Disclaimer: Isn't it funny how this will be the last time I will have to fear any consultation from those who would like to sue me! Anyway, pokémon does not belong to me, therefore, please do not sue, I guess if you wanted to, you could have my French books, and my History folder ...

Chapter 9: A Plan.

Ash collapsed heavily onto the chair as it breathed a sigh of relief, like himself.

Pikachu was a heavy weight on his legs as it lay curled up in a ball.

Ash felt his own eyes droop, watching his pokémon.

Yawning, he glanced at the large clock.

Well, at least here in the train station he was safe.

It was six o'clock.

The train left at midnight.

He had plenty of time.

- Pikachu – Pika -

There's not enough time! Misty thought desperately as she bolted out of the Gym, fear biting at her heart.

The cool wind of the fast coming dusk washed over her warm body.

She hurriedly made her way to Route 5, her fingers crossed as she murmured a silent prayer in hope of supernatural help.

She was wrong.

She knew that now.

Ash did love her.

And she loved him too.

With all her heart.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Rudy was stunned.

Dinner had been set already, the only problem being the fact that he was the only one present.

Footsteps interrupted his trail of thought.

A young man walked into the room which instantly struck him as odd.

He looked about Ash's own age and reminded him a bit of Ash too.

He smiled.

"Hello ... I'm Gary. You must be Misty's fiancé Rudy, right?"

Rudy smiled slightly.

"Was," he replied.

Gary's eyes widened.

"You mean ..."

"Yip. Engagement is over."

Gary looked thoughtful for a moment.

"I suppose this has something to do with Ash," he spoke.

Rudy nodded.

"I thought so."

Rudy sighed.

"It really isn't that -"

"Hey guys!" a voice interrupted.

As soon as Kiana appeared, both Gary and Rudy watched her carefully as she moved around the kitchen.

Kiana stopped for a moment and glanced over at Gary.

"Hmm ... you're Ash's friend, right?"

"Y – yeah."

She smiled.

"Right then, I'm Kiana."

Gary nodded.

"Kiana ..." he repeated, "I'm Gary," he added.

She smiled at them both warmly.

"Well, how are you guys?"

Rudy could not bring himself to answer, for he found he could only watch her.

Rudy had never realized how speechless could ever be such a curse, that was until now.

- Pikachu – Pika -

When Ash jolted awake he was surprised to still find Pikachu asleep on his lap.

Yawning, he looked up at the clock.

8 o'clock.

Time was moving slowly.

Slightly disheartened, Ash leaned on the back of the chair, fatigue slowly coming over him once more.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Misty was desperate.

She knew at the rate she was going she could never get there on time.

She began to rub her arms, finding she now had to squint to see the road ahead.

The moon moved about in its blankets, uncompromising in its movement.

She felt her eyes filling as she moved, fear squeezing her fragile heart.

Behind her a humming noise met her ears, the sound growing louder as it approached.

Feeling the ground tremble, she stopped, turning to be drowned in a bright light.

"Misty?"

Raising an arm to block the light, she was able to see a dark figure waving.

The convertible arrived, stopping a few meters ahead of her.

"Brock?"

"Hurry, get in!" his familiar voice yelled.

Relieved she ran and jumping into the car they departed, leaving only a trail of dust as evidence of their presence.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Kiana could not stop fidgeting.

The clock ticked away slowly.

She yawned.

It was nearly 9 o'clock.

Her mind flicked back to Rudy and Gary who had left to go to bed early.

Now she was left alone in the kitchen.

She bit her lip.

She hoped Brock had found her.

She knew the Magnet Train left at midnight and knew also that Misty would not get there in time, unless Brock was prepared to break a few laws in the process.

She only hoped that Officer Jenny did not do night patrols.

Face grim, she stood.

There was only one more thing she could do.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Misty's eyes watered as the harsh evening breeze ravaged over the two of them.

She was very thankful.

At least now she was making progress.

"Hey Brock ... how did you find me?" Misty asked, hugging herself in a pitiful attempt to keep warm.

He smiled secretly.

Misty grinned.

"Kiana, huh? Should've known!" Misty sighed.

"Thanks ..."

Misty closed her eyes for a moment.

"Hey, Brock, I didn't know you knew how to drive!"

Brock blushed slightly.

"I don't."

"WHAT?"

- Pikachu – Pika -

As Kiana walked out of the Gym she heard the sound of her name and recognizing May she smiled slightly.

