I had a very very bad case of writer's block, I would try writing some but then lose my train of thoughts or inspiration for a while on and off…among things that just kept happening in RL that I couldn't get a moment to myself to write with everything that was going on, I severely apologize to my followers for this late update and hope you enjoy the chapter.


The Next Morning….

Satoko walked out of the pokemon center feeling refreshed and more energized then she had been yesterday.

"Ah! That feels great huh Pikachu?" Satoko asked her companion on her shoulder who smiled back to his trainer.

"After the night in the muesuem this was just what needed." Pikachu nodded.

"I'm surprised I got up before either Dento or Iris." The dark haired girl commented looking back to the center, "oh well wanna go check if Aloe-san is up?"

Her pokemon nodded and the two trecked over to the museum, but as they neared it they were surprised when they heard sounds of battling. They quicken their pace wondering what was going on, when the arrived to the front of the museum they were shocked that it wasn't Aloe in front battle but it was Touko with a zebra pokemon in front of her and some green-haired trainer with a brown pokemon holding a rather large log.

"Blitzle finish him off flame charge!" Touko commanded her electric zebra pokemon.

The pokemon reared up and dashed forward, fire enveloping him as headed straight for the pokemon.

"Timburr defend!" the green haired trainer shouted as the fighting type pokemon held the log in front of him at the incoming flaing projectile.

The two collided and it was a standoff of a few seconds before the log cracked and broke in two allowing the Zebra pokemon to make body contact with it and send it flying right past the trainer.

Blitzle snorted as the flames died around him but he stomped the ground waiting to see if he was going to get up. Satoko leaned over and saw that the pokemon was knocked out and Touko was the winner.

"Great job Blitzle," Touko said patting her electric pokemon's head just as Satoko ran over, "Satoko?"

"Touko what's going on?" the dark haired girl asked looking at her friend as she glanced over to the other trainer who had knelt down to his fallen pokemon.

"You did very well my friend, please rest." He said softly returning the pokemon to his ball before he looked back up at Touko and saw Satoko standing next to her.

"Satoko what are you doing here?" Touko asked.

"I was passing through and er…I kinda have to pick something up for my friend so I'm here for a while." Satoko replied, "I'll explain more later but what's going on?"

"We were just having a bit of a discussion." Touko replied as blitzle came back to her side and she rubbed his nose, "you were great in battle Blitzle thank you."

"I'm happy to make you proud!" the zebra pokemon neighed back, bumping his head against Touko's side making the girl giggle.

Satoko glanced over at the green haired trainer and notice that he hadn't said anything and seemed to just be observing them, more Touko then herself.

"So did I pass your test N?" Touko asked.

"I believe you did…though my friends and I aren't yet strong enough to save all pokemon…" N replied, mumbling the last part to himself but Pikachu's ears picked it up.

"Save all of pokemon? What's with this guy?" Pikachu thought to himself looking at the male teen, he tensed a bit when he saw N looking at Satoko and noticed Pikachu on her shoulder.

"You do not keep your pokemon in a ball?" N questioned walking over to Satoko.

"Well no, Pikachu hates being inside and I just let him stay outside since he prefers it." Satoko replied smiling at her electric mouse pokemon.

"That and I get to keep an eye on you and stay close to you! Arceus knows how much trouble you get in." Pikachu said exasperated.

"Hey! I may not completely understand you but you just called me annoying in someway again didn't you!?" Satoko accused while Pikachu gave her a teasing look, "smarty pants mouse…see if I give you ketchup.."

"Your pokemon's voice…its different." N said narrowing his eyes a bit, 'strange, this pokemon actually seems pleased to be with this trainer, she's almost like Touko with pokemon, the way they can understand and care for them.'

"His voice…oh! You can use empathy!" Satoko said snapping her fingers in realization.

"Empathy?" Touko questioned.

"Yeah, see I met this girl when I was traveling named Anabel and she had the ability to communicate with pokemon through their feelings or emotions." Satoko explained, "er…something like that anyway she didn't really explain how her ability worked."

