Hey, Jay1414 here.
Well here it is, the rewrite. (Well for some of you it's just the first chapter. This is my first story, so I hope I do alright.)
Summary: Every loss, every defeat, there's always been a missing piece. A piece that stopped him from winning. Just what was this missing piece or missing factor that prevented him from winning? He'd have to find out.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Pokémon or any of the characters used in this publication.
Chapter 1: Rethinking the Situation and a Reunion Battle!
On a boat about 30 minutes away from Lily of the Valley Island, 3 figures stood at the deck, watching the receding ocean. The first figure, and definitely the oldest one, had brown spiky hair, squinted eyes that seem closed shut, tan skin, a green collared shirt under a black and orange vest, tan cargo pants, and blue and white trainers. This figure is known as Brock Harrison, former Pewter City leader and aspiring breeder.
The second figure, and the only female, had long, blue hair accompanied with yellow hair clips and a white beanie with a white poke ball symbol, sapphire eyes, a magenta scarf, a white tank top under a black and pink shirt/skirt, and pink boots. This figure is known as Dawn Berlitz, Twinleaf Town born aspiring Top Coordinator and Sinnoh Grand Festival finalist.
The last figure, had unruly raven hair underneath a red and black baseball cap with a blue poke ball symbol, auburn eyes, a white tee shirt underneath a black and white shirt with a yellow V shaped design in the center, black gloves with lime green trim, blue cargo pants, and black and red trainers. This figure is known as Ash Ketchum, Pallet Town native and aspiring Pokemon Trainer who will also be the one competing at the upcoming Lily of the Valley conference. Strangely, he didn't seem to be too happy at the moment. Ash usually is the one who is always full of life, optimistic, and joyful but now, he seemed to be in very deep thought and is conflicted.
'I still can't believe it,' he thought bitterly. 'I don't understand how we lost to Paul at Lake Acuity. We trained so hard but still ended up coming short.' He just didn't understand it. Why had he lost? He and his pokemon had trained so hard but they still ended up losing. It frustrated him to no end because he had no idea why this kept happening to him.
"Monferno use Mach Punch!" Ash ordered his fire monkey, clenching his fist.
Monferno agreed, charging up energy into his fist and sprinting at the opposing Electabuzz with impressive speed.
"Electabuzz meet him halfway with Thunder Punch!" Paul called to his electric type.
Nodding in approval, Electabuzz ran directly at Monferno with his fist encased in electricity, ready to strike.
Ash could hear his heart pounding loudly in his chest. He was nervous about the outcome of this battle. Monferno was well over exhausted and it made him wonder if he would be okay after this collision. He silently thought to himself, 'Even if you lose Monferno, I'll still be proud of you.' He was extremely distraught from the fact that Paul had once again left him in this situation. He couldn't believe that he was possibly one attack away from losing once again to the Sinnoh native.
Paul on the other hand, was very calm. He was rather impressed that his ex-pokemon had evolved in the battle but he knew that Electabuzz could take care of him right here, right now.
As both pokemon neared each other, they glared into each other's eyes, albeit each for different reasons. Electabuzz' reason was because he was ready to finish Monferno off and finally get some praise from his trainer, something that he had always wanted but never received. Monferno's reason, was that he wanted to prove himself. He wanted to show Paul that he was stronger than he used to be. That he could match Electabuzz, that he could beat Electabuzz.
After a brief period of time, both pokemon finally collided. Monferno got Electabuzz in the jaw, while the electric pokemon got the fire monkey in the gut. Rocks, wind, and dust formed from the powerful collision. The whole group of people there had to cover their eyes to refrain from becoming blind. This group consisted of Brock, Dawn, Reggie, Pikachu, and the trainers and their pokemon.
The dust stayed, blanching the air, silhouetting the pokemon in a heavy shade of white. After a while, the dust finally cleared enough to see both pokemon, a sight which made Ash sigh in relief and Paul stare seriously.
Both pokemon were standing, seizing each other up. Monferno felt he still had some fight left inside himself. He heard the electric pokemon call him. He looked up and saw his giant smirk, boiling his already steaming blood. Electabuzz gave him the "come at me" gesture which had the fire monkey fuming even more. Taunting him was he? He'd show him! At least that's what he intended to do, before he began to see blotches, making him inwardly panic. When a pokemon began to see blotches, it meant that it was on it's last legs and was close to losing consciousness. Monferno felt his eyes start to close but tried his best to keep them open. 'No, NO! I can't lose! Not now!' He tried to reassure himself, but it seemed it was not to be as the blotches soon took over his whole vision as he froze, collapsed, and fell unconscious.
"MONFERNO! NO!" Ash screamed in anguish, his blood running cold.
