Disclaimer: My name's certainly not affiliated with Pokémon –not unless I want to be sued .
Story: All Ash Ketchum has ever wanted was to be the best. Ash's dream was to be the unbeatable, greatest and grandest Pokémon Master there ever was. So now of legal age to get a Trainer's license, Ash can start the road for just that. Problem? Ash is a girl. And the world is full of perverts as her mother had warned and so Ash Ketchum the girl must become Ash Ketchum the boy.
Set as an AU.
Warnings: Perverts, raunchy humor, weird humor, craziness, etc…
Pairings: Reverse Harem Genre along the vein of Fushigi Yuugi, Ouran High Host Club, Negima! (regular harem), Love Hina, and other Ken Akamatsu works, with fanon Harem twist of multiple partners. Most guys are reoccurring unrequited or "character of the day" crushes, but a select number are permanent requited guys. Hence, Ash with a lot of people (mostly one-sided), Ash/Lance, Ash/Steven, Ash/Giovanni, Ash/Lt. Surge, etc. for sure.
Loyal to the Game
Chapter Thirteen: Genius vs. Psychic
Giovanni flipped through the pictures on his phone, intently scrutinizing each one. He deleted the less than worthy ones, which weren't a lot, considering he was hesitant to delete even just a single picture from his phone. Maybe a few blurry ones, but only if they were really bad…
Honestly, he had no idea what had compelled him to take so many pictures of Ash last night. Worse was that he had done so discreetly, like some kind of…stalker or something. He cringed and buried that thought, as he was wont to do these days.
One particular picture of Ash, she was smiling and the lights of the lanterns around them lent a soft glow to her face. His lips twitched into a smile and before he could even think about it, he turned it into his wallpaper for his phone.
"Hey, send me some of those pics you took of her, alright?" Lt. Surge cut into his thoughts.
Immediately, Giovanni snapped his phone shut and his expression closed off. Lt. Surge rolled his eyes.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," he said stiffly.
The blond snorted. "You know, you weren't as subtle as you'd like to think you were last night. I'm pretty sure even Ash noticed you taking pictures."
Giovanni involuntarily flushed red, but his lips pressed into a thin line and he didn't admit to anything. However, after breakfast, Lt. Surge found a bundle of pictures sent to his phone, and he inwardly smirked to himself.
He also thought that man had the worst case of denial he'd ever seen. At least he was working towards admitting how he felt.
And then there were these guys…
Brock gaped. "Where did you guys come from? Didn't we leave you behind at Pokémon Land?"
The Harem Club smiled brightly. "Yes, but we quickly found out your next destination and went to travel here immediately. Would you like to travel in our travel bus to Saffron City, Miss Ash?"
Ash, looking at the gigantic bus, really wouldn't mind a ride in it. But Giovanni was scowling terribly at it and the guys, so she stayed quiet.
"We refurbished it just for you," the leader of the group smiled even more brightly.
Oh, for the love of – Giovanni's eye twitched. But then there was a tug on his sleeve and he could automatically guess who it was –only one person was brave enough and didn't see any problem with doing that. He looked down and sure enough Ash was looking shyly up at him.
"If we ride the jumbobus, we'll get to Saffron quicker. And…it really is really cool."
Then she gave him a small smile and Giovanni crumbled like a house of cards in a hurricane.
He sighed and smiled back. "I guess it's convenient, especially with a large group such as ours."
And, remembering how winded he was at just running towards Ash on the cliff, he thought it best to accept the ride, considering how unused he was to any sort of exercise and how he'd much preferred not revealing that, or end up looking disheveled and unrefined (especially in front of Ash). His image would definitely be ruined by then.
Though, if he could hear some of the others' thoughts, it probably already was.
After all, Misty was pretty sure the man was utterly helpless whenever Ash smiles at him.
When they boarded the "jumbobus," the first floor held a huge amount of seats, all comfortable-looking with comfy cushions. There were the usual luggage racks above the seats, vending machines in the back, restrooms, and a kitchen area for goodness' sakes. And that was just the first floor.
When the bus started rolling, Ash went up to the second part of the double-decker to see that it held a huge amount of bunkers for people to sleep in, and apparently a lounge area as well.
"Not just a double-decker, but a sleeper bus too," Giovanni commented, coming up from behind her.
Lt. Surge whistled. "Look at this. Pretty impressive. And according to what we saw outside, it's also an open top bus. Wanna ride on top with me, Ash?"
Giovanni scowled at the same time as Ash excitingly cheered. "Yeah, let's go!"
"Me too, me too!" Brock interjected, not wanting to be left out.
Giovanni inwardly sighed, but he wasn't going to let Ash stay alone with those two. Misty decided he would be enough to monitor Brock and Lt. Surge, and that Oak would probably head up as well, after he finished questioning the Harem Club about the bus and the directions they were taking to Saffron. In the meantime, she was going to take advantage of the bunkers and take one for herself and take a long-wanted nap.
"This is awesome!" Ash exclaimed, as she let the wind blow her hair back as she sat on her knees on her seat.
"I'll say," Lt. Surge smirked as he leaned back and enjoyed the ride. He took out his shades and flipped out the sides, sliding them onto his face.
Giovanni reluctantly echoed him, using the shades he'd practically stolen from that store back on Aopulco. It was sunny out and they were in a prime spot to be shined on by the sun's rays.
Ash pouted. "Aw man! Now I want some sunglasses."
"I'll buy you a pair in Saffron," Giovanni offered. "In the meantime, sit down before your tiny self flies off the bus."
"I'm not tiny!" but Ash sat down in her seat between him and Lt. Surge, who put an arm around her shoulder.
Giovanni automatically reached out and grabbed Ash's hand on the other side, though he nearly retracted it when he realized what he did in reaction to Lt. Surge. And in reaction to those two, Brock just turned around in his seat, in the row in front of them, and began chatting with Ash and engaging her with any topic that came up in his head. As long as he had her attention, he was fine.
"Hey, Ash!" Oak's upper half of his body popped up through the entrance into the bus not too long after. "They're playing The Notebook on the video screen. I know it's your favorite movie!"
Ash jumped up from her seat and immediately headed over to Oak eagerly, leaving the others stunned. Brock was the first to get up and hurry after her, followed by the other two. By the time everyone was caught up, Ash was sitting next to Oak and using the personal television screen installed on the seat-back in front of her to watch the movie. Giovanni wasn't afraid to admit to playing dirty to get to the seat next to Ash, having roughly elbowed passed Lt. Surge and then practically running over Brock as he snatched the chair for himself.
