I am so sorry for the long wait, life came up and bit me in the ass so I had to put my stories on the backburner for a while, but I'm back now.

First, I should say I'm sorry for completely crushing Fisher in her last match. She just really annoys me and was completely unprepared for a match with Ash. I was able to make his other opponents better prepared since they didn't have a full team revealed in the anime letting me have some fun with it.

Also, Ash's matches were really easy for him because these are just the preliminaries and I was kind of rushing to get through them and start writing the rest of the matches. These matches will be much harder for Ash to win…

As for Mewtwo, since he was forcibly captured by Ash he obviously has resentment for him. I'm slowly building up the trust he will eventually have with Ash. Before you ask, I've some plans for Ash to capture some other legendaries in the future.

And on with Chapter 14.

Ash walked into the Registration center and looked around. In front of each of the desks was a large tank of water with a couple of Magikarp swimming around in it.

"What's all this?" Misty wondered aloud as she came up next to Ash.

"Not a clue," Ash said.

He looked around, hoping to see the long blonde hair of Cynthia but was disappointed. However, he did see a familiar face fishing in the closest tank.

"Hey Ritchie," he called, walking up to the trainer.

"Oh, hey Ash, how's it going?" he asked. Suddenly, the fishing pole started shaking and Ritchie pulled it from the tank.

"B-5," the attendant said, "You're the first in that block. You're Pokédex will inform you when your opponent has been selected."

"Ok, thank you," Ritchie said. The attendant smiled at him and returned the Magikarp to a Pokéball.

"So this is how we select our opponents?" Ash asked.

"Interesting," Brock commented, "This prevents anyone from interfering with the matchups."

"Exactly," the attendant said.

"Will Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town step up?" a voice called from another desk.

"That's me," Ash said, he hurried over and took up the fishing rod waiting next to the tank. Dipping it in the water, he waited until one of the Magikarp bit into the hook and yanked it back out. His strong muscles were easily able to hold up the flailing fish as the attendant read the number on the Pokémon's side.

"A-3" she said, "you're opponent is…" she trailed off and gestured to the screen, returning the Magikarp to a Pokéball.

A picture of Ash appeared on the screen, and then shrunk to half it's size and his opponents picture appeared next to his. Ash let out a gasp as he saw his opponent.

In his mind, Charizard let out a mighty roar, 'He's mine!' he growled angrily.

Ash smirked, 'With absolute pleasure,' he thought. Because, his next opponent was none other then Charizard's previous trainer, Damian.

Ash stood with a single Pokéball in his hand, glaring heatedly across the stadium at his opponent. Damian looked back with a cocky smirk on his face, assured he would win.

The judge for the match took his position as the MC prattled on about their achievements. "This is a three on three Pokémon battle," the judge said, "the winner shall be declared when all three of one side's Pokémon are unable to battle. Substitutions are allowed, let the battle begin!"

"Let's get this over with," Damian said cockily, "Nidoking, I choose you!"

He through his Pokéball and released a massive Drill Pokémon to the field.

"Hey Damian," Ash yelled, "Do you remember that Charmander you released? He'd like to say hi!" With that, Ash threw his Pokéball to the field and released the massive Flame Pokémon to the field. The Fire/Flying type was glowing with rage as he glared at Damian.

"What?" Damian said in shock, staring at the powerful Pokémon across from him, "That's impossible. That Charmander was so weak he couldn't beat a Bellsprout!"

Charizard snorted and released a massive roar that created a shockwave that kicked up dust across the field.

"Grr, Nidoking finish this now, use Hyper Beam!" Damian shouted.

Nidoking reared up as an orange orb of energy formed in front of its open maw, and fired a powerful beam of orange energy at Charizard.

'Dodge,' Ash thought. He wanted Damian to feel as scared of his former Pokémon as possible, so he planned to do this entire battle silently. No holding back.

Charizard flared his wings and leapt into the air, easily dodging the attack.

'Now get in close and use Metal Claw,' Ash ordered.

Charizard's claw's lengthened and hardened into steel. He flew down the field at impossible speeds and slashed his iron hard claws across Nidoking.

The Drill Pokémon roared in pain as Charizard passed him by.

"Nidoking, use Horn Drill!" Damian ordered.

'Back off and use Heat Wave!' Ash said.

Nidoking's horn started rotating quickly as he charged towards Charizard. The Flame Pokémon flared his wings and flew up high and out of range of Nidoking. He started flapping his wings harder and released a wind of flames down at Nidoking, who cringed as the flames slammed into him.

"Grr, use Stone Edge!" Damian ordered, angry that his attacks keep missing.

Two white circles formed around Nidoking. The broke apart and formed into several sharp jagged stone as they orbited around Nidoking. The Drill Pokémon roared as he launched them at Charizard.

'Defend yourself with Steel Wing!' Ash said quickly.

Charizard's wings grew iron hard as they were covered in a metallic sheen. He quickly folded them in front of his body just as the Stone Edge slammed into him. Most of the stones bounced off of Charizard's Steel Wing, but some managed to hit unprotected parts of his body. Grunting in pain, Charizard quickly flared his wings and flew down and slashed Nidoking with his steel hard wings.

"Hyper Beam Nidoking!" Damian shouted in fury.

Nidoking opened his mouth and began charging the powerful attack.

