Thanks for the 100+ favorite and follows! I cranked this out in a sitting, so expect future updates to be a bit swifter :)
In which Ash is the snarky, extremely overpowered Kanto Champion fleeing from his duties and Dawn is the sweet, idealistic girl with tsundere tendencies. From Ash's pitiful attempts at gathering a harem to saving the Pokemon world from evil organizations, follow their travels through Sinnoh and beyond. Warning: AU, Cursing, OOCness. Other characters will come. Possible Harem.
ARC I: Awkward Beginnings, But That's Okay
Not Very Effective
… oh, come on.
It could be worse. I mean, at least I'm not balding or anything.
Lance hurriedly adjusted his hair in the mirror as he waited for his guest to arrive. Ever since the previously unknown trainer, Red, decided to annihilate the Elite Four and fly off immediately after, Lance had to deal with an absolute shitstorm of things ranging from alleviating the constant questioning from the media at large and mobilizing League Trainers in an effort to track down the runaway champion.
As a result, Lance's body suffered—or, more accurately, his beautiful and luscious hair was beginning to fade into a distinct white color. It was absolutely ridiculous considering the fact that Lance was just forty years old, but just a few days of omnipresent pressure acutely sped up the aging process on his body. The obvious, black bags under his eyes even made him look like a Pancham, for Arceus's sake.
A light tapping came from the door. With a disgruntled voice, as if even talking was viciously painful, Lance murmured, "Come in, professor."
Professor Oak came in and his eyes widened.
Lance blinked at him.
"Lance, ol' champ, you're going to look older than I do now if this keeps up."
In an agonized tone, Lance slammed his hands on the table before him and covered up his face. "I know! It's awful! I think I'm going to go insane… even the Rocket incident wasn't as bad as this."
The old man frowned and spoke fluidly. "I think you're worrying a bit too much about this. I mean, this Red character never accepted the title of Champion, so you're technically still Kanto's champion. At most, the public has an intense interest in this young man, and furthermore, the only legitimate problem that you or the Elite Four would have to deal with is the issue on how to respond to the interviewers and all the questions people have about him."
Oak paused for a moment to catch his breath and survey Lance's reaction. His analytical eye passed over the multitude of documents that were on his desk and scattered on the floor, taking notice of the official dispatchment of Kanto League Trainers to various regions.
"Ah. It's a pride thing, isn't it?"
Lance sighed. "It's a pride thing."
Oak walked up to Lance's desk and patted the man on his shoulder. "It's alright. No matter what happens, we ought to bounce back from defeat. Everyone loses at some point."
Except for him, a tiny voice rectified in Oak's mind. The image of a boy with piercing red eyes briefly entered his thoughts.
However, Oak's words failed to get to Lance. The old professor knew that, due to Lance's extreme competitiveness and his own shattered confidence, the champion's angst would probably never rest until he found Red again and defeated him.
"Well, I have some good news at least," Professor Oak said. "Someone, earlier today, found me at the lab and told me that she knew about Red's identity and also his location."
Instantly, the fire returned to Lance's eyes as he leapt up and tightly gripped the professor's lab coat. "Who? Where? Bring them in immediately!"
"Relax," the professor ordered, and Lance immediately let go after realizing that he probably looked like a spoiled brat asking for candy. "She's in Pallet Town right now. I'm going to return tomorrow with her, and by then, you will have contacted the other members of the Elite Four and the champions of the other regions, alright?"
Lance nodded shortly, but it was obvious where his mind really was. "Who is she? Do you think that she's telling the truth?"
Oak, halfway out the door, merely shrugged.
"Apparently, she's someone that used to travel with him in Kalos."
Dawn watched in amazement as Ash wolfed down sandwich after sandwich in front of her. It was very possible that the inside of the boy's stomach was, in reality, a black hole.
Then she stared at her dinner suspiciously. There was a chance that Ash had managed to sneak some sort of knock-out drug into her pasta. But, to hell with it, Dawn thought. She chewed through her pasta slowly, enjoying the taste of a good meal. She was far too hungry to care about something as far-fetched as that.
