Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon.




A/N: Here's chapter 27! Sorry for the rather long wait. I had some little difficulties. Oh well. Despite being late, here's the chapter! It's A New Chance At Life's FINAL chapter! =D After that, off we go to the Sequel. Enjoy!

And someone made a TV tropes page for A New Chance At Life! Awesome! =D Thanks a Lot! *Very happy dance* If you are interested in taking a peek, the link to it is on my profile page.

Now, on to the chapter!

Two days passed rather quickly for Ash, who was more eager to go to Hoenn than ever. Latias and Latios were also eager, especially at the prospect of seeing Alto Mare, their beloved hometown, again. However, the two eon dragons also loved the hospitality of Pallet Town. They could go around visibly with no problems, and were always greeted with kind smiles and positive emotions from the townspeople. They also trained more, doing their regular mental exercises so they could expand the prowess of their minds. Latios and Latias often went to the rocky area of Prof. Oak's backyard to do their Rock-lifting, or meditated for hours at Ash's home (Much to Latias's dismay. Thankfully the idea of freely speaking with anyone telepathically was a good motivator).

Ash was currently getting ready for their departure to Vermillion City, the port city from where he would be taking the ferry to Alto Mare.

"So how do I look?" Ash asked as he finished putting on the new set of clothes his mother had given him for his new adventure.

"You look wonderful dear," Delia replied, looking over at her son carefully to see how the clothes fit him.

"Yeah, not bad at all," Pikachu commented, cocking his head to the side.

"Yep, I agree, those clothes fit you nicely," Latias agreed, nodding in approval.

"I like the excessive blue in them," Latios commented. Everyone sweatdropped.

"Of course you like the blue," Pikachu said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Latios glared at him.

"Thanks mom, it's so awesome!" Ash said, looking at himself enthusiastically. He was wearing a mostly blue outfit again, with even more blue than the previous one. His new sneakers were blue with a darker shade of blue where the ties went. His jeans were a lighter shade of blue than the previous ones, and he now wore a blue hoodie-style sweatshirt with a white 'U' on the lower front of the shirt. It also had a bright yellow line running all along the bottom of it and dark blue sleeves. Ash's usual fingerless gloves were now black. In front of his shirt hung the necklace with the Latias and Latios figurines that Latias had given him all the way back in Alto Mare. He took his old cap off and looked at it for a moment. "I'll miss it… a lot…" he said sadly. To his dismay, the change of clothes also came with a change of hat.

Everyone laughed. "But you have a new one," Latios reminded him, pointing to the new one sitting on the table.

"But this is an Official Pokémon League Expo hat! I sent over a million postcards in to get it!" Ash argued. "It's absolutely irreplaceable!"

"Dear, that model is from two years ago. This is this year's model," Delia informed him, knowing that would do the trick.

Ash looked astonished. "Really? Did you send a million postcards to get it?" he asked, clearly shocked at the prospect, wondering how his mother had the patience to fill out over a million postcards. Ash had spent months filling and sending them.

"Nope, I just had to send one," Delia answered offhandedly.

Ash's jaw dropped in awe. "H-h-how!" he stuttered. She had to send just one postcard to get a hat while he had to send over a million!

"Well, my postcard didn't have the terrible grammar and spelling mistakes your million postcards had, and the Pokémon League had special consideration of it because they know you're a trainer with a Legendary Pokémon," Delia answered. Ash scratched the back of his head Mareepishly. His writing wasn't that bad, was it?

"Yes, it is," Latios said flatly in his mind, causing Ash to yelp in surprise.

"And you know it," Latias finished before he could protest. Ash groaned and decided to not argue a lost cause, not that he had a chance to fight back if he tried.

Ash looked at the new hat on the table skeptically. It was red with a dark blue front and an upside down green Pokéball design. Ash looked at his old hat sadly. "But… this hat has so many memories…" he muttered, a far-off look into his reddish eyes. An annoyed look crossed his face as the only adventure that came to his mind was Mankey and later Primeape beating him to a pulp over that hat. Why was that the only adventure in his mind? Probably because Latias was messing with his memories.

"Hey!" Ash yelled.

"Sorry, I couldn't resist," Latias apologized, though it was clear this was one of her common pranks as evidenced by the fact that she seemed to be holding back fits of giggling.

"Oh, just put it on already and stop whining," Pikachu muttered.

Latias' eyes glowed as she psychically grabbed the new hat and put it on Ash's head. "Done," she said, smiling joyfully.

"Hey!" Ash said, crossing his arms. "That's not fair!"

"Yes it is," Latias countered, giggling softly.

"Hey, it doesn't look that bad, Ash," Delia noted, admiring it. "I think the more extensive blue coloring of the shirt and the redder cap looks great. They also match your red eyes better," she commented. Ash blushed.

"Yeah, you look great! Red cap and blue shirt really does bring out your eyes," Latias agreed, causing Ash to blush at the praise.

"Why are girls always looking at the fashion sense of everything?" Ash asked.

"It's a girl thing," Delia answered.

"Okay…"Ash muttered, not sure what 'girl thing' meant in this situation. He looked at the hat in his hands yet again. "I will miss it…" he muttered…again. Before he had a chance to keep admiring it, Mimey snatched it from his hands. "Hey! Where are you taking it?"

"I'm going to display it with your trophies…" the Psychic-Type informed him. He looked at the hat and did a double take. "But first I'll wash it," Mimey mumbled before heading out of the room.

"And you also get a new backpack," Delia announced, holding out a compact green backpack. "It's already filled with everything you'll need."

"Thanks a lot mom," Ash said as he took the backpack. "I really like it!"

"At least you aren't complaining about the backpack as much as the hat," Pikachu commented.

"Well, I didn't have to send a million postcards in to get it…" Ash responded. He opened it to check the contents, only to blush and close it immediately. His Pokémon tilted their heads, wondering what was up.

"As you noticed, aside from all the stuff you may need, I also packed several extra pairs of clean underwear. Don't forget to change it everyday!" Delia reminded Ash in a happy tone. Latias, Latios and Pikachu snorted as they tried to contain their laugher. Sadly, they failed and started laughing hysterically. Ash blushed a deeper shade of red from the embarrassment.

"Mom! You're embarrassing me!" Ash whined, knowing that this was going to become another topic for his Pokémon to rag him about. "If you three mess with me for this… please don't do it in public..." he pleaded.

"Ash…the general public can't understand us," Pikachu reminded him. Ash groaned in despair.

"I don't care, no matter how old you get, you'll always be my cute little baby boy," Delia said lovingly, walking to Ash and hugging him tightly. Ash hugged his mother back.

Latias, Latios and Pikachu 'awed' at the family scene. "I want a family hug too!" Latias squealed happily, and before Latios could react, she threw herself on him. "Hug brother!" Latios chuckled at her antics and hugged her back.

Delia smiled and parted from Ash. "Take care dear," she said, her voice filled with worry.

Ash grinned. "I'll be fine! Don't worry. It's my third region, so I'm not a newbie by now."

"You still act like one," Pikachu commented, chuckling. Ash wisely ignored him.

"Sorry, I can't help it. I'm nervous that you're going to a new region alone, with no friends this time…" Delia muttered sadly.

"No friends? What are we, chopped liver?" Latios muttered.

"I wouldn't like to be chopped liver, that sounds painful," Latias said, causing her brother to sweatdrop.

Ash smiled at Delia reassuringly. "Brock said that maybe he'll rejoin us later."

