Another Ash and Misty story. Well, at its core, it is. Others can see it as Ash's journey to the top of the world... or lack thereof. "Why wait, RavenT2," I'm sure you're thinking, "Is isn't Ash going to win?" "Well, dear reader," my reply would be, "You'll have to read it to find out."

Oh, yes. Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. Seriously, does that need to be said at this point?


All or Nothing

This was the moment he had been waiting for his entire life. Ash Ketchum, the kid from Pallet Town. All of his life, he talked about making it as a Pokémon Master, but now, 10 years after he started his journey, it was right within his grasp. He was close enough to taste it now. He sat in his preparation room, going over his strategy in his mind. He had his top three Pokémon ready to go: Pikachu, Charizard, and Bulbasaur. While staring at the wall he had his foot up against, he rocked back and forth in his chair with Pikachu staring intently at him. "Almost time," Ash said to Pikachu. "Pika," Pikachu replied as it nodded. Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Come in," Ash said as he stopped rocking. In walked Brock, who said, "Hey, man, ready?" "As I'll ever be," Ash said, "Is it time?" "Not yet," Brock said, "We have a few minutes." Brock sat down and asked, "Pressure getting to ya?" Ash went back to rocking in his chair and staring at the wall and said, "A little." "Well, gee," Brock said, "this makes what I came to tell you… even harder." Ash looked at him and said, "What is it?" Brock sighed, smiled, and said, "She's here." Ash stopped rocking and stared at Brock, who was flashing a look right back at him to let him know exactly who he was talking about. "I thought you said she wasn't coming," Ash said. "No, I said, I don't know if she is coming or not," Brock corrected. Ash sighed and swirled his neck around before leaning his head back to stare up at the ceiling. "Great…" Ash sighed. "So, what?" Brock said, "You guys talked and everything, right?" Ash didn't answer and went back to rocking in his chair, prompting Brock to ask again, "Right?" Ash then looked at him and Brock shouted, "You never told her!" "Shh," Ash said, as he set the chair straight, "Calm down." Brock did just that and said, "Come on, Ash. This is ridiculous. How long have you been in love with her?" Ash shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know. Since I can remember, I guess." Brock just chuckled and said, "So, I guess you tell her after your match with Lance, right?" "Only if I win," Ash said in a very serious tone. "What?" Brock asked. "I'm serious, Brock," Ash said as he stood up, "It's why I haven't told her yet. If I can't win, she can't know." "But Ash…" Brock said. "No way, man," Ash said, "It would be pointless to tell her if I'm a loser. She doesn't deserve that." "But she wants you," Brock said. "How do you know?" Ash asked. "It's obvious," Brock said, "Why else has she been single this long? She's waiting for you. Tell me you've seen it." Before Ash could answer, they heard a knock at the door. "Mister Ketchum," a man's voice said, "It's time." "I'll be right there," Ash called back. He then turned to Brock and Pikachu and said, "Listen you guys: today is everything I've ever wanted. But if I can't grab my dream, it means that it was not my time and I can handle that. What I can't handle is her knowing before I'm ready for her to… when I'm not the one she deserves. So, please, respect my wishes, if I lose today," he then looked directly at Pikachu, "if we lose, promise me that Misty won't know a thing about how I feel about her. Understood?" Neither Brock nor Pikachu liked the idea, but they agreed to go along with Ash's wishes. Ash then put his hand out in front of him and said, "I never would have made it this far without you guys. So, win or lose, I'm proud you guys are with me." Brock put his hand top of Ash's and Pikachu jumped on Ash's arm and put its hand on top of theirs. "Let's go, guys," Ash said, "Lance is waiting." With that, they all left the room and headed for the battle area.

