A/N: Well would you look at that? I'm not dead! 'Cause you all were SO worried...

Disclaimer: AguaGoddess does not own Pokemon.


Previously...

"Why do we have to grow up?" I wondered aloud. Misty scoffed playfully and edged a little closer to me.

"Everyone has to get older sometime or another, Ash. But we don't have to fully grow up. We'll always be those little ten-year-olds at heart. We can't live in the past, but we don't have to forget it. We should remember yesterday and keep living today, wherever that takes us."


May POV

I was having a nightmare. Well, it really wasn't meant to be scary. Most would describe it as a good dream. But it frightened me nonetheless.

His emerald eyes were illuminated by the moonlight. Drew slowly tucked a loose strand of my hair behind my ear, his hand lingering on my neck to cradle my face.

"I love you," he whispered, and slowly began to move forward, closer… and then closer….and-

-"MAY?" a strong voice shattered my perfect-I mean, er, disturbing dream. I reluctantly opened my eyes to see none other than Drew leaning over me. Not the person I wanted to see right then.

"Umm, good morning?" I said hoarsely. He squinted.

"Why is your face so red?" he asked. Instantly I blushed even more after that remark.

"Uh, I don't know what you are talking about. My face isn't red," I stuttered. Drew crossed his arms over his chest. He was still shirtless, I might add. He really wasn't doing me any favors here.

"Yes it is."

I scowled. He always had to get the last word.

"Well, excuse me for having an enjoyable dream. And what in the name of Arceus are you doing anyway?" I questioned.

"I woke you up so we could have enough time to get ready before we leave," he informed me. He narrowed his eyes. "And what were you dreaming about that was so enjoyable?"

My eyes widened. Maybe I could've left out that last bit. I could simply tell him it was none of his business, but I'd never hear the end of it. I quickly racked my brain for any possible person.

"Um, it was about…er, Brendan!" I blurted out. I cringed with regret as soon as I said it.

Drew's reaction was not what I would've expected, either. His eye twitched, and his eyes filled with….anger?

"You mean that douche bag with the white hair and unfashionable sweat band? Why would you be dreaming about him?" he spat.

I winced.

"Brendan is my friend! And he doesn't put me down all the time like someone else," I hinted.

Drew cocked his head to the side. "Who?"

I rolled my eyes. "Well, I gotta take a shower."

Brendan is my friend, I thought as I gathered my things to take a shower and headed to the bathroom. We had grown up together, being next-door neighbors. He had always been there for me with friendly advice. Unlike Drew. So why couldn't I stop thinking about that dream?

When I entered the bathroom, I was taken aback. Drew had made some room for all my things on the counter and placed them right next to his! I heard Drew shuffle in behind me. He grabbed his brush off the counter.

"You moved some of your stuff?" I asked softly.

"Yeah," Drew replied, as if he still couldn't believe what he did.

"Well…thanks. That was very thoughtful of you." I was astonished.

Drew shrugged. "Well, I felt bad about last night." He flashed a genuine smile and left the bathroom. I just stood there in shock for a few more minutes. I couldn't believe that Drew had actually listened to me and cared about something more than himself. Well, maybe he's not that bad of a guy, I thought.

I had just stepped out of the shower when I heard a shrill scream. I swiftly got dressed and hurried out into the hallway. Across the hallway, Dawn ran out of the room and slammed the door, panting.

"Did you just scream-" I started. Dawn nodded, a crazy grin on her fair face.

"Why are you out-"

-"I forgot Paul was still sleeping." She giggled. A big thud echoed from the other side of Dawn's door into the hallway. Dawn let out a squeal and threw herself against the door and grasped the doorknob, despite its violent shakes of protest. However, the person on the other side was obviously a lot stronger than her. The door flew open to reveal a livid Paul clad in pajama boxers. Only boxers, much to Dawn's hidden delight, judging from the growing redness of her face.

"Dawn…" Paul growled.

"I-I'm SO sorry!" Dawn cried, her face still a rather noticeable shade of red. "I just remembered something totally important, and I forget you were still sleeping!"

Paul's face softened.

"Fine," he grumbled, and trudged back into their room to sleep.

"So what's so import-" I started, before I was stopped by the door next to my room opening with a bang. Out came a ragged Ash, his hair disheveled. Pikachu bounded out of the room after him.

