Chapter 7

The adrenaline rushed through Ash's body like no tomorrow. The competiveness within finally began to show itself, dashing forward straight onto the park snapping his head around with a large grin beaming across his face and his eyes shined brightly beneath the rays of the sun. There was nothing better than a Pokémon catching contest to get him going!

"Alright Pikachu, you ready to win this thing or what?"

The electric rodent jumped off his shoulder doing a barrel roll in the air while landing perfectly upon his feet, body turned sharply towards his training wearing a determined gaze. "Pikapi!"

"That's exactly what I wanted to hear!" Ash cried, smirking widely, punching his fists into the air. "Now then, where should we head off to first Pikachu?"

"Hey wait for us," Volkner's voice called rather amused stopping the younger teen from running off. Morty and Norman tagged behind him sharing similar looks of bemusement watching as Ash's face began to turn red with embarrassment and a smile. "You didn't think about starting without us did you?" He delicately raised an eyebrow while saying this smirking upon the squirming Ash. It was rather cute in all honesty. "How about we split into teams then?"

Ash blinked. "Teams?"

"Why teams?" Morty asked with confusion and interest.

Norman remained silently, delicately raising an eyebrow at the blonde male waiting for an answer.

"Simple. We split into a group of two and head off in different directions, to capture a bug Pokémon within a time limit, of course." Volkner's smile turned feral allowing his competitive side to shine through, his eyes glinted determinedly at his companions. "The losers will have to buy dinner for the rest of us."

Ash was uncertain. "Is that really okay?" He did not like the idea of being forced to pay for dinner. Especially since he didn't have that much mon-"Oh crap!" His eyes widened in realization. "I forgot that we didn't buy any potions or anything at all!" How could have been so stupid to forget something important? He slammed his palm against his head, and groaned irritably. "I can't believe I did that! I'm sorry," He said sincerely at the two blondes.

"It's fine Ash," Volkner reassured the teen with a tiny smile on his face. "We can always pick those up AFTER the competition."

Norman chuckled audibly. "Your rather adamant about this, aren't you?"

"I've been bored... until Ash came along anyway," The electric gym leader retorted not unkindly at the man. He slide his hands straight into his pockets appearing to look cool and distance glancing at the man, blue eyes jolted. "Perhaps you're afraid of losing?"

"Nah," The older man dismissed the other leader's claims with ease and confidence. "I can hold my own. No worries here!" Beneath that radiant smile that appeared on his face was a dark gleam which could only be noticed if one had been looking for it. "I don't plan on losing to any of you anyway. No hard feelings," The slouched body straightened and began to exhibit a strong aura upon saying those words. The dark gleam became filled with confidence and undeniable strength.

Volkner's smirk deepened. "You seem confident. You really think you can take us on, old man?"

"I figure I can give you a run for your money," The Hoenn gym leader retorted nonchalantly at him.

"Those are fighting words," The blonde stated, his smirk remaining. "I hope you provide me with some entertainment."

Norman cocked an eyebrow up. "So the teams have been decided then?"

"You and Morty again Ash and me," Volkner decided without hesitation and promptly ignoring the chocked sounds coming from the other two males. "A team of Normal and Ghost against two electric types; personally I found it fitting don't you?"

"Don't we get a say in this?" Ash brought up.

The ghost leader sighed, proceeding to pinch his nose in aggravation. "I sincerely doubt that Ash."

"That has some merit." Norman agreed musing at the prospect that the other leader had put forth, and stroked his chin calmly keeping his leveled on the blonde. With a shift nod, it was decided. "Morty and I will head this way then," he gestured towards the west side.

Volkner nodded firmly. "Which leaves Ash and I with the east, how long does the contest last for?"

"Originally it was only for thirty minutes," Morty answered clearing his temple. "However, due to the increase of popularity the contest was extended to a full hour. And as we've been standing here for quiet awhile, we have forty-five minutes left. So how about we met up in twenty? At this spot?"

"I'm all for it." Volkner spoke up immediately, his arm latched onto Ash's wrist sending the two a victorious smile. "We've got this in the bag!"

"H-hey!"

Norman and Morty exchanged a knowing looking between each other, watching the retreating forms of the two that quickly faded into the bushes. The older of the two simply rolled his eyes in bemusement before glancing at his partner.

"So shall we then?"

The ghost leader gave him an exasperated stare, and nodded slowly. "Might as well. I for one refuse to buy lose."

