Ash sat on a hill with his back against a tree, legs crossed and stretched out in front of him while he gazed at the horizon. He watched as a flock of spearow flew across the sky and vanished into a copse of trees in the distance and smiled. Absently he let his right hand down from the back of his head and stroked the head of his oldest and dearest of pokemon friends, Pikachu, who squealed in apparent delight at the touch. The other pokemon with him was an aipom who simply sat there, mesmerized by the twitching foot of his trainer. Ash's hat sat in his lap, leaving his unruly black hair loose to be blown in the breeze, while his brown eyes looked out onto the sprawling land near his home. He had been home for four days, It was peaceful, serene, and he was bored sick.
"Hey, little buddy," he said in a lazy tone to his pikachu. "What do you think of a new adventure."
"CHOO, Pika, pi pi" The electric rodent replied sitting up and smiling.
"You like that idea?" and he laughed when pikachu nodded his head and made a victory sign. "We can do this two ways now." he continued to his friend, pulling his legs up and wrapping his arms around them. "We can just pop back home and pack quickly then leave, oooor," he paused for a moment. "we can go home and plan this out and see what we might need and go slowly. I do know that I want to take just you with me and start fresh though."
Pikachu looked at his friend and trainer with wide eyes.. This is the first time that he didn't just bolt into something. His friend was growing up. Pikachu held up one of his fingers and shook his head frowning, then held up two and nodded energetically.
"I get it," Ash stated grinning at his friend. "Take it slowly and plan things out, huh? Lets go talk to Professor Oak and see if he can help us with our planning."
He got up and put his hat back on before recalling a frowning aipom to its poke ball. Then Ash lifted Pikachu onto his shoulder and started towards the home of his friend, Professor Oak. When he approached the home of the Professor he saw that there was a red convertible parked in the driveway, signalling to him that Gary, his once arch rival was there too. Ash wondered why. Ever since he beat Gary in the Johto league, the breach in their once older friendship had been healed. They were friends again and had begun a new road. Ash at a trainer trying to fulfil his dream of becoming a pokemon Master, and Gary had surprised them all with his declaration of giving up on pokemon battles and switching to research instead. It had been almost a year since he saw his old rival turned friend. He arrived at the door, rang the bell and waited. He tried the bell again and waited a bit more, before knocking on the door only to have the door open slowly with the first knock.
"hellooooo" Ash called out and then entered the house slowly. "Professor Oak, Gary?"
Ash heard voices coming from where he remembered the kitchen being and did not recognize them at all. Pikachu jumped from his shoulder and slowly made its way toward the short hallway that led to the kitchen while Ash followed slowly. The voices became clearer and Ash recognized them as belonging to Butch and Cassidy of Team Rocket.
"Look, old man" he heard Butch saying. "What we want is simple. All the data you have on all the pokemon that we already have in these sacks."
"In return," came the falsely sweet tones from Cassidy. "We won't put a bullet in your grandsons head."
"If I give you that data," Professor Oak said. "Then you would be able to reset those pokemons poke-balls and they would look like they belonged to you."
"That's the idea, old man," Butch said with an evil chuckle. "Now cough up the data, or we cave in the kids head."
"Gramps, don't do it..." Ash heard Gary call out. then he heard a sick sounding *Thump* sound and Garys voice was cut off abruptly.
"Now give us that data or I'll do more to the kid then just hit him on the head." Cassidy practically yelled.
"Pikachu, get ready to use a thunderbolt on them," Ash whispered.
He saw his friend nod and heard him give off a low *choooooo* sound as sparks began to dance on his cheek spots and then he kicked the door open and dove into the kitchen low.
Butch and Cassidy both turned toward the door when it was kicked and saw Ash sliding across the tiled floor. With a grin they began to bring their pistols to bear on this new target. Began and froze in place as a bolt of electricity flew through the open door and hit first one pistol, then the other. They danced in place, shaking and twitching in the electric bath they were getting before their eyes simply rolled back into their heads and they fell to the floor. Ash moved quickly and grabbed a frying pan from the counter he was near and scrambled to the pair of Team rocket goons. They started to get up, only to have Ash hit them over the head with the frying pan which gave off a dull ringing sound as it hit. The two fell into unconsciousness quickly.
"Are you alright Professor Oak?" Ash asked in a rushed tone as he grabbed a coil of rope that was laid on top of one of the sacks.
"Yes Ash, I am, thanks to you." He replied as he went to his grandsons side.
"And is Gary OK?" he inquired as he slid the two pistols across the floor.
"A sore head, and bruised ego is all," Gary himself answered as he began to sit up.
