A/N: When we last left our heroes, they continued their quest to find the ice crystal. However, their plans to find the ferry took a snag when they discovered a new Pokémon named Sylveon, one that bonded with Irene. Our heroes also had an encounter with Team Rocket, but Team Rocket might prove that they are now a threat, especially now that they've teamed up with Team Electric. What adventures will our heroes come across as they attempt to find the ferry to the Hoenn Region? Read on and find out!
The group of teenagers traveled along the roadside, still trying to make their way to the ferry to take them to the Hoenn region. They already knew they were heading the right way, but they wondered how much farther they would have to go. Max attempted to use his PokéNav to find the ferry but even his machinery was having an issue in trying to locate it. In the end, they decided to stop and sit down by a nearby river, allowing them to clear their thoughts and release their frustration. As Max put down his backpack to sit next to May, he heard Paul let out a sigh, causing the young trainer to look over at his elder.
"Are you sure that the PokéNav is working?" Paul questioned, staring at Max. Max let out a sigh, nodding his head slowly.
"It's working. It's just for some reason; it can't find the ferry terminal." Max said. May took a hold of her brother's Poke-map, looking into it.
"Max is right." May said. "For some reason the ferry terminal for the boats to Hoenn aren't showing up on the map."
"Well, we know that the ferry terminal is in this direction, right?" Dawn questioned as everyone turned to her. "So how about in the meantime we follow this river? We'd have to run into the ferry sometime since it does run on a body of water."
"Dawn, that's a great idea." Brock agreed. "Following the river seems like our best bet in finding the ferry since it does run on water. And in the meantime it could allow us to find some Pokémon to help us on our journey."
"So it's settled. We follow the river." Zoey looked to her friend. Dawn gazed proudly at her friends, then towards Ash and Pikachu who smiled back at her. Ash's smile immediately vanished when he heard a familiar voice coming towards them.
"Oh no…" Ash silently said, but was loud enough for everyone else to hear.
"Ash, what's wrong?" Gary questioned. Ash looked over to the horizon, seeing someone running towards them in almost a frantic pace.
"Out of my way!" The voice yelled. Pikachu quickly jumped off Ash's shoulder, aware of who it was. The girl bumped into Ash and the next thing he knew, he landed in the river and started to go downstream.
"Pika Pi!" Pikachu screamed, starting to run after his trainer. Brock immediately went into his pocket to take out a Pokéball, throwing towards the water.
"Marshtomp, go in there and save Ash!" Brock commanded. In a flash Marshtomp appeared from its Pokéball and jumped in the river, quickly going after Ash before something happened to him. Ash grabbed onto Marshtomp as the Pokémon pulled them both to shore, putting Ash on the grass after the rescue mission was complete. Pikachu and Dawn caught up with Ash as he coughed and tried to catch his breath.
"Ash are you okay?!" Dawn leaned down to look Ash in his eyes while Pikachu jumped on his trainers shoulder. Ash finally was able to catch his breath, nodding over to Dawn.
"I'm fine, thanks…" Ash gave Dawn a reassuring smile, then faced Marshtomp. "Marshtomp, thanks so much for your help." Ash pet Marshtomp on his head while Dawn went into her backpack to take out her Pokédex. She had never seen this type of Pokémon before.
"Marshtomp, the Mud Fish Pokémon and the evolved form of Mudkip. It's body is enclosed in a membrane allowing it to live on land. It's lower body is well developed so it's capable of walking on two legs." The Pokédex said. Dawn pet Marshtomp's head along with Ash and Pikachu—until they heard a familiar voice behind them.
"I did it again, didn't I?" The voice said. Ash and Dawn turned their attention to the girl who was staring over at them with her Minccino. Dawn crossed her arms towards the girl while Ash let out a tired sigh.
"Yep, you sure did." Ash faced Dawn who continued to keep her eyes on the girl. "Dawn…this is Bianca. Bianca, this is Dawn…" Ash suddenly sneezed which caused Pikachu to immediately worry.
"Pika, Pika?" Pikachu patted Ash's head while he let out a sigh.
"Yeah, I'll be okay Pikachu." Ash assured his Pokémon, which allowed Pikachu to let out a grin.
