I'm glad you found you passion again Leg! I love it!
Here is Chapter Two. Please read, comment, criticize, etc. Thank you in advance!
Ring-Ring-Ring…Ring-Ring-Ring… The phone rang on the other end for what seemed like forever.
After a few more rings, the boy on the phone heard a click and then a recorded message. A young woman’s voice.
“Umm… like… You have like totally reached the Sensational Sisters at the Cerul--”
He hung up the phone right away. He couldn’t stand that girl’s annoying valley-girl tone. Why was her voice still even on the answering machine?
“Guess nobody’s home,” the boy said to himself, a bit disappointed.
He stood up from the video phone desk in the corner of the Sapphire City Pokémon Center.
The young man stood a few inches short of six feet tall. A huge grey sweatshirt, probably two sizes too big for him, hung loosely from his wiry, yet athletic physique. His hood was up, hiding his face in its shadow. He wore dark sunglasses, which was odd because he was currently indoors.
He turned to see that the small Pokémon Center’s lobby was still extremely crowded and loud. The raucous murmur of hundreds of voices all shouting over one another was very uncomfortable. He stared at the vast sea of bodies, not at all excited to navigate it.
The boy pushed his way through the large swarm of newspaper and television reporters and photographers who were all packed into the lobby. They were all jockeying for position around several of the trainers who would be participating in the tournament this week. Most of the competitors were living at this Pokémon Center for the week, but while nearly all of them had retired safely to their rooms for the night, these unfortunate few found themselves caught in the middle of the mob.
No one even noticed the hooded boy as he struggled to weave through the group, as all the media members were too busy pushing and shoving, trying to request interviews and take photos. Even at this time of night--nearly 10:30 p.m. here in Sapphire City--the reporters and photographers were still hard at work. They hounded any and every tournament trainer they saw.
“Don’t they ever go to sleep?“ the boy thought to himself as he finally made it through the crowd.
He exited the lobby and turned the corner to the hallway where the tournament trainers’ guest rooms were located. He was glad to avoid all the reporters and all their incessant prying questions.
After a brisk walk down the carpeted hallway, passing many identical brown doors on the way, the boy finally reached his room. He turned the cold brass knob and walked inside to a warm greeting from his best friend.
A small yellow rodent cried happily from the neatly made twin-size bed in the middle of the guest room. The pokémon bounded across to the foot of the bed to greet him.
The hooded boy lowered his shroud and yanked off the sunglasses, revealing his excited brown eyes and shaggy jet-black hair. He discarded the dingy-looking sweatshirt and placed his favorite old, tattered baseball cap on his head.
The bright-eyed trainer looked down at his pokémon and smiled. Both trainer and pokémon were clearly excited.
He wore navy-blue denim jeans, a black t-shirt and black sneakers. His messy hair stuck out from underneath his red and white hat, just like it had for many years.
“Hey Pikachu! You ready for tomorrow morning?” the boy asked as he plunked down on the bed next to his pokémon.
Pikachu stood up on his hind legs and pumped his tiny yellow fists in the air excitedly. This made the trainer giggle. The boy smiled at his friend and petted his furry head.
He couldn’t believe they were actually here. All of their hopes and dreams, all of their hard work and determination…the countless adventures and journeys over the years…it had all finally led them here! They were going to battle in the greatest and biggest tournament in the entire world! Tomorrow would be the most memorable day of both their lives.
“Can…can you believe we finally made it here, Pikachu?” He was almost whispering for fear that it might only be a dream.
“Pi-kachu, Pikapi!” Pikachu replied, solemnly looking his trainer in the eyes, as if to say, “We’ve certainly been through a lot together to get to this point."
The boy let out a deep sigh, as he laid back on the bed with his arms resting behind his head. Somehow, perhaps through years of close friendship, the boy always seemed to know what Pikachu was trying to say to him.
“Yeah, it seems like it was just yesterday when we left home for the first time together,” the boy said to his friend. “That’s when it all started. We survived the attack from all those Spearow. We ended up in the river but we were rescued by…”
The boy stopped mid-sentence and just stared blankly as he laid there, never finishing his sentence.
