POKEMON HEART SOUL ADVENTURES
Hello, everyone! As you can see, I've decided to try my hand at Pokemon writing... and what better way to do it than writing a long and hopefully engrossing epic?
First off, let's give the setting for this story. This fanfic starts right at the Sinnoh Grand Festival finals... and will end up altering quite a few events from the canon series, starting from this chapter! What can I say, there are quite a few things in the final episodes of the Sinnoh saga I didn't agree with, so I decided to give those episodes a different spin. Hopefully, you'll find them satisfying...
Should anyone be interested in the pairings I will use, know that this story will feature Pokeshipping, Contestshipping and Penguinshipping, though I will try to keep a reasonable balance of action and romance. This fanfiction also disregards the "Arceus and the Jewel of Life" movie, and the new Isshu episodes. Just as a final reminder, you'll find that I made some slight alterations to the characters' Pokemon teams - you be the judge whether they're for the better or not, but I thought these changes made sense...
Pokemon and all related trademarks are property of Nintendo and Satoshi Tajiri. This fanfiction has been written for the sake of giving something interesting to read to all Pokemon fans, and I hope I succeed on that. I do own some OCs that will show up later on in the story.
With that out of the way... let's begin! Happy reading!
Chapter 1 - The Grand Festival finals!
In the arena where the final match of the Sinnoh Grand Festival was going to be held, the excitement of the audience was skyrocketing. Only the day before, they had had the luck to witness two memorable competitions, where the young upstarts Dawn and Zoey defeated their respective opponents Jessie and Nando ... and now, the two finalists were about to step in the competition arena again, this time against each other! The winner of this battle would have become the new champion of Sinnoh ... a title to which all Pokemon Coordinators aspired!
Already dressed in her elegant yellow Coordinator dress, her long blue hair neatly combed back, and a pink bow on the collar, Dawn carefully looked at herself in the mirror and took a pair of deep breaths. This was the most important part of the competition - she had struggled long and hard to get there, time and again she had known the humiliation of defeat ... and now, she knew that she had to do her best! Although her opponent was Zoey, one of her best friends...
Dawn was not sure whether she could actually win, if she had to be honest with herself... ever since the beginning of her Pokemon journey, Dawn had always admired Zoey, considering her as a mentor and an example to follow. She always regarded Zoey as her better... However, if she didn't do her best in this final competition, it would have been a lack of respect for herself, her opponent, her own Pokemon, and the friends who had always supported her, Ash, Brock, Kenny, Zoey herself and all the others...
No, it was not the right attitude in such a situation: now she had to think of Zoey not as an impassable wall, but rather as her opponent who expected her to do her best in this confrontation! Dawn had improved a lot since she began her journey, and had learned many things ... she was no longer a naive child full of herself, as she was in the beginning. Now she and Zoey were facing each other, as friends who had the same goal... this was her greatest opportunity to prove to herself that all the time she had spent on bettering herself was not wasted!
"Okay!" she exclaimed, lightly slapping herself on the cheeks, as if she wanted to stay vigilant. "That's it, Dawn, this is your best chance! Go out there and do your best!"
She gave a quick glance at the clock affixed to the wall of her dressing room. There was still a quarter of an hour to the beginning of the match... there was no need to go paranoid right now!
Calm down, take a deep breath, get seated... this was the right way to stay sharp and concentrated until the competition. Lucinda did so, and felt a little more relaxed already... Then, she glanced at her Pokeball, thinking about the strategy she intended to use to win this match. Sure, the Togekiss that had been given to her by Princess Salvia was a skilled and powerful Pokemon, but ... perhaps, for this competition, it was not quite the right Pokemon to use. Afer all, Togekiss had been in her team for too short a time, and she had not yet gained enough confidence with her... perhaps, it was better to settle for something more... 'classic', so to speak?
Now, Dawn was thinking that mixing things up a little could be a good idea...
"Hmm ..." the blue-haired girl said to herself. "This time ... this time I could use a different strategy..."
"Thank you for your wait, ladies and gentlemen ... and welcome to the last match in the Sinnoh Grand Festival!" the enthusiastic presenter exclaimed, holding the microphone as if it was the hilt of a sword. "Up until now, we have seen a lot of exciting fights ... and all the competitors have done their best to qualify for the finals ... but only two were able to earn this privilege, and soon they'll perform for you here, in this arena!"
The audience erupted in a thunderous applause and, seated near the battle arena, the two friend who had accompanied Dawn through her journey, stood up in encouragement. Ash from Pallet Town, Pokemon trainer and aspiring Pokemon Master, and his best friend Brock, former Gym Leader of Pewter City, were eager to see their travelling companion's display of skill.
"Man, I'm so excited… and to think that I'm not even the one to step in the arena!" Ash exclaimed, taking a glance at his ever-faithful Pikachu, who remained perched on his shoulder, looking at the arena just as intently. "You're also looking forward to the deciding fight, aren't you, Pikachu?"
"Pika pika!" the yellow mouse squeaked, merrily perking his ears up. Ash chuckled to himself, then turned to Brock. "In this regard, Brock… do you believe that Dawn has any chance of winning, in this confrontation?"
"Hard to say at this point ... I must admit that since we have known her, Dawn has made much progress, and now she certainly has much more of a chance to win. On the other hand, Zoey does have more experience, and this will play in her favor ... " replied the darker-skinned boy, looking thoughtful. It was sometimes difficult, in fact, to imagine what Brock was thinking, since he kept his eyes constantly shut, and one couldn't see his emotions very well...
"Hmm ..." Ash replied, dubiously. However, Brock's answer did not damage in any way the confidence he felt towards his blue-haired travelling companion. "Well, I'm still convinced that Dawn will win this one! Come on, Dawn! We are all rooting for you… do your best!"
"Pikachu!" Pikachu exclaimed, standing up on his trainer's shoulder, and raising a paw in the air to cheer!
"And now, ladies and gentlemen... let me introduce our two finalists! To my right, a rising star among Sinnoh's Coordinators… DAWN! " the presenter exclaimed, pointing to her right: on that side of the arena, spotlights lit up immediately, and a blue-haired girl, dressed in a cute pink dress, came out with a confident skip to her step, holding a hand up to greet the audience, who responded with warm applause of welcome. Dawn got to her side of the arena and got in position, holding the two Pokeballs she had chosen for this competition. Even from such a distance, Ash could see that his friend's heart was racing with excitement...
