It's finally here, the next chapter. Sorry for the massive delay, there's been a few things stopping me from writing the main reasons are that I just couldn't bring myself to write for a couple of weeks, just couldn't find the motivation. The other reason is I usually write on my lunch break at work but lately the job I've been given to do means I don't actually need a desk so I haven't been able to write and by the time I get home I'm not in the mood to write.

That being said, I'll still try to get my stories updated as soon as possible.

Okay, that's enough of my excuses now to the reason you're here.

Enjoy

Chapter 42

How To Put Out Fires

After a week at sea Ash and May landed on Cinnabar Island and once they'd checked into the Pokémon Centre they went to the hospital for the doctors to give May a check-up and to follow Doctor Ainsworth's orders. May was sat on a bed wearing a hospital gown with Ash next to her, holding her hand, as a doctor looked over the results of the tests that had been performed.

"You seem to be in perfect health Miss Maple. Blood tests are clear of anything other then the medication you have been prescribed, reflexes and cognitive functions show no sign of regression and there is no skin discolouration to indicate delayed onset of frostbite. Though your recovery has progressed faster then expected, that, in itself, raises some questions and while I would like to find an answer to your exceptionally speedy recovery I have no right to perform unnecessary tests." Doctor Hoy looked up from her papers and over the top of her glasses. "I'm happy to discharge you but if anything unusual happens I advise you to go straight to a hospital and ask them to contact either myself or Doctor Ainsworth." Doctor Hoy levelled her gaze at Ash. "I expect you to do the same if you notice anything unusual in her health or behaviour"

"Yes Doctor." Ash replied with a nod. "I'll make sure May's okay." Hearing the conviction in Ash's voice caused Doctor Hoy to give the couple a small smile.

"I see that you will." Doctor Hoy turned to look at May. "You have a very caring boyfriend Miss Maple." Her gaze shifted back to Ash. "Now Mr Ketchum if you would leave the room, it's time for Miss Maple to get changed." Ash walked out of the room as May slid off the table and started to get changed. "Miss Maple, there are a couple more questions I have for you and I thought it best to do them in private." May's hands paused as they'd started to untie the knot holding the hospital gown closed.

"What do you need to ask?" May asked, facing the Doctor.

"Are you sexually active?" May's face turned crimson at the bluntness of the question.

"I…We…Er…" May scrambled for words as her mind conjured up a number of images that, if possible, would've made her face a brighter shade of red.

"Miss Maple, I do need an answer." Doctor Hoy pressed, May forced herself to calm down and pushed the images to the back of her mind to be dealt with later.

"No, I'm not." May finally managed to answer, although Doctor Hoy thought she caught the brief look in May's eyes that seemed to say 'If only'. "W-Why do you need to know? Is there something wrong?"

"No, there's nothing wrong, as I said before you're in perfect health. I just needed to know for your medical records, for future reference in case something comes up. As you aren't currently sexually active I have no need to ask you any further questions." Nodding in understanding May went back to getting changed as Doctor Hoy left the room to file her notes away.

A few minutes later May came out of the room ready to continue the day, opening the door she found Ash leaning against the wall talking to someone on his X-Transceiver.

"Thanks, I'll let you know how the battle went." He said as he ended the call.

"Who were you talking too?" May asked.

"Misty, I...er…couldn't remember how to get into the Gym. All I could remember is that it's in the volcano." Ash replied, May stared at him blinking before gathering her thoughts enough to speak.

"The Gym is IN a volcano." May said emphasizing.

"Yeah, ready to go?"

"IN a VOLCANO?"

"Yeah, it erupted a little last time but it's probably fine now."

"The Gym is IN an ACTIVE VOLCANO?"

"Yeah."

"And you don't see a problem with that?" May asked before shaking her head. "Of course not, this is you I'm talking about." May patted Ash's cheek before taking his hand. "Come on, let's go into the most dangerous place on the island." Walking out of the hospital hand in hand May smiled and wrapped her arms around one of Ash's. "It probably won't be too bad, now that I think about it."

"Why?"

"I'll be in the safest place on the island."

"Where's that?"

"By your side. You've survived just about everything so if I stick close to you I'll get through this just fine." May grinned causing the pair of them to dissolve into a giggling mess. Once they'd regained control of themselves Ash lead May to the hot springs where the Gym entrance was located. Arriving at the hot springs they found that it had been abandoned years earlier, they walked through to the women's side and activated the hidden switch attached to the Gyarados statue. Just like the first time the dividing wall between the men's and women's sides fell as a boulder shuddered and moved to the side revealing a passageway but unlike the first time Ash had been there, there was a sign hanging down.

DO NOT ENTER!

ENTRANCE TO CINNABAR GYM NO LONGER IN USE!

RETURN TO POKéMON CENTRE!

"That wasn't there last time." Ash said.

"It has been eleven years." May replied. "Come on, let's go back to the Pokémon Centre. Maybe Nurse Joy can tell us how to get into the Gym."

With a shrug Ash turned and together with May and their Pokémon made their way back to the Pokémon Centre. They stopped on their way a few times to take in the sights of the tourist attractions, picking up a few souvenirs and getting some local delicacies to eat.

Eventually arriving back at the Pokémon Centre, they were going to put their purchases in their room before asking Nurse Joy about how to get to the Gym when a voice caught their attention.

