As I promised, the final chapter is here, and I am happy to announce that it is the longest yet, beating 18 by 500 words. So this chapter, without the messages included, is 7,864 words long.

I'm not really happy with it, and I think I went a bit off topic, but I don't have time to re-write it.

Anyway, I have decided that I will definitely write a sequel, but if no one bothers to read it i'll stop. I hope you guys review this chapter. Flames accepted.

Enjoy!


. : Chapter 18 : .

Sitting at home, knowing the people you love are fighting isn't the best thing in the world. Especially when they've been gone for 6 hours, and still haven't returned.

May was worried sick, and despite the situation, bored. Max was driving her nuts with questions. Her parents were constantly bugging her. Even Misty was annoying at this time.

"At least I don't have a name like 'Misty'! Ha!" She heard Max shout from the kitchen, followed by a loud clatter and bang. She buried her face in her hands and sighed. Would this ever end?

"Take that back, you little twerp!"

May became lost in her thoughts once more and pushed the argument to the back of her mind, so that she couldn't hear anything but happy thoughts…

"May?" Dawn broke her trance. Her head bolted up and met Dawn's glassy eyes. "I think maybe I should go searching for Ash…"

"No." Misty also appeared, leaning against door frame. May had gotten the idea earlier, and decided that if he wasn't back later, she'd go looking. Maybe they should go…

"He told us not to go. They're okay, I can feel it." She gave a weak smile, before Max pushed her out of the way, watching her fall over and smirking. "Push me one more time and I swear, I will kill you."

"Why're you so worried, May?" Max questioned, plucking food from the fridge. "Last time I saw you, you hated Ash."

May's mind took her back to the time when Ash had first come to the gym with her. She cringed. Then she started thinking about Ash, and how much they'd gone through, and-

She burst out in tears.

"Oh, sorry! I didn't mean to make you cry!" He dropped his food and ran over. He turned to face Misty. "What did I say?"

Misty coughed slightly and sat on the sofa next to him. "Well Max, do you know what it means when you say you 'date someone'?"

...

The field was crimson with the blood of them. The three bodies lying on the floor. The one figure kneeling breathlessly by his friend. The blood of the four Pokémon that had recently flew away above them all, weak, but still fighting.

Ash's legs struggled to keep him up. His knees buckled and he collapsed on the ground, helplessly breathing onto the grass. Maybe if scum Harley hadn't run away as soon as they rescued him.

Mewtwo tightened his grip on Harley's neck and laughed.

"I knew it, you're too innocent." He cackled. "This boy tried to rape your girlfriend, but you still care if he dies. I can feel your pain."

Ash took a step forward. "I don't care what you do with him." He scoffed. "But I do care what you do to the world."

Mewtwo smirked, sending shivers down his back. "Well, if you insist." He continued to tighten his grip on Harley, choking him in mid-air. Brock, Drew and Gary turned away, but Ash couldn't. His eyes were glued onto the murderous sight in front of him. Slowly, he began to become angry. Rage was building up inside of him, making him tense up.

"Stop!" He shouted, closing his eyes and gritting his teeth. "Leave him be."

"Oh, so you don't care, do you not? I do love playing with human emotions. See, I bet you would care if I did this instead." An image appeared of May, May laughing, and running alongside a boy, with white hair, a red headband, and the same colour clothes. In fact, they weren't just running alongside each other. They were holding hands. They flopped onto the grass and stared into each other's eyes…

Ash shot at Mewtwo, his punch aimed for its stomach, but Mewtwo just pushed him back.

"Emotions are wrong. People shouldn't feel for another person. Love and friendship only get in the way, and end up hurting. That's why you're foolish, for that wasn't conjured up by me. It was an image from the future."

Ash froze. His heart sank and his eyebrows narrowed. He stared up at the Pokémon in front of him. "You're lying."

"Why would I lie to you?" It shouted, its voice suddenly full of hatred. "This is why I never learned to love. It's stupid. Even if you live today, she'll be the death of you!" It laughed, almost like a maniac. "That's why you should join me. Leave her, and your friends, because one day…." He smiled at them all. "One day they will all leave you."

"What makes you so sure!?" Brock suddenly spoke up. "I know what I will and won't do!"

"I can see the future, Ash." He said, ignoring Brock. "One friend will hand you over to an enemy. One will abandon you for love and try to steal something from you. One will drift away because they won't have time for you." It still hovered slightly above the ground. "And that's only the people I can see now."

Ash was speechless. He knew Mewtwo wasn't lying this time, but why would his friends do that? He could understand the last one, but who would hand him over to the enemy, and who would steal something from him? Should he trust his friends anymore?

"Join me?"

"Ash…" Brock began, stepping forward. "You know I won't betray you, after all these years…"

"Shut up." Ash muttered. He turned to face Mewtwo. "And no. Nothing you can say will make me fall for your trickery."

"Then we shall fight, and you will fall."