All was fair in, uh…war. Truce or no truce.
Of course, he had to deal with a crying Ash later on, as the movie progressed, with her blubbering over the sad scenes and alternating between sobbing on Oak or on Giovanni's arm. Honestly, he hadn't been able to see any of the movie much, when he was too busy consoling Ash over it. Not that he would want to –it was definitely not his type of movie.
He ignored Lt. Surge snickering and Brock chuckling at his predicament.
She felt the presence as soon as it crossed into her territory. It was very powerful. But it was untapped and untrained –raw. The person didn't even know the power she held.
It had been a long time since Sabrina had met an Aura Guardian, even if whoever it was wasn't fully realized.
She could sense the Aura user traveling with a group, and she was rather surprised by who was with her. She recognized Giovanni, Lt. Surge, Brock, and even Misty a little. There was Professor Oak, as well, but he seemed extremely different. The others she had no clue, though it was a large group.
As soon as they reached the entrance to her city, she could tell something was amiss. A certain trio entered the picture and Sabrina tilted her head.
She was intrigued about this girl.
Therefore, as Ash entered the city of Saffron, there was a chill that entered through her that she wasn't sure what the cause was of. A foreboding, not dissimilar to the whole ghost situation back in Maiden's Peak, ran through her and she was certain something was off about the city.
'Come, little doll. I am waiting for you.'
Ash shot up in her seat and looked around in a panic, startling Oak awake while Giovanni continued to snooze and lean on her, unknowingly hugging onto her arm and using her as a pillow.
"What's wrong, Asheila?" Oak asked sleepily, using her full name. He rubbed his eyes and sat up more as he felt more awake, then tried to ignore the scene in front of his eyes with Giovanni strangely being a snuggler in his sleep and totally unlike himself –he'd probably deny it if anyone accused him of this happening, and if he knew Oak had seen him like this, he'd probably threaten to kill Oak or go on ahead and murder him and hide the body.
"I have a bad feeling," Ash murmured. "Just…something feels off, and I feel like something bad is going to happen."
Oak frowned. "Let's hope not. Although, with your luck, the chance of trouble coming our way is almost certain to happen. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, or jinx our future."
Ash tried to think that way, but she was certain trouble was already in their paths.
Passing the entrance to the city, they completely missed the Team Rocket trio that had, with the "help" of a certain psychic, gotten themselves entangled within their own trap they had set up to try to capture Pikachu and impress their boss face to face.
"So what's the gym leader like? What type of pokémon do they use?" Ash asked eagerly, practically bouncing on her bed.
They, courtesy of Giovanni, had gotten rooms at a hotel, instead of crowding and taking up space in the Pokémon Center. At the moment, they were all congregated in Ash's room, awaiting the room service that would bring around their dinner. While they waited, Ash wanted to prepare herself for her next gym battle, as much as possible.
The three actual gym leaders looked at each other, while Misty looked curiously at them. She knew the gym leader's name because of her sisters, but she didn't know much else. Oak, though he knew quite a bit about all the gym leaders, decided to let those three take the lead since they shared the occupation.
Lt. Surge cleared his throat. "Her name is Sabrina…she's pretty young for a gym leader, but not as young as Brock. Probably around Misty's sisters' ages."
"I'm pretty sure she's either twenty-two or twenty-three," Giovanni added blithely. "But I don't usually concern myself with the others."
Everyone but Ash rolled their eyes, either outright or discreetly. Still, being who he was, he did make sure to know everything he could about anything and anyone, just in case he needed information or an advantage. He just didn't need anyone knowing that…
"Twenty-two," Oak confirmed.
"She's also psychic," Brock blurted out.
Ash blinked. "Huh?"
"Sabrina has psychic abilities," Oak decided to take over. "She can read minds, move things with her mind, and many other things. She is the most well-known and most powerful psychic currently alive, aside from a man named Riley, who is a whole other category as an Aura Guardian."
Giovanni looked interested, while everyone else looked uncomfortable. Ash was just holding her head.
"Just give me a second," she muttered.
"What's wrong with you?" Misty asked amused.
"Too much information," she grumbled.
Oak chuckled. "Ash is…an odd type of genius. You can even call her a 'lazy genius' so to say; she has a genius-level intellect, but needs to be motivated or interested in the subject. Heck, she's even got perfect recall and yet still somehow manages to be forgetful."
Ash huffed and crossed her arms across her chest, glaring at him. "Sam, you're so mean. You're always teasing me."
"Because it's fun."
Ash threw a pillow at Oak's head, causing the professor to casually catch it.
"But back on track," he continued. "She, as a psychic, prefers and has a team of pokémon made up of psychic-types."
"She also pretty much sticks to herself and rarely comes out of her gym," Lt. Surge scratched the back of his head. "She rarely comes to the gym leader meetings, League meetings, etc. Only unless she's been forced to, which doesn't happen often, and even then she sometimes ignores the orders. She doesn't interact with others and is basically a recluse. Actually, I think there's a rumor that she might be forced from her position as gym leader…"
"It's just a rumor," Giovanni corrected. "As long as she accepts challengers and does her job, she's fine. Even if most of the would-be challengers would either chicken out before battle or decided not to go to her gym at all. There's at least twenty-seven gyms in the Kanto region, but eight main gyms of –in order of getting them correctly –first Pewter, Cerulean, Vermillion, either Saffron or Celadon first, then Fuchsia, Cinnabar, and then Viridian –my gym, which is located closest to where Indigo Plateau is located, and therefore last because I'm the strongest."
Lt. Surge rolled his eyes. "Your ego is amazing," though he inwardly admitted it might be true. Might be.
Giovanni ignored him and continued on. "And the other gyms serve as substitutes for the main gyms, so most people would probably skip Sabrina's gym and find another gym to sub. Most people would choose to do this for most of the main gyms, or if another gym is closer to them anyway."
Ash chuckled weakly. "I guess I should've paid more attention to the structures of the League…"
"You sound nervous, Ash," Misty noted in surprise.
Ash shifted slightly. "I'm not…prejudiced to say, against her being psychic…but after…"
Oak nodded, understanding. Ash was afraid of supernatural stuff in general, but the whole incident at Maiden's Peak pretty much set her on edge.
"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be fine," Brock smiled reassuringly at her.
Ash wasn't so sure about that.
The morning dawned bright and early for Ash, and she decided to take a walk outside to clear her head and steel her nerves. Pikachu casually lounged on her head, though he was still a bit sleepy. He let out a big yawn, but happily purred as Ash reached up and scratched his chin. Ash, however, was distracted.
