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

Ash proudly walked through the streets of Viridian City. His latest adventure had just ended and he was looking forward to spending some time home at Pallet Town. Without Team Rocket constantly trying to capture his Pikachu, he had gotten a lot done, and felt proud of his achievement.

"Now that I think about it Pikachu, we haven't seen Team Rocket in a while."

"Pika," replied the mouse Pokémon in a thoughtful tone. However, something caught his attention as it rode on Ash's shoulder and lightly tugged at his hair to get his attention.

"What is it Pikachu?" asked Ash as he turned, only to see the new Viridian Gym. This brought a smile to his face as well as memories. "Hey, let's go see if they found a new gym leader." He started towards the gym and then opened the double-doors. The rebuilt gym lacked the cold, and gladiatorial feeling of its predecessor, though he'd expect as much since Team Rocket was no longer in charge of it. "Hello, is anyone in here?"

"Have you come to challenge me?" That voice sounded familiar. Ash's eyes widened when he saw the blue-haired rocket standing at the other end of the battlefield with Chimecho around his shoulder. He was wearing the same outfit he and Jessie had worn when they tried to cheer his Pikachu before his battle with Lt. Surge.

"James!" Ash was completely dumbfounded by the fact that a man that he used to routinely send blasting off was now the new Viridian Gym leader.

When he recognized Ash, James was shocked too, but he quickly composed himself. He couldn't help smirking at the surprised on his former enemy's face. "It must be surprising to see me here," replied James in a nostalgic tone.

"James…you're the gym leader?" Ash was still having trouble swallowing that fact.

"Care to challenge me?" This got Ash's attention. "I've been working hard to achieve this position and I've been able to gather all of my Pokémon together, including the ones I had previously let go. We've never had a straight up six-on-six battle before, and I would like to see how we measure up."

"You're on," replied Ash excitedly. "Let's see how much you've improved."

"Pika!" Pikachu was just as excited as Ash.

The two proceeded to the ends of the stadium and James summoned a referee for the match. The computer displayed six slots for both Ash and James.

"Before we begin," said James. "I'm going to say that Chimecho will not be in this battle I used Chimecho to heal Pokémon, but it doesn't do any battling."

"That's fine," replied Ash. It sure is sporting of him to tell me that. Now I don't need to take Chimecho into account. I guess James has been through changes. He said he's gathered all six of the Pokémon he used to use to I should be able to predict them.

"Alright, I'll begin," said James. "Come out Carnivine!"

"Heracross, I choose you," said Ash.

"Now Carnivine use Vine Whip." The grass type lashed out at the beetle Pokémon, but its attack did little damage against the beetle's hard shell.

Ash smirked. "Heracross! Grab Carnivine and pull it in." Heracross obliged and used its immense strength to pull Carnivine into its range. I knew James would use a grass type, so bug and fire-types should have an advantage.

"Use crunch Carnivine!" The grass-type bit down hard, but the beetle's shell remained strong, and repelled the attack. This won't work, Carnivine is at a severe disadvantage, so I'll try this! "Use toxic!" Opening its mouth, Carnivine fired a black goop in Heracross' face, causing the beetle to let go and back away, wiping its face clean.

"Oh no!" I never expected him to poison Heracross, thought Ash.

"Now use Solarbeam!" Carnivine began gathering energy.

"Can you still fight Heracross?" Heracross nodded, before getting into a battle ready stance. "Alright, then use Mega horn!"

The beetle's horn glowed as it charged forward just as Carnivine fired its beam. After a brief clash, the horn pushed the beam back and Heracross' horn slammed into Carnivine, sending it back a few feet before it fainted.

"Carnivine is unable to battle," said the referee. "Heracross wins."

"Good job Heracross," said Ash, noting that it was fatigued from both effort and being poisoned. "Now return."

"Return Carnivine," said James with a soft smile. "You did well. Now go, Mr. Mime!" The Psychic type emerged, bearing a cheery smile reminiscent of its younger self.

"Alright,' then I'll use Snorlax!" The giant Pokémon popped out of its pokeball. "Alright Snorlax, be careful. Mr. Mime is a psychic type. Now use mega punch!" Snorlax tried to punch Mr. Mime, moving at a surprisingly fast speed.

"Use Barrier," replied James. Mr. Mime waved its arms up and down, forming a solid wall of protection. The wall shook under the force of the punch, but held strong. "Good, now use Psychic!" Mr. Mime raised its arms and its eyes glowed, causing Snorlax to levitate.

