Disclaimer: All characters, settings, and related material are the property of their respective owners, Pokemon character names are trademarks of Nintendo. All characters in this story are above the age of consent. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter 30 - Endgame
“Garchomp, I choose you!”
Ash couldn’t help but swallow as he saw what emerged on the battlefield. Cynthia’s Garchomp looked every bit as powerful and dangerous as he remembered from the times he had witnessed the dragon-type in action, all those years ago when he traveled across the Sinnoh region.
Now, after all those years he was standing face to face with Cynthia’s oldest and strongest fighter. Spiritomb might have been the biggest challenge he had faced thus far but Garchomp was still a very big threat to his victory in the battle.
“Well, we’re not getting anywhere just staring at each other… You ready for another round, buddy?” Ash shouted across the field. In response, his Garchomp roared loudly and flexed his bladed arms, slicing two deep cuts in the rocky ground around him.
“Okay, here we go. Let’s do this Garchomp! Dragon Claw!”
Both dragons roared in unison, Ash’s Garchomp throwing out a noticeably lower rumble compared to his female adversary. However, even though Cynthia’s final fighter was female, the term ‘the weaker sex’ definitely did not apply. As both dragons collided with each other, blades first in a brutal clash, it was obvious that these two warriors were evenly matched.
If anything, Cynthia’s Garchomp was a touch more skilled due to her many years of championship battle experience, while Ash’s Garchomp was slightly faster compared to the other dragon, thanks to his relative youth. Both advantages pretty much cancelled each other out though and for a solid five minutes both dragons were jumping around, cutting, slicing and blocking their opponent as they weaved around each other in a deadly dance. Despite the seriousness of the battle, both Pokemon were showing wicked grins, even letting out the occasional bark of laughter as they fought.
“Look at them go, and they act like they’re having fun too!” Max gasped in awe as he witnessed the draconic battle from the stands.
“Yeah, if they weren’t trying to cut each other to ribbons, I’d almost say they were actually flirting!” Misty agreed from the other end of their group. Nearby, Professor Oak snickered slightly.
“Excellent observation Misty! Now, Garchomp aren’t exactly my area of expertise… But I do reckon what we are witnessing here is the first stage of the Garchomp courting ritual.”
“Wow Professor, are you serious?!” Tracey gasped. “If only I had my sketchpad with me!”
“Well, I’ll gladly take two flirting dragons over that batshit insane Spiritomb…” Dawn added with a shiver, earning nods of agreement from the rest of the group.
“I mean… That thing was just… mental! Look what it did to Pikachu and Blastoise… It-… It made me sick to my stomach!” the blue-haired coordinator continued. “What about you guys?”
“It was-… I felt… horrible…” May agreed, sniffling slightly. All throughout Spiritomb’s ghastly appearance, the brunette hadn’t said a word besides a few whimpers and the occasional teary sob.
“I couldn’t shake the feeling as though something terrible was going to happen to Ash! It felt so depressing…”
“Yes, Spiritombs can be quite the nasty opponents indeed.” Professor Oak agreed with his usual stern demeanor. “Much about them remains unknown, due to the fact that very few researchers ever find a willing subject to study. And even if they did, most of them quickly fell to insanity… Spiritombs seem to thrive on negative emotions, and their mere presence has been reported to cause horrifying visions… Cynthia has a lot of explaining to do to the League once this is over…”
“I-… I’ll say…” came the whimpering, emotional voice of Zoey, instantly drawing the attention of Dawn beside her. The blue-haired girl was shocked to see tear tracks running down her girlfriend’s face. Had she been crying? Dawn hadn’t heard her utter a single whimper all throughout the fight!
“Zoey… Are you ok?” she gently asked. Zoey’s reply was lost in a series of sobs and sniffles, but eventually she took hold of herself and took a few deep breaths.