'Dodge it at the last second then use Fire Blast,' Ash thought.

Nidoking fired, the powerful beam of energy roared down the field right at Charizard. At the last second, Charizard flared his wings and took to the sky. He glared at Damian and launched a powerful blast of fire at Nidoking. The flames took on the shape of a five point star and slammed into the Drill Pokémon. The field rocked as smoke surrounded the whole place.

When the fumes cleared, Nidoking was revealed unconscious.

"Nidoking is unable to battle, Charizard wins," the judge announced.

"Grr, Nidoking return," Damian growled, pulling his Pokémon back to it's Pokéball. "Machamp, I choose you!" With a burst of light, the four-armed Superpower Pokémon appeared on the field.

Charizard snorted derisively as Machamp flexed his muscles in an intimidating manner.

"Let's wrap this up quick," Damian said, getting his cockiness back with the new Pokémon, "Machamp, use Dynamic Punch!"

Machamp raced down the field at Charizard as his arms started glowing with energy.

'Block it with Mega Punch, then use Dragon Tail!' Ash quickly countered.

Charizard clenched his fist as an orb of energy surrounded it. With a roar, he charged at Machamp, and their fists met in the middle of the field with a crash of energy.

As Machamp struggled to overpower the Fire/Flying type, Charizard's tail started glowing bright green. He suddenly released the hold he had on Machamp, causing the Fighting Type to stumble in surprise, and swung around to nail it in the face with his tail.

"Machamp!" it yelled in surprise as it went flying back towards its trainer. The Superpower Pokémon was then enveloped in red energy as he was recalled to his Pokéball, much to Damian's surprise. A moment later, another Pokéball burst open on Damian's waist and a Fearow appeared on the field.

Fearow shook it's head slightly as if just waking up, but quickly took to the air, ready for battle. Charizard followed suit only a moment later. Damian quickly shook off his surprise and grinned, "Whatever, it doesn't matter what I use to take down this weakling. Fearow, use Drill Peck!"

Fearow's long sharp beak started spinning like a drill as it raced towards Charizard.

'Block it with Steel Wing, then use Thunderpunch,' Ash silently commanded.

Charizard's wings took on a metallic glow as they became hard as steel and he quickly folded them in front of his body. Not a moment later, Fearow slammed into Charizard but did little damage.

Charizard's small fist started crackling with energy as he unfurled his wings to stay up in the air and he punched Fearow hard. The Beak Pokémon squawked as the electricity coursed through it and went tumbling away.

'Follow up with Dragon Breath,' Ash ordered.

"Fearow, use Aerial Ace!" Damian commanded

Fearow quickly righted itself and sped towards Charizard as a spiraling white energy surrounged it. Too quick for Charizard to dodge, the Beak Pokémon slammed into the Fire type, sending him crashing to the ground.

'Get up Charizard, use Fire Blast!' Ash called mentally.

Charizard leapt to his feet and took back to the air with fire in his eyes. Without even giving Fearow a chance to escape, he unleasehd a massive burst of flame in the shape of a five point star.

Fearow squaked as the attack hit it, sending it flying down to the field with a crash.

'Now finish this with Dragon Rage!' Ash ordered.

Charizard roared and unleashed a blue blast of energy from his maw. It took the shape of a massive dragon and crashed into Fearow and exploded. After a moment, Fearow was revealed to be completely unconsious.

"Fearow is unable to battle, Charizard wins!" the judge announced.

Damian was steaming with anger now as he recalled his Fearow. With no other choice, he threw out his Machamp for the final battle.

"Use Focus Punch!" Damian ordered.

Machamp's fist started glowing brightly as he ran down the field at Charizard.

'Power up a Dragon Claw and catch it,' Ash ordered, 'Once he's close use Fire Fang!'

Charizard's claw's started glowing light blue, and just as Machamp's fist came at his stomach he wrapped his hands around the attack. There was a shockwave as the conflicting energies met and Charizard went sliding back with the power of the attack but held strong.

Once he knew he had Machamp, Charizard's mouth caught ablaze. He bit down on the Fighting type's shoulder, causing it to howl in pain and back off.

'Now use Flamethrower!' Ash ordered.

Charizard took a deep breath, and launched a barrage of flames at Machamp, severely burning the Superpower Pokémon.

Machamp whimpered slightly, even as Damian growled in anger.

"Machamp, don't be a wimp," he yelled, "Get in there and use Giga Impact!"

Machamp got a determined look on his face, and it began charging at Charizard again. As it ran, a purple aura with spiraling streaks of gold surrounded it.

'Flare Blitz,' Ash said.

The Flame Pokémon gained his own fiery red aura as he flew down the field at the charging. Charizard's attack was so powerful, that the flames flashed and turned bright blue to signal a hotter flame.

The two powerhouses met in the center of the field with an explosion that covered the whole stadium with smoke. After just moments, Charizard came flying out of the top of the smoke, wincing as the recoil damage was administered.

'Now let's finish this, use Aerial Ace!' Ash ordered.

Flipping in midair, Charizard became surrounded with white streaks of energy with the focal point right in front of his snout. With barely a moment's thought he flew back into the smoke and, using Ash's aura as a guide, crashed hard into the now frozen form of Machamp.

