MFW Dawn has a wet dream about Ash.
I kid, I kid. I just started it tonight and it's really great. Keep up the good work.
MFW Dawn has a wet dream about Ash.
I kid, I kid. I just started it tonight and it's really great. Keep up the good work.
Next chapter NOW please. Kthx
I'm finally caught up and all I can say is...
I'm okay with this!
I now understand why people like it so much!
Obviously, from a writing standpoint, I'm not really as good as a lot of authors because I don't use OCs. I have a hard enough time trying to do what I can to add a little more depth to Ash, Dawn, etc. And I couldn't imagine how much talent it takes for people who are good at creating amazing characters completely from scratch. It's one of the many things I hope to improve upon in the future in terms of writing.
At the end of the day, I write The Power Inside because I enjoy doing so. Like I said, I love the anime, and it's what I like to write about. I feel lucky that a few people have seemed to enjoy reading it.
I've been reading and following the fic for a long time and I think I posted a comment on the tenth chapter. But I have to say, you have a talent when it comes to battles, description and bringing life to a story.
These things that to me, makes the story stand out.
What I mean is, that you can easily translate real-life situations and incorprate them in the story, I admire that.
Description is another major thing, you're great at it.
I'm still learning, but it looks like you have got a firm grip on those.
Chapter 1 review: This was a perfect example of using imagery, discription, and smooth sentence structure to draw in and capture the readers undivided attention. I found the lack of actual dialouge was the strongest aspect of this chapter. I still can't believe how interested became while reading about a girl watching T.V. in her bedroom. That alone says volumes. I have nothing but good things to say. I'll review each chapter individually until I'm caught up.
I agree chapter one is fantastic in how you really let the reader into mistys head. We feel her pain, and at the same time you introduce the tournament and ash. Pretty skillful if you ask me. Anywho I'm still eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Just one word...
Hah, thanks for all the comments guys. It really means a lot that you guys are reading. Be sure to check out all the rest of the amazing works here at the Writer's Workshop!
Any idea when the next chapter will be up?
Here is Chapter 16 finally. If you remember, last time, we left with Ash losing in both heartbreaking and suspicious fashion. And after resisting a couple of sexual advances, Ash and the gang return to Pallet Town, where his mother has planned a surprise welcome home party for him!
Thanks everyone for reading. If you don't mind and have the time, I'd really appreciate any feedback you'd be willing to post. Enjoy.
The celebration had begun almost immediately after Ash and his friends had arrived at the Ketchum residence in the late afternoon. The sun was just beginning to set, bathing the entire town of Pallet in its beauty. The starving guest of honor had wasted no time in rushing through the house to the spacious back yard, where the elaborate spread of food and refreshments had already been laid out across several wooden picnic tables.
Beyond the Ketchum's backyard, in the large grassy fields just outside of the residence, a diverse group of pokémon were running around and playing with each other. Pikachu, Piplup, Glaceon, Golduck and the rest of Ash, Misty, May, Dawn, Brock and Max’s pokémon were all frolicking about, as well as many others that presumably belonged to various people who were attending the party. They all seemed to be enjoying the freedom of the vast meadow very much on this gorgeously sunny evening.
Back at the house party, Ash had piled his plate high with rice, fish filets, potato salad, hot dogs and many other dishes. He was now seated at one of the picnic tables that had been set up and was admiring his mound of goodies. With his eyes wide with anticipation, Ash began ravenously stuffing his face, pausing only to greet and accept commendation from many of his neighbors and fellow Pallet Town residents who were all mingling happily throughout the Ketchums’ yard.
“Hey Ashy Boy,” a teen with spiky brown hair said as he slid into the empty seat next to Ash. “I came over to ask you how you’re feeling after the surgery and all... but judging by the way you're inhaling that food, it looks like you’re doing just fine!”
“Gary!” Ash shouted as he nearly choked on a mouthful of food. He swallowed and smiled, happy to see his childhood rival and friend. “I didn’t know you were back in town! How are ya?!”
“Oh you know, can't complain. Yeah, I’m back in Kanto now. I’ve been traveling around the region conducting some research on the migratory patterns of pidgy in the area.”
“Cool! Sounds interesting,” Ash said sincerely before shoveling another heaping spoonful of rice into his mouth.
“Yup... Grandpa called and told me you were gonna be coming back home, so I decided to come see ya. I watched all your battles on T.V., Ash. That was quite the match between you and Lance.”
Ash felt his emotional high that he had been on diminish slightly at the mention of his battle with Lance. He had nearly forgotten about the heartbreaking defeat he had just suffered not even two days ago. He had been so busy enjoying all the great food and company, that he really hadn't thought about just how painfully close had been to defeating a trainer whom many people regarded as 'the best in the world.'
“Yeah, I guess,” he replied quietly.
“Oh, come on, Ash! You have nothing to be ashamed of,” Gary said, trying to cheer up his childhood rival. “You battled like a champion. You nearly beat Lance. Lance... the Dragon Master! He’s probably the best trainer alive, and you almost beat him!”
“Yeah… I know,” Ash said sadly at first, but was determined not to dwell on the loss. Sounding more cheerful, he grinned and added, “Thanks Gary.”
But before Ash's friend could respond, a female voice suddenly chimed in from behind where Ash and Gary were sitting.
The two boys both turned around, and Ash nearly dropped his entire plate of food on the ground. The wide-eyed fifteen-year-old looked absolutely stunned to see who was standing before them.
