Here it is, people. The final battle of this fic, and the second to last chapter. After this one, we only have one chapter to go, which will wrap this story up. We're reaching the end of this ride, so hold on to your seat belt!

Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon! If I did, then that would've been my Fate.

''Mega-Latias'' Speech

'Mega-Latias' Thoughts

'Mega-Latias' Telepathy

''Mega-Latias'' Memories

Enjoy! :)

Ash's body was full of adrenaline as he eyed the crowd. His limps felt like concrete bricks, and a big lump was stuck in his throat. His breathing had turned somewhat erratic, a nervous chuckle all he could offer to his dragoness, who couldn't keep her nervousness hidden either.

Her eyes were darting rapidly in random directions while her beautiful neck feathers were getting somewhat matted by constantly biting it in a desperate attempt to ease her growing anxiety.

''We have to do it,'' Ash whispered to Latias again. He tried to be brave, but his whisper came out as a stutter more than anything else.

'I know, Ash. We're going to do it,' she reassured him, but instead, neither could move a single muscle. The crowd started to murmur again, their excitement dying down to confusion. Five minutes had passed of the twenty minute break the contenders had gotten, the crowd fully expecting that Ash and Latias were going to do… something, anything; they only got two very nervous teens that looked like they were preparing themselves for their final hour instead.

Tobias looked somewhat uninterested to the young couple, but deep inside, he felt rage bubbling up to the surface. Whatever had them in so much distress definitely wasn't because of him, and that annoyed him, but above all, it scared him. It was something he didn't understand.

Then, a wave of nausea suddenly overwhelmed his body, and as soon as it came, it disappeared too. He let out a low gasp, that feeling of fear gripping him tighter, like he was slowly suffocating. All his senses screamed at him to put a halt to whatever Ash and Latias were going to do, but why, he had no idea. They were just standing there, like Magikarp reeled out of the water.

Ash was trying to make his body move, but he couldn't. It was like he was petrified. Thick droplets of sweat fell from Ash's face down to the ground below, his hands hot, his back icy-cold. His arms were twitching and shivering slightly; nobody told him it was going to be this hard.

Similarly, Latias became lightheaded, her anxiety threatening to make her faint. Her wings felt like awkward tree branches on her back, her tongue was as dry as a Sandshrew, and her wing tufts stiff, like her muscles were all cramped up.

Some of the people in the bleachers—who made the assumption Ash and Latias were just going to stay like that, awkwardly looking at them—decided it was a good time to stretch their legs a little. They got up, and prepared to leave until the match was resumed.

'No,' Ash thought with widening eyes. 'Please, come back. You can't leave now!' His emotions were running rampant through his body. He closed his eyes in defeat; they couldn't do it, they were unable to. It was over. They had their chance and they blew it. Ash's mind became a whirlpool, a mess of incomprehensible thoughts, mocking him, telling him they had failed. It was almost maddening. Until—

''Fate is not set in stone.''

''Wait!'' Ash screamed at the top of his lungs, startling Latias, the referee, Tobias and everybody in the bleachers. He looked like a man possessed, but once he had their attention, his nerves died down, like a weight had fallen from his shoulders.

''Fate is not set in stone.''

'It isn't!' Ash thought with renewed strength. That same, sweet feminine voice he had heard in his thoughts when entering the stadium filled him with hope. He looked like an entire different person. Clearing his throat, he politely asked for a microphone from the referee.

'Ash?' Latias squeaked.

He turned to her, took one of her claws in his hands, and gently rubbed it with his palm. ''Tia,'' he said warmly. ''It'll be all right, lovely. Trust me. Have faith in me, have Hope—in us.''

Ash's words carried a strength that had Latias falling in love with him all over again. Her cheeks burned, and her heart ached for him. She watched him like a little girl with a high school crush, and in some sense, that was completely the truth.

When the raven haired trainer took the microphone from the referee, he tapped it once to see if it was working. Satisfied, he addressed the crowd in a voice that sounded like the calmest river soothingly rippling through a meadow.

