A/N: At first I didn't think I would get this chapter out on time because of the horrible internet service I've had all week. I'm glad most of you enjoyed the Silph Co. arc. Before I start, I want to address something some of you had pointed out. A lot of you described Ash as exceedingly weak last chapter when his Pokemon were pulverized by Giovanni. That scene was not supposed to describe Ash as weak. Rather, it was supposed to show how strong Giovanni is compared to Ash and the other Rockets and how Ash will need to force himself to get stronger so he can stand up to the Rocket boss.

Oh, well. Here is Chapter 28. Please enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. All rights belong to Nintendo, Game Freak, etc.

Chapter 28: Saffron City Fighting Dojo

"Mom! I'm home!" Ash called excitedly as opened the door and entered the living room of his house in Pallet Town. He was carrying a large trophy in his hands.

"Ash!" his mother, Delia, cried with delight as she came running from the kitchen, still in her apron.

Ash then quickly went towards his mother to give her the biggest hug he was able to. It felt so good to be back to his home in Pallet Town. He hadn't seen his mother in person since he left for the Pokemon League about a year ago.

"Mom! Guess what!? I won first place at the Pokemon League!" Ash informed his mother with joy as he looked up at her and grinned.

Delia immediately put an overjoyed look on her face. "Oh, Ash! I'm so proud of you! I knew my little baby could do it!" Delia cried as she hugged her son tighter.

"Come on, Mom. Cut it out," Ash said sheepishly, but he was still excited.

The two remain in each other's arms for quite a while. It was just the two of them. There was nothing any of them were worried about at the moment. Ash had just gotten one step closer to becoming a Pokemon Master by winning the league. He was now back at home where his mother had been anxiously awaiting him. Ash felt real peace right now. Life was good.

Suddenly, there was a loud rapping at his door. The pounds were much louder than necessary for a visit. The two residents of the house turned to look at the door with curiosity.

"Hmm…I wonder who that could be," Delia wondered aloud as she walked towards the door to open it.

Ash had a sneaking suspicion of dread as his mother went to open the door. He didn't know why, but something was telling him that whoever had knocked on the other side of the door wasn't there for a friendly visit. Ash was just about to yell for his mom to stop when she turned the knob to open it, but he was too late.

As soon as Delia opened the door, there was a loud bang from the other side.

"Mom!" Ash screamed in horror once he heard the gunfire and saw the look of shock on his mother's face.

Delia began to fall backwards quickly towards the floor, but to Ash, it felt like an eternity. Time seemed to slow down as she was falling. She finally hit the floor with a loud thud. As Ash ran towards his mother, his eyes grew wide with terror as he saw a fresh bullet hole engraved deeply in the center of her chest, fresh blood flowing through it.

"Mom!" Ash cried again once he reached her. There was no response. Delia's eyes were still open with shock from the bullet that had penetrated her. Ash knelt down and began to frantically shake her, tears coming from his eyes. This couldn't be happening. He still wasn't getting a response. It was then with growing dread that Ash realized his mother was dead, her life instantly gone by a single bullet.

Ash then looked up from the body of Delia to see who it was that committed the terrible deed, tears still stinging his eyes. He gasped when he saw they were two men dressed in black. There was a huge red R in the middle of the uniform.

"Team Rocket!" Ash gasped. He reached for his pokeballs but realized there weren't any there. Come to think of it, Pikachu wasn't with him either, neither were Serena, Brock, or Misty. Nobody was here! He was all alone.

"Heh! You should have stayed out of our way, brat," one of the Rocket grunts smirked evilly as he brought the gun back up and pointed it at Ash's face. "This is what you get for messing with Team Rocket!"

Ash then looked past the Rocket grunts and gasped in horror when he saw a familiar girl in a pink hat sprawled out on the ground behind them. Her eyes were wide in shock as blood continued to pour from her, as well. A yellow rodent was by her side, also in the same predicament.

"NO! Serena! Pikachu!" Ash, yelled. He couldn't believe it. His mom and friends were dead, and it was all his fault. He had been powerless to save them. He was weak. If only he was stronger…

"And now it's your turn," the Rocket member said as he pulled the trigger of his gun on Ash, and there was nothing but black…..


"No!" Ash cried again as sat up quickly in his bed, drenched with sweat.

"Ash! Are you okay?!" a girl asked frantically from beside him.

"Chuuu!?" another voice cried.

Ash turned towards the girl's voice and his eyes widened when he saw Serena was by his bedside. He then looked at the foot of his bed and saw his beloved partner, Pikachu, in a curled up position with its head raised. It was looking at Ash in alarm.

"Serena? You're alive?" Ash breathed.

"Of course I'm alive, Ash," Serena replied, suddenly a little scared.

It was then Ash looked around and saw he was in his room at the Pokemon Center in Saffron City. He wasn't at his house. He didn't just win the Pokemon League. Everyone was still alive. As his senses begin to return, Ash realized it had all been a horrible dream. He let out a huge sigh of relief.

"Ash?" Serena tried again.

"I'll be fine, Serena," Ash replied. "I just had a nightmare."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Serena asked with worry as she sat down on the bed next to Ash.

"I'll be fine," Ash repeated. He wasn't going to tell her he had a dream where she was killed by Team Rocket. Ash had a rough night sleeping. He was up most of the night in his bed thinking about what Giovanni had said: about how he knew Ash's parents and the threats he made if Ash didn't stay out of their way. Was his dream a dark premonition of what would happen if he saw Team Rocket again?