The small electric mouse matter-of-factly finished his trainer’s sentence, not noticing him staring sadly at the ceiling. Pikachu then looked over and realized that his trainer had zoned out and was obviously bothered by something.
“Yup…Misty,” the boy finally said, although it was clear he was still deep in thought.
“Pikapi?” it asked with a concerned look on its face, as it bounded closer to the boy.
“Nah, nothing’s wrong, buddy,” the boy said without looking away from the ceiling. He paused before continuing.
“It’s just that…this is it, ya know? This is the moment we’ve been traveling and training all these years for. I always imagined this day would come, but I just can’t believe it’s happening…here…now. Just think about all the world famous trainers that are here.”
The pokémon smiled and wagged its furry jagged-shaped tail, knowing that the two of them were there too, and both were determined to show the entire world what they were capable of. Pikachu’s black, beady eyes were fiercely intense with excitement. But his fired-up expression faded as it noticed the boy still looked sad.
“…And I know you and I are together.” The teen smiled weakly at Pikachu. “…and that’s the important thing, but I kinda wish everyone was here to share this moment with us, ya know?”
Pikachu looked puzzled.
The boy could see that Pikachu was trying to understand, but needed a little more help, so he continued on.
“I mean, we’ve been traveling a real long time, and now that we’ve finally made it here…I wish everyone that’s helped us along the way to get here was here too. You understand?”
Again, the pokémon just stared back at him blankly. Wasn’t everyone here?
The boy sighed. He then smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it, buddy. I’ll be fine.”
For the next ten or fifteen minutes, the two companions remained silent as they lay on the bed, just staring at the freshly painted ceiling and reflecting.
The boy should have been absolutely giddy. He was only a day away from realizing his ultimate dream of participating in the greatest tournament in the world. But for whatever reason, he wasn’t feeling so excited at the moment. And he felt even sadder as he remembered hearing the girl on the answering machine a few minutes ago out in the lobby.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!!!
The boy didn’t have long to feel sorry for himself. The three sudden loud knocks on the door instantly interrupted his train of thought. Pikachu was startled as well; he yelped and jumped at the loud noise, and the boy actually fell off the bed and crashed onto the hard floor with a comedic thud.
“Ouch! Uh…come in,” the boy grumbled to the visitor outside, still on the floor in pain.
Who would be knocking on his door at this time of night? They didn’t allow reporters past the lobby to where the guest rooms were.
“Hey, Ash. Hi, Pikachu. You guys excited for tomorrow?”
A beautiful teenage girl--probably around the same age as the boy--with soft, shiny, dark-blue hair and matching sapphire-like eyes smiled cheerfully as she opened the door. She was obviously excited for tomorrow as well.
“Hey, Dawn. Good to see you,” the boy, Ash, said as he brushed a lock of black hair from his face.
“Haha, good to see me? How long has it been since you last saw me? Like three days?” the girl asked in a sarcastic tone with a smile. “You make it sound like you never see me.”
Ash realized that she was right. He had just seen Dawn before he had left for Sapphire City a few days ago, and had been traveling around with her for years now. They were the best of friends and had been so for a long time. Still, he thought to himself, it was nice to see her again either way.
“Um...Why are you on the floor, Ash?” the girl finally asked, not looking at all shocked.
He was embarrassed when he realized that he was still sprawled out on the floor. Any sadness he had been feeling subsided when he saw the girl‘s face. Still, he didn’t really want to talk with Dawn about what was bothering him right now…or why he had fallen off of the bed, so he changed the subject.
“So…how was your flight? Did you meet up with my mom and the others?”
“Nope, but we‘re all staying in the same hotel though. It’s crazy how expensive rooms are out here,” she replied. “We only just got here a few hours ago. My mom’s back at the hotel waiting for the others to get here. But I wanted to come over and see you.”
“Oh,” Ash said, not knowing exactly how to respond to the kind comment. “Cool.”