"I'm still worried," Delia said, a concerned expression on her face.

"Don't worry, I have my Pokémon, they'll take care of me," Ash assured.

"Ah, now they mention us," Latios said. "About time."

Delia glanced at the eon dragons and Pikachu, smiling softly. She didn't doubt their devotion to Ash in the slightest, and they were all very strong. She walked up to them and glanced specifically at Latios, who she knew was currently Ash's strongest Pokémon, and the reason why other trainers might mess with him in the first place. "Latios, promise me you aren't going to let my little boy get hurt," she said firmly.

Latios smiled at her and nodded, giving a low bow. "I promise on my honor as a Legendary Pokémon I will not let any harm befall Ash. You have my word."

"And I promise too!" Pikachu said, smiling proudly.

Latios chuckled. "Pikachu says he promises that too."

"Me too!" Latias added.

"See mom, there's nothing to worry about," Ash assured Delia, smiling at his Pokémon, silently thanking them.

"Okay," Delia agreed, feeling somewhat relieved.

"Since you aren't letting me get hurt, does that mean I can do all kinds of stuff with no worries since you'll be there to protect me?" Ash wondered, glancing at Latios.

Latios grimaced at the idea. "Hell no! If you start doing silly antics and expect me to bail you out of them all the time, I'm putting a psychic leash on you!"

Ash's jaw dropped in terror. "You wouldn't dare!" He exclaimed, utterly horrified at the idea.

"Try me," Latios dared.

"But I'm the trainer!" Ash argued.

"Am I supposed to care?" Latios countered, grinning.

"Okay, okay I'll behave," Ash said quickly, giving in since he knew that arguing with a Legendary Pokémon was probably not a good idea. Latios laughed. Everyone else chuckled in amusement. Delia smiled, clearly happy not only about Latios protecting Ash because of the promise he made, but also because he and Ash were very close friends.

"Anyway," Delia started, attracting all the attention. "Like before I packed up things you might need for your journey in your backpack. Like maps. Lots of maps. Though I'm not sure how useful they'll be if you never actually read them." Ash sweatdropped and his Pokémon snickered. "And here are your tickets to go to Alto Mare, and from Alto Mare to Little Root Town," she finished, handing Ash two tickets. "Your ship leaves in two hours."

"Hey, the ticket from Alto Mare has pictures of us printed in it!" Latios commented excitedly.

"Awesome!" Latias agreed.

"Hehe, it certainly looks good," Ash agreed.

"Thankfully Pokémon don't have to pay a traveling fee," Latias commented.

"Even if Pokémon had to pay, we could turn invisible and go for free anyways," Latios said.

"How long did you say it'd take us to reach Vermillion, Latios?" Ash asked.

"About forty-five minutes at a moderate speed. It's not that long of a flight," he answered.

"Okay," Ash acknowledged. "I'll go to the professor's lab to say my goodbyes before taking fight to Vermilion."

"Alright Ash," Delia said with teary eyes. "Goodbye, and take care on your new journey."

"Goodbye mom," Ash said, hugging her once more.

"Win the league dear, and take care…goodbye! And…and…Waaaaahhhh!" Delia cried, bursting into tears at the sad departure.

Ash smiled sweetly. "Don't worry mom, I'll be fine," he assured her yet again, comforting his mother. They parted with a smile. Ash walked to the exit, his Pokémon beside him. He turned back to Delia before departing. "Wish me luck!"

"Of course I will, dear," Delia said, a proud tone in her voice. 'Make your dreams finally come true and win the league…I know you can!' she thought to herself, hoping that her son would manage to finally win and not feel the disappointment of losing again.

"Don't worry, mom, my dreams will become reality thanks to Latios! The next time you see me, I'll be the winner of the Hoenn League!" Ash said happily. "Until then…bye, mom!" He gave her one last quick hug, turned to the exit and walked out of the house, Delia blinked in confusion.

Delia closed the door behind him, biting her lip hard and doing her best not to cry. "Oh, Ash…"

"Good riddance," Mimey muttered to himself. "Now I don't have to clean up after him anymore." He smiled sinisterly. "Plus…I have Delia all to myself! Muwahahahaha!"

"Mimey, this is a sad occasion! Ash is gone and it's just you and me again! Now is not the time to laugh!" Delia scolded, completely unaware of the clown's true thoughts now that Latios and Latias were gone.

"Er, yes, of course," Mimey said, assuming a sorrowful expression…while smiling on the inside.

"Now go and clean something!" Delia scolded again. Mimey nodded sadly and walked away. Typical jealous Pokémon…

An uneventful five-minute walk later, Ash and his Pokémon reached Professor Oak's lab.

"Hello!" Ash called, knocking on the door several times. "Professor, are you there?"

Professor Oak opened the door. "Oh, hi Ash." He gasped. "Wait a second…Ash? Shouldn't you be going to Vermillion already! You'll be late for your ship!"

"No I won't," Ash responded. "Latios will take me to Vermillion, I'll get there in time."

"Ah, right," Professor Oak muttered. "So, what brings you here?" he asked.

"I just came to say goodbye," Ash said, smiling at the professor.

"If I recall, you departed to the Orange Islands without saying goodbye, and you did the same thing when you went to Johto," Professor Oak deadpanned.

"Er, sorry about that…I don't want it to happen again!" Ash said, scratching his head Mareepishly.

"It's good that you came by, actually. I forgot to update your PokéDex with the information on Hoenn Pokémon," the professor said.

"The only entries mine has are of Latias and Latias, correct?" Ash asked.

"Yeah, only those two. I can't believe I forgot to tell you sooner…" the professor muttered. "Not that it'd change a thing, you could have still gotten the update from professor Birch."

"Well, here," Ash said, handing over his PokéDex. Oak took it and walked to a computer that was on a desk nearby and plugged a cord into the small machine.

"Why do you even need that? Latias and I can tell you nearly anything you need to know about other Pokémon," Latios asked telepathically.

"It's for reference, just in case," Ash answered. "And I happen to like my PokéDex."

"It called you stupid on your first day as a trainer," Pikachu reminded him. Ash bristled while Latias and Latios laughed. Professor Oak looked at them oddly, since he hadn't understood what Pikachu had said.

"It didn't say me in particular!" Ash countered.

"No, but we both knew it was literally screaming that to you," Pikachu replied, a smug smile tugging at his lips. "It said, and I quote, 'Rattata often leave their habitat to steal food from stupid travelers.'" Ash fumed. How could Pikachu remember that so well after all this time?

"You know Ash; it's really weird to see you talking to Pokémon so openly. How do you understand their words?" Professor Oak asked. "All I hear is Pikachu saying his name a lot."

"I hear the same thing you hear," Ash answered. "The difference is that I can somehow make words and sentences out of his speech patterns, same for all Pokémon. Even I don't know how it works yet…"

"That's really interesting," the professor noted. "I wonder if I can replicate that…"

"Considering how Ash got his gift of Poke-speech, I doubt you can replicate it," Latios commented. Professor Oak moaned in disappointment.

The computer beeped. "Update completed," it said on a mechanical voice. Professor Oak unplugged the cord and handed the PokéDex to Ash.

"There, it's updated with information on all the Pokémon from Hoenn," Professor Oak said.

"Thanks," Ash said, grinning as he took the PokéDex.

"You're welcome Ash," Professor Oak replied, smiling at the young Pokémon trainer.

"Hey, where's Gary? I want to say bye too to him," Ash asked.