Ash reached for his first pokeball…

Now, six hours later, after the longest battle he had ever faced, Ash was left for dead in the same clearing, with his friends scattered around him.

For a moment, all he could do was continue to breathe and feel dead. Pain spread up his arms and legs, and left him unable to move without being completely engulfed by it. Sadness began to creep over him. Mewtwo was nowhere to be seen, and neither were his comrades. For all he knew, they could have been destroying cities as he lay. He had been out cold for a good two hours, at least.

With a sudden surge of hope, he pressed his hands against the cold, damp grass and pushed himself up. He struggled to his feet and looked down at his friends on the floor.

"One day they will all leave you." The sentence echoed at the back of his head, repeating itself over and over again. But he had been stupid to even consider this. His friends would never leave him. Still, there was that image of May, in the fields…

Ash hurried over to Gary and shook him. Realizing he was getting it all wrong, he stopped and tore a bit of cloth from the spare t-shirt in his bag and wrapped it around the gash on Gary's arm. He wished he had something to wash the wound with first.

Then Drew stirred. Ash hated to have to tend to Drew's wound too, but he still did the same as he did with Gary. Drew was on the edge of consciousness, and winced as the material was pressed against his own wounds. Except Drew's wounds were inflicted by fire.

"…Ash?" Gary sat up, rubbing his head. He peered at the bandage on his arm.

"I'm here." Ash waved a little, but his arms still hurt. Gary's eyes wandered for a moment before meeting Ash's. He began to stand, but Ash shook his head, and Gary sat back down. As he watched Ash continue to bandage Drew, and then Brock up, his hand sneakily reached for the phone in his back pocket.

It was as expected. Ash was too busy helping other people, he forgot about his own problems. He finished bandaging Brock up and began rummaging through his bag. He reached something in the bag, and stared blankly at it for a moment. Then, without warning, he collapsed forward.

Gary ripped the phone out of his pocket and shakily dialled a familiar number. Just a few seconds later, he received an answer.

...

"I still don't get it." Max scratched his head, and Misty face palmed.

"I'm tired of this. Basically, your sister and Ash are boyfriend and girlfriend." She exploded. May had long since left the room, and Dawn was silently watching the TV.

Max was silent for a moment. "You mean… They kiss and stuff!?" He stuck out his tongue and genuinely looked sick.

"Yes Max, they kiss and stuff. The reason your sister is so worried because she loves Ash, you see." Misty smiled.

"You mean, like she loves her Pokémon?" Max's face screwed up, as if he was concentrating.

"Probably more. I don't know."

Up in her bedroom, May thought to herself about things she hadn't had a chance to think about before.

Then, she stopped and listened. She checked again. She was definitely right. Downstairs, her phone was ringing.

Excited, but scared, she hopped up and bounded down the stairs, only to find that Misty had already answered it.

"Whoa, whoa. Calm down, wait a sec." She turned on the loud speaker, and everyone was greeted immediately by Gary's babbling voice.

"What's the matter?" Misty asked, and May became a statue, frozen in place. She feared the worst, and all the possible outcomes started listing themselves in her head.

"Mewtwo, it was too strong, and it had help. We couldn't hold it off. Brock and Drew are nearly awake." Gary's voice was full of panic.

"What about Ash?" Misty asked. A lump formed in May's throat and she choked on some silent tears.

"He bandaged up me, Drew and Brock. Then I noticed there was something wrong with him, and he passed out. I need help!" May let loose a noise like a mouse squeaking.

"Also, Mewtwo showed us the future. Not the important one. But apparently May's going to end up with someone else. Just thought you might want to know, in case we don't make it back."

"Don't talk like that, we'll come and help you. Right now." Misty reassured him, but May was confused. Mewtwo had foreseen that she would be with another person? No way would she ever leave Ash for anyone. Not unless, perhaps…

"May!" Dawn called angrily from the door. May hurried out, and the four of them, including an un-noticed Max, raced their way towards the forest.

...

Going after Mewtwo straight away would be suicide. As much as Gary hated it, they would have to heal first.

He could hear them approaching. Their footsteps echoed in the silence, as they trampled on twigs and dead leaves. He sighed lightly with relief and looked back down at the boy in front of him. The boy he hated so much when he was little. The boy he had been a rival to for years, battling him competitively.

Dawn burst through the bushes first, and fell on her knees beside Drew. May jogged through the bushes straight for Ash. She was crying already, but she only became worse when she saw him. But in her mind, she also felt relief. She was beginning to think he wouldn't make it back at all.

"What happened here?" Misty approached slowly. Her calmness surprised May.

"Well, we…" Gary began. "We were attacked, by Mewtwo, Zapdos, Moltres and Articuno. We rescued Harley, but he was no help…"

"Wait… Harley!?" May shouted, looking offended.