Dawn just rolled her eyes at the boy’s density which she was all too used to.
“That’s all you have to say?”
“What? What did I do?”
“Ash, you're so thick sometimes,” she sighed. “I come all the way out here to watch you in the tournament, and all you have to say is, ‘Oh, cool?’”
“Well no one asked you to come,” Ash retorted. He instantly winced when he heard the words escape his lips.
He knew he shouldn't have said that. He didn’t mean that at all. It was just that he had always been a bit clumsy when it came to being sensitive. And he and Dawn had gotten into countless arguments over the years, so making defensive comments like that had become somewhat of a habit for him. No one had ever taught him how to talk to girls.
“Oh, well fine then! Jeez, I’m sure glad I walked all the way across town to see you, Jerk! I’ll just go back to the hotel then!” Dawn growled angrily, starting to turn to walk back out the door. “Have a good night, Mr. Pokémon Master!”
“Okay! Okay! I’m sorry! I’m sorry. Don’t go, Dawn,” The boy pleaded.
Ash jumped to his feet and ran over to the girl. He grabbed her with both arms around her waist and pulled her back away from the door. Dawn pretended to struggle free from the his grasp, but she couldn’t help but start giggling once he began tickling her side and stomach. Both teens laughed, and Dawn finally broke free and started playfully punching Ash.
“Pi-kachu!” The pokémon grinned as he watched the two humans.
“I really am glad you came, Dawn,” Ash heard himself say. He cringed again because it definitely didn’t feel natural to say something like that to her. He nervously tried to changed the subject.
“I still can’t believe I’m here…I mean, out of all the Pokémon trainers in the world…to be one of the sixty-four that get to battle here?”
The boy flashed his trademark smile at his friend. He noticed the glimmering sparkle in her bright blue eyes, but he didn’t know why. He was suddenly very glad Dawn was standing here in his room with him.
“Ash, from the first day I met you, I knew you were capable of doing anything you set your mind to,” Dawn said. “We’ve been through a whole lot together over the past few years, and I’ve seen you do some pretty amazing things during our travels. I know you’ll be awesome this week. And most importantly, Ash…despite what anybody says…you belong here.” She whispered the last sentence.
The two teenagers shared another smile.
Ash didn’t know how he was going to do in this tourney against the best trainers in the world. But Dawn was right about one thing. The two of them had been extremely close ever since she had accompanied Ash and Brock on their journeys through the Sinnoh Region almost half-a-decade ago. The two had split temporarily after their Sinnoh adventures a few years ago and went their separate ways for a few months.
But Ash and Dawn quickly realized that they didn’t want to be apart for very long. So eventually, the two friends reunited and continued traveling together. They had definitely been through a lot, like she had said. Ever since the day they had met, which now felt like an eternity ago, Dawn had been by his side through thick and thin.
All the battles and gym leaders. All the pokémon contests. All the fun times and tough ones, too. Together they had met many new friends--humans and pokémon alike--during their journeys. Ash and Dawn had even witnessed some pretty incredible, unworldly events involving some legendary pokémon over the years. Together the two teens had experienced a lifetime’s worth of adventure, that’s for sure.
Most recently, the duo had traveled together through the chilly Tundrus Region, as recently as a few months ago, splitting time between Ash’s gym battles and Dawn’s participation in the Tundrus Winter Cup Contests, before they both briefly returned home when Ash had qualified with his fiftieth career badge about midway through the region.
She then accompanied him to the regional qualifying tournament in his native Kanto, where trainers who had earned fifty badges could compete for a chance to go to Sapphire City for the World Championship.
And here they were today. Together still, on the day when Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town finally had his chance to become the world’s greatest Pokémon Master, his ultimate goal from the day he had first learned about pokémon and battles.
“Thanks, Dawn,” Ash said, trying to hide the blushing he could feel in his cheeks. “I’m really glad you’re here with me.”
“Yeah…you said that already, silly.”
