You all have permission to shoot me after this story is done…no seriously. I'm not even going to give an excuse here because I honestly don't have one other than saying that I've been concentrating on my GCSEs more than anything else. I know I said I wouldn't come back until the 30th of this month but I had such a strike of inspiration, that I pushed away my studying and got on with this. Here are some replies to some people, as I replied to others of you but not to everyone:

DestinyChanceFan – Zannen desu! (sp?) My badd! I'm too young to die! However, thank you!

The biggest pearlshipping fan – Right! Got it! 10/10 for quicker updates! … I don't think I'm ever going to get that 10 though! So 9 will be my best! YAYYY! THANK YOU!

AshxDawnShipper – Ahhh! Edited out as soon as you informed with! Thank you very much!

Primrose May – Long time, no chat! Haven't seen you in a while! I'm glad you liked the letter (love writing letters as you can see)!

pearlshipper4life – Thank you very much for the requests, but I'm a bit tied up at the moment, I have GCSEs at the moment until the summer, so it will take a lot of time before I can do that as well as Pressed Love! Also, I'm so sorry to disappoint, but I'm not the biggest fan of Selena (voice wise, great actress though), but I won't disregard your requests, because the lyrics of the songs could be used actually! I have something in mind actually… -daydreams- Thank you very much for the review though! You may just be surprised though if I do or do not. Thanks again!

biggest pearlshipper there is – Love the name! Such a bold statement! =) I'm glad you and your friends are enjoying this fiction! Really warms the heart!

ashyboy fangirl 91 – Hmm…I may just use that flower (see if you can guess which one)! Thank you for the list of flowers and their meanings! Some of them are really interesting and I have a few spaces for them to occur! Again, thank you!

Paradise – PARA-PARA-PARADISE! I'm so sorry! I had a sudden urge to sing it, love the song so much –is shot- Gah! I love my fans! Thank you! Your post really cheered me up! Ha! You sound just like my friend: 'Cheer Up Destiny! All you need is confidence and you'll get that A in English' … Though getting an A in English would be a miracle for moi. Thank you so much again!

Complete Hollow –YAY! You read the chapter! That really cheered me up! As your reviews always do! Honestly, no need to feel sorry for the late review. I should be the one saying sorry for the lack of updates! At least you reviewed, and I'm very glad that you enjoy this story and are committed to reviewing my story! Warms the heart. Ha! The 'swayed hips' bit was so random; not really sure why I even wrote it down. Thank you! I really appreciate the time taken from my reviewers just to write a review for this story. I really do! Again, thank you very much! And no problem! I really don't deserve you guys though.

It probably feels like years since I've updated this story, and thankfully it really hasn't but it feels like it! Trust me, I know what you guys are feeling right now, having to wait for a chapter isn't pleasant and I send my apologies for that. I'm feeling blunt today, but that means we can get on with it quicker.

This chapter will be in Dawn's point of view. Italics are flashbacks, as usual. I think you guys get the drift! Hope you enjoy. Also, I'm not sure if this will be fast paced or not, probably not. So if you don't enjoy non-action chapters, I don't recommend this chapter!


White Lily

Purity, modesty, majesty

'I'm walking on air when I'm with you.'

Drip, drop, drip, drop…whoosh!

It honestly was a day I expected to be full of sunshine…

Drip, drop, drip, drop…

It was the day where children should be on the beach, playing, dancing and chasing with the summer breeze drifting by with all their sorrows melting in the rays of the sun… but instead of a soft whisper of a breeze, came a harsh, violent wind that tortured the once summer days.

Whoosh...Drip, drop, drip, drop…

but I guess summer wasn't meant to be sometimes.

WHOOOOSHHH!

It had been a few days since I saw this sight, the weather patterns were erratic and spontaneous and there was never a day to enjoy the fresh breezes of summer and the rays of the sun that skipped along your skin. The burning feeling of enthusiasm had melted away and to be honest, the energy to care had slipped. Days like this made you think that way and I can't picture one day where I had enjoyed the cold feeling of the rain on my flesh. In other words, I can't stand rain.

