Ash grinned as he stood back out of the way, watching over Dawn as she stood a few feet away from a Buneary.

After he'd cooked them and the Pokemon breakfast they'd packed up their belongings and proceeded on their journey. They had been walking through the forest area for over an hour, Ash had been explaining the basics of how Contest Appeal rounds went and the theory behind using attacks to create varied effects when they came upon a Buneary bouncing happily through the forest clearing and Dawn just had to catch it because it was so 'cute'.

Ash shook his head, he didn't understand the concept of cute Pokemon, he preferred them powerful and slightly intimidating.

"Go for it Dawn." Ash encouraged.

Dawn's eyes gained a determined glint as she lifted a shrunken Pokeball, "I'm so psyched!" She crowed.

"Here we go!" She called as she lifted her arm back preparing to throw the shrunken Pokeball.

"Hold on!" Ash cut in, "You've gotta make the Pokeball bigger first, but before that you should try to weaken it in battle." He corrected.

Dawn face-faulted before rising back up to her feet, a sheepish expression of her face, "Oops, I knew I forgot something." She stuttered. She grabbed another Pokeball and released the Pokemon inside, "Okay Piplup spotlight!" She called as Piplup appeared before her in a flash of light.

"Piplup!" The small Water type cried as he proudly stuck out his chest at the Buneary… who responded by opening it's mouth where a light blue ball of energy gathered before erupting in three crisscrossing beams of light blue energy.

Dawn panicked, and it showed on her face, "P-Piplup dodge!" She cried.

Piplup just managed to avoid the beam as it impacted with his previous spot causing it to freeze over in ice.

Dawn nervously raised her arm to give Piplup another command when she felt two hands softly grasp her shoulders from behind, and felt warm breath on her ear causing her to shiver slightly as goosebumps travelled along her skin, "Calm down Dawn, relax and let Buneary come to you." She heard Ash speak softly into her ear.

She sighed trying to relax her tense body, Ash was a lot more experienced when it came to Pokemon so she knew to trust his judgement.

Ash, seeing her relax into his slight embrace and rest her back against his chest, pushed on. "The basics of Pokemon battling come down to four things, A Pokemon's power, speed, defense and the Trainers judgement." Ash whispered in her ear again, causing her to shiver once again, "Attacking head on without reserve is for those who don't have any idea how to use strategy or those with Pokemon that have an extreme amount of strength and can afford to take hits, follow my advice because I've found one of the best ways to battle, at least in my own opinion."

Dawn sighed as she felt herself relax completely into Ash's chest, "I trust you." She whispered back.

Ash smiled softly down at her, seeing as he was a good head taller. "Good, now just follow what I say." He told her, Dawn nodding slightly in agreement.

"Buneary!" The small brown Rabbit Pokemon cried as it launched itself towards Piplup, it's ears drooping forward and glowing a faint white.

"That's a Dizzy Punch." Ash instructed. "Piplup may become confused if it hits, so wait until the last second before having Piplup sidestep or spin to the side, and then have Piplup follow up with Bubblebeam."

Dawn nodded, a red hue had gathered across her face and her heart was pounding almost painfully in her chest, but she was enjoying her position leaning against Ash's chest much more than she'd admit.

As Buneary was a few feet from Piplup and closing in fast, Dawn acted on Ash's advice, "Piplup spin to your side to dodge Buneary, when you come back around hit it with Bubblebeam." She ordered.

As Buneary was about to pummel Piplup with it's ears, the small blue Penguin Pokemon spun to the right, causing Buneary to soar straight past, exposing it's back to Piplup who opened his mouth and fired a stream of blue bubbles straight into the Normal Type Pokemon's back.

Buneary gave a cry of pain and fell to the ground unmoving and Piplup took that moment to puff his chest out in pride over his victory.

Dawn blinked as one of Ash's hands rose up from her shoulder holding an empty and already enlarged Pokeball and placed it in her hand, which was raised already from whan she'd gestured wildly when she'd given Piplup his orders; something she'd need to work on since it wasn't exactly graceful. "Catch it now." He whispered approvingly.

Dawn shivered again at the pleasurable feeling of his breath on her ear and neck but complied nonetheless, tossing the Pokeball jerkily from her position at the downed Buneary.