"Hang in there Snorlax," said Ash. "No use Hyper Beam!" The strong beam pierced through the barrier and hit Mr. Mime, knocking it out and freeing Snorlax. "Good job Snorlax!"

Calling back Mr. Mime, James smiled. He's knocked out two of my Pokémon, while I haven't beaten any of is, but I can tell that I'm wearing him down. He threw another Pokeball and Cacturn came out.

So he's using Cacturn next? It must've evolved from Cacnea. I'll just stick with Snorlax then. "I'll be staying with Snorlax."

"I thought so," replied James. "Now Cacturn use Drain Punch!" The grass-type's attack went uncontested as Snorlax needed to recharge from hyper beam. The fighting-type move was super effective, but Snorlax held stronger. "Now use pin missile!" Carturn's spines glowed and soon bombarded Snorlax with a barrage of darts.

Snorlax cringed in pain. "Hang in there Snorlax," said Ash. "Cacturn's within range, use Ice Punch!" In spite of its pain, Snorlax mustered the effort to form a fist.

"Cacturn, counter with Drain Punch!" The two fists collided, causing a small explosion, though when the smoke cleared, Snorlax was standing, with Cacturn at its feet. "Alright, return Cacturn."

"Your Pokémon are falling fast," commented Ash in a somewhat arrogant tone.

"Don't get cocky yet," replied James. "Come out Victorybell!" Snorlax is tired, yet Ash hasn't called it back. I'll make him pay for that. "Now use wrap!" Victorybell secured the weakened Snorlax with its vines. "Now use sleep powder!"

"Use hyper beam," said Ash in a panicked voice. However, it was too late, and Snorlax fell back, fast asleep.

"Snorlax is unable to battle," said the referee. "Victorybell wins."

"I was arrogant," said Ash. "But now I'll get serious. Let's go Charizard!" The Fire-type roared upon emerging. "Now use flamethrower!" Charizard fired a blast from its mouth, quickly enveloping Victorybell, making short work of the grass-type.

"Victorybell return," said James. I've only got two left, but Ash is going to be in for a surprise when I knock out his strongest Pokémon. "Alright, come out Wheezing!"

"I thought so," said Ash. I've only got two left, and I'm sure Charizard can handle it. Wheezing was probably his first Pokémon, but if he's not using Chimecho, what will his last one be? Decided not to think about it, Ash ordered Charizard to attack.

"Use smokescreen Wheezing!" Wheezing opened its mouth, and spewed smoke, easily able to hide from Charizard. The fire type looked around frustrated for its opponent. "Now use thunderbolt!"

Ash's eyes widened. Wheezing can use thunderbolt? Charizard cringed as the super effective attack hit home. "Quick, blow the smoke away with you wings." Shaking off the thunderbolt, Charizard flapped its wings, blowing the smoke away and exposing Wheezing. "Alright, now trap it with fire spin!" Charizard obliged, and Wheezing was now immobilized. Ash smirked confidently. It's time to end this. "Use Seismic Toss!"

As Charizard took Wheezing into the air and began somersaulting, James smiled mischievously. It's time… "Wheezing! Use Destiny Bond!"

Ash paid no attention to James' command as Charizard threw Wheezing towards the ground. Whatever he was planning, it didn't work. Moments later Wheezing slammed into the ground, and the referee announced that it was unable to battle. "Alright Charizard," cheered Ash.

Charizard landed and was about to roar triumphantly, but then it looked like something was caught in its throat. His eyes widened before he fell over onto his side. "Charizard is unable to battle," said the announcer.

Ash stared at the scene incredulously. "What? What happened? What did you do?"

"I told Wheezing to use Destiny Bond. It's an attack that causing the Pokémon that knocked Wheezing out to faint as well. So when Charizard knocked Wheezing out, it ended up knocking itself out."

"Fine," replied Ash. "But you're down to your last Pokémon, while I still have four left."

"Yes," replied James as he called Wheezing back. "However, I've saved the best for last. My first Pokémon." He saw Ash's eyes widen with surprise. "What made you think Wheezing was my first. You met Growly a long time ago."


"Right, now come out Growly!" James threw his pokeball and an Arcanine came out.

"Arcanine? Where did that come from…" However Ash quickly recalled the day he had gone to James' childhood home, and met his pet Growelithe. "Oh…so that was you first Pokémon. A fire-type, in that case I choose Buizel."