“Lexi!?” Ash nearly shouted. “Is that you? What are you doing here?”
A curvacious yet slender and very attractive brown-haired girl smiled at the boys. She was wearing a snug, pink tank top and very short white shorts which hugged the girl's figure seductively. Her brown hair was only slightly darker than Gary’s, and it cascaded beautifully down past her shoulders.
“Hey, Ash,” the girl replied sweetly as she took a seat next to the boy. “You're looking well.”
“Who's this, Ash?” Gary asked with a polite smile, extending his arm across the table to shake the girl's hand. “I don't believe we've met.”
“Oh... um... Gary, this is Lexi,” Ash stammered finally, still looking extremely surprised to see the girl. “We met in Sapphire City last week. We uh...”
The boy couldn't help stumbling over his words. Ash was rattled by the sudden realization that Lexi Moss was the only one who knew all about his amazing gold coin as she had been there to witness it in action. A week ago at the Pokemon Center in Sapphire City, she had seen the Zak Seabrook's Hyper-Beam strike him dead before his mysterious “gift” had miraculously revived him, instantly healing his wounds. This made things a bit awkward. Ash wasn't really sure what to say to Lexi or Gary.
He couldn't exactly just tell his friend a lot about what had gone on in Sapphire City in regards to the coin and its apparent super-powers. Someone as analytical and science-oriented as Gary would never believe something so outlandish even if he told him. Ash also didn't feel it was right to share what Lexi had told him about her older sister being abducted, so not knowing what else to do, he just remained silent. The boy wasn't even exactly sure what Lexi was doing here. Ever since the night he had let her sleep in his room, Ash hadn't seen or heard from her at all. And now she was here at his own home?
“Oh... I get,” Gary said with a snicker when he saw Ash's nervous reaction to Lexi's arrival. “Ash, you didn't tell me you brought home a girlfriend.”
“What?! Girlfriend?!” Ash's eyes grew wide. As if the mere appearance from Lexi hadn't been weird enough, now he had Gary assuming the two of them were romantically involved.
“Oh don't play dumb with me, Ash,” the younger Professor Oak replied with a grin. “I can tell what's going on just by the look on your face. It's okay, you don't have to say anything else. It's nice to meet you, Lexi... Welcome to Pallet Town. Ashy Boy here is a great guy... A little awkward around girls, but I'm sure he'll treat you right.”
Lexi had a slight look of embarrassment and discomfort on her face as well at Gary's assumption that she and Ash were a couple, but she smiled politely, unsure of what else to do. She gave Ash a knowing look as if she understood why he wasn't telling Gary the unbelievable truth about their time in Sapphire City.
Awkward silence ensued. Ash was busy trying to process the many thoughts swirling around his brain at the moment. The fact that Lexi had shown up like this was baffling to him. What was she doing here? How did she know where he lived? Eventually, the boy just picked at the plate of food in front of him. Not knowing what else to say, Ash finally cleared his throat.
“I'm gonna get some more to eat,” he mumbled as he stood up from the picnic table's wooden bench seat.
Ash forced a smile and excused himself from the table, leaving Gary and Lexi alone to make more small talk. He quickly headed towards the patio for second helpings, although there was still a pile of uneaten food on his plate. The fifteen-year-old meandered his way down the buffet line, with his mind (surprisingly) not at all on the delicious dishes that lined the tables. All Ash could think about was how strange it was to see Lexi here without any sort of warning or invitation. He was absentmindedly dishing up more rice and cold cuts when a jolly male voice boisterously greeted him from behind, startling Ash enough to snap him out of his trance.
“Ash Ketchum! It’s great to see you, my boy!”
By this time, Ash was beginning to grow tired of all the people sneaking up on him today. He turned to see a tall, slender man with a bald, cue-ball-like head wearing a white lab coat beaming at him. He had never met or even seen this middle-aged man before, but Ash smiled back politely.
“It’s… uh… good to see you, too,” he said.
Realizing that Ash had no idea who he was, the man blushed slightly and chuckled.
“Oh, pardon me, Ash. You obviously don’t remember me. I’m Professor Willow! The last time I saw you, you couldn’t have been more than three or four years old. And now look at you!”
Ash still had a rather blank look on his face, but extended his arm to shake Professor Willow’s hand.
“Nice to meet you, Professor. So... are you a friend of Professor Oak then?” Ash said, thinking that must be how this strange man knew him.
“Well, I have met Professor Oak on more than a few occasions, yes,” Willow replied with another amused chuckle. “But actually, I am the resident pokémon professor of the town of New Hope... where you and your family used to live years ago before you moved to Pallet Town.”
Ash finally understood. He had been a little too young to remember clearly, but his mom had told him that they had once lived in town called New Hope until Ash was just over two years old. This must be how this professor knew him, he deduced.
“I saw your incredible match with Lance the other day, young man!” Willow cheered enthusiastically and slapped Ash hard on the back. “You were amazing! You battle hard. You battle with a definite sense of passion and love for your pokémon Watching you battle all this week, it reminded me so much... of your father.”
Ash’s heart skipped a beat when he heard this.
“My… my father?” asked Ash, making sure he heard the man correctly.
“Yes, Ash. I mean, the bravery you showed to even think about battling after what happened with Seabrook! And then to almost defeat someone like Lance! My god, your dad would have been so proud of y--”
“Why hello there, Professor Willow. What a surprise to see you! It's been a while,” Delia interrupted suddenly as she rushed over and barged into the conversation with an annoyed look on her face, although she tried to appear friendly. “I’m so glad you could join us today. How are things back at your laboratory? Have you eaten? Why don't you come with me and I'll fix you some tea?”