"Ash Ketchum, I should've realized you were to one to set off the alert to the old entrance for the Gym." Turning in the direction of the voice Ash and May were greeted by the sight of an old man with a large white moustache and pale skin. The man wore a white hat with a wide red ribbon around it, a long sleeved red dress shirt, white bowtie, white waistcoat and beige pants. The man had a polished pair of black shoes on, a black belt, a pair of round sunglasses and a wooden cane shaped like a question mark. "I'd heard you were challenging the top eight Gym Leaders again and I've waited a long time for this battle."

"Blaine." Ash said with a smile as he recognized the Gym Leader. "I'm ready for this battle whenever you are."

"I see your manners are still a work in progress." The Gym Leader said with a smirk before turning his attention to May. He approached her and held his hand out. "Seeing that your companion is still suffering with the ways of sophisticated people, allow me to introduce myself. I am Blaine Katsura, Leader of the Cinnabar Island Gym. It is a pleasure to make the acquaintance of such a beautiful young woman."

"It's a pleasure to meet you too. I'm May Maple, a Pokémon Co-ordinator from Hoenn." Taking Blaine's hand, after shaking it once the Gym Leader raised May's hand to his lips placing a small kiss on the back. May smiled at the old fashioned gesture and once Blaine had released her hand gave him a slight curtsy.

"Maple? Are you related to the Leader of the Petalburg Gym by any chance?"

"That's my dad. Do you know him?"

"Only by reputation, I did happen to meet your mother a long time ago. She left quite the impression on me, you're very fortunate to take after her, she looked a lot like you when she saw your age. She challenged me during her journey and although she didn't defeat me, she impressed me enough to award her the Volcano Badge, the battle she gave was one I'll always remember. Just like the one I fought against Ash." Blaine turned back to look at Ash. "Now if you're ready we can go and have our battle. Do you want to go through the volcano or ride straight to the top."

"Straight to the top please." May interrupted before Ash would invariably chose the harder path. "But can you give us a couple of minutes to put our bags in out room?"

"As the lady requests." Blaine gave a small bow and waited for Ash and May to come back. When the couple appeared he lead the pair out of the Pokémon Centre, whistling three notes sharply a trio of Pokémon ran up to them, a pair of Rapidash and a female Pyroar. One of the Rapidash knelt low for Blaine to climb onto his back before standing again. "Chose your passenger." Blaine said to the remaining Pokémon. The female Pyroar sniffed Ash before padding over and standing next to May. "I suggest returning your Glaceon before we set off Miss Maple and that you do the same with your Lucario Ash, I know that Pikachu refuses to enter his Pokéball so you'll want to keep a tight hold of him."

"Lucario will be able to keep up with us." Ash replied as he climbed onto the back of the Rapidash in front of him. May quickly returned Glaceon and settled into position on Pyroar's back.

"If you say so, is everyone ready?" Blaine asked, getting a reply from each of his Pokémon before Ash or May could respond. "In that case, to the Gym!" He pointed to the volcano's peak with his cane and the trio of Pokémon took off with Lucario close behind them, letting Blaine lead the way so he wouldn't get lost. Ash tightened his grip on Rapidash as May did the same to Pyroar, having been caught slightly off guard by the sudden burst of speed from the Pokémon they were riding.

After a couple of minutes they'd left the town behind and were making steady progress up the path carved into the side of the volcano. May could feel sweat forming on her brow as the heat rose the closer they got to the peak, looking over her shoulder she could see Lucario following her. The brunette wondered how the heat was affecting the Steel type but as Lucario got closer she could see that he didn't seem to be bothered by the heat at all.

Five minutes later they arrived at the peak of the volcano, slipping off Pyroar's back and thanking the Royal Pokémon for carrying her, May looked around her. It was pretty much what she expected, the mouth of the volcano bubbled with lava and the heat was stifling. There was a number of rock pillars that stuck out of the lava, which May assumes made up the battlefield. She started to wonder if she'd chosen the wrong Pokémon for Ash's battle, maybe she should've picked ones that could handle the heat better or get an advantage from the heat. May shook her head, no, she'd chosen Ash's Pokémon and if he believed they could do it then so did she.

Ash climbed off Rapidash's back and patted the Fire Horse Pokémon's flank, Pikachu shifted from Ash's arms to his shoulder as the raven haired trainer turned to face Blaine over the mouth of the volcano.

"What are the rules?" He called over.

"5 versus 5, you're allowed to exchange Pokémon and you have to use your Charizard." Blaine called back with a grin. "I've been waiting for a rematch."

"So have I." Ash chuckled as he picked a Pokéball from his belt. "I'm ready when you are."

While Ash and Blaine spoke Lucario walked to stand beside May and she felt the heat subside, it was still there but it wasn't as overwhelming any more, it was much more manageable now. Looking to Lucario for an answer she saw a thin coating of Aura around him and raising her hand May saw she was covered in the same coating

"Thank you." May said.

Think nothing of it Mistress May. Lucario replied with a small nod, their attention was brought back to the battlefield as Ash and Blaine each threw a Pokéball into the air. Out of Ash's Pokéball came Feraligatr, the Big Jaw Pokémon stood on one of the stone pillars bobbing his head and tapping his foot to a tune only he could hear.