The Superpower Pokémon screamed in pain as the Super-effective attack hit it, and sent it flying into one of the stadium walls. He slumped down on the ground in pain, waiting for blissful oblivion to come.

"You had better get up or else!" Damian all but growled to the Pokémon. The spectators had gone silent as the match unfolded, and a good few of them heard Damian's statement. Murmurs of disapproval swept through the crowd as those who didn't hear were quickly filled in.

Machamp struggled to get up, valiantly managing to stand on its weak legs.

"Damian!" Ash called, speaking for the first time since the match had began, "can't you see that your Pokémon is severely injured? There's no shame in calling it quits."

"I don't care!" Damian shouted back, "Machamp, get up now and use Cross Chop!"

Ash just sighed as he watched Machamp struggling to use the attack. "Charizard, put it out of its misery," he said, "use Overheat!"

Charizard's body started glowing red as he focused his flames on his next attack. After a moment, he opened his mouth and launched a beam of white hot flames surrounded by a spiraling red flame at Machamp. The Superpower Pokémon actually smiled slightly as the attack slammed into him, sending him instantly into unconsciousness.

"Machamp is unable to battle," the judge announced, "Charizard wins. The Victor is Ash Ketchum!"

Damian was vibrating with rage, and he was panting heavily. He stomped out to the field and right up to his Pokémon. With wild abandon, he started kicking Machamp while screaming, "YOU STUPID USELESS Pokémon! I SHOULD JUST SEND YOUR Pokéball INTO THE SEA FOR THIS!"

The whole stadium looked on in horror as Damian continued to kick his Pokémon.

Charizard suddenly let out a roar of fury as he flew straight at Damian. Ash whipped out Charizard's Pokéball and returned him, knowing that Charizard would kill Damian if he had the chance.

Not moments later, a horde of Officer Jenny's came rushing out to the stadium. The first one tackled Damian to the ground and started cuffing him.

"You're under arrest for Pokémon abuse!" she said, pulling him to his feet.

"Grrr, let me at him!" Damian shouted, raging and trying to get to his Pokémon.

Ash just sighed and walked out of the stadium, he wasn't interested in watching the idiot being carried off.

He met his two friends just outside of the stadium.

"That was a good battle Ash," Misty said.

"I was surprised how Charizard acted though," Brock said.

"It's not really all that surprising," Ash said, "Damian was Charizard's first trainer."

Their eyes widened. "Yeah, that does make sense," Misty said.

"Anyway," Ash said, "Charizard's in a rage, I need to get somewhere safe where I can set Dragonite and Garchomp on him."

"Do you want us to come with?" Brock asked.

Ash shrugged, "It's up to you. They're just going to start wailing on each other until Charizard runs out of steam. It won't be pretty or quiet."

Brock and Misty glanced at each other, "Maybe we should stay here," Brock said.

"Will you be alright?" Misty asked, "Couldn't Charizard hurt you too?"

"Nah, our bond will keep him from attacking me lethally," Ash said, "I may even get some aura practice in. No worries."

"Well, if you're sure," Misty said.

Ash nodded. They split up, Brock and Misty walking back to their cabin and Ash heading to the nearby woods.

It was much later that night when Ash returned to the cabin. There he found his mother and Professor Oak waiting with his friends. He gave the Professor a severely beat up Charizard's Pokéball with an explanation about how it happened and why.

Professor Oak nodded and promised to heal Charizard himself before sending him back to the lab for some relaxation. At this, Ash let out a sigh of relief, he really didn't want to deal with Nurse Joy's admonishments about the Charizard's condition. His two dragons were pretty beat up too, but their fire resistance protected them somewhat and Ash could push it off as an intense training session between the two.

As Ash got ready for bed that night, Mewtwo entered his mind for another conversation.

"Why do you continue to defend humanity when there are true monsters like that walking around?" the Psychic legendary asked.

'I never said that humans were perfect,' Ash said, 'there are both good and evil humans; you just refuse to see it. People like Brock, Misty, Ritchie, even Cynthia are good and only seek the betterment of both mankind and Pokémon.'

"But why allow people like that to continue living?"

Ash sighed, 'You always seem to come up with the hardest questions.' Ash was silent for a moment in thought. 'I suppose if we were to just kill all criminals then we become no better than the criminals ourselves.'

Mewtwo remained silent. Ash suddenly realized that Mewtwo was probably thinking of his attempt to destroy the world. He tried to say something, but Mewtwo had already withdrawn from his mind and Ash had no way to contact the Pokémon.

Ash let out another sigh before going to bed. He gripped the shrunken master ball around his neck and sent a pulse of aura, filled with positive emotions, into it.

The next morning, Ash went to the Registration center to find out his next opponent. On the way there, he met up with Ritchie who'd won his own match against A.J.

"Good for you," Ash said, slapping Ritchie on the back, "I battled him at a tournament about two months ago, he isn't easy to beat."

"Yeah, that Sandslash of his is no joke," Ritchie said.

They stepped into the center and looked up at the board. Ash quickly found his face, paired up with…Ritchie.

Ash had a shocked look on his face as he turned to look at Ritchie, who's face mirrored his own. Ash quickly snapped out of it and smiled, "I guess it's you and me," he said, "Are you ready for the battle of your life?"

Ritchie smiled back, "Yeah, lets show them how real trainers battle." He held out his hand.

