright…” She smiled at him. “You don’t have to tell me, I understand. I won’t tell Iris about anything you said either.”
He sighed. “Thank you Misty.”
Just then, a grunting sound was heard and Misty turned to see Ash returning with a load of firewood in his arms. She blushed. He had grown quite some muscle mass over the years. No matter how much Iris said that Ash was a kid in his actions; he was still mature physically.
Cilan chuckled softly. “I can see WHY you understand, Misty.”
“Huh?” She turned back to face Cilan, missing the ‘jaw dropping’ look that Ash had given Misty from seeing her with her hat off and hair down before preparing the fire.
Cilan noticed it and grinned at Misty. “Do you like Ash?”
“Wh-what?” She stuttered. “He’s my best friend if that’s what you’re talking about.” She blushed.
“No, I mean do you fancy him?” He threw her question right back at her.
“N-no! I-” She blushed deeper.
“It’s alright, you don’t have to tell me either.” Cilan smiled. “But I should say that I think Ash has eyes for you.”
“Wh-why do you say that?”
“Oh, I’ve seen the signs.” He sighed dreamily. “Ah, the flowers of romance bloom; the spark of two friends admitting their love to each other after years of secrecy…”
Misty’s eyebrow twitched. “Maybe for you and Iris but not me and Ash…”
Before he could respond, Ash started screaming in a panic. They looked toward him to see that the fire had gone out of control and was filling the clearing.
“Never trust Ash with fire…” Misty sighed and got up to call to one of her water types for help. Before she could, a flash of light appeared from Ash’s belt and Oshawott popped out.
“Oshawott! Put out the flames outside of the firewood!” Ash ordered hastily.
Oshawott complied, leaving a blackened clearing.
Ash sighed in relief.
“Ash! You’re such a kid!” Iris yelled from the tree nearest the clearing, poking her head out to reveal her and Axew snacking on Oran Berries. “Don’t you know that you’re supposed to put the fire in a place AWAY from grass? Geez!”
Before Ash could retort, Misty beat him to it. “STOP IT WITH THE ‘KID’ INSULT ALREADY!!!” She screamed and shook her fist at Iris like a cranky old man.
Cilan laughed. “What an enjoyable group we have.”
The group sat around the campfire, getting ready to eat Cilan’s delicious-yet-nutritious soup while the Pokemon ate their food in the clearing.
Everyone but Ash dug into the soup.
“Mmm! This is delicious Cilan!” Iris complimented.
“Thank you Iris. I’m glad that you enjoy it.” Misty could have sworn she saw Cilan blush but that could have been just the glow of the fire on his face.
“I agree with Iris.” Misty piped up.
“Yep, ‘dis is much better ‘den ‘da grub I ate wit’ Jessie and James.” Meowth added.
“Heh, great to hear.” Cilan grinned sheepishly at all the compliments.
Misty turned to Ash when she noticed that he wasn’t eating. “What’s wrong Ash?!” She asked in horror. “If YOU’RE not eating then that must mean that something is seriously wrong!”
“There is…” Ash muttered and looked at Meowth in desperation. “You didn’t sneak another tracking device in my food did you?!”
“Oh, don’t worry about me doin’ ‘dat.” Meowth waved his paw. “But I don’t know about Jessie and James…”
Ash groaned and looked down at his food.
“Aw man. I’m sorry Ash! I never should have told you about the tracking device.” Misty apologized.
Ash sighed. “It’s alright… I guess I’m just destined to have Team Rocket stalking me until I’m an old man…”
“And maybe even after that.” Misty snorted.
“Well, I’m not gonna let that stop me from eating!” Ash declared and took a huge spoonful of the soup. “Mmm! Delicious as always Cilan!” He started gobbling the soup down.
Cilan laughed. “It’s nutritious as well.”
Ash looked up at him in shock. “Really? You’re amazing! You can make nutritious stuff taste good.” He continued to wolf down the food.
Misty continued to eat her soup but more courteously, savoring every bite.
Iris sighed. “Ash, you’re such a-”
Before she could finish, Misty sent her a death glare.
“What?” Iris asked, blinking in confusion.
“Don’t say ‘kid’.” Misty growled. “That insult is getting REALLY annoying.”
“But he IS a kid.” Iris shrugged.
“That’s besides point. You can’t just call everyone a kid or its effect starts to degrade. You have to use fresh, new insults according to the situation and sarcasm is the key.” Misty started coaching her.
But Iris didn’t look like she was listening. “Look, I’m sorry that I call your boyfriend a kid but the fact is that he is one.” She waved her hand for emphasis.
“BOYFRIEND!?” Ash and Misty spat at the same time, both standing up abruptly and glaring down at her.
“Yeah,” she said, unfazed by their intimidation. “At least you two SHOULD be together. I don’t know about you,” she gestured to Misty, “but Ash sure seems to like you.”
“She’s my best friend!” Ash insisted.
“Oh really?” Iris raised a brow. “You two blush like crazy around each other like when you caught ‘Anne’.” She used air quotes for ‘Anne’ and looked at Misty. “You were blushing so much that it looked like you were gonna catch on fire.”
Misty pouted. “I just didn’t expect to be caught by Ash… It surprised me.”
Iris rolled her eyes playfully. “Riiiiight.” She turned to Ash. “And I didn’t forget the time when you woke up in the middle of the night and screamed out her name.”
“I had a nightmare!” Ash quickly defended himself.
Misty looked at him curiously. “What was the nightmare about?”
Ash looked away slightly. “I lost you… to the Litwik.”
“Huh? What’s a Litwik?” She asked in confusion.
“Litwik were ghost Pokemon that lead people and Pokemon to the spirit world.” Cilan explained.
“AH! ‘Dos t’ings?!” Meowth gasped, his eyes widening in horror. “‘dat was a horrifyin’ experience…”
“So…” Misty looked at Ash. “In your nightmare did they drag me into the spirit world or something?”
He nodded sadly. “Yeah… pretty much. That was when I started thinking that you were ‘Anne’.”
Misty nodded in understanding and turned back to Iris. “Ash had a nightmare. That doesn’t prove anything.”
Iris grinned. “Maybe not but just wait till you hear what happened earlier today before you and Team Rocket appeared.”
From the corner of her eye, Misty saw Ash’s eyes grow huge and color rush to his face. This made Misty curious. “Go on.” She urged Iris.
Iris giggled. “Just to see his reaction, I kinda lied and said that I saw you kissing Tripp. You should have seen the look on his face!” She laughed.
Misty grew a disgusted look on her face. “WHAT?! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I KISS TRIPP?! GROSS!” She stuck her tongue out in disgust.
“As I said, I just said it to get a reaction out of Ash. He looked like he wanted to go murder Tripp after that.” Iris giggled again.
Ash angrily grumbled incoherent words under his breath.
“Oh really?” Misty smirked at Ash.
“As I said, you two should totally be together.” Iris pulled an apple out of her hair, making Misty raise an eyebrow. “It’s totally obvious that you two are in love.” She said through a full mouth of fruit.
“WE ARE NOT!!!” Ash and Misty practically screamed at her, both with scarlet blushes on their faces.
“Geez, you BOTH deny like kids.” Iris scoffed.
Dead silence followed as Misty’s eyebrow twitched in irritation. Ash took a huge step back with his hands up in front of him defensively. “Oh boy… You’ve done it now, Iris…”
“Huh? What’d I do?” She asked.
All of a sudden Misty leaped OVER the fire to land in front of Iris, making her cower down in shock. Everyone waited for Misty to make a move.
“Three things, Iris!” Misty yelled, thrusting three fingers in the scared dragon trainer’s face. “One,” she put two fingers down but left her index finger up. “Ash. Is. Not. A. Kid!” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Ash may act like one a lot but he deserves that because he’s done more than anyone I know. He’s saved the world NUMEROUS times and risked his life to save other people and Pokemon even more times. How often have YOU saved the world?”
“Uh, well-” Misty didn’t let Iris respond and instead kept on with her speech.
“Plus this is the fifth- sixth if you count the Orange Islands- region that he’s been through and he has gotten all the badges of the previous regions, competed in all their leagues and placed high in several of them. So what if he acts like a child sometimes. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be Ash.” Misty continued her rant.
Ash blinked in surprise at the fact that Misty was actually DEFENDING him. “Misty…”
“Besides,” Misty added, “only I get to pick on him.” She smirked playfully.
Ash fell over anime style, making Misty giggle before turning back to Iris with a serious face again.
“Two,” she stuck two fingers in Iris’s face. “I think that you and I could be great friends, Iris.” She smiled as she said this but her expression then became serious again. “But you just need to know where I draw the line. And if you ever call me a kid again, you will have to face my mallet instead of just me yelling. Consider this a warning. Understand?”
Iris nodded rapidly with her eyes still budging.
“And three,” she put up three fingers and then dropped down to sit in front of Iris. “You NEED to learn new insults and stop with the same old ‘kid’ one. And I’ll help teach you some. You ready?” She smiled a friendly smile at Iris but the dragon trainer still looked cautious since she had just gotten screamed at a second ago.
“Uh… sure?” Iris squeaked.
“Sorry, I have a bit of a temper and that needed to be said.” Misty scratched the back of her neck sheepishly.
“A ‘bit’ of a temper?” Ash snickered.
Misty gave him a glare from the corner of her eye. “Don’t push it Ashy-Boy.” She growled.
He groaned. “Don’t call me that!”
Misty just grinned and turned back to Iris, who seemed to be recovering slightly from the yelling. “Ready?”
“Sure.” Iris shrugged.
“Okay, so first…” Misty started lecturing Iris.
“Oh great!” Ash groaned. “Now I’m gonna have two people insulting me!” He buried his face in his hands.
Cilan chuckled. “Would you rather have Iris call you a kid?”
“No, but… I don’t know… They’re both just as bad.” Ash mumbled.
“Well Iris calling people kids is just part of who she is. I wonder what Misty’s tutoring will do for her and how their two different flavors will blend with friendship.” Cilan mused.
“I can’t wait…” Ash muttered sarcastically.
“Good night everyone!” Ash said as he got into his sleeping bag with Pikachu cuddling up at his head.
After returning all of their Pokemon besides the ones that stay out of the ball, everyone started getting ready for bed.
Misty positioned her red sleeping bag with blue bubbles near Ash’s sleeping bag, ignoring the sly looks from Iris.
Cilan positioned his sleeping bag on the other side of Ash and Iris climbed into a tree near the clearing to sleep with Axew. Meowth lay down in the grass on the other side of Cilan.
“Good night.” Cilan yawned as he lay down.
“Night.” Iris called.
“Night twiy’ps!” Meowth said in an overly cheerful tone.
“Good night.” Misty said, cuddling up with Ducklett and Togetic. “Sweet dreams…” She muttered sleepily before smiling at Togetic. “I’m really glad that you’re with me again Togetic…”
“Toge togeticu.” It chirped and cuddled up to her more. Smiling, Misty fell asleep.
Misty was fast asleep when all of a sudden the swift movements of Ducklett and Togetic fluttering away woke her up. But before she even had the chance to open her eyes, a weight was suddenly on top of her. ‘What in the world?!’
She opened her eyes slowly but they snapped open at what was right in her face.