"Perfect," she murmured.

The slim figure approached, chest heaving.

"Kiana ... Ash ... gone ..."

Breathlessness had a firm grasp on May.

Kiana nodded.

"I know, but I was just wondering maybe you could help me?"

May, gaining her usual breathing, now watched her.

"What do you want."

Kiana closed her eyes for a moment, her face tense.

"I just need to clear something up with you and ..."

May smiled sadly.

Kiana saw her eyes water.

She knew she did not need to ask.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Rudy stared at the ceiling but all he could think about was her.

Her face watched him, taunted him, jeered at him.

Turning onto his side, he tried to push her to the back of his mind, but of course, he couldn't.

When he first met Misty, it was simple. All he did was ask her to dance, but with Kiana ... it was absolutely impossible.

Thinking of Misty, he pondered of her whereabouts.

Probably chasing Ash he thought.

Somehow, the thought comforted him, though why he didn't exactly know why.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Brock laughed.

"Look Misty, it was the only way of getting to Saffron fast enough!" he argued.

She sighed.

"I guess it's justified ..."

She smiled weakly.

"But you were right, you know ..."

"What do you mean?"

"You were right, about my feelings for him, I was stupid ..."

"It's not everyday I hear you say that," he muttered.

Misty glared at him.

"Oh Brock!"

- Pikachu – Pika -

The phone rang in deafening rings as she waited, her hand gripped firmly onto the handset.

"Hello, Officer Jenny speaking."

She coughed, instantly transforming her voice into a low and husky tone.

"Officer? I've just caught sight of some hooligans racing along Route 5 in a blue convertible. They seem to be causing a lot of racket, and I find I cannot get to sleep."

"So ... some hooligans are causing havoc, huh? Where did you say they were again?" Jenny asked.

She paused.

"They were travelling to Saffron City," she continued, "They should be easy to find. I managed to glimpse a young man with a young lady with bright orange hair."

"Thank you Sir, I'll go and check it out now."

"No, thank you officer."

Hanging up she instantly began to make her way out of the Gym with the bike.

She would reach Saffron City faster if she went by bike.

Now it was her turn.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Saffron City seemed further away at night then it did in the day.

Misty's head drooped as she sat.

"Try to get some rest Mist, we'll be there soon."

But Misty couldn't rest.

Her ears pricked at the sound of sirens.

She swore.

Brock gasped.

"Oh Brock! Please, not now! Don't you hear that?"

"Well, my ears are still ringing from your horrible language ..."

"SIRENS!"

Brock watched the road carefully.

"Then there's only one more thing we can do."

Misty looked back, the flashing blue and red lights not comforting.

She sighed.

"Yeah ... I know."

He grinned.

"Then tighten your belt, we're gonna tear up this road!"

- Pikachu – Pika -

"Excuse me Sir?"

Ash opened his eyes slowly.

A uniformed lady stared at him, her bright green eyes welcoming.

"The train will leave in one hour. If I were you, I would get ready now."

Ash, yawning, nodded wearily, attempting to smile.

"Thank you Miss."

She grinned at him, bowing slightly, her small blue hat tilted slightly over her black hair that was held in a delicate knot.

"Good evening, Sir."

Departing, Ash could've sword he detected a familiarity in the lady, but he knew better.

He extended his legs.

There was a problem.

Pikachu - he wasn't there.

- Pikachu – Pika -

"Look, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to take you into custody Sir," Officer Jenny announced as she closed her notepad, presenting Misty with the fine.

Brock's face softened as he watched Jenny's face.

"Officer Jenny, you could lock me up and throw away the key!"

Misty wanted to punch him.

She needed to know the time but somewhere she just knew she didn't have much of it left.

Feeling as if she were to burst, she catapulted herself into a desperate run.

She had to get there.

She just had to.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Ash made his was slowly to the ticket machine, his eyes darting around the station.

There were only two other people aside from himself and the thought itself was very worrying indeed.

"Sir?"

The same lady from before appeared.

"Uh – right, one ticket please," he spoke, still glancing nervously behind him.

"Right, one ticket to Goldenrod Sir," she spoke, presenting the ticket to him.

Without so much as a glance he took the ticket and slipped it into his pocket.

"Hey .. ummm, when you came to wake me up before, you didn't, by any chance, see a Pikachu sleeping on my lap, did you?"

Tilting her head, she thought for a moment.

