Ash was on the prowl for something to surprise Misty with. Since he was able to somehow give her and Brock their memories back, he knew she would be prepared for him.
At least he didn't have to worry overly much about Charmander. Aster had messaged him with a picture of her new friend that she had tricked that jerk of a trainer into trading her. The idiot had no idea that the 'blind trade' she had made with him was for a Magikarp that was close to evolving. And it was pissed when Damien kicked it into the water.
Ash would openly admit to laughing himself sick when he watched the news as Damien's behavior was busted on live television. He was permanently banned from the League and all his Pokémon (he only had three, including the recently evolved Gyrados) were confiscated for rehabilitation or to be freed back into a special reserve for former trainer's Pokémon.
Aster's new Charmander "Ignis" was definitely the same one he had saved. He was fine with Aster having him on her team, since he knew she wouldn't mistreat him.
Which was why Ash was going to make a trade with his sister. She had complained about not finding an Abra while in Cerulean last month. She wanted one to Teleport back and forth from Celadon.
She would help him do a blind trade with one of her friends in another region, which would surprise Misty a lot.
Ash still wanted to snicker at the idea, mostly because he wanted to catch two Abra and keep the other for himself. It would allow him to Teleport back to Pewter and get his Sail Fossil revived, which would be another special surprise for Misty.
He was in luck...there was a pair of Abra nearby.
Pikachu looked at him quizzically. Mostly because he still didn't know why Ash wanted one in the first place.
Ash made sure to approach slowly and calmly. The two Abra tensed.
"I just want to talk," he said peacefully.
"Humans normally try to catch us, rather than talk it out first," said the first Abra suspiciously. It sounded male.
"I'd rather not waste the headache of chasing after you two because I jumped the gun," said Ash bluntly.
Abra were notoriously a pain to catch, because they could Teleport. It made more sense to try and talk it out first, rather than go through that and hope for a lucky catch.
Particularly since he was trying to catch two of them.
"What do you want?" asked the other one. It sounded female.
"My sister knows someone who really wants an Abra, but they live too far away to catch one. And having someone capable of teleporting me and my team to safety when we really need it would help a lot, considering the headaches I tend to get caught up in. I plan to beat as many Pokémon leagues as I can, which means I'll travel a lot. I know my sister would never hand over a Pokémon to someone who would mistreat them, but from what she told me they're mostly looking for a companion."
"And if we say no?" asked the male.
"Then I'll try and find another set of Abra willing to hear me out."
The two Abra looked at him curiously. Pikachu jumped off his shoulder and approached them calmly.
Ash had to smile as his closest friend and partner talked to them honestly. The female Abra seemed rather kind, but the male was suspicious of humans.
"We won't have to fight in any battles, will we?" asked the female.
"I don't force my Pokémon to fight if they don't want to. I'll train them to be strong, but I won't force them to fight," said Ash honestly. "If you don't want to evolve, that's entirely up to you. Pikachu has already made it clear he doesn't want to become a Raichu and I respect that."
"Sister, you can't seriously be considering this," said the male.
"Brother, he seems nice," she replied. "Besides, I'm tired of having to flee from trainers who only want to catch us. He was kind enough to ask first."
Ash had a sudden idea.
"Have you ever heard of Pokémon Contests?" he asked. The two Abra shook their heads. "It's where trainers and their Pokémon compete to give the best showing, rather than beat each other up. While there is a battle portion, you don't have to knock out your opponent to win it. You just have to be elegant about it."
The female perked up at that.
"I like the sound of that! It sounds fun!" she said.
"I don't mind designating one of you as a pure Contest Pokémon, unless you want to help in gym battles," said Ash.
The female Abra was clearly interested, but the male was distrusting.
"How do we know we can trust you to keep your word?" asked the male.
"How about this...you travel with us on a probationary basis, and I'll let you decide if you want to be caught. If you would rather remain wild, then you can teleport away whenever you want. If you want to stick around, then there are several empty pokéballs in my bag you can pick from," said Ash.
That seemed to satisfy the male.
Ash had to hold back a snicker when the female was kind enough to teleport him to Pewter and back to Cerulean in time for dinner...with one extra.
The next morning...
Misty's reaction to the Amaura was hilarious.
She was twitching as the fossil Pokémon froze the top of the giant pool.
"Where did you get that Pokémon?" she demanded. It had completely shocked her to the point she had been unable to command Starmie properly.
"I revived her at the museum in Pewter," said Ash grinning. Brock perked up at that. "My uncle Aaron made sure I knew the locations of places to revive the fossil collection we have."
"Wait...is that the museum that gives trainers a discount if they don't mind letting them demonstrate how fossils are revived?" asked Brock. Ash nodded. "Why didn't you revive it before our battle then?"
"I wanted to surprise Misty. You didn't have time to create any surprises, but she had plenty of time to come up with a strategy to get back at me for her bike," said Ash.
Misty twitched at that.
"And what about the Abra?" asked Misty, pointing at the pseudo audience. The female one waved at her. The male harrumphed.
