Disclaimer: Pokémon does NOT belong to me! SO DO NOT SUE! Yeah!

Author's Note: This story has been bugging me for AGES! Looking over its format etc., I saw a lot of things that I wanted to revise but simply haven't had the time to do.

Well, now I can say that I've written a story that I am pleased with - and looking over the old text I can see how much I have improved in my writing, which is something I am quite happy with! ^^

I am even more happy with this revised version, where I've cut out many of the irrelevant parts (which any new readers won't have to worry about) and changed the story somewhat to have it make much more sense!

Either way, this note is just to inform anyone that cares, really, that I have updated and revised the contents to a level that I am happy with!

Thank you!

xx

p.s: I was Lady Sapphira and that is the penname signature I will keep in this story.

...

Takes Place: This story was written before the existence of Dawn and Sinnoh (even in Japan!). Bearing that in mind, I wrote this story with the mindset that Ash, May and Max had been travelling rather extensively with one another (because of the fact that I didn't know at that time that there was a Sinnoh, and that May, too, would be replaced). This was during the early Advanced days, before Brock was travelling with them which is why he is not mentioned with them travelling.

I hope that makes sense! XD!

Ages of Main Characters:

Ash - 20

Misty - 21

Brock - 23

... and everyone else's ages just fall into place... XD!

Chapter 1: The Battle.

"How far does this forest go on for anyway?" May sighed as she collapsed onto the damp grass.

The gentle wintry rays travelling from the east graced the still darkened forest as the trio paused momentarily. The trees loomed around them, the sounds of birds chirping filling the crisp air.

"Itex Forest should lead us to Goldenrod City," Max informed as he settled himself next to his sister, releasing a gentle sigh as he lay back onto the grass.

May yawned loudly in reply, rubbing her eyes.

"Come on guys, we're almost there," Ash urged from where he stood a few feet ahead, his dark eyes squinting to make out the light that lingered promisingly on the western horizon.

"I know we got up early this morning, but I haven't caught the Magnet Train in a while and I don't quite remember it's departure times," he explained, looking back to the resting duo who were still seated on the grass.

"Well Pikachu, are you ready to go home?" Ash glanced sideways onto his left shoulder, the yellow pokémon jumping onto his head excitedly.

"Pika!"

Ash chuckled as Pikachu fell into his arms.

"Can't we rest for just for a few more minutes, please?" May pleaded as she stretched her arms above her head.

Ash sighed as he rolled his eyes, Pikachu nudging his cheek.

"I suppose we can rest awhile," he replied, moving to join them sitting on the grass when the sudden sound of footsteps caught his attention from behind.

"Are you a trainer?"

Ash turned back around again, his dark eyes meeting bright green ones ablaze with a challenge. From where they sat, May and Max peered around Ash's legs, the pair also curious.

The female stood a few feet from him, her dark amethyst hair moving in the slight breeze as her eyes bored straight through him. Her short azure dress, too, whipped in the morning breeze, her long hair falling across her bare shoulders, tumbling to breast-length. A white scarf smouldered her shoulders and neck in its soft embrace, its tassels drifting in the wind.

Ash's brow furrowed.

"I am…" he began tentatively, unsure of how to approach the sudden stranger.

She smiled slightly.

"Well then, I challenge you to a battle," she declared simply, pointing a white fingerless gloved hand at him.

Ash choked, his wide as Pikachu's gaze hardened.

"I'm sorry, but now is not a good time for m-"

The female shrugged nonchalantly, inspecting her nails absently before regarding him again with her large green eyes.

"I understand. A complete stranger, challenging you in the middle of a forest… I'd be scared too," she began as released a strained yawn.

Ash glared, feeling Pikachu bristle in his arms.

"I'm not scared, I just happen to be in a rush right now…" he defended, the female cocking a brow at him.

"In a rush?" She challenged, looking over his shoulder to May and Max who both looked back, their cheeks slightly flushed.