"And, to my left corner..." replied the presenter. "Her final challenge, the coordinator who gave us a memorable performance against Nando... let's all give a warm welcome to… ZOEY!"
The elegant red-haired coordinator made her entrance from the other side, wearing a light green dress which looked somewhat like a tuxedo, and was in turn illuminated by the spotlights as she got to her side of the arena, a Pokeball already in her hand. Lucinda saw her best friend and rival look up and stare into her eyes, smiling happily.
"Well, Dawn ... I am very glad we get to face each other in the end! I see you've come a long way!" Zoey greeted her. "However, do not believe for a moment that I'm going to go easy on you! I will do my very best to win this competition!"
"I wouldn't have it any other way!" Dawn answered. "I am going to do the same... and I'll try my best to win! Do not think I'll make life easy for you!"
"Determined to win, I see ... just the way I like it!" Zoey responded, favorably impressed. "Okay ... so I guess we're both ready to go! Good luck!"
"Well, well, ladies and gentlemen... I see that our coordinators are both very confident, and have decided to show us the best of their abilities! " the presenter commented. "If that is the case, I do not have anything to add, but… to say good luck to both of you... please, do your best, and may the best coordinator win!"
The audience's applauses showered the arena once again, and the two coordinators threw their Pokeballs up in the air, letting out the Pokemon they had selected for this final confrontation! "Okay, it's time to start the show!" Zoey exclaimed. "Glameow! Gallade! It's all up to you!"
"We will not be outdone ... Piplup! Ambipom! You can get out!" Dawn said. The Pokeballs opened in mid-air, and their respective Pokemon came out in the form of trails of light that landed on the ground of the arena... and solidified a split-second later, presenting the public with the cute blue penguin that had already become Dawn's mascot, and the strange monkey with two tails - each ending with a big hand - that she had often used in competition! On Zoey's side, on the other hand, the Pokemon that appeared were her feline Pokemon... and another looking humanoid Pokemon that Ash and Brock had never seen before: it looked a lot like a Gardevoir, but had a decidedly fiercer and more masculine countenance, with a slender body yet muscular forearms that looked a little too developed when compared to the rest of the body, with retractable blades on his elbows, his head like a gladiator's helmet, a white, grim-looking face, and a light green crest on top of his skull.
"Hmm... what do you know, this time Dawn did not want to use Togekiss... " Brock commented, looking with curiosity at the Pokemon that had just been brought out. "I think Dawn has decided to use a Pokemon with which she already has more familiarity and confidence... I guess she already has some strategy in mind!"
"I hope so ..." Ash said, pulling out his Pokedex. "Still... I don't remember ever seeing the Pokemon Zoey is using now... it kinda looks like a Gardevoir, but there's something different ..."
"Gallade. The Blade Pokemon. Psychic / Fighting Type. When he wants to protect his trainer, he extends his elbows as if they were swords and fights with determination. Since he's capable of perceiving his opponent's next move, his counter-attack is very fast, fierce and effective. " The electronic encyclopaedia explained. Ash could not hold back a brief grimace of disappointment.
"Gosh ... if it' s true that Gallade is able to guess his opponent's, Dawn has her work cut out for her in this match…" the young aspiring Pokemon Master commented... before he caught sight of a familiar female figure coming up beside of him. He looked up in curiosity, and saw, much to his surprise, that it was Johanna, Dawn's mother, at that moment smiling kindly at him!
"Oh ... Mrs. Johanna, what a surprise!" Brock greeted her. "We did not expect to see you right now ... please, would you like to sit with us? We can make space for you easily..."
"Thank you, Brock, and... pleased to meet you as well!" the former coordinator greeted back. "I came to watch the Grand Festival finals, as I thought it was only fair that I was here in person to cheer for my little Dawn... and now I see that she's in front of her rival! Though I'm afraid this will be kind of a difficult battle for Dawn..."
While Ash and Brock moved to make room for Johanna, there were other people, both on the stands and elsewhere, who were carefully watching the match that was about to begin ... and in particular, a trio of well-known troublemakers, who were keeping themselves at a safe distance from the audience to avoid attracting too much attention to themselves...
"Hmm... and so, the brat has chosen her monkey friend, huh? " Jessie commented, with a hint of bitterness. After all, Dawn was the one she had lost to earlier in the Grand Festival… "Hmph ... well, she'd do well not to get herself defeated. She beat me, so I do not accept her to lose against anyone else."
"You sure have taken this competition thing seriously, huh, Jessie?" Meowth, Team Rocket's trademark speaking Pokemon, commented snarkily. "I hate to think of the outburst we'll have to put up with the outburst if the twerp loses..."
" Well, we'll see in a bit... " James, who was staring at the arena with contained excitement, meekly suggested. "Maybe the girl will pull off some nice trick, and leave us all dumbfounded, who can tell?"
Jessie grinned slightly to herself. "Hmm... for once, James, I have to admit you have a point! Hey, brat! Give that red-headed tomboy the what-for! Do not let yourself be beaten! You are my rival, I have to be the one to defeat you!"
"Wobbuffet!" the weird azure Psychic Pokemon exclaimed, once again spontaneously popping out of his Pokeball and doing his military salute! Immediately, an irritated Jessie forced him to return to his ball.
"Ugh… Darn, you stupid little frump!" the reproach came. "Don't you dare spoil the dramatic tension of the moment anymore, do I explain myself?"
And in another wing of the stadium, a young girl about Dawn's age, wearing a pretty white dress with blue skirt, and peach-colored hair tied in two extravagant spirals on each side of her head, was in turn looking at the arena, accompanied by her faithful Plusle and Minun. Ursula, the rich coordinator that Dawn had defeated in a previous Grand Festival match, was waiting anxiously for the battle to begin... and if she were to be completely honest to herself, she too secretly hoped that Dawn would win the match. It would have be a humiliation for her, if Dawn, after managing to somehow defeat her, was forced to stop now!
"Okay, now it's the moment of truth..." Ursula murmured. "Dawn... try not to be defeated! Do not be overcome by that lanky beanstalk... I would not accept to be humiliated in such a way!"
On the other hand, in a completely different continent, there was someone else who was watching the Sinnoh Grand Festival's TV broadcast with enthusiasm... a young brown-haired female coordinator, with a red bandana tied over her head; and a small boy a few years her junior with blue hair and glasses, both of whom were sitting in front of a big television screen, in the main hall of a large Pokemon Center: May and her younger brother Max, both of whom had already been traveling companions for Ash and Brock! For May, it was a very important moment... mostly because, not too long before, she had been a bit of a mentor to Dawn, and this was the time for the blue-haired girl to prove her worth!