"Oh come on, did you have to wear them?" Ash groaned. Feraligatr was wearing a pair of round sunglasses, as the water type turned to look at Ash he used a claw to lift the shades up.

"Raaalll Feral."

"Fine." Ash sighed, "If you promised Blastoise."

May was about to question what was going on when Lucario answered first.

When he evolved Blastoise wanted to be in a water Pokémon 'gang' again so he gave sunglasses to each of Master Ash's water type Pokémon.

In front of Blaine was a large bipedal turtle-like Pokémon, with a spiky shell and greenish-grey skin. The shell was mostly red and yellow in colour with brown spikes that grew outwards. The Pokémon had it's shell facing Ash and Feraligatr, looking over his shoulder at them.

"You don't seem surprised to see Turtonator." Blaine said, "I take it that means you've been to Alola then?"

"A few years ago, one of the Trial Captains has a Turtonator so you're not going to catch me with Shell Trap." Ash replied.

"In that case let's begin, Turtonator Flamethrower."

"Block it with Water Gun." Steam filled the air as the two attacks connected, they were at a stalemate for a few seconds before Flamethrower began to overpower Water Gun inching forward slowly. "Hydro Pump!" Feraligatr let out a guttural roar and the column of water he'd been firing tripled in size, halting Flamethrowers advance and creating even more steam. Feraligatr stopped his attack when he felt Flamethrower's resistance disappear, narrowing his eyes the Big Jaw Pokémon watched the steam carefully. There was no sign of movement for a minute before Turtonator burst out of the steam with his arms glowing a pale green energy, the Blast Turtle Pokémon swung at Feraligatr with Dragon Claw only for the water type to counter instinctively with the same attack. Turtonator tried to attack with his other arm but found that countered too.

The two Pokémon stood on top of the same pillar of rock, their claws locked together as they fought for dominance. Feraligatr was taller and physically stronger but Turtonator was heavier and had a lower centre of gravity making it hard for Feraligatr to move him. Ash knew that he could call out an attack like Water Gun but Feraligatr's focus was on not letting Turtonator pull him off balance.

"Shell Trap!" Blaine shouted, Ash's eye widened. The explosion from Shell Trap would give Turtonator the power he needed to outmuscle Feraligatr but before Ash could shout a warning or counter Turtonator's tail flicked up.

Meanwhile

"Gro!" A bark came from alongside May, causing her to yelp and jump slightly. Once she'd gotten her heartbeat under control May looked down to find an unusually small Growlithe standing next to her, looking between a small rubber ball and her. Normally Growlithe would reach to midthigh height but this one didn't even reach May's knees, it was roughly the same size as a Rattata being only slightly bigger. "Gro!" The fire type barked, bouncing away from May, turning back to face her and wagging her tail excitedly.

"Oh, you want to play?" May said as she knelt down and picked up the ball. "Okay then, fetch." She threw the ball at Growlithe. The small fire type jumped, catching the ball in her mouth and quickly ran over to May, dropping the ball again. "Good boy." She smiled only for the Growlithe to whine.

I believe the Growlithe is female. Lucario commented not taking his eyes from the battle, Growlithe sniffed at his leg and yipped before nuzzling him. Please stop that. Growlithe didn't stop.

"Aaw, I think it's cute." May giggled as she picked up the ball. "Come on girl, fet…" The rest of the word was drowned out by an explosion.

Back with the Battle

Turtonator had detonated his shell and forced Feraligatr back but the Big Jaw Pokémon shifted his weight and turned his opponent's explosive charge into an improvised hip throw Feraligatr released his hold on Turtonator's claws as he directed the Blast Turtle Pokémon's charge towards the lava bubbling below.

"Shell Trap again!" Blaine shouted. Turtonator's shell erupted once more and launched the fire/dragon type Pokémon into the air. "Body Slam!" Turtonator spun in the air and fell towards Feraligatr, streams of white energy flowing from him.

"Catch him!" Ash shouted, Feraligatr nodded and settled into a wide stance, bracing himself for the impact. A resounding crash echoed around the mouth of the volcano as the stone pillar underneath Feraligatr cracked from the force of Turtonator slamming into Feraligatr. "Now Hydro Pump! Hit the opening on his chest!"

Feraligatr threw his head back and blasted Turtonator with the powerful water attack, the Blast Turtle Pokémon roared in pain and used Protect to block the rest of the attack. Turtonator's Protect had raised him out of Feraligatr's hold so he rolled, landing in front of the Big Jaw Pokémon and charged, back first, into Feraligatr and used Shell Trap.

The water type was blown off the stone pillar he had been stood on, skidded across another one and just barely managed to dig his claws into it before he fell off the edge. A rumbling growl came from Feraligatr's throat as he pulled himself up onto the pillar.

"Aqua Jet!" Ash called, Feraligatr roared and encased himself in water before rocketing towards Turtonator. "Left!" Feraligatr changed direction seconds before hitting Turtonator's shell and started to circle the fire/dragon type.

"Stone Edge!" Blaine commanded, two rings of light formed around Turtonator and changed into shards of rock that were then fired out in all directions but a few quick directions from Ash and Feraligatr dodged them all whilst continuing to circle, picking up more and more speed as he went.

