Chapter 8: Meet the Champion


Congrats to all the people who said Loony Toons/Space Jam for the Albuquerque reference. Cookies for you all! :P


May found herself sitting in her and Ash's secret lounge, although she was now by herself. She gazed out of the massive window and watched the puffy white clouds float by from the comfort of her beanbag chair.

"Something on your mind?"

May jumped at the unexpected voice and craned her neck to see none other than Ash stepping into the room. He let out a sigh and flopped down in the empty bean bag next to May, looking over at her.

"I was just thinking..." May began, drumming her fingers on the chair. "Assuming Dawn is right about your depression, why could she tell what was wrong with you upon a few glances? I've been around you for months and couldn't even get a hint as to why you were depressed."

Ash let out a laugh. "You think you feel dumb?" he asked. "I'm the one who was depressed to begin with."

...

"True." May said, looking away from him. "But still..."

"This isn't going to be Misty all over again, is it?" Ash asked.

May quickly shook her head. "No, no, no." she said promptly.

Ash took a deep breath and scratched the back of his head. "Drew said Dawn can read me like a book." he began. "But I assume she actually has a talent to read emotions and see any person's problems naturally."

That made May feel a bit better. "I don't recall her having that ability when we were younger." she said.

Ash shrugged. "I can recall a few hints here and there." he admitted, adjusting his cap. "Although I think it's developed more as time has gone by."

May nodded in agreement, feeling reassured. "So do you think it'll work? Going up the mountain?" she asked.

Ash shrugged. "It's worth a shot."


Drew stayed home to do work, but Dawn had boarded the pyramid to accompany Ash and May to the mountain looming off in the distance. The trip to the mountain would be easy. Climbing up it would be a different story. Because of some of the dangers of climbing the mountain, May insisted that Flint and Amy stay behind at the Hayden residence, meaning Amber had to stick around too and watch them.

"Can't really say I'm upset." she admitted. "I didn't really want to climb up a frigid cold mountain anyways." Although May could tell she was a little disappointed.

Ash tried to convince Giovanni to stay behind as well, but the old man insisted he was up for the challenge.

"Planning to land out in the middle of nowhere?" Chatot asked. "The closest town is thirty miles away from the coordinates you put in."

"It's fine." Ash assured it, tapping the launch button. The pyramid began to rumble as the engines heated up. The pyramid began to lift off.

In the living room, Dawn was keeping herself entertained watching as the ground seemed to fall away beneath her. "It's been so long since I've ridden in this thing." she said, turning to May, who was relaxing on the couch. Giovanni stood next to Dawn and watched out the window. "How long do you think it'll take to fly over to the mountain?"

May shrugged. "Probably an hour." she said with a grin. "There aren't any roads or speed limits in the sky."

"You might want to brace yourself." Giovanni warned, spreading his feet out a bit and planting them onto the floor.

"Huh? Why?" Dawn asked. The pyramid suddenly jolted, heading east. Dawn stumbled and hit her head on the window. "Oh..." she grumbled, rubbing the spot on her head that had collided with the window.

"Plup," Piplup face-palmed at his trainer.


After the hour long trip to the mountain, the pyramid slowed to a stop in midair and settled down in a large, flat area about a mile from the mountain.

"If I recall correctly, that blonde woman, Cynthia, used to be champion of Sinnoh." Giovanni said. The group had all dressed in warm clothing to protect them from the cold weather they would be facing. They began to make their trek towards the base of the mountain that sat before them.

"Yeah, Cynthia was." Ash confirmed. "We'll be seeing the one who dethroned her in the mountain."

Giovanni raised a brow. "Why would the champion live in a mountain?" he asked. "And so far from civilization?"

Ash shrugged. "He goes through phases from what I hear." he explained. "I think he alternates between living in the mountain and wandering Sinnoh every six months or so to keep his Pokémon tough."

"Is he someone I would know?" Giovanni asked.

Ash shook his head. "No."


Upon reaching the base of the cave, the hikers found the large mouth of the cave they would use to enter. "Better use some Max Repel." Ash said, pulling out a spray bottle. "This is the territory of a lot of wild Pokémon."

Ash sprayed down May, Dawn, Giovanni, and himself, much to Pikachu and Piplup's dismay. They hated the smell given off by Max Repel.

"Have you ever come up here to visit him?" Dawn asked as they began to walk around the cave, following a trail.