“That thing… that monster... When it spread across the field, the visions it forced on me… M-… My b-baby had-…” the rest was lost in a fresh wave of sobs as the memory of her terrifying vision washed over her. Dawn felt an icy shiver race down her spine as she guessed what Zoey must’ve seen, she quickly took the sobbing girl in her arms, holding her gently as she whispered to her encouragingly.
Meanwhile, Max was shocked to hear his friends describe their discomfort at the hands of Spiritomb, especially considering the fact that he himself had experienced nothing of the sort! In fact, besides a rather uncomfortable feeling, he had felt nothing of ghost’s haunting effects.
“That’s so bizarre… I-… I felt nothing…” he confessed as Zoey slowly managed to calm down. Dawn turned to face him, her thin blue-ish eyebrow raised in wonder.
“Really? You felt nothing Max? But, how is that possible… Sure, I didn’t get any visions myself, but I sure as hell felt terrible! How come you were unaffected?”
“I don’t know! I-… I felt cold… and breathing became a little harder… but I wasn’t sad or depressed or anything like that all of a sudden!”
“Maybe… could your egg have something to do with it? I mean… Ever since you found it two days ago, you’ve been acting a lot happier than before…” Misty added in a soft voice. Initially, Max felt disinclined to answer as he felt his resentment for the girl rise up the surface again, but the rational part of his mind had to agree, she made a good point.
“Yeah… Maybe?” he agreed, eyeing the egg with a newfound curiosity. With a dry cough, Professor Oak joined the conversation.
“Whatever the reason is you were unaffected Max, if I’m not mistaking Spiritomb’s depression affects those with a troubled mind most strongly. I daresay Zoey has had a lot on her mind, especially with her pregnancy reaching full term, so it stands to reason she felt more of Spiritomb’s effects and most of us.” With a sigh, he continued, letting his eyes roam the battle in the meantime. “Like I said, Cynthia will have a lot to explain to the League when this is over, and I’ll be sure to make a firm suggestion to them myself to forbid the use of Spiritombs in league matches…”
“Ah!” he exclaimed as Ash’s Garchomp managed to nick a small cut across his opponent’s leg, the old professor chuckled. “Looks like we’re past the courting stages now… this should be interesting…”
Down in the arena, Cynthia’s Garchomp jumped back out of her opponent’s range, hissing slightly. He had cut her… He had drawn first blood!
She was impressed, even though the cut he managed to give her on the leg was largely superficial, long but extremely shallow, the blood made it look worse than it actually was. A gleam of appreciation flashed across her bright yellow eye as she regarded her male counterpart. He was young and lacked the strength she possessed herself, but she had to admit his skill impressed her. Maybe… After all these years, she had finally found a mate worthy of her…
“If I’m not mistaking, those two are about to proceed with phase 2 down there!” Professor Oak noted, apprehension and a little excitement evident in his voice.
“Ph-… Phase 2? What does that mean? What happens in phase 2?” Max enquired. He was answered by the two dragon-types in the arena, as bot Garchomps suddenly let out a unified roar of challenge before charging towards each other with renewed zeal.
“Phase 2 in the courtship of the Garchomp… An all-out battle between male and female, to determine which side takes dominance.”
Both dragon-types seemed to have lost all sense of grace as their battle raged on. Earlier, they had gracefully woven around each other, slicing stabbing and jumping in an effort to gage their opponent’s skill. Now, however, they were both going for the kill. Cynthia’s Garchomp swiftly ducked below a blow from her male opponent, rising up immediately and returning the favor with a vicious bite to the arm. Ash’s Garchomp hissed in pain, shaking his scaled arm in an attempt to lose the other Garchomp’s strong jaws. When the obnoxious female showed no sign of relenting, Garchomp twisted his body around instead before slamming his claw into her exposed throat. It knocked the wind out of her and forced her relinquish her hold on his arm. Just as quickly, she regained her senses and brought her bladed arms down before her body, shielding herself from a follow-up attack to her stomach.