The fact was she didn't currently have any pokémon that were strong against psychic-types or had enough experience and skill yet. She had Espeon, who was her strongest and was at least resistant to other psychics…but she didn't know how strong Sabrina's pokémon were. Minus the loss of type advantage, Sabrina's pokémon's levels could and was probably higher than Espeon's.
And she didn't really want to go up against a psychic…
Sighing to herself, she continued her morose morning walk, feeling how early it was with the lack of people out. There were people and cars starting to really come out now, as the sun continued to rise higher and it became later in the morning, but 5 o'clock was still pretty early. At least for Ash it was.
She suddenly saw a blond man, with an odd blue…hair strip? She guessed it was a hair strip. Anyway, it went around his head, defying gravity. He wore glasses and a long white coat that made him look like a scientist. Maybe he was? In any case, he was holding a whole bunch of papers and what looked like blueprints, and seemed to be rushing. He was about to cross the empty street, when some of the stuff he was holding dropped from his arms.
Eyes widening, Ash darted forward and helped the flustered man to pick up the blueprints and some of the papers that went flying from the light breeze of the morning. Pikachu leaped off her head to help as well, catching some of the papers with his mouth.
"Ah, thank you, Miss," he turned to her, smiling as he quickly calmed down from his flustered state. "I'm very grateful for your help. These were some important documents and I'm glad that I didn't lose any of them."
"No problem," she gave him a huge grin and started to push back her earlier thoughts, while allowing Pikachu to climb back on her. "Glad to be of help."
A honk alerted them to an incoming car and the man blinked. Ash, reacting quicker, continued to hold onto the papers and blueprints as she hurried to free her other arm and wrap it around his waist, rushing forward to the sidewalk.
"Phew! That was close," Ash muttered, eying the car that drove passed dangerously.
The blond stared down at her in surprise. "I must thank you again…That would have been a rather disastrous accident."
"Don't worry about it," she grinned at him again. "My name's Ash and I'm a pokémon trainer."
He smiled softly back at her. "I am Colress, a Pokémon Researcher."
Ah hah! She was right. He was some type of scientist.
"Um, here," she finally remembered she was still holding his stuff. She carefully transferred the papers and blueprints back over to him, and Pikachu did the same. He shuffled them a bit to get a better grip, before turning his attention back to her.
"I must say, I was most fortunate to have run into you and gotten your help. How about some coffee to repay you?"
Ash rubbed her head. "Well, I'm not really into coffee, so it's alright." Her stomach grumbled, and she turned red in embarrassment.
His soft smile widened a bit. "How about some breakfast then?"
How could she ever say no to free food?
In a small, nice gastropub nearby, Colress gentlemanly held out her chair and she awkwardly sat in it before he scooted it in. A waiter came and he ordered just coffee and a blueberry bagel, while she went ahead and ordered an egg benedict and a glass of orange juice. Pikachu made himself at home on her lap, snatching the ketchup bottle that was included on their table.
"I assume, since you're a pokémon trainer, that you'll be challenging the Saffron Gym?" he questioned curiously.
Ash winced. "Y-yeah…"
His eyebrows raised. "You don't sound too enthusiastic about it?"
Ash sighed. "I heard the gym leader was psychic. I'm…not too good with supernatural stuff." She even told him about what happened in Maiden's Peak, so bothered she was about this whole thing. Both she and Pikachu shivered at the same time.
"I see," he murmured. "That does pose a problem. And yet you refuse to head to another gym?"
She wrinkled her nose. "I don't want to give up. Giving up leaves a bad taste in my mouth."
"I understand," he nodded. "To me, I also dislike the idea of giving up when I'm in the midst of an experiment. I'm driven by the end result, but I do admit obstacles can always be unfortunate hindrances."
Ash crinkled her nose, starting to think. "You know, Magneto from Marvel had a helmet that helped him against psychics. I wish I had one."
Colress hmmed in thought. "I believe the thesis is that he uses his powers to form the metal helmet and reshape the metal at a molecular level. That way it has anti-psionic properties that will keep his mind shielded from telepathic abilities. As his powers relate to magnetization, the metal has probably become highly magnetized, allowing it to form a strong magnetic field, which prevents or at least reduces a telepath's ability to read his mind. It resembles a Faraday Cage…Magneto could probably use his powers alone to mimic the effect, but the helmet probably is added insurance. It would also be more helpful in the long run against psychics by not using up any effort of his powers, while he could focus his powers on other things."
Ash's eyes lit up. "Woah…so can it actually be recreated? Where can I get me one of those?" she asked eagerly.
He looked at her considerately. "You know, I have a laboratory I am currently renting at the moment nearby. I was heading there earlier. If you'd like, I could try to recreate the process?"
Ash practically bowled him over as she rushed over, grabbing his hands eagerly.
"Please. I beg of you, oh smart one," she bowed several times.
Lt. Surge yawned widely as he drank his coffee, alternately trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes. He was waiting with the others for Ash, as she apparently was doing last minute "training" for her match against Sabrina. She'd sent a text message to him, Oak, and Giovanni (as the only ones with cell phones) about it not too long ago…after they'd worried about her disappearing act for most of the morning.
Hell was that girl forgetful and one-tracked.
"I wonder what she's up to," Misty looked around idly, taking a bite out of her buttery croissant.
"I think we'll find out now," Brock said and they looked at him to see him gaping incredulously. They followed his line of sight and stared.
"What the fuck?" Lt. Surge muttered, sunglasses slipping off his face.
Ash was determinedly striding towards them, wearing a…metal helmet? A, uh, metal helmet was on her head, almost dwarfing it. All in all, she looked ridiculous. What was probably even more ridiculous was Pikachu having a matching metal helmet.
"What in the world, Ash?" Oak sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Who do you think you are –Magneto?" Lt. Surge snorted.
Ash tapped her helmet. "Exactly!" she exclaimed, catching them all off guard.
Lt. Surge stared. "I was…just joking."
"I met this really smart guy just now, who helped me create this helmet that's supposed to be like Magneto's," she explained. "I'm so prepared for my battle against Sabrina."
"If you say so," Oak purposely roughly patted her head, making her pout. "Let's head over to the gym then."
Ash's grin faltered, but then she made herself think positively. She can do this. She can.
She turned on her heel and started to march out, leading the bewildered group, which now included the Harem Club who were ready to cheer her on.