"What do you say, sis?" Do you think Dawn has any chance of winning this match? " Max asked, adjusting his glasses while never taking his eyes away from the television. The competition was about to begin, and the lights were gradually dampening...
May nodded in confidence. 'Yes, I'm sure she can do it! " she said. "Dawn took the lessons she learned during her journey to heart. I am sure she's going to winthis, and even if she doesn't, she will still put up a great show!"
"Yes, I do not find this hard to believe." said a male voice, its tone slightly arrogant yet gallant, coming from behind the two siblings. "On the other hand, her opponent seems to know her well and is definitely one who knows what she's doing. Not just everyone can train a Gallade."
When May turned around, she was surprised to see a green-haired boy of about her same age standing just a few feet away from her and her brother, his ubiquitous red rose in his right hand. "Drew! I did not expect to see you here!" May greeted him. "You too came to see the finale of the Sinnoh Grand Festival?"
Drew, always maintaining his trademark aloof look, shrugged his shoulders. "Actually, I was just passing through, and I happened to be here by accident. So I decided to take a look, just to spend some time." he answered. "Among other things, watching coordinators from another continent perform could give interesting ideas on how to improve ones' own style, don't you agree? I don't really care who wins or loses, as long as they put up a good show, I am satisfied with that."
"Well... in fact, I don't think it will hurt to take a few pointers..." Max said… and the cheers of the audience were heard again from the television screen, which caused the three of them to interrupt their discussion and focus on the competition…
"Well then... Here I go!" Dawn exclaimed, trying to get anearly advantage on her friend and rival. "Piplup! Climb on one of Ambipom's hands, and use your BubbleBeam! Ambipom... you get ready to throw Piplup up, and continue with a Swift attack!"
The penguin and the two-tailed monkey obeyed immediately: Piplup leapt on one of Ambipom's tail hands, and Ambipom threw the penguin Pokemon as far up in the air as he could. The latter start to gracefully spin around himself like a ballerina, opening his little beak and throwing around a flurry of bubbles that glittered with all the colors of the rainbow! A spectacular trail of bubbles start to float around Piplup ... Then, Ambipom conjured up a group of twinkling five-pinted stars in the palms of his tail-hands and tossed them upwards, so they they ended up in the middle of the bubble vortex without bursting any of them! The bubbles reflected the light emanating from the stars, creating spectacular iridescent effects on the audience!
But Zoey had no intention of letting her opponent dictate the rules of the game. "Hmm ... a good start, Dawn, I must admit ... but you just wait to see this! Gallade! Use your Psycho Cut to burst those bubbles... and you, Glameow, prepared to strike Ambipom with a Fake Out!" the coordinator with the green dress exclaimed. The alternate evolved form of Kirlia squatted on the ground and brought its arms back for a moment, then moved them into the air, creating a powerful arc in front of himself and generating a pair of shiny, arc-shaped trails! The Psycho Cut barreled through the bubble barrier, generating even more spectacular lighting effects, and struck the stars generated by the Swift attack one by one... while Glameow, with his trademark speed, ran to Ambipom... and gave him a double slap on the face using both front paws! Ambipom staggered backward, stunned by the rapidity of the blow, and missed an opportunity to continue with his performance... and a moment later, Dawn's points, displayed on a scoreboard above the arena, lowered significantly. Things were already looking grim for Dawn… The battle had just begun, and already she was falling behind! But nothing was lost, and Dawn, although disappointed to see her strategy foiled so easily, tried not to think about that and focused on the next move ...
"Ooooh ... mais oui, now this is what I'd call a spectacular attack!" Fantina, the elegant Ghost Pokemon Gym Leader, exclaimed as she watched the battle from the jury's stand. "Zoey demonstrates, once again, to be capable of taking advantage of her opponent's moves and use them in her favor! But we should not say anything yet, because the competition has just begun!"
"That is true... " a Nurse Joy said, sitting beside the elegant Gym Leader. "Zoey is surely experienced as a coordinator, but if what we heard about Dawn is true, she will not be stopped by this mishap! She still has a lot of tricks to show us!"
"All is well, it just means we will have to try a little harder... stay focused, Dawn, now is not the time to panic... " she said to herself the girl, trying to think of a way to deal with that Psychic / Fighting Pokemon who was already beginning to give her problems. As far as Lucinda could guess, Gallade seemed to be an agile, but not too strong, Pokemon… relying on smarts and quick attacks to get the upper hand... and Zoey surely must have built her strategy around that! She had to remain calm and think of a way to counter it...
Piplup landed at that time, and when Zoey seemed about to order her Gallade to use another move, Dawn took the initiative once again. "Okay, Piplup, use Hydro Pump... and you, Ambipom, do a Rapid Spin!" the blue-haired coordinator exclaimed.
"Gallade, now use a Leaf Cutter! Just as we did during training!" Zoey ordered. "Glameow! Get close to that Ambipom and prepare to use Shadow Claw!"
Zoey's choice immediately raised suspicion from Ash, Brock and Johanna. "Hmm ... if Zoey has ordered her Glameow to use a Ghost-type move, which Ambipom is immune to, it is clear that she has some sort of strategy in mind..." Brock thought out loud
"You're right... Dawn should be very careful, she's already at a disadvantage." Ash commented. Johanna, though reluctantly, had to agree with this assessment.
"Unfortunately, her friend can easily predict her strategy... which means that Dawn is still not at her level." She commented. But shortly after, she seemed to become more confident and was back to smiling in motherly pride. "But .. in any case, if there one thing I can say for certain about my daughter, is that she's matured a lot ... and she will not be put off by this problem! She can still win! "
"Grrr ... come on, brat! A little more commitment, for crying out loud! " Jessie roared from her place on the stands. "You have to win! I know that you can win! Win for me!"
In the arena, Piplup obey his trainer's order and, after taking a deep breath, he raised his head and shot a blast of high-pressure water that thundered upwards toward the ceiling, and then came down, creating a spectacular fountain in the middle of the battlefield! At the same time, Ambipom begin to whirl about like a breakdancer, extending his two tails upwards in an helicopter-like manner, before jumping on top of the water jet! Gallade, for his part, repeated the same move as before, spreading his arms wide... and then shot towards Piplup, keeping his arms open and surrounded by a bright emerald-green aura.