There, lying ON TOP of her was Ash, still in his sleeping bag and fast asleep. His forehead was propped against hers, thus resulting in their faces being inches apart.
Misty blushed more than seemed humanly possible as she stared at the sleeping Ash with huge eyes. ‘Did he… roll on me in his sleep?!’ She started gently trying to push him off. ‘I can’t let anyone see this and I can’t wake him up or it’ll be more awkward than it is now.’
She started working on pushing him off and was relieved to see some progress. But before he could be rolled off, his arm fell down from inside the sleeping bag and landed on the opposite side that Misty was pushing; making it very difficult to continue.
She glared at him and made sure that he was still asleep. ‘Fine, I’ll roll you to the other side then.’ She started rolling him- with more difficulty- to the side that his arm slung down on. His other arm then fell down on Misty’s other side, basically trapping her.
She looked up at him suspiciously. ‘Is he doing this on purpose? If so, he’s gonna get a nice big kick in the gut.’ But he still looked like he was in the middle of a deep sleep. Sighing, Misty just watched him sleep for a moment, wondering what to do next.
He looked like he was about to wake up all of a sudden. Misty froze, her heart leaping into her throat. She closed her eyes and tried to pretend that she was sleeping, hoping that her blush wasn’t visible. ‘There’s no way that I’m gonna let him know that I’m awake and make matters worse!’ She waited with a hammering heart.
She felt Ash stiffen, his breathing becoming swifter. There was no movement for a few seconds but then he slowly but clumsily got off of her and went back to where he was laying. Misty still didn’t dare to open her eyes since he could be looking at her to make sure that she was still asleep. Before Misty could wait too long, she drifted to sleep.
Misty rose the next morning and found with a great deal of relief that Ash was asleep in his sleeping bag on the other side of camp rather than where he had ended up last night. If Iris or Cilan had woken up to find them like that, Misty would have died of embarrassment.
Cilan was cooking a delicious smelling breakfast and Iris was sitting in a tree with her legs dangling down as she stared off into space with Axew poking its head out of her hair. Meowth was under the tree, laying on his back fast asleep with his mouth wide open. Pikachu, along with Ash, were still both sleeping peacefully. Ducklett and Togetic both started rising as their trainer slipped out of her sleeping bag.
"Good morning Misty." Iris greeted cheerfully as the redhead stretched and positioned her hat on her head.
Misty glanced up at her with a sleepy smile. "Good morning Iris." Her sentence ended with an abrupt yawn.
"Did'ya sleep well?" Iris inquired with an overenthusiastic smile- almost as if she were trying to hold back a laugh.
"I… I guess…" Misty gave her an odd look. "Why?"
Iris giggled. "Oh, no reason." She brushed away the question with a wave of her hand.
Misty dismissed the strange enthusiasm of her friend as a friendly greeting to get off on the right foot.
"Good morning Misty," Cilan addressed, "breakfast is just about ready. Could you guys wake up Ash and Meowth?"
"I'm on it!" Iris responded as she leaped up eagerly. She took a hold of a vine, looking down at Ash with a devious look in her eyes.
Misty could tell by her look what she was planning to do. "Wait, Iris!" Misty called, her cry falling upon deaf ears.
"Look out below!" Iris squealed playfully as she swung on her vine over a sleeping Ash and Pikachu.
Misty rushed toward the dozing duo, trying to grab Pikachu in time but fell short as Iris leaped from her vine with a 'woop', landing on Ash's stomach and Pikachu's tail with a crash.
"Oof!" Ash grunted in shock as his body lurched with an upward jerk, his eyes flying open in alarm.
"PIKA!" Pikachu cried in flabbergasted pain and let off a huge Thunderbolt, shocking everyone within a mile radius.
"AHHHHHHHHHH! PIKACHU! CUT IT OUT!" Ash screamed, his yell joining in a chorus with Iris, Axew, Misty, Cilan, and a newly awakened Meowth. Ducklett and Togetic took refuge in a tree out of range of the attack.
Once Pikachu's shock simmered out, all of the victims fell over with sparks flying from their bodies and blackened to a crisp, groaning.
"Pika…" Pikachu sweat dropped as he stared at the electrocuted group.
Meowth was the first to recover and leap up angrily, most likely due to the fact that he and his team got shocked by Pikachu on a daily basis. "A simple nudge would'a been nice!" Meowth screamed in fury, flailing his paws around. "I t'ought 'dat traveling wit' you twiy'ps would mean no more t'underbolts!" He coughed up some smoke.
"AHHHHH!" Cilan wailed in despair.
"What's wrong Cilan?!" Iris gasped, her large hair spiking up like a massive Luxray's mane.
"My masterpiece is ruined!" He weeped with waterfall tears pouring down his cheeks as he mourned over the blackened breakfast.
"WHAAAT?! Breakfast is ruined?!" Ash cried in dismay, his stomach's growl voicing its displease as well. He glowered up at Iris, who had stood up and started brushing the soot off of her clothes. "This is all YOUR fault! Who in the world wakes someone up by jumping on them?!"
"Pikachu…" Pikachu murmured with drooping ears, guilty that he caused all of this ruckus.
"Well at least I didn't ROLL on you!" She retorted with crossed arms, snatching a quick glance at Misty.
Misty's heart skipped a beat and a huge blush crept across her face.
Ash's mouth gaped open like Gyarados, a similar embarrassed expression overtaking him. He was about to respond but Misty beat him to it.
"You saw that?!" Misty gasped, staring at the giggling dragon trainer.
Misty's outburst made Ash spin to face her with a face so red that it looked like it would explode. "You were awake?!" He asked with a shaking finger pointed in her direction.
Misty's heart sank as she realized her mistake. "Oops…" She wimpered softly.
Silence overtook the camp, with Cilan and Meowth staring on in confusion, Iris smiling widely like an idiot, and Ash and Misty refusing to meet each others' eyes.
Meowth broke the silence with a huff. "Why does evert'ing happen when I'm taking a cat nap? 'Dis is better 'den TV!" He laughed wildly, interrupting his own cackle with a yelp as Ash and Misty glared daggers at him.
"Oh come on you two," Iris sjirachied, giving the two fuming teens a sly smile. "Why don't you kiss and make up already?"
"WHAAAAAT?!" They both screamed at her.
That was the last straw for Misty. She ripped her mallet out of thin air and slammed it down on Iris's head, Axew escaping out of her hair just in time to avoid impact. "YOU'RE REALLY DOING A BAD JOB OF GETTING ON MY GOOD SIDE!" Misty snarled before putting her instrument of doom away and grabbing Ash's wrist, yanking him harshly away.
"Wh-where are we going Mist?" Ash asked nervously as he was drug along.
Iris sat up with swirly eyes, clutching her head like a Psyduck. "You can go do it in private too, whatever floats your boat." She said loopily.
Misty shot Iris a glare, took off her boot and threw it at her head, making her fall to the ground again.
Cilan scratched the back of his head nervously before making his way over to the fainted Iris. "Are you okay?"
Iris moaned dizzily, a comical bump on her head. "Note to self, don't ever tease Misty." She mumbled.
Misty stomped through the forest, still dragging Ash along as he clumsily followed. "Misty! Slow down will ya?!"
Misty stopped, releasing her death grip on his wrist. "Alright, it's time to plot some revenge!" She spat, eyes a cerulean fire.
"Revenge?" Ash asked, rubbing his sore wrist. "On who?"
"Iris! Who else? I'm tired of her saying we like each other in that way! She's worse about it than anyone else." Misty vented as she paced an angry line through the tall grass. "Us liking each other in that way, ridiculous right?!"
Ash looked away slightly, looking crestfallen. "Y-yeah, ridiculous. Of couse." He mumbled.
Misty missed his tone due to her seething. "Come on, help me plot some revenge that will get her to shut up about it!"
"Uhhh… You're usually the one to come up with that kinda stuff." Ash scratched the back of his neck sheepishly. "Besides, I can't think on an empty stomach."
"No, more like all you think about is food while on an empty stomach." Misty retorted.
Ash chuckled. "Yeah, guess so."
"Hmm…" Misty tapped her chin in thought and started pacing around more gracefully, her anger vanishing. She suddenly brightened. "Ahah!" She cheered and raised a finger, turning back to Ash. "I've got it! Let's do something that will imply Iris and Cilan like each other. If she doesn't want us to keep doing that then I'll promise that we'll stop if she quits bothering US about liking each other." She rambled her plan.
"I'm… confused." Ash cocked his head to one side adorably. "Iris and Cilan like each other?"
Remembering that she promised to keep Cilan's secret hidden, she bit her lip. 'I'll just have to be sneaky about it without actually saying that Cilan likes Iris. Keeping secrets suck. But look who's talking.' "Not that I know of," she lied, "but that didn't stop Iris from doing it to us."
Ash frowned but stayed silent.
"What?" Misty blinked.
"Nothing." Ash said with a shrug. "So how do we do this?"
"Well, here's what I was thinking…" The two began plotting.
Ash and Misty strolled back into camp to see Cilan making a new breakfast to replace the charred one. Iris was nowhere to be seen and Meowth was again taking a nap in the shade. 'Geez, without having to try and steal Pokemon with Team Rocket, that cat can sure get lazy.' But as the duo walked past him, he opened one eye to give them a cunning stare.
"Have fun all alone in 'da forest, you two love biy'ds?" He asked with a grin.
"No, no! It's not like that at all!" Ash protested with a slight blush, waving his hands around frantically. "We were plot-"
Quick as lightning, Misty slapped her hand over his mouth with a hard stare at him. "Don't tell him what we were really doing, idiot!" She hissed in his ear.
"Oh yeah, sorry." Ash responded in a muffle through Misty's hand.
She pulled her hand back and looked around for Iris so that they could carry out their plan.
"You's two still look like love biy'ds to me." Meowth nodded with crossed arms. "You're hiding something alright."
While searching the clearing, Misty caught sight of her boot that she had hurled at Iris. "I almost didn't notice that I was missing my right shoe." Misty giggled and picked it up, dusting off the dirt and grass stuck to it.
Ash was still trying to convince Meowth that they weren't doing what he thought they were doing.
Misty sighed. "You don't have to answer to Meowth, Ash. Leave this to me." She held her boot up like a Pokeball and looked as if she were about to throw it at Meowth.
He took notice to this and his pupils shrunk in fear. "Alright! Alright! I'll shut my meowth! Just don't t'row 'da boot!" He yowled in a panic.
Misty just smirked and put her boot back on her foot.
"Misty sure is quite expressive." Cilan observed with a nervous laugh.
Iris leaped down from a random tree next to Cilan. "Tell me about it." She huffed. "One moment she's really sweet and the next she's ready to rip someone's head off."
"The most sensitive people can have the shortest tempers." Cilan explained, tweaking his bowtie.
"Huh?" Iris blinked. "She doesn't really seem that sensitive."
"I think that perhaps you should talk to her and get to know her more. Hopefully then you will become closer as friends rather than clashing and becoming enemies." Cilan suggested.
"Hmm. I think you're right Cilan. I don't want to be constantly fighting with Misty. There's finally another girl in the group that doesn't seem overly girly. We could probably be great friends. Thanks Cilan." Iris ran off in the direction of Ash and Misty.
"No problem." Cilan smiled before resuming his cooking.
