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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.
    • Also, When they finally get a unique form of Pikachu, it's on their own merits, for how much they've improved as people. They gave up their fool's errand, and got their just reward.
  • The moments Ash or one of his friends recapture a Pokémon they knew in canon, and they get reminded.
  • Moments where Pokémon get Mega-Evolved are usually accompanied by their trainer remembering what they like best about that Pokémon.

     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 5:
    • After releasing Aaron's Lucario from the staff, and sorting him out, Ash convinces Lucario not to go back in it and to resume his training so he's strong enough to the point re-energizing the Tree of Beginning won't kill him this time.
  • 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 timeline!
  • 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 brief 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 recognizes 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.
    • Doubles as a CMOA in that by evolving, Lucario becomes a Steel Type, effectively No Selling Toxic.

     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) 

  • Cubone finally coming to terms with her family's passing, thanks to Ash's Aura Purge.
  • 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.
      • Even better, Ash says that he wanted to hand it right back to Pikachu, but that Pikachu wouldn't have accepted it if he had done that.
  • The first words that Kabutops says to Misty after he evolves in Chapter 81.
    Kabutops: "...Misty, I am glad for how you treated a poor, time-displaced fossil like me."
  • 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.
  • While shopping, May finds a Heart Incense, which reminds her of Manaphy, and buys it as a reminder of the promise she intended to fulfill.
  • 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 131-155) 

  • 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.
  • Skitty playing with Spoink's pearl, then a pair of feathers, and finally Mew's tail.
  • Mawile and Goodra's play on Death Is Dramatic. And the Corpsing they fall in after.

     Destiny Deoxys (Chapters 156-159) 

  • Tory and him slowly overcoming his Poké-phobia, thanks to Green Deoxys, Plusle and Minun.
    • In particular, the dialogue where Deoxys acknowledges Tory as his friend.

     Hoenn's Gym Challenge part 3 (Chapters 160-162) 
  • Suicune coming home to Pallet Town, including Mawile cuddling a Houndour and a showcase of Shiny Suicune and Entei's relationship.
  • Drew talking with Absol about his own Absol whom he has yet to meet.
  • Ash explaining why he's still going through his adventures all over again and doesn't just Level Grind like nuts to face Cyrus. He holds his bonds with his friends above all else, and if he did throw all his efforts into training and neglected to nurture those bonds, he still wouldn't be ready to face Cyrus when he comes, because he wouldn't have his friends beside him.
  • When May accidentally captures the pearl-losing Spoink, the two of them end up with a little miscommunication, with Spoink thinking May doesn't want him as her Pokémon even though she previously offered, and May trying to tell him that she doesn't want a Pokémon that was caught unwillingly or doesn't know what they're getting into. It takes a while with Venusaur and Beautifly, but Spoink eventually performs a psychic juggling Contest appeal that convinces May that, yes, he does know what being a Coordinator's Pokémon entails, and convinces Spoink that, yes, she does want him as her Pokémon.

    Scuffle of Legends (Chapters 163-165) 

  • The main moment when Pikachu finds out Ash had to be saved by his Sacred Ash again. To say nothing about how much Sacred Ash was used up.

    Hoenn's Gym Challenge part 4 (Chapters 166-178) 