"Pika!" Pikachu turned his attention to the others who were running towards them. Pikachu jumped off Ash's shoulder, walking over to Brock who let out a relieved sigh.
"Thank goodness Ash is okay." Brock said as Marshtomp made his way to his trainer. "Great job, Marshtomp. You were amazing."
"What is wrong with you?" Paul exclaimed towards Bianca. Bianca turned around staring at Paul in confusion. "Did you know that you could have killed him with your clumsiness?"
"Paul, it's all right." Ash told him. "She does that every time we end up bumping into each other."
"Doesn't it ever get old though?" Max asked, staring over at Ash.
"Oh…you have no idea." Ash grimaced as Bianca let out a smile to the others.
"My name's Bianca. What's yours?" Bianca said.
"That's Brock, May, Max, Gary, Daisy, Cynthia and Alder." Ash said, pointing to each of his friends as he introduced them. Misty and Paul made their way over to Bianca, Misty holding her hand out for Bianca to shake.
"I'm Misty." Misty waved. "I'm sure you already met the brooding Paul." Paul's eyes widened as he looked to Misty, seeing that she was stifling a giggle. Paul felt his cheeks turn red but Bianca didn't notice as she turned her head towards Dawn. Dawn continued to give Bianca a stern look, then she huffed as she walked past them.
"I guess she's still mad that you knocked me into the river." Ash tried to lighten the mood a bit.
"And why would she be mad about that? I don't get it." Bianca seemed rather clueless. Paul attempted to lunge towards Bianca but Misty pulled him back, giving him a look.
"Bianca, do you mind if I ask what you're doing here?" Ash questioned. "I mean, Sinnoh is a way from Unova."
"I actually was on my way to the Johto Region." Bianca answered with confidence. Bianca pumped her fist in the air with her Minccino copying her pose. "I have a date with destiny! I'm going to go to every gym in the Johto Region, fulfill my Pokémon quest and become the greatest Pokémon master to ever walk on the face of the earth! There's just one thing stopping me on my journey!"
"And what would that be?" Brock questioned. In an instant, Bianca and Minccino fell to the floor while the others looked confused.
"I can't seem to find the ferry." Bianca feebly said.
"Well we were on our way to the ferry as well." Max grinned. "We'd be glad to help you find the ferry so you can get to Johto."
"You would?!" Bianca sounded thrilled.
"We would?" Paul asked, but lacked the enthusiasm as he turned towards Max.
"Sure, why not." Max shrugged his shoulders. "We can all help each other right now."
"That sounds like a good idea, Max." Alder encouragingly said to the young trainer. "When a friend is in need, there's nothing better than helping that person."
"Hey, speaking of friends, where's Irene?" May asked, looking behind them. The others followed May's gaze, becoming just as interested.
"Yeah, where did Irene go?" Brock wondered.
"And where's Colress?" Paul added.
"Are those friends of yours?" Bianca excitedly clapped, staring over at Paul. Paul groaned, walking away from Bianca.
"Somewhat." Misty shrugged her shoulders, as Paul couldn't help but chuckle at her.
"Here she comes now." May pointed towards Irene, Colress and Sylveon making their way towards the group. Bianca became star struck at Sylveon, wanting to know more about the Pokémon that wasn't from this region.
"Oh my goodness! She's just precious!" Bianca smiled down towards Sylveon. Bianca then whipped out some Pokéball's, still looking at Sylveon. "I HAVE TO CATCH IT!"
"What? No!" Irene exclaimed, unsure who Bianca was. Irene's gaze shifted to Ash and Pikachu as she raised an eyebrow. "Ash…who is this whack job?"
"Whack job?!" Bianca incredulously exclaimed, taking a step back from Irene. Paul and Misty stifled their chuckles, trying their hardest to be polite, but Irene's remark was making it harder for them to keep in their laughter. Bianca turned to Ash who suddenly became uncomfortable. "Ash, am I a whack job?!"
"Does it really matter?" Gary asked, then looked sympathetic towards Bianca. "Look, we need this Pokémon for the mission that we're in. She's not catchable and not even we caught her yet. We want to know more about her, and she's been willing to help us."
"Is that so?" Bianca asked, crossing her arms. "Well, I apologize for trying to catch her. If you don't mind, I'd like some help to get to the ferry."