Ash shook his head. "No," he admitted. "We always visited him when he's not hiding up in the mountain."

Ash could see from the moving shadows that there were various Pokémon around, but luckily they kept their distance from the trainers because of the Max Repels.

"This stuff really works well." May said, examining the bottle in her hands.

"Piiiiikkaaaaa." Pikachu groaned from Ash's shoulder, a paw held tightly over his nose.

"Piiiiiip." Piplup whined.

"It'll wear off eventually." Ash said, turning to the May and Dawn. "I have Unfezant and Staraptor to fly me and Dad back down to the pyramid. Did you two bring your flying types?"

"Togikiss." Dawn said with a nod.

"Altaria." May answered. She was referring to the Pokémon she had met long ago on her journey through Hoenn with Ash, her brother, and Brock back when it was just a Swablu.

Ash gave them a thumbs up and the journey continued. The group walked silently for a while, the only sounds being the pounds of their footsteps hitting the floor and bouncing off the walls, creating quiet but clear echoes.

After an hour of hiking up the mountain using the passage ways provided, the group found themselves stepping out of the cave and into the sunlight.

"Whoa," May said when she saw how high up they were. Upon instinct, she clung onto Ash. Looking down, she could see the pyramid in the distance. The ground was now covered with snow and a cold breeze blew through the air.

"Took you long enough."

Everyone jumped at the voice and turned in the direction it came from to see a tall man walking towards them. He had eyes that were cold as ice, and purple hair covering his forehead and chin.

"Paul," Ash said, stepping up to the man. "Man, it's been a while."

"What brings you here, Ketchum?" Paul asked, although he put no effort into sounding polite. He asked in a more demanding manner.

"Well... Uh... I was visiting the Haydens and Dawn suggested we come over here."

"Dawn?" Paul asked. He looked behind Ash to see May, Dawn, and Giovanni. He remained quiet for a minute before sighing. "Why would she suggest you come here?" he asked. Dawn averted her gaze to the ground.

"Ash has been feeling depressed." May said, stepping up and hugging her husband's arm. "She thinks that he's bored and thought it would be a good idea to come visit you."

Paul looked at the blunette with a quizzed expression. She shrugged sheepishly. The man's expression went from curious to cold in seconds. "Don't waste my time." he grumbled, turning to leave.

"Paul, wait." Ash tried to say.

"Please," May said, trying to get him to stop.

"HEY!"

...

The shout caused several bird Pokémon to fly away from the spot they had been nestled in. It rang through the air several times, and caused Paul to stop in his tracks. He twisted around to see an angry Dawn looking at him.

"I'll have you know, we climbed a whole mountain to see you and we reek of Max Repel!" She exclaimed, stomping over to him. She stopped right in front of him. He was a head taller than her, so she had to look up at him. "It wasn't easy getting up here. So you better show us some hospitality!"

...

"Hmph, fine." Paul said. "Follow."

With that, the trainer began to walk off. The other four exchanged glances before following after him.

"Is that the champion?" Giovanni asked quietly.

Ash nodded. "Yep. That's the guy who dethroned Cynthia." he replied. He sighed. His breath could be seen in the cold air. "He hasn't changed much."

They followed Paul down another trail until they reached a small cabin. "Not very fitting for the champion of the Sinnoh region," Dawn commented as they walked in.

"Yeah, well, nobody asked you, Princess." Paul growled in response.

"Yeah, well, you're rude."

"Yeah, well, you're annoying."

"You're a jerk!"

"You're a brat."

"Why did Dawn want to come with us?" May asked Ash quietly as the other two shouted back and forth at each other. Ash simply shrugged.

"You're a communist!"

"You're immature!"

"You're stupid!"

"You're a #%$& ."

*Slap*

Paul growled and rubbed his cheek where Dawn left a red handprint.

"Be thankful Drew isn't around or he would bust you up." Dawn said, pointing an angry finger at Paul.

"I could twist him into a pretzel any day of the week." Paul shot back, turning his back to Dawn.

"Guys, guys," Ash said, stepping up to the two. "Let's all remember that we're mature adults, and need to behave that way."

"She started it."

"You started it!"

"No, you started it."

"SHUT UP!" May exclaimed, pulling her own hair. "Dear Arceus I finally get a day away from the children and I have to hang around two adults that act like them?!"

...

"Okay, so Paul." Dawn said, her mood immediately changing. "Ash wants to challenge you to a Pokémon Battle."