"He left an hour ago for Viridian City. He wanted to check up on some things before he starts his new work as a Pokémon researcher," Professor Oak informed him.

"Aww, I really wanted to say goodbye," Ash muttered. "Well, I'll try to catch up with him before going to Vermillion." Ash turned to the door. "Thanks, Professor! I'll make sure to call from Hoenn every once in a while."

"Before you go… Latios!" Professor Oak began, causing the eon dragon to turn to look at him. "Please, can I have a feather! I really want one! It'd be a wonderful opportunity to study a feather that can turn invisible!"

Latios rolled his eyes. "You aren't leaving me alone about that, right?"

"Just one!" Professor Oak pleaded. "Considering the dimensions of your body and the apparent size of your feathers, you could have thousands! One won't hurt…"

"Go ahead Latios, it's just a feather," Pikachu commented. "I doubt it affects you in any way."

"Alright," Latios conceded, causing the professor to grin happily. His eyes glowed as he plucked a random blue feather from his neck and levitated it to Oak's outstretched hand.

"Wow, its smaller than I thought," Oak muttered, looking at the relatively tiny feather in his hand. "Can I have a white one too?" he asked. Latios' eye twitched. "What! The coloring of the feather may affect the way it manipulates light to turn invisible!" he said quickly.

"Ugh, fine," Latios said as he psychically removed another feather, a grayish white one this time, and handed it to the professor.

"And a red one," The professor said. Before Latios could say anything he continued. "Difference of colors!" he argued. Latios's eye twitched.

Latias giggled and handed him one of her reddish feathers psychically. "There."

Professor Oak blinked. "You didn't put up a fight…"

"Well, I don't really mind. If you had asked me in the first place, I would have said yes the first time," Latias told him, smiling.

Professor Oak facefaulted. "I really should have asked you first instead of Latios…"

"Yep, you should have, I'm not a grouch like my brother," Latias said. Latios glared in annoyance at her as everyone else laughed. Latias put a really sweet face and looked at him, and Latios found himself unable to stay angry.

Professor Oak looked at the three small feathers in his palm. "Finally!"

Ash laughed. "Yep, finally."

Professor Oak walked to one of the desks and took out a small glass container. "Don't want them to get contaminated," he muttered, giddy that he had something new to study. He carefully placed the feathers in the container and walked back to the group. "Thank you Latias, Latios."

"No problem," Latias said, smiling.

"Well Ash, I wish you the best of luck in the Hoenn League," Professor Oak told the trainer. "Make Pallet Town famous!"

"Thanks, and don't worry, I will!" Ash promised. "Bye! Tell Tracey I say goodbye too!"

"I will," Professor Oak said. With that Ash walked out of the lab and started running in the direction he remembered Viridian City was, wanting to catch up to Gary.

"Ash, what's the hurry?" Pikachu asked, almost getting knocked off his shoulder from the running.

"I need to cover the distance Gary has walked in this hour!" Ash answered. Pikachu facepalmed.

"When do you think he'll realize he has two dragons that can fly faster than the speed of sound that could take him there in a flash?" Latias asked her brother.

"In about half an hour when he drops from exhaustion and realizes he hasn't covered much distance… and that Viridian City isn't even in that direction…" Latios answered, stifling a laugh.

"Brother…" Latias began, an almost scolding tone in her voice.

"Oh, alright, I'll spare him the waste of time and the tiredness…" Latios conceded, Latias smiled and nodded approvingly.

Latios floated up to the running Ash and levitated him up and onto his back. "Hey!" Ash protested.

"You do realize that Viridian city is not that way right?" Latios asked, shaking his head in amusement. "And that you aren't going to reach Gary in time."

Ash blushed in embarrassment, sulking. "Alright, you lead the way," he said, embarrassed by his poor navigation skills. Latios chuckled and took off in the right direction to Viridian.

"One day you'll be jealous of my navigating skills…" Ash muttered. His Pokémon all stifled laughs. Ash grunted in annoyance.

After a few minutes of flying, they quickly closed in on the other Pallet Town trainer, seeing him on the road off in the distance. Pikachu stiffened when he saw that Gary's Umbreon was walking at his side. "Damn… why is she out of her Pokeball now of all times!" he groaned, sinking on Ash's shoulder in despair.

"Because you two are fated to battle," Ash responded jokingly. Everyone stared at him. "What? That joke sounded a lot better in my head…"

"Actually, I heard it in your head too, and even there it sounded terrible," Latios deadpanned. "Pikachu, if you want to get her off your back, let her beat you up."

"No! She'll get angrier if that happens because she wants to fight me at full power!" Pikachu replied, horrified at what she might do to him if he let her win.

Latios considered this. "Who knows, maybe there's another reason she wants to fight you alone," he commented, grinning.

"Which might be…" Pikachu trailed off, having a bad feeling about the Dragon's next comment.

"She just might be into you," Latios concluded, nodding to himself in approval. Not a second later Pikachu shocked him (and Ash, who was unfortunately riding atop Latios too) with several hundred volts of electricity.

"Not a chance!" Pikachu yelled, shaking his head rapidly.

"How cuuute!" Latias remarked. "Denial is kicking in!" Pikachu's eye twitched in annoyance.

"Ow… was that necessary?" Ash moaned.

"Yes, it was. Sorry, you were collateral damage," Pikachu told his trainer apologetically.

"I'll get you for that," Latios growled. Even with his Dragon-Typing, he had to admit Pikachu's zaps hurt. "But, that doesn't take away the fact that she said she wanted to fight you alone."

Pikachu shook his head rapidly. "That's not it! She just wants to fight me alone because that way Ash won't see through her attacks with the powers he got from you."

"It's still alooooooone," Latios repeated, drawing the word out and stifling giggles. Pikachu's cheeks sparkled dangerously. "I just wonder if with all this denial, Pikachu is also into her…" he commented slowly. Pikachu stared at him in utter terror, gawking in disbelief.

"And I can confirm it… remember, I can sense emotions and the feelings of others…" Latias followed, grinning all too sweetly at the Electric-Type. Pikachu flushed in embarrassment and sunk into Ash's shoulder.

"I'm not!" he yelled. Latias smirked and pretended to ignore him. He grinned a second later, getting an idea on how to keep the dragoness quiet just in case she sensed something. "Oh Latias, I don't need any fancy senses to know who your little love interest is, so I think we have a fair deal…unless you want me to tell him…" he told her, smiling devilishly.

Latias blushed and looked away. "Deal," she said quickly. "Don't say a word and I won't say a word, either psychically or verbally." Pikachu nodded in satisfaction. Latios had to suppress a laugh, earning himself a mental glare from Latias.

"Can we go down already?" Ash asked in exasperation. Despite understanding every word they said, the terms they were using seemed too alien for him to hope to comprehend so he wisely decided not to ask.

"Yes please! At this rate I'd rather face Umbreon than you two!" Pikachu pleaded loudly. Latios laughed and glided downwards, followed by a giggling Latias.

"Hi!" Ash called as he neared the ground, causing Gary to turn around, mildly surprised to see Latias and Latios hovering towards him with Ash on Latios' back.

"Heh, already exploiting the convenient transport advantages Latios gives?" Gary chuckled.

"Yeah, I guess I am," Ash answered, hopping off the eon dragon's back. "I try to avoid that since I prefer walking, but for emergencies he's great."

Umbreon looked at Ash and blinked in confusion. Pikachu wasn't on his shoulder. How odd. She shrugged and walked up the eon duo while Ash walked up to Gary. "So, what brings you here?" Gary asked.