"Finish it." Ash said, Feraligatr closed the ring of water he'd created around Turtonator and shot towards the sky as the water ring hit Turtonator from all sides. "Do it now!" Feraligatr flipped in the air and opened his mouth wide, a glowing ball of light blue water appeared in between his jaws and launched itself towards Turtonator. As the ball fell it grew larger and larger, moving faster and faster, Feraligatr followed behind the attack his limbs stretched out to slow his descent.

Ash looked across at Blaine and saw the look of astonishment on the Gym Leader's face as the ball of water hit Turtonator with a bang, releasing a flood of water that fell into the volcano sending up a cloud of steam. Feraligatr used the force of the water that shot back into the air to help cushion his landing on a stone pillar and stood there panting unable to move as he recovered his energy.

"Hydro Cannon." Blaine said as he recalled Turtonator. "I never thought I'd battle a Pokémon that could use it. I take it you have other Pokémon that can use the Ultimate Moves?" Blaine's face paled as he realized what he'd just asked. "I have an additional rule to add to our match, if he has learnt it Charizard cannot use Blast Burn. If it would be as powerful as I think it would be, it may cause the volcano to erupt." Ash nodded in agreement.

"Charizard can use it but he's having trouble with the control, and because of how powerful it is we don't really have anywhere that's safe to train it. He knows not to use it until he's got a handle on the power and can control it properly. He's been banned from using it in the Charific Valley."

"The Charific Valley?" Blaine let out a low whistle. "It must be a truly frightening display of power for it to be banned from there." The elderly Gym Leader took a Pokéball out of his pocket and enlarged it. "I think that's enough talk for now, let's continue this battle." He threw the ball and released his second Pokémon. On the pillar directly in front of Feraligatr appeared a Blaziken. "Thunder Punch!"

Blaziken's fists crackled with electricity as he shot forward in a red and cream blur before delivering a barrage of punches to Feraligatr, needing time to recover from using Hydro Cannon Feraligatr could only stand there and take the hits.

"Time to pick up the tempo!" Ash shouted, Feraligatr grinned and whereas when the battle had started he'd been tapping a foot and bobbing his head now he began swaying side to side and bouncing slightly. As Blaziken came in for another Thunder Punch, Feraligatr caught the Blaze Pokémon's upper arm and fell backwards. What happened next caught Blaine and May by surprise and if they hadn't been there to see it, they'd never have believed it. Feraligatr started to break-dance, kicking his legs and tail up the Big Jaw Pokémon started to spin on his shoulders and used Aqua Tail to send Blaziken into the air.

"What am I seeing?" May asked.

I believe it's called 'The Windmill'. Lucario answered as he tried to stop the small Growlithe from nuzzling his leg. Eventually he picked her up by the scruff of her neck and held her up so he could look her in the eye. Please stop.

"Grow!" The pup replied and licked the end of Lucario's snout before panting happily. Lucario turned to May, Mistress May, would you mind…

"Of course." May said, taking Growlithe into her arms and scratching behind her ears. "Who's a little cutie? You are, yes you are."

I'm not little. Lucario said turning his attention back to the battle with a small smirk on the side of his face May couldn't see.

Meanwhile back with the battle

Blaziken skidded back to dodge an Aqua Tail only for Feraligatr to suddenly switch directions and launch a Hydro Pump, forcing Blaziken to fall off a pillar. The Blaze Pokémon managed to grasp the edge of the pillar and stayed hanging off the edge until Feraligatr's attack ended. With a quick jerk of his arm Blaziken launched himself into the air and fired a Solar Beam.

The powerful grass type attack slammed into Feraligatr's chest and blinding everyone with the resulting light. Once the light had faded and everyone was able to see again, Feraligatr could be seen still standing but heavily damaged. The Big Jaw Pokémon was panting heavily and looked ready to fall but he still stood tall.

"Return." Ash said, raising Feraligatr's Pokeball but the water type blocked the recall beam with a weak Aqua Tail. Shaking his head Feraligatr covered himself with Aqua Jet and took off into the air. Ash chuckled to himself, "You want to go out swinging, alright then. Aqua Jet full power!" Feraligatr roared and dove towards Blaziken.

"Your Feraligatr has an inner fire worthy of a fire type but it won't be enough." Blaine commented. "Blaziken, Thunder Kick!" The Blaze Pokémon nodded and leapt into the air with a flying kick, as he flew towards Feraligatr electricity started to crackle around his foot. Each Pokémon bellowed as their attacks connected but the water encasing Feraligatr conducted the electricity from Blaziken's attack and caused the Big Jaw Pokémon to cry out in pain and end his attack, falling towards the mouth of the volcano.

"Return!" Ash shouted, recalling Feraligatr to safety. "You did well, thank you." Ash attached the Pokeball to his belt and picked another one up. "Looks like you've been improvising moves Blaine."

"That's true, in a way. I just thought that if a Pokémon can focus fire, ice and electricity into punches then the same would be possible for kicks, Blaze Kick's a proof of concept. I may have retired from my previous occupation but I'm still a scientist at heart, theorization and experimentation are in my nature."

