Celadon's New Blossom Chapter 4

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Celadon's New Blossom Chapter 4

Postby KonokoHasano » Sat May 16, 2015 6:50 pm

A yawn escaped from Ash's mouth as he rubbed his eyes, looking out into the view of Erika's back yard. Next to him, Pikachu appeared to still be struggling to fully wake up, but the fresh air was helping to slowly push the sleepy feeling from his mind. “This place does look really neat, doesn't it Pikachu?”

“Chaaaa” Pikachu yawned out, nodding.

After the events of the previous day, it had taken Ash a little while to finally get to sleep. Once he managed to sleep, however, it didn't take long for him to have a nightmare involving his mother dressing him in all sorts of cute clothing, and even making him walk a runway while Gary laughed his head off at him, which woke him up almost instantly. Thankfully, the second round of sleep was uneventful.

Looking down at his clothing, Ash poked and tugged slightly at the soft, light pink pajama top and white bloomers that constituted as his current sleepwear. He hated to admit it, and would prefer not to if asked, but the outfit was actually rather comfortable. The top felt smooth, soft, and cool against his skin, and the bloomers weren't too bad. Even the cotton panties weren't TOO bad, but the knowledge that he was wearing those was something he preferred to not dwell on.

Sitting down on the wooden porch, Ash dangled his legs over the side and watched as some poliwag splashed around in the secondary koi pond in the back yard. A few birds and bird Pokemon landed here and there as well. The place was relaxing, and the trainer found himself kind of enjoying it. If he had to reside here for a bit, then maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

Shaking his head at the thoughts, he looked down at the Pokeballs sitting next to him. They belonged to his other Pokemon. If he was going to be 'Ashley' for a duration, he would probably need to let them know. He knew he definitely still owed Charmander an explanation for what was going on. He wasn't looking forward to this, but it was something that needed to be done.

Lifting the Pokeballs, except for Primeape, who he still wasn't sure about dealing with, Ash tossed them into the air. “Come on out, everybody!”

Four flashes, and out of their Pokeball popped Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Pidgeotto. All four of them took a moment to look in their surroundings.

Bulbasaur looked around the garden, impressed by the care that seemed to go into it. He felt as if he could relax a bit and soak in the Sun.

Charmander felt that the garden was nice, but was a bit wary of the sight of the pond.

Squirtle, like Bulbasaur, found the view impressive, but was more interested in the pond.

Pidgeotto wasn't quite as impressed about the appearance, though liked that there was an open sky that it would be able to enjoy.

“Um, hey guys, something kinda important has come up that we gotta talk about.” Everybody turned around at the sound Ash's voice, and could only openly stare at the weird and alien appearance of the boy they had got to know as their trainer.

It was Squirtle who reacted first by bursting out laughing and nearly falling onto his back. Just seeing Ash dressed so girly with that HAIR was hilarious enough for the turtle Pokemon. It was only compounded as the boy got more flustered.

“Bul!” Bulbasaur reached out with a vine whip and slapped Squirtle upside the head. The look was weird and so unlike his trainer, but preferring to show himself as mature, he didn't laugh. The look on Ash's face, as well as the sound of importance in his voice meant that there was likely a good reason for this.

Charmander had already seen Ash in the Ashley disguise, and so he wasn't quite as surprised as the others to see Ash looking like a girl. However, he was surprised by the fact that his trainer was still dressing girly. The fire lizard had to admit, though, that he did look very comforting and kinder like that.

Pidgeotto just tilted its head a few times. The look was different, but it could just tell that it was still Ash, and that something was going on to make him uncomfortable. “Pidge!” Flapping its wings, the bird was the first to move over to Ash and land. It leaned forward and nuzzled his arm. Ash, in response, raised his hand and patted it on the head.

Not wanting to be made to look like jerks, the other three quickly made their way over, with Charmander revealing to the others what he currently knew, which wasn't all that much. The story caused Squirtle to laugh a bit more at the thought of Ash in a long wig and dress, earning him another vine to the head.

“So I guess you're wondering about my look, huh?” Ash asked, scratching his cheek in clear embarrassment. At their nod, he continued. “I'm kinda stuck like this, and I don't know how long.” He proceeded to explain to his Pokemon about the events of the previous day. The female disguise he used, the fire, the salon, and everything else that happened.

Squirtle just blinked and thought it over for a moment. It was hilarious, but it didn't really change all that much other than Ash's appearance. Maybe he looked a little less cool, but he did make a cute girl. He even mentioned that to the others, who rolled their eyes a bit.