"I just wanted to wish you luck on your journey," Ash answered.

"You came all the way here just to say that?" Gary asked in surprise.

Ash laughed. "Well, I do happen to have that 'convenient transport advantage' so it's not that big deal. I was going to talk to you at Oak's but you weren't around."

While the humans talked, Umbreon was making her demands known. "Where is he?" she asked.

Latios shrugged and did a barrel roll, causing Pikachu, who had been trying to hide on the Dragon's back, to fall off him and land in front of Umbreon. She grinned, looming over him. "Hello there," she said.

"Hello," Pikachu said nervously, standing up and taking a few steps back.

"Oh don't worry, I can't fight you now… lucky for you…" she grumbled.

"Really?" Pikachu asked hopefully.

"Yeah, Gary decided to only take me and Blastoise with him for now, and since we're going to be in this forest until we reach Viridian, I need to preserve my strength in case some silly wild Pokémon decides to mess with us," Umbreon explained, shaking her head unhappily. "Not that they'd be too troublesome, I could beat them easily, but you know how humans can get."

Pikachu sighed in relief. "Thankfully," he muttered.

"But that doesn't mean you're off the hook!" Umbreon snapped, causing Pikachu to fall back in surprise. "You better train hard, because when you get back from Hoenn, or if we meet along the way, we're having our battle. I'll be ready, despite Gary leaving the battle circuit."

"Alright," Pikachu said, giving in. At least the fight was put on hold for now.

She smirked. "See you until then," Umbreon said as she turned and walked back to Gary's side.

"Looks like you got yourself a date," Latios teased. A vein throbbed on Pikachu's forehead.

"Why did you have to roll over and expose me? I was perfectly safe hidden on your back," Pikachu said angrily.

"Nah, if she discovered I was hiding you, she'd use Faint Attack on me! Or worse…" Latios protested. "So I exposed you… not that I really mind." Pikachu growled as his cheeks sparked.

Meanwhile the human's were finishing their own conversation. "So Gary, I wish you the best of luck on becoming a researcher!" Ash said, grinning broadly.

"And I wish you the same in the Hoenn League!" Gary said. "Try not to mess up or do your usual silly antics."

"I won't…" Ash answered, chuckling. "So, where are you going now?"

"I'm heading to check on something in Viridian, and after that I'll return to Gramps' place to start learning how to be a researcher," Gary explain. "My new goal is to be the greatest Pokémon Professor of all time!"

"Wow, awesome!" Ash commented.

"Of course it's awesome!" Gary agreed proudly.

"Well, good luck. I've got to go now, I have to get to Vermillion City to take the ferry," Ash told the other Pallet Towner.

Gary laughed. "Gonna use Latios again?"

Ash nodded. "Yep!"

"Hehe, how convenient…" Gary commented.

"Yep, Well, take care Gary," Ash said as he held his hand out.

Gary smiled and shook it. "You too," he replied. 'And please don't do anything stupid, like you usually do,' Gary thought, sighing worriedly. He knew very well that Ash tended to get into all sorts of trouble on in his travels… like messing with Legendary Pokémon, for example.

"Hey, I don't do stupid things!" Ash snapped "I think…" Gary blinked in confusion, but before he could say anything a loud cry was heard. Both turned to see Latios recovering from a Thunder attack and Pikachu nodding to himself in approval.

"Hey!" Latios yelled. He was beginning to think that Pikachu zapped so hard his Dragon-Typing didn't help much.

"You've had it coming," Pikachu told him. "You know the reason."

"I'll get you back for that…" Latios muttered.

"Doubt it," Pikachu said confidently.

"You're defending your love aren't you? That's so cute! That means the denial phase is over!" Latios commented teasingly, using Telepathy so Umbreon didn't hear him. Pikachu shocked him again, adding a lot more voltage this time. "Owww…" Latios moaned. He grinned again, despite the pain. "Let's hope you don't take after Ash and aren't as dense as he is…" He commented teasingly again. Pikachu shocked him again, adding at least double the power from last time. "Ow…" Latios moaned weakly.

Latias giggled. "Oh, brother…"

"Why is Pikachu shocking Latios over and over again?" Gary asked, looking at them in confusion.

"I don't have a clue," Ash answered.

"You don't?" Gary said. "I thought you could understand them."

"Yeah, but I haven't been paying attention to their conversation…" Ash said Mareepishly. "Well, I better get going to Vermillion City. Goodbye Gary, see you later…good luck with the research and Pokémon Professor stuff!"

"Haha, well, good luck to you too Ashy-boy," Gary replied. "Good luck with the Hoenn League."

Ash smiled. "Thanks Gary." He turned and walked back to his Pokémon as Gary resumed his own walk… and Umbreon shot one last glare towards a certain Electric-Type. Pikachu looked away quickly. Ash looked at Latios. "Ready?" he asked.

"I think," Latios answered, recovering a bit from the constant shocks, he prepared to lower himself to the ground to allow Ash to climb aboard. As he did so, one of Ash's Pokéballs shook slightly and released Pidgeot in a bright flash of light, causing Ash to fall back in surprise.

"Hello!" Pidgeot chirped, bending down and nuzzling ash lovingly, this time minding the beak.

"Err, hi," Ash replied, mildly confused, but nonetheless hugging her to return her affections. 'What's up with her?' Ash thought, knowing that the eon dragons would pick up the question.

"She's just riding the high of knowing you'll be taking her to Hoenn," Latias answered. "She'll be back to her normal calm demeanor in a few days."

'Okay,' Ash thought. "Er, why did you break out of your Pokéball, Pidgeot?" He asked as he stood up, brushing himself off.

"Well, it's been a long time since I've carried you on my back. Since the next flight is a long one, I was wondering if I could take you there," Pidgeot explained, spreading her wings wide to emphasize her point and eagerness to have her trainer flying on her back again. "Don't worry, I'm very fast, as you'll recall from the last time we flew, so we'll get there in no time."

Ash smiled, nodding to the Flying-Type. "Sure, why not?"

Pidgeot would have smiled happily if she could, so she just nodded back. "Thanks!"

"You know the way to Vermillion City?" Ash asked.

Pidgeot nodded. "Of course I do! I've been around these parts a lot, I know them pretty well."

"Alright," Ash told her, reaching up and petting her gently. She lowered herself, spreading her wings wide and beckoning for Ash to get on her back with a light nod. He slowly climbed aboard, accommodating himself like he did the last time.

Pidgeot frowned. "Ash… haven't you grown at all? You weigh practically the same as the last time, and it was over a year ago! Are you eating well?"

Ash chuckled nervously. "Err… Must be all the walking exercise I do. Besides, remember you've become a stronger flyer since then."

Pidgeot shrugged. "Okay. But try to eat healthy! You really need a growth spurt. At this rate, people will think you're still ten years old for years to come!"

"I do need one…I want to be taller!" Ash agreed.

"You'll grow up sooner or later, don't worry," Latias told him.

"Aww, but I wanna grow now!" Ash complained again.

"Be patient," Latios advised him. "The more anxious you get, the slower it will seem."

"Alright…" Ash muttered, crestfallen.

"Hehe, don't worry Ash, you'll grow up one day," Pikachu assured him, nodding slightly. "Now we better get going." Instead of jumping on Pidgeot, Pikachu hopped on Latios's back, earning a questioning look from him.

"What's up with you?" Latios asked, turning his long and slender neck to look at him.