He instantly felt embarrassed at how nervous he was suddenly feeling, but It was definitely the truth. He was glad she was here. While Ash hoped to accomplish his lifelong dream this week, he felt like just being invited to such an elite event was a huge honor in itself and he liked having his friends around to share it with.
He also had begun to notice Dawn in a different light recently. He hated to even admit it to himself, and never dared admitting it to anyone else, but Dawn was no longer the naive, scrawny little girl she was when he had first met her.
Now, at almost fifteen years old, she was starting to resemble the glamorous and stunningly gorgeous Pokémon Coordinators she had always watched on television and idolized for their style and beauty.
Her soft, dark hair streamed beautifully down her shoulders, loosely tied on either side with those familiar golden hair ties. Without her childish white stocking cap she had often worn when she'd first met Ash, the rich violet highlights in her hair were free to shimmer in the light like a movie star’s.
She wore a stylish black button-up shirt, which elegantly showed off her developing figure. And her chic pink corduroy miniskirt and matching pink flats accentuated her long and slender, smooth legs.
But above all her emerging beauty, Ash appreciated Dawn’s kindness, compassion for life, and friendship. He had grown to trust her and rely on her over the years. She was always there for him when he needed a friend.
“Ash?” Dawn waved her hand in front of his face, interrupting Ash‘s daydreaming. “You alright?”
“Oh! Uh…yeah. I’m alright. Just a little nervous I guess.” He blinked, realizing Dawn had been trying to talk to him when he had zoned out.
“That’s normal, Ash. Just remember what I always say…” She placed a friendly hand on Ash’s shoulder. “No need to worry.”
With that, Dawn gave Ash a big hug, needing to stand up on her tippy-toes in order to do so.
“I know. I know,” he said as he clumsily returned the hug.
It annoyed Ash anytime he caught himself noticing Dawn…in that way. Despite the fact that he was growing up, he couldn’t imagine himself being in love with a girl...any girl. Dawn was his friend, it’d been that way for a long time now, and it was too weird to think about her like that.
Besides, Ash had bigger things to worry about besides girls at the moment: namely the biggest pokémon battle of his life, which was only hours away now!
Ash quickly separated himself from Dawn before the length of the hug became too uncomfortable or suspicious.
“All right,” he said. “Enough mushy stuff, I gotta drop off my pokémon at Nurse Joy’s office before I go to bed. I haven’t had a chance to heal them since I got here.”
He picked up his black backpack which was sitting on the bed, and stood up as he unzipped it. Inside were five metallic spheres, each about the diameter of a coin. Half of each sphere was red, the other half was white. They made a click-clacking sound as they rustled around and against each other when Ash picked up his backpack.
“All right Ash, I‘ll let you get ready for bed, but before I go back to the hotel…I was wondering if I could give you something,” Dawn asked in a timid yet hopeful tone.
Ash was surprised to hear that Dawn had gotten him a gift. She had been especially nice to him recently, he realized. She was always smiling at him and complementing him. Now she was buying him gifts?
He didn’t really know what he felt about this. He definitely noticed Dawn’s increased attention recently, and a part of him really liked having such a pretty girl always by his side. But another part of him was scared about where such a relationship would lead. He really didn’t know anything about that kind of stuff, so he just ignored those feelings and enjoyed his friend’s company.
“Uh…sure,” Ash said as Pikachu scampered closer so it could see what Dawn had gotten the boy.
Dawn pulled her small, white backpack off of her back. She laid it on the bed. She unzipped it and removed a wrapped package, maybe the size of a small shoe-box, from the bag.
“Here, Ash. I hope you like it.” Dawn smiled nervously. “I didn’t really know what you would like.”
Ash grabbed the beautifully wrapped box and just stared at it. The wrapping was a beautiful, shiny gold paper with bunches of silver ribbons tied around it. It really was gorgeous, and it was obvious that Dawn had spent a lot of time on the wrapping.
“Wow! Thanks, Dawn!”