"And we can do that." Gary nodded his head while Zoey raised an eyebrow towards Gary. "Come on, we'll help you."
"Awesome!" Bianca started running along the river—but in her haste, she knocked Ash and this time Pikachu into the river. Everyone stared over at Ash while Marshtomp quickly jumped in the river to save his friend—again.
"We better find the ferry—and quick." Paul rubbed his temples while staring at Misty. "I think I found someone who is more annoying than Irene, and I didn't think it was possible."
"Oopsy…" Bianca simply said as Ash got out of the water with Marshtomp, giving her an uneasy glare. "Sorry?" Ash simply let out a heavy sigh as Dawn walked over to help him up. Dawn shot Bianca a look, then led Ash ahead of her while Bianca seemed quizzical. Did she do something wrong? Bianca followed the others, but Colress stayed behind to observe them. He then looked at Irene, eyeing her red bracelet. He had to find a way to get the bracelet from her without blowing his cover. He just had to. When Colress was alone, he made a hand signal, then walked forward—and a moment later, the Shadow Triads poked their heads out of the tree, and continued to follow them close behind.
The sun was beginning to set later that afternoon, but they weren't close to the ferry. They figured that now would have been a good chance for them to start setting up camp for the night—and unfortunately for Paul and Dawn that meant another minute with Bianca. They both weren't sure what bothered them about Bianca, but they did know that they were tired of her constant shenanigans. Paul felt that she was too happy—all the time. Dawn felt that Bianca was just extremely clumsy and her clumsiness came at a price to Ash. Ash was knocked into the river twice times since she had joined them—because of her haste, or because she wasn't looking where she was going. They only hoped that they would find the ferry soon. As Dawn continued to set up the tent, she noticed a pair of familiar red shoes standing before her. Dawn looked up to see Ash staring down at her with his hands in his pockets as he leaned down next to her with a smile.
"Hey, do you still need any help?" Ash questioned. Dawn giggled, nodding her head as Ash grabbed one of the pegs of the tent and put them in for her. Dawn simply marveled at her boyfriend, a smile plastered on her face, and she even felt her cheeks flush just thinking about how much she loved him. Ash turned to her, seeing that she was simply staring at him. "Something wrong?" Ash slightly joked. Dawn grabbed one of Ash's hands, intertwining her fingers with his.
"I…nothing." Dawn looked away, her face still red as Ash chuckled at her. Dawn then faced Ash, scooting a bit closer to him as they looked into each other's eyes. "Are you okay? I mean you have been through a lot today."
"I've been through worse." Ash gave Dawn a cocky grin, which caused her to chuckle.
"Oh, really?" Dawn leaned closer to his face, staring him in the eyes. "So falling into a river is the least of Ash Ketchum's worries?"
"Yep." Ash chuckled as Dawn leaned into give him a kiss.
"ASH!" Bianca's voice rang through, causing Ash to bump his forehead on Dawn's. Ash used his free hand to rub his forehead as Bianca made her way to the couple. "I hope I wasn't interrupting anything."
"Oh no…" Dawn sardonically said, scowling away from Bianca. "You're not interrupting anything at all."
"That's great." Bianca smiled, oblivious to Dawn's sarcasm. "Ash, since we're not going to find the ferry tonight, what do you say that we have a battle?" Ash turned to Bianca, a small smile appearing on his face.
"Yeah, why don't you battle her Ash?" Dawn smirked, gazing at her boyfriend, getting the others attention. "That way we can see what Bianca has up her sleeve."
"We could use some entertainment." Max shrugged, looking over to Cynthia.
"I don't see why not." Cynthia grinned, staring at Ash. "But this is up to Ash to decide, whether or not he wants to accept the challenge. Being a champion in training means that you have to decide whether the battle is too big or too small for you to handle. Considering that he won the Unova League, I think Ash could decide for himself if it's the right time."
"Well, what do you say Pikachu?" Ash turned to his Pokémon, seeing Pikachu pump a fist up in the air.
"Pika, Pika!" Pikachu nodded. Ash got up from the floor, smiling at Bianca.
"I guess that means we'll accept your challenge." Ash said.
"Well, there's just one catch." Bianca said, staring at Dawn. "I'd like this to be a double battle. One Pokémon each from both of you against two of my Pokémon." Dawn and Ash glanced at one another then back towards Bianca.
