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So here it is...the results of that crazy conversation:
The Things We Do For Love
Episode 1: The Picture Worth a Thousand Songs
The morning sun shines high over Pewter City, but inside one particular house by the Gym, passersby can hear singing from inside. From the street, the words are unintelligible, but if they listen hard enough, they can make out the sounds of an acoustic guitar accompanying the still unintelligible lyrics. If they decide to come inside the house, they would discover the singer's identity: a brown haired boy around eighteen years old, singing to a crowd of younger children as he strums away on a beautiful yellow brown acoustic guitar.
The last lines of his performance are How will I know? Will her love show? Is she my own true love? With this, he adds a little flourish to finish. The children applaud the song for a moment, especially a girl and a younger boy, both around seven to nine years old.
"That was so pretty!" the girl raves.
"Where'd you learn that song, Brock?" the boy asks, enamored by his big brother's latest song.
"Well... Brock begins, strumming an expectant chord to signal to the other children he is going to be accompanying his own story. "I learned it thanks to a surprise meeting some months ago...." With this, he begins a calm melody as we swirl into a flashback of Ash, Dawn, and Brock walking on a road, with a lake in the distance. The Brock in the flashback is consulting the map.
"Hmm, Hiluna Town should be just on the other side of this lake." he tells the other two.
Ash, meanwhile, is thinking about eating a cheeseburger, hold the onions. He can almost taste the hot beef on the bun, the melty cheese, and the refreshing coolness of the lettuce and tomato all melding together in his mouth, making his mouth water a little. Pikachu gives his trainer a curious look, as if Ash has lost his mind.
They approach the lake, and see a girl with some Pokemon, painting the landscape. Or lakescape. We see Brock's usual reaction, of course. Ash and Dawn sigh, shaking their heads, thinking, here we go again as Brock's eyes turn into hearts. The guitar melody in the background quickly becomes a sultry Spanish tune.
He's about to go and introduce himself, when suddenly, out of nowhere, it seems, another guy approaches her, making the track fall apart and return to its original calm song.
This also seems to get Brock out of his little trance. The other two and Pikachu watch, interested.
"What's going on?" Brock asks.
"Maybe she already has a boyfriend." suggests Dawn.
They keep watching them. "Maybe not a boyfriend, but someone who wants to be her boyfriend. He reminds me a bit of like you, Brock." observes Ash.
This upsets Brock."What do you mean, he reminds you of me? I'm twice as smart as that...that stalker!" he almost yells. "It's obvious that she doesn't care about him! She's just trying to get away. See, he's stalking her!" he points out, a little more calmly. Sure enough, every time the boy approaches, the girl moves away, in an odd game of Meowth and Rattata.
Ash, Pikachu, and Dawn nod. "If he's anything like you, then I agree."
Brock seems not to hear, as he approaches the girl and her "stalker". Just as Brock approaches, he sees the boy glancing in the party's general direction, so he darts behind the bush. The boy, however, brushes off the ensuing rustling as Pokemon noises.
"That was close." Dawn notes.
"No crazy ideas." Ash cautions Brock as he picks up a thick branch and begins sharpening one end into a mouthpiece for a whistle. Not only will it make for some nice music, it would also serve the purpose of a signal if the party needs help or gets seperated, he figures.
Brock peeks from the bush and sees the girl alone with her Pokemon. Taking Ash's warning about crazy ideas to heart, he begins to approach.
"I mustered all my courage and tried not to do anything crazy." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback approaches the girl. "But deep down, I felt like I had a whole flock of Beautiflies in my stomach." The Brock in the flashback breathes deep a few times to quell the uneasy feeling, then says "Nice view out here..." to the girl.
The girl looks up from her painting. "Indeed it is...is this your first time here?"
"I wanted to bring up the other boy, but since we were talking about the lake and its nearby town, I decided against it unless she was the one to bring it up." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback answers "Yeah--we were on our way to Canalave City and decided to take a less traveled route."
Back in the brush, Dawn whispers some encouragement. "Keep it up, Brock!"
"You're doing great!" Ash agrees as he drills some fingerholes in the almost completed whistle. "I don't think I've ever seen Brock talk so calmly to a girl. Usually he just jabbers a bunch of meaningless phrases, or something." he tells Dawn.
"Maybe it has something to do with that other guy." she suggests.
Ash nods. "Probably."
"Finally, I asked a quesion to which I had to know the answer." Brock narrates, as his self in the flashback asks abruptly "What's your name?"
The girl looked up from her painting. "Trista."she starts.
"Ah, Trista. That's such a beautiful name." he replies. "And that's a beautiful painting." he compliments, admiring the lake scene taking shape on the canvas.
"I don't think he'll be calm for long." Dawn sighs.
"Pika pika," Pikachu agrees.
"He's starting to go back to his old self."
Ash looks up. "You're right on that."
"Thank you." says Trista, looking pleased. "I always like it when people compliment my work, although not very many people say the same about my name."
"They should compliment you always! Those people must be jealous they don't have names like yours!" Brock proclaimes, all the while trying oh so hard to keep the urge to do something crazy in check.
"Well, thank you again." Trista smiles. I'm hoping to get my work featured in the arts festival in town."
"A festival?" Brock is excited.
"The Hiluna Festival was started by a group of artists that settled here long ago after fleeing their homelands due to their unpopularity." Trista continues. "With the freedom to practice their art in peace, many styles of art sprung up and flourished. Before long, practitioners of other arts--musicians, actors, writers, and dancers--joined the artists here. The festival grew out of all of the artists' wanting to share their skills without fear of ridicule or persecution."
"Sounds fun!" Brock replies. "And a perfect place for a first date." he mutters to himself.
"What?" Trista is confused. "I didn't get that last thing you said."
In the bushes, Ash, Pikachu and Dawn also catch the last of the conversation. "A festival!" Dawn is excited. "And an art festival, too."She turns to Ash. "That does sound like fun. Let's go!"
Ash nods. "Although with Brock on a date, it might be a bit..."
"Awkward?" Dawn suggests.
"Hmm." Ash nods.
Dawn dismisses it with a wave of her hand. "Brock will be too busy trying to impress her, we won't even know either of them are around."
"I guess so. Although we might have to keep an eye on him, to not make a fool of himself."he sighs. "You know how he gets when there's a pretty girl around. Though he may not be able to say anything if she does date him. He sure didn't know what to say to Temaku."
"A date is just two people, Ash! That wouldn't include us." Dawn explains. "But we'd better hope he doesn't forget his wallet."she adds. "That'd be a recipe for disaster. If it's a festival, she'll be expecting cotton candy or popcorn at the very least. I know I would."
While listening to Dawn, Ash thought how lucky he was that he didn't have to ask a girl to go the festival with him. He'd probably need all his money for snacks for himself. Of, course, and Pikachu, he remembers as he lovingly pets the small electric mouse perched on his shoulder.
"I think it would also be fun if we participated in the festival!" she finishes.
"Hey, you're right!" he agrees. "Pikachu and I will come up with the best performance you've ever seen! Especially in battle!"
"But what are you going to perform?" Dawn asks. She eyes the whistle Ash made. "Play something on your new whistle."
Ash is shocked, but he bravely attempts a rendition of the air 'The Lakes of Hiluna'. While the performance is decent, Brock and Trista hear him too, botched notes and all.
Trista looks toward the bushes, and notices Ash's hat. "Is that your little brother?"she asks Brock. "How cute. If he keeps it up, he might be able to become a fine musician someday."
'I didn't know whether to say if Ash was my brother or not, I was worried about ruining my chances with Trista. She might think I had a really annoying little brother, even though she said Ash was cute, but Dawn came to my rescue, at least that's how it seemed at first' Brock narrates as his self in the flashback looks to see Dawn emerge from the bushes.
"No, they're not brothers."Dawn replies as she steps out from behind the bushes.
"Uh, your sister's spying?"asks Trista. The look on her face signals she isn't very happy.
"Not my sister." Brock hastily assures her. "Just, um, my friend's friend."
"We're all traveling on a Pokemon journey together." Dawn explains.
"Oh. How exciting." She turns to Brock. "Do you play any instrument, Brock? Or do any painting, sketching, sculpting? I guess in your case, knitting, crocheting, and embroidering are out. But acting, cooking, singing, even raising Pokemon. Those are all arts, too. Anything that takes talent. That's why battling Pokemon is also something which can be entered in the festival. You should see Mandi the Astounding. Although I think that's more towards the entertaining the spectators kind of thing, not really the battle itself, I think he's in it for the publicity, but a lot of people enjoy it."
"Mmm, that name sounds familiar." Ash muses. He thinks on this for a moment, trying to remember why the name rings a bell.
"Ha! Brock's cooking is definitely an art!" Dawn smiles, savoring the memories of some of the dishes Bock has made.
"Although against my mom he'd lose. Some dishes, anyway."Ash argues.
This causes Brock to comically fall in distress. Trista just giggles at this before asking "Do you play any instrument at all?"
"Yeah.." Brock stammers. "I play guitar." At this, he takes his instrument from his bag and nervously tunes up.
"My heart was nearly racing as I tuned up that time, I was so nervous." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback nervously tunes.
"Oh, what a pretty guitar!" Trista smiles. "Will you play something for me?"
"Just as Trista asked that, every song I knew seemed to disappear from my memory." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback swallows hard and strums a few uncertain chords. "A-any requests?" he stammers.
"My fingers couldn't even bring themselves to finger a chord, they were shaking so bad." Brock narrates as his flashback self shakily attempts to finger an A minor chord, but can't due to extreme nervousness.
Trista turns to face Brock, and sits on the grass, ready to enjoy the concert--but Brock's trembling concerns her. "Er, are you all right? You look a bit shaken? Are you coming down with something? We wouldn't want anyone else in town coming down with it. Then we might not have a festival if everyone's down with the flu, or something."
Oh, great, now she thinks I'm sick, Brock thinks as he tries to calm himself.
"I don't think I've ever seen Brock this nervous."Ash whispers to Dawn.
Dawn sighs. "This must be true love! The others must just have been crushes. This must be love at first sight. True love at first sight."
Ash nods slowly. She may have a point with Brock, however, Trista looks pretty calm and collected to him, as if listening to Brock play was something she does everyday.
"I really don't think you're feeling too well."Trista says, seriously. "And if you are coming down with something, we'd better do something to stop it now. You can't miss the festival! Here," She takes Brock's guitar, and handed it to Ash. "I know what we'll do, you'll come with me, drink some nice, warm tea, get a bit of rest, and you'll be good as new! I know a few remedies for stopping these things before they even begin. Your friends should come, too. In case you're all carrying it."she gestured to Ash and Dawn, and took Brock's arm, leading him into town. "Of course,"she went on, smiling. "you'll have to promise to compliment whatever pieces I choose to enter in the festival in return! You can't vote for anyone else!"
"I'd never vote for anyone else!" Brock confidently declares.
"I think the only thing he's coming down with is nerves." Dawn giggles.
"I think you're right." Ash agrees.
As Trista takes the Brock in the flashback to town, with the Ash and Dawn in the flashback not far behind, we are jolted out of the flashback by the doorbell "Coming!" Brock calls as he sets his guitar aside, comes to the door, and smiles once he sees who's on the stoop--Ash and Dawn have arrived with pizza for everyone. "Ash! Dawn! Come on in!" he smiles.
"Pizza!!!!" The kids mob both Ash and Dawn as they set some pizza boxes down on the table.
Some minutes later, everyone is eating pizza, save for Brock, who is preparing to play guitar again. "So what happened when Trista took you into town?" the girl asks as she bites into a slice of pepperoni pizza.
"I got checked out and was just fine, so I met up with Ash and Dawn again at the Pokemon Center..." Brock continues. He begins the calm melody again as we return to the flashback. When we rejoin the party in the flashback, Ash and Dawn are in line to get their Pokemon examined. Judging from the size of the line, the Pokemon Center is busy.
"Since Ash and Dawn were busy, I made myself comfy on a nearby couch, retrieved my guitar, wrote "TIPS" on a Styrofoam cup, and just started playing to pass the time." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback begins playing the Gerudo Valley theme. "I started off with instrumentals, but moved on to singing with my songs as more people came to listen..."
We fade to a later scene, where a large crowd of people have gathered to listen to Brock as he concludes another song. He acknowledges his applause, then launches into "Looking Out My Back Door": Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy! Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch. Imagination sets in, pretty soon I'm singing, doo, doo, doo, looking out my back door.
There's a giant doing cartwheels... Ash chimes in from his place in line.
A statue wearing high heels... Dawn also joins in the singing.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn! all three sing along with the guitar. A dinosaur Victrola, listening to Buck Owens, doo, doo, doo, looking out my back door...
Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band! Dawn begins to harmonize with Brock.
Won't you take a ride, on the flying spoon, doo doo doo... a few boys join in.
Wondrous apparition, provided by magician, doo doo, doo, looking out my back door! sing the other patrons in line. Nurse Joy leads the clapping as Brock breaks to solo. At the same time, the crowd swells even more as people run to join in the sing along.
By the time the solo finishes, the whole crowd joins in with the party in four part hamony as Brock continues: Tambourines and elephants are playin' in the band, won't you take a ride on the flying spoon? Doo doo doo...
Bother me tomorrow, today I'll buy no sorrows, doo doo doo, looking out my back door! Trista walks in the room as Brock solos again, and smiles as the entire Pokemon Center sings. Foward troubles, Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy! Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn! Brock slows down a little as the final chorus of Bother me tomorrow, today I'll buy no sorrows! Doo doo doo, looking out my back door! booms through the Pokemon Center.
Ash leads the clapping as Brock finishes the song to thunderous applause and calls for an encore.
Trista stands at the other end of the lobby, applauding. Brock hasn't noticed her walk in. She walks towards him, opening her purse."That was great! I'm glad you're feeling better."she smiles, dropping a few coins into the tip jar all the while.
Ash and Dawn retrieve their Pokemon from Nurse Joy, and return to the lobby."Didn't you notice this is the first time Brock hasn't noticed Joy?"Ash wonders.
Dawn has a look of superiority on her face."Of course not! I told you. It's true love."
"We didn't think we'd see you again so soon." Ash says, approaching Brock and Trista. "So, what do you think of Brock's singing?" he asked.
"Wonderful!"she told them. "I think you might just be the person I'm looking for, Brock!"
"I'll show you."she told them.
They walk out of the Pokemon Center, Trista and Brock not noticing the same guy who had been talking to her by the lake. However, Ash, Pikachu and Dawn notice him. Dawn laughs silently at him, and Ash strolls by, Pikachu waving good bye, and Ash turning his cap back, as if wanting to intimidate the boy.
Ash csn't really tell where he is, there are so many pictures in the room. All of them so life like, too, they look like the subjects could just climb out any minute. Some of the landscapes look so real, he thinks he can hear the sea and the sounds of the fields, even smell the flowers. The sculptures look just as realistic, as if they could come alive at any moment.
"You really are a good artist." observes Dawn. "I'm sure you'll win this festival with no problem."
"Thank you."Trista replies "What do you think, Brock?"
"Um, you'll win for sure." Brock stammers, still a little nervous.
Trista smiles. "The winning artist will paint a mural for the Pokemon Center in trompe l'oeil."she explains to them. "It's one of my favorite painting techniques, second only to impressionist. However, I've thought of the perfect performance for the festival." She took another painting, and shows them. It doesn't look like anything they've seen before--just colors and lines on the page.
"Oh, I get it." Ash remarks. He actually doesn't, but he doesn't want to look stupid. "It's really a work of art." Pikachu tips his head, as though trying to see better.
"It's only a practice one. I just need someone to play some songs for me to draw." Trista explains.
"Draw music?" Dawn is intrigued.
Trista nods. "I've tried several instruments, but the guitar seems to be the best. And from what I heard at the Pokemon Center, Brock is the best guitarist I've come across so far. The festival allows multiple entries. I can enter a few of my paintings for the painting competition, and then Brock and I can enter together for the art and music one. So," She turns to Brock. "Will you enter with me?"she asks.
"Uh, sure." Brock replies, half nervous, and half excited over the prospect of performing in public--not only is he performing for a girl, he's also getting a chance to prove to Ash and Dawn he knows more songs than they have seen him perform...
To Be Continued...
Episode 2: The Story of a Friendship
"The next morning, I went right to work helping Trista draw music. Ash and Dawn stayed in the lobby, while we worked." Brock narrates as we look in on the Brock in the flashback tuning up and Trista prepping a canvas.
"Okay, what emotion do you want to portray?" Brock asks. Trista is unsure, so Brock asks a new question: "What colors do you associate with certain chords?"
"Well...play me some chords first." Trista replies. Brock leads off with an A minor. "That reminds me of a deep midnight blue." D major. "That reminds me of a lush green." C major. "That's more of a yellow." This continues for a while: E minor gains the connotation of a pale blue, G major a light pink, B minor a deep green.
"What I didn't realize is that we had uninvited guests watching us." Brock narrates as we zoom over to a familiar trio watching Brock and Trista, through a window, with some binoculars.
"Dere dey are; the older twerp tinks he's a rock star or sometin'" Meowth notes Brock performing as Trista draws his melody.
"Didn't the girl say something about a festival before?" Jessie asks.
"A party?" Meowth is excited.
"Ooh, I can almost taste the party mix now! And, of course, festivals mean people are careless with their money, and drop their change everywhere!" James smiles as he tries not to drool.
"And I'll wager that none of the other guests will look as good as me!" Jessie agrees, as she puts a hand by her face.
"We could sing karaoke!" Meowth suggests. Inspired by this, he frantically looks around for some form of microphone, but the only one availiable is attached to the PA system. Then again, serenading the entire Pokemon Center with very flat and off key renditions of 80's pop songs didn't sound like such a hot idea. But Meowth presses on, starts a techno sounding beat from a radio, then all three Rockets chime in with a very flat performance. Never gonna give you up! Never gonna let you down! Never gonna run around and, desert you! Everyone looks up, wondering who the horrible singer might be, some people covering their ears and saying it sounds worse than...whoever they know is a bad singer.
"I guess it isn't a good idea to sing from the PA system."observes James as all three get pelted with Berries, pies and other food.
They escape outside and sneak in the bushes around the Pokemon Center, until Jessie sees a poster advertising the festival and sweatdrops. "This isn't the kind of party I was thinking of..."
