A/N: Well, here we are again ladies and gents! This shall be chapter 5 and things are starting to move along a little faster for Ash, Misty, and Aurora. With their next goal in mind, can the three figure out exactly what is going on with Sabrina's help?

I would like to thank those of you who took the time to review and drop a couple of suggestions, as they were greatly appreciated.

Keiko Sahara: Thanks a lot. I'm glad you like it so far. The challenge now come with keeping it constant in the story.

AMG22: I am too, as now they can get on with their journey. Thanks for the review. I dare say someone is reading my mind...

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon or any of their characters. I only own the plot.

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After an excruciating three-hour diagnostic prior to their release at the Pokemon center, Ash, Misty, and Aurora found themselves on the short trek to Saffron City.

Aurora, her small body formed around Ash's neck, was currently sleeping away the hours, content to let the two humans do all the work. Apparently, there were some perks to being a "baby" in both of their eyes, mostly Misty's.

"You know Mist," Ash spoke, his hands tucked comfortably into his jean pockets, "I've been thinking about catching a few more Pokemon, but I'm worried that Aurora might still be too young to really be safe in battle."

Misty nodded, "I know what you mean. She's too cute to fight!"

Ash laughed softly, "No Misty, I mean…how can I catch Pokemon without weaking them first?"

"Oh Ash, you shouldn't really worry about that. If you insist on battling with her, which I think would be stupid because she's a cutie and you'll just get her all mussed up, then she'll be fine!" Glancing at her companion, Misty continued, "Dratini in general, though small, are really tough Pokemon. Have you even checked what your Pokedex has to say about them?"

Ash could feel a blush streak across his face, "Hehe…uh, no."

Misty shook her head at him, a small smile tugging at her lips. Even when he was being too dense to think straight he still managed to make her smile.

Ash reached for his pack gently, careful not to wake Aurora from her peaceful slumber, but he couldn't get to the zipper. "Grrr…Misty, can you help me please?"

A small giggle escaped her lips as she moved to his backpack. Undoing the zipper, she reached in, looking for the high tech encyclopedia amongst the region map, some spare money, and his sleeping bag. With a triumphant, but muted, cry Misty pulled out the Pokedex and fell into step beside Ash.

Flipping the device open, she held it up near Dratini and was rewarded with an electronic voice, "Dratini the dragon Pokemon. Dratini continually molt and shed their old skin because the life energy within their bodies steadily builds to uncontrollable levels."

With that, the device, it's job done, turned off.

"Hmmm…well, that wasn't as educational as I thought it was going to be," Misty sighed, "But I guess it can't be helped." She put the Pokedex back into Ash's backpack, zipped it up, and continued walking.

"Well, at least now we know that Aurora isn't dying when she starts shedding her skin." Ash said as he readjusted his backpack on his shoulders.

"Dork."

"Aww Mist, that was uncalled for, I didn't do anything!" Ash pouted, stomping his foot in protest.

Her laugh wasn't marked this time, and it managed to jar Aurora awake.

"Dear Mew! Who's running their nails over the chalkboard?! My ears!!"

Ash's eyes widened as he slowly turned to look at Aurora and then to Misty. "Aurora…"

"NAILS ON A CHALKBOARD HUH?! I'LL SHOW YOU YOU LITTLE…!!" Misty's tirade was cut off as Ash burst out,

"AND HERE WE ARE! SAFFRON CITY!!"

Thankfully, this managed to diffuse the situation, though Aurora was still giggling madly in the back of his mind. "Tell me you didn't do that on purpose Aurora."

"Alright," she thought, "I didn't do that on purpose."

Shaking his head in exasperation, Ash turned to Misty, "You ready to find the gym?"

"Yeah," Misty replied enthusiastically, "It's time to solve this psychic riddle!"

As they walked through the city, they took in all the sights around them. Though not as big as Celadon by a long shot, Saffron had a thriving population. People were milling about in every which way, some going shopping, others conversing with friends.

After a couple of streets with no success, Ash and Misty finally managed to find the gym. However, there was a slight problem.

There were two gyms.

And they looked exactly the same.

"Dammit, why don't they differentiate between the two?!" Ash growled, taking his cap off in frustration and running a hand through his hair, "Why would you paint them the exact same color? Honestly!"

"Ash?" Misty called sweetly.

"Yes Misty?"

"It's this one over here."

"Now how would you know that?"

"They have signs. This one says: Saffron City Gym. Leader: Sabrina the Psychic Pokemon trainer."

"Haha…" Aurora started.

"Must've missed that…" Ash muttered sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.

"Hahahahaha…"

"Obviously. Dork."

"My heart! She has been pierced by thou vicious tongue!"

"I weep for your lost innocence Ketchum. Really, I do."

"HAHAHAHA! YOU TWO ARE ADORABLE!!"

Both trainers turned toward the tiny Pokemon, at least Ash tried to, seeing as how Aurora was still wrapped around Ash's neck.