"Monferno is unable to battle! Since all of Ash's pokemon have been declared unable to battle, the winner of this battle is Paul!" The referee declared, pointing one of his flags to the Veilstone City native. Now that it had happened, Ash still couldn't believe it. He had lost to Paul again. It was like a terrible curse. Like a broken record, always painfully on repeat. This was getting old for him. He needed to find out why he always lost to him, because if not he might go insane. Although Ash knew that he had lost, he still couldn't shake the feeling that the battle shouldn't have ended this way. He felt that HE should have won. That he WOULD'VE won. He knew something was wrong and he intended to get to the bottom of it. He had to find a reason as to why he kept losing to Paul.
While Ash was lost in his thoughts, Paul had thanked the referee, told some things to his brother, concerning his pokemon, then proceeded to walk away. He had known that he had won from the start, since he had Ash all figured out. Every strategy, move, and pokemon he used, he could counter it. That was why he had no doubts as to Electabuzz beating Monferno. He continued to walk, not looking back.
Brock and Reggie had very similar thoughts. Brock thought about the fact that Ash was taking this hard because this had happened a lot while Reggie thought about the fact that Paul had Ash planned out from the start. Everything was planned on Paul's side.
Dawn was worried for Ash. He had trained his hardest but had still lost to his rival for the umpteenth time. It dawned on her that this was how he always felt, after a defeat by Paul. If she had to deal with losing to Zoey or Ursula like this, she wouldn't be able to take it. She walked up to him, and rubbed his back, successfully breaking him out of his thoughts and making him look at her.
"No need to worry Ash," she reassured gently with a soft smile, making him smile slightly. Dawn's kindness was always a blessing for him, but not even that was enough to cheer him up. He felt he needed to think this over. Just why couldn't he win? He had no idea. It puzzled him to no end.
Ash, with Dawn, walked over to Brock and Reggie. They looked at him in concern, seeing his sullen mood. He looked up and didn't even try to fake a smile. He merely asked Reggie for Pikachu and spoke while he walked away, "I'm going to take a walk for a little, to clear my head."
While he was walking away, he was inwardly berating himself. He knew that his losses had been caused by his own mistakes, but Ash had no idea how to fix them. He had no extra puzzle piece, no key to the lock, none of that. He was just lost. Lost in a world where he will continue to get beaten and never improve. It hurt him deeply to think of losing to Paul at the Lily of the Valley Conference, but it was very much possible. It scared him, to think of what difference the battle would have made had this battle been during the Sinnoh League and Paul had knocked him out. He was so helpless, hopeless without a reason. He had to find out what his reason was, because if not, he would never be able to defeat Paul, who only kept getting better.
'I've got to find the reason to this, because I can't lose to him again. I, I just can't,' Ash murmured to himself bitterly, clenching his fist in frustration. He couldn't let it happen again, but just like before, he was still helpless in finding a solution. He was scared, and had no idea how to help himself.
Brock looked over at his friend, and inwardly sighed. Ash has never been the same after that last battle with Paul. It took a toll on him which made him depressed and always deep in thought. It pained him to see his friend who was always full of life, behave as if the life had been sucked out of him. Brock himself knew that he did not have a solution to Ash's problem either. He thought about who could help him, and one person came to mind. Someone who had known Ash and himself for years.
Dawn was just as worried for Ash as she was on the day of the battle, possibly more. She hated seeing her friend sad. Heck, it hurt her to see him in this mood. He was always shining like the sun but now was glum like a storm. She also unfortunately had no piece to his puzzle. She knew she couldn't help him in finding his reason but could at least try to comfort him. Not even Pikachu's cheek rubbing was doing anything.
"Ash?" she questioned thoughtfully, tapping his shoulder, which made him finally break out of his thoughts and look over at his blue haired companion.
"Yeah?" he replied in a distant tone. He knew full well that he sounded glum. He couldn't fake his emotions, especially not to Dawn.
"How are you feeling?" she asked kindly, rubbing his back softly to calm him down. He smiled at her in gratitude, although it faded not long after. Just like last time. That was Dawn for you, always trying to cheer him up. It was heartwarming to him, but it didn't raise his mood by much.
"I'm still feeling confused. I can't seem to find a reason as to why I can never beat Paul. It's frustrating," he replied, while Brock walked over to them.
"Say, how about you tell Professor Oak about this. He might be able to help you find the solution," Brock suggested, which made Ash think. Wouldn't Professor Oak know? He was an ex-champion after all.
"Yeah, that makes sense," he retorted in a soft tone, rubbing Pikachu's fur, making the mouse coo softly. He looked back at the beautiful landscape in front of him and tried to relax.
"I'll ask him when we get to the Pokemon Center on Lily of the Valley," Ash said after a while, getting a nod from his two friends.