Indigo Plateau Stadium. The site of the battle between Lance and Ash that was just minutes away from taking place. The stadium was not only packed with spectators, but it seemed that just about everyone Ash had ever met along his journey was there as well; those who could not be in the stadium were outside watching it on the giant screen or in one of the many restaurants in Indigo to watch "The Showdown of the Ages," as the media, and even Lance himself, were calling it. The announcer for the event, with microphone in hand, got up to area right to line of the battle arena and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! People here in Kanto and to all of you to whom we are broadcasting to all around the world! We welcome you to… THE SHOWDOWN OF THE AGES!" The whole crowd, inside and outside of the arena, let out loud cheers. After a few minutes of cheers, the announcer said, "I'll tell you what, ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see a match that will be talked about for decades, no, centuries to come. You've heard of legendary Pokémon. Well, get ready for a legendary Pokémon battle! These two combatants are no strangers to Pokémon battles or each other. So, without further ado, let's meet our champions." There more cheers and then one of the trainer tunnels began filling with smoke and the lights in the stadium were dimmed. The announcer then said, "He is the one the most well-known Pokémon trainers in the world! He's skills are so legendary that there is no one in the entire world of Pokémon, human or Pokémon, that has not heard of him! He is known as the Dragon Pokémon Master and a former member of the highly esteemed Elite Four of Indigo! THIS… IS… LAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNCCCCCEEE!" Just then, many pyrotechnics went spotlighted shined down on Lance as he walked out accompanied by his former Elite Four companions Agatha, Bruno, and Lorelei, met with the cheers and screams of the spectators. Among them was the new Elite Four member, Koga. All of them except waved at the audience as Lance, calmly and with purpose, walked to the center of the battle arena, the Elites following close behind. "Now, ladies and gentlemen," the announcer said, "His opponent has made a name for himself by refusing to stay out of the crosshairs of every league through out the world! This kid has such an unbelievable spirit that even legendary Pokémon have taken notice of him! He is no stranger to Indigo Plateau! And, while he did not win his first time here, do not expect that to be the result this time around!" Spotlights then started swirling in every direction with one spotlight staying on Lance and his group. The announcer continued, "From Pallet Town! Ladies and gentlemen… THIS IS… ASH… KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETCHUMMMMMMMM!" With a spotlight shining down on him, Ash, with Pikachu on his shoulder, and Brock at his side walked out to the tunnel into the view of the audience which was met with an ovation that equal, if not greater, to the cheers Lance received; this caused Lance look the crowd over and think, 'Seems he's gotten more popular.' Ash walked to the center of the battlefield and he and Lance stood in faceoff. After a minute of serious looks toward one another, they both cracked a smile. The announcer walked up to them and asked, "Gentlemen, any final words before the match begins?" Lance scoffed and said, "I just hope that I'm ready for you, Ash." "Same here," Ash replied. Lance then stuck his hand out and said, "Good luck to you." Ash shook his hand and said, "Same to you. You better not hold back." "I was just about to say the same thing to you," Lance said. They then released the others hand and went and took their place at their respective trainer's boxes at the opposite sides of the battle area, followed by their entourages. While Ash and Lance mentally readied themselves, the announcer quickly went through the rules for the crowd: no time limit, the terrain was a forest area with boulders and a small lake, both combatants had three Pokémon to choose from, they could call them in whatever order they choose, and the match would end only when all three of either trainer's Pokémon were unable to battle; naturally, at that point, the trainer with, at least, one Pokémon fit to continue would be the winner. Ash and Brock bumped fists and Brock walked over to the tunnel where he and Ash walked out of and stood against the wall right next to it. The Elite Four went and sat down at the benches near Lance's entrance tunnel; there were benches where Brock could sit down as well but he was too excited to sit. The referee pointed his flag at Ash to ask if he was ready, Ash nodded; the referee then pointed his other flag at Lance and asked if he was ready, Lance smiled and nodded. The referee then took both flags in the air and shouted, "LET THE MATCH BEGIN!" He then waved the flags and the crowd cheered loudly once again.