Willow, who was obviously unaware that Delia had deliberately tried to change the subject of conversation, began ranting about the new trainers who had just received their pokémon earlier that week and how he thought they would be lucky to end up to be as good as Ash. As the man babbled though, the boy's mother quickly led the man away from her son. Although his mother's behavior seemed very strange to Ash, he was still so shocked to hear someone mention his father, that he didn't think much of it.
Ash had not even thought about his father in years. In fact, he had barely even known him at all. He really had no desire to spend much time thinking or worrying about the guy now. He had only vague memories of the man. From the little his mother had told him – along with the knowledge that his father had left the two of them years ago when Ash was not even three years old – the fifteen-year-old really had no desire to know anything about him. Anyone who would just abandon his family like his father had wasn't work the time, Ash figured. And so for the next thirteen years, the boy had never really spoke or thought about the man at all.
But for some reason, the way Professor Willow's eyes lit up and the way his voice sounded when he told Ash that he was just like his father, it definitely sparked the teen's interest. Ash walked away from the food spread and back towards the table where Gary and Lexi were still sitting. He looked deep in thought with his eyes glazed over but intense.
Suddenly, Ash wasn't feeling as hungry anymore.
After a long walk back to the table where his friends were seated, Ash scolded himself for worrying about something that wasn't even worth worrying about. He decided to try hard to forget about Willow's mention of his father and focused on enjoying the great party his mother and friends had thrown for him. After all, he hadn’t spent much time dwelling on his dad’s absence ever since he was very young, so he concluded that it would be silly to start thinking about it now. Besides, Ash was enjoying seeing the many familiar faces from the past who had come to his party to express their congratulations and well-wishes.
Ash's old friend Drew greeted him with a handshake. He and May had met during their time traveling together through the Hoenn Region, had come to Pallet Town. The two talented coordinators were now seeing each other romantically; they had deciding to start dating a few months after the girl from Petalburg City and her little brother had bid Ash farewell after their travels a few years ago. Drew was in town only for the evening, and was planning on flying home to LaRousse City to see his family after the long journey he had May had just completed before she had left to see Ash. Despite that fact, the two boys were delighted to have the opportunity to catch up after all these years.
As the teenage trainer listened to May and Drew tell him all about their recent adventures together, he tried to ignore the fact that the two coordinators' close relationship during their travels reminded him very much of his own relationship with Dawn. But Ash scolded himself again. Why did he always let his mind wonder? From this point on, he vowed to just enjoy himself and forget about all the recent strange events in his life.
Throughout the rest of the evening, he had several more-than-pleasant exchanges with Professors Elm, Birch, Rowan and Ivy, Tonio and Alice who had traveled all the way from Alamos Town, Pokemon Ranger Jack Walker, Spencer Hale – Delia's childhood friend – and his daughter, Molly, Brock’s entire family, and many other people whom Ash had met during his travels around the world. He was more than touched to see so many of his friends from the past take the time to come out to Pallet Town.
Ash's longtime friend, Tracey Sketchit, who had once traveled with Ash during his journey through the Orange Islands, had also finally emerged from Professor Oak’s laboratory and joined the festivities as well. He greeted Ash with a handshake and expressed his compliments on his performance in the tournament.
For whatever reason, it was then that it occurred to Ash during these many heartfelt reunions just how many great friends he had made over the years. He looked around the yard at the large number of people who had traveled such long distances to be here tonight to show him their support and love, not to mention the many Pallet Town citizens whom he had known since he was very young. As he realized how lucky he was to have them all in his life, a sense of warmth and cheerfulness swept over his body and caused a big, bright smile to stretch across his face.
The sun was now setting over the big grassy hill adjacent to Professor Oak’s lab. Ash glanced over to see his pokémon – many of whom lived here in Pallet Town -- romping around playfully throughout the open field just beyond the boundaries of his backyard, with the glorious shades of orange, yellow and purple that wisped across the sky acting as a magnificent backdrop. The feeling of happiness he felt cradled him like a gentle hug from a loved one as he marveled at the picturesque beauty of the scene before him.
Brock and the three girls, Misty, May and Dawn, all walked up and stood alongside Ash as he continued to gaze out towards the sunset. They too noticed how pretty it was, but none of them appreciated it as much as he did.
“Whatcha thinking about, Ash?” Dawn asked, as she and the others had noticed his prolonged silence.
The boy didn’t speak for a few moments, continuing to watch Pikachu and the others play. Then, without taking his eyes off of the pleasant scene before him, he said very simply:
“It’s good to be home.”
No one said a word in response. His friends simply stood behind him, just as they had done for a long time now as they had been loyally accompanying the boy on his travels since he was ten years old. They all just smiled, feeling happy for their friend, who was obviously very sentimental about returning to Pallet.
Meanwhile, no one seemed to notice the man in the clean-white lab coat, Professor Willow, lingering nearby. He had a thoughtful look on his face as he stood in the shadows near the Ketchums’ house and watched Ash intently.
As dusk gave way to the darkness of nightfall, the guests began to bid their farewells to Ash and thanked Delia for her hospitality before they departed. The sun had retired for the night, but the stars and moon took its place, along with the dim flood light that hung above the Ketchum's house. Together, they provided enough light as the party began to wind down.