"All right then. We accept." Dawn got up from the floor as Ash nodded his head. Bianca, Ash and Dawn made their way towards a clear patch of grass while the others became enthusiastic. "Aren't you going to release your Pokémon?" Dawn wondered, seeing Bianca was just standing there. Bianca quickly nodded her head, going into her pouch to take out two Pokéball's.
"Emboar! Minccino! Let's go!" Bianca threw the Pokéball's as the fire type and normal type appeared on the field. Dawn turned to Ash as he took out his Pokédex, scanning Emboar for Dawn to see.
"Emboar, the Pig Pokémon. It can throw a fire punch by setting its fists on fire with its fiery chin. It is adept at using many different moves." Dawn took a Pokéball out, staring over at Emboar.
"Piplup! Spotlight!" Dawn threw the Pokéball and out popped Dawn's Piplup, causing Bianca's eyes to widen and her smile to broaden. Bianca went into her pockets to take out her Pokédex but as she took out the Pokédex, an empty Pokéball flew out—and hit Gary on his forehead. Gary flew back as everyone grimaced with Eevee and Zoey rushing to Gary's side.
"Gary, are you okay?" Zoey asked as she kneeled down towards him. Gary sat up; putting a hand on his head, then stared over at Zoey with a grin.
"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just a Pokéball after all." Gary rubbed his forehead while Eevee jumped in Gary's lap. Bianca continued to look for Piplup in her Pokédex, finding it after having the others wait for her impatiently.
"Piplup, the Penguin Pokémon. It's very proud and its thick down protects it from the cold." Bianca looked over to Emboar and Minccino, eager to start the battle.
"Are you guys ready?!" Bianca yelled to them.
"Just one second." Dawn said, then face Ash with a smirk. "Ash, since Bianca is a Pokémon trainer and she's battling with power how about we battle—with grace?" Ash considered Dawn's words, a smile flashing on his face.
"Let's do it." Ash nodded his head. Pikachu looked to Ash, hoping that he would be the one to get into battle. "Pikachu, do you wanna go in there?"
"Pika, Pika!" Pikachu jumped down off Ash's shoulder, standing next to Piplup. "Pika." Pikachu acknowledged Piplup.
"Lup, Piplup!" Piplup waved back to Pikachu, the two Pokémon staring towards Bianca.
"Brock, will you be the referee of the battle?" Dawn wondered, staring at her friend.
"Of course." Brock nodded his head, staring at the three trainers. "The double battle between Bianca and partnered team Ash and Dawn will now begin. Only two Pokémon are allowed in this battle. Once the two Pokémon unable to battle, the battle will end. Are the rules clear?"
"Crystal." Ash said while Bianca nodded her head.
"All right, let the battle begin!" Brock officiated the combat. Bianca stared over at Emboar while pointing towards Piplup excitedly.
"Emboar, use Flamethrower on Piplup!" Bianca commanded. Emboar began charging for the Flamethrower, but Dawn and Ash were one-step ahead of Bianca.
"Piplup, use Whirlpool!" Dawn countered.
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on the Whirlpool!" Ash added. Piplup quickly created a whirlpool while electricity left Pikachu's cheeks, hitting the whirlpool and creating a fog so Emboar couldn't find neither of them. Bianca seemed shocked, noticing that Emboar and Minccino were having issues trying to find the two other Pokémon.
"That was pretty clever." Paul spoke from the sidelines as the others glanced at him. "Using the steam from the whirlpool and thunderbolt allows Pikachu and Piplup to have a cloak of invisibility for a few moments. That way they can plan a blind attack without Bianca finding them."
"That was pretty smart." Misty listened to Paul's reasoning, looking back to the battle.
"Oh, where are they!" Bianca looked around, feeling weary. Bianca, Emboar and Minccino looked ahead, seeing a light coming towards them. As the light got closer, Bianca realized that what she was staring at wasn't just some random light—it was Pikachu using Volt Tackle! Before Bianca could give a command, Pikachu hit Minccino, causing the Pokémon to fly back and hit a tree. "Minccino, no!" Minccino fell to the floor, but just when everyone thought it was over for Minccino, the Pokémon got up from the floor, glaring over at Pikachu and Piplup. "That's the spirit, Minccino. Now time to win this battle. Emboar, use Take Down! Minccino, use Thunderbolt!" Emboar started heading towards Pikachu and Piplup while Minccino began charging for a Thunderbolt attack.