"Hmm," James takes a look at the poster. "Apparently, the winner for each competition wins at least ten thousand dollars in prize money, and the winner for the painting, also gets to draw a mural for the Pokemon Center! Not to mention, depending on their, um, specialty, it seems, they win a year's supply of pastels, oils, watercolors, etc. Ten thousand dollars! We could finally finish paying our dues!"
Jessie hits him on the head. "Is that all you would do with ten thousand dollars?" she demands.
"Well, no," James admits. "I would also pay the boss all the money I owe him, for one thing. And then, what's leftover, I could probably pay for a vacation at the beach, and stay in a five star hotel!"
They sneak around a little more, where they return to the window where they originally saw Brock and Trista. Meowth, meanwhile, sees a few of Trista's finished paintings. "Ooh, what nice pictures! Aldough dey don't look like anyting, I wish I knew how to draw like dat!"
We fade into a scene of Meowth drawing the melody of a player piano as Giovanni looks on. "Just tink, if I drew da melodies of songs da boss likes, he'll have dem framed!" The Giovanni in Meowth's daydream pets Meowth as he takes the finished painting and hangs it on the wall in his office.
"And den, I'll go on tour to show off my woik! We'd be rolling in dough from my art!" We see Meowth unveiling the same picture in an art gallery as a crowd applauds.
"Of course, you guys would be my managers..." Meowth acknowledges as we see Jessie, dressed in a skirt and blouse, wearing eyeglasses, on the phone presumably with a museum curator, and James dressed in an elegant uniform, playing tour guide through a gallery of Meowth's work. "But most importantly, da boss' office would be crammed with my woik!" We see a scene of Giovanni's office with Meowth's paintings completely covering the walls. Persian tries to slather one painting with turpentine, but Giovanni shoos her away before returning to the Rockets watching Brock and Trista.
"But, Jessie, how are we going to enter? You have to enter some kind of art to win the prize." James points out, scratching his chin. "All I can draw are stick figures, and I can't even play the piano!"
"Then we'll just have to borrow it, won't we? All we have to do is find one that would be sure to win."she replies.
As Brock and Trista conclude another picture, Trista asks "You know, I wonder what color your voice would be...I'm sure you can sing as well as you play. Probably better. Or do you have stage fright?"
"I was surprised at this--Trista wanted me to sing, even after I had gotten very nervous before?" Brock narrates as his self in the flashback stammers "Uh, no," he assures himself. "No stage fright." He then addresses Trista. "Okay...is there a particular song you want me to sing?"
"Oh no...just sing the first thing that comes to mind--it doesn't even need to be words." Trista smiles as she preps her easel again.
Brock thinks for a moment, then replies. "Okay...gotta warm up first before we do a picture proper." He clears his throat and starts singing "Oh-way-oh-wah..." down the musical scale.
Trista listens to the warm up for a moment, then when Brock finishes she interjects "I see your voice as being silver."
"Silver?" Brock is interested.
"It doesn't have as much power behind it as a gold voice, but it is still very enjoyable to hear." Trista explains.
Note to self: look into voice lessons. Brock thinks. He figures if he had a gold voice, girls would like him more.
Now...sing something with words while you play this time." Trista instructs as she readies her paintbrush.
Brock nods, returns to his waiting guitar, and starts playing a slow, relaxed tune: Take a melody, simple as can be, give it some words and sweet harmony. Raise your voices! All day long now, love grows strong now, sing a melody of love, oh love...
Meanwhile, in another part of the Pokemon Center...
"Dawn?" Ash asks as Dawn returns with food.
"Hm?" Dawn answers, as she sets the food on the table.
"Have you thought about what you'd like to do for the festival?" Ash begins as he invites Pikachu aboard his shoulder.
"Well..." Dawn is unsure. "I don't know what I'd be able to do...I'm not sure what they mean for unique battle styles, but let's see, they have music, drawing, sculpting, although I overheard someone say they were going to do a sculpture of nothing but diamond."
"Wouldn't that be real expensive?" Ash winced, imagining the price.
"It would probably be a very small sculpture."
"They'd have to be filthy rich otherwise."
Suddenly, Ash spots some paper and boxes of crayons lying on a table. "Say..." He grabs a few sheets of paper and a box of crayons and sets them before Dawn. "Try and draw a picture of Piplup for me. Let's see how well you draw."
"Can I have him model?" Dawn asks as she reaches for the Poke Ball with Piplup inside.
"No, try and do it from memory." Ash replies. He watches as Dawn goes to work.
A few minutes later, Ash grimaces at the terrible stick figure of Piplup on the paper. "Okay, so art is out."
"Why don't you give it a shot?"suggests Dawn, handing Ash more paper and crayons.
"Uh, I can't draw." he admits. "but I'll give you props for trying to do it from memory."
"I would've done better if I let Piplup model." Dawn smiles. "Try to draw Pikachu."
Pikachu perks up, as he waits for Ash to start.
"Um..." Ash isn't sure where to start, so he draws Pikachu's eyes, nose and mouth, and moves on to the ears.
"It's useless." he sighs as he shows Dawn a stick figure Pikachu that looks only vaguely like a Pikachu some minutes later.
"That's worse than mine. It looks nothing like Pikachu, and he was modelling."
Pikachu runs to look at his portrait, and scratches his head in confusion. Is that supposed to be me? he asks himself, out loud it's only heard as "Pika?"
Next, Ash tries to gauge Dawn's musical talent by teaching her how to play the Pokeflute. While he has the advantage over her (as he has been playing for three years), Dawn looks nervous as she takes the long recorder-like instrument from Ash.
"Okay..." Ash thinks for a moment about what song he could teach Dawn to play. "Just follow, my fingers, okay?" he tells her. Dawn nods and listens as Ash performs the first two measures of "Ode to Joy" on his own instrument. Dawn tries to follow along, but her version is all squeaky, airy, and filled with wrong notes. Pikachu takes Ash's hat and pulls it over his ears. Several people grimace and turn towards Ash and Dawn. Joy walks by. The Chansey with her looks upset. "Excuse me, you can't practice here. We have a lot of Pokemon who need some peace and quiet."
"I guess music isn't my strong point," Dawn says.
"You're blowing too hard." Ash tells her. Dawn tries again. "Blow a little harder."he tells her.
Nurse Joy's Chansey comes by, ready to double slap both of them, but they run out of the Pokemon Center before it reaches them.
Once outside, Ash pockets both Pokeflutes. "Why don't we try singing instead?" he suggests. With that, he hums and makes a few purring noises to warm up.
Dawn clears her throat and attempts a song. Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high.... While decent, it's not a Shinouian Idol worthy performance either.
Ash, meanwhile, is a bit nervous about how surprisingly good Dawn is at singing--he can carry a tune, but needs an instrument to know what that tune is. Maybe Dawn could sing while he plays the Pokeflute, he figures. "Maybe if we practice we could get something." he says. "I could play the Pokeflute, and you could sing. With my playing, maybe people can overlook your singing a bit."
"What is that supposed to mean?"she asks, darkly.
"That we might have a shot at winning."he suggests.
"Hmph." Dawn looks away.
With his master and Dawn occupied, discussing ideas for the festival, Pikachu decides to go back inside the Pokemon Center. Brock and Trista are taking a break for lunch, and so far, he doesn't have anything to do for the festival.
Then an idea hits him: dancing!
He sneaks back outside and swipes Ash's CD player, a couple of CDs, and speakers from his bag, hooks them up (without Ash knowing, as he is absorbed in his conversation with Dawn), then proceeds to do a tap dance to the jazzy melody that plays. Team Rocket couldn't have done a better job of taking Ash's things.
Brock looks over and smiles--he didn't know Pikachu was such a good dancer! "So, do you have any Pokemon at all?" he asks after watching Pikachu for a while.
"Why yes..." Trista motions for a Squirtle to come closer. "Say hi to my new friend, Brenna." she tells it.
"Squirtle!" Brenna replies.
"Hello!" Brock smiles back as he sets his guitar aside and stretches. Before he can pet Brenna, a growl gets his attention. He looks around for Ash, who is the one who would usually have his stomach growling, before he sees Ash isn't there, and remembers they haven't eaten since breakfast. "Say, would you be interested in...lunch and a show?" he asks Trista as he unloads his cooking gear: a hot plate, silverware, a battery operated cooler and utensils.
"Oh, I am starving! What kind of show?" Trista asks.
"Would you be interested in storytelling?" Brock replies as he measures some flour for okonomiyaki. "I came from a large family, and the guaranteed way to get all my siblings to sleep was to tell their bedtime stories myself."
"Really?" Trista is impressed. "Were you the oldest? Telling stories for all the younger ones?"
"Yeah--I did pantomime, I incorporated the guitar, I did voices...the kids loved every minute of it!" Brock smiles as he starts cooking some pork on the hot plate. As the pork goes on the hot plate with a sizzle, a tiny cry gets Brock's attention. Happini! He looks in the meshy side pocket on the left side of his pack and retrieves a small blue bundle decorated in smiling suns. A pink humanoid Pokemon is inside, crying softly. Brock carefully slips the tiny Pokemon from the bundle and cradles it in his arms. "There now...Daddy's here." The crying then turns to a contented giggle.
"How sweet!" Trista exclaims, her eyes shining. "I didn't know you had a Happini! I think they're the cutest Pokemon!"
Brenna looks at her, looking a little resentful. However, Trista didn't seem to notice. Right now she only seemed to have eyes for Brock's Happini.
"I hope you won't come across an Oval Stone anytime soon."she said. "Even though I think Chansey is also cute, I like Happini much more." She reached into her purse and took out a small glass egg shaped ornament, and gave it to Happini. "I'd like you to have this." she said to it.
"Thanks." Brock replies, although he thought it looked a bit expensive. He dangles it before Happini, making it jingle. Happini laughs in response. "Will you tell Trista thank you for the new toy?" he coos.
"Pini!" Happini chirps.
"You're welcome! I bought it during the Princess Festival last year." Trista replied. "I have a thing for shopping, especially on that particular day, so it's a good thing my paintings sell." Happini's eyes grow wide at the mention of princesses. "Did you hatch it from an egg?" she asks him. "Or capture it, or someone give it to you as a Happini already?" she asked, still not taking her eyes off Happini.
"I won the egg as a prize in a Pokemon contest."he told her.
"It must be nice, taking care of a Pokemon egg. It's a closer bond between the Pokemon and its trainer. At least, that's what I figure."
"Yeah, I think that, too."
"Are you going to evolve it into a Chansey? Do you want to learn about Pokemon medicine?" she asks.
"I want to become a Pokemon Breeder." he tells her.
Trista takes out her Poke Balls, and her Beautifly and Charmander come out. "This is Iris,"she gestures toward the Beautifly. "And this is Hino."she gestures toward the Charmander. "I'd like your opinion on them. Brenna, too."
"Opinion about what?" Brock asks.
"Everything." Trista replies.
Brock sweatdrops, not knowing what to say. "I didn't want to say anything that could upset Trista. But if I lied, she'd be bound to find out, and would be more upset. But she told me everything about her Pokemon, from what Pokechow she fed them, to when they were out of their Pokeballs." Brock narrates. We see Trista talking as the Brock in the flashback listens. "Naturally, I told her about my team too, over lunch." We see the Brock in the flashback talking as everyone eats.
The scene fades to Brock, Trista, and their Pokemon finishing up lunch. "As we finished up lunch, our conversation turned to families again..." Brock narrates as his self in the flashback cleans up the remains of the food and packs away his cooking gear. "So, what was your family like?" he asks.
"I was an only child." she told him. "Maybe that's why I became so attached to my Pokemon. I never really had anyone else to play with. Except some friends from school, and so forth. How many do you have?"
"Ten." he tells her.
Trista's eyes get as big as saucers. "Oh, wow! That's impossible to imagine! It makes my head spin to think about just five, much less ten! You must know tons of stories to tell all of them!"
Brock thinks for a moment as Trista and her Pokemon wait expectantly--out of all the tales he has learned from all over the world, which one would Trista and her Pokemon love most?
Then he gets an idea: why not one about painting?
"I have just the tale--this is called 'Sora and the Magic Paintbrush'." he explains before clearing his throat.
"I have a feeling I'll like it."smiled Trista. Happini nods in agreement.
"Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, there lived a young girl named Sora. Although her family was very poor, she was still a very happy person; and always sang as she plowed the field with her parents." At this, he sings a few bars from the song he was playing earlier as he pretends to dig dirt. Sing a melody of love, oh love...
Trista closes her eyes for a while, imagining the scene Brock described.
"When she wasn't working, Sora would find some shade beneath a tree..." Brock takes a moment to sit down beneath a palm tree standing by where Trista, Happini, and her team are watching and listening. "and draw pictures of Pokemon in the soil with her fingers." He mimics drawing a Squirtle on the tile floor to illustrate.
"That sounds like me."said Trista. "I used to draw in the soil as well! At least when I wasn't finger painting. Sometimes even on the walls."she admitted, looking a bit embarrassed. Her Pokemon agreed.
Brock just chuckled before getting up and going on. "Although Sora didn't have enough money to buy a paint brush, all who saw her drawings in the dust were filled with awe and wonder at her skill. People would come from the village to see her drawings before the wind or rain blew them away.
One day, as she worked in the fields..." Brock pauses to mimic digging in dirt again. "she grew very tired, although it was still early morning, and fell asleep." He curls up on the floor and pretends to doze before getting up again. Brenna is about to get a blanket and cover him just before Brock sits up again. "As Sora slept, Mew appeared to her in a dream and said to her..." He switches to a slightly French sounding young female voice. "Sora, the Great Lord Arceus has heard of how much the people love your art, so I want to give you a gift." As himself, he continues. "Mew conjured a beautiful gold paintbrush and offered it to Sora." He pretends to offer something to Trista as he switches to his Mew voice again "Take this magical paintbrush and use it to make people happy."
'Waking up, Sora found a paintbrush in her hand, and realized it wasn't just a dream' Brock looks at his hand in fake surprise. "To see if the magic in her dream was real, Sora first painted a plate full of food" Brock continues, mimicing drawing food with an imagined paintbrush. "She drew meat, nuts, Berries--all her favorite foods. Sure enough, the plate and all the food came to life! Sora ate her fill..." He mimics eating food from a plate a la Ash, "and let her family eat the rest. She then painted a new robe, a lovely blue one she had seen for sale in the marketplace." He proceeds to mimic drawing somthing on himself. "and that came to life too."
"After painting sets of new clothes for her parents as well, Sora felt a little lonely, and decided to draw a Clefairy to keep her company." Brock mimics drawing a Clefary in the air. "As with the other items, the Clefairy came alive too." He switches to his best 'young girl' voice. 'Now I have a Pokemon of my very own!' He continues as himself. "Sora smiled, and named her new friend Lily, after her favorite flower.
The next morning, Sora took Lily and gathered all the other farmers and fisherman in the village--it had been a rough year, and much of their crops were destroyed. Sora took the gold brush and painted a feast." He mimics drawing food again as he lists food. "Wild rice, fish, Berries, fresh vegetables--there was plenty of food for everyone to have a generous portion and enough left over for a week. The people were touched by Sora's kindness, and wished blessings on her family." Happini licks her lips at the thought of eating as much food as her "daddy" describes.
"Before long, word of Sora and her magic paintbrush spread far and wide, until it reached the Gym Leader of the next town--who ruled the town with an iron fist." Brock continues. "Piqued by Sora's talent, he brought her to the Gym and demanded she paint him a picture of Articuno." As he says this line, he shakes his finger at an imagined person, as if Sora is really there. "Sora refused..." He stands and shakes his head no, now in character as Sora. "and refused to even lift her brush."
"In his anger, the Gym Leader ordered Sora arrested..." Brock walks around with imagined handcuffs on his hands.
Trista gasps. "Oh, no!"she exclaims.
"and she was thrown in a huge dungeon with no food or water. But Sora didn't worry, every day she painted enough food for herself and Lily." Brock mimics painting again.
"So, the Gym Leader's going to keep Sora prisoner?" asks Trista. "Maybe at the end, she should draw them a powerful Pokemon, but so powerful, and all that, that they REALLY regret having asked her to draw it."she added vehemetly.
"Patience, I'm getting to a good part." Brock assures Trista. Trista smiled, looking eager to hear it.
"One morning the Gym Leader's attendant happened to see how Sora managed to paint food inside her cell. He flew into a rage and called all the town's soldiers together, ordering them to kill Sora, Lily, and any prisoner that tried to help them escape." Brock draws a finger over his neck to illustrate killing something as he says this line.
"But Mew had again come to Sora in a dream the night before to warn her, so as soon as she heard the soldiers coming, Sora painted a rope leading outside." Brock mimics climbing down a rope as he says this. "Once on the ground, she painted a Ponyta and rode away with Lily into the morning sun." He "gallops" around the table, as if riding a Ponyta himself. Happini and Brenna giggle at just how realistic Brock looks "riding" an imagined Ponyta.
"Oh, wow," says Trista. "I guess now she has two Pokemon." she adds.
"The soldiers saddled their own mounts and chased Sora, but no matter how they tried to rope the Ponyta..." Brock continues, mimicing twirling a lasso to illustrate. Trista and her Pokemon are completely entranced. "Their ropes weren't able to catch the Ponyta Sora had drawn. Finally, one soldier tripped over one rope and fell to the ground, dying upon impact. When the attendant and the other soldiers saw that one of their number had fallen, they retreated, and Sora rode on back to her family.
Sora's mom was concerned that the Gym Leader might try again to harm Sora, so Sora painted enough Ponytas for her parents and for carrying what little they owned, and set out for another town. Once they were settled into their new home, Sora supported her family by drawing Pokemon, but the drawings were done without arms or legs to hide the fact that her paintbrush was enchanted." Happini, who is now held by Trista, as Brock tells the story, smiles as Brock mimics painting again. "One day, Sora painted a Chimchar with arms and legs..." Brock continues, mimicing drawing a Chimchar in the air. "It came to life, scampered up the tree, and began tossing fruit at whoever happened to pass that way.
