Dawn walked up the big grass hill that overlooked Pallet Town, basking in the glory of the beautiful sunset and the sky which melted of radiant colours. Purples and oranges reflected off her high cheek bones and she clomped up with minimal effort.
She saw Ash's solemn figure sitting beneath a giant oak tree, legs pulled to his chest and an abnormal frown on his face.
"Hey Ash," Dawn said as she reached him, brushing her skirt down and joining him beside the tree. He reluctantly turned his head towards her, pulling his cap down over his eyes. The blunette sat patiently, watching the wind blow her own hair into wild pieces in front of her face.
A moment later, he spoke up. "I lost again."
It broke the tension and Dawn sighed, leaning back against the tree bark so their heads were almost touching. "Not again."
"Yes, again." Ash growled in frustration, pulling at a patch of grass and throwing it against the ground. "I just don't know why, but I keep losing. It's like I can't even focus on anything! I can't even concentrate when I'm having a match."
Dawn nodded sympathetically, like a good friend would. "That's happened to me lots too. Sometimes, I'll lose one contest and the losing streak will just keep going…" she trailed off when she realized Ash was glaring at her. "Well, contests don't matter!" he snapped. "I'm supposed to be a Pokémon Master."
"Uh…excuse me?" Dawn said slightly annoyed, and pissed off, that he would say contests didn't matter.
Ash slumped his shoulders. "I didn't mean that. I'm just…" he searched for the right word, but none came to him. "I guess I just need to think."
Dawn imitated his position by hugging her knees as well, resting her chin against them. She watched the dandelion wisps float in the air, swirling far, far away into another world. Wordlessly, she stood up and held her hand out for him to get up with her. "Here, we should go back to the house. Your mom and Brock might get worried."
Ash stared at her delicate palm, stretched out, waiting ever-so patiently. He reached forward, but suddenly jerked away. "Stop it! I don't wanna touch you! You're not her!"
Dawn stumbled backwards, blue eyes widening and hurt filling the vast of her stomach. "I was just offering you up…I didn't mean…what are you talking about?"
He was shooting her a murderous glare, but his face quickly softened. His cheeks gained a soft blush and he looked at the ground, scuffing his sneakers against the ground. "Sorry, yeah...um, sorry…you were just being nice…"
"What's your problem though?" Dawn asked, slightly worried. She wrung her hands nervously.
Ash took a deep breath, tucking his hands into his pocket. "Nothing. Let's go back to my house."
Dawn was too anxious to argue, so together, and silently, they walked back down the hill towards the Ketchum's residence. When they got inside, Ash ran straight to his room, not bothering to ogle over his mom's pie, and not bothering to respond to Pikachu who had happily greeted him.
Dawn heard the door slam from her position downstairs and worriedly headed to where Brock was sitting at the dining table. "Brock?" she asked, sitting down across from him.
The breeder was reading a book. He looked up. "Yeah? Did he lose again?" he asked, concerned.
Dawn sighed heavily. "Yes, he did. He's acting really weird and depressed, like a normal teenager…"
Brock stared at her.
"But that's the thing!" Dawn exclaimed. "He's not a normal teenager. He's Ash, and he never acts serious."
Brock chuckled, closing his book, holding his page with his finger. "I know what you mean. He's been acting real weird lately…"
"Weird is right." Dawn's frown deepened. "Today, I held out my hand so he could get up, and he got really mad and said 'stop it! You're not her!""
Brock's eyes perked up at the sentence. "Really?" he asked, sounding more interested.
"Really," Dawn nodded excessively. She leaned forward, lowering her voice to a whisper. "What's wrong with him? Is this about another girl or something?"
Brock chuckled, relaxing, the concern from his face disappearing. "I think…" he said slowly, upon seeing Dawn's confused look. "It's time for the remedy."
"Remedy?" Dawn blinked.
Brock smugly stood up, gesturing to the video phone. "Dawn?"