"Yeah. Mewtwo was strangling him. For a moment, I thought Ash would just let him die, but he didn't. The battle lasted 4 hours. It was really close, but Mewtwo wasn't involved much. Then, out of nowhere, he just… released all of his power. I woke up half an hour ago. Ash was bandaging Brock up. He'd already bandaged me up. I guess he didn't realize his own condition." Gary frowned down at Ash. May followed his gaze and cursed Ash for being so helpful and kind.

"And just like that mistakes are made." Misty whispered and knelt beside him, shaking her head.

"We need to get him back to the gym." Gary muttered. The problem was who was going to carry Brock and Drew.

"I've got Drew." Dawn announced. She was, surprisingly, strong enough to carry him bridal style in her arms, where he hung limply.

"If you can carry Ash, I reckon I could get Brock." Misty smiled at May. She suddenly regretted saying that.

May lifted Ash with a little difficulty. The first few times, she had to put him back down. Then she finally lifted him properly, assuring everyone she was fine. She wasn't known for being very strong. Ash was.

The walk back took longer, due to the extra weight, but halfway there, Brock woke. He was embarrassed that Misty had been carrying him, but she didn't care. She didn't care about most things. After a trek through the forest and city, they finally arrived at the gym, where May begin jogging to get upstairs quicker.

"I'll let you rest." She spoke to the unconscious Ash in her arms as she laid him on her bed. She pulled a seat up beside the bed and sat beside him. She sat stroking his hair for a while, before sleep crept unexpectedly to her, pulling her into the darkness.

Dawn set Drew down in the guest room, wiping her forehead with her arm. She was about to leave, when she noticed him twitch. It was just a slight movement of his hands.

"Drew?"

"Huh?" He jolted upright and cringed at the pain in his ribs.

"Don't strain yourself." She warned, like a concerned mother. "Rest."

Drew ignored her command. He opened his eyes and stared back at her. Dawn shivered slightly at the look in his eyes. He wasn't completely 'with it' yet. She rolled her eyes, and turned to leave, but he took hold of her arm.

The room was suddenly silent. Their faces hovered just inches away from each other. Every breath could be counted and heard. Dawn could almost hear Drew's heart racing. Her problem was that hers wasn't. She wondered if he was going to kiss her, but she didn't feel much but wonder. She was like a curious child, staring back at him.

And then, he took his chances, and pulled her in. Their lips met briefly. It was just a short kiss. That was when Dawn's heart finally started racing.

"I just had to try that." Drew smiled sheepishly.

"I'm glad you did." Dawn blushed beetroot red.

"…Really?"

"…"

Dawn suddenly stood up. "I'm sorry." She began to leave, but Drew still wasn't done. Desperate to keep her there with him, he blurted out;

"I love you."

...

May woke the next morning, only to find the bed beside her empty. Ash had woken while she was asleep, and she hadn't gotten the chance to explain to him or check if he was okay. What if he had a concussion or something?

She stalked along the corridor. In the guest room, one bed was filled by Brock. The other was empty. Misty, Drew and Dawn were probably downstairs.

But none of them were. May stuck her head around the corner to check her living room. It was empty, but a note lay on the table. She snatched it up, worried it was from Ash, and read it aloud.

"May, I've gone… grocery shopping? I was careful not to wake your mom and Ash. Drew and Dawn went for a walk. Be back soon. Misty." She folded the note and stuffed it in her pocket. So Ash had woken up not long ago, or Misty would be back.

She wandered into the kitchen, where he was sitting at the dining table, looking lost. She glided over to him and sat. He just sat there, looking at the wall.

"I was too weak to stop him." His face screwed up.

"The three legendary birds showed up, Ash. You weren't expecting them. It's okay." May placed her hands over Ash's, but he pulled them away almost immediately.

"No, it's not. He could be doing anything right now. It's my fault." He shoved his face in his hands angrily.

"Listen, Ash. It's not your fault."

"Of course it is, Brock, Gary and Drew were-" May cut him off by pulling him in for a kiss. He calmed down straight away.

"You need to heal up before we try again. This time, I'm coming." She crossed her arms to prove a point. Ash smiled lightly at her, and was about to say something, when Misty burst in.

"I'm going to make Brock's special stew for you!" She beamed, squealing excitedly. Ash's face turned to a look of horror. He looked at May and shook his head as a warning.

"Now, what does he add first again?" She picked among the ingredients, as Ash and May slowly left the room.

"There's nothing wrong with me, May." He tried to convince her as they glided out of the door. May slid her hand into his.

"You can't fool me."

They walked for a while in silence. Neither had any idea where they were going. May could feel Ash's longing to go back to Mewtwo and defeat him. They could go, but Brock wasn't even awake yet. Who knows what Drew was like? She decided they should at least wait for tomorrow.

"You know, when I met you…" May started, hating the silence. "I had already met Dawn. I didn't like her, so I had this image in my head of what you would be like."

"You'd met Dawn?" Ash turned to her.

"I met Paul first. I was lost, and he asked to go for ice cream. I let him take me, but then we heard… well, you. But I didn't know it was you." May confused herself and stopped for a moment. "Anyway, I asked if we should go help, but he said you were just a bunch of losers."