Bulbasaur was indifferent. It really didn't matter to him if his trainer decided to have a different look or not. Humans were kind of like that since they could change their hair and clothing so easily.

Charmander, though, walked a little closer to Ash and placed a paw on the boy's leg. He didn't mind the change at all. Ash was still the trainer who saved his life a while back, though it seemed like he was having a tough time at the moment, and Charmander wanted to help him. “Char” He felt a little more comfortable around Ash like this at the moment.

Pidgeotto didn't really care. Ash was still Ash, and he would still follow any command that his trainer gave him.

Noticing that all of his Pokemon seemed to understand for the most part, Ash smiled in relief. He didn't have to worry about that any more. “Don't you have one more Pokeball?” The voice made Ash turn his head around to see Erika walking out onto the porch.

“Erm, what do you mean? I don't have another Pokemon. Haha...” It was clear as day that he was lying, but he just didn't want to deal with Primeape right now.

Erika was dressed in a simple yellow nightgown, drinking from a mug of tea. “You clearly have another Pokeball right there, and from what I can tell, your Pikachu doesn't go into its Pokeball.” She takes a sip, still appearing sleepy herself. “Is there something about that one which causes you to be reluctant?”

Ash's hand went towards Primeape's Pokeball and lifted it up to stare eye level at it. “It's a Primeape. We met it as a Mankey and it stole my hat. Stuff happened, and it evolved and became even more violent, trying to chase us down.”

“A Primeape? My, those are a tough one to handle.” Erika sat down next to Ashley and stared off into her garden, watching a koi clear the surface. “It's one of those Pokemon that a lot of trainers can have difficulty managing. It's especially a hurdle for most beginning trainers unless they know exactly what they're doing.”

Ash frowned. As much as he hated to admit it, perhaps he was a bit behind in knowing just what he was doing as a trainer. Reaching, he gave Pikachu a pat on the head. Bulbasaur and the others had gone off to explore the garden some.

Erika continued. “But if you keep on refusing to meet things head on, then you will never grow and solve your problem.” The Gym Leader placed her hand on Ash's hand holding the Pokeball. “Ashley, I know that it is probably something you do not wish to do because of what happened before, but you must let Primeape out. It is best to try to get to know it and temper that spirit it has. It is what all Pokemon trainers must do in order to realize their goal.”

That's right. In order to realize his goal, he had to deal with Primeape now. If Primeape was any indication, then there would be many other Pokemon out there that would be just as difficult to deal with. Was he going to keep ignoring the problem, or was he going to meet it head on like a Pokemon Master would?

“Come on out, Primeape!” He made his decision!

As soon as Primeape was let out, he was off to stomping about in place. “Priya!” Finally, he was free of that stupid Pokeball for the moment, and had another chance to stretch his legs. Where was he? This wasn't his familiar home! It was... kinda nice. There was a lot more lushness than the place he initially lived around. Though the knowledge that he was far from home made him angry!

“Um, hey Primeape.”

That voice! It was the voice of the dang kid with the hat who managed to catch him. To be caught by some kid who clearly got lucky was something he could never live down. Where did the voice come from? Behind him? That was probably where he was. He deserved another punch to the face, and maybe a kick! Oh how his blood was boiling to let out the rising anger within him.

Turning around, Primeape was about to unleash the mother of all hey-makers, but immediately came to a halt when he caught sight of what appeared to be a rather cute girl with blonde hair. That's not what he was expecting to see. “Priya?”

“It's me, Primeape. It's Ash.” Ash tensed, waiting for a punch to come. His new look likely only stalled the pig monkey Pokemon for a second. When no attack came, Ash glanced back at Primeape to see him just staring and nothing more. “Hey, are you okay? Is it the look? Yeah, the hair is kinda weird, huh? I'm stuck with the look, though.”

Primeape was wondering what he was doing. Why did he stop? The one before him was the one who caught him and took him from his home. It was the same lame kid that kept him confined in the ball. So why... why was he hesitating. “Pri...” He soon realized he was blushing as he stared at the blonde. Angry over the idea of blushing, he started thrashing in place.

“What's going on? Why didn't it attack me?” Said blonde-haired child asked, scratching his cheek. He felt relief at not having to nurse a wound, but confusion at why it didn't happen. “It looks really angry, though.”

Stifling a giggle due to having an idea as to why, Erika smiled. “Ashley, I think now is a time you should go over and talk to Primeape.” At the incredulous look, she insisted. “Hesitate and you will lose your chance, young lady.”