The Pokeball hit the comatose Pokemon, sucking it inside with a beam of ready energy, before the Pokeball dropped to the ground, rolled from side to side a few times and then settled down with a soft 'ding'.

It took a few moments for Dawn to realize it as Ash let her out of his embrace and stood beside her, but then it finally came to her and a brilliant smile lit up her face, "I just caught my first Pokemon!" She cheered happily.

Excitedly she ran over and grabbed the Pokeball. Lifting it up she stared at it joyously, "I can't believe I caught a Pokemon on my first try…" She said dazedly.

Ash chuckled as he walked up beside her, Pikachu jumping from his shoulder down to beside Piplup where both Electric and Water Pokemon proceeded to fist bump.

"You should scan the Pokeball with your Pokedex to see all the moves Buneary has. The biggest mistake a Trainer can make is not learning every bit of knowledge they can on their Pokemon, something I learned the hard way." Ash commented helpfully as he made it to beside her, snapping her out of her daze.

"Right!" Dawn responded energetically and grabbed her pink Pokedex. Flipping it open and pointing it towards the Pokeball in her other hand and hitting the button labelled 'scan'. A female, tinny voice spilled from the small speaker in the device. "Buneary, the Rabbit Pokémon. When sensing danger, it extends both ears as an alert, and when cold, it curls up and goes to sleep. This Buneary is Female and has the ability Klutz. Currently, this Buneary knows the attacks Dizzy Punch, Ice Beam, Bounce and Double Team."

"Wow, that's a pretty good moveset for your first catch." Ash commented over her shoulder.

"Really?" She asked.

Ash nodded, "Yeah, Ice Beam for one is an extremely good elemental attack and not to mention it's great for contests." He responded.

Dawn smiled at him after a moment, "I wouldn't have been able to do it without your help, thank you Ash." She told him, before surprising himself and her as she stowed Buneary's Pokeball in her bag and threw her arms around Ash's neck, bringing him into a tight hug.

Ash blushed slightly, totally unprepared for the embrace, but after a few seconds he relaxed his tense posture and slipped his arms around her waist as he relaxed into it, bringing one arm up and gently dragging it up and down Dawn's back in a comforting manner, "Glad to help." He said softly into her head, in the process catching a good whiff of her hair.

'Vanilla.' He registered the scent as, whether it was from her shampoo, perfume, or even just her natural scent. He didn't know, or care for that matter, he just couldn't help himself as he nuzzled her cheek against her white hat and, since it was so thin, by extension her hair. He didn't know why, but he enjoyed being so close to Dawn, sure he'd been hugged by a few girls, even kissed a few times, but he didn't really find Misty all that pretty to be honest, nor did he know Melody long enough to feel anything out of her kiss. Bianca or Latias, he cared for but not in that way, Bianca because while he did think she was pretty she was too absorbed in her art and did he even have to mention Latias? He was fond of the very affectionate Pokemon, like his Bayleef but he wasn't about to try and strike a relationship up with her, he wasn't into beastiality, or pokephilia, or whatever they were calling it these days, thank you very much.

The closest he had felt to the same as now with Dawn was with May, they'd hugged a few times, hell he'd even caught both himself and May staring into each other's eyes at times, so while that might have went somewhere, there was always that arrogant pretty boy Drew that came between them, handing May roses left, right and centre, and flirting with her, something that annoyed him to no end.

Why the hell did someone who was so obviously gay have to flirt so much with girls?

He was broken from his thoughts when he slid down against the tree behind them into a sitting position, Dawn was near enough sitting in his lap hugging him, as he kept one arm around her waist and the other gently caressing her back.

"Can we stay like this for a little while? I'm enjoying it." Dawn pleaded softly, her hot breath washing against his neck causing him to shiver and his heart rate to increase.

Despite how inexperienced he was when it came to this type of thing, Ash found himself smiling into Dawn's hat as he took another whiff of her vanilla scented hair. "Sure Dawn, as long as you like." He responded comfortingly.

They sat like that for a few minutes, enjoying the closeness between them both before Ash decided to start a conversation, "Hey Dawn, do you have any plans for your first contest?" He asked.

He was surprised to get no answer, just Dawn continuing to softly breath against his neck, bending his neck down to get a better look a soft smile spread across his face as he saw both of Dawn's eyes closed and that she was asleep.