"Ash? Are you sure you're okay?" Serena repeated. Pikachu was also watching Ash in concern.

"Yeah. What time is it?" Ash finally said after taking another deep breath.

"It's almost noon," Serena answered. "Everyone else is already up. We all decided to get an extra few hours of sleep because of the events that happened yesterday. I had just come in here and was about to wake you up when you screamed and sat up in your bed."

It was then Ash began to recall the events of last night. It had been pretty hectic. They had all called their parents, Leaf, and Professor Oak last night to tell them about the Silph Co. takeover and their involvement with it. Naturally, Delia and Grace were less than approving of their children doing something so dangerous. Ash and Serena got a good scolding from their parents while Blue, Gary's father, muttered something about being too much like Red. Leaf was extremely worried for them all, but soon admitted that she probably would have done the same thing had she been in Saffron City. Despite the four Pallet Town natives being separated, they could still count on each other for support in the face of danger. They were all friends for life, for sure.

"It was then Serena spoke to Ash again. "Gary is almost ready to leave. I'm sure you would like to say goodbye to him."

"He is?!" Ash exclaimed, now fully awake.

He immediately jumped out of the bed which sent Pikachu flying off the sheets and onto the floor. It leaped onto its feet and glared at Ash.

"Pikachu!" it said angrily.

"Sorry, buddy! I need to hurry up and get dressed!" Ash apologized hurriedly.

He then turned towards Serena and saw her blushing very deeply. He was about to ask what was wrong but soon knew what it was. Ash looked himself over and saw he was only wearing his boxers at the moment. He was soon as red as Serena.

"I'm just going to…wait outside while you get changed," Serena muttered nervously.

"Heheheheh. Sounds good. I'll see you in a little bit," Ash chuckled with equal embarrassment.

Serena quickly went out the door and closed it behind her leaving Ash and Pikachu alone in the room. Ash took a deep breath as his heartbeat returned to normal. He didn't know why, but having Serena see him like that made him more embarrassed than if any other girl would see him like that. He was sure he wouldn't have reacted that way if it had been Misty or Leaf. He would have been embarrassed, of course, but his heart rate wouldn't have sped up like that. He turned to see Pikachu snickering at him. It felt like good payback for the rude awakening it had.

"No ketchup for you this morning, Pikachu," Ash told it in annoyance.

"Pi Pi Pikachu!" it said in alarm.

"I'm just teasing you, buddy," Ash smiled as he went to get his normal clothes for the day. Ash figured he could joke with the rodent to lighten the mood considering how he felt just moments before. He would probably give his mom another call before heading out for the day.

"Oh my goodness!" Serena thought in embarrassment as she stood outside the door. "I can't believe I saw Ash almost undressed!"

She was extremely red and didn't quite know what to make of the situation.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the door to Ash's room opening. Ash stepped out, clothed in his normal attire. He smiled warmly upon seeing her, but there was still a slight tinge of pink to his cheeks

"Hey there. Ready to go?" Serena asked.

"You bet!" Ash replied as the two and Pikachu began to walk towards the lobby together. They didn't really say anything to each other on the way there, each lost in their own thoughts about the incident.

Once Ash and Serena entered the Pokemon Center main room, they saw everyone else already waiting for them. Gary had his things ready as his crowd of cheerleaders waited beside him.

"It's about time you got up, Ashy-boy. What were you two doing in there?" Gary asked.

"Nothing!" Ash and Serena answered at the same time.

Their embarrassed tone didn't go unnoticed by anyone, but that wasn't their concern at the moment.

"Don't want to talk about it, eh? Well, it's not like it's my business," Gary said while shrugging his shoulders.

"So you're leaving already, Gary?" Ash inquired, wanting to change the subject.

"Yeah. I've been in this city much longer than I would have like to. I need to get going to Fuchsia City. Otherwise, you might catch up with me," Gary smirked.

"Hahaha. Very funny," Ash mumbled. It still seems Gary couldn't resist teasing him. Still, Ash knew it was all in good fun now that Gary accepted him.

"I'm meeting Leaf in Lavender Town before I go to Fuchsia City. We are going to explore the Pokemon Tower while we are there and see the ghost Pokemon," Gary informed the group.

"Ghost Pokemon?" Serena asked worriedly.

"Since when did you and Leaf start wanting to hang out together?" Ash asked curiously.

"Since a while. Leaf and I are friends, too, you know. She won't have anything to fear as long as the great Gary Oak is here!" Gary laughed.

"Yeah, sure," Ash replied rolling his eyes.

"Well, anyway, catch you later, Ash. You better be prepared for a battle next time we meet," Gary said as he outstretched a hand for Ash to take.

"See you later, Gary," Ash responded, taking the handshake.

"You too, Serena. Good luck with the Battle Chateau in this city," Gary added as he shook her hand, too.

"Thanks, Gary," Serena smiled. When Gary wasn't acting like an ego, he could be pretty nice.

Gary then gave a wave to Brock and Misty, who smiled and nodded their heads in response, before heading out of the Pokemon Center with his cheerleaders. Before he left, he turned back around to face Ash.

