Brothers of Pallet (updated 7/30/2013)

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon or James Bond. Satoshi Tajiri owns the former; Ian Fleming owns the latter.

Additional disclaimer: I do not own the story either; I'm just continuing it. Special thanks and kudos goes to MegaloRex for writing the original story. I have added a few of my own twists (i.e. Team Rocket's Meowth is with Ash), but I am not claiming this story as mine regardless of how much I put into it. Please show your support to MegaloRex and review his/her work.

On to the story!

11:22 AM

Pallet Town, Kanto.

Two trainers wearing dark cloaks were walking along its outskirts.

The first trainer, a brown-eyed and dark-haired male of 18, had a Pikachu and Meowth on opposite shoulders and a dark blue suitcase in his hand. He wore a dark shirt, ripped jeans, and black shoes behind the cloak. He also sported a thick Abe Lincoln beard, but no mustache.

This trainer was Pallet Town's prodigy, Ashton Roderick Ketchum. He preferred if people called him Ash as opposed to Ashton.

Beside him was a 6-foot-4, 240 lb trainer that was 21 years of age, with dark silver/grey hair and dark brown eyes. He wore a dark blue shirt along with similar dark green pants, and a dark blue sash around his forehead. He was currently petting his Espeon on the head.

The question was... who is he?

Why, it was Ash's long lost brother: Zane Abraham Ketchum.

"Are you sure you want to do this Ash?" Zane asked his younger brother.

"The question should be how sure Zane, because I'm not 100% sure but somewhere between 92% and 99%. It's been five years since I've returned and eight years since you have," Ash responded. "It's been long enough though. Besides, the UBC committee will ban trainers who forge their identities. The rules have always been very strict."

"Yeah, I know. That's why they hold the Ultimate Battle Championship (i.e. UBC) once per decade. We must seize this opportunity by the Rhyhorns." Zane said.

"Not by the Rhyhorns, but by the Rhyperiors," Ash replied. "Now come on, we have to say hi to the ol' goat." Zane chuckled at his younger brother's label of Professor Oak before following him down through the town.

As they walked, they received many odd looks from the current residents of Pallet Town. Pallet Town received very few guests apart from young children aspiring to become Pokemon masters, so it's natural for residents to be startled at the sight of anyone over 6 feet tall. The two Ketchum brothers paid no heed to the glares and walked towards Professor Oak's Lab.

The two trainers went behind the building, opened their suitcases, and brought out a large number of Poke-balls. Ash released the following Pokemon from his Poke-balls: Gliscor, Froslass, Infernape, Torterra, Staraptor, Floatzel, Garchomp, Sceptile, Donphan, Swellow, Crawdaunt, Torkoal, Venusaur, Meganium, Typhlosion, Feraligatr, Noctowl, Heracross, Snorlax, Kingler, Muk, Tauros, Charizard, Blastoise, Pidgeot, Lapras, Butterfree, and Primeape.

"You could use some fresh air." Ash said to all of his Pokemon.

When he was finished, he was left with five poke-balls. The first belonged to Pikachu, although it was redundant since Pikachu always remained out of his poke-ball. The second one, also redundant, belonged to Meowth, who used to be part of Team Rocket. The last three held Ash's newest Pokémon. He had them only for a shorter time than the others, but they all became a valid part of his team. In the end, Ash counted 33 Pokémon. He still did not feel he should release his three newest Pokémon yet.

Zane, unlike Ash, only carried six poke-balls on hand. One belonged to his Espeon. The other five, along with Espeon, represented the Supreme Six, the team he had formed when he started his Pokémon journey. They had been with him through thick and thin, and have never left his side. When he caught and developed his full team, he strove to prove he could defeat any trainer with just the six of them.

While Ash released most of his Pokémon, Zane decided to keep his inside their Poke-balls until later, all except Espeon. Zane could still recall the day he left with his Espeon on his own Pokémon journey when it was just an Eevee.

Inside the Ketchum household stood a 7 year old Ash and his mother waiting by the stairs. Ash was happier than a Spoink in the mud as Zane descended down the stairs.

Zane was 10 years of age at the time. He wore a light blue sleeve-less hoodie, blue jeans, dark green and silver shoes, and a bright red bag on his back. On his shoulder was a small brown fox-like Pokémon known as Eevee. He was ready to embark on his journey into the Pokémon world.