With his large backpack on, the position he was in was actually very comfortable, it was very soft against his back and then at his front Dawn was nice and warm and also felt very soft against him.

Within the gentle embrace of Dawn, he didn't even notice as his eyelids got heavy before drooping down and closing as he also fell asleep.

They forgot completely that two certain Pokemon were watching them.

Pikachu and Piplup grinned at each other as they fist bumped again, "(Look's like we'll be seeing each other for quite a while to come my new bro.)" Pikachu commented.

Piplup nodded his small blue head, "(Dawn Ketchum does have a nice ring to it doesn't it?) The small Water type Pokemon responded with a laugh.

Pikachu nodded in agreement, "(Now, whatta you say we go do some training and let the two lovebirds sleep together in peace?") Pikachu asked.

Piplup fist pumped, "(I'm game!)" He responded energetically.

With that, both Electric and Water type Pokemon ran off into a deeper section of the forest, where Pikachu would humiliate Piplup for hours on end, but in doing so allowing the small blue penguin like Pokemon to become all the stronger.

After all, Pikachu couldn't allow the partner of his best friend for life's new soon-to-be girlfriend be unable to protect her, could he?

It was a few hours later when Dawn woke up first, snuggling into Ash's neck, before realizing where she was and what she was doing and thus, jumped up, startled, which woke Ash up as well. Dawn, realizing her sudden jump had caused her head to hit into his chin, started apologizing profusely, a small red hue across her face.

Ash had silenced her apologizing with one simple sentence, "It's okay Dawn, in fact I quite enjoyed it; aside from that last part anyway." He had told her, causing the small red hue on her face to turn into a full scarlet faced blush as he rubbed his chin.

And thus they had started back on their journey through the forest, Piplup having returned to his Pokeball on his own before they woke up because he was too tired to do anything else after training with Pikachu, and the electric mouse having climbed back into Ash's backpack to catch up on some Z's.

As they walked, they were so close to each other that they kept brushing up against one another, not that either of them seemed to mind.

It didn't take long at all before conversation was brought up again, despite them both enjoying the comfortable silence, "Hey Ash, what was the first Pokemon you caught?" Dawn asked curiously.

Ash let a melancholy smile spread across his face as he turned his face towards her, remembering his old buddy, "Ah, that would have been my old Butterfree back when he was a Caterpie." He replied.

"Wow a Butterfree really?" She asked before continuing quickly, "I've seen a few of them and they're really beautiful." She gushed.

Ash gave a laugh as he reached into his back pocket, "Oh Butterfree was definitely a beautiful Pokemon." He commented, pulling his Pokedex from his pocket before continuing, "Now the Pokedex, while having it's own set of images for Pokemon, also keeps the image of any Pokemon you scan." He told her as he lifted his Pokedex up and showed her the screen.

Dawn gasped as she got a good look at it, standing in the image was a younger Ash wearing a red and white cap, with a short blue sleeved blue jacket, but the most surprising thing about the image was the large blue Butterfly Pokemon with white and black wings sitting on Ash's shoulder as he reached up and stroked the Pokemon under it's chin as it leaned into his hand.

"Wow…" Dawn breathed, "He must be really strong by now."

"I wouldn't know, I released him back into the wild a long time ago." Ash replied sadly.

"But why?" Dawn asked, her voice almost pleading.

Ash gave her another melancholy smile as he lifted his Pokedex up again, this time the image on the screen being that of another Butterfree but this one's body being pink, "Butterfree found the love of his life so I let him go with her, it would have been selfish of me to keep him by my side when he had found someone to keep him happy." Ash replied softly, before giving a small chuckle a second later, "But I never did release him from the Pokeball so that no other trainer could catch him if they came across him, so technically he is still my Pokemon." Ash explained, chuckling softly.

Dawn gave a giggle, "I can understand that, I don't think many people would pass up the opportunity to catch such a great looking Pokemon, I know I wouldn't." She responded. They were interrupted as the sun above them seemed to get brighter, while small shining sparkles floated down around them.

"Wow, what's that?" Dawn asked.