Lance and Ash wasted no time in throwing out their respective Poké balls to start the match: Lance's Dragonite and Ash's Charizard. "Starting off big, eh, Ash?" Brock joked to himself. Charizard and Dragonite had a stare down before both trainers ordered their Pokémon to take to the air. "Charizard, Flamethrower!" Ash ordered, which prompted Charizard launch a huge fire blast at Dragonite. "Dodge it, Dragonite and use Whirlwind!" Lance ordered. Dragonite did so and blew the fire back toward Charizard, who dodged the fire as well. The two Pokémon then circled each other before Charizard tried its Flamethrower again. Dragonite dodged it and used Twister, which connected, sending Charizard to the ground, with force. Charizard managed to get up in time to be hit by Dragonite's Wing Attack; this caused it to stumble but Charizard refused to fall. Dragonite used Wing Attack several more times but Charizard's resolve to not let Ash down was unbelievable. Ash was in awe of Charizard's tenacity, as was Lance and all the spectators. Soon, as if sensing what Ash was about to tell him to do, Charizard side stepped Dragonite upon its next attack and grabbed hold of it. Charizard then flew in the air with Dragonite and preformed a Seismic Toss, hurling Dragonite into the ground. As the dust began to settle, Charizard wanted to go in to attack it again but a Hyper Beam came flying out of the dust and hit Charizard, dead on. Charizard hit the ground again and got up in time to see Dragonite staring at it from the dissipating dust. Charizard, with a genuine Ash look on his face, slowly stood up and stared down Dragonite once again. Ash tried to think of someway to get Chariazard out of this and suddenly, he was struck with an idea. "Charizard, cloak and dagger!" Ash shouted. Charizard smiled and used his Flamethrower and fired it at the feet of Dragonite. Dragonite covered its face but then realized that the fire was a decoy; but by the time Dragonite realized this, it was too late. Charizard flew at Dragonite and hit it with Steel Wing, causing Dragonite to stumble and fall. Charizard then used Overheat to take down Dragonite, once and for all. "Dragonite is unable to battle," the referee declared, "Charizard is the winner." The crowd cheered aloud as Charizard, breathing heavily, landed by Ash, who told him, "Good job." "Pika," Pikachu agreed. Lance recalled Dragonite and said, "Amazing job." He then pulled out another ball and called out, "It seems that you want to win, Ash!" "Have a lot riding on this!" Ash called back; he then smiled and said, "Besides, I promised you that you'd get me at my best!" Lance chuckled as he threw his Pokéball and said, "Gyarados! Go!" Out came the monstrous Gyarados; Ash chuckled and said, "Alright, Charizard, you've done enough." But Charizard shook its head and marched forward for Gyarados. Ash was surprised but smiled and said, "Stubborn until the end, huh? Alright, old friend, go for it." Brock, on the other hand, was not surprised at all by Charizard's stubbornness; after all, he was Ash's Pokémon. Brock then looked and managed to see Misty and Ash's mother, Delia, sitting next to each other. Brock got smiled and then turned his attention back to the match.

Charizard launched a Flamethrower attack at Gyarados but Gyarados launched once right back, causing the two attacks to explode. Ash covered his eyes from the explosion and looked in time to see Charizard take to the sky once again to try and force out one more Overheat. "Charizard, don't!" Ash shouted. Charizard ignored Ash and managed one last strong Overheat that connected with Gyarados but it was not as strong as his previous one. Gyarados then used Hydro Pump on Charizard, knocking it out of the air once again. Charizard landed hard but did not stay on the ground longer than a second before it flew full force at Gyarados. Gyarados, however, used another Hydro Pump to bring down Charizard. Just as the referee was about to count Charizard out, it started to rise once again, much to the awe of everyone, even Brock was amazed at this. Charizard was trying to get one last Flamethrower off but Gyarados did not wait for the attack and used Hydro Pump once more to finally bring down the tenacious Pokémon. After he was sure Charizard was not getting back up, the referee announced, "Charizard is unable to battle! Gyarados is the winner!" The crowd cheered as Ash recalled Charizard; he looked at the Pokéball Charizard was in with a very proud smile on his face. "Charizard, awesome job," Ash said, "I could not be more proud." "Pika!" Pikachu said with a smile. Ash then pulled out another Pokéball and threw it, "Bulbasaur! You're up!" Bulbasaur came out and looked with great intensity at Gyarados.

Those who did not Ash, were greatly confused by the fact that Ash would use a basic form Pokémon against an evolved one like Gyarados; those who knew Ash on the other hand, and especially those who knew Bulbasaur, knew that this was going to be a fight to remember. Gyarados, wasting no time, charged at Bulbasaur to use bite; Bulbasaur used Vine Whip to drag Gyarados past it and followed up with Razor Leaf. Gyarados was damaged more than people though by the attack because, though Bulbasaur was not evolved, it was at a very high level. Bulbasaur then charged at Gyarados with full force but Gyarados used Aqua Tail to send it sailing back. Bulbasaur landed on its feet and growled at Gyarados, who then roared at Bulbasaur. Ash and Lance were both a little shocked as they realized that both Pokémon were developing their own rivalry with each other right then and there. Gyarados used Hydro Pump, which Bulbasaur dodged; Bulbasaur used Razor Leaf again which Gyarados managed to evade. Gyarados charged at Bulbasaur and Bulbasaur at Gyarados and they collided heads, sending them both back. They both moved toward each other again but then they both did something their trainers did not intend: they both gathered energy for the most powerful attacks; Bulbasaur's Solar Beam and Gyarados's Hyper Beam. 'Oh, boy,' Ash thought. 'This won't end well,' Lance thought. Soon, they both fired their respective beams, which collided with each other and caused the explosion and cracks in the ground. The bright light of the beams blinded everyone for a minute but when the light subsided, everyone looked to see a large hole in the center of the arena where the beams collided. Everyone then looked to see that one of the beams actually made it past the collision point and hit its intended target; everyone soon realized that it was Bulbasaur's Solar Beam that hit Gyarados. They soon saw the fallen form of Gyarados lying on the ground and Bulbasaur standing stall, but breathing a little hard. "Gyarados is unable to battle," the referee said, "Bulbasaur is the winner!" The crowd cheered as Gyarados was recalled by Lance. Ash got an even more serious look on his face as he thought, 'Hate to say it… but this has been the easy part so far.'