Misty noticed Iris coming toward them and shot a quick glance at Ash. "Here she comes. Get ready." She hissed silently and started acting casual.
Ash started acting casual too but his actually looked like acting- as if they were up to something. Face-palming, Misty groaned softly. 'Don't screw this up, Ash.' She prayed silently.
Ash and Misty started walking up toward Iris in way that implied they hadn't noticed her and were in the middle of a conversation. "So, who's that purple haired girl in the fancy clothes again?" Misty asked Ash.
"Oh, you mean Burgandy?" Ash asked in a conspicuous voice, making Misty grit her teeth in annoyance. 'Get a grip already Ash! We don't want her finding out this prank early.'
"I guess that's who it is. She sure seemed eager to find Cilan." Misty responded.
Iris stopped in her tracks when hearing this and listened in silence.
'The plan's working.' Misty cheered in silent satisfaction.
"What did she mean when she said she liked him? I thought she wanted revenge on him." Ash asked his next line.
Misty shrugged. "I don't know but I do know when you say you like someone like that you usually have a crush on them."
Iris gasped softly and turned away to hide her expression.
Cilan caught wind of their conversation and blinked in confusion. "Burgandy? She's become obsessed with the desire to defeat me and become an S class Connoisseur. I wouldn't think her the type to fancy me in that way."
Iris huffed. "Maybe she's trying to have you let your guard down."
Ash glanced at Misty before pursing his lips together. "Didn't she say she wanted to kiss him?"
Misty spun to face Ash with an astonished look on her features. 'That wasn't one of the lines!' She looked to see Cilan with a flabbergasted blush and Iris with a look she knew all too well- jealousy and hurt. At seeing this look, Misty started feeling bad about the whole plan. After thinking it through with a rational mind rather than a mind seeking vengence, Misty realized how cruel it really was, and Ash had taken it way too far. 'This needs to end now.' "Yeah, it sounds pretty startling, but then again, that's because it's not true."
She was faced with three confused faces- one being Ash's since she was ending their plan early. "We were kidding. There was no Burgandy. We just wanted to get a little revenge for you always bugging us for liking each other." Misty shrugged.
Cilan blinked, his shock slowly fading as he sighed in what seemed like relief.
Iris's face scrunched up in anger and she put her hands on her hips. "So that was just a prank?! Where were you planning on going with that?" She snarled.
"Well," Ash stated in a matter-of-factly tone, "we WERE gonna imply you liked Cilan but MISTY obviously must have forgotten that part." He shot a glare Misty's way.
"Well, I'm sorry Ash. I must have missed the memo about saying she wanted to KISS him!" She spat sarcastically.
"That needed to be added since Iris pulled a prank on me saying that you kissed Tripp." Ash snapped.
"And you actually believed that I would kiss Tripp?!" Misty huffed in exasperation.
"UGH! You guys drive me nuts! And I was just about to ask if we could talk and at least TRY to be friends!" Turning on her heel, Iris stomped up to a tree in a blind rage, grabbed an apple and climbed it before swiftly leaping from tree to tree.
Hearing her words, Misty felt even guiltier to have done the prank. She stared after her sadly.
Ash, however, had a quite different reaction. "Whoo! We did it!" He cheered, leaping up and down.
Misty turned to him with scornful eyes. "I wouldn't be too happy about that if I were you."
"Huh?!" He pointed an accusing finger at her. "This was YOUR idea! Don't try to blame ME for it!"
"I know! I know! Okay?!" She held her head in her hands as if it were in absolute pain. "And I feel terrible about it!"
"Why?" Ash blinked. "She did it to us."
She shook her head. "But that doesn't make it right for us to do it to her. Our prank was cruel… I need to apologize to her before we become enemies."
Ash took a step forward, looking at the redhead worriedly. "Are you alright Mist? You don't sound like yourself. I've never known you to feel bad about being mean to someone."
His words were met with a glower full of rage and offence. "What do you think I am?! A monster who doesn't care when I hurt people? An unfeeling person who ENJOYS inflicting pain?"
Ash didn't answer, in fact, he looked afraid to. In fear of saying the wrong thing and making matters worse he shut up completely. But in this case, his silence was worse than any reply.
Dejection being added to her rage, she turned away to hide the tears that threatened to form at her extreme flurry of emotions. "So that's what you really think of me, huh?" She murmured with as casual of a voice as she could manage. Her pride would never let him know what he had implied hurt her so much. "I may hurt people physically when I'm mad but I would never want to hurt someone emotionally. That's worse than any physical pain because it may never heal. Take it from someone who knows." She said the last line so softly that she wasn't sure if Ash heard it or not. "I need to go talk to Iris. I'm sorry for dragging you into this, Ash…" She added softly before walking toward the direction Iris had disappeared to.
"Where's popcorn when ya' need it?" Meowth asked, obviously having watched the whole scene play out. "You's guys could have your own TV show wit' 'da drama you make."
Ash put his hands behind his head as he stared after Misty, ignoring Meowth. "Geez, what's gotten into her lately? It's like with that disguise she's a whole new person." He sighed before walking away. "Cilan," he whined, "when's breakfast gonna be ready?! I'm starving!"
"Iris! Iris, where are you?" Misty called with her hands cupped around her mouth as she strolled down the forest path. "Iris!"
"What do you want?!" Iris yelled in contempt, poking her head out of a tree with a half eaten apple in her hands and Axew in her hair.
"I wanted to talk to you Iris." She called up to the angry trainer, noting that Axew looked mad too. 'Can't blame them…'
"Look, Iris, I am SO sorry to have done that to you!" Misty started climbing up the tree and made her way up to the branch that Iris sat upon. "I was angry and when that happens, I can't think rationally. It was cruel to make you feel that way."
"Feel what way?" Iris huffed with her back turned to the redhead.
"Jealousy, pain… The very hurtful thought that your crush might end up with someone else because you took too long to them how you feel…" Misty explained in a sad, knowledgable voice.
Iris turned to look at her with wide eyes. "Are you implying that I have a crush on Cilan?" Her voice had a tone of disbelief to it but also another tone Misty was familiar with as well.
"Do you?" Misty asked and stared at her seriously.
Iris's face grew a tinge of pink to it. "W-well, I like that he's so gentlemanly and think some of the things he does are adorable. But I don't know about having a crush on him…" She twiddled her fingers. "Maybe a teensie little one…"
Misty smiled at her. "If you have a crush on him then why don't you ask him out?" 'Look who's talking.' The voice in the back of her mind taunted her.
Iris's eyes grew huge and her blush even darker. "Ask him out?! No way! He's so gentleman-like and neat while I'm a wild child! We're total opposites! He'd never go out with anyone like me…"
Misty smirked as she remembered Cilan's words. "Nah, I think he'd love to go out with someone like you. Besides, opposites attract, they say." She giggled.
"Alright…" Iris said hesitantly. "I'll think about it…"
Misty gazed at her seriously again. "Just remember this, Iris… The longer you wait, the harder it'll be. If you ask when it's just a small crush then it feels like less is at stake if they reject you. But if you wait too long and get too attached then you may become too afraid to ask because their rejection would hurt so much…"
"You sound like you speak from experience, Misty." Iris observed.
'You have no idea…' Misty thought. "Eh, it just sounds rational." She said in an unconvincing tone. "But I'm really sorry about what we did, Iris. I don't want to be enemies by any means. Can you forgive me?" Her cerulean eyes twinkled pleadingly.
"Of course Misty." Iris gave her a kind smile. "I hope that we can be real good friends too."
"I hope that also, Iris. But can I propose one thing?" Misty asked.
"Sure," Iris shrugged, "but I'm not Ash so you don't need to propose to me-" She slapped her hands over her own mouth with a wide eyed blush as if she really didn't mean to say that.
Misty's eyebrow twitched. "Yeah, that's what I was going to propose…"
Iris removed her hands from her mouth and looked at Misty like she had two heads.
"NOT TO ASH!" She assured her swiftly. "I was going to ask that you don't tease me about supposedly liking Ash and I won't tease you about your crush on Cilan. That way we don't get mad at each other and have more chance of getting along."
"I agree…" Iris nodded. "Let's put all of this behind us and no more teasing."
"Great, thank you Iris." Misty smiled.
"But answer me one question."
"Do you have a crush on Ash?"
"Iris! I thought-" Misty growled but was interrupted.
"I'm not trying to tease you this time. I'm seriously wondering. I admitted that I liked Cilan so I'm curious if you like Ash."
Misty bit her lip, hesitating for a long moment before speaking. "Would you tell him how I felt about him if I did?"
"Nope. Not after promising I wouldn't tease you guys. I think that you should do it yourself. But I would suggest you tell him if you did." Iris stared at her expectantly.
Misty hesitated for another moment before clutching her eyes shut and turning pink. "Okay, fine! Maybe I have a little crush on him!" 'Man is that an understatement… I don't just have a crush on him, I love him! But there's no way I'd ever tell anyone that.' "Can we change the subject already?"
Iris giggled. "Sure. Us girls don't revolve around the guys anyways. Let's learn a little bit about each other. So tell me about yourself Misty."
As the bonding conversation between Misty and Iris went on, a familiar voice echoed through the treeline.
"Hey, you guys!" The voice called. "Breakfast is ready and Cilan won't serve it 'till everyone's here so hurry up will 'ya?!"
Misty smirked playfully, instantly recognizing the voice as Ash's. "Don't tell us what to do!" She yelled back to him. "The more you rush us, the slower we'll come!"
They heard his groan and both giggled. "Come ooooon!" Ash whined back. "I'mma starve to death."
Misty raised a brow. "'I'mma'?! How lazy can you be?!"
"We'd better go before Cilan gets upset." Iris sighed, starting to get down from the tree they were perched in.
"And before ' ' faints from not having food all morning." Misty giggled and got down as well.
Together the two walked down the forest path to meet the impatient Pokemon trainer.
"Well, well. This is a more pleasant sight. I presume you two have made up?" Cilan asked as he watched Misty and Iris stroll into camp, chattering and laughing heartily.
"Yep, pretty much." Iris responded with a grin.
"Well here's breakfast." Cilan started handing out the plates of Oran Berry Pancakes as Iris helped by setting out the bowls of specialized Pokemon food and sending out her Pokemon.
After sending out all of their Pokemon, everyone else settled together to eat, sitting in the short grass.
"So guys," Misty started to ask, "could we try looking for Azurill today? It's been so long since I've seen it. I'm really worried…"
"Of course Misty." Ash responded.
"Perhaps we could start asking people if they've seen it too." Cilan suggested.
"Yeah, that could work." Misty agreed.
"And maybe we could get our flying Pokemon to look for it too." Ash put in.
"Huh?" Meowth asked.
"Oh right, you never knew what happened." Misty realized. She explained her Azurill situation to him.
"Ah, so 'dat's why you joined up wit' us." Meowth stated.
"Yep. But that didn't really work out like I planned." She sweat dropped. "I just hope we can find it…"
"I know we will." Ash assured her, taking a bite of his pancake. "But after breakfast."
Misty giggled. "Of course. I wouldn't want to waste a single bite of these delicious pancakes."
After a while of eating and chatting, the bushes rustled somewhere behind them. Tripp appeared and regarded the group by pointing them out. "I've finally found you!"