Ash narrowed his eyes, knowing what kind of combinations a move like that could allow to be performed, "It's a Sunny Day attack, it powers up the attacks of fire types and allows a few others moves to be performed better. Solar Beam, for instance, can be launched a lot faster than is usually possible." He explained, reaching for Cyndaquil's Pokeball, alert and ready to act if anybody attacked.

He eased up his grip though as he saw a man that could pass for a prince walk into the clearing with a small Budew by his side, "Ah, hello my friends, I am sorry if we startled you, we are just enjoying the peace of the forest." The prince look-a-like apologized.

The man had long black hair and had what Ash could guess was a handsome face. The prince lookalike was wearing knee length brown boots, cream dress pants, a cream dress shirt with a green vest over it and a green hat, over his broad shoulders he had a long green cloak draped. "I am Nando the Bard." He introduced himself and for the first time Ash noted he had a mew shaped golden harp in his hands.

Ash smiled, "I'm Ash Ketchum."

Dawn introduced herself right after him, "And I'm Dawn Berlitz."

"A pleasure to meet you my young friends." Nando replied, quirking an eyebrow as Ash squatted down and softly rubbed the side of Budew's head.

"Dew." Budew cooed at Ash's soft ministrations.

"This is a pretty strong looking Budew you have here, I can tell you've raised it well." Ash commented as he stood back up.

"I thank you, but it is not I who should be taking the credit, Budew is the one that puts in all the work after all." Nando responded.

"Well then, great job Budew." Ash told the small Grass type Pokemon with a smile.

"Hey I've got it!" Dawn suddenly proclaimed.

"Got what Dawn?" Ash asked.

Dawn smiled at him, "Now I can show you how strong I've gotten." She replied before turning to face Nando, "Nando would you mind battling with me?" She asked.

"If that pleases you." Nando responded.

Ash took his chance to cut in, "Don't forget Dawn, this will be your very first battle with a Trainer, but remember what I told you earlier and you should do fine." Ash told her.

"Don't worry abut me Ash, with your advice I'll be fine." She replied.

Nando spoke up next, "Dawn, are you by chance on a quest to win the Sinnoh League?" He asked.

Dawn shook her head in the negative, "No, I'm on a quest to win the Grand festival." Dawn replied happily.

"I see, then a contest battle it is, there is a clearing up ahead that will be perfect for our needs." Nando responded.

"Great!" Dawn cheered.

With that all three Trainers, plus Budew, began walking through the forest together for a few minutes before they reached the clearing, Dawn and Nando taking up spaces opposite each other in the clearing and Ash standing directly behind Dawn so he could give her advice if she needed it.

Seeing Budew standing in front of Nando at the ready, Dawn extracted one of her Pokeballs and enlarged it in her hand, "Okay Buneary, spotlight!" She called as she released the small brown rabbit like Pokemon.

Ash smiled behind her, "Good choice, Buneary has two good moves that will cause Budew a lot of damage if they connect." He commented from behind her.

Dawn smiled at his praise, but didn't respond, instead she intended to take the first move, "Okay Buneary Ice Beam!" She ordered.

Buneary opened her mouth and quickly fired the crisscrossing light blue beams towards Budew.

"Please, dodge." Nando requested.

Budew obeyed and jumped to the side, narrowly dodging the Ice Beam as it froze over it's previous position.

"Please, Bullet Seed." Nando requested quickly.

Budew opened it's mouth and fired a multitude of yellow energy bullets towards Buneary.

Dawn remembering Ash's advice to counter and dodge when not using extremely powerful Pokemon thought of a manoeuvre on the fly, "Buneary use Bounce to jump over the attack and come down on Budew."

"Bun bun!" Buneary responded as she jumped straight up at least fifty feet into the air, dodging the Bullet Seed and coming down hard, stomping her feet into the face of Budew.

The small grass type gave a cry of pain as it crashed into the ground, but Nando continued undeterred, "Mega Drain if you please." He requested next.

Budew jumped to it's feet and the bud on Budew's head glowed white, as it shot a dark green beam from its bud at Buneary. The green beam grabbed Buneary before she could dodge, trapping it inside and began to suck her energy. As it did, Buneary became outlined in red and the beam also turned red. The beam released Buneary after a few moment and travelled quickly back to Budew. Budew glowed white when the beam returned back to it, and all of its injuries that it received from the Bounce attack disappeared.