  • Brock notes that Mawile seems to be deliberately modeling herself after Ash as much as possible.
  • Liza and Tate warmly giving Max advice on how to raise the Ralts he'll be getting as well as their open offer for him to come back so they can give him advice on what form said Ralts should aim for is incredibly sweet.
  • May learning to fly on Altaria.
  • Max finally reuniting with Ralts.
    • And in addition, rather than take him away from his mother and sister, May offers to let the two of them live in Petalburg Gym.
  • Chapter 174: Feels aplenty.
    • Mewtwo reading Molly's thank-you letter for saving her imaginary Legendary Beast family and her Eevee.
    • Professor Ivy helping her Shinx learn Spark using a cat toy.
    • Brock and Mawile doing Ninetales's fur.
      • And them, Stantler, Quilava and Houndoom watching shooting stars.
    • Lugia, his mate and son, and Todd and Sneasel paying a visit to Johto, to see the Articuno pair Todd helped get together and captured on film... and their new hatchlings.
    • Ash helping Pikachu with his crisis of strength - his partner's recent loss to Wallace and his new worries that he isn't strong enough to protect Ash is conflicting with his previous worries of being too strong and hurting Ash himself. Ash finally manages to get through to him by saying that he is not alone in his task of keeping his trainer and best friend safe; he has a whole team of True Companions to back him up. Moreover, Ash tells Pikachu that he doesn't want Pikachu to become a Pokémon obsessed with becoming stronger or perfect to protect his trainer - he wants Pikachu, his best friend, his partner, and that's all.
  • Even though May doesn't succeed in Mega-Evolving Altaria, her vow to keep trying and strengthen their bond definitely will bring forth a smile.
  • The arrival at Pacifidlog, and the event foreshadowed ever since the first chapter: visiting the Memorial of the savior of Pacifidlog a.k.a. the last memorial of Ash's father.
    • The inscription alone is worth a few tears:
      ...the identity of this brave trainer is unknown, only that he was not a native of the town he saved. Pacifidlog is forever grateful to him.
      We regret that we do not know his name, nor even the town of his birth, since it means we cannot tell those he may have left behind.
      Our thanks come from the bottom of our hearts.
    • Thanks to a few news reports kept by the Memorial's curator, Ash finds out even more about him, he looks similar to his son, he had Pokémon too, he could use Aura, he was also taking the Hoenn Gym Challenge, and he got lost in Pacifidlog because he thought it still had a gym.
    • Then Mewtwo brings Delia, Latios, Latias and Keldeo over to pay their respects. The three Legendary Pokémon remember the Heroic Sacrifices performed by their own fathers, and Keldeo says that both he and Ash should be proud to be the sons of such heroes.
      • And when Delia makes Ash promise to try and live up to him and always come back to her, it brings him to Manly Tears.
      • And Mewtwo telling Brock that it was well worth the effort.
  • Norman and Caroline welcoming Gardevoir and Kirlia into their home.
  • Norman offering his help to May with her connection to Altaria.
  • Blaziken teaching May how to fight in order to build up their bond.

     Hoenn Grand Festival (Chapters 179-182) 

  • The entirety of May's Appeal with Altaria, which plays the iconic scene of a person getting close to a very aloof dragon, complete with ground-drawing and music. The moment they touch for the final moment, Altaria Mega-Evolves. Their bond certainly has come a very long way.
  • Gardevoir and Kirlia assimilating into family life with the Maples. Gardevoir even does the cooking for Caroline some of the time.
  • Ash helping out Greg and his Pachirisu Blitz, when their first bad loss causes them both to lose faith in themselves and Pachirisu to run away in shame. Ash and Pikachu use their experience with Pikachu's own loss against Wallace to reassure Blitz that losing isn't everything.
  • Spoink slowly gaining confidence in himself over his battle with Cubone, especially since he lost his first Contest battle against Harley all that time ago. And his powers grow with him.
  • Marowak describing the epiphany that led to her evolution: Finally understanding that her old family would not begrudge her a good life with a new family, and the acceptance of the Team Rocket cell as her new family.
  • Dawn regaining her memories and reuniting with Piplup.
    • Dawn didn't have a big reaction to getting the memories from the previous timeline. That came later, when she gave a big congratulation to Ash when she realized this time Latios survived the Altomare incident.
  • Norman and Caroline's joy at May winning the Grand Festival.
  • When Dawn is being introduced to the new Pokemon Ash and his current companions have, Mawile is delighted to finally meet Dawn and when Dawn asks if all of Ash's new Pokemon are as cool as Mawile, the little Fairy type points to Goodra, as though that should be obvious.
  • Dawn telling Piplup that he's her favorite bird.
  • Dawn and May watching a meteor shower together, talking as friends.

     Ever Grande Conference (Chapters 183-186) 

  • Houndoom teaching his younger brother how to read is good for a smile... especially since they're using Raikou's signs.
  • Brock promising to help Stantler find his old herd for a visit on their return to Kanto region.
  • More of Blaziken helping May with fighting.
  • Ash reassuring a first-time League participant.
  • Philena visiting Brock at the Conference.
  • The Lugia family having a movie night with Melody and Rayquaza.

     The Delta Episode (Chapters 187-190) 

  • Everyone who is watching the story as it progresses, and trying to reassure each other that it'll all work out.
    • Special mention goes to Tracey's Marill, and her very recent Azurill egg.