Lance pepped talked Gyarados, who was now back in its ball, before prepping his last Pokémon. 'You know what's next, Ash,' Lance thought, 'You made me swear to not go easy on you just because we are friends. I gave you my word… and I'm going to give you my best.' 'Come on, Lance,' Ash said, 'Let's do this. Let's finish this fight.' Lance smiled and tossed out his last Pokéball and, out of it, came his Red Gyarados. The whole crowd was stunned at the magnificence of the Red Gyarados; everyone but Ash, who did not see the beauty of Gyarados but was getting for the battle that was coming. Brock was shocked as he stared at the Gyarados and thought, 'I wonder what Ash is thinking about now.' As if hearing him, Ash just started smiling; for as much as he dreaded the fight the Red Gyarados was going to bring, Ash would be lying he did not say that he did not love every second of it. 'Here… we… go,' Ash thought. Bulbasaur wasted no time in attacking Gyarados with Razor Leaf, but it did not have that much effect on Gyarados since its level was higher than Bulbasaur's. Bulbasaur knew that there was time to gather energy for a Solar Beam so it kept on Gyarados with Razor Leaf as Gyarados tried to tag Bulbasaur with Hydro Pump. Bulbasaur used every trick it could to stay a step ahead of Red Gyarados but the effects of its previous battle were starting to show. Soon, Gyarados did manage to hit Bulbasaur with a powerful Hydro Pump, knocking back toward Ash's side of the arena. Bulbasaur struggled to get up as Gyarados advanced toward it. In a last ditch effort, Bulbasaur tried to gather energy for a Solar Beam, hoping that it would be able to take the shot but it could gather the energy before Gyarados was ready to fire a Hyper Beam. Gyarados gathered the energy at an unprecedented speed, leaving everyone in awe of it, including Ash. The beam launched and connected with Bulbasaur, rendering it unconscious. "Bulbasaur is unable to battle!" the referee said, "Gyarados is the winner!" The crowd cheers, save for Ash's close friends who were beginning to wonder if Ash could pull this one out. Brock was thinking the same thing and pulled one of the attendants aside to ask them to do something for him. Ash looked down at Pikachu and said, "All or nothing, buddy, all or nothing." "Pika," Pikachu said with determination as it nodded. Then Ash shouted, "PIKACHU, I CHOOSE YOU!" "PIKACHU," Pikachu shouted; it knew that everything was riding on it and rushed out to the battlefield to meet Red Gyarados.

