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| It wasn’t quite 7 AM when sunlight began pouring into the room that Ash, Misty, and Brock had stayed in that night. Because of a tree outside hiding most of the early morning sunlight, the darkness in the room changed to blinding brightness as if someone had suddenly flipped the switch on the wall and turned on the ceiling lights. Being sensitive to light as it was, Ash was so irritated that he could not rest another second. So much for a good night’s sleep.
In a rush, Ash ripped off his covers and sat up in bed with his bare feet dangling off the side of his bunk. He had taken time the night before to only take off his socks, jacket, and cap, but somehow slept comfortably in his jeans and black t-shirt. So sure that he had to be the first one up, he took his time stretching and letting his eyes adjust to the new daylight. When he could see clearly and comfortably, he looked around the room, finding he had been wrong.
Ash [wondering to himself]: “Misty?”
He hadn’t been the first one to wake up after all. He jumped down from his bunk. Bad Idea.
* Thunk! *
Brock: “You ok there buddy? Man, what did you drink last night?”
Ash [confused]: “I’m ok, just not fully awake. But man, I was so sure that I had to be the first one up. I mean, it’s only about 7:00 AM, right?”
Brock: “Try 8:00, and the only reason you’re so surprised is because you forget that some of us, or rather I went to bed on time. How late were you and Misty up anyway?”
Ash [blushing and surprised]: “I, I didn’t know that you knew we were awake for a little while. How much did you hear anyway?”
Brock just chuckled. “I didn’t know you all had stayed up a while until Misty woke up this morning and told me. And why are you so concerned that I heard something, hmmm? Were you confessing your love for her?”
Ash’s face was glowing bright, bright red. “Confessing my love? For Misty? Hah hah, very funny.”
Brock was making kissy faces. “Don’t try to deny it Ash. Ash and Misty sittin’ in a tree, k-i-s-s…”
Ash: “Knock it off Brock. Or should I say Brock the Rock, since you said yourself that you slept like one last night. Why doesn’t the Rock go and protect his precious Nurse Joy, his only true love.”
Brock: “Don’t be silly Ash. I love Officer Jenny too.”
Ash [falling over from stupidity, then getting an idea]: “Soooo, you’re cheating on Nurse Joy! I guess I better go and let her know that the guy she’s saving herself for is a cheater.”
Brock: “Noooooo! You can’t! I know, I’ll go confess my love for her. I’m coming Joy.”
And with that, Brock bolted out the door of their room and ran down the hallway to the left, forgetting his already packed backpack. Ash knew it was no use going after Brock when he was on a mission, so he decided to pack his own belongings and take both packs up there at the same time. Ash put on some deodorant and pulled out a fresh black t-shirt to change into. He had just pulled his used t-shirt over his head, standing in the middle of the room with his chest bare, as the inevitable embarrassment happened.
He forgot to lock the door and he forgot that Misty would be coming back from changing in the bathroom. So, as if time were in slow motion, the doorknob turned and Ash’s head whirled up just in time to meet the mutually embarrassed eyes of a very breath-taken red head. And, as all that happened as slow as molasses in the winter, the blur of Misty rushing back out into the hallway and shutting the door behind her happened in a flash.
Ash was surprised for a moment, but brushed it off and continued to put the fresh black shirt on over his head and stuff all of his other belongings into his backpack, proceeding to head out the door as he grabbed Brock’s bag in the process. For Misty however, that image would stay in her head for a veeeeeeerrry long time.
Misty: ~Oh my god, his shirt is off! He’s half naked!~ Spin around, shut door, stand by wall. ~Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, breathe… Like I freaked out about that! It was just his shirt, gosh. Guys are like that all the time at the beach and the pool. I’ve seen them a billion times going swimming. Then why did I freak so much when I saw Ash? It wasn’t a big deal. But he’s gotten so muscular lately. What am I saying? Ooooo, he was so hot! Without that stupid cap and that jacket, his body looked so good… Oh my god! I can’t believe I’m thinking this!~
Poor Misty didn’t even have a minute to recover when out the bedroom door came Ash, but not as she expected. As if he read her mind yet again, he came out capless and jacketless, wearing his regular, rather good-looking blue jeans and a form fitting black t-shirt.