"In case you make any smart comments and I need to shock you, I'll ride here since Pidgeot wouldn't like a midair shock. You, on the other hand…" Pikachu explained. Latios groaned.

Pidgeot flapped her wings a few times before rising to the air, Latias and Latios following her. She quickly began to rise high to the sky, the eon Dragons right behind her. "It's nice to fly with you without worrying about some bully Fearow," Pidgeot commented.

"Yeah," Ash agreed. "I'm glad he won't be bothering anyone else ever again."

Latias grinned mischievously. It was going to be a long flight so she decided to do something to pass the time. Without warning she tackled Latios and drew back quickly. "Tag! You're it!" She chorused happily. Leave it to Latias to want to play the entire flight to Vermillion. Latios knew that if he said no to her game he'd make her sad, and he'd never want to do that, so he complied and began to chase after her.

"Waaahhh!" Pikachu screamed as he clung to Latios' neck for dear life.

Latios chuckled. "You wanted to fly on my back didn't you? Deal with it."

"If I had known Latias was gonna play tag with you I would have ridden with Ash!" Pikachu choked in between screams.

Latios laughed. He was considerate enough to generate a small psychic shield on his back to make sure Pikachu didn't fall off, but the Electric-Type didn't know that. 'Payback for all those shocks…' Latios thought happily as he chased after Latias, Pikachu screaming and clinging to his back all the way. Ash couldn't help but chuckle in amusement as he watched Latios chase Latias around the sky.

After a forty-five minute flight, they arrived at Vermillion City, seeing the city appear over the horizon. "Finally!" Ash said happily. "It's been a long time since I was last here…"

Latias and Latios returned to his side, seeing that they were nearing the city. "Thanks for playing with me, brother," Latias said, smiling at Latios.

"You're welcome sis," Latios replied, smiling back. "You still alive back there Pikachu?" Latios asked, tilting his head to look at his back.

"Y-yeah…" Pikachu muttered, still clinging to Latios' back from a newly gained fear of heights, or probably extremely high speeds, it was hard to tell.

"Should we land in the outskirts?" Latios asked, turning to look at Ash.

"No, we can land at the docks. You two turn invisible, I doubt anyone would be surprised to see a trainer arriving on a Pidgeot's back. You'll have to hand Pikachu over, though," Ash said, Latios nodded in agreement and flew beside Pidgeot until his wing was a foot or so away from Ash.

"There, Pikachu, jump over," Latios told him.

Pikachu shook his head rapidly and clung to his neck harder. "No!" he screamed. "I might fall…"

Latios sweatdropped. "When we played in the garden back when we first met, you didn't have any problem jumping between me and Latias," he pointed out.

Pikachu clenched his teeth. "In the garden, we weren't flying hundreds of feet off the ground!"

"I think you went too rough on him, Latios…" Pidgeot commented. "Forty minutes of extremely high speed flying on a Pokémon that can't fly or levitate can be very traumatizing…or thrilling, if you like that sort of thing…"

"Yeah, the first time I flew on his back I was kinda dazed too, but he went slower after a while," Ash recalled.

Latios laughed. "True…" he admitted. His eyes glowed as he levitated Pikachu off his neck and into Ash's arms quickly. "There."

"Hey buddy," Ash greeted.

"Finally back home…" Pikachu murmured, a dazed tone in his voice. Latios and Latias turned invisible as they neared Vermillion City.

"Head straight to the docks, Pidgeot," Ash ordered. The avian Pokémon nodded.

"I wonder how the crowds would react if you arrived on the docks flying on my brother instead," Latias commented.

"They'd probably freak out," Latios replied, laughing at the prospect.

"Yeah," Ash agreed, laughing as well. "Being able to turn invisible sure is a convenient ability isn't it?"

"Yep," Latias agreed, nodding. "Sometimes it's too convenient…"

"How so?" Ash asked.

"…Hmm. Good question," Latias said. They sweatdropped.

They were now slowly closing on the docks of the city. Several ships were anchored in the harbor. Hundreds of people were moving around the place, loading and unloading the boats or embarking and disembarking, depending on the function of the vessel.

Pidgeot landed in a relatively clear spot on the dock. A few people turned to look at them, but they quickly dismissed it as nothing out of the ordinary and resumed their business. Ash hopped off Pidgeot's back. "Finally! Solid ground!" Pikachu cried, feeling a wave of relief wash over him as he jumped out of Ash's arms and started kissing the ground, only to gag and start spitting when he got a good taste of it. Latios had to suppress a laugh.

Ash chuckled. He turned and gave Pidgeot a light hug. "Thanks for the flight."

"You're welcome," Pidgeot chirped happily, bowing low.

Ash smiled and held a Pokéball up. "Pidgeot, return." A red beam shot from the Pokéball and returned Pidgeot inside the sphere. Ash replaced it on his belt and turned to look at all the ships. "So… which one's our ferry?" he asked aloud.

"Look on the ticket, it should say so there," Latios suggested.

"Can't you recall? You looked at it in Pallet Town," Ash replied.

Latios laughed Mareepishly. "I was too distracted by the fact that the ticket had me and my sis on it…"

Ash chuckled and reached for his ticket, which was in his backpack. He quickly found it and held it up to read. "Let's see…the ship for Alto Mare leaves at midday, a ferry called the 'S.S. Great Sea.' What time is it?"

Latios looked at the sun. "It's-"

"Eleven forty," Pikachu cut in.

Latios stared at him in astonishment. The Electric-Type wasn't even remotely as good as him in telling the time with a simple gaze at the sun's position. "How did you know?"

"Because there's a big pillar with a huge clock over there…" Pikachu deadpanned, pointing to a massive clock at the center of the docks, probably placed there to make sure everyone kept track of time and met their schedules. Everyone sweatdropped.

"Brilliant brother…" Latias commented teasingly. Latios flushed in embarrassment.

"Well, we should get on board and get ready to set sail," Ash suggested. He felt the eon twins agree with him mentally and turned to look for a ship that had the same name as the one in the ticket. He found it on one of the side docks. It wasn't as colossal as others, but it wasn't small by any means. On the side of the ship was painted the words 'S.S. Great Sea'.

"Yep, that's our ship," Pikachu said, nodding. "Let's go."

Before Ash could walk over there, a familiar voice interrupted him. "Well, well, well, seems we have a baby on the docks," a deep masculine voice boomed.

"Ahhhh!" Ash screamed in fright as he turned and saw a colossal human that was probably bigger and had more muscles than a Machoke. Scratch that, not probably, he was bigger and stronger. Both Latias and Latios turned quickly, and their jaw dropped in astonishment at the sigh of the massive human.

"The… Hell… he's huge!" Latios commented.

"Understatement of the year!" Latias exclaimed in astonishment. "Are humans supposed to get that big?"

"Hahaha!" Lt. Surge laughed. He loved scaring younger trainers. Even if Ash had beaten him long ago, physically he was still a child, though almost everyone was like a child when compared physically to the Vermillion Gym leader.

"Oh, it's you…" Ash muttered once his fright had died down. "Don't do that again!"

"Sorry, couldn't resist," Surge apologized. "Mmhmm, I see your Pikachu hasn't evolved yet, I thought that should have happened already with all the fights he had in the Silver Conference."

Ash blinked. "You watched the Silver Conference?" he asked.

"Of course I did! It's a tradition for Gym Leaders to watch other leagues," Lt. Surge answered. "Just look at the baby I met over two years ago, barely knowing the basics of Pokémon battling…and now you're a kid with a Legendary Pokémon…amazing."

