I don't own Pokémon or anything related to it as a franchise. Pokémon is copyrighted to Nintendo and Game Freak.

I, as the author of this FanFiction, only own the actual storyline, the content written here as the story itself, as well the plot, ideas, concepts, and any original characters that this story has.

Story Dialogue Format: "Speech." - 'Thoughts.' - "Telepathy."

Author Notes: I have a DISCORD SERVER! We're a pretty active bunch and it's decently large. So, if you want to join our community of fanfiction enthusiasts, head over there and feel right at home! Also, on that server, you can find numerous complementary materials for this story, such as drabbles, artwork, fanart, background information, and much more! Invite link is:

discord . gg/cEFpU5F

Just remove the spaces around the dot. You can also find this link on my author profile!

Important: This Fanfic is a sequel to A New Chance At Life. As such, it is highly recommended you read that fanfic first, in case you haven't.

Chapter 1 — A New Adventure Begins

It was a relatively calm and quiet day, the sun shining brightly in the sky, not a single cloud overhead and the endless ocean stretching beautifully all the way up to the horizon and beyond. On the nearly endless expanse of clear blue water, a single ship sailed along. It was an extremely large transport ocean liner, painted in an elegant white color with a long red line on the bottom of the hull just a bit above the sea level. On the side of the hull and in the aft, the words 'S.S. Blue Star' were painted. It was a calm day. The sea was very tranquil and the wind blew by slowly, the gentle waves rocking the ship almost unnoticeable.

As time passed and the hours went by the ship got closer and closer to its destination, Littleroot Town in the Hoenn Region. It would be around two days before they arrived at the Region. Naturally for our hero, Ash Ketchum, that would be literal torture to wait so long for the chance to get to a new region, to once again start the long journey to gather eight badges and qualify for the Pokémon League. However, he was actually enjoying the trip. Despite this not being a top-of-the-line luxury cruise liner, it was still very accommodating and had a number of entertainments which Ash was happy to exploit.

Ash and his Pokémon, along with Bianca, had been having a really great time enjoying what the cruise liner had to offer, relaxing and preparing for the new journey. Latias and Latios, both eager to learn the skill of unrestrained telepathy, decided to train themselves in their free time. Usually their habit of waking up early got them enough free time to meditate (much to Latias' dismay at how boring that was) and focus their minds.

Being a rather sunny day, just a bit before midday we find Ash's group enjoying themselves in the temporary vacation granted to them by the very long travel…

"Cannonball!" Ash shouted joyfully as he took a few jumps on a springboard situated a few feet above the side of the pool on the deck of the ship before launching himself in the air to dive into the water, tucking his arms and legs tightly to his sides as he crashed into the pool and made a moderately spectacular splash.

"Hey, watch it!" Pikachu yelled as he jumped sideways on the edge of the pool to dodge the water that had been splashed at him. "Ha!" he shouted. "You need to do better than that!"

Ash emerged from the pool, taking a few quick breaths before chuckling. "Aw, I wanted to soak you," he said in a fake disappointed tone, barely containing the urge to burst out laughing.

Pikachu laughed. "You failed," he said back at him. He didn't count on the invisible Latios floating behind him to lightly bump him with his head, causing the Electric-type to lose his balance and fall to the pool. "Aaahh!" he screamed before falling in, causing a rather small splash.

Latios laughed as Pikachu emerged from the pool, taking quick breaths. "Why you…" the Electric mouse muttered angrily, preparing an electric attack for the eon dragon.

"I suggest you don't do that," Latios said. "Unless you want to shock everyone in the pool."

Pikachu paused and admitted he was right. Glancing around and seeing all the other families and people in the pool, he sighed disappointedly but grinned afterwards. "I'll just add another Thunder to my 'to shock Latios' list."

Latios laughed. "Alright," he said off-handedly. He smiled as he enjoyed the moment, feeling the sun's warm rays caress his currently-invisible feathers. It was a beautiful day. Currently the group was on the uppermost part of the ship, where the large outdoor pool was located. It also had many beach chairs and umbrellas and a large refreshment stand at the far end of the pool.

"Come on, Latios! Get in! The water's great!" Ash called to the eon dragon, leaning over the edge of the pool, just in front of where Latios was. Pikachu followed, leaning over besides Ash, but with some difficulties considering his smaller size.

"No thanks," Latios answered, shaking his head on reflex, only to resist the urge to smack himself when he remembered he was invisible so any gestures he made would go completely unseen. "If I get in, I'll have to reveal myself since people would freak out at seeing a transparent silhouette in the water, and if I float out of the pool, the water dripping from me would be a dead giveaway, and as you already know I don't like revealing myself to the public."

Pikachu snickered. "Great Legendary Pokémon Latios is afraid of a few humans in shorts and bathing suits, now that is very shocking," he said teasingly, making a toothy grin. Ash laughed at that. "Just this once Latios. Plus, I don't think any of them are Pokémon trainers, they're probably just families on vacation or something like that. Plus, if one of them is a trainer, we'll just tell Ash to say no to a battle for now, and if it's a persistent guy, we can just beat them up," Pikachu continued, confident on their team's collective power.

Latios fidgeted uneasily, not that they noticed since he was invisible. "I don't know… I've been used to secrecy ever since I was little…" he said nervously.

Pikachu laughed. "You didn't have much trouble revealing yourself to thousands of fans at the Silver Conference," he pointed out. "Though you were very nervous the first time around…"

"But in the Silver Conference there was a large wall between the crowd and me," Latios countered. "Here, there's nothing…"

"This is a vacation ship for many. There probably aren't even any trainers in the first place, the most they might want is a photo with you or an autograph out of Ash, and even if there are a few trainers, how can they beat a team that got third place in the Silver Conference?" Pikachu responded, grinning since he knew he was winning the argument. Ash laughed at that, remembering how some passengers had recognized him from watching the Silver Conference and already asked him autographs or a peek at Latios. Thankfully, the number was small.

Latios hesitated. "Ermm… but…"

"And you could also count it as a vacation for us as we've been enjoying ourselves too, so try it! We're here to have fun while we get to Hoenn anyway," Pikachu added.

Latios hummed in thought, looking around the people that were on the deck and noting that none of them seemed dangerous. "But I've never revealed myself so openly," Latios countered.

"Really?" Pikachu asked, snickering. "Pallet Town party ring any bells?"

Latios paused. "Oh, about that…"

"It's pretty much the same here," Pikachu added.

"I'm not revealing myself!" Latios snapped. Pikachu sighed in exasperation.

In the meantime, unnoticed by the boys as they were too busy arguing, Bianca and Latias were walking onto the pool deck. Since Latias was in her human form, it looked as if they were twins, even down to the same swimsuit, a green and white one-piece that showed off their ample curves. Hanging in Bianca's arm was a small bag with towels and anything else they might need. "Did you really have to wear the same swimsuit I have?" Bianca asked, looking over Latias a few times. At least the dragon girl's appearance copying ability had the benefit of giving Bianca something better than a mirror to see how she looked.

Latias shrugged. "I didn't get any better ideas on what to use, so I decided to copy you," she said off-handedly. "Plus, I like this color."

"That's the same colors as my everyday clothes, stop stealing my looks!" Bianca said playfully, laughing afterwards. Latias laughed too, albeit silently.

"Oh, and thanks for helping me with that surprise," Latias said happily.

"You're welcome, glad to help, Latias," Bianca answered. "Does everyone else know?"

"Latios and I told them all, except Ash. The surprise is ready for tomorrow!" Latias replied.

Bianca nodded at her as they continued walking. They arrived to their deck chairs and took a seat at the edge. They turned to the pool to see where Ash and Pikachu were and saw them leaning over the edge of the pool just a few feet from them and apparently talking to thin air. Both of them knew very well who they were talking to. After all, several months for Ash and years for Bianca's of living with two dragons that could become invisible made talking to apparently nothing seem pretty normal. Bianca raised an eyebrow. "What's up with them?" she asked the red Eon dragoness.

Latias listened a few seconds to their conversation and laughed. "They're trying to convince my brother to reveal himself and get in the pool to have some fun."

Bianca laughed. "Knowing Latios, he's never going to accede, what's he got to fear here?" She wondered, looking around. "A bunch of people in swimsuits?"

Latias looked around as well. "I don't know, but you already know he keeps himself in secret alot. That's just my brother being himself."

"Think there's anything bad about him revealing himself here?" Bianca asked curiously, a small devilish smirk tugging at her lips.

Latias shook her head. "Not really, I mean it's a cruise liner, I think it's perfectly safeit's not like there's anything to fear," She answered telepathically. They grinned at each other, a plan already formulating, and they didn't need Latias' mental powers to know what they were planning or get in perfect sync. With a nod, they slowly and silently walked towards the boys…

"Latios, for the hundredth time, have fun you big grouch! Get in!" Pikachu said, a vein of irritation popping in his forehead as he struggled to resist the urge to get out of the pool and use Iron Tail or Thunder on the dragon.

"I don't know… I don't want to reveal myself! So uh… it's a no," Latios replied, shaking his head rapidly, again not that anyone saw it. Being so distracted in his argument with Pikachu and Ash, he failed to notice the two girls approaching him from behind.

Ash and Pikachu noticed and began to slowly move sideways, already knowing what was going to follow. Latios blinked in confusion, turning to stare at each of them several times. Latias grinned, mentally sending an image of the sight in front of her to Bianca so she knew exactly where Latios was despite his invisibility. "Now!" Bianca yelled as she and Latias charged forward.