"I see…" Touko said looking over at N who had a surprised look on his face.

"You may call my ability that," he said as if he was processing what Satoko was saying before he seemed to come to a conclusion, "but may I see your pokemon for a minute?"

"Er…I guess so. Pikachu?" Satoko said looking at her electric mouse.

Pikachu eyed N, but didn't see any problems with him at least picking him up and nodded to Satoko. She allowed N to get closer to her and lift the pokemon from her and looked closely at him.

'I can feel his emotions; he's wary of me but trusts that who's his trainer a lot. He puts a lot of faith into her and wouldn't let anything happen to her.' N thought to himself, 'its similar to myself and Zorua..'

"Are you happy with your trainer?" N asked softly so only the mouse pokemon could hear him.

Pikachu gave N an incredeous look.

"Of course I'm happy with my trainer! I wouldn't want to be anyone else's pokemon but hers!" Pikachu shouted back rather insulted as his fur bristled, "bad mouth her and I don't care if we just met I will shock you…"

N sweated at that and held Pikachu out back to Satoko, which the pokemon was thankful for and jumped into her arms still a bit angry at N.

"Pikachu are you alright?" Satoko asked looking at her pokemon.

"I'll take my leave of you now but I'm sure we'll run into each other sooner or later." N said as he walked off towards the west side of the town.

"That guy just gets stranger when I meet him." Touko mumbled.

"You know him?" Satoko questioned.

"Not on a personal level but I've ran into him once back in Accumla town when some group was making a speech about pokemon liberation." Touko grumbled.

"pokemon liberation?" the kanto girl asked.

"Basically they were preaching on how we were wrong in keeping pokemon contained in pokeballs and that the pokemon we have with us should be set free for the better." Touko explained as both Satoko and Pikachu's eyes widen.

"What!?" Satoko exclaimed.

"What's worse is some actually believed them…" Touko sighed.

"I know not all humans are great, I've been on the opposing end of people taking advantage of pokemon for their own personal gain by hurting them, capturing them by different means and even getting rid of their emotions." Satoko replied shuddering as she recalled the time when she went back in time and Celebi was captured by a dark pokeball.

"That bad?" Touko asked.

"That's not even half as bad as some other things I"ve seen." She replied quietly, thinking back to Mewtwo, the genetically engenierred pokemon who's sole creation was to serve and give one man extreme power, "but I'd rather not talk about it…"

"I see, well I don't know about you but I'm really hungry I just came here to check out the museum when N came out and surprised me with a battle." Touko sighed.

"Well why don't we go to the warehouse café? We can talk and eat there if you'd like." Satoko suggested as the brunette's eyes lit up.

"Oh I heard that place was really good! Sure I'd love to Satoko!" Touko replied eagerly making the darker haired girl smile as they walked away from the museum to the café.

It didn't take long for the two girls to arrive at the Warehouse café and be seated. They quickly looked over the menu for a bit before they ordered their meals and talk while they waited for the food to arrive.

"So how did you meet N?" Satoko asked as she sipped her juice .

"It was back in Accumla town after some group was making a speech." Touko replied sighing..

"What kind of speech?" the girl from Kanto asked curiously.

"A speech about pokemon liberation." Touko answered making the darker haired girl blink.

"Pokemon liberation? You mean what you told me earlier? How bad was it?" she repeated as even Pikachu stopped licking the ketchup bottle that Satoko had given him to hear what the other girl was saying.

"Yes, to get more into detail its was about how we humans/trainers are enslaving pokemon against their will by having them fight for us and capturing them." Touko explained, "that we should release our pokemon back to where they came from, that it would be best if our worlds remained separated."

"What!? That's ridiculous!" Satoko sputtered shocked as Pikachu held the same thoughts as his trainer, "what makes these people believe that they know whats best for all of pokemon? Yes I admit not everyone is as nice as they could be to their pokemon I've seen that first hand but stopping everybody from having pokemon? That's just wrong."