"What? But how did Budew heal?" Dawn asked in astonishment.

Ash answered her from behind, "Mega Drain is an attack that steals the nutrients from the opponents body and gives them to the user, thus allowing the user to heal damage received in battle." Ash told her.

Dawn nodded, filing that tidbit of information away for now, "Okay Buneary, quickly Bounce again." She ordered.

Buneary obeyed and jumped straight high up into the air again, flipping over Budew's responding Bullet Seed, and as the small rabbit like Pokemon descended, Dawn made her move, "Now Ice Beam!" She called out.

As she descended Buneary opened her mouth and fired the light blue crisscrossing beams of Ice Beam at Budew, striking the Grass Type dead center and freezing it over in a block of ice.

Dawn whooped excitedly, "I won!" She cheered.

Her victory excitement was cut off by Ash though. "Not yet Dawn, look at Budew."

Shifting back to a serious attitude, Dawn looked back and gasped a bit as she saw Budew glowing a bright white inside the ice, before the ice started to break as Budew expanded in size.

"What's happening to Budew?" Dawn cried out in shock.

"It's evolving." Ash explained from behind.

When the white glow died down and the ice had broken away, in budews place now stood a green bipedal humanoid looking Pokemon with a leaf like dress and a rose in each hand, one red and the other blue.

"That's a Roselia, quick Dawn don't let it recover from your attacks finish it now." Ash barked from behind her, startling her into action.

"Buneary Ice Beam again!" she commanded.

Nando smiled, "Please fire Solar Beam." He requested.

Buneary opened her mouth and fired the light blue Ice Beam straight at Roselia only for the newly evolved Pokemon to hold both roses together now glowing a bright white before an large bright white beam erupted from the roses, completely overpowering the Ice Beam as they met halfway and crashing straight into Buneary powerfully.

Buneary gave a loud cry of pain before she was thrown back a good twenty feet, skidding to a halt just in front of Dawn covered in bruises and completely unconscious with swirls in her eyes.

Dawn looked at Buneary in horror as she dropped to her knees. "My Buneary." She muttered, devastated. Grabbing the Normal Type Pokemon gently and bringing her into a comforting embrace.

"It appears our battle is over, I thank you for giving Budew the push it needed to evolve." Nando thanked.

Dawn looked towards Roselia, "But how did it fire Solar Beam so fast?" She asked.

Ash answered her, "The Sunny Day from earlier allowed Roselia to charge the attack up much more quickly than it would have normally." He repeated from earlier.

"Thank you again, but I am afraid I underestimated you Dawn, and thus Roselia needs to go to the Pokemon Center right away so I can make sure nothing is wrong with it." Nando commented as he tossed them a small wave and returned Roselia, "I bid you adieu." He told them as he walked away.

Dawn sighed, "I can't believe I lost." She muttered.

"Don't feel so down Dawn." Ash told her as he gently grasped her hand and pulled her to her feet. "That was great for your first battle, much better than I did." He praised.

Dawn blushed, "You think so?"

Ash smiled gently at her, "Yeah you were great, you really put the advice I gave you to good use, if you had a little more experience I have no doubt you could probably have won that battle." Ash commented.

Dawn smiled at him in thanks for his praise as she returned Buneary to her Pokeball in a beam of red energy, "Buneary return."

It was then that they both noticed Ash was still holding her hand and blushed at each other. Ash loosened his grip and was about to let go when Dawn gripped his hand back, causing him to look at the blue haired girl.

Dawn smiled at him, "I like this, it's comforting so let's keep it doing it for now okay?" She asked.

Ash gave her a small smile as his blush lessened, "As long as you want Dawn." He responded kindly, "Now how about we get Buneary to the Pokemon Center? According to the map it isn't very far from here." He suggested.

Dawn nodded, "Let's go!" She cheered excitedly and began running, pulling Ash along with her.

Ash laughed outright at her enthusiasm and began running with her side by side, grasping her hand gently with his own as they ran.

Having reached the Pokemon Centre a few hours earlier, Ash and Dawn had booked a room together for the night and would be leaving the next morning to continue on their journey towards Jubilife City.