     Battle Frontier part 1 (Chapters 191-193) 

  • Chapter 191: Delta Episode wrap-up
    • The Icelandic Lugia returning to her homeland, knowing it was almost all lost.
    • Kuan Yin, one of the high-ranking trainers called in for the crisis, returning home to her Grass-type team.
    • Misty hearing about Azurill's egg.
  • The Orange Island Beach Episode:
    • Philena's Shinx sleeping on top of her hat.
    • The image of all the younger Pokémon just having so much fun playing on the beach is certainly smile-worthy.
  • Though Mewtwo, Keldeo and Lapras's conversation about reunions of Ash's Pokemon/Pokemon allies is mostly a Funny Moment, there's something incredibly sweet about just how many Pokemon have had their lives touched and improved by Ash.
  • Ash's Sceptile and Meganium finally getting together, and offering to let Max have their Chikorita, who is still an egg at this point, as a Pokemon so he can have a traditional starter.
  • Azurill being reminded and being reunited, first with his mother, Tracey's Marill, and then with Misty.
  • Instead of just choosing a starter by himself, Max decides to talk to Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle to also take into account who is best-suited personality-wise.
  • Ash and Delia talking about Ash's penchant for world-saving, and how although she knows how dangerous it is, she knows it's too much a part of him to give it up.

     Mystery of Mew (Chapters 194-197) 

  • Ash, Pikachu and Lucario thinking about how much has changed since they were first at the Rota Kingdom at the very beginning of their renewed journey, and about how living at this Kingdom would be like.
  • When Aaron's Lucario asks what the appeal is of traveling, everyone is glad to answer:
  • At the ball, the fact that Mawile wants to dance with her friend Goodra really showcases the friendship they share.
  • A little melancholy one: unable to really dance with her partner, Ninetales has to make do with dancing with an illusion instead. But then to her delight, the real Growlie shows up and asks for a dance; Brock asked TR's Abra for a favor.
    • And after the dance, the two canines go to watch the stars, and to contemplate their future together, thinking about settling down and having kits someday.
  • On the trek to the Tree of Beginning, the Messenger Lucario tells Casey how thankful someone like her is coming along on the walk: it reminds Aura Adepts that not everyone can do the things they can do, but still allows them to be surprised when normal people surpass their expectations.
  • Another instance of a Riolu protecting their trainer from harm... and another instance of her evolving when she realizes what her trainer means to her.
  • The Grave-Marking Scene at the heart of the Tree, as everyone pays their respects to the resting place of Sir Aaron.
  • The quandary of Aaron's Lucario through this arc, trying to reconcile the image of his old companion Aaron with his descendant Ash, both so similar, of the same blood, yet not the same person. After the hike to the Tree of Beginning, he no longer feels embarrassed overlaying the image of the two people that had made such a difference in his life.
    • For his part, Ash is honored to be compared to a hero like Sir Aaron.
  • Queen Ilene helping Max and his Charmander figure out a potential nickname for the new Pokemon. She even shares with them how she chose her own name.

     Battle Frontier part 2 (Chapters 198-212) 

  • When Iris tells Drayden that she wants to leave the Opelucid Academy because she's not doing so well and she's feeling homesick, Drayden reminds her that she'll have to leave Fraxure behind because he's a Pokémon of the Academy and not her own... at least until he gives the Dragon-type's Poké-ball to her, on account of the friendship the two had made during her time.
  • Cynthia helping her newest Pokémon Glaceon become more confident in battle.
  • Molly's excitement at seeing Pastoria City.
  • Shiny Entei, Spencer, Shiny Suicune and Martha discussing about Molly traveling on her first journey, how real their love for Molly is, and the bond the four of them now share as parents to the same child.
  • Entei talking to Noland's Articuno about whether or not he wants to have a Poké-ball.
  • N talking to the Swords of Justice about just how much his father's doctrine about human tyranny over Pokémon has been proved false by his experiences (especially the Delta Episode, and especially by Ash and Mewtwo's influence all around the world)
  • It's more funny than heartwarming, but Ash and Co. figuring out a way for Drew to have the Arcanine on his team and for Arcanine to have her kids safe.
  • The Articuno family having Todd make them a family album.
  • Lugia drops off a mysterious egg that its son happened to find... A Manaphy Egg. May has her 'child' back, and both of them really were looking forward to the reunion, especially since, this time, there's nothing that will tear them apart.
  • Every moment with Manaphy in Chapter 201:
    • Manaphy immediately considers himself May's Pokémon, no questions asked. The sentiment is enough to tear May up.
    • May and Manaphy brushing Altaria's fluff, and May telling her son about the Heart Incense she got all the way back in Rustboro City.
    • Just about all the interactions between Manaphy and Mawile and her friends. Many comments about diabetes abound.
    • Upon seeing a picture of May's parents, his 'grandparents', Manaphy expresses a desire to visit May's home someday.
    • During the Saffron shopping trip, Manaphy asks for a Poké-ball as a present.
  • Brock giving May advice on how to deal with missing over a year with Manaphy between where they left off and their reunion, showing he feels the same way in regards to his bond with Ninetales, as well as pointing out that her parents are in the same shoes she is now.
  • Brock buying a gift for Philena: a necklace made of crystals that form an electromagnetic spectrum. Sciency, rocky, thoughtful and beautiful!
  • Latios buying a gift for Latias; not his sister - the other Latias.
  • Dawn's Buneary getting reminded by Ash, and when she goes bashful over Pikachu again, Meganium takes her for a chat.
    • And when Buneary finally gets the courage to tell Pikachu how she feels, Pikachu promises to give her a proper answer by Sinnoh.
  • Sabrina has an Umbreon because he's the twin to her Espeon, and when his brother evolved at sunset, he was so happy for him that he evolved 20 seconds later.
  • After getting some advice on the matter, Roland evolves, with his family there.
  • Manaphy getting to meet Norman and Caroline, his "grandparents", for the first time.
  • Philena getting a Rockruff for Brock with her Shinx's help. Or so she thinks...
  • Ash setting up some Gracidea flowers for Shaymin in Pallet town.
  • Latios and Joy's Latias having a date. And Latios's sister even plays romantic music for them!
  • When Manaphy gets kidnapped, Blaziken immediately dashes after them.
  • After the Dark City Gym battle, Roland says that he's finally made a decision on what he wants to evolve into: Gallade. But first, he wants to learn more close-in fighting with Lucario.
  • Max's first egg hatching: Aron.

     Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon (213-215) 

  • Ash's Pokémon baking him a birthday cake.
  • Mewtwo empathizing with the Mirage Mewtwo, first thinking he's in a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds state like when Mewtwo first met Ash, then when he realizes he's under another's control like when when he was with Giovanni.
  • As of this event, Sceptile and Meganium are now parents.

     Battle Frontier part 3 (216-227) 

  • Latias spending time with baby Chikorita, who shows off his Sacred Sword Egg Move.
  • Dawn sending Serena a bunch of pictures of her Pokemon being doofs to cheer her up.
  • Lapras and his family give Ash a lift, and Lapras's sister gets some new autographs.
  • Chikorita watching his dad kick some serious Poké-butt in the battle against Spenser.
  • While facing the Cerulean Gym, Casper finally Mega-Evolves after Max says that winning the battle is something only he can do.
  • Serena and her mother Grace finally coming to an accord about getting Serena her own Pokémon (which she can still ride). After a little bit of searching, Serena finally makes a new friend with a little Blitzle.
  • Yolanda and her siblings wanting to give Brock a present for all the work he's done for everyone.
  • Ash openly considers the idea of Forrest getting hurt because of the king of PokéAtlantis escaping as big a disaster as said king escaping and wrecking havoc.
  • Flint's concern for Forrest. Flint is the dad that left his family for Brock to raise by himself, and frequently goes on vacations with Lola while leaving the kids at home in canon. To see him so concerned for one of his children is a nice sight.
  • Faced with the odds of Brock's Steelix, whom they all know is an extremely tough battler, Roland decides to take that Dawn Stone and evolve into Gallade to even the odds.
    • Later, he calls his mom and sis.
  • Shaymin enjoying her new home in Pallet Town: a tree house in Delia's garden. Fully furnished, too!

     Kanto Grand Festival (228-231) 

     Temple of the Sea (232-235) 

  • May's relief at Manaphy finally being safe from Captain Phantom.
  • Manaphy and Jirachi sharing a moment together about being Pokémon who were once parted from their Maple friends, but now aren't any more.
  • Grandpa Ship's constant amazement at seeing the Temple of the Sea in all its glory.

     Battle Frontier wrap-up (236) 

  • Ash and May have a little regret about not getting their half-ribbons in the Terracotta Town contest, but brush it off as a coincidence that is unlikely to happen again, since both trainers are too good for there not to be a decisive victor.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 1 (Chapters 237-242) 