"Wow, that Pokemon sure is very versatile ..." commented Ash. "I've never seen such a Fighting-type who can use Grass-type moves... except a Breloom, that is!"
Dawn reacted quickly enough: Ambipom rose up in the air, propelled by the momentum she had gained, then reached Piplup's water jet and entered it… and that was when Dawn gave her penguin Pokemon a signal with a wave of her arm! Piplup quickly jerked its head downwards, and the water jet hurled Ambipom towards the unprepared Gallade, who was about to ruin the little penguin's move with his Leaf Cutter! Caught completely off guard, Gallade lifted his arms in front of himself to block the attack...
"Ambipom... DoubleSlap!" Dawn exclaimed. The monkey, with a mischievous grin, unleashed a barrage of blows from its tail-hands on Gallade, hitting his still-glowing arms! With every shot, sparks and drops of water, tinted with an emerald hue, rose from the point of impact, reflecting the light in every direction! Zoey widened her eyes and remain open-mouthed as Gallade reeled from the furious attack, and her points started to fall sharply, until they stood at more or less the same level as Dawn!
But the situation was about to get even harder for Dawn – Zoey's Glameow was sneaking up to Piplup and Ambipom, and when the last hit of the Doubleslap attack struck, and Gallade jumped back to try to regroup ... the cat-like Pokemon swooped down on Ambipom, claws unsheathed and surrounded by an evanescent black flame! The blow went through Ambipom's body without harming her, and for a moment it looked like the monkey was surprised by the useless attack... but a split second later, Glameow managed to take advantage Ambipom's confusion, literally jumped over her with an agile leap, and landed behind her, firmly grasping one of her tails!
"Excellent! That worked as a distraction!" Zoey exclaimed. "And now ... Glameow, Aerial Ace!"
The feline Pokemon meowed in agreement and jumped up, still holding one of Ambipom's tails... Then, with a jerking movement, he threw Ambipom to the ground! Fortunately, the monkey Pokemon managed to get back in a guarding position at the last moment, and slammed both tail-hands on the ground, softening the impact and then getting back on her feet with a somersault! Dawn's points went down again, but as a result of the partly unsuccessful attack, Zoey lost some too... however, the red-haired girl did not waste time and ordered her cat Pokemon to continue the attack.
"Okay, Glameow ... use a Thunderbolt against Ambipom! Gallade, go with a Sword Dance!" Zoey ordered. Glameow hissed, with a slight grin on his face, and his spring-like tail shot up, while a crackling lightning appeared on his tip... and then darted at high speed towards the monkey!
But unfortunately for Zoey, Dawn and her Ambipom were prepared for that move! "Ambipom ... defend yourself with Protection!" the blue-haired girl exclaimed. Ambipom put both tail-hands in front of herself, and a glimmering shield materialized out of nowhere a few inches away from her body, which caused Glameow's move to disperse without harm! At the same time, Gallade did a short but elegant dance, spinning in place with both arms and one leg outstretched... then, it landed in a fighting pose! Again, because of the failed attack, Zoey's points were reduced... but Lucinda also suffered a mild penalty due to the perfectly-executed Sword Dance. Now the two contenders were more or less locked in a draw, with Zoey in the lead only by a handful of points.
"These two competitors have really deserved to reach this last battle, ladies and gentlemen!" Miranda, the presenter, exclaimed, watching in rapt attention. "Just look at their style and their strategies! I still cannot make a prediction on who will win... and if you ask me, I think they both deserve to win!"
"In fact, from what I can see, both have developed very good strategies ... " commented Fantina. "Both have predicted what her opponent can do, and they both thought of a way to exploit it in her favor. But at the same time, both are very adaptable, and know how to develop a strategy on the spot! C'est vraiment incredible!"
" Hmm ... okay, I think it's time for a change of strategy! I'm getting nowhere this way..." Zoey told herself, thinking about a tactic that would most likely have caught Dawn by surprise. "Gallade, use Signal Beam... And you, Glameow, prepare to strike with Iron Tail!"
"Huh?" But... what's that Gallade doing? " Ash exclaimed from the stands, as he watched the Psychic / Fighting Pokemon preparing to shoot the Signal Beam attack... against Glameow rather than against his opponents! Johanna, from her experience as a coordinator, understood straight away that this was the beginning of a tricky strategy, and her expression became serious. Now her daughter's victory was really getting unlikely...
And, one moment later, Gallade shot a bast of colorful energy towards the cat Pokemon... who, in turn, raised his glowing coiled tail and spun around, striking the Signal Beam with a powerful blow! Immediately, the multicolored beam split up in a shower of light that immediately turned into a spectacular vortex! However, Dawn and Piplup looked ready to counter.
"Piplup, use Whirlpool! We'll counter this vortex, with a vortex in the opposite direction!" Dawn ordered. The penguin Pokemon chirped in understanding and created a vortex of water in front of him, which seemed about to clash with Gallade and Glameow's combined attack... but then, Dawn gave Ambipom an order that caught everyone by surprise! "And now, Ambipom... use a Swift attack! Right in the middle of Piplup's Whirlpool!"
"Ambipom!" the monkey Pokemon answered, applauding with his tail-hands. Once again, a bunch of shining stars fluttered in front of the monkey Pokemon and shot out, one after the other, in the direction of Piplup's Whirlpool attack! The effect was spectacular, and the vortex of water began shining in bright shades of yellow, red and blue... before the combined move neutralized Glameow and Gallade's barrage, resulting in an incredible burst of fireworks, which forced the two coordinators and the closest spectators to protect their eyes in order not to be dazzled! Even the Pokemon had to look down, following the shadows cast on the floor in order to get an idea of their opponents' position...
"Ooooh ... c'est magnifique!" Fantina exclaimed, as she put on a pair of sunglasses that she seemed to have pulled out of nowhere! "I really did not expect such a move! And I can safely say that Dawn has amazed everyone with an unexpected counter! This will surely cost Zoey a sizeable reduction in points, n'est pas?"
In fact, turning in the direction of the board, the Ghost Pokemon trainer saw that both contenders had had their points reduced ... but while Dawn had only lost a few points, Zoey had taken a much more important penalty, and now the two contenders were on a perfectly equal footing, with their points just a bit over half their starting number! The flurry of fireworks following the clash between the two attacks lasted for a few seconds, before visibility went back to normal... and the four Pokemon were all still on the field, and all in top form, seemingly itching to get back in the competition! Both coordinators, for their part, seemed to have been enjoying the light show themselves, while still concentrated on the battle!