Whoooooshhh! Drip, drop…

I wonder where he is? I often wondered how he copes with such miserable days; ones that etched away every ounce of happiness you once had, and the expectations you wanted to fulfil… surely even he couldn't keep that charming smile on his face on days like this… I mean, was it ever possible to smile on such days? Laughing, grinning, clapping, cheering…was it ever possible? I couldn't imagine him on days like this, days of self proclaimed guilt and sorrow. He just didn't seem like that type of person. He was one with the bravery of an eagle but the recklessness of a turtle, but he wasn't slow like one. His heart was in the right place but half the time when he tells me his stories, I just thought 'if I opened that head of yours would your brain even be there?' I giggled to myself. Oh, I beg for some of those stories now…

But he wasn't here…he hasn't been here for 10 years…

'Papa…where are you?' The little girl inside of me would cry, aching and pleading with her little heart on the line, waiting for him to cherish it and hold her in his arms for the longest time with his smile beaming at her and her tears being wiped away by his fingers, with the saying 'don't cry sweetie,' and his laughs echoing through the apartment we once lived in, with the white lilies in their vase on the table; one of my favourite flowers, which were always bought when I was visiting my father. I found that whenever I saw them, I always thought of him.

I was walking on air when I was with him…

I still sometimes imagined him with me…where I lay in his arms with his heart on his sleeve…

Drop, drop, drip, drop…

But it was only just a dream…


"Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day…" the children in the centre sang, half of them with shy smiles and half of them sitting on the window ledges, wondering what second the rain would seize, "…we want to go outside and play," the little protest of the horrible weather soon faded with only a few children keeping the small nursery rhyme going until one brave little soul finally sung, "come again some other day…"

It never occurred to me how the weak, poignant voices of young children could accompany the drips and drops of rain on such a dreary day. It just emphasised the motions of this daytime: unmotivated and bleak. Even the bright colours of the Pokémon Centre were overshadowed by the grey skies that lingered outside the window, with the sounds of the squealing, happy baby Pokémon being dulled by the shower of rain that washed the ground outside our windowpanes.

My fingers currently brushed them selves against the edge of my mug, filled with the brown, milky colour of hot chocolate and the sweet aroma emitting from it.

I could just tell all eyes were on me as my fingers that gracefully glided against the edge of the cup. I mean, who wouldn't be envious of someone with the sweet drink in his or her hands. I know I definitely would be.

"Pip, pip?" my penguin friend squealed, with his big, black, round eyes beaming at me and his head tilting to the side as he wondered my facial expressions.

It took me a while to notice how my head had fallen, with my eyes gazing at the cup in my hands, despite the uninterested expression that was smothered across my face. I almost felt my eyes shut…even the squealing of my Piplup couldn't keep me awake on this awful day, with my mind being occupied with awful memories. A sigh of frustration escaped my lips as the pitter, patter of the rain against my window (regardless of how far away the window actually was) and I finally found the energy to look at my darling Piplup's eyes, finally answering his squeals.

"What's wrong Piplup?" I questioned.

A frown appeared on his face, almost in annoyance as well as anger. He instantly jumped upon my lap, almost knocking the hot chocolate filled mug out of my hand due to the surprise of his action. Finally gaining my full attention, his little flipper darted in a specific direction and as I normally would, I obediently looked in the direction, which my friend was pointing in, and abruptly enough, I smiled with a bit of curiosity lingering inside of me, though the site wasn't very old.

There it was. The pink, the pale yellows, with the strokes of white in the background and of course, the beautiful blonde haired woman in her green, silk dress, gracing the poster on the wall and of course the wonderful Infernape, with its shades of orange and red flames that emitted from its body. However, you must be wondering why such a poster gained my attention, though it gained it a few days ago before… it was none other than the poster that replicated the events that I took part in. A contest.

Once again I smiled at the Piplup on my lap, finally realising what he was trying to do: relight my flame. I had been down for so long because of the weather, and had rejected my training for too long, that was why my Pokémon was frowning. Not because of the rejection of attention, but because of the subject that I looked like I was about the give up, which I would never do; and he knows it too. Settling my cup onto the coffee table, I sighed with relief, the feeling of knowing what to do next was swirling inside of me and the sensation had never felt so good. As random and miserable as the last few days had been, I should have known that. There were places to go and things to do.

There was no questioning the fire that had lit. Fire I could sure use some of its warmth right now…or even some body contact, as strange as it sounded. I always found that contact could always heal someone. Like a hug, or just someone leaning on you, whether you were just sitting on the bus, or with someone you loved… "…It's okay baby…it's alright…"

...Stupid. I should have been focused, not relishing a memory…or a nightmare…


A lose of faith is a hard thing to admit, and one that shakes the mind quite a bit; especially when one of those faiths includes the art of strength and beauty. In this case, Pokémon Contests. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy them, but rather I was incredibly uninterested in them at this point in time. Winning a contest once in a while isn't so bad, but winning 2 times in a row with only two ribbons left? You start to become…dare I say…rather bored. Particularly when other things were on your mind, well, more appropriately, someone. It is very rare when you come across someone who should seem worthy as to oppose you, and being idolised was becoming…rather dull. I had only won three ribbons and I had already been asked for photos and autographs, and to be frank, I feel like I don't deserve the attention…yet. A Pokémon Coordinator is someone who raises Pokémon to compete in Pokémon Contests. They raise their Pokémon, much like Pokémon Trainers do, although they stress the importance of beauty and ones appearances in order to become one of the best, and to trample across all who dare push them off their pedestal. A Pokémon Coordinator is one who feels as though she or he has achieved and learnt absolutely everything in life, and will be widely respected. Though, this is already happening…for me.