Except when she was practically seconds away from the entrance of the gym, her feet turned and she began walking away. Oak sighed and gestured to one of the others, and Lt. Surge moved into position. As soon as Ash began to walk in between them to pass, the two of them locked onto an arm each and began dragging her towards the gym.
"No! No! You can't do this! I refuse!" she flailed about in a panic.
"Ash…Sabrina's not going to do anything more than defeat you, worst-case scenario," Oak soothed.
Lt. Surge reached over and patted her helmeted head. "Yeah. It's not like she's going to read your thoughts or mind-control you. It's a gym battle."
Ash reluctantly settled down and they let go of her. They continued to walk into the gym, only to find it empty. They walked around, until they spotted a door. Ash looked in first and saw a bunch of people staring intently at spoons.
"What are they doing?" Ash asked in confusion.
"Trying to bend the spoons with their minds, I suppose," Misty looked skeptical. "This is a psychic gym, after all."
A man came up to them, demanding to know why they were there, and Ash looked at him weirdly.
"…What else? I want a gym battle against Sabrina, duh," he was strange. What else would Ash be there for?
When he started to rant about Sabrina's prowess as a psychic and everyone there training their psychic powers, Ash kind of just tuned him out. She felt guilty because it was rude, but she…was getting really bored and just wanted to face Sabrina already.
"Okay, okay! I get it!" Ash complained. In retaliation, Oak pulled her ear and gave her a look. "But I was getting bored. And I just want to challenge Sabrina."
"You know nothing! Power such as this is incomparable!" and he brought out a spoon and focused on it, his face turning a dangerous red. Ash thought he was close to passing out…
The spoon bent and Ash clapped.
"Cool party trick!" she complimented, making the man twitch. "But I can bend spoons too!"
She found one somehow and began bending it herself, sweating as she attempted to make it bend. Except she couldn't, of course. She ended up bending it only a little bit, before giving up and huffing at the exertion. She turned to Lt. Surge.
"Hey, could you bend this for me please?"
Lt. Surge raised an eyebrow at her, but took it from her and bent it far more easily and much more than she had. He handed it back to her.
Ash grinned proudly, as if she had done it. She held it up to the guy. "Hah! See? Who needs psychic powers when one has Lucien and his super strength!"
The guy opened his mouth, but Giovanni had had enough and stepped forward, staring at the guy with a dark glare.
"Why don't you just lead us to Sabrina?" he narrowed his eyes at the other.
The man gulped and nodded his head rapidly.
"Who needs my 'super strength' when we got Giovanni's dark aura and intimidation?" Lt. Surge smirked.
Giovanni just tossed him a disgruntled look, while gesturing for the man to hurry it up and lead the way. Soon enough, they were led to a temple-like room.
"So you've come finally," a little girl's voice echoed through the room, and they could see a little girl sitting behind a gate.
"Sabrina, this girl thinks she can challenge you to a match," the man said disdainfully as he knelt before the little girl.
"Quiet," a much different voice from the little girl's said harshly, and the little girl's eyes glowed red and the man flew back and landed near the doors. He ran out of there quickly.
Ash swallowed nervously before walking forth. "I challenge you to a match, Sabrina!"
"I accept," the little girl's voice was back again. "But if you lose, you have to play with me, okay?"
"Um…okay?" Ash felt more like she asked than agreed.
The others felt uneasy and gave each other looks.
Suddenly, the doors shut behind them and sealed them in. Then the gate opened and revealed the little girl was sitting on who Ash (and most of the others recognized) guessed was the real Sabrina. Sabrina and the little girl floated telekinetically, with the arena's lights turning on as she came closer.
"Let's begin," and the little girl in Sabrina's hands tossed a pokéball, letting out an Abra.
Ash looked at it before looking at Sabrina. Seviper was weak against psychic-types, and wasn't nearly leveled up enough to overcome type advantage. Unless she came up with a really awesome, cool plan that went up against all odds…but right now, she was coming up blank. Neither Milotic nor Pikachu were particularly strong against psychics, though Pikachu might be leveled up enough to fight back. And as much as she loved her little Krabby...she ain't seein' it happenin'.
Ah hell, why was she thinking about this? Sure, she's gotten better at strategizing through the years, but she did her best on the fly and when the odds were against her.
"Pikachu! Let's do this!"
"Pika!" Pikachu darted forward, and without warning Raichu got out of her pokéball and yelled out a cheer for them. "Rai Rai! Raichu!"
Pikachu waved back at her, while Ash winked, though she ignored the sudden pressure in her head and how she had a headache now. Lt. Surge sighed and picked up his Raichu, plopping her onto his shoulder.
"You cheer for them here, you lovesick girl."
"Okay, Pikachu, Abra's asleep, so…t-tag it?" Ash hesitantly ordered.
Pikachu let out an acknowledging shout and hit the Abra with a small bolt of electricity, waking it at the same time and it teleporting away. Ash was just glad Pikachu managed to hit it before it did. That was a lucky shot, it was.
"Tag?" Oak asked as he scrunched up his eyebrows.
"I introduced her to something called Electric Tag. Basically, the electric pokémon, and sometimes the trainers, target each other with electric bolts to 'tag' each other. Ash added a little something to the game to help Pikachu bring out his Static Ability a little more, and it also ended up helping Raichu with her speed –being that since she was evolved straight away, her speed isn't as fast as Pikachu's. Basically, they 'tag' each other and then lock onto each other with a personal bit of electricity, while the regular game just had them trying to be quick and just tag each other with electricity. They can now keep up with where the other is by focusing and tracking that electric tag. It makes the game harder because they'll know where the other is, hence why Raichu's speed will increase as she tries to continually dodge and keep away from Pikachu, while Pikachu does his best to make contact and help bring out his Static more easily without relying on a physical attack from an opponent and through continuous practice."
"So she's been experimenting and trying to get Pikachu to be able to use Static on his own, without it activating by an opponent's physical attack making contact. And the more practice, the more Pikachu should get better at it and used to it…Interesting. How far along are they?" Oak's mind was whirling in thought and interest.
Lt. Surge shrugged, watching Pikachu chase after the Abra as it kept teleporting all around the arena. Due to Pikachu 'tagging' it, Pikachu was now able to keep its location in mind. However, Pikachu had yet to touch the Abra, and try his more active use of Static.
"Fair enough," the blond commented. "Pikachu can sometimes activate it on his own, but not all the time and not as strong or long-lasting as Static's original activation method."