"Wow, you're really adamant about this not going through." Touko replied surprised by Satoko's exclamation as the other girl sighed, rubbing her head, "it has to do with what you've seen during your past journeys doesn't it?"

"Pretty much, I can't believe there's a group actually working towards that goal." Satoko groaned, "so how muc do you know about that N guy?"

"Not much, only that he hears the voices of the pokemon and can understand their feelings which is why he's so sensitive to them but I think he's a bit of a hypocrite if he's a trainer." Touko grumbled.

"Maybe he's following that saying, 'walk a mile in someone else's shoes' or something like that. " Satoko replied shrugging, "anyway lets go to much more happier topics, wheres your brother and friends?"

"Touya and Cheren went to train a bit more before challenging Aloe and Bianca wanted to capture another pokemon before coming to the city." Touko replied as their food arrived, "are you taking the gym leader challenge?"

"Technically no but who know," Satoko replied as she shook her head.

"So how'd why are you here? You're not working for Aloe-san are you?" Touko asked as she cut into her breakfast.

Satoko coughed as she turned a bit red making Touko raise an eyebrow at the other girl wondering what it was Satoko was stalling.

"I uhm…I asked Aloe-san about a book that I could get for a friend." Satoko managed to get out.

"No offense but what kind of friend would want a book of all things for their birthday?" Touko asked.

"This one he's a researcher for ancient pokemon and I had though getting him a great book about them would be perfect." Satoko replied.

"Makes sense, I heard Aloe-san is a bit of researcher herself for ancient pokemon." Touko nodded, "so what's your friend like?"

Touko got an amused look on her face as instantly Satoko went on a long-winded explanation about her best friend/rival. She watched as the other's girls face practically lit up when she talked all about him, his likes, what he was like and everything.

"Are you sure he's just a 'friend'? right now he's sounding more like a crush you have." Touko teased which got the Kanto girl's face to burn rather quickly as she shut her mouth.

"C-crush!? N-no way!" Satoko stuttered embarrassed at Touko's assumption.

"Are you suurrreeee? Your face lights up when you talk about him, you also look like you're in another world when you talk about him are among some of the things I'm seeing." Touko replied.

"You're just seeing things!" Satoko sputtered.

"I dunno about that." The brunette snickered at Satoko's expense before she changed the subject much to the other girl's relief, "so tell me some more about your travels?"

Satoko told Touko some of the things she's seen and done over some of her earlier travels in Kanto, she didn't give anything too outrageous away but Touko was really enjoying hearing how Satoko had captured the starting trio of her region. It wasn't long before they had finished up their breakfast and were on their way to the gym where Aloe was waiting for Satoko in front of the entrance and was surprised to see Touko.

"Hello Satoko-chan, who is this?" Aloe asked, "I didn't see her yesterday with your friends."

"This is Touko Aloe-san." Satoko introduced, "I ran into her today as she's planning on challenging the gym."

"I see, would you like to battle know or wait until I finish my business with Satoko-chan here?" Aloe asked.

"I don't mind waiting and I'm rather curious to see what business Satoko has with you anyway." Touko replied grinning.

"Alright then," Aloe replied but there was a strange glint in her eye indicating that she has an idea that she's going to use later which both girls miss. The green-haired gym leader lead the two of them through museum to the back room where all the books were.

They watch as Aloe walks up to a glass case with several books inside of it and unlocks is taking out a particular thick book placing it on the table.

"Here we are, this is probably the most completele and through piece of work done on ancient pokemon." Aloe said as Satoko got closer to the book and gently opened it up to take a look at its contents.

"Holy Arceus! This is really detailed!" Satoko exclaimed as she went through different chapters getting a happy expression on her face, "This is exactly what I'm looking for!"

Suddenly her face fell as she came to a realization and looked over at Aloe.

"This is part of your personal collection isn't it since you're an archeologist right Aloe-san?" Satoko sighed.

