Chapter 1 – A Blazing Finale
"Welcome everyone, to the Ivory Islands Finals!" the announcer yelled. The audience began to scream and jump. The sky was a light blue and the sun shone from above the Rock field without a cloud in the sky to disturb it.
"We have on one side the trainer from Pallet Town, Ash Ketchum!" said the announcer pointing to his left. Ash smiled as he was greeted by the shouts of thousands in the crowd as he waved back.
He was 16 years old and he had come back from taking a break after placing in the Top 8 in the Hoenn league to participate in the Ivory Islands League. The Ivory Islands were a collection of islands to the west of Kanto's Indigo Plateau and he decided to travel alone to get any distractions out of the way and focus on winning the league.
"And to the left, we have Derek Azrein from Goldenrod City!" the announcer yelled as he pointed to the boy to his right. He had dark black wavy hair that reached his shoulder and dark red eyes that gave him an intimidating look. He smiled and waved nonchalantly to the crowd as they cheered him on.
"Let's get this match rolling!" the announcer said; fireworks were shot into the sky and the crowd went wild.
Back in Cerulean City Gym, Misty was looking at the TV, excited from the fact that Ash had made it this far in the league. She just wished that she could be there by his side to cheer him on, but unfortunately, she had to take care of the Gym…
Twenty minutes had passed and Ash and Derek were down to there last pokemon, resulting from a double knockout between Ash's Donphan and Derek's Scizor. Ash looked nervously at Pikachu and Pikachu at him. Ash nodded and Pikachu jumped towards the arena.
"Alright then, go Blaziken!" Derek said as he called out his pokemon from the pokeball. The pokemon yelled his name, pumped his arms in the air and gazed ferociously at Pikachu.
"This is gonna be a tough match," Ash thought nervously, looking at how Blaziken's feathers shone in the sun and at his terrific physique. The referee looked at both sides and then said, "BEGIN!"
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!" Ash called out. Pikachu charged up and shot out a lightning bolt straight at Blaziken.
"Blaziken, dodge!" cried out Derek. Pikachu's Thunderbolt hit the ground as Blaziken swiftly dodged it.
"Blaziken, use Flamethrower!" said Derek. As Blaziken ran along the side of the field, he shot out a stream of fire at Pikachu.
"Pikachu, use Agility to dodge it!" yelled Ash. Pikachu disappeared and dodged the flames as he swiftly moved across the field.
"Alright, now use Iron Tail!" Pikachu appeared in front of Blaziken and jumped up as he charged to hit him.
"Blaziken, Counter!" Blaziken held up his arms in front of him as he withstood the blow. Then, with his left arm, he hit Pikachu, knocking him back across to the other side of the field. Pikachu stood up, dirty from the impact, but ready for more.
"Alright Pikachu, use Agility into a Volt Tackle!" Pikachu disappeared and reappeared in various parts of the field as he inched closer to Blaziken. Blaziken turned in circles to try and find Pikachu, but before he could finally lock on to him, Pikachu reappeared behind him and struck him in the back. Blaziken fell forwards onto his face in pain.
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!" Ash said. Pikachu charged up and managed to hit Blaziken with a powerful Thunderbolt, knocking Blaziken back five feet as he tried to stand up.
"Blaziken, get back up and jump to get behind Pikachu!" cried out Derek. Blaziken stood back up and jumped high into the air and began to descend behind Pikachu.
"Hit him with your Iron Tail before he hits the ground, Pikachu!" Ash yelled out. Pikachu jumped towards Blaziken and his tail began to glow white. Right before the Iron Tail hit Blaziken Derek called out, "Use Mega Kick!" and the attacks collided, sending them both backwards. Pikachu crashed into a boulder that was lying in the field and stood up, shakily, trying to recover. His tail was slightly bent down in an unnatural position and Pikachu was wincing in pain from it as he stood up straight.
Ash looked at Pikachu with fright from his injury then at Blaziken. He was breathing heavily and was holding onto his left knee while kneeling on his right leg. Ash thought out his strategy before he decided to launch his attack: he was going to attack him at close range since Pikachu had the speed advantage.
"Get up close to Blaziken and use Volt Tackle!" Ash yelled out to Pikachu, trying to prevent Derek to get a chance to recover from the attack. Pikachu began to speed up as he ran towards Blaziken who still hadn't moved a muscle since the collision. Electricity began to flow outside of Pikachu's body as he approached closer to Blaziken. Derek looked at Pikachu carefully as if he were trying to predict what would happen in a moment. Derek's eyes widened as Pikachu jumped at Blaziken and he yelled out,
"Duck now!" Blaziken ducked at the exact moment Pikachu had jumped at him and he avoided the attack. Pikachu tried to land on his four legs, but because of the high speed he was running at, Pikachu rolled over on the ground and screamed out in pain.