As she ate, Dawn felt a pair of eyes watching her, so she glanced up to meet Ash's gaze. She was a bit embarrassed at being watched so intensely, but luckily for her, Ash suddenly began to talk.
"I'll pay for dinner. Hopefully they take credit cards," he said simply, motioning for the waiter to get him another sandwich.
"Oh," Dawn mumbled. "It's fine, I can pay for my own—"
"Stop it. This meal's on me," Ash interrupted. "What type of guy would I be if I couldn't even pay for dinner?"
Unable to maintain eye contact, Dawn stared down at her pasta and bit her lip. "… thanks."
When she looked back up at Ash, the trainer had a pleased expression on his face. "Plus, it's Ketchum policy to always pay for a beautiful girl on a dinner date~"
"Shut up. If you're this lenient with your money, then pay me back for the bike."
"Oh? Daaaaawn, your face is almost as red as the sauce in your pasta," he teased, completely ignoring the latter half of her comment.
"'s not," Dawn tried denying. "The pasta's really spicy, that's all."
Leaning forward and stealing Dawn's fork, Ash gulped down a bit of her dinner. The smirk that broke out on his face after tasting her plain, non-spicy pasta was evidence that he had completely seen through her words.
Her hand twitched, and Dawn was barely able to stop herself from splashing him with her ice water.
"That's my fork, you know," she said in an attempt to take control of the conversation, snagging the utensil away from the other trainer.
Ash made a great show of fidgeting in his seat, and as he squirmed, he said shyly, "I-I see. You were eating from that… right? Then, does that mean we just…"
Don't you say it, you bastard. Dawn's narrowed eyes tried to convey him that message.
He twiddled his index fingers and sighed dreamily. "We just had an indirect kiss?!"
"Harsh," Ash frowned, but by this point Dawn could tell that the other trainer was thoroughly enjoying himself. Then he laughed, "But that's the first step, Dawn. A fateful encounter, an indirect kiss, flags are popping up left and right!"
Dawn stared at him.
"Pikachu, I'm sorry that you have a crazy person as your trainer."
The pokemon cooed in response, allowing Dawn to gently rub his cute cheeks with her knuckles. After that, Pikachu sat on the table, leaning against the wall. His small hands managed to cup a bottle of ketchup and pop the lid off, promptly chugging the entire bottle in one sip like a world-class drinker.
Discarding the empty bottle, Pikachu let loose a pleased, yet slurred pikaaaaaaaaa. With an almost dazed expression, the pokemon happily accepted a second bottle of ketchup when Ash handed it to him.
Dawn sweatdropped. Did Ash's Pikachu just get… drunk, for a lack of a better word, off of ketchup? And was Ash contributing, even encouraging, those alcoholic/ketchupaholic tendencies? He did mention, in Pikachu's introduction, that the little pokemon was addicted, but this was on another level. As Dawn pondered over whether or not she should be concerned for the vast amounts of ketchup the pokemon was drinking, Ash received and tore into his next sandwich.
After swallowing a mouthful of food, Ash sighed contentedly, "Maaan is it good to eat again! Haven't had a proper meal in days."
"... I never thought to ask until now, but what were you doing when you crashed into me like an absolute moron?" Dawn asked bluntly, though she was actually a bit curious to the boy's answer.
"Was the like an absolute moron part necessary?" he returned. "I'd feel more obligated to answer you if you sounded a bit nicer."
Dawn remained silent, staring him down. Obvious mirth danced around in the other trainer's eyes, and a slight, roguish smile further augmented that sense of amusement.
"May I please ask, if I am allowed to do so, what circumstances plagued you when you unfortunately and forcibly separated my body from my vehicular device?"
Ash let loose a full on smile and leaned back in his seat. "I just decided to go on a new adventure, that's all. We'd been flying for a few days, so we pretty much just crashed the moment when we saw land. Even then—"
"Hold on a sec," Dawn interrupted, holding up her hand. "You're from Kanto, correct? I mean, I'd assume so since you seem to have a bunch of Kanto starters and pokemon," she rambled.