"I wanted to see if either of them would be interested in traveling with us. Having a Pokémon that can teleport to the Pokémon center in an emergency while we're lost sounded like a good idea," said Ash.
"That...actually makes a lot of sense, especially with your luck," said Brock.
That and Aster said she'd introduce him to someone willing to do a blind trade for an Abra from another region.
Either way Misty was miffed that her plan to deal with Pikachu had been thwarted by Ash being extra sneaky.
Aster couldn't help it, she took one look at Sabrina and her first thought was of a very lonely little with with pale blond hair and shocking blue eyes. She had been misunderstood too, and it was painfully obvious that Sabrina really needed a friend who wouldn't be afraid of her.
Which was why the moment she won the battle, she grinned.
"Alright, now that that's over with, it's time for some fun!"
"Fun?" she repeated.
Aster grinned. Sabrina openly yelped in surprise when she was dragged out of her gym by the deceptively stronger girl.
"Being stuck in this stuffy gym all day is bad for you. Which is why I'm going to drag you on a long overdue girl's day out."
Sabrina's confusion was hilarious. Aster grinned at her.
"Just because you have a lot of power doesn't make you scary," said Aster.
"It...doesn't?" said Sabrina confused.
"Nope!" said Aster.
Sabrina was so confused it was adorable. So Aster decided she would stick around for a while. It was painfully clear Sabrina needed a friend to talk to.
The next day...
"Hey, Sabrina, want to hang out?" said Aster.
Sabrina looked startled to see Aster still around. Rex roared his approval, and she found herself enjoying ice cream like a normal person.
Slowly, Aster wore the older girl down to the idea of being friends. There was a smile on Sabrina's face at the idea that no one could get rid of.
Which was why she was sad when Aster decided to visit the next gym.
Aster gave her a confused look.
"Why are you sad?"
"Because it means we can't spend time together anymore," said Sabrina.
"Um...why?" said Aster.
"You said you want to visit the next gym."
"Yes, and you have a Pokémon that knows teleport and I see no reason why your subordinates can't simply give you a head's up if someone is there to challenge the gym while you travel."
Sabrina stared at her in shock.
"You...want me to travel with you?"
Aster put her hand on her hip and gave her a Look.
"Were you planning to stay cooped up in the gym with only your subordinates and your Pokémon to keep you company?" she said flatly.
Sabrina looked away, though the silence admitted that had been her plan.
"How long have you been a Gym leader?"
"At least seven years."
"And how often have you traveled?"
"Very little," admitted Sabrina.
"You need a change of pace. There's no reason you can't come with me and fulfill your job as a gym leader at the same time."
The idea was so appealing that Aster agreed to spend a few extra days while Sabrina got the system in place. So long as she could teleport back to her gym for a challenge, there was no reason she couldn't actually travel.
Aster was thrilled, because it was somewhat lonely only having her Pokémon with her. While she could talk to them just fine, having another human to bond with was a lot of fun too.
(On an unrelated note, Sabrina started to develop a rather large cosplay closet that she kept under lock and key in her room. She had no idea that playing dress up was that much fun, especially with the energy Aster put into it.)
Ash was in a good mood. The female Abra (he named her Alexis, mostly to differentiate her from her brother who refused to be named by Ash) had agreed to join his team on the condition she be a Contest Pokémon for now.
The male Abra had agreed to be traded to the girl in the Kalos region who wanted one. She had even caught another psychic Pokémon to trade for it.
He waited until they reached a Pokémon center with a regional trading capability...it was a little expensive, but it allowed trainers to swap Pokémon across larger distances than normal without having to meet face to face. The only issue was that he had to wait until they hit a major city with a gym before he could use it.
"Hey, you must be Ash! Aster told us a lot about you!" chirped Rena.
"Yup. So you ready to trade?"
"Aoi is ready to go!" said Rena.
Ash put the pokeball onto the device. He could see Rena doing the same.
The machine whirled to life, and the Pokémon began their journey. Within seconds, a more specialized pokeball appeared. It looked like a Dusk ball.
Rena let Abra out, and it blinked.
"Welcome to Kalos!" she chirped at him.
Ash let out the Pokémon he had gotten in exchange.
"Nice doing business with you! And don't worry, I don't mind if your Abra and mine call each other occasionally to chat...or if she pops in for a visit!" said Rena.
"Take good care of him," said Ash.
He ended the call, and went to eye level with Aoi.
"Welcome to Kanto, Aoi."
"I suppose you'll do," said Aoi.
"Do you want to be a contest Pokémon or a battle Pokémon?" asked Ash.
"I have no need for the frivolous contests that you humans have. I would rather test my powers against worthy opponents," said Aoi coolly.
"Do you have any objections to odd training ideas or evolving?" asked Ash.
Aoi shook his head.
"I wish to reach the furthest limits of my evolutionary line. I hope you prove an adequate trainer," he replied.
Ash grinned at him.
"I think we're going to get along fine."