"No ... no sorry."

Ash attempted a smile.

"That's okay ..."

"What, did your Pikachu go missing or something?"

He shook his head.

"No, no it's alright."

But it wasn't alright, not when his train was due to leave in 45 minutes.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Officer Jenny looked to Brock, who sat in the cell, still staring at her in a complete daze.

She shivered, shifting uncomfortably.

As she was about to stand the phone rang and picking it up, she kept her eyes locked on Brock's face.

"Hello?"

She stared at Brock, who smiled at her, lost in his infatuation of her.

"Brock!" she barked.

Jumping to his feet he watched her move, spellbound.

"Phone," she commanded, thrusting it through the bars.

Grabbing it, he placed it to his ear.

"Brock?"

The smile disappeared.

"Who is it?"

"It's me!"

"Who's me?"

"Look Brock, I'm on my way there now, so I should arrive soon to bail you out though it might take a while, I am coming by bike."

Brock paused.

"How did you know I was here?"

Silence.

"Just know I'm coming, okay?"

A resounding beep met his ears.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Misty sobbed as she thundered down the path.

"So much ground ..."

Tripping, she collapsed onto the hard earth.

The dust stuck to her sodden cheeks.

For once, she just wanted to lie there.

She pressed her cheek against the unforgiving earth.

Did she love Ash?

The definite answer made her stand.

She loved him too much, but was she too late?

- Pikachu – Pika -

Ash watched the people passing by, depressed.

His Pikachu was gone.

"Piiikaaaa!"

His ears pricked.

That was his Pikachu.

Standing, his eyes darted over the near empty station.

There!

Disappearing down the left of the track, he saw a flash of yellow.

"Pikachu!"

Yelling, he jumped the rail that separated the train tracks from the platform.

As he travelled down the tunnel, he knew he had almost zero chance of finding his Pikachu, especially when the tunnel was now too dark.

"Pika!"

Hearing the muffled cry nearby, he progressed forwards cautiously.

"Who's there?"

A wild laugh answered his call.

"Ha! Is this Pika – brat yours?"

Suddenly, light flooded the tunnel, revealing before him a masked figure.

The sack in the stranger's hand squirmed and fidgeted.

"Give my Pikachu back!"

The stranger laughed.

"I'll give back your Pika – pet once we battle. No battle, no pet."

Ash gulped.

What time is it? his head screamed.

"Fine, Charizard, go!" he shouted, throwing his pokéball high into the air.

The train!

The words kept flashing in his mind.

The train!.

"Blastoise, I choose you!"

Ash blinked.

Blastoise?

The person laughed.

"Lets see how well you do .. Blastoise, Watergun!"

His eyes narrowed.

There was not enough room in the tunnel to move, and he knew it.

"Charizard ... try and dodge it!"

Of course, it couldn't. It couldn't fly within the restricted area.

Charizard was met by a full blast, the ground shaking as he moved backwards.

"No ..."

"Oh yes! Blastoise, Hydro Pump!"

"Charizard, Fireblast!"

In one cataclysmic moment, their attacks met, resulting in an eruption of stem.

"Mega punch Blasty!"

Before he could react, the violently shaking earth was enough to tell him of Charizard.

"Charizard ... please get up!"

"No, please don't! Blasty, blast him away, hydro pump!"

Ash could not move.

He watched his pokémon be defeated with two cannons of water.

"I WIN!"

Ash ran forward and falling to his knees, he fought to hold tears back.

"I'm sorry ... Charizard," he choked as he rested his head on its stomach.

His pokémon murmured a word of encouragement.

"Pika – Pika!"

Suddenly, he was hounded by the electric mouse.

"What ..."

Looking up, he saw the tunnel was empty, confusion taking him in.

Far away, he heard the call.

" ... last call for the Magnet Train ..."

- Pikachu – Pika -

Misty stumbled into the station.

Her hair was messy, the once elegant dress now torn and tattered.

She rubbed her dirty cheeks.

"This is the last call for the Magnet Train."

But there was no one there.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Ash jumped the barrier to get him to the platform.

The man stopped him at the gate.

"Your pass, please."

Smiling wearily, he produced the ticket.

The man glanced at the pass, then at him.

"I'm sorry, but I'm looking for the train pass. This is a pass for the S.S Aqua that leaves from Vermilion City."

Ash's eyes widened.

"But .. I .."

"Is this some kind of joke?"