"Look, I'm sorry but I have to be somewh-"

"Suit yourself… coward."

Ash's eyes narrowed dangerously as he stepped forward.

"What did you just call me?" Ash's fist clenched as he felt his insides begin to boil.

No one, least of all a complete stranger, called him a coward.

"If it's a battle you want, it's a battle you'll get. Go Pikachu!" Ash commanded, the yellow mouse flying from his arms to land before him.

The female smiled as she reached for her red belt, pulling from it the small ball that enlarged in her hand.

"One on one battle, knockout style. The pokémon who faints first will lose," she decided as she threw her pokéball into the air.

"One on one it is," Ash agreed, Pikachu's fur laced with lightening in anticipation.

May and Max hustled to stand on the side of the battle for want of a better view, waiting for the girl's pokémon to come bursting forth.

"Ninetails, go!" she cried aloud, her shiny Ninetails (silver in colour) emerging from the bright light to land gracefully on the dirt path.

May stood, her eyes widening.

"It's so beautiful," she breathed, admiring the rarity of the strange coloured Ninetails.

"Pikachu, Agility!" Ash commanded, pointing at the Ninetails that waited serenely.

"Pika!" Pikachu nodded as he ran forward, darting from side to side.

"Ninetails, Psychic!" His opponent's command rang clear as her Ninetails heeded, its fur flowing as suddenly Pikachu froze in the middle of its attack.

"Pikachu!" Ash's eyes widened as he watched his pokémon struggling in the mental bind, his mind churning for ideas.

"Ninetails, propel Pikachu up into the air, then use Fireblast!" The request was swift, May gasping as they watched Pikachu slowly rising from the ground.

"Pikachu, fight it!" Ash urged, his insides tightening at the sight of his struggling pokémon.

"Pika ..." Pikachu pined as he attempted to grapple with the strong hold.

As Ninetails threw Pikachu up into the sky, releasing him in preparation for his Fireblast, Ash saw his chance.

"Pikachu, use Thunder!" Ash cried.

"Ninetails, use Fireblast!" The opposing cry came.

Both May and Max watched in awe as the two attacks collided with one another in mid-air, the explosion causing a great wind that swept dust into cloud their vision. However, even Ash knew the battle was not quite over yet and unfortunately, so did his opponent.

"Ninetails, find that Pikachu," came her fierce request through the dusty haze.

"Pikachu," Ash choked, "use Agility," he coughed, raising his hand to cover his mouth as he attempted to squint through the dirt.

"Pika, pikachu," Pikachu cried, his eyes screwed shut against the dust as his small body was riddled with sneezes.

"Fireblast him Ninetails!"

"Pikaaaaaa!"

Ash felt something hit the ground with a light thud, and as the dust settled, Pikachu's limp body revealed itself to him, his heart sinking as he ran to collapse at his side.

"That was a good battle today Pikachu, have a good rest," he murmured softly, the pokémon whispering softly as he was lifted into Ash's arms.

May and Max waited nearby, their faces set with small smiles.

"Hey, uh, that was a good battle," the female spoke as she approached Ash.

Ash nodded dumbly, his eyes set on his tired pokémon.

The stranger continued watching him, her expression pensive. Before anyone could say anything more, she reached into her dress pocket to reveal a small vial. Flicking it with her index finger, she thrust it under Ash's nose who looked over it suspiciously.

"What's that?" He asked simply as she took the cap off, placing the small glass container to Pikachu's lips.

"It's a Max Revive, it should bring your pokémon back to strength in no time at all," she explained, tipping its contents into Pikachu's slightly exposed mouth.

The three of them watched as Pikachu visibly began to perk up, his ears standing up again with his body laced in lightening.

Ash laughed as Pikachu sat up to nudge him in the chest, both May and Max joining in the merriment.

"Uh, thank you. We wouldn't have had time to stop at the Pokémon Centre in Goldenrod…" Ash began as he smiled at the girl who mirrored his expression.