''Ladies, gentlemen, Tobias.'' He paused and nodded once to his opponent, perhaps a sign of rare respect, or maybe just the confirmation that he had his full attention now. ''Have I ever told you about the story how Latias and I met?''

The people in the bleachers turned silent, their interest very much piqued.

''Because it is a very funny story, let me tell you. I thought it's time to share it with you. Anyway, imagine me, a few years younger, even smaller than I am now, competing in a water chariot race with my overexcited Totodile.

''We were ready, pumped up to win the first price, but like I've always been, I was overzealous. The first sharp turn of the race I threatened to crash right into a hard wall, but all that happened was me bouncing on a coat of soft and warm, invisible feathers. I didn't know it back then, but Latias was watching me, and she had just saved me from a pretty nasty collision.

''From there, it looked like we were out of the race, but as you may know, Latias is a sweetheart, and in her innocence to help me, she grabbed the leash Totodile used to pull my chariot, and we suddenly shot ahead. Can you imagine it, ladies and gentlemen? A Totodile dancing on the water like he was running over it, while in reality this cutie here was pulling us ahead while being invisible? She was totally helping me cheat to victory!''

The crowd giggled and laughed, people who were about to leave quickly sitting back down to hear the rest of the story.

Ash shot Latias a teasing smile, one she returned with a slightly embarrassed, but above all loving coo.

''In the end, her brother intervened, and I lost the race anyway. It was my very first encounter with Latias, and I hadn't even known it. From there, Latias appeared to me multiple times in her human disguise, until she at one point revealed who she truly was.

''I was shocked, to say the least. She had pushed me on a swing, and then decided to transform back to her pokemon form. Needless to say, I fell flat on my face.''

The crowd laughed again, their full attention now on Ash's story.

''A few days later, however, after I met Latias, I had to say goodbye. And this is the part where most of you think I caught her, right?''

Murmurs of agreement rang through the stadium.

''Well, that was not what happened. I didn't catch her. Two years would pass before I even would see her again. But before we had said our final goodbye, she ran up to me, in her best friend's disguise how she so often did. I couldn't figure out if it was her, or Bianca, her best friend. She was playful and very sneaky. She probably never wanted me to forget her, because not only did she hand me a beautiful drawing of me and Pikachu, she also gave me a kiss on my cheek.''

Latias giggled as Ash smiled at her. ''You know how frustrating it was not knowing who it was who kissed me? I was wondering who it was for weeks!''

Again, the crowd giggled. Most of them thought it was very adorable how Ash and Latias met.

Tobias, however, was almost unable to stand any longer. His legs threatened to give out at any moment. His anxiety was reaching his throat, and he was gasping for air. 'There's no way they're gonna do it,' he reassured himself weakly. 'They're bluffing. It's pure bluff.' But deep down, Tobias knew it was a lie he was telling himself; a big fat lie that would blow up in his face.

Ash continued his story, more warmly now. ''Latias and I haven't been reunited for long. She came to cheer me on with Bianca for this tourney, but unsuspected troubles with a man who poisoned my Pikachu let her to the decision to become my pokemon for real, and a few days later, she became something much more than just a friend.''

Now, the crowd began to murmur a bit in confusion again. Some were unable to comprehend what Ash had just implied and some were flat down refusing it. But there were also people who got even more interested, wondering if their suspicions were correct.

Bianca watched with bated breath, Brock was getting pretty nervous and Dawn was biting her nails. They hadn't told their friends they were going to this.

Likewise, Barry was watching owlishly, Conway was chuckling like a madman, Paul looked like he was about to receive another smack in his face, and Cynthia was grinning.

At the same time, Tobias' eye was twitching crazily, weak grunts came out of his mouth and it looked like he was about to snap at any second. 'Don't you dare, don't you dare! It's all bluff! There's no way you're going to tell the whole world you're in love with your Latias, Ash Ketchum!'

''Fate is not set in stone.''

At that moment, the voices of the crowd melted away for Ash, like snow in the afternoon sun. He turned to Latias, and he only saw Love. Love in her purest form. She was like an angel descending from heaven, enveloping him in her sweet embrace that had him crooning in pure ecstasy.