Ash gently slid his fingers underneath the clear tape and carefully attempted to unwrap the package without destroying the beautiful paper Dawn had used. He wanted nothing more than to just tear into the package to see what was inside, but after his ill-mannered comment before, he wanted to make sure he didn’t make her mad. So he continued to cautiously peel away at the taped corners of the wrapping paper.
“Ash! Just open it,” the girl said impatiently.
Ash was relieved that Dawn understood how impatient he was. She always understood, he thought to himself.
As soon as she gave him the okay, he ripped into the present like an excited child on Christmas. Shreds of gold paper, tape, and ribbon flew in the air as he eagerly tore his way through it. Finally, he saw what Dawn had given to him.
Inside the cardboard box underneath all the trimmings, was a brand-new navy blue and white baseball cap. It was a really cool hat, Ash thought. Much better than his old, dingy and dirty hat he had been wearing for years now. Plus, it was from his friend, so that made it extra special.
“You hate it don’t you?” Dawn looked worried when she saw Ash just staring at the hat in the box.
“You don’t have to wear it, I just thought--”
“I love it! Thank you Dawn.” Ash cut her off and smiled genuinely at her.
He replaced his old cap with the new one and tossed the old one into the corner of the room near his backpack. Dawn looked incredibly relieved that Ash liked her gift.
“That symbol on the front means ‘friendship,’” she bashfully explained to Ash, pointing to the black character stitched on the front of the hat.
“I thought it might help you tomorrow…if you’re feeling scared or nervous out there in front of all those people. Just remember that I’m always right there with you, even if I can’t actually be. Ya know?”
She smiled again at Ash. They were standing face-to-face right next to each other. Neither of them spoke for a few moments. Ash started to become very nervous as he sensed the awkwardness of the moment…and then without warning, a horrifying thing happened.
Ash’s eyes grew wide as he watched Dawn lean over kiss him gently on the cheek.
His face began to tingle at the instant her lips touched his skin.
“Good luck tomorrow, Ash,” he heard her whisper in his ear. Her cheeks were bright red.
After the quick peck, Dawn suddenly turned around and ran for the door in a panic without another word. She had a look of utter horror as she raced out of the room and slammed the door behind her.
Ash--whose face was also a distinct shade of crimson--and Pikachu were still standing where they had been when Dawn had kissed him.
The duo continued to stare at the door where she had exited. They both looked dumbfounded. Neither of them said a word or moved for nearly five minutes.
“What just happened, Pikachu?” the boy finally asked, obviously puzzled.
“Pi-kaaah…” His beloved electric mouse was equally as shocked.
The boy’s mind was absolutely spinning after what had just occurred. Did Dawn, his best friend in the world, the girl whom he had grown up with together as nothing more than friends, really just kiss him?
The whole situation Ash now found himself in was surreal to say the least. He found himself here, finally, the place where his longest childhood dream would be realized: the biggest competition in the world. That fact in itself was enough to cause the boy to think that this was all just a dream.
Now a kiss from Dawn? This was beyond crazy. This was--
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
Another knock at the door! Dawn was back!
Ash froze. He didn’t know what to do. The idea of seeing Dawn again so soon after that incredibly awkward moment scared him more than anything he had ever experienced in his life before. Why had she come back so soon? Did she want to kiss more?!
He ran towards the bathroom in the back of the room.
“You answer the door, Pikachu,” he called out behind him. “I’ll be in here.”
“Pi?” Pikachu just stared back at Ash, looking puzzled.
Ash waited in the small, white-tiled bathroom for a few minutes, not exactly knowing why he was doing so. He sat on the edge of the bathtub and just stared at the floor, trying to focus on his battle tomorrow. Only the biggest battle of his entire life.
Suddenly a scratching sound at the bathroom door.
Ash timidly opened it, desperately hoping to see anyone but Dawn. He breathed a deep sigh of relief when he saw no one until he looked down to see Pikachu standing in front of him.
“Hey Pikachu,” he said. “Who was at the door?”
“Oh. Right,” Ash said. “Sorry, buddy.”