"That's Paul." Ash frowned.

"I left him eventually because he was being a snob. Then I saw the commotion, whatever the heck that puddle thing was." Ash didn't know why she was telling him the story, but he didn't mind. He liked hearing it from her point of view.

"I met Brock then; I was asking him something about Dawn… I don't remember. Later that day, I couldn't help myself, I touched the puddle thing." She poked the air with her finger. "And that's when I met you."

"I'll never forget that bit." He smiled at her.

"I just want you to know, as soon as I saw you…" She forgot how to word it and pulled a strange face, which Ash chuckled at. She smiled up at him. "I knew you weren't those things I thought you would be. In fact, it was almost love at first sight." The last part made her feel a little awkward, and she shuffled her feet a bit.

"Me too." Ash surprised her. "Because I was always so clueless about that stuff." He laughed. "But if I hadn't loved you straight away, I would never have agreed to meet you."

May pulled Ash in for a kiss, but he looked elsewhere. She was about to complain, but then she followed his gaze, and her eyes landed on Drew and Dawn. They were walking, holding hands, looking straight at Ash. What they saw was him, leaning down to May, but looking at them.

"Ash! Hi!" Dawn waved. Ash just raised an eyebrow.

"Drew?" May asked. "Dawn?"

May was suddenly concerned. Ash looked slightly upset. Why would he be upset about this? Why was she upset about this?

"Are you and Dawn…?" May asked finally.

"I suppose so." He chuckled a bit. Ash stayed silent. The reason he was upset was not because he still felt for Dawn. It was because he had always thought Drew was going to be trouble, and the fact that they just disliked each other didn't help.

Drew smirked. Now you know what I felt like when you were sucking up to May.

Then something hit Ash. He remembered before the battle, for the first time since he woke up. He remembered talking to Mewtwo. Mewtwo had asked him to join its side. It had shown Ash the vision of May…

And it hadn't been lying.

Ash pulled his hand away from May, turned, and ran off in the direction they had just come from.

"Ash!? Where are you going?" May called, chasing after him. Drew was pleased with himself, thinking he was the reason Ash ran away. Then he realized Dawn had run off too.

"Ash, what are you doing?" May said between breaths as she burst through the door of the gym. Dawn struggled to stop her running legs, and bumped into May, sending the two of them flying through the door. Ash was calmly talking to Brock in the living room. They could hear them. They stayed on the floor, trying not to make any noise.

"Are you sure?"

"Positive."

"But I'm sure she wouldn't do that."

For a moment, they both thought he was talking about Dawn dating Drew.

"Mewtwo can see the future, Brock. I just want to leave before she does."

"Just me and you? Maybe if Mewtwo's alone…"

May scrambled up and hid behind the kitchen wall. Dawn didn't manage to get up in time.

"What're you doing on the floor?" Brock raised an eyebrow as he and Ash entered the room. Dawn smiled sheepishly.

"I fell over. Where are you going?" She stood up and brushed herself off.

"We're leaving."

"You can't!" May burst in and took hold of his arm. Brock looked away, knowing this was going to be an argument of some sort.

Drew arrived finally at the door, bent over and panting.

"Wow, you really can run fast when you want to."

"I think we should go too." Dawn ignored him. "I mean, what good are we doing just hanging around?"

May tried to come up with a valid argument, but it seemed Dawn was correct this time. They really were doing no good. May was just trying to hang back as long as possible. Did this make her a coward? Or did she just not want to lose Ash?

Ash pulled back his arm and rubbed it. May's grip had left a red mark, but she hadn't meant to hurt him.

"You shouldn't come, Dawn." Ash started, still rubbing his arm slightly. "Wouldn't want you getting hurt."

"And who says I would get hurt?" She placed her hands on her hips. "I'm not just a pretty face, you know."

Drew snorted.

"This may sound stupid but," Brock cleared his throat, "I think it would be best if us four boys went again."

"And get beaten again?" Dawn laughed. "I don't think so."

"And you won't stop me from coming this time either." May finally spoke. "It can't be much more dangerous than being in a building rigged with bombs."

"Uh May… I seriously think you should stay behind this time."

"Why, Brock?"

That was when he appeared unexpectedly. In fact, they were so absorbed in their argument, they hardly noticed him there.

He clutched his side painfully. The stitch hurt as if he'd been shot.

Not far behind him, a Pokémon hunted. It was looking for him. He would pay for catching its baby.

The boy neared the gym, not caring about which building it was anymore. He was nearing the door, he would make it. The Pokémon closed in behind him, and he did the least sane thing to do.

He pushed the door open, scrambled inside, and slammed it shut again.

He noticed the six people straight away and regretted his decision. The good thing was, they hadn't heard him come in. He couldn't go back outside, so he stayed pressed against the door for a few moments and inspected the people in front of him.