"Wha-" Latios uttered out before being tackled by Latias and Bianca. The impact pushed him forward so he was far enough to get into the pool. Latias wrapped her arms around his upper neck in a sort of headlock while letting herself fall, trying to draw him into the pool. Latios reacted as fast as he could, boosting the power in his levitation to hold the unexpected added weight, but it was too late, and with Latias' own powers pushing downwards plus the weight of Latias and Bianca added to the surprise of the attack, he was defeated.

Latios crashed into the pool with a very large splash that attracted quite the attention, along with Latias and Bianca, not that they minded. Pikachu and Ash laughed at their victory. Bianca and Latias emerged from the pool and laughed as well, again silently in Latias' case. "Nice one!" Ash cried, barely being able to speak from the laughter.

The surprise, plus some psychic coaxing from Latias, caused the blue Eon dragon to drop his invisibility. Pikachu chuckled as Latios slowly resurfaced and started spitting out water. "You could have made this a whole lot easier," Pikachu chided, and resumed laughing when it was too hard to keep a straight face.

Latios shook his head to clear water from his eyes. "I'll get you two for that!" he said, glaring at the girls. Latias and Bianca just laughed harder. Seeing them laughing caused a smile to tug at his lips. Within a few seconds, he was laughing along with them.

"See, now this is fun," Pikachu commented, trying to contain the laugher.

Latios grinned and used his mental powers to lift a small amount of water and splash Pikachu with it. Latias, Bianca and Ash, seeing it, decided to defend the yellow Electric-type and turned to Latios and began to splash him. "Hey!" he exclaimed in surprise, closing his eyes to avoid more water getting in, and once Pikachu had recovered from the splash he joined in.

Latios knew that he could simply avoid it by flying up, or down, but that would kill the fun, so he decided to play along and defend himself as best as he could from the splashing, and began to splash them back without the use of his mental powers as Latias had just screamed in his mind that was cheating.

The other people in the pool area stared at the odd scene for a few seconds. Those that weren't into Pokémon battling and thus didn't know much about the Silver Conference or rarer Pokémon species dismissed it as just a random Pokémon trainer playing with his Pokémon and went back to their personal fun. Those that were either fans of Pokémon leagues or trainers themselves were a bit more shocked. It was hard to see a Legendary Pokémon that they remembered had defeat many Pokémon in the Silver League easily just playing around in a pool with his trainer and another pair of girls in such a carefree manner, it was a rather odd sight.

Meanwhile in the dining room of the cruiser…

"Team Rocket eating at the speed of light!" Jessie, James and Meowth cried happily as they continued eating frantically, a pile of two or three plates beside each of them as they munched down at their current dishes. They were seated in a semi-circle couch with a round table in the middle in the far corner of the room where it was less likely for people to notice them.

"Hurry, keep eating before they realize we're stowaways!" James said perhaps a bit too loudly, munching down on some steak and salad from his plate.

Jessie kicked him under the table, causing James to let out a pained cry as he almost choked on his steak. "Keep it down, you idiot!" she hissed, pausing from her own frantic eating to talk before going back at it. Meowth looked at them and shrugged, deciding to just keep eating.

Thankfully for them, it was a 'free' all-you-can-eat-buffet, but the only problem was that the buffet was free so long as they were passengers of the ship since the meals were included in the full service ticket cost. So long as none of the two or three waiters walking around to check up on the passengers came along and asked questions, they should be fine.

Just beside them, at another table, were another bunch of very odd customers, albeit it was just two of them. In fact, they weren't even human to begin with, but two small Pokémon. "Yummy!" Phanpy said happily, munching down on some desserts.

"Agreed," Larvitar said simply, eating a large plate with a complete meal of steak, rice and salad. He finished it in less than a minute, grabbed the plate, put it on the very big pile of plates that was beside him, and moved on to the next one. The pile of dishes was even bigger than all of Team rocket's plates put together!

Phanpy looked between the only plate he had eaten and his dessert and back to Larvitar's large pile of plates. "Wow, you sure eat a lot, little brother."

Larvitar had just finished another plate and was moving to the next one. "Well, I'm hungry," he answered, proceeding to attack the next meal.

Phanpy looked around nervously. "Are you sure it's okay?"

Larvitar shrugged. "Don't worry, it'll be all fine."

"Are you really sure it's okay?" Phanpy asked, still nervous on what they were doing.

"Don't worry, Pidgeot is waiting outside for us, so we'll be okay," Larvitar said offhandedly, already munching at yet another plate.

"It's Aunt Pidgeot," Phanpy corrected him.

Larvitar rolled his eyes. "This is delicious! Though Brock's Pokémon food tastes very good too, this human food is even better!"

Phanpy blinked. "Doesn't your kind need to eat dirt and soil?" he asked as he grabbed a cupcake from his tray and shoved it into his mouth, eating it gleefully.

"That's just to keep the rocky skin healthy," Larvitar answered casually, already moving on to the next plate. "But soil and dirt don't taste that good. This in turn, is extremely tasty."

Phanpy looked at him in confusion. "I haven't seen you eat any soil," he commented.

"I have eaten it, but it's not that big of a deal to be paying attention to it," Larvitar replied between taking bites out of the food on his dish. "Mm, this tastes so good!" he said happily, continuing to eat away at the food, his pile of empty dishes already so huge even Ash and Team Rocket would be proud (and jealous) of it.

Phanpy smiled cutely, loving to see his adopted little brother so happy. "Hey, while we were following Aunt Latias and Bianca and snuck in, they were talking to the weird cook guys… what do you think it was for, brother?" he asked curiously, forgetting for a bit about that very important thing his aunt Latias had mentioned.

"Ash's surprise birthday party, remember? It's tomorrow," Larvitar answered. "They asked the cook in charge to bake them a cake or something like that. After that I took the opportunity to sneak in here just a bit…"

"Ohh, sorry, I had forgotten about that," Phanpy said Mareepishly.

Larvitar rolled his eyes again. "And we were explicitly told not to spill it to Ash, so don't say anything," he said to the small blue elephant-like Pokémon seriously.

"Okay!" Phanpy said as he nodded and went back to his lone desserts dish. "What if the humans that manage this place get mad at you for eating so much?"

Larvitar shrugged and went on to the next dish. "I have a backup plan."

Phanpy nodded. "Okay!" he chimed. The Ground-type looked at the table and noticed that the food they had brought was starting to run out. "We'll need to bring more food shortly…"

"We can just steal from the guys beside us," Larvitar said off-handedly.

Meanwhile, one of the waiters was walking by and Team Rocket froze as he turned to look in their direction. They felt even worse when he began walking towards their area. "Oh crap…" James said lowly. "We're busted…"

Jessie gulped, trying to think of something. "Act natural!" she exclaimed, that being the only thing that got to her mind in time. The trio nodded and acted like a regular group of passengers as best as they could. Thankfully for them, the waiter passed by and turned to the table beside theirs. Once Team Rocket saw the waiter had not gone to their table, they sighed in relief and resumed eating.

Phanpy turned to the waiter nervously while Larvitar kept eating without really caring about him. "What the…" the waiter muttered, looking at the two Pokémon. "How did you two get in here? I'm sorry, but I'll have to ask you to leave…" he said, unsure whether he should be kicking them out or not. They might be aggressive or something… He then glanced at the empty pile of dishes. "Wow…" he muttered in astonishment.

The waiter reached out to try to get Larvitar off the table, and Phanpy's eyes widened fearfully when he saw Larvitar taking a deep breath, clearly preparing to unleash his dreaded ultra-powerful Screech attack. Phanpy quickly wrapped his trunk around Larvitar's mouth, closing it and stopping him from Screeching.

The waiter blinked in confusion. Larvitar closed his eyes and took a deep breath to try and calm himself down, though it was a bit hard considering the blue elephant-like Pokémon was muffling him. Larvitar decided that the meal was worth way more, so he switched to his plan B in case something like this happened. He reached beside him and showed the waiter a keycard, the one that served to open Ash's room in the ship.

The waiter sweatdropped as that effectively proved that they belonged to a passenger, but he wondered if the free-meal offer of the tickets extended to the passengers' Pokémon too, and even more to the amount of food said Pokémon were eating. "Well, I'm not-" the waiter began, and paused when Larvitar showed him something else. It was the stub of the ticket that was handed back to passengers to keep as a souvenir, and also was used to prove that they were passengers. The waiter blinked. "Oh…I see. I'll just ask the chief waiter if the rights extend to the Pokémon," the waiter muttered before walking back, having no idea how to deal with this situation, clearly confused and feeling kind of stupid for arguing with a Pokémon no less.

Phanpy sighed in relief and released Larvitar's mouth. "You need to stop screeching like that brother," he commented.

Larvitar looked at the light blue Ground-type apologetically. "Sorry, force of habit, and he got too close for my liking."

"It's okay, little brother," Phanpy told him, patting him on the back with his trunk comfortingly.

Larvitar nodded and smiled at him, feeling happy for having Phanpy's brotherhood. That coupled with the rest of his 'family' made him feel special, like he had had his mother with him all along. He sighed; mentally promising he would find her and save her. He knew his family would help him all the way. He put Ash's room key and ticket on the table again, and turned back to the task at hand, eating more. "Tasty…" he muttered quietly as he dove back to the dishes.

Phanpy laughed. "Just how did you get those, brother?" he asked, pointing his trunk at the keycard and ticket. "I thought that was daddy's plastic thingie to open our room."

Larvitar nodded. "It is, I just… borrowed it for a bit while no one was looking, in case someone wanted to cut my meal short," he replied, already discarding another finished plate and beginning with the next.

"Wow, nice thinking, brother!" Phanpy said cheerfully, deciding that another dessert would be nice to eat for now.

After a few more minutes of eating, they were finally done, though Larvitar considered going back to the buffet bar and getting a bit more food, or stealing from Team Rocket's table. Even Team Rocket was done, though their dish pile just couldn't compare to Larvitar's.