I kicked a stone, a rounded pebble that had done nothing to me other than being in my path. It was the usual way to pass the time, though it was never deemed amusing to me. The small droplets of rain had calmed down, softening into a less harsh downpour and was quieter than the last few minutes of the shower. However, Sinnoh's weather was always something that had confused me and was something not even the weathermen could predict. One minute, the sun would be shimmering down with its glorious rays, the next it would pelt down with fat drops of rain.

WHOOOOSHHHH! WHOOOOSHHHH! BANG! CRASH!

The winds were starting to scream and the droplets of rain were starting to heave again. Damn this weather…

The tears from the skies were still falling though, and it was only getting worse.

"Pikachu! NO!"the scream cascaded through the wind, with an abrupt thunder strike lashing at the ground; it was almost like a dream with no view to it. At first, I honestly thought it was a vision, that a sense of wanting had magically made up for me, to mess with my mind at the sound of his voice. I was wrong though, because deep in my heart, I knew that this moment was real.

"Chimchar! Use flamewheel, again!" a different shout was heard, and another strike of lighting fell to earth, with it's flash of light beaming through the city. This scream...it was unfamiliar to me. A very harsh, cold tone could be heard from it, and for a few seconds, just a few...that it wasn't the person that I thought it was.

"Dodge it, Pikachu! Dodge it!" a desperate cry rang. Why was I the only one getting a sense of urgency and worry from this voice with the need to try and stop it? What on earth?

"You can't dodge that now K...It's far too late…the same old tricks won't get you anywhere!" Such a cold voice...so powerful..."Give up!"

CRASH! WHOOOSHH! The thunder and lightening had struck once again. The elements were at war tonight. Half of what this voice said was a blur to me, with the elements clashing and the winds as strong as ever. This battle…it sounded like…

"NO, never!" This voice pleaded. It made my heart do somersaults and I grew incredibly curious at the same time. A Pokémon Battle. That was what was happening; how foolish! In this weather? Idiots! Frantically looking around the area, with the surrounding roads on one side and a forest on the other, I took my guess that this battle was occurring from one place in particular. Now I just needed someone to shout…something.

"Chimchar, move it!"

"How can you expect him to with this weather! Chimchar's a fire type! Are you thick?"

Another strike! But not a natural one! I could tell, because it wasn't forcing itself down from the heaving, dark clouds; but from the forest up towards the skies with a shriek of a …pokemon? That's what I think it was. Yes! It had to be! BANG! CRASH! It shouted and squealed. I almost felt fearful of its strength, but the curiosity got the better of me and I felt my legs jogging, no, sprinting to the forests near by.

My feet carried me as far as they could, chasing the sounds of those demanding voice that seemed to sweep the area, even the pokemon took a few peeks out of the shrubbery to find out the source of the noise, though the fear of being struck by lightning seemed to weigh much more than their curiosity.

"You don't think I know that? Enough! Flame wheel! Maximum power! GO!" A voice penetrated through the forest, louder than ever before. It alarmed me somewhat, but I couldn't help my legs from running further into the foliage; was I really willing to get injured in this sort of weather…or even killed?

BANG! Once again, the elements sounds swooped across the area with no place to hide and no comforting sights to lay my eyes upon. Or so I thought. Running and running, my feet became so weak, I felt as if I could hardly breath, the atmosphere was incredibly intense and I felt my heart beating and beating. Finally, I stopped, with a sight so traumatizing, so shocking yet so…powerful, that I almost had forgotten to breath as I laid my eyes on the enclosure that was heavily scarred with burns and with the ground being upturned into awkward placed; and of course, there being two certain silhouettes of worn, and tired Pokémon that could not even stand on their feet any longer.