Misty [beaming and squealing to herself]: “Yes!”
Ash [looking at her]: “What was that?”
Misty: “Oh, uh, nothing. C’mon, let’s go catch up with Brock.”
Ash: “Wait a second Misty. You don’t think this shirt is too tight, do you?”
It was true, Ash’s shirts did seem a bit tighter on him, but in a good way. They had been a little baggy before, but now that he was getting more muscular, they were very flattering, especially with his cute spikey ebony hair.
Misty [in a daze]: “I think it’s hot… I mean, it’s not! It, It’s not too tight. [pulling Ash by the arm] C’mon Ash, we really need to go.”
Ash said, “Ok Misty, whatever you say,” but he couldn’t stop smiling in spite of himself.
They had just made it to the lobby in the front, only to meet up with Brock and the young Nurse Joy. And what was this? They were actually having a normal conversation?
Brock [to Nurse Joy]: “So when I took care of Vulpix, I always made sure to give it a special formula of my homemade pokechow to help it’s fur stay healthy and really shine.”
Nurse Joy: “Why Brock, that’s so impressive. I’m amazed. You are going to be such a great pokemon breeder someday.”
Brock: “Well, it just comes naturally I guess, but… [seeing Ash and Misty] hey guys! It took you all long enough to get ready.”
Ash and Misty just stood there naturally thinking ~Brock and Nurse Joy actually had a normal conversation?~
Ash: “Well, I still had to pack all my stuff and grab somebody else’s stuff since he was in such a rush this morning and obviously had something more important on his mind than remembering his backpack.”
Brock laughed nervously. “Oh Ash, hehheh, you’re such a kidder. Here, gimmie that. At least I didn’t do anything last night that I’m afraid to talk about.”
Nurse Joy: “Brock, what on earth are you talking about?”
Brock [looking at Ash who was about to die of embarrassment]: “Well…”
* BOOM! *
Nurse Joy: “Oh no!”
Ash: “The pokemon!”
The blast had come from the back room where the pokemon were being revitalized. Just as everyone was about the run back there to see what had happened, Pikachu ran through the smoke and jumped up into Ash’s arms with a face covered in black smudges.
Ash: “Pikachu! You ok?”
Pikachu: “Pikachu, pikapi, pika chu chu CHU pikachu!/yes, Ash, but the other pokemon aren’t!”
Ash: “Oh no.”
Joy: “What is it Ash?”
Ash: “Pikachu said that he’s ok, but the others aren’t. But wait, what’s this? [Ash looked closely at the black marks on Pikachu’s face] This isn’t just smoke stains from the blast. This is sludge. Oh my gosh!”
Misty: “What’s wrong?”
Ash [toward the others, still holding Pikachu]: “That was sludge attack. A pokemon used that. It had to be Team Rocket!”
Nurse Joy: “C’mon, we need to go back there and catch them before they leave.”
But all Misty could think about was what Ash had said the night before:
- Ash: “If I could get my hands on them, I’d like to teach Team Rocket a thing or two!” -
Misty [whispering to herself]: “No…”
Brock: “You coming Misty?”
Misty looked up and shrugged off the chill going down her spine, for now. “Yeah, I’m coming.”
When Brock and Misty made it to the room behind the front desk, they saw exactly what they expected: a huge hole in the back wall, a bag of all kinds of pokeballs, and Jessie, James, and Meowth, smiling smugly from there perch on a rather large table along with what was left of the back wall.
Ash: “It’s about time you two made it.”
Jessie: “Yeah, it is. Because now we can finish off the whole group of you at one time.”
James: “And we can say our motto!”
* Scratch! *
Meowth: “Be serious, youse guys.”
Jessie: “And now…”
James: “we present…”
Meowth: “the new and improved.”
Jessie/James/Meowth: “Team Rocket!”
Brock [toward his friends]: “Did you all ever wonder how something could be ‘new’ and ‘improved’ at the same time?”
Joy: “What do you mean, Brock?”
Brock: “Well, if something is improved, then it already existed so it couldn’t possibly be new. And if it’s new, then it didn’t have any time to become improved.”
Joy: “Excellent point.”
Jessie [fuming]: “Oh will you two can it already? Let us say our motto!”