Phanpy looked up as a different waiter came to their table. Unknown to them, it was the chief of the waiters. "Uh-oh… this seems bad…"

"Oh my…" the waiter muttered in astonishment. "I know the meals come included in the ticket price, but, this is excessive…" he crossed his arms in anger and glanced down at Larvitar and Phanpy. "Where's your trainer? Or the passenger that brought you two along? He's paying extra for this!"

Phanpy looked around nervously, knowing they were in trouble. Larvitar just stared at him with his practiced lifeless and emotionless look. The waiter actually took a step back from the cold stare, it was very frightening. Larvitar couldn't help but chuckle, he loved doing that! Phanpy walked closer to Larvitar. "Please tell me you have something to bail us out of this, now we're in trouble…" he said nervously.

Larvitar looked around for a second. He also didn't want to get Ash in trouble. He noticed a certain group nearby and a perfect plan clicked into his head. "Don't worry brother, watch this."

The waiter glared at them. "Who is your trainer?" he demanded again. Larvitar walked to the edge of the table and pointed at Team Rocket, who were resting from their own meals.

Phanpy blinked in confusion. "They're our trainers now?"

Larvitar nodded. "Yep."

"You!" The waiter demanded, turning to Team Rocket, startling them.

"Ahh! What!" Jessie said frantically, nearly jumping out of her seat from fright. Larvitar grabbed Ash's keycard and ticket before motioning for Phanpy to follow him. He jumped off the table and began to walk for the exit. The small blue elephant jumped down from the table as well and followed him.

Larvitar chuckled. "It's good it was a different human, if it was the same one he could have remembered we had one of those plastic things to identify Dad," he commented. "I hope Pidgeot isn't mad at us for escaping from her watch…"

"It's Auntie Pidgeot," Phanpy corrected him, grinning happily.

Larvitar blinked. "We just met her one or two weeks ago!"

"She's still part of the family, so she's my dear auntie," Phanpy said stubbornly.

Larvitar laughed. "Anyway, let's keep going before those three realize what we did."

Phanpy nodded happily, surprised by his little brother's skill to plan ahead and improvise on the spot, even if it meant setting up Team Rocket for some double trouble. "Yay! We tricked them!" They both laughed and made their way for the exit.

"You're paying extra for your Pokémon's food!" the waiter demanded to Team Rocket. He took a peek at Team Rocket's own dish pile. "And for yours too!"

"What!" James said, confused.

Jessie glared at Meowth. "Just how much did you eat?" he demanded of the feline Pokémon, who just blinked in confusion, wondering what the hell was up.

"I ate just as much as you two!" Meowth retorted angrily.

Another waiter came by and handed the first one a note. "Here's the charge for the extra meals," he said, handing Team Rocket the note. Their eyes bulged at it.

"What! Over five thousand PokéDollars just for all this! It's way too much!" Jessie screeched, turning to look at their food pile and then back at the note several times.

"We didn't break anything, now did we?" James asked worriedly.

The waiter paused and shook his head. "Oh no, it's just one thousand and four hundred for you three's extra meals, the other extra three thousand and six hundred come from there," he said, pointing at the table Larvitar and Phanpy had been eating at. "It's the bill for all that your other two Pokémon ate."

James' jaw dropped. "Those aren't our Pokémon!" he said quickly, looking around and seeing Larvitar and Phanpy already exiting the dining area as the door closed behind them.

A vein of irritation appeared on Meowth's forehead. "Why dose rotten little… dey scammed us!"

James nodded angrily. "We're supposed to be the ones scamming, not being scammed!"

Jessie fumed. "How dare they scam the scammers?" she muttered, shaking in rage.

The waiter glared at them, breaking them out of their loathing. "They pointed at you, and they left already. Someone's gotta pay…" he said dangerously. "Now, may I see your ticket or keycard so I can make the extra charge?"

Jessie, James and Meowth looked around nervously. "Well… eh… there's a really funny story about that…" Jessie began.

James nodded, taking after her. "Yeah… it's very complex…" he added.

"A Growlithe ate it!" Meowth blurted out. "Now! Team Rocket getaway!" They quickly stood up and ran for the exit. "Team Rocket's running away at the speed of light!"

"Security!" The waiter bellowed, and around five rather bulky guys in uniforms appeared nearby. Each had a Pokéball in their hand. "After them, they're stowaways!" the waiter accused, pointing at Team Rocket. The Security Guards chased after them.

"Hey, why do we always say 'speed of light,' don't you think that's getting overused?" James wondered idly as he ran.

Jessie shook her head. "Nope! It's good as it is!"

Meowth nodded, snarling. "Wait until we escape from dis crummy security, dose two are payin' for dis!"

Meanwhile, Larvitar and Phanpy came out onto the walkway running along the side of the ship, smiling at the fact that they had gotten a really nice meal for free and that they had screwed with Team Rocket in the process.

"Finally! About time!" Pidgeot exclaimed in a very annoyed tone, glaring down at Phanpy and Larvitar from her roosting place, her talons wrapped firmly around the railing of the ship. "Do you two have any idea how long you've made me wait out here? Peeking through those weird circular windows to check up on you two is hard! When those guys got near your table I was prepared to burst in should they try anything!"

Phanpy stepped forward. "Sorry Aunty Pidgeot, my brother Larvitar ate a lot…hehe," he said with an apologetic tone, chuckling nervously. He smiled up at her in the cutest way he could.

Pidgeot couldn't help but sigh, finding him too cute to stay angry. "Oh, well… caretaking the two of you is harder than I thought…" But she looked down at them gently nonetheless. As a Flock leader, she had to see to the wellbeing of even the infant Pidgey, so over time she had developed quite the maternal skills, so she was confident she could handle them fairly well. She was very surprised when she discovered Ash had gotten two youngsters like them with him, even more that they called him 'Daddy' and referred to everyone else as family.

"You two…" an angry voice growled beside them. Larvitar and Phanpy turned to see a very pissed-off Team Rocket glaring down at them, and also panting from so much running.

"Hi…" Phanpy said nervously, taking a few steps back.

"Uh-oh…" Larvitar muttered.

Team Rocket grabbed one Pokéball each. "We're making you pay for this…" they muttered in unison. "Literally!"

Pidgeot jumped between the two infants and Team Rocket, spreading her wings menacingly. "Don't you three even dare…"

"What did it say Meowth?" Jessie asked, still grasping her Pokéball. However, before Meowth could answer her, another voice boomed over them.

"You two, stop!" the cruise security guards screamed, appearing from a door nearby.

Team Rocket panicked, and ran towards Pidgeot, pushing past her and down the hallway. "This isn't over!" they cried as they entered the ship once more, the security guards following closely.

Pidgeot sweatdropped and glanced down at the two infant ground-types. "What did you two do?" she asked.

"Nothing," Phanpy said immediately.

"Yeah, nothing," Larvitar agreed.

Pidgeot didn't believe them one bit. "Kids…" she said in a bit of an irritated tone, tapping her talons on the floor impatiently. Both Larvitar and Phanpy looked at each other nervously.

Phanpy walked forward and tapped his trunk on the side of Pidgeot's foot. The Bird Pokémon stared down at him in confusion. "Tag! You're it!" Phanpy chimed before curling into a tight ball and rolling away down the hallway.

"Get back here!" Pidgeot yelled, taking off and flying after the Ground-Type. Larvitar blinked and began to walk after them at a sedate pace, not really in the mood to run around after all that he'd eaten. He wondered how Phanpy could roll around after eating. Then again, compared to what he had had for lunch, Phanpy's food consumption was tiny.

"Nananana! You can't catch me, Auntie!" Phanpy sang happily, skipping and dancing along before curling up and rolling away as Pidgeot was about to catch up to him. A really long chase had just began.

The day went by quickly for the group. Now it was noon, the sun almost touching the horizon. The non-stop fun had helped to quickly pass the time. Despite Latios' constant fear of being exposed to humans, nothing worth noting happened, which just became an irate point for the Eon Dragon as Pikachu wouldn't stop teasing him about how much of a funny mental image it was, a Legendary Pokémon being 'scared,' as Pikachu liked to put it so eagerly, of a bunch of Humans in swimsuits.

Pidgeot, Larvitar and Phanpy had joined the group by the pool after a while since Phanpy had been making Pidgeot fly around the ship trying to catch him, until she did, though Phanpy said she cheated since she had used Aerial Ace, and Pidgeot pointed out that he had been using Rollout all along. Larvitar had very quietly returned the keycard and ticket so that it seemed as though they were never missing in the first place.

Now, the group was just relaxing in the deck chairs, looking at the ocean and setting sun calmly after the playful day. At least, Bianca, Latias, Latios and Ash were. Pikachu along with Pidgeot and the two infants were on the side of the railing talking to each other. They laughed as they told Pidgeot more of Ash's Johto adventures that she had missed.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Bianca commented, gazing at the setting sun with a smile, a small sketchbook in her lap as she drew the oceanic vista. Her friends had been very surprised when she had brought it along, but she replied that she always liked to have one on hand just in case a nice scene to draw appeared.

"Yeah," Ash agreed. "It's really cool…"

"Beautiful…" Latias agreed as well. She also had a sketchbook that Bianca was nice enough to loan to her as she tried to draw the same thing as Bianca. "I need to catch up!" she said in frustration, gazing between her drawing and Bianca's. The difference in quality was quite clear, with Bianca's in the much better position, much to Latias' dismay.

Bianca laughed. "Practice makes perfect, not that my drawings are perfect, that's just how the saying goes."

Latios nodded in agreement. "Don't worry Latias, I think your drawing is very good, just that Bianca's isuhbetter."

Latias grinned and handed Latios another sketchbook. Latios blinked at it in confusion. "Dare you to draw something," Latias challenged.