Ash turned to blink at the trainer. "You've been looking for me?" He suddenly stood up with his fists clutched in determination. "I bet you want a battle huh?!"
"Ash," Iris huffed in annoyance, "you made us rush so that you could eat. You'd better finish it."
Misty grabbed Ash's pantleg and dragged him down with an abrupt pull. "Yeah! Eat your breakfast mister!"
Ash pouted. "Fine, MOM."
Tripp walked up to the group. "For your information, it wasn't YOU I was looking for." He snorted.
"Then who?" Ash blinked.
Tripp pointed a finger at Misty. "Her."
Ash's eyebrows shot up in shock and then knit together in suspicion. "Iris was joking huh?" He grumbled.
After realizing what he was implying, Misty wacked him over the head. "Yes, she was. Stop doubting me Ketchum!" She spat before turning to Tripp. "Why were you looking for me? Let me guess, you want a battle?" She deadpanned.
"Hey! Why don't you wanna battle me?!" Ash whined.
"Ash! Stop being such a whiny kid!" Iris yelled and then quickly glanced at Misty upon realizing her mistake.
Misty sighed. "I'll let that one go because for once I agree with you Iris. You ARE being a whiny kid Ash. But then again, I'm getting tired of battling. That's all I did at the gym was battle and work." She leaned back on her hands.
"Come on," Tripp urged, "how about one more battle? This one doesn't have to be a full one."
"No," Misty growled stubbornly while glaring at the persistant trainer, "today I'm focusing on just finding Azurill, no more distractions. We'll battle some other time. Maybe later we'll both be way better and it'll be more fun."
"Fine," sighed Tripp irritably, "but I won't rest until I defeat you."
Misty raised a brow. "I don't have any badges with me so it wouldn't be a gym battle."
"I know, but I can't stand the thought of not being able to beat someone." Tripp explained before walking away. "See you all later."
"Bye Tripp." Misty called after him before sighing and going back to her breakfast.
"He seems really eager to battle you," Ash growled grumpily, taking angry bites out of his pancakes.
"Doesn't every challenger?" Misty sighed in exasperation. "Apparently I have a rival now."
"But he was MY rival!" Ash whined.
"You can have him." Misty huffed. "Although I must admit that he gave my Pokemon some good training."
"But what if he sees you as more than a rival? Are you SURE Iris was joking?" Ash asked in almost a paranoid manner.
Wordlessly, Misty glared at Ash and slammed her fist into the top of his head, smashing his face into his breakfast. "Idiot!" She screamed at him before finishing her own breakfast. "Now hurry up and eat so we can find Azurill."
Ash slowly lifted his face from his plate. Pieces of syrupy pancakes fell from his forehead and cheeks. The sticky liquid substance dribbled down his bangs and caked his entire face. But this didn't stop him from eating as he started to wipe syrup from his face with his hands and lick his fingers.
"You're disgusting Ash." Misty rolled her sea green eyes at him.
"Hey, there's no way I'm going to waste food!" Ash protested.
Misty face palmed. "I hate to think what would happen if the food fell on the floor…"
"Psy yi yi…" Psyduck came waddling up to the group.
The redhead sighed heavily before turning to her headache inducer of a Pokemon. "Please Psyduck, I have a big enough headache without you making it worse."
"Psy…" It stared up at her with a strange look.
This struck Misty's interest. Usually Psyduck had the same dopey, expressionless face but now it looked strange and almost worried. "What's wrong Psyduck?"
"Psy…" It suddenly exploded with light.
"No way!" Ash exclaimed.
"Is Psyduck… evolving?!" Misty's voice was surprised with a tang of hopefulness to it.
It took the shape of its superior and more powerful form. "Soon, I'll have a wonderful Golduck! Psyduck will evolve into a powerful yet beautiful Golduck!" She enthused with clasped hands and sparkly eyes.
The glow suddenly took the form of Psyduck again.
"Huh?" Iris blinked. "Is that normal?"
"Not that I know of…" Cilan responded with just as much confusion.
The glow faded and Psyduck was still… Psyduck.
"Psy yi?" It cocked its head in confusion.
"What… happened?" Misty blinked numbly in shock. "Why didn't Psyduck evolve?"
"Perhaps Psyduck didn't want to evolve and so it fought it and stayed in its current form." Cilan guessed.
"So Psyduck didn't evolve… because it didn't want to?!" Her voice strained to stay calm but broke at the end. Her fury was directed to the confused yellow duck. "HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO EVOLVE?! YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIUL AND POWERFUL GOLDUCK WITHOUT A HEADACHE! YOU STUPID IDIOTIC DUCK!" She snarled in a fiery rage and chased her poor Pokemon down with a mallet.
The group sweat dropped as they watched.
Cilan scratched his head. "It's not even noon yet and so much has happened already. Today's going to be an interesting day."
Undercover in Unova Ch 16
After breakfast, with the sun now shining high above their heads, the gang set off on the road toward Castelia City. Ash was marching in the front of the group, humming the current Pokemon theme song with his stomach full and spirit high, Pikachu lounging on his shoulder. Cilan was walking beside him, currently looking at the map. Iris and Misty walked side by side behind Cilan, chattering away like a couple of Starly. Meowth trailed in the very back with an ecstatic bounce to his step.
Ash rolled his eyes when he glanced back at Iris and Misty as they gossiped and giggled.
"Hey Ash," Misty spoke up, breaking off from her conversation with Iris. "Wreck anymore bikes lately?" Playfulness danced in the redhead's eyes, transforming into a wide smile as he became flustered.
"Ugh, the bike thing again?!" he groaned, throwing his hands up dramatically. "I've only wrecked two after yours."
"ONLY two?" Misty echoed with a laugh. "Did he wreck your bike too Iris?" she turned to her and asked.
Iris blinked in confusion. "No, I don't have a bike. Who needs one when you can climb trees to get around?"
"Oh, that's true," Misty realized and then noted the confused look on her new friend's face. "That's how Ash and I met. I fished him out of the river and then he 'borrowed'-" she used her fingers to indicate air quotes at this word, "-my bike and ended up frying it! So after that I just followed him around, demanding that he pay me back for it."
Ash sighed irritably. "Isn't the bike deal ancient history now?"
"I'm just telling the story, Ash." Misty shrugged.
"So did he ever pay you back for your bike?" Iris asked, looking genuinely interested in the story. "Bikes sure don't come cheap."
"Well, a Nurse Joy fixed it for me so technically HE didn't pay me back."
Ash scowled at her but she ignored him and went on.
"But I still had my bike fixed so I was happy-" she stopped herself mid sentence, "-actually I wasn't happy because my sisters forced me to come back to the gym while they went on a world tour. That was the end of my journey until now." Misty sighed when she had finished, catching the wistful frown that Ash gave her.
"But now you's guys are all happy together. So it all woy'ked out for 'da bettah'," Meowth piped in cheerfully.
"There is no point in mourning over the past; instead just look forward to the future," Cilan advised with words that most likely made Iris's heart melt, Misty guessed.
"Yeah, you're right." Misty smiled contently. Cilan was right, she just needed to live for the moment and enjoy being able to travel with Ash again, rather than being sad about the days she was unable to.
A silence fell upon the group; but it was a comfortable silence, allowing the sounds of nature to reach their ears and calm their souls.
Finally, Misty broke the silence when spotting a Tympole in a nearby stream. At first sight of it, her heart skipped a beat, thinking it was Azurill. But when she realized it was only a Tympole, her body ached with sorrow from her head to her toes. The Pokemon's round shape and blue body reminded her too much of her missing baby. Not even the fact that it was a water type that she could potentially add to her team cheered her up.
"Hey guys," she spoke up, forcing her tone to sound happier than she felt. "Weren't we going to look for Azurill today?"
"Oh yeah," Ash spoke as if he had forgotten. He fished a Pokeball from his belt and threw it up in the air. "Go, Tranquill!"
The bird appeared in a flash of light. "Tranquill!" it cooed.
Cilan and Iris mimicked Ash's actions and sent out one of each of their Pokemon.
"Pansage, we're in need of assistance."
"You help out too, Emolga!"
The two fore-mentioned Pokemon materialized from the light.
"Tranquill, I need you to look for Azurill, okay?" Ash called up to his bird.
"Quill?" It blinked at him in utter confusion.
"Huh? What's wrong?" Ash asked and was now just as confused as his Pokemon.
"I don't think it knows what Azurill is, Ash," Misty guessed. "After all, it never met Azurill."
"None of our Pokemon have," Iris added.
"Plus there are very rarely any non-Unova Pokemon in this region." Cilan scratched his chin in thought.
"Ducklett knows Azurill," Misty pointed out. "But if Ducklett has to go with the others, they can't split up to search..."
The group stood pondering possible actions with a vocal 'hmm' that hummed through the trees like a Combee's buzzing.
At last, Misty snapped her fingers in realization as an idea hit her. "I've got it!" In a flash she ripped off her jacket - shocking everyone with the bright yellow of her Hoenn outfit that was under it, after seeing her in black and gray colors for so long - and began digging through her Spheal bag hidden beneath it.
She retrieved the item she was seeking, which was in the form of a piece of paper. "I drew a picture of me and Azurill a while ago so the Pokemon can look at that and get an idea," Misty explained to the confused faces gathered around her.
She flipped the paper around to present it to the group, revealing a rather badly drawn picture with Misty as a stick figure and Azurill as a blue blob.
The group, including the Pokemon, all sweat-dropped at its quality.
Ash put his hands over his mouth, his cheeks puffing up and his eyes squinting in an obvious attempt to stop himself from laughing.
Misty's eyes narrowed into a deathly glower directed Ash's way. "I'd like to see YOU do better," she growled in a dangerously low voice with a twitching eyebrow. "The point is just for them to get the basic idea of what Azurill looks like. Do you guys get the idea?"
The Pokemon nodded though they still looked slightly unsure.
"Then let's get started," Iris rallied. "Split up and find us if you see any sign of Azurill."
The Pokemon cheered their respectful cries and set off to search.
"You go with them Ducklett," Misty ordered.
"Toge toge!" Togetic chirped.
"You want to help too, Togetic?"
"Toge!" It nodded cheerfully and flew off after Ducklett and the others.
"Now we should look on the ground and split up as well," Cilan suggested.
"Yep, let's go." Misty nodded and put her jacket on before running off in a random direction. "Azurill!" she called as she searched with a heart laden with hope.
Hours seemed to have gone by when the group gathered together again. "No sign of Azurill?" Misty asked sadly, although already knowing what their responses would be.
Everyone shook their heads, both humans and Pokemon.
"Not'in," Meowth responded with a shrug.
"Sorry Misty, but Azurill must not be anywhere in the area," Iris sighed.
"That's alright; we'll find it someday..." Misty muttered, refusing to give into despair.
Suddenly, a plunger with a rope connected to it shot Pikachu in the back before yanking it off of Ash's shoulder and to the original source.
"Pikachu!" Ash cried out as he instinctively grabbed for his buddy but missed by an inch.
A duet of evil laughter rang out just as the group spun around to see what happened to Pikachu. There, standing atop a large Galvantula robot, were Jessie and James. Although it was just a robot, Misty began trembling at the sight of the bug Pokemon it resembled.
'Out of all the Pokemon they could have made it to look like, why did they have to choose a bug?!' she wondered in dismay.