There was a blue haired girl sitting on the sofa with her face buried in her hands. A green haired boy sat facing away from him, possibly watching the girl. A brown haired tall boy was talking to a ginger teen girl at the table. But the thing he noticed first was Ash Ketchum and a brown haired girl shouting at each other.

His jaw dropped open. Ash Ketchum! He had watched him on TV every time he competed in a league. He had heard Ash was competing in the Sinnoh league and was sure he was going to win. But if he was competing in the Sinnoh league, what was he doing here?

He had a sudden urge to ask for an autograph, but he seemed… a little busy.

"I thought you trusted me! If you really did, you wouldn't believe it!" The girl dressed in red shouted at him.

"I don't know, May." He said, a little calmer than before. "Mewtwo wasn't lying. Maybe he meant when I die..."

"You're not going to die."

Die? What was this?

"If I have to, to destroy Mewtwo… It would be a small price, really."

"Even if you did die, I wouldn't…"

"Oh, so what, I imagined it? That's the only other option." Ash threw up his arms.

"Is it even that much of a problem?" The girl retaliated. The boy didn't know what was going on, but he could tell that last sentence hurt Ash. He looked deeply offended.

"How could you ask me that? I've only ever cared for you."

"If you care for me, you'll listen to me. Let me come with you, if you must leave." She turned to face the door. To face him.

Crap.

The girls jaw dropped. Ash turned to see what was interesting.

His face turned pale.

"You."

Just as May thought she had gotten through to Ash, he turned up. She wasn't sure who he was, but Ash seemed to know him. Why was he at her door, though?

"Me?" He asked in a small voice. "I'm sorry for breaking in, it's just I was being chased by a…" He trailed off when he realized that the green haired boy and the taller one were giving him the same, shocked look. "By a Pokémon…" He whispered.

"Oh…" Brock bit his lip.

"Hell…" Drew finished.

"Who are you?" May asked irritably.

"My name is Brendan." He smiled sheepishly. "I think I'll leave now."

"Wait!" May squinted. "Ash, is this…"

Ash nodded.

May stared.

Then she started to cry.

"Maybe now that you know, you can stop it!"

"You know what?" Ash started, and began to walk towards Brendan. "Let's just go."

The group of people formed a line behind him, walking out of the door, except the girl, who was still crying.

"Are you okay?" He wanted to approach her, but how could he be sure she was friendly?

"No." She snapped, suddenly looking up. "Move." She pushed past him and ran out of the door. Not sure of what else to do, Brendan turned and followed.

...

Ash had realized he was being selfish. As painful as it was, he knew that the most important thing was Mewtwo, and not May. He wasn't going to waste time arguing with her, or with Brendan. He just needed to defeat Mewtwo, and then he could do whatever he wanted. Perhaps he could make it back to Sinnoh in time for the league. If he even made it back at all.

Where should he look? He was pretty sure Mewtwo would make it obvious. The Pokémon wanted him dead, so where would he wait?

Then something clicked into his head. It didn't make sense, but if it wasn't important, then why did he just think it?

"I think I know where he is."

"How?" Brock asked.

"It's like he's calling to me." Ash placed his hands on his head. "Agh and it's giving me a headache."

"That can't be a good thing."

"It's just a headache."

"But what if it's not?"

"What do you mean?" Dawn interrupted.

"I mean, last time we were around Mewtwo, I had a headache too. It felt as if it were draining something, but I never got time to find out."

"But then, why did you feel it then and me now?" Ash suddenly stopped walking, and ignored May and Brendan appearing behind them.

"I don't know. Maybe it's nothing, but I suggest we hurry anyway. Where do you think he is?"

Now it felt as if there were a timer. Would something bad really happen if they weren't quick?

"This way." Ash began to run, only hearing his footsteps on the pavement, and ignoring the group behind him. He knew they could keep up, anyway.

His feet carried him through the streets of Petalburg. If they kept up this pace, they'd be there in no time. Weaving through dark alleys and trying not to know anyone over, he kept running. Was Mewtwo already killing people? It was a possibility. Then, he stopped. The group came to a halt behind him.

"What is going on here?" Brock squinted, but he couldn't see through the crowds. In the middle of Petalburg square, a crowd of maybe fifty people circled something.

"Wait a moment!" Brendan shouted from the back of the group. "What's going on!?" He asked between heavy breaths.

"Long story." Misty answered for him. "I would leave now if I were you."

"I don't get it, it says Mewtwo is right there." Ash began walking forward, but he didn't get far enough to see. He grabbed his head again and screamed.

"Ash!" Brock ran forward.

"It's okay." He said, standing but wincing. "Just a headache…"

"No, it's not just a headache. Maybe we should-" Dawn started.

"I'm not going anywhere."

A news reporter was standing behind the crowd, pointing to the amount of people and saying something they couldn't hear.

Putting his headache behind him, Ash began gliding over to the crowd. His friends protested, but this was more important than a headache. He approached the crowd, and began to push his way through. He expected to see someone passed out, or Mewtwo killing someone. Anything like that would have been normal for the situation. But what was really there was far, far worse.