I took a step closer. There. Despite the darkness, a tint of colour was shown. One pokemon was red, with a sickeningly small flame burning on the end of it, and the other pokemon yellow, with it's feet shaking to the core that I almost felt a searing pain squirm up my spine. It was unbearable. Another step closer. I saw more of the enclosure, and it was hard to take in that these small Pokémon could create such destruction, even the trees were burned and scarred, with a few branches just managing to hold onto the trees with an inch of their life, yet they swung so vulnerably that I feared that if anything had moved, that they would just snap right off. However this wasn't all I saw. Two figures. That's right, two figures of…boys maybe? Maybe even young men, a little taller than me but looking just as strong and determined as I could ever be. They stood on opposite sides of the enclosure, with the one of the right's face looking worn yet determined to the depths of his soul as he glared forcefully into the eyes of the person at the other end. This other boy, looked nothing like the other. His features were so calm, and I could see a hint of a smirk on the side of his face yet his eyes…were so black…so deep…so still, it was almost unnerving to witness. In fact, the whole sight itself was uneasy.

FLASH! CRASH! BANG! Again! That flash was so incredibly strong that it completely lit up the scene, and it was all I needed to figure out what was going on, as my eyes widened at the view of the familiar boy.

"…Ash?" I questioned to myself, in doubt of the boys presence, but it was real, this was real, "Ash!"

A swift twisting of the heads and I found myself being glared at by two males, one which gave comfort, the other making me feel uneasy, so I was caught in between the two, not really sure of which was stronger.

"Dawn," he sounded so relieved when he said that, "is that really you?"

I could only nod at this question, as I stepped into the enclosure more courageously. I ignored the two boys, my eyes darting towards the Pikachu I loved so well, and the Chimchar that looked so vulnerable and on just managing to hold onto it's last bit of strength; yet there was still a light in it's eyes, a strong one that made me feel a fire inside my heart burn even brighter. At this point, I couldn't tell who could win this fight, and to be honest, I didn't really want to find out.

"Are you guys idiots?" I screamed, ignoring the glare I received from a boy with purple coloured hair.

"Who are you?" prune head questioned spitefully, with his fists tightening as he said the words.

I gritted my teeth, "Stupid," I paused, taking a deep breath to stop myself from punching the purpled headed male, "you guys are going to get yourself killed out here, as well as your Pokémon! Get back inside!"

"No! Not until I finish this battle with him!" Ash growled, his brown eyes darkening, glaring even more at the boy he was facing against.

"You mean, until I finish this battle." The boy smirked, his onyx eyes relaxing as he took on the glare from my raven-haired friend.

I could almost see Ash gritting his teeth together, his eyes widening, "Shut up! Pikachu! Volt Tackle!"

"Chimchar!" the boy with purple hair screamed, "dodge it and when he stops, use scratch!"

They were at it again, their Pokémon fighting with their last breaths. I couldn't help but be mesmerised by it all, from their voices to their brilliantly powerful moves that they were either hit directly with or that they elegantly dodged. However, seeing those small eyes of Pikachu made me wonder even more, why was it so important for Ash to finish this battle; was it worth risking everything? Risking losing Pikachu? I definitely thought not. Those desperate eyes of not only Pikachu, but that boy's Chimchar told me everything I needed to know; this was a fight that had to be fought by the trainers…not their Pokémon. The pain that I felt was starting to shiver up my spine once again and I felt as though I couldn't even breathe. That's when I had had enough, this wasn't right.

"Stop it!" I screamed, so loudly that the whole world had fallen still…even the trainers had stopped, obeying me for the first time, with the Pokémon looking at me, almost in gratitude.

"What is it now?" the purple haired boy asked spitefully, with Ash shooting a glare at him.

"You. That is what it is now," I replied, surprised at the tranquillity of my voice, "don't you see what you are doing? Not just to yourselves, but to your Pokémon?"

"Leave this to me, Dawn." Ash said, looking so tired…so vulnerable and weak. He looked as though he were…despising himself. I hated it.

"No," I muttered, but then plucking up the courage again, I screamed, "No, no, no, no, no!"

Everything was quiet, the only sound now being the background of the heavy rain, the whoosh of the calming winds and the heavy breathing of two Pokémon, who didn't even seem to have enough strength to stand up anymore.

"Don't you see…don't you see?" I asked, in a desperate attempt to make them see sense.

"See what?" They both said in unison, one sounding unsure, and the other sounding as if he were about to enjoy what I'd say next.

"Look," I said, darting my eyes towards the worn out Pokémon. I almost felt my heart break when I saw their faces, the state of their bodies too. It was unbearable, unforgivable. I looked back at the two males; Ash seemed to be staring at the ground with his raven-haired now soaked to the core hanging drearily on his face and the purple haired boy turned away from me.

Suddenly, this boiling, hot rage started to build up, my blood pumping around my body more violently that I could feel my face turning red,how dare they not acknowledge what they have done!