Suddenly, Abra stopped and began glowing, soon after evolving into Kadabra. Hoping to use the lull after its evolution, Ash quickly gave an order to Pikachu.
"Quick Attack, Pikachu!"
Pikachu followed the order, only to miss as Kadabra teleported away. However, still having a lock on it because of the 'tracker', Pikachu knew just where Kadabra teleported to and was ready to twist out of the way. Only he was caught in midair, and both he and Ash realized that Kadabra had caught and frozen it with Psychic. Well, if he couldn't move physically…
Pikachu aimed it straight at Kadabra and was extremely smug when it hit the psychic pokémon, glad that Kadabra had been too preoccupied with using Psychic and keeping him still that it had allowed him to be able to hit the other with the electrical attack.
"Recover," Sabrina intoned.
And both Pikachu and Ash sighed and inwardly grumbled as Kadabra recovered from the damage it had been dealt.
"Now use Psybeam," Sabrina directed and Pikachu was dropped to the ground, the attack immediately being executed and heading towards Pikachu rapidly.
"Dodge it, Pikachu!" Ash yelled out, and Pikachu focused and moved, barely getting out of the way.
"Catch it with Psychic," Sabrina then ordered, and Pikachu was unable to move again. This time though, Kadabra began to throw him about and he was helpless against the attack.
"Pikachu!" Ash worried. "Stop! Stop! I forfeit!"
Sabrina had Kadabra stop, the match now over. "You have lost. Now it's time to play."
The large group glowed and then disappeared, appearing in the streets. It was unrecognizable, however, but at least they were surrounded by houses.
"We must be in a suburban area," Giovanni looked around. "We could be in an alternate place of residence for Sabrina? Some gym leaders don't live in their gyms."
Ash yanked off her helmet. "Why, Helmet, why? Why didn't you work?"
"It could be that Sabrina is much more powerful than this prototype helmet of yours," Oak tried to make an educated guess…assuming that the helmet worked in the first place.
Though, now that Ash thought about it, it felt like something was trying to probe into her mind earlier on. It was blocked though, so maybe Sabrina had been using her powers lightly. She could guess a more serious use of her powers would work through the helmet's defenses.
"Where are we though?" Brock turned in a circle, examining the area. "Seems deserted."
"Yes, it does seem unusual that no one and nothing is around, and it seems completely silent," Oak mused, observing the area as well.
"Perhaps we should go into one of the houses and see if anyone is there?" Giovanni suggested, and the group migrated to the closest house to them.
They were all bewildered when they realized the door was left unlock and no one answered when they called to anyone home. When they hesitantly entered, they noticed cake laid out on the dining table.
"I guess…Sabrina wants to eat before we play?" Brock asked hesitantly.
Lt. Surge narrowed his eyes and came over to it, grabbing a piece as Ash walked away and went to look into a room. He frowned as he felt the texture and opened his mouth to say something, when Brock yelped after actually trying the "cake."
The blond held it up. "You could've known that just by touching it, you know."
Brock shrugged. "Hey, we're all a bit hungry, aren't we? It's around lunchtime."
Several stomachs answered him.
Just then, Ash screamed and they all trampled over to where she was, as she rushed out of what looked like a bathroom.
"Th-there's a dead person in there!" Ash told them in a panic.
While most of the others were freaked out, Giovanni and Oak thought something was off, and Lt. Surge got a sneaking suspicion. He moved forward and went into the bathroom, wincing as he realized the thing was naked, but not too bothered since he knew –for sure now –that it wasn't alive and that it was as fake as the cake out in the dining room.
"Don't worry about it, Ash. It's just a doll," he revealed, and the others scooted into the entrance of the bathroom.
He traded looks with Giovanni and Oak, both of whom were now getting the full picture and understanding Lt. Surge's guess of the situation.
"So we're in some sort of dollhouse, hence the lack of noise and people outside," Oak surmised.
"Minus the fake things we've seen so far," Brock caught on as well.
"You four," Lt. Surge directed towards the Harem Club. "Stay close to Ash."
"Right," all four guys saluted.
Ash opened her mouth to protest and say she can take care of herself, when Misty covered her mouth and gave her a 'deal with it' look.
"I wonder if it's a giant dollhouse we're stuck in," Misty mused.
"That or Sabrina used her telekinesis to shrink us down," Oak theorized.
They all thought about that and then shivered.
"Just a gym battle, they say. The worse-case scenario she'll just defeat you," Ash grumbled. "That's what they said…and now look at us."
"Let's sit down and try to think about what to do now," Oak took the lead, rolling his eyes at her. "We're going to have to brainstorm and try to find a way to deal with Sabrina, or somehow convince her to let us go."
For awhile, they'd been sitting in the living room of the house, trying to throw out ideas. It wasn't long until they all trailed into silence and began to brood separately. Ash became bored enough that she used the fake cakes and silverware on the table to pretend to have a tea party with Pikachu that Raichu willingly joined in quickly after it began. After awhile, Giovanni let out his Persian and began to pet him, using the pastime to calm himself down. Although, it wasn't long until Persian deserted him in favor of going over to the "tea party" and participating. He had a feeling it was less to do with joining in, and more to do with getting Ash to pet him.
He huffed inwardly. Ash was completely a cat burglar.
But then, out of nowhere, Ash glowed and disappeared. Pikachu yelped and began panicking, and while no one could understand a thing he was saying, everyone could get the gist (mostly because they guessed it was something close to what they were all thinking).
"Pika Pika Pikachu! Pi Pikapi!" Pikachu ran out of the house, and Raichu followed after him worriedly. Persian knew someone had to look after those two, so followed after them after looking at his owner, who gave an approving nod.
"We should follow too. We don't have any other lead to find Ash," Misty suggested.
They all collected themselves and forcibly calmed down, and went after the pokémon.
"W-where am I?" Ash landed on her bottom on a carpeted floor. She blinked and looked around, slowly getting up from the floor as she tried to regain her bearings. She was alone, and no one (not even her sweet Pikachu) was with her.
"What is with my luck?" she grumbled, trying to find an exit.
"It seems to be leaning on the unfortunate side."
She knew that voice! Ash turned to confront Sabrina, wanting to demand that she let her and the others go, but only caught a glimpse of Sabrina's emotionless face before she froze up. Damn it! She'd left her trusty helmet behind…
Sabrina tilted her head and examined Ash. "You are really like a doll…So small and pale…Come, Asheila. Let us play."
Ash felt her body move without her permission, and she found that she was following Sabrina and moving without thought. Sabrina removed what looked to be a fancy dress off of a bed and held it up to Ash.