"Yo, Ash. While you are in the city, you should try out the fighting dojo they have here. The leader is supposed to give you a special fighting Pokemon if you win," he said.

"That sounds cool! Thanks for the information, Gary!" Ash replied.

Gary nodded before leaving. The group heard the car start up and speed off down the street.

"Well guys! I say we take Gary's advice and take on the fighting dojo! What do you say?!" Ash asked enthusiastically.

"I could really use a fighting-type Pokemon on my team so I'm going to compete as well," Serena added.

"Sounds good!" Ash said as he gave her a thumbs-up. "I know exactly who I'm going to use for this!"

"Who?" Misty asked curiously as Ash went over to the video phone with Pikachu on his shoulder.

"Primeape, of course!" Ash replied as he began to punch in the number for Professor Oak's lab, but stopped. He figured he would give his mom another call first. After having a dream like that last night, Ash realized he didn't call his mom nearly enough.

"He soon heard the phone ringing and heard his mother's voice on the other end. "Good morning. Ketchum residence," she said.

"Hey, mom. It's me again," Ash spoke.

"Oh, Ash?!" Delia exclaimed before her image popped up on the screen. "You are calling back so soon from last night. Is everything okay? Are you in trouble again?!"

"No, Mom. I'm fine. I was just calling to check on you. Is everything going okay? Is there anything strange going on?" Ash inquired.

"That's so sweet of you to make sure I'm okay, Ash, but know that I'm the adult and the one at home. You are on a trip, and I should be the one worried about you, especially after last night," Delia told Ash.

"I know. I'll try to be less reckless from now on," Ash said, at least he hoped so. "Just promise me that you will stay safe as long as I'm gone. If you ever sense something is not right, just go to Professor Oak's lab or Serena's house."

"Ash, is something wrong?" Delia asked, her tone changing to concern. "Do I have a reason to be worried about anything?"

Ash wanted to kick himself for being too obvious. Now his mother would know something was up.

"Everything is fine, Mom," Ash lied, despite hating to. "I just want to make sure you stay safe since there isn't a man in the house right now."

"Hahahaha! Well, that's true. You really are the man in our house right now. I'm so proud of the person you're becoming," Delia smiled sweetly.

Ash was glad she took the cover up. "Thanks, Mom. I'll call you again soon."

"Okay. I love you, Ash. Take care," Delia waved.

"I love you, too, Mom," Ash said, but felt tears come to his eyes. He hoped his mother or friends didn't notice.

The screen then turned off, and Ash breathed a sigh of relief. At least his mother was still safe for the moment. Now that Team Rocket had specifically said they would target Ash's family and friends if he ever got in their way again, Ash didn't want to take that chance. He would definitely call his mom more often.

"Ash, what was that about?" Brock asked strangely from behind him.

Ash sighed. It turned out his friends had noticed something off about his behavior. He supposed he couldn't blame them. They had all been traveling together for a while now and could always sense if something was wrong.

"Trust me, I'll be fine," Ash said again before beginning to dial Professor Oak's number.

Serena watched Ash with much concern. She knew it was fairly obvious that Ash had been acting strange all morning. First, it was with the bad dream he had, and now it was a strange call to his mother telling her to be safe. Serena had a suspicion that all of this must have something to do with Ash's encounter with Giovanni yesterday. She then recalled Ash's words about being relieved that she and Pikachu were still alive, and then it hit her. Ash must have had a horrible nightmare about his friends and family being killed by Team Rocket. Now, the dream must have affected him enough to where he would be worried for his mother's safety every day.

"Oh, Ash," Serena thought with pity for her crush. She really hoped he could make it past this.

After Ash dialed Professor Oak's number, he soon heard the phone dialing and Professor Oak soon appeared on the screen. He looked rather worn out.

"Oh, hello there, Ash. Calling back so soon?" Professor Oak asked tiredly.

"Yeah. Are you okay Professor Oak? Did you have a rough night or something," Ash asked.

"I guess you could say that," the Pokemon professor responded. "Your Muk has taken quite a liking to this place."

"My Muk? That's a good thing, isn't it?" Ash asked.

"Well…," Professor Oak began, but was cut off by a huge purple blob smothering him in an affectionate hug.

"Muuuuuuk!" the sludge Pokemon exclaimed happily.

"Yes! It's good to see you, too, Muk!" Professor Oak laughed from underneath the Pokemon.

The group sweatdropped upon seeing the scene. They could only imagine what Professor Oak must be going through after being smothered by such a Pokemon.

"As you can see, I have my hands full!" the professor said.

"Hey Muk! How have you been?" Ash asked. He realized he hadn't seen the Pokemon since he caught it in Celadon City.

"Muuuuuk!" the Pokemon responded as it waved a sloppy hand at Ash.

"So anyway, what can I do for you Ash?" Professor Oak asked.

"I was wondering if I could make a rotation to some of my Pokemon please," Ash answered.

"Certainly, but which Pokemon are you going to send to me?" Professor Oak asked.

"Hmmm," Ash muttered as he appeared to be deep in thought. He figured Krabby could use a break from all the hard battling it had done recently.

"I'm going to switch out Krabby for Primeape, Professor," Ash finally said.

"Very well. Your Primeape sure is an energetic one. I had a hard time controlling it when it first came to the lab," Professor Oak commented.

"Heheheheh. Sorry about that," Ash apologized as he set Krabby's pokeball on the video phone's transporter.