Ash shook it; "I'll see you on the field."

Ritchie nodded and left.

Ash pulled out his Pokédex and started shuffling his team around. On the way to the Pokémon center to pick up his dragons, he ran into Cynthia.

"Good morning Ash," she greeted.

"Morning Cynthia," he greeted with a smile.

"I saw your battle yesterday," she said, "that Charizard looked quite fierce, especially near the end."

"Yeah well, that trainer was Charizard's original trainer," Ash explained, "and well…you saw what he did to that Machamp after I defeated him."

Cynthia nodded, "despicable," she muttered.

Ash nodded in agreement. "I'm sorry I missed your battle, I needed to take Charizard away so he could take out his rage on a safer target."

"I understand," she said, "however, I couldn't help but notice that you didn't give him any commands during the battle."

Ash smirked at the unasked question, "Oh I did, you just couldn't hear me."

"You're lips weren't moving," she deadpanned.

"And why were you looking at my lips?" Ash asked suggestively.

Here eyes narrowed dangerously, "Don't avoid the question mister."

Ash smiled as he felt some embarrassment under the anger in her aura.

He shrugged, "I've got to keep some secrets."

She glared at him for a moment, before seemingly shrugging in defeat. "Fine, but I expect you to cheer for me at my next battle."

"I will," Ash promised.

She walked away, but not before throwing a wink at him and swinging her hips as she walked. Ash stared after her in a slight daze until Pikachu gave him a shock.

Ash jumped and glared at the snickering mouse. "Shut up," he said.

Ash stood on the green side of the battlefield in Indigo Stadium. He had his full team lined up and ready. Across the field, Ritchie stood looking confident, a Pokéball clutched in his hand.

The judge stepped up to the field, "This will be a full six-on-six Pokémon battle. The winner shall be declared when all of one side's Pokémon are unable to battle. Substitutions are allowed, let the battle begin!"

Ritchie moved first, throwing his Pokéball to the field, "Go Happy!" With a flash of light, a Butterfree appeared on the field.

Ash threw his own Pokéball to the field, "Shelgon, to the battlefront." His Pokéball burst open and released his Shelgon to the field.

'Are you ready buddy? This will be your first true battle,' Ash thought to the Dragon Type.

'Bring it on,' Shelgon replied.

"Happy, start off with Silver Wind!" Ritchie ordered.

The Butterfree started flapping it's wings hard, generating a gust of wind with silver blades of energy running through it. The Silver Wind slammed into Shelgon, causing him to flinch slightly in pain.

"Dragon Dance!" Ash shouted.

He started swaying his body from side to side as a glowing red energy surged around him, increasing his attack and speed.

"Now use Headbutt!" Ash ordered.

Shelgon raced down the field, much faster than one would expect, and rammed into Happy hard.

"Happy, use Psybeam!" Ritchie ordered.

The Butterfree fired a beam of multicolored energy from his antennae at Shelgon. It slammed into the Endurance Pokémon, sending him skidding back several feet.

"Shelgon, use Flamethrower!" Ash shouted.

Shelgon recovered quickly and launched a stream of flames at Happy.

"Dodge and use Gust again," Ritchie said.

Happy flew out of the way of the flames and started flapping his wings hard. A powerful gust of wind raced down the field and slammed into Shelgon, sending him skidding back.

"Now finish this with Bug Buzz!" Ritchie shouted.

Happy's antennae started vibrating with red energy as a loud buzzing sound filled the stadium. Shelgon cringed as the vibrations penetrated his hard shell. Not a moment later, a red beam of energy was shot from the Butterfree and slammed into Shelgon, sending him flying away in an explosion of sound. Once the smoke cleared, Shelgon was revealed to be unconscious.

"Shelgon is unable to battle, Butterfree wins," the judge declared.

Ash let out a small sigh as he recalled Shelgon to his Pokéball.

'Don't worry Shelgon, you did very well,' he silently said to the Pokémon.

He gripped a new Pokéball and launched it to the field, "Pidgeot, to the battlefront!" he shouted. In a burst of light, the Bird Pokémon appeared and soared around the field.

"Quick Attack!" Ash snapped.

A white aura of energy encased Pidgeot as her speed suddenly tripled. She raced through the air and slammed into Happy, knocking the Butterfree from the sky.

"Happy!" Ritchie shouted with worry.

"Freeee," Happy said, as it took back to the air.

"Great, now use Psybeam!" Ritchie ordered.

Happy quickly launched a beam of multicolored psychic energy towards Pidgeot.

"Dodge it," Ash shouted.

Pidgeot flew straight up and veered around the beam.

"Use Air Slash!" Ash commanded.

Pidgeot's wings started glowing blue. She flapped hard and launched blades of energy towards the Butterfly Pokémon. Happy tried to dodge the attack, but one of the blades still clipped his wing.

"Happy, return," Ritchie ordered, recalling his Pokémon. He quickly switched out his Pokéball and threw out his new Pokémon. "Go Rocko!" he shouted. With a flash of light, a large grey Rhydon appeared on the field.

It roared its defiance and glared at Pidgeot.

"Oh, this is gonna be fun," Pidgeot said happily.

"Rocko, use Rock Blast!" Ritchie ordered.

"Double Team," Ash shouted.