Her eyes were filled with nothing but desire for him, and it then occurred to Ash that she was the reason that nothing was set in stone, not even Fate. Their Love was stronger than all the Mayhem in the world. Their love would conquer it. They were going to show everybody their undisputed love for each other, right here, right now.

In front of the eyes of thousands of people watching from the bleachers and in front of their TV screens, Ash went on one knee, like he was going to propose to Latias. His next words were so genuine, that even people who would never accept a human and pokemon relationship had to admit they were meant to be.

''Tia, I love you. I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to marry you and grow old with you. You're the most important thing in this whole world for me. Please, be my Latias forever.''

Latias' eyes stung with her tears, slowly rolling down her cheeks. She felt an indescribable feeling of happiness, like a dream that was impossible to come true miraculously did come true. She wanted to kiss Ash, pepper him in affection and never let him go. She wanted to yell to the heavens a million times yes to what Ash just admitted. She wanted to marry him; she wanted to tell him over and over again how much she loved him.

Like she was being pulled by an invisible force, she moved closer to Ash, her movements as delicate as a blooming flower. Just for a moment, she saw Mayhem in the corner of her eyes, like a beast that was unleashed from deep within trying to stop her, but that beast was weak, a dying animal that desperately tried to survive. She was going to put it out of its misery.

Her sweet, honey lips touched Ash's gently, then passionately as she darted out her tongue and asked for entrance. He parted his lips for her, her thick, draconic tongue dancing with his own in an ancient ritual to seal their love forever. Her saliva was sweet, making him shudder as they swapped it back and forth, their fiery passion for each other not diminishing in the slightest.

Over and over, he felt Latias press her tongue wantonly against his, reassuring him she was there, that she would always be there. He felt her canines, sharp and smooth, and he tasted the inside of her mouth. Their kiss was filled with so much passion that the whole crowd was looking at them as if they had all turned to statues.

Their necklaces shone in the sun, and it was just now that the crowd noticed it; a Latios and Latias necklace you would give to your significant other, so you would always carry a piece of them with you. It was like these necklaces became one the moment Ash and Latias were making out, like two magnets attracting each other and never letting go.

Far in the back of Latias' mind, she heard the beast that was Mayhem crying in pain. They had deeply wounded it, and those cries of agony made her kiss with Ash only wilder. Even when they were running out of breath, they kept on mixing their saliva together.

In the end, when they finally moved back, panting deeply and with a blush on their faces that made them as red as Latias' coat, Latias gave a soft, loving cry.

'Ash, I love you too. I love you forever and ever, and I'll always love you. I'll never leave your side, not even in the face of Mayhem. I'll always be with you, and I'll marry you and grow old with you. Ash, I'll be your Latias forever.'

Ash had to cover his own eyes to stop tears from falling down, and he laughed shakily. ''I'm so happy, Tia,'' he whispered. ''You made me the happiest guy alive.''

He nuzzled her, and then stood up to address the stunned crowd again. ''Latias and I are in love. We're in a romantic relationship with each other, and she'll be the girl I marry someday,'' he said with such certainty that it sounded more like a fact than anything. He handed back the microphone to the referee who looked at them like they grew an extra head.

The whole crowd was brought out of their stupor, and suddenly, the air seemed tense. Nobody knew how to react to such a controversy. Human and pokemon relationships were heavily frowned upon, but not illegal. It was more done so in secret, so society didn't have to deal with it. But now, the youngest finalist to ever win from an elite four member had just showed the entire world how much he loved his Latias.

''This is ludicrous!'' Tobias suddenly shouted with a crazy glint in his eyes. His smooth hair, which normally seemed to float to his back like silk, was sticking out from all sides, courtesy of him running his hands through it in pure disbelief. His eyes were bloodshot, and his armpits stained. His skin had gotten as pale as a ghost and his movements stiff and shaky.

He pointed a twitching finger at Ash and Latias, still gasping for breath. ''Referee! Disqualify this man! He just committed an atrocity!'' he yelled at the top of his lungs.