Ash stretched his arms up as he left the cafeteria, Dawn was currently having a shower back at their room so he'd decided to have dinner before heading out for a short training session with his Pokemon. After all, Starly was so close to mastering Aerial Ace he could almost taste it.

He blinked as he noticed Nando, the bard they'd met earlier that day sitting on a bench to the side of the hall, a contemplative look on his face, his Mew shaped harp nowhere to be seen, same with his Roselia. Ash guessed the Grass Pokemon was still resting after the battle it had with Dawn's Buneary, the small brown Rabbit Pokemon was still resting after all.

Decision made after a few moments of thought, Ash made his way over and sat down beside Nando on the bench.

They were both sitting silence for a few moments before Ash decided to break the comfortable silence himself, "You seem to be thinking hard, mind telling me what's on your mind? Maybe I can help?" Ash asked the older male.

Nando looked at him for a moment before nodding his head and giving a sigh, "I am having trouble choosing between a quest to win the Grand Conference as a Coordinator or a quest to conquer the Sinnoh League." He explained.

Ash nodded his head, a grin slowly spreading across his face before he stood up. "That's easy to decide." Ash commented as he began walking away.

Nando turned a curious look on Ash's retreating form, "How?" He asked simply, but that was all that was needed.

Ash grinned as he looked over his shoulder at Nando, "Do both." He answered nonchalantly," The Grand Conference always takes place a month or two before the Pokemon League in every region, I should know I studied it all when I was thinking of doing both back when I travelled through Hoenn, but I decided to stick to Gym Battling." He continued, before turning and disappearing down the hallway.

Nando smiled softly as he reached inside his green cloak and pulled out his golden Mew shaped harp, "Yes, yes I suppose it is as simple as that, thank you." He whispered gratefully before standing.

He stood up and began to walk slowly down the opposite side of the hallway from Ash, playing his harp in a soft melody, "There once was a young man named Ash, who met a young girl called Dawn, I look forward to the day their feelings finally clash, because I'm sure between them love will be born." He sang as he walked.

The next morning Ash and Dawn had a quick breakfast after a nice restful night of sleep, before Ash took Dawn out to the large clearing behind the Pokemon Centre to finally get her started on training her Pokemon.

"One of the most important things to remember about Pokemon battles is that your Pokemon can only go on fighting for so long." Ash had commented, "So the what you want to work on first is your Pokemon's Stamina, and with that in mind, you should have them practice by shooting attack after attack for as long as they are able." Ash had told her seriously.

And so, she had set her three Pokemon to building their stamina by performing their strongest attacks again and again. Aipom with Focus Punch, Piplup with Bubble Beam and Buneary with Ice Beam.

Dawn had never seen a Pokemon as exhausted as both her Piplup and Buneary when the hour was over, funnily enough though Aipom, while breathing a bit heavily, was not deterred in the least, something she attributed to Ash having trained the small purple monkey like Pokemon before he'd given her to Dawn.

And so after they'd returned their Pokemon when the training session was done, they had started back up on their journey towards Jubilife City.

They'd been walking for a good two hours when they heard a soft pained cry that stopped them in their tracks.

"Twig." It cried softly, almost pleadingly.

They both turned towards the source of the cry and Dawn gasped; in front of them between two bushes covered in bruises and looking like it was half starved was a Turtwig.

Ash acted instantly as he swung his backpack off his back and dropped to his knees as he began rooting around in the side pouches.

He looked to Dawn as he was doing that, "Dawn I heard a stream or maybe a river not to far from here, go get some water for this Turtwig while I check it's wounds." Ash told her, near enough ordered.

Despite how rude he came across, Dawn nodded, knowing he was thinking of the Pokemon, "Right." She agreed before running off into the foliage just as Ash pulled a bunch of medical supplies from his bag as well as a tin can with the shape of a leaf on the front and a medium sized blue bowl.

Opening the tin can, he quickly emptied a good amount of the Pokemon food inside, specifically made for Grass types straight into the ball, filling it up before setting it down in front of the Turtwig.

Turtwig weakly lifted itself to it's legs and slowly walked a few steps over to the bowl before bending down and eating the Pokemon food slowly.

Ash took his time now as he opened one of the medicine capsules and emptying two small blue pills into his palm, before closing the capsule over and setting it back in one of the pouches on the side of his backpack.