"LOOK AT THEM!" I screamed, as an order, not an option, and it seemed to work as both pairs of eyes darted towards the sorry sight in the middle of the enclosure, "do you feel it? That pain, that awful pain. You should be ashamed."

Silence. No one said anything, whether or not these words were going into their thick skulls I had no idea. However, I knew one thing, I was disappointed. Incredibly so. I looked at Ash, almost wishing I wasn't feeling so much guilt or pity, yet anger too.

I heard a foot step on a branch, and found that while I was lingering at Ash, that this purple haired boy had started to walk away, I was about to say something, but in the end I said nothing, not really wanting to have to deal with him.

"I don't need this," the boy muttered, I didn't reply, but I felt an urge to strongly.

His hand reached towards his belt, where five poke balls were ordered perfectly on it. Reaching for one, he clicked the middle button. Both Ash and I waited patiently. But the next thing the boy did almost caused me to pounce.

SMASH! The boy violently stepped on it, hearing the cracks between the ground and his foot seemed to make Ash shake brutally, but I had no worries, as I realised that this might be the best thing to do. No Pokémon deserved a trainer like him, and if he didn't feel as though this Chimchar deserved to be in his presence, so be it.

"I definitely don't need you either," the purple haired boy whispered, darting his eyes before the Chimchar, who looked incredibly frightened. I felt guilty, and most of all, I felt upset that a Pokémon as cute and innocent as this one had to endure such a lack of love from a trainer.

Taking my backpack off, I started to unzip it, my eyes unconsciously following what my hands did. I pulled out a thick blanket, which my mother had given me whenever I needed more warmth, and to remind me of home. Dumping the backpack onto the ground, I walked cautiously towards the fire type Pokémon, one I knew well since it was an option to have a pokémon like this as my starter. He eyed at me, not in fear but in gratitude as a small shy smile, one I had never seen before, developed on its face. I bent down in front of it, pulling the cloth over its head and started wrapping him around in it, making sure I kept him nice and warm, as well as dry. Once done, I picked him up off the ground and stared at the trainer, who unexpectedly, had been watching my moves.

I felt Ash's presence nearing me, but I kept on staring at the trainer who stared back, "Who are you?" the trainer said, repeating his last question.

I sighed, "My name is Dawn, and you are?"

"Paul." He said simply before walking away into the forest, the way I had entered the enclosure.

I lingered on the name for a few seconds, memorising it before looking at the boy who was soaked. His Pikachu was now in his arms, sleeping soundly with a smile on its face, which caused me to smile, until I looked at the brown-eyed boy who I had started to take kindly to a few months ago.

"You're an idiot." I said, bluntly.

"I know." He replied, with a small smile gracing his lips though I did not offer him one in return.

Despite saying how unforgiveable the act was, and how stupid and reckless it was, I couldn't help but feel a little warmth towards the fool I called a close friend. A very close friend; and that's when I realised, that I had such a soft heart, that I just had to forgive him.


SLAP!

"You're an idiot," I screamed, "the biggest idiot the world has ever known, even the biggest idiot known to man looks at you and thinks, 'bloody hell, what a frickin' idiot!'"

He instantly chuckled at this and I greeted this with another hard slap to the cheek, "OW! Dawn," he whined, rubbing his cheek, "I already know I'm an idiot."

"I know you do," I smirked, "I'm just making sure it is sinking into your head."

He pouted, "Well, I can tell you right now that it definitely has sunk in."

"Good."

We had arrived at the Pokémon Centre minutes later, and the first thing we both received was a huge rant from Nurse Joy about how dangerous it was to be out there and that we could have gotten ourselves killed; she also asked why we were out there, and both of us couldn't really offer a reply. In addition, as soon as she saw the state of the two Pokémon in our hands, she instantly screamed at us again and lectured us about how foolish we were and that we should take care of our Pokémon a lot better; but the only thing that was said during this rant was Ash's small mutter, stating: "It wasn't her fault." Not that it mattered anymore. Instantaneously, Chimchar and Pikachu were taken into the emergency room, where they would be treated for their wounds

"Do you think they'll be okay?" Ash asked, unwilling to greet me with another smile as sorrow started to take over. It was hard to see him like this; the cheeky young lad I once knew was diminishing into a guilt filled boy with no interest in anyone else other than the Pokémon that lay in the emergency room. It was heartbreaking, and despite being so angry with him, I felt the need to comfort him.

My hand reached out for his and the first reaction I received was direct eye contact with his deep, brown eyes meeting my blue ones. I squeezed his hand a little, showing a little support and a sign that everything was going to be all right. I never noticed it before…but his hands were soft…despite his appearance. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

"Ash, they will be fine," I sighed, "I'm more worried about Chimchar though...what will happen afterwards?"