Professor Oak had helped Ash gather up all of his pokémon, who were all tuckered out from their full day of amusement, and took them to his lab for some rest. Only Pikachu remained at the Ketchum house, and was currently inside, presumably sleeping in his trainer's bedroom.
Ash was a little sad to see the party end, but sincerely thanked each and every one of his guests for coming as they departed for home. When nearly everyone had left and the backyard became almost deserted, Professor Willow found his way over to Ash and flashed him a grin. The teen had been busy clearing the tables in the backyard when the hairless scientist approached him.
“Great party, young man. It’s been so wonderful to see you again,” the professor said, placing a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “I still can't get over it... The last time I saw you, you were just a little tyke running around the house causing mischief.”
Ash smiled uneasily. It felt a little funny to hear this stranger with the bald head, whom he had never remembered meeting, gushing about how much he had grown. Willow simply continued on, however, looking very nostalgic. He glanced over his shoulder and all around to make sure Delia was out of earshot before he focused his gray eyes back on the boy.
“What are you? Fifteen now? My word, you’re a spitting image of your father, Ash,” he said, looking into Ash’s big brown eyes with amazement. “I know you don’t remember a lot about your dad, but like I said before, I knew him very well. And I know what memories you do have of him probably aren’t the fondest, but I just wanted to say that I hope someday, you’ll be able to forgive him. He really did love you, Ash.”
A troubled look overcame Ash’s face when he heard this. His father loved him?
He instantly thought of about a hundred retorts to this statement that he could have said, but not wishing to start an argument, he decided to just nod and smile politely. Willow then reached into his coat pocket and took out a slightly crumpled photograph.
“I wanted you to have this,” he said, handing Ash the photo.
The teen took it from the man and held the picture at an angle near his face so that the moonlight could illuminate it. In the photo, there was a relatively young, handsome black-haired man sitting on the front steps in front of a big white house. In his lap, was seated a very young little boy, who probably was about two years old, with a messy mop-top of matching black hair and big, innocent-looking chocolate-brown eyes. Both father and son were grinning from ear to ear in the picture.
Ash’s eyes grew huge when he realized who the two people in the photo were: it was Ash, as a precocious two-year-old, sitting happily on his father’s lap in front of their cozy-looking home in New Hope.
“Can I… keep this?” Ash asked the professor after he had been staring at it for a few seconds.
“Of course, my boy,” he replied with a satisfied smile. “It’s yours.”
“Thanks,” Ash said, although sounding distant and never taking his eyes off of the slightly crinkled photo.
By this time, Gary, Lexi and Max had started to way their way across the patio and were clearly coming to speak with Ash. Oddly, Professor Willow seemed to become a bit spooked by this. He quickly turned to the boy before the others got close enough to hear.
“I'll cut right to the chase, Ash,” he muttered with a serious look. “You're dad didn't walk out on you and your mom. He did it to save you two.”
“Just let me finish,” the professor hissed. “I can't get into it here, but I came here because the time has come for you to learn the truth about your father. Meet me at my laboratory as soon as you can get away. I assure you that what I have to show you will answer a lot of questions that I'm sure you have about the things that went on in Sapphire City...”
When Gary, Lexi and Max finally reached the two, Professor Willow just smiled politely and again addressed Ash in a more lighter tone. He shook the boy's hand and patted him on the shoulder.
“Well, Ash… again, it was great to see you. I hope you give some thought to what I said. I’m heading back to New Hope tonight, but if you want to talk more about what we discussed... you know where to find me.”
“Thanks Professor,” the boy replied quietly, still very puzzled by what the man had said just moments ago.
And with that, the professor shook Ash’s hand and turned to leave the premises. He hopped on the bicycle that had been parked against the yard’s fence and began to pedal away. A whole new batch of confused and previously repressed emotions were now flowing through Ash’s head once again.
He folded the photograph carefully and stuck it in his pocket. He stared at the slender scientist as he and his bicycle disappeared into the night towards Route 21, the water route to Cinnabar Island. Ash heard the Willow's voice in his head, repeating what he had said about his father over and over:
“Your dad didn't walk out on you and your mom. He did it to save you two.”
Was this guy crazy? What an outlandish claim to make... not to mention how suspicious it seemed to blurt it out just before leaving.
Ash was so young when he had last seen his father, he really had little to no recollection of the man who Willow said had supposedly loved him so much. Somehow though, he found the professor’s claims hard to believe based on what he had known about his dad for much of his life, despite seeing how happy he looked as a young boy in that photo he had just received. Ash trusted his mother more than anyone in the world, and if she said that his father had abandoned the family, than he believed her.
But the look on the professor when he had been rushed into revealing his real reason for attending the party... the intensity of the look in Willow's eyes was hard for Ash to ignore. Plus, the bald-headed scientist had made reference to “the things that went on in Sapphire City.” Could Willow somehow know about the coin? Did he know about the amazing powers that it appeared to possess?
Ash's heart was pounding. He was so busy trying to process what had just occurred that he nearly forgot that Gary, Max and their new friend, Lexi were standing right next to him.
“Hey, Ash,” Gary’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Great party, but I’m callin’ it a night. I’ll catch ya in the morning.”
“Sounds good, Gary,” Ash replied, snapping out of his trance. “Thanks again for coming!”
“No problem, Ashy Boy,” Gary said and slapped his friend on the back. “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world… well, goodnight! It was nice meeting you, Lexi.”