Professor Oak likewise set Primeape's pokeball on the transporter as well. Krabby's pokeball soon disappeared in a white energy to be replaced with Primeape's a moment later.

"Primeape has been received, Professor!" Ash said enthusiastically.

"Same here. I'll take good care of Krabby while it is here," Professor Oak said. He then added, "Was there anything else I could do for you?"

"Nope! That's it!" Ash smiled.

"In that case, I have something to tell both you and Serena," Profesor Oak said.

"Oh? What is it?" Ash asked curiously as Serena leaned in a little closer to the video phone to hear him better.

"I'm sure my grandson, Gary, didn't tell you this, but he has already captured twenty five Pokemon, and Leaf has already captured over forty Pokemon," Professor Oak told them.

"Really?!" Ash and Serena asked at the same time.

"Indeed. So why haven't you two been capturing as many Pokemon? You don't want to fall behind, do you?" Professor Oak inquired.

"Well…" Serena trailed. She and Ash were unable to come up with a good response.

"Remember. If you two want to be good Pokemon trainers, you both need to capture more Pokemon!" Professor Oak said a little sternly.

"Yes, Professor. We will," they both said a little sullenly.

"Pika Pi," Pikachu said while patting them both on the back.

Seeing their expressions, Professor Oak decided to lighten the mood. "Cheer up. I know you both have what it takes to be great Pokemon trainers. I wouldn't have chosen to give both of you pokedexes if I didn't believe in you."

"Right. Thanks, Professor," they said.

"Well, I've got to go now. Ta ta!" Professor Oak smiled as he and Muk waved goodbye. Then the video phone shut off.

Ash turned to Serena. "It looks like we are going to need to pick up the pace with our Pokemon catching so we can keep up with Gary and Leaf."

"Yeah. I guess we can start by trying to win a Pokemon at the fighting dojo," Serena agreed.

"That reminds me," Mist spoke up. "You don't have a fighting Pokemon Serena. So who are you going to use in it?"

"The rules don't' require you to have a fighting Pokemon, Misty," Brock intervened. "You only need to have Pokemon with a lot of physical strength to do well. You can even use up to two different Pokmon if you wish."

Serena then went over her options of who she could use for the fighting dojo. Nidorina and Oddish were both strong, but she believed they would seem out of place in a fighting dojo. She wasn't quite sure of her Eevee's battling strength yet so she didn't feel it was ready to try something like a fighting dojo. That left Jigglypuff and Charla. Both of them had a lot of physical strength and could withstand a lot of attacks. It looked like those would be the two Pokemon she used.

"I'm going to use Charla and Jigglypuff in the fighting dojo!" Serena declared.

"I'm definitely going to be using Primeape for this, but I'm not sure who my other Pokemon should be," Ash contemplated. He then crossed his arms and looked deep in thought.

Pikachu heard Ash's comment and got a tough expression on its face. It began making punching and kicking motions with its hands and feet, knocking out imaginary enemies. It could take on these fighting Pokemon! It would give them the old one-two!

"I've got it! I'll use Charmeleon!" Ash decided.

Pikachu fell forward on its face.

As the group stepped into the fighting dojo, they realized it was a little smaller than they expected. It consisted of only one large room with a wooden floor. There were about six men in karate uniforms training with their different types of fighting Pokemon. One of the men, who was presumed to be the Karate Master, was sitting in the back part of the room in a meditative stance.

"Wow. These guys sure do a lot of physical training with their Pokemon," Brock commented.

"I could probably learn a thing or two from these guys about sparring with my Pokemon," Ash mused to himself.

"Isn't that dangerous?" Misty asked.

"My Pokemon and I are a team! It might be good for us!" Ash stated.

Not knowing how exactly to get their attention, Ash called out, "Um, excuse me?"

All the black belts immediately stopped what they were doing and stared at Ash and the rest of the group. The Karate Master opened his eyes from his meditation and gave the group an intense gaze. Ash suddenly felt really awkward at having all of these intimidating men and their Pokemon staring at him and his friends.

"Uh, we have come to challenge the Karate Master," Ash stated somewhat timidly.

Serena, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu facepalmed. His tone wasn't going to impress these guys.

"We do not accept cowardice at the fighting dojo!" the Karate Master responded harshly. "If you want to challenge us, we need to see courage and determination just like Master Bruno has taught us!"

Serena then decided to step up. "My name is Serena Gabena, and this is Ash Ketchum. We have come to challenge the Karate Master!" she declared with confidence.

"Yes! This young lass has shown the traits we look for. Now we need to hear it from the young man!" the Karate Master exclaimed.

Ash cleared his throat and spoke up louder this time. "My name is Ash Ketchum, and I am here to challenge the Karate Master!" he shouted confidently.

"Challenge accepted!" the Karate Master cried as he got off the ground and walked towards the group. "My name is Kiyo, and this is my fighting dojo! I learned from Master Bruno himself!"

The group was impressed with that bit of information. Bruno was one of the Kanto Elite Four. The Karate Master clearly wasn't going to be an easy opponent.

"So what are the rules?" Ash asked.

"First of all, special based moves are not allowed in the fighting dojo!" Kiyo stated. "Your Pokemon are not required to be of the fighting-type, but they must only use physical based moves or brute strength to win!"

The group nodded, figuring that made sense.