Both trainers cheered their respective dragon on, shouting instructions that were in most cases hardly necessary. It wasn’t until Ash’s Garchomp made a cut on her dragon’s leg again, deepening the very first wound he had inflicted, that Cynthia’s stare hardened and her lips turned into a single pressed line.
“Garchomp, that’s enough… Finish him!” she said in a deadpan tone.
What happened next surprised Ash completely. In the blink of an eye, Cynthia’s Garchomp delivered a quick combo of rapid punches before stunning his Garchomp with a resounding bash of her head. Before his dragon had so much as a chance of recuperating, he was hit at point blank range with a massive Draco Meteor. The resulting explosion threw him away and a massive dust cloud soon blocked out the whole field once again.
“Garchomp! Are you okay?! Say something!” Ash cried out into the dusty void. He was desperate for an answer, surely his last true powerhouse couldn’t go down like this?! He could faintly hear the sound of scratching scales and hissed breathing as the dust settled, but nothing could prepare him for what he would see when the dust fully cleared. His Garchomp was on his stomach and had his legs and arms pinned down by the slightly larger Garchomp that belonged to Cynthia. What was worse though, was the fact that the large female had her jaws firmly clamped around Garchomp’s neck. At no point was she ever drawing blood, but the frantic expression on his Garchomp’s face told him that she was definitely clamping his air pipe shut.
“No!” Ash gasped, eyes wide in shock. “Garchomp, get out of there! You have to get free!”
He could see his Garchomp struggling at the top of his power, but Cynthia’s dragon would not relent. Ash growled as the finality of the situation dawned on him. His Garchomp wasn’t strong enough to break free, and trying any special attack was useless, Cynthia’s Pokemon had him pinned down in such a way those attacks would only serve to cause further harm to his own dragon. Slowly but surely, Garchomp’s struggling weakened as the lack of oxygen took its toll. A few seconds later, he was out like a light, his female opponent roaring loudly on top of his slack body.
“Wow! Now that’s what I call dominance folks! I guess we know who’s wearing the pants in THAT relationship!” Meowth commentated, causing the audience to snicker and laugh as they applauded for the reigning champion. Ash regrettably summoned his Garchomp back into his Pokeball.
“You did great buddy… Everything I expected of you and more… Take your rest” he murmured.
“This puts the match on equal field again, both our challenger and our champion are down to their last Pokemon! Will Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town succeed, or will Cynthia prolong her winning streak once again?! Either way, this next fight will determine it all!” Meowth continued as Ash weighed his chances.
Even after taking down Spiritomb, one of the darkest, most evil creatures he had ever faced, he still had one opponent remaining. Cynthia’s strongest and oldest companion was the last thing standing between him and victory. Beating her Garchomp meant beating the Champion herself.
Good thing he had prepared to do just that…
As his hand reached out for the final Pokeball left on his belt, Ash let his eyes roam the stands above him until his brown eyes found the blue orbs of May. He smiled as he gave her a thumbs-up.
“This one’s for you May… Thank you…” he murmured affectionately and threw his final combatant out into the field. The bright white flash soon dimmed down and revealed a young Glaceon standing at attention and bristling with energy.
The little eeveelution had been the most recent addition to his team, and Ash’s mind drifted back in time to when he had first met the ice-type. He had been training on Mt. Silver for nearly two years when he received a package at a remote Pokemon Center in the area. The parcel had been meticulously packaged and a simple card was delivered with it.
Thinking of you wherever you are…
Take good care of this one,
So you’ll always have a part of me with you.
I hope to see you soon,
The parcel contained an egg, colored a pleasant shade of brown with a cream colored band running around the middle. Ash knew what it was almost immediately, he had seen May walk the long roads of the Hoenn region with an egg just like it, long ago. He decided to take the egg in and raise the Eevee it contained just as May had requested. It wasn’t until he had decided to train specifically towards beating dragon-type Pokemon that he realized how useful his Eevee could be. With her permission, Eevee evolved into the Ice-type Glaceon and joined his main team as they trained along the slopes of Mt. Silver with one goal and one goal only, beating the Champion and becoming Pokemon Master.
