All right, I'm finally going to do all five battles. Sorry for the delay. And all of you had better appreciate the immense amount of willpower I had to put into the stupid thing.

Oh, and Lance only has five pokemon in this.

Ash took a deep breath. This was it. If he won, he would be a champion. If he lost, he would be a failure, his whole life's dream destroyed. He had Midnight, of course, but even that couldn't quiet the butterfrees who were swarming in his stomach. Then he walked in through the gate.

On the other side of the room stood the trainer known as Will. He trained psychic pokemon, meaning that Ash should be able to make it through here more or less in one piece, no matter how strong the pokemon were. He had, after all, three dark pokemon and a steel. Ash had already decided to use Darkmoon for this battle. Midnight should be saved until the very end.

"Go, xatu!"

"Go, Moon!"

Ash noticed a faint flicker of fear over Will's mostly impassive face. It would seem Xatu couldn't deal well with pokemon totally immune to psychic moves.

"Xatu, use nightshade!"

"Moon, faint attack then crunch!"

Xatu shot black energy at Moon, but the psychic bird's level was not high enough to take a large toll on Moon's many hit points. Moon vanished, slammed into the xatu then bit it hard. It fainted.

Will paused, considering. Apparently his team had no pokemon to combat a dark type. While it was true they were rare, Ash still felt it was foolish to take such a huge risk.

"Go, slowbro! Use curse!"

The slowbro glowed slightly.

Ash had heard about curse. For any type other then ghost, the move increased attack and defense while lowering speed. In most situations this was a good idea, but Moon's dark attacks wouldn't be weakened since they were a special attack.

"Moon, use bite!"

Moon lunged and bit the slowbro, who was unable to evade or even partially evade the attack due to its low speed. It flinched and Ash saw his chance.

"Now use crunch!"

Moon sank her teeth into the slowbro's hide again, and the pokemon fainted.

"Go, exeggutor! Use sunny day!"

That meant that either Will was an idiot or he was about to use solar beam. Sunny day powered up fire moves, but it also speeded up solar beam.

"Moon, return, go Gyarados! Use flamethrower!"

"No! Hurry and use solar beam!"

Before the huge, palmlike pokemon could fire its devastating solar beam, the gyarados unleashed its flamethrower. Exeggutor fainted.

"Go, xatu!"

"Use thunder, Tsunami!"

Before Will could even give an order, his second xatu fell to the ground, smoking slightly.

"Go, jynx!"

It was a stupid choice, since ice is weak against fire moves and Tsunami had just used flamethrower, but she was his last pokemon.

"Use powder snow!" yelled Will, apparently hoping Tsunami might get frozen. At this stage, it was pretty much the only chance he had of taking the gyarados down.

Jynx sent a weak flurry of snowflakes at the huge gyarados. Tsunami didn't even bother to acknowledge the attack. Before Ash could give the order for flamethrower, Tsunami bit into the jynx, shaking her like an arcanine into a faint.

Will looked furious, but there was nothing he could do to stop Ash from walking through the next door into the chamber of Koga.

The last battle had been quick, but Will was the weakest of the Elite Four and Ash had a type advantage.

"So, you have beaten Will?" spoke the purple-robed ninja at the other side of the forested room rhetorically. "You will not find me so easy," he said confidently, sending out an ariados.

Remembering Midnight's last encounter with this bug pokemon, Ash wasn't going to send her out this time. "Go, Tsunami! Roast that bug with a flamethrower!"

"Ariados, use spiderweb to ensnare that overgrown worm!" snarled Koga.

Ariados spat out globs of webbing at the water snake, but they were burnt to a crisp along with the bug itself.

"Go, crobat! Use wing attack!"

A large crobat appeared, instantly hitting Tsunami with its wings.

"Tsunami, use thunderbolt!"

A bolt of lightning went through the part-flying bat and it fell to the ground in a faint.

"Go, muk!"

"Tsunami, return, go Scizor!"

"Muk, use hyper beam!"

Ash flinched, not sure if Scizor could withstand the powerful normal attack even with a type resistance. But Scizor was still standing without apparent injury when the attack faded.