Lexi, Max and Ash all waved goodbye as Gary retreated towards his grandfather’s laboratory for the night.
“Where did May and the others go?” Max said after Gary had disappeared from view, seeing that they were alone now out in the backyard.
“I think they must be inside,” Ash said. “It’s late, Max, you should probably go on inside and get ready for bed.”
“Aww, man! But, I wanted to tell you guys the story about how I earned my first gym badge! And I’m not even tired!” the eleven-year-old argued.
But with almost perfect timing, Max couldn’t help but allow a big, wide yawn to overcome his speech. The older teens laughed.
“Tomorrow, Max,” Lexi said, ruffling the youngster’s hair playfully. “I can’t wait to hear about it.”
The young boy sighed. “Fine. Well... It was nice meeting you Miss Lexi. How long are you goin to be in town?”
“Oh, I'm not sure,” the girl replied. “I'll probably make my way home soon. It was so nice to meet you too, sweetie!”
Max blushed and nodded before headed inside the house to find his sister, leaving Ash and Lexi standing by themselves outside.
The Millennium Supernova had since ended, but the moon itself was still very capable of illuminating in the night sky. Down below, its soft white glow bathed Ash and Lexi in its pearly essence.
“What’s the matter, Ash?” Lexi asked after a few awkward moments of silence.
Ash was still immersed in his thoughts, but responded to the girl when she spoke.
“Oh… nothing. I’m fine. Just glad to be back home, I guess,” he said, but not very convincingly.
He turned his back on Lexi and walked over to one of the picnic tables sitting in the yard and sat on top of it. He half-hoped she would just take the hint, say her goodbyes, and leave him to his thoughts. But she didn’t. Instead, the girl followed him to the table. She climbed up and sat down right next to him on the tabletop.
“Ash, I know you're probably wondering what I'm doing here,” the brown-haired teen said as she placed a friendly hand on his arm. “I'm sure it's kind of a shock to see me out of the blue like this.”
Ash didn't say anything. Honestly, the mind blowing claim by Professor Willow about his father had caused Ash to almost completely forget about Lexi showing up in Pallet Town. But now that she had mentioned it, Ash finally removed his gaze from the moon and turned his head to look over at the girl. Right away, he realized how angelic and alluring the girl looked in the peaceful glow of the moon. Her big brown eyes seemed to sparkle just like the many twinkling stars that overlooked the two teens from above.
“Look, Ash,” Lexi said, speaking quietly. “I'm sorry I just sort of left without saying goodbye the night you saved me from Zak Seabrook. I saw what he did to you after your battle on T.V. It was just horrible.”
“I followed the news after they took you to the hospital. It seemed like your condition kept getting worse and worse. Everyone thought you were gonna die... and well, after what you did to save me... I couldn't let that happen.”
“What do ya mean?”
“Well, after you had been in the hospital for a while, I figured you didn't have that special coin on you... you know, the one you had that night outside the Pokemon Center. The one that healed you right away after that tentacruel got you with its Hyper-Beam. I figured if it revived you once, it could do it again. It must have special healing powers or something.”
“So you were the one who brought it me in the hospital?”
“Mm-hmm,” the girl said, nodding her head. “I'm sorry, I broke into your room at the Pokemon Center. But I figured you had left the coin in there somewhere. I knew if I simply asked the security guards to let me search your room for this magical healing coin, they might have sent me to the psychiatric ward, so we let ourselves in and found the coin in your dresser drawer.”
“Wow,” Ash replied, not knowing what to say. “How... how were you able to get past the night watchmen? Security around that place is pretty tough, especially at night.”
Lexi smirked at Ash. She reached into the pocket of her white shorts and pulled out a tiny metal sphere. With the press of a button, the orb grew in her hand before she tossed it gently on the ground. With a flash of bright white light, a creature appeared next the foot of the picnic table.
“Jigglee!” a pink-bodied pokémon resembling an oversized marshmallow squealed.
“Hey, a jigglypuff!” Ash said, looking surprised.
“That's right,” Lexi said. “Jiggly here was able to put each and every security officer in the stadium to sleep with her beautiful singing voice. After that, it was a piece of cake.”
“Wow,” Ash said once again. “Thanks, Lexi. You... you two saved my life.”
“Oh, don't mention it, Ash. It's the least I could do after what you did for me. But listen, I'm glad to see that the coin did its magic once again and you're okay, but that's not the only reason I came to see you, I'm afraid.”
“No,” the girl said, shaking her head a bit timidly. “I uh...”
“It's okay, Lexi,” Ash coaxed her. “What is it? You can tell me.”
The girl took a deep breath and continued on. Like floodgates opening, once Lexi got over her initial hesitation, she nervously rambled with considerable speed in her voice.
“It's just that... ever since you saved me that night outside the stadium, I haven't been able to stop thinking about you, Ash. I mean, I had seen you on T.V. a bunch of times before, and I always thought you were cute... but to meet you in person and see just how truly amazing you are... I just had to come see you again!”
Lexi finally took a breath when she was finished with her long-winded response. Ash just stared back blankly at the beautiful girl whom he was sitting with alone underneath the moonlight.
“Uh... I'm not really sure what to say,” the boy uttered. He was absolutely terrified to be in such a position. On one hand, he figured he should be excited that a beautiful girl like Lexi apparently saw something in him. But on the other hand, Ash had never in his life been good at handling himself smoothly in these sorts of situations
“You don't have to say anything,” Lexi replied, looking happy that Ash hadn't rejected her outright by now. “I'm just glad to be here with you tonight.”
