(Note: The story's plot really gets rolling by the end of the second chapter,
so please don't let these first two boring chapters scare you away. ^^;

Go to part two

The LipGloss Mastermind

"Raspberry Flavoring ~ part one"

It was looking like the beginning of a lovely day, that Thursday morning. The sun was out, but it wasn't bright. It was slightly overcast, but not enough so that the sky looked shadowed. In short, it was perfect. That is, if you liked these kind of days.

Ash and Misty sure did, but Brock was a little wary. Ever since the trio had woken up and began their walk to the next town, Brock couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right. Every rustle from a bush made him feel more insecure.

"Hey look! A river! Why don't we stop for a lunch break?" Ash said pointing toward the mild body of water, a dozen yards off the road.
"Ash! Lunch is two hours away. We need to find a Pokémon Center, remember? Our pokémon took some hard hits during that battle yesterday." Misty replied.
"Yeah, but we've been walking non-stop practically all week! I'm tired. And hungry. Pleeeese?"

Misty glanced at Brock and sighed.

The trio walked over to the river and prepared for a mid-morning snack. Misty had let her Staryu and Poliwhirl out, so they were splashing around along with Ash's Totodile while Misty played with Togepi on the bank. Ash was sitting on the grass, tending to Pikachu. Pikachu had been in that hard battle the day before, and was still quite exhausted. Brock was sitting on a tree stump a few yards away and was looking through his backpack. Finally finding what he was looking for --a pokéball and a white brush-- he set his bag on the ground next to him.

"Come on out, Vulpix."

The fire pokémon, once released, smiled at her owner and jumped into his lap. Brock began brushing Vulpix's fur until it gleamed with beauty. Brock was less paranoid now, but still jumped when he heard a branch snap in the bushes. He glared at the noisy bushes until he was satisfied that no one was there.

"Hey Brock, when are you going to make us snacks?" Ash asked, his stomach growling on cue.
"Oh, right. I'll start making sandwiches." Brock lifted Vulpix off and set her gently on the ground. Patting her on the head, he left to wash his hands in the river. Vulpix began walking toward Misty, but glanced over at the bushes when another branch snapped.

{ * * * }

An hour or so later, the trio had finished their mid-morning snack and began their walk on the road again. Brock was studying a local map, while Ash and Misty argued about what they should do when they reached the next town.

There was a new movie playing that Misty desperately wanted to see. It was staring Trevor Motabei, who is one of the most bishounen guys in show biz. Ash on the other hand, would rather go to a funeral than suffer and watch a chick flick. He wanted to find some trainers to battle, since there was no gym. Misty, being sick of following Ash to all these battles and gyms and whatnot, demanded that they saw a movie. Ash refused and began mimicking Misty when she dreamily spoke about Trevor Motabei. Misty grew red with anger and threateningly brought out her mallet. Ash continued teasing Misty until she started chasing him, swinging her mallet around like a crazy woman. Ash began laughing and screaming while he and Misty ran in circles around Brock and the map.

Brock, being in the middle of this chaos, sighed aggravated. He watched the two running around him until he acknowledged a pattern. Then, with perfect timing, he reached out and grabbed Misty's mallet, who in turn screeched to a stop.

"Hey!" She shouted.

Ash didn't realize that Misty had stopped, and kept running until he slammed into her back, knocking them both to the ground.

"Stop it, both of you! You're acting like little kids. You're so--" Brock suddenly looked up and blushed. "S-so... so... s-s-so..."

Ash and Misty stared at him quizzically, then looked in the direction that he was looking in. Down the road they could see the entrance to the town they were going to. However, in front of the gate they could see a tall blue-haired woman wearing a dark blue outfit.

"That must be Officer--"
"--Jenny." Misty finished.

They stood up and watched Brock dash toward the woman.

"Brock and girls; it never fails." Misty sighed.
"Heh-heh, nope." Ash agreed half laughingly.

The two followed their friend, shaking their heads in embarrassment and disgust.

{ * * * }

Seven minutes later, Ash, Misty, and a badly bruised Brock entered Nomai Village. Brock moaned as he rubbed his left cheek; his face was already beginning to swell. Turned out, the blue-haired lady from the town entrance wasn't Officer Jenny. In fact, her name was Sheryl and she looked nothing like the famed identical officers. Her hair just happened to be the same shade of blue, and she was wearing a blue skirt. It was a simple mistake, but unfortunately for Brock, he didn't realize his mistake in time and Miss Sheryl wasn't very understanding. Especially when Brock swept her off her feet, dipped her, and said she was "the most flattering Officer Jenny of them all". Ash and Misty had to tear Brock away from her angry grasp when she started to attack him with pepper spray, stinging slaps and well placed punches.