Rhydon's horn started glowing silver, and started firing projectiles towards Pidgeot.

The Bird Pokémon suddenly vanished, before multiple copies appeared all over the field.

Rhydon adjusted his aim and started taking out the projections one at a time. By sheer luck, the third copy hit was the real Pidgeot. She shrieked in pain and started plummeting to the ground.

"Hang tough Pidgeot," Ash shouted, "Use Steel Wing!"

Pidgeot suddenly straightened out and raced towards Rhydon. Her wings took on a metallic glow and she slammed her wing into a surprised Rhyhorn. It went skidding back and clutched it's chest in pain.

"Again!" Ash said.

Pidgeot soared around the stadium, and came around for a second attack.

"Dragon Tail!" Ritchie ordered.

"What!" Ash said in surprise.

Rhyhorn's tail started glowing greenish blue and swung to slam into Pidgeot's chest. She let out a squawk of surprise and was blasted back towards Ash. Even as the Steel Wing faded, she was enveloped in red energy and recalled to her Pokéball.

'No fair!' Ash heard her shriek in his mind. A moment later, another of Ash's Pokéballs exploded open and the Pokémon within formed on the field.

Venusaur looked about in confusion for a moment before focusing on Rhydon. A determined look came over his face and he was instantly ready for battle.

A big grin broke across Ash's face as he saw Ritchie's turn to worry. "Venusaur, use Petal Dance!" Ash ordered.

"With pleasure," Venusaur replied.

He tilted hid body forwards so the flower on his back was pointing towards Rhydon and unleashed a storm of pink glowing petals. The attack slammed into Rhydon, doing massive damage to the dual type.

"Now finish this with Leaf Storm!" Ash shouted.

Hundreds of glowing green leaves erupted from the base of Venusaur's flower stalk. They swirled around him before flying towards Rhydon. They slammed into it and Rhydon went flying across the field, and crashed to the ground, unconscious.

"Rhydon is unable to battle, Venusaur wins!" the judge shouted.

"Rocko, return," Ritchie recalled his Pokémon. "Zippo, go!" With a burst of light, a large Charizard appeared on the field. It roared a challenge to Venusaur, who returned it with equal fervor.

"Venusaur, start off with Razor Leaf!" Ash ordered.

Multiple razor sharp leaves erupted from Venusaur's flower and spun towards Charizard at high speed.

"Dodge it!" Ritchie ordered.

Zippo flared its wings and took to the sky, flying right over the leaves.

"Use Flamethrower!" Ritchie shouted.

Zippo launched a burst of white-hot flames at Venusaur. The Seed Pokémon had no choice but to endure as the flames washed over him. He gritted his teeth, silently grateful for all of his training with Ash's Charizard.

"Energy Ball!" Ash ordered, then silently added, 'follow up with Poison Powder.'

Quickly, Venusaur opened his mouth and created a ball of green energy while simultaneously releasing a cloud of purple poisonous powder from his flower. He Launched the Energy Ball at Zippo, and it crashed into the Flame Pokémon and knocked him slightly off course.

Since Zippo was both a Fire and Flying type, the Energy Ball did little damage; however, he was knocked off course and flew straight through the Poison Powder.

Zippo landed right in front of Ritchie, wincing slightly as an arc of purple energy coursed through his body and sapping his energy.

"Zippo!" Ritchie shouted with worry.

Zippo shook himself to clear his mind, before getting into a ready stance.

"All right," Ritchie said happily, "Now fly up and use Aerial Ace!"

The Charizard quickly took to the air and raced towards Venusaur as veins of white energy surrounded him. Too slow to dodge, Venusaur tensed and accepted the blow and was pushed back several feet.

"Energy ball," Ash yelled.

While Zippo was close, Venusaur opened his mouth and formed a large orb of green grass energy and launched it at the Charizard. It slammed into Zippo, sending him careening off course and crashing in front of Ritchie.

"Now use Leaf Storm!" Ash ordered.

"With pleasure," Venusaur roared as a massive tornado of glowing green leaves erupted from his flower. The Leaf Storm corkscrewed down the field towards Zippo.

"Counter with Fire Blast Zippo!" Ritchie commanded.

Zippo launched a massive flame attack from his maw. It took on the shape of a five point star and crashed into the leaves, completely incinerating then and continuing to hit Venusaur.

He bellowed in pain as the fire attack slammed into him and scorched him badly.

"Sludge Bomb," Ash said.

Venusaur pushed through the pain and fired a volley of poisonous mud balls at Zippo. They crashed into him and he skidded back, wincing in pain.

However, moments later, a burst of flames enveloped Venusaur. He yelled in surprise and pain. "I've been burned!" he said through gritted teeth after the flames faded.

Across the field, Zippo flinched again as the poison sapped more of his energy.

Ash frowned and glanced at the sky; the bright sun was glaring down and not a cloud was in sight. He looked back at Ritchie who nodded to him.

"Use Solar Beam/Overheat!" Ash and Ritchie shouted to their Pokémon in unison.

The Flower on Venusaur's back started glowing as he absorbed the sun's energy. At the same time, Zippo started glowing with a red aura as it charged its own attack.

There was silence across the stadium, before… "FIRE!" they both yelled.

Two powerful beams of energy erupted from the Pokémon, a bright red one from Zippo and a bright yellow from Venusaur.