"So… did you fly here from Kanto? Because I feel like that would take way more than a few days on the back of a pokemon," Dawn surmised. After all, Sinnoh was ridiculously and stupidly close to the north while Kanto was further to the south. It wasn't a distance covered quickly and easily by flying pokemon.
"I did fly," Ash asserted. Then, as if a lightbulb went off in his head, he added, "I also think we got teleported. I'm not sure. It was a bit of a surreal experience… to be honest, I was in a weird state during that."
Dawn looked at him, acting pseudo-disappointed. "You were on drugs, weren't you?"
"That's the conclusion you come up with?" he grumbled underneath his breath. "I don't need drugs to have a good time."
"Whatever," Dawn dismissed the topic. She got the vague sense that Ash was withholding a vital bit of information from her, but she didn't bother prying further his story despite her own self-interest.
Changing gears, she decided to say, "Does burning down several hundred square feet of forest constitute a good time for you?"
A cute noise emerged from Ash's Pikachu, as if the pokemon was laughing. Ash held up both of his hands as a mock surrender, remembering the events that had occurred after defeating that trainer with the strange hair color. "Hey. At least no real trouble came out of it, alright?"
"That Pokemon Ranger nearly arrested you," Dawn snorted.
"Nearly is the key word here," he pointed out. "But it was that Paul guy's fault!"
Then, a ferocious, nearly animalistic expression contorted his entire expression. "I despise being called weak, and so do the rest of my pokemon."
Dawn was a bit taken aback when Ash all but darkly snarled those words, but his sunny disposition quickly returned and a grin reappeared on his face. "Anyways, there was no problem thanks to Venusaur."
After obliterating a good chunk of Route 202's natural forest and setting on fire the rest that wasn't destroyed by Pikachu's ridiculous Thunderstorm, Paul had taken his pokemon and fled, presumably to heal his pokemon. Immediately, without giving Ash any further chance to boast, they were approached by a Pokemon Ranger and Ash was nearly fined 250k pokedollars for destruction of wildlife and the regional forest. Ash hadn't even spent a full day in Sinnoh and he was already close to three hundred thousand pokedollars in debt, but he managed to avert the situation by releasing a hulking behemoth of a pokemon, his Venusaur.
The pokemon proceeded to restructure and beautify the scorched remains by using a move called Grassy Terrain, so the Pokemon Ranger decided to let them off the hook after a bit of deliberation. Pikachu menacingly conducting electricity in the background of their conversation probably contributed to his decision.
"It's a good thing we were already pretty close to Jubilife," Ash continued. "Venusaur's Grassy Terrain, when she's not mega-evolved, only lasts three hours, forty-seven minutes, and nine seconds."
Dawn gaped at him. She completely ignored the fact that he knew the length of his pokemon's Grassy Terrain down to the second and said disbelievingly, "You're telling me that all of those plants and trees Venusaur pulled up on Route 202 are going to disappear?"
"Yeah, I guess," he replied nonchalantly.
"So you basically lied to that ranger."
"… I wouldn't say lied."
"You're ridiculous." Dawn rolled her eyes and took a sip from her water, slightly wondering to herself why she was even remaining in the company of the insufferable brat.
Well, first off, he still owed her a new bike. That was the official reason that the two were still together. And also, though Dawn absolutely hated admitting it even in her mind, Ash's pokemon all seemed to be ridiculously strong; in the heat of battle, Dawn could see Ash's fierce passion for pokemon battling as clear as the full moon in the night.
But something about that troubled Dawn. She wouldn't go so far as to call Ash a sketchy or suspicious character—his antics were more like a harmless teenager making one too many jokes than a person with villainous intent—yet there was definitely something mysterious about him. It was evident, when she was chatting with Ash about themselves on their way to Jubilife, that there were quite a few topics that the boy clammed up about. Dawn wasn't a psychologist or anything, but she thought there was more beneath the surface in regards to Ash.