Ash felt his heartbeat quicken in his chest and goose-bumps formed on his arms when Lexi scooted closer next to Ash on the picnic table and gently placed her hand on his arm. He began to nervously struggle to find the words to respond to her as he abruptly forced himself to look away and back up at the sky.
“Umm… uhh… thanks, Lexi,” he finally stammered. “I'm glad you're here too.”
Lexi smiled warmly up at Ash before adding, “Oh, and Ash... about that coin and the whole rising from the dead thing... I just want you to know that you're secret's safe with me.”
Back inside the Ketchum house, Max was already in his pajamas and was sitting up in one of the five small cots that Delia had prepared for him and the rest of the gang in the living room. May, Misty and Brock were also in the living room, sitting on the couch watching the late-night television coverage of the tournament from Sapphire City.
“May?” the preteen asked during a commercial break. “Did Ash ever say anything to you about his father when we used to travel around Hoenn with him?”
A little surprised by her brother’s question, she thought for a few moments and said, “No, Max. I don’t think he ever did. Why do you ask?”
May had never really thought about it before, but come to think of it, she had always wondered about Ash’s father. She had met Delia many times before, but realized that she had never even heard about Ash’s dad. He had never mentioned anything about it during all the time they had spent together, and she hadn’t felt that it was her place to ask him.
“Well, earlier I heard that Professor Willow guy talking to Ash about his dad during the party,” Max explained. “It seemed like he knew him from the past or something.”
“Hmm… I don’t know, Max, but I don’t think you should bother Ash about it,” May replied, knowing how curious her brother could be. “He might not want to talk about it. If he did, he probably would have told us.”
“Yeah, come to think've it, I don't think I've ever heard him mention anything about his father either,” Brock chimed in thoughtfully.
“Me neither,” Misty said, looking a bit disappointing that Ash had never confided in her regarding the issue.
“What are you guys talking about?” Dawn asked as she came strolling into the living room wearing her sleep attire, her shiny blue hair tied back in a ponytail. The pleasantness in her voice wavered mid-sentence when she saw Misty sitting on the couch.
“Just Ash’s dad,” Max nonchalantly replied. “We’ve all known Ash this long and we’ve never even heard anything about his dad.”
A little taken aback, Dawn started to speak, but stopped. She looked uncertain about whether or not to tell the group what Ash had told her about his absent father a few months ago. But she couldn’t resist the opportunity to boast about the fact that Ash had entrusted her with this information and not his ‘precious’ Misty. Dawn, usually a very sweet and kind-hearted girl, didn't exactly know why this girl made her act and think like this, but she couldn't help it.
“So, I’m guessing you guys are wondering what the story is with his dad, and why he’s not around, right?” Dawn asked as she sat down on the couch next to her red-headed rival.
Everyone nodded except for Misty, who looked a bit upset. The flustered girl stood up from the couch without saying a word and sulkingly stomped off. However, she stopped at the large bay window located at the other end of the living room and stared outside, making sure she could still hear the conversation.
“Well, you see… Ash’s dad, Jeffrey, was a really talented pokémon trainer from a town called New Hope. He traveled all around the world collecting gym badges just like Ash,” Dawn explained. “And one day, during his journey through the Kanto region – Pallet Town to be exact – Jeffrey met a girl and fell in lov--”
“You mean Ms. Ketchum!” Max interrupted excitedly.
Dawn giggled at the boy’s enthusiasm. “Yes Max, that’s right. Anyways, Delia and Jeffrey fell in love right away when they met in Pallet Town. They ended up getting married a year or two later and moved back to Jeffrey’s big, fancy house in New Hope to start a family. And that’s where Ash was born.”
“That’s so romantic!” May squealed. Brock and Max nodded in agreement.
But Dawn’s expression became very somber as she continued. “Well, it started off that way… according to what Ash says. But apparently, when he was like two or three years old, Ash’s dad just up and left… he snuck out one night and never came back.”
“Yeah,” Dawn said, understanding the shock in the others’ voices. “Ash says his dad left a note just saying that he had to leave and that he was sorry. And that was that… it was the last Ash and Delia had ever heard from him.”
“Why did he leave?! Where did he go?!” Max shouted but quickly recoiled when the others harshly shushed him because Delia was sleeping upstairs.
“No one knows, Max,” Dawn said sadly. “Ash’s mom tried for years to track him down, but there was absolutely no sign of him anywhere. After a while, she just gave up I guess. He didn’t say anything about where he was going or why he was leaving. He just left… he abandoned Ash and his mother.”
“That’s horrible,” Brock said sympathetically. “Gosh, I never knew.”
“Yeah,” Dawn agreed, looking a bit angry now that she was thinking about how Jeffrey had abandoned Ash. “And with no way to pay the bills or keep up with the payments on the house, Ash and Delia moved back to Pallet Town shortly after.”
“Ash must be really sad about it,” Max speculated thoughtfully. “If my dad left me, I’d be really upset.”
“Well, Ash was a lot younger when his dad left than you are now, Max,” Dawn explained. “He says he really can’t remember much about his father… which he doesn’t mind because he says he doesn’t want to waste time worrying or being sad about someone who would just abandon him and his mom like that.”
“So that’s why he’s never really talked about him before?” May asked, feeling sorry for Ash and his fatherless childhood.