When the Gym Leader of the town heard of this," everyone gasps, or at least Trista does. "he called Sora before him and requested she paint him a safe to store his many jewels." Brock mimics opening a lock on a safe to illustrate this. "Not being one to be satisfied with just one safe, the Gym Leader asked for more safes to be painted. "Unfortunately, the combined weight of all the safes made the Gym collapse." Brock continues." A crash comes from one of the back rooms to seemingly illustrate this.
Everyone turns to look where the sound came from.
"Oh, wow, Brock, you REALLY do know how to tell stories. Did you plan this ahead of time?" Trista asked. "Ask someone to crash something as soon as you got to that part? Or maybe send one of your Pokemon?"she asked. Trista looked a bit confused. After all, Brock hadn't left the room at all.
"That wasn't me. I didn't plan for that to happen."he protested. Maybe someone else had been listening or watching and decided to add the crash for good effect. If it had been Ash or Dawn, he didn't know if he'd be grateful for the doing it at the right time, or upset that they had interrupted.
"If it wasn't you, should we go investigate?" Trista asks. A Chansey passes by, blushing as she cleans up cleaning supplies. "Chan chan chansey..." she giggles, a little embarrassed that her supplies fell over right when Brock mentioned a crash.
"It's all right--it added a nice sound effect to my story." Brock assures the Chansey. Trista smiles, relieved over what the crash actually was. The Chansey listens as Brock continues "Sora and her family then went on to another town, but word of Sora's skill had spread there too. The Gym Leader of that town loved to sail, and asked Sora to paint a ship for him. Sora complied, painting a huge ship made of pure gold and studded with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, pearls, and many other gems." Brock mimics painting a large ship as he describes the ship in the tale.
No one notices Team Rocket tiptoeing out of sight, finding a new stack of supplies to hide behind.
"No sooner had the ship been completed and sent out to sea, did one selfish attendant request that Sora paint a large storm." Brock continues, "but before Sora could do this, Manaphy, the guardian of the sea, heard the attendant's request, and sent a great storm. The lightning flashed..." Brock turns a flashlight on and off to simulate lightning. "the thunder rolled..." He rattles a sheet of aluminum to make thunder. "and the beautiful ship disappeared, never to be seen again.
Fearing backlash from the townsfolk, Sora and her family moved on to another town...people say that if you see a female figure wearing a cloak of many colors and carrying a golden brush; you'll know that Sora has come to your town, seeking to grant a wish for you...the end." Brock concludes. He takes a bow as everyone applauds.
"Wow, that was amazing. I've never known anyone who's told that story so well before!" Trista raves. All Trista's Pokemon agree. "Maybe I wrong on you being a good musician. You're an even better actor! And you're great with the Pokemon."she continues. "Not to mention a great cook. None of them have eaten this much since...ever. Me, either for that matter." Trista notes Pikachu dancing, and how he is beginning to attract a crowd. "Isn't that your friend, Ash's Pikachu?" Trista asks.
"Yeah. I didn't know he could dance. At least not too well." Brock admits
"Well, he has a very talented Pikachu." Trista looks amused as she watches Pikachu dance. "Don't tell me Ash dances like that as well."
"I never really paid much attention whenever Ash danced." Brock replies.
"I didn't realize I was about to have competition for Trista's friendship..." Brock narrates as we see the rival watching from a window, a jealous look in his eye.
To Be Continued...
Episode 3: A Rivalry, Times Two
Team Rocket watched Brock and Trista through a couple of small holes. Apparently, they were trying to decide which of the paintings they should steal. “It looks like we have plenty to choose from.” Jessie noted, admiring the array of colors each canvas contained.
“But how are we going to be sure which one is going to win?” asked James, bewildered by the variety of reds, blues, yellows, greens, and other colors in the paintings. “We don’t want to choose one that might lose.” he cautions.
“Just leave dat to me.” Meowth smiled, a devious smile that his human companions knew as the look he got when he was plotting something.
“What in the world are the three of you doing?”they heard a young male voice behind them demand. Taken by surprise, they crashed to the ground. When the Rockets shakily stood up again, they saw the same cool trainer who had been trying to get Trista’s attention the first time Brock saw her by the lake standing before them.
“You obviously don’t know who you’re talking to, do you, kid.” James boasted, smugly confident the red jumpsuited trainer before them at least knew what a Rocket uniform looked like.
"Prepare to witness a portrait of trouble!" Jessie began as she grabbed a stray paintbrush and a beret, starting a version of the Rocket motto specially crafted for the occasion.
"And with a side order of a song, make it double!" James agreed, adding a chord from a nearby digital piano for emphasis.
"To protect the picture of devestation," Jessie continued, brandishing the paintbrush like a sword.
"And sing our song all across this nation, James added, adding a flat jazz riff for emphasis.
"To portray all the evils of truth and love," Jessie continued, unaware the dripping paint on her brush was creating a large red splotch on her shoe.
"Our song shall rise to the stars above.." James added, improvising a tune that vaguely sounded like the jazz standard "All of Me'.
“Numbskulls!” said Meowth, getting their attention.
Jessie and James stomped on him. “Never interrupt the Team Rocket motto!” Jessie snapped.
When Meowth got back up, he frantically pointed at the cool trainer. “Haven’t you two noticed he’s no longer listening!” Sure enough, the cool trainer had now taken Team Rocket’s spot spying on Brock and Trista.
“I guess so.” James sighed, getting up from the piano.
“Don’t you see? He’s obviously got a crush on dat painter. He's mad that da rock star twerp is singing with her! If we offer to get da twerp out of the way, we could probably get him to snatch one of the paintings.” Meowth suggested.
“How’s that idiot going to know which painting would be best?” demanded Jessie. “I should be the one who picks it!”
“But we could still use da kid to get the painting.” Meowth pointed out
"Hey, kid,"began Jessie. "bet you'd love to have that twerp out of your way, wouldn't you?"she said to him.
The cooltrainer turns to Jessie, frowning. Whatever you guys are plotting, leave me out of it.
The next morning...
Brock wakes up with a yawn, then rolls over to check on Happini. He notices Croagunk has one hand on Happini's bundle, so he asks "May I?" to avoid getting Poison Jabbed in the hand. Much to his relief, Croagunk lets him pick the bundle up.
Happini laughs when she sees her "daddy". "Morning, sweetie." Brock smiles as he eases her out of the bundle and into his arms. "How are you today?" Happini yawns as she is taken to the facilities.
After a successful potty break, Brock gives Happini a Berry to nibble on. "Start on this while I get ready." Happini obediently nibbles on the Pecha Berry as she hears the ruffle of clothes being changed, the running of water, Brock gargling, the skrishes of a toothbrush, more water running, and ending with Brock returning to the workroom, all dressed and cleaned.
Happini looks to see if Ash and Dawn are awake for a moment as Brock starts on breakfast. She sees Dawn brushing her hair, and Ash starting to stir, likely because Pikachu is static jolting him out of his latest dream of winning the league.
Brock arrives with pancakes and berries for him and Pokechow for his team a few minutes later. Once breakfast is finished and the dishes washed and put away, Brock returns to his guitar and starts tuning up.
Happini's eyes turn to stars when she hears the familiar twangs of the guitar being tuned. My daddy's gonna sing a song! she thinks.
"Okay, sweetie...what song do you want me to sing?" Brock asks as he strums an expectant chord.
"Pini pini pi!" Happini smiles.
"That Spanish song about the rose? Okay..." With that, Brock begins a jazzy melody reminescent of a string bass. Happini, Buneary, Pikachu, Ash and Dawn snap to the beat as Brock sings in Spanish Di mi corazon por poca cosa...di mi corazon por una rosa....por una rosa, por una rosa, por una rosa de pasion...
Yo no comprendi por que esta rosa... Trista joins in as Croagunk decides to keep the beat on a nearby drum set. Se ha de marchitar si es tan hermosa...
Y no me duela, y no me duela, y no me duela el corazon... they both sing together.
Aquel dia gris en que partias... Brock sings.
Al decirte adios me sonreias... Trista echoes.
Pero la rosa, pero la rosa, pero la rosa sollozo... both sing together in two part harmony.
Y mi corazon no desespera... Trista leads the next verse.
Por que de tu amor yo tengo emprenda... Brock echoes.
Aquella rosa, aquella rosa, la rosa que me distes tu... both harmonize again.
Di mi corazon por poca cosa... Brock begins the last verse.
Di mi corazon, por una rosa... Trista echoes.
Por una rosa, por una rosa, por una rosa de pasion! both sing. Por una rosa, por una rosa... Suddenly, Croagunk stops the beat and Brock slows down his melody. Por una rosa, de pasion! Everyone applauds over Brock, Trista, and Croagunk's last interlude.
"Pini! Pini!" Happini calls.
"She says 'Encore!'" Ash translates as he applauds.
"That was great, guys!" Dawn agrees.
"Pikachu!" Pikachu calls. Even though he didn't understand a word of the song, he is still swaying to the beat in his head.
"How did you know that song?" Brock asks as he tunes a little more.
"Well, I took Spanish in school, and that was one of the songs our teacher made us translate for homework." Trista explains as she preps her canvas. "We had to translate the song into English, and then translate our English translation back into Spanish. Needless to say, having to translate songs so many times made me learn their lyrics too."
"You should paint that song you and Brock just sang!" Dawn suggests. "I'm sure it would make a beautiful painting!"
"Okay then...from the top, Croagunk." Brock smiles. After snapping to count Croagunk off, he begins the song again. Di mi corazon por poca cosa...
Team Rocket, meanwhile, is looking in the window again. "Now that's da winnin' painting!"says Meowth as the painting takes shape with a splash of blues, greens, purples, and yellows.
Jessie and James agree. "Now we just have to get the big twerp and the girl out of the way."reminds James.
"And dat's where da cool trainer comes in." Meowth says with an evil grin.
Team Rocket put their plans into action to swipe the painting. Jessie and James dress up in elegant robes, Jessie wearing a veil over her face to look mysterious. Among the few supplies in their balloon, James takes out a crystal ball and some cards. They prepare the table and a tent on a streetcorner, and James keeps an eye out for the rival.
The cooltrainer walks along the street, looking for something to do before the opening ceremony of the festival. He spots the ornately decorated "Fortune Telling--500 credits" sign and sighs. Who believes that stuff anyway?
"Interested in knowing your future?" James intones from the darkness.
"I told you, I don't believe in that stuff." the cooltrainer snaps back.
"Oh, but you haven't seen the skill and beauty of Madame Fortuna!" James replies from the darkness of the tent. The cooltrainer is interested now. Oh, okay--you talked me into it! With that, he deposits a 500 credit bill in the money box and makes his way into the central chamber of the tent, where Jessie, in character as Madame Fortuna, waits before a swirling crystal ball.
"Good luck, Jessie..." Meowth whispers as he continues projecting an image of rainbow swirling gas inside the crystal ball.
"Welcome, young one--what leads you to seek the advice of Madame Fortuna?" Jessie asks. "Is it love? Money? Luck? Health? Or something even deeper?"
The cooltrainer thinks for a moment, then decides to ask a question just for the sake of the experience. "I have this feeling that I'll share my time at the festival with someone special--and I want to know who she is."
Jessie smiles deviously. "So you seek love? The crystal eye will see if there is someone special waiting for you." She closes her eyes and waves her hands before the crystal ball, humming in thought every so often. After a few tense minutes, she replies "Yes...I do see a very special lady waiting in your future..."
"Really?" the cooltrainer gasps excitedly. "Who is she? What's she like?"
Meowth projects a picture of Trista into the rainbow swirling gas as Jessie continues "She is a beautiful girl, with hair like the sun and eyes like the sky. She comes to this festival to share her painting, but deep down, she too wishes for a lover. Could that lover be you?" With that, the image disappears.
"I knew it!" the cooltrainer cries as he gets up from the table. "You guys really can tell fortunes!" He leaves a few credits on the table before departing.
Team Rocket chuckle as they pocket the tips Now it's time to get Trista.
Back at the Pokemon Center...
Happini wakes up from a nap to see Brock atop a ladder, installing a camera. "Pini?" she asks.
"I'm putting these cameras up so if anybody tries to steal these pretty pictures, we'll have video evidence to prove who did it." Brock explains as he finishes wiring a camera.
"All this work for some paintings?" Ash is not impressed at the length Brock is going to to protect Trista's work. Trista had gone for a walk some time before.
"Trista would be very sad if someone took these pictures without asking." Brock assures Happini and Ash.
"Who would want to steal paintings of scribbles and lines?" Dawn wonders as she hands Brock another camera to install.
"Maybe Team Rocket?"Brock points out. "Somehow they always seem to show up, and not just to capture Pikachu."he tells them. "Not to mention someone who just isn't as talented as Trista, and wants to win that contest. Or who just wants to upset her, like that guy who was annoying her the other day."
"Won't she notice all the cameras when she gets back?" Ash pointed out.
Brock finishes the last camera, and climbs down from the ladder. "There! Now we'll know if anyone tries anything sneaky."
Ash and Dawn look skeptical. Really, Brock did do desperate and maybe sometimes humiliating things for girls, they knew, but maybe this was going too far. Then again, for Brock, it might not be far enough. After all, he had gotten the entire group involved when he had agreed to let the kids play with their Pokemon on Kid's Day, and that wasn't the only time, either. They had ended up trying to stop a giant Gengar and Alakazam helping a supersmart girl who was an archeaologist solve a mystery. Maybe the only good thing was that Team Rocket was trapped inside the Gengar. Unfortunately so were Pidgeotto and Onix. Not to mention the entire archeological team.
Brock stood back, making sure that every inch of the room was within camera range. Satisfied, he took everything, and took the ladder and Happini. Ash and Dawn followed out of the room, wondering just what idea might occur to Brock next.
"I thought the security was a great idea..." Brock narrates as the Brock in the flashback returns to the camera control panel. "But when I tried to turn the cameras on, I found there were a few bugs in the system that I forgot to squish." At this, the Brock in the flashback flips the switch to turn the cameras on, but nothing happens. Confused, he tries again, and still nothing happens. He scratches his head, wondering what happened, and re-reads the instructions for the cameras again.
"Well, I did everything right. Maybe I'm missing something."
Brock looks everywhere around the room, mentally checking off each problem in the troubleshooting chapter of the instruction manual as he rules it out, but nothing seems wrong. Frustrated, Brock peeks around the corner to where the plug would be, and spots Croagunk by the socket, deviously giggling as he toys with the plug.
"Ha, ha, I'm very amused." Brock replies sarcastically. "Now, will you at least plug the camera controls back in, please?" Croagunk reluctantly complies, making the control panel turn on with a hum. "Thank you." Brock replies and returns to the security feeds--only to find Happini giggling as she watches a cartoon on one monitor. He quickly switches it back to the security feed before explaining "This TV is just for showing us what the cameras see, not for watching cartoons."
"Pi..." Happini sighs.
"Although if you still want to watch TV, I'll hunt down a TV where you can watch cartoons." Brock assures Happini. Thanks to her, Brock has the cartoon schedule of every channel memorized. "and if memory serves me right, 'Yes! Pokemon 5' should be coming on in a few minutes." Happini cheers at this.
Ash runs into the room prepared with a bowl full of popcorn along with a couple of sodas, and Pikachu with a bowl of chips. Ash sits down next to Happini, expecting to watch "Yes! Pokemon 5" with her. But he's bewildered when all he sees is the security feed. "What happened to the show?" he wonders
"This isn't for watching cartoons." Brock tells Ash. "And anyway, we don't have time to watch cartoons. I have to make sure these cameras are working right."
Ash throws a dark look at Brock. Apparently, he'd microwaved the popcorn, and bought the chips and drinks for no reason.
Dawn had no such problem and took a handful of popcorn. She made a face. "Ash! This popcorn is awful! Which ones did you microwave? Didn't you get the buttered ones? Or at least with some salt, or something?"
"Uh, I'm not sure." he says, and he tastes some, having the same reaction as Dawn. He checks the box and giggles, embarrassed--it turns out he had gotten the 100 calorie, no butter, no salt kind.
Ash frantically dashes to the food storehouse, finds the movie theater butter flavored popcorn, pops it, and arrives in the TV lounge just in time to see the episode title appear: "Pokemon 5 In a Pinch!" Rats, I missed the theme song...
Meanwhile, in the Hiluna Town square...
Trista walks along the sidewalk, taking in the multitude of stages and tents that are going up. She stops by to admire the stage where her work will be shown before noticing the Rockets' tent on the corner. That's a tent I've never seen before...She approaches wondering what whoever put it up must be planning.
"Interested in knowing your future?" James intones from inside, hoping Trista will be just as easy a catch as the cooltrainer.
"I don't believe in fortune telling,"she replies, and turns to leave.
James is initially surprised by this, and abandons his spiel in an attempt to try luring Trista inside. "This isn't just any fortune telling!" he tells her. "It's more like destiny telling!"
Trista still looks skeptical. "What's the difference?"she asks.
James isn't sure what to answer.
"Your fortune and your destiny, unlike most people think, are two different things."he tells her. "Your fortune, depends on you, whereas your destiny, is something you can't change."
Trista thinks for a while. "I guess it can't hurt to try." With that, she leaves a 500 credit bill and enters the main tent, where Jessie is waiting. James sighs in relief.
"Welcome...I've been expecting you." Jessie begins, again in character as Madame Fortuna.
"Oh?" says Trista. "How?"
"Nothing escapes Madame Fortuna's Inner Eye." Jessie answers.
"Okay...so what do you forsee in my future....tonight?" Trista asks.
Meowth projects a picture of an outline of a human boy in the crystal ball as Jessie begins. "I see a special boy waiting, and he wishes to take you on a lovely date. He will meet you on the corner by the midway entrance."
"But I don't have a date tonight!" Trista protests.
"That is what the stars have shown me." Jessie assures her. She raises her hand toward the top of the tent for a more convincing effect.
Trista thinks about who could possibly be wanting to date her. She'd only been in town a couple of days, and didn't really know anyone. After eleminating a few possibilities, she figures it must be Brock. Sitting on the edge of her chair, she asks Jessie, "Can you see who he is, or what he's like?" she asked, pressing for more information.
Jessie waves her hands over the crystal ball for a few moments, then replies "Unfortunately, I cannot see anything more...but if you believe the stars have seen one you already know, he just might be the boy I see."