"What do we do now?" Dawn faced Ash, noticing he was thinking.
"I have an idea." Ash snapped his fingers. "You said that we were battling with grace, right?" Dawn noticed where Ash was getting at, a smile forming on her lips.
"All right, let's do this!" Dawn turned to Piplup and Pikachu, getting ready for another attack. "Piplup, dodge Emboar's attack with a corkscrew spin!"
"You too, Pikachu!" Ash added. Pikachu and Piplup dodged the attacks using a spin that looked elegant, yet agile. Pikachu landed on his feet as Piplup did the same, the two Pokémon noticing Emboar and Minccino looking baffled by their speed. "Now's our chance! Pikachu use Thunderbolt on Minccino!"
"Piplup, add a Whirlpool into that as well!" Dawn shouted. Before Minccino or Emboar could get out of the way of the attacks, they were hit with a powerful whirlpool. Pikachu's cheeks lit up, letting out a powerful Thunderbolt that struck Minccino and Emboar, sending them back into a tree. Bianca gasped, seeing both her Pokémon fall to the floor with squiggles in their eyes. She had lost the battle as quickly as it had begun.
"Emboar and Minccino are unable to battle which means Pikachu and Piplup are the winners and the victors are Ash and Dawn!" Brock announced. Ash and Dawn high-fived while Pikachu and Piplup did the same, Bianca looking almost baffled that she had lost.
"Where did you learn to battle like that, Ash?" Bianca wondered, Ash and Dawn facing Bianca. "That was so graceful and something that I've never seen before."
"Oh, that? I learned a few things from Dawn and contest battling." Ash shrugged his shoulders, a smile tugging his lips. "You learn how to see Pokémon battling in a different light that way."
"Contest battling sounds amazing." Bianca marveled. "I should really learn it sometime."
"Contest battling might be a little hard for you." Paul said, staring at Bianca.
"And why would that be?" Bianca faced Paul, wanting to know his reasoning.
"Bianca, if you're a coordinator the Pokémon and the coordinator have to be graceful." Paul said. "Let's face it. You're not exactly elegant, now are you?"
"I am plenty elegant!" Bianca started making her way to her Pokémon in order to put them back in their Pokéball's. Unfortunately, Bianca tripped over some rubble, landing into Ash and causing the trainer to tumble down the small hill into a tree. Everyone gasped at Ash, hoping that he was okay. Ash slowly sat up, noticing that Pikachu was on his way to see if his trainer was okay.
"Pika Pi!" Pikachu stood by his trainers' side with worry. "Pika, Pikachu?"
"Yeah, I'm fine Pikachu." Ash slightly groaned as he started standing up.
"Oh yeah, you're really graceful." Paul sardonically said, walking past Bianca. Bianca sighed, picking herself up and dusting herself off. "Just watch where you're going next time." Bianca heard Paul call over his shoulder. Bianca let out a slight moan, heading over to make sure that Ash and Pikachu were okay. She was apparently causing more harm than any good.
Late that night, the teenagers decided that they would get some rest, attempting to find the ferry terminal in the morning. That gave Irene enough time to try to study Sylveon, wondering where it came from and how far Kalos actually was. Irene and Sylveon sat together, Sylveon giving Irene gazes of uncertainty. She wasn't sure if she could trust Irene yet. Heck, she wasn't sure if she could trust anyone. Irene and Sylveon were busy into their staring match that they didn't notice Dawn exiting the tent, looking a bit uneasy. Dawn spotted Sylveon and Irene, wondering if she was intruding on an important moment.
"Oh." Dawn seemed surprised by Irene and Sylveon. "I'm sorry, was I interrupting something?"
"No, not at all." Irene shook her head, patting the ground next to her in order to convince Dawn to sit down. Dawn sat down next to Irene, still studying Sylveon with interest. "Was everything okay?" Irene wondered. "You seemed a bit worried back there about Bianca. Do you not like her?"
"What?" Dawn raised her eyebrows in uncertainty. "I…I don't hate Bianca exactly." Dawn toyed with the words. "It's just that, I think she likes Ash."