"What?" Ash asked, a quizzed expression on his face. "I do?"

"Come on. Think about it." Dawn said. "If you're bored.,you need something entertaining to happen. What could be more interesting than the Pyramid King battling a Champion?"

...

"I don't object." Paul said, cracking his knuckles. "I've been itching for a challenge."

Ash smirked confidently. "I'm a force to be reckoned with." he said. "You're on."


The two men stood outside. There was a large area in between them which Paul had designated to be the battlefield. "Classic one on one?" Paul asked.

Ash nodded. "Sure thing." he said, already pulling out a Pokéball. "Go! Regirock!" the Rock Peak Pokémon appeared on the field before Ash. It let out a roar that sounded like a combination of beeps and rumbling gravel.

"That's right. You have the Regi trio." Paul said observing the legendary rock type. "Legendary Pokémon can be quite a challenge."

Ash smirked and folded his arms across his chest. "That's right. They have yet to lose a single battle since I got them."

Paul stroked his beard for a moment as he thought. "Hm, do you have the others with you?" he asked, glancing at the Pokéballs handing at Ash's said.

Ash raised a brow. "Yeah. Why?" he asked.

Paul smirked and put his hands on his hips. "Let's make this interesting." he said. "Do you mind if I borrowed Registeel?"

"What?!" May exclaimed in surprise. She hadn't been expecting that. She, along with Dawn, Giovanni, Piplup, and Pikachu all sat off in the distance, sitting on the ground to watch the battle.

"Pitting a Regi against a Regi?" Giovanni thought with a smirk. "This should be entertaining."

Ash unclipped a Pokéball from his belt and tossed it get to Paul. The champion caught it and enlarged it.

"I'm not sure if Registeel will obey you." Ash warned.

Paul rolled his eyes. "I'm the Sinnoh champion." he said. "Dialga would obey me." With that, he opened the Pokéball and released the steel type that had been contained inside.

"Your move." Ash said.

Paul was examining the Pokémon before him with his Pokédex. His eyes dashed back and forth as he read the information displayed before him. "Very well." he said as he slapped his dex closed. "Hyper Beam!"

"Iron Defense!" Ash exclaimed.

Registeel charged up a Hyper Beam before firing it across the field at Regirock, who flashed. Iron Defense took effect just before the powerful Hyper Beam rammed up against it. When the attack faded, it appeared Regirock was unscratched.

"Use Brick Break while it's recharging!" Ash exclaimed.

The Hyper Beam had indeed left Registeel frozen, leaving him open for attack. Regirock's hand began to glow as it charged at Registeel. Its hand came down and struck the steel type, causing it to stumble. The blow had obviously hurt it.

"Interesting." Paul observed. "Alright Registeel, Iron Defense and then Rest."

Registeel beeped several times before flashing as it performed Iron Defense. The seven red lights on its front flickered off as it began to Rest.

"He's leaving it completely helpless." Dawn said. "What is he thinking?"

"Brick Break!" Ash ordered. Regirock's hand began to glow and it once again pounded down on Registeel. All it did was send a ringing through the air as rock hit metal. The steel type appeared unharmed.

"Hammer Arm!"

Regirock put its "hands" up in the air next to each other before again slamming down on Registeel. The attack didn't even leave a dent.

"Rock Smash!"

"The Iron Defense is holding up quite well while Registeel sleeps." Giovanni observed.

Suddenly, Registeel's eyes lit back up, signaling it was awake.

"Head Butt!" Paul ordered.

Registeel threw its upper half backward before thrusting forward and ramming against Regirock. The impact was so powerful it sent the rock type flying through the air. It hit the ground on its feet and slid in the snow several inches.

"Whoa." May said with surprise. "I don't think I've ever seen Regirock get hit that hard."

Ash stood on his side of the field slightly stunned. He was not used to seeing his Pokémon take damage like that. He typically could beat trainers without any of the Regis getting hurt at all.

A slight smile appeared on his face.

"Now you're talking." Ash said, a determined and energetic sparkle appearing in his eyes. He grabbed the brim of his cap and twisted his backwards. "Earthquake!" He exclaimed.

"Magnet Rise and Flash Cannon!" Paul countered.

Regirock jumped up into the air before slamming back down into the ground and causing the ground to violently shake. Registeel had begun to levitate in the air to avoid the shaking ground and fired a bright orb across the field. The shot flew in Regirock's direction and hit it. The collision literally knocked it off its feet. Time seemed to move slow as it flipped in midair and fell on its face.

