Well, since I've been doing a lot of contestshipping lately, I thought I'd branch out and try some ikarishippping. Enjoy!

Snowpoint City huddled under a thin layer of snow, the streets silent in the hour just before sunrise. Dawn's breath spiraled through the air as she made her way to the city limits, heading for her training area. The Snowpoint City contest was in three days, and she didn't plan on wasting a single minute of potential training time.

Outside town, Dawn entered the forest, where the world became eerily silent. The only sound was the delicate crunch of snow under her boots. Long, delicate icicles dangled from tree branches, the ice sparkling in the fading moonlight.

As Dawn neared her training area, she felt the ground begin to shake. Icicles crashed to the ground while huge clumps of snow rained down on Dawn from above. A particularly heavy chunk slammed into her head, knocking her down.

Even after the shaking stopped, Dawn continued to lay there, afraid that if she tried to move, she'd get hit again. She was still curled up in the snow when she felt a shadow appear over her.

"What are you doing?" A dry, dispassionate voice asked. Dawn scrambled to her feet, trying to ignore the wave of dizziness that came over her.

"Paul! What are you doing out here?" Dawn felt a blush creeping across her face. Even when she wasn't embarrassing herself, Paul made her blush.

"Training. Why were you on the ground?" Paul repeated, his dark eyes flashing in annoyance.

"Oh. I fell," she said weakly. "Didn't you feel the ground shake?"

"Of course. I was teaching Torterra how to use earthquake. You couldn't even stay on your feet?" Paul asked condescendingly.

Dawn glared at him. "I got hit, okay?"

"By what?" Paul laughed nastily. "Snow?"

"Oh, forget it," Dawn said, stalking off.

"There's a blizzard coming in," Paul said. "You should go back to town. That's why I was out so early."

"I'll be fine," Dawn snapped, not looking back. Paul made her blood boil like no one else. Would it kill him to be nice for a change?

Dawn was so lost in her thoughts that she wasn't paying attention to where she was going. By the time she paused to look around, she realized she was hopelessly lost.

"That's just great," Dawn muttered, reaching into her belt for a pokeball. She wanted to send Togekiss to survey the area from the sky, so that they weren't just wandering in circles. But Dawn froze as her hand hit empty air.

"Oh no," she whispered frantically, her hands running across her waist and through her jacket pockets. In her haste to start training, she had left her pokeball belt in her room.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid," Dawn yelled, furious with herself for making such a rookie mistake. The wind began to pick up, causing Dawn to shiver. She pulled her jacket tighter and looked around desperately for some sort of landmark.

It's okay, Dawn told herself. It's still early in the morning. The blizzard probably won't be here until later. I've still got plenty of time to make it back to town.

But when one hour, then two, then three, went by and Dawn was still lost, she began to get worried. By now, heavy snow clouds had blanketed the sky and flurries were beginning to drift down to earth. There was just enough snow on the ground to cover the path, hiding rocks and exposed tree roots from view. One such rock sent Dawn flying forward, and as she landed, she felt her knee twist painfully.

"Ow," Dawn moaned, clutching her knee. Tears sprang to her eyes, partly from the pain and partly from sheer frustration.

"I'm going to die out here," she whispered to herself, feeling the tears trace hot streaks down her face. At least one part of me is warm, Dawn thought, struggling into a sitting position. A large boulder nearby would offer some means of shelter, but first Dawn had to get there.

"Ow, ow, ow," she hissed, moving gingerly to try and ease the pain. It took what felt like forever to limp over to the boulder, and now the snow was falling harder. Drifts were beginning to pile up on the side of the path and each blast of wind sent a razor blade through Dawn's body.

Well, on the plus side, things can't really get worse, Dawn thought, gently massaging her injured knee.

And that was when the Ursaring appeared.

Dawn knew she was in trouble immediately. The massive pokemon locked eyes with her and roared, a bone jarring sound that sent a blast of pure terror through her. Dawn scrambled to her feet just as the Ursaring gave another snarl and lurched towards her.

Adrenaline shot through her, giving her the energy to jump to the side. The pokemon smashed into the boulder, temporarily dazing itself, and Dawn took off through the trees. As she ran, Dawn looked around desperately for anything that might be able to protect her.

She briefly considered climbing a tree and trying to wait the pokemon out, but she had heard somewhere that Ursaring were especially good climbers. I will not be eaten by a giant teddy bear, Dawn thought fiercely, trying to ignore the flaming pain in her bad knee.

Behind her, she heard the Ursaring begin to give chase, apparently recovered from its run in with the boulder. Dawn gave a breathless sob and tried to speed up, hoping that the pokemon might get bored and give up.

The only thing that was keeping her alive was the fact that this part of the forest was very thick. The trees grew close together, and although Dawn slipped in between them easily, the Ursaring had to waste precious seconds smashing tree branches out of its way.

Suddenly, Dawn began to notice that the trees were beginning to thin out. Behind her, the Ursaring began to gain ground. Tremors began to shoot up Dawn's bad leg, and she knew it wouldn't be long until she collapse completely.

And then there were no trees at all. Dawn shot out into an open field, a seemingly endless expanse of frozen ground. She began to sob breathlessly, knowing that she had no chance without cover, but she kept running. In the distance, Dawn could see a line of trees where the forest began again.