Latios shook his head. "No thanks," he said quickly.

Latias stared at him cutely. "Aw, give it a try, brother!" she said happily.

Latios sighed, not being able to resist her adorable smiles, even in Human form. His eyes glowed slightly as he lifted the sketchbook and coloring pencils from Latias' hands. "So, what should I draw?" Latios asked her.

Latias looked around. She spotted the small group of Ash's other Pokémon talking a few meters away from them. "Draw them," Latias challenged, grinning. Latios shrugged and began to psychically move the pencils across the sheet as he began to draw the first of them, Larvitar.

Ash stared at Latios as he tried to draw. "Think he'll do all right?" he asked Bianca.

Bianca shrugged. "To be honest, I'm not sure, I've never seen him draw…good luck, Latios!"

"Thanks," Latios said telepathically, his face set in an intense stare of concentration as he tried to draw the group, his mind dead set on impressing them by making an awesome drawing.

Ash stared at the sketchbooks and turned to Bianca. "Which do you like to do more, paint or draw?" he asked curiously. He remembered that in Alto Mare she had painted a lot.

Bianca smiled. "Oh, I like lots of forms of art, and I've had practice in many of them. Personally I like canvas and paint the most, that's why I use them in Alto Mare a lot. Sadly, canvas can be quite spacious to carry and I don't want to drag them around on such a long journey, so I decided to switch to the more convenient and portable form of drawing in sketchbooks. I can carry several of them in a simple backpack, so it's not much effort."

"Oh, no wonder," Ash chuckled. He took a peek at her drawing. "Wow, it's really good…"

Bianca smiled at him, happy for the praise. "Thanks."

Just then, a tall man dressed in plain beige jeans with a marine-style shirt with horizontal white and blue lines, as well as a yellow scarf around his neck passed by. Behind him was a particularly strong-looking Machoke. "Isn't that the captain?" Ash wondered.

The guy seemed to hear him as he turned to face Ash. "Yes?" he asked.

"How long until we reach Littleroot Town?" Ash asked eagerly.

The captain smiled. "We should be reaching Hoenn in two days, a little before midday," he answered. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish the check-up round of the ship, I heard a report of two stowaways," he said before turning and walking away, his Machoke following him.

Ash nodded as the captain left. "Just two more days!" he said eagerly, already looking forward to the challenge ahead in the new region.

Bianca laughed. "Eager are we?"

Ash nodded happily. "Of course! I can't wait to get all my badges and finally win a league!"

Latios chuckled, pausing from his drawing. "That's the spirit Ash, I'll do my best all the way to help you get there."

Ash grinned. "Thanks Latios," he said, and paused. "Hey, how are the Legendary Pokémon of the Hoenn region? Are they big? Awesome? Powerful?"

Latias hummed silently. "Well, there's several, but I think it's better to wait for you to meet them before spoiling it for you," she said telepathically, never taking her eyes off her drawing in her losing effort to beat Bianca.

"Aww, but what if we don't come across them?" Ash whined disappointedly, eager to hear about the topic, and what new Legendary Pokémon he might get to meet.

Latias laughed, or made the motions due to her muteness. Latios joined in on the laughter. "Don't worry Ash, with your luck and how Legendaries are drawn to you for one reason or another, it shouldn't be long before you meet them all," Latias answered, mentally giggling.

Ash chuckled. "I guess that's true…" he said, amused.

Latias nodded. "I'm sure there's lots of Pokémon in Hoenn you'll like a lot."

Ash nodded. "I wonder…what will be my future friends be, the Pokémon I'll capture…what new adventures will I have…it's so much to think of…" he muttered in a far-out tone as he thought back to his battle with Harrison, and to the Pokémon the older trainer had used, from the tricky Kecleon to the Shedinja with its impressive Wonder Guard ability, and even the mighty powerhouse Salamence. Ash wondered, just what kind of Pokémon would he catch?

"Hopefully, this time around we'll actually win the league," Latios commented, never taking his eyes off the picture he was currently drawing.

Ash nodded back at him. "Yeah, I hope so too, but with all of us working together, I'm sure we can win!" he said confidently. He turned to Latias, who was still drawing the sunset image in a failing effort to beat Bianca's drawing. "Hey, Latias, what about you?"

Latias sighed, or made the motion that she did. "I don't knowI'm not exactly a fan of battling…"

"Don't worry, I'm not gonna force you to battle if you don't want to," Ash said reassuringly.

"Though, sis, we're Pokémon with a trainer. Battling is something we do. You should at least try. After all, becoming strong will also be good self-defense for you, just in case. Plus, we're Pokémon, its natural to fight," Latios told her. "And it'll be a good experience for you to grow as a Legendary Pokémon."

Latias hummed, though it was muted. "I dunno, brotherit's just not my cup of tea, I guess…"

"I know Latias. Don't worry, no one's pressuring you," Latios told her reassuringly. "You're already a peaceful Pokémon, and the whole thing with Annie and Oakley plus the way I ended up after the battle against Harrison probably dampened your opinion a lot."

"Yeah," Latias agreed. "Yeah, the way Annie and Oakley broke our peaceand that battle, I really felt bad when I saw that. I don't want to end up like that, or put someone through thatyou could say I'm afraid of them at some level…"

"Don't worry sis, it doesn't always end like that. But you know you'll eventually have to grow out of that. I'll always be there to protect you, but I want to know you can also be safe on your own," Latios said serenely, pausing his drawing to look at Latias with a tender smile. "Anything can happen. Maybe you can find a competition you actually like?"

Latias nodded at him. "I know bro, I'm on a team for Pokémon battles, and one day I might be required to help out.Maybe I'll grow out of my fear and dislike of Pokémon battles, but maybe I won'tjust, let me change at my own pace, okay?"

Latios nodded. "Okay, don't worry, no one is rushing you. Take everything at your own pace," he told her. He grinned and went back to his drawing. Latias did the same, both of them nearly finishing their respective drawings.

"Done," Bianca said happily, looking over her drawing with a proud nod.

"Done!" Latias cried almost a second later, grinning at her own drawing. She inched closer to Bianca and held their images side-by-side. Ash also peeked in closer.

To Latias' dismay, Bianca's image was way better. Bianca chuckled. "You still need more practice Latias," she said teasingly.

Latias grinned. "Oh, one day I'll beat you, you'll see!" she declared boldly.

"Don't worry Latias," Ash reassured her, peeking between both images. "I think yours looks really good too, it's good enough on its own," he said, smiling at her. Latias smiled back sweetly.

"Done!" Latios said, separating the coloring pencil from his drawing. Bianca, Latias and Ash turned to look at him.

Bianca laughed. "Oh, this I gotta see."

"Me too," Latias agreed. "Turn it around, bro."

Latios blushed slightly in embarrassment. "Please, don't laugh…" he pleaded as he psychically turned the sheet around to show the image to them.

Latias, Bianca and Ash snorted, trying to respect Latios' wishes and hold back their laughter. Typically, they failed. The three of them burst out laughing uproariously. Though no sound came from Latias. it was clear she was in the same state as Bianca and Ash. "Pri-pri-priceless!" Bianca cried, tears building up in her eyes from the laughter.

Latios blushed a deep shade of red from embarrassment and hid his face below the deck chair. Latias' eyes glowed slightly as she snatched the sheet from Latios' mental hold into her own, taking it to rest at her hands. "Hey Latios, who is the pineapple-Chikorita hybrid thingy here?" Latias asked curiously.

"It's supposed to be Larvitar!" Latios lamented sadly, his face even more flushed.

Ash tried to hold back his laugher for a second. "If Pikachu sees the way you drew him Latios, he's gonna kill you," Ash commented. "Is that a Rattata or a Lanturn?" he asked.

Bianca blinked. "I think it's a bit of both with a mix of Raichu…or Pichu."

"I don't think Pikachu's gonna be the only one!" Latias added jokingly. "Why does Pidgeot look like a one-headed Doduo with wings?" she wondered idly. Latios just wanted to die on the spot.

"Poor Phanpy," Bianca said sadly, shaking her head. "He looks like a balloon with a trunk... is that even a trunk? Looks like a twig."

"He got the shade of blue wrong," Latias noted, looking between Phanpy and the drawing.

"Latias…" Bianca began. "At this rate, the shade of blue is the least of our worries…" she said, bursting out laughing again along with the female eon dragon.

"Hey! At least I tried," Latios said in frustration.

Bianca giggled, hugging Latios around his neck, Latias doing the same. "Don't worry, we still love ya," Bianca told him, trying to suppress another fit of laughter.

"Yeah, it's okay, brother, you tried your best," Latias consoled him. "But you have to admit, it's really funny."

Latios chuckled. "Well, you two are the artists, not me."

"Yeah, well, then I guess I shouldn't get you to try to draw again, the results were kinda fatal," Latias commented. She held up her sunset drawing and grinned at it. "Not as good as Bianca's but I still like it." She looked at the setting sun with a smile. It was almost past the horizon, and the ship's exterior lights had already been turned on.

"Well," Bianca began. "Night's starting to fall. Let's go back to the room."

"Yeah," Ash agreed, standing up and beginning to get all their things packed up to go back to their room.

Meanwhile, in one of the lifeboats nearby, the cover lifted as three binoculars showed themselves. "Twerps at twelve o' clock!" Jessie said, not taking her eyes off the group as they began to walk towards the ferry's interior cabins.

James blinked and looked up. "Really? Isn't it supposed to be at least eight by now?" he wondered idly. He cried out in pain as Jessie hit him. "Oww!"

"Not that twelve o' clock, idiot!" She said angrily and focused her binoculars on Phanpy and Larvitar. "There they are…"

Meowth shook his head. "Nah, while I'm still pretty pissed off dat dey'd dare to mess with us, dey aren't really da target here, it's Pikachu! So let's forget it."