And now here they were, Glaceon standing face to face with the exact dragon she had been training to defeat all these years. Sure, she was junior to the much older and more experienced Garchomp, but that wouldn’t stop her from giving it her all in an effort to win this final, all-deciding match.
“Is… Is that a Glaceon Ash just summoned? I never knew he had one?!” Max wondered aloud. The sudden appearance of Ash’s new ice-type had drawn more odd looks from his friends around him, though May seemed to have an altogether different look, her eyes wide as her mouth hung open.
“That… Could it be?-…” she mumbled, trying to get as good a look as she could get. Suddenly she knew it. “The shape of the ears… those eyes… It has to be! That’s gotta be the Eevee I sent him a few years ago!”
Zoey looked at the shocked brunette oddly. “Eevee you sent him? What do ya mean May?”
“Oh… Well, you know I’ve got a Glaceon, right?”
“Ah yeah, now you mention it… You used it against Dawn back at the Wallace Cup, right?”
“Exactly!” May said with a smile. The Wallace Cup always brought happy memories to her, even though she had lost the finals to Dawn. “Anyway, after I won the Johto Grand Festival, I took a break from coordinating. While visiting Pallet Town one day, Glaceon and I met Gary Oak, Professor Oak’s grandson, and his Umbreon. Long story short, Glaceon and Umbreon fell in love, so we set up a small breeding plan. Back then, I sent her first egg to Ash on Mt. Silver… So that he would, you know… always have something to remember me by!”
Zoey nodded understandingly, shifting her gaze down to the battle again, where Glaceon and Garchomp were sprinting around the arena, trying to find a way past each other’s defenses.
“Looks like he decided to evolve it into a Glaceon, like its mother then. A good choice against Cynthia’s Garchomp…” Professor Oak observed, his expression serious. Besides him, Ash’s mother eyed the aging professor with a slight desperation in her eyes.
“That’s an ice-type, isn’t it Samuel? Does that mean Ash is going to win?” she asked, feeling her hopes sink somewhat when Oak’s expression darkened.
“I’m sorry Delia, but just because Ash has a type-advantage now doesn’t automatically mean he is going to win… Everything depends on the power and skill of Glaceon now…”
Down in the arena, all hell was breaking loose as Glaceon skidded across the rocky ground, dodging an explosion courtesy of Garchomp’s Draco Meteor by a hair’s breadth. For all her strength and speed, the titanic dragon-type could not seem to hit the nimble little foxlike creature and she was starting to get annoyed because of it. She had defeated Pokemon far larger and stronger than this little runt and she wasn’t about to cut her winning streak short. Now if only that damned fox would stand STILL!
Another Draco Meteor missed its mark and Garchomp hissed in pain and frustration as she felt an icy set of teeth clamp down on the fin on her back. Before she had the chance to respond with a furious slice from her bladed arm, Glaceon had already loosened her Ice Fang attack and bolted out of the way. Garchomp felt frustration eating away at her focus as her yellow eyes locked on the icy-blue runt again.
“Garchomp!” Cynthia, her beloved trainer and friend suddenly called out in a stern tone. “Can’t you see Glaceon’s just taunting you?! You know better than to let that little fox get to you! Remember, keep your cool and stay focused!”
Garchomp’s eyes narrowed as she contemplated her trainer’s words. In the back of her mind, she knew Cynthia was right, she was better than this. She hadn’t made it this far by allowing her emotions to rule her actions…
But, in an effort to cheer the little ice runt on, the Ketchum boy had summoned all his defeated Pokemon back by his side. As battered and bruised as they were, they were watching her, and among them was most importantly the young Garchomp she had defeated only minutes before. The Garchomp she had chosen for a mate. She wouldn’t be made a fool in front of him, least of all by a runty Glaceon!