"YOU BE QUIET!!" They shouted in unison, causing several people to stare at them oddly. Blushing a dark crimson, both trainers quickly turned away, hiding their embarrassment.

Suddenly, there was a loud crash as the door to one of the gyms slammed open, revealing a tall, intimidating man with long red hair, in a black and red long-sleeve collar shirt, purple cargo pants, and a pair of black boots. He was holding something small and round in his hands, looking at it in disgust.

As he came closer, they could hear what he was muttering, "Stupid egg…it won't give me anything useful. Just another weak Pokemon."

Before Ash could move, the man had crashed right into him.

With an annoyed grunt, the man looked down with a sneer on his face. "Watch where you're going you pathetic weakling." Turning to go, the man stopped and glanced at the egg in his hands. With another scowl, he spun back to face Ash, "Here. Take this useless thing off my hands. A useless egg for a weakling trainer, I want nothing to do with it. Strong Pokemon are all that matter."

He thrust the egg into Ash's hands and then marched off without another word.

Blinking a few times, Ash growled, "What a jerk! Who the hell does he think he is?"

Misty however, was more interested in the egg that he held. "That's…a Pokemon egg!"

"Bright little ray of sunshine aren't you Misty?"

Misty shot Aurora a scowl before she turned back to the egg, "Oh, it's cold! Ash quick, you need to make sure that it stays warm or else the Pokemon inside will die!"

"What?! Alright, umm….do you think it's safe to keep it in my backpack? I can wrap it in my sleeping bag!" Handing Misty the egg, Ash quickly shrugged off the backpack, unzipped it, and began to clear a space for the newest addition to their party.

"Okay, it's ready Mist."

"Here Ash. Just be careful from now on, okay? We don't need you backing up into a wall and making a Poke-omelet."

"Oh, that was horrible. Bad form Misty, bad form."

"Aurora's right Mist…that was a bit…morbid." Ash added, shaking his head as he slid his pack back on, mindful of the new passenger.

"It was a joke! That's all! I didn't mean it!!" Misty cried, stamping her foot angrily.

"Come on you guys, let's see if we can get Sabrina to help us with our…unique situation." With that, Ash walked towards the psychic's gym, Aurora right where she had been from the start, and a still grumbling Misty bringing up the rear.

Upon entering the gym, an unsettling wave of foreboding fell upon all three of them. Cautiously proceeding forward, the absence of trainers, or anyone for that matter, was beginning to get the better of them.

"You know," Ash said, swallowing nervously, "I'm beginning to think that this might've been a bad idea."

"You and me both Ash. There's something wrong here."

"That makes three of us," Misty whispered, her face wary and fear filling her voice.

Suddenly, the doors behind them slammed shut, the noise reverberating throughout the vast, empty hall.

Looking around fearfully, Ash spoke up, "H-hello? Is there…is there someone there?" After receiving no answer, he continued, "Please, we don't want any trouble. We just…we just want help."

Another eerie silence filled the hall, before a voice reached their ears.

"You have to play with me! You won't get anything unless you play with me!! Haha!!"

It was the voice of a little girl, though there was more than a little malice woven into the ominous statement. The most unsettling thing however, was the fact that there was no body to put the voice to.

"I think…I think we should get out of here you two."

Nodding in agreement, Ash and Misty spun around and ran towards the closed doors. But they were locked. No matter what they tried the doors wouldn't give. Even Aurora using a Slam attack couldn't get it to budge.

Slightly crazed giggling tore through the hall yet again, this time even louder, "Uh uh uh! You don't get to leave unless you play with me! Play! Play! Play!!"

"Dammit!" Ash cursed, "I guess we have no choice you guys. We're gonna have to fight Sabrina if we even want her to listen to us. What do you think Aurora? You up for our first battle?"

A nervous sigh came from the Pokemon, and Ash could feel her tense up at the prospect of battle. "We're going to have to break the ice sometime Ash. I guess there's no time like the present."

Misty cast concerned eyes over both of them, her hand reaching out to grasp Ash's arm as she spoke, "Are you both sure? I mean this isn't exactly a small step. This is…well…it's kind of like being thrown into the pool by your parents without being taught how to swim!"

Ash smiled in reassurance as Aurora nuzzled Misty's cheek. "I think…I think we'll be fine Mist. The worst that could happen is us having to play with her, right?"

Misty, satisfied, smiled back at Ash and moved her hand to lightly scratch Aurora's head. "Right, okay. I'm with you guys, let's go."

The trio made their way through the long hallway following the walls and trying to find the source of the voice that had forced on them their current ultimatum. It didn't seem to be getting them anywhere though, as every turn seemed to lead back to someplace they had been before.

"This is...unnecessarily ridiculous!! She wants us to "play" with her, whatever in Mew's name that means, and yet she seems to have made it impossible to find her!!" Aurora had finally gotten fed up with their endless searching.