"I thought nothing escaped your Inner Eye," she says skeptically. Before Jessie can reply, Trista smiles and goes on "but I think you guys are right!" she replies, and turns to leave.
Meowth is shocked there's no tips in the money box. "Hey, no fair! She didn't even leave a tip!"
Trista took special care to look her best that night. She arrives at the corner nearby the midway--the same spot where Team Rocket said her supposed lover would be. However, when she looks closer at the male figure standing nearby, she sees it's not Brock, but the rival. "Just what are you doing here?"she demands.
"I knew it!" he said.
Trista grabs the rival by his shirt and starts shaking him. "You're the one who hired those so called fortune tellers, weren't you!"she takes off angrily.
"What do you mean?" he counters, as he runs after her.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket break in, determined to take the winning painting. Ash was keeping watch over the security cameras, as they were taking turns, when he spots Team Rocket, when Pikachu alerts him. They are just about to escape when Ash, Dawn, and their Pokemon block all the exits that they can. At the same time, Brock, Trista and the cooltrainer arrive seconds after Team Rocket escapes out the air vent with a painting. The cooltrainer is surprised to see Brock, and an angry look appears on his face. Brock is equally surprised and angered, and rolls up his sleeves just in case he has to fight.
"Just before things could get ugly between me and the other boy..." Brock narrates as the Brock in the flashback and the cooltrainer eye each other jealously, each wanting to fight to the death to have Trista, who was scanning the room, to see that nothing had been taken. "Dawn reminded me of something important..."
"Can't we settle this civily?" Dawn scolds, stepping between the boys. "Besides, you need to set a good example for Happini." She shows Brock Happini, making him sweatdrop. The cooltrainer does likewise as it dawns on him that fighting wouldn't be the best way to handle this conflict. Brock could only be a friend of Trista's, for all he knew. Maybe even her older brother. Yeah, that was the most likely, he thought.
"Oh, no! One of my paintings is missing!" exclaims Trista. "It was the one I wanted to enter in the festival."
"Those creeps!" exclaims Ash.
"We took a moment to calm down, then went to discuss our reasons for wanting Trista but decided it wasn't the right time. Trista was so upset over the stolen painting, so we decided that getting the painting back was most important thing to do." Brock narrates as we see everyone gathered in a conference room.
Team Rocket can't believe their good fortune as one of their plans went right, they swiped the painting, and are now going to win the show...
To Be Continued...
Episode 4: Foes, Now Friends
"We spent most of the night discussing how to get back the stolen painting, and got nowhere fast." Brock narrates as the group in the flashback talks or draws a plan on the whiteboard. "Eventually, we decided to take a break for the night, in hopes we would be able to think straight in the morning. But I didn't know that there was more to this rival than I had seen..."
The scene fades to Brock in the workroom the next morning, feeding Happini. Suddenly the cooltrainer approaches and sits in a nearby chair. "Hey..."
"Yes?" Brock asks.
The cooltrainer swallows hard and begins "After thinking about what happened last night, I felt really stupid for letting my jealousy over Trista almost cause a fight. So I mainly came to say I'm sorry. If she's happy with you, I'm cool with that."
Brock smiles, relieved that there's more to this cooltrainer than what he has seen over the past few days. "It's all right--I want to see Trista happy too--and if she's happy with you, that's fine by me. It wouldn't be the first time I've been rejected."
The cooltrainer is surprised. "You've been rejected by a girl too?"
Brock is about to answer when Nurse Joy arrives with a few of the cooltrainer's Poke Balls. "Here you are, Jared...good as new!"
"Jared, huh? I'm Brock..." Brock replies, while at the same time bracing himself for the fanboying the cooltrainer would possibly do once he made the connection to his Gym Leader past.
Surprisingly, Jared is calm once he mentally makes the connection. "I think I remember battling you once before, but at the same time, I don't have a Boulder Badge...guess that match was only in my dreams." With that, he takes his four Poke Balls and slips them back in his belt. "So, what brings a former Gym Leader like you all the way out here?"
"I told Jared quite a lot about my adventures..." Brock narrates as the Brock in the flashback talks to Jared. "But once I got to my encounter with Temaku, I decided to use that as a teachable moment to help Jared deal with Trista rejecting him. Before I told my story, I let Jared tell his..." We see the Brock in the flashback motioning for Jared to begin.
"I met Trista on my way into town--she seemed like an interesting person, and I really thought we would hit it off after I showed her Erin and Kage..." Jared begins.
"Who might they be?" Brock asks.
Jared retrieves two of his four Poke Balls and heaves them in the air. "Erin, Kage, come on out!" A Riolu forms before Happini, and a Honchkrow appears a few seconds later.
Happini begins to cry at the sight of the Honchkrow. "Happini's afraid of Honchkrows for some reason..." Brock explains.
"Kage, return!" Jared commands, recalling the Honchkrow. "I'm sorry I scared you, okay?" Happini musters a weak smile through her tears. "I started my journey a few years ago, and easily won the required eight badges to get to the league--but when Trista didn't show any interest in my accomplishments, I was shocked--usually people want to hear how I beat a Gym Leader or caught one of my Pokemon." Jared goes on.
"Likewise, I wanted to get to know a girl too--but just the initial euphoria of being in love overwhelmed me and led me to do some pretty crazy things, which turned the girl off right away." Brock replies.
"What kind of crazy things?" Jared is curious.
"Oh, quoting a faux Pokedex entry, tying a red string around her finger, offering her flowers, doing a song and tap dance routine to impress her, writing hundreds of songs for her... " Brock names off some of the crazier things he's done to impress girls. "Even now, I still struggle with controlling that euphoria."
"You don't seem to be so euphoric with Trista."Jared observes.
"At first, it was because my friends Ash and Dawn were behind the bushes, and kept whispering tips to me." He stops and thinks. "I guess I was just too nervous to be euphoric. Maybe she IS the one!"
Jared completely disagrees with Brock's last comment, but nods to show he understands. "I vowed to keep trying to get through to Trista, but she keeped refusing me every time I approached." Brock thinks back to the day he first saw Jared trying to approach Trista, and how she kept moving away. "I really wanted to get to know her, but I was saddened and confused--why was she not interested? I guess she's different from the other girls I've met. Just that she kept rejecting me, kind of like, made me think there was something, er, mysterious about her, know what I mean."
"Do you have any idea why Trista isn't interested?" Brock asks. Jared thinks a bit--he hasn't considered his situation from Trista's point of view. "Put yourself in Trista's shoes for a minute--from her perspective, think about how you're approaching her. What do you do when you meet her?" Brock thought it might be good to hear some advice from Jared, if he'd never been rejected before. He'd already started looking into taking voice lessons from Trista's comment about him having a silver voice.
"Well..." Jared muses. "I approach and say hi to her to make her feel at ease..." Brock thought back through his many adventures, and what happened when he just said hi. Saying hi in his experience usually made girls a bit nervous. Or others, like the archeologist, were just completely oblivious.
"Okay, then what?" Brock asks. "Saying hi to her means you're interested in her--that's good."
"Then I ask if she wants to hear about one of my adventures--and that's where I'm rejected." Jared sighs.
"Judging from your story, maybe Trista doesn't want to hear you talk about yourself." Brock explains. "She may want to hear you compliment something about her or where the two of you are, like I did when I met her."
"What did you say to her?" Jared asks.
"All I did was compliment the lake's beautiful view." Brock replies.
"I told Jared all I had done so far with Trista as a counterpoint to his attempts at getting to know her himself." Brock narrates as we see the Brock in the flashback and Jared continue to talk. "But my teachable moment with Temaku came into play some minutes later..."
"On those occasions when a girl approached you first, how did you handle that?" Jared asks.
"The only time that's happened to me happened when the girl was in the same state of euphoria I usually fell into." Brock explained. "and it really opened my eyes as to how girls reacted when I was in that state. She was about to fall into a fountain, when I caught her, and suddenly, she started to say that our wedding would be the prettiest ever. Like, she was starting to plan the whole thing. What I would wear, what she would wear, and even the cake. I never mentioned any of those things to any girl I fell for. I just didn't know what to do, or say. I'd never been in a situation like that before. Misty, a friend who used to travel with us, insisted that I should go ahead and marry her, as none of the girls I fell for, ever fell for me. She said it's easier to like someone who already likes you, than someone who doesn't." Brock thought a moment. "Looking back, I wonder how she learned that. For some reason, I don't think it's because that's what she'd heard. From what I understand while she and Ash were travelling with Tracey, around the Orange Islands, a couple of guys fell for her."
"You obviously didn't go ahead and marry her, did you?" asked Jared.
Brock shook his head. "Nope. Not long after we met, she fell for this Team Rocket grunt named James, as well. They were trying to use her to steal all her father's Pokemon. Not sure what she saw in him." Brock scratched his chin. "Although she did join them in the battle with them. Besides, I don't think Temaku was really my type, or the right one for me."
"I suppose you think the right one would be Trista?" asked Jared, skeptically.
"Trista's a little different from the others."said Brock slowly, and smiled.
"That's true." Jared mused. "Maybe she was receptive to you because you were just being yourself and not showing that euphoria." As Jared speaks, Happini climbs from Brock's hands, done with her breakfast, and goes to see what the other Pokemon are doing.
In another part of the Pokemon Center...
"Okay guys, go play!" Ash and Dawn smile as they clear the dishes from breakfast.
Piplup goes straight to the TV and flicks it on, where "Kochou and the Beautiflies" is on. Pikachu joins him, half giggling at the starry eyed Piplup, who is enamored by the silver haired boy dancing and singing on the screen. Some of the others climb on the hammock, with Buizel claiming the front end.
There's a melody playin', on the radio, there's a melody playin', soft and sweet and low... sings the TV some minutes later. "Kochou" is about half over now, and all the Pokemon are swaying to the beat of the song, blissfully unaware of the Happini making a beeline for the remote. The TV continues singing There's a melody playing, don't know what to do, There's a melody playin', and it makes me think of you! before suddenly changing its tune to 1, 2, 3, 4, Pokemon! (5!) Pikachu and Piplup frown when they realize Happini was the one that changed the channel. Sparks start to come from Pikachu's cheeks, but remembers that Brock wouldn't be too happy. He sighs, and decides to watch the rerun of the previous day's "Yes! Pokemon 5"
Trista has printed out several reward posters for her painting. They read "Missing--Festival Painting", followed by a description of the "Por Una Rosa" painting she and Brock had made the day before. Underneath that was her reward--50,000 credits for either information leading to the crook's capture, or the painting's safe recovery. She really wanted to get it back, because she knew it would be perfect for the festival.
She sees Officer Jenny on patrol as she hangs another poster on a lampost. "Any word on my case, Officer?" she asks.
"Well, we analyzed the security camera footage your friends turned over to us, and the only clear shot of the crooks we saw was a long haired girl in a Rocket uniform." Jenny explains. "We have a suspicion that Team Rocket could be involved, but we need clearer proof before we rule other suspects out. Perhaps if you stepped up your vigilance of your other works, you might be able to catch the crooks in the act before they take any more of your work. We take theft of festival work very seriously."
This gives Trista an idea. "I'll see if I can find any more evidence around town...thanks, Officer." she smiles.
"Any time--I hope your offer of a reward prompts people to come foward with information." Jenny replies as she shepherds her Growlithe back to her. "Of course, we'll let you know if we receive any credible tips." She waves goodbye as she resumes her patrol.
In the forest around Hiluna Town, Team Rocket admired their work, James unbelieving that they were successful at stealing, Jessie reminding him and Meowth that it had been her idea, while Meowth points out that if it hadn't been for him, she would never have thought of stealing the painting.
"But which one of us should enter the painting?" James asks.
"Huh?" Jessie and Meowth look confused.
"Who would take credit for it?" James looks at the flyer. "It says here, only one entry per person?"
"The big twerp and the girl were going to enter it together." Jessie reminded him.
James read the flyer carefully. "The twerp would be entering the song. The girl the painting. It says two projects can go together." He looked confused.
"I should enter it."says Meowth. "After all, I picked it."
Jessie hits him. "I should be the one to enter it! You didn't pick it. The painter did." she clarified. "I was the one who thought of escaping through the air vent! Otherwise, the twerps would have ruined everything, as always!"
"I read the flyers, eavesdropped and heard about the festival first. I eavesdrop better than you two do." James counters. They keep arguing like this for a while.
"Why don't we steal da rest of da paintin's?" suggests Meowth, bringing the argument to a screeching halt. "Den we'll have more dan enough to enter! Da rest we could sell, and give to da boss!"
"What a marvelous idea!" Jessie smiles. James nods in agreement.
Back at the Pokemon Center...
Jared smiles as he watches Brock play with Happini--maybe he isn't such a bad guy after all, he thinks.
"Rio?" Even Erin is interested in how Brock manages to keep Happini well taken care of.
"Erin wants to know your secret to keeping your Happini so happy." Jared interjects.
"There's no one right way to raise a baby Pokemon." Brock cautions. "Every Pokemon is different, so finding what your baby Pokemon is strong at and enjoys doing is the key to a happy companion."
"Well, what does Happini like to do?" Jared is curious. "Erin likes exploring and finding treasure--although a lot of the knick knacks she finds aren't necessarily treasure." Sure enough, Erin is romping around the room, looking for something that even remotely resembles a jewel or something valuable.
"Happini can be a real performer--she has a very active imagination." Brock smiles. "All the more reason for me to tell her stories and sing to her."
"What kinds of songs does she like?" Jared is piqued by this.
"Anything you can get up and dance to." Brock replies. "And I don't stop with just English songs--I'll sometimes sing to her in other languages too. But Spanish and Italian are her favorites..." He is interuppted by a familiar cry as Dawn brings a squalling Happini back to him.
"I think it's time for her to take a nap." Dawn replies, giving Happini to Brock.
"Okay..." With that, Brock begins rocking Happini and softly singing in Italian:
L'arcobaleno é la mia scia
che navigo in cerca di quella montagna di luce all'alba melodia
mi portano indietro ad un tempo passato,
colori immersi nella scia dell'arcobaleno
che giocano in cielo
il vento mi sospinge, eh via!
raggiungo le onde dei sette mari
gli uccelli che volano alti nel cielo d'oriente
la rotta è sicura quell'isola cela un tesoro
All'alba io vedrò le sette terre
che il destino vuole farmi trovare davvero
oh, dolce melodia sprigioni vita
e mi fai cantare forte un messaggio d'amore
per sempre tu sarai in fondo all'anima
così che neanche il tempo ci può separare
oh, dolce melodia sprigioni vita
e mi fai cantare forte un messaggio d'amore
Dolce melodia... Sure enough, not only does Happini fall asleep, but Erin does too.
"Wow...although the only two words I got of that were 'dolce melodia'--sweet melody--you put Erin right to sleep!" Jared laughs as Brock returns Happini to her bundle to sleep.
Erin wakes up a short while later. "Rio Riolu?" she asks
"She wants to hear a story." Jared translates. "Especially the kind with royalty, treasure, or adventures involved in them."
Brock thinks for a moment, then begins. "One day, all the mother Pokemon in the jungle argued over which of them had the best children. Mrs. Stantler boasted..." He switches to a voice that sounds similar to Misty. "See how beautiful my children are!" before returning to himself. "as her four little fawns pranced about." He mimics walking gracefully like a Stantler.
He next switches to a tomboy-esque female voice. "That's nothing!" before returning to himself "Mrs. Arcanine retorted." He returns to the tomboy-esque female voice again. "Look at how shiny and sharp my little ones' teeth are!" He returns to himself again. "Sure enough, her six Growlithes bared their teeth for the other mothers, causing some to back away, despite assurances that they were only smiling." Erin giggles at the mental image, making Happini giggle in her sleep.
Erin listens as Brock continues the tale, unaware that Happini has somehow wriggled free of her bundle and is returning to the Pokemon Center's common room, curious as to what Ash and Dawn are doing.
"See how many I have!" Brock says in a breathy female voice before returning to himself. "said Mrs. Swellow. One by one, each of her nine Taillows peeked over the nest's edge, interested in the crowd below."
He switches to a sultry female voice next. "Your brood is no match for mine..." before returning to himself " purred Mrs. Delcatty, whose litter of Skitties looked so large, it could have well been an army." Erin pictures a large group of Skitties in soldier clothes and bursts out laughing.
"Before long, the retorts and boasts of the other mothers got to be an uproar." Brock continues as himself. "Finally, one mother suggested..." and he switches to his standard female voice. "Let's go see Lady Persian...surely she would know which of our children were the greatest!"
As himself, he continues "And so, all the mother Pokemon trooped through the jungle to Lady Persian's den. They all knew very well that as Queen of the Jungle, Lady Persian was wise and just in her decisions--and whatever she decided was the final word."
"Riolu?" Erin asks
"They arrived around noon, just as Lady Persian came out to bask in the warm sun." Brock replies before sprawling out on the floor, as if imitating Lady Persian. "Mrs. Ninetales chose to intercede for the other mothers..." Brock continues as he gets up. "so she asked Lady Persian..." He switches to a vaguely Irish sounding female voice. "Lady Persian, each of us feels that our children are the best in the jungle, but who do you believe has the greatest children? Your own, or one of ours? And if it is one of us, then who has the greatest children?" He returns to himself. "You could have heard a pin drop as the other mothers awaited their queen's decision, each of them silently promising to not protest the ruling when it came.
Finally, Lady Persian addressed the crowd." He switches to a smooth, seductive female voice. "Each of you have fine children, but the greatest one is my son." He returns to himself. "At this, a little Meowth came to join Lady Persian as she continued..." He returns to his Persian voice again. "When I am old and no longer able to rule over you, he will assume my position as the new King of the Jungle. So do not judge the greatest child by how many you have, but by what he is able to accomplish." He returns to himself to finish. "The mothers all agreed that Lady Persian was right, and her child was deemed the greatest child in all of the jungle...the end."
Erin and Jared applaud. "Rio?" Erin asks.
"That's it?" Brock repeats Erin's question. "For now--'Lady Persian's Child' is one of my shorter stories--I was hoping to save my long ones for tonight."
In the common room...
Dawn looks out the window, waiting for Trista's return, writing down ideas for a way to get the painting back. Ash, meanwhile, slumps in a chair, bored. He's sent Pikachu and Piplup outside to play, and now there's nothing for him to do.