With a roar that shook the arena Garchomp launched herself towards Glaceon, swinging her bladed arms in two swift strokes, but all the hit were some rocks and boulders, splitting the dense stone into two neat halves. Glaceon, meanwhile, skidded across and narrowed the distance between them before delivering a painful Frost Breath attack, hitting her in the back of the neck.
The force of the attack smashed her snout into the rocky ground, causing an explosion of pain to course through her body. Garchomp had very sensitive snouts which were definitely NOT designed to receive a beating like this. With a bloodied nose and anger in her eyes, Garchomp rose again, not giving Glaceon the opportunity to attack again.
Attack me from behind, will you?! I’ll make you regret that, mark my words runt! You will NOT humiliate me in front of my mate again!
Garchomp brought her bladed arms up in a defensive position, roaring loudly as her outline suddenly seemed to blur. Eight copies of her suddenly appeared all around Glaceon, surrounding the ice-type.
“Damn! She’s using Double Team Glaceon, watch out!” the Ketchum boy cried out from the opposite side of the field. Garchomp grinned with glee as she felt energy growing in her belly, an orange light already escaping her mouth between her teeth as all of her mirror images charged up a Draco Meteor of their own.
Try and dodge THIS little fox!
From eight different directions, large orange orbs blasted their way towards Glaceon, her pupils shrinking in shock as she braced herself for impact.
“Glaceon! Fight back with Icy Wind!” Ash cried out at the last possible moment and an icy whirlwind shrouded Glaceon’s appearance as the eight Draco Meteors impacted. A massive explosion ripped into the air, followed by what felt like a tornado of icy particles. Glaceon appeared in a rush, emerging relatively unharmed out of all the mayhem.
“We need to finish this now, before she gets another chance…” Ash murmured. For once, he was in command of the battle, ever since Glaceon appeared on the field. He intended to keep it that way, but Cynthia’s Garchomp was getting angrier by the second, and in her anger she would be even more difficult to dodge. “Glaceon, time to finish this!”he cried out with authority. “Use Blizzard, followed by a Double Team of your own!”
The little ice-type showed an evil grin which seemed to say as much as ‘two can play at that game’, as her outlines blurred with speed and nearly a dozen mirror images appeared beside her, surrounding the angered Garchomp even as she had been surrounded herself moments before. At the same time, a storm of frozen shards of ice formed all over the arena, coating everything in a thin layer of ice and damaging the hissing dragon. “Finish her off with Icebeam Glaceon!” Garchomp roared in frustration, her pupils shrinking to the size of pinpoints as she saw a dozen Glaceons charge up icy-blue beams.
NO! You shall NOT use my own tactic AGAINST me!
With a roar of fury, Garchomp brought her claws down onto the frozen ground just before Glaceon had the chance to fire her attack. A shocking Bulldoze attack hit the small ice-type with force, knocking her off-balance and causing her to misfire her Ice Beam, covering a large portion of the arena floor in permafrost, rather than the intended dragon-type. To make matters worse, Garchomp’s Bulldoze attack instantly wiped away all her doubles, exposing the original Glaceon for all to see.
There you are runt! Now, to FINISH you!
Before Glaceon could well and truly recover from the shock of her Bulldoze attack, Garchomp hit the little fox with a powerful Brick Break attack, using her bladed arm to smash the eeveelution across the length of the field. Ash could only look in shock, mouth agape as, Glaceon ended up lying limply by his feet, mewling in pain. Fearing for her safety, he wanted to jump in and see if she was alright, but he had to restrain himself as entering the battlefield mid-battle would disqualify him.
“Glaceon, are you alright?! Please stand up!”
Glaceon’s battered form was shaking violently, but with a look of pure determination the little fox managed to crawl back on her feet. Her fur was riddled a mess and dark stains revealed multiple scrapes and cuts, not to mention her right-back leg, which she held in the air awkwardly and at an odd angle, the bone certainly broken. From the sidelines, Ash was filled with pride as he watched the little ice-type which he had raised since birth rise again in defiance of the much larger Garchomp. They had come this far, and neither he nor Glaceon would give up now!