"I bought this for you. Do you like it?" Sabrina's voice continued to be monotone, which contrasted oddly with her seemingly caring words.
Ash observed the dress, seeing that it was completely red. She wasn't really into fashion or knew anything about it, but she knew enough to recognize the style of the dress as a Classic Lolita. Aside from that, she could see it had long sleeves and the collar stood up, and there were plenty of ruffles down the front area of the chest and around the hem of the neck. There was a line of buttons from the top of the dress to the bottom, all along the front. Crisscrossing silk ties decorated the lower part of the arms, and there was a ribbon on each side at the beginning of the ties and then the ties went down to where the sleeves flared out.
Testing her movement, she found she was able to move her head a little and guessed that Sabrina was letting her answer herself, without using force. She nodded in agreement to the dress, and gave a small smile to the psychic. Sabrina's lips briefly lifted in a pleased manner, before quickly returning back to their neutral state. If Ash hadn't been paying attention, she might have missed it. In fact, she was still unsure, and was close to dismissing seeing such a thing.
Ash was made to change into the dress and then she was sat in front of the vanity, where Sabrina began to comb her hair.
"You have such nice hair. I wish it was longer," though even as Sabrina said that, Ash could see that the gym leader was using her psychic powers and that Ash's hair was growing longer with each brush of her locks.
Ash stared at Sabrina through the mirror.
The idea of becoming a human doll wasn't appealing at all.
Ash had fallen asleep while Sabrina had been brushing her hair, and was disconcerted to find the room empty again and that she was laying on the bed. She sat up and again began looking for an exit, finding a door at the corner of the room. She practically leapt out of the bed and rushed to it, only to find it locked.
"Damn!" she hit her palm against it hard and it stung, but she hardly cared about the pain at the moment.
She whirled around and saw a strange man with a tracksuit and beard, and Ash automatically brought up her hands in the defensive.
"Please, I'm here to help you. I would have gone to get your friends as well, but it is a large group and they are far from you. I don't have enough power to transport them as well as you, not with the distance and number. And definitely not at the same, especially when I must be quick."
"You can get me out of here?" Ash asked hesitantly.
The man nodded. "But we must leave now, before Sabrina notices I'm here. Come here, quickly."
Ash hesitated a second more, before making the decision and moving towards him. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and then they were teleporting out of there. Then they were outside of the gym, and Ash was looking at the gym regretfully and then at her savior thankfully.
"Thanks a lot, Mister. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help," she told him sincerely.
"You are welcome, young lady. When I regain more effective use of my powers, I will try to get the others out as well," he promised. "It took me awhile to locate you, which drained much of my energy. You were not in the…usual place."
"Sabrina's dollhouse, you mean," Ash supplied tiredly. "Thank you for your help. I'll try to wait as patiently as I can for the others."
But she couldn't just sit idly by and wait for him! She had to do something. Maybe she could sneak into the gym like a ninja and travel in the shadows…She couldn't challenge Sabrina for a battle again, she just couldn't. But she wouldn't leave her friends behind!
She thanked the man again before she left him to go plan in her hotel room, looking and feeling depressed.
Steven had just finished doing a Devon Corp. demonstration, and was going to leave the after-selling to the employees, when he spotted a familiar figure in red. He smiled widely and was going to teasingly call her over, when he noticed the girl's rather depressed state. Hiding his frown, he let one of the others know he was going to be off and then headed over to her, still smiling a bit.
"If it isn't the Pokémon Master-to-be," Steven stepped right in front of her, causing her to halt and look up from the ground. He noted her eyes were teary, but he didn't bring attention to that fact.
"Y…you're Steven," Ash blinked a few times, trying to keep from crying. "I remember you…"
Steven breathed in deeply and gave her a wry grin, inwardly wondering about the dress and her longer hair. He reached up and tugged a piece of her hair.
"Hey, let's go get something hot to drink," he said softly. "You look like you need some comfort food and drink."
She opened her mouth and seemed about to refuse, before shrugging and sighing depressingly. He gently grabbed her hand and led the way.
"There's a lovely coffee shop that I think you'll love their hot chocolate for…"
It didn't take him long to reach the coffee shop and he brought her inside to sit in a corner table, hidden from view. He didn't want paparazzi bothering them, or taking annoying pictures. Or fans –as much as he didn't mind the fans, he didn't want them interrupting them. Especially since he wanted to just spend some time alone with her…
"So tell me what's wrong," Steven asked her kindly, after they gave their order. "And don't say nothing is, when that pretty face of yours says otherwise."
Ash's cheeks turned slightly pink and she was about to say something, when a voice interrupted them.
"Playboy, class womanizers, though this one may particularly even pose for Playgirl. Level 43."
Steven stared dumbly at her, while she blushed harder than before.
"Um…I think my pokédex tends to label the people around me, like they're pokémon. And judging by their reactions and the dirty looks they send it, I'm pretty sure the labels are usually insulting. Although, I don't always understand them," Ash uncomfortably revealed. "Well, it called me a 'jailbait' and no one knew what that meant. Do you –?"
"No," Steven said immediately. "I don't at all." Though, judging by that title, it meant he'd have to reevaluate her age, probably lower it a bit and estimate her around below 'legal' standards. Well, hands-off for a few years isn't too bad…
"Oh. Okay," Ash shrugged it off. "Um…anyway, this is what happened…" she told him about her epically failed battle against Sabrina, and how she was trying to think of how to rescue her friends.
Steven hummed in thought. "I think you should challenge her again. It's the best way to get your friends out of there, and Sabrina would have nothing to say if it was fair and square, yes? And I also think you shouldn't give up. You don't seem the type."
"But I can't beat her," she said miserably. "I'll lose again! And then she'll lock me up and make me her doll forever and ever and I won't even get to be with the others in the dollhouse and play with them and –"
"Woah, slow down. All you're doing right now is psyching yourself out and thinking about the bad things, love," he smiled sweetly at her, and Ash felt her heart skip for some reason. "Let's think on how you can go up against her."
Just then, Espeon popped out of her pokéball and sat in front of her mistress, eying Ash with an expectant look.
"Oh, you have an Espeon?" Steven asked in surprise. "Then that's perfect."
Ash blinked, tearing her uncertain gaze away from Espeon's to look at him. "What? Why?"
"Though Espeon is a psychic-type, it has the ability to learn Shadow Ball, which is a ghost-type move. And since psychic-types are weak against ghost-types…"
"Espeon and I can use Shadow Ball to fight and even win against Kadabra," Ash ended, biting her lip as she thought about it.