"So, how do I look?" Zane asked his mother, Delia Ketchum. She stood at a statuesque 5 foot 11.

"My little Pokémon Trainer!" Delia squealed. She quickly went over to her first born and hugged him tightly. Zane's face began to turn blue due to the lack of air.

"Mommy," little Ash said as he pulled on her dress, "Zane can't breathe."

Delia realized that she was suffocating Zane and quickly released him. "I'm sorry dear! I'm just so proud of you!" She called out. Zane regained his breath and began to chuckle.

"No problem mom!" He said happily. Zane turned down to his brother and whispered, "Thanks bro." The little Ash smiled and hugged his older sibling. After the hug Zane stood tall and said, "Well, I better get going. The Battle Frontier isn't going to beat itself! You ready Eevee?"

"Vee!" His little fox Pokémon called out in assurance. Zane smiled and headed towards the door. He walked out and headed to the fence. Before he exited, he turned to see his mother and little brother staring at him and waving goodbye.

"Just remember to be careful Zane." Delia said as her eldest son was about to leave.

"I will!" Zane called out. He turned his attention to his little brother and said, "Ash! You take care of mom while I'm gone. She's going to need you now. And don't get into anymore fights with Gary, Okay? I'm not going to be there to keep you from getting into trouble."

Ash ran up to his brother and gave him a strong hug. Zane only smiled and returned to hug. Delia's heart melted at the sight of the two brothers, they were a great example of brotherly love.

Ash let go and turned to his brother. "I'm going to be a trainer just like you. Then we can battle!" Ash managed to say.

Zane only smiled at his little brother. "You better. I can't wait for the two of us to battle." Zane exclaimed. He turned, and waved to his mom. "I'll be back. I promise!" He then began to run, with his Eevee right behind him.

"Yet I didn't get the chance to fulfill that promise." Zane said to himself, full of regret. He did sweep the Battle Frontier, and he was runner-up in the Kanto and Hoenn leagues. Unfortunately, Team Rocket grunts captured him a year later and kept him as a guinea pig for dangerous experiments until he was 15. After he escaped (surprisingly with the help of Jessie and James), he made it his mission to find his family. His face darkened as the memories returned.

While Zane was reflecting on the past, Ash had his own recollections, mainly of an old friend he gained feelings for. "Dee-dee." He thought in his mind. "How will she feel when I reunite with her? Would she welcome me with open arms? Would she even give a damn that I'm alive? Would she be angry at me?" Ash's train of thought was cut short by Pikachu shouting "Pikapi" in worry.

"Hey boss, are you thinking about the blue-haired twerp-ette?" Meowth asked his master with the same amount of concern as Pikachu had.

Ash turned to his faithful partners and smiled. "Yes I am. Thank you for your support buddies," he said as he patted Pikachu and Meowth on their heads. He turned to his brother who had a dark face. "Zane?" Ash called out. Zane turned his head to his younger brother as he said, "You can't blame yourself. You can only blame Team Rocket from taking you away from us."

"I know," Zane replied, "but I wouldn't have made the promise if I knew that keeping it would be beyond my control."

Ash walked over to his older brother and placed his hand on his shoulder. "I know, but don't be sad. Be glad that we found each other." Ash said as Zane rose. Zane turned to his little brother and could only smile.

"Mom would be proud of you." He said simply. He could still not believe how much his brother had grown, physically and mentally.

Ash smiled back at his brother and said, "You two. Come on, the old goat is waiting." Ash then turned to his Pokémon. "You guys wait here. Zane and I are going to meet up with Sam." His Pokémon let out a cry in agreement and went about their business.

The two Ketchum brothers went over to the front door, followed by Espeon, Pikachu, and Meowth. Ash rang the door bell. Inside they heard an old voice call, "I'm coming."

"How do you think he'll greet us?" Ash asked Pikachu, Zane, Meowth, and Espeon. But none of them could answer when an old but warm gentleman appeared in front of the door. He had light gray hair, wore a white lab coat, and stood 5 foot 9. Ash and Zane could easily tell this was the same Professor Oak they knew before.

"Oh, hello!" Oak greeted, "What can I do for you?" Ash pulled out a water gun with his left hand and pointed it at Oak.

"The name's Bond. James Bond." Ash said in a cool tone as he fired minuscule jets of water at the old goat.

"Nice try you impostor. James Bond neither possesses a water gun nor carries a Pikachu on his shoulder- wait a Pikachu?" Oak stared wide-eyed and dumbfounded at Ash as he jumped to a conclusion.