Pikachu and Gyarados stared at each other, both ready to fight to the bitter end. Pikachu's cheeks kept charging with energy while Gyarados roared at him. Gyarados used Hydro Pump but Pikachu dodged it and ran across the battlefield to find a good vantage point to attack from. Gyarados began to use Thrash against Pikachu, leveling most of the field in its attempt to hit Pikachu, who, in turn, used Agility to stay a step ahead of Gyarados. Soon, Gyarados stopped Thrash and was dazed from the attack, prompting Pikachu to change up its strategy and rush full force at Gyarados. Gyarados was trying to shake off its dazed state but could not do in time to dodge Pikachu's Iron Tail, sending Gyarados falling back. Pikachu wanted to follow up with Thunderbolt but Ash told it not and to back away from Gyarados. Lance squinted his eyes and thought, 'Ash… what are you doing? You should have followed up when you had the chance.' Gyarados got up and looked all around for Pikachu, making Lance realize that he could not see Pikachu either. Ash had a smile on his face at Lance's and Gyarados's bewilderment. 'Just a few more seconds,' Ash thought. He then said, "PIKACHU, NOW!" Suddenly, a Thunderbolt appeared from one of the holes Gyarados made when it was using Thrash and struck Gyarados with full force, causing it to roar in pain. Gyarados then used Hydro Pump in the hole that the Thunderbolt came from, but Pikachu used Agility to move out of the way in time and then used Iron Tail again. It then quickly moved away from Gyarados and Ash shouted, "Alright, Pikachu, set the stage!" "Pika!" Pikachu shouted back. It then used a long, continuous Thunderbolt to create a channel from the built in lake on the battlefield to lead to where Gyarados was still reeling. As the water began to fill around Gyarados, Lance looked at Pikachu and Ash and thought, 'What could Ash be thinking? Surrounding Gyarados with water? It's putting back in its natural…' Lance then became very shocked and said, "Oh, no! Gyarados, get out of there!" As Gyarados tried to scramble to get away, Ash shouted, "Pikachu, Thunderbolt!" But as Pikachu did, Gyarados launched a Hyper Beam at Pikachu that connected with near-deadly accuracy, knocking Pikachu down; however, what amount of power Pikachu put into his Thunderbolt was enough to do serious damage to Gyarados, who slumped over the edge of the water to the land. The referee then started to count to ten and got to five before both Pokémon struggled back up, ready to continue, much to the elation of the crowd. Pikachu was breathing hard as Gyarados was still feeling the effects of being soaked and being hit with a Thunderbolt. Pikachu started to move toward Gyarados; as if out of instinct, Gyarados fired another Hyper Beam that Pikachu barely managed to dodge. Gyarados then fired Hyper Beam after Hyper Beam in its desperate attempt to hit Pikachu, who was just barely dodging the beams. Soon, Gyarados pushed out one more and it hit its target, sending Pikachu flying, nearly out of the battle line. "No…" Ash said. Pikachu, clearly hurt by the last beam, gritted its teeth and struggled to get up but found it hard to maintain standing. Seeing this, Ash tightened his fist and thought, 'I knew Gyarados was tough but… this might be too much… Pikachu can't hold out forever. What now?' "Don't give up!" Ash heard a voice say from behind him; the voice also reached Pikachu as well.

Ash turned to see the girl he loved more than anything else in the world looking at him. "Ash, don't give up!" Misty shouted again, "Pikachu! Get up! You guys can do it! I know you can!" Something about Misty and her words of encouragement could always keep Ash going, no matter how bleak the situation. Ash smiled at her and then turned his attention back to the battle, where Pikachu was beginning to stand up and hold its stance. Pikachu's determination was more than just the fact that it wanted to beat Gyarados, it did not want to let Ash down; after all, Pikachu knew that this Ash's victory was riding on him and Ash's chance of being with Misty. Gyarados roared at Pikachu, who just as it coursed as much electricity through it as it could, said, "PIKA!" Lance smiled upon seeing Misty and Ash and Pikachu's joint determination. "Seems you guys are going to the limit on this, my friend," Lance shouted. "You better believe it," Ash shouted back. Gyarados fired another Hyper Beam at Pikachu but it dodged it and got to the side of Gyarados, launching a quick Thunderbolt at Gyarados, damaging it. Gyarados moved for Pikachu again but Pikachu jumped at it and hit it Iron Tail again, sending it down to the ground. Gyarados struggled to get back up but managed to keep from getting counted out. Lance and Ash were both still in amazement at how tough their Pokémon are. Ash chuckled and said, "This is an even better fight than I thought it was going to be." "Never doubted for a second that this kind of fight was in store when Gyarados and Pikachu met but," Lance said; he chuckled and looked at Misty, "I think I can see why Pikachu is putting a little more effort into this." Pikachu then charged as much as electricity as it could and Gyarados, almost completely exhausted, put every last bit of energy it had into charging one more Hyper Beam. Pikachu and Gyarados reached the peak of their power and Pikachu launched its Thunderbolt and Gyardos used its Hyper Beam. The blasts collided with even more intensity than when Bulbasaur and the first Gyarados went head to head. Pikachu and Gyarados were locked in such a duel that the energy was beginning to resonate up until the sky, making it visible for miles. Some of the energy was beginning to race across the battlefield and landing near the trainers but neither Ash nor Lance would move, not at this moment, it was far too crucial. A stray energy beam hit Ash's arm and a stray lightning bolt struck across Lance's leg; Misty lost her calm for a second when she saw Ash struck but Brock held her back. Pikachu and Gyarados were becoming more and more tired as the duel kept on but the more tired they became, the more determined they became as well. Gyarados's energy was starting to become slightly faint, due to the number of Hyper Beams it did earlier. Pikachu noticed this and pushed even harder, forcing his Thunderbolt right through the Beam, but Gyarados just pushed harder, refusing to give up. Soon, the blasts reached their critical power and resulted in a brilliant explosion. A huge gust of wind and dust followed the explosion, causing the whole of the stadium to cover their eyes except for Ash and Lance, who were both looking at the area where their Pokémon were just standing. The trainers were joined by their companions and the rest of the crowd at looking into the smoke on the battlefield. As the smoke began to clear, they crowd could see Pikachu and Gyarados still standing tall in a large depression in the battlefield caused by their combined power, causing the entire crowd to start clapping. After a minute of staring at each other, Gyarados bowed its head at Pikachu out of respect and Pikachu nodded right back. Then it happened: the battle-scarred Red Gyarados fell over to the side and passed out, leaving the entire stadium, and the world it seemed, hushed. Pikachu, breathing a sigh of relief, fell flat on its stomach but then formed a smile on its face at its victory.