"And why would you think that?" Irene wondered, shrugging her shoulders.
"I don't know." Dawn said, giving Irene a sigh. "I'm not quite sure why I think that. Maybe it had to do with the fact that she keeps knocking into him all the time and he keeps getting himself into trouble."
"I think that's just the way Bianca is." Irene shrugged her shoulders. "She seems like a pretty cool person, just once you get to know her. She's kind of like Paul, except Bianca's a klutz and Paul just acts tougher than he really is."
"You really think Paul acts tougher than he really is?" Dawn questioned.
"I know he is." Irene proudly smiled at Dawn. "As a matter of fact, I know something that might kind of interest you."
"And what would interest me, exactly?" Dawn looked to Sylveon, noticing the Pokémon was shrugging her small shoulders back towards the trainer.
"I know that Paul loves Misty." Irene gave out a satisfied smirk. "I mean he knows he likes her and she knows that he likes her, but he's not digging deep enough into his feelings for her. I think he's also scared that she might not love him the way he loves her so he hides all that behind this gigantic exterior that kind of makes you not want to talk to him. Deep down I know that Paul is a fantastic friend."
"Paul's a great friend, but he's not the type that's exactly caring." Dawn chuckled but the smile on her face disappeared as she thought about Bianca. "I don't know. I want to like Bianca but I think it's the fact she's a klutz that annoys me."
"You think her being a klutz annoys you?" Irene laughed aloud. "I'm the biggest klutz there is and you still like me!"
"Yeah well you never put Ash in gigantic danger of getting killed, now did you?" Dawn smirked.
"No, I didn't." Irene shook her head, still laughing. "Dawn, I think that you're just being over analytical about things. There's nothing to worry about, I'm sure that Bianca is a nice person—she's just a klutz." Dawn nodded her head, patting Irene's shoulder.
"Thanks for the talk, Irene." Dawn said. "I really could have used it right now."
"Oh no worries." Irene waved Dawn off with a smile. "There's nothing I'd like better than to help a friend." Dawn and Irene noticed Sylveon's ears moving, her head turning towards the cloud of smoke that was up ahead. Dawn and Irene looked at one another in misperception, wondering what could have been causing it. "What is that?" Irene wondered.
"I don't know." Dawn got up from her seat, taking out the Pokéball from her back pocket. "But it sure can't hurt to check it out. Piplup, spotlight!" Dawn yelled, releasing Piplup moments later.
"Come on." Irene motioned for Dawn to come along. Piplup and Sylveon followed Dawn and Irene over to the cloud of smoke, spotting what looked to be a gigantic bonfire. "If we hide in the bushes, no one can see us." Dawn nodded her head at the logic, staying down low so that they could hear every word that was going on. It happened to be Team Plasma, and Dawn immediately knew who was doing all the talking: Ghetsis.
"What do you mean Team Electric recruited more members?!" Ghetsis yelled towards the triads. Irene tensed up noticing Chili, Cress and Cilan, feeling her heart drop at the thought of Cress working for the villain. "What kind of members are they?!"
"We didn't really get a good look at them." Chili let out a nervous chuckle.
"I did." Cilan raised his hand. "There were three of them, but one of them was a Pokémon. I think it was a Meowth."
"Oh yeah, I remember now!" Cress snapped his fingers. "It was two people, one of them had like pinkish, purplish hair and the other guy's hair was blue. I wasn't quite sure but I think I heard the Meowth talking."
"I think so too!" Cilan agreed with his brother, realizing that he wasn't the only one that heard it. Dawn and Irene tensed up from the bushes, shaking their heads in anger.
"So, Team Electric recruited Team Rocket." Dawn growled under her breath. "But why? Those three aren't anything to write home about."
"I agree." Irene added. "They just looked like bumbling idiots."
"SILENCE!" Ghetsis yelled, causing Dawn and Irene to look back at the scene. "We have bigger things to worry about! How far along are those annoying brats that took our crystal?"
"We have a visual on them." Chili said. "Don't worry, they aren't getting very far."
"They better not. We need to be on their tail." Ghetsis said. "If they get those three crystals then they'll unveil the Rainbow Crystal, the crystal that can allow the user to control anything in the Pokémon world. If they find it, then they could destroy it so no evil doer could get their hands on it."
