Disclaimer: I have no rights to Pokémon and do not own it.

Charizard's eyes fluttered open. Looking around, he could tell that he'd been brought into Professor Oak's lab. He was currently lying down on a white mat. Gyarados, Bayleef, Corsola, Pikachu, and Staryu were also lying on mats in other parts of the room. Since the space was superbly climate controlled, they had no need for blankets.

He quickly remembered the battle, as well as that dream he'd had shortly after loosing consciousness. /Someday that'll really happen, / thought Charizard with a slight smile. As his grogginess began to recede, that dream began to fade into oblivion. He got up quietly so as not to disturb the others, and lumbered over to the door, which brought him into Oak's main hallways. He could see the windows at one end of the hall, through which he could clearly see Oak's backyard. /I should go over there if I want to talk to someone. Pikachu's in there along with all the Pokémon Misty used so they must both still be here. /

When he got outside, he could hear various sounds from Pokémon going about their business, but there was no sign of anyone he could talk to until a familiar bird Pokémon landed in front of him.

/"I saw you coming out of the lab,"/ said Pidgeot in a business like tone, giving Charizard the hint that he didn't want to waste any time with useless banter.

Charizard couldn't help smiling. /"Good morning to you too." / replied the fire-type, in a tone that advertised his good mood. /"Did you see me help Ash defeat Misty? I'm sure my training at the Cerulean Gym helped me out a little bit when facing Gyarados in that water vortex, but it was still a bit scary."/

Pidgeot knew what Charizard wanted him to admit, and he now had no reason not to. Bulbasaur had talked to him earlier, reinforcing the fact that Charizard was one of Ash's loyal Pokémon. It would be foolish for him to deny it after witnessing that battle. /"I'll admit that I was wrong about you and Misty,"/ he said somewhat begrudgingly, /"but your ego's still as large as it was back then,"/ he added more lightheartedly.

/"Can you honestly blame me,"/ replied Charizard with mock arrogance. Then they both started laughing, not a hard laugh, but more akin to a softer chuckle. It wasn't in either of their characters to laugh too hard. Apologies were no longer necessary; the tension between them had finally subsided.

Bulbasaur came running up to them excitedly when upon hearing the laughter. /"So you guys aren't fighting anymore? That's awesome!"/ Then they all heard a grumbling sound coming from Charizard's stomach. /"I'll get you some breakfast,"/ he sad with a chuckle. /"By the way that was a really great battle."/

/"I suppose it was,"/ replied Charizard proudly. /"I was really rough though. I almost thought I'd lose. Misty's Gyarados was really powerful, especially with that Rain Dance."/ His belly then protested the lack of food again. /"We can talk more about it later. Right now I really need a bite to eat."/

/"I guess I'll be off then,"/ said Pidgeot. /"I'll see you both later, oh and Bulbasaur, I'll be staying here with my flock from now on. I think Ash's Starly will be better able to develop without me overshadowing him,"/ he said more seriously. Bulbasaur and Charizard both nodded understandingly and Pidgeot flew off towards a cluster of trees where his flock was currently roosting.

/"Follow me,"/ said Bulbasaur to Charizard before leading him to another building on Oak's property. The professor stored all of his Pokémon food in a separate building, often referred to as his barn. He'd recently modified it so that Bulbasaur get access to it and feed the Pokémon himself. Bulbasaur proceeded to get Charizard some food.

"Hey mom, we're going to check up on Pikachu and the other Pokémon," said Ash as he and Misty put their shoes on at the doorway.

"Alright, I'll see you both later," replied Delia from the kitchen where she, Mr. Mime, and Brock were currently doing the dishes.

As they walked to Oak's lab together, Misty couldn't help wondering something. "Hey Ash, how long until you have to return to the Sinnoh league?" Ash stopped, and turned to her with a confused expression. He hadn't expected her to ask him that. "Um…it's not as if I want you to go, but I also don't want you to just give up or slack off on your quest to enter the Sinnoh league. You can always come back here for a while after you win."