Ash and Lance just stood there with their mouths ajar as did the referee, who completely forgot his job until he suddenly snapped back into reality. "Gyarados was the first to fall!" the referee declared, "Therefore, Pikachu is the winner! Therefore, the winner of this match is Ash Ketchum!" The announcer, who was also still in a stupor, quickly got out of it, got on his microphone and declared, "Ladies and gentlemen… your Pokémon League Champion and now, officially, Pokémon Master! The winner of this absolutely epic match! ASH KETCHUM!" The whole crowd then absolutely erupted into a loud, crazed frenzy of cheers, screams, and body movement, as did people all around the world who were watching. Ash, on the other hand, fell to his knees and thought, 'We did it… We… we won.' Lance was still in shock but quickly formed a smile on his face and said, "I lost… fair and square." He then walked across the field over to Gyarados and petted it, causing it to stir. It opened its eyes and looked at Lance, who said, "I'm so proud of you, my friend." Lance looked at the tired Pikachu, who stood back up, and said, "You did excellent as well, my friend." Lance then looked across at Ash and called out, "Hey, you won! Aren't you gonna come congratulate your Pokémon?" Ash was still in a haze as he got up and walked over to where Pikachu was. He knelt down to Pikachu and said, "Pikachu… we won…" "Pika…" Pikachu said, tired and in disbelief as well. Ash then walked to where Lance and Gyarados were, Pikachu following close behind. Ash looked down at Gyarados and Lance said, "You did it, Ash. You succeeded. You're a master now." Ash was still in shock until Lance said that last sentence; that's when it all became real to him. Lance grabbed Ash's wrist and lifted his arm in the air, causing the people to start chanting Ash's name, which caused him to smile. Pikachu hopped on to Ash's shoulder and they both waved at the crowd, along with Lance. As Gyarados rose, Lance lowered Ash's arm and said, "This is all for you, you know. This is your moment." Lance then called Brock and Misty over along with the Elite Four and the announcer came forward as well. Misty ran up, threw her arms around Ash's neck, and hugged him with all the force she could and tears in her eyes; in response, he put his arms around her waist and hugged her back. "You did it," she whispered in Ash's ear. "It was because of you," Ash whispered back; this surprised Misty and she released her hug but only enough to keep her hands on his shoulders and look him in the eye. Brock smiled and resisted his urge to congratulate Ash since he and Misty were having their own moment, especially since Brock could not help but notice that Ash's hands were still on Misty's waist. Their moment was interrupted, however, by the Elite Four members along Ash's mother, Prof. Oak, and others so Brock just sighed and joined in the congratulating right along with them. While everyone was congratulating the combatants, the announcer went to Lance and said, "Lance, what are your thoughts on the epic match that just took place here?" Lance chuckled and said, "I think that we have just crowned a new Pokémon Master. This is his moment. I'm proud to call him my friend and my equal." "What class," the announcer said; they both then walked over to Ash where the League Committee brought a large golden trophy.