The two attacks met at the center of the battlefield and exploded in a shockwave of energy. A small mushroom cloud erupted from the field as smoke enveloped everything in sight.

After a moment, the smoke cleared, revealing both Pokémon staring at each other. Venusaur gave Zippo a nod of respect, which the Charizard mimicked a moment later. They both collapsed.

"Neither Pokémon are able to battle, the round is a draw," the judge announced.

Ash pulled Venusaur's Pokéball and returned his Pokémon, sending him waves of gratitude over their bond. He pulled a new Pokéball from his belt and tossed it in the air at the same time as Ritchie.

"Absol to the battlefront!" Ash shouted. In a flash of light, Ash's Disaster Pokémon appeared on the field for her own first battle.

"Go, Petal!" Ritchie called. Out of the Pokéball burst a small green Pokémon with two red flowers on its head.

Ash blinked as he saw the unfamiliar Pokémon. He pulled out his Pokédex to scan it.

Bellossom, the Flower Pokémon. When these Pokémon move, their delicate petals rub together, creating a pleasant sound. They are also known for their unique acrobatic dancing abilities.

Ash raised his eyebrows. 'This won't be easy Absol,' he thought, 'Are you ready?'

Absol looked back at him with a determined look on her face. 'Always.'

Ash went first, "Razor wind!"

Absol's horn started glowing bright white as she slashed it down. A crescent of energy flew down the field and slammed into the Bellossom.

"Petal, use Magical Leaf!" Ritchie countered.

Petal leapt into the air and started spinning. The leaves around its waist started glowing and launched a series of glowing leaves at Absol.

Absol tried to leap out of the way, but the Leaves just followed and slammed into her.

"Absol use Shadow Claw," Ash ordered.

Absol raced across the field as the sharp class on her right front paw started glowing with a purple aura. She ran right up to Bellossom and raked her claws across the Grass Type's chest.

"Petal, use Energy Ball!" Ritchie ordered.

While Absol was close, Petal brought its hands together and created a large orb of glowing green energy and hurled it at Absol's face.

Reacting on instinct, Absol brought her horn down and slashed through the Energy Ball, causing it to explode and send both Pokémon skidding back.

"Now let's finish this," Ritchie said, "Use Dazzling Gleam!"

Ash's eyes widened, that was a Fairy Type move.

"Dodge it!" he shouted.

Petal started glowing a bright white light. A wave of glowing energy erupted from the Bellossom and raced across the field. With nowhere to dodge, Absol had no choice but to accept the blow. She cried out in pain as she was flung away and slammed into the stadium wall.

"Absol is unable to battle," the judge announced, "Bellossom wins."

Ash was silent as he recalled Absol. He sent her feelings if pride and gratitude. Switching out Pokéballs he thought, 'Time to finish this, we're going all out.'

"Pidgeot to the battlefront!" he shouted as he threw his Pokéball. The Bird Pokémon burst from her Pokéball and took flight.

'Aerial Ace,' Ash thought.

Pidgeot did a loop in the air as streaks of white energy surrounded her. As she approached the ground, she suddenly vanished and reappeared to slam into Petal.

"What? Petal," Ritchie shouted. He looked at Ash, who was just standing there silently, and Pidgeot in confusion. "Alright, use Giga Drain!" he ordered.

Petal's arms started glowing bright green, and they elongated into energy sapping vines aiming for Pidgeot.

'Hurricane!' Ash ordered.

Pidgeot's wings started glowing light blue and she flapped them hard, creating a forceful gale. The wing blew away the Giga Drain, causing the attack to fade and crashed into Petal hard, doing massive damage.

"Now, finish this with Brave Bird!" Ash ordered

Instantly, Pidgeot dived towards the ground. Her body burst into flames as she raced towards the ground. A foot from the earth, she spread her wings and leveled out and the flames faded to reveal a glowing blue aura of power. She slammed into Petal so hard that the Grass Type was flung across the stadium in a massive explosion. Pidgeot soared away, wincing slightly from the recoil damage, while Bellossom fainted.

"Bellossom is unable to battle, Pidgeot wins," the judge declared.

"Petal, return," Ritchie said, recalling his downed Pokémon. He frowned at Pidgeot in thought for a moment, before sending out his next Pokémon. "Sparky, go!"

Out of the Pokéball emerged a medium sized orange mouse like creature with a long thin tail that had a lightning bolt on the end. It was a Raichu, however it was different from other Raichu's due to the small scruff of hair on its forehead. The clearly defined point on its tail revealed it to be male.

On his shoulder, Pikachu perked up and examined the other Electric Type.

Ash turned slightly to his partner, sensing his thoughts. 'You can't battle him,' he thought, 'I didn't enter you in this match.'

Pikachu sighed in disappointment, 'Oh well, just make sure you beat him.'

Ash grinned, 'Will do!'

Ritchie apparently took Ash's silence as a queue to go. "Sparky, use Thunderbolt!" he commanded.

Sparky responded instantly, launching a massive thunderbolt directly at Pidgeot.

"Double Team!" Ash snapped back.

Pidgeot's entire body suddenly flashed before multiple copies of the Pokémon appeared all over the field with the real one hidden among the copies. The Thunderbolt slashed through where Pidgeot had been but it was now a copy and simply vanished.