"You're correct Satoko-chan, but I've memorized all the contents of that book since I've read it so many times already and…I'm willing to make a wager with you for the book." Aloe replied grinning.

Satoko has a feeling about the wager but she nods.

"If you can beat me in an official gym battle I'll give you both the book and the basic badge." Aloe replied before she winked at the girl, "I'd like to see how good a trainer you are after helping my husband last night with the new exhibit."

Both Satoko and Touko's mouth drop at the wager.

"C-can you do that!?" Touko squeaked out.

"Its my gym I am allowed to make the guidelines and rules." Aloe replied, "well Satoko? Do we have a deal?"

"I agree! Besides I had a feeling something like this would happen." The dark haired girl said amused.

"Good luck Satoko," Touko said but Aloe had another surprise for the both of them.

"Since you two are friends and are both going to be challenging me why don't you both battle me at the same time, " Aloe said.

"You mean a double battle? "Satoko asked as Aloe put the book back in the case, locking it before she stood back in front of the two girls.

"Something like that, two of your pokemon against one of mine." Aloe replied winking at the two girls.

"Uh isn't that a bit unfair, two against one?" Touko asked a bit worried butAloe just laughed it off.

"I'm sure I can handle it, other wise I wouldn't be a gym leader if I didn't take on trainers who give me a good challenge." Aloe replied as she walked up to a bookshelf and pulls the book out revealing the gym field underneath the museum.

The two girls followed the green haired woman down-stairs to reveal a large battlefield underneath the museum.

"Wooow this is amazing!" Touko said as she stared at the field as the lights came on.

"Yeah," Satoko agreed as she had a large grin on her face as she ran to the middle of the field and looked around.

"You two ready to battle?" Aloe asked as the girls in front of her nodded, "alright but first a little lesson about the type of gym leader I am."

"That would probably be best to know…" Touko laughed a bit sheepishly as Aloe just smiled back before taking out two pokeballs.

"These two will be your opponents, first off Watchdog!" Aloe called releasing the first of her pokemon.

"I knew you'd be one of the opponents." Satoko said remembering what the pokemon did back in the museum as Touko took out her pokedex.

::Watchdog the lookout pokemon, They make the patterns on their bodies shine in order to threaten predators. Keen eyesight lets them see in the dark::

"Talk about a pokemon nightlight." Touko commented as Aloe released the second pokemon. In a flash of light a tan dog appeared with what looked like a blue coat over his back appeared and barked.

::Herdier, the loyal dog pokemon. It has black, cape-like fur that is very hard and decreases the amount of damage it receives and It loyally follows its Trainer's orders. For ages, they have helped Trainers raise Pokémon.::

"So you're a normal type of gym…those are challenging…" Satoko said thinking back to her Johto and Honnen battle with their normal type trainers.

She remembered when she had fought Whitney in Johto it took all three of his pokemon and some strategizing to take down her Miltank and May's dad in Honen he knew exactly how to use his Slaking's and its pre-evolutionary form well.

Touko and Satoko looked at each other before they nodded and looked back at Aloe taking out two pokeballs each and releasing their pokemon. In flash in front of Touko and Satoko stood Blitze, Tepig and two Oshawotts.

"Well this is interesting two of the same pokemon." Aloe said looking at Satoko's hyper active Oshawott compared to Touko's shy looking one.

"Wow guess we get to see our pokemon work together huh Satoko." Touko said smiling.

"Yeah, alright we're ready when you are Aloe-san!" Satoko agreed.

"Great lets get started then." The older woman said as she returned her pokemon as did the two girls.

They each stood on either side of the battlefield.

"Alright I'll referee the challengers Touko and Satoko against the gym leader Aloe! The challengers are allowed to switch let the battle begin!" Kidachi shouted.

"Go herdier!"

"Lets do our best Tepig!"

"You're up Blitzle!"

The small zebra pokemon and fire pig appeared as did the dog pokemon.

"Herdier roar now!"