Even though they were being serious and he was trying to help her, Steven couldn't help but think she looked cute right then. And kissable. Especially kissable since the action brought attention to her lips…
"I have some time now, so why don't I help you and we try to teach Espeon Shadow Ball?"
Ash nervously looked to Espeon, who confidently stared back at her.
'Use me,' Espeon's voice echoed through her head. 'Let me help you, Ash.'
"Okay," Ash finally said in answer to both Steven and Espeon.
Three people's phones beeped at the same time, and Giovanni, Lt. Surge, and Oak grabbed their phones. Everyone else looked at them, as they tossed each other confused looks.
"Well, at least we know phones still work in here," Brock commented casually.
The three looked at their phones, all ending in a form of amusement. Oak outright burst into laughter, while Lt. Surge smirked and Giovanni's lips twitched.
"What is it?" Misty asked, curious now.
"Ash is training to 'rescue us,' apparently," Oak held up his phone. "According to her message and attached picture at least."
"What kind of training is she doing?" Misty stared. "She has twigs in her hair and covered in dirt, and so is Espeon."
"And why is she wearing that red dress? Or the fact that her hair is suddenly long? We haven't been in here that long, have we?" Lt. Surge noted the odd changes in the girl.
"Pika Pikachu," Pikachu shrugged. Even he knew his trainer could be odd.
"It's nighttime, according to that picture," Oak was able to deduce that much. "We'll just have to think up something to help from in here."
And then they were shrinking and made into literal dolls at that moment, falling on the ground on their backs and unable to move.
"Oh shit," Brock actually cursed.
"This is totally emasculating," Lt. Surge grumbled.
Giovanni privately agreed, but refused to say anything.
In bed that night, Milotic was comfortingly lying near her head and nuzzling her head, while Seviper curled up behind her back as she lay on her side. Krabby adorably chattered on the dresser next to the bed, speaking comforting things, even if she couldn't understand. She held Espeon tightly and tried not to cry as she missed Pikachu and the others.
"Is Pikachu alright, Espeon?" Ash blinked back tears.
Espeon leaned her head up and licked at her tears.
'I can try to contact him.'
"Could you really?" Ash murmured.
And then Ash heard a bright voice in her head, eagerly asking for her.
'Ash! Ash! Is that you?'
So that was Pikachu's voice…Ash smiled and wanted to reach out to him.
'This is really cool! Even though you can understand me normally, even without all the words, I don't mind this either!'
'I don't either, Pikachu. I really miss you.'
'Me too, Ash. Me too.'
Ash couldn't fail tomorrow. She couldn't.
"I'm here to challenge the Saffron Gym Leader!" Ash yelled.
She was in the darkness and she was freaked out. She couldn't even find any of the others.
"Pikachu, light your cheeks," she whispered.
It was no good, only a small portion around her was lit up.
"Pikachu, I'm scared," Ash whimpered.
A little girl appeared right in front of her, inside the "spotlight." Ash opened her mouth in a scream, before turning tail and running away blindly.
"It's always the kids!"
Ash woke up abruptly, seeing the light streaming in from the windows. It was morning now, and according to the clock it was a bright and early morning. Her phone buzzed and she sleepily leaned over Espeon's stretched out figure to grab her phone on the nightstand. Seeing Colress' face next to hers on the screen, she picked it up and answered.
"'Lo," she let out a wide yawn.
"Good morning, Ash," Colress greeted her. "How was your battle yesterday? Did the helmet work?"
Ash groaned. "No. Not at all. And the battle was horrible."
"Hm. Is that so? What happened?"
Ash explained everything to him as she got up from the bed, careful not to wake up her pokémon, and then began to get ready to take a shower.
"How fascinating!" Colress commented about the events.
"Colress!" she rolled her eyes. "Don't think like a scientist right now, will you?"
"Ah, but dear, that is exactly how I should proceed. We have much more time now, and a better idea of what to do now that we know somewhat of what went wrong. I could probably create a better prototype than the first. But if only we had an actual psychic to test it against…"
Ash's mind flashbacked to that strange man that had rescued her.
"You know what, leave that to me, Colress."
"Really? Wonderful! Do you remember my lab? Head there when you have whoever it is. In the meantime, I will begin preparations to start."
Ash, for the first time since entering this city, was really starting to get excited and confident again.
"See you soon then, Colress."
"I look forward to it."
Ash hung up and grinned. It was a new day.
Ash found the man exactly where she thought he would be –right in front of the Saffron Gym, staring morosely at it.
"Do you know Sabrina somehow?" she took a guess.
He was startled and brought out of his reverie, looking at her in surprise.
"You're that girl…" he gave her a sad smile. "Sabrina is…my daughter."
Ash was surprised, but didn't think she should pry. It seemed personal and something that needed to be resolved between father and daughter.
She gave him a lopsided smile. "Yeah…I was actually looking for you."
He gave a small smile back. "Good. I was just going to attempt to get your friends out of there."
She hesitated. "Actually, I need your help on something."
He looked at her inquisitively, and she explained her predicament.
"I'm not sure how well it will work. And I'm also not nearly as powerful as Sabrina either," he looked unsure about her request.
"Please," she pleaded. "I've gotten Espeon to learn Shadow Ball, a ghost-type move. But I need to prepare myself against Sabrina, even if a little bit."
He frowned. "You'd have to resist something like this," he froze her body and pushed her back.
However, she pushed forward and looked determinedly at him. His frown deepened and he used his telekinesis to push her down. But she got back up, so he repeated the move. And yet, she kept getting up again and again, stubbornly, while he repeatedly forced her down. This time, he forcefully used his telekinesis to push her down and keep her down.
He was more than surprised when, even under the power of his telekinesis, she began to resist it and forcibly bring herself up to stand.
"I…won't…give up! Not anymore!" she completely broke free from his power and stood up defiantly.
He watched her steadily before giving her an acknowledging nod and smile.
"Very well. Let us head to this lab then."
Her footsteps echoed loudly through the hallways. There was even dimmer lighting than usual, and this time there was no one there stopping her. Following the same path as last time, Ash reached Sabrina's arena in no time. She adjusted her new helmet nervously, but braced herself.
From there, she stepped into it and tried to ignore the ominous loud thud of the doors behind her, as they shut close. Sabrina was waiting for her at the other end, and she could see a line of dolls behind the gym leader. She winced, recognizing the others.