"We haven't been able to find your Azurill either," Jessie stated in a voice full of mock sympathy. "But even if we did, we wouldn't give it back to you." Her lips curled into a twisted smirk.
"Because it would make a great present for the boss," James continued for Jessie, standing back to back with her.
Misty's eyebrow twitched. "Great, here goes their stupid motto again..."
But before they could begin reciting it, Meowth leaped up angrily.”Hey! What's you's two doing here?!"
"What are you talking about Meowth?" Iris huffed. "They're ALWAYS after Pikachu. You've been with them long enough to know that."
"Oh yeah... Right," Meowth muttered and averted his eyes.
Jessie and James gave Meowth a sharp look that Misty recognized as the 'shut up' look, as she had used it many times before. She blinked, looking at her comrades to see if they had noticed the look too but saw that they were too focused on the fact that they had Pikachu. 'Did Meowth try to say something that they didn't want said?' She shook away the confusing thoughts and joined in her group's concern for Pikachu, who was currently trapped in another one of their pika-proof cages.
Team Rocket went through their motto again before holding up their plunger guns - what they had obviously stolen Pikachu with - and getting ready for their next move.
"Give back Pikachu!" Ash demanded.
Jessie pulled down her eyelid and stuck her tongue out in a mocking manner. "In your dreams twerp."
"Instead of giving Pikachu back, we'll just take the rest of your Pokemon," James cackled and aimed his plunger gun at the group in sync with Jessie.
"Fire!" She ordered and shot out a plunger with a rope connected to it. The plunger hit Ducklett and it was yanked off of Misty's shoulder before she could grab it. "Ducklett!" She cried.
Axew hid in Iris's hair to prevent itself from being captured.
"My turn," James sang and shot his plunger gun toward Togetic.
"Fly away Togetic!" Misty cried and turned to watch it fly away quickly.
But James's aim was way off and the plunger instead hit Misty's butt. She yelped as she felt something hit her and was suddenly yanked off the ground.
"Since when did Togetic get so heavy?" James complained, not yet noticing his error as he reeled Misty in. When he reeled her in, he was shocked to meet the face of a highly enraged Misty. "Wha-? You're not a Pokemon!" He stated stupidly.
Misty was hanging upside down by the plunger, her face red both by the blood rushing to her head and her intense anger. Her cropped hair draped down as her hat had fallen off of her head. "No Shinx Sherlock!" She snarled and attempted to swing at him but found that that only made her sway unsteadily. "Put me down before I make Gyarados fry you both!"
"James! You imbecile! You're supposed to catch Pokemon, not the twerps!" Jessie spat.
"Oops, my mistake," James chuckled sheepishly and released the plunger's grip on Misty, making her crash to the ground with a yelp.
"We've got enough Pokemon now anyways, let part two of the plan commence," Jessie said.
"Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten about part two," James said and the two then put their plunger guns away, coming back with a different, odd looking invention.
Misty rubbed her lower back with a wince from the ground before glaring up at them. "What's that? Another stupid invention that will most likely backfire on you before the end of the day?"
"Not this time," James huffed before holding the gun up proudly. "This is the Stick-o-Matic Web Glob 5000, designed to make you twerps, STICK around," he cackled.
"Why would we want to stick around and listen to your lame jokes all day?" Iris sighed.
Misty grinned back at her. She was learning well in the ways of an insult.
"Oh, WE won't be sticking around, but YOU will," Jessie said and grabbed the gun from James.
"Hey, I wanted to shoot it," James wailed and tried to grab the gun back.
Jessie gave James a scathing look. "Your aim is horrible, James. If I let you shoot it, you probably would get the trees. If you want something done right, I guess I have to do it myself." She sighed as if a huge burden had been put on her before grinning evilly down at the group. "They say friends should stick together. We can help with that." She blasted the gun, which shot out a huge glob that extended into a web like substance. Before anyone had time to react, the web crashed onto the group, covering them all in a highly sticky substance.
"I can't move!" Cilan gasped as he struggled to get free.
"My arms are stuck to my sides," Iris said, struggling as well.
Team Rocket laughed maniacally. "You're in a sticky situation now," James taunted.
"We've finally done it James! We're finally going to capture Pikachu!" Jessie cheered, her eyes twinkling joyfully.
"Yes, Team Rocket is finally the winners!" James enthused before stroking his chin in thought. "But what's different?"
"Well, Meowth isn't with us... Maybe Meowth was dragging us down the whole time," Jessie mused.
"Hey!" Meowth spat indignantly from the ground. "I can still hear you ya' know! And I was 'da brains of 'de operation; if anyt'ing, it was James dragging us down!"
"Me?! Why you..." James growled and glared down at Meowth, his fingers twitching as if he wanted to strangle the cat.
"Who cares?" Jessie waved her hand in dismissal. "We've done it. Now let's get out of here before you screw something up," Jessie said.
James turned the robot around to start leaving before glaring at Jessie. "What do you mean before I screw something up?! You-"
"I what, James?" Jessie snarled threateningly, her teeth looking comically sharp. He looked away.
"Nothing," he muttered, knowing better than to insult Jessie. The robot began crawling swiftly away.
"No, they're getting away!" Ash said and struggled violently under the sticky web. "Pikachu!"
Misty struggled as well but to no avail. "Ducklett!" She cried.
The cries of their Pokemon had become faint and the robot was now out of sight.
"Argh, I can't move my hands to reach my Pokeballs," Misty groaned.
"We have to do something. We can't let them get away!" Ash said and bit the sticky stuff to try and tear his way through, resulting in his mouth becoming stuck in it.
"Meowth, can you claw your way through?" Iris asked, looking at the cat.
He tried before staring at his paws in despair. "Yow! 'Dis stuff is so sticky 'dat my claws won't even come out!"
Misty sighed miserably. "Since when did Team Rocket get so smart?"
"I could get Axew to use Dragon Rage," Iris suggested, hoping that the dragon Pokemon wasn't too stuck in her hair to use a move.
Cilan gave her a panic stricken face. "Don't do it Iris! We'll all be blown up."
"Well, what else can we do?" She asked desperately.
Suddenly a flash of light appeared from Misty's bag and formulated outside of the web into Psyduck.
"Psyduck, this is NOT the time-" she was about to yell at Psyduck again but stopped herself as she realized that it wasn't stuck like them. "Wait, Psyduck can you get us out of this stuff?"
Psyduck cocked its head at her with a blank stare. "Psy yi yi?"
"Try a Water Gun," Misty urged. It blinked at her. She sighed. "You can't do it, huh? Try your Scratch attack then."
Psyduck nodded and held its hand up, its small claws glimmering in the sunlight, and struck down on the sticky stuff. It paused for a moment before realizing that its claw was stuck in the goop. It tried pulling it out but found that it couldn't so it decided to put its foot on the goop to pull its claw out, resulting in its foot getting stuck too. It dangled there awkwardly with one claw and one foot stuck before realizing its situation and flailing its free limbs around in a panic. "Psyyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!" It quaked.
"How are we going to get out of this mess when everything we do gets us more stuck?" Iris sighed.
Ash said something but no one could understand him due to the web in his mouth.
"Togeticu!" A voice cried and Togetic flew down from its hiding place in the trees.
"Togetic, you got away," Misty said with a smile.
"Toge." It nodded and then began to glow.
"Togetic?" Misty blinked.
Suddenly, leaves surrounded in a purple glow appeared out of nowhere and began slicing through the web, dislodging it from everyone's bodies.
"What's going on?" Misty asked.
"It seems that Togetic has learned Magical Leaf," Cilan observed.
"Magical Leaf?" Misty echoed and stared at Togetic in wonder. Days of unexplained attacks returned to Misty's mind and she remembered how she always suspected that Togepi was the cause for them. Seeing Togetic now, she realized that her suspicions weren't so far fetched (no pun intended ;p ) after all.
Soon, they were free of the sticky webbing and found that they could move again. "Thank you Togetic! That was totally amazing," Misty cheered, pulling her baby into a hug.
"Mithy! Mithy!" Ash cried, his speech impaired by the sticky web in his mouth. She turned to him and he frantically pointed into his mouth.
Misty gave him a sly, teasing look and crossed her arms. "I don't know Ash, I think I like you not being able to talk for a while."
He gave her the dirtiest look but she just laughed. "I'm kidding Ashy-boy," she said, grinning when he became even more flustered at the nickname. "I don't think it's a great idea for Togetic to use Magical Leaf in your mouth though..."
Ash shook his head rapidly with a look of fear crossing his face.
Misty frowned in thought before brightening. "Go, Staryu!" She tossed the ball and out came her starfish Pokemon. "Use Water Gun in Ash's mouth," she said and pointed.
Ash waved his hands about frantically and protested with impaired words but Staryu ignored him and shot its attack from its top at full force; Ash made a gurgling sound and got knocked onto his butt in the process.
He sat up with a grimace and stared at Misty as he sputtered and spit the soaked webbing out of his mouth. "Bleh. Thanks Mist," he grumbled and coughed some more.
Misty didn't like his tone. "Well, you wanted it out and that's what I did," she stated and smiled at her Staryu. "Great work, return." She ran her fingers through her fiery hair to realize that her hat was still missing from her head. Her eyes searched the clearing and she gasped when spotting a black crumpled heap in the grass. "Oh no!" She ran over to it.
"What's wrong?" Iris asked in concern and stared after her.
Misty picked up the ruined article of clothing. "My hat is ruined! Team Rocket's robot must have stepped on it," she wailed in despair. "Daisy is NOT going to be happy about that..."
"Forget the hat; we have more important things to worry about!" Ash yelled.
Misty rolled her eyes. 'Says the one who worships his hats as if they were legendary Pokemon...'
"Besides," he began more silently and Misty could have sworn she saw a light shade of pink creep onto his cheeks, "you look better without the hat."
Misty blinked, clutching the hat and not sure whether to be annoyed or happy about his comment. 'Wait, did he just compliment me?' She felt her own face grow hot from the blush that was inevitably appearing.
"Come on guys, he have to go after Team Rocket," Iris reminded them.
Deciding that finding Team Rocket and saving Ducklett and Pikachu was more important, she put the tattered hat in her bag and pushed her confusion of Ash's words to the back of her mind.
"Right," Ash said and looked around in frustration. "Which way did they go?"
"Never fear," Cilan said, tweaking his bow tie arrogantly before suddenly appearing in his detective clothing. "I am a detective connoisseur and I will solve this mystery," he stated and looked through his magnifying glass.
"Great, here we go again," Iris sighed.
Cilan began looking around the clearing with the glass before stopping at a certain point. "Ah hah! Footprints!"
The group rushed over to see large gorges in the earth leading away into the trees. "The robot must have made these," Iris mused.
"Yes, so all we have to do is follow these footprints and we'll find Team Rocket," Cilan said.
"Let's go," Ash said impatiently and began following the footprints. The others were close behind him.
'Don't worry guys, we're coming for you.'
By the end of the trail, they found the abandoned robot with Jessie and James nowhere to be seen. Upon wandering a ways from it, they discovered a building with a large fence around it and people in dark clothing, some in Rocket uniforms, swarming around the outside.
"What's that place?" Ash asked.