The trainer understood quite a bit about life's lessons and had practical experience. It was obvious in his albeit somewhat short spiel about resilience. If Dawn stuck with him and he was willing to help train her pokemon… Dawn didn't quite know what the outcome would be, but she figured that it would be better than if she went off alone.
Then again, Ash was pretty much a stranger and his outward personality was jarring. It was exhausting dealing with him, but a tiny part of her admitted that it wasn't all bad. When that part of her voice its opinion, Dawn promptly shut it down with all the willpower she could muster.
Dawn sighed. Should she ask Ash to stay with her on the journey? Would it be worth it? Would he even say yes?
She didn't want to leave it up to chance. Her life, her future, it was something that she wanted to control. Something as potentially important as this was not something she wanted decided for her.
Dawn glanced quickly at Ash. His free finger affectionately rubbed Pikachu's cheek, and the little pokemon leaned into the trainer's touch. The sharp, rugged quality of his face was softened by a smile, but it wasn't the typical shit-eating grin that often made its appearance. Instead, the smile seemed wistful and, in combination with his downcast crimson eyes, even melancholic.
Idly, Dawn wondered if that was the expression he made when he thought no one was watching.
After Ash had paid for their dinner and they left the restaurant, Dawn led him down the crowded streets of Jubilife without any particular direction in mind. While running errands for Professor Rowan, she'd been to Jubilife before and knew the layout of the city fairly well.
"Hm," Ash hummed, roaming his eyes over the people of the city. Then, a bit despairingly, he sighed. "Except for you, Sinnoh girls don't really show a lot of skin. What a shame."
Dawn punched him lightly in the shoulder before thoughtfully replying, "Well, it's getting close to winter, so wouldn't it be natural for people to wear more when the weather got colder?"
Unnoticed by Dawn, Ash's gaze darted towards her legs before meeting her eyes. "Says the one wearing a skirt."
"I'm used to the cold," Dawn said proudly. "I was born and raised in Sinnoh."
"Figured. The cold doesn't get to me like it used to—after I scaled that mountain, I could probably walk through a blizzard in shorts and come out fine," Ash boasted, offering a proud smile.
A sarcastic sure was all Dawn could offer to Ash in light of his intentional vagueness.
The duo walked along in silence for a bit before Dawn suddenly stopped. Ash paused mid gait and looked at her, puzzled, before realizing that she was staring at an advertisement.
"Hey Ash," Dawn said sweetly, "wanna get me this?" She pointed at an image of a cheerful, gorgeous Coordinator—Lisia from Hoenn—showcasing a brand-new Poketch, a very expensive-looking watch that could sustain multiple applications at once.
Instantly weary, Ash said, "… after you made all that fuss about it, I thought you wanted a bike."
"The Poketch costs less."
"Let's buy it. Screw the bike."
Dawn let a small smile show on her face. Now, all she had to was spring the trap. "Still, you promised me that—"
"What the fuck?" Dawn and Ash screeched in perfect harmony, albeit for two different reasons. Ash was startled while Dawn was simply pissed that she'd been interrupted in the middle of activating her trap card. Well, it could wait.
From an alleyway, a clown had jumped out of the darkness. The clown's face paint was smeared, as if he just had tears streaking down from his eyes, and the effect served to make the sight even more terrifying. His slightly overweight body was packed into a tight, yellow jumpsuit with red polka dots, and he was slightly huffing due to some sort of strenuous exercise.
"I… I H-HEARD THAT…" the clown took a few deep breaths, letting loose a horrid cough into a grimy handkerchief.
Ash frowned, slightly stepping forward to cover Dawn's smaller frame. Meanwhile, the girl had subconsciously grabbed a hold of Ash's sleeve, but luckily, she quickly let go before he noticed. Pikachu, who had noticed her action, merely chirped chuu! in amusement.
"I HEARD THAT YOU WANTED TO BUY A BLOOD RUBY TRIPLE STANDARD 18 GB POKETCH©—"
"The shouting is unnecessary," Ash tried interjecting.