As Ash was presented with the trophy, with Misty and Brock at his side, he let out a sigh and said, "Wow… that is… big." "Pikaaaa…" Pikachu said. Everyone chuckled at Ash and Pikachu as the announcer handed the microphone to Lance. "Ash," Lance began, "I've known you for quite some time and, ever since I met you, I knew that you were destined for great things. When you met, you were just a kid who had a lot to prove and you refused to stop until you proved it. While such stubbornness can be more of a curse than a blessing, you managed to make it a blessing, through and through," Lance then looked at Pikachu then back at Ash, "and the bound between the two of you is as strong, if not stronger, than any Pokémon and trainer I have ever seen. But you have that with just about all of your Pokémon, which is amazing and something to be proud of." Ash felt a sense of pride he had never felt before as Lance continued, "You survived some of the most dangerous adventures I've ever heard and came up with strategy good enough to defeat me, not an easy feat. You put everything on the line… and you came out the best of the best." Lance had them bring the trophy closer and Misty grabbed hold of Ash's arm as tears fell from her eyes. "Ash," Lance said, "when we first talked about this match, you told that you had something to prove, that your entire life was riding on this. Well, let me tell you, even if Pikachu had fainted first, you would have proved it, believe me." The whole stadium clapped and cheered and Lance said, "Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, I present you with the Pokémon League Championship Cup and bestow upon the title of Pokémon Master." Ash doubled over in joy at this, prompting a smiling Misty and Brock to help him stand up straight. "Now, take care of this trophy," Lance said, "because I want even more now that you have it." Ash laughed as he shook Lance's hand; Lance then handed him the microphone and gave the platform to him.

Ash rubbed his head and chuckled as he took hold of the microphone and stood before the crowd, his family, and his friends. "I… I don't know what to say," Ash said as tears fell from his eyes. "Pikachu!" Pikachu said, excited, causing Ash to chuckle. "I guess he just said it for the both of us," Ash joked causing everyone to laugh. "But," Ash said, "I've… dreamt of this moment… for as long as I can remember. My Pokémon are some of the best around and they definitely proved that today," he then looked at Pikachu and held his hand up, "We did it, buddy." "Pika!" Pikachu said as they did a high five. Ash looked back at the audience, "You know, I always thought, that when this happened, that when I stood on this stage… a winner… I could say that it was just me that did it… but, truth is, I didn't have it that hard." He turned and looked behind him and then back at the crowd, "I had a large network of support. And no matter how much I say it… I will never be able to thank them enough. And, as much as I can thank most of my friends, there are two in particular that I want to thank," Ash said; he then turned and said, "Brock, Misty, you can't possibly think I'm not talking about you. Get over here!" "Pikachu!" Pikachu said. Misty smiled nervously and shook her head but Brock pushed her and said, "The champion beckons. We must answer." Soon, they were center stage right along with Ash, who said, "These two have been with me since the start of my journey and they helped shape into who I am due to their constant encouragement and amazing friendship." Brock quickly took hold of the microphone while it was still in Ash's hand and said, "Sorry to correct you, bro, but," he pointed at Misty, "She's been with you from the very, very start. I just tagged along later." Brock then put the microphone back toward Ash and gave him quick look telling Ash what he needed to do. Ash nodded and said, "He's right," he turned to Misty and Pikachu hopped down off of his shoulder to the floor, "Granted how we met, Mist, was kind of out of the ordinary, though it started a trend with me making friends later. But, you were the first real friend that I made… though it was just to the point of paying you back at first." Misty laughed and said, "Kind of forget about that after a while, though. The time together was too much fun." "Tell me about it," Ash said; looked her in the eyes and said, "But something occurred to me along the way, something that I had felt for as long I can remember, but just never had the courage to say. But… with everything I've ever wanted, I have. There's just one thing more that I need to do." "Ash…" Misty said, praying that he was about to say what she wanted to hear for a long time. Ash then figured it was now or never; so he leaned in and kissed Misty, met with much surprise to the audience but not so much to those who knew better. Misty was a little surprised, herself, but she quickly embraced the kiss, putting her hand on Ash's cheek. After the kiss, Misty looked at Ash and said, "Wow…" "I love you, Misty," Ash said, "I always have." She started crying and said, "Ash… I love you, too." They then kissed again as the whole of the stadium erupted into cheers. For Ash, this was everything he ever wanted, everything he worked so hard so far and to have Misty with, really with him, and loving him, his dreams had come true.


Hehe, sorry for faking you out at the beginning. Yeah, it was kind of a typical ending but what can I say, I'm a sucker for the perfect ending type stuff. So, let me know what you think. I love feedback. And who knows? Maybe I'll do a story where the ending is not so perfect. We'll see...