"So what are we going to do? "Cress wondered. "Just follow them like a cat and mouse game until we get the crystal?"
"That's exactly what we are going to do, Cress." Ghetsis said. "Our little spy should be getting to us shortly about them."
"Little spy?" Irene started to think to herself. "You don't think that there's a spy back at camp, do you Dawn?" Dawn cringed slightly, knowing that the spy was Colress, but how was she going to tell Irene that her father was working with Team Plasma.
"I…I don't know Irene." Dawn lied hoping Irene bought it. Irene let out a tired sigh, starting to make her way back towards the campsite. "Irene, where are you going?"
"I should have seen all the signs!" Irene exclaimed, looking back to Dawn. "Team Plasma knew all of our moves, even when we were getting the fire crystal. Isn't it obvious, Dawn? The person that's probably giving Team Plasma all that information—it's Paul."
"Wait! Paul?!" Dawn blurted out, causing Piplup to give Irene a quizzical look.
"Lup?" Piplup added.
"Think about it, Dawn!" Irene said. "When Team Plasma was involved, Paul was always there. It has to be him. It just has to be."
"Now hold on, Irene. I think you're being a bit rash." Dawn put her hands up, noticing it wasn't doing any good since Irene was heading back to camp.
"Dawn, I know what's going on here." Irene said. "Paul is the one that's telling Ghetsis everything, and I bet that he's also a rat and he's telling Team Electric too."
"You're not going to confront him about it, are you?" Dawn worried. The last thing she needed was Paul being accused of something he didn't do, especially by Irene. "Because I don't think that's a good idea."
"Oh Dawn; trust me I know what I'm doing." Irene assured her. "I'm not going to confront Paul—because I'm going to make sure Paul confesses!"
"But what if Paul isn't the person that's the spy?" Dawn continued trying to talk her friend out of thinking Paul was the spy, but Irene had her heart set.
"Dawn, you heard Ghetsis." Irene said. "There's a spy and since Paul seems to fit the description of what a typical spy would be, then that has to be it. I'm going to get him to confess, if it's the last thing I do!" Irene charged towards the campsite while Dawn gave Piplup a tired look. There was no way to convince Irene…no matter how hard she tried.
Dawn entered one of the tents late that night when everyone else was sleeping, spotting Ash and Pikachu in a deep slumber. Dawn released a sigh, knowing that she had to do this. She had to tell him what she found and heard. Dawn crawled inside the tent, nudging Ash slightly in order to wake him up. After stirring for a few moments, Ash's eyes opened softly, staring at Dawn with a tired expression.
"Dawn?" Ash yawned as Pikachu began stretching. "What…what's going on?"
"Pika." Pikachu rubbed his eyes, looking at Dawn.
"There's something I have to talk to you about." Dawn closed the tent, coming closer towards him. "You're not going to believe who I saw in the woods."
"Who did you see in the woods?" Ash felt more awake as he sat up, Pikachu's ears moving as he was beginning to wake up as well.
"I saw Team Plasma." Dawn said. Ash's eyes widened, Dawn knowing that he was fully awake by now. "They knew some information about Team Electric. Apparently Team Rocket is working with Team Electric in order to find the other crystals."
"What would Team Electric want with those three?" Ash wondered as Pikachu shared the same baffled look as his trainer.
"I'm not sure, Ash." Dawn sighed. "But I do know that they're not going to be those three bumbling idiots now that they work for Team Electric."
"Yeah, when they're paired with power, there's nothing that can stop them." Ash ran a hand through his hair while Pikachu nodded his head. Dawn put one of her hands on top of Ash's, looking into his eyes in order to let him know that there was more news she had to tell him.
"There's more that you need to know." Dawn said. When Irene and I were hiding, Ghetsis said something..."
"What? What did Ghetsis say?" Ash wondered.
"They mentioned something about a spy being in our camp." Dawn sighed. "Unfortunately we all know who that spy in our camp is."
"Yeah, it's Colress." Ash whispered, hoping that he didn't make Irene suspicious. He began to wonder something else, staring Dawn in her eyes. "Wait, what did Irene think about the spy?"
"Well, she knows there's a spy here but she thinks it's the wrong person." Dawn feebly said.