"Oh crap!" Satoko said as Touko looked confused as the dog pokemon let out a large bark that echoed, surprising the two pokemon and sending them back forcing both trainer's Oshawotts to appear and before the girls could give out a command Watchdog was told to use mean look.

"W-what happened!" Touko exclaimed as Satoko grimaced watching as Aloe returned Herdier and sent out Watchdog.

"Roar is a move that forces the pokemon to return to their pokeball and bring out our others…while mean look keeps out pokemon on the field until they're knocked out." Satoko grimaced.

"n-o way…Oshawott water gun!" Touko shouted.

"You use water gun as well!" Satoko commanded.

The two water types launched their attacks at the same time but they didn't hit as Watchdog dodged them quickly moving up almost instantly to their faces.

"Knock them off their feet with low kick!" the gym leader said grinning.

Watchdog smirked and knocked both Oshawotts off of their feet making them stumble onto the ground

"Get up Oshawott, try using your razor blade!" Satoko commanded as her Oshawott removed his shell and a blue energy blade appeard as he dashed forward.

"Try another water gun Oshawott, keep a watch on Satoko's Oshawott!" Touko shouted trying to help her friend.

The two girls tried but Watchdog was just too fast for the otter pokemon as Satoko's pokemon kept missing and Touko's Owshawott missed as well and ended up hitting the other pokemon.

"Hey watch where you're aiming!" Satoko's Oshawott growled angrily as he got up and stomped over to the other pokemon.

"Its not my fault he keeps moving to where you are! I can't stop my attack when I already launched it!" Touko's Oshawott argued back.

"Guys! This is NOT the time to be arguing!" Satoko stressed as Touko was trying to stop them as well.

"Watchdog end this with thunderbolt." Aloe said.

"What!?" the girls cried out as they watched a yellow glow surround Watchdog and the electric attack was launched straight at them.

"Oshawott defend!"

"Follow what Satoko's pokemon is doing Oshawott!" Touko shouted.

Satoko's oshawott quickly brought up his shell as Touko's oshawott followed and the two shells collided with the thunderbolt and held it off for a little bit until it overwhelmed them taking both water types down.

"Oshawott!"

"Both Oshawotts are unable to battle!"

"She really is different…" Touko sighed returning her poor water pokemon back, "never expected her Watchdog to know thunderbolt."

"Normal types are very versatile that's what makes them strong." Satoko replied returning Oshawott as well, "you did your best Oshawott, alright Tepig lets give it a try!"

I know you can help Blitzle!" Touko shouted releasing her little Zebra appear.

"Watchdog good job, lets give them a battle Herdier." Aloe said returning her Watchdog and the dog pokemon from earlier return.

"Well at least he can't use roar…" Touko grimaced.

"But we can't underestimate him." Satoko said, "Tepig lets use tackle!"

"Blitzle follow Tepig with quick attack!" Touko commanded.

The two pokemon let out a battle cry as they dashed forward towards the scottish-terrior dog.

"Stand your ground and aim a low shadow ball." Aloe said calming.

The dog opened its mouth and let loose a barrage of dark spheres tinted with purple in the center at the approaching pokemon, they exploded in front of them making them stop in their tracks, skidding to a halt as the dust from the field kicked up.

"Rush through with giga impact!" Aloe commanded.

"Tepig try stopping it with ember!" Satoko shouted.

"Use shockwave!" Touko added.

The dust cleared just in time for the two pokemon to see the dog pokemon enveloped in a bright glow didn't even feel the attacks that were launched at it as he bowled right through the two pokemon sending them crashing.

"Tepig!"

"Blitzle!"

The two struggled to get up as the dog pokemon returned to his trainer's side pawing at the ground waiting for his next command.

"Can you guys get up?" Touko asked as she watched Tepig and Blitzle struggle to stand but they managed to get up.

"You're pokemon are much more resiliant then I thought." Aloe said amused as the zebra and pig pokemon were glaring at her and Herdier, "but the battle is going to end here."