"Pikachu!" Ash's eyes widened out in fear as he called out his pokemon's name. Pikachu, upon hearing his master's cry, tried his best to stand up and managed to on his hind legs, but very slowly. Pikachu was breathing heavily and his legs were shaking, but he looked at Ash trying to persuade him into ordering another attack. Ash was in shock and looked reluctantly at Pikachu, but Pikachu continued to stare at him so Ash yelled out,
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on Blaziken!" As Pikachu began to charge up his attack, Derek said,
"Turn around Blaziken and use Flamethrower!" Pikachu shot out his attack, but the attack met with Blaziken's Flamethrower and they both negated each other out.
He was running out of ideas… He had one last attack, but it was way too risky, especially with Pikachu's tail in the condition it was in… Ash looked down at the ground then at Pikachu. Pikachu was calling to Ash and it seemed like he was trying to tell Ash he could withstand anything. Ash looked away and reluctantly ordered him to:
"Use Agility into an Iron Tail…" Pikachu disappeared and began to run towards Blaziken at blinding speed. Derek then began to worry because he didn't know how much Blaziken could withstand as he was still resting on his knee.
Suddenly, Pikachu appeared in front of Blaziken and smashed the top of his head with an Iron Tail. Blaziken cried out in pain, but he held himself up from falling face forward onto the ground by extending his arms out in front of him. Pikachu, though, was lying on the ground, nearly crying from the excruciating pain he was in. Ash looked in horror at what he had done and was too paralyzed from the shock to do anything.
Derek looked at Blaziken; a red aura was surrounding him and Blaziken looked towards the sky and cried out triumphantly as he felt the power coursing through his body. His Blaze ability had kicked into effect and, even though he could not use his left knee, Blaziken was standing upright on his right leg with a look of determination on his face.
Derek then looked at Pikachu to see whether or not he would continue to fight. As he did so, Pikachu began to quiver then began to stand up. Derek was amazed at his ability to continue and admired Pikachu for putting up such a fight, but he knew he had to finish the match.
"Blaziken, pick up Pikachu and throw him into the air." Derek ordered calmly. Blaziken wrapped his hand around Pikachu's body and threw him into the sky.
"Now jump and use Mega Kick!" Derek screamed as he pointed towards Pikachu. Ash was still paralyzed from shock and continued to stand there, doing nothing, as Blaziken used his right leg to jump into the air until he was at the same level with Pikachu. He prepared his right leg for the attack. Then Blaziken lashed out and his leg connected with Pikachu's body with tremendous force. Pikachu was sent to the ground at blinding speed.
Derek looked at the field as Pikachu crashed into it then to his Blaziken who was in mid-air, at the audience who held their hands in front of their faces to hide their shock as the stadium was wrapped in complete silence, and at Ash who still had not seemed to return to the match. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and said,
"Let's finish this match Blaziken and use Flamethrower on Pikachu." As Blaziken began his descent, he shot off a thick stream of red-hot flames towards the center of the gaping hole in the field. The crater erupted with flames and dust scattered everywhere. Blaziken landed on the field and stood upright on one leg as the dust began to settle. The referee looked inside the crater and declared,
"Pikachu is unable to battle. The winner of this match and championship title of the Ivory Islands League goes to Derek Azrein from Goldenrod City!"
The audience erupted into cheers and Ash had now returned back to the match. He looked around bewildered and everything hit him all at once. He ran over to the crater quickly and looked into it. Pikachu was lying inside, badly charred and in severe pain. He didn't even have the energy to open his eyes, let alone call out his name. Ash began to cry silently and reached out to grab Pikachu. He picked him up and brought him to the Pokemon Center, ignoring all the reporters that rushed towards him.
As Misty saw this scene play out on the TV, her heart sank for Ash. She could tell he was in a lot of emotional pain and decided that she would call him later on in the night to comfort him.
Hours after the match had been over, the emergency light turned off, signaling that Pikachu's treatment was over. Ash went over to Nurse Joy with a worried expression on his face.
"Is Pikachu gonna be all right?" Nurse Joy turned to look at him and smiled.
"Don't worry, he's suffered through the worst. Pikachu just needs a little bit of rest, but I'm positive in the morning he'll be all fine."
Ash was relieved at hearing Nurse Joy's soothing words. He thanked her then took a quick look inside the emergency room. Inside it, Pikachu was resting peacefully on the bed with cables connected to his cheeks, head, and body. Ash felt guilty about putting Pikachu through such an ordeal, but he was too tired to stay any longer, so he thanked Nurse Joy again, and went to his room in the Pokemon Center, while thinking about today's match.
Ash opened the door; the room was completely dark with the exception of the white light from the moon that entered through the sole window. Ash closed the door and didn't bother to turn on the lights as he went straight to his bed. He removed his shoes and was about to lie down on top of the bed when the videophone began to ring. Ash looked at the clock on the bedside table and it read: 10:10 PM.
"Wonder who would be calling at this time?" Ash wondered as he picked up the phone.