"This battle... is even more exciting than I had hoped for! You've really come a long way, Dawn... and I'm happy for you and your Pokemon!" Zoey said to herself, smiling contentedly. "But... don't assume victory just yet, me and my Pokemon still have some surprises to show you!"
"Go for it, Dawn! You're evenly matched now!" Ash exclaimed from the stands, rising from his seat and screaming his lungs out. Brock and Johanna were a lot more composed, but even they were beginning to feel the nervousness and anxiety... That competition was proving to be more unpredictable than anything they had ever seen, and they couldn't make any assumptions on who would win. At that point, anything could have happened...
"Come on, brat, continue to attack! Don't give in!" Jessie exclaimed, hitting the palm of her own hand with her fist. The token female of Team Rocket seemed to give it far too much fervor... and James and Meowth wisely decided to step backwards a little to avoid the risk of becoming her involuntary punching bags! Wobbuffet, who - like most of the time - was out of his Pokeball at the most inconvenient time, had not had the same foresight ... and now he was being grabbed by his nonexistant neck and squeezed like asponge by his trainer! With that ever-present vacant expression on his face, however, one could tell that he was barely noticing...
"Hehehee ... I have to admit that to be a second-class coordinator, the girl has style." Ursula admitted, a little reluctantly. "But .. do not get too comfortable, Dawn... for now I'll be content with the results I got. But I'm still convinced that in the end, I will prove to be the better coordinator!"
"Hmm... now this is a nice display of skill!" Drew commented, looking with barely noticeable admiration at the battle on the TV screen. In fact, almost everyone in the Pokemon Center stood with eyes turned upwards, anxiously awaiting the outcome of the battle. "This battle is in full swing ... and yet you can not make any predictions! Those two are really at an high level..."
"Yeah, you can say that again ..." Max said in amazement. "Zoey seems to have more experience, but Dawn comes up with some pretty brilliant counters... they're really evenly matched!"
May smiled, holding up a clenched fist in front of herself. "I am sure Dawn will win... don't ask me why, I just know this!"
Zoey decided to delay her next attack, so that Dawn, counting on a favorable moment, would be tempted into continuing her attack ... and that's exactly what happened! The blue-haired girl decided to keep her rival under pressure, and this time she decided to take the initiative...
"Well, let's keep this up, boys! Ambipom, use a Double Team attack, and you, Piplup... get on Ambipom's hands and execute a Drill Peck attack!" she exclaimed, repeating a strategy she had used before. Piplup climbed in one of Ambipom's tail-hands, and the monkey Pokemon began running at a blinding speed, leaving afterimages in her wake. However, Gallade and Glameow remained in place, awaiting their opponents' next move... then, when Ambipom had accumulated enough speed, he simply threw Piplup against his opponents... and, thanks to Ambipom's Double Team, the penguin Pokemon, split in two identical images, each of them surrounded by a bright bluish-white aura of energy around and spinning like a drill! He sailed straight towards Gallade, as Ambipom continued to create residual images of herself... but Glameow still waited, eyes closed and grinning...
...and Zoey countered quickly and efficiently!
"Glameow! Delete all the duplicates... you know how!" exclaimed the green-clad coordinator! The feline Pokemon meowed again and flung itself at Ambipom with a flawless Faint attack, bypassing all the afterimages and striking the two-tailed monkey dead center! Immediately, Ambipom staggered backwards, and its residual images dissipated, as Piplup continued drilling its way towards Gallade...
"And now, Gallade... Vacuum Wave!"
Gallade's eyes opened wide and, just before Piplup's Double Team-enhanced Drill Peck could reach it, its after-image vanished. Gallade quickly moves his arms in front of himself and conjured a small energy vortex which struck the little blue penguin and flew to the other side of the arena, next to his teammate. The energy vortex created shining reflections that shone for an instant upon the stands, causing an effect similar to an instantaneous aurora borealis... and Dawn widened her eyes as her Pokemon simultaneously fell to the ground and her score lowered once again, putting her in a serious bind!
"Vacuum Wave is a very fast technique, which usually allows its user to attack first." Brock commented. "Zoey has used this knowledge to stop Piplup's Drill Peck... which would have been extremely dangerous for a Psychic / Fighting type."
"I understand... and then, there's the fact that Faint never misses, so that Double Team is useless against it... " Ash concluded. "Gee, sure Zoey knows his Pokemon very well... and she also knows how to exploit their features in the best way."
"This is why I said that it will not be easy for Dawn to win this competition ..." Johanna said, now more focused on the battlefield than ever. "Even if I have to say that Dawn has done a great job so far, despite these slip-ups..."
Zoey annoded to herself, and beckoned for Gallade and Glameow to retrat a little. Dawn probably imagined that her friend / rival wanted to buy time... and so, she was more than a little surprised when, as Zoey nodded once, Gallade unleashed another attack! This time it was a Night Slash, an attack consisting of an arc of black light darting towards Piplup and Ambipom and threatening to engulf them... but fortunately, Dawn reacted quickly, and gave Piplup his next order!
"Piplup, quick! Repel the attack with Whirlpool!" The penguin Pokemon obeyed and instantly shot a swirling vortex of water that intercepted the Gallade's Night Slash, shattering it into a shower of black sparks and bringing Zoey's score down a little. The Whirlpool continued on its way and threatened to overwhelm Gallade... but Zoey had predicted Dawn's move, and her Glameow once again intervened with an Iron Tail! The cat-like Pokemon, with a sly smile, struck the whirlpool and stopped it in mid-air, in an uncountable number of water drops... then, Gallade threw another Vacuum Wave at the Whirlpool, causing it to explode in a spectacular flurry of water droplets that created an impressive pattern around Glameow and Gallade.
Dawn's points dropped again, coming dangerously close to a quarter of her starting score, while Zoey still had just under half of hers! And the time was starting to run out... Dawn needed to quickly come up with a good idea something quickly, if she wanted to catch up!
"Grr... what are you doing, you blue-haired rugrat! I told you that you can not lose to anyone else!" Jessie screamed from the gallery, attracting the surprised and angered looks some of the closer member of the audience. James, Meowth and Wobbuffet were doing their best to hold her, but to little avail... the whole deal was incensing her in a manner they definitely hadn't foreseen!
"Ugh... Wait, Jessie! Keep your hair on! We are not here to get... Argh!" James exclaimed, holding his friend with all his strength... but actually only managing to get himself dragged along by her!