"What happened?" Ash asked in a hoarse voice.

"Hey, guys!" a cheery voice called from the other end of the hallway. Misty came skipping down the hall, fresh and bright.

"Misty, how are you so…enthusiastic?" I questioned, rubbing my tired eyes.

She rolled her sea blue eyes and laughed. "May, it's already ten o' clock! And I just finished my daily run with my Pokémon. We've been a little out of practice since we left the Gym."

She turned on Ash with an irritated expression. "And you said you were going to run with your Pokémon too!" She playfully smacked his belly with the back of her hand.

"Those abs are going to turn into mush if you stop exercising!"

Ash blushed. "Sorry, Misty, but I'm not going to get up extra early to run."

Misty might've grilled him a little longer, but then the door to my room opened.

"What is up with all the noise out here?" Drew sauntered out of our room. "You distracted me from my blow drying. Not cool."

"I'm so sorry," Dawn said sarcastically.

"Eh, it's fine." Drew ran his hand through his fluffy green locks. "I'm having a bad hair day anyway."

I squinted and tilted my head to the side. I couldn't find one thing wrong with it. Still looked perfect to me.

"So what's all the ruckus about?" Misty prodded.

"Hehe. Ruckus." Ash began to chuckle under his breath, and was silenced by a quick blow to the stomach, courtesy of Misty's fist.

"Well, I was laying in bed this morning, thinking about the ball tonight, when I remembered something vitally important!" Dawn gushed.

"NURSE JOY! Wait, no! COME BACK!" Brock's voice rang through the place as he sprinted down the hallway. He stopped when he saw us all gathered outside our doors.

"Oh hey, guys. What's up?" he asked.

"Dawn has a big announcement." Ash yawned.

"Right," Dawn continued.

"Well?" I asked impatiently.

Dawn grinned and closed her eyes, pausing for dramatic effect.

"We're going SHOPPING!"

A mixture of groans, squeals, and 'shoot me now's echoed down the hallway.

"Do we have to?" Ash whined.

"Come on, it'll be fun," I offered.

Trying to find a fancy dress, or any type of clothing for that matter, in less than a day with Dawn didn't exactly make my 'Fun Things To Do' list. But, I knew all of us, even the guys, would rather do a little shopping than face the wrath of Dawn's temper tantrums. Just imagine a PMS-ing Misty with her mallet, finding an empty cookie jar. Times ten. NOT good.

Dawn was about ready to burst with excitement, and even Misty looked interested.

"Why do we have to get new clothes? We're going there to talk to Celebi, not to dance," Drew reminded us.

"We still need to blend in," I said.

"And what else are we supposed to do with all this money Mew gave us?" Dawn added.

Misty's fiery head shot up. "She gave you guys MONEY?"

"She gave each of us two hundred bucks!" Brock exclaimed.

That was all Misty needed to hear.

"D-do you think I could, maybe, borrow some of that?" she asked Brock sweetly. He rolled his eyes.

"Sure."

"Hey!" Ash cut in. "I thought you hated shopping!"

Misty smiled and shook her head. "I do, but do you know how long it's been since I got a new outfit?"

"Way to support the guys," Ash grumbled. Misty turned to Dawn and I, ignoring Ash's complaints.

"I saw a huge mall just around the corner when I was running," she said.

"Perfect!" Dawn clapped her hands. "I just have to tell Paul."

We all followed Dawn into her room. The room was identical to Drew's and mine. One side of the room was neat and orderly, which I assumed to be Dawn's. The other side was not so tidy, complete with a messy bed occupied by a sleeping lump.

"PAUL!" Dawn hollered, approaching Paul's bed. She shook the sleeping teenager. Slowly, Paul sat up and rubbed his eyes.

"Hn?"

"We just wanted to let you know that we're going to be leaving in about a half an hour to go shopping for outfits for tonight. 'Kay?" Dawn explained cheerfully.

Paul blinked, then collapsed back to the bed in an exhausted heap.

Dawn slowly turned back to us, her cobalt eyes wide and her brow furrowed.

"Okay….so I'll take that as a yes!" She clapped her hands together and skipped out of the room. We all followed her out and went to our respective rooms to get ready.

Even in our rooms, we could hear Dawn's voice in the hallway.

"Piplup, get UP! It's a fashion emergency!"