Reaching down he grabbed a spoon from the supplies he'd first grabbed from the backpack and used the back end of it to crush the two blue pills in his hand into dust.

Setting the spoon down, he reached his hand over to the bowl Turtwig was eating from and sprinkled the now blue dust over the Pokemon food.

Turtwig stopped eating, looking hesitant now that Ash had placed something in it.

Ash smiled gently as he reached down and softly rubbed the sift of Turtwig's head, "Don't worry little guy, it's medicine that will dull the pain you're feeling and make you a little drowsy." Ash explained gently.

Turtwig leaned into his palm gently as he caressed the small Grass Type Pokemon softly, before it began eating again. Turtwig finished the bowl of food quickly, causing Ash to smile before he pulled the last of the supplies he'd taken from the backpack into his hand, a good and full orange bottle of Super Potion.

Reaching down he gently rubbed the now drowsy Turtwig's head again, causing the Pokemon's eyes to droop as it lay down and fell asleep. He didn't really need to give it the blue pills, but it was already in quite a bit of pain by the looks of things and he didn't want to add on to it, so he'd given the Turtwig the pills that were a strong painkiller of sort that numbed the senses and made the taker extremely sleepy.

"There, now you won't feel a thing." Ash said as he sprayed the Super Potion over Turtwig's wounds, and just like he said Turtwig didn't so much as wince from the sting the effects of Super Potion usually caused as it healed injuries.

Reaching down he cleaned off the bowl before setting it back in the Pouch in his backpack along with the other supplies and stood up as he swung the backpack back on.

He contemplated leaving it on it's own but decided against it, he didn't want it to be attacked and be unable to defend itself.

Reaching into his backpocket he idly pulled out his Pokedex, aimed it at the sleeping figure of Turtwig and hitting the Scan button. "Turtwig, the Tiny Leaf Pokémon. Its shell is made of earth and when it absorbs water, it becomes harder. This Turtwig is Male and has the ability Overgrow. Currently, this Turtwig knows the attacks Razor Leaf, Synthesis, Bite and Double-Edge."

Ash whistled in appreciation, "That is one good set of moves." He praised.

He idly wondered what could have injured Turtwig that badly with how strong it seemed, enough to make Turtwig unable to gather food on his own.

He was getting a bit worried for Dawn now though, she'd been gone for a lot longer than he'd expected almost twenty-minutes now, he wanted to go out and look for her but he couldn't just leave Turtwig alone and defenseless.

His decision was made for him though a few seconds later.

"!" He heard Dawn scream loudly over the forest, acting on instinct he grabbed a Pokeball from his silver belt as he began running, touching it to Turtwig's head and sucking the Pokemon inside in a flash of red energy as he ran past.

Turtwig put up no resistance as he was caught, and Ash clipped his newest Pokemon's Pokeball to his silver belt as he sprinted towards where he heard Dawn's voice.

It took him a minute, but he finally burst out of the foliage of the forest into a rocky area with a stream not to far away.

He spotted Dawn laying on the ground, a large Rhydon standing over her, behind her a fat balding headed man wearing stained overalls grinned cruelly at her as he held up three Pokeballs. Pokeballs he assumed were Dawn's seeing as she had no Pokemon out.

"Thank's for the Pokemon girly, too bad that Turtwig from the other day got away or else I'd only need a Chimchar to complete the set and would make off with a shit load of cash from selling them, but I suppose your Pokemon will have to do I guess." He sneered out, loudly at her.

Well that was his questions about Turtwig answered, it seemed.

Ash ground his teeth angrily as he looked towards his backpack over his shoulder, "Pikachu." He said simply.

The small electric mouse poked his head out of Ash's backpack curiously before noticing Dawn's position and narrowed his small eyes, his cheeks sparking dangerously "Hit it with Iron Tail." Ash ordered calmly.

Pikachu nodded before jumping from the backpack and speeding across the rocky terrain, his lightning bolt shaped tail glowing a bright silvery white and reached the Rhydon within a blink.

Jumping Pikachu smacked the underside of Rhydon's chin and sent the large Ground and Rock Type Pokemon soaring into the air from the force behind the attack.

Both Dawn and the fat man had two different reactions. Dawn gave a relieved sigh and the fat man gaped in shock as a small Pikachu sent his large Rhydon soaring.

