Heartwarming: Ashes of the Past

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  • Ash got most of his badges the first time around in the tests of Character. It's kind of heartwarming to see the guy honestly winning matches, instead of, say, getting rewarded for saving the gym from Team Rocket... for the zillionth time.
  • Team Rocket acting competently. Given how much of underdogs they were, it's really nice to see them get victories, see them actually on Ash's level, get acknowledged by the Boss as being hard workers...

     Kanto's Gym Challenge (Chapters 1-24) 

  • Chapter 2:
    Ho-Oh: "I am sorry if discovering this truth causes you pain. I had not thought of the effect it might have."
    Ash: "No, it's kinda nice. To know that he was... well, a hero. To know that he didn't leave by choice... I always feared that."
    • Ash and Pikachu start arguing. Misty's reaction?
    Misty: "I've missed this..."
  • Chapter 3:
    • The reunion with Butterfree and Pidgeot.
  • Chapter 4:
    • Brock is back too.
    Ash: This. This is what I would never give up. No matter what. Companions.
    • When Ash doubts he can raise a Riolu (he's getting offered an egg by the Lucario Kingdom), Brock, Misty and Pikachu tell him he's selling himself short.
    • Ash accepts, takes the egg... which is restored because it's the Riolu he befriended in Sinnoh!
    Ash: "No. I don't believe it. No way I am this lucky."
    Riolu: "Believe the evidence of your eyes and the light of our souls. It is me. Hello again, Ash."
    • James takes Growlie, his childhood friend, back from his jackass family.
  • Chapter 6:
    • James' dedication to Growlie. See the Awesome page for details.
  • Chapter 8:
    • The rescuing of Charmander.
  • Chapter 9:
    • Team Rocket's Meowth learn Pay Day from a female ninja Meowth. In a later chapter, we learn that this female ninja Meowth is Meowzie, who is the reason why Team Rocket's Meowth learned to act human.
      • Even better, it means that she's not homeless anymore like she was in the original time line!
  • Chapter 16 has Ash look for a way to help Gringey City, and has an idea: Shaymin! He explains the situation and befriends one when he offers to carry her there, rather than catch her first, and take a Gracidea to boot. In the next chapter, we get to see why Shaymin are the Pokemon of Gratitude. Ash, having had a breif moment of hopelessness, is indeed grateful.
  • Misty's reunion with Togekiss, with the narration explaining that while her other Pokemon were friends, allies, partners... little Togepi was like a daughter to her.
  • Chapter 20 has the birth of Damos, the first new Pokemon that Professor Oak has gotten for himself in a decade, whom he welcomes into the world, and his home, in a particularly touching manner.
    Damos: "I'm Home."
    Oak: "Welcome Home."
  • Ash recognises Dexter as his own person after coming back in time from the beginning, vs. Meowth who treats him as a thing until he becomes a Porygon.

     Mewtwo versus Mew (Chapters 25-26) 

     The Indigo League (Chapters 27-36) 

     The Orange Islands part 1 (Chapters 37-38) 

     The Power of One (Chapters 39-42) 

  • In the second part of the Power of One arc, Ash is ambushed by Hunter J, who orders her Drapion to use Toxic with the intention of killing Ash. Riolu, realising this, throws himself in the way to take the attack for his trainer and friend. He subsequently evolves. When Ash realises this, his new Lucario says the following:
    Lucario: As you kept faith with me, so I with you. Go. I'll handle J.

     The Orange Islands part 2 (Chapters 43-46) 

     Johto's Gym Challenge part 1 (Chapters 47-54) 

  • In Johto, when Brock helps the baby Stantler again. Large portions of this arc were written from Stantler's point of view, and the heartwarming factor is almost too much to bear. Its crowning moment is when Stantler chooses to go with Brock rather than stay with the herd.
  • When Ash visits the school in Violet City, one of the students asks him which of his Pokémon he thinks is the best. Ash, who does not and has never played favorites, lists the individual strengths of each of his Pokémon, and then tells Charizard's story without mentioning that it's about Charizard until the very end. Given that the kids all know how awesome Charizard is, Ash's point about not disregarding any Pokémon as weak and the importance of befriending them is well and truly made.

     Spell of the Unown (Chapters 55-58) 

  • The end of the Spell of the Unown arc, when Molly learns that the Legendary Beasts and the Eevee she created are now real and then gets her parents back.

     Johto's Gym Challenge part 2 (Chapters 59-62) 

  • Remembering Casey's preference for black and yellow Pokémon, Ash makes plans to give her a Shiny Riolu.
    • The fact that even though he didn't know Casey well enough to bring back her memories and Pokemon (like he did with the Rockets, Brock, or Misty), he still thinks highly enough of her to think she's worthy of a Riolu (which in-universe is a big deal) is pretty heartwarming as well.
  • It's not just Ash and company's Pokémon that are True Companions. Meowth showing his support to a bitter Cubone exemplifies that this Team Rocket cell counts too.