"'Dat 'dere is one of Team Rocket's bases. If I'm correct, I t'ink its where 'da boss is stationed," Meowth explained, looking at the base through the bushes in which the group hid.
"What?! You mean to say that Team Rocket could have already given our Pokemon to your boss?!" Misty gasped.
"Most likely," Meowth said.
"No, it can't be..." Ash mumbled with his chocolate brown eyes trembling in emotion. He put his head down so that his hat covered his eyes.
Misty found herself sharing his emotions. She had failed her Pokemon again. Azurill was already gone thanks to her, and now she had lost Ducklett too.
"We'll get them back," Iris assured them. "We always do."
Ash looked at Iris with a stricken expression. "You don't understand, Iris. For all the years that Team Rocket stole Pikachu, they had NEVER gotten this far. Pikachu had never actually been given to their boss before."
Misty nodded slowly and sadly.
"We can't give up on them now, even if their boss has them. We have to get them out," Cilan said.
The fire seemed to ignite in Ash's eyes again and he looked toward the base in determination. "You're right. We'll get them back even if we have to break into their base."
"Wait! 'Dese Rockets ain't like Jessie and James, hundreds are in 'dere and 'da boss is 'da most powerful of all of us," Meowth warned Ash.
But Ash ignored him and looked as if he was about to run head first to the base. Misty grabbed his hoodie before he could run away and yanked him back with amazing force.
He glared at her. "Let me go Misty!"
She only clutched the fabric tighter. "No way! Don't you DARE rush into that base headfirst! Now we are going to sit here and make a plan whether you like it or not!" She snarled.
"Geez, you're more snappish than usual," he growled.
She gave him an intense look full of anger and deep sadness. "I refuse to let you jeopardize our chances of getting them back because you don't look before you leap. I already lost Azurill and I am going to save Ducklett if it's the last thing I do!"
They stared each other down for a moment and then an unspoken understanding seemed to pass between them. He nodded and relaxed his muscles, his eyes seeming to soften.
Misty let go of his hoodie and looked at the rest if the group. "Right, so how should we get them out?"
"Well, it's obvious that we need to go inside and break them out," Cilan said.
"Yeah but we can't ALL go in without directing unwanted attention toward us," Iris pointed out.
"Then I'll go in," Ash stated with an impatient glance over toward the base.
An idea then began to formulate in Misty's mind. "Wait a minute, I'll go in," Misty said.
Ash looked at her in bewilderment. "No way, I'm going in!"
"Would you quit trying to play hero for one minute and listen to me?" Misty yelled, remembering then to lower her voice as the Rocket guards might hear her.
He scowled at her but still looked expectantly for her to go on.
"See how everyone is wearing disguises or their uniforms?" She prompted.
"Yeah," Iris answered for everyone.
"Well you guys would stick out like a sore thumb but I'm already wearing an undercover outfit. As long as I steer clear of Jessie and James, I should be able to sneak in without being questioned."
"That's an excellent idea," Cilan said.
"But what would we be doing then?" Ash asked.
She shot him an annoyed look. "Let me finish." She looked at the rest of the group again. "Once in, I'll look for Ducklett and Pikachu. When I find where they are being held, I'll find a window and have one of my Pokemon use a water move through it. Keep an eye on the building because that will be your signal. Once you see the signal, that's your cue to create a distraction. Once the members come to react to the distraction, I'll bust Pikachu and Ducklett out."
"What kind of distraction?" Ash blinked.
"I don't know, attack the base or something, but keep away from the entrance so I have a way to get out," Misty said.
Meowth raised his hand as if he were in school. "Can I stay in 'da bushes and keep watch? I don't really want to have 'da boss see me fighting against 'dem."
Misty nodded. "Actually, that's a good idea. You and someone else should keep watch in case something goes wrong."
"I'll do it," Iris chimed. "Since I can climb trees and swing through branches, I will keep watch from up there and be able to come to someone's aid in no time."
"Alright Iris, that would be great." Misty smiled.
"We should have a signal in case any of us are in trouble," Cilan suggested.
"What kind of signal?" Iris asked. "We can't just yell for help if our signal needs to be secret."
Everyone pondered for a moment before Ash snapped his fingers. "I got it! Misty, start imitating a Seel."
"Wha-?! We don't have time to fool around Ash! What makes you think I can imitate a Seel anyways?" Misty said.
"When Hypno hypnotized you, you thought you were a Seel and sounded exactly like one. Just try it," Ash said.
Misty sighed and half heartedly began imitating it. "Seel Seel, Seel Seel."
"Now clap as you do it." Ash grinned.
She glared at him. "Ash Ketchum, I swear-"
"Just humor me, k?" He interrupted and looked at her expectantly.
She rolled her eyes and began imitating Seel again, clapping her hands all the while. "Seel Seel, Seel Seel."
"Perfect! That's your signal!"
"Huh? You've got to be joking," Misty said.
"That's brilliant!" Cilan exclaimed.
"It is?" Iris asked.
"Yes, if we use Pokemon imitations as signals, the Rockets will think there's just a Pokemon making a bunch of noise, they won't suspect it as a secret code," Cilan explained.
Misty blinked. "Wow that IS pretty smart. I guess you can come up with pretty good ideas sometimes Ash. You could've fooled me."
He glared at her but simply responded with an imitation of Pikachu. "Pika pika, Pikachu! That will be my signal for if I'm in trouble.
"Ooh, ooh! I can sound like an Axew." Iris bounced up. As everyone turned their attention to her, she raised her voice high pitched and did an adorable impression of Axew. "Axew!"
Upon mention of its name, Axew poked its head out of her hair and blinked its huge red eyes at her in confusion. "Axew?"
"Awwww, how cute," Misty cooed, clasping her hands together at the adorable sight.
Cilan tweaked his bow tie again and did a little twirl, directing everyone's attention toward him. "I myself can do a superb impression of Pansage." He cleared his throat. "Pansage," he said in a scratchy voice like the grass monkey.
Iris giggled at the impression.
"And I'll just sound like myself. Well, a Meowth 'dat is." Meowth cleared his throat too. "Meeeeeoooowwwwth~" he sang.
Misty sweat dropped. "Well that works, but with a bit less singing." She looked at the group with determination burning in her eyes. "You guys ready for this?"
They all nodded a single, eager nod
Undercover in Unova Ch 17
"I wish my hat wasn't all messed up. It would have added to the outfit to make me more inconspicuous. Stupid robot," Misty grumbled as she made her way casually over to the fence, where the Rockets had begun to take notice to her but didn't move from their post. She fingered the card key in her jacket pocket that Meowth had given her, remembering back to the conversation that had taken place before she left the bush.
"Wait, you can't get past 'dem guards without some identification," Meowth was saying and pulled a card key out of seemingly nowhere. "Here, 'dis is a card key 'dat all members have to show 'dey're a part of Team Rocket." He handed her the card.
Misty looked at the card uneasily. 'Where in the world was he holding that this whole time?' She took it anyways and put it in her pocket before looking at everyone. "Keep an eye out for the signal guys, and then you know what to do."
They all nodded but Misty noticed that Ash looked like something was bothering him.
"We'll get Pikachu and Ducklett back, don't worry," she soothed.
"I know," he said but frowned. "Just... Be careful, okay Mist?" His voice was gentle and full of concern, a tone that surprised Misty. "Don't get used as the bait again."
Memories of Team Rocket using "drastic measures" by making her the bait and directing her friend's attacks to hurt her came flooding back to her mind. She recalled how when it was all over, Ash had looked so concerned and relieved that she was okay.
She smiled and winked at him. "Don't sweat it, I'll be fine. I'll be back out with Ducklett and Pikachu before you know it."
Pulling out of her memory, Misty reached the entrance and two Rocket guards stood at attention. Before they could inquire about whom she was or what she was doing, she pulled the card out of her pocket and flashed it in front of their faces. They simply nodded with a bored look. Acting as if her heart wasn't hammering so hard that she swore they could hear it, she walked confidently past them.
Before she was fully out of earshot she heard one of the guards mutter something to the other about Team Rocket having attractive new members. She shuddered and tried to ignore what was said. 'That guy had to be like 10 years older than me,' she thought, highly disturbed. Banishing the thought from her mind, she pushed her way inside the door and entered the base.
She strode through the long hallway inside, her eyes grazing all of the closed doors. 'I can't just go through every room or the Rockets will get suspicious. I need to find the Pokemon and get out as soon as possible.' Passing by one door, she heard voices coming from inside. She stood outside of the door to listen.
"We finally stole that Pikachu that we had been after for four years," a voice that Misty recognized as Jessie's said.
"And we captured a Ducklett with it," James added.
A deep voice rumbled with a tone of annoyance going on anger. "You mean to tell me that you sent me no Pokemon for four years because you had been after a PIKACHU? We could take a trip to the Viridian Forest in Kanto and capture a whole group of them."
"This Pikachu is very special sir, more powerful than any other Pikachu. Believe me when I say that it was worth the wait," Jessie said.
She heard the man with the booming voice sigh. "Fine and what about the Ducklett?"
"Oh that's just one of the other twerp's Pokemon that we stole at the same time," James explained.
There was silence for a moment before the deep voice was heard again. "Very well, the strength of these Pokemon will be tested later. In the meantime, get back to Nimbasa City where you belong!"
"Yes sir," the two answered hastily before their footsteps could be heard heading toward the door. Misty rounded a corner before they left the room to avoid being seen and recognized by them. Sighing in relief, she looked down the hallway of the corner she had turned to see a Rocket standing guard in front of a door.
'It's a long shot but I might as well try,' she thought and strode over to him confidently, trying to look professional. "Is this where the Pokemon are being held?" She asked.
"Yeah," he answered, narrowing his eyes at her.
Misty didn't back down. "I need to see some of the recently captured Pokemon, boss's orders," she stated.
The man crossed his arms. "The boss told me not to let anyone but himself in this room. Why would he tell you to come in without informing me?"
"I don't know because I didn't question his orders." She narrowed her eyes dangerously. "And neither should you."
He hesitated for a moment before gaining an expression of unease and stepping aside. "Very well, go on in."
She nodded curtly to the guard and entered the room, closing the door behind her. Inside, the room was dark but with enough light to see where she was going with the faint outlines of cages along the walls and the shadows of Pokemon moving inside of them. Squinting against the darkness, she continued down the rows until a cage by itself in the very back, illuminated by light filtering down from a small window caught her attention. Upon walking closer, she saw that Pikachu and Ducklett were inside. They became ecstatic upon noticing her.
She kneeled down in front of the cage and held her finger to her lips in a hushing manor. "I'm going to get you out of here but keep it down so you're not heard."
They nodded and put a lid on their excitement. Getting back to her feet, she tossed a Pokeball, sending out Momo.
"Alooo~" it sang as it appeared.
"Momo, use your Water Pulse through that little window, but try to keep it as quiet as possible," Misty whispered.
The Pokemon aimed up to the window and did as it was directed, breaking the glass and launching the attack through to the outside with a powerful force. "Great, that should be good enough. Return Momo." She returned it to its Pokeball before swiftly finding something to hide behind and wait.
After crouching down for a few minutes that felt like hours, a crash was heard on the far side of the building, making it tremble slightly from the shockwaves. More explosions were heard and suddenly the door crashed open and the guard stood in the doorway, his eyes searching the darkness. Before he could take a step into the room to search for her, another Rocket member ran up to him.