"Okay Scizor, use sword's dance and then slash!"

Scizor whirled, increasing his attack power, then slashed at the huge pokemon several times, until the huge blob of toxins had recovered the energy lost in hyper beam. But the muk's body simply absorbed each attack without any noticeable effect.

"Use sludge bomb!"

The muk tossed a glob of its body at Scizor, but the toxic sludge just rolled off Scizor's armor.

"Don't you know steel is immune to poison?" gloated Ash. Very few people knew much of anything about steel pokemon, really, since there were only six of them. Still, Koga specialized in poison pokemon, so he should have remembered. "Now finish it off with your own hyper beam!"

A beam of pure energy hit the muk, and it fainted.

"Go, forretress!" called Koga, the bug/steel pokemon appearing.

"Return, Scizor, go Tsunami! Roast that bug with flamethrower!"

"Use spikes!" ordered Koga.

The pinecone-like pokemon sent out hundreds of spikes before being engulfed by the flames.

"Go, venomoth! Use sleep powder!"

The venomoth flapped its huge wings, and a blue powder fell onto Tsunami. He fell asleep.

"Tsunami, return, go Scizor!"

"Sci!" he yelled and before Ash could give a command he jumped up and clamped his claws onto the venomoth's wings. The right one tore slightly under the metal claw attack. Scizor leapt free as the moth fell, and Koga recalled it right before the venomoth hit the ground.

The battle won, the furious Koga had no choice but to allow Ash through the now-open doors.

Bruno might well be the hardest, Ash reflected as he walked gingerly toward the huge man, the extreme heat from the lava shimmering in the air. Four of his pokemon would be at a disadvantage.

"So, you have gotten this far?" asked Bruno. "No matter. My pokemon always train in the extreme. That is how we become strong. You cannot match our superior might! Go, hitmontop!"

An odd creature that looked vaguely like a very small human made out of spheres and lines with a point on its head appeared, somehow balancing on the point effortlessly in a headstand.

"Go, Sandslash!" called Ash. "Slash!"

"Hitmontop, detect!"

Hitmontop's eyes shined for an instant and he moved aside effortlessly as Sandslash's claw whistled by.

"Try again, Sandslash!"

"Use swift, hitmontop!"

The hitmontop spun around, and small golden white shining stars were tossed at Sandslash. He retaliated by swiping at the fighting pokemon, gaining a critical hit.

"Now use mach punch!" (a/n. No, hitmontop does not naturally learn that, but my walkthu listed that as an inherited move. If anyone would be kind enough to explain how that's possible please say so. Is it by sharking up a female hitmon or what? Because they're all male naturally.)

The hitmontop flipped onto his feet and rushed Sandslash, punching him. Sandslash unflinchingly slashed at the hitmon once again.

"Mach punch again!" ordered Bruno.

"Sandslash, earthquake attack!"

The hitmontop punched Sandslash again, but the ground pokemon hit the floor with his claws and the platform rumbled and split in an earthquake attack. The molten lava gurgled and bright red and yellow appeared in the cracks of the floor. The hitmontop was tossed around and fainted.

"Return, hitmontop, go, hitmonlee!" said Bruno.

"Sandslash, slash!"

"Hitmonlee, hi jump kick!"

The hitmonlee threw himself through the air, one leg outstretched. He hit Sandslash who shuddered under the blow but managed to slash back.

"Now, use double kick!" commanded Bruno.

"Sandslash, fury swipes!"

The hitmonlee kicked Sandslash quickly and brutally two times. The ground-type fainted.

"Sandslash, return, go, Tsunami!" said Ash, sending out his only other pokemon without a weakness to fighting moves. "Use thrash!"

Tsunami slithered toward the hitmonlee, hitting him with his tail.

"Hitmonlee, use mega kick!" ordered Bruno.

The hitmonlee kicked Tsunami hard and the water serpent's whole body shuddered, but the water pokemon tossed the fighting-type away with another thrash attack.

"Again!" called Bruno, and the kicking fiend kicked Tsunami again. In retaliation, the powerful creature grabbed the smaller pokemon, biting down hard and then tossing him off. Bruno's second pokemon fainted when he hit the ground.