Ash [rolling his eyes]: “Oh great, here we go again.”
Misty: “Gosh, will they ever do something different.”
Brock: “They’re so predictable.”
Nurse Joy: “Did I miss something?”
Ash: “Don’t worry Nurse Joy. We’ll save the pokemon, right after…”
Jessie: “To protect the world from devastation.”
James: “To unite all peoples within our nation.”
Jessie: “To denounce the evils of truth and love.”
James: “To extend our reach to the stars above.”
Jessie: “Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light.”
James: “Surrender now, or prepare to fight.”
Meowth: “Meowth, that’s…
* Scratch!Scratch!Scratch!Scratch!Scratch! *
Ash/Misty/Brock/Pikachu/Nurse Joy: “Oooooowww!”
Ash: “I swear we were awake!”
Meowth: “That’ll teach youse guys to sleep durin’ Team Rocket’s motto. Now den, where were we?”
Jessie: “Right. Arbok. Wobuffet. Go!”
James: “Weezing. Victrybell. Go! Wait, Victrybell. Don’t get me. Get them! You’re not supposed to be, mufffff!”
Jessie and Meowth sweat-dropped as the others just laughed. Upon seeing this, they straightened up and got serious again.
Jessie: “Hey, what are you laughing at? We’ll show you!”
Ash [yawning]: “Ok then. Pikachu, thunder attack on Team Rocket.”
Jessie began laughing hysterically. “You little twirp. You can’t do that!”
Ash [becoming irritated]: “Oh yeah? Just watch me. Pikachu…”
Nurse Joy: “Ash wait! She’s right, you can’t. If you use thunder attack in here, you’ll destroy this whole section of the pokemon center.
Ash thought for a moment. “You’re right.”
Jessie: “Arbok, wrap attack the whole group of them!”
Ash [grinning like he had a secret plan]: “Not if I can help it. Pikachu, quick attack on Arbok as he gets right up to us and knock him outside through that big whole in the wall.”
Sure enough, as Arbok got to within inches of reaching the group, Pikachu used quick attack and sent Arbok flying out through the wall.
Jessie: “Wobuffet, go!
James: “Victrybell, help wobuffet!”
Ash’s grin just got even bigger. ~Let’s have some fun.~ “Pikachu, thunderbolt Wobuffet.”
Jessie: “Oh no you don’t. Wobuffet, counter attack! Fry that little Pikachu!”
That’s just what Ash was counting on. Pikachu had just let out his attack. “Pikachu, hurry and run in front of Victrybell.” As Pikachu got to Victrybell, Wobuffet had just countered the attack.
James: “Victrybell, slice that Pikachu to bits with razor leaf!”
This was too good to be true for Ash. “Now Pikachu, jump as high as you can into the air!”
It worked. When Pikachu jumped, the counter attack that Wobuffet fired slammed into Victrybell as the plant pokemon’s razor leaf attack sliced at Wobuffet. Needless to say, both pokemon were out like the flame on a charmander’s tail.
Ash: “Yes, we won. Now Team Rocket, hand over our pokemon.”
Jessie and James only looked at each other and smirked.
Jessie: “And just when you think you’ve won…”
James: “The surprises have just begun. Weezing, smokescreen attack!”
Ash: “Oh no! I forgot about Weezing!”
But it was too late. The room filled with a choking black haze that Ash couldn’t clear up as usual because he didn’t have his Noctowl to blow away the smoke. When the smoke did finally start to clear up, the bag of pokeballs was gone along with Team Rocket. Ash, Misty, Brock, Nurse Joy, and Pikachu ran through the giant hole just in time to watch Team Rocket ascend into the air above, along with their pokeballs.
Jessie: “So long suckers.”
James: “You’ll never find us where we’re going.”
Meowth: “Just know that you’re pokemon won’t be alone. There have been plenty more collected, so they’ll have tons of friends.”
Ash [seething with rage and crying out]: “Give us back our pokemon!!!”
Jessie: “Not on your life, brat.”
James: “Finally, we’re on the winning side.”
Meowth: “See youse guys later.”
Ash [running after them] “Come back here!”