"Glad to hear that," Norman responded with a nod.

"I do it in fear that he'll hold it over our heads for the rest of our lives," Morty added in a dry tone.

"Okay. NOW you're beginning to over exaggerate."

"Oh Ho-oh I hope so."


"Sir?" A low and monotone female voice spoke with great respect, a woman with short straight dark purple hair with thin glasses, she wore a dress with a dark pink color down the arms while centre was black with yellow buttons going down in two rows. Her face held no expression, staring blankly at the man. "Are you sure it is wise to trust those three with such an important mission?"

Giovanni turned towards her as a cold smile appeared on his face. "Why do you think I sent them, Matori?" He removed himself from the chair, beckoning the younger woman to follow after him as they left his office heading down the metallic hallway. "Regardless of whether the three will actually succeed in their mission is of little consequence. I could care less of what happens to them. After all, why waste needed bodies when I have tools before my feet that are just begging to be used?"

"And if they do succeeded in their mission? I'm not say that they will sir, however, I must take every probability into account." The woman said, adjusting her glasses, her frown ever so present as she said this.

"Then I'll continue to send them on missions until their usefulness has run out." The man answered callously with a dismissive wave of his hand.

Matori didn't even respond to that.

The two entered the elevator that was located at the other end of the hall stepping inside of it, before heading up at an alarming rate and stopping again; once again to walking down another long hallway.

"Is there anything else, Matori? Or is there more to discuss?" Giovanni questioned, rather annoyed cocking an eyebrow up at his secretary.

"One moment sir," The woman responded, flipping through the sheets on her clipboard thoroughly as her glasses shinned upon her head lifting to meet his eyes. "Unit Team A has successfully managed to carry out their mission and have returned, sir."

"Is that so? How quick," The man commented with a malicious smile appearing on his face. His pace started to pick up eagerly, it seemed after all the years of his planning and gathering as much resources as possibly were finally starting to be worth his while. "That means everything is falling to place and all at once."

Matori looked up, and frowned. "Sir?"

Giovanni turned his attention towards his assistant for a third time. "Tell me Matori, do you know why I decided to take over my mother's organization upon her mysterious disappearance?"

"N-No sir..."

"The answer is simple. I knew I could surpass her, do better than ever could! Mother had the idea but she lacked the drive, and true ambition that was needed to make Team Rocket what it is today!" Giovanni announced with pride swelling his voice, his eyes glinted with a strange mixed emotion that unnerved the woman. "The only she cared about was making a quick buck. The old hag was average at best, but I...I Giovanni managed to do what she only dreamed of!"

"..S-Sir?"

Two steel doors open abruptly upon her question unleashing the disburse of smoke that had taken her by surprise. Thankfully she had been caught by the older male, nearly making her blush before he proceeded past her into the other room.

It took all of Matori's will power not let out a frightful scream, her hand flew up to her mouth staring in complete and absolute horror to what was before her. "T-that's-!?"

All that was answered had come in the form of a cold. Frigid. Laugh.


"Damn it! That was the fifth one!"

It took all of Ash's will power to not burst out laughing as the Park ball that the blonde had used, opened and allowed the Pokémon within it to escape. It was quite funny he never would have though Volkner to be the type to get all wound up when it came to competition. However, he then remembered that the older male was the last and final gym leader, still the way the blonde was behaving seemed so unlike from the man he had gotten the know during the past week and some yet it felt welcoming at the same time.

It was nice being able to see another side of his friend.

'Are we friends?'Ash thought to himself briefly feeling down at the thought. Sure, they had spent time together during the past little while not to mention having fought alongside when the Trio had attempted to take the Vista Tower from Sunyshore but were they friends? His eyes flickered over at the irritated blonde as the edge of his mouth began to tug in a fond manner.

Volkner turned towards him. "Hm what's up Ash?"

"Oh nothing just thing," The raven boy answered quickly waving his hands wildly. "Everything's fine! I was just thinking is all!"

"Okaaay..."

Volkner shook his head. "Man, I'm really out of it. I haven't captured a Pokémon in ages."

"Really?" Ash blinked rapidly at the statement. That was a bit surprising especially coming from a man such as Volkner.