"Hey Ash! How are you doing?" A male with spiky brown hair and squinty eyes appeared on the screen.
"Oh hey Brock, I'm just fine, how about you?" Ash said, wiping his eyes. After talking with Brock for about five minutes, Ash hung up the phone and turned to his bed when it began to ring again. This time it was May, who then passed it to Max. Soon after he hung up again, Ash's mother called, then she passed it to Professor Oak, who passed it to Tracey, who passed it to Gary. After hanging up the phone for the third time, he looked at the time. It was now 10:50 PM and he yawned and lay down on top of his bed.
Ash had closed his eyes when, once again, the phone began to ring. This time, Ash wasn't going to answer it so he covered his head with his pillow and waited for the ringing to stop. The phone stopped ringing, but then it began to ring again. This time, Ash lifted his head sleepily and looked at the phone. It stopped ringing and Ash began to lower his head when it began to ring again. Now Ash was mad and he went to the phone, picked it up, and grunted into the phone:
"Hello?" He looked at the screen with bags underneath his eyes when a girl with red-orange hair and blue-green eyes was looking at him, kind of surprised.
"I'm sorry Ash, did I wake you up? I can call tomorrow if you want…" said Misty. Ash's eyes widened and he began to speak into it when he nervously dropped the phone. He went to pick it up off the ground, but when he did this, he bumped his head on the table.
"No, that's alright Misty, I, uh, didn't expect anyone to call this late…" he said, clearly embarrassed as he rubbed his head. She grinned and said to him,
"Well I just wanted to see how you were doing, but it seems like you're already falling to pieces on me." Ash grinned at her and responded sarcastically,
"Well I'm feeling fine, thank you very much. I'm just a bit tired from today's match." Misty smiled at him as she looked at his disheveled hair and boyish grin.
"You haven't changed a bit since we last met, huh, Ash?" Misty said reminiscing on the time when she had gone to his house after he came back from the Hoenn league. She had surprised him there and stayed at his house for about a week before she had to go back to the Cerulean Gym.
"Well it was only 5 months ago…"
"Yeah I suppose… Anyway, what are you doing tomorrow Ash?"
"Well I was planning to return back home by taking a boat to Vermillion City, then going by foot to Pallet Town, why?" He asked her.
"Because we're throwing a party in the Cerulean Gym, congratulating you on your performance in the league tomorrow," Misty said with a grin. Ash looked at her with a confused expression.
"Don't you think this is a bit on short notice," Ash said. "I mean, I'll be arriving in Vermillion at 3 o'clock if I take the 10 o'clock boat out of here and by the time I make it to Cerulean, it'll be at least 9 o'clock and by then it'll be-"
"Not if you take the boat that leaves the port at 6 in the morning," Misty interjected.
"Well, I looked up the boat schedules for you and there's a boat that leaves at 6 AM. That boat should arrive in Vermillion Port around 11 o'clock. I'm sure you'll be able to get here by six," explained Misty with a smile. Ash just looked at her in shock. She must have gone through a great deal of planning for this party if she wanted him to be there by the next day. Ash sighed and said,
"Alright fine, but only because it's obvious you went through a great deal of trouble for this party."
"All right!" Misty yelled. "So once you get here, I'll have your tuxedo ready and-"
"MISTY! STOP TALKING TO YOUR BOYFRIEND FOR, LIKE, A SECOND AND HELP US OUT UP HERE! THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH THE PIPES AND WE NEED YOU UP HERE, RIGHT NOW!" screamed a female voice that sounded a lot like Daisy. Misty's face turned red and she said,
"Hold on for a second Ash while I talk to my sister…" She turned off the screen and set the phone down on top of the table, but Ash could still hear what was going on. Misty went towards the door, opened it and yelled up the stairs,
"DO YOU MIND? FIRST OF ALL, IT'S RUDE TO INTERUPT A CONVERSATION AND SECOND OF ALL, HE'S NOT MY BOYFRIEND!" Misty slammed the door, but she could still hear Daisy screaming back at her. Misty ignored it and turned the screen back on, but before she was going to start their conversation again, Daisy burst through the door, furious and screamed,
"WELL I GUESS IF YOU'RE WILLING TO PAY FOR A PARTY AND A BRAND NEW SUIT JUST FOR YOUR LITTLE BOYFRIEND THERE, THEN I GUESS YOU WON'T MIND PAYING THE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR THE REPAIR OF THE GYM ONCE IT'S FLOODED FROM THE LEAKING PIPES!" This time Daisy slammed the door so hard that it caused the camera on the videophone to shake. Ash looked back at Misty and her face was bright red like a ripe tomato.
"I think I'm going to have to call you back tomorrow, Ash. Goodnight." She hung up the phone quickly and the screen went black. Ash was bewildered at the whole scene, but he looked back at the clock and it read: 11:05 PM. He was tired and decided he better get some sleep for the long day that awaited him tomorrow. He crawled back into his bed and fell asleep thinking about Misty…