Chapter 5

Misty nervously opened the large doors and walked inside.  "Hello?" she timidly called into the gym.

"I see you've come back," replied a voice beside her.  It was Roxanne.  She still had that stern look.  "So you've come back to accept my challenge?"

"Well, no, not exactly."

"Then what are you here for?"

"I just want to know why me and not Brock."

"I know that you were former Cerulean Gym leader and you must have won many battles.  I choose the more experienced trainer, I like a seasoned opponent."

Misty stared at her blankly and asked, "How did you know I was from the Cerulean Gym?"

"I like to study very hard on the world of pokemon."

"Look, Brock was the former leader of this gym, so he must have more experience."

"This place the first stop, and from here to Cerulean, along the way, trainers will have much more time to gain experience."

"Well, we've been on a pokemon journey, so that means he must have experienced pokemon by now."

"Have you actually seen his train them?"

"Well, no, but..."

"Then that just goes to show how inexperienced he is."

Misty, feeling defeated, began to turn around and walk out the door.

"Have you a place to stay?" Roxanne suddenly asked.

Misty whirled around in surprise.  "Um, sort of," she answered.

Her face seemed to have softened, but not much.  "To show you I'm not totally heartless, I'll let you stay here.  Come with me."  Roxanne turned around and walked across the rocky arena to a door leading to the back of the gym.

Misty cautiously followed her. I just hope this isn't a trap.

Roxanne opened the door and she saw an incredible sight.

Behind the door, there was a beautiful garden with large trees that looked more like a rain forest, she seemed to see a distant hot spring.  It was spacious and was surrounded by a large a stone wall.

"This place is where I live.  My pokemon and I made this place.  It is a garden and my personal domain," explained Roxanne.

"You mean I can stay here?" inquired Misty.  "Can I invite my friends?"

"Do what you wish."  And she walked off to the direction of a small cabin.  Misty followed her to it.  "This will be your cabin."

Misty opened the door, and saw a neat little bed and some bare shelves and nightstand.  She walked inside and left her backpack on a shelf.

"You can wander around the garden and use the spring to your convenience," said Roxanne and she left.

Misty was excited.  She couldn't wait to tell Ash and Brock about this place!  She quickly went to her bag to get her bathing suit and try out the hot spring!

The children were screaming and squealing that their brother was back home.

Ash and Brock both entered the house and sat down at the already prepared dinner table.

"Is dinner ready yet, Flint?" asked Ash.

"Uh, well, I haven't had time to fix dinner since you boys just came in," Flint replied.

"Do we have any rice?  I can make up some rice balls pretty quickly," offered Brock.

"You could go do that, I guess," responded Flint.

Brock quickly pulled on another apron and ran into the kitchen.  In a whirlwind of rice and Brock's hands, 3 dozen rice balls were made. It wasn't a surprise that he could cook so fast and on such short notice, he HAD been on a pokemon journey and took care of 10 little siblings by himself.

"I want cold spaghetti!" cried little Timmy.  Apparently his taste for cold spaghetti noodles expanded beyond breakfast.

Brock looked inside the fridge.  There was a small bowl full of noodles. So Flint didn't forget all that advice I gave him before leaving. He took out the bowl and handed it to Timmy, and he gobbled it down.

After handing out the food, everyone gobbled their dinners down ravenously.

Pikachu hogged all of the ketchup and finished the whole bottle, even though it was just new.

"Do you boys have anywhere to stay?" questioned Flint.

"No, sir.  Unless we can stay at the Pokecentre," replied Ash.

"Stay here instead.  It may be crowded, but I'm sure we can make some room for you, Brock, and that little red head."

"Speaking of Misty, it's been awhile since we left her at the gym," mused Brock.

"You're right, we should both go down and see if she's all right."

"You go on ahead.  I'll stay here, I have to discuss something with my father."

"Um, okay.  C'mon Pikachu!"  Pikachu's ears perked up, he left his empty bottle of ketchup, and hopped off the table to Ash's side.

"Ready to go get Misty?"

"Pika-pika-chu!" he replied.

They both ran out the door in the direction of the gym.

"I have a question to ask you, father."

"What is it, Brock?"

"Why didn't you tell me that the leader was a girl?!"

"I'm your father.  I know you and how you react towards girls.  After all, like father, like son."

Brock facevaulted with shock.  "I should have known better than to ask."

Ash neared the towering gym.  The sun was beginning to set.

Ash pushed open the doors with all his might, and he managed to move the doors enough to make an opening to squeeze through.  He walked to the arena and Pikachu followed him.

"Pikachu, remember our first time here?" reminisced Ash.

"Pi-pika-pi-chu!" said Pikachu.

"Are you looking for your friend?" asked a voice behind them.

Ash and Pikachu nearly jumped out of their skin.  They turned around to see Roxanne.  "Aahh! Y-y-yes.  W-w-where is Misty?" stammered Ash.

"She's in the garden, come follow me," replied Roxanne.  She led them across the arena and to a door leading to the back.  She opened it, and to Ash and Pikachu's surprise, there was a beautiful garden with large trees that looked more like a rain forest that was surrounded by a large a stone wall.  He thought he could see Misty relaxing in a hot spring.  Roxanne led him to a wooden platform near the edge of the hot spring, and Misty was definitely in it.

"Misty, your friend is here," Roxanne called to Misty.  She them left the two to be alone.

Misty partly walked, partly swan towards them.  "Oh, hello Ash!  Look at the treatment I'm getting!  I told you she likes me better!"

"Aw man!  I can't believe I'm missing out on this!  I've already been invited to stay at Flint's during our stay!"

"Well, you can't turn him down now, that would be just rude.  And I can't just leave, that would also be rude."

"Pika!" cried Pikachu, and he leapt into the spring.

"Traitor," Ash muttered.  He was jealous that Misty got the luxury and he was stuck in a crowded house.  He was beginning to get mad at Misty and start bickering with her.

"You can't stay here, Ash, there's only one cabin, and it's already mine!  You can go back and tell Brock that I'm okay."

"Fine!  Pikachu, we're leaving!"

"Pika?" Pikachu leapt out of the spring, shook himself off, and perched himself on Ash's shoulder.

Ash angrily stormed out of the garden, out the door, and out of the gym.  He was fuming all the way back to the house.

Brock stared at Ash in disbelief.  "That's what you saw?!  And that's where she's staying?!"

Ash nodded his head yes.  "I guess we could go see her again in the morning," he suggested.

"Well, alright, I just hope that I can get my match, soon."

Then they both turned in for the night.