The use of 'young lady' caused a look of embarrassment to spread over Ash's face. Biting his lip, though, he made his way over to the thrashing Primape and stopped a few feet away from him. “What's the matter, Primeape?” His hand slowly reached out, outstretched towards the creature.

Primeape stopped in his stomping and stared more at Ash, blushing as he did. When his eyes caught Ash's, he couldn't help but meet a look that was rather curious and kind of nice. Normally meeting someone's gaze would get him riled up, but right now it didn't.

It suddenly dawned on Ash that he was making eye contact with Primeape, and out of some fear, quickly averted his gaze. The removal of eye contact caused the monkey to feel... a sense of sadness perhaps? It was an odd feeling. Not having the eyes to look at, he quickly noticed the outstretched hand. For a moment, he looked at his own hand, then to Ash's. Finally, Primeape reached out and placed his hand on his trainer's.

Opening his eyes again, Ash looked back at Primeape to see that the Pokemon had put its hand onto his. Was it really this easy? Why was it so different than trying to get to know Primeape before? Maybe it just took a little time for it to warm up to him.

A wide smile broke out onto Ash's face as he pulled the monkey into a huge hug. “This is amazing! We're finally friends! You're awesome, Primeape!” He laughed.

“Priiiiii....” Primeape just stared ahead. That happy smile was cute, and the hug felt really nice. What was he angry about again? He couldn't remember, which made him a little angry at not being able to. Thinking about Ash's smile, though, gave him an odd happy feeling, as if he wanted to keep seeing that smile.

“Just you wait, Primeape, we're going to get to know each other, and we'll also train! You'll get stronger and even better.” Ash was positively gushing about all the things they would do, still unsure as to why there was a sudden change in Primeape's behavior. However, he didn't care.

“She's a bit slow on the uptake, isn't she?” Erika asked, leaning towards Pikachu. It was amusing and a bit charming.

“Pikachu...” Pikachu sighed out, giving a little shrug in exasperation.

**--

“Primeape listens to you now? I don't believe it!” It was one of the first things that Misty had been told after managing to wake up. Arriving at the living room, the water trainer met face to face with the aforementioned pig monkey Pokemon. Her eye contact and resulting scream of surprise nearly set the creature off. To her surprise, Ash had managed to calm Primeape down with a simple command of 'stop'.

Ash laughed as he ruffled the top of Primape's head. “Yeah! I don't understand it either. All I know is that me and Primeape are good buddies now.”

“I think I know.” Brock whispered to Misty. “I know that look on Primape anywhere. It has a crush on 'Ashley'.” That was definitely one way to earn a Pokemon's attention.

“Should we tell him?” The idea was kind of cute, but at the same time it was awkward to imagine that a Pokemon like Primeape could be subdued with just a little bit of cuteness. Of course, it bugged her that said cuteness was from a boy.

“Nah, I think it's better this way.” If anything, Ash would probably get annoyed that the only reason he got Primeape to listen to him was by looking like a girl.

“What are you two talking about?” Ash asked, tilting his head at the two.

Misty quickly answered. “Ah... we're just discussing where we're going to go is all!” She smiled. “We're going to explore Celadon some more, as well as visit a couple places near here, but once we get done with that, we'll come back and visit you.”

It was a weird feeling, really. To suddenly not be traveling with a friend after doing so for a few months. Though neither of them really wanted to just stick around and not do much else while Ash was just being trained and working.

“Oh, right...” Ash frowned. He was probably going to miss out on some neat adventures because of this. “I hope this working off my part of what happened to the gym and training don't last all that long. I mean, once I defeat Erika and get the badge, it's not like there's anything else she can teach me. Getting the badge will prove I got what it takes.”

“He's getting a big ego again.”

Misty looked at Brock. “He's always had it.”

“Is that what you think, Ashley?” Erika asked, sitting down with them. Not long after, Hisae brought in breakfast for them. “That once you defeat a Gym Leader, there is nothing more that you can learn from them?”

“Well... uh... ” He suddenly felt on the spot right now.

“Defeating a Gym Leader is a great victory for any trainer, and shows admirable skill and talent in overcoming that Gym Leader's Pokemon and training. I do not feel, however, that one victory would automatically mean that a trainer has nothing else to learn. Am I one of the strongest Pokemon trainers you would meet? Of course not. There are other trainers out there who are far stronger.”

Everybody was silent as Erika spoke, absorbing what she was saying.