"A-Ash? Is that you?" Oak asked nervously. He knew that Ash was alive, but he was still surprised that he returned.

Ash couldn't respond since the professor quickly had Ash in a strong hug.

"Welcome back Ash! I missed you!" Oak exclaimed as he hugged the young trainer. Ash couldn't help but hug in return. Oak had always been like a father to Ash, so Ash enjoyed the warmth.

Zane couldn't help smiling. Ever since he left his old life, Zane and his Pokémon were his only family.

After a minute, Oak let go of Ash and looked to Zane. "Oh, I'm sorry. I got caught up in such an emotional moment; I forgot to ask who your friend is Ash." Oak apologized.

"You should remember me you old fart," Zane said easily as his Espeon jumped on his shoulder and shouted "Esp!" "You gave me this little guy as a starter when he was just an Eevee." Zane said, hoping Oak would get the clue.

"I gave you an Eevee as a starter?" Oak asked. "I've never given an Eevee as a starter to any trainer except-" Oak stopped himself there when he realized something. He looked up to the trainer before him, pointed a finger, and asked, "Z-Zane?"

"Good to see you too, Prof." Zane answered while nodding. Instantly, the professor had Zane in the same embrace, if not stronger than, as Ash.

"Zane! I don't believe it! You're alive! It's a miracle!" Oak screamed out into the heavens above. Ash smiled to see his brother being loved by one who cared for him so much, other than himself.

"Professor Oak, are you okay?" A younger voice called out. Ash turned to see a young male about one year older than him. He had dark green hair and dark eyes. He wore a white lab coat and green under shirt. He had dark blue jeans and red sneakers. Next to him was a small blue and white mouse known as a Marill.

Oak turned to the young male and smiled. "Tracey! Look who's come home!" Oak cried out as he released Zane. Tracey got a good look at the trainer with the Pikachu and his mind clicked.

"Ash?" Tracey asked nervously, hoping he was right.

"Good to see you Trace." Ash answered as he hugged Tracey.

"You too Ash," Tracey replied as he returned the hug.

"Tracey, let me introduce Zane, my big brother. Zane, this is my friend Tracey."

"It's nice to meet you Tracey," Zane said as he shook Tracey's hand.

"The pleasure is all mine," Tracey replied. "I can't believe Ash had an older brother."

"Sorry I never told you, Trace. I just didn't want you guys or any of the others to bear the same burden." Ash confessed. He never told any of his old travelling partners about Zane for he didn't want them to get caught up in his frantic search.

"Either way Ash, it is still good to see the two of you return." Oak smiled. "So what brings you back to Pallet anyway? I highly doubt you just came for a visit," Oak asked.

"You could always read my mind like a book professor." Ash chuckled. "You see, we were hoping you could sign Zane and me up for the UBC. We feel that we have spent enough time as hermits."

"That's good to hear Ash!" Oak exclaimed. "I'm glad that you have decided to come home, especially after your mother's, you know…" Ash clearly knew what Oak meant.

The 13 year old boy was returning home after his monumental victory in the Sinnoh league. He walks up to his house with Pikachu on his shoulder and his two friends at his side.

"Mom I'm home!" Ash called.

"Welcome back honey!" Delia cried out as she hugged her son. She then turned to Brock and Dawn who were smiling. "Hello Brock, It is good to see you. And it is finally nice to meet you in person Dawn."

"Hello Delia," Brock greeted.

"Nice to meet you too!" Dawn exclaimed.

"So mom, how's it going?" Ash asked.

"I should be asking you, my little Sinnoh champ!" Delia exclaimed as she pinched Ash's cheeks. Dawn, Brock and Pikachu couldn't help but laugh at how Ash's mother treated him.

"MOM! Quit it!" Ash screamed as he released himself from his mother's grip. His face blushed when he saw Brock, Pikachu and Dawn laughing.

"Ash, you are so cute when you're like that!" Dawn exclaimed. She then blushed as she realized the words that came out of her mouth. She wasn't alone, Ash also blushed at the statement, but neither saw the other. Delia conversely saw it clearly and smiled.

"Why don't you kids, go into the kitchen? I made dinner for everyone!" Delia said aloud.

"Thanks Delia!" Brock and Dawn exclaimed as they left the room.