"Regirock! Are you okay?" Ash asked with concern. May couldn't remember the last time Ash had asked the question to one of his Pokémon. The rock type pushed itself back up to its feet and beeped several times, the nine dots shaped like a capital H on Regirock's front flickered as it growled.

"Stone Edge!" Ash shouted.

May's eyes widened. She could hear something in the sound of Ash's voice that she hadn't heard for a long time. There was passion, determination, and excitement. She looked over at the others, who didn't appear to notice, except for Pikachu.

"Pika?" The little yellow mouse asked from the ground. He was sitting to her right.

"I heard it too." May told him.

Dawn looked over at them. "Heard what?" she asked.

May looked at Dawn for a moment before shaking her head. "Nothing." she waved it off.

The Regirock formed several sharp rocks which floated around it. The rocks began to glow before flying at Registeel. The sharp objects hit the steel type, making a large sound of clatter and clashes as the elements met.

"Shake it off and use Aerial Ace!" Paul ordered.

Dawn's brow furrowed. "How can Registeel know a move like Aerial Ace?" she asked.

Still levitating in the air, Registeel began to fly at Regirock before seeming to magically disappear. It reappeared on the opposite side of the rock type and slammed into it.

"Oh." Dawn said.

"Get it back on the ground with Smack Down!" Ash exclaimed.

Regirock nodded and swung its arm down on the now in range Registeel. The attack sent the Iron Pokémon to the ground on its back.

"Earthquake!" Ash shouted. Regirock was quick to respond and jumped into the air again. He slammed down into the ground, causing it to rattle. Registeel flopped around helplessly like a Magikarp out of water until the earth settled down.

"Roll to your feet and jump!" Paul exclaimed. Registeel obeyed and lunged to the side, causing its round body to roll and allowing it to stand on its feet. Using the momentum from the roll it sprang into the air.

"Iron Head!" Paul exclaimed.

Registeel pointed its head in the direction of Regirock. It flashed and rammed into the Pokémon, causing a huge cloud of dust to appear.

...

The dust cloud eventually disappeared to reveal Regirock slowly rising to its feet. It let out a low beep before collapsing onto the ground. May had never seen Regirock fall. The orange lights on the rock type's front flickered off, showing it was knocked out.

...

Aside from the cold breeze blowing through the air, not a sound could be heard as everyone gazed at the fallen Pokémon. Ash fell to his knees, remaining motionless for a few seconds before falling into a sitting position.

"Ash..." May said quietly, getting up and walking over to her husband.

She knelt down beside him and laid a hand on the stunned man's back. "Are you okay?" she asked.

Ash twitched as his eyes began to water. "That..." he tried to say. "That was amazing..."

May jumped with a start when the trainer burst into laughter. The sound of his voice echoed through the air. "That was amazing!" Ash said again, rising to his feet. "I haven't felt so thrilled in forever!"

"Ash?" May asked, now confused.

"Did you see that?" Ash asked, pointing to the two Pokémon on the field. "Paul won! Someone actually beat me!" He suddenly grabbed May by the shoulders and pulled her close, kissing her on the lips.

"Well it looks like you were right." Giovanni said to Dawn, a grin on his face. "Ash was bored."

Dawn smiled as she watched the couple kiss in the distance. "Ash's passion has always been to battle." She said, a theory began to form in her head. "If battling was so easy it wasn't a challenge anymore, then it wouldn't be enjoyable anymore."

"And if it's not enjoyable... The passion is gone." Giovanni said, tapping his chin. "That's why he was depressed."

"Ahem."

Ash and May broke from their kiss to see Paul standing in front of them, a smirk on his face. "You owe me." he said.

Ash shouted in joy again and bear hugged Paul. The champion yelped in surprise and stumbled back a few steps to avoid falling over. "L-let go of me, you spaz!"

Paul pushed Ash away and brushed himself off. "You might get your loser's luck on me." he said. Ash simply laughed.

"I don't think I've ever seen you this energetic." Giovanni said. He, Dawn, Pikachu, and Piplup were walking over to them. "Could the mystery behind your depression finally be solved?"

Ash sighed and walked over to Registeel and Regirock, who had recovered and stood up. "I've abused the Regi's power for too long. They're simply too strong." Ash admitted, patting them with his hand. "I think it's about time they took a vacation."