“Exactly,” Dawn said with a nod. “Obviously, Ash doesn’t think very highly of his dad. And who could blame him? And it’s been so many years now that he doesn’t really even think about him at all anymore, I guess.”
“Until tonight!” Max said.
“What do you mean?” Dawn asked the boy with a curious look on her face.
“Well, I overheard Professor Willow talking to Ash about his dad earlier,” Max said, repeating what he had told the others. “He was talking about how proud Ash’s dad would have been to see him in the tournament, I think.”
“Really? I wonder--”
Misty interrupted Dawn, speaking for the first time since they’d begun discussing the topic of Ash’s father. She was still staring out the window overlooking Ash’s backyard.
“Maybe that’s why he’s still sitting outside and watching the stars,” she said, pointing out the window towards Ash. “He only sits still like that for any length of time if he has something on his mind. Normally that boy has the attention span of a five-year-old.”
“Huh?” Dawn replied and walked over to the window and peered outside as well. May, Max and Brock followed suit.
Sure enough, there he was, still perched on the picnic table top, silently gazing up at the moon and stars. And seated next to him was a slender, shadowy figure with long, flowing hair.
“Who’s that next to him?” Dawn asked, noticing the girl seated alongside Ash.
“Oh, that’s Lexi,” Max explained knowingly. “She was at the party. She met Ash in Sapphire City, and was in town, she said, so she decided to stop by and see Ash… she’s really nice!”
“Hmmm…It looks like Ash thinks she’s really nice too,” Brock said, observing how close the two teens were sitting next to one another on the table outside. He tried not to chuckle at the response he got from Dawn and Misty. Both girls shot him very cold looks.
“Where in the world are you taking us!?” Jessie angrily shouted from the backseat at the driver of the black SUV.
The vehicle had been moving for hours now, and the driver had not uttered even one word to Jessie, James and Meowth. The man’s silence combined with the fact that all of the windows (aside from the windshield of course) were tinted so dark that they couldn’t see where they were going, had obviously unnerved the three passengers.
“Hey! The lady asked you a question, bub!” James barked when the driver continued to ignore them.
Again, the driver in the black suit said nothing. His head stayed pointed straight ahead. Meowth held up both of his front paws and extended the sharp claws on each in a threatening manner.
“Maybe cat‘s got dis guy‘s tongue! If he won‘t listen to reason, maybe my Fury Swipes can knock some sense into him!” the pokémon snarled, proposing to use force to get some answers from the driver.
But before Meowth could do anything, the SUV took an incredibly sharp turn off the road and picked up considerable speed. In addition, the smooth road they had been traveling on had abruptly given way to a much bumpier surface almost like they were driving over some sort of rock quarry or a series of huge speed bumps.
The sudden change of direction knocked Meowth from his feet and caused the pokémon to smash into the side of the vehicle with a painful thud. Jessie and James, neither of whom had been wearing their seat belts, were tossed to the side of the car as well. Both humans shrieked like they were riding some sort of roller coaster.
“Hey! What’s the big idea!?” James wailed, trying to brace himself against the door. “Where did you learn how to drive?!”
“We’re gonna die!” Jessie screamed shrilly. She was awkwardly positioned, half-sprawled out across the backseat, half-lying on the floor. “Please stop the ride! I wanna get off!”
For the next few excruciatingly frightening moments, the trapped passengers feared for their lives as the SUV sped along uncontrollably through the rugged terrain, until finally, the vehicle mercifully slowed and screeched to a halt.
“Are we… are we dead?” James whimpered, his eyes still squeezed tightly shut out of fear as he felt himself to make sure he was still in one piece.
“No. We made it… we’ve stopped!” Jessie exclaimed, sounding grateful to alive.
The driver opened his door and exited the vehicle, again without a word. Then, the driver’s side backdoor opened from the outside. The man stuck his head in the door and beckoned Jessie, James and Meowth to exit the car as well.
They followed his direction and stepped out into the misty, cool air. It was nighttime, but from where they were standing in the middle of some dark forest, it seemed like the time of day wouldn’t make any difference at all. The thick jungle of tree branches and other forestry overhead almost completely blocked the sky. Beyond where they stood, it seemed like the forest got even thicker and darker. Clearly the big, bulky SUV would not have been able to make it any deeper into pitch-black abyss.
Jessie shivered from the cold air and the spooky atmosphere of their new surroundings. She was still dressed in her fancy evening gown that she had been wearing at the fair, and it didn’t exactly provide optimal warmth.
“What are we doing all the way out here?” James asked, hoping that the driver might finally explain where they were. “Where is this ‘Sai’ fellow?”
But the man in the black suit did not speak. He simply got back into the SUV, started the engine and sped off, leaving Jessie, James and Meowth stranded all alone in the forest with no shelter.
“Hey! Where do you think you’re going?!” Jessie screamed and started to run after the vehicle, but it quickly disappeared from view. “Is this some sort of joke?!”
The trio let their shoulders slump and gave a collective sigh. They were now cold, hungry, and still broke, not to mention they were now stranded in the middle of nowhere.
“We should've stayed at da fair!”
Suddenly, however, a bright white light appeared in front of the trio, probably only a few feet away. The flash of light made a loud ‘whooshing’ sound as it appeared. It was so intensely bright that it briefly illuminated much of the surrounding area. Materializing from that explosion of light, a silver-haired man and a bipedal pokémon both appeared alongside Jessie, James and Meowth.
Jessie was startled by their appearance and instinctively jumped behind James and cowered. The silver-haired man simply chuckled at the woman's reaction.