Or is there? Ash suddenly notices a digital piano by one window. He starts over to it but begins to reconsider. After four years of piano lessons I didn't want to take, I'm not playing a piano again. He sighs, thankful Delia let him take Pokeflute lessons instead of piano lessons when he was eight. There was also the whistle he had made a few days earlier and the harmonica he received when he was six, but Pikachu owned his old harmonica now.
His boredom overrides his disgust. But, since there's nothing else to do, and I haven't really played in a while, let's see how many pieces I can remember without sheet music... Then he remembers he still has a few books of sheet music left over from those piano lessons of yore in his pack. Piqued, he digs one out, makes himself comfortable before the keys, and finds himself subconsciously playing Clair de Lune--ironically the same piece he played for his first recital years ago.
He gets a little applause when he finishes, but before Ash can try to remember another piece from lessons, a boogie bass line jolts him from his nostalgia. Bewildered, he looks at the bass end of the piano and smiles when he sees Happini dancing on the keys. After a few uncertain notes from his end of the piano, he decides to turn those into a melody to compliment Happini's bass line. The two of them jam together for a little while, ending when Happini and Ash's finger meet close to middle C.
Some unexpected applause comes from the corner, prompting Ash to look and see Brock, Jared, Trista, and Dawn applauding him. He gets up and takes a bow for his sort of audience.
"Bravo!" Trista smiles
"Take a bow, Happini." Ash says.
"Pini! Pini!" Happini smiles as she takes a bow for her "audience"
"Maybe you should play for me, and enter your piano music in the festival instead." Trista sighs. "The piano is a little nicer than the guitar." she smiles, which causes Brock to fall comically.
"Aha, I'm not playing the piano again." Ash tells her, a little reluctant for an encore.
"But you could give Happini lessons." she tells him.
Brock ran to the piano. "I could learn piano, too." he says. "I just bypassed the piano altogether and learned guitar when I was little, and I've always wanted to learn."
"Well, you have two pupils now." Trista chuckles. She shrugs. "But I still think the guitar is nicer. I have a fondness for string instruments. They're more...golden, you know. That, and I don't even want to try a Pokeflute after a bad experience in the third grade." Ash nods--he knows what it's like hearing 29 kids trying to play Pokeflutes firsthand.
"So, any luck with finding the painting?" asks Dawn, changing the subject.
"No." Trista shakes her head sadly. "Those creeps are nowhere to be found!"
"They'll show up," Brock assures her. "They always do. After all, they took your painting, but not Pikachu."
"I hope you're right." Trista nods.
"Nice performance. When you said Happini was a performer, you weren't kidding!" Jared tells Brock as he applauds.
"Rio! Rio!" Erin agrees. Flattered by Erin's request for an encore, Happini hops on the keys and proceeds to play the complete tune of Chopsticks.
"Again?" Ash asks Happini, playing an expectant chord. Happini nods, and the two of them start another jam. Ash smiles as he jams. Thanks, Happini...you made me want to get into the piano again--but forget Fur Elise and Clair de Lune, I'm gonna play this instead!
He slips into a daydream of him playing a similar jam at the piano at home, with Pikachu playing the bass line. Mimey is mimicing Delia as she laughs and dances to the jam, and when he finishes, he gets applause and huge hug. "That was very nice, Ash..." the Delia in his daydream smiles.
Ash sighs and smiles. "Now why couldn't you have played for my mom?" he asks Happini. "I'm sure you're cute enough to have convinced her not to make me play all that boring classical stuff."
"Pini!" Happini answers.
Pikachu looks on, and starts to dance, as Ash had imagined Delia dancing with Mimey. "I think I know what we're doing for the festival!" Ash exclaims, playing a short riff on the piano before getting up.
"We're not doing anything for the festival, until we've found Trista's painting!"Brock points out.
"But Team Rocket usually finds us. I guess the only thing we can do is wait for that."answers Dawn. "Otherwise, we have no idea where they could be."
"They could be anywhere."Jared agreed. "For all I know, they could've blown this town."
"They could have what?!" Trista gasps.
"Er, left town." Jared nervously stammers.
"NO! Don't ever joke about that!"she cries in distress. "What am I going to do if those thieves really did take off with my painting?"
"Maybe enter with me, Happini, and Pikachu." Ash suggests. "Me, playing one thing, Happini, something else, and Pikachu dancing."
"No! That painting was the best one for the festival!" Trista snaps back, tears forming in her eyes.
"What about entering one of your other ones?" suggests Dawn.
"No."sighs Trista as she clears the tears away. "That was the one." Everyone sits quietly for a moment, thinking about what to do next.
"I don't think they could have left town." Brock assures. "If they're planning to enter the festival, and still haven't captured Pikachu, they'll likely be back.." he tells Trista.
"I hope you're right." Trista sighs.
"All we can do now is sit tight." Brock agrees
"Now we're hoping Team Rocket will appear." Ash sighs. "So, what are we going to do while we wait?"
"Maybe have Brock tell another story."says Jared absent mindedly.
"Brock told you a story too?" Trista is curious.
"Yeah, Erin loved the tale he told me." Jared smiles.
"I told them 'Lady Persian's Child', one of my shorter stories." Brock explained. Trista thinks back to the story Brock told her--it had said that if a hooded girl with a gold paintbrush came to you, Sora would grant those who saw her a wish. An idea hits her--why not disguise herself as Sora, infiltrate the Rockets' hideout, get her painting, and escape?
"I could see that Trista was thinking hard about something, but wasn't sure what." Brock narrates as the group returns to a conference room. "One by one, we each presented ideas to get Trista's painting back..."
"I vote that Happini and I distract the Rockets with a piano jam while you guys get the painting." Ash suggests.
"But what if Happini gets taken? Brock would be very sad." Dawn objects. Ash sighs in defeat.
"Happini's too young."adds Brock.
"Pikachu would be perfect bait for Team Rocket!" Dawn suggests, eyes shining with excitement. "And they still haven't been able to catch him!"
"Pika?" Ash and Pikachu look in Dawn's direction, confused.
"Of course!" Brock agrees, grabbing a piece of chalk and strolling to the chalkboard. "Team Rocket would immediately go for Pikachu, and maybe their own traps could come in handy." After writing a 1, he draws stick figures of himself, Ash, and Dawn digging a hole. "We'll just dig a hole..." He draws the same hole and a cover over it next to a 2. "and cover it with leaves, so we'll catch them!" He writes a 3 before he draws stick figures of Team Rocket falling in the hole while a stick figure Pikachu sticks out its tongue. The real Pikachu finds this drawing hilarious and bursts out laughing.
"Ya like that, Pikachu?" Ash smiles.
"But wouldn't they pick up on someone using their own trap?" Jared asks. "I think I might have something better."
"Okay, let's hear it." Brock smiles as he erases the chalkboard and shoos Happini from the chalk.
"I say we find a skywriting plane and write the Rocket code for releasing a hostage in the sky where Team Rocket will see it." Jared suggests, drawing a picture of himself in a plane.
"What is that?" Ash is confused.
"That particular code is 'Moltres Rising'" Jared explains. "I read it in a book once."
Happini tugs on Brock's shirt to get his attention. "Pini pini ha pini?" she asks.
"You're right...it does sound like something out of a cartoon." Brock notes.
"Wasn't there one episode of 'Sky Surfers' where the fate of the city hinged on a Rocket code, and said code's correct spelling?" Dawn asks.
Ash's eyes light up--that's one of the few episodes of "Sky Surfers" he remembers! "Yeah! It was up to Wildclaw to write it, and he kept misspelling the words, which of course were signals to completely different codes! And he didn't even know they were Rocket codes until Officer Magnezone arrested him and said so!"
"You flew a plane?" Terra asks.
"Actually, I thought Jared's plan was, to put it nicely, a little nuts." Brock narrates as the Brock in the flashback gets up from the chair and begins "You have a pretty risky idea there--but my question is, where would we get a plane?"
"Much less anyone that knew how to fly it?" Ash adds, scratching his chin, and thinking. "I'm no Wildclaw, you know. Although maybe one of us could learn, I guess."Ash imagines himself with hundreds of books, one reading "How to Fly", sweating as Brock looks through them, and says they must learn faster, as Trista needs her painting back.
"The only planes I'd feel safe with Ash flying are virtual ones, and even then I wouldn't be so sure." Dawn mutters without Ash hearing her. Piplup giggles at the thought of Ash as a pilot, wearing a cap, and handling the controls, and the resulting loops, dips and skywriting.
"However, Jared's response to my question led to the first real test of our fragile friendship." Brock narrates as Jared replies. "I happen to know how to fly a plane, for your information." He shows Brock his trainer card, which has the Pidgeot wing marking symbolizing he has experience with aircraft stamped on it.
"We still don't know where we can get one."Brock pointed out.
"Why didn't you say that sooner?"asks Ash.
"No one asked."Jared answered.
"We had to ask?"asks Brock. "It was your idea!"
Jared frowns. "You don't have to get so upset about it."he said, coolly.
Brock glares at Jared. "You just caused us to waste almost all afternoon discussing a plan that's completely nuts anyway, and you never told us you could fly a plane!"
"You got a better idea?" said Jared. "I'm all ears."
Ash and Dawn watch as Brock and Jared argue with each other, their eyes switching back and forth between the two."I thought they were friends now." Ash sighs, frustrated.
"Apparently not, although they did give a good impression of it." Dawn finishes.
Ash decides to take matters into his own hands after a while. He gets up and whistles, getting Brock and Jared's attention. "All right, you two, that's enough!" he begins.
Both guys turn to Ash. "I didn't know you could whistle through your fingers, Ash..." Brock is amazed--the only whistles he's seen Ash use have a mouthpiece and fingerholes, and usually made of wood or metal.
Ash is undeterred by Brock's compliment. "Do you want to help Trista or not? Because standing here arguing isn't going to get anyone anywhere! You could stand here, arguing through the entire festival for all we know!" he points out.
Brock and Jared agree to compromise--the festival is due to begin in two more days, and Trista's painting has to be found, and fast.
Trista suddenly remembers the story Brock told her, about Sora. "What if Sora appears to grant them a wish?"she suggests. "That could distract them enough to get the painting back." Everyone stares, so Trista clarifies her suggestion. "Not the real Sora, but, say, someone dressed up to make them think it's Sora."
"You think they'd fall for that?" asks Brock.
"I don't even know if they'd even know that story." Ash points out. "Team Rocket isn't exactly known for their brains."
"That's why it'd be so easy for them to fall!" Dawn agrees with Trista.
"So what did you guys decide to do?" Forest asks.
"That night, we turned on the cameras and began setting up ways to scare Team Rocket when they returned." Brock narrates as we see the gang setting up the workroom. "Staravia would make the curtains on the window billow out, and Ash would make some wind noises with the whistle he made." We hear Ash practicing a whistling wind noise as the Brock in the flashback sets Happini in a dresser drawer. "Then, Happini and Pikachu would run back and forth in a pair of dresser drawers to make it look like they were opening and closing by themselves."
"Okay, Happini--think you can open and close the drawer by running back and forth inside it?" the Brock in the flashback asks. Happini nods and demonstrates her abilty to run handily, opening and closing her drawer several times.
"Don't start until we give the signal, okay?" Dawn cautions as she climbs atop a platform with a pair of flashlights.
"To further recreate the illusion of a storm, Dawn was going to make lightning while Sudowoodo made thunder." Brock narrates as we see Sudowoodo rattling a piece of aluminum. "Nurse Joy offered to help by offering us some food coloring for fake blood, but we decided against using any gore."
"And what did you do?" Terra asks.
"I was going to do some of my 'spooky monster' voices...with some of my omnious messages being the signals for the different effects." Brock replies.
"Did you do any Mightyena howls?" Forest asks.
"No, but Jared made a ghostly costume out of an old bedsheet." Brock explains as we see Jared cutting eyeholes from a bedsheet. "He was going to be my 'minion', if you will." We see the Brock in the flashback throwing on a costume vampire cape and reassuring Happini that all this is just pretend. "Then, I put a microphone on, so not only would my persona have a big booming voice, everyone would be able to hear my signals over the scary noises." We see Brock saying "Check, testing, testing..." into a thin headset mic.
We see Brock addressing the group later. "Okay, let's go over the signals for our effects: 'Do you feel the wind moaning for your fate?' means cue the wind..." Ash adds a little trill and Staravia flexes her wings a few times in reply. "'My minion, come forth!' is your cue, Jared...."
"Got it!" Jared replies as he throws on the bedsheet and retreats behind a door.
"Nurse Joy says she could scream!" Dawn interjects.
'My wrath rages like a storm' means cue the storm..." Brock explains to Dawn and Sudowoodo. "'Run and hide if you can because not even the furniture is merciful' means start running in the drawers." he explains to Pikachu and Happini.
"Pini!" Happini replies.
"Okay! Places!" Brock replies. Everyone scrambles into position and Brock retreats to a catwalk overlooking the room, switching his mike on and getting into character as an omnious ghostly being. "Now all we have to do is wait." he intones spookily.
"I'll make a Growlithe shadow on the wall when I see them coming." Trista calls up to Brock. Brock nods and flashes a thumbs up in an attempt to save his voice for the plan.
Team Rocket could hardly believe their luck at being successful at having stolen the painting. "I vote that I enter this painting!" Jessie boasts as the three of them strolled through the underbrush.
"It was my idea to steal it, so I'm gonna enter it!" Meowth counters.
"But no one but me is as beautiful as that painting!" Jessie protests.
"Da paintin's da one gettin' judged, not da one dat painted it!" Meowth retorts.
"Enough!" James snaps, silencing the argument. "I have a way to determine who gets to enter it." He pauses to dig a familiar green bottlecap from his pocket.
Meowth instantly recognizes the bottlecap. "Isn't dat your super rare Lucky Cola green cap?" he gasps.
"Exactly...we'll use it like a coin." James explains. "The green side with the four leaf clover is heads, and the silver side is tails."
"I want to flip the, um, cap!" Jessie begs, snatching the cap from James. "Heads, one of us enters it, tails, Meowth enters it."
"Fair enough." Meowth muses. He watches the cap go up, but it lands on its side!
"So, who wins? Us or Meowth?" asks James.
"Gr!" Jessie snatches the bottle cap again, and flips once more, but it still lands on its side. "What's the matter with this thing!" She flips a third time. "At this rate, we're never going to find out who's going to enter it." she groans as the bottle cap again lands on its side.
"Not to worry. "Meowth interrupts. "All we'd need to do is steal da rest of the paintins', and the painter, while we're at it! Den we'll have more dan enough paintins' for each of us to enter!"
"I thought you could only enter one." corrects James as he pockets the bottlecap.
"Of course, that means that I will enter the winning painting." Jessie boasts.
"We'll each choose one." Meowth explains. "And we'll get da painter to paint one for each of us. Da judges won't know which one da foist prize goes to, so dey'll have to give us all of da prizes! And, of course, den we would sell da winning paintins', along with da others, and send some to da boss!"
"That sounds like the perfect solution!" exclaims James.
"Aha! Then what are we waiting for!" Jessie agrees.
"Now all we need is a plan to get da goil's woik, and keep da twerps busy, so dey don't interfere." Meowth begins, motioning for his teammates to huddle.
Back at the Pokemon Center...
Jared sighs and puts the finishing touches on another bedsheet--this time it has been colored purple and looks eeriely like a Haunter. Brock, meanwhile, has proceeded to dress up in a mage's costume to go with his cape, complete with a deep red suit with gold trim, white gloves, and a mage's hat like Ash's. "How do I look?" he calls down to Trista.
"Like that mage with the Haunter on TV...what was his name...." Trista muses, trying to remember the character's name.
"Marat?" Dawn guesses. Happini cheers--"The Adventures of Archmage Marat" is one of her favorite shows. Dawn resumes playing cards with Sudowoodo, Ash practices a calm melody, and Staravia looks into the night, bored. Pikachu nods his head to Ash's song--he likes Ash's version of the love theme from "Radiant Divinity II" It helps that the room has great acoustics, making the tiny whistle seem like a higher pitched Pokeflute.
Trista smiles as she listens to Ash practice--she remembers spending hours before her old Super NES, playing Radiant Divinity II. Wind instruments would make nice pictures of their own, she figures, and promises herself to draw that melody later.
The melody of the tin whistle echoes into the night, where we see three familiar figures making their way to the Pokemon Center. Meowth, however, pricks up his ears at the sound of the whistle. "Hey, dat song sounds familiar..."
"Who cares about a little flute's song, we're coming for the paintings!" Jessie barks. She motions for them to follow her up to a window, but it isn't the same one they entered from the last time.
"Which room were the paintings in, again?" asks James.
"You were supposed to remember!" Jessie snaps. James swallows hard and dashes to another window, but it's not the right one either.
"We could go in through da airvent again, I'll bet I could remember."replies Meowth. Jessie doesn't want to go through the airvent, because it's kind of dusty, and it gets in her hair, and her perfect uniform, so she watches as James looks in the window where the gang is, making sure to duck so he isn't seen.
Pikachu, meanwhile, sees movement from the window. "Pikapi?" he asks.
Ash stops his song. "What is it?"
"Pika pika pikachu." Pikachu explains. Ash gets up and looks outside, but he doesn't see anything. He retrieves his whistle and returns to his post, waking Staravia on the way.
"Dat was close..." Meowth heaves a sigh of relief. "My feet are fallin' asleep." The Rockets have managed to huddle under the window after crawling through the grass.
"Why did we have to go through the grass anyway?" Jessie groans as she examines a grass stain on her shirt.
"If you're that worried about grass stains, let's just go in the air vent." James sighs, frustrated.
"Great idea!" Meowth smiles. He bounds over to the air vent and lets his human companions inside before going inside himself. They bump and bang through the maze of passages for a while, much to Jessie's chagrin.
The banging startles Ash from practicing. "You know, guys, I'm starting to think maybe it won't be necessary to scare the Rockets. I think this place may be haunted, anyway." he begins.
Dawn rolls her eyes. "I think what happened is that maybe you're starting to believe what we've been planning."
The Rockets freeze when they hear the voices below. "What was that?" Jessie asks, a note of fear in her voice.