"And the two dragons," James added.

Jessie hummed in thought. "We're currently mecha-less, so let's reduce our sights to just Pikachu for now. We can't beat Latias and Latios unless we come up with a nice mecha. And I still want revenge on those two tricksters!"

Meowth shrugged. "We weren't gonna pay for da food anyways, so why shoot smoke over dat?"

Both Jessie and James hit Meowth at the same time. "It's not that! It's the simple fact that they tricked us!" Jessie said angrily. James nodded in agreement while the Normal-type rubbed his head in pain. "Anyways," Jessie continued. "It's time to test our new toys."

"Hide!" James shouted as he ducked into the lifeboat again. Jessie and Meowth noticed two of the security officers walking nearby and quickly hid as well...

Several hours later, the ship was quiet as it sailed along the ocean towards its destination. Most of the crew and passengers were asleep, save for the nightshift security guards, the crew and bridge staff, the captain, and a certain group of thieves…

In one of the passenger levels, Team Rocket walked silently along the very long hallway past several cabins until they came across the one they were looking for. "So, this is the twerp's right?" Jessie asked

James nodded. "Yes, it is." He looked at the small keypad. "Meowth, do your magic."

Meowth nodded and extended his sharp nails. "Consider it done!" he said as James picked him up and lifted him to the level of the keypad. Meowth introduced the nail along the magnetic circuit and began to mess with it.

"Hurry!" Jessie hissed, pressing him on.

"Shut it! This takes patience and skill, and lots of sma-" Meowth snapped back, but was interrupted when he made a wrong motion and short-circuited the keypad, electrocuting both James and himself.

Jessie glared at them angrily and was about to yell at how stupid they were but the magical sound of the door's lock opening made her grin. She opened the door slightly and peeked in. It was a small cabin with two individual beds. On one was Bianca and on the other was Ash along with Pikachu, both of them sleeping. On the floor between the two beds, there was a big blanket where Latias and Latios were both asleep. "Quiet now…"

James nodded and took out a mechanical arm with a bright red rubber glove at the end. "Wish we had something to capture the two dragons," he said sadly, keeping his voice quiet. "Oh well…" he muttered, maneuvering the rubber arm quietly through the air, making sure not to make any noises that would wake any of the twerps up.

James snaked the arm until it was just a few inches from Pikachu. He pushed a button on the arm's controls and the hand opened up. With another command, the hand wrapped securely around Pikachu. James quickly reeled the hand back and nodded to Jessie. "Success!"

Pikachu began to wake up. When he opened his eyes he saw he was being pulled towards the exit of the room. He felt some odd pressure on his body. Looking down he noticed the gloved hand wrapped around him. "Hey! Team Rocket!" he yelled at them.

"Sorry Pika-pal, you're ours now!" Meowth told him as Team Rocket ran down the hallway, the sound of Pikachu releasing a powerful Thunder Shock echoing in the corridor, but thanks to the rubber glove, it would be ineffective.

Ash stirred in his sleep. He cracked open an eye and saw Pikachu disappearing out the door in a gloved red hand. That immediately woke him up even better than Pikachu's own electric attacks or Latios flipping his bed over. "Hey! Get back here!" Ash screamed, jumping out of the bed to chase after them…and tripped on Latios' wing, causing him to fall and land between the two dragons, crashing face-first into the floor. "Ouch…"

Latias and Latios too were also waking up after Pikachu's yell. They turned and saw Ash on the floor between them. Latias blinked, realizing what must have happened. "That seemed painful…are you okay, Ash?" she asked, floating up and grabbing Ash's shoulders with her claws, lifting him up gently.

"Team Rocket took Pikachu… again!" Ash told them in a worried tone. Standing up with Latias' help, he gave her a grateful pat on the head. She nodded at him.

"Oh, so that was what that noise was…" Latios muttered, flying to the door. He looked around the hallway, noting it was empty. "Damn, they're out of sight… How did they sneak in without waking us up?" he wondered.

Ash turned to Latias. "Can you try to sense their location?"

Latias shook her head. "I don't think so, there're too many minds nearby that would interfere with a psychic scan. Sorry, we aren't developed enough yet to process so much information."

Ash's eyes widened in horror. Though Latias' statement confused him a bit, he still got that she couldn't do it. "Oh no…" he muttered gravely, worry and fear tearing through him.

Latias gave him a small pat in the back. "Don't worry Ash. Remember, we're on a ship in the middle of the ocean, Team Rocket's got no escape route," she told him reassuringly.

"Then their plan is to either hide somewhere onboard until we reach Hoenn, or try to escape using either their Balloon or Magikarp submarine," Latios assumed.

"Their Hot Air Balloon is too slow, same for their submarine. It's not the best travel method to use for the middle of the ocean, hence why I said they had no escape route," Latias added. "They'd starve before reaching any coast."

"If that's the case, one of us should search the outside of the ship in case they do try to escape while the other searches the inside if they try to hide," Latios suggested.

"Think that they'd plan as far ahead as that?" Latias wondered. After all, they were talking about Team Rocket.

Latios shrugged. "They got Pikachu, their greatest life-goal. They had to have planned what to do after getting him."

Ash blinked. "Wow… And I would have just run out down the hallway trying to find them…" he said Mareepishly.

Latias giggled. "If you ran into them, then that way is also good."

Bianca yawned as she woke up. "What's with all the fuss…?" She said sleepily.

"Team Rocket took Pikachu…" Ash said sadly.

Bianca sighed. "The three idiots? Again?"

Ash nodded as the artist picked herself up and got dressed. "I'm afraid so…come on, let's go looking for them."

Latios looked at the doorway and rather small hallways nervously, remembering he needed to be returned to the Pokéball in order to fit. "I'll need some help getting out…"

Latias laughed. "Well, I'll turn human and search the inside of the ship for Team Rocket. You could go with Bianca to the outside. Ash could lend her your Pokéball for a bit."

Ash nodded. "Good idea," he agreed as he retrieved Latios' Pokéball from his backpack. "Latios, return!" he said as he pointed it at the blue dragon. Latios was sucked inside the sphere in a red flash. He also grabbed the Pokéballs of the rest of his team, in case they were needed.

Bianca walked up to him. "So… how can I help out?" she asked, not knowing much due to just waking up, but she understood how close Ash was to his Pokémon, so she decided to be as helpful as she could.

"Go to the outside of the ship and release Latios. Make sure Team Rocket doesn't try escaping the cruiser," Latias told her, repeating her earlier statement as she had made that suggestion in Poké-speech and not telepathy. Bianca nodded as Ash handed her Latios' Pokéball.

The split up, going out in search of Team Rocket.

"Hehehe! We finally got you Pikachu!" James giggled, stuffing his face with all the food around them, as they were in the food storage locker. Their constant running from the security guards had made them hungry again. Plus, it was free food, so there was no harm in overeating.

Pikachu sighed inside the glass container he was in. He had tried shocking his way out of it, but as usual it was electric-proof, so he just casually leaned against the glass with a calm look on his face. Meowth blinked. "Shouldn't ya look… y'know… worried?" he asked, pausing his eating to look at the container and the Pokémon inside it.

Pikachu just sat there patiently. "Not really," he answered. "It's just a matter of minutes before my friends come here and rescue me."

"Not this time!" Meowth declared boldly.

"And how do you plan to hide from two psychics again?" Pikachu asked, chuckling slightly.

"We're already hiding," Meowth answered, nodding proudly.

Pikachu sweatdropped. "Hiding in the food storage locker? How creative." He said sarcastically.

"Not dat! I mean dis!" Meowth said, running his paw over a weird black headband he was wearing. Jessie and James sported similar headbands, and the container also had one running along the base of it. "It's a Dark-type headband! It protects against Psychic attacks and sensors!" he announced. "With dese little babies your two dragons can't find us!"

Pikachu's jaw dropped. "Just where, where do you get so many of these ass-pulled things? I mean, seriously dark-typed headbands?! And you already have those weird mechas and inventions!" he wondered, shocked.

Meowth shrugged. "Because we're awesome like dat!" he said simply. Pikachu banged his head against the glass container.

"What's he saying Meowth?" Jessie asked curiously.

"He's saying how awesome we are because we captured him and dat he's seen dat we rule and he'll be obedient from now on, and dat his trainer's just a useless twerp," Meowth lied with a toothy grin. Pikachu glared at him and Quick Attacked the glass container, causing it to topple over and land on top of Meowth. "Ahhh! Get it off!" he yelled in pain as the container crushed him. Pikachu began to jump on top of Meowth, adding weight and force to the already heavy container until he got the message. "Okay okay! He says dat da Twerp will come soon and rescue him and dat we're busted!" he translated for real.

Pikachu nodded in approval and let the container roll off the squished Meowth. "That's more like it," Pikachu said, chuckling slightly.

"Oww…" Meowth muttered in pain. Jessie and James laughed at his misery.

"Well, while the headbands will hide us from them, what's the next plan?" Jessie asked.

"We could try to hide until we reach Hoenn," James suggested. "Or try to escape the ship."

"That's a good idea, but I don't think we can escape safely in the balloon and hiding will be hard," Jessie commented.

Pikachu's jaw dropped incredulously. "You've got me, your greatest life-goal, and you haven't even planned what to do after getting me?" he asked, stunned.

Meowth nodded embarrassedly. "Ta be honest with ya Pika-pal, we never expected to get past da security lock, or ta even pull ya out without wakin' up the dragons. We didn't feel da need ta plan much more ahead since we were already expectin' to fail," he answered. Pikachu facepalmed, his speculation of Team Rocket's stupidity skyrocketing, literally.