Ash looked to his friend and saw that he was slowly getting up despite the cautions of Professor Oak. He began to put the rope around the wrists of the two.
"Hey Ash," Gary called out. "Get their poke balls first. That way if they come to before Jenny gets here they can't use them to escape."
He found Butches easy enough, they were on a standard sleeve on his belt, three poke balls. Cassidy proved to be a harder person to search since she wore no belt. Ash moved a bit closer towards her when his knee contacted something round and hard in the crotch of Butches pants. Ash thought quickly and began to undo the thief's belt while he tugged at the pants.
"What the heck are you doing, Ash?" Gary began and then stopped in open mouthed amazement as they saw that two poke balls taped to Butches legs near the groin. They also burst into laughter when they noticed that Butch was wearing bright red underwear with large white heart on the front.
Ash then noticed Professor Oak stripping Cassidy and saw the reason as a sleeve of poke balls were found hanging under her bra. Professor Oak gritted his teeth and reached under her dress and found two more poke balls taped to her leg. Ash reddened slightly when he saw the Professor grip each of Cassidys breasts and squeeze them slightly.
"No, no poke balls are hidden there." The professor said and was starting to re button her top when Gary called out.
"Gramps, Ash, don't redress them."
"Why Gary?" Ash asked reddening slightly.
"Cause, if they get free of the rope they'll be easy to find." Gary said with a grin and then grabbed the phone.
Two hours later, the two Team Rocket goons were placed into a waiting wagon, still tied and undressed to their underwear. Three Officer Jennys were there, and were taking statements from the three of them. While a fourth one picked up the pistols and the poke balls that had been taken from the two crooks. There was also a doctor there looking at Gary's head and proclaiming that there was no permanent damage, and he should just take it easy for a day or two. They soon left and Ash, Gary and the Professor sat in his living room alone.
"I am very glad that you showed up when you did, Ash," The Professor began. "But what you did, while brave, was also dangerous. Those two had guns and I think that they would have used them."
"That's why I had my good bud," Ash replied with a grin while patted Pikachu's head. "start charging up a thunderbolt before I came into the kitchen. I knew that he wouldn't let me down. He never has."
"Heh, boy you have grown in more then size Ashey boy," Gary chuckled from his position on a recliner. "You thought it through this time, instead of charging in blindly."
"See Gary," Ash laughed. "I can learn."
"Never said that you couldn't" Gary responded with all traces of humour gone, "You proved that By taking out the competition at Johto, and then Hoenn."
"Be that as it may," Professor Oak said hold a hand up to stop Gary. "Though it was dangerous, you did save not only Gary and myself, but also all the pokemon that those two had in those sacks. For that, I thank you Ash."
"Me too," Gary added with a grin. Then he raised an eyebrow. "Why did you come here in the first place?"
It took Ash about fifteen minutes to explain why he had come there and he ended with a request.
"I need to know where I should go." Ash began. "I want to start fresh, with only pikachu and rebuild a team from ground up but I need to know where I should go. I already have the trophy's from Johto and Hoenn, plus the Orange Island one, and the Battle frontier, but I know that that isn't enough to qualify me as a Master Pokemon Trainer."
"You're right on that score, Ash." Oak began, pulling a sheaf of papers off an end table. "It takes five championships to qualify you as a Master trainer. But they have to be from different regions. The Battle frontier doesn't count, but it is another feather in your cap. Orre region is not recognized as of yet," The Professor was pulling paper after paper off the pile in his hand and laying them face down on the end table. "Ah, yes." he exclaimed after he had gone halfway through them. "Sinnoh region might be a good place to start a new journey."
"Sinnoh region?" Ash queried with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes," Professor Oak pulled a map from the end table drawer and laid it on a coffee table, then tapped an area. "There. The researcher in charge in that region is Professor Rowan, an old friend of mine and a fellow student that studied with me. He focuses on Evolutionary lines. There are new pokemon there that you may have never seen, and many regions having many different climates. Plus, the Sinnoh League is registered with the pokemon league and their championship would qualify you one more step closer to your goal."
"Yes," Ash exclaimed, throwing two fists into the air above his head. "I can win there and be one step closer."
"Whoa, Ash." Gary smirked at his friend. "Just don't go getting too confident. Remember the Indigo Plateau? You went overboard there and what did it get you?"
Ash scowled slightly at that reference and would have started arguing with Gary, if not for Professor Oak and Pikachu.
"Pika, pi, choo choo," His friend seemed to scold him with a stern expression.
"Gary is right, Ash." Professor Oak told him. "I have seen more trainers fail due to overconfidence then poor training."