"Don't mention it! Thanks again for the battle, but I've got to go; I've a train to catch," she revealed as she saluted them before departing.

Ash's face fell as he remembered the train.

"Oh… the train!"

The three of them looked at one another before starting after the female who was already a good few feet ahead on the path.

-Pikachu!-

Scenery swept by them in green blurs, mottled with brown and bits of blue. It didn't take long before one felt ill just from looking at it all. Inside the train, May and Max were napping while Ash sat in his seat, the girl sitting across from him.

"It was lucky you reminded us about the train, otherwise we would've missed it for sure," Ash commented as Pikachu stuck his face against the window pane, fascinated by the speed they were travelling at.

She smiled as she shrugged.

"Look… about our battle before… I just wanted to apologise for the way I enticed you into battle…" she began as her cheeks became faintly pink.

Ash chuckled as he waved a dismissive hand.

"Don't worry about it, you're quite good," he complemented, gaining a grin from his new friend.

"Either way, I was just extremely bored, and when I'm bored, I get in the mood for battling," she continued as she glanced at his Pikachu.

"I must say, your Pikachu is one charming pokémon indeed," she commented absently with a warm smile.

Ash rubbed his nose as he grinned.

"Yeah, he is pretty special, just like your Ninetails," he replied.

She smiled bashfully as her eyes lowered.

"By the way, I'm Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town," he introduced, holding our his hand.

The female nodded as she clasped his outstretched hand firmly.

"And I am Kiana. I'm a Pokémon Coordinator and Ninetails is just one of my many partners," she replied as she sat back in her seat.

"You're a Coordinator too? So is my friend there, May, the one sleeping? She's just a beginner but she's quite good," he murmured, the pair looking at the deeply breathing female.

"So you're a Pokémon Trainer then?" Kiana ventured, looking back at him.

Ash nodded as he patted his Pikachu.

"To be the world's greatest trainer is the dream," he replied, Kiana nodding sincerely at the comment.

"So you headed home to Pallet for a break, I'm guessing?" she inquired, Ash smiling and affirming the guess.

"Yeah, just going home to visit my mum and see some old friends. How about you, whereabouts are you headed?" Ash responded.

"Home, to Cerulean City for a visit," she said as she gazed out the window.

Ash's eyes widened.

"You're from Cerulean?" Ash croaked, surprised at the small world they really did live in.

She nodded, her eyes alert as she regarded him.

"Would you by any chance know a girl called Misty?" He continued, to his delight Kiana nodding at his question.

"You know Misty?" She questioned suspiciously as Ash laughed, scratching his head.

"We travelled Kanto, the Orange Islands and Johto together," he explained, Kiana snapping her fingers at the realization.

"Wow, her and I went to Pokémon School together before I left to experience the Coordinating world… I know you now!" She stared at him thoughtfully as a knowing smile crossed her face.

Ash sat back in his seat, unsure of what to make of the strange expression on her face.

"She talked about you all the time, you and… Brock was it? Yeah… you're the boy with the Pikachu…" she remembered as she tapped her chin.

"You're also the boy who destroyed her bike…" she added jokingly as she sat up much straighter in her seat.

Ash smiled fondly at the times they travelled together. There had been many a time when he did miss her fiery company.

"Well I suppose you're here for her big day too… it's exciting, isn't it?" Kiana purred as she clapped her hands in delight, failing to note the confused expression on Ash's face.

"I'm sorry, what big day? Am I missing something?" He watched Kiana's eyes flick him a strange glance before the girl leant forward.

"You know," she probed, winking.

Ash just shook his head dumbly as he shrugged, Kiana forced to sit back with a rather disbelieving expression painted all over her face.

"Misty's getting married," she said simply.

The shock etched on Ash's face said it all.

:X:X:

A/N: Thanks for reading my first chappie! Please review and I'll update asap!

Later Days!

Lady Sapphira