“I have to hand it to you Ash… That Glaceon of yours is quite resilient. But I’m afraid I’ll have to end it now, for her sake as well...” Cynthia stated flatly. Ash huffed.
“We’ll see about that Cynthia, this isn’t over!” She remained unimpressed, merely nodding her head towards her Garchomp.
“Finish it.” Garchomp roared with glee and jumped into the air. With a look of triumph on her shark-like features, she burst towards Glaceon, preparing to end the fight with a final Earthquake.
You’ve put up quite a fight for one so small, little fox. Now… It’s OVER!
“Glaceon!” Ash cried out. At the same time, across the stadium in the stands May cried out the same name in desperation. Then, seconds before impact, Glaceon raised her head and looked Garchomp straight in the eye. With a pained growl the battered ice-type shot a final Frost Breath, sending her hopes to the heavens. The impact was devastating. Even though the attack lacked power due to the damage done to Glaceon, it hit Garchomp straight in the face, right on her already battered nose. The howling dragon lost all momentum and crashed to the ground feet first. Upon landing, the frostbitten ground provided no grip for her and she felt left leg, the same leg her chosen mate had cut twice before, twist painfully. The force of the impact coupled with the wounds Ash’s Garchomp had already inflicted on her caused her leg to finally buckle, sending her crashing down on the frozen ground in a crippled heap.
Both Ash and Glaceon picked up on Garchomp’s moment of vulnerability immediately.
“Now Glaceon! This is your chance, finish her off with everything you’ve got!” the young challenger from Pallet Town shouted out, but his icy fox needed no telling, the most powerful Ice Beam she ever had - and probably ever would – use already forming within her mouth.
“Garchomp, evade! Do something!” Cynthia cried out in shock, but it was already too late. With the force of a hurricane and an explosion of ice and snow, Glaceon’s Ice Beam hit its intended target, obscuring all else in a blinding blizzard of frozen particles.
Not a sound was heard as the dust and snow settled, no one dared to utter even the slightest cough as every living creature within the stadium watched the receding dust cloud that hid Garchomp slowly dissipate. Suddenly, all at once the fog disappeared, revealing Garchomp stuck in a block of ice. Her scaly eyes were closed and it seemed she made no attempt to escape her frozen prison. Seconds seemed like minutes and minutes seemed like days as Ash and Glaceon desperately waited for the referee to make his call.
The red flag waved.
The crowd exploded.
His Pokemon cheered.
He had won...
Nothing really registered anymore, after that. Ash could hear the crowd exploding in cheers and he heard Meowth shout something into his microphone, the cat’s voice cracked and grizzled with emotion and excitement. He felt himself being lifted into the air by his Infernape and he finally gathered enough of himself to laugh. He laughed. He laughed in joy and he laughed in relief, he laughed because of his victory and he laughed with Glaceon, who he cradled carefully in his arms. And for the rest of the day, he wouldn’t stop laughing. Not even when his friends, a sobbing May at the front, joined him in the arena, or when Cynthia took him to record his achievement in the Hall of Fame. He lost himself in the festivities, losing all sense of time and purpose in his euphoria, as three words echoed, buzzed and burned through his mind…
After twelve long years since he first started on his journey…
He had won!
Chapter End Notes:
What can I say... I think Ash had it coming. I mean, you can only let your main character lose so many times before it becomes obvious you're just milking it out :P
Now, this isn't one of those 'Ash finally wins, everybody's happy, the end' type of stories. The tournament may be over, but this story definitely isn't! You didn't think I introduced Zoey's pregnancy, Max's egg among other more subtle hints, just to leave them unresolved? Ha! Not a chance :)
Thank you to everyone who read this story so far, be sure to drop in a review and let me know what you think! In the meantime, I'm going to take some more time to set up storylines for the next arc of New Beginnings and write 2, maybe 3 chapters in advance before I update here again.
Thanks again for reading and reviewing!