"You two go on ahead, I'll catch up!" Ash called out as he stood face to face with his mom. His face turned sad once his friends were out of sight. "I still haven't found him."

Delia knew all too well who Ash meant. She held him close in an embrace as she said, "I know Hun. I know." It had been four years since Zane disappeared. Ash had left on his Pokémon journey not only to fulfill his dream, but to find Zane.

They stayed like that until a voice stirred. "Who haven't you found?" Delia and Ash turned to see Dawn in front of them. She had a face full of concern; Delia could easily see that she cared for Ash when he was sad.

Ash looked to his mother as they separated. She gave him a caring smile and said, "It's okay." With that, Ash walked up to Dawn who still seemed worried.

"Zane," Ash said simply. Dawn now had a face of confusion. "Zane was my older brother."

Dawn gasped at what she heard."You have a brother?" She asked sheepishly. Ash only nodded, causing Dawn to gasp again. "What happened to him?"

"We don't know," Ash answered. He had a small hint of pain in his voice. "He disappeared a year after I became a trainer. That's one of the reasons I became a trainer. I've been trying to find him; becoming a master is a close second." Ash turned his head down so that his cap hid his eyes. Even so, Dawn could see a single tear run down his face.

"I've checked in all the regions. I even checked Kanto a second time when I went through the Battle Frontier. I hoped to at least find him there because that was where he originally went to start his journey. I then hoped to find him in Sinnoh, but no such luck." Ash could still feel all the sorrow he had all these years. His mood changed when he felt someone hugging him. Dawn.

"I'm so sorry Ash," Dawn said as she held him close. "I know if I lost an older sibling, I would do the same."

Ash had long developed feelings for the bluenette, but never gained the courage to tell her. Dawn had the situation. Ash wrapped his arms around her and the two shared an intimate moment as they embraced.

Once they released their hug, the two smiled. A blush crept up both their faces, but neither noticed. Ash wiped the tear from his face and said, "Thanks Dawn."

Dawn smiled and then gained an idea. "Hey Ash, where are you going now?" She asked.

"I don't know," he answered. "I was thinking of going through the Johto league again."

"And try to find your brother?" Dawn asked slyly. Ash reluctantly nodded, but Dawn only smiled. "You know what? I'm going with you!"

This sent Ash for a loop. "WHAT?" He exclaimed. "But Dawn, what about your contests?"

Dawn only smiled at the black haired boy. "No need to worry. May told me there were contests in Johto. And even if there aren't any, I'll help you find your brother. I'll be with you every step of the way!"

Ash was completely taken back. He was filled with happiness, but also worries. "Dawn," he began, "would you really leave your dream just to follow me? I mean May might have been in time for the contests in Johto, but I don't know if they still have them."

Dawn kept her smile the entire time. "Ash, you're my best friend. You've helped me through thick and thin. If helping you means taking some time away from my dream, then I'll happily do it."

After hearing all this, Ash couldn't help but smile. He looked to the bluenette's eyes and said,

"Thanks Dawn." Dawn smiled in return and the two walked into the kitchen.

Delia watched as her youngest son walked into the kitchen with Dawn. Her heart absolutely melted to see her little Ash go off with the girl he clearly had feelings for. "My little Ash," she said softly to herself. Delia walked to the kitchen to join her son and friends.

The next day had been cold. A massive storm covered all of Pallet town. Lightning bolt struck close to the houses… a little too close. Ash and his friends and Mother were all cuddled inside the house. They received reports of a hurricane.

They had already seen the damage. Many houses were struck down by tornadoes, hail stones, and lightning. Only very few remained, among them being Professor Oak's lab, which was protected by a number of electric Pokémon, ready to take the storm, and the Ketchum residence, which was well protected thanks to Pikachu.

Ash and the others were all huddled in the living room. Dawn and Ash were huddled together with Brock sitting next to them. Delia had been getting drinks for the teens to help them calm down. Brock was alright, and so was Ash. After being electrocuted so many times by Pikachu, he was no longer afraid of thunderstorms.

Dawn was a different story. She had confessed to Ash that she was frightened by thunderstorms ever since she was a child. The only people that knew were her mother and Ash. Being the caring person he always was, Ash settled next to Dawn and kept her close.

A powerful lightning bolt struck next to the house. Dawn's reaction: "YIPE!"

She hugged tightly as she reacted to the light. Ash blushed slightly at how tight Dawn held him. Delia only watched from the kitchen door with her Mr. Mime next to her, smiling.

"It's okay Dawn. Don't worry, I'm here." Ash said to the Sinnoh coordinator. She blushed to the loving tone he talked in, but she didn't care. She only enjoyed the embrace they were in.

"I don't know Ash," Brock said worriedly. "This storm is worse than anything I've seen before. Pikachu can't keep the house protected forever."

"You can't talk like that Brock," Ash contradicted. "Pikachu will do his best. All we got to do is hope." Ash words were kept for another five minutes. Several lightning bolts attempted to strike down the house, but Pikachu deflected them into other directions. Until… BAM!

A lightning bolt struck a tree by its lower trunk. The tree had been one that had grown over the years next to the Ketchum house. The tree had been there since Zane was first born, and had stood tall for all those years. When the lightning bolt struck, the tree trunk began to burn and tip, unfortunately towards the Ketchum house.

Brock was watching through the window and cried out, "Guys! RUN!" Not taking any chances, Ash and Dawn began to run. Delia and Mr. Mime attempted to run, but it was too late. The tree crashed through the house walls and separated them from Ash, Dawn and Brock. The tree bark burned, forming a wall of fire between the two groups.

"MOM!" Ash cried out as he tried to find a way around the burning tree.

"Ash, Run!" Delia screamed in return. "Don't worry about me, just get out!"

"NO WAY! I'm not leaving you!" The flames from the tree began to ascend to the house, causing multiple beams to burn and fall.

"Ash, listen to me! You need to get out, save yourself and the others. Don't worry about me!" A large beam broke down and landed in front of Delia and Mr. Mime, causing the two scream.

"MOM!" Ash screamed as he was being dragged out of the house by Brock. Dawn had already run out of the house and watched as the building burst into flames. "Brock! Let me go! I need to help her!" But it was too late, he was already dragged out of the house and saw it burn.

Inside the burning house, Delia was caught under a burning beam. She looked around and could find Mr. Mime; she figured he was buried in the rubble. She looked around and saw nothing but flames. She looked down and attempted to rise, but the beam pinned her down."I guess this is it," she said to herself. "Ash, I know you'll be okay. And I know you'll find Zane. I only wish that you move on." With her final words, the flames consumed what was left of the house.

Ash watched in horror as his home was being consumed by flames. Other than Pikachu, all his Pokémon were at Professor Oak's lab. Dawn summoned Piplup and commanded it to stop the flames. Try as Piplup might, it was not enough. The flames continued to burn as it engulfed the house.

"Pika! Pika!" cried out a voice. The three trainers turned to see Pikachu running towards them bringing all of Ash's water Pokémon. With a swift command, all of Ash's water type began launching their water attacks, dousing the flames.

After a few minutes, all of Ash's water Pokémon were successful. The house stopped burning, but there was nothing left but charred walls and doors. To say Ash was horrified by what he saw would be an understatement. His whole house was nearly burned to the ground.

"MOM!" Ash cried out as he released himself from Brock's grip. He began running to the charred area that was once his home. "Mom? Mom? Where are you?" As hard as he could, Ash could find no signs of life within his burned down home. "NO!" Ash cried out as he fell to his knees and arms.

Dawn's eyes began to water as she saw Ash in so much pain. She began to walk towards him, but Brock stopped her. "Ash…" She said quietly as she watched the poor, now orphaned, trainer sob in pain.

Ash continued to cry until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and saw Professor Oak with a sad face. "Ash, come on. You kids can stay with me," the professor said calmly. He began to walk to his lab and the teens followed. Before he was completely out range, Ash took one last look at the burned down place that he once called home.

The next week was when the held Delia's funeral. They had found Delia's body, but it was burnt and lifeless. Nearly all of Ash's friends came to pay their respects, all except Tracey and Ash himself. When Dawn asked why, Oak answered, "I feel that this is too painful for the poor boy. I think he just needs some time alone."

Dawn reluctantly nodded as she and everybody around her watched Delia's coffin being placed in the ground. She felt a pain in her heart as she thought of how Ash must have felt. 'Not only has he lost his brother, but now he's lost his mom too,' she thought to herself.

After the event was finished, the group of Ash's friends walked towards the Oak lab to see how their friend was doing. Within that group was Samuel Oak, Gary Oak, Dawn, Brock, May, Max, Misty and many of their parents.

"I sure hope Ash is okay. It must be hard for him to lose someone like his mom," commented May.

"I just hope he doesn't do anything drastic." Misty confessed. As they walked, the group saw a figure running towards them. As they looked to the distance, they saw it was Tracey, who seemed very distress.

"Tracey? What's wrong?" Professor Oak cried out as the group ran to the Pokémon watcher. Once reached the, he panted heavily and began to speak.

"Ash… he's-he's gone!" Everyone gasped at what they heard.

"What do you mean he's gone?" Dawn cried out.

"Not just him," Tracey managed o say as he caught his breath. "Nearly all of his Pokémon are gone too. All that are left are 29 of Ash's Tauros. The one that Ash mostly uses is gone along with the rest of his Pokémon."

Everyone was in complete shock. Dawn began to run towards the professor's lab and was followed by the others. May turned to Misty and said sarcastically, "You just had to jinx it, didn't you?".

Ash ran into the forest, will all of his Pokémon closely behind him. He ran harder than ever before, not knowing where he would go.

Tracey and Oak sat silently as the memories returned. They saw Ash hide his face, not trying to show his hurt. Zane on the other hand did not try to hide his emotions. A single tear crossed his face as he regretted not being there.

"I'm so sorry for your loss boys. Your mother was one of a kind. I know she would have been proud of you both." Oak stated, hoping to lift the spirits of the two Ketchum brothers.

"Thanks," Ash said as he raised his head. Zane wiped his eye and nodded in agreement.

"There's one thing still bugging me." Tracey said aloud. "Why did you leave, Ash?"

"Well, one reason I left was to find Zane. The reason I didn't tell anybody is because I didn't want anybody to get hurt. The other reason was to boost my strength." Ash confessed. Tracey was confused until Ash continued, "I wasn't strong enough to save my mom. I knew I had to get stronger if I was to protect you guys. I couldn't live if I knew I wasn't strong enough to save all of you." He lowered his head, feeling shame.

Tracey was a little taken back by the answer; Oak on the other hand was not. He merely rose and moved over next to Ash. Placing his hand on Ash's shoulder, he said, "Ash you were always strong. You may not have been able to save your mother, but she wouldn't have wanted you to think you're weak. I've seen you grow as a trainer, and I know for a fact you are one of the strongest out there, physically and mentally."

"Thanks," Ash said with a smile. He looked to his brother who was smiling in return. "Now that that's settled, can you help us professor?"

"Of course my boy! Call me Sam by the way," Oak exclaimed. "I'll sign the both of you up quickly." Oak then left the room, leaving Zane, Ash and Tracey.

"I can't wait till the others see that you're alive and kicking Ash!" Tracey exclaimed.

"Negative!" Ash returned. "They can't know I'm back yet!" Tracey was a little surprised by the statement; then again, he wasn't alone. Zane, Pikachu, Meowth, and Espeon were all surprised by Ash's statement. It was not like him to hide from his friends.

"Why not Ash?" Tracey asked.

"I-I don't think I'm ready to meet them again, for now." Ash confessed. He still wasn't sure if he could see them again.

"Well, if you're going to be in the UBC, then you're going to have to meet them again sooner or later." Tracey stated. Ash gave him a confused look, making Tracey realize something. "You see Ash, after you left all of your old traveling pals, including me, have been getting really close. Max became a trainer a short time after you disappeared. He has been traveling with Dawn, May, Brock, and Gary. Misty and I often visit them and in turn, we all became pretty close. A few weeks ago, Max got signed up to the UBC thanks to Misty and Norman. We're all going to cheer him on at the tournament."

"All of you?" Ash asked surprised.

"Yep! That means that if you and Zane are going to be in the tournament, you're bound to meet the others whether you want to or not." Tracey answered. Ash thought for a moment and came up with a thought.

"I guess you're right. But if I'm going to meet them again, I can't meet them now. I'm just not ready yet."

"I can understand that. I promise not to tell them yet; I just hope you'll be ready soon. We've all missed you, and Dawn misses you the most." Tracey stated.

"Dawn…" Ash said quietly to himself. Zane decided to change the subject.

"So Tracey, do you know where the UBC will be held?" He asked.

"Yeah," Tracey answered, "It's going to be held on an island called Metru Nui. It lies just southeast of the Orange Islands. It's a pretty popular place for battling and vacations. That's why the UBC is always held there."

"Do you know what the battle protocol is?" Ash asked, snapping out of his depression.

"I kind of know it. They change the rules every time. I know that there are going to be one hundred contestants, and the battling will start with double battles. Teams of two trainers will battle against other teams for the preliminary rounds. Everything else is still a mystery." Tracey explained.

"The UBC is at the Island of Legends. Interesting," Zane commented.

"One other thing I know is that you will only be able to hold six Pokémon with you at a time. But you can switch them at any time, so you'll be able to include all your Pokémon Ash." Tracey said with a smile.

"That's good." Ash answered. Oak suddenly came in the room with a smile.

"Good news everyone! Ash, Zane, you're both signed up and set to battle in the UBC. Will you be able to get there on your own, or will you need boat tickets?" Oak asked.

"We'll make it on our own." Ash answered.

"That's good. Other than that, which Pokémon are you going to use?" Oak asked.

"Pikachu and Meowth for starters," Ash answered. "I'll probably take my three new Pokémon too."

"Boss hasn't decided on the last two. I'm not battling in the first round, so I don't count as part of maximum six." Meowth added.

"I'm glad to see you're no longer with Team Rocket Meowth!" Tracey exclaimed.

"Those bastards went against my moral code for what those bastards did to Zane five years ago anyway. I may have been evil in the past, but even evil has its standards." Meowth replied.

"That reminds me, when did you decide to follow Ash?" Oak asked Meowth.

"Giovanni fired me, Jessie, and James a week after Ash won the Lily of the Valley Championship. Ironically, it was the best thing that happened to us. It gave us a chance to realize our true potential. We decided to seek out Ash afterwards." Meowth started. "Boss would provide a better explanation."

"After Meowth told me what happened, I offered to take Meowth under my wing. He accepted my offer and has been a loyal member of my team ever since. James went on to become an environmental engineer and is now living in Sinnoh with Gardenia. Jessie is currently enrolled as a freshman at Mossdeep Aeronautical University to become an astronaut."

"MAU? Do you know how difficult it is to get accepted into MAU?" Oak exclaimed with wide eyes.

"Straight A's at Petalburg Community College and a recommendation letter from yours truly helps." Ash replied.

"Be that as it may Ash, wouldn't employment with Team Rocket be considered a black mark on Jessie's record?" Oak suggested.

"It was until I spoke with the university administration and law enforcement officials on her behalf." Ash responded.

"Well even if you cleaned up her record it's still a tough school to get in." Oak said. "I'm happy for her though; it's nice to see that she left the dark side."

"She didn't even need a light saber either." Ash added, causing Oak to chuckle.

"As for me, I only have six Pokémon on hand. I'm going to use them throughout the whole tournament." Zane commented as he petted his Espeon on the head.

"What is your new Pokémon Ash? You haven't let them out since you got here, and I'd really like to see Zane's Pokémon. "Tracey stated.

"Well," Ash began as he thought, "I guess it won't hurt to show you."

"You go ahead first bro. I can wait," Zane stated as he convinced his brother to go first.

"Alright!" Ash exclaimed as he brought out three Poke-balls. "Come out and say hi!"

In a flash of lights, Ash's three new Pokémon stood in front of Tracey and Professor Oak. Needless to say, the duo was shocked.

A few explanations:

Mossdeep University is the MIT of the Pokémon world. That is the reason why Oak was startled.

I've decided to strip the title of Boss from Giovanni and give it to Ash. I also apologize for the cliffhanger; it shouldn't be a big deal since the next chapter is already uploaded and a click away.

MegaloRex made the decision to fully evolve Bulbasaur and Squirtle, not me. I will keep both Pokémon fully evolved as a form of respect and goodwill.

MegaloRex also had Ash's Snorunt evolve into Froslass instead of Glalie. I will respect MegaloRex's decision.

The flashbacks are apparently in italics, so there's no need to use terms such as "flashback", "end flashback", and so on.

I read the reviews from the original "Return of Brothers", and Stoffelus correctly pointed out that Metru Nui is originally from Bionicle. Thumbs up to him.

In addition, each Pokémon in this story is capable of learning up to 10 moves, the bare minimum being 6. 4 moves are not enough for a complete move-set. I will also break the 4th wall occasionally.

Update: It turns out that MegaloRex has not abandoned Return of Brothers. MegaloRex also decided that I could keep my version.

Ash's actual height will be revealed in a later chapter.

Happy reading to all! ^_^