"Well, let's see what else you've come up with." Ash threw his Pokéball into the air. "I choose you, Gliscor!" The Fang Scorpion Pokémon appeared and immediately used the thermals from the volcano to soar into the air. "Sandstorm!" Gliscor's wings shone with gold energy and summoned a howling wind that threw sand into the air. "Now X-Scissor!" Gliscor dove into the swirling sands with a cross of blue energy in front of him.

"Blaziken when you sense Gliscor is close, use Mega Punch." Blaine called to his Pokémon. The only sound they could hear was the Sandstorm until Blaziken shouted out in pain and Gliscor came out of the sand grinning. Blaine looked at Gliscor and quickly came up with a theory. "Gliscor has the Sand Veil ability, correct?"

"Yeah, how did you figure it out so quickly?"

"Blaziken has enough experience against Pokémon that hide in sand, mist or snow, to at least sense their position at the last second and counter. For your Gliscor to have been able to hit Blaziken and not be hit in return due to Blaziken's reaction time means there was something else in play. My knowledge of Gliscor in general is limited compared to what I know about fire type Pokémon but I do know they can have one of three abilities, Sand Veil, Hyper Cutter or in rare cases Poison Heal. Sand Veil is the only ability that fits with these circumstances."

"You're good but I'm still going to win. Gliscor, Acrobatics!" There was a shine from inside one of Gliscor's before he blurred forward, disappearing into the Sandstorm and hitting Blaziken from all angles. "Aerial Ace!" Blaziken came tumbling out of the Sandstorm as Gliscor flew out glowing with white energy. "Sandstorm again!" Once more the Fang Scorpion Pokémon's wings shone and another howling wind sent sand, dirt and small rocks into the air.

"Blaziken, Stone Edge. Dome formation." Rings of white energy surrounded Blaziken, the rings turning into sharp stones that pointed in every direction outwards from the Flame Pokémon in a dome. "Fire!" Blaziken bellowed and the stones flew out into the Sandstorm.

Gliscor had to take some emergency evasive action but managed to make it through the attack relatively unscathed, having only been hit by three or four of the stones.

"Now!" Blaine shouted and a beam of energy shot towards Gliscor, leaving the ground/flying type no time to evade. His only choice was to try and lessen the damage by moving back with the attack. The Fang Scorpion was pushed high into the sky by the Hyper Beam, he was still flying although now he was covered in scuffs and light energy burns.

"Gliscor, you ready to finish this?" Ash called to his Pokémon.

"Scor!" The ground/flying type replied, sticking his tongue out.

"Alright then, get some more height. You know what to do." Gliscor glided into a stronger thermal and rode it to a higher altitude before folding his wings back and diving towards Blaziken. As the Fang Scorpion Pokémon got closer and closer he'd twitch his tail to correct his course and purple energy started to swirl around him forming a sphere.

"Blaziken, dodge!" Blaine said but the Blaze Pokémon shook his head.

"Blaz!"

"I thought you might say that." Blaine sighed. "Very well, meet Gliscor head on with Flare Blitz." Blaziken roared and became enveloped in white hot flames, crouching low he used all the strength in his legs to leap towards Gliscor.

The two Pokémon closed in on each other but just before they collided Gliscor opened one wing and spun to the side, evading Blaziken's attack and caught a thermal updraft. Gliscor quickly spiraled up the thermal before diving down on Blaziken again.

An enormous explosion shook the top of the volcano and smoke filled the air. May reached to her Pokéballs and called out Altaria.

"Altaria, use Defog!" She said. Altaria's wings shone green as she flapped them, within a couple of seconds the smoke had cleared and neither Pokémon could be seen. "Where are they?" May asked as she recalled Altaria, Ash stood with his eyes closed as he searched for the Pokémon's auras, next to her Lucario was doing the same while ignoring the small Growlithe in May's arms attempts to get his attention.

They are in the sky. Lucario said to May. Looking up May could see Gliscor slowly gliding towards them with Blaziken hanging from his arms. As the two Pokémon landed near Blaine, Blaziken fell to one side and held his ankle. The elderly Gym Leader knelt down and gently touched Blaziken's ankle before tutting to himself.

"I've warned you against trying to do that, this is why. Your ankle's fractured, if not broken. You're not going to be battling again anytime soon." Blaine returned the Blaze Pokémon and put it in a small pouch before tying the pouch around the neck of the Rapidash he rode up the volcano. He wrote a note and put that inside the pouch too. "Rapidash, take him to the Pokémon Centre for me." The fire type nodded and ran off towards the city.

"I'm sorry Blaine." Ash said as he'd ran around the mouth of the volcano to see what was happening. "I didn't think Blaziken would be so badly hurt by Giga Impact." Blaine smiled and put a hand on Ash's shoulder before slapping the back on his head. "Ow!" Ash rubbed the back of his head easing the slight pain away.

"Two things. One, don't insult my Pokémon like that. Blaziken would've been knocked out by that attack but not injured like that. Two, it's Blaziken own fault that he was hurt because instead of accepting defeat he moved as much of Flare Blitz's power as he could to his leg and attacked with that at the moment of impact. The backlash of having that much power in his leg was too much for his ankle to take, he's tried doing it in the past no matter how many times I warned him. Hopefully this will teach him a lesson, Nurse Joy's going to give him a lecture about this too." Blaine chuckled and patted Gliscor's head. "Thank you for catching him, if you hadn't I doubt he would've been able to stop himself from falling into the volcano."