"You are required to face off against each of us in a Pokemon Battle! If you are able to defeat my black belts in-training, you shall face me. Defeat me to win a prized fighting Pokemon!" Kiyo continued.

"We accept!" Serena and Ash yelled.

"Since there are two of you challenging us today, you will each face three of my black belts before facing me!" Kiyo stated.

"Yes sir!" they declared confidently.

"Who shall go first?" the Karate Master asked.

"I will!" Serena said.

"Very well! You will face Hideki first! Step up to the center of the dojo!" Kiyo commanded.

Serena did so as well as Hideki. They stood in front of each other and bowed.

"I should have you know that I have trained with the master a long time! I won't be beaten easily!" Hideki said.

"Fine with me!" Serena smiled confidently. "Go, Jigglypuff!"

The pink puffball appeared and struck a pose before waving to the audience as usual.

"You are using a Jigglypuff against me?! Are you mocking me?! You're blunder will cost you!" Hideki said angrily as he sent out a Machoke.

The Machoke loomed over Jigglypuff menacingly while the puffball smirked back. So this trainer thought it was weak, did it? Well, it would show him!

"You may begin!" the judge, also a black belt, shouted.

Jigglypuff immediately charged up a Rollout attack. It began spinning faster and faster until it was just a blur.

"Get ready to catch that Jigglypuff!" Hideki ordered.

Machoke held its ground as it outstretched its hands, ready to stop Jigglypuff. It wasn't expecting Jigglypuff to shoot forward like a bullet, though. It sailed between Machoke's hands and straight into its chest. Machoke was sent flying backwards and into the wall in pain.

"Now use Pound, Jigglypuff," Serena giggled. Jigglypuff had been listening a little more lately, but it still wasn't to be taken lightly and still did what it wanted to most of the time. She couldn't help but feel Jigglypuff's overconfidence will be its downfall one day, however.

Jigglypuff inflated itself before flying forward. Machoke was still reeling from the attack and standing up slowly. Before it had a chance to react, Jigglypuff's arm smashed into its face, which sent it back onto the ground again.

Deciding to go ahead and finish this fight, it flew forward to use Double Slap, but it wasn't expecting Machoke to get a glint in its eye and grab Jigglypuff with both of its strong hands. Jigglypuff began struggling to break out of the superpower Pokemon's hands. This time it was Machoke who gave a smirk to Jigglypuff. For the first time in a while, Jigglypuff had a scared look on its face.

"Try to break free, Jigglypuff!" Serena cried, but it was no use.

"Jigglypuff got too confident and was lured close to Machoke. That's what it must have wanted all along," Brock said grimly.

"Use Seismic Toss, and send that Jigglypuff flying!" Hideki yelled.

Machoke then began to swing Jigglypuff around and around to build momentum. With as hard as Machoke could throw, Jigglypuff would probably be knocked out once the attack was finished. Serena was trying hard to think of what to do. Since status changes and special moves weren't allowed in the dojo, she would have to rely on Jigglypuff's will to outdo Machoke's. Even though Jigglypuff always seemed to do what it wanted, it was Serena's job to help out her Pokemon anytime they needed it!

"Try using Rollout, Jigglypuff!" Serena called.

Jigglypuff then began to spin quickly inside of Machoke's strong grip. This was making it difficult for the superpower Pokemon to hold on to it. Its grip was slipping, and it soon had to stop swinging Jigglypuff just to hold onto it. Finally, Jigglypuff was able to build enough momentum to shoot out of Machoke's hands and right into its face. Machoke got a dazed look before falling backwards onto the wooden floor where it didn't get back up.

"Unbelievable! How was that Jigglypuff able to beat Machoke!?" Hideki cried.

"It's because Jigglypuff and I were a team that time, weren't we Jigglypuff?" Serena smiled.

Jigglypuff turned around and nodded at its trainer. Maybe listening to Serena in battle wouldn't hurt, after all. She did get it out of a bad situation.

"Hopefully that means Jigglypuff won't be so stubborn from now on," Misty commented.

Brock, on the other hand, had his doubts. He figured it would still take a lot more for Serena to completely gain Jigglypuff's respect.

"You may now take a rest if you wish to let the young man challenge one of us!" the Karate Master offered.

"That sounds good! I'm really eager to watch Ash battle!" Serena said as she returned to Jigglypuff to give it a good rest.

"Alright! I'm ready!" Ash declared as he stepped to the center of the dojo.

"Very well! Your opponent will be Hitoshi!" Kiyo determined.

Hitoshi stepped up to the center of the fighting dojo, as well. He and Ash both bowed to one another before pulling out a respective pokeball.

"I'm going to use a dual-type against you to give me an advantage!" Hitoshi stated. "Go Poilwrath!"

A large tadpole-like Pokemon that looked like a buffed up version of Poliwhirl appeared from the pokeball. It was a Poliwrath. It flexed its arms and looked very prepared for battle.

"A Poliwrath, huh?" Ash mumbled as he pulled out his pokedex.

"Poliwrath, the tadpole Pokemon and the evolved form of Poliwhirl._

"I'm going to choose Primeape! Come on out!" Ash called as he threw his pokeball to release the pig monkey Pokemon.

"Priiiiiiime!" it shouted once it was released. It then turned to Ash and nodded its head to signify it was ready to fight for him.