"I'm not sure." James replies. The Rockets shudder and whine, afraid that someone discovered them. They retrace their way out of the air vent and back outside, where they huddle under the window again.
Meowth's shadow alerts Trista to the Rocket's presence. She fumbles for a flashlight and licks it on before making a shadow of a Growlithe on the wall, alerting everyone to get in position.
"Hey...anyone see a Growlithe in here?" Meowth asks as the Rockets climb inside.
Jessie spots the shadow on the wall. "What if it's the spirit of a Growlithe that died in here?" she worries.
Brock takes that opportunity to begin. "Who dares enter this scared place?" he intones, in character as Archmage Marat.
"AUGHHHH!!!!!!!" Jessie yelps. James is shuddering in fear.
"Do you hear the wind moaning for your fate?" Brock continues. As if on cue, the curtain billows out and a whistling wind is heard. making the Rockets huddle together down below. "My wrath rages like a storm...." James screams as he hears thunder and sees a flash of lightning, despite the fact that the three of them are inside a building.
"I have a bad feeling abot dis..." Meowth whines, frantically looking for an escape route.
"Run and hide if you can, because not even the furniture is merciful!" Brock interjects. A scream is heard as Meowth looks to see the dresser--the drawers are opening and closing on their own!
"You think the spirit knows we want the paintings?" James asks.
"Just who are ya, anyway?" Meowth demands.
A spotlight comes up, on the catwalk revealing Brock as Archmage Marat. "I am the guardian of the artifacts here, and if you come in peace, Corota will do you no harm." he intones.
"Corota?" Jessie is confused.
Brock continues "So you do not come in peace? Prepare to face the consequences!" Sudowoodo makes more thunder for effect and James makes a Haunter noise from behind the door. "By the Light of Lady Powan, my minion, come forth!"
At this, Jared jumps from behind the door in a puff of bluish smoke, in character as Corota the Haunter. He creeps up to Jessie and taps her on the shoulder, making her scream.
"Run!" James yelps, struggling to catch up with his comrades. In all the confusion, he triggers the net meant to catch Pikachu. Trista sees the net and jumps to retrieve Pikachu from the drawer, but winds up caught in it herself. Thinking that they caught Pikachu, they dash from the window and into the night.
Dawn, meanwhile, sees the whole thing. "Great...the Rockets caught Trista instead of Pikachu!"
"How do you suppose we go save her?" Jared sighs, throwing off his costume. "I don't know what to do against Team Rocket!"
"I've beaten Team Rocket before! If anyone knows how to handle them, it would be me!"Brock tells Jared.
"But most of the time it's because Team Rocket are the ones who mess up." Ash notes.
Brock falls comically in embarrassment.
Fed up, Dawn steps in. "Okay!"she begins. "First of all, neither of you are going to save her at this rate! Not while you two are wasting time arguing!" Both Brock and Jared sweatdrop as they nod, ashamed that they're arguing, again. "And neither of you are going to foil this!" she demands. "If you keep bickering like children, you're not coming to save her! Only Ash, Pikachu and me!" She lets that hang, and waits for the boys' decision.
Meanwhile, at Team Rocket's 'hideout'
"What?!"Jessie demands, as she looks, and finds that James didn't get the paintings nor Pikachu, but only Trista. "Grr. James, you were supposed to get the paintings, as well!"
"Not to worry!" says Meowth. "Now that we've got da painter, we can each enter a paintin' in da festival!"he points out.
Jessie agrees, and runs to change out of her Team Rocket uniform. She returns in a more comfortable shirt and jeans. "I know just what will make the winning painting!"she says. "A portrait of me, of course!"she puts a hand to her face.
"You're right!"says James. "What could possibly win other than a portrait of Team Rocket to celebrate this victory!"
Jessie hits him on the head. "It will only be a portrait of me that will win!"she says. "You two would only ruin it!"she tells them.
Trista looks on in horror as the Rockets argue, but is calmed when she gets an idea: While the Rockets are busy arguing, she'll look for a way out!
To Be Continued...
Episode 5: The Trio to the Rescue
Trista has to act quickly, for at any moment, the Rockets could stop arguing and demand she paint something. With this thought in mind, she finds a long cloak in her bag and puts it on, effectively hiding her appearance. It's possible that they might take her to be Sora--if they even know the story.
She finds Team Rocket some minutes later, and walks closer, until they notice her. Noticing the figure, Jessie prepared to battle, just in case it's a trick from the twerps. However, as James gets a closer look, he changes his mind.
"That's no twerp!"he says, his eyes sparkling.
"Who else could it be?"snapped Meowth.
"Don't you two know?"he asks Jessie and Meowth. "That's Sora. My grandma used to tell me her tale every time I went to my grandparents' estate! No one knows where she is today, however, if you spot her, she will grant you one wish, making it possible with her magic paintbrush!" His eyes are still sparkling.
Jessie and Meowth turn towards the figure with the paintbrush. "Really?"asks Jessie, still unconvinced.
Trista approached the trio. Just by their balloon, she spotted her painting.
"You are Sora, aren't you?!"James asked, excited. Trista sighed, and conceded, nodding her head. "Ha! I told you! So, I get a wish!"
Trista conceded again. Jessie steps up. "I will wish first!"she says, pushing James aside.
"Hey! I was the one who knew who she was! If it wasn't for me, we might have missed this opportunity."he says.
Meowth steps up."I noticed her foist."he said.
"I want a portrait of myself done!"says Jessie. "It won't be hard to make it the most beautiful portrait you've ever painted!"she assures.
"I could complete my bottlecap collection! And with a perfect case to keep it, too!"
"We could really impress da boss by one of you wishing for dat Pikachu, and wanting da boss to give us a promotion, and a raise!"Meowth interrupts.
Team Rocket began arguing amongst themselves, as to what their wishes should be, and who should wish first. Trista takes advantage of this opportunity to swipe the painting, by pretending she was just trying to get a look at it, and as they were too busy arguing, she takes the first opportunity to run into the bushes.
"I get the first wish!" Jessie retorted.
"No, I should!" James yelled back.
"You wouldn't know what to wish for even if your options were right in front of you!"
"I'm not going to let you two ruin dis wishin' opportunity, and let a good wish go to waste!" Meowth retorts. The argument can be heard over the hills, where the group is tromping through the grass looking for Trista.
"Trista!" Brock calls.
"Where are you?" Ash calls as he looks in the brush.
Just then, Dawn sees a figure in the brush. "I think someone's there!"
Jared flicks on a flashlight to look--only to wind up shining the light in Trista's face.
"Ah!" Trista squints as the bright light hits her eyes.
Brock instantly recognizes the voice. "Trista!"
Ash sighs. "Cue the sappy reunion music..."
As if on cue, the familiar theme played when two characters in a movie reunite begins to play from nowhere as Brock runs up to Trista, taking her hand. "We've been looking all over for you! Only thinking what those miserable Rockets-"
He gets pulled back by the ear as the music stops, where we discover the music was coming from a CD player Dawn concealed in the grass. "Don't we still have to get the painting back?" Ash is curious.
Trista shows them the painting. "I got it back while they were arguing. They probably still are," she giggles. "They can't even decide who should wish for what."
Back with the Rockets, they look around and notice that Trista's gone.
"Ah! She's gone!" exclaims Meowth.
"But what about my wish!"demands James.
"Grr! You two just scared her away! She thought that your wishes were so stupid, granting them would be a waste of time!"said Jessie. "Now we're going to have to find someone else to paint and enter my portrait!"
"Well,"James scratched his chin. "I did take some classes at one of the finest art schools in Kanto. I ended up graduating early because they said I was more than ready to start displaying my own work."
"Aha! So we finally found someone!" Jessie cries triumphantly.
"I thought you said you could only do stick figures." Meowth interjects.
"Hmhmhm," James chuckles. "That was obviously because entering my own work when I could steal would ruin my status as a Team Rocket member. Besides, it makes a great cover."
Jessie immediately goes to change into the outfit from before, and poses for James. James takes out a canvas, and some oil paints, puts on his lucky navy blue beret and gets to work.
While the painting starts out fairly decent, Meowth keeps yelling "suggestions": "Ooh, draw some poils on her! Nah, rubies would look better....and a feather boa ting...and some black shoes..." Naturally, James paints on each and every suggestion.
"Done!" he says some time later.
Jessie eagerly runs to see the masterpiece. "What?!"she demands when she sees that the entire canvas is nothing but scribbles that look remotely like her. "I don't look like this!" she exclaimed.
Meowth peered over. "Maybe he was paintin' da way he sees you. Course, I had a few suggestions..."
"You could've saved your so called suggestions for some other picture!" Jessie barks.
"Well, I was only tryin' to be helpful!" Meowth protests.
Absorbed in an argument over Jessie's portrait, Team Rocket doesn't notice the twerps who are inching closer to the Rocket's hideout. They see the portrait of Jessie, and Ash tries hard not to laugh. "That looks like a kindergartener's fingerpainting!" he giggles.
Back with the Rockets, they appear to have called a truce. "Let's just go find that painter again, and nab that Pikachu too." Jessie sighs. As the Rockets huddle together to plot, they fail to realize they're being recorded--Pikachu has dangled a mic into the huddle, where it is recording every word of the discussion.
"Rather than going after the painter directly, why don't we lure the big twerp she's working with?" James suggests. "Besides, if we were to try for the painter again, the twerps might save her."
"I'm not singing anything, much less learning to play an instrument on such short notice!" Jessie protests.
"You guys are forgettin' I'm a bit of a guitar hero myself..." Meowth smiles, adding a strum on an electric guitar for emphasis.
"Uh huh..." all three Rockets agree.
Ash, meanwhile, is listening to the recorded plot. "So they're planning a way to use Brock to lure both Trista and Pikachu...."
"Me, a Rocket pawn?" Brock is appalled. "Not a chance! I can't bear to see Trista in danger again!"
"We really were worried about you..." Jared begins. "I didn't want to see you hurt or something..."
"Good thing we were on our way to find you." Brock agrees.
"But when we arrived with our gear to save you, you came to us." Jared blushes.
"I bet she didn't want to get caught up in the confusion of our plan." Brock confidently smiles.
Jared is unimpressed. "What do you mean OUR plan? It was originally MY idea!"
"I thought it was my idea!" Brock protests.
"The initial idea was mine." Jared replies.
"I still think my idea was better." Brock challenges.
"Please--how would dressing up in a mariachi suit and dancing around singing in Spanish have saved Trista?" Jared sighs.
"That's no more crazier than flying a plane and skywriting a Rocket code!" Brock explains.
"Oh, you HAD to bring that up!" Jared groans.
"But you guys were too busy arguing with each other then as well to save Trista."says Ash, fed up with the whole argument.
Brock and Jared fall comically. "Ash!" they cry out in unison.
"Well, it's true. Dawn said I was going to have to be the one who ended up saving her, cause you guys, despite everything, couldn't even compromise." Ash retorts
Upon hearing this, Trista looks upset. "And to think I was flattered to have two guys fighting over me!" she exclaims. "And yet when I need them most, they're too busy giving each other their attention to save me, when my life could very possibly be in danger! If I got away by myself this time, it's probably obvious I don't need either of you!"
Brock and Jared are left speechless.
"You could have heard a pin drop as the reality of Trista's words sunk in." Brock narrates. "While I liked Trista as a friend, and ideally wanted to love her, I also wanted to stop viewing Jared as a rival--and that meant setting aside our differences and working together."
"Man, what happened to those great vibes I felt with you this morning?" Jared asks Brock. "Can you show me that side again? All this arguing is only dragging everyone down."
"I wanted to say 'Maybe only when Trista's not around, or isn't the topic of conversation', but that would only lead to another fight." Brock narrates. "Yet I could tell that our constant fighting was grating on Ash's and Dawn's nerves too."
"You'd think they'd know how to compromise..." Ash complains as he leads the way back to the Pokemon Center.
"And they were so close to being friends..." Dawn agrees. Trista just sighs--once both boys start behaving a little more maturely, then she'll consider their love. Brock and Jared realize Trista's anger and sadness as they bring up the rear. They also realize that Ash and Dawn are mad at their constant fighting too--and if any good is to come of this, both will have to change.
"Okay, let's listen to what Pikachu recorded." Ash begins as the group gathers in the conference room again. As he loads the tape into a tape deck and preses PLAY, he doesn't realize that while the real Trista has stepped out to get something, Jessie has slipped in the room disguised as Trista.
Dawn sees "Trista" and offers a whining Happini to her. "Why don't you take care of Happini for a while?" "Trista" deviously smiles as she takes Happini in her arms.
"Of course, I'd love to take care of such a beautiful little darling!" Jessie replies as she accepts Happini. They fell for it! And they have no idea their precious darling just got babynapped!
She gets no farther than three steps out the door when Happini begins to cry. "Pipe down, you little brat!" she barks, but this makes Happini cry even more. "Oh I get it, Mama's little baby's hungry!" she coos, offering Happini a bowlful of Rawst Berries pilfered from Jared's bag. To her horror, the berries get flung back at her with a SPLUT!, making a giant blue stain on her blouse. "I just washed th--uh, I mean, maybe Mama's baby needs a bath?" she stammers, trying to keep up her impersonation despite her anger.
Happini is taken in the bathroom as Jessie frantically fills a tub with water, not even bothering to check the temperature before setting Happini inside. Arceus, make it stop! she prays as she grits her teeth at Happini's ever increasing wails of displeasure over the icy cold water.
Back in the conference room, the real Trista returns. "I'm back!" She suddenly realizes Happini isn't present. "Where's your little one?"
"I thought Happini was with you!" Dawn is confused.
Brock then hears some familiar wails coming from a bathroom. "Happini wouldn't be wailing like that if she were with you, Trista...which means..."
"SOMEONE ELSE HAS HAPPINI!!!" everyone panics. Croagunk leads the charge into the bathroom seconds before Jessie can shake Happini and delivers a Poison Jab in her lower torso, sending Happini flying as Jessie rears back in pain. Brock makes a diving catch before Happini can hit the floor. Once Happini realizes she's back in her "daddy"'s arms, her cries calm down a little.
"Are you okay, sweetie? Did fake Trista hurt you at all?" Brock asks, still a little panicked. Happini shakes her head no. "See...this is real Trista." he says, offering Happini to the real Trista, who gives her a pat on the head to reassure her, making her laugh through her tears.
"Your Italian lullaby--sing that." Ash suggests, as he still hears a few tense cries from Happini.
"Sh, now..." Brock assures Happini before softly singing again:
L'arcobaleno é la mia scia
che navigo in cerca di quella montagna di luce all'alba melodia
mi portano indietro ad un tempo passato,
colori immersi nella scia dell'arcobaleno
che giocano in cielo
il vento mi sospinge, eh via!
raggiungo le onde dei sette mari
gli uccelli che volano alti nel cielo d'oriente
la rotta è sicura quell'isola cela un tesoro
All'alba io vedrò le sette terre
che il destino vuole farmi trovare davvero
oh, dolce melodia sprigioni vita
e mi fai cantare forte un messaggio d'amore
per sempre tu sarai in fondo all'anima
così che neanche il tempo ci può separare
oh, dolce melodia sprigioni vita
e mi fai cantare forte un messaggio d'amore
"Aw...she only wanted to hear her daddy's voice..." Dawn smiles as Brock holds the now sleeping Happini close, periodically assuring her she's safe in her "daddy"'s arms.
Jessie gets starry eyed, never mind that she didn't understand a word of the song. "Ooh, I love guys that know Spanish! It sounds so beautiful and romantic!" The scene fades to a dream in an opera house, where Jessie, as a character in an opera, listens as the Brock in the dream sings operatic gibberish to the tune of "Dolce Melodia"
Lost in her opera daydream, Jessie takes a deep breath and belts out "On top of spaghettiiiiiiiii, all covered with cheeeese...I lost my poor meeeeeeeatballllllll, when somebody sneeezed..." As if on cue, Happini sneezes, blowing out the hairpins Jessie was using to keep her hair in disguise.
"Bless you!" Trista smiles.
Brock's expression turns stern as he approaches Jessie. "Kindly explain why you Poke-napped and almost killed my pride and joy..."
Jessie is unfazed, and begins the Team Rocket motto again. "To protect the--OW!!!". her line is cut off by another Poison Jab.
"And unite all--OOF!!" James starts from the next room over before dropping something on his hand.
"I know, I've heard that song before..." Brock sighs.
"I've only heard it once..." Jared notes.
Just then, Meowth sees a sign marked "Free Pikachu--just follow the signs" "Hey look, why have we gone to all dis trouble just to find one Pikachu when we could've gotten one for free?" Excited by the prospect of a free Pikachu, the Rockets forget about the group and wind their way through the Pokemon Center's rooms.
Ash is one step ahead, planting his real Pikachu among a sea of Pikachu dolls he has shockproofed. "You know what to do when they get in here?" Pikachu nods. With that, he posts the last sign pointing into one of the parlors, which reads: "In here! Free Pikachu!"
"How's that trap coming along?" Brock asks when Ash returns a few minutes later.
"They fell for it hook, line, and sinker!" Ash smiles.
"What trap?" Jared is confused.
"See, Team Rocket's always after my Pikachu..." Ash explains. "So I thought I would lure them to a bunch of Pikachu dolls, thinking they'd mistake the dolls for real Pikachus--but when they try to pick one up..."
Everyone suddenly hears a zap and the Rockets crying "They may be dolls but we're blasting off again!" before they disappear into the sky with a ping.
"That happens." Ash concludes as Pikachu returns to him.
"How clever of you, Ash." Trista smiles, impressed. Brock and Jared sigh, as if to say Now why didn't I think of that?
Brock is snapped from his frustration when he sees sewing supplies by a princess costume. "Hey..."
"What are these sewing supplies doing here?" Jared is equally curious before he finds a few patterns for Rs.
"Here's some more over here!" Ash calls, pointing out a few R patterns by a blue jumpsuit.
"Someone almost swiped a string from my guitar..." Brock notes as he puts a string back on his own instrument.
"Here's a Pokeflute with its tuning slides all the way out..." Trista calls. "It wasn't yours." she assures Ash, who heaves a sigh of relief.
"Some tap shoes with a screwdriver..." Dawn notes, figuring that the screwdriver was to remove the taps.