“I do feel, however, that I can help you grow and learn. It does not always have to be the strongest who can teach, but the one who is knowledgeable and aware of the potential secrets that could allow one to grow. Strength does not only come from the Pokemon battling, but also from the trainer as well.”

“From the trainer? Don't I just gotta watch the battle and tell my Pokemon what to do when I see an opening?” Well, he knew there was a bit more than that, but he didn't know how much.

Erika takes a bite of her breakfast. “In a Pokemon battle, the trainer and their Pokemon are one. Even outside of battle there is a bond that improves as the trainer does. If the trainer is more capable and understanding of situations, then both of them can improve their skill. Are you following me, Ashley?”

Ash just kind of stared a bit as Erika talked, blinking when she addressed him. “Oh, uh... yeah. Things can be better if the trainer can understand more things.”

“... in a sense, yes. You may not realize it, but flower arranging and tea ceremony will help you as a trainer. Attention to detail and patience will develop. Such skills will allow you to better spot openings in a Pokemon's attack or defense. Patience is also an important virtue to have. I also have various other activities in mind for you to take part in. One of which is archery.”

“Archery? Shooting arrows? When am I ever gonna have to do that?”

“Maybe never. Maybe someday you'll find an archery competition. Who knows when you'll encounter a situation where you'll have to shoot arrows. However, the thing about archery is that it trains accuracy, precision, and patience, just to name a few qualities. If you know just where a Pokemon is going to go, you can have your Pokemon aim towards that spot. Even throwing Pokeballs can benefit.”

Ash took a moment to take the information in. “It all sounds like it's going to take a long time to do and learn. Why are you even spending all of this time dealing with me anyway? Don't you have other trainers at the gym who would really like a chance to go through all of this instead?” Not that he wasn't grateful that someone wanted to train him, but part of it just didn't make sense.

Erika thought about this in silence, mulling over just what she was going to say to the boy. Over the course of a day, she found herself getting more and more attached to him. Initially it was just a minor desire to help train and mentor the 'girl' that she had met only for a short time. After getting to know him a little more and helping get both his hair and the manner with his mother situated, she felt like she was growing even more attached to the child. It was incredibly selfish to admit, but she couldn't let go of the desire to help mold 'Ashley' and see how he would grow with her guidance. Was she projecting?

'I'm sorry for my selfishness.' She thought to herself. She just didn't want to let 'Ashley' go yet, and still wanted to spend time and get to know him. It was... also kind of fun dealing with him.

“Erika?” Misty began, but stopped as the woman spoke.

“I just see someone who I want to help. Human emotions are illogical, and we all get feelings we can't explain. I think after seeing you, I just feel like one of those characters from a shounen anime who takes on a diamond in the rough, acting as their sensei and training them to find their potential.” She figured that was honestly as best an excuse as she could give that she felt comfortable with. My, all of this thinking was leaving her a bit sleepy.

“So... I'm like some kinda chosen hero protagonist in that way then?” Ash could feel his ego swell at just considering the thought. Him being that kind of person and not Gary. “But how long will all of this take? I can't be like this forever, you know. How do I know when I'm done?”

How would he know when to stop? That was an interesting question, Erika thought. What excuse could she give that. Perhaps something to play off of his pride once more? That was her best bet. “When you win the Pokemon League, Ashley.”

“That's it?” He clearly didn't realize the weight there.

“Ash,” Brock began, “The Pokemon League is a competition involving the best trainers of the region. Not only do you need eight badges, but you also need to defeat a series of other stronger and stronger trainers. It's not something you can just walk in and win easily.”

“Well I bet we can do that, right Pikachu?” He looked at Pikachu, who seemed a bit reluctant, but nodded. “We'll beat all of them and become the strongest trainer!”

Erika raised an eyebrow. “In order to become the strongest, you'd also need to beat the Elite 4.”

“Huh?” Ash looked at her. “I think I've heard about them. They're four really strong trainers, right?”

“Four trainers who are among the best of the region.” Brock crossed his arms. “Once a trainer wins the Pokemon League, they are also given a chance to battle the Elite Four. After defeating the Elite Four, the challenger can then face off against the Champion of the region.”

“The Champion?”

“The best of the best in the region.” Erika provided. “The Elite 4 can often be seen trying to challenge the Champion in televised matches, to try and defeat them and take their position. However, they often fail to do so.”

“Defeat the Champion...”