"Come on," he said, "Giovanni wants us all to deal with the invaders."
"Ah yes, finally some excitement." The guard grinned, glancing in the room a moment more before just forgetting about Misty and closing the door, running off with the other Rocket.
Misty waited until she could no longer hear footsteps rushing through the hall and could instead only hear the rhythmic explosions and vibrations from the other side of the base. Finally, she got up and began fiddling with the lock, trying to find a way to open it. "Staryu, break the lock with your Rapid Spin," she said and sent it out.
It spun and broke the lock off of the cage, making the door swing open with the impact. Pikachu and Ducklett leaped out and practically glomped Misty. She giggled quietly as the two stood on her shoulders, nuzzling her.
"Alright Ducklett, I need you to carry Pikachu up to that window and carry both of you out of here," Misty said.
They looked at her in bewildered worry.
"Don't worry, after you two get away, I can just run out with the other Rockets to pretend like I'm helping out with the conflict and then just sneak away. But you two need to get out of here now."
They nodded reluctantly as Ducklett then grabbed Pikachu with its feet and began to fly up toward the window. But before they could reach it, a powerful spark of electricity flickered next to them, which Ducklett narrowly avoided.
"I'm afraid that you aren't going anywhere." The low booming voice that Misty had heard before sounded somewhere behind her.
Her heart stopped. 'I've been discovered!'
She spun around to see Jessie and James flanking a man with menacing eyes and a Persian beside him. In front of the group was a Rhyperior, a Magmorter and...
'A Zapdos?!' Misty gasped inwardly. 'How in the world did Team Rocket get their hands on a Zapdos?!' She stared at the electric bird in awe and realized that it must have been the one that shot the electricity at Ducklett and Pikachu, who had now landed. The Pokemon stood in front of Misty protectively, Pikachu's cheeks sparking.
"I don't think you realize the severity of your situation," the dark man stated, his cold eyes sending chills down Misty's spine.
She realized that there was no point in trying to deny anything since she had been caught trying to free the Pokemon. "How did you know?" She asked.
Jessie smirked at her with narrowed eyes. "Oh, we have our ways."
'This is bad, I could probably take down Rhyperior and Magmorter but how could I take down a Zapdos with all water Pokemon?' She was grateful that she had left Togetic behind with Iris since things were starting to fall apart. Looking up toward the window, she took a deep breath and screamed at the top of her lungs, "Seel Seel, Seel Seel!"
Ash and Cilan were directing their Pokemon as they battled against the many Rockets’ Pokemon. Soon after attacking the base, the members flooded out like a swarm of Beedrill protecting their hive.
'What's taking Misty so long?' He wondered in irritation and worry. He wanted her to get out of there quickly for more reasons than one. "Keep up your attacks guys!" Ash encouraged. He and Cilan had sent out all of their Pokemon for the attack; they needed all of them to fight off the grunts.
A single cry was heard above all of the fighting. "Seel Seel, Seel Seel!"
Ash's heart plummeted as he heard the signal that he assigned to Misty being used. Something was wrong. He spun to face Cilan. "Cilan, Misty's in trouble!" He yelled.
Cilan met his gaze. "I know Ash but that's Iris's job, we have to keep making a distraction."
As if prompted, Ash caught sight of Iris swinging toward the base on a vine swifter than he had ever seen her swing. Although she was getting help, Ash still longed to go with Iris to help Misty himself. As they were about to get back into the heat of battle, another cry sounded.
Cilan and Ash exchanged a wild glance. "I thought Meowth was safely hidden!" Ash cried.
"I thought so too," Cilan said.
"Meeeeeeoooowth!" He called again.
"I'll go help Meowth, you stay here and keep up the distraction," Cilan told Ash before looking out at his Pokemon. "Pansage, come with me; the rest of you, keep up your attacks!" When Pansage made his way over to Cilan, the two ran off in the direction of Meowth's voice, which was back somewhere the way they had come.
Ash clenched his teeth together as he stared in the direction of the base. "Come on you two," he muttered.
Everyone in the room, including Giovanni, looked at Misty like she was a nut case as she screamed the imitation of the Pokemon. 'Perfect, that's exactly what they need to think.'
"Has she got Beedrill in her brain?" James sputtered.
Giovanni shook his head slowly before staring Misty down. "You're coming with me."
"Not without a fight," Misty said and held up a Pokeball. "Let us go or I'll force my way out."
Giovanni chuckled darkly. "I'd like to see you try little girl."
Misty bared her teeth at his remark before sending out Gyarados. It roared menacingly upon release, making Jessie and James cringe but not even affecting Giovanni's expression.
"Gyarados, use Hydro Pump!"
The beast's jaw gaped even wider and a torrent of powerful water escaped its maw and headed toward Rhyperior and Magmorter.
Giovanni didn't look the slightest bit worried. "Zapdos, Thunderbolt," he commanded coolly.
Zapdos did as it was ordered and sent electricity up the water and to Gyarados, taking the hit from Hydro Pump itself, which barely produced any damage. Gyarados, on the other hand, was hit hard. It roared in agony as the electricity surged through its body and sent it crashing to the ground, fainted.
"Gyarados!" Misty cried and ran to her fallen beast, wincing as the sparks that were still surging from its body buffeted her.
Giovanni grinned. "Are you ready to give up or must I hurt more of your Pokemon?"
Misty glowered at him. "I'll never give up!"
They both snarled at Giovanni as he slowly approached Misty, who was still bent over her Pokemon. Reluctantly, she returned Gyarados and leaped up again with fire in her eyes, holding a Pokeballs. "Go Momo!" She sent out Alomomola to join Staryu; she didn't send Psyduck out for its own protection. She could only pray that that it would stay in the Pokeball this time.
"Use your most powerful moves, all of you!" Misty ordered with a look of wild determination, her eyes burning like a turquoise fire.
Momo and Ducklett used Water Pulse, Staryu went with a Bubblebeam, and Pikachu used Thunderbolt.
As the attacks rushed toward the three Pokemon, Giovanni didn't even blink. "Thunder."
Zapdos began to illuminate with electricity as a deep rumble was heard outside. The room was swallowed in complete darkness and Misty spun around to see that dark clouds had suddenly formed outside. Right as the attacks hit the three Pokemon, a huge flash of lightning crashed through the ceiling and struck, barely missing Misty. She covered her eyes with her hands as the overwhelming light blinded her. When it disappeared and the sky turned normal again, she slowly opened her eyes. When she did, horror chilled her bones as cold as a Blizzard attack.
Staryu and Momo lay on the ground with electricity sparking from their bodies, knocked out cold with the devastating hit. Pikachu and Ducklett were still standing, having somehow avoided the Thunder attack. Misty's knees crumpled beneath her and she collapsed, leaning over her fallen Pokemon with forlorn eyes. 'It's so powerful...' She trembled uncontrollably as she saw the condition her Pokemon were in.
She hardly noticed that Giovanni had walked over to her until his shadow fell upon her. "None of this would have been necessary if you would have come with me peacefully," he stated coldly. "I can't let you leave. Jessie and James informed me that you had deceived us even before this. You know too much about our plans." His voice turned threatening enough to scare a Squirtle out of its shell.
Misty's blood ran cold. Her being the one to sneak inside the base was a mistake.
"I'll take your Pokemon off your hands for you and heal them," he went on. "We'll take much better care of them than you did." He chuckled.
Misty stared at her Pokemon miserably as she returned them to their Pokeballs. She felt numb with horror, losing the will to fight back.
All of a sudden, Iris swung in through the gaping hole in the roof and landed beside Misty, glaring in defiance at Giovanni. "Leave Misty alone!" She yelled.
"Axew!" Axew leaped out of Iris's hair and onto her head, mimicking its trainer's actions.
"And you think that you can stop me?" Giovanni laughed.
"Oh, I know I can!" Iris said and tossed two Pokeballs. "Excadrill, clear the way with Drill Run, Emolga, use Discharge on anyone around us!"
The Pokemon did as they were ordered and slammed through Rhyperior and Magmorter, bowling them over as Zapdos flew up to dodge the attack. The Drill Run kept going and burst through the door, making their escape route bigger. Emolga shocked the human members of Team Rocket.
"Come on, now's our chance," Iris said and looked down at Misty but the redhead didn't budge; she just stared into space with the same forlorn expression. Stifling a growl of impatience, Iris grabbed Misty's hand and yanked her off of the ground and began dragging her along as she ran, forcing her to run with her. Ducklett and Pikachu followed close behind.
Giovanni finally began losing his cool as he recovered from being electrocuted. "After them," he snarled at his Pokemon and Jessie and James, who all followed in a hurry.
Iris and Misty rushed through the halls as they headed for the entrance with Excadrill in the lead to knock people out of the way, Emolga floating beside them, and Pikachu and Ducklett riding on Misty's shoulders.
"I see it! Just a little farther," Iris said breathlessly as the entrance came into view.
"Stop them!" Giovanni yelled.
Rocket members suddenly swarmed through all of the doors that lined the hallway and in from the entrance, surrounding them.
"There's so many of them..." Misty murmured.
"They're no problem for Excadrill," Iris said. "Excadrill, plow through them with another Drill Run."
As Excadrill rushed toward the other Rockets, a group of them sent out Pokemon; some being water, grass, and fire types. Its attack didn't do much against the water and grass types as they resisted.
"Attack!" The Rockets simultaneously ordered and their Pokemon shot attacks that knocked Excadrill out.
"Excadrill!" Iris cried and ran to her Pokemon.
Misty grimaced. 'The plan is falling apart and all the Pokemon are just getting hurt. I don't see any way that we can escape.'
But Iris was more hopeful than Misty as she noticed a small window next to them. "Emolga, use Electro Ball to break the window!"
Emolga did as it was directed and broke the window.
One of the Rockets laughed. "What are you going to do? Use Minimize attack and squeeze through the window?"
Iris just grinned before taking a deep breath. When she opened her mouth, out came her Axew imitation. "Axeeeeeeeewww!"
'Where is Cilan?' Ash wondered in irritation as he continued to battle the seemingly endless waves of Rocket grunts. 'Who knew they had this many on their team?'
Shortly after Cilan had left, the sky turned abruptly dark from its clear blue and a humongous lightning bolt crashed into the building. This worried Ash to no end since the lightning had struck where Misty's signal had come from and where Iris had disappeared to come to her aid. He had a horrible feeling that Misty was in grave danger.
It took every ounce of his will power to not rush in and help, abandoning his post. Looking at the Pokemon, he realized that they were becoming very tired and most likely wouldn't be able to keep their battling up much longer.
As Ash began contemplating whether he should stick to the plan or follow his instincts and rush in and help, he heard a shrill cry split the air.
Ash's heart seemed to stop. That was Iris signaling that she needed help, which meant that both she and Misty were in trouble since she had been Misty's backup. Almost relieved that this allowed him to go in and help, he looked at his Pokemon. "Change of plan guys! We're going to force our way into the base. Clear the entrance."
The Rocket members all gained the same bewildered expressions that had been caused before when Misty imitated a Seel.
Before anyone could react, the sound of attacks outside became harsher and nearer. Within seconds, Ash and his Pokemon paired with Cilan's burst into the room. When seeing that they were surrounded, Ash ordered the Pokemon to clear a pathway.