James shrugged, looking at the food around them. "Let's finish eating before finding a better hiding spot and start planning our next move," he suggested. The other two didn't need to hear it again before they dove back at the food. Pikachu stared at them before waiting patiently to be rescued, which he knew wouldn't take long.

"Where are they?" Ash said desperately, looking at an intersection of hallways, trying to pick the best choice.

"The ship's huge, this is gonna take longer than I thought," Latias muttered telepathically, a sad undertone in her mental voice.

"Here!" Ash said, running down the left hallway. Latias silently followed him.

Just as Ash was rounding a corner to change direction again, he crashed face-first into something very sturdy, giving a cry of pain as he fell to the floor. Whatever he had hit hadn't budged even an inch. Latias rounded the corner and stood beside Ash protectively, ready to defend him from anything that might dare try to hurt him, but relaxed, seeing Ash had crashed against the captain's Machoke.

"Oh, sorry for that," the captain apologized, extending his hand down to help Ash stand up.

"Ow… it's okay," Ash said, rubbing his nose from the impact as he got back up.

"Sorry," the Machoke apologized. "I should have watched where I was going."

"It's okay, I was the one running," Ash said, not really making a big deal out of it. The Machoke blinked in confusion. Had the kid understood him perfectly?

"May I ask what are you doing up at this hour?" the captain asked. It wasn't every day that he came across passengers running along the hallways at this hour.

"Team Rocket broke into my cabin and stole my Pikachu!" Ash answered.

The captain blinked. "Team who?"

"They're a bunch of no good thieves who steal people's Pokémon!" Ash answered.

The captain nodded. "Then they might be the stowaways I'm looking for. I came here because several minutes ago, the ship's computer system reported a hacking attempt on a cabin security keypad without the use of the keycards given to passengers shortly after boarding."

Latias mentally hummed. "Ahh, so that's how Team Rocket opened the doorand why the keypad had smoke coming out of it."

"We have to find them!" Ash pressed on.

"Come on, I'll check the computer again, if they've made another break-in, they're busted," the captain said, running to the right side of the intersection.

"Right!" Ash said as he and Latias followed him and the Machoke.

After several turns and twists, and some ladders, they arrived at a different hallway. This one had a small computer terminal on the wall. The captain pressed some keys, introducing the password and several commands. "Hmm, there's been a recent breach in the food storage locker, they must be there!"

Latias and Ash sweatdropped collectively. "Team Rocket captures Pikachu and their first plan is to go and eat?" Latias wondered incredulously.

"I think it's not that bad of a plan," Ash said, feeling a little hungry. Latias facefaulted.

The captain grabbed a small radio that was hanging from his belt. "Security team one, we've got stowaways in food storage."

"Roger," was the response. "Moving out."

The captain nodded. "There, now let's go." They all nodded and ran towards the food deposits.

"Brother, we found Team Rocket, they're in the lower food deposits," Latias said telepathically, speaking to Latios over their bond.

"Oh, and I was chilling out here!" Latios replied. "I'll be going there."

"Won't the hallways be a tight fit for you? Don't worry, the captain's already called security and we'll be going along. It's just the three idiots, not any real trouble," Latias said as she followed after Ash and the ship captain.

"Be careful sis," came Latios' answer, his voice slightly worried.

After more and more eating, Team Rocket decided to leave food storage. They slowly walked to the entrance, or in this case, exit of the food deposit area. James peeked around. "The coast is clear," he announced, picking up the container carrying a still calm Pikachu.

Meowth frowned. "Give up Pika-pal, your friends aren't comin'!"

Pikachu chuckled. "They'll come here soon, I'm just patiently waiting for them to get here and beat you three up."

"Whatever," Meowth grumbled.

They ran out into a hallway. However, when they rounded the corner, their hearts skipped a beat when they came face-to-face with half a dozen security guards. "The coast is clear huh?" Jessie asked deadpan.

James laughed Mareepishly. "They were out of my line of sight… let's go the other way!" They turned and skidded to a halt when they found the other side of the hallway was blocked by the captain, his Machoke, Ash and a human-form Latias.

Pikachu smiled. "Hey Ash! About time you came to rescue me!" Pikachu grinned and looked down at Meowth. "Told ya."

Ash smiled back at him. "Sorry buddy, finding you was harder than I thought." 'Speaking of thoughts, Latias, use Psychic to get Pikachu out of their grasp,' he thought.

Latias gave a light nod in his mind as her human-form eyes glowed subtly. "Alright Ash," Latias said telepathically. A few seconds passed and to her confusion, she found out she couldn't get a firm grip on either Team Rocket or the container, they seemed to slip away from her powerful mental grip, as if she couldn't touch them. "Um, AshI can't do anything…" she said meekly, feeling a bit embarrassed.

Ash blinked in confusion, wondering why Latias' psychic attacks weren't working... he then noticed Team Rocket's headbands. "What's up with the headbands?" he wondered. "Are you in a fighting-type Dojo now? Wouldn't that put you at a disadvantage to Latias and Latios?"

Team Rocket facefaulted. "No!" they screamed at the same time.

James grinned proudly. "These are our new Psychic-proof headbands! Good for keeping psychics away!"

Latias' jaw dropped incredulously at Team Rocket. "There's such a thing as psychic-proof headbands? No wonder my psychic powers had no effect on them. Where do they get this stuff?"

Ash sweatdropped. "Where do you get all that stuff?" he wondered disbelievingly.

Jessie stuck out her tongue at him. "Not telling!"

"Hand over the trainer's Pokémon now," the captain ordered firmly.

Jessie laughed. "I don't think so!" she declared, hurling a Pokéball at their direction. "Arbok, use Poison Sting!" A bright flash of white erupted in the hallway as Arbok was released from the Pokéball. The Poison-type gave a battle cry as he opened his mouth, releasing a torrent of small glowing purple poisoned needles like a machine gun towards Ash and the captain.

The captain froze for a second, wondering how to defend from that blow as his only Pokémon, Machoke, wasn't exactly in the best of matchups. Even so, the Pokémon stepped in front of Ash, the human form Latias and his captain, ready to take the hit for them if necessary. However, Ash was ready. "Latias! Stop that with Mist Ball!" he ordered. The captain blinked, not seeing any Pokémon nearby that would follow the kid's order.

Latias stepped in front of the group (especially Ash) protectively, causing the Machoke to look at her in shock at seeing her step up to the attack so boldly. Her body suddenly glowed brightly as she reverted to her Dragon form in a beautiful shower of blue sparkles, a glowing red orb already charging in her claws. The orb expanded in size as it was coated with a flurry of wildly swirling red mist. Not a second too soon, the female Dragon quickly put the Mist Ball in the incoming trajectory of Arbok's attack, holding it in front of her claws and using it as a shield.

The Poison Sting attack collided against the Mist Ball. However, the psychic energies infused into the mist were too strong as the Poison stingers were disintegrated by the much stronger attack, coupled with the type advantage as well. The captain staggered back in surprise along with his Machoke. This was definitely new. He never expected a Human to turn into a Pokémon! Or was it a Pokémon that could become human?

"I don't think so! Weezing, use Smokescreen!" James countered, hurling a Pokéball. A white flash followed as the Poison-type was released. He took a deep breath and released a cloud of dark smoke all over the hallway, causing everyone to step back, but not fast enough as the hallway was covered in thick black smoke. Everyone started coughing.

"Arbok, use Wrap!" Jessie ordered quickly. Arbok complied immediately, slithering quickly along the floor before lunging at Latias. The Cobra Pokémon wrapped his body around the distracted dragoness, coiling around her rapidly and squeezing, causing her to cry out in pain as the air was forced out of her lungs, which proved worse with all the smoke. She increased the power in her levitation greatly, barely keeping herself afloat with the snake Pokémon coiled around her.

The captain grabbed his radio. "Bridge, activate ventilation system in the food storage hallway immediately at maximum power!" he shouted into the radio. A few seconds later, the sound of the ventilation turning on was very gratifying as the smoke began to clear away.

"Arbok, use Bite!" Jessie ordered. Arbok opened his mouth, revealing two long fangs dripping with poison. He lunged at Latias' exposed neck.

"Latias, twist around to dodge that and use Ice Beam!" Ash shouted frantically. Latias quickly spun in midair while charging an orb of freezing energies in her mouth, causing Arbok's bite to miss as he overshot her and crashed face-first into the wall, sinking his fangs into it. Latias fired the Ice Beam at point-blank range, hitting Arbok in his hood and freezing him against the wall in a thick sheet of ice.

However, before the female dragon could escape the remainder of Arbok's coils, Latias saw Weezing drawing closer out the corner of her eye as the smoke was being cleared by the ship's ventilation systems. "Weezing, show her what you had for dinner!" James shouted. Weezing took a deep breath and spat a large glob of unsanitary purple sludge at the eon dragoness as he used Sludge Bomb.

"Eww!" Latias said in disgust.

"Latias, use Ice Beam to stop that!" Ash shouted. The female dragon took a deep breath and shot a freezing light blue beam, striking the sludge and freezing it in midair. She lowered her aim, making the Ice Beam hit Weezing as well, causing the Pokémon to land in front of James in a solid block of ice.

"Headbutt!" Jessie cried. Arbok, who had just recovered, twisted his long body and rammed into Latias head-first, causing great damage as Arbok's hood was still covered in ice from the Ice Beam Latias had hit him with earlier, effectively using an Ice Headbutt. The closeness of the two inside the tight hallway made it nearly impossible for Latias to react in time. She cried in pain and crashed into the wall.

"Latias!" Ash shouted in concern. "Hang on, hit Arbok with Psychic!"