Ash froze at the edge of it. Police banners surrounded it, warning him not to get any closer. He didn't want to get closer anyway, but a cold truth hit him. He was going to have to get closer.

Behind him, the crowd was leaving. They had gotten bored of staring at it. He heard the gasps of Brock, May, Dawn and Drew. But he couldn't move.

In front of him, lay a strange looking, purple puddle.

"No..." May whispered. "But why?"

"You can't go back down there Ash." Brock shook his head. "What if we can never get you back out?"

"Excuse me." Ash turned to a member of the crowd that had stayed. "What happened here?"

"Oh, I think someone fell down there. Apparently they saw the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo fly down there too, but that's probably just a rumour." She answered, smiling. Ash was not smiling.

"He's got someone down there." He turned to his friends, and turned away again. He took short steps, ducked under the barrier, and stopped at the edge of the puddle.

"Hey, look!" Someone shouted. "Kid, I'm going to have to ask you to step away." Ash turned to Jenny, giving her a look of despair.

"Wait, isn't that the same kid that fell at Sinnoh…?" She turned to Nurse Joy.

"Ash, what are you doing!?" May shouted and began to push her way through the group of friends. "Don't you dare!"

He smiled as she ran towards him. "I love you, May." And with that, took his final step.

Time seemed to slow as Ash fell towards the ground for the second time that month. He saw May's arm reach for him and her tears fall to the floor around her. He heard Dawn screaming and saw Drew grab her to stop her from running. Then he saw May reach out to touch the puddle as everything disappeared, and with the last of his strength, used his hand to knock hers away.

Then everything was gone, and he was falling again.

...

Just like last time, he awoke shortly after he hit the ground. His surroundings were different than they had been in Sinnoh, because he was below Hoenn instead. This time, however, he knew he wasn't getting out. He knew the entrance would close behind him. Somehow, he wasn't too bothered. Now all he had to do was find Mewtwo.

That wasn't hard.

He could hear the battle from where he landed. Explosions and shouting filled his ears. He heard Mewtwo's mocking laugh, and forced himself to stand and walk. A dull pain throbbed in his head, but not even half as bad as before.

The only thing he regretted was not being able to spend more time with May. He would never be able to get that time back, and they'd spent most of their last moments arguing.

Defying gravity, he jumped and floated slightly to reach another part of the ground. A building towered over him, but he passed through it, ignoring the things inside.

He wasn't surprised when he saw Giratina. It was with Mewtwo, ganging up on someone hiding behind a wall. Ash could see the shadow of his figure and guessed he was about eighteen.

"I know you're here. Are you going to come out?" Mewtwo spoke, but not to the other boy, to Ash. "It must have been hard leaving them all behind like that, but I knew you would. You're so predictable. How does it feel to know you'll never see them again?" Mewtwo turned and smiled at him, and not in a friendly way, either. So Mewtwo could sense where he was too. Ash was going to use the sensing thing as an advantage.

"Come and fight me for the last time, Ketchum, or are you too much of a coward?"

"Ash!?" The figure shouted, but didn't reveal himself. He didn't need to. Ash recognized the voice well. So Giovanni was too innocent to actually kill anyone. He was bluffing the whole time. There was just one confusing part- wasn't he buried?

"Paul!" Ash echoed across the large stretch of ground and stepped out into the light. As strange as it was, Ash wanted to hug Paul. How did he survive? Did Celebi help him too?

"Oh, how nice. You've met." Mewtwo smiled. "It'll hurt even more when I kill him in front of you too." He spoke to Paul, who was edging out of his hiding place slowly.

"You won't be killing anybody." Ash reached for his belt. On it hung six pokéballs, five ready for battle, but one empty…

"We'll see about that."

Mewtwo outstretched his arm and sent Ash flying out into the clearing. Panicking, Ash grabbed the first pokeball he felt and threw it. The day before, he had switched all his Pokémon out but one. And for the first time ever, he didn't have Pikachu's pokeball with him.

Instead, Brock had Pikachu. The mouse hadn't been around lately anyway. It was always off with Eevee, or doing something else. Ash felt guilty, because he never even had time to worry about his partner. Had he told Pikachu what he was going to do that day, he wouldn't of been alone. There would have been no stopping him from coming.

Sceptile appeared before him, confused. Once he saw his trainer on the floor and struggling to get back up, he was ready to battle. He wasn't even put down when he saw the enemy he would be facing.

Another Pokémon walked up to him. Paul's Drapion. Giratina seemed a little beat up, and didn't look like it would be fighting with Mewtwo this time.

"Why are you down here, Mewtwo!?" Ash shouted up at it.

"I was hoping you'd ask that." Ash's eyes followed Mewtwo as he glided in the air. "You see, I've just called on all my friends to come here. This is the place we shall be meeting before we set out to kill your kind."

Now there was a timer. If all the legendary Pokémon made it here, he and Paul would have no chance at all. So it would be better to get this over and done with.