But it was too late. The balloon was out of site, along with not only Ash’s pokemon, but Misty’s, Brock’s, and the other’s being cared for at the pokemon center.
Ash came back, and they all went back into the front lobby, where Ash crumpled down onto the sofa he had just sat upon the night before.
Ash [holding back tears of defeat]: “This is all my fault.”
Brock: “Ash, it’s not your fault.”
Nurse Joy: “If anything, you were the one who almost saved the pokemon.”
Ash was still looking down, but spoke back to her. “But that’s just it! I almost saved them, but I didn’t. I let everyone down. I mean, we always beat Team Rocket, but this time, I just, couldn’t…”
That’s when Misty decided to talk some sense into the boy. She sat herself down beside him and was just about to start her infamous yelling spree when she stopped. She looked at the guy beside her. He was truly heart broken over losing that battle with Team Rocket. But he didn’t just lose a battle. He lost his pokemon, the other’s, and his pride.
Misty [putting her hand on Ash’s arm]: “Ash, it’s ok. We’ll getum back.”
Ash turned his head slowly and looked over at her. She wasn’t yelling. She was comforting him, and for some reason, with her sincerity, he believed her. “You think so?”
Misty: “If anyone can do it, it would be the Johto League Champion. Now, you don’t have the best sense of direction, so Brock can read the map, but with your courage and determination, I know we’ll have them back by tomorrow.”
Ash: “Thanks Misty. I needed that.”
Nurse Joy [anime tears running down her face]: “That’s so sweet.”
Brock [irritated that she wasn’t paying attention to him]: “Well guys, what are we waiting for?”
Misty: “Well for one thing Brock, we have no idea where they went or where they took the pokemon.”
Nurse Joy: “I think I can help you with that.”
Joy: “When we were coming back to this room a few minutes ago, I saw a piece of paper lying on the ground. When I picked it up, it looked like a map going up into the mountains.”
Misty: “I bet Team Rocket dropped it during the fight.”
Ash: “I bet it will take us to where they’ve been blasting and probably to our pokemon!”
Brock: “Well, there’s only one way to find out.”
Nurse Joy: “Just be careful. With those wild pokemon and that blasting going on, the actual members of Team Rocket are the least of your dangers.”
Ash: “We’ll be careful. But we have to get our pokemon back. No matter what…”
Nurse Joy: “Just remember what I said, ok Ash?”
Ash: “Wha?” Ash looked up, reminded by Misty’s words the night before.
- Misty: “I just couldn’t bare to lose one of my best friends…Remember what I said, ok?”-
Ash [to himself]: “Misty…”
Misty: “Yes Ash?”
Ash [jumping up out of his seat]: ~I didn’t know she heard me!~ “Um, well, let’s go. What are we waiting for?
Nurse Joy, did you want to come and help?”
Joy: “It’s nice of you to ask me, Ash, but I think I should stay here and see if they left the pokemon in the sick room. Those little guys will need me, and anyway, I should stay here in case anyone brings in any more sick pokemon. They need someone to watch out for them.”
Brock [sincerely]: “It’s good for you to stay here anyway. That’ll be one less friend I have to worry about. At least I know you’ll be safe.”
Joy: “Oh Brock, you’re so sweet! Come back to me after you help save the pokemon from Team Rocket, ok?” With that, she gave Brock a light peck on the cheek.
Brock [skipping toward the door with little pink hearts floating around him]: “Don’t worry Joy. I’ll help save the pokemon. Man, I’m never going to wash this cheek again.”
* Smack! *
Nurse Joy [looking at Brock who had just run right into the front double doors]: “Oops! I forgot to unlock the power doors this morning. My bad!”
Ash and Misty fell over [anime style] as Nurse Joy walked over to the doors, being careful to step over a knocked out Brock as she unlocked them.
Joy: “Ok, you’re all set to go. Good luck you all.”
Ash: “Thanks for everything, Nurse Joy. I promise you, I’ll get those pokemon back.”
With that, and after Brock had a little help getting up from his ‘accident’, the three heroes set out for a merilous adventure up a farfetcherous mountain to defeat the polywhirlible Team Rocket and…wait, that’s a perilous adventure up a treacherous mountain to defeat the horrible Team Rocket and, of course, save their pokemon.