"WELL IF THAT'S THE CASE YOU JUST HAVE TO ANSWER THREE RIDDLES FROM THREE DIFFERENT CLOWNS AND YOU'LL GET COUPONS FOR A FREE BLOOD RUBY TRIPLE STANDARD 18 GB POKETCH©!"
Dawn blinked. Well, isn't that awfully convenient. But wait—BLOOD RUBY? What does that mean? And how can something be TRIPLE STANDARD? Confusion.
"I heard the word free," the other trainer confessed, "and I am curious."
"FOR EACH RIDDLE YOU ANSWER YOU CAN GET ONE COUPON AND WHEN YOU GET THREE COUPONS YOU CAN TAKE THEM TO THE POKETCH COMPANY'S HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST OF THE CITY IN ORDER TO CLAIM YOUR VERY OWN BLOOD RUBY TRIPLE STANDARD 18 GB POKETCH©—"
"Can you breathe? Or pause at least once when talking?"
Completely ignoring Ash, the clown continued desperately: "THE FIRST RIDDLE IS WHAT POKEMON WAS FIRST DISCOVERED IN THE UNOVAN DESERT AND WAS BELIEVED TO BE EXTRATERRESTRIAL?"
What the hell? Dawn scratched the hair underneath her beanie as she racked her brain for any relevant information. With clowns like this and questions like that, who in the world would be able to get a free Poketch?
"Oh. That's surprisingly easy," Ash grinned. "Elgyem, a pure psychic type and number 605 on the 'dex. Special attack is pretty good, though in other stats it's somewhat lacking…" His voice droned off as he kept on listing random factoids about the pokemon.
A look of blatant shock crossed over the clown's face.
The trainer finally ended his rant. "When it evolves, it gets better, I guess. Can we get that coupon now?"
With shaky hands, the clown opened up the coupon book for the free Poketchs. Even from Dawn's position, she could tell that the coupon book had never been used once, and Ash was the first one to answer the clown's riddle. That fact did not make it by the black-haired boy; Ash just let a smirk cross his face as he turned to look at Dawn.
See? I am a Pokemon Master, those goading eyes seemed to say.
Dawn crossed her arms. Nobody cares.
His eyes furrowed. Ouch. That hurts my feelings. Waaah, I'm a big arrogant crybaby and Dawn is a hundred times my superior—
Okay, Dawn had let her imagination run a bit wild in Ash's response.
"I see that you have a few more coupons in there," Ash noted, a feral gleam making his eyes shine. "How about you just ask those other two riddles instead of making us find the other clowns?"
The poor thing before Ash broke down into a sweat. "U-UM… THAT'S NOT HOW THE PROMO IS SUPPOSED TO WORK—"
Ash inspected his nails. "I see. Out of curiosity, does the Poketch Company offer excellent healthcare for its employees?"
As if on cue, Pikachu let loose a spark of electricity. Even though the pokemon was just letting off some discharge, the pavement around them was scorched black in some places as if lightning had just struck the ground. The other pedestrians started giving them a wide berth after that, and out of embarrassment, Dawn just shrunk further behind Ash's frame.
The clown swallowed heavily and finally spoke in a non-shouting voice. "I guess I can make an exception this one time."
"Fire away," the trainer said. "I like pokemon trivia."
He handed the coupon to Dawn. It was a rather plain-looking piece of hard paper, and it had the words THREE OF THESE ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ONE BLOOD RUBY TRIPLE STANDARD 18 GB POKETCH© along with a serial number of some sort.
Taking a deep breath, the clown yelled, "THE SECOND RIDDLE IS WHAT POKEMON CAN CHANGE TYPES DEPENDING ON ITS HELD ITEM?
Both Dawn and Ash flinched at the sudden volume of the clown before them, but Ash quickly smiled in amusement. "Well, Silvally's RKS System allows it to change to whatever type its held memory is, so that's one of the pokemon. Another one is hypothesized to be Arceus… a popular theory is that Arceus can change its type based on various plates scattered throughout the world, while another theory argues that Arceus is every pokemon type in existence all at once. Either way, the answer to your riddle is one of them, but I'm going to guess Silvally is the correct one."