"Quiet, Jessie, quiet! The battle is not over yet!" Meowth protested. "Maybe the brat can still win..."
In Snowpoint City Gym, the Gym Leader Candice, several of her students and her friend Maylene - a Gym Leader herself - were watching anxiously, feeling the tension grow as Zoey came closer and closer to victory! Candice and Maylene were rooting for the red-haired coordinator, and the fact that she was at a clear advantage was reason to hope... but still, the two friends knew that, like in a Pokemon battle, anything could happen at any moment...
"I see Miss Dawn did not use the Togekiss which you gave her, Princess Salvia..." a butler commented, in an almost apologetic tone, as he watched the competition together with the young princess who looked exactly like Dawn.
The princess, however, seemed to be in no way displeased by this fact ... "Well, after all, Dawn uses Togekiss to win her earlier battles..." the princess said with a slight smile, as she sipped a cup of hot tea. "I reckon Dawn decided to use a different strategy for this most important contest, using Pokemon that she was more familiar with. I, for one, I pray with all my heart that she emerges victorious..."
And in front of a television screen in the lobby of another Pokemon Center, Kenny kept his fingers crossed, hoping for Dawn to get out of this sticky situation... there did not seem to be much hope for that, but the boy was still hoping...
"Okay, guys ... at this point, we're going for broke!" Dawn told her Pokemon, who were both standing ready for another attack. Glameow and Gallade, on the other hand, seemed to have opted for a more defensive strategy, so that Zoey could retain the advantage she had accumulated.
"Ambipom, use a Focus Punch! And you, Piplup... ready a Blizzard attack and follow it up with another Drill Peck!"
Ambipom raised both her tails above her head and clapped her hands together, before powering up for a second... then, she slammed both her tails on the ground, shattering a portion of the arena and sending a shower of debris airborne! Just then, Piplup released his Blizzard attack, raising both of his tiny wings and blowing a chilling gale of wind and ice from his beak. The pieces of debris were hit by the freezing attack and were turned into large blocks of ice... and immediately after, the little penguin threw himself at the falling ice shards, spinning on himself like a drill. Piplup struck the ice blocks head on, shattering them and sending dozens of shards in all directions... but before they could reach the ground, Ambipom dashed up to the largest pieces and split them in half with a perfectly-executed Brick Break attack! Zoey's points went down a little, but she didn't seem to be particularly worried about that, and immediately took measures to muck up her opponent's strategy.
"And now, for the finale ... Gallade, Psycho Cut! Glameow! Use a Thunderbolt... to power up Gallade's attack!" Zoey exclaimed. Gallade squatted down on one knee and tried to focus, creating an aura of psychic energy on his arms... and then tossed the Psycho Cut against the advancing Piplup! Glameow wasted no time, and after creating another crackling ball of lightning on the tip of his tail, he tossed it towards the Psycho Cut, turning it into a crackling, glittering arc of golden electricity! Dawn's eyes snapped open in disbelief as Piplup was hit out of his Drill Peck and throw on the ground, stunned. Then, the electrified Psycho Cut barreled towards Ambipom, who barely had time to get into a guarding position before he was struck! With all of her strength, the monkey Pokemon began pushing in the opposite direction, but it seemed to be an hopeless endeavor, as Dawn's point dropped again, edging dangerously close to zero! However, Ambipom refused to surrender and continued pushing, determined to fight to the end!
But there was nothing she could do. Slowly but surely, Ambipom began losing her ground, and it was not long before the combined Psycho Cut and Thunderbolt attacks began getting the upper hand on her.
After a moment of bewilderment, Dawn bowed her head a little and smiled, somewhat sadly. She seemed to have realized that defeat was inevitable, and apparently wanted to face it with honor.
"I sure have to hand it to you, Dawn..." Zoey commented, speaking to her best friend who, in turn, raised her head and looked at the redhead straight in the eyes. "You fought with honor, and have proven yourself both as a coordinator and as a person. I have to admit, more than one during this confrontation, I found myself at a disadvantage, so... congratulations on almost winning, Dawn!"
Dawn smiled in turn. "Thank you, Zoey! But I have to say, I think you kinda took the words right of my mouth!"
Zoey's expression went from confidence to confusion. "What?"
And, one second later, Ambipom stopped getting pushed back, her hind legs firmly planted on the ground! With renewed determination, Dawn decided to make the most of the competition's last few moments, and gave her last command! "Because I still have one last card to play, and I will play it... now!" the blue-haired girl exclaimed. "Ambipom, this is it! Use Last Resort... and break through that Psycho Cut!"
It all happened in an instant.
Ambipom, who until that moment seemed to be about to get overwhelmed by Gallade and Glameow's combined attack, was surrounded by an halo of white energy that lit her up like a beacon in the night! The audience let out an exclamation of pure wonder when the two-tailed monkey, in an unexpected burst of energy, shattered the electrified Psycho Cut, unleashing a spectacular display of electric fireworks! Then, Ambipom rushed forward and, as if she was flying a few inches off the ground, she darted against the astonished Gallade, who had by then lost much of his stoic countenance, widening his eyes and guarding himself with his arms in an attempt to defend himself. An alarmed Glameow tried to interfere and attack Ambipom by surprise, but Dawn and Piplup intercepted him!
"Piplup, knock him away with Bubblebeam!" Dawn exclaimed. The cat Pokemon was struck by a rapid barrage of colorful bubbles, which prevented him from interfering with Ambipom's attack... and one second later, with the end of the competition only mere ticks of the clock away, Ambipom closed in on Kirlia's alternate evolution and hit, with devastating effects! One of Ambipom's tail-hands slid through Gallade's defense and hit the Blade Pokemon in the stomach, causing it to double over... and then, Ambipom delivered a decisive blow to Gallade's chin, lifting him off the ground and causing him to fly a short distance!
Time seemed to slow to a crawl as Gallade sailed through the air and landed with a thud, amidst the audience's (and Zoey's) stunned silence! Zoey's points were reduced considerably... and a split second later, a sound signal declared the end of the match!
Dawn, Zoey and pretty much the whole audience slowly turned to the scoreboard, anxious to know the outcome of the competition... and, much to their surprise, they saw that the two contestants' points seemed to be more or less equal! It was impossible to see who had won, and only the computer's report would have finally given the verdict...
"This... this is amazing, ladies and gentlemen!" Miranda commented incredulously. "With this last move, Dawn has dramatically reduced Zoey's points... but it still is difficult to see who has won... We can only wait for the judges' final call..."