After about 30 minutes, the trio of trainers were able to see Lily of the Valley. It was simply marvelous. The boat dropped them off near the Pokemon Center. The sunlight impacting the island was engulfing them in a beautiful feeling of warmth and comfort in one. The clear skies and warm temperature made this place seem like paradise. Trainers walked everywhere, mostly to the Pokemon Center for the Conference. Civilians were doing their daily activities of jogging, playing a sport, watering their plants, etc. The trio looked at the island in awe. It was truly a sight to see. As they neared the Pokemon Center, Ash noticed someone outside the Pokemon Center. Someone familiar.
"Gary Oak?" Ash asked, walking up to him, flanked by his other companions.
"The one and only! If it isn't Ash! And Brock and Dawn as well!" Gary called back to him. He hadn't changed from the last time Ash saw him in Sinnoh, just with the addition of a lab coat.
"What are you doing here Gary?" Brock asked him next, truly intrigued what Ash's ex-rival was up to. Gary looked at him and, since Brock was older, talked more maturely to him.
"Well for one thing, I'm here researching some of the things on Lily of the Valley with Gramps, and I'm also cheering Ash on at the Conference," he replied, jabbing his thumb behind him. The group looked behind Gary to see his grandfather, Professor Oak, who just like Gary hadn't changed, and...
"Ash!" Someone familiar called while squishing Ash in a hug. The monster hug, high pitched voice, strong grip, suffocation, it all added up. This was his mother, Delia Ketchum. Although Ash loved his mother dearly, he didn't exactly favor her hugs.
"Hey...mom...great to see you but I can't feel my stomach," Ash choked out as she immediately let him go, grinning sheepishly. "Sorry about that, but it has been so long since I've seen you, my son," she retorted while Ash smiled and nodded. "And hello to you too Brock and Dawn," she finished with a wave, while the other two waved back with their own greetings.
Ash looked back to behind Gary to greet his paternal figure, Professor Samuel Oak. "Hey Professor Oak!" he greeted while shaking his hand. Brock also greeted him with a, "Pleasure to see you again." and Dawn with a, "Can I hear a poem?", making both Oaks sweat drop.
After pleasantries were finally finished, Gary gave Ash a calculating look, as if seizing him up.
As soon as he noticed Ash return his look, he asked his request.
"Say Ash," he called, knowing that this question would fire his ex-rival up for sure.
"Yeah?" Ash questioned, looking back to him.
"Have you gotten any better at battling?" Gary challenged with a smirk. The professor-in-training wanted to see if his old rival still had any skill.
Almost immediately, Ash's demeanor changed into a competitive one. Of course he was better! Did Gary think he was still that loser trainer from Pallet? He had grown!
"Oh you bet I did. Are you asking for a battle?" Ash asked, matching his smirk. Gary might have bested him many times, but now was the time to put him in his place.
"You're damn right I am! Just 'cause I'm a researcher now doesn't mean I can't beat you in battle," he challenged back. Did Ashy-Boy think that he had lost his skill? Think again!
"How does a 1 on 1 sound to you? I want to get a little warm up with my team," Ash taunted at his fellow native, wanting to see his reaction. Gary might have always riled him up but now it was his turn.
"Oh you're on!" Gary yelled back. Was Ash taunting him?! That's his job!
Before they could get too up in each other's faces, Brock got in between and said, "How about we find a battlefield, I'll referee." Both teens nodded and walked with Brock and the others to find a battlefield.
After walking for a while, they found out that there were practice fields behind the Pokemon Center so they went to one.
"This will be an interesting battle indeed," stated Professor Oak as he observed the two trainers.
"It'll be just like old times," reminisced Brock with a smirk. He remembered Ash's battle with Gary at the Silver Conference. One of the best he's ever witnessed.
"So you're saying that Gary used to be a trainer just like Ash?" asked Dawn, not too knowing of the situation. She had always thought Gary was a poem telling researcher like his grandfather, but hey who knew?
"Yes, they were very competitive back then," answered the elderly Oak, gaining a look of recognition. He chuckled at the thought of the two getting into petty fights when they were little.
"It seems that competitive nature between them hasn't changed but has only gotten toned down," observed Delia. She always remembered how Gary and her baby always challenged each other in their childhood. It was cute to her to see them get all riled up.
"Alright I guess it's better to start the match now than never," stated Brock as he walked to the mini podium-like structure in front of the middle of the battlefield and held his arms out. "This is a 1 on 1 battle between Gary Oak and Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town! Substitutions are not allowed! When one pokemon on one side is unable to battle, the battle is over!" The Pewter City native exclaimed, turning to look at each of the two trainers who were nodding at him to continue.
"Trainers call out your pokemon!"
"Go Umbreon!" called Gary as he threw a poke ball, sending out his precious starter. He had a hunch of who Ash would use, as did Professor Oak.
"Umbreon!" It cried. It was a black fox-like creature with smooth, black fur and gold rings accompanied with blazing red eyes.
"An Umbreon huh?" pondered Dawn as she took out her Pokédex to scan the pokemon.