"Return, hitmonlee, go, hitmonchan!"

"Return, Tsunami," called Ash, not wanting him to get hit by the hitmonchan's thunder punch. "Go, Scizor!" Scizor would be at a disadvantage, but he had higher defense then Moon and didn't have a double weakness like Tsunami or Sneasel. "Use slash!"

"Fire punch!" yelled Bruno. Ash gulped. Oh, right.

Scizor danced around the punches of the hitmon, managing to swipe him once without the steel pokemon getting hit in return.

"Hyper beam!" called Ash. It was Scizor's only offensive attack that didn't require him to get in close range, and if he kept as far away from the hitmonchan as possible the whole time, the short recharge period shouldn't be too bad.

Scizor focused, shooting a shining beam at the swiftly approaching hitmonchan before leaping out of the way.

"Use mach punch!" roared Bruno, getting annoyed by his pokemon's lack of accuracy, and the fighting pokemon sped up, racing at Scizor and hitting him before he could dodge.

"Use quick attack and then hyper beam!" called Ash.

Scizor slashed at the hitmonchan once before speeding away quickly. From a distance, he attacked with a second hyper beam. Bruno's hitmonchan fainted.

"Go, onix!" ordered Bruno.

"Scizor, steel wing!"

"Onix, bind!"

The onix wrapped its body around Scizor, and started to tighten its hold. Scizor shuddered, his clear and delicate wings shining a moment before hardening into silver-gray metal. The onix's coils pressed against the steel but it was not the deceptively thin slivers that gave but the huge blocks of the rock snake's body that began to crack. The onix attempted to uncurl and relieve the pressure but because the fractures were appearing on the inner side Bruno did not understand what was happening and he ordered: "Keep using bind! Don't stop until you've crushed that weak little bug."

The onix complied and continued its attempts to bind the steel pokemon, until the stone segments of the area began to break apart. The onix convulsively tightened its coils one more time before releasing Scizor and slumping to the ground in a faint.

Bruno looked furious as he recalled his pokemon. He only had one more pokemon now. "Go, machamp!"

"Scizor, return!" called Ash. "Go, Tsunami!"

Tsunami, looking tired but by no means weak, reared back and roared defiantly at the powerful fighting type before him. In response the machamp flexed its four arms, the muscles bulging under the skin.

"Tsunami, hydro pump!"

"Machamp, cross chop!"

The gyarados spat an incredibly high-powered stream of water at the machamp. A water gun attack could wear a hole through a block of granite easily. A hydro pump could blast a hole through solid steel easily.

But pokemon are not like people, and the machamp planted its legs firmly in the ground, placed two of its arms on the ground to help hold on, then advanced. Yes, the water was wearing it down, but keeping up a steady and fast stream of water was wearing Tsunami down as well. The machamp advanced, slowly but surely, on the gyarados, who redoubled his efforts to push it away. Fighting pokemon need to be in close range for most of their moves, but they are very good at using them. Tsunami knew that his best bet was to stay out of range of the machamp's attacks.

Despite his best efforts, the machamp got in range and lunged past the attack, wrapping two of its four arms around the serpent's back and squeezing while hammering into his body with its other two arms. Tsunami twisted around and tried to force it off with another hydro pump, but it dug its fingers into his flesh to hold on. Tsunami shuddered and stopped. The machamp made it clear that if it came off, a sizeable portion of his back came off too.

Tsunami switched tactics, belching fire at the superpower pokemon, but it still continued to attack. Training in just a few feet away from lava had given it a high tolerance for heat, and training as Bruno's pokemon had given it a high tolerance for pain.

Ash was paralyzed by the scene before him. The machamp had ripped out two fistfuls of Tsunami's skin when the gyarados had tried to blast it off the first time, and had simply dug its fingers back into the bleeding flesh. Tsunami's back was already turning an ugly purple under the beating he was taking. Pokemon battles weren't supposed to be like this!

Tsunami twisted and writhed around, trying to bite the machamp's head, but was unable to reach. He thrashed but the pokemon simply tightened its already agonizing grip and refused to be shaken off.