"You may now begin!" the judge shouted.

"Let's start things off with Karate Chop!" Ash called.

"Use Brick Break to counter it, Poliwrath!" Hitoshi yelled.

Both Pokemon ran forward to do their respective attacks. They reeled their arms back and brought them down on the other. Their attacks slammed painfully onto each other's forearms. The Pokemon were then in an arm lock, trying to get the upper hand over the other.

Deciding to take advantage of Primeape's free hand, Ash called out, "Primeape! Use Mega Punch!"

"Use your Mega Punch as well, Poliwrath!" the black belt ordered.

While still in an arm lock, Both Pokemon gave each other a powerful punch to the face. The attack was enough for them to break their arms free from each other. They grimaced in pain but didn't want to give the other an advantage.

"Use Cross Chop, Primeape!" Ash yelled.

"Use Submission, Poliwrath!" Hitoshi countered.

Primeape charged up its arms to prepare a devastating chop to Poliwrath, but the tadpole Pokemon was ready. As Primeape got close enough to attack, Poliwrath reached out and grabbed Primeape before it could complete the Cross Chop. It then put into a submission hold which caused Primeape to yell in pain.

"Primeape!" Ash called worriedly.

"Use Seismic Toss!" Hitoshi ordered.

Poliwrath then picked up Primeape and began swinging it around like Machoke did to Jigglypuff before it. Unfortunately, Primeape didn't have the ability to spin into a ball and escape.

Ash stared worriedly as Machoke spun Primeape around. It soon let go and the pig monkey Pokemon went sailing towards the wall at a high speed.

"Primeape!" Ash cried as he jumped in front of it to protect it from hitting the wall. Primeape collided with Ash which sent him toppling backwards.

"Are you okay, Ash?!" Serena asked as she and Pikachu went over to him.

"Yeah. I'm fine," Ash grimaced. "How about you, Primeape?"

"Priiii…," Primeape replied, getting teary-eyed. That was the second time Ash saved it from a devastating attack. They really were a good team.

"Don't worry, Primeape. I promise I'm alright," Ash told it. "You ready to get back in the fight?"

"Pruh! Pruh!" it responded by huffing.

"That is a very courageous thing you did for your Pokemon! I approve!" the Karate Master noted.

"Of course! I would do anything for my Pokemon!" Ash agreed as he a Primeape got back to its original spot in the dojo.

"Indeed, but you still can't beat Poliwrath! Now, use Brick Break again!" Hitoshi commanded.

"Charge towards it, Primeape," Ash told it.

Primeape did so and ran towards Poliwrath as fast as it could. It didn't know why Ash was telling it to go headfirst into a strong attack, but it trusted his judgment.

As Primeape approached the Poliwrath, the tadpole Pokemon began to bring down its arm to strike Primeape, but Ash was ready.

"Duck underneath it!" he called at the last second.

Primeape ducked down and rolled into a somersault right by Poliwrath, causing it to miss completely. The momentum kept Poliwrath's fist moving downwards, and Ash decided to take advantage of it.

"Stand up, and grab Poliwrath by the arm!" Ash said.

Primeape quickly got off the floor. It then reached and grabbed Poliwrath's arm as it was still in a downward arc. Poliwrath gave a questioning look at the Primeape.

"Now flip it, Primeape!" Ash told it confidently.

Primeape nodded and flung Poliwrath over its head and crashed it onto the wooden floor.

"Wraaaaath!" the tadpole Pokemon yelled in pain.

"Oh, no!" Hitoshi cried.

"Now Mega Punch it!" Ash commanded.

Primeape wound up its fist and delivered a mighty punch right in the middle of Poliwrath's swirls while it was still on the ground. Poliwrath was down for the count. Primeape then stood over the Poliwrath and made a victory pose.

"Poliwrath is unable to battle! The winner is Primeape!" the judge said.

"Awesome job, Primeape!" Ash congratulated his Pokemon as he ran up to hug it.

"Priiime," it said happily as it returned the hug. It then stealthily lifted its hand and took Ash's hat from his head. It still thought the hat looked better on it then Ash. It then gave a mischievous laugh.

"Hahaha, very funny, Primeape!" Ash mock glared as he took it back.

"You have both defeated your first opponents. Well done! However, you have a while to go before you face me!" Kiyo told them.

"That was an awesome victory, you two," Brock told Ash and Serena as well.

"Thanks! Are you and Misty sure to you don't want to give it a try?" Serena asked.

"No thanks!" Misty said. Then she added, "A lot of my Pokemon only know special-based move so they wouldn't do well here."

"I'm a breeder, not a fighter," Brock answered.

After an intense struggle against the other black belts they had to face, Ash and Serena had managed to overcome them. The only one they had left to challenge was the Karate Master, Kiyo, himself. It didn't appear they were going to be challenging him by what he said next.

"Well done to both of you! You have bested the black belts of this dojo and only have me to face. I don't think I would be any match for you despite training under Master Bruno," Kiyo told them.

"Thanks, but I wouldn't feel like I truly conquered the dojo unless I faced you in battle," Ash said.

"Me, too," Serena agreed.

"I know. That is why I have arranged for you to face each other!" Kiyo declared.

"What?!" Ash and Serena exclaimed.

"You will be facing each other rather than me to determine the final victory," Kiyo repeated.