Absolutely dumbfounded, the clown reopened his coupon book. Victorious, Ash snatched away the coupon that was offered to him. "Last one, buddy. Make it hard."
"THE FINAL RIDDLE IS: WHAT IS THE VICTORY POKEMON?"
"… that's it?" Ash asked, sorely disappointed. "You're really running on fumes now, aren't you? Granted, the first riddle you asked was of interest and the second one was passible. But this one isn't even challenging—it's Victini, by the way—hell, I mean, even non-pokemon trainers could answer that question easily. They literally named Victini after "victory". This is practically a waste of—"
"Ash." Dawn grabbed the trainer's shoulders, mentally making a note to never debate with Ash on pokemon information. "We got the last coupon, so let's just go redeem it."
Ash huffed. He held out his hand and received the third and final coupon. Dawn noticed that half of the clown's makeup had been eroded by the waterfall of sweat pouring down the side of his face and cringed internally.
"C-CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING THE FIRST TO WIN ALL THREE COUPONS—"
"It's really not hard," Ash interrupted. "Anybody who wasn't scared away by having a clown leap out at them from an alleyway would probably have failed after hearing the first riddle about Elgyem. Y'all should really work on a more effective strategy if you're trying to promote positive attention to the Poketch. Having such a strange method would only create negativity."
His hands naturally found Pikachu's ears where he gently scratched his pokemon. "I feel like dressing up as Pikachus instead of clowns would be a lot better in appealing to the crowd in general. Next time, maybe you should try to possibly learn how to pause in the middle of speaking and speak at a normal volume."
With all three coupons handed over to Dawn, Ash spun on his heel and promptly left.
"Sorry 'bout him," Dawn muttered quickly, feeling a bit bad for the obviously shellshocked clown, before quickly following Ash's path.
When she finally caught up to him, Dawn bumped her shoulder into his arm. "You were awfully critical back there."
"There was a problem with the way they were approaching things," Ash said, "and I just pointed that out. It's important, as a trainer, to be able to assess problems and fix them. Especially during battles. Anything that is too problematic—"
"Jeez, you're in a preachy mood, aren't you?"
"I find it enjoyable to show off my wealth of pokemon knowledge." The trainer gave her a critical look. "Perhaps it would be wise for those that don't know as much to listen when I'm in a 'preachy mood.'"
"Hai, hai, sensei," Dawn murmured.
While it was true that Dawn was interested in what Ash had to say about training, she had to force herself to stop Ash before he went off on any long tangents. If he truly started expressing his vast experience with pokemon, Dawn's preconception of him being a fairly perverted idiot would be shattered quite quickly. The more she was able to pin down Ash's personality, the more at ease Dawn felt, and if she had to force herself to flanderize him, then so be it. The seedlings of something very irrational was taking root in her heart, and Dawn was trying her very hardest to not water it.
"Oi, listen to me when I'm talking."
Dawn's attention snapped back to the present moment. "What were you saying?"
"I was asking if we could go to the Pokemon Center," Ash said. "I think it's a bit too late to go redeem the coupon, so we could probably find a room there and I'll also be able to retrieve some pokemon."
As if she was struck by a bolt of lightning, Dawn instantly stopped walking and remained rooted to the spot. She had completely neglected the pressing issue of sleeping arrangements. As she looked at the sky, Dawn noticed that the moon was already staring right back at her.
Ash nonchalantly stared at Dawn from over his shoulder. "Don't worry, I can get two separate rooms." Then, with that grin appearing on his face, he amended, "Or, Dawn, would you prefer staying together in a single room? I would offer to sleep in the same bed, but even I'm not sure if I'm ready for that level of commitment—"
"Same room, separate beds," Dawn cut in. "Can't have you running away on me when you still owe me, you know."