*Sweatdrop*


We arrived at the mall at about eleven o' clock. Of course, we were supposed to be there by ten, but it took us at least a half an hour to drag Paul out of bed. Then we had to eat breakfast, which always takes a while when you're with Ash and May.

We were standing in the middle of the food court, the rich smell of grilled burgers and garlic-filled calzones wafting through the air. (I don't know about you, but that's what the mall food court I go to smells like.)

"Okay, we've got-" Dawn stopped to check her PokeNav, "Three hours! Let's move!"

Brock, Drew, Ash, and Paul headed off to a fancy guy's store, while Dawn, Misty, and I found a formal dress store. Misty bolted to the clearance section, and Dawn floated over to the section with the most extravagant and expensive dresses. I just stood near the entrance, not knowing where to start. I hadn't gotten a new dress in a while.

I approached the nearest dress rack, but before I could start looking, Misty emerged from the back with a dress in her arms.

"Misty, it's perfect!" Dawn was suddenly right next to me. It was cerulean blue in color, and was tight all the way down until it reached right above the hips and flowed out into a graceful skirt that touched the floor. It had a thick one-shoulder strap that was covered in delicate tiger lily flowers and pearls.

"It's great, Misty," I agreed with Dawn. It matched her personality wonderfully.

"And I'm sure Ash will love it!" Dawn added, only to get a playful slap on the arm by Misty.

"You really think so?" Misty asked, blushing.

"Definitely. It suits you well," I assured her.

Misty sighed and ran her fingers along the shiny fabric.

"I don't know. I don't think I'll be able to lift my legs enough to kick Ash if he gets out of line," she chuckled.

"I'm sure you'll find a way," Dawn said sarcastically.

"Well….all right!" Misty decided. "I'll get it!" As she rushed up to the check-out counter, I went back to leafing through racks. A couple of minutes later, a shriek echoed through the store.

Dawn, I thought to myself with a smirk. I turned around the corner to see Dawn wearing a knee-length dress on her small figure. How were they finding these so fast?

The whole dress was black, but it was far from boring. It was a black silk strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline. It was tight until below the bust, where it met three tangled white belts and broke into a wide scrunchy skirt. It was so Dawn.

"Well, what do you think?" Dawn asked eagerly.

"It's...out there," I said slowly. Dawn pouted.

"You don't like it."

"No, no! I love it! You'll definitely stand out," I said.

Dawn squinted. "I don't know. It just seems like it needs something."

"It's fine, Dawn," I said. Dawn grinned.

"Well, I'll get it!" she exclaimed, and ran over to join Misty at the checkout.

I sighed. Everyone had found a dress but me. I looked at the remaining racks, but nothing seemed just right.

I trudged back up to the counter, about to tell Misty and Dawn that I'd have to look elsewhere. But something caught my eye. I backed up, trying to relocate the material. And then I found what I was looked for: a flash of red fabric. I pushed away the other articles of clothing to find the most beautiful dress I had ever seen.

It was a snowy white spaghetti strap dress that was covered in rich, red roses. Only little flashes of white were visible here and there because there were so many of the beautiful flowers. To tie it all together, there was a thick white belt adorned with a ruby red rose clasp. It would come up right above my knees. I stood there with my mouth hanging open, unaware of how stupid I probably looked. I didn't care. I had found The Dress.

"Hey, there you are, May. We were wondering where you-" I turned around to see Dawn and Misty frozen in their tracks. Their eyes were wide open, focused on the dress in my hands.

I frowned to myself. They didn't like it.

"I-It's not that bad, is it?" I asked in a small voice.

Dawn's eyes bugged out of their sockets. "Bad? Are you kidding me? It's GORGEOUS!"

I exhaled with relief. "You really like it?"

"Totally," Misty said. "Now, let's get out of here and find the guys. I'll bet they're having a fashion disaster."

"HURRY!" Dawn screamed, dramatic horror plastered on her sunny features.

Misty and I laughed at our friend's antics as we went up to the cash register.

"I'm so glad I got this dress," I commented a few minutes later as we walked across the hall to the store where the guys were. "I love it, especially the roses."

"Why do you love the roses so much, hmm?" Misty asked. "Could it perhaps be related to a certain green-haired coordinator who always gives you roses?"

I scrunched my nose with distaste. "Please. Roses just happen to be my favorite flowers, that's all."