"Thanks," Ash said, happy to be recognized "At least I'm less of a baby than back then… right?"

"Yeah, just don't let that go to your head," Lt. Surge warned him.

Ash laughed. "I won't."

"So, which region are you going to now?" Lt. Surge asked.

"I'm heading for Hoenn, that's where I'll be competing next," Ash answered.

"Hoenn eh, that's an interesting place," the Vermillion Gym Leader agreed. "I wish you the best of luck, kid."

Ash smiled. "Thanks, Surge…and please stop spooking people and beating up helpless beginner trainers."

Lt. Surge laughed. "No way kid. The first two Gyms usually go easy, I like to give trainers a taste of reality and burst their little I-am-unbeatable bubbles that they get when they start out. I like to show them what being a trainer really means. Didn't that help when I did it to you?"

Ash found himself agreeing, especially since the badge he got from Lt. Surge was the first one he won in a real battle. The first two he had won were from helping and proving to be a good trainer to Brock and Misty despite his pathetic performance in his battles against them.

"No, you won them out of pity and you know it," Latios said flatly in his mind.

'Hey! You don't know that for sure!' Ash argued, thinking his response so the Electric-Type Gym leader didn't hear it.

"I'm a Psychic, of course I know it for sure," Latios answered.

Thankfully, the voice of the dock's Port Authority over the main speakers saved Ash from further painful truths. "All passengers for the S.S. Great Sea with Alto Mare as their destination please board the ferry, it will be leaving in ten minutes," a female voice boomed.

"That's my ship," Ash said, feeling relieved, though he just knew Latios was smirking at him. "Well, it was nice talking to you again. Bye, Lt. Surge!" Ash said as he turned towards the ship.

"Alright kid, smash those Hoenn Gyms apart!" Lt. Surge cheered. "Oh, and give my old pal Wattson my best wishes when you get to Mauville Gym, we go way back!"

"Sure, no problem!" Ash said as he neared the ship. He began walking up the boarding ramp along with several other passengers. When he reached the top a guard stopped him.

"Ticket please," the guard said. Ash handed him the ticket. The guard spared it one quick look before he ripped part of it and pocketed it, returning the rest to Ash. "Enjoy the trip."

"Thanks," Ash said as he walked inside the ship. "Neat," he commented, looking around the interior of the very impressive ship. It looked even fancier than the last big ship he was on, the S.S. Anne. He shivered when he recalled that doomed voyage.

"It's not a good idea to think of a ship that sunk while you are in another one," Latias told him.

"I agree…" Pikachu muttered, getting the same feeling.

"Well, let's go look around" Ash suggested brightly. He paused, an idea occurring to him. "Let's go to the restaurant!" He said as he took off running, his Pokémon following him, not the least bit surprised that the first place he wanted to go to was where he could get something to eat.


"There, the twerp boarded the ship already," Jessie announced, holding her binoculars as she looked at the ship. "There's a small cargo door there, we should be able to sneak in easily."

"Hm, we should move quickly, the Gym Leader is in the area," James grumbled, easily spotting the towering figure moving through the crowds.

"We oughta be careful… once we sneak on the ship, we can do something ta get close ta da twerp and steal his Pokémon!" Meowth said, smirking.

They nodded to each other. "When do we go? It'll set sail any minu-" Jessie started.

The ship's horn sounded off as the ship began to move out of the dock, setting out towards the sea. The trio looked at each other dumbly. "After it!" Jessie shouted as the trio ran towards the dock as she ship edged away from it. "Hurry! We have to stow away on that ship!"

"Huh?" Several dock security staff said at the same time as they heard that and turned towards the source of the shout. Several silent seconds passed in which no one moved.

"AFTER THEM!" The security chief roared, and about twenty or so guards began chasing the Team Rocket trio towards the edge of the dock to stop them from getting on the ship, but, with their stupidity and luck on their side, we all know they were going to succeed and elude the guards and stow away on the ship, right? How would they do this? You decide.


"Where is the restaurant?" Ash whined in despair as he got hopelessly lost inside the large ferry.

"You could ask one of the staff," Pikachu suggested.

"True…" Ash agreed after a moment's thought.

"Hey…" a voice said. Ash blinked and looked around. "Hey, you," the voice said again. Ash turned and saw a weird guy behind a wooden sales stand nearby.

"Err, what?" Ash asked, clearly confused.

"Check this out, its perfect if you want to be rich!" the man said, Ash walked closer to the stand. He reached from under his wooden counter and pulled out… a golden Pidgey?

"A golden Pidgey?" Ash asked, astonished over the odd coloration.

"Yes… you see, this Pidgey is special, it can lay eggs made of gold! If you sell them every time it lays an egg, you'll be rich! You'll be getting a nice healthy income from Golden Eggs alone!" The Salesman informed him. "It's very expensive for that reason, but for you I'm happy to make a special one-time discount. What do you say?"

Latios snorted. 'No one is stupid enough to fall for that cheap trick,' he thought to himself.

'Everyone knows Pidgey can't lay golden eggs,' Latias thought to herself. 'It's obviously some cheap scam…'

'Ha… eggs made of gold? That's biologically impossible, plus the feathers clearly look painted. Whoever painted that Pidgey did an awful job…' Pikachu thought, chuckling at the stupidity of the scam. 'No one's falling for that…'

"AWESOME!" Ash commented in pure amazement, his eyes turning into stars over the Pidgey. "That's so cool, I want one!" he said giddily.

Latias, Latios and Pikachu stared at him incredulously and facefaulted. "I can't believe he fell for it…" Pikachu groaned.

"Ash!" Latias yelled in his mind, causing him to let a startled yelp. "That Pidgey is just painted up to look golden!"

"It's biologically impossible to lay eggs made of gold!" Pikachu yelled at him.

"He's trying to trick you, you idiot!" Latios added.

It took Ash a second to process all that. "Hey! You're trying to trick me!" Ash realized.

The salesman paled in utter terror. He quickly packed up his sales stand and Pidgey at a colossal speed, so fast no one could keep track of it. "Gotta go!" The salesman shouted as he ran down the corridor, probably to try to scam someone else.

Ash laughed Mareepishly, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "I messed up a bit…"

You think? Latios said deadpan.

"Let's just go to the dining hall…" Pikachu suggested. He couldn't help but chuckle at what Ash had almost fell for.

"Sorry… it just seemed so real…" Ash apologized.

Latios laughed. "It's okay, we're here to save you from doing anything too stupid. Gary was right to warn you to be careful. It's a good thing we're here to save your from yourself, right?"

Ash glowered at him. "I suppose…"

Latias nodded. "Yep, that's why we're here. Come on, we'll lead you to the dining hall."

Ash blinked. "How do you know where it is?" he asked.

"We can read the minds of the staff, since you're so dead set on not asking…" Latias answered.

Ash shrugged. "Lead the way then!" he said cheerfully. With that he followed Latias to the restaurant, his stomach growling in happy anticipation.


The travel aboard the ship was relatively nice and uneventful, Ash was delighted with the food and the relaxation, and everything else the ferry had to offer was great.

They were rather surprised to see Team Rocket on board as well, but before they could get in a fight, the trio told them they were too busy to bother them right now, leaving Ash confused… until they heard something about James demanding a refund over a Golden Pidgey he'd bought.

Their three days aboard the ferry may have been pleasant, but as the boat docked at Alto Mare's main port, a certain pair found the travel aboard it to be nothing compared to the happiness of seeing their beloved hometown again.