"Sceptile, bullet seed!" Ash commanded. Sceptile launched itself high to match Mewtwo's flying and shot the seeds forward with lightning speed. Paul shouted a command that Ash didn't hear, and Drapion's claws began to glow purple. Mewtwo laughed and dodged the bullet seed. It's eyes glowed and Drapion was lifted into the air.

"Break free, Drapion!" Paul shouted up to his Pokémon.

"Sceptile, leaf blade while Mewtwo holds Drapion!" Sceptile tried for a back attack, and it looked like he was going to hit.

Mewtwo dropped Drapion down, where it hit the floor painfully, swirled, and pushed Sceptile back.

"He's too strong!"

"We need to use dark types!"

Mewtwo laughed. "I know you, Ash. You have no dark types."

"That's where you're wrong." Ash grinned and grabbed another pokéball. Please listen to me, He prayed inside his head, and threw the ball.

It was a good job Ash had caught that Zoroark.

"Zoroark, I need you to listen to me." Ash had tried this many times before. While Ash spoke to Zoroark, Paul tried to keep Mewtwo busy.

"Why should I?"

"Because if you don't, you'll die." Ash pointed up to Mewtwo.

"A Mewtwo? Psychic? Easy." Zoroark seemed to smirk, but Ash couldn't tell.

"So, you'll listen?"

"Just for today, human."

"Okay, well, use Dark Pulse!" Zoroark took Mewtwo from behind with a powerful Dark Pulse.

"It's super effective." Paul winked over. Mewtwo turned and tried to counter with Psystrike. But, of course, Zoroark was immune.

"Fool. You cannot beat me just using a single dark type." It laughed and began charging an Aura Sphere.

"Zoroark, use Night Daze!"

"Go, Honchkrow!" Paul shouted, and then added, "Two dark types, actually."

Night Daze hit its target, followed by Night Shade from Honchkrow. There wasn't much Mewtwo could do about the pesky dark types, except try to dodge and use Aura Sphere; the only move it knew that wasn't Psychic.

Aura Sphere flew across the clearing towards Zoroark, but Zoroark countered with Night Shade, and the two collided with a bang.

Another Aura Sphere hit Honchkrow and knocked it out of the sky. Then Ash realized, they actually had Mewtwo scared. It wasn't thinking about what it was doing properly, just lashing out randomly. He would pay the price now.

"Zoroark, use Foul Play!" Ash commanded, as Honchkrow raised itself again. Foul Play uses the enemy's attack instead of Zoroark's, so Mewtwo's power could be used against it. Mewtwo's attack was higher than Zoroark's, and the attack was dark. Paul realized what Ash was doing and distracted Mewtwo with Aerial Aces and Night Shades.

Foul Play hit Mewtwo right on target, making its back arch. It seemed to choke, but Ash knew he had drained most of his power.

Mewtwo coughed and spluttered. The psychic aura around it began to fade.

"So you see, Mewtwo. We have won." Ash smirked at it, feeling confident with all five of his Pokémon ready to fight. "You never even had a chance."

"But…" Mewtwo choked. "What are you going to do now? The rest of the legendary Pokémon are getting closer every second. No matter how weak I am, I can still order them. You don't have the guts to kill me." It laughed. And it was right. No matter how evil it was, Ash wouldn't be able to kill it. But he didn't have to.

Ash reached for the empty pokéball in his pocket. Paul gasped, how had he come across one of those?

A master ball.

It was the last thing Mewtwo saw before the red light engulfed him. He was weak, so he could not fight it. The ball fell to the floor, rolled only once, and stopped.

"Oh my god…" Paul whispered to himself, and picked up the ball by his feet. "Ash, you have a Mewtwo!"

"I don't think I'll ever use it." Ash walked over to Paul.

"At least we beat him." Paul handed the master ball to Ash, who re-attached it to his belt. "Oh, Ash…" He pointed and Ash turned. In the distance, a large group of legendary's appeared. Palkia, Dialga, Articuno, Moltres and Rayquaza were among the ones at the front. They stopped in front of the two boys and looked confused for a moment.

"What do we do?" Paul whispered. Ash held up the Master Ball for them all to see, and they understood completely. Calmly and happily, they turned and glided away into the distance. Somehow, Ash knew they wouldn't bother the people above anymore.

"To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be alive right now." Ash's face twisted. "The entrance to this place closed behind me, Paul. We're stuck."

"I knew I would be when I came down here. I just didn't have any choice." He frowned.

"At least I have a bit of company." Ash laughed sadly. "I think I should do this." He took the master ball and threw it as high as he could into the air. Paul waited for it to fall back down, but it didn't.

May sat on the pavement, staring at the floor. She had been there for two hours, at least. She was convinced Ash was going to come back up. Behind her, Dawn bit her nails and walked back and forth.

"May, come on, it's getting dark." Dawn whispered as nicely as she could to her. "I think maybe it would be best if…" She held back her tears. "…If we let go of Ash. There's a chance that he didn't even survive battling Mewtwo…"

"I want to stay here a bit longer." May stated calmly. "You don't have to wait."