That's when Ash's voice alerted them to his presence, "It's in the air now Pikachu so it can't redirect your electric attacks into the ground, finish it off with Thunder." Ash ordered evenly but there was a hint of danger in his voice.

Pikachu landed on the ground, but immediately erupted in a large electrical aura as he gave a deafening cry of "Pika!", launching a massive electric bolt of energy straight up at Rhydon, the bolt of electricity easily dwarfing the width of Rhydon.

The electricity from the Thunder attack went to high, piercing the clouds and kept up for a few moments before dying down and allowing Rhydon to drop to the ground, blackened and charred, with a loud thud, shaking the terrain from it's weight.

Ash glared through his bangs as he walked into the clearing and stood in front of Dawn protectively, Pikachu jumping onto his shoulder and sparking his cheeks threateningly at the fat man.

"Drop the Pokeballs, return your Rhydon and beat it." Ash growled, "If I ever hear about you trying to steal Pokemon again, it will be you instead of Rhydon next time. Rhydon got off lucky with some charred hide, you on the other hand… you'll be lucky if just your heart explodes." He threatened.

The fat man nodded meekly as he dropped Dawn's Pokeballs to the ground and returned Rhydon, a dark grey wet stain appearing on his grey trousers before he turned tail and ran away like a coward.

Ash nodded to Pikachu who nodded in understanding as he leapt of of his shoulder and made his way over to Dawn's fallen Pokeballs.

While Pikachu was doing that, Ash turned to Dawn and gently pulled her to her feet. She startled him by immediately wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly as small sobs racked her body, "I was so scared." She whispered.

Ash rubbed her back gently like he did the morning before, "Shhh." He said soothingly.

But Dawn continued, "I thought he was going to steal my Pokemon and hurt me, or maybe even worse." She whispered again, despairingly.

Ash brought the hand that wasn't rubbing her back and wrapped around it around her waist, pulling her into the hug tighter, "Don't worry, I wont let anything happen to you." Ash replied softly.

Dawn pulled back slightly from his neck and looked up into his amber eyes with her own teary deep blue eyes, "Really?" She asked desperately.

Ash nodded, "Of course." He responded giving her a soft smile.

"You'll protect me then?" She asked next.

Ash nodded resolutely, "Always." He responded confidently.

Dawn pulled back and graced him with a grateful smile as she rubbed the tears from her eyes, "Thank you." She whispered.

Ash nodded as Pikachu jumped onto his shoulder again, raising his hand to catch the Pokeballs as Pikachu dropped them.

He grasped Dawn's wrist with the unoccupied hand and then planted the three shrunken Pokeballs into her palm, "Here, I think these are yours." Ash said.

Dawn graced him with another small smile, "Thank you." She said before turning her head, "And you too Pikachu." She continued.

She turned to begin walking back the way were they'd met Turtwig before she stopped and turned to face Ash again, "What happened to that Turtwig?" She asked curiously.

Ash grinned as he pointed to a Pokeball on his silver belt, "That would be his new Pokeball." He responded cheerfully.

Dawn gave a happy giggle as they both began walking out of the rocky terrain beside the stream and back into the forest foliage.

Ash paused for a moment, "Are you sure you're okay Dawn?" He asked concernedly.

Dawn turned to face him and now graced him again, but this time with a brilliant happy smile, "With you with me?" She asked, "I'll be fine, no need to worry." She responded with complete confidence.

Ash grinned and threw an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into a side hug, "And don't forget it, trust me and I'll make sure nothing happens to you." Ash told her.

Her face still holding a brilliant happy smile, gave him the response he'd been hoping for, subconsciously at least, "I trust you." She confessed.

It wouldn't be long now when that thought went from his subconcious, right into his active thoughts.

Pikachu grinned and chirped in from the shoulder Dawn wasn't leaning in against, "Pi Pikachu Pikapii! (Way to go Ash! I always knew you'd be a babe magnet!)" He cheered.

And there's chapter two.

Anyway, shameless Pa-atreon plug. I've got one, go by the same username on there, easy to find and all that jazz. Support me if you want, it'd be swell, but don't feel pressured lads and ladies, I'll be uploading my stuff outside it regardless and not keeping it all behind a paywall or anything like that.