"Tch. I'd like to think that I'm honorable enough to stay 'till I repay my debts," Ash said. "Though I'm surprised you're willing to put up with me for the night."
She replied, "It's more convenient than camping out in the woods." To her, the words sounded like a pitiful excuse, but luckily Ash just took her statement at face value and didn't pry into it.
Their conversation disintegrated into idle chit-chat, and the duo continued to wind their way through the city's streets, finally arriving at their destination after a few minutes. A modern, sleek Pokemon Center towered over them, but Ash and Dawn paid no attention to the aesthetics of the building as they strode right through the automatic doors.
Dawn watched with a bit of curiosity as Ash approached the PC. After inputting his personal information and showing the PC his trainer ID, Pokedex, and fingerprint, Ash was ultimately able to retrieve five pokeballs. Three of the pokeballs were yellow and black instead of the usual red, and Dawn was able to recognize the pristine, white color of the other two Premier Balls. He minimized the five pokeballs and clipped them to the left side of his belt, opposite to the five red pokeballs housing his Kanto team.
Finally finished, Ash lead Dawn towards the front desk to rent a room.
"Those were some pretty serious security clearances," Dawn noted as they waited in line.
Ash nodded. "Well, I guess they're necessary. When you start catching pokemon and storing them in the PC, you'll probably begin to appreciate that they're there. Theft directly through the PC system is rare, but it's happened before."
Now that Ash's belt was full of pokeballs, Dawn began to see his habit of drumming his fingers along the surfaces of the pokeballs. It was almost like he was constantly checking to make sure that they were still there and clipped to his belt.
In a mundane series of events, Ash was able to secure a room for the two of them. Even though Dawn inquired about the fee, Ash refused to let her pay a single cent. Right as he unlocked the door for her, Dawn leapt onto the nearest bed and melted into the surprisingly soft sheets, letting out a cute sigh of relief.
Ash laughed. "At least shower first."
"As if," Dawn huffed. "I don't want to run the risk of someone peeping in on me when I'm naked."
"They invented locks for a reason," was the simple reply. Ash deftly went around the room, preparing the beds for sleep and opening the windows in order to let fresh air circulate through the room. It looked like he had repeated these actions thousands of times, and Dawn dimly wondered just how long this boy had been traveling throughout the world. "Though," he added with a smirk, "I learned how to lockpick doors a looong time ago, and these Pokemon Center doors could hardly present a challenge to me."
"… all of a sudden, I don't feel very safe."
"Your mistake was feeling safe in the presence of a stranger in the first place," Ash pointed out.
Catching his eyes, Dawn shook her head smoothly. With a sincere smile, she said, "You're not a stranger. You're a friend."
For the briefest of moments, a surprised expression crossed Ash's face. The mere sight of the trainer caught off guard made euphoric fire explode through Dawn's body. For her, it was like she had obtained the ultimate victory, and Dawn recorded the image before her deep into the recesses of her memory.
"An infuriating idiot and an arrogant asshole, yes, but by this point, a friend nonetheless," she finished.
Dawn instantly leapt into the bathroom to save herself from the inevitable verbal counterattack, shutting the door and locking it behind her. A pleasant laugh came from the other side of the door.
"Then I'll consider you a friend, too."
Still leaning against the door, Dawn looked up at her reflection in the mirror. Her face was as red as the roof of the Pokemon Center, and it felt burning hot.
Oh maaaaan. Dawn wondered that, if she managed to get Ash to travel with her, would every single day be as crazy as this one? She felt physically exhausted from the walking and mentally exhausted from dealing with Ash.
But, even then… perhaps it wouldn't be that bad.
Ohhhh, who could be the Kalos trainer that Ash once traveled with?
Well, here Dawn ultimately makes the decision to want to travel with Ash. She's still using the bike as an excuse, though. Just a fair warning, though: her path as a pokemon trainer might diverge from canon. Ash, on the other hand, has another five unnamed pokemon. Try to guess which ones they are :)
Thanks for reading! If you liked it, be sure to favorite and follow. See ya next time when I update NVE again or UDotE.