"Now Heat Wave," Ash ordered.

All of the Pidgeot's flapping their wings creating a flaming gust that enveloped the field. Sparky was knocked about by the powerful Fire Type attack, taking massive damage. Unfortunately, this also caused the Pidgeot's to fade.

"Now Sparky, use Focus Punch!" Ritchie ordered.

Sparky leapt into the air as his fist started glowing bright white.

"Meet it with Sky Attack!" Ash shouted.

Pidgeot flew high into the air as a white blue glow surrounded her. She flew back down and crashed into the Focus Punch. The two conflicting energies mixed and exploded, sending both Pokémon crashing to the ground.

Sparky was the first to recover. "Use Thunderpunch," Ritchie shouted.

"Roost," Ash ordered.

Immediately, Pidgeot hunkered down to the ground and began healing herself. Sparky closed in and slammed his fist into Pidgeot's side, sending the Pokémon skidding slightly. Fortunately, while under the affects of Roost, Pidgeot's Flying typing was suppressed and the damage was nowhere near what it should have been. With most of the damage healed, Pidgeot took flight again.

"Now Ominous wind," Ash called.

Pidgeot started flapping her wings and sent a gale of dark energies at Sparky. It slammed into the Electric Type, causing him to cry out in pain as he struggled through the wind.

"Sparky, hang in there," Ritchie called, "Use Iron Tail!"

Sparky's long tail took on a metallic gleam as he leapt into the air. He swung his tail around and it slammed into a surprised Pidgeot, sending her to the ground in a crash.

Ash narrowed his eyes, this was going nowhere. "Use U-turn," he commanded.

Pidgeot quickly took off and slammed into a surprised Sparky before suddenly she glowed red and returned to her Pokéball.

Ash pulled out another Pokéball and tossed it to the field, "Gallade, to the battlefront!"

In a flash of light, the Blade Pokémon appeared on the field.

"Lets start things off with Magical Leaf," Ash ordered.

A swirl of glowing leaves appeared and flew around Gallade. He thrust his arms forward and they rocketed towards Sparky so fast he wasn't able to even think about dodging,. They struck hard and swift, leaving Sparky cringing in pain.

"Hang in there Sparky," Ritchie announced, "Use Electro Ball!"

Sparky's body started glowing with electricity before it condensed between the Electric Types outstretched hands. Once it was big enough, he leapt into the air and spun around a full 360 degrees and launched the attack at Gallade.

It was a fast attack and Gallade was too slow to dodge. He was struck hard by the powerful blow and yelled out in pain.

"Ouch that hurt," Gallade panted.

Ash just smiled, "Lets return the favor, use Psyshock."

Gallade formed a blob of glowing blue, purple, and pink energy between his hands and launched it at Sparky. The Electric Pokémon leapt out of the way of the attack, however he was not prepared for the Psycho Cut that immediately followed and was nailed in the chest.

"Now finish this with Shadow Ball!" Ash ordered.

"Sparky, get up!" Ritchie shouted with worry.

Sparky struggled to his feet only to be met in the face with a powerful Shadow Ball attack. The blast sent him flying away and he landed with a crash, unconscious.

"Raichu is unable to battle," the judge announced with his flag raised, "Gallade wins."

Ritchie quickly recalled his Raichu and summoned his Butterfree back to the field.

Ash smirked, "Lets start off with Swords Dance," he said.

Gallade closed his eyes in meditation. He started glowing red as a series of glowing swords appeared around him. Suddenly, the blades on his arms elongated and were enveloped in energy.

"Happy, use Psybeam!" Ritchie ordered.

Instantly, Happy launched a beam of multicolored energy from between its antennae straight at Gallade.

"Dodge and use Psycho Cut!" Ash shouted.

Gallade leapt high into the air as the blades on his arms started glowing bright purple. Spinning to add more power to his attack, Gallade brought his blade down on Happy's head, sending it crashing to the ground.

"Happy!" Ritchie shouted, worried.

Happy struggled for a moment, before lifting back off.

"All right, now use Gust," Ritchie directed.

Happy's wings flashed and he flapped them harder, creating a powerful gust of wind filled with Flying Type energy. It slammed into Gallade, causing him to grit his teeth in pain as he struggled.

'Flash, and Teleport out of there,' Ash silently commanded.

The horn on Gallade's head suddenly flashed brilliantly, illuminating the whole stadium and causing Ritchie and Butterfree to flinch away. When they looked back, Gallade was gone.

"Shadow Ball!" Ash suddenly shouted, looking at the sky.

Gallade came falling out of nowhere with a Shadow Ball charging in his hands. He launched it, and before Happy could even think of dodging it, slammed into its back. Happy was sent careening to the ground. Happy struggled for a moment, before going still.

"Butterfree is unable to battle, Gallade wins," the judge announced.

"Happy return," Ritchie recalled his Pokémon and switched out Pokéballs. He pulled another Pokéball and threw it to the field. "Go Poly!" he shouted. The Pokéball burst open and released a Poliwrath.

"Poly use Bubble Beam!" Ritchie ordered.

Poly's fists started glowing blue and he launched a stream of energy charged bubbles at Gallade.

"Dodge, then Confusion," Ash countered.