"Come on you two!" Touko tried encouraging the two.

"He-he's tough…" Tepig grimaced, "but I don't want to disappoint Satoko…"

"Tch…annoying mutt…" Blitzle grumbled scrapping his hoof against the gym floor, before he started to stomp rapidly until he was covered in dust before it blew away when the zebra pokemon was covered in flames.

"Tepig get on Blitzle's back and use ember!" Satoko said as the tiny pig jumped up on the the zebra's back and the flames grew bigger with the addition of ember.

The two charged together but to their shock the dog pokemon dodged them easily and shot shadow ball's as soon as he was behind them throwing them off balance before finaly knocking them out with take down.

Touko and Satoko ran over to their pokemon worried about them.

"You did your best Tepig…lets get a nice rest." Satoko sighed making Tepig look at her weakly as Touko was petting Blitze's head.

"We'll get stronger and try again don't worry about it." The brunette added.

"Thanks for the battle Aloe-san." Satoko said grinning weakly.

"I'm sure you two will come back with a better strategy I'll be waiting." Aloe said as the two girls left the gym sighing.

"Well that was difficult…" Touko sighed.

"I wasn't surprised by that, it was her roar and mean look combination that threw me off." Satoko said frowning, "come on lets get to the pokemon center and see if we can come up with something."

Touko nodded and just as the two were about to enter the pokemon center they crashed into two people who were exiting the center sending the whole group of them to the ground.

"Ow!

"Hey you should watch where you're going!"

"Its not like you were paying attention either!"

"S-Satoko?"

"Huh? Dento?"

The green haired gym leader coughed a bit as he sat up and Satoko was in his lap since the kanto girl had landed on top of him when they had crashed into each other.

"So uh where were you anyway Iris said you weren't in the room." Dento coughed as the girl got off of him and helped her up.

"Oh…right sorry I should've left a note but I had headed over to the gym." Satoko replied rubbing the back of her head, "I ran into Touko-chan here and we went in together."

"Did you have your gym battle already?" Iris asked.

Both girls grimaced as Pikachu patted his trainer's head.

"Yeah but we both lost." Touko replied, "Aloe-san is really strong she got us with her strategy."

"Why don't you tell us what happened." Dento said as they went back inside so Touko and Satoko could heal their pokemon while they talked about their gym battle.

A few minutes later….

"Wow…she really is strong." Iris said blinking when she heard of the two against one on the gym leader.

"Yeah I think we were thrown off because of her own strategy." Satoko said, "we just need to adapt better I guess."

"That's a good way of looking at it, also it wouldn't hurt to get some more training in we can go to the Battle club." Dento suggested.

"Oh yeah I heard those places are training facilities besides being able to just hold battles." Touko realized.

"Exactly we can go there and train your pokemon to be able to counter Aloe's strategy." Dento said smiling.

"Well Touko-chan, you ready we can work out our own strategies as well next time that badge is ours." Satoko said grinning.

"Sure thing Satoko-chan." Touko agreed.


Meanwhile….

"Is everything prepared?" a man endowed in robes questioned harshly.

"Yes sir we're just waiting for the appropriate time to enter the facility and steal the item."

"Good I want no mistakes on this." He replied as a few people dressed up in bright blue and grey uniforms kneeled before him.

Off to the side watching all this, a familiar green haired teen, that Satoko and Touko had run stood leaning against a tree as a black and red fox pokemon was on his shoulders this time snickering.

"They won't know what hit them N!" the tiny fox said grinning.

"No they won't…" N replied though he got a faraway look in his eyes making the fox frown.

"Your'e not thinking about those two girls you met in front of that place are you?" the pokemon asked.

"I was just curious about them…they are much different then I had thought of others." N replied as he scratched behind the fox's ears.

"Don't forget not to get too attached ya know."

"I won't Zorua I know what my destiny and goal is, I won't be lead astray." N replied as the fox nodded.


Next Chapter: A Jolt in the Right Direction