"Apparently the Rockets were planning to ruin the talent showcase that opens the festival..." Trista concludes. "Had you not sprung a trap, Ash...we would have more than a loose guitar string to fix."
"They're not, so long as we're here!" Brock boasts.
Jared opens his mouth to say "What do you mean, we?" but doesn't, out of fear of starting another fight.
Meanwhile, the Rockets struggle to get up from the grass. "Why didn't dey tell me dose Pikachu dolls were booby trapped?" Meowth groans.
"What I want to know is what you two were doing while I was struggling with the Happini...." Jessie sighs.
"I was hooking up the sewing machine to start sewing Rocket logos on all the costumes..." James explains.
"I took a string off the big twerp's guitar and was gonna take da taps off some tap shoes when all that screamin' happened." Meowth continues.
"If that Happini hadn't cried, who knows how much mayhem we could've made!" James smiles.
"There's still time--we can still ruin the show if we don't give the twerps any notice." Jessie assures James.
"Ooh, I could show off some of my wardrobe!" Jessie suggests. James and Meowth stare blankly--what does showing off dresses have to do with swiping a Pikachu?
"Me challenge da big twerp in a guitar duel?" Meowth suggests.
"Boring--showing my sense of style is better--and who knows how longer the big twerp's been playing compared to you." Jessie interjects.
"I could spin bottlecaps!" James is excited about the plot now. He begins daydreaming about showing off complex figures of spinning bottlecaps before Jessie enters the dream and knocks a pyramid over.
"What kind of an idea is THAT?" Jessie is not impressed.
"Okay, we'll do da fashon show..." Meowth admits defeat. James sighs in reluctant agreement.
Jessie smiles. "With my lovely designs, we'll win the festival for sure."
As the Rockets get to work designing clothes for Jessie to wear, a breeze picks up a costume diamond and blows it enough to land by Ash's feet as he takes a stroll in town. He picks it up and looks at it quizzically. How'd this get here? No normal diamond would have the Rocket logo on it...
"Little did Ash know, that diamond was the key to saving both the festival and my friendship with Jared." Brock narrates as Ash pockets the diamond. "The Rockets would stop at nothing to get Pikachu, but they didn't know a diamond was to be their downfall."
To Be Continued...
Episode 6: Debut or Die Time
"The day of the festival dawned warm and sunny, but I was still feeling bad about why my friendship with Jared had turned sour." Brock narrates as we see the Brock in the flashback pacing the floor, thinking about something. "I felt that maybe once Jared saw how much I liked Trista, and she liked me, we could work towards making up." The Brock in the flashback gets a lightbulb over his head. "Naturally, this spurred me to write a song about how I loved Trista."
"I've heard..." the Brock in the flashback writes, but winces at what he wrote. "Nah..." He wads up the paper, throws it in the trash, and starts again. "I've waited....yeah...I've waited all my life!"
"What's happenin'?" Jared asks as he walks in the room, piqued in the paper wads that are rapidly filling up the trash can.
"I'm writing a song for Trista." Brock explains.
Surprisingly, Jared doesn't get defensive. "Really? I've never tried singing to a girl to prove my love to her...but then again, this is coming from someone with zero musical talent."
"Well, it isn't much at the moment--just the first line of a verse." Brock sighs.
"You know, I've been thinking about how our fighting has led Trista to shun us both..." Jared begins. "and I feel its time we apologized for real, shook hands, and made up."
"I've been thinking about that myself..." Brock agrees as he writes some more of his verse, but wads up another paper wad. "I feel a little guilty about fighting even in front of Happini..."
"And me in front of Erin..." Jared sighs.
"Pini pini!" Happini interjects.
"I know, sweetie--sometimes Daddy's feelings get the best of him and he gets mad when he doesn't need to." Brock explains to Happini. "and now he feels sorry for getting mad in front of you."
"Pini..." Happini smiles.
"You forgive me? Thank you!" Brock is relieved.
Meanwhile, Jared is doing the same with Erin. "Look, I'm sorry for fighting over something in front of you..."
"Rio." Erin replies.
"Sometimes I get mad over things I shouldn't..." Jared continues before addressing Brock again. "Now that we've told our teams we're sorry for setting a bad example, shall we show them what we should've done all along?" With that, the two boys hug each other in forgiveness.
"Bout time they made up..." Dawn comments from a nearby lounge.
"Here's hoping they mean it this time." Trista smiles as she walks in the room with her breakfast.
"I know Brock can do some crazy things, but he has a great personality--and is always ready to sing a song or tell a story." Dawn begins. "He never fails to perk me up after a bad day."
"You're right-Brock is a wonderful performer." Trista agrees. Brenna, Hino, and Iris nod in agreement. "Jared, on the other hand, is brave, loyal, and determined to reach his goals. Yet I like both of them, and it's hard to choose between them."
"Not choosing one probably caused them to fight." Dawn notes.
"I'm flattered they both like me back, but I fear that choosing one will ruin my relationship with the other." Trista explains. "Even if I choose one, I'd like to be friends with the other too."
"Squirtle!" Brenna suggests.
"Char char!" Hino agrees, pantomiming playing a guitar to illustrate his point.
Dawn and Trista laugh, then Dawn interjects. "Score one for Brock."
"Beautifly!" Iris nods in agreement.
"If they overhear us, they may fight over points." Dawn cautions.
Back with the boys, Jared listens as Brock plays a potential melody for the song. Maybe Brock’s a better fit for Trista, Jared thinks as he listens to the tune. She IS an artist, after all, and Brock looks like he’s an excellent performer. He flashes a smile at Happini, who is nodding her head to the tune. Yet even if she chooses some other guy, that’s okay-there’s always another girl for me--I have Brock to thank for teaching me that.
"What do you think?" Brock asks as he concludes the melody, snapping Jared from his thoughts.
"Reminds me of a starry night..." Jared replies. He then gets an idea. "In fact, that gave me an idea for the song's title!"
"Really?" Brock is interested.
"How about...'Oh Starry Night'? Jared suggests.
Brock plays a few uncertain notes before experimenting with some chords for the song's chorus. "Got any ideas for a chorus?"
"I think so..." Jared clears his throat and joins in as Brock plays the melody for the chorus: Oh starry night, is this the moment I've dreamed of? Oh starry night, is she my own true love? Erin covers her ears in disgust at her master's singing.
"Not bad for on the fly lyrics..." Brock notes.
"I'm not that good a singer..." Jared confesses.
Brock sets his guitar aside and starts writing another verse. "Every night, I think of her..."
In town, Ash relaxes under a tree and watches the festival personnel set up stages, tents, and booths. Such a nice day... he smiles as he fumbles for his Pokeflute and blows a few notes to see if he's in tune. Pikachu perks up and writes "TIPS" on a Styrofoam cup. With that, Ash starts playing "The Lakes of Hiluna" again--and a crowd begins to form, enamored by how this young boy can play so well. The music carries over the bustle, and soon reaches the ears of Team Rocket, who have just arrived in town.
"Whoever sprung that trap on us is gonna pay..." Jessie grumbles.
"Please don't let there be any more Pikachu dolls." James sighs. Just then, he ses what he thinks are Pikachu heads on a musical staff floating in his direction. He rubs his eyes and learns that it was just his imagination, but he can still make out the notes of a Pokeflute being played way off in the distance.
"What a nice song..." Meowth yawns. "Makes me wanna take a nap..." He yawns as the Pokeflute changes its tune to "Together"
"Fine time to take a nap!" Jessie barks, startling Meowth awake. "Let's see who's playing that song!"
After following the music to the knoll Ash is performing on, James is surprised to discover the Pokeflutist's identity. "I could play much better than the twerp!" he boasts.
"Dat was back when you were in da tird grade!" Meowth interjects.
"Fortunately, I still have the same Pokeflute I played back then!" James smiles, triumphantly holding a Pokeflute over his head. With that, he tries to play the reel "Off to Pastoria", but his rendition is out of tune, squeaky, and flat. As the awful song continues, James veers to dodge a tomato. A shoe flies at him next, followed by a pie.
"Go trow stuff at da twerp!" Meowth begs as more Berries, pies and shoes come raining on him and his comrades, spurring them to flee the scene. Ash, meanwhile, is so lost in his performance, he doesn't even know of the ruckus nearby.
"Pikachu..." Pikachu is enraptured by his master's skill--even when he's only practicing, it sounds good. Ash sees Pikachu sitting nearby and starts to improvise a tune that starts out as "Summertime" before turning into an upbeat tune with lots of trills and runs up and down the scale. "Pika pi!" Pikachu and the crowd are impressed. Inspired, Pikachu decides to dance along to Ash's tune, spurring them to get more tips.
Some hours later, Pikachu collapses on the grass, tired, and Ash heaves from playing a long stretch of tunes. "I hope it's not too late to enter the talent showcase..." he wheezes as the crowd roars with applause. After signing up for that at the appropriate booth, the twosome return to the Pokemon Center.
"Welcome back..." Trista smiles.
"Did you hear? The boys have made up and are writing a song together." Dawn explains.
"Really?" Ash is impressed. "I wonder who'll take credit when they play it."
"Way to ruin our hopes the makeup was for real..." Dawn groans. "They may just fight over that."
"So much for them getting along..." Trista sighs as Brock enters the room, guitar in tow.
"We wrote a song for you, Trista..." Brock begins. "Jared wrote the words and I wrote the music."
Dawn cheers and Trista smiles--they decided to share the credit! Ash tosses his cap in the air in celebration, and Pikachu flashes a peace sign. "Let's hear it, then!" Trista requests. Before Brock can even play a note, a loud ruckus gets his attention.
Ash glances out the window to see that the Rockets have hijacked one of the stages and are modeling tacky outfits while the crowd heckles them. "You call neon swirly dresses high fashion?" he smirks.
"With these bright colors, no man will be able to resist!" he hears James say.
"Yeah, he won't be able to resist laughing at how tacky you look!" Dawn comments as she joins Ash by the open window.
"I'd say that huge bow has your showman outfit beat by far, Brock..." Ash notes, pointing out a gigantic gold bow so large, it can be seen from the front. The group continues gawking at the outlandish dresses and hats.
"How dare you mock my fashion sense?" Jessie roars at the heckling crowd. "I am a skilled fashion designer!"
"Yeah, as skilled as a clown!" a boy calls, causing the crowd and onlookers from inside buildings to laugh. Jessie is undeterred, but changes into another dress wearing a hat crowned with so many feathers, flowers and other ornaments that it looks as if it could tip over at any moment.
"And I thought Brock's mariachi suit was over the top...." Ash gasps. Brock stifles a giggle as he plays a few bars of "O Christmas Tree".
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, come crashing down on top of me... Ash and Dawn sing along.
"Not only is this beautiful, it makes a nice umbrella!" James comments on the outfit.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious!" a girl heckles.
Jessie's next outfit looks like something out of a history textbook--in the chapter on 1800's fashion. "Need a time machine?" Jared heckles as he studies the huge round skirts with what seems like hundreds of layers. A odango hairstyle completes the hilarious look.
She is the one...Sailor Jessie! Ash heckles. Happini finds this wildly funny and almost falls over laughing.
Suddenly, the frame supporting the skirts flips up due to a wind gust, sending Jessie falling to the floor with a crash. However, she lands on the skirts, making her bounce back up, and get tossed in the breeze, much to the delight of the crowd.
Dawn can hardly contain her laughter as Jessie struggles to get up. "Who needs TV when this is just as entertaining?"
"I'll say..." Ash smiles as he returns with popcorn, chips, soda, and other snacks.
"I'm putting it on MyTube!" Jared smiles as he tapes the struggle with a mini camera.
Back with the Rockets, every attempt to free Jessie only leads to being blown about in the wind some more. "Who's writing this torture?" Jessie gasps. We then cut over to a deep brown haired girl and a black braided girl laughing profusely as they type on PCs in the Pokemon Center.
"Goils...every little ting is funny." Meowth sighs as he tries to undo the frame, but he only gets caught in it himself.
"Quit your musing and help me here!" Jessie demands as the mass of fabric goes bouncing off the stage and onto the road. "Mercy!" Jessie calls. The girls that are typing look at each other, nod, and type some more, conjuring a bus in the scene. Meowth frantically begs "Rewrite!" as the trio bounces by. Suddenly, the deep brown haired girl erases something on her screen, making the bus disappear and conjuring a huge mud puddle in its place.
"Who are those girls?" Forest asks.
"My muses." Brock replies. "They're known to take creative liberties sometimes." At this, the Rockets land in the mud.
"Even I'm starting to feel sorry for them." Ash notes as he offers the deep brown haired girl some popcorn. "This beats any movie or TV show." He notices that Jessie has finally gotten out of the outlandish outfit. "How'd she get out of that?" The deep brown haired girl gets up and comforts Jessie, who is in tears from the ordeal.
"I guess your muses decided to show her some mercy." Dawn smiles at Brock.
Meowth is astounded at the tips they received. "We should do dis more often!"
"NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Jessie snaps. The black haired girl arrives and gives Jessie a ruby bracelet to console her.
Later that night, the whole town turns out for the talent showcase. "Despite the Rockets, the talent show went as planned--but the Rockets were not through yet!" Brock narrates as we see the Meowth balloon hovering over the stage.
To Be Continued...
hehe well Brock is a really good singer(about the first one) I would love to see Brock do all these things!
"Everything belongs to Team Galactic! Look beyond the world- space will become Team Galactic's!"
This actually started as a long conversation between a friend and me about what we wished Brock would do to impress a girl. Before long, it evolved into its own plot, and we decided we would write it down. The muses in Episode 6 are actually anime versions of my co-author (the black haired one) and me (the deep brown haired one)
Episode 7: The Show Must Go On!
Jessie grumbles as she prepares to drape a banner with an R on it onto the stage from above. "If they think they can laugh at our show, we'll ruin their show back!"
Down below, some personnel hang Trista's paintings on another stage while Trista carefully paints a heart on one girl's cheek. Jared, meanwhile, studies a laptop intently.
"How's that video of the Rocket's fashion disaster doing?" Brock asks as he tries to get a look at the screen.
"Amazing!" Jared smiles as he shows Brock the video's stats. "It got 500,000 views last night alone, three honors, and was featured on my homepage this morning. And I only put it up last night!"
Back in the balloon, James logs onto a laptop himself, and logs into MyTube. "Hey, check this out!"
"Not another cute Skitty video..." Jessie groans. She looks at the screen and screams when she discovers it is the humiliation she suffered that afternoon.
"Look at it dis way, at least you're a star!" Meowth smiles.
"Look, you guys...when the big twerp gets on the stage to do whatever, you guys trigger the banners!" Jessie explains as calmly as possible. "As payback for ruining our show, we won't let them have theirs! And while the crowds are panicking, swap the girl's paints with these permanant ones!" She starts to dig through her bag to show them the paints, but nothing is there. "Funny...I knew I packed the paints...." She sweatdrops when she realizes she forgot the paints and lands the balloon on a hill. "James, go see if you can sabotage the big twerp's instrument somehow!"
"I'll go with you!" Meowth volunteers.
"No, help me find the paints!" Jessie replies.
Meanwhile, Brock steps onstage, and hears his own guitar being played and a flat voice singing There is, a house, in New Orleans that they call the Rising Sun--"um, what does "Fmaj7 mean?"
"Ahem..." Brock starts, startling James and Meowth. "That's my guitar..."
"Da big twerp!" Meowth gasps.
"I have just the thing to teach you guys a lesson..." Brock continues. We cut over to the deep brown haired girl and black haired girl in a tent nearby, this time before two laptops, listening for what Brock will say. "Twenty seven pianos." he muses as he reclaims his instrument.
James and Meowth look at each other. "Twenty seven pianos?" The girls type Brock's request, and suddenly, a piano lands on James with a KRONG!!! No sooner does James recover from the surprise, a smaller piano lands on Meowth.
Brock walks down the street, counting the KRONGs as he walks. "eighteen...nineteen, twenty, twenty one...twenty two...." He pauses as he passes the muses tent. "Thanks..." The girls giggle as the twenty seventh KRONG! is heard not far away.
"What happened to you?" Jessie asks as James and Meowth come staggering back, battered.
"Da big twerp has magic power or sometin'...." Meowth explains.
"Magic? I thought that only worked in cartoons!" Jessie is shocked.
"All he said was 'Twenty seven pianos", and we got'em!" Meowth protests.
Meanwhile, Ash warms up for his performance--even though he's only running up and down the Bb scale in various ways, he's already attracted a crowd.
"I wish whoever's writing dis didn't send twenty seven pianos..." Meowth groans as he and James stumble through the crowds. "What's next, dose goils enchanting da hat twerp's flute?" Inspired, the muses type this request, prompting James and Meowth to dance hypnotically along with Ash's practice, even though it is just scales. Ash then changes his tune to a tune he'd written days earlier--"Trista's Reel". The crowd thinks James and Meowth are showing off a new dance craze and join in.
Jessie sees the muses typing away and half screams "Can't you write something nice about us? Like we catch that Pikachu?" The deep brown haired girl looks at the black haired girl for a moment, both nod, and type something. "Thank you!" Jessie smiles, thinking the muses wrote something nice.
That's what you think... Brock smirks as he flashes a thumbs up to his muses.
Just then a boy approaches James. "Awesome clothes earlier!" he smiles as Ash finishes his sound check, breaking the spell. "Can I have your autograph?" James nervously fishes out a pen and signs his name in small, scritchy letters on one page of the boy's autograph book.
Jessie snatches the pen away, flattered that someone had something nice to say about the show. "Honest? You mean it? Thanks!" she smiles as she writes her name in swirly letters and gives it back to the boy.
"I could barely read dat, Jessie..." Meowth complains as the boy walks away.
"Well, of course you couldn't read it, only true fans appriciate beauty!" Jessie smiles.
James sighs. "It looks like a marking on Pokeflute music..." Inspired, Ash starts a waltz tune reminescent of Jigglypuff's song.
