Episode 201

This series should be winding down soon.

Episode 201: I am the child of fire

Ash did not look impressed as Leda stepped up.

Sure, whom did she think she was kidding? Trying to be popular. Sadly to say, the stunt failed.

Ash waited impatiently while she fiddled with her makeup and hair for a full twenty minutes before announcing she would be battling him and winning.

"You can try." Ash whispered. "Yes…"

"Go! Golduck!"

Leda tossed her gorgeous bouncy blue curls, trying to distract him. Sadly, Ash was not in the mood for cheap flirting, and ignored her. Scizor sailed out and decked Golduck in no time flat, forcing Leda to use her Torchic.

"Now that's slightly more interesting, but Scizor's too fast for you to catch." Ash commented as he watched Scizor dodge every blast of fire. Power-ups really do help infinitely…

"Metal Claw."

Torchic shrieked as it was KO'd.

Ash smirked, assuming the pose Lance used when she was sure of victory. Scizor also dispatched the next pokemon, a Torkoal. That was when Leda pulled out her secret weapon. After all, all trainers had them, even if it was just an evolved form of an earlier pokemon.

"Go!"

Out popped what resembled a baby moltres. Sick, bedraggled, limp feathers, and way too young to leave its mother.

"Trying to catch one of the fire's children?" Ash asked, a hard edge in his voice. "Then suffer the consequences."

Before Leda could blink, a golden light surrounded her moltres and it vanished.

"You stole my pokemon!"

"Shut up." Ash said harshly, as his eyes narrowed. Another flash of light occurred.

This time, what came out of midair was an angry, parent Moltres.

For hurting and stealing my child you shall suffer for eternity! I command the powers of the flame to forever lay waste to your body and soul! She shrieked.

Leda wailed as she began burning up. The pain was smothering her, and yet, as the minutes ticked by, she didn't die. She was in agony, but without release.

"Forever…" Ash reminded her, laughing. No one else could see the fires. He could hear Charlotte's soul laughing, laughing at the one who had tried to harm her chosen pokemon.

Leda screamed.

Ash's team slaughtered the remaining trainers, and so, he slept well that night. No nightmares and no disturbances.

The next morning, he wondered if he was finally coming to terms with death.

It wouldn't be so strange, he mused.

The guardians had certainly died before. Perhaps the bleeding was finally occurring and he was losing his emotions, as Articuno's gift had promised.

But he still knew how to love.

"I think," He told Pika-chan. "That it's love in the right situation."

Pika-chan chewed on a piece of chocolate cream pie. "Come again?"

"Maybe I should talk to Sabrina." Ash said, as Pika-chan flew after a waiter carrying an entire lemon pie.

Discreetly, the poke ball opened and Skymew transformed. Sabrina made her wings disappear before she sat down next to him.

"Master…"

"Sabrina, have you ever been in love?" Ash asked truthfully.

Sabrina looked a bit saddened. "I believe that when I was just a false person, I loved Morty. But…"

"But then duty came."

"I never got to say goodbye to him." Sabrina sighed. "Do you think it's selfish of me?"
Ash shook his head. "No. Who am I to preach on selfishness?" His eyes shimmered for a second, shifting through a myriad of colors. "After all, I sacrificed them to the futile goal of revenge."

"Did you?" Sabrina raised an eyebrow. "So you're saying that you forced the cards to join with you?"

"Well…I…"

"No."

Sabrina tapped Ash's nose with a delicate finger. "We all go through this. And if you try to blame yourself for Lance's death, it only gets worse."

"What?"

"I believe she went through this talk with you when your parents were killed. Now. Did you know that truck was going to hit her? Did you even expect that odd mode of death?"

"Of course not!"

"There we have it. Somehow, it seems that self-pity is a fault of yours." Sabrina said wisely. "Soon, the cycle of rebirth will send you to join her again. Until then, taking care of this realm is your main priority."

A bit chastened, Ash managed a feeble nod.

"See? You tend not to use your powers of seeing the future, right?"

"Almost never. Charlotte uses them the most."

"Therefore, the probability of knowing such an event would occur is almost one in a million." Sabrina concluded. "So, don't go bashing your head against any walls."

"I see…" Ash said. "But Sabrina, what about now? I've got the cards. Do you want leave to go and rejoin Morty?"

"Perhaps." Sabrina commented. "But it's been many years, I doubt he remembers our love."

"Oh…"

"Sad, isn't it?"

"Most stories don't end happily ever after." Ash sighed. "Temporary peace is the best you can hope for."

"You just take what you get. Life deals decks unfairly, but with a guardian, one can remedy this somewhat."
Sabrina walked a few paces away. "I'll take a short flight, maybe see how things work out."
"Be careful."

"I will." Sabrina shielded herself in mist, and then flew off.

She mused as she floated. In a few years, most likely the cycle would restart.

And then, life would go on. Life always went on.

It was like some macabre play, she mused. Well, she had her own role to play, and she would play it. Forever.

Forever.

And from beneath closed eyes, Ash felt the same.

End Chapter!

I know it was short. I'm not sure if I should end it here. But the plotbunny is dead, and it seems to fit, so there.

Completed 7/13/2004, created 1/27/04

(As you can see this took forever to finish!)