My eyes lingered away from his brown orbs, to greet a green light that emitted from the sign above the door that led to the emergency room. My thoughts lingered back to when we were running through the forests, all I could hear were my own thoughts and the small whispers of Ash Ketchum, whispering into Pikachu's ears: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…

Again, I felt as though my heart was being squeezed and my hand darted up towards my chest, resting on it, hoping for the pain to seize, which it did. I then felt a small bit of contact on my hand and slowly glared at the tanned but wet hand that lay on top of mine.

"I'll definitely sort it out," Ash whispered, but I never replied.

It was silent for a few minutes, with only the rain in the background being the comforting sound and I found myself musing on the fact that the thunder and lightening had stopped.

"Ash," I said, gaining his attention as I heard the shuffle of his jacket against the material of the centre's couch, "what were you doing out there?"

He didn't answer me instantly as his breath hitched, I heard him gulp too, and I felt a little worried about his answer, "I was determined," he started before stopping, rethinking his next words, "I incredibly determined to show him, to show Paul," he said the boys name, almost as if it were venom, "that a love between a trainer's Pokémon and his or her trainer is much stronger than anything else in the entire world,"

I didn't really know what to say, so I said nothing at all and hoped that he would continue his story.

"I was foolish to be so brash," he sharply took a breath inwards, before continuing, "I didn't think it through, what I was doing, I was just so determined, so head strong and so…foolish," his hand started to tremble and I did nothing to comfort him, wanting more information from him, "that boy doesn't know what it is like to have a special bond, with his Pokémon, he doesn't know how much power it can give a human; and I wanted to show him so badly, but I failed," he gasped quietly to himself but again, I did nothing, "I'm an idiot. A weak, senseless idiot who doesn't know when to stop, but I had to show him! I just had to, and what he did to Chimchar…was unforgivable, working him like a Lillipup until it is sore. I hated it and I wanted to show that you could still be victorious by giving your Pokémon trust and faith,"

He stopped, his breathing started to stagger and his hands started to shake a little, but he didn't grasp anything because I could tell he didn't want to hurt me, nor did he was to show anymore signs of weakness. Typical boys. I showed a small smile, edging towards a big one and in a smooth movement, my other hand rested on top of his, with both our hands now on top of one another, and his eyes slowly gazed into mine. It was a sign of comfort. A sign that was needed and I could tell that he desperately wanted but would not ask for it.

"You don't need to prove to some fool that you need to have a friendship with your Pokémon to be strong," I nodded to myself, trying to say words of inspiration to those lost soul gazing into my eyes, "stopping the fight would have been enough,"

"I wish I'd been told that before," his head hung down, his eyes now looking at our hands engrossed in one another, but I wasn't having it. Taking his hand off mine, I delicately touched his chin, before pulling it up slightly so that his eyes could be seen more clearly, though they still refused to look at me.

"Look at me, Ash," I said calmly and he did so, I could almost see the tears forming and the guilt circling in his eyes, "there is nothing you can do now, they are out of harms way now. You were caught up in the moment, that's all. We all do it," his eyes darted away from me again but I still held his chin up softly, "you are an idiot, but not that much of one, I've seen bigger, like prune head boy," he chuckled, earning a bigger smile from me, that's all I wanted to see, a bit of a spark in his eye, "you're better than that, you know it too. Please stop pulling yourself down. You deserve to be in the sky with those stars around you Ash, don't let this take away your shine."

"I don't really deserve that shine after this…no one should if they did what I did, especially to them."

"We all make mistakes," I said brashly but then soothed my voice, "we're all human. Aren't we? We just have to keep going and we have to make sure we don't ever make the same mistakes again. It's better to make the mistakes than not make them at all when we are young, because than we learn so much more. To be a master, you need to have so much knowledge as well as power. You need to be able to give advice and show people the difference between right and wrong. At this moment, this moment in time, you are learning these lessons. There is no need to feel ashamed in yourself, because you Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town," he glanced at me, while I smiled even more than I did before, "are a special guy and a great trainer. Don't let anybody tell you differently."

I don't know what it was that made me gasp more, the fact that I had heard sudden bolt of lightning or that Ash was hugging me. It was so out of character, so strange and worrying in one way, but it was touching, perfectly warming and heartfelt in another. My heart started to beat so fast and so loudly in my chest that I was worried that he would hear it. It was louder than bells to me, yet sweeter than heaven. This drumming sensation was out of control but this feeling was so warming that I didn't want him to let go.