"How nice, the twerp knows one of the waltzes my parents played at parties..." Jessie sighs as she partners up with James, never mind the muses are laughing at her. Meowth sways to the beat with an imagined partner, getting sleepier all the while. The muses, meanwhile, put on headphones so they don't fall asleep to Ash's performance, but by the time the song ends, the Rockets are fast asleep. As Ash relaxes in between sets, the deep brown haired girl types something, creating Jigglypuff by the snoozing Rockets. Seeing as her targets are fast asleep, Jigglypuff goes right to work drawing on the Rockets. Once Jigglypuff finishes, Ash smiles and starts a jig-like tune, jolting the Rockets awake. After rubbing the sleep from their eyes, a quick check in the mirror reveals what happened. "Did you draw on my face?" Jessie growls.
"If I did, I don't remember doing it!" James protests. "You must've drawn on mine!"
"I didn't do anyting!" Meowth pleads as his cohorts eye him.
"Then WHO did?" Jessie demands, grabbing a pie from a food stall. "Fess up!" With that, she heaves the pie at James. He ducks, making it land on a sculpture with a SPLUT!. Angered, the sculptor grabs another pie and heaves it at Jessie. Jessie fires another pie, but it lands on a passing girl, who in turn throws a pie back. This cycle repeats until the street erupts in utter chaos, and when the pies run out, other food, berries, shoes, and even leaves go flying.
Brock smiles at his muses. "I think that's enough chaos...good work, girls." The deep brown haired girl high fives the black haired girl.
"Despite the chaos, those that got involved understood the Rockets had started it, and still planned to return the next year." Brock narrates as we return to the cleaned street, where Brock is playing the intro to his song as Dawn, Ash, Trista, and Jared look on. "And I finally got to play the song Jared helped me write." With that, the Brock in the flashback sings as he plays:
I've waited all of my life, for the day when love appears...
Like a fairy tale in days gone by,
I will rescue her from her fears...
And now I feel her standing close to me...
And how can I tell her what she means to me?
Her heart stands still -- has he come?
Oh starry night, is this the moment I dream of?
Oh starry night, Tell me, is she my own true love?
Every night I think of her
There in her lonely room
Waiting for her prince to come
Wondering if he'll be here soon
And she sits patiently, waiting for a sign
And she hopes that my heart longs for hers
I call her name, am I the one?
Oh starry night, is this the moment I dream of?
Oh starry night, Tell me, is she my own true love?
Oh starry night, is she the one that I dream of?
Oh starry night,
How will I know? Will her love show? Is she my own true love?
Trista's face turns to joy as Brock sets his guitar aside and embraces her. "That was wonderful!" she laughs over the cheers and applause. Jared turns to Ash and smiles--Trista's choice looks pretty clear to him.
"That wasn't the only thing we had planned for the crowd that night..." Brock narrates as we see a blue ribbon pinned on the "Por Una Rosa" painting. "Trista won first prize in abstract art, and we had a few more stories for our audience..."
We join the group onstage as Brock begins a story: "A long time ago, in a place far away from here, there lived a mother and her daughter. Since the daughter loved the color red very much, she was named Akaiko, which means 'red child'. One day, as they worked in the fields..." Brock mimics digging in dirt. "A great Charizard flew down from the sky and snatched Akaiko in his claws. Akaiko's last words to her mother as she was carried away were..."
"Mother my mother, so dearest to me, someday my brother will come rescue me." Dawn fills in the dialogue.
"I have lost my only child..." Trista fills in the mother's dialogue.
"the mother thought as she wept." Brock narrates.
"Who could this brother be?" Trista adds.
"Well, some time passed, and the mother had a second child, a son." Brock continues. "The child was born looking up at the sky in wonder, so he was named Aozora, or 'blue sky'. The mother wished for Aozora to rescue his sister, but couldn't bear to give her son such a dangerous quest. So, for many years, she locked herself in her room and wept late into the night." Trista sits down in a chair and pretends to cry to illustrate Brock's point. "But one day, a Murkrow happened to land by a window and said to her..." He switches to a gravely voice reminiscent of a Murkrow. "Your sister's suffering way out there! Weeping in that Charizard's lair! Ruby red stains upon her back, digging up rocks with hands so bare!" He returns to himself. "Aozora happened to overhear this, and asked his mother..."
"Is it true I have a sister?" Ash fills in Aozora's line.
"You speak true..." Trista replies.
"the mother replied." Brock narrates.
"Because she loved the color red so much, she was called Akaiko, the red child. That evil Charizard who has slain so many took her from me ten years ago." Trista fills in more dialogue.
"Aozora took up a large stick..." Brock continues, prompting Ash to pick up a long dowel. "and said..."
"I'm going to slay that Charizard, and save my sister!" Ash triumphantly declares in character as Aozora. "Then he will never harm our land again!" He slams the dowel on the stage to prove his point, prompting some applause from the crowd.
"Aozora left early the next morning, and walked for many miles." Brock continues as Ash walks around the stage for a moment. "As he wound around a mountain road, he saw a large rock blocking the way--and if he didn't remove it, it would mean a potentially deadly fall." At this, Ash stops walking and examines an imaginary rock. "He thrust his stick under the rock and pushed with all his might..." Ash pretends to push against something heavy. "but his stick broke with a snap!" He slams two slats of wood together, making a loud cracking noise as the lights go down for a second, then come back up again, revealing that Ash has abandoned the dowel. "Then, Aozora picked up the rock, and threw it into a ravine with all his strength." Brock narrates as Ash picks up the imagined rock and tosses it away. "When Aozora looked in the place where the rock had been, he saw a tiny gold flute." Ash picks up one of his whistles, this one in brass, that is lying by his feet. "So after examining it for a moment, he picked it up and blew a single clear note..." At this, Ash blows a single high D note. "He tried a few more notes..." Ash starts going up the D major scale. "before trying to play a tune. No sooner had he begun playing, did all the Pokemon of the mountain come to listen and dance to the little flute."
The group's Pokemon dance out onstage as Ash performs a quick reel. "But as soon as Aozora stopped playing..." Ash finishes his song to some applause. "the Pokemon stopped dancing." Brock waits as the Pokemon retreat backstage and the applause dies down before going on. "Aozora took the little flute with him, and continued on his way. Before long, he came to the Charizard's cave high on the mountain. While the Charizard was sleeping, the sheer number of human and Pokemon bones nearby were a testament to how many others had tried to save Akaiko and failed." The crowd murmurs as Brock goes on. "Aozora also saw a familiar girl in red hammering away at the rock, with tears streaming down her face." Dawn gets on her knees and pretends to hammer at some rock while feigning sadness. "Although the girl wanted to cry out very much, if she ever did so, the Charizard would burn her with his flaming tail and scold her, saying..."
"Ungrateful, loathsome Mistress Red!" Jared interjects, in character as the Charizard. "Since with me you will not wed, day by day, rock by rock, carve for me a handsome cave, or else I'll send you to your grave!"
"Aozora recognized the girl as his sister, Akaiko, and so he charged into the cave and shouted..." Brock continues.
"Wicked monster, Evil fiend! For torturing my sister so!" Ash announces as he charges onstage to some cheers. "Till your wretched life shall end..." he warns, turning his cap back and retriving the whistle from his pocket. "On this flute I shall blow and blow!" With that, he starts another reel.
Brock continues over the music "Aozora then began to play the little flute, and the Charizard danced in spite of himself." At this, Jared does a silly dance, much to the delight of the crowd. "Akaiko, meanwhile, abandoned her chiesel and hurried outside to watch." Dawn gets up and runs over to another part of the stage. "Aozora continued to play, and the Charizard continued to dance--the faster Aozora played, the faster the Charizard danced." The crowd laughs as Ash speeds up his reel, making Jared dance faster. "Akaiko came close to Aozora, wishing to speak to her brother, but she was very aware that if Aozora stopped playing, the Charizard would eat them both." Dawn walks up by Ash's side and waves to get his attention, but Ash waves her away as he finishes his tune. "Finally the Charizard pleaded..."
"Human, I see that you are stronger!" Jared heaves, in a tired variant of his Charizard voice. "Play no more, torture me no longer! I will send the girl home if you just leave me alone!"
"Yet Aozora did not stop playing..." Brock continues, prompting Ash to start another reel and Jared to dance again. "As he played, he led the Charizard to a great lake. The Charizard fell into the water with huge splash, making the water level rise several feet. He again pleaded with Aozora..."
"Human, I said that you were stronger! Let me stay inside this pond, and torture folk no longer!" Jared wheezes as Ash finishes his second tune.
"Aozora replied..." Brock narrates.
"Evil fiend, this is my bargain..." Ash intones as Aozora. "Stay at the bottom of the lake, and never do harm again."
"With that, the Charizard sank to the bottom of the lake..." Brock continues as Jared lies down and plays dead. "Aozora took Akaiko by the hand..." Ash and Dawn hold hands. "and set out for home. They had not gotten very far when they heard splashing from the lake." Ash and Dawn look behind them and feign fear as Jared gets up. "The Charizard emerged from the lake, determined to kill the both of them." Jared lunges at Ash and Dawn, making the crowd gasp.
"Akaiko cautioned..." Brock narrates.
"You go deep when digging a well, and you pull up roots when plowing a field, but while that Charizard lives, to kind ways he will not yield." Dawn fills in the dialogue.
"Aozora raced back to the lake's shore, playing the little flute all the while..." Brock continues, prompting Ash to play yet another reel, and and Jared to dance again. "He played for seven days and nights, until the Charizard's body came floating back to him." Ash concludes this tune to some applause. "Sister and brother returned home, Aozora carrying the Charizard's corpse in his arms." Ash walks up to Trista with Dawn and pretends to offer something to Trista. "When the mother saw her two children returning, she smiled with great joy, and ran to embrace them." Some "Aww"s go up from the crowd as Trista hugs Ash and Dawn. "They used the Charizard's scales and bones to build a house..." Trista, Ash, and Dawn mimic picking off scales and building. "and the Charizard's teeth as plowshares...and using these plowshares, they never went hungry again." Trista, Ash and Dawn mimic digging in dirt. "Yet Aozora kept the little flute with him, just in case he needed its song again." Ash adds a little flourish on his instrument before Brock adds "The end."
The crowd roars as the group takes a bow. When the applause dies down, Trista begins another story: "Once a landowner hired a young boy skilled in woodworking..."
Meanwhile, the Rockets are designing posters in a tent of their own. One reads 'Free Show, This Way!' 'See Elaborate Bottlecap Structures!' reads another. 'Beautiful Costumes!' reads a third.
"They think they can hog the spotlight..." Jessie smirks as she hangs her batch of posters up. "They'll have no audience when we're done!"
"Fairy tales are nothing compared to us!" James agrees. "And hopefully nothing will go wrong this time! No MyTube videos here!"
"The only reason that wound up on MyTube was because you didn't know how to remove the outfit properly..." Jessie sighs, still embarrassed that she's a viral video star. True, she'd always wanted to be a star, but not because of a fashion fiasco.
"How were we supposed to know how to remove da ting?" Meowth complains as he designs a prop scepter. "All dose layers were your idea!" He reaches for the diamond that's supposed to be on top, but discovers it isn't there. "Funny...where'd my fake diamond go?"
"Let's go look!" and Jessie drags Meowth into the crowds and all the way to the twerps' stage, where the crowd is watching in awe as Ash wows the crowd with a rousing Pokeflute solo, while Pikachu dances away. "That Pokeflutist again! And he's not even playing real Pokeflute music!"
"Real or not, this has a hot beat!" James is swaying to the beat. Jessie, meanwhile, sees the diamond decorating a ring box on the stage's backdrop of a elaborate room.
As the lights go down to allow Ash time to swap instruments, Meowth sneaks on the darkened stage to retrieve the diamond. He returns a few moments later. "Mission accomplished!"
"What do you suppose the twerp will play next?" Jessie muses.
"Violin?" James suggests.
Jessie pictures Ash playing a violin and shudders. "Nah, he doesn't look the violin type to me. Besides, it could just sound like a Meowth fight."
"Trumpet?" James suggests again, changing Jessie's mental image to Ash playing a trumpet solo with a jazz band.
"I doubt he'd even know how to blow one of dose." Meowth boasts as he gives the diamond to Jessie.
"Harp?" James suggests again.
Jessie deviously smiles as she pictures Ash as an angel with a harp. "Yes...that's perfect for the angel he'll be when we're done!" The Rockets smirk and hurry onstage, where they start unscrewing some of the lights, but decide against it when they realize that killing someone would be a bit too extreme in terms of revenge.
As they are screwing the lights back on, Ash returns to the stage. "Funny, why are the lights out? Ah well, I'll just play the blues on my harp anyway..."
"Hear that? He IS gonna play a harp!" James smiles, never mind that the harp he is expecting would not fit in someone's hand.
"Silly, harp is anudder name for da harmonica!" Meowth explains.
"Ooh, I bet he'll be singing the blues after we take Pikachu!" Jessie smiles as she climbs down and sneaks over to a piano, where Pikachu is snoozing.
"Jessie, don't!" James begs. "Remember the show?"
"Go on, get Pikachu!" Meowth counters. "Da show can wait! Da boss would be proud!"
"Maestro..." Ash smiles, motioning to Pikachu's direction. The two of them begin a harmonica and piano boogie, with Pikachu dancing on the keys. Jessie, however, is positioned to grab Pikachu if he passes over the G below middle C, but every swipe she makes results in Pikachu stepping on her fingers.
Jessie admits defeat as the song ends. 'Very well, let's focus on the show....and my aching fingers." We see that her fingers throb in rhythm to the beat of what was just performed.
"But before the Rockets could retreat, I had something to perform for them too..." Brock narrates as a calm guitar melody plays over some waves for a moment. "And you already know what it is..."
The music picks up into a samba beat and Brock appears in his Paradaisu gear, much to the delight of the crowd. La-la-la, la la la, it is so wonderful!
La-la-la, la la la, letters of love and joy!
La-la-la, and it is, la-la-la,
And it is...
OH! MY LOVELY ONE!!! Jared stiffles a bemused giggle at the outfit, but Erin has stars in her eyes.
"How is dancing around in a mariachi suit better then us?" James is shocked.
"Better at embarrassing himself..." Jessie grumbles. "We'll do much better than this!"
Brock just continues: "Oh yes, I understand...
I fall in love so easily...
My heart has been broken...
Too many times to see...
Yet there is, too little space
For me...to get back up again!
And even if they think of me...
As someone much too carefree...
And even if they make fun of me...
Laughing at my foolish deeds...
Follow the dream, just for me...
Follow the dream, just for me...
Follow the dream, just for me...
My dream is alive!
Come on now, la-la-la, it is so wonderful!
La-la-la, la la la, hear a word's beautiful sound!
La-la-la, and it is, la-la-la,
And it is...
My lovely one...
"We'll see who the lovely one will be when we take the stage!" Jessie retorts as the dance break starts.
"We had a great time at the festival, but before long, it was time to say goodbye..." Brock narrates as the scene cuts to Trista, Jared, and the group on a road outside of town.
"Thank you for everything..." Trista smiles as she and Brock hug again. "If you ever want to write me, here's my card." She gives Brock a business card with her contact information on it.
Brock takes the card and pockets it. "You really want a letter from me?"
Ash's mouth hits the ground. "No way--Brock actually writing to a girl?" Dawn gasps.
"Say goodbye to your crazy mode." Ash agrees.
Jared is next. "Although we almost killed each other, I think our fighting actually turned out to be for the better."
"You think so?" Brock is surprised.
"Yeah...I learned that being rejected is okay--and that you should just pick yourself up and try again when it comes." Jared smiles. "And I have you to thank for that." He extends a hand to Brock. "Friends?"
"Friends." Brock replies as he accepts Jared's handshake.
Happini whines as she is taken from Trista's arms. "I know you don't want to leave, but we have to go." Brock explains. "So say bye-bye."
"Goodbye, sweetheart..." Trista coos. "I wish you and your caretaker well--and you can write to me too." This cheers Happini up a little.
"Rio!" Erin calls. "Rio riolu."
"Okay, go say goodbye to Happini." Jared smiles. Erin runs over and gives Happini a hug and a small piece of paper with Jared's contact information on it. "Rio rio!" she smiles.
"Pini!" Happini replies.
"She says don't forget to write." Jared replies as Happini is returned to her bundle.
"We won't." Brock assures Jared.
"Bye, everyone!" Ash calls.
"So with that, we continued on our way..." Brock narrates as the scene of the group walking down the road returns to the present again. "Since then, Trista and I have written quite frequently....and Jared has too." he continues as he sets his guitar aside.
Lola arrives with the mail. "You got a letter today, Brock." she smiles as she hands Brock a letter on painting stationery.
Brock recognizes the return address as Trista's. "Fancy that--she decided to write me today..." he starts as he tears open the envelope.
"Read it! Read it!" the kids chant.
"Well..." Brock is unsure.
"Brock and Trista, sittin' in a tree..." Terra mocks.
Brock contemplates throwing one of the pillows on the couch, but decides against it. "Okay, I'll read a little bit of it."
"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!" the kids cheer. They gather close around Brock's chair.
"Okay...Dear Brock, I hope you and your friends are doing well. This week, I have been in Fuschia for a lecture on drawing music..." Brock begins to read the letter. "Many people came, and I used the painting we made as one of my examples...."
We notice the Rockets outside the house, disguised as trees. "Just look at all the pizza boxes!" James gasps, awed at the pizza from before. Meowth licks his lips, but hangs his head when we see Brock put the pizza that's left over in the refrigerator.
"We were so close to snatching a Pokemon a few months ago..." Jessie laments.
"But what happened to the Rockets?" a child's voice asks, making the Rockets groan as the scene swirls into another flashback.
"As it turns out, their show didn't go so hot." Brock narrates as the curtain goes up on the Rockets, only for James to discover that exactly one person showed up. James sweatdrops on the unenthusiastic cooltrainer and dashes backstage.
"Why aren't there more people?" Jessie demands. "We advertised and everything!"
"Maybe our posters got torn down?" James suggests.
"Maybe everyone else had udder plans?" Meowth adds. "Or da twerps had da better show?"
"How dare they?" Jessie storms out onstage and slips on what's left of a pie. The point where the pie impacted is located on the back curtain.
Before long, shoes and more pies come flying at the stage, prompting the Rockets to flee. "I thought there was only one person there!" James yelps. But when we look again, we see the muses in their tent, typing away. They smile and wink as the deep brown haired girl types "The End".
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