Some of the people in the crowd began to whisper and nod their heads awkwardly, to which Tobias raised both of his hands, like he was going to give a prayer. ''You, people in the crowd!'' He laughed, which came out high-pitched, like he still couldn't believe what Ash and Latias had just done. ''Don't you think this is plain wrong!? Admit it! A human and a pokemon in a romantic relationship? Disgusting! They don't deserve to be even qualified for this tournament at all!''

He turned back to the referee, who eyed him nervously. ''Well? What are you waiting for!? Disqualify them already!''

Ash and Latias stayed silent while Tobias still tried to spur people on to riot, until one girl in the bleachers let herself be heard, loud and clear. She was like a voice of reason; passionate and steadfast her voice rang through the stadium.

''People! All of you stop!''

Bianca's eyes shone like fire, and miraculously, the crowd began to tone down. They recognized the girl as one of Ash's friends. ''Don't you see what Tobias is trying to do? He's trying to disqualify his opponent simply because he loves his Latias, while human and pokemon relationships aren't even banned in Sinnoh!'' she said incredulously. ''Isn't that ludicrous?''

She went on when silence was her answer. ''Ash just admitted his love for Latias in front of an entire crowd; you saw how much courage that took. Yet the only thing I see when I look around is bias. And yes, a human and pokemon relationship is frowned upon, but who cares? These two,'' she pointed at the couple standing in the pitch, smiling at her for standing up for them, ''they love each other, and that's all that matters. Whether you support it or not, is not important. What's important is to see a kickass finals, so let's continue the match!''

For a moment, it stayed silent, until Paul, of all people, opened his mouth. ''She's right! We want to see a kickass finals!''

''Yeah, let's go!'' Brock now joined in.

''The break is over, let's continue the match already!'' Dawn added.

Soon, the stadium came back to life, all cheering for the match to go on.

''You guys are insane!'' Tobias screamed crazily, but there was no one who listened. The crowd got only louder and louder.

The referee coughed his throat, and then spoke professionally: ''The twenty minute break is now over. The match will now resume. Trainers, show your pokemon!''

Ash gave Bianca a kind smile. 'Thank you, Bianca. You always supported and believed in Latias and I. We will not disappoint you. A kickass finals is what you're going to get!'

Latias nuzzled Ash one more time, before her lively, amber eyes stared back at his. 'Are you ready, cutie? You've seen how our love threw Mayhem off big time. Let's finish him together! Let's rewrite your fate!'

''All right! Latias, I choose you!'' Ash shouted confidently.

The sweet dragoness cooed, and took her spot on the battlefield. There she waited patiently for her opponent. Mayhem looked like he was having a mental breakdown. He simply couldn't comprehend the chain of events that had transpired.

He looked at Latias and Ash fearfully. Before, they were two meek little Littens, helpless to whatever he had planned for them. But now, they were two gigantic Incineroars, champions of the arena, unbeatable in the ring. And he had just entered their ring, challenging them for the championship belt.

For the first time in his existence, Tobias felt genuinely afraid. He didn't have the upper hand here anymore. He had to stop an unstoppable force in Latias, and move an unmovable object in Ash. The task was utterly impossible. He was wracking his brain for answers, but none came. How did it come to this? Even with three legendary pokemon still at his side, Tobias felt like he was stuck in quicksand, slowly sinking him further down.

His Victini could feel how uncomfortable her trainer was. She'd never seen him like this before. He was always confident, steadfast like Sky Pillar. But now, he felt like a tower made out of jelly, as if he could collapse at any second. It was throwing her off majorly.

''We're back, people. After the craziest twenty minute break I've ever witnessed, we'll continue the final match of the Lily of the valley! It's Latias against Victini! Which of these two legendaries will be victorious?'' Son Petertom wondered.

The referee raised his flags. ''Victini versus Latias, begin!'' He lowered them, indicating the match had begun again, and for a moment, it was like Tobias was unable to utter a single attack.

'Keep it together! Keep it together!' he mentally berated himself. Like a crazy guy—his voice almost hysterical—he gave his first command. ''Victini, V-create!'' he screamed.

Ash, while he didn't know the attack, reacted accordingly. ''Latias, hold your ground. Use Protect!''