Misty knew the look in Ash's eyes and hesitated. “Ash... you're not thinking about--”
Ash stood up, fist held in the air. “Forget just winning the league, I'm going to go all the way and defeat the champion! That way I'll show you I don't need any more of this 'Ashley' thing!”

“Are you willing to make that an actual bet, Ashley?” Erika asked, feeling an odd sense of... amusement course through her. “That you will win the entire league and beat the champion to prove you have become more capable than what I can help provide, and would continue to be 'Ashley' until you do?”

“You bet I am! I'm going to train hard and show you what I can do. Before you know it, 'Ashley' will be back to 'Ash'!” He burst out laughing as Misty and Brock just placed their hands to their face.

“Priyaaaa!” Primeape's voice caused everybody to stop and look towards the primate Pokemon as it returned to the living room. They had sort of forgotten about it amidst the discussion they all had. However, there was no questioning where it had gone, because the answer was obvious to all.

“My hat!”

**--

“They have to be somewhere in the city.” Jessie growled out in annoyance as the trio searched about for Ash and Pikachu. “We never saw them leave the city. If they did, they would have went towards Fuchsia, right?”

“That would be the best guess, Jessie.” James answered as he examined a bottle cap he found just lying in a gutter. “Ooooo, this is a really vintage bottle cap. It's a shame someone just tossed it away, but lucky me!” This earned him a slap upside the head from Jessie.

Meowth rolled his eyes. “Will you two knock it off and just find Pikachu already? It hasn't been a full day yet, and they probably stayed the night.”

His two companions nodded their heads in agreement. Granted, the city was rather large, so finding a kid and his pikachu wasn't going to be all THAT simple.

“Look! It's a Pikachu.” James pointed. The other two looked, and sure enough, a pikachu turned the corner, turned with its back towards them. “Let's go!”

“I'm on it.” Jessie pulled out an extending hand device quickly shot it out to grab up Pikachu.

“Pikapi!” Pikachu let out in surprise, attempting to use his electricity. Though the hand was insulated to prevent it.

Meowth jumped in victory. “Try all you want, but you won't be damaging that there hand!”

James looked around. “The twerp is probably really close by, though.”

“Will you three stop causing trouble and let Pikachu go?!” The familiar voice caught their ears.

“Trouble? Well... prepare for trouble”

“And make it double!”

Jessie zoned in towards Ash's direction. “To protect the world from deva—huh?”

“What's wrong, Jessie, why did you...” James trailed off, the both of them staring directly at who they initially thought they were going to face.

Standing there was Ash, accompanied by Erika. Ash, however, was currently dressed in an outfit used by members of the Celadon Gym for chores that involved various tasks involving planting, trimming, and other silvicultural activities that went on both in and around the gym and city.

The outfit consisted of a light beige scout uniform-like top with a red tie. A brown belt around the waist, and a pair of light beige waist-high shorts. On his feet were a pair of socks and a pair of ankle boots.

“Did we... get the wrong Pikachu? Jessie asked, slightly confused about the young 'girl' before them. Were they hearing things? Though that face did look familiar. “James, what do you-- James?”

James was immediately next to Ash and poking at his hair, checking the length and giving the ends a little fluff. “It's not a wig. It's your actual hair. Oh my, did you like our makeover so much that you decided to make a change in lifestyle? Whoever did your hair is a professional!”

“I... um...” Ash just blushed at the attention he was getting at the moment, unsure how to respond.

“It's you three again.” Erika was rather annoyed to see the trio that had caused such destruction to her gym. “How did you like that essence of Gloom you stole?”

Just the thought caused Jessie to gag. “Don't remind us. That was horrible!” Something dawned on her. “Wait... is that the twerp?”

“It is!” Meowth let out, and both he and Jessie couldn't help but burst out laughing a bit at the flustered kid.

James, meanwhile, just kept examining Ash and his look. “You're a natural at this! I could give you some tips sometime if you like. How about some magazines?” He seemed a bit too excited to think that he had helped someone learn to appreciate the joys of dressing feminine.

“I... what?” Ash continued blushing at the attention, though he couldn't help but feel a smidge of pride at the idea of being able to pull off the look he was doing. Quashing those thoughts, he shook his head. “Give Pikachu back

“Or what?” Meowth asked. “We have Pikachu in our grasp right now, and we're not scared of some Gym Leader.”

Jessie quickly yelled to her colleague. “James, get over here.” James was a bit reluctant, but complied. He wanted to talk to the twerp a little more about the change.