"Scor." Gliscor winked and stuck out his tongue.

"Now, before we continue with the battle, Gliscor was hoping a Flying Gem wasn't he?" Blaine asked

"Yeah that's right."

"I thought so, I saw something shine from Gliscor's claw." Blaine waited for Ash and Gliscor to return to their side of the volcano before throwing his next Pokéball into the air, out of which came an Arcanine. The Growlithe in May's arms started to yip happily and wag her tail, the yipping drew Blaine's attention. "Ah I see she's found her way back here. That pup is quite insistent."

"What do you mean?" May asked.

"She's trying to claim the top of the volcano as her personal play area. I've lost count of the times I've handed her to the Pokémon Centre to try and find her a good home."

"So she's not one of your Pokémon?"

"Oh, I've tried to capture her but she refuses to be caught. It seems all she wants to do is play here with Arcanine." May looked down at the Growlithe in her arms who stared back at her.

"Huh? Maybe she's just lonely." May muttered to herself as she stroked the fire type while Blaine turned his attention back to the battle.

"Gliscor, Sandstorm." Ash shouted as once again a blast of sand filled the air.

"That won't work this time Ash. Arcanine, Sunny Day." Blaine countered as a ball of pale yellow light shot into the sky and dissipated the Sandstorm.

"Okay then, let's try a different approach. Gliscor, Eart…Bulldoze!" Ash was about to call for an Earthquake but figured that it'd be too risky and could cause an eruption. Gliscor flew towards Arcanine with gold energy surrounding his body.

"Arcanine, meet him head on with Double Edge!" Both Pokémon were now coated in golden light and charging towards each other. Gliscor tried repeating his tactic against Blaziken and spun to the side at the last second before circling around but Arcanine leapt into the air, evading Bulldoze and landing on top of Gliscor adding in Body Slam for good measure. "Now Crunch!" Arcanine closed his jaws over Gliscor's shoulder and bit down viciously, shaking his head from side to side to maximize the damage.

"Poison Tail!" Ash shouted. Gliscor's tail turned bright purple and flicked up multiple times, stabbing into Arcanine's back leg until the Legendary Pokémon howled in pain as purple lightning crackled across his pelt. "Acrobatics!" Gliscor bucked and slipped out from underneath Arcanine before hitting him from all sides. "Venoshock!"

"Dodge and use Façade." Arcanine shot into the air dodging the attack and slammed into Gliscor. "Flame Charge!" Coating himself in fire Arcanine continued to slam into Gliscor as they fell to the ground.

"Venoshock again." Gliscor spat out a stream of green sludge that hit Arcanine directly in the face.

"Overheat." Arcanine growled and released a pillar of white hot flames onto Gliscor as they hit the ground. When the dust and flames cleared Arcanine was seen still standing although not looking as healthy as when he'd started the battle as purple lightning crackled across his body again. Gliscor was laying in a small crater with swirls in his eyes. Ash returned his Pokémon with thanks for fighting so hard and threw out his next Pokémon.

Floatzel appeared in a splash of water and stood with his arms crossed as he glared at Arcanine, like Feraligatr he wore a pair of round sunglasses. Seeing Arcanine's poisoned state Floatzel looked back at Ash.

"Flo Floatzel!"

"I know you don't want to fight a weakened opponent but I need you to do this. Please."

"Zel." The Sea Weasel Pokémon nodded and returned his attention to Arcanine. He quickly formed an orb of water and threw it at Arcanine before diving at it with Aqua Jet, the Water Pulse combined with Aqua Jet and as seconds before crashing into Arcanine Floatzel widened the shroud of water surrounding him and used Aqua Tail. The triple water attack slammed into Arcanine and sent the fire type crashing back, landing hard with thoroughly soaked fur knocked out of the battle.

Blaine returned Arcanine and immediately sent out his next Pokémon, Heatmor. The Anteater Pokémon let out a few licks of flame as he readied himself for battle.

"Aqua Jet!" Ash shouted, wanting to win his gym badge. Floatzel shot forward but Heatmor countered with a Solar Beam, knocking Floatzel off course.

"Rapid Fire." Blaine said. Heatmor raised his arms the vents around his claws started to glow as Solar Beams shot out of them at almost impossible speeds. Floatzel immediately used Aqua Jet to dodge but the rate of fire and the sheer number of attacks made it impossible to evade all the attacks. The Sea Weasel Pokémon was pelted with super-effective attacks and could only manage the occasional Water Gun to counter. "Heatmor's been specially trained to battle speedy water type Pokémon." Blaine shouted across to Ash. "I knew you were coming so I did my research like any good scientist. You prefer fast Pokémon that can deliver powerful attacks, I made sure to keep Heatmor in reserve until you brought your speed specialist out."

"Floatzel, full speed." Floatzel's tail suddenly sped up and he shot forward, barely evading the Solar Beams taking glancing blows instead of the full brunt of the attack. He crashed in Heatmor's chest and used Water Pulse, the orb of water burst and soaked the fire type but Heatmor managed to fire one more volley of Solar Beams at pointblank range.