Victini, for a moment, was hesitating. V-create was her most devastating attack, but it also lowered a plethora of her stats, including her defenses. She understood Tobias wanted to end this battle quickly, but she also had the feeling he was not thinking properly. When she finally did use her attack, it was weak, and without the raw power it had normally.

Her V-shaped eyebrows burned brightly, and with a mighty cry, she sent the attack towards the idle Latias.

Latias could feel how hot the V-create was, but she also noticed something peculiar about it; somehow, the attack felt off. Sure, it was a pretty powerful attack, but nothing legendary worthy she would come to expect from one of Mayhem's pokemon.

With ease, she used her Protect, and Victini's attack bounced off against it harmlessly.

''It looks like Tobias showed his cards too early. Latias easily blocked that V-create from Victini, giving her the initiative. How will Ash take advantage of it?'' Son Petertom cried excitedly in his mike.

''Latias, use Calm Mind,'' the raven haired trainer commanded smartly.

The legendary dragoness obeyed and glowed slightly, trying to boost her special attack and special defense.

'He's setting up his Latias. He's going to overwhelm you,' the irrational part of Tobias' mind whispered. ''Shut up,'' he yelled to no one in particular. ''I know what I'm doing! Victini, use Bolt Strike while Latias is occupied!''

Like she had done before, she encased herself in a sphere of pure electricity. However, she was a lot slower thanks to her speed drop. It gave Ash enough time to show Mayhem his final trump card.

'Are you ready, sweetie?' he thought to Latias.

'As ready as I will ever be. Let's do this!'

Ash readied himself, and raised his right arm which held the mega bracelet. It began to react and shine with the Latiasite which Tia was carrying, and soon, she was enveloped in a sphere of energy. The sphere broke with a loud bang, and rising from the ashes like a phoenix was Latias, more powerful than ever.

She let out a deep roar, something Ash hadn't heard coming out of the sweet dragoness' mouth ever. It was astonishing how intimidating the sound was, like a beast about to pound her prey.

Not only was her roar intimidating, her body had gotten wilder as well. She was easily twice her normal size. Gone were her lovely, red feathers, replaced with a cool blue coloring. Her wings were larger as well, fused together with her claws. Her eyes were sharper, and her ears longer. Her roar had Victini hesitating, but she did eventually hit her with her Bolt Strike, hoping she would inflict a nice chunk of damage.

Instead, Latias barely flinched. She growled at the tiny legendary, who had widened her eyes like saucers. The dragoness could swallow her whole if she wanted, and with growing anxiety Victini realized she wouldn't stand a chance.

''I can't believe my eyes! It's like we keep on getting surprised over and over again, because Ash has just mega-evolved his Latias! This is incredible! It looks like Tobias has no idea how to respond, as his Victini's Bolt Strike did absolutely no damage.''

'Arceus is with this kid. This Latias is unbeatable, she just evolved again!' Tobias' panicked mind thought crazily. 'Shut up! It's just mega-evolution like the announcer said!' his rational side tried to reason, but it was like his mind was gone fully out of control. He couldn't utter a single attack anymore. The shock was too great, and he could only watch helplessly at how Latias fired a Dragon Pulse on his Victini with so much power that he had to shield his eyes from all the dust flying his way.

When he opened them again, he gasped, because she was knocked out in a single hit.

''Victini is unable to battle. Latias wins!'' the referee said professionally, and raised his flags. The crowd erupted into wild roars of ecstasy. They had never seen a match like this before; it was like both Tobias and Ash were the best trainers in the world, dueling it out in a titanic battle of epic proportions that would only be seen once in a lifetime.

'Tia, that was awesome!' Ash thought to her, grinning all the way. 'And you look nice, by the way.'

She shot him a seductive look. 'Thanks, Ash,' she responded back, her voice sweet and husky. 'Maybe you like to see me up close in a minute?'

Ash's cheeks turned red for a moment, and he smiled brightly. 'Sure, I'd love to.'

She purred like a Glameow, bit her lip in desire, and gave Ash a wink. Then, she turned back to Tobias, who looked like he had lost his mind. He was chuckling like crazy, his thoughts whispering to him like disembodied voices.

