Misty couldn't believe it. He proposed. After all those years he finally proposed. She looked at the man she loved, who was on his knee with a ring clutched between his thumb and forefinger. Tears of happiness shone in her crystal blue eyes as she choked out her response. "Of course."

The moon shone over the pair as he stood up and embraced her, his brown eyes full of joy. "I love you Mistara," he said as they hugged.

"I love you too, Chris."


A lone figure clad in black walked swiftly and silently down the deserted road. Against the dark night the only thing about him that was visible was his pale face, which was void of emotion. The rest of him was hardly noticable, for he was dressed in black from head to toe. Even his hair was ebony, blending in perfectly with his surroundings. A long black trench coat billowed behind him as he kept a steady pace on his way to his destination.

The figure stopped and looked up at the city's gate that towered far above him.

"Cerulean City," the figure stated. He glanced over his shoulder at a pikachu, who had just emerged from the black pack that rested comfortably on the man's shoulders.

"Pikapi," he said in his native language, before converting to telepathy. *Are you sure this is wise?* he thought. The yellow rodent climbed onto his master's shoulder and awaited an answer.

"This has to be done," the man said aloud.

*What if she's here?*

"What if she is? She made it clear long ago that she hated me," the man spat.

The pikachu's ears flattened against head in sadness. *Still, what if you see her?*

"If luck is with us we wont."

"You have always had exceptionally good luck. Except when it came to her," the pikachu reminded him.

The man looked at the pokemon then back to the city gate, his brown eyes appeared sad, but then hardened. "Come, my friend, we have much to do."

The pikachu shook his head sadly. He turned to climb back into his master's bag but stopped. *Ash?* he thought.

"What is it?"

*I hope for your sake your luck changes." Pikachu then slid into the bag and closed the flap with his small paws.

Ash smiled sadly and said softly, "Me too Pikachu, me too." He inspected the city gate. A long time ago, when he had traveled from city to city, battling gym leaders for badges, there were no city gates. Now every city had a steel blockade to keep out unwanted visitors.

Gates became common as Team Rocket rose to power. Team Rocket had shocked the world when they had suddenly gone from little more than a joke, to a full blown evil organization. Three years ago, Team Rocket began going from town to town, destroying and pillaging. Soon they progressed from thieves to murderers and that was when everyone realized that Team Rocket was an orginization to be reckoned with.

No one knew exactly what had caused the drastic change in Team Rocket, but rumors said there was a change in leadership. Whether or not Giovanni still ruled supreme, or was successfully overthrown by another was unknown.

Either way, Team Rocket made walking around outside a city, in the dark, with no way into safety a very dangerous undertaking. And this was precisely what Ash was doing. The potential danger didn't seem to bother him though, as he finished his examination of the gate.

He smirked then said softly, "It's an electric fence."

*Good. That makes your job easier,* Pikachu thought from inside the bag.

Ash didn't answer, instead he began to climb the fence. Electricity sparked at his touch but didn't appear to have any effect on him. When he reached the top of the ten foot fence he stopped, balancing on the small metal pole that ran across the fence, holding it together. He was crouched, using one hand for balance, the other resting lightly on his knee.

"Here we go," he told Pikachu.

*I hate this part,* was the response.

Ash straightened, then leapt from the fence. He descended rapidly through the air, his trench coat billowing above his head. He landed in a position similar to the one he had been in on the fence. His trench coat settled behind him as he crouched, looking around the darkened city.

Most of the buildings seemed dark, except for the occasional Pokecenter or all night convenient store. No one was out on the streets, everyone was locked up securely in their houses. He stood up deciding on his next course of action.

*Where are we going now?* Pikachu asked, poking his yellow head out of the bag.

Ash glanced over his shoulder. "Team Rocket has influence over the Lindham Scientific Institution." He paused, unsure if he wanted to tell his friend the rest of what he knew. After a moment of contemplation, he decided it would be better to prepare him. "They do experiments on pokemon."

He heard Pikachu emit a squeak of rage and saw sparks fly from his cheeks as the little pokemon powered up.

"Pikachu, calm down, you'll draw attention."

Pikachu obeyed, his yellow glow died down, but his little face remained angry.

"Let's go. We'll put them out of business tonight."

"Pika," Pikachu said aloud, nodding in agreement.

Updated A/N (6-8-02): Hi, I'm just updating this story, fixing mistakes and adding things where I feel they are necessary. As you may have noticed I have combined some of the smaller chapters, so this has fewer chapters, but each chapter is longer. Feel free to review if the desire so strikes you.

A/N: This is my first Pokemon fic and it's definitely on the dark side. Please review, I would like to know if I should finish this. This will eventually be an AAMR, but aren't all stories? I started this to be a little something to help cure my writers block for an different story, but it is evolving into something rather large. Once again please review. I'm rating this R to play it on the safe side, it might pass for PG-13 but I don't know exactly where I'm heading with it.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a few CD's and a pack of gum. Suing me would be pointless. Pokemon and all it's characters belong to some very rich people, but not me. I also borrowed the title from an Eric Clapton song, I don't know if it matters but better safe than sorry.