Latias nodded as her eyes glowed. She lifted Arbok off the floor and hurled him at Team Rocket. "Uh-Oh…" they said, seeing the incoming Pokémon. They turned, ready to run, but froze when they remembered they had the security team behind them.

They didn't move in time as Arbok crashed into them, knocking them over and causing James to let go of the glass container Pikachu was in. It hit the floor and broke in half, the metal base separating from the glass upper part, setting the Electric-type free. Pikachu grinned and turned to them. "… Uh, can we talk dis over?" Meowth asked uneasily.

"No," Pikachu said simply. He used Thunder, shocking them for several seconds before nodding to himself in approval and running back to Ash happily, leaving a smoking Team Rocket behind.

"Pikachu!" Ash cried happily, catching the Electric-type in his arms and hugging him as Pikachu nuzzled him. Latias flew to them, smiling as well.

Pikachu grinned. "What took you so long?" he asked teasingly.

Ash chuckled. "It was a big ship, searching for you was hard." He turned to Latias and smiled. "Thanks Latias, you were amazing!" he praised her eagerly, petting her kindly.

Pikachu grinned. "So how was the battle? You make an impressive fighter. That was awesome!"

Latias rolled her eyes. "Oh don't get started on that topic again!" she exclaimed. "I battled because it was required and it was to protect you and Ash."

Pikachu laughed. "Okay, okay," he conceded, looking as the security team arrested Team Rocket. "How long do you think it'll take them to break out? They always do."

Ash shrugged. "Not very long I'd guess, they'll probably break out before even getting to Hoenn."

The captain frowned. "I think you underestimate my brig."

"I think you underestimate Team Rocket," Ash said.

The captain raised an eyebrow. "After watching you mop the floor with them, I think I've got a pretty good measure of their abilities." Ash reluctantly conceded the point. "And speaking of your abilities…care to explain how your girlfriend can turn into a Pokémon?"

Ash and Latias blushed. "She's not my girlfriend!" Ash cried as Latias pouted and Pikachu snickered. "She's…um, my Pokémon, who can make herself look human…"

"Really! And how does she manage that?" the captain asked.

"Um…by…ohmygosh look over there, it's a pirate!" Ash shouted, pointing over the captain's shoulder. Neither the captain nor Machoke turned to look. Ash sagged. "Was worth a try…"

"No it wasn't," Pikachu said. Ash glared at him.

"So…an explanation?" the captain asked.

"Um…I don't suppose we can talk about this tomorrow? It's kinda late, and we're all really tired," Ash said desperately.

"No," the captain said.

Ash sighed. "Okay, fine…well…it's sorta like this…"

After explaining the deal with Latias, or an abridged version of it, to the captain, Ash and his Pokémon were finally released to go back to their cabin, since he didn't see anything wrong with Ash and Latias', ah, relationship, but warned the boy to try and keep it a secret, since lots of people might take it the wrong way. Ash had no idea what he was talking about. Pikachu and Latias did, and found it hilarious. Well, Pikachu did, anyway. They got back to their cabin and rendezvoused with Latios and Bianca, who were disappointed to have missed all the excitement. Ash went to sleep thinking that was all the excitement they'd have on this cruise.

He was wrong.

The sun shone brightly the next morning as yet another day arrived, bringing them another day closer to Hoenn. A very confused Ash was wandering about the ship. For some reason unknown to him, shortly after he had woken up, Latias and Bianca had ushered him out of their cabin and told him to see what the day was like. "Why would Bianca and Latias want to know what the day was like?" Ash mumbled in confusion. Couldn't they look out the window to figure that out?

"It's a girl thing," Pikachu answered offhandedly. "I think…"

"Let's go back to the cabin, we've already seen its sunny," Ash commented, gazing up and seeing the cloudless perfect blue sky, the sun shining brightly, causing Ash to squint his eyes.

"No!" Pikachu said immediately. "Let's hang out here a while longer," he suggested, grinning.

"Pikachu…" Ash started, an exasperated tone in his voice. "You seem to be playing along too eagerly with Latias and Bianca. What's going on?"

"Ohh nothing," Pikachu said innocently. "Don't worry… besides, look! Isn't the ocean wonderful?" he commented, jumping down from Ash's shoulder and landing the railing of the ship, looking outwards towards the sea.

"That I can agree with," Ash said, leaning on the railing beside the electric-type. Both sighed in content as they stared out to sea.

Pikachu grinned. 'There, this should keep him busy for a little while. Come on Latias and Bianca, hurry and get the cake for Ash's birthday, it'll be awesome! I'm surprised he hasn't remembered his own birthday, but that'd make the surprise better. Now, to stall some more…' "Isn't it wonderful Ash? A new region to travel…imagine what kind of adventures await us…"

"Yeah," Ash agreed, sighing as he leaned over the railing. "It's so much to think of. That's been on my mind a lot ever since I set foot on the ship…"

Pikachu nodded. "To think… it seemed like just yesterday when we were starting out our Kanto journey, getting to Brock's Gym… Or even when we were starting out the Orange League, or maybe setting out for Johto too… So long ago, yet it seems it wasn't."

"Yeah, and soon another region's being added to the list! I wanna get to Hoenn!" Ash shouted.

Pikachu laughed. "We'll get there soon enough. Patience!"

"It's just until tomorrow. One more day…" Ash muttered, feeling more eager than ever. Both of them smiled contently, just enjoying the moment.

"Hey, Pikachu…" the electric-type heard in his head, a telepathic sweet female voice no doubt belonging to Latias. "We're done. Guide Ash to the room now."

'We're having a nostalgic moment here, how am I supposed to suddenly say "Hey Ash, let's go to the cabin" or something like that, or convince him to go there?' Pikachu thought, knowing the dragoness would read the thoughts.

"Improvise. Now I'll be going back to the cabin myself, we'll keep the door ajar," Latias said back telepathically.

Pikachu blinked. 'You aren't in the cabin?'

"No, I had to get closer so that you were within my telepathic range. See ya there!" Latias replied before going quiet.

Pikachu hummed, thinking of a surefire way to guide Ash back to the cabin without alerting him to his birthday surprise or making any awkward conversation. "Hey Ash… let's play a small game, for old times' sake."

"Hm?" Ash mumbled as he turned to the electric-type, confused. Pikachu gave him a big toothy grin before jumping off Ash's shoulder and grabbing his hat, biting the edge of it and taking it off his head. "Hey! My hat!" Ash called, grabbing his head before looking at Pikachu with an annoyed and amused, look. Ash couldn't say anything as Pikachu took off running, and just as the electric mouse had expected it, Ash came after him.

Pikachu led him around the hallways, going back to the deck where their cabin was located. Ash was hot on Pikachu's trail, not letting the Electric-type get far, not that Pikachu wanted to lose Ash, just guide him. 'Oh, I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees it!' Pikachu thought giddily, almost losing his grip on Ash's hat from the excitement.

"Hey, give that back Pikachu!" Ash called while chasing the Pokémon throughout the halls, earning himself some odd looks from the bystanders that they passed.

Pikachu grinned when the group's cabin was in sight. He dropped the hat on purpose and kept running towards the cabin, skidding to a halt in front of the door and going inside. Ash blinked, he hadn't expected that. He stopped as he neared the dropped hat and picked it up, dusting it off a few times before putting it over his head. "I wonder what got into Pikachu now…" he mumbled, walking towards his cabin.

He opened the door, and the scene that greeted him was one he certainly did not expect. "Surprise!" Bianca, Pikachu, Latias, Latios, Pidgeot, Phanpy and Larvitar shouted at the same time as Ash entered, a dumbfounded look on his face. "Happy Birthday!" they all cried.

All of his friends were in a semi-circle around a mid-sized table with a large chocolate cake on it. Twelve yellow lit candles adorned the cake. All of his friends wore a party cone-hat of a variety of colors. "Wo-Wow…" Ash said slowly, a very surprised look on his face. He paused as a particular thought struck him. "Wait it's my birthday?" he asked, confused.

Latias laughed. "Yes it is, though, with how excited you are about the Hoenn trip, I guess you forgot, but that made the surprise all the better," she said telepathically.

"Wow… even if I had remembered, I don't think I'd ever have expected it… especially since we just had a party at Pallet Town," Ash said, looking at the cake in surprise. It looked delicious.

"Well, that party was to congratulate you getting third place in the Silver Conference," Latios told him. "Your mom only said you could take it as an advance birthday party from her, but of course we'd give you the celebration on the exact day for you."

Ash smiled at them. "Thanks… Thanks a lot."

"Happy birthday Ash, now you're officially twelve years old!" Pikachu said, jumping on Ash's shoulder, holding a party hat in his small hands. "Ohh…do I-" Pikachu began.

"No, you aren't taking it off again," Ash told the electric-type sternly.

Pikachu shrugged. "Okay," he said. He then proceeded to strap the party hat over Ash's Pokémon League hat, giving him a very silly look that earned laughs from the group.

"Well, happy birthday, you're finally growing up!" Pikachu commented happily, hugging him.

Ash smiled and returned the hug. "Thanks a lot buddy, I appreciate the surprise."

"Happy Birthday!" Latias chimed, joining the hug.

"Yeah, happy birthday Ash," Bianca said, giving Ash a birthday hug.

"Twelve years old, nice! Happy birthday!" Latios added, also joining the hug.

"Happy birthday," Pidgeot said, giving Ash her own hug by wrapping her wings around him.

"Happy birthday daddy!" Both Phanpy and Larvitar said at the time, leaping into Ash's arms, though Larvitar had to do it with Latias' telekinetic help.

"Thanks everyone," Ash said as he hugged his two adopted sons. "Thanks a lot for this, it's so awesome…" he muttered. He looked at the cake hungrily.

"Well Ash, blow out the candles and make a wish!" Bianca told him.