'It's over, Tobias. This Latias is like a goddess descended from the heavens while Ash is her divine warrior. They're immortal. They're unstoppable. '

He growled in a low voice while reaching for one of his pokeballs clipped to his belt. 'Shut up!' he thought back. 'I'm Mayhem! Mayhem can't be stopped. My legendary pokemon will destroy this Latias and stop Ash from winning the league!'

He threw his next pokemon on the field with as much force as he could. When the deer-like legendary appeared, regal as she was, she immediately understood something was terribly wrong. She was a Virizion, and noticed her connection with her trainer was completely out of balance. Whatever had happened to him had done a massive blow, because the otherwise confident man she called her trainer was almost scratching his own eyes out, it seemed. This, in turn, had effect on her behaviour as well. She was getting nervous, especially when she saw her opponent—calmly and powerfully—floating in front of the raven haired trainer.

As expected, another legendary,' Latias commented idly. Mayhem really wasn't lying when he said he was a legendary trainer, but the sweet dragoness also noticed how anxious Virizion was, like she was genuinely scared of her and Ash.

Ash noticed this too. The difference was so great in comparison to how Mayhem's first pokemon appeared on the field, even a child would notice. 'I don't think she's going to be a problem at all, Tia,' he replied confidently. 'Look at her; I bet you could have her fleeing in fright with a simple boo.'

Latias giggled, yet somewhere she believed her trainer was serious, and somewhere, she also believed he was right as well. This Virizion almost looked like a Caterpie with how much she was shivering. It was like Mayhem going nuts had major effect on his pokemon as well.

'If they're even real pokemon,' Latias thought to herself, and that thought satisfied her enormously for some reason, yet she did not know why.

''Fate is not set in stone.''

That voice again. She had been hearing it ever since she saved Bianca from Malice back in the museum of Alto Mare. It reminded her of her brother, like he was talking to her, encouraging her to be the best guardian she could possibly be. But this time, she wasn't guarding Alto Mare, oh no. She was guarding Ash—his hopes and his dreams. She was guarding her love for him, and his love for her. She was his guardian, and she would always be his guardian.

''Fate is not set in stone.''

This time, she didn't hear her brother's voice, but the voice of a small child. A sweet girl's voice who spoke with so much authority and strength Latias believed anything was possible. Adrenaline shot through her body, her love for Ash fueling another ear-splitting roar from her throat which was even scarier than the last. The incredible display of intimidation had everybody silenced; even Cynthia had her mouth open in a wide O.

'Let's do this, cutie,' she growled playfully to Ash, who couldn't help but to swallow some saliva back in his dry throat. He idly wondered if Latias had been hearing the voice as well, but pushed that thought away when the referee found his own voice again and raised his flags.

''Latias versus Virizion, begin!''

The match was the most one-sided battle the crowd had seen since the start of the Lily of the valley. Latias had defeated Virizion in less than five minutes. One perfectly placed Psychic was all it took to make Virizion unable to battle.

Now it was a one-on-one match, and nobody in the crowd believed Ash was going to lose anymore. Even what little sanity there was left of Mayhem knew it was over. He was almost incapable of throwing his last pokemon on his field. All his nerves were screaming at him, pumping his body full with so much pain he was going numb. There was no place to run, no crack in the earth he could crawl into and hide for eternity to escape what was going to happen. This was his Fate. Soon, there'd be no reason for his existence anymore, and he'd fade away, just like his brother did, because he was going to lose. Losing was never an option, but it was impossible to lose for him, wasn't it? He was Mayhem!


The past tense seemed cruelly appropriate now, and far in his short-circuiting mind, he heard the mocking voice of his brother over and over again.

''You lost. You lost. You lost. You lost. You—''

He understood now, like a sudden clarity rose in his mind. It was never Malice's intention to capture Latias and use the DMA. It was about getting his attention and stalling him. Stalling him from the real reason he was here; making sure Ash would lose.

'He tricked me all this time,' he thought numbly, throwing Latios' pokeball on the field. He couldn't feel anything anymore. A constant beep was present in both ears, like a bomb had gone off right in front of him.