Due to the lack of distance between them Floatzel knew he wouldn't be able to dodge or carry on the battle after his so he put all of his power into one final attack. He fire out a Hydro Pump directly into Heatmor's face, continuing to hit his opponent even as he was being force backwards by the Solar Beams.

"Let me guess, Floatzel can only use his full speed in a straight line. Sharp turns is still a problem isn't it?" Blaine asked.

"We're working on it but it's hard to keep the speed up." Ash replied as he returned Floatzel as the water type started to fall backwards once the volley of attacks ended, thanking him for a hard fought battle. Taking his next Pokéball from his belt Ash looked at it and closed his eyes. After a few seconds he opened his eyes again and threw the ball into the air, from the Pokéball came a Pokémon Ash had left behind at one point but he'd gone back and had the Pokémon rejoin his team. As the Pokémon coalesced from white pixels Ash mirrored his stance, one arm pointing straight up with his fist half closed, index finger and middle finger pointing straight to the sky. Ash's other arm was bent so his other hand was in front of his lips, his fingers in the same position as his other hand.

Greninja has appeared on the battlefield, a veil of water erupted around him as he changed his form. Breaking out of the water his colouring had changed slightly and a large shuriken made from water had appear on his back.

"That's an interesting phenomenon, mind if I ask you about it after the battle?" Blaine asked.

"Course not, but you'd be better asking Professor Oak about it. He wrote a paper all about the transformation. If you still want to talk to me about it, we can do it when you give me the Volcano Badge." Ash replied with a smirk, Blaine chuckled.

"You have to win first. Heatmor, Rapid Fire."

"Disappear."

As Heatmor started to fire Solar Beams, Ash-Greninja flashed through some handsigns and assumed the same position he had when first appearing on the battlefield. A heavy Haze covered the mouth of the volcano and Heatmor's attacks missed their target.

"A nice trick but it won't work. Burn the Haze away." Heatmor unleashed a powerful Flamethrower but the Haze refused to leave.

"Double Team." Multiple shadowy figures appeared in the Haze surrounding Heatmor and started to run in a circle around him. "Cut." The figures all turned and darted towards the Anteater Pokémon, flitting about his field of vision as Ash-Greninja used his speed to deliver attacks before retreating to the Haze and starting to circle again.

"It seems you've taken the 'ninja' part of your Pokémon's name quite literally." Blaine commented. "Will-O-Wisp." Heatmor send out a circle of small blue flames as he tried to hit Ash-Greninja. Seeing a cluster of the flames suddenly extinguished Blaine shouted to his Pokémon. "Rapid Fire to your left, sweeping arc." As Heatmor turned he fired out Solar Beams but quickly redirected them as he saw the hazy outline of Ash-Greninja throwing the large Water Shuriken that had been on his back. Solar Beam hit Water Shuriken, blasting it into droplets of water and then hit the outline which disappeared upon contact.

"Cut." Ash said and Ash-Greninja appeared out of the Haze behind Heatmor with a glowing attack in each webbed hand. Ash-Greninja slashed the fire type's back before using Bounce to kick off Heatmor's back, flip in the air and throw a shower of small Water Shuriken.

"Heatwave!" A blast wave of heat blew out of Heatmor's exhaust like tail and evaporated the incoming attack then continued on to hit Ash-Greninja. At the moment of contact Ash-Greninja faded away revealing himself to be a Substitute.

"This is starting to get ridiculous." Blaine grumbled. "Note to self, teach Heatmor Pursuit."

"Water Shuriken barrage." There was a minute of no action before the sound of something cutting through the air could be heard, followed by another, and another and another. The Haze lifted in time to see five large Water Shurikens closing in on Heatmor from all sides, Ash-Greninja had curved the attacks and thrown them at different speeds so they would all impact at the same time.

"Overheat to the ground!" Blain shouted. Heatmor launched himself into the air with the attack only to be met by Ash-Greninja higher up, throwing one final Water Shuriken down on top of the Anteater Pokémon. The attack broke Heatmor's concentration and caused him to fall into the paths of the other Water Shuriken.

When the water cleared it was plain to see that Heatmor couldn't battle any further. Ash-Greninja landed next to Ash and changed back to his original appearance, both Pokémon and Trainer where breathing hard but looked proud of what they'd accomplished.

"Been a while since we last did that." Ash said as he caught his breath. "Greninja, I know you want to continue the battle but this last one's been promised to Charizard for a while. You understand right?" Greninja nodded and returned himself to his Pokéball.

"You do know what's going to happen now don't you?" Blaine asked as he returned Heatmor.

"Yeah, as soon as these two see each other they aren't going to listen to a word we say." Ash said as he held up Charizard's Pokéball.

"Well, we're going to be in for one hell of a show." Blaine stamped his cane against the ground as Ash threw the Pokéball into the air.

Magmortar came blasting out of the lava of the volcano as Charizard roared into the sky, releasing his signature Flamethrower as he landed on a stone pillar. The two Pokémon took a split second to get their bearings before locking eyes, both smirked and immediately went on the attack.

Flamethrowers surged out of Magmortar's cannon-like arms as Charizard sent out his own from his flaming maw, the pillars of fire met in the middle of the battlefield and fought for dominance until Charizard's started to gain the upperhand. The attacks exploded filling the air with thick smoke, Charizard flapped his wings to clear it away as Magmortar ploughed through the smokescreen with a Thunder Punch pulled back. Reacting quickly Charizard jumped back and let a thermal carry him up out of reach.