He was rather embarrassed. Of course his little Pikachu wouldn’t be able to open a human door. He chuckled. Dawn was right, he was really thick sometimes.
Ash figured that Dawn, or whoever had knocked was gone by now, but he walked over and looked anyway. He opened the door, again hoping to see no one, and again he was relieved. No one there. Just the empty, carpeted hallway.
But wait. Before Ash could swing the door closed, something on the ground in the hallway right near his feet caught his eye.
“Hey, what’s this?” Ash said out loud as he bent down to pick the object up.
It was a very small black box, like a jewelry box, sitting on the floor right near his feet. The black box had a tiny bow taped to the top of it as well. But there was no card, no name on the box.
Ash shut the front door and plopped back down on the bed.
“Who do ya think sent this one, Pikachu?”
“You’re right. Only one way to find out.”
Ash tore the bow off and flipped open the hinged box.
“Whoa,” he gasped.
By the look of the box, Ash had almost expected to see a wedding ring or a pair of pearl earrings inside. But it was neither of those things. It wasn’t jewelry at all. It was some sort of gold coin. The palm-sized piece of shiny metal twinkled beautifully in the light from the room.
Ash marveled at the dazzling coin. There were five shimmering gemstones imbedded in its smooth surface. Four of the jewels orbited the fifth like the pattern of the ‘five’ side of a die.
Each tiny stone was a different color, Ash noticed. The four jewels were blue, red, yellow and black, and they all surrounded a gorgeous diamond in the middle. Quite a peculiar pattern, he thought to himself. And a very mysterious gift indeed.
“Sure is pretty, isn’t it?” Ash asked as he carefully removed the coin from the box so he could examine it further. As he did so, a small piece of folded paper, which had been tucked underneath the coin, fell from the box.
Pikachu scurried over and snatched the shred of paper out of the air before it reached the floor.
“What’s it say, buddy?” Ash asked, taking it from his pokémon. He unfolded it and read.
The time has come for this to be returned to you.
Take good care of it, and it shall aid you during
the daunting task that awaits you.
The boy read and re-read the peculiar words that were scribbled on the paper. His mind again began to race.
Ash wondered what the note meant. It was time for the coin to be returned to him? He had never seen it before in his life. And what sort of daunting task awaited him?
"This sure is weird. I wish whoever left this woulda signed their name."
He simply shrugged and returned the coin to its box. All this excitement was tiring. He wanted to find out who had left him this strange coin, but after the incident with Dawn and because he would have his first tournament battle in the morning, Ash just wanted to get some sleep.
He placed the box on the nightstand next to the bed before changing into his pajamas. He set the hat Dawn had given him next to the tiny black box as he yawned deeply and stretched his arms towards the ceiling.
“We’ll figure it out tomorrow,” Ash said. “We should really get some rest.”
Pikachu too yawned and nodded its little head in agreement.
The two friends both climbed into the twin bed and positioned themselves underneath the warm covers. Ash gently scratched Pikachu’s head one last time before reaching over to switch off the lamp that was sitting on the nightstand next to his two gifts.
"Goodnight buddy," Ash yawned.
The cozy guest room went dark. Trainer and pokémon were left staring at the ceiling once again.
“What a crazy day...” Ash’s voice trailed off as he drifted off into a deep sleep.
Well there is it. What do you guys think?
Wow great ending to this chapter. I can tell that's brand new added stuff.
Very awesome, amazing cliffhanger endings like you are known for. Anyways, I can't wait to find out who sent this mystery coin and what the heck it is even. Im intrigued about the colored gemstones on the coin. Wonder what they mean.
Anyways, hurry up with the next chapter pleeeze.
The new thing is only the mysterious gift, right?
Chap's great, no need to say it. And i bet the gemstone shave something to do with Oh-Ho! I mean Ho-Oh. xD
Nice chapter as usual, Legs. I wonder what chapter six will be like this time around, LOL.
"It is nothing to die; it is horrible not to live."
Was chap 6... that chapter? *winkwink*
Indeed. It was.
"It is nothing to die; it is horrible not to live."