Some grunts had enough sense to move aside while others got knocked down by the attacks as a gap was made to the entrance.
"Come on guys," Ash called to them.
As Iris and Misty escaped the circle and almost made it to the door, a bolt of electricity zapped the floor in front of the door, making the group stop abruptly. Zapdos flew in front of the entrance and glared at them, sparking as if daring them to come any closer.
"Whoa. A Zapdos?" Ash gasped, obviously thinking the same thing that Misty had thought earlier.
The Pokemon stared Zapdos down, prepared to battle, but they looked highly exhausted, Misty noticed with a grimace. They may be able to beat Zapdos but not easily.
Before they could react, Giovanni stepped out of the crowd behind them, making them turn around to face him as he spoke. "You have made a mess of our base. You went through all of this trouble for a Pikachu and Ducklett?"
Ash glared at him. "Those Pokemon are our friends and we would do anything to get them back. Let us go!"
"You are hardly in the position to make demands. Your Pokemon are so exhausted that Zapdos could use a tiny Thundershock and they would fall over," Giovanni laughed. He ignored Ash and the Pokemon as they bristled at his remark and went on. "But I will admit that keeping you kids here will be more of a burden than anything." He hesitated for a moment. "Fine, you are free to leave."
But before any of them could become happy or suspicious at his words, he continued.
"You are all free to go, but you must leave her here." He pointed to Misty.
Ash followed his finger, his eyebrows arching in surprised anger. "What?!"
"She has meddled in Team Rocket's affairs for too long. She knows too much about our plans," Giovanni said.
"What plans?" Misty huffed. "All I ever did with Team Rocket were pointless missions to catch Pokemon that failed miserably."
Giovanni fixed her with his icy gaze. "I won't take any chances. I already made the mistake of underestimating a child a few years ago. I won't allow that to happen again. Either they go and you stay, or none of you can leave."
Ash took a protective step in front of Misty, holding his arms out. "No way, we're not leaving without her!"
"Yeah, we'll bust our way out of here!" Iris agreed.
Misty knew what would happen. They would fight their hardest against the grunts' and Giovanni's Pokemon to fight their way out. They could win, although the chances looked very slim.
'I can't cause any more pain to Pokemon because of my bad choices. I have to stop this now.'
"Ash," she stated firmly, taking out her Pokeballs. He turned to face her and was surprised to find that she was shoving her Pokeballs in his face. "Take my Pokemon and leave, all of you."
"Wh-wha-?!" He looked at her like he didn't know who she was anymore. "I can't leave you here! And I definitely can't take your Pokemon."
She gave him a hard stare. "You can, and you will. My whole trip here was a mistake." She realized upon seeing hurt flash across his features that her words had come out wrong. "My trip was a mistake because it caused my Pokemon so much pain and it is all my fault. Azurill is gone and Gyarados, Staryu and, Momo wouldn't be in their condition if I hadn't resisted capture." Her eyes became pleading. "Please Ash, take my Pokemon and make sure they get healed and sent home to Daisy. There is no way to bust out of here without the Pokemon getting hurt. I'm a failure as a Pokemon trainer and a gym leader."
Ash looked so stricken that it almost broke her heart. "I-I-"
"Pikachupi pika!" Pikachu suddenly yelled and leaped down from Misty's shoulder.
Since Misty heard her name spoken in Pikachu's tongue, she assumed that Pikachu was angry with her but when she looked down at him; his anger was directed toward Giovanni. A strange glow enveloped Pikachu as his cheeks sparked. "Pika..." He growled in a dangerously low voice.
Giovanni simply laughed arrogantly. "You think you can stop me, rat?"
A loud rumble cut off his words and made Misty spin to face the window. Just as she had suspected, the sky had turned dark. Upon glancing at Zapdos, she saw that it wasn't doing anything. Her attention was directed back toward Pikachu. 'Could it be?' She realized that there was a large chance that they would be pelted by the Thunder attack too; she braced herself.
"Togeticu!" Togetic cried and flew in through the window.
Misty shot it a panicked look. "Togetic, get out of here! It's too dangerous!"
It ignored her words and began glowing. Just as a gargantuan flash of lightning crashed through the roof, a protective dome of light surrounded the group. Everyone shielded their eyes against the harsh flash. Misty didn't feel anything; that's all she knew. As the light dimmed and replaced the darkness outside with clear blue once again, Misty gasped at the sight.
The group and all of their Pokemon were inside of a Safeguard bubble while all of the Rocket members and their Pokemon had fainted on the ground, fried comically from the electricity. A black burn was stained into the floor and the hole in the roof was significantly larger than the one Zapdos had made.
"You protected us Togetic, thank you," Misty pulled Togetic into an embrace.
"Amazing," Iris murmured and looked around at the disastrous damage caused.
"What happened?" Ash asked.
"I think Pikachu used Thunder attack. Isn't that right Pikachu?" Misty asked.
Pikachu turned to them with a smile. "Pika!"
"How'd Pikachu learn Thunder?" Ash gasped.
"I think he saw how Zapdos did it," Misty mused.
"Come on, let's get out of here before they wake up," Iris said and headed for the door.
Ash and Misty followed hurriedly out of the base, their Pokemon close behind. As they exited, they passed a fainted Zapdos. ‘Wow! Pikachu was so powerful that it knocked out even Zapdos!’ There were no grunts outside since they had all followed Ash in to surround the intruders so the group was able to escape without any trouble. They made their way into the bushes back the way they had come.
"You guys did amazing; I'll be sure to take you to the Pokemon Center as soon as we get to Nimbasa City. Return," Ash said and recalled all of them to their Pokeballs.
"You really saved the day Pikachu," Misty said with a smile. "I didn't see us all getting out of there in any other way."
Pikachu smiled and leaped onto her shoulder again, nuzzling her. She giggled and petted the Pokemon.
Ash turned to her, his eyes grave as he took a few steps in her direction. Pikachu, seeing the seriousness in his trainer's eyes, leaped down from Misty's shoulder.
Without a word, he grabbed her shoulders in a firm grip as if to keep her in place. "Misty, we need to talk about what happened back there," he said.
"What's there to talk about?" She tried to shrug but with his grip holding her shoulders, it proved to be difficult.
His eyes stared deep into hers, and she found that she couldn't turn away. "Don't ever think that you're a failure as a trainer! We all make mistakes sometimes and we get through it with our Pokemon," he stated, almost angrily.
Misty frowned and averted her eyes as she felt tears threatening to obscure her vision. "But I've done so much wrong during this trip. I lost Azurill because I decided to surprise you with my visit and catch up to you rather than having you wait for me. If I had been with you guys, the Plasma guy probably never would have taken Azurill," she said, swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat and made speaking and breathing difficult. "And after seeing how Zapdos had defeated Gyarados in one move, I knew that it was too powerful to defeat yet I still sent out Staryu and Momo against it. How could my Pokemon ever forgive me? I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't."
He took a hand from her shoulder and cupped her chin, lifting it to hold her face in place and keep her from looking away. "Your Pokemon will forgive you for making a mistake, but they won't forgive you for giving them up," he said. "Promise me that you will never think about leaving your Pokemon again."
Misty then realized that Team Plasma must have gotten to her head. She had felt that her Pokemon would be better off without her and was about to give them up as Ash had said; she would have been no better than the guy who abandoned his Sandile. She still felt horrible but she would feel much better once she could get her Pokemon healed. Nodding slowly, she replied, "I promise."
They stayed like that in silence for a few moments with Ash's gaze beginning to soften. She saw him swallow as his eyes flickered down to his feet uneasily. Meeting her eyes again, he slowly leaned forward.
"Hey, it's Cilan and Meowth!" Iris cried, making Ash jerked back abruptly. His face held a mixture of emotions as he took his hands from her face and shoulder. He turned away to see Cilan and Meowth making their way through the bushes toward them.
Misty blinked rapidly, still feeling the after effects of drowning in his gaze. 'Was he about to...?' She shook her head. He was too dense. He would never make a move like that. Forcing the heavy blush to leave her cheeks at the thought, she turned to meet the returning team members.
"Where were you guys?" Ash asked. "You went to go help Meowth and didn't come back."
"Yeah, and you disappeared while we were supposed to be on watch," Iris said, her hands on her hips as she fixed Meowth with a suspicious gaze.
"Sorry twi'yp, I was trying to find a bettah' lookout post when some Rockets spotted me and grabbed me. 'Dey had me cornered and 'dats when I called for help. I managed to get away before help came and had to run far away till 'dey stopped chasing me," Meowth told the story dramatically, as he usually did.
"Yes, I did find you quite far away," Cilan commented.
Meowth looked at Pikachu and Ducklett. "I see 'dat you succeeded. So I guess everything woy’ked out." He smiled cheerfully.
"Eventually," Iris sighed.
"What had gone wrong? It seemed like such a perfect plan." Cilan arched his eyebrows in surprise.
"I don't know, I had been so careful and yet they found me. Jessie and James were there with the boss so I have the feeling that someone might have tipped them off," Misty said.
"But who? Who else would have known about the plan?" Iris asked.
Misty shrugged. "It was probably that guy standing guard at the door. He seemed pretty suspicious of me."
"Well let's get as far from that place as we can. They might still be after you." Ash shot Misty a worried glance.
"Gladly; but first there's something that I need to do," Misty said.
Everyone looked at her in confusion as she began heading back toward the base.
Ash was the first to run after her. "Misty get back-" he paused, his jaw dropping to the ground at the sight. "-here?" Misty was desecrating the Galvantula robot with her mallet, smashing every limb and destroying their guns that they had irresponsibly left behind. By the time she was done, it was nothing but a pile of junk metal with smoke emanating from it.
She walked back over to the group with a twisted grin that was almost scary as she held the large hammer over her shoulder. "I'm just making sure that they can't pull that trick on us again so easily. Let's go." She put her mallet away and walked past them, humming.
It took the group a minute to recover before following.
"Let's get to Nimbasa already; it's taking ages to get there!" Misty groaned.
"Yeah, I can't wait for my next gym battle!" Ash enthused.
"By the way Mist..."
"Yeah Ash?" Misty blinked at him.
"I'm never letting you put yourself in that much trouble again," Ash said.
Misty smirked, feeling more like her old self again. "Oh really? And you think that you could stop me from doing it anyways?"
"I'd sit on you if I had to." Ash flashed his trademark grin at her.
Misty rolled her eyes but retained her playfulness. "I could easily shove you off."
"You seemed to have a lot of trouble doing that when he rolled on you," Iris piped in and laughed uncontrollably.
Their faces turned scarlet.
"Ugh, don't remind me!" Misty cried. "Ash, the next time you decide to roll on me, I'll send you blasting off like Team Rocket."
Meowth grumbled indignantly at this remark, making the group laugh. They continued down the road to Nimbasa City.
Haven't read the story fully yet and neither am I a PokéShipper, but this story is pretty good. You captured Misty's personality perfectly. Ash is a little OOC, but he is in every ship story around him, because he is as dense as a brick.
Just a couple of little things.
It's Trip, not Tripp
You don't have to mention you POV's if you stay in 3rd perspective. Just a paragraph change usually is enough.
I like your battles and Misty's unfamiliarity with Unova. Keep up the good work.