"It seems exactly the same as we left it…" Latios commented, gazing at the island city.

"Yeah," Latias agreed happily. Both of them were looking over the railing of the Ferry as they waited for the boarding ramp to be extended so passengers could get off the ship. They could simply fly into the city, but they decided to wait for Ash, since he'd probably get lost within the first few streets of the city without them to hold his hand.

"We have arrived at the island city of Alto Mare," the ship's captain informed everyone over the speakers. "All passenger may now take the ramp down to the city."

As the boarding ramp finished being set into the dock, the passengers gradually started to leave the ship and disappear into the city. Ash was among their number. After he was on solid land, Latias and Latios smiled as they flew off the ship, looking at their surroundings. "It's still as pretty as ever," Latios said, looking around.

"I feel so nostalgic…" Latias commented. "But the city does feel…different."

"Sensing more power around us? That's dad's power, flowing through the canals of the city, watching over and protecting the people who live here," Latios told her.

"Yeah, it's really neat," she responded. "So, where should we go to first? Bianca's place or the Secret Garden?"

"Let's go to the garden, I'm eager to check on it," Latios suggested. "After that we can go to Bianca's and see how she's doing."

"Alright," Latias said, nodding. Both dragons began to fly towards the nearest entrance to the Secret Garden. They did so at a relatively moderate pace so Ash could follow them without falling back. Since they were invisible, he retorted to his other senses to follow their movements.

After a few minutes of walking they turned into an alley, and then into another. After a series of turns, they stopped and stared into one of the nondescript walls on the side of the alley. "Here," Latios said. "This is an entrance to the garden." He flew threw it.

Ash walked forward and looked in wonder as his body passed through the wall effortlessly. It had been a while since he saw the illusions. "Neat," Pikachu commented, glancing back as the illusion shimmered back into place.

Latias and Latios dropped their invisibility as they entered the garden, smiling as they took in the unforgettable scents and views of the place they had grown up in, the place they had called home for over a hundred years.

Despite their absence for several months, the garden was still very pretty and well-tended. All the statues had been kept neatly clean and polished, the plants were neatly trimmed and in full bloom, and the water as pure and clear as it had always been. "Bianca's done a good job keeping the garden tidy for us while we were away," Latias commented.

"Yeah," Latios agreed.

They flew to the main pedestal where the Soul Dew was placed, Ash trailing after them. They all peered down at it once they arrived at its resting place. The Soul Dew emitted a small pulse of light, almost like it was delighted to see them again. "Hiya dad!" Latias said cheerfully.

"Wow, it's as bright as ever," Ash commented, seeing it shining brilliantly.

"Yep," Latios agreed, smiling, clearly content with his home's condition.

Ash looked up at the open skies above the garden. "Hey, does this place have a roof…or an illusion of one?" Everyone sweatdropped.

"You remembered that?" Latias asked, surprised.

"I was really curious on the matter," Ash said, glancing at her.

"Now that I think about it, who was the one that placed the illusions in the Secret Garden in the first place?" Pikachu asked.

"Well, according to what Lorenzo and his father has told us way back when we were young, our dad made them," Latios answered. "Apparently, when my father moved the entire ocean to make Alto Mare an island and save it from that evil trainer way back then, he wanted to make sure we had a save haven within the city when we hatched. Using what last bits of power and life he had left, he created the Secret Garden and placed all the illusions to protect it," Latios told them. The Soul Dew seemed to agree with this and it pulsed lightly, sending small motes of light rippling across the water. Latios chuckled. "Guess that confirms it."

"Interesting," Pikachu muttered. "So Latios, as a species, can make illusions?"

Latios nodded. "Yes, we do have some skill for it. Just look at how much illusions my dad made, and they're so powerful they've lasted for over a hundred years, though I suppose the Soul Dew is what's maintaining them."

"Wow," Ash commented, clearly astounded. "Can you make them too?"

"As I am now? No, it takes a lot of knowledge and training to make illusions as advanced as my dad's. Me and my sis only know some basic stuff, like our human disguises and how to become invisible. We still have a long way to go to become true illusionists," Latios answered.

"I see…" Ash murmured.

"Well, now that we've seen everything's fine here, we should go and see Bianca," Latias suggested. "We'll come back here later, we have two days to hang out, after all."

Ash nodded. "Sure, lead the way!"

Latias bent down and gave a small kiss to the Soul Dew, silently thanking the soul that resided within for everything. It resonated with the feeling and pulsed slightly, like it wanted to return the affection. She pulled back and dried her face feathers with a quick psychic pulse before floating to one of the exits, the others following her. She grinned, and in a bright shower of blue sparkles assumed Bianca's form. "It's been a while since I disguised myself," she commented.

"Yeah, wanna surprise Bianca?" Pikachu asked, Latias nodded.

"Just don't go off running," Ash told her.

Latias smiled. "I won't," she said telepathically. Unsurprisingly, she took off running.

"Wait up!" Ash called to her as he chased after her, trying to keep up. Latios chuckled to himself and followed them quietly.

After lots of running, they arrived at Bianca and Lorenzo's house. Latias turned to look at the panting Ash as he struggled to keep up. "You're… as fast… as ever…" he panted.

Latias mentally giggled. "I love doing that," she told him.

"I don't…" Ash muttered tiredly. Latias knocked on the door.

"Who is it!" a voice asked from inside, followed by the sound of someone approaching the door.

"Guess who!" Latias called telepathically.

Bianca eagerly opened the door, a look of pure elation lighting up her face, but before she could voice her greeting, Latias tackle-hugged her playfully, causing both of them to fall to the floor. "Hi Bianca!" Latias greeted happily.

"Hi Latias," Bianca greeted once she got her breath back. Latias smiled and got up, allowing Bianca to stand up. "I was wondering when you'd come and visit," she commented. "I wasn't that worried though, I knew you'd come."

"Of course we'd come," Ash said, smiling at her. Once they closed the door, Latias resumed her Pokémon self and Latios dropped his invisibility.

"Hello Bianca," Latios greeted, smiling.

Bianca walked up to him and hugged him. "Hi Latios, how are you? Feeling better after that Semi-final fight?" Bianca asked, looking at him in concern.

"Yeah, I'm all healed and better now," he answered, smiling down at her.

"That's good to hear," she answered. Bianca then glared at Ash, causing him to stiffen in fright. "You better make sure he's not beaten up like that again, you hear me?"

"I will!" Ash said quickly, holding his arms up defensively.

She paused. "Nice new clothes, they look good on you. And hey, they bring out your eyes better," she complimented.

Ash blushed slightly. "Thanks… I've been told that before…"

"Hello everyone," Lorenzo said as he walked down from upstairs, everyone turning to him. "It's good to see you all again."

"Hi Lorenzo!" Latias greeted.

"Hello," Latios said. Ash and Pikachu greeted him as well.

"Long time no see," Lorenzo commented. "Congratulations to all of you for your splendid performance in the tournament!"

"Thanks," Ash said gratefully.

"Yeah, thanks," Latios agreed.

"Oh, I just recalled, guess what?" Bianca said excitedly. Both Latias and Latios looked at her. "No mind reading!" she said quickly, causing both dragons to laugh.

"Well, without looking into your mind to figure out, we can't really guess," Latias said.

"Well, I talked it out with my grandpa, and I've decided that I'm going with you to Hoenn!" She said excitedly. "I want to start painting new Pokémon, and what better way to do that than to travel around in a new region, and I could go with Ash so I can stay safe and hang out with you guys," she said.