Serena and Ash glanced at each other. They had never really faced each other in a real Pokemon battle before and couldn't figure out why. Sure, they had a few training sessions with each other but no an actual test of battle skill. It might be interesting to see who comes out on top.

"That sounds like an interesting idea. I think you two should go for it," Brock added in.

After a moment's pause of staring at each other, Ash and Serena got a determined expression on their face.

"Alright! You're on, Serena!" Ash stated.

"Let's do it!" Serena agreed.

"I've used Primeape in my last three battles so I'm going to give it a break. I'll be using Charmeleon in this battle," Ash told her.

"The same goes with Jigglypuff. It overcame three battles where it had a type disadvantage. I'll be using Charla," Serena said.

"Very well! This battle will decide the champion of the fighting dojo! You may now bow to one another!" Kiyo yelled.

Ash and Serena did so before standing at opposite ends of the dojo and sending out their Pokemon.

Both Charla and Charmeleon appeared before each other. The second that Charla saw Ash's newly evolved Charmeleon, it returned to its amorous state. The Pokemon was just right for it once again. The same held true for Charmeleon now that it had evolved and didn't feel awkward anymore. It showed off its strength to the female Charmeleon by flexing its arms and striking tough poses, which Charla loved.

"You guys can't just stand there impressing each other all day. You're going to face each other in battle!" Ash told them embarrassedly.

The two Charmeleon looked at their trainers in surprise before turning back to one another and staring. Like their trainers before them, they soon got a determined glint in their eyes. It would be interesting to see which of them were stronger.

"A battle between two strong Charmeleon. This should be interesting," Brock noted.

Both trainers and Pokemon stood facing each other. They were just waiting for the judge to signal the start of the battle. Pretty soon, it happened.

"Begin!" the judge yelled.

"Use Metal Claw!" both trainers called out.

Both Charmeleon charged at each other while their claws glowed white. They soon swung at each other. Their claws connected with each other midway, causing a bright flash. When the flash ended, the spectators saw that the two Pokemon were both grappling each other. They both had the other by their hands trying to push each other back to get an advantage. They seemed to be equally matched in that regard.

Ash's Charmeleon then got a smirk on its face as it suddenly dropped to the floor which startled Charla enough to make it lose its balance for a second as they still had each other by the hands. That was all Charmeleon needed to fling Charla over its head and onto the ground. Charla wouldn't be beaten so easily, however. It used the momentum of its fall to throw Charmeleon. It went sailing through the air and onto the ground. Both Pokemon got up slowly and smiled at each other.

Once again, the two Pokemon rushed at each other and found themselves grappling again.

"Use Metal Claw, Charmeleon!" Ash yelled.

"Use Fire Fang, Charla!" Serena also yelled.

Charla leaned over and bit down on Charmeleon's shoulder. Ash's Charmeleon grimaced at the pain of the fiery bite, but still managed to get its claws to glow white. It swung its right arm in upward motion which struck Charla right underneath the chin, sending it up into the air.

"Get after it, Charmeleon!" Ash called.

Charmeleon leaped into the air after Charla. It then spun around and swung its fiery tail at the opposing Pokemon. The tail connected with a hard slap which sent Charla sailing back down. It then hit the wooden floor in pain.

"Are you okay, Charla!?" Serena asked worriedly.

Charla saw that Charmeleon was coming back down from the air with the intention of landing on top it. Charla wasn't about to let that happen, however. Right before Charmeleon landed, Charla lifted its legs to the air and reached to catch it. Charla then used the strength of its legs to kick Charmeleon over its head. Charmeleon was once again sailing through the air. It then hit the all of the dojo and crumpled to the ground.

Both Pokemon then stood up. It was clear they were getting pretty tired.

"Use your Fire Punch, Charmeleon!" Ash called.

"Use your Fire Punch, as well, Charla!" Serena countered.

Both Pokemon ran towards each other with their right fists enveloped with flames. The two Charmeleon swung their arms forward and struck the opposing one across the face. Not wanting to give in, both of them charged up another Fire Punch. They once again swung their arms forward, but their fists collided with the other, creating a small explosion.

Both trainers looked on with worry until to both of their surprise, their respective Pokemon leaped out of the smoke and into the air. There tail flames were burning much higher than usual which signaled Blaze had activated. I was then Charmeleon and Charla decided to have a final face off. They both swung their fiery tail at each other. Each one was struck across the face by the other's tail, where it did quite a significant amount of damage due to how large their tail flames were, sending them back towards the ground. Both Pokemon crashed onto the wooden floor.

"Can you stand up, Charmeleon?" Ash asked.

"Are you okay, Charla?" Serena asked of her Pokemon.

Both Pokemon shakily stood up and began panting heavily at each other.

"Use Fire Punch!" both trainers called.

The two Charmeleon took in a deep breath and before charging at each other with fists of flames. The two Pokemons' fist connected with each other. Then there was a large explosion once more as both Pokemon were blasted backwards off of their feet. They once again landed on the floor and groaned in pain. They shakily stood to their feet, still panting.

For a second, it looked like they still might be able to fight. However, they both suddenly collapsed onto the floor, too exhausted to continue further. Their tail flames went back to their normal size.

"Both Pokemon are unable to battle! They are equally matched! This match is a draw!" the judge declared.

Ash and Serena looked on at their two fallen Pokemon, wondering what was going to happen now.