This was bad. Tsunami knew he couldn't use his physical attacks, and the machamp was virtually immune to his fire moves. Water attacks would only cause it to tear his back up more. He tried an ice beam, but the intense heat of the room weakened the attack.

The gyarados' body shuddered involuntarily under the unfaltering barrage of punches and chops. He didn't have much time before the skin on his back would give. And the only attacks he hadn't used were his electric attacks. If he tried to shock the machamp he'd get shocked as well.

Another shudder ran through his body as a particularly hard punch hit. He had to try. He started off with a low-power water gun, soaking the fighting pokemon and making it harder for the creature to breathe. Then Tsunami took a deep breath and sent a thunderbolt at the machamp.

The stunned machamp fainted. Tsunami twisted slightly to knock it off him. He was exhausted and his back was alternating between burning pain and numbness, but he had won. He reared back and roared in victory.

Ash was twitchy as he walked into the darkened room that housed the last of the Elite Four. He was confident that last battle with the machamp was violating League rules. Pokemon weren't supposed to try to rip each other apart. And the gloom in the new room was only adding to his sense of forbidding.

A women in the center of the room watched him. It was Karen, the last of the Elite Four, the trainer who specialized in dark pokemon. He was unable to get a good look at her due to the dim lighting before she wordlessly sent out a vileplume.

Normally Ash would send out Tsunami, but the fact the gyarados was even conscious after the beating he took was lucky enough. There was no way Tsunami could put up a fight. "Go, Darkmoon!"

The umbreon appeared. The instant she saw the vileplume, her long ears flattened down as she hissed slightly at the opposing plant pokemon. "Bree um eon bree eon! Um bree eon!"

"Vile vile plume," replied the vileplume calmly. "Plume vile vile plume."

"Umbreon, use faint attack!"

"Vileplume, razor leaf," said Karen softly, her voice sounding slightly resigned.

Moon vanished but not before getting hit by several leaves. A moment later, she reappeared, slamming into the vileplume.

"Bite!"

"Petal dance."

Moon bit into one of the huge petals, but was forced off by the thousands of tiny petals which appeared from nowhere.

"Faint attack and crunch!"

The umbreon vanished again, momentarily escaping the flower petals, and sank her teeth into the vileplume a second time, this time on the body. The poison-type fainted.

Karen tiredly withdrew her pokemon, acting almost bored with the fight, then sent out a gengar.

The creature was clearly powerful, but nothing compared to the gigantic gengar Midnight had fought. If Moon was defeated, Ash could always choose her to finish the fight.

"Night shade."

"Bite it!"

Moon jumped at the ghost in order to bite, but the gengar simply floated out of the way. She jumped again and simply passed through it. The ghost laughed at her mockingly, then phased in and out a few times. Moon growled, using mean look to make it hold still, before lunging and using crunch. Her teeth tore through the gaseous form easily. The gengar tried to pull away, but she held on stubbornly, worrying at it and refusing to let go even when the spirit hit her with the black energy of night shade. Finally the ghost fainted.

The gengar was quickly withdrawn and the doors opened. Ash looked at Karen in confusion. "But-"

"None of my other pokemon will fight you," she said simply, so Ash stepped through the doorway.

Rather then coming to another room with his opponent right in front of him, Ash entered a long hallway decorated with statues of dragon pokemon. He walked quickly down the hall, until he came to a raised platform. Lance was standing on it, and behind him was the already open door.

Lance sent out a gyarados wordlessly.

Tsunami was too badly hurt to fight. Scizor couldn't be used in case the gyarados knew flamethrower or fire blast. Sandslash had already fainted. Moon was tired. Midnight should still be saved as long as possible. Sneasel was the only regular pokemon he had that was still in good condition.

"Go, Sneasel! Use slash!"

"Hydro pump!"

Sneasel slashed at the huge water pokemon a few times before it blasted her away with hydro pump.

"Now use metal claw!"

"Bite!"

Both of Sneasel's claws shined silver for an instant before hardening into steel. She danced around the giant creature, hitting it and then jumping away to dodge its continuing attempts to bite her. She wasn't doing much damage, but on the other hand, it wasn't doing any. Getting hit by the first water attack had taught her caution.