"Yeah… wait, where did you get it from?" Ash wondered curiously. It's not like there was a huge cake shop in the ship or anything.

"Remember yesterday when we were going to the pool, Latias and I said we had to take care of something before changing into the swimsuits and told you we'd meet you later?" Bianca asked.

"Mm, yes, I do," Ash replied, thinking back to the moment in question.

"Well, me and Latias went to the kitchen to pre-order a cake for today. We were offered the entire birthday package actually, but I declined, seeing as our group for the party is mostly made of Pokémon," Bianca continued, explaining it for the birthday boy.

"Oh, so that's where you went," Ash said, remembering he had been curious on the matter until he forgot about it. "Well..." Ash began, taking a seat in front of the mid-size table and taking a deep breath as his friends looked on eagerly. To their surprise Ash paused. "Keep out of my thoughts!" Ash told Latias and Latios. "If you hear my wish then it's not gonna be granted!"

Latias and Latios laughed slightly. "Alright Ash, as you wish," Latios assured him. Not that he and Latias were planning on hearing it, even if they were kinda curious on what Ash would wish.

Ash took a deep breath and made his wish. Once he finished, he blew, successfully putting out all twelve candles. Ash grinned triumphantly.

Pikachu smirked. "So Ash, what did you wish for?" he asked curiously.

Ash stuck out his tongue. "Not telling!"

Pikachu laughed. "Alright, just checking. I hope whatever you wished for comes true."

"Thanks," Ash said, smiling.

Bianca grabbed a small bag, taking out some plastic plates, a pair of forks, and a kitchen knife. "Time to eat!" She announced, much to the group's joy.

Pikachu glanced at Larvitar. "You aren't getting seconds until we're all done with our first," he told the infant sternly.

Larvitar blinked. "Uh, why?" he asked curiously.

"Because if you eat at your rhythm, by the time we finish our first slice of cake, you would have already eaten the entire cake," Pikachu deadpanned.

Larvitar laughed Mareepishly, admitting that this was true. "Well, okay." He didn't mind, he could always steal a few bites from Pikachu's plate when he wasn't looking.

With that, Bianca sliced the cake and began to serve it to the birthday boy, then herself and finally Ash's Pokémon. They proceeded to eat their cake, enjoying it greatly on this special day. After finishing it, they proceeded to enjoy the rest of the day and play any party games that came to mind. Tomorrow they would be arriving at Hoenn, so a party would be a good way to pass the time. Once it was all over, Ash later told his friends that this had been an amazing birthday, one he wasn't going to forget for a long time.

Finally, the day everyone had been waiting for had come: the grand day when the S.S. Blue Star finally finished the voyage from Alto Mare to Littleroot Town. There was just a little bit of time left before the ship docked at the harbor, so many of the passengers were already gathering their things to disembark on the port. Ash was currently in the front part of the ship, along with his buddy Pikachu, the two currently invisible Eon dragons, and Bianca. Ash leaned on the railing, looking out eagerly at the distant speck of land visible on the horizon, no doubt the Hoenn region. He could barely contain the excitement he was feeling.

"We're finally here," Latias commented with a smile, turning to look at the cap-wearing Pokémon trainer. "Well, aren't you happy?" she asked softly.

"Of course I am!" Ash exclaimed, perhaps a little too loudly as it earned him a few odd stares from the other passengers. "Finally, the waiting's over!"

Latios smiled. "Yep, now you can get another shot at your dream of winning a league!"

Ash nodded happily. "Yes! Hoenn region get ready, 'cause Ash is coming to get ya! Nothing's getting in my way of winning first place at the league!" he declared boldly, pointing at the distant Hoenn League dramatically. Bianca and Latias giggled at Ash's demeanor. It was nice to see him so happy. "Oh, I wonder what the first Hoenn Pokémon I'll see will be!" Ash said giddily.

"You've seen Latias and Latios, as well as Harrison's team," Pikachu pointed out.

Ash facefaulted. "I mean, here!" Everyone shared a laugh at that.

Suddenly, a massive splash got their attention to the left side of the ship. A massive figure rose out of the water, displacing small waves in all directions. The titanic figure swam alongside the ship calmly, a long spout of water erupting from its top. It was a very big blue Pokémon, with two sets of fins in its midsection as well as an elevated tail fluke. "Wow… what's that?" Ash muttered quietly, awed by the sheer size of the Pokémon.

"That's a Wailord, it's a-" Latios began to tell Ash, but was promptly interrupted by a beep.

"Wailord, the Float Whale Pokémon. Wailord is the largest Pokémon yet to be discovered. It is able to jump high into the air, creating gigantic pillars of water," Ash's PokéDex said in a mechanical voice, displaying an image of a Wailord on the screen.

A vein of irritation appeared on Latios' forehead. "Hey! I was about to do that!" the psychic dragon said, crossing his clawed arms in indignation.

Ash chuckled nervously. "Sorry about that. But wow, think I could catch something like that?" Ash wondered slowly, imagining himself commanding a Wailord, and having trouble picturing the correct size of it.

"Well, I'd advise against it," Latias answered. "I don't think we have the food to feed one of them. Plus they need large bodies of water to live in, even a lake would be insufficient for them. Also, how are you going to use such a big Pokémon in a battle? I think they'd be bigger than most gym arenas…"

Ash nodded reluctantly, agreeing that she had a point. Plus, if imagining himself with one was hard, then that happening in real life was even less likely. "Yeah, I guess you're right. But really, they're so cool…" he commented, gazing as several other Wailords appeared, swimming alongside the first one to show itself. Ash looked up and saw several odd Flying-type Pokémon. They were mostly white and blue, and some had extremely large beaks, perhaps almost as big as the rest of the Pokémon itself. "Wow, what are those?"

"They're-" Latios started, but was promptly interrupted again by an all too familiar beep.

"Wingull, the Seagull Pokémon. Wingull will fly through the sky as though surfing waves. It normally carries food and other valuable items, and then hides them here and there," Ash's PokéDex said in a mechanical voice for a few seconds before going to the next entry. "Pelipper, the Water Bird Pokémon. Pelipper carries small items in their mouths over long distances and, when tired, rest floating on water."

"Hey!" Latios huffed. Latias, Pikachu and Bianca laughed at him.

Ash laughed Mareepishly, scratching the back of his head. "Sorry again, couldn't resist. I'm really used to using the PokéDex."

Latios shrugged. "It's okay, I guess."

"Then why get mad if it's okay?" Pikachu asked teasingly.

Latios blinked, not knowing how to answer that. "Er…"

Ash leaned over the railing, looking in awe at all the different Pokémon he was seeing, using his PokéDex to identify them. Some Sharpedos and Carvanhas swam around the water near the ship, some Tailows and Swellows flew about, and even Wailord's preevolution, Wailmer, appeared along the pod swimming beside the ship. Latias giggled, seeing Ash in such a hyper state, but it was understandable considering how much the prospect of a new region excited the boy, that and being surrounded by many Pokémon he was seeing for the first time in his life.

"He's more eager than I expected," Pikachu commented, a small smile tugging at his lips.

"Well, it's a new region, its understandable," Latios told him, chuckling.

"I guess so," Latias agreed.

Suddenly, the speakers that lined the ship flared to life. "Attention passengers, we have reached the Hoenn Region. Estimated time to entering the Littleroot Town harbor, twenty minutes."

"Just twenty minutes!" Ash cried happily. Bianca rolled her eyes, knowing that if she was going to travel with him, she'd had to get used to this attitude fairly quick.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket leaned casually against the side of the railing around the middle of the ship. James chuckled as he saw the land getting closer and closer. "Escaping from this brig was easy, now we'll be the first Team Rocket agents to set foot in the Hoenn Region!"

"Oh yeah!" Meowth agreed. "Da boss is gonna love it!"

Jessie sighed, leaning over the railing in a bored fashion, causing James and Meowth to stare oddly at her. "What's the point…" she mumbled sadly.

"Uh, what's up Jessie? You look a bit down…" James asked, concerned.

"Littleroot Town…" Jessie began. "The town that's never changed its colors, always stayed true to its roots…but me…us…we've changed our colors so much along the way…"

James and Meowth looked at each other in confusion. "Jessie, what Weedle stung ya?" Meowth wondered.

"Someone's philosophical today…" James mumbled, guessing that perhaps so much eating had done her bad.

"Is this everything that waits down the road for us? Following the twerp day and night trying to capture Pikachu…and recently his two Dragons as well…tell me James, have we ever truly flown at the speed of light?"

James and Meowth sweatdropped. "You're speaking hypothetically right?" James asked.

"If hypothetically dese days' means like she's goin' crazy, den yes, she is," Meowth answered.

"Agreeeeed," Wobbufett said, saluting as he appeared behind the group. Jessie didn't say a thing and just returned him to his Pokéball.

Jessie signed wistfully as she leaned over the railing. James patted her on the back gently. "I know what will cheer you up, another attempt to get Pikachu, Latias and Latios, this time with a brand new mecha!" he suggested, hoping that would cheer up the seemingly depressed Jessie.

Jessie shrugged. "I guess so…I was wondering, should we change colors yet again?" she mumbled, the trio sighed and leaned over the railing of the ship, watching as Littleroot Town got closer and closer, pondering the same question.

As the S.S. Blue Star got closer to Hoenn, Ash's excitement went higher and higher, of what was to be expected of the all new challenge, the new adventure that had been sent in front of him, a new chance for adventure! And Ash promised silently that it was going to be his greatest yet!

Chapter 1 End

Author Notes: And that's all for A New Chance for Adventure's first chapter! So, what did you think? I hope you all liked this fanfic's beginning. Now, with this, the series officially kicks up!

Last Revision on March 13th, 2021.