Latias grinned happily. "Awesome!"

Latios smiled too. "That's great, Bianca."

"Yeah, it'd be great to have you!" Ash agreed, relieved he wouldn't be the only human of the group after all.

"Wow, and you didn't even have to destroy her bike to get her to join you, too," Pikachu commented, causing Ash to sweatdrop

"I know," Bianca replied with a smile. "The only thing I'm uncertain of is if the garden will be okay with just Grandpa to take care of it."

"The garden will be fine," Latios assured her. "The Soul Dew's power helps it brim with life. Besides, me and Latias can ask the local Pokémon that spend their time in the garden to help care for it. With us being Legendaries, I'm sure they'll agree.. But what about you, Lorenzo? Will you be fine all alone?"

"Don't worry Latios, I'll be fine. My job at the museum and the gondola workshop will keep me busy. Besides, seeing how happy Bianca is over the prospect of traveling is all that I need to keep me motivated," Lorenzo answered.

"Thanks grandpa," Bianca said gratefully, glad to be given the chance to travel.

Latias hovered over to Bianca and hugged her. "Yay! No sad good-byes!"

Bianca laughed. "Yep, no good-byes."

"So, do you already have your ticket for Hoenn?" Ash asked.

"No, I wanted to wait to know which ship you were going to board," Bianca answered.

"Alright then, let's go and get one for you," Ash suggested. "After that we can hang around the city, I'm sure that'll delight Latias and Latios."

"Yes, it will," Latios agreed, nodding happily at the idea.

"Then let's go!" Ash said cheerfully, glad that it seemed he'd have a new traveling companion. With that the group set out yet again, all of Alto Mare open to them.

Two days later…

After two days of nonstop fun around the scenic city of Alto Mare, the big day for Ash had finally come. The day he was boarding the ferry that would take him and his friends to Hoenn. It had been a nice stay and a good break before he returned to the hard and arduous work of being a Pokémon trainer, and a part of Ash was actually sad to leave, but he knew it was time to continue his journey. They were waiting in the Alto Mare harbor for the ship they were taking, a massive cruise ship called the 'S.S. Blue Star,' to lower the boarding ramp to allow all passengers to embark on the ship.

Ash was acting like he was on a sugar high, barely able to contain the excitement of going to a new region. Bianca was also excited that she would be getting the chance to see a brand-new region. "Finally! It's almost time to go to Hoenn! Just a few minutes!" Ash commented eagerly. Pikachu, Latias and Latios smiled, none of them wanting to point out that it would take almost four to five days for the ship to reach Hoenn. Well, Latios wanted to, but Latias wouldn't let him.

In the meantime, hidden behind some cargo crates... "There's the twerps!" Jessie hissed. "This time, no Salesman is going to stop us from attacking him and getting his Pokémon!"

"Which reminds me, I have to get back at that guy! What am I supposed to do with a Pidgey!" James said angrily, holding a Pokéball containing a common Pidgey that a few days ago had gold paint on its feathers. "First he tricks me with a Magikarp, and now a Pïdgey!"

"Well, it's one Pokémon more to fight the twerps," Jessie commented.

"Jessie, dat Pidgey is still a kiddie, you can't pit him against Latios!" Meowth told her worriedly.

Jessie glared at him. "How about you fight Latios, then" she suggested.

Meowth paled in terror. "N-no thanks! I'd rather fight Pikachu!" he said quickly, terrified at the prospect of fighting a Legendary Pokémon, who knew what Latios would do to him in a real battle.

"Let's stow inside the ship. This time we must make sure we aren't stopped, eluding the guards might be more difficult here…" James grumbled. They nodded to each other and started planning how to infiltrate the S.S. Blue Star.

They were unaware that just as they were watching Ash, someone else was watching them through a pair of binoculars…

"Yes!" the Magikarp Salesman said happily. "It's those idiots again! Time to prepare a new scam! Oh, I'm going to make so much money off those knuckleheads!" With that, he followed the Rocket trio to stow away on the ship as well.

"All passengers traveling in the S.S. Blue Star to Littleroot Town, please board the ship," the dock speakers said as the ship lowered its ramp to start allowing people in.

Ash and Bianca walked to it, followed by the invisible eon dragons. "Tickets please," the ramp guard said. Ash and Bianca handed him their tickets. He ripped part of them off and pocked it, and returned the stubs to Bianca and Ash. "Have a nice trip," he said. They nodded and walked up the ramp into the ship.

"Finally!" Ash shouted enthusiastically. "Prepare yourself Hoenn Gym Leaders and League, because trainer Ash Ketchum's coming for you! The Hoenn League…will be mine!"

And finally done! I have finished A New Chance At Life! =D Amazing isn't it?

Well, writing this Fanfic for all of you my dear readers was certainly a delight to me. Now comes the sequel. I'm sorry to tell you all that it'll take me a while to post it since I have to plan it and all that. I don't know when exactly I'll be posting it, probably in two or three months, I'm not really sure, it depends on how long it takes for me to get a rough draft of what I want for it, sorry It'll take a bit… but remember I'll be rewriting an entire freaking region, not easy, and I want it to become an splendid Fanfic so taking my time will be good to make sure it turns out cool.

Don't worry; I won't leave you all story-less until then. While I plan it, I'll be working on my other Fanfic Gods and Mortals. If you ever want to know what the progress is on the planning for "A New Chance For Adventure," fell free to PM me, I'll gladly respond.

Also, I promised I'd say a bit on what you should all expect from the sequel. Well, I thought of something way better. I'll write a teaser chapter of it! I'll post it here at the end of A New Chance At Life. Note that it's not a part of A New Chance At Life itself, you can all consider it a prelude for what's coming in the next Fanfic. I'll post it when I'm a bit more advanced into my planning of the sequel. I'll update Gods and Mortals before that, probably.

Finally, I'd like to mention the credits for A New Chance At Life. Here's the people I want to thank for their assistance in helping me shape up and write this Fanfic.


Writer: ARCEUS-master. (Of course XD)

Beta Reader: Ri2. I want to sincerely thank Ri2 for all the help he gave me on this fanfic, especially at the beginning. He gave me lots of advise on how to improve my writing and many suggestions to shape up this story when I needed them the most. He's been there for me ever since I started writing, and I'm sure he'll be helping with the sequel too. Thank you, my friend.

Additional people who have helped me:

ForLatios / ForPain (He's always been known as "ForLatios" but he changed his penname a few weeks ago to "ForPain"). He's been a great help in planning my fanfic from very early on, plus he always makes comments on my writing and gives useful suggestions. Thanks.

Shakari. She's an awesome friend of mine who helps me out a lot, especially with constructive insight and critique into my writing, helping me see things I could have done better and suggestions on what I can do to improve the quality of my work. She's also very good with giving plot ideas and scenes, really, really good. Ever since I met her she's become a great helper in my Fanfic. Thanks a lot for all your help Shakari!

Lady Venamisa. She's also a good person who always offers help and insights on my writing. I've known her since before I started writing, though I openly started to talking to her after I became an author. She's helped me a lot on planning what I can do for my fanfic. Thanks.

Just like they've helped me in shaping up A New Chance At Life, I offer thanks in advance for all the help I'm sure I'll get for the sequel, A New Chance For Adventure.

That's all for now, until I write that teaser chapter. Also, please be kind and leave a review! It'd be awesome to hear the opinions of my readers on how my fanfic has been as a whole, from start to finish. REVIEW! Yay!