"Use thunderbolt! Slow it down!" yelled Lance.

"Ice beam, Sneasel!"

The gyarados flung bolts of lightning at her, but the swift dark type managed to dodge most of them while hitting the larger and slower gyarados with ice beams. Finally, with most of its lower body incased in ice, it was no longer able to attack Sneasel if she was behind it. She then hit it with a steady ice beam until its entire form was frozen.

Lance withdrew his gyarados and sent out a charizard.

"Return, Sneasel, go, Moon! Use headbutt!"

"Fly!"

Moon sprinted at the charizard but it flapped its huge wings and leapt into the air, effectively dodging the move and causing Moon to stumble and trip over her own paws as she tried to turn around.

Growling angrily at the snickering fire dragon, Moon jumped up as hard and high as she could, headbutting the flier in its stomach. The charizard faltered for a moment as it struggled to regain its breath. Furious, it sent a fire blast at the umbreon, who simply winked out with faint attack, reappearing on the fire pokemon's back. She quickly sank her teeth into the charizard's neck before it could toss her off.

The charizard faltered again, but this time did not recover in time and smashed into the ground. Moon was tossed to the side but she stood up again, looking only slightly worse for wear.

Lance was looking annoyed now as he sent out his first dragonite. Ash withdrew Darkmoon and sent out Sneasel again.

"Flamethrower!"

"Blizzard!"

The dragonite spewed fire but Sneasel leapt clear. She stiffened in midair as she summoned thousands of icicles and sent them flying at the dragon/flying pokemon. It shuddered under the intense cold and Sneasel, seeing her chance, quickly sent an ice beam at it to finish the job.

The second dragonite was much harder, withstanding three blizzards and an ice beam, as well as managing to hit Sneasel with a flamethrower before finally being taken out by an ice punch.

The third dragonite was huge. Its head brushed the high ceiling even though it stood slightly hunched. It hit Sneasel with fire blast before she could do anything, knocking her out. Ash sent out Moon who was quickly roasted before she could use faint attack to escape the flames.

There was no point in sending out Scizor who would have no better luck with the fire moves, and Tsunami was in no condition to fight. That left-

"Go, Midnight!"

Midnight appeared, looking puny beside the behemoth in front of her. She was not intimidated. She could sense that the strength of this dragonite was far closer to a Lesser then a Higher. It was a large, old, and powerful Lesser, nothing more.

"Midnight, use steel wing!"

The dark wolf charged the dragonite, her wings shifting and hardening into metal. She hit the dragonite on its lower leg, looking deceptively like an ant.

She was much too small for her wings to have the normal battering effect. But she had hit the dragonite hard, and something had to give. That something would not be her reinforced wings.

The huge pokemon roared as Midnight's wings broke through the tough, leathery skin and then cut into the muscle. It stumbled back, off balance. Unable to straighten up and balance properly, the attempt to shift its weight onto its uninjured legs failed and it fell.

Midnight beat her wings, rising up into the air. She threw her head back, letting out a cry and millions of ice shards buried themselves in the dragon pokemon's body. The dragonite struggled but was unable to maneuver inside of the great room. An icy wind swept over the area, weakening the dragonite further. The dragonite managed to twist onto its side, aiming its head at her and trying to hit her with its own ice attack, but Midnight dodged the beam with ease. She sent a second blizzard at the pokemon, then finished it with hyper beam. The dragonite fainted.

Lance grudgingly allowed Ash past, to record his pokemon in the hall of fame, and handed him a small badge signifying that he was a master.

Ash was still a little dazed when he walked back out into the sunlight, intending to leave before anyone showed up. He'd seen the interviews of new pokemon masters before – it usually seemed to amount to a herd of reporters shouting questions and shoving them – and he wanted no part in it.

A pokemon master. He was a pokemon master. He felt kind of numb, like he wasn't really there. He had actually done it. He had accomplished his dream.

A sudden ring distracted him from his thoughts. Reaching down, he picked up the cell phone his mom had demanded he take. "Hello?"

"Hello Ash, this is Professor Hemlock. Come see me immediately." Without waiting for an answer, the pokemon researcher hung up.