Gallade leapt into the air and above the Bubble Beam. Suddenly, his eyes started glowing blue and a blue aura surrounded Poly. The Tadpole Pokémon was lifted off the ground and slammed into the nearest wall.

Poly stumbled away and began unsteadily making his way across the field.

"Poly, snap out of it, use Mud Bomb!" Ritchie shouted.

Surprisingly, Poliwrath whirled towards Gallade and launched a series of Mud Bombs. They hit a surprised Gallade, causing him to crash to the ground.

"Use Psycho Cut," Ash ordered.

Gallade's arms started glowing pink, and he slashed them towards Poly. Two crescent shaped blades of pink energy flew threw the air and slammed into Poly. It went flying and crashed into the ground several feet away.

"Poly, use Payback!" Ritchie yelled desperately.

A glow of dark energy suddenly surrounded Poly and it rushed towards Gallade. He tried to avoid the attack but Poly was fast, even confused, and slammed into him hard. Gallade cried out in pain as the Dark Type attack damaged him.

"Use Magical Leaf!" Ash commanded.

Gallade struggled to his feet and glared at Poly, who was still staggering around in confusion. Glowing leaves appeared around Gallade and launched themselves at the Poliwrath, crashing into it and sending it to the ground in pain.

"Poly, don't quit now," Ritchie called, "Get up and use Dynamic Punch!"

Poly staggered to his feet and his fist started glowing. He swung his fist and nailed himself in the face, causing an explosion that shook the stadium.

The smoke quickly faded to reveal Poly unconscious with a black eye.

"Poliwrath is unable to battle, Gallade wins," the judge announced, "The victor is Ash Ketchum!"

The crowd roared its approval, so loud that the whole stadium shook. Ash walked out and patted Gallade on the shoulder. "Great job, to all of you," The last part was said in his head.

Across the field, Ritchie recalled his Butterfree and let out a sigh. Then he smiled and walked out to Ash.

"That was a great battle Ash," he said.

"Yeah it was, you did really well," Ash said, "That was probably the hardest match I've fought in a long time."

"Next time I'm beating you though," Ritchie said.

Ash laughed, "I'm looking forward to it."

They shook hands and the crowd roared again.

Later that night, Ash stepped out of the Pokémon center with his Pokémon fully healed.

"A good battle, I'm impressed," a voice said. Turning, Ash saw Cynthia standing behind him.

"Thank you," Ash grinned, then said, "So when's your next battle? I didn't notice it yesterday when I was looking of my matchup."

"Not surprising," she replied, "I'm in the last lineup, first match tomorrow morning right before the semifinals."

"Well, good luck," Ash said, "I'll be routing for you."

"Thank you," she said, "And good luck to you in the semi-finals. Even if I win you won't meet me until the finals, assuming we both make it past the semi-finals."

"Well in that case," Ash started, "I promise to meet you at the Finals and give you the toughest battle of your life. Will you meet me there?"

She giggled at his confidence. "Very well Mr. Ketchum, I will meet you there," she shook his hand. They both laughed and parted ways.

The next morning, Ash entered the Pokémon center with a heavy heart. Mewtwo never made his appearance for their chat the previous night and Ash was blaming himself.

'Ash, you need to relax, I'm sure Mewtwo will contact you tonight,' Venusaur said.

'I think a good joke will help you lighten up,' Gengar suggested.

'Or maybe, watching Cynthia battle,' Gallade said slyly.

Ash scowled even as his heart skipped a beat. He may be young, but he could appreciate a beautiful woman. And Cynthia was truly beautiful, especially when she was battling.

Of course his Pokémon were easily able to follow his train of thought. 'Ha you like her!' Blastoise crowed.

'Ash and Cynthia sitting in a tree,' Pikachu began singing.

Ash just groaned and tried to block it out, now sorely regretting bonding to all of his Pokémon.

His Pokémon gave mental high fives, glad to have broken Ash of his funk about Mewtwo.

True to form, Cynthia won her match. In fact it wasn't much of a contest and Ash privately wondered how that guy even made it to the quarterfinals or if Cynthia was just that good.

With the quarterfinals over, the four remaining trainers made there way to the Pokémon center to discover the semi-final matchup.

When Ash entered the Pokémon center he glanced at the board and noticed that the line up was already posted. He was in the first match later that afternoon, and his opponent…

Ash blinked, "I didn't even know he was here. How did I miss him?"

"The all observant Ash Ketchum never noticed me, I'm insulted," a familiar and playful voice said behind him.

Ash just grinned and turned around. "Apparently you're just not that noticeable. Or you were hiding from me. Scared?"

"Of you? In your dreams," his opponent replied.

Ash laughed, "It looks like we'll finally be able to break our tie. Are you ready for the battle of your life?"

"You bet, I'll see you this afternoon," he started walking away, "Good luck, you'll need it against me."

Ash laughed and shook his head. Out of all of the people who could have been his opponent, it had to be him.


And that's it. Again I'm so sorry for the long wait. This was actually a really hard chapter to write due to the long battles. The next chapter will be even more so I expect. I'll try to get it out as soon as I can.

Let me know what you think guys. Read and Review!


PS, I forgot to mention but I've changed Absol's gender to female. I'm not sure why but her character just doesn't work as male. I can't change it in previous chapters because it would take too long so just ignore all of the He's in previous chapters.