"It's okay, I will." Dawn sat beside her. Drew, Brock, Misty and even Brendan had left to the Pokémon centre to report Ash falling, but there was no point. Jenny and Joy had already seen. There was nothing they could do.

Suddenly, something began to form on the pavement in front of them. It took a circular shape, and it became clear that it was a Pokéball. May reached out and grabbed it quickly. It was a master ball.

"Ash…" May smiled, tears falling onto the ball in her hands. "He did it."

"Mewtwo's in there?" Dawn took hold of the ball. "Oh…"

"Wait a minute." Paul looked up. "That ball… it was taken back up to the surface, right?"

Ash stayed silent for a moment. "The entrance didn't close?"

"It did." Paul stared up at the Purple sky. "But the exit didn't."

Almost ten minutes later, Dawn began to shiver from the cold. She desperately wanted to go, but she didn't want to abandon May.

"We can go now." May stood up. "I'm being stupid." Her eyes were still red from crying and that frown never left her face. She turned to walk away, when another figure began to form where the ball just had.

"Ash!?" She screamed, and jumped to touch the purple shape. She felt the cool touch of someone's skin. Now the tears were flowing again, but they were tears of joy.

The figure suddenly became colourful and fell to the floor, and May froze. Ash had black hair, not purple. This wasn't Ash, this was…Paul?

"Paul!" Dawn knelt beside him, shaking him. He sat up groggily and rubbed his head.

"What? Dawn?"

"I thought you were dead?" She smiled, and pulled him in for a hug, which made him freeze in place. May just stared.

"Paul? I… Is Ash…?"

"Ash is…" Paul began, but was cut off by the next figure forming on the pavement.

"I knew it!" May shouted happily. "I knew he'd make it back!" She grabbed him and hugged him before he'd even re-appeared fully.

"I was starting to think you'd never come back." She said, keeping tight a hold of him. She felt him wrap his arms around her too.

"Oh, so you two finally got together?" Paul chuckled. "About time."

Dawn slapped Paul on the arm lightly and helped him up.

"Finally." Dawn sighed. "Maybe things can go back to normal now."

"It depends what you call normal." Ash rolled his eyes.

"So how did you do it?" May asked excitedly.

"Zoroark." Ash said calmly, forgetting about the things it had done to her. Her face screwed up a little.

"It was my only option." He frowned. "Or I wouldn't have used him."

"I think we should go back to the Pokémon centre." Dawn smiled. And so they did. Ash and May, hand in hand, and Dawn and Paul laughing.

Three weeks later

May strapped her little yellow bag around her waist and strapped her bandana around her head.

The group had spent two weeks after the incident at her gym, and she didn't mind. Then Dawn and Drew had decided to go on a journey to Unova. Misty and Paul had gone on a journey to Kanto again, but just as friends. Maybe they would come back as more than friends. Brock had returned to his gym for a while, taking Brendan with him. Brendan had become good friends with most of them over the weeks. Now it was Ash and May's turn to leave.

They would go to Sinnoh, where Ash would get the rest of his gym badges and May would try to get five ribbons in time for the Grand Festival. Maybe later on, Brock would join them.

May smiled at the picture of her and Ash on her bedside table once before descending the stairs and entering the sitting room. Strange, Ash wasn't here.

She looked around a bit before concluding that he wasn't ready yet.

"Ash! Are you nearly ready to leave!?" She shouted up. No answer.

"Ash!?"

Still no answer.

She climbed the stairs again and knocked on his door. No answer still. So she opened the door and looked inside.

Her heart sped up and a lump formed in her throat. Tears formed in her eyes as she trembled at the sight of the room he had been staying in.

A trail of blood led from the middle of the room to the window. A rather large handprint was stained on the wall in it. Several things had been broken, as if there'd been a struggle.

The window was open.

Ash was nowhere to be seen.

She ran to the window and screamed his name once more, but the only answer she got was the singing of the wind and birds as the sun rose in the sky.

And they'd all thought things were going back to normal.


Thanks to:

(follwers and people who favourited) DeltaRiley, HErOKetChuMz, Halos94, Hello50, Iloveikari, LightvsDark99, Midnightmoon602, NeoWolfX, PikaMewGirl, PuppyProngs, SHADOW OF DEATHS, Sailor Fayth 09, Speedy-Fox-IV, TheCartoonFanatic01, gundam1, togekiazu, Ankomith, AshlovesMay4ever, Azyvli, Bluestorm1990, Itssupereffective, Me Llamo Berry, Phant0m212, ThatOneDwarf, ToucanMan, ammplaca1, blackmonkey12, gaffro, gregonator1 andmomo-x-11.

Also thanks to the people who reviewed almost every chapter. I really appreciate it. :D

Currently this story has 9,736 views. I only hope that number continues to rise.

Until I start the sequel,

Ninja.