The blonde shrugged. "When I fell into my depression my drive to battle dropped alongside any interest I had in capturing any new Pokémon as well. The only thing I wanted to do was work on the town, focusing my attention on improving it and making it better." His hands slipped into his pockets in a casual manner heading over towards where Ash was standing, pushing his back up against a tree staring up at the wide blue sky that shined down on them. "I guess I let my depression take over my life, didn't I?"

Ash eyed the blonde, biting down on his lips as he struggled to think of a way to answer the other. "If I have to say...yeah, you did." His body winced at how blunt he had come across. "But you also managed to make your home into a beautiful and safer place, a lot of good came from it. Our choices, our actions have consequences and we have to take the good and the bad that comes with it." He rubbed the back of his head feeling rather awkward at realizing he was giving the other man a somewhat of a pep talk. It felt far too strange as Volkner and Flint had been trying to help getting Ash getting over his problems, and here he was trying to help the blonde.

"Heh," Volkner grunted with a smirk using his hind leg to kick off of the tree swiftly folding his arms against his chest cocking an eyebrow up. "You're right Ash. You know, you're one hell of a smart kid."

Ash shook his head. "I'm not smart, Volkner. Just someone that's experienced c'mon, let's head over there," heading briskly past the older man towards another clearing leaving the bewildered and concerned blonde behind him.

Why was he so irritated all of a sudden? It was a compliment. It didn't make sense to him usually whenever someone gave him one Ash would jump at the chance, and fell all pride of himself. Perhaps, that had been then he was naive and childish; but not anymore. Besides, Brock was the smart one of his group as he had been chosen by Uxie of the lake trio, the pixie of knowledge. The only thing he seemed to be good for was rushing in without a plan, and stopping the bad guys; he was the muscle nothing more, nothing less.

'Since when did I get so bitter?'Ash thought to himself shaking his head firmly. The main issue wasn't the compliment but rather he had slipped up, hopefully the other male wouldn't question it and write off as just a normal trainer thing he had learned.

The sound of Pikachu rubbing against his cheek brought a smile to his face snapping him out of his thoughts.

His eyes scanned the area trying to find a Pokémon that were possibly in the vicinity, the place seemed quiet as not even the wind seemed enough to rustle anything from the branches. A frown soon found its way onto his way, they had to be a Pokémon somewhere! His eyes flickered to his partner, and if one cue the electric type jumped from his shoulders onto the ground and began to sniff madly. Nothing could hide from Pikachu's sense of smell!

"Find anything yet?" Volkner asked approaching up from behind, Raichu flagged beside his trainer looking at them curiously. His electric sapphire eyes remained focused on both Ash and Pikachu, as if he was looking for something.

"Not yet," Came his reply.

The blonde frowned. "Damn."

"Got any ideas?"

"We could use Raichu's and Pikachu's electricity to draw out Pokémon that could be in the area," Volkner suggested as he stroked his chin going into deep thought of his idea. "But I don't want to cause this place any damage especially for the wild life."

That was a good point.

"Hmm..." Ash placed his hand over his face letting out a tiny frustrated groan. A small sigh managed to escape his lips as his eyes began to hover around as his eyes meet with a strange familiar blue. It took a few moments for him to register, but standing before him was a Scyther. "Ah..."

The Scyther stared back at him.

Ash blinked.

A strange moment of silence washed over them as did an awkward sense of dejavu.

"...YOU!"

Volkner stared and pointed towards the Scyther. "You know him?"

"I tried to capture him back when I first tried the Bug-catching contest. I eventually settled on a Beedrill that I gave to my friend, Casey," Ash answered in a serious manner. His eyes never once left the tall bug Pokémon, whom was staring back with the same level of determination. "How about we finally settle this?"

"Scyther!"

A smirk appeared on his face, as Ash threw his arm forward pointing directly at the green bug. "That's what I wanted to hear! Alright Pikachu you're up!"

"Pika!" The electric rodent smirked, appearing rather cocky but looked ready to fight nonetheless.

However, it appeared that Scyther had other plans in mind as his arms were raised straight into the air and began to clash them together slowly with pauses in between them. At first nothing had happened leaving the four rather confused to why the bug-type went and did that, but it became apparently in short time that there was indeed a reason. Scyther wasn't alone. As another figure appeared from the opposite side of the bush to reveal a pure brown Pokémon with giant horns upon its head.

"A Pinsir," Ash breathed in awe.

Volkner frowned. "A two against one? Not cool. Raichu let's go!"

"Rairai!"

"V-Volkner?"