"A truly spectacular of display strength from each of your Charmeleon!" the Karate Master cried. "Both you and your Pokemon are very worthy competitors for our fighting dojo!"

"Oh, thank you," Ash said, somewhat surprised.

"Now please! You may both choose to have one of these fighting Pokemon in the pokeballs that I hold in my hand. One contains a Hitmonlee, the kicking fiend. The other contains Hitmonchan, the Pokemon whose punches cannot be rivaled!" said Kiyo as he took out two pokeballs from his robe and presented them.

"We both get one even though we didn't technically win?" Serena asked in confusion as she and Ash's Charmeleon got up from the floor to join their trainers.

"Indeed! You two are both worthy!" Kiyo told them.

"In that case, thank you!" Ash smiled. He then turned to Serena. "I'll let you go first Serena since I already have a fighting-type Pokemon.

Serena looked over the two choices as she thought about which one to choose. She finally settled on choosing Hitmonlee.

"A fine choice, Miss!" the karate master approved.

Serena looked at the pokeball containing her new Pokemon and smiled. "I bet you and I will make a great team, Hitmonlee," she thought.

"Then I guess that I'll choose Hitmonchan!" Ash smiled as he took the other pokeball before watching it be enveloped in a white light to be taken to Professor Oak's lab. "It looks like we got a new friend, huh, Pikachu?"

"Pikachu!" the yellow rodent agreed.

"I can't wait to meet Hitmonchan and battle with it," Ash thought.

"You guys did a really great job. It seems your Charmeleon are equally strong," Misty smiled.

"You should both be proud of yourselves," Brock said as he nodded his head at them.

Charla went over to Charmeleon and gave it a hug for a great battle. Charmeleon blushed and gave Charla a thumbs-up in return, too proud and embarrassed to hug Charla back. They now had a new found respect for each other. They were able to experience the other's battle strengths firsthand which caused them to be closer.

The same held true for Ash and Serena. That was the first real battle against each other and ended in a draw, but that was fine. It meant they almost equal in battle as trainers. They had started off making a lot of mistakes but had grown a lot. Ash already had four badges. Serena was a Countess at the Battle Chateau and only two away from getting the "Duchess" rank. They each also acquired a new fighting Pokemon today which would surely help them in battle. Gary and Leaf may have more Pokemon than them at the moment, but they were confident they would catch up. Nothing was going to stop them from becoming the greatest Pokemon trainers ever.

Ash finally got his first non canon Pokemon: A Hitmonchan. And Serena got a Hitmonlee. There will be a few more non canon Pokemon Ash will catch later on. Sabrina's gym is up next. There is also a surprise next chapter! See you all next Tuesday!

Chapter 29: The Psychic Surprise

Answering the Questions:

Will the Pokedex holders make and appearance in this story?

Yes. They are all adults in this story. Blue is Gary's father and Rose(Green) is Leaf's mother. I just couldn't use Green because it's Leaf's last name. Red, Yellow, Gold, Crystal, and Silver will also definitely appear in this story. As for any after that, I'm not sure yet.

Can pokemon still be taught any moves they are capable of learning without TMs by their trainers?


Is Anabel going to have a brief crush on ash like May & Dawn?


I was wondering/hoping if you are planning on doing a chapter or chapters in which ash and serena have an argument and they only get back together "as friends" near the end of the chapter(s)?

It's possible they will have a big fight, but nothing serious enough to where they break up yet.

How long does it usually take you to make these?

Make these what?

Will Ash and friends ever send team rocket blasting off again like in the anime?

Maybe, but he needs to be more careful around them now.

Will you introduce Todd Snap anytime soon?

After much thought, I decided not to put Todd in this story. I just couldn't find a good place for him to fit in the story without it being too random. If he does make an appearance, it won't be in the near future.

Will Ash get his ghost Pokémon soon?

Yes. He still gets Haunter in Lavender Town. That is the next place after Saffron City.

Will Charizard still retain its legendary like powers?

It will still be one of Ash's stronger Pokemon, but I will also still try to be realistic with the Pokemon it wins and loses against.

Will the mirror versions of Team Rocket (who are heroes of justice in that universe) end up showing up and confusing the heck out of the cast?

I have no clue. Probably not.

Will Ash and Serena battle against each other officially in any tournaments? At least once in a while.

Yes, if this chapter was any indication.

Can ash get a shiny pseudo legend?


Will Ash and his friends use their experiences with Team Rocket to grow stronger?


The next time Ash's group encounters a situation like with Silph Co., will they be able to handle a situation better?


Will the Marowak story from the games and Origins take place in Lavender Town?


Will Ash catch Mewtwo and Mew?

No, but he will befriend them.

Can Ash catch an eevee?

Serena already has an Eevee and May will still be getting one also. I don't think there is enough room for another Eevee in this story right now, but you never know.

Because Ash knows that his family is somewhat has a connection to team rocket will he be trying to find out what that might be?


Will Ash or Serena get a sylveon?


Also will you do a spinoff for Serena and Ash's childhood years and remakes for Holy Matrimony plus Pikachu's Goodbye?

At this point, no, but I may change my mind, particularly about Pikachu's Goodbye and Serena and Ash's childhood years. There will probably at least be more flashbacks of them as kids.

Will Serena and Gary have a battle in the future?


Are you a boy or a girl?

A guy.