Buizel popped out of its pokeball and crossed its arms coolly. "Now use aqua jet!"

"Growly, use extreme speed!" Arcanine moved faster than the eye could see and tackled Buizel from the side. "Now use bite!" Arcanine chomped down on Buizel's tail. Buizel used water gun, hitting Arcanine in the face. "Growly, throw Buizel, and then use fireblast!" Arcanine obliged ant threw the weasel Pokémon before hitting it with a fireblast attack.

"Get up Buizel," said Ash desperately, but it was no use. Buizel was badly burned and collapsed after trying to get up. Ash called it back as a determined expression crossed his face. "Alright, since James is using his first Pokémon, I will too. How about it Pikachu?"

"Pika. Pikachu!" The mouse Pokémon leapt off Ash's shoulder, its cheeks sparking with anticipation.

"Now show Arcanine your speed with quick attack!" Pikachu obeyed and moved faster than the eye could see.

"Quick Growly! Use extreme speed to counter it." Arcanine began moving faster than Pikachu and knocked the mouse Pokémon back.

"Use Thunder," said Ash.

"Dodge and use fire spin!" Arcanine evaded the lighting and then hit Pikachu with fire spine, trapping the little mouse in a blazing vortex.

"Oh no Pikachu!" Ash realized that Pikachu needed to break out of the flame vortex. "Quick, use Volt Tackle!" Pikachu bust out of the vortex, its body surrounded by electricity as it charged towards Arcanine.

"Fire Blast," said James. Arcanine shot the large, oddly shaped attack, stopping Pikachu's Volt Tackle, and greatly weakening the mouse Pokémon. "End it with Take Down!" Arcanine pounced on Pikachu, winding it and knocking it out. I finally beat Pikachu, though James.

"No…Pikachu." Running up to his oldest friend, Ash picked up Pikachu, cradling it in his arms. "You did well Pikachu, just rest now." He turned to look at Arcanine seriously. I could really loose if I'm not careful. Arcanine is strong, and I can't use Heracross. I only have one choice then. "Go Tauros!" The large bull Pokémon snorted, rubbing its hooves against the ground.

Growly can beat Heracross, thought James. I just have to get through Tauros first. "Now Growly, use flamethrower!" Arcanine opened its mouth and shot flames at the bull.

Tauros mooed with pain as it took the attack head on. "Quick Tauros, shake the flames away and use horn attack." Tauros did so and then began charging at Arcanine, causing the ground to rumble.

"Use extreme speed." However, when Arcanine tried to move, its body sparked, and it couldn't move. James' eyes widened in realization. Off course, Pikachu's static! I shouldn't have finished that battle with Take Down! "Aright, then use fire blast instead."

Tauros was slowed down by the attack, but was still able to break through and hook Arcanine on its horns. "Good Job Tauros," said Ash.

"Use bite Growly," said James desperately. Arcanine bit into Tauros' head, causing the bull to mooed wildly and shake its head back and forth.

"Send Arcanine flying Tauros," said Ash. Tauros' eyes widened seriously before it jerked its head sideway, hooking Arcanine on its horn again, and then throwing it upwards. "Now use Fissure when its lands." Tauros mooed loudly before rearing onto its hind legs. When Arcanine fell, it brought its hooves onto the solid stadium floor, causing a crack in the earth. Arcanine fell into the crack and was knocked out instantly.

James chuckled to himself. Looks like I lost…oh well, at least I'm not blasting off this time. Calling back Arcanine, he approached Ash and shook his hand in the middle of the stadium. "That was a fun match. You definitely deserve the Earth Badge."

"Thanks," replied Ash.

"Chimecho, use heal bell." Chimecho emitted a calming sound, healing all of their Pokémon.

"Thank you," replied Ash. "We'd better get going Pikachu. I told mom that I'd be home in time for dinner."

"Good luck on your journey, and thanks for the wonderful battle," said James. Ash and Pikachu smiled, and waved goodbye as they walked out of the gym. Now that he had battled Ash, James felt more satisfied now. After blasting off from humiliating defeats, he was finally able to battle him on equal footing. Now he knew that he was definitely a worthier gym leader than his former boss.

I've been playing my old gameboy games, and this idea came to me. I like the idea of James leaving Team Rocket and becoming a more respectable trainer.