He wasn't out of reach for long though as Magmortar used Flamethrower at the ground and launched himself into the air, chasing after Charizard. The Flame Pokémon spun around and dove towards the Blast Pokémon, attacking with Dragon Tail and readying a Dragon Claw to follow up. Magmortar shifted his arms and flew out of range, Charizard went in pursuit determined to land a solid hit. The Blast Pokémon threw his arms up to point at his opponent and used Stone Edge, the sharp rocks combined with Flamethrower hitting Charizard at pointblank range sending the fire/flying type back.

Showing his supremacy over the air, Charizard began an impressive aerial display as he dodged the second and third volleys of flaming Stone Edge, folding his wings in and spinning Charizard drilled through the fourth volley and delivered a Mega Punch into Magmortar's smirking face. The Flame Pokémon kept the pressure up as he forced Magmortar back to the mouth of the volcano, raining down blow after blow and one final Mega Punch sent Magmortar to the ground, barely managing to land on his feet the Blast Pokémon skidded back and shot a Fire Blast at Charizard as he landed opposite.

Snorting out a puff of smoke Charizard lit up his claws with Fire Punch and held them up towards the incoming attack. Grunting as he caught it Charizard slid back a few inches before roaring in challenge as he torn the Fire Blast in half. Grinning at Magmortar, Charizard summoned his flames as shot out his own Fire Blast.

Magmortar copied Charizard's earlier actions and caught the attack with Fire Punch but wasn't able to stop himself from being pushed off the stone pillar he was stood on, falling into the lava.

A few seconds passed without any sign of Magmortar until he shot up from underneath Charizard using Lava Plume and impacted the Flame Pokémon with a double Thunder Punch before grabbing hold of Charizard and using Thunderbolt.

Charizard's body was covered in flashing yellow energy as Thunderbolt shocked him to his core. Fighting back Charizard called on the draconic power within him and fought against Thunderbolt with Dragon Rush. The two energies fought against each other before the pale blue of Dragon Rush overpowered Thunderbolt and broke through the electric attack.

The Flame Pokémon then proceeded to perform a number of aerial manoeuvres eventually managing to dislodge Magmortar. Taking advantage of the Blast Pokémon's disorientation Charizard grabbed hold of Magmortar and launched into Seismic Toss, flying high into the air Charizard started to loop over and over again before throwing Magmortar to the stone pillars far below. Just after releasing his opponent Charizard flipped into a Dragon Tail sending Magmortar tumbling head over tail inevitably crashing through the pillar and disappearing into the lava.

Magmortar slowly pulled himself out of the lava and shakily stood on a slab of stone, glaring at Charizard. Landing in front of Magmortar with a thud the two Pokémon glared at each other before smiling. Magmortar lifted his arms to fire another salvo of Stone Edge as Charizard powered up his claws with Mega Punch. The attacks hit at the same time, forcing both of the Pokémon to skid backwards panting heavily.

They shared a nod before Magmortar flinched and fell forward, Charizard reared his head back and roared to the heavens, sending out an inferno of white hot fire into the sky.

"I had hoped that Magmortar would win this rematch but your Charizard is very impressive." Blaine said as he returned Magmortar and walked around the mouth of the volcano to stand in front of Ash. "You have the inner fire that can rival any fire type Pokémon. As the Leader of the Cinnabar Gym I, Blaine Katsura, award you with the Volcano Badge. Wear it with pride and burn brightly." Blaine handed over the Gym Badge along with a small box.

"What's this?" Ash asked as he took hold of the box.

"A little something I've held onto for many years but never used, when I heard you were coming I knew you were the only person I could pass it on to."

Opening the box Ash found a small marble sized orb with an orange and cream spiral in the middle.

"A Mega Stone?"

"That's right, to be exact it's Charizardite Y. Use it well."

"Thank you."

Blaine was about to say something else when he felt a tugging on his pant leg. Looking down he found the small Growlithe chewing on it.

"What do you want, you little menace?" The Growlithe let go of his leg and bounded over to May, nuzzling her ankle. "Oh, so you like her do you?"

"Grow!"

"In that case off you go." Blaine turned his attention to May. "As long as you don't mind Miss Maple."

"I don't mind." May replied, kneeling down to pick up the Growlithe.

"Well then Miss Maple, take good care of little Vesta."

"Vesta?"

"That's the only name I could get her to respond too." Blaine nodded and turned to leave. "It was a pleasure to meet you Miss Maple and Ash, just as our first battle you've stoked my inner fire. We must battle again someday but try not to leave it so long." Blaine waved over his shoulder and started making his way down the volcano.

"We should get to the Pokémon Centre." May said. "Your Pokémon deserve the rest after how hard they just battled."

"You're right." Ash replied. "Charizard, you have enough energy for a quick flight to the Pokémon Centre?"

Charizard's answer to the question was a Flamethrower to Ash's face. After cleaning his face of char Ash and May climbed onto the Flame Pokémon's back and flew to the Pokémon Centre with Lucario running behind them.

Sorry if a couple of the battles seem rushed, I wanted to get this chapter out.

That's it for now.

Until Next Time

Basic Trainer