'He kept me from driving a gap between Ash and Latias. He captured Pikachu to be obnoxious to me, but that wasn't the main reason. He did it to make Ash and Latias' relationship grow even stronger.' He gasped and felt light headed, he didn't even hear his Latios speaking telepathically to him when the referee raised both flags for the final battle.

'He fueled Ash and Latias' desire to be with each other, kidnapped Bianca's granddad to make himself the biggest villain that was standing between their love, like a solid wall. And I tore that wall down.'

He went down on his knees, grabbing his head with both of his hands while Latios screamed apparent gibberish in a very panicked voice to him, a potent Dragon Pulse from Latias exploding on his body and knocking him in the dirt below. It didn't matter anymore.

'I sealed my own Fate,' he realized anxiously. 'I should've listened to it. I should've obeyed his command and left Malice alone. Instead, I spent all my time thwarting my brother, not knowing it was exactly what he wanted.'

Latios went down again, and struggled to get up. His muscles were aching in protest while he looked at his trainer with scared, knowing eyes.

'It's done.'

Another Dragon Pulse exploding violently on Latios' downed body kept him from moving, the smoke that covered most of the pitch obscuring the crowd's view, but once it was dissipated, the referee's voice was loud and clear.

''Latios is unable to battle! Latias wins! This means that all six pokemon of Tobias are eliminated. Ash Ketchum is your Lily of the valley champion!''

Before the crowd could erupt into loud cheers and roars, and before Latias could knock Ash to the ground and nuzzle and kiss him affectionately in pure happiness for making his dream come true, everything seemed to slow down to a crawl.

All the color from the world disappeared, and everybody seemed to be frozen in place, like Ash had paused the screen of an old black and white TV.

'What is happening?' he thought bewildered.

'Ash? Ash!' Latias screamed to him.

'Tia!' he thought back, but he couldn't move. Latias and Ash were just as frozen in place as everything else was.

'Ash, what is going on? We won, didn't we?'

'We did! We did win, Tia!'

'I love you, Ash!'

'I love you too,' he thought back sweetly. All he wanted was to celebrate with Latias and his friends, but it appeared Fate wasn't allowing that.

Then, a flash was seen, followed by a big rumble that shook the earth. A storm was coming, and it was the same one that happened a few days earlier when Ash was bickering with Paul in the pokemon center. It was potent, and full of rage.

Rain began to fall down; Ash could hear it, he could even feel how it made him wet, but he didn't see it. Everything stayed exactly in place, until a flash so blinding for the eyes went off in front of Ash and Latias, their vision was filled with only white.

When Ash's eyes began to adjust, he noticed he could move again, only his surroundings had completely changed. He was standing in a white void, alone, with nothing as far as the eyes could see.

Similarly, Latias found herself in the same situation. She was already desperately flying in one direction, scanning the endless area with her massive psychic powers for a sign for Ash, but she couldn't find his aura anywhere. Even with her mega-evolution, she failed to spot any aura at all. There was absolutely nothing and nobody in sight, and she realized this would go on for infinity.

''Hello there, Latias,'' a voice like thunder spoke to her, not unkindly.

''Who are you?'' Ash asked the voice, who had spoken to him as well.

''Isn't it obvious? I am you, Latias. I am Ash Ketchum. I am Cynthia Shirona, I am Dawn Berlitz, I am Brock Harrison, I am Pikachu, I am Malice, I am Mayhem. I am everybody, and everybody is me.''

Ash understood now. It was talking to him, brought him here, but for what reason, he didn't know.

'Why am I here?' Latias demanded.

The voice stayed silent, until a purely white being with a painted black outline manifested itself in front of her. It was a Mega-Latias, just like her.

''Isn't that obvious as well?'' The being who looked like Ash Ketchum told him.

''I really don't know,'' he replied honestly, but deep down he had his suspicion. He just didn't want to acknowledge it.

''It's very simple, Latias,'' the being said. ''I am Fate, and I just knocked on your door.''

Ash is the champion, hooray! XD Anyway, did you guys like it, love it, hate it? Reviews are appreciated! :D Next chapter, the end of When fate comes knocking. Until then. ^^