Brock moaned again and Misty shook her head angrily. "You had that coming Brock. If she were Officer Jenny, she'd throw you in jail! You just don't do that to people you don't know!"

Brock grumbled under his breath and took out his guidebook to the area.

'Nomai Village is a small town North of Olivine City. Its population may be under 10,000, but it still has a mall, many cafés, and two movie theaters. There is no official gym, but with its variety of wild pokémon, the town attracts many trainers.'

"Hey, is that the Pokémon Center?" Ash asked a few minutes later. Misty raised her hand to her eyes to block the glare from the mid-day sun, and looked into the distance.

"I think so. There's a giant pokéball on the roof, but that could mean anything."
"The mapth ssayss it'sth the Pokémon Center. Maybe Nursshe Joy can give me ssome icce. I can't feel my faceth..." Brock slurred.

When they reached the building, two little girls, each carrying a baby eevee, came running through doors.

"Gee, I can't wait to see The Sun Has Yet to Rise!"
"I know, me too! I hear it's really cool!"
"My sister said she'd take us, since it has Trevor Motabei in it!"
"That's great! I like his Espeon, 'cause it's such a cutie!"

The girls suddenly bursted into a fit of giggles, and ran past Ash and Brock. They watched the children run down the street, before settling their gaze on Misty.

"Let me guess. That's the movie you're dying to see?" Ash asked in a monotone voice. Misty smiled and nodded her head. Ash frowned and shook his head.

"No way. I am not going to a chick flick!"
"Come on Ash, please? Hey, it might have a car explode in it."
"Uh... no, probably not. It's kind of set during the Samurai ages. But, they might show a car explode during the previews for upcoming movies!"

Ash rolled his eyes in disgust and walked into the Pokémon Center, with Misty and Brock right behind him. Nurse Joy wasn't present in the room, so the trio went and sat down on the couch. Pikachu began to moan about its bandages rather loudly, which made Nurse Joy come out of the back room immediately.

"Does your pokémon need any help?" She called out. Brock rushed to the counter.

"Oh, Nurse Joy! What rapture it is to see you! Please, heal my wounds, and perhaps, heal my soul as well? Dinner with you will surely heal me completely."

Nurse Joy laughed nervously and sweat dropped. She glanced around the room until she spotted Pikachu.

"Oh my, what happened to your Pikachu?"

Ash walked over to her and gently placed Pikachu on the counter.

"We had a tough battle yesterday, and most of our pokémon took some damage. Could you heal them please? Oh, and bring some ice for my friend here?"

"Certainly! Just place them all on the counter, and I'll go get some pokémon trays. I'll be right back." She looked at Brock quickly, then left for the back room. Brock watched her leave and sighed contently.

"Hey, do you think she'll go out with me?"

"Brock, I don't think she even likes you," said Misty.

"She doesn't have to like me to go out with me..."

"I meant, I don't think she likes you at all."

"Oh." Brock said disappointingly.

Nurse Joy came back out, carrying three pokéball-holding trays and a bag full of ice. She set them down on the counter, and slid the ice bag towards Brock while placing all the pokéballs into the slots of the trays.

"Alright, your pokémon should be ready in about a half hour." With that, she departed back into the backroom, taking the pokéball trays with her.

"Thank you!" Ash shouted. "Hey, while we wait, why don't we check out the town?"

"Okay, but I don't really feel like walking around." Brock frowned, holding the ice bag against his head.

"Come on, Brock. Maybe a trip to the local café might cheer you up. I'll pay..." Misty offered, her voice lingering on the word 'pay'.

Brock's expression lit up at the thought of a free meal, and gladly accepted. Leaving the Center, they traveled down the street until they came across a charming little café on the corner of the block.

{ * * * }

A bell tinkled as the trio walked through the Asahi Café doors. There was a long counter with stools to the left, and many booths and wrot-iron tables scattered in the middle and to the right. To the far right were the bathrooms and a staircase that went upstairs. Soft tempo music could be heard in the background, underneath the quiet conversation of all the customers. The room was mildly crowded.

The trio made their way to the left and sat down at the counter. A bartender, who was cleaning a glass with a towel, walked up to them.

"Can I get ye anything?"

"Yeah, we'll have three milkshakes please." Misty ordered.

"Alright, but we only got one flavor. The others ran out, and we won't get new ones till tomorrow."

"Oh, that's okay, we'll have the milkshakes anyway."

The bartender nodded his head and walked into the kitchen. Misty looked at the guys and asked if the milkshakes would be okay. They agreed, not really minding. Brock sighed sadly again, and moved his ice bag to the left side of his face. Ash was enjoying his swivel stool chair, and was turning a few inches in one direction, then twisting it in the other direction.