"Oh-kay," Dawn sang in a teasing tone. "Whatever you say, May."

I huffed in disgust and kept on walking. Those roses are for Beautifly, anyways, I thought. At least that's what Drew always says.

We entered the store Ash, Brock, Drew, and Paul were in to find Drew arguing with a store clerk.

"You've got to be kidding me!" he was shouting. "There is NO way that I'm paying two hundred and seventy dollars for this shirt! And it's not even satin, it's silk!" he went on, as if the mix-up of fabrics was such an abomination. I studied the shirt.

"Uh, Drew, how can you even tell the difference? Satin and silk are basically the same thing," I said, baffled.

He turned to me. "Well, you see, silk is much more fine, whereas-"

"Okay. I get it." I cut in. What kind of freak studies fabrics, anyway?

"Umm, what about seventy dollars, sir?" the clerk asked nervously. I studied the shirt with incredulity. It was just a simple forest green button-down dress shirt with cuffed sleeves. It looked like it was worth about twenty-five dollars to me.

Drew narrowed his eyes, as if at a major crossroads.

"Alright, I'll take it," Drew finally decided. He whipped a one-hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to the man. "Keep the change," he said lazily. The employee looked at Drew, jolted, but he went to go ring it up. I scowled at Drew. He was just so arrogant, showing off his wealth like that.

Hmm….I wonder how that shirt will look on him…..probably great, with his muscles and OH MY GOD! STOP thinking about it! I mentally scolded myself and forced myself to walk away.

I instead wandered over to Misty and Ash, who were having a heated debate, from the looks of it.

"But Misty! These are good quality jeans! No holes or nothing!" Ash argued persistently.

"Yes, but Ash! This is a FORMAL occasion. Jeans are way too casual!" Misty explained in an exasperated tone. "How about some of these nice slacks?"

Ash let out a snicker. "Slacks?"

Misty was fuming now. "Look, I've spent all this time trying to help you, and this is how you treat me!"

Ash blinked. "You've been here for maybe-" he stopped to check his watch, "Two minutes."

Misty flapped her arms around her in outrage, but then stopped and just inhaled slowly.

"Whatever. Why don't you just..." her aqua eyes scanned the store. "…Check out those tuxedos over there?" she said hopelessly, pointing towards the direction.

Ash shrugged. "Okay."

After he was out of sight, Misty shook her head and brought her hand up to her face, her fingers positioned like a gun.

"I'll do it, too," she said.

"Come on," I laughed, slapping her hand away. "Who's Ash going to dance with at the ball if you shoot yourself first?"

"Watch it," Misty warned. "You're next on my hit list." She raised her 'gun' and pointed it toward my head.

"Let's go wait with the others," I said. "Maybe that'll make Ash move faster."

"Here's hoping," Misty grumbled.

We joined the guys by the door.

"Once Ash has found something to wear, we can go find shoes. Then…I think we'll be done," Dawn announced. Choruses of relieved sighs emitted from the guys, but were stopped by Dawn's hurt glare.

"Whatever." Dawn sniffed the air. "I'm just going to go get Ash. May, Misty, come with me?" She grabbed onto our arms and dragged us away before we could respond. I don't think we had a choice.

We started walking towards the tuxedos, but Dawn threw her hand out in front of Misty and I, motioning us to stop.

"What?" I asked. I looked at her face, but her focus was on something behind me. I whipped my head around, but all I saw was an outrageous white tuxedo jacket on the counter behind the cash register.

Misty caught my eye, and we seemed to read each other's minds.

"Dawn," she began. "That is outrageous."

"I know!" Dawn bounced on her feet gleefully. "Outrageously perfect."

I had to agree with Misty on this one. "Dawn, you're don't plan to actually wear that to the ball, do you?" I tried to reason with her.

"Of course!" she practically shouted. "It'll look so nice with the white belt on my dress."

I looked up at the ceiling and groaned. Maybe we should just give in, I thought, before she disrupts the whole store.

"And the broad shoulder pads are so in style nowadays," Dawn ranted on.

"If nowadays is the '80's," Misty muttered under her breath.

Dawn spun around on her feet and glared at Misty. "I heard that!" she exclaimed. "And this is exactly what my dress needs! A little personal flair!"

"It's a WHITE tuxedo jacket!" Misty screamed. "How high was the designer when he was creating this?"