“Greetings,” he said simply while sizing up the trio with his eyes. He didn’t look too impressed by what he saw, but continued on anyways. “My name is Sai… and obviously, you’ve received my message about accompanying me on this mission.”
James tried to look brave as he nodded, but couldn’t keep himself from shuddering.
“So, I assume since the two of you are here,” Sai said, “that you have accepted my offer then.”
“You mean t'ree (three) of us,” Meowth replied. “Don’t forget about Me-owth!”
Sai’s cool and composed demeanor was briefly rattled as he realized that this pokémon could speak.
“A talking Meowth, huh?” Sai finally said, trying to sound unimpressed.
“Meowth... dat’s right!”
“Very well. I assume the three of you have agreed to assist me on this mission.”
Finally, Jessie found the courage to speak. “We’re here aren’t we?”
“Yes, you certainly are…” Sai’s voice trailed off as he was still trying to get a read on these three former agents. “Very well. Shall we get started?”
“What exactly is the mission?” James asked, looking puzzled. “What are we helping you do, exactly?”
“Yeah, and when do we get paid?” Meowth hissed.
“Ah, all fair questions,” Sai replied with a smirk on his scarred face. “I’ll explain everything once we get to the ocean.”
“The ocean?! We’re no where near the ocean! How do you expect us to get there? That blasted driver you sent us drove away!”
Sai chuckled at the woman’s ignorance. He pointed at the pokémon that was standing next to him.
“Kadabra here will take us,” he said simply. “Now come on. All three of you, place a hand... or paw... on Kadabra’s body.”
Jessie, James and Meowth all obeyed and crowded around the psychic-type pokémon
“Kadabra, use Teleport!” Sai commanded.
Kadabra’s entire body began to convulse as it used all of its energy to focus its mental power into its teleportation. The entire group then began to glow white and quickly vanished into thin air. The next thing Jessie, James and Meowth knew, they were all standing on a large, abandoned wooden pier overlooking a vast, dark body of water. The moonlight, the only available light for miles, reflected brightly off of the rippling waves. The unmistakable smell of salt and fish almost overwhelmed them when they appeared. The sound of the ocean’s waves crashing against the pier roared and rumbled beneath their feet. The crisp sea breeze howled as it blew past, causing them all to shiver.
“This,” Sai shouted over the sound of the waves and wind, “is where our mission takes place!”
“What do you mean?” Jessie demanded, looking skeptical. “What are we supposed to do out here... fish for magikarp?”
Finally, Sai explained to the trio about the myth that had been scribed on the ancient scroll he had found. He told them about the three crystal orbs buried throughout the planet’s depths and how finding all three would be beneficial to them all. However, Sai left out the part about unworldly power being awarded to the person who ultimately united all three crystals. He simply told the trio that the orbs were worth an exorbitant amount of money, and if they agreed to help him locate the crystals, they would be paid handsomely.
“So you’re saying that one of the crystals is down there somewhere,” James asked after Sai had finished. He pointed down towards the water.
“Precisely,” Sai replied and removed a backpack from his back. He took out two adult-sized scuba suits and three small breathing apparatuses. He threw them towards the trio.
James and Jessie put the suits on, if for no other reason than to add a layer of clothing to help keep them warm against the stiff ocean breeze.
Next, Sai removed two pokéballs from his pack and tossed them down onto the pier in front of him. Two pokémon quickly emerged and instinctively dived down into the water.
“Sharpedo and Mantine will assist us on our search as well,” Sai said, the sense of excitement growing in his voice.
The two water-pokemon roared and awaited commands. Sai had now dawned a black scuba suit as well and looked ready to dive in the water along with the pokémon He turned to Jessie, James and Meowth.
“Well, what d'ya say? Are you up for it?”
The trio didn’t look all that eager to jump into the cold ocean water in some wild-goose chase after some mythical crystal balls.
“I don’t know,” Jessie said finally, the fear and apprehension in her voice was apparent.
“Yeah. I’m sure there are plenty of other worthy candidates for this job,” James said.
“I’m not da biggest fan of wah-tah," Meowth said, sounding uninterested.
Sai kneeled down to return the backpack to his back. He took his eyes off of the trio and casually said, “Did I mention, I will pay you $10,000?”
Sai had barely finished his sentence when he heard three splashing noises. He looked up, but Jessie, James and Meowth were no longer standing on the pier. All three of them had jumped eagerly into the ocean.
He smirked as he dived in after them.
There you have it! Please take a minute and leave a little feedback! Please :)
I think that Ash would have talked about his father with Brock. Brock seems like the first person Ash would talk to but thats just me and this is your story so nevermind.
I picked out one grammatical error here:
you missed out a . between pokemon and Watchinglove for your pokémon Watching you battle all this week
Now, plot wise:
The main part i liked about this chapter was Jessi, James and Meowth. You have captured the characters down to a tee, and the little things like Meowths speech, and the phrases that they use reminds me of teh characters from the anime, so well done there.
They way you expressed Ash's feelings when dealing with Lexi's advances was great, you really managed to portray his feelings well.
I lookd forward to reading teh next chapter, what does Willow have waiting for him, what is the escret with Ash's father, will Jessie, James and Mewoth help Sai find the orb?
I can't wait!
Dynomiiite chapter mister! Loved everything from Ash's trademark love of food, to Garys teasing, and yes JJM's portrayal is spot on! Love the father mystery!