“Pikaaaa.” Pikachu let out, growling at the trio, sparks helplessly from his cheeks.

'Or what?' Ash thought to himself, before an idea came to him. “You guys aren't afraid of a gym leader, but what about...” He tossed a Pokeball, which allowed Primeape to pop out.

“Priya!” The pig monkey stomped around a bit. On top of his head was Ash's hat from before.

Ash tried to take his hat back earlier, but when he did, Primeape ended up getting all sad and mopey. After a discussion with Erika, he had –key word being very reluctantly – decided to let Primeape wear it, but ONLY until he could wear it again himself. If he couldn't wear the hat, then he guessed the next best thing was one of his Pokemon who also loved to wear it.

'I really hope that hat survives this...' he lamented, looking at Primeape and the hat.

“P-- Primeape!” The trio let out in shock and surprise, remembering so well their encounter with the thing.

Primeape, too, remembered his encounter with them, especially Jessie. He remembered the kick she gave him when he was a Mankey. He could still feel where he had been kicked, and it made him a bit, well, angry.

“Primeape, those three took Pikachu. I want you to save him.”

The easily angered Pokemon reasoned the situation. Pikachu and Ash seemed to be rather close friends. Ash cared for Pikachu. Pikachu was taken by bad guys. Having Pikachu taken would mean that Ash was sad or angry. Being sad or angry meant no smile. No smile was a bad thing. It filled him with more anger. There was only one thing to do.

“Priiiiiiiiiiiimeape!” It leaped at the frightened trio, causing them to experience a Dust Cloud of Violence Mk. 2. Jessie, losing control over the device holding Pikachu, let go of it.

As Pikachu fell, Ash leaped forward and caught him. “Gotcha buddy!”

“Pikapi!” The electric mouse nuzzled Ash back, glad to be out of that dumb hand.

“Okay Primeape, send 'em flying!”

“Priya!” Primeape let out a violent uppercut that sent the trio blasting off into the sky, twinkling in the distance. He then looked towards Ash and noticed he was happy. Happy Ash = good. All was right in his mind.


Eventually, Ash and Erika continued on their way towards the Celadon Gym. Misty and Brock had decided to go on some errangs, but they all agreed to meet again later that day before the two headed off to visit the nearby towns.

When they got to the gym and entered through the sliding glass door, Ash noted the amount of damage the inside had suffered. Most of the trees, bushes, and general flora burned up. Right now there were several girls working on removing the charred remains and rebuilding the greenery.

“Good day, Erika, it's good to see you today.” Ash turned to the voice, and nearly tripped over himself. It was the blue-haired girl that had stamped his face with the big red X.

“Good morning, Hina, I trust that everybody is working on the restoration project just fine?” Erika placed a hand to her cheek in embarrassment. “I'm sorry for not being here sooner to help with the start of it. I just had a lot of trouble getting started this morning. You know how I don't fully wake up quickly.”

“I'm aware.” Hina answered. It was widely known that Erika could be a bit narcoleptic at times, preferring to take a quick nap here or there in the gym in the down time. Looking to the side, she noted Ash's presence. “Hm, is this...”

“Oh yes, this is Ashley. She's the one who registered yesterday, and the one I decided to help train and improve. Ashley, this is Hina.”

The crossdressing boy raised a hand in greeting. “Um... hi.”

“Hello Ashley. It's a pleasure to meet you... again.” At the questioning look, she smirked. “Oh, don't think that some of us don't know who you really are. You clean up rather nicely for having been such a scruffy boy.” Hina reaches and plays with Ash's hair a little. “I like your hair.”

Ash, in response, slapped the hand away. “Don't think I forgot that X you stamped me with to keep me from coming in, you jerk.”

“Sorry about that~” The curly, brown-haired girl from before answered in a sing-song voice, appearing next to him, and he couldn't help but be reminded of brock due to her eyes. “We may have gotten a bit carried away, but we've been told doing that isn't allowed any more. Can't have similar events happen again.”

Erika nodded. “It is also something that I, as a Gym Leader, feel was unbecoming of my position and stature.”

The brown-haired girl grabbed Ash by the hand and pulled him in. “The past is the past, and the future is what matters the most!” Giving him a twirl, she wrapped an arm around his shoulder. “Welcome to life at the Celadon Gym, Ashley! I'm sure we'll have lots of fun, hee hee~”

“... lots and lots of fun.” Ash muttered as he was guided deeper into the gym.




Author's Notes: The blue-haired girl didn't have a name provided in the anime.
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