"Dawn, who does Irene think is the spy?" Ash questioned, causing Pikachu to look up at his trainer with a confused expression. Dawn knew she had to tell Ash eventually, letting out a deep breath before unveiling the news.
"She thinks it's Paul, and she's not going to stop until she can get him to confess that he's Team Plasma's spy."
"But…" Ash shook his head. "There's no way that Paul is the spy. Did she say what she was going to do to him?"
"No, she didn't." Dawn said. "Ash, this is going to turn really ugly. I think that we should tell Irene the truth about her father working for Team Plasma."
"She's not going to believe us unless she sees it for herself." Ash reasoned. "I don't know how we're going to tell her without her freaking out, but you're right…we do need to tell her."
"I just don't want her to think that we're betraying her." Dawn softly said. "We're her friends."
"We're not betraying her…" Ash assured Dawn, giving Dawn a small smile. "Look, there's nothing we can do about it now so how about we get some sleep? It's been a pretty long day and the days are only going to get longer from here."
"Yeah, you're right…" Dawn looked down. "I guess it couldn't hurt to just sleep it off."
"It wouldn't hurt." Ash chuckled. Dawn leaned in and pressed a kiss to Ash's cheek, getting up from her spot on the tent and heading towards the exit. "Oh come on, that's all I get?" Ash slightly joked.
"You know I love you, right?" Dawn smiled fondly at him.
"I know, I know." Ash put his hands up in mock defense, causing Dawn to blow a kiss to him.
"Goodnight." Dawn left the tent, leaving Ash and Pikachu alone. Pikachu felt his eyes get weary again, curling up into a ball and falling fast asleep. Ash wished he could fall asleep like Pikachu could…but after hearing the latest Team Plasma and Team Electric news…sleep was the last thing on his mind.
The forest was extremely quiet as Colress made his way through, looking as if he was searching for someone. As Colress continued to walk, he noticed the shadow triads in the distance, making their way towards the scientist as stealthy as they could. Colress leaned against one of the trees, staring at Cilan, Cress and Chili, acting as if he had been standing there the entire time.
"You're late." Colress simply said to the triads. The triads bowed, making their way to the scientist.
"Ghetsis couldn't make it, but he's wondering how the spying is doing?" Cilan wondered.
"It would be better if I could steal that bracelet Irene has." Colress sighed. "She never takes the thing off. That's the key for Team Plasma to find the second crystal once you reach Sootopolis City."
"Well, Ghetsis said that you better get it or else you can kiss your job goodbye." Chili threatened. Colress realized that Ghetsis's words were serious and firm. They were so close to getting the first crystal and it was lost. It would make sense if Ghetsis were infuriated with his team.
"Promise him that I am going to get him the bracelet." Colress said. "I'm just going to need some more time."
"Well you better make sure you do take it, or else Ghetsis will have all of our heads." Cilan felt as if he was going to have a panic attack. Cress had been surprisingly quiet, staring over at Colress with sadness.
"Has Irene said anything about us?" Cress pondered. "I mean, mostly me?"
"She refuses to talk about you." Colress admitted. "She knows that you're bad blood."
"I feel terrible…" Cress looked down. "I mean, I really, really liked her."
"Cut it out." Chili snapped towards his brother. "You're not allowed to like anyone and you swore your allegiance to Ghetsis when he saved your life. You don't want to lose your life again because you betrayed Ghetsis do you?" Cress stared at his brother, shaking his head vigorously.
"No, you're right." Cress said. "We have a job to do."
"Find that bracelet and steal it from Irene." Cilan pointed to Colress. "We'll deal from everything above. Ash and those little brats won't know what hit them." Cilan, Cress and Chili disappeared into the night, leaving Colress standing there in a slight daze. Little did the triads and the scientist know, they were being spied on from above. A teenager with green hair and a Roserade stared down at the evil doers, his eyes furrowing in anger. He had to find Ash and let him know what was going on. The teenage boy smelled the rose that was in his hand, giving it to Roserade as the two of them made their way to find his old friend, to warn them of the doom that was to fall upon them.
A/N: It looks as if things are about to get tougher for our heroes. Will Irene find out the truth about her father? Will our heroes be able to protect Irene's bracelet from Team Plasma? And who's the trainer going to warn our heroes? We'll find out next time on Pokémon: The Electric Project!