If I can just get back into the forest, Dawn thought desperately.

She made it another five yards before her bad knee gave out completely, sending her crashing to the icy ground. Dawn immediately curled into a ball and waited, knowing it was only a matter of time before the Ursaring caught up to her. She was so terrified that it took her a while to realize that she could no longer hear any sounds of pursuit. Dawn turned to peer behind her, ready to curl back up the minute she sensed danger.

The Ursaring was standing warily at the edge of the plain, its beady eyes trained on Dawn. It gave another roar, this time in frustration, as it moved along the edge of the plain, trying to find some way to get to Dawn.

I wonder why it won't come out onto the grass? Dawn wondered, but honestly, she didn't care. The pokemon gave one final roar and turned, disappearing back into the trees. Dawn began to sob in relief, the last of her strength leaking away.

All around her was the sound of snow lightly falling to the ground, a soft, soothing sound that began to lull Dawn to sleep. Or maybe it was just her body finally giving out from exhaustion and stress. Dawn didn't know, but she was thankful for the darkness that began to creep around the edge of her vision.

She thought she heard someone calling her name, but it was so distant that Dawn chalked it up to delirium. She laid there, listening to the snow, and wondered if she'd be able to fall asleep before she froze completely.

As if in answer to her question, a loud crack rang out from underneath Dawn. Belatedly, Dawn realized she wasn't in a field, but rather laying on top of Lake Acuity, which must have already frozen solid for the winter. Another crack sounded sharply, this time to her right, and then the whole surface collapsed beneath her weight. The cold was so intense that the darkness closed around her instantly, and Dawn knew no more.

"She's very lucky he thought to go back for her. If he hadn't pulled her out of the water when he did, she'd be dead." The voice sounded muddled, as if it was coming to Dawn from through a long tunnel.

"Maybe I'll have her choose my lottery numbers for this week," another voice joked, clearer than before. Dawn tried to open her eyes, but the light was too intense and tears streamed down her face. She tried to ask where she was, but the only sound that came out was a hoarse rasping.

"Hey, I think she's awake," the first voice said, and Dawn felt the lights dim slightly. She managed to open her eyes this time, although they were still tearing, and peer around the room.

"What . . ?" she croaked, unable to say more. A man and a woman were standing at the foot of her bed, looking at her keenly.

"Dawn, I'm Dr. Rowling, and this is Dr. Riordan," the woman said, motioning to her colleague.

Dr. Riordan cleared his throat. "You're in the hospital, miss. Everything's going to be alright."

"What happened?" Dawn asked again, her voice slightly stronger.

"You were pulled from the lake," Dr. Rowling replied. "You had hypothermia and a pretty bad concussion, not to mention the damage to your knee."

"I'm afraid we had to amputate your knee," Dr. Riordan said apologetically. Panic seized Dawn, and both doctors burst out laughing.

"Don't look so scared, dear," Dr. Rowling said. "It's physically impossible to amputate a knee. We're just joking with you."

Dawn gritted her teeth. "For some reason, I'm not really in a joking mood. How did they find me anyway?"

"Apparently, a young man you had spoken with earlier noticed you hadn't returned to town by the time the storm blew in. He alerted the rangers, and then went out to look for you himself," Dr. Riordan said, still chuckling.

"Paul?" Dawn asked incredulously. Dr. Rowling nodded.

"He pulled you out of the water right after you fell in. He saved your life, you know," she added, heading for the door. Dr. Riordan followed and said, "Just focus on getting some rest. You'll be out of here by tomorrow morning."

After they'd gone, a familiar head of purple hair poked around the doorway.

"Hey," Dawn said quietly, watching him cautiously.

"You just can't stay out of trouble, can you?" Paul asked brusquely, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Dawn felt her face heat up. She snapped, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Paul rolled his eyes. "Are you really so stupid that you thought walking on a frozen lake was a good idea?"

"I was running for my life," Dawn growled, struggling to sit up. "I didn't really have a choice."

"Running from what?" Paul scoffed.

"An Ursaring," Dawn glared, which stopped Paul in his tracks.

"Seriously?" he asked intensely.

"Why would I lie?" Dawn asked, suddenly exhausted. "Look, if all you're going to do is torture me, I'd rather you just leave."

"Oh, gee, that's a nice way to thank the person who saved your life," Paul replied sarcastically.

"Why'd you even bother?" Dawn retorted. "You hate me anyway."

Paul paused. "I don't hate you," he said quietly.

"Could've full me," Dawn grumbled, crossing her arms.

So quick that Dawn barely realized what was happening, Paul leaned forward and kissed her. After being lost in a blizzard, his lips felt like an open flame against her skin. Paul's hand came up, tracing the side of her face, and Dawn smiled against his lips.

Paul pulled away, his face more flushed than Dawn'd ever seen it.

"Yep, you're right. I definitely hate you," he said, a wry smile twisting his lips. "See you around, Dawn."

"Paul, wait," Dawn called, resisting the urge to touch her lips.



So that's my first attempt at ikarishipping. If you liked it, I'd really appreciate a review. Thanks!