Ash seemed to realize what she was saying. "Oh…Right, I do need to get back to Sinnoh, and Dawn needs to earn more contest ribbons. Besides, I need to show Paul that I haven't given up yet. The last time, I caught him off guard, ad I know that'll he'll be stronger the next time I battle him."

"Take him down," replied Misty before they started walking again. After reaching the lab, they met Tracey at the door before he led them to the room in which their Pokémon had been recovering. They had all woken up by now, however Charizard was still the only one who had actually left the room. Tracy then left them to continue doing his chores around the lab.

Ash walked up to and knelt next to his first Pokémon. Pikachu had been the first Pokémon to wake up after Charizard, and had been sitting up, drowsily trying to maintain consciousness. "Hey Pikachu, are you okay?" The little electric mouse perked up when Ash pet him.

/"I'll be fine,"/ said Pikachu to his trainer, before directing his attention to Bayleef who had just woken up, but was still lying down drowsily. /"I'm still feeling sore, but Bayleef was really hit hard. It looks like he'll be fine, but he's exhausted so I doubt he'll be getting up for a while."/

After Pikachu leapt onto his shoulder, with noticeable less grace than normal, Ash walked up to Bayleef to check on him. Misty was preoccupied tending to her own Pokémon. Staryu seemed to be okay, albeit still somewhat drowsy and in no condition to battle. Gyarados was the most beat-up, but Corsola seemed to be the most affected, barely able to move, though still conscious.

"Hey now that I think about it, this room smells funny," said Misty, sniffing the air curiously. "It smells fruity or something."

"It's something new that the Professor told me about," said Ash, with a hint of pride that he knew more than her. "That smell is from a vapor that contains special nutrients. I don't know the details, but it's supposed to help them heal better." Ash then turned to Pikachu. "Did you see Charizard in here when you woke up?" Pikachu shook his head, indicating the answer was no. "Alright, then he must've gone outside before you woke up."

Misty had overheard them. "I'm surprised he was able to get up so early after the beating he took when he battled my Gyarados." She got up to leave the room, turning to say goodbye to her Pokémon. "You three should rest here longer. Like Ash said, the vapors will help you heal quicker." Her face softened more than it already had. "I'm so proud of all of you." When she walked out of the room, she noted that Ash was staying in the room, talking to Pikachu. I guess that means I'll be finding Charizard on my own.

Making her way into the backyard, Misty quickly found Bulbasaur who smelled some flowers, enjoying his current time off. "Hello Bulbasaur," Misty said as she walked up to him. "Have you seen Charizard?" The grass type smiled and nodded before leading Misty towards Oak's Pokémon barn.

Charizard was just finishing up his meal when he saw Bulbasaur arriving with Misty. Bulbasaur left shortly after to continue smelling flowers before some disturbance occurred. /"Good morning,"/ said Charizard happily. /"Your Gyarados was something else. I honestly thought I would loose, and I'm still feeling a bit sore after the battle."/

"That's what I expected," she replied confidently. "No matter how strong Ash becomes as a trainer," said Misty, "I'll always be there to challenge him. He won't ever leave me behind." Charizard's smile broadened into a smirk. "I'll looking forward to facing you again," replied Misty. She stepped closer to the fire type and pated his head affectionately. "I really do appreciate what you've done for me Charizard," she said more softly.

/"It was my pleasure,"/ he replied with a friendly growl. He remembered his dream, but decided not to tell her about it. /I do have a reputation to maintain, / he thought.

Misty stayed with Charizard a little longer; talking with him about what Ash was planning to do next. Ash would be leaving for Sinnoh without Pidgeot, meaning that earning his next few badges would be significantly more challenging. Misty would return to Cerulean on that sane day, while Charizard would be staying with Oak until he regained the strength to fly back to Jhoto. Charizard noticed that Misty's mood had improved considerably since he first met her in Cerulean, and now he had given himself a new goal, aside from being the strongest of his kind. He would continue to visit Misty and make sure that Ash never forgot her. That dream he had would one day be a reality.

I really couldn't think of another way to finally close this up. As for the dream at the end, it was both a flash forward and Charizard's dream. It's not so much that Charizard saw the future so much as he took what he saw and made it a reality, so you automatically know that he succeeds in his new mission.