Abruptly…sniff…sniff…a sweet aroma came from him, or his clothes? I wasn't so sure. Though he was still damp he still had this heavenly fragrance about him that it brought shivers up my spine and swiftly a mass of memories followed., and my breath instantly hitched…

waiting for him to cherish it and hold her in his arms for the longest time with his smile beaming at her and her tears being wiped away by his fingers, with the saying 'don't cry sweetie'….

"You smell like lilies," I said, completely ignoring the action that had just occurred. My abnormal question had obviously come as a surprise to both of us as we pulled away slightly from each other.

"Excuse me?" He asked, with a puzzled look on his face, yet I could see his eyes dancing with mischief and amusement. If I hadn't been so engrossed in the aroma, I would have slapped him for looking so entertained when I was being serious.

"You smell like lilies," I repeated before I grabbed at his collar and took another whiff of him with my eyes closed and my face completely relaxed, "white to be precise."

"I didn't know coloured lilies had a different smell to each other," He mused, with a small chuckle escaping his lips before looking down at me while I pulled away, "how did you figure that out?"

My thoughts lingered on this question for a while, and the room was silent, despite the small chatters of other trainers in the room. Another memory spun in my mind, an incredibly fond one that bought a smile to my face and caused my eyes to water gently as I remembered a fondly kept dream…or memory.

and his laughs echoing through the apartment we once lived in, with the white lilies in their vase on the table; one of my favourite flowers…

"The apartment smelled of them," I answered quietly, almost a little embarrassed that I was telling him this, but he never replied so I continued, "dad always kept them in the house when I was around. He had always complained about the smell, but he still would always buy me a bunch of white lilies when ever I visited him," I grinned further and looked at Ash who seemed to be smiling back, his skin now had a bit more colour to it and his eyes were now shimmering, something I hadn't been able to see in a long time, "they were our thing. My favourite flowers at the time…and when ever I smell something like this…I always think of him." I never thought much about my father, I only did so when ever it was his birthday or the day he had passed away…and even on days when I smelled this fascinating aroma that had caught me once when I was little; it seems like it still does.

"That's nice," he whispered and I swiftly moved to look at him, "very nice. I never had that with my father. He left us a long time ago."

My body started to wrench with spasms of sorrow and pity, something I didn't want to show and hid well as he didn't question my sudden dreariness. His hand squeezed mine again and I felt him get closer. He didn't say anything more, and I wanted to know more but I never questioned him because the pain in his voice right then was unbearable and I hated to see him so sad. So I stopped the talk about fathers.

"But not all fathers are like that," he insisted, while I nodded in agreement, "and I had Professor Oak in my life to my father figure, and I couldn't have asked for anyone better."

Suddenly, my dreary mood had lifted and we both greeted each other with the biggest smiles we could muster up and I almost felt like I was floating when I looked at it, and that's when it hit me, that small phrase: I'm walking on air when I'm with you.

DING DING! We suddenly pulled away from each other, our hands unravelling and now sitting on either the arm of the sofa or on our lap and that beautiful sensation of warmth and diminished into nothing.

"Mr Ketchum? Miss Berlitz?" we both turned out heads simultaneously to be greeted by a smile from Nurse Joy, which was shocking to say the least, considering she had lectured us hours ago, "your Pokémon are ready and are now fit and healthy."

The double doors swiftly and two Pokémon that I knew well scurried into the centre's lounge, leaving the thin doors to swing in and out lazily. Pikachu scurried on Ash's lap with a cry of relief and happiness escaping his lips as he caressed the small Pokémon. Chimchar also did the same, latching onto the trainer's leg and then suddenly turned its gaze to be before jumping onto my lap and rubbing its head against my chest while I patted its head.

Both Ash and I looked warmly at each other before looking at the two Pokémon which looked up to us and we knew right then what we were going to do with this young, powerful Chimchar. Setting the Pokémon down on the ground, I muttered to Ash, "Do you think you can handle this little fire machine?"

He smirked at me, "Of course."

Both the Pokémon looked at us, puzzled and completely bewildered by our acts towards each other, especially Chimchar, who has probably never been able to experience such emotions and acts before…not that we planned to keep it that way any longer.

"Chimchar," Ash kneeled down, addressing the Pokémon by its name, earning the attention of it, "would you like to come with me?"

"Char?" the fire type questioned, with it's head tilting to the side.

Pikachu jumped down from the sofa and walked over to Chimchar, "Pika, pika pika-chuuu." It purred as it smiled at the red and orange Pokémon.