The blonde glanced at him, smirking. "It wouldn't be fair for you to be ganged up, right? So let's fight together."

Ash stared at the other for several moments feeling his heart beginning to beat against his chest in a fast manner that was nearly foreign to him. It was almost like he was back in the good old days except, this time it was better than that. And he had the opportunity to fight alongside the other male once more. Regaining his composure he gave him a firm nod returning his focus towards the battle.

"Pikachu!"

Volkner's expression turned fierce. "Raichu!"

"Use Thunderpunch!"

"Raichu follow up with Thunder Wave!"

The two electric types rushed forward with amazing speed swiftly dodging the attacks that the two other bug-types tried to inflict upon them. Successfully rotating their bodies in a circular manner effectively ending up on opposite side, trapping their opponents; Pikachu began to charge his fist as Raichu's cheeks flashed wrapping his arms around his body before unleashing a powerful electrical wave that flew straight towards the two as the smaller lunged forward with its prepared Thunder punch.

Unfortunately it seemed that both Pinsir and Scyther had other plans in mind.

First the brown one moved a head straight into of Scyther and used move Harden in order to guard against the attack, the counter forced Pikachu to be blown away by it thankfully landing upon its feet. That allowed Scyther to use its blades to fight off against the Thunder Waverebounding it towards the ground, using it's legs to launch forward in an attempt to slash the other rodent; in which Raichu was able to dodge and whacked the bug type with his tail slamming Scyther onto the ground as he slide back towards Pikachu's side, staring down their opponents.

"That didn't work," Ash murmured eyeing the two Pokémon before them, gritting his teeth. "I wasn't expecting Pinsir to know Harden. Hmm maybe..." His eyes narrowed staring at the bug type. "I have an idea. Pikachu! Use Iron tail!"

"Pikapika!"

The yellow rodent dashed towards to where his desired opponents were standing gaining the speed that was needed, his tail began to pulse brightly until it glowed a solid white color. Pikachu jumped straight into the air as Pinsir and Scyther charged back at him; the electric type jumped onto Pinsir's head running down it's body before making a leap straight onto Scyther, slamming the Iron taillike an uppercut punch sending the green bug type flying into the air while Pikachu did a back flip and once again landing back onto the other.

"PIKACHU!"

"RAICHU!"

Volkner and Ash slashed their arms in unison. "THUNDERBOLT!"

"Pika..."

"Rai..."

"CHU!"

The two streaks of thunder emerged from the two electric types running wildly straight into the air circling around in a calm yet dangerous fashion before crashing down hard upon their opponents, as electricity jolted outwards before dying down. Pinsir and Scyther were both black, burnt to a near crisp as they struggled to stand tall and proud before they collapsed onto the ground. Small clouds of smoke appeared out of their mouths briefly.

"Park ball!" Ash unclipped on from his belt, and tossed it. "Go!"

Volkner quickly followed suit, throwing one of his own.

The two green balls flew through the air meeting directly upon the desired targets, turning them into a red light and absorbed them straight into the ball. The two watched with anticipation as the Park balls began to shake slowly with the beeping sound echoing clearly through their ears. Suddenly, the balls stopped moving together as an echoed ping went through the air.

"Looks like we captured Pinsir and Scyther," Volkner commented with a smirk heading over, and picking up his ball.

Ash grinned. "Yeah! It was awesome, I can't believe it!"

"And it looks like we won the little competition," Volkner stated in a rather cocky manner smirking as the ball span on a single finger glancing at the younger male.

"Getting a little ahead of ourselves are we?"

The blonde snorted. "Nah, just certain. Speaking of which we should probably head back," the Park ball was placed against his belt as he began to make his way back to the area and glanced back towards the younger teen. "Are you sitting there or are you coming along?"

"I'm coming, I'm coming, yesch!"

Ash quickly chased after the blonde, his partner following not too far behind as they ran to catch up to the older of the two. A gust of wind swept behind them, leaving not a trace of the battle that had taken place.


Chapter 7-end.

Sorry for the wait and such a short chapter everyone, either way I hope that it was worth the wait. RL has been keeping me rather busy as of lately, which brings me to this next point.

I have a life outside of fanfiction. I write because I enjoy writing, and I'm happy that all of you love reading my fics, I really am however, as of recently I have been receiving PMs harassing me for updates, needlessly to say I'm not happy. So if you could please tone it down a bit? remember I'm a person as well.

Make sure to leave a review!