     Mewtwo Returns (Chapters 63-66) 

  • After Keldeo transforms into his Resolute Form and uses Secret Sword, Cobalion remarks that he looks just like his father.

     Johto's Gym Challenge part 3 (Chapters 67-71) 

     Voice of the Forest (Chapters 72-75) 

  • Ash managing to rescue Pikachu after the latter was captured by a Dark Ball.
  • Team Rocket comes across Pikachu's lightning-marked Poké-ball. Their life-long dream of capturing Pikachu is literally within their grasp... and then they choose to give it back to Ash.
  • A subtle example, but why does Giovanni order Persian to give the Iron-Masked Marauder a stroke? Because if his scheme to capture Celebi had succeeded, Giovanni might never have met Persian. Say what you will about Giovanni, but he does truly care about his partner.
    • During the mess caused by Ash and co. breaking time we saw a beginner trainer with expensive shoes starting his travel with five empty Ultraballs and a Meowth. Guess who this guy was?

     Johto's Gym Challenge part 4 (Chapters 76-99) 

  • Todd, on his way up a mountain to photograph an Articuno, is surprised by one landing in front of him, curious at his camera. He explains that he just wanted to see its nest at the top of the mountain so he could photograph it, and Articuno flies off. Later, he sees two Articuno flying around one another in a mating dance and realizes that the one Ash saw and the one he saw were not the same Pokemon, he just made the second one aware of the first one's existence. Better yet? He got lots of photos of the mating dance, meaning that for possibly the first time, a Legendaries' mating dance is caught on film. So to sum it up, Todd and Ash accidentally played matchmaker for a legendary pokemon, and then Todd got to witness one of the rarest events in the world. Wow.
  • After the events of Voice of the Forest, Pikachu is feeling guilty of all the destruction he caused while he was Shadow-fied via Dark Ball, and wonders if he is too powerful for his own and his team's good. Ash's hug and Lucario's reassuring talk say it all about what they think about it, especially since Lucario was going through a similar thought process about not being strong enough.
    • Later that evening, Pikachu gives his Light Ball back to Ash, telling him only to give it back when his trainer thinks he is safe with it. Ash gives it back the very next morning.
  • What is the first thing Ash is thinking when he arrives in Olivine City? Not the next gym battle, but the ill Ampharos of the local lighthouse.
  • Casey is approached by the Lucario from the Lucario Kingdom, with a Shiny black-and-yellow Riolu in tow. Casey is suitably overwhelmed and brings her Pokémon out for discussion, and while Bayleef is concerned about the dangers it might bring them, the one who makes the decision is Pichu, who just walks up and starts playing with Riolu.
  • Pryce's reuniting with his Piloswine after the latter was frozen for several decades.
  • May's reunion with Blaziken, even before his memory was restored.
  • Sabrina's foreword for Mewtwo's book.
    In many ways, Mewtwo and I are much alike. He, like I, is a powerful psychic individual. Like myself, his upbringing was profoundly unusual and focused more on his gifts than on him as a person. Like me, he has struggled with the question of whether he is important as a person – or, instead, just important as a set of psionic skills.
    There is one difference, however, which most people would notice first. He is a Pokemon, and I am a human. That is a major difference – even a legal difference, despite how many advances in Pokemon rights have been made over the past century. It is the kind of difference which at first glance seems to divide us, and the rest of the world.
    This book is about the other ways we are all alike – and why a Pokemon is not apart, just different.
    One of the benefits of being a psychic – human or Pokemon – is that the task of interacting with those on the other side of the Pokéball is easier. A Psychic Pokemon can use telepathy, the ability to communicate with projected thoughts rather than spoken words, to make themselves understood to humans – and a psionic human can pick up the thoughts of their Pokemon and thus gain an insight into what is meant above and beyond what is normal.
    But, until now, those insights and advantages have been largely ad hoc and individual. For example, I talk with my Kadabra, or with my dear friend Mew, but insights thus gained are rarely shared with others. I know that my Kadabra likes orange juice, but I do not even know if that is a racial trait or one peculiar to him.
    It is my hope that this book, which I have helped to edit in places, results in a better understanding and dialogue between human and Pokemon. As a Gym Leader, I am used to battle – but I am also used to not battling, and I would consider forcing a Pokemon to battle when they do not want to a good reason to not present my badge – irrespective of the victor in a battle.
    I hope that I never have to do so. And this book is a good example of why I feel that hope may be justified.
  • The hatching of Ash's new Mawile, the terror to all dragonkind.