"I know we don't know each other very well," Ash started, "but I know you're strong, and that you deserve a chance to prove to Paul that you are much better than he thinks you are, and that you can be just as strong without your ability as you are with it just through our bond. I know it sounds risky…but I would love to have a power house like you on my team…and I promise you I won't ever let you down, or Dawn will probably kill me. What do you say?"

Chimchar looked down, and I could almost see his mind thinking strongly about this and I could also see him worrying about the fact that Ash may not live up to his promise. This was a tough decision and Ash knew it too, that's why he wasn't forcing Chimchar into anything, but I felt as though it were my duty to guide Chimchar in the right direction. So just as Ash did, I kneeled on one knee and leaned in to get a better look at Chimchar, earning the attention of the Pokémon once again.

"I know Ash well enough to say that he always keeps his promise," Chimchar smiled slightly, "and if you want love, respect and a trainer who always has his heart on his sleeve, no one is better than Ash. You deserve a lot better than you got and Ash is the perfect candidate. He won't harm you, he'll know where your limits lie and how to show off your strength to everyone. You'll also have good company with other Pokémon around you, such as Pikachu!"

"Pika!" Pikachu cried out in pride and Chimchar couldn't help but giggle.

"I promise you, Chimchar," Ash said, his hand sticking out with a poke ball in it, holding it in front of the fire type.

Out of the blue, Chimchar started walking towards this pokeball, his hand held out slightly and hesitantly. It took a few good seconds before finally, Chimchar launched his hand at the pokeball and miraculously, the Pokémon was absorbed by a red light and entered the poke ball.

One, two, three shakes…poof.

"I've got me a Chimchar!" Ash yelled and held the pokeball up to my face, being greeted my smile from me and a squeal from Pikachu who jumped happily onto the sofa and onto Ash's shoulder. As soon as he said so, Chimchar once again popped out of its ball and welcomed us with a smile.

"Yes you do!" I screamed as I felt the small Pokémon embracing me by the legs, hugging me in gratitude for Arceus knows what, but it felt nice, really nice.

"All thanks to you," Ash stated, looking at me dead in the eye as Chimchar pulled away from me and climbed up Ash to his shoulder.

Thump, thump, thump…

I felt my face start to heat up and my blood starting to pump faster around my body and I knew instantly that I was blushing, damn it!

"No need to worry," I said, my voice high and sounding as sweet as possible to distract Ash from the blush on my face, which was not going away at all and continued to stain my face.

Thump, thump, thump. This was so embarrassing…

"You helped me a lot today," he offered me a generous smile as I stayed silent, "a lot. I don't think I can ever repay you enough, but I'm willing to try. You're a great girl Dawn and I'm really blessed to have met you on my journey. So," he paused before continuing, "I thank you. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me."

Silence…my heart was beating like a drum again, louder than bells and sweeter than heaven…I couldn't breathe...breathe Dawn…breathe...it made such an almighty sound. I swear if he were any closer he would be able to hear my heart beat to such a simple rhythm.Thump...thump...

"Dawn?"

"Yeah?" I squealed quietly.

"Why are your cheeks so red all of a sudden?"

...Stupid, stupid, stupid...


I'm quite happy with this chapter. Not overly happy, but I'm happy. I enjoyed writing parts of this chapter, like the ending and the confrontation with Paul. I will edit this along the way, as you guys know. I usually look through this to see if there are a few major mistakes, but right now I'm tired. I finished the chapter a few weeks ago but then forgot all about it and then I realise this week and then decided to update it on a Friday night so that people would be able to relax more and would have more of a chance to read this if they wanted to... but then I got impatient and angry with myself because I should have updated this weeks ago (months really) anyway, so here it is! You still have permission to shoot me...after the story is done. But seriously, I really don't deserve reviewers/readers like you!

I've had a lot of inspiration lately. Especially with other shippings too though I am concentrating on the ones I have talked about on my profile.

I don't blame you guys if you hate me, I'd hate myself too if I had to wait for months (years for some people who I've been waiting for to update their stories) to hear of an update, but no need to worry... actually scratch that. If you liked this chapter, please do tell me by reviewing, 'favouriting' or PMing and what ever else you can do on this site. I appreciate the nice reviews I get; but I don't blame you guys if you don't review this chapter at all. I have set 9/13 GCSE exams already, so four more to go! WOO! 18th June here I come!

Oh and isn't Paul SUCH a bastard ;) No, I really do love his character. I'm doing a one shot at the moment with him and it is fun writing about him. Thanks again guys and bless you all! FIVE VIRTUAL COOKIES FOR EVERYONE EACH! (4 for the wait 1 for the read).

-DeCh