"It was in style back then!" Dawn defended herself. "And it's in style now!"

"It's a men's jacket!"

Dawn folded her arms crossly. "Well, I don't care. I could make it work."

"Alright-y." Misty snorted.

"Well, why don't you check out the price? It can't be much, because you've spent most of the money Mew gave you on your dress," I tried to reason with the blunette.

Dawn stuck her nose in the air in a haughty manner. "Well, I'll just see about that!" she said airily and marched up to the checkout counter. Misty and I followed, after sharing a look of amusement at our friend's fashion style.

"Excuse me sir? I'd like to know how much that white jacket is, please," Dawn said. The clerk looked up. He was the same one who'd had to deal with Drew's superstar attitude. As if he hadn't been through enough with the lot of us.

"You mean this old thing? That just got mixed up with the store's last haul-in. We were supposed to get rid of it a couple months ago," the clerk said tossing the jacket on the counter in front of Dawn. Dawn bent down to study the jacket more closely.

"So how much is it?" Misty asked impatiently.

"I don't know," the clerk said, uninterested. "Probably not much."

Dawn let out a loud gasp. "Are you nuts?" she shrieked.

The man flinched.

"Inside voice," Misty reminded her.

Dawn went on. "This is a 1984 Calvin Klein jacket from the original couture collection! Gahh!" she scolded herself. "I knew I recognized it!"

"Dawn!" I outbursted while pulling her aside. "Do you want to be able to afford this, or are you going to be making side payments on this for the next thirty years?"

She cocked her head to the side. "Oh. I'll fix it! No need to worry."

And that was about as reassuring as if she had just informed me she was planning to jump off a cliff. Dawn's ideas…..were pretty crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if we exited this store in handcuffs.

"I'm terribly sorry, sir," Dawn said as she went back to the counter. "I get a little confused sometimes. This is just an old knockoff. Not worth any more than ten bucks."

The clerk eyed Dawn suspiciously. "Then why do you still want it?"

"Well, my friend collects vintage clothes, and clothing brands don't matter to her," Dawn lied flawlessly.

"Alright," said the cashier. "That'll be ten dollars." Dawn handed over a bill.

"Thanks!" she chirped, her new jacket safe in her arms.

We went back to the door, where Drew, Paul, and Brock were impatiently waiting.

"Dawn, what the hell is that?" Drew criticized.

"I hope you're not planning on forcing that on one of us," Paul added.

"No way!" Dawn yelled. "And I'm disappointed in you, Drew. I thought we were the fashionable ones here."

Drew scoffed, rolling his emerald eyes. "Dawn, I-"

"No. Just…don't even talk to me." Dawn waved her arms in a dramatic flourish.

"Whatever," Paul said, bored as always. "Let's just hurry Ash up so we can get out of here."

"Look." Misty gestured to the front desk. "There he is."

"Finally," Brock said. A couple minutes later, Ash joined us with a garment bag in his hands.

"So, what did you buy?" Misty asked him, eyeing the garment bag.

Ash narrowed his eyes at her. "Like I would tell you." He stuck his nose up and left the store, a triumphant smile on his face.

"Let's go," I urged the rest of them.

Soon after, we found a shoe store. Dawn ended up with a pair of black platform stilettos, and Misty got a pair of navy blue strappy sandals. I got a pair of red sling-back platform pumps.

A couple hours later, we arrived back at the hotel and went into our separate rooms. Drew, Ash, Paul, and Brock had gone down to the game room, so I had our hotel room all to myself.

I carefully put my dress and shoes in the closet and hopped on my bed, the room full with a blissful silence. Peace and quiet at last, I thought as I watched the ceiling fan whirr around.

This ought to be an interesting night.

A/N: I know. You haven't seen me in a while. Like, months. But, I was VERY busy with my school's dear musical. And now that it is over and I have gone back to having no life, I'll hopefully get back into a regular schedule of updating more frequently. And it took me this long...to give you a rather short chapter that's basically just a filler. I'm ashamed, I really am. BUT, next chapter will hopefully make up for it. It's the long-awaited ball! Lots of action, drama, and of course ROMANCE in this one! I'm excited. Hopefully I'm not the only one. Which brings me to my wonderful reviewers! Thank you sooo much, I'm so excited you like the story! Well, 'till next time!

~Aqua(: