Spent an agonising time going over the rest of the fic and trying to think up a plausible ending. A.k.a why you should NOT take a break between writing a story. A sincere apology to anyone who had to wait or is totally dissatisfied with the ending - I know, it's pretty messy. *Sigh*

Pidgeot swooped below a swinging branch before bursting out of the dense canopy, scattering frigid droplets everywhere. Disappointment was radiating from the master. Heavy rain and extremely poor visibility – Pidgeot could swear he couldn't see past his beak – had forced them – well, him, anyway – to abandon their daily trip halfway, and with the repeated thundering and flashes of lightning Pidgeot had refused to go further, for his own and the master's sake. The master was not amused.

"What's wrong, boy?" the master had asked over and over again.

Pidgeot did not answer. The fact that only yesterday the entire Gym had panicked upon finding their leader gone for hours without notice, and had gone further into pandemonium to find the leader in question extremely late and extremely wet, did not seem to have made its impression on the master.

Now, as the rain pounded down in heavy rivulets it had simply been impossible for Pidgeot to anticipate that the next bolt of lightning would have come right above him. All that he knew was that a very acute pain had incapacitated his left wing, and, with a piercing shriek, he plummeted into the thick medley of leaves, branches and splinters, into harsh, harsh darkness.

"That's the last time I'm ever doing that for you," a very disgruntled and very wet girl said. Her Jolteon paced at her heels, stopping every now and then to shake the rain off his spiky pelt.

"This is gonna be so good!" Blue exclaimed gleefully, rubbing her hands. "I can't wait to see what happens next! Thanks, Shadow."

The reply was a sigh, drowned out by the rain. "Absol, go," Shadow called as the Disaster Pokémon exited her Pokeball.

Absol turned to gaze at her master. Must I? It's not necessary. And the weather's terrible.

I'm not giving you a choice.

It's hard to pick up anything now. Besides, you know I don't fare well in heavy rain.

Fine then, the trainer responded, sending out Vaporeon instead. She wondered, whilst many Pokémon disobeyed their trainers, how many trainers actually had to argue with their Pokémon over that.

"Let's hope Jolteon's Thunderbolt hasn't caused too much damage," Shadow muttered as Blue's Blasty and the Water Absorb Pokémon scampered away into the grove. "Surely we can stop Rain Dance by now?"

"Of course not! We've got to keep up the pretense," Blue insisted. "It wouldn't be realistic if it suddenly stopped raining now. Besides, I don't know what you're complaining about. You're the one who's got the hood."

"Yes, and I'm the one who's got to dry it out!" her companion retorted. "Honestly, what could be a more harebrained plan than incapacitating a Gym Leader, dumping him on his friend's doorstep, and expecting – what? 'They lived happily ever after?'"

"Not far off."

"There're plenty of people who would dispute that." The reply came in the form of an exasperated growl. "A certain Mysticalman, for example."

"Oh, really? You wanna bet?" the brunette challenged.


"Why not?"

"Because I always lose," Shadow replied, with a hint of ruefulness. "Somehow, you always make sure that I lose. Come on, let's find Falkner and get out of here."

"I can't believe you guys did it!"

"Well, you'd better believe it," Shadow told Yellow. "Can any one tell me, what were the odds of our sucess?"

It was at breakfast the next day and already rumours had spread to nearly the whole of Johto. Once again, Blue marvelled at the speed of gossip.

"How in the world did it come to a point that everyone knows?" she mused.

Silver shrugged. "People are nosy. And I guess we weren't the only ones pleased to see the outcome."

"Who knows, maybe Crys will have a shot at catching Suicune," Gold added, with a wink.

"Good luck with it," Blue grinned. "Just for the record, what would have happened if we'd failed?"

"You wouldn't want to know," Shadow told her. "And may I remind you, there are lots of unhappy trainers outside Violet City Gym, all because of - "

"Oh come on! Admit it - it was brilliant idea! And it worked! Now, who else to practice on..."

~The End~