A minute or two later the bartender came back, holding a tray with three reddish-purple milkshakes. Ash immediately began to drink his, humming with satisfaction. Brock was slowly stirring his and was about to begin drinking it when suddenly Ash said, "This raspberry milkshake is great!" Brock tore the straw out of his mouth and shoved the drink as far away from him as possible.

"WHAT? This is raspberry?!" He shouted in shock. The bartender gave him a funny look, then nodded his head.

"Brock, what's the matter?" Misty asked concerned. Brock shook his head furiously.

"I'm deathly allergic to raspberries, that's what!" Misty covered her mouth in surprise, and Ash slapped his head.

"Oy! I forgot! I'm sorry, buddy. I can't believe I forgot something like that."

Brock slowly nodded his head, and the bartender took back the milkshake and replaced it with a glass of water. The trio sat there quietly drinking their drinks.

"Hey Baby, how ya doin'?" An oily voice asked a few minutes later, which sent goosebumps down Misty's arms. Ash, Misty and Brock looked behind them to see where that voice had come from.

To their right was a red leather-padded booth where three people sat; A blonde female sat in the middle, and two greasy-looking, black-clad guys were on each side of her. They each looked around 17 years old.

"Aren't ya goin' to answer me, Baby?" One of the guys asked again, leaning closer to her. The girl moaned uncomfortably and edged down the booth away from him.

"Tony, why won't you leave me alone?" She begged. The other guy sat down in the booth next to her, which cut off her escape route. 'Tony' grabbed the girl's chin and forced her to look at him.

"Come on Baby, what's the matter? You don't like me no more?" He chuckled as if he had just made some clever joke. The girl closed her eyes and jerked her face away from Tony. Tony narrowed his eyes and frowned angrily at the girl.
"Hey, don't give me no attitude. Answer me!"

The girl shifted her weight uneasily and gazed down at her hands, which were settled on the table.

Brock, unable to watch any longer, jumped off his stool, walked up to Tony, and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Hey, leave her alone. You're disturbing her." Brock said coldly.

Tony turned around to face Brock, and laughed at his comment. Then pointing both his hands towards himself he glanced at his friend and laughed some more.

"Hey Brett, get a load of this guy. I'm disturbing my Baby." He laughed again, but then looked at Brock with a blank expression on his face.

Tony suddenly sent his fist flying toward Brock's face, but he ducked and punched Tony right in the stomach. Tony hugged his middle and gasped for air, leaning back on the booth. Brett jumped up to get ready to fight, but Brock folded his arms against his chest and glared at him coldly.

"Get out now." He growled.

Brett nodded his head a little too quickly. He slowly edged around Brock, took hold of Tony, and dashed out of the café. The girl watched the two greasy-guys leave, and then grinned at Brock. She ran up to him and clasped her hands together gratefully.

"Oh, thank you so much for getting rid of those creeps! They just wouldn't leave me alone. How can I repay you for being so kind?" Her amber-brown eyes were sparkling with joy.

"Well, you can start by telling me your name," Brock smiled.

"Oh, yeah, silly me. My name is Allison." She smiled at him and nodded her head. "And yours?"

"I am Brock the Rock, and I'm at your service." He quickly made a dramatic pose, but quickly turned serious again. "Why were those guys bothering you?"

Allison frowned and turned her gaze toward the floor to her side. "I...used to go out with Tony. But when we broke up last month, he started to follow me everywhere, and wouldn't leave me alone."

"Oh, I see."

Allison's eyes suddenly lit up and she smiled up at Brock. "But you can be my bodyguard! If Tony and his weird buddy Brett try to bother me, you can protect me!"

Brock looked at Allison in surprise by her proposal. "Oh... I uh,"

Allison suddenly looked hurt. "That is, of course, if you wanted to. You don't have help me..."

Brock suddenly realized that he was being given the chance to protect a very beautiful 5'4" blonde and was over come by emotion. Tears began streaming down his face and he grasped Allison's hands into his.

"Of course I'll help you! If those sleaze-balls try to harm even one hair on your lovely head, I'll make sure they'll regret it!"

Misty moaned and slapped her forehead. Ash, still drinking his milkshake and sitting on the stool, watched the scene with interest. Allison, over come with joy, jumped up and gave Brock a big hug. For a second Brock was in shock, but quickly returned the hug.

"Oh! Thank you Brock! You're too kind!"

Misty glanced at Ash and leaned towards him. "I don't know why, but I'm getting a bad feeling about this..." She whispered. Ash simply shrugged his shoulders and continued to slurp his raspberry milkshake.

{ * * * }

Click here to go to part two.

Written by Jade Smith
April 2002