"Sabrina, I've come to challenge you," Ash declared, taking a deep breath and firming her resolve.
"Very well. But this time, if you lose, you must stay here forever," Sabrina challenged her back.
Ash's hand twitched against the pokéball. "Fine, I accept that."
Sabrina sent out Kadabra and Ash took the pokéball from her belt, throwing it out and revealing Espeon.
"You are wearing the dress I got you," Sabrina murmured.
Ash gave her a half-grin. "You got it for me and it's nice. I thought you might like me to wear it."
Something flashed through Sabrina's eyes, but Ash couldn't identify it.
"Kadabra, Confusion," Sabrina was quick to order then.
"Espeon, dodge and use Sand Attack!" Ash shouted, and Espeon teleported behind Kadabra, guessing correctly it would turn around then, and executing the Sand Attack to blind Kadabra at that right moment.
Sabrina frowned. "Kadabra, use my eyesight to see. Do Confusion again."
"When Kadabra uses Confusion, teleport into the air above it and use Shadow Ball!" Ash wanted to be quick to counter.
Kadabra used Confusion and at the last minute, Espeon teleported and prepared herself for a Shadow Ball. It was a direct hit and severely weakened Kadabra.
"Before it can use Recover, another Shadow Ball, Espeon!"
This time, Kadabra actually fainted. Ash couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe she actually won.
"I…I won?" she asked in disbelief.
"I refuse," Sabrina muttered, before she shouted. "I refuse!"
For the first time since meeting her, Ash actually saw Sabrina express real emotion. Once again, Sabrina used her telekinesis to freeze Ash, although the new helmet did a bang up job repelling Sabrina's powers. When Sabrina realized that there was actually a form of resistance, she amplified the strength of her power and forcibly brought Ash to her knees. But Ash wasn't ready to give up and continued to resist.
Then she looked at Sabrina's face and saw the raw terror and then the loneliness in her dark eyes.
'You're just lonely, aren't you, Sabrina?'
Ash reached up and whipped off the helmet, and she felt the full force of Sabrina's power hit her. Ash gasped and swayed, falling to her hands. She crawled towards Sabrina, slowly moving up until she was on her feet again. Then she was making her way towards Sabrina, moving a foot at a time.
"N-no…No! Stay away!" Sabrina watched her come forwards with wide, terrified eyes. "How are you moving?!"
Ash smiled at her. "It's okay. Let's be friends, Sabrina."
Sabrina took a step back, but Ash pushed forward and made it to Sabrina, grabbing onto her head with both hands and then pressing her forehead against the other's. She felt something wet hit her face.
'Are those…Sabrina's tears?'
And then she was seeing flashes of Sabrina's life, similar to how she and Espeon had connected before, as she accidentally forged a mental connection. She saw Sabrina as a little girl, focusing too much on her powers. She saw everyone pulling away from Sabrina, and Sabrina willfully pushing others away. And she felt Sabrina's loneliness, her regret, saw what happened to her mother and her father trying to reach out…
"Sabrina, it's okay now. I promise. Just reach out again, because so many others want to reach out to you," Ash murmured softly.
Sabrina finally relented and Ash felt the pressure on her body and mind lift, while Sabrina practically collapsed and sobbed. Ash caught her and held her comfortingly.
Ash squeezed her.
"Sabrina, you have so many people who have been wanting to be your friend. Just take one step towards us."
Sabrina hugged her back tightly, hiding her face against her.
"You don't have to be alone anymore."
Started 7/14/14 – Completed 7/20/14
A/n: Hehe, I told you the jumbobus and the Harem Club would be back, didn't I? I can't wait for the next chapter, but hope everyone enjoyed this one! Please drop a review! I love hearing feedback!
Important Points (took out quick, because it ain't quick anymore; I'm not even sure they're important either):
1. "Jumbobus": Believe it or not, but this vehicle is not that too crazy in being real. A real bus like it can work –long journey buses are called couches, with different types including: a sleeper bus (usually a double-decker and can contain a huge amount of bunkers, lounge area, and a galley aka kitchen area). Open top buses are also usually double-deckers. Couches can hold a huge amount of passenger seats. I.e. my jumbobus can be for realz, mwahaha!
2. Gyms: According to Bulbapedia, because of the different collection of badges (specifically noted with Gary), there are possibly at least 27 gyms in Kanto. To mesh with the gameverse structure of gyms, the above in-chapter explanation is what I came up with. The other gyms are just subs :p
3. Colress: There is a reason why I dubbed Colress/Ash as AmazedGeekageShipping. GEEEEEK. No seriously. Colress geeks out a lot in the anime. I find it hilarious. Even at the end (especially at the end), when he's getting arrested…GEEK. Gushing over his next project instead of focusing on being arrested, focusing on Ash and Pikachu every time those two interfere and do something to amaze him…Normally, he's all cool and calm, and then he has his geeking out moments. It's the best. I admit to laughing at him every time in the anime. It's why I figure he would know Magneto and Marvel (and even know about the helmet and all). I was so looking forward to this chapter and his intro to you all.
4. Metal Helmet: I am just as much of a geek as Colress, because I admit to actually researching Magneto's helmet and the theories about it, and half for Colress' sake and dialogue and the other half because I was curious and wanted to know. The in-chapter explanation is an actual theory XD
5. Pikachu/Raichu: Totally a thing. They are so gonna date, mwahah! There's a shipping name for Pikachu/Raichu, but just for the species, so specifically for these two (Ash's & Lt. Surge's), I'm hoping to get to call them RivalBoltShipping (like Firebolt from Harry Potter –see, I'm such a geek) officially.
6. Dress: It'll be posted up on my website (or it will be), as well as other future visuals I'll use for this fic.
7. Other Pokémon Fics: Check out my HP/Pokémon fic "Il Silenzio Delle Stelle Cadenti" (Gio/fem!Harry), "Precious Doll in This Ugly World" (a darker fem!Ash fic about how dangerous a pokémon journey should be), and "Like a Boss" (Gio/fem!Ash) and "Pinpricks of Humanity" (Gio/Ash family-ish) one-shots as late birthday fics for arashi wolf princess.
P.S. Voting is closed and Sir Aaron has a slot in the permanent harem :D
Blank 1: Er, bye?
Blank 2: A bunch of the suggestions I think I'm sure I've already put down, but the others that you mentioned and I haven't, I'll be sure to consider and maybe fit them in somewhere :) Thanks for the suggestions!
Marie: Thanks a lot! I'm definitely continuing on. I'm on such a roll for it!