     Heroes (Chapter 100) 

     The Silver Conference (Chapters 101-116) 

  • A small, poignant one: Oak getting a visit from his old Charizard, who had retired to the Charicific Valley.
  • Also a bit of a CMOF, given how it's announced, but Charizard and Charla are officially back together!
  • Ash wins a second league championship! Again, after the pre-time-jump five consecutive losses, having two wins in a row is pretty cool.
  • With the Johto League over, the scene of Ash, Misty and Brock separating for the first time in 2 years, after everything they've been through, definitely contains a few feels.
  • Also in the same chapter, we have Brock introducing Professor Philena Ivy to his family.
    • When Brock's mother Lola returns, she not only brings her oldest daughter Yolanda her first Pokémon, at Brock's request, she also brings Philena one for her own. What Lola got was a Litleo and Shinx, and since Yolanda chose the former, Philena gets the potential Luxray she's always wanted.
    • After more than a year in his first long-term relationship, Brock finally tells Philena that he's time-traveled, and exactly what had happened to her in the original timeline - her being trapped in the Unown's dimension after a resonance cascade gone wrong with him being unable to save her. He's fully prepared for this to be the end of their relationship... but Philena's kiss proves him otherwise.
      • And Ninetales and Shinx watching the reaffirmation is just as adorable.

    Hoenn's Gym Challenge part 1 (Chapters 117-126) 

  • Sceptile and Meganium commiserating over their shared Love Hurts experiences is good for a smile.
  • Max reuniting with his first remind-able Pokémon: the Poochyena he helped evolve into Mightyena.
  • Ludicolo showing his solidarity to his trainer when Ash tells him about Professor Ivy being his girlfriend, and him telling Brock that Geodude already told him what had originally happened to her.
    Ludicolo: Hombre, if she made it this time, then I take back all my shock.
  • After the incident where Squirtle's sunglasses were shattered during the Silver Conference, Ash goes through a whole store's worth of shades to find the perfect replacement. Squirtle is choked when he finally receives them... then proceeds to ham it up with a loud speech of brotherhood.
  • Mawile connecting with Ash's newest Pokémon: Goomy.
  • In the aftermath of her first Pokémon Contest in this timeline, May, for the first time without the help of Ash or Ethan's translator, understands Blaziken's words.

     Wish Maker (Chapters 127-130) 

  • Some more Ship Tease for Sceptile and Meganium, when the former offers the latter his ice cream.
  • Jirachi being reminded.
  • Mawile, Goomy, Tyranitar and cotton candy. What more needs to be said?

     Hoenn's Gym Challenge part 2 (Chapters 131-???) 
  • Giovanni showing extra concern to Team Rocket after the Mirage Kingdom incident, where Growlie nearly got shot. To prevent that from happening again, he gets in contact with Jessie's old Chansey/Blissey friend, who sends over her student to be a part of Team Rocket's cell.
  • Mawile and Sliggoo's experience in the Valley of Steel ends up like this. After Sliggoo is belittled by a family of horrible local Mawile, a tear-stricken Mawile decides to leave with her friend, swearing to herself that she won't become as horrible as them. The comforting hug that both of them share is heart-melting.
    • And Ash and Meganium comforting their young friend is just as heart-melting.
  • Sceptile asking for Meganium to help heal him just shows their growing relationship.
  • May connecting with the injured Swablu she befriended in canon - by talking to him without Ethan's translator.
  • Max's win over his father. So Proud of You is literally permeating the air, and Ethan has all the pictures May'll ever want of it.
  • After about a year of traveling and learning with Ash, Keldeo is finally ready to return to Unova and the Swords of Justice. His departure is truly worthy of this.
    • Not only that, but in his final match with Ash against Norman's transformed Ditto, he manages to win, not by using a move that Ash taught him, but by using a move he learned mid-battle thanks to Ash's teachings.
      Keldeo: Ash trained me in a lot of things, but the most important thing was to never stop learning - never stop trying, not even for a moment!
  • May finds Glaceon again... as the egg of Drew's Leafeon. Glaceon is confused, at first, since she remembers her mother as being a Flareon, but it works out beautifully - Leafeon knows her daughter is in good hands, and since Drew and May are in touch, they have the chance to get to know each other that they didn't have in the previous timeline.
  • The whole instance when Absol Mega-Evolves and ends up having a Super Power Meltdown due to her overclocked Danger Sense going My Skull Runneth Over. It only stops when her sense suddenly clears up and Ash manages to get close enough to give her a Cooldown Hug. The thought of hurting her trainer is enough to bring her to tears.
  • Chapter 150: Ashes Nowhere To Be Seen
    • Aaron's Lucario sparing a thought for his old friend, wondering where he is and what new friends he has made.
    • The first scene of N in the story, buying food for his Pokémon friends.
    • Oak's Dragonite and Charizard talking about why Charizard left to the Charicific Valley and never visited: he wanted to leave so that he wouldn't experience the pain of outliving his comrades. Dragonite (none-too-gently) reminds him that a Dragonite's lifespan is much longer than a Charizard's, and that their passed-on comrade Arcanine was middle-aged when they met.
    • Silver experiencing the Song of the Great Guardian for the first time.
    • Butterfree and Lapras's families meeting mid-migration.
    • Ninetales fussing over Growlie when she hears about him Taking the Bullet for James.