Everyone held their breath, waiting for the response. On the scoreboard, both Dawn's and Zoey's images were still lit up...
A few seconds more...
And Zoey's image flickered out, leaving only Dawn's to show on the scoreboard!
"Just... just for a handful of points..." Miramda murmured. "Just for a handful of points, victory in this final round of the Sinnoh Grand Festival goes to... Dawn, the rising star from Twinleaf Town!"
The spotlights lit up again and illuminated the blue-haired girl, as the audience exploded in a chorus of applause and cheers! Ash and Pikachu got up from their seats and raised a fist in the air in victory. The more collected Brock simply clapped his hands happily... as did Johanna, watching her daughter with pride and excitement!
"Congratulations, honey, you did it!" said Johanna. "You've won your greatest victory... I am really proud of you!"
James and Meowth breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness Dawn had won, or else Jessie would never have let them hear the end of it!
For her part, their teammate seemed to have completely put aside her previous attitude, and was now standing proudly, hands on her hips and nose in the air! "Hohohohooo!" she exclaimed, letting out her patented noblewoman's laugh. "I told you that the brat couldn't lose like that, didn't I?"
"Yeah, this coming from someone who was flipping out 'cause she was losing..." Meowth muttered sarcastically.
Elsewhere in the audience, Ursula stood up, not entirely dissatisfied with the outcome. "Well, that's about it... actually, I'm not disappointed at all. Next time, I'll make sure I defeat Dawn... and in a way, that would mean indirectly winning this Grand Festival as well!" she said to herself . "Plusle, Minun! We have seen what I was interested in, we have no more business here!"
The two Pichu-lookalikes followed their trainer as she stood up, walked out the row of seats and to the stairs leading to the exit...
As for the two contenders, they both seemed to be literally frozen in awe! Dawn was still gawking at the scoreboard that had just declared her victory... and she could scarcely believe what she was seeing!
She had won... she had really won the Grand Festival! Even though she had struggled with all of her willpower, she still wasn't sure she could win... and she was not expecting her efforts to be rewarded this spectacularly! She was almost afraid that this was all a dream, and that she was about to wake up... and instead, when she blinked, she still saw her two Pokemon in front of her, and the audience stll cheering for her victory! Her eyes full of tears of joy, Dawn knelt down to embrace her Pokemon!
"We... we won! We won! Piplup! Ambipom! I still can't believe this! It's... it's too good to be true!" the blue-haired girl exclaimed, "Thank you! Thank you, guys! You made me proud! You made everyone proud!"
"Am-bi ... POOOOM!"
On the other hand, Gallade and Glameow were heading back to their trainer, their heads bowed down, and ashamed of their defeat just as victory was so close at hand ... but the red-haired coordinator, shaking her amazement off, smiled kindly and knelt down to comfort them and cheer them up.
"Don't be sad, guys, you have nothing to blame yourselves for... You too, gave an amazing performance!" she said quietly. Although it was obvious that she was a little disappointed at her loss, she was too much of a good sport to be angry. "Gallade... have you seen how much the audience cheered for you? You left them all stunned! And... Glameow, once again, you proved your worth as a partner and a friend! Thank you both for your efforts!"
Finally, Zoey winked to her Pokemon and smiled. "Alright, guys, listen up... this evening, we'll commemorate your performance here with a second helping of your favourite foods! Now... come on, let's stand up! We have a winner to congratulate here!"
As the audience continued cheering enthusiastically over Dawn's victory, the two girls and their Pokemon walked to the center of the arena... and as they finally came face to face, they shook each other's hand in a display of respect and friendship!
"Congratulations, Dawn! I was completely caught off guard there!" Zoey remarked. "You really proved yourself back there... and so, I am happy to yield to you!"
"I think... I think it is I who should be congratulating you, Zoey!" Dawn answered, her voice still shaking with emotion. "Truth be told... I think I only won by luck! The truth is, of us two, you're still the better coordinator!"
Zoey chuckled happily. "Hehee... well, Dawn, as they say, luck is kind of a skill, now isn't it?" the redhead answered, as Gallade and Glameow elegantly bowed in front of Ambipom and Piplup, who courteously returned the gesture. "And anyway... nothing changes the fact that you have still won! Congratulations, Dawn... this is your day to be in the spotlight!"
"Thanks, Zoey! Thank you, Piplup, Ambipom... and all the friends who supported me!" Dawn concluded. Then, the two coordinators raised their hands in the direction of the audience, whose cheers only rose in volume! Their Pokemon, too, turned in that direction and were met with the applause of countless people from all over Sinnoh and beyond!
"Ladies and gentlemen ... today we have witnessed a memorable event!" Miranda, her microphone tightly gripped in her hand, commented. "These two rivals have given us an unforgettable show of willpower, friendship and sportsmanship! Just look at how they're now shaking hands, like real sisters!"
"Oui ... this truly is one of the best Festivals I ever had the honor to witness!" Fantina said. "It was fought with pride and determinaton... I wish all Pokemon battles were so full of camaraderie!"
"I think Miss Fantina here has perfectly summed up what we all think!" Miranda concluded. "So... people of Sinnoh, a warm applause to the winners of this tournament! Yes, because... both of them can rightly be seen as winners! Dawn and Zoey!"
As another round of applause reverberated in the arena, the sun began to gently lower itself beyond the horizon, marking the end of a memorable day for everyone...
"Yaaaaay! I knew she could do it!"
May leapt up from her seat in joy and hugged the first person she had within arm's reach... who just happened to be a quite surprised Drew! "Dawn won! She did it! I was sure of it!"
"Ack... uh... sis, we are all very happy for your friend..." Max commented, a large sweatdrop pouring down his head. "But... I think your friend kinda needs oxygen to breathe, you know!"
"Huh?" May stopped herself cold and looked at the person she was hugging for all it was worth, only to find herself looking at a smiling, if surprised, green-haired boy!
"Well, May, I'll admit I'm not that bad-looking, but isn't that a bit much? We are in front of quite a few people, after all..." Drew said calmly. Immediately, May released him and turned around, her face tinted red with embarassment... and Max put his hand in front of his mouth and chuckled!
"Ugh... no laughing, you!" May tried to salvage her dignity, and Drew sighed and shrugged his shoulders. Really, some people never changed...