"No, Sir, I assure you, I received this pass from a young lady that was -"

The man gazed at him sternly.

"Young man, I am afraid no ladies at all work in this train station, all our employees are male."

Ash stared at him.

"The only other lady in this station I have seen is the one over there waiting for the train."

Stiff, he turned briefly to glance behind him.

"No ... that's ..."

He stopped.

Swinging round, the very sight of her face made him ache.

"Misty?" he gasped.

- Pikachu – Pika -

She was shattered.

He was gone.

Ash was gone.

But she was so tired ...

'Misty?'

Looking up, her eyes widened at the sight of him.

Her fatigue disappeared as a sudden rush of warmth overcame her body.

He was there.

"Ash ..."

Before she could stand, Ash had already run towards her, slamming her back into her chair.

"That was painful," Misty whispered, feeling her cheeks and eyes grow hot.

"Ash, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to chase you away ... you probably don't even want to talk to me ..."

"You came for me? I can't believe you came for me!"

"I thought you would not have wanted to speak to me, I would understand if you didn't," she whispered fearfully.

Ash smiled sadly.

"I don't want to speak to you."

She should have been ready.

But of course, she was not.

Ash gently closed her eyes with his thumbs.

"If you don't mind, I would like to kiss you."

Her eyes flew open as her lips welcomed those of Ash's.

She felt bubbles of happiness rise in her.

She knew then that she needed him.

She loved him.

- Pikachu – Pika -

As Ash held her, he knew that if he were to let go, he would fear that she would disappear and leave him to despair.

He ached for her every time he saw her.

Feeling her grow limp, he moved back slightly to see her eyes closed, her lips murmuring almost silently.

"I love you Ash."

Feeling his heart swell he lifted her into his arms, draping her limp arms around his neck.

Under the fierce glance of the man at the train station, he left the station, not knowing exactly where he was going.

But he knew that it did not matter, at least for him.

Under the light of the moon and the stars, he declared his love for the girl he had always dreamed of.

And Misty smiled, for she had heard.

Ash was finally at peace.

- Pikachu – Pika -

Kiana left the train station long after they had left.

Her plan had worked perfectly, but there was only one more thing she had to do.

Pulling out her cellular phone, she punched in a number.

"Hello?" a voice inquired.

"May? It's me!"

"Kiana?' Oh! How are you? Did it work?"

Kiana laughed.

"I am fantastic! And yes, it did work! Thanks to your help! And you phone call, did it go well?"

"Yes," the husky tone informed.

Kiana grinned.

"So I was right ..."

"What do you mean? Originally, I thought stealing Ash's Pikachu might've taken up too much time ..."

"But it worked out in the end, anyway, I issued him with a fake ticket because I found this really cute train station uniform and I wanted to try it on, but I guess it worked to my advantage!"

May laughed from the other end but Kiana could detect a tone of sadness.

"Look May .."

"Hey, Kiana, I have to go now."

"Oh! Okay then .. thanks, May."

"No problem, we should do this again some time!"

Kiana smiled.

"Of course, partner."

"Yeah, I'll be seeing you at the Police Station then!"

"Yeah ... bye!"

Kiana had been silent long after her conversation with May.

Looking to the full moon, she issued her silent question.

She felt sorry for May.

She knew she had feelings for Ash, but it was how it was.

"All's fair in love and war," she murmured as she continued to walk.

After all, May was still due to arrive at the police station, as was she, and they were both due to bail Brock out together.

But for once, Kiana did not mind.

Right now, she wanted to savour the midnight air.

Such magic it held, for Kiana herself was bewitched by the spell cast by two lovers, finally united.

Finally.

:X:X:

A/N:

I am truly sorry for the long time it has taken to update ... I am! But I am also now very happy this story is coming to a close!

No more early mornings at the library trying to type madly!

But this is not my note.

My note is a very big thank you to ALL who reviewed, and I mean everyone.

I am now very sorry I did not do reviewer comments, because I would have loved to have thanked you all personally.

But anyways, before I depart, one of my good reviewers once asked if I liked poo, and you know what? I think I do! Also, one reviewer said my dialogue structure was more suited to a movie, but I must say, I think I agree, because I cannot do dialogue!

This was not exactly set against the vermilion hues of the sunset, but I hope the moon and stars will do!

To all my reviewers, with affection I thank you, to all my readers, my gratitude I leave you.

Until our poké-balls cross once more,

Lady Sapphira!