"I know, I know. But there's really nothing that we can do about it Aurora, not until we find Sabrina at least." Ash soothed, gently running his over her small body in an attempt to calm the irate Pokemon.

"Wait," Misty said excitedly, "there! There it is!! That's a gym arena, I'm sure of it!!"

And indeed it was.

As Ash and Aurora followed Misty's gaze and finally saw what they had been looking for, both gave a relieved sigh.

"Thank Mew, I was beginning to think this was some kind of stupid game." Ash growled.

Looking over at her fellow human, Misty saw that a determined glint had taken over his eyes. He was completely serious and totally absorbed in the task that was set before him. She had never seen him so…focused. It was like there was nothing that could possibly distract him from his goal.

A small shiver ran up her spine as she thought about what it would be like to have that gaze focused upon her. Fighting down a blush and clearing her head, Misty turned to Ash.

"You two ready?"

Ash looked at her and shot her a confident grin, "I hope so."

"Dear Mew, please tell me you've thought about some kind of strategy in the past half hour we've been walking! I don't want to get destroyed Ash!! I'm still a baby! I haven't even had a chance to see the world or…or fall in love…or even have sex!!! I don't want to die a virgin!!"

Ash and Misty stared at Aurora with wide eyes, completely floored by her hysterical rant. They turned to each other; mouths open and faces stricken with horror as what exactly Aurora had said sunk in.

"I…I…I don't really know how to respond to that Aurora. T-t….wow." Ash stuttered, his hands covering his eyes as he tried to get over his shock.

Misty had her hands over her ears muttering, "My ears!! My poor, poor innocent ears!! They BURN!!!"

At this, Aurora started to laugh uncontrollably, hear small body convulsing in unadulterated pleasure. "You two…are s-so…easy!" She had to stop at this, as her laughs began to overwhelm her. Taking a deep breath she continued, "Don't worry about it Ash, Misty. I'm pretty sure that we can take whatever she throws at us…within reason of course."

Ash shook his head, his face now back to its original one of serious determination. "That's not what I'm worried about you guys."

Misty and Aurora looked at him, surprise evident in their faces.

"Then," Misty asked softly, "what are you worried about Ash?"

Ash sighed, his mood turning somber, "How am I supposed to protect Aurora's innocence and virtue?"

Misty cracked first, a smirk gracing her face as she shot a hand up to her mouth to stifle the gales of laughter that were surely following.

Ash didn't last too much longer, his eyes sparkling in mirth as he tried to hold in his laughter. Not two seconds later, he was hunched over and trying to keep himself from falling to the floor as the laughter shook his body.

"Yes, yes. Let's all laugh at the Dratini. All she wants to do is live to see tomorrow and you turn it into something stupid. Shall we get on with this? I need to regain my dignity."

With a snort, Ash strode forward, Misty just behind him. As they walked through the door, they caught sight of their opponent.

Sitting on a big, high-backed chair was a young woman, who looked to be about eighteen years old, with long, dark hair that fell to just beneath her shoulders. Her face was stiff and she lacked any sort of emotion in her piercing blue eyes. She wore a red collared uniform with gold buttons and black pants along with black boots.

Sitting on her lap was what appeared to be a small doll dressed in a white dress with a matching summer hat.

"I see you finally made it."

To their surprise, the doll was the one who spoke. And it was the same exact voice that had taunted them earlier.

"Hmmm…you don't look very tough. This should be short and easy. Then, when you lose, you'll have to play with me!"

Ash looked to Misty nervously, unsure now exactly what they were dealing with. She gave his good shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "I'm here Ash, I've got your back."

He nodded with a small smile. Turning to Aurora, he whispered, "Ready?"

"As I'll ever be. Let's do this." With that, Aurora leapt from Ash's shoulder and slithered up towards the middle of the arena.

"Alright, let's get this party started!" Ash shouted, "I choose you Aurora!"

"Haha! That thing? It can hardly move, and you expect to defeat me? You're really silly." The battle hadn't even begun and already the little doll was mocking them.

"That's it. I'm going to take this psychic bitch down. Hard."

Ash growled in agreement, noticing his pokemon's determination growing exponentially and feeding off of it.

"Very well little boy. We'll start."

With that, the little doll on Sabrina's lap tossed out a poke ball. As it hit the ground it opened, unleashing a bright white light as the pokemon held within came out.

"I choose Abra. This battle is now underway."

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A/N: End chapter 5. Well folks, I have to say that this one was an interesting bit to write. Unfortunately, life seems to want to make things hard for me and a lot of this is coming slower than before. But fear not, as I will push myself to make things as good as possible, and have chapters out as quick as possible.

Pokemon suggestions are still open ladies and gents. I've gotten some pretty good ones to go with those that I've already had, but nothing is set in stone. Drop a review, I'm open for anything. 'Til next time!

-HakushoRurouni