Princess Salvia placed her now empty cup of tea on the porcelain plate in front of her, smiling in satisfaction. She was right, then... she had entrusted her Togekiss to a reliable person.
"I am pleased that your friend emerged victorious in this competition, Milady." her butler politely said. "If I am allowed to coment on that, I would say she put up an mpressive show."
"I agree with that, Jerome." the young princess said, standing eleganty up from her seat. "And I hope that someday I will be able to meet her again."
Kenny breathed a sigh of relief, then smiled in pride as he watched the outcome of the Grand Festival. Having been beaten in the preliminaries did not seem such a disappointment now...
In the Snowpoint City gym, the atmosphere was not quite so festive, as one might imagine.
"Awww... that's such a pity..." Maylene murmured, breathing out a small cloud of steam. "I mean, not that Dawn did not deserve to win, but I was rooting for Zoey all the same..."
Candice shrugged her shoulders and smiled slightly. "Well, I guess what's done is done. At least Zoey did her best, and lost only by a little, and to a worthy opponent! And second place isn't so bad a placement, now is it?" she said, shrugging a jet-black braid from her shoulder. "Anyway, since we have already prepared a celebration for her, it would be a shame to just waste it, now wouldn't it? So... let's not look so downcast, and get ready to welcome Zoey the way she deserves!"
Maylene lightly slapped herself on her cheeks, as if to wake herself up. "You're right, Candice! Zoey wouldn't want to see us being sad!" she exclaimed. "Then... let's get to work! Our friend needs to be welcomed with all the honors!"
Candice scratched her cheek with an index finger. "Hehehee... you never seem to lack enthusiasm, right, Maylene?" the Ice Pokemon expert commented. "Anyway, you're right! We need to start now!"
Even after Dawn had received her trophy, the celebrations had continued outside of the Grand Festival building, with Ash, Pikachu, Brock, Johanna and Zoey accompanying the blue-haired girl as they tied to make their way through the cheering crowd. Finally, after having spent a good ten minutes slowly advancing through the mass of people, the group was finally able to get to a quiet place, where they would not be beset by onlookers!
"Phew... boy, I almost got lost in the midst of all that crowd..." Dawn commented, brushing a lock of blue hair away from her eyes. "I barely even had time to change in my everyday clothes... Heh, guess you could say that fame has its drawbacks!"
"You can say that again..." Zoey chuckled, before clearing her throat. "Anyway, Dawn, now what do you plan to do? Knowing you, I dare say you will not stop here, right?"
"Well... that's true, Zoey, but I actually have not made up my mind just yet..." the blue-haired girl replied as she stroked her Piplup's head. "For now, anyway, I will stay with Ash and Brock, and I'll be there to root for Ash in the Sinnoh League! In fact, if I recall correctly, in a few days Ash will have his match with Volkner, and I want to give him my support."
"I see." Zoey concluded. "Well, if that is the case, I can only wish you and your friends good luck... and I hope we'll meet again in another competition soon! As for what concerns me... I will return to Snowpoint City, Candice and Maylene invited me there to celebrate my performance in the Grand Festival. After which, I will have my Pokemon get some well-deserved rest, and then continue with my training. I will take part in next year's Grand Festival... and I assure you, I will be the winner this time!"
"I'll look forward to that!" Dawn said, winking.
Zoey smiled and nodded, before turning to Ash and his Pikachu. "By the way, Ash Ketchum... I heard that Paul guy is going to be in the Pokemon League as well."
Ash and Pikachu both nodded. "Yes, that's right... last time we met him, he saw that the Chimchar he had abandoned and I have in my team now had evolved into an Infernape." the young trainer said. "Since then, he became interested in challenging me and see how I would fare in the League."
"Very well," Zoey answered. "I don't know that guy all that much, but... from what I saw, I can already tell you that I don't like him at all. Especially after that stunt he pulled on you and his Chimchar during that double duel. So... kick his butt for me as well, okay?"
"Pika!" Pikachu squealed in determination, both his front paws clenched into fists in front of him. Ash looked a bit surprised, but he quickly went back to his usual cheerful self, and chuckled, rubbing the back of his head.
"Hehehee... looks like Pikachu took it quite seriously!" he joked, before getting more serious. "Anyway, Zoey, don't worry about that! Me and my Pokemon have become much stronger, and we will not let Paul have the last laugh this time!"
Just then, Dawn recalled one last thing she needed to do, and reached into a pocket in her dress, extracting the Ribbon her mother had given to her for the beginning of her journey. "Oh, by the way, Mom..." she said, before handing the Ribbon back to Johanna. "This... is the Ribbon you gave me when I left home. I would like you to keep it... I think now it's time for me to make myself known for my own skill, not just because I'm your daughter."
"Are you sure, Dawn? You know that I would have no problem with it if you simply kept it..." Johanna answered, to which the newly-crowned champion gently shook her head.
"Don't worry about that, Mom, this is yours... you've earned it." the blue-haired girl answered. "I will try to find my own way, and walk on my own legs!"
Johanna accepted this and received her Ribbon back. "As you wish, honey! And... congratulations once again, I'm really proud of you!"
Brock looked at his watch, suddently realizing that evening was closing in. It was probably time for them to call it a day... and what a day! "Well, guys, it's almost seven o'clock now... what do you say we find a nice little place and have dinner all together? I've heard there's a pretty good restaurant around here, in which our Pokemon are welcome too!" he suggested.
"Sure! I was starting to get hungry anyway..." Ash answered, turning to the girls and receiving approving nods. "Okay, then! Let's go, we have to celebrate Dawn and Zoey's victory!"
The team followed after Brock, intent on giving a fitting conclusion to a memorable day...
TO BE CONTINUED...
Author's Note: And there you have it! First chapter completed! I have to say, I'm quite satisfied of how it came up, though I think I could have been more descriptive in certain scenes. That, and I felt my English was iffy in some places...
As you can see, I have already started with the divergences from the anime: in my story, Ambipom never randomly left Dawn to go play ping-pong, which in my opinion was a stupid excuse to take a powerhouse out of Dawn's team. And, in another jab to the anime, I actually had Dawn win against Zoey, if only barely. I mean, if May has been allowed to defeat Drew to wrap up her character arc, why shouldn't Dawn get the same treatment? Yeah, that episode was a major annoyance (to say the least) for me...
Oh well... I hope this chapter was entertaining enough for you, and I promise I will try to update soon - okay, it will be another retcon of an anime episode, but I feel you will like it!
Feel free to drop a review, and see you soon!