Umbreon, the Moonlight Pokémon, and an evolved form of Eevee. The rings of Umbreon's body glow faintly when exposed to the moon's aura, and it gains a mysterious power.
"Wow! What a beauty!" Dawn exclaimed in awe as she put her Pokédex away, finding the dark type eeveelution to be very majestic.
"Umbreon has been waiting for a rematch against you, Ashy-boy," Gary said, smirking at his ex-rival.
"Alright then, Pikachu, I choose you!" yelled Ash as his furry yellow mouse pokemon jumped off his shoulder and landed on the battlefield with a cry. "Pika pika!"
"It doesn't surprise me that Ash would use Pikachu," stated Professor Oak, cracking a smile.
"How come?" asked Dawn curiously. She had no idea Ash would use Pikachu, given she knew nothing of Ash and Gary's past battles.
"Well for one, they are both the starters of the two. The starters are always known as the pokemon that a trainer started with and has bonded the most with and that's how it was when they faced off the first time. Back when Umbreon was an Eevee, it beat Pikachu in a one on one battle. The rest is history," answered Professor Oak as he crossed his arms. This battle would surely be one to behold.
"Alright, Umbreon versus Pikachu Begin!" yelled Brock as he threw his arms down.
"Okay I'll start this off, Umbreon use Quick Attack!" commanded Gary as his dark furred pokemon ran at Pikachu with blazing speed.
"Pikachu match it with your own Quick Attack then use Iron Tail!" ordered Ash, while his mouse pokemon ran at an equal speed to Umbreon and canceled out both attacks.
"Umbreon block the Iron Tail with your Confuse Ray!" Gary called out as Umbreon sent a ray of sinister energy at Pikachu, effectively stopping the attack and confusing him.
Pikachu began to teeter and walk around in a deep daze while his trainer looked at the mouse in concern.
"No, Pikachu!" Ash called out as he berated himself for not thinking faster. 'I need to find a way out of this situation. Pikachu is a sitting duck in this condition,' he thought as he pondered to think of a solution.
Unfortunately, Gary gave his ex-rival no space to breathe. He smirked at the upper hand he had gotten. He would definitely put it to use.
"Umbreon use Feint Attack followed by Shadow Ball!" he called as his pokemon seemed to vanish from thin air before it appeared behind Pikachu, crashing into the mouse. It then charged an orb of ghostly energy and shot it at Pikachu's gut, making him reel and slide to Ash's feet. Pikachu seemed to snap out of his confusion from the 2 hit combo and collision, but was still feeling pretty hurt.
Ash yelled in concern to his mouse to get up as Umbreon would strike again if he didn't react. "Get up Pikachu! We can't let them have any more advantages! Use Volt Tackle!" he called as the mouse finally got up and became encased in electricity while running at high speeds, directly at the dark furred pokemon. "Pika pika pika pika pika..."
"Umbreon, quickly stop Pikachu with Protect!" Gary exclaimed as Umbreon became surrounded in a green shield and successfully blocked the electric type, making him bounce off.
"Now use Feint Attack followed by a Confuse Ray!" he ordered, once again on the offensive. The dark furred pokemon complied as it once again vanished and appeared behind Pikachu, but Ash was ready this time.
"Pikachu take the Feint Attack and then use Counter Shield to block the Confuse Ray!" Ash ordered back as everyone except the trio of trainers looked at him in curiosity.
"Counter Shield?" Gary questioned as Pikachu took the Feint Attack. Pikachu was wincing from the dark type attack as Umbreon sent once again a ray of sinister energy, but this time the mouse got onto his back and spun around while using Thunderbolt in a circle, which effectively blocked the Confuse Ray and even hit Umbreon.
Gary was simply astounded from the brilliant technique used by his ex-rival, but quickly shook it off. He looked at his Umbreon who was slightly wounded from the Thunderbolt but was still faring better than Pikachu, and decided it was time to end it as Pikachu was on his last legs.
"Umbreon, finish this with Giga Impact!" he declared, clenching his fist. Umbreon was encased in orange-purplish energy and charged at Pikachu like a rocket, keen on getting a final strike to end the match.
Ash knew the danger the attack could do to his buddy and knew he had to think fast as Umbreon was quickly approaching.
"Pikachu, I know this is a huge risk but counter it with Volt Tackle!" Ash called out as the electric mouse once again was encased in electricity and charged straight at Umbreon. While both pokemon were centimeters away, they each were thinking the same thing. 'I've got to win. This is for my trainer to show him why I'm his best pokemon.'
Both pokemon finally collided in the center of the battlefield, blinding the field with smoke.
To be continued...
So how was it?
Tell me what you think.
I try to update as much as possible.
Here's the revision of Reason, so I hope you enjoyed.
I intend to slow things down.
That's all for now, see ya!