"Pika?" Pikachu asked, crawling up to Ash.

"Yeah!" Ash replied. "I'll use you and everyone else to battle!" He said excitedly.

"Pi pikachu!" Pikachu chirped excitedly, cheeks already sparking.


Narrator: And so ends the mysteries behind Ash's depressions.

Bidding farewell to Paul, he and the others pulled out their flying types and flew back down to the Battle Pyramid. Needless to say, the children were surprised to see their father return with more bounce in his step than they had seen in months.

Deciding his first objective, Ash flew the pyramid all the way back to Kanto to visit all his Pokémon at Tracy's lab. (May stayed at the Hayden's residence to teach Dawn how to cook.)

Amber and Blaze finally earned the trust of May and were allowed to return to the Hoenn region unsupervised. Amber continued to vigorously gain badges until collecting eight and heading off to the league, where she placed in the top eight.

Gary continued his research as a Pokémon professor and gained the reputation of the most influential professor in the world after discovering how Pokémon eggs were made and catching it on camera.

Misty remained at the gym until being promoted to one of the elite four after former member Bruno lost six battles in a row due to his back constantly going out.

The Harrisons were surprised to find that Cynthia gave birth to triplets. Not much else to say about that.

Max eventually left home planning to become a breeder. After watching Gary's video about Pokémon eggs, he quickly changed his mind and quit.

Maggie and Gengar went off through the Hoenn region to take on the league. With her trusty ghost type, she had no problem getting all the gym badges and also getting top eight in Hoenn League Tournament.

Drew and Dawn eventually succeeded in taking contests overseas. The shows were very successful and they planned to extend them out even further. And thanks to the help of May, Dawn discovered she was more than capable of making her own meals.

Betsy was left jobless after Dawn learned to cook. She was later hit by a semi truck.


*Knock* *knock* *knock*

Delia Ketchum lifted her head at the sound of someone knocking at the door. She set down the book she was reading and stood up from the couch. She unlocked the door and twisted the doorknob, opening it to see a man around her age standing before her. He held his fedora in his hands.

"Giovanni?" Delia asked. "What are you doing here?"

The man took a deep breath before letting out a long sigh. "Delia, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life." he began, the grip on his hat tightened. "And one of them was how I treated you. It haunts me every time Amy asks about 'Virginity'."

Delia tried not to giggle, but couldn't help smiling.

"I was wondering if maybe we could start over." he continued. "Like back when we were young." he grabbed her hand and held it up. "I've always loved you, Delia, and I promise I won't make the same mistake twice."

Delia was blushing by now. She let go of Giovanni's hand and held it close to her heart. "W-what if I said no?" she asked quietly.

"Then I'm in trouble."

Delia looked up at him with a confused expression. "W-why?"

There was a loud rumbling noise. Delia watched as the Battle Pyramid emerged from its hiding place behind the tall trees in the distance. It levitated in the air for a second before flying away, disappearing from sight.

"I don't have a ride home." Giovanni answered.


The end.


*Cue credits*

Thus concludes another story. About time, gosh darn it. There was this long waiting period where I didn't update for months because I thought it was gonna tie in with a collaboration. But that never happened. xD

It's cool though. All I can say is that I'm glad it's over. It was a fun ride. And I'm sorry if you were a fan of Betsy.
I'd also like to take a moment to thank Yin-Yang Yo-Yo and Dr. Phil E. Sophical for catching all my stupid typos and being awesome beta readers. Never realized just how bad about that I was. xD
And thus concludes your request, Beast.

Next fic coming up is The Bad Habit! Chapter one is already out! You can find it on my profile! :D


"How does an octopus go to war?"

"Ash..."

"Well armed."

"Aaaaash..."

"What is the hardest part of a vegetable to eat."

"Make it stop!"

"The wheel chair."

"Ash, please!"

"What do you call a deer with no eyes."

"I'm begging you!"

"NO IDEAR!"

"Ash, I'm going to cry if you don't shut Chatot up!"

"What did the psychiatrist say when a man wearing nothing but saran wrap walked into his office?"

"AAAASSSSHHHH!"

"I can clearly see your nuts!"

...

"Okay. I guess that was kinda funny."

"At last , my challenge has been completed. :)"

"I said kinda."


Not-so-secret ending.

For those who don't remember, Chatot made it a personal goal to find a joke May that found funny.

Truly the end

~The Shiny Gengar