  • Pikachu admits to Buneary that he doesn't feel quite the same way towards her, but also says that most of his perceptions were colored by his bad first interaction with her (where she froze Ash and Co. to dance with him), and that he hadn't given himself a chance to see if there might be something between them. So, he decides to start over again, and see if they'd make good friends first.
  • When discussing retrieving Chimchar, Ash makes it clear that while he doesn't agree with Paul's training methods, he considers him a Worthy Opponent whose training worked for most of the guy's other Pokemon and that stealing Chimchar would feel wrong.
  • Paul's at least halfway reasonable this time, even saying It's Not You, It's Me about training Chimchar and is perplexed at his other self's scolding Chimchar for losing to Cynthia's Garchomp, which way outclassed him in both type and level.
  • Chimchar/Infernape states that he always believed Ash would get Legendaries someday...because Ash is the best trainer he's ever seen in either version of the timeline, primarily because of his good heart and kind nature.
  • Ash says that he'd respect Turtwig's choice if he was reminded and still didn't want to join him.
  • With Croagunk now reminded, Geodude takes him aside and tells him exactly who Philena Ivy was and what she meant to Brock. When Croagunk comes back, he tells Brock that he now understands, is glad he's happy, and that the Poison Jab is coming right back out if he looks at any other girl too long.
  • Ash managing to remind Zoey, who was fighting alongside Gary to try and rescue the Lake Trio at the end of the old timeline.
  • While all the ruckus of another Fossil rampage is going on, Mawile takes the time to comfort a little lost Tyrunt and keep him company.

     Max's Indigo League (243-247) 

  • Geodude helping rebuild Roark's Gym.
  • Brock's Pokémon joining in with making Tyrunt feel welcome.
  • When Iris realizes that her treating Ash like an incompetent newbie in the original timeline was not only mean but also wrong because he was anything but, she apologizes. Ash waves the apology off, saying that while it was annoying, it didn't bother him.
  • Tyrunt enjoying his first Contest viewing.
    • Later on, Tyrunt admits that he still doesn't like the battle sections of Contests, and Mawile offers for them to leave after the Appeals. Tyrunt asks why, since she likes the battles, and Mawile responds, "But you don't."
  • Jessie sparing a thought towards Dustox, whom she knows will want to leave soon to restart her family, and knowing that she'll miss her once she leaves.
  • Noland's Articuno friend decides to make the partnership official by allowing Noland to capture him, after talking to Ho-Oh and the Rockets' Moltres.
  • Max's parents praising him for placing in the League.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 2 (Chapters 248-249) 

  • Pikachu participates alongside Buneary in the Pokémon Dress-up contest, and decides that it'll be a date, much to Buneary's joy.
  • Mawile decides not to participate in the gym battle against Gardenia, because she doesn't want to pressure Tyrunt in accepting her opinion of fun battling.

     The Rise of Darkrai (250) 

  • Mawile reassuring Tyrunt that it's okay to be scared when things are dangerous. Infernape comments that he wishes she was there to tell him that the last time around.
  • Darkrai telling Alice that he's honored to be compared to her friend Tonio.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 3 (Chapters 251-263) 

  • Ash and Dawn thanking their Pokémon for jumping into danger against two Legendaries, knowing they could be trapped. Ivysaur's response says it all.
    Ivysaur: Ash, you've been a great trainer... and you're a great person - but you've taught us all how to be brave Pokémon, by example.
  • Kari getting used to being a Honedge now, by interacting with all of Ash's team.
    • And later she spends some time back in the Togepi Kingdom to get used to the kingdom that she had sworn fealty to, and had changed so much.
  • Casey adding Zapdos to her team.
  • Mawile helping Tyrantrum get used to his new size, especially since the poor thing was already disoriented enough from being revived.
    • When asked, Tyranitar and Goodra don't have a problem with Mawile spending so much time with Tyrantrum, since they know how much he needs the help right now.
    • And why else is Tyrantrum so upset? He really wants to stay with Mawile, but since he's evolved, he's too big to travel along with Ash and Co. as an uncaptured Pokémon, it'd be unfair to keep Mawile at the ranch, and he's unsure of being one of Ash's Pokémon since he both dislikes battling and doesn't want to be the only one of his roster that isn't a battler. Then Ash has a crazy solution: have Tyrantrum be Mawile's Pokémon!
  • After Dawn's recent failure to get past the appeal round of a contest and some taunting from Ursula, Pikachu helps cheer Buneary up by teaching her his Magnet Rise levitation trick... which turns into an ice-skating date.
  • Even if Maylene's Lucario may have made a mistake in thinking that Maylene could do things with enough training that no normal person could actually do, and pushing her way beyond her limits because of it, he's still got a strong-enough bond with her that she can Mega-Evolve him.
    • Later, Dawn suggests that he help Maylene communicate with her Pokémon using the Aura she was already unconsciously using.
  • Pikachu cheering for Buneary after she successfully wins a Contest Battle with his training.

     Giratina and the Sky Warrior (264-267) 

  • Mawile being her usual Nice Girl self, for both trying to comfort a very upset Shaymin when no-one seems to listen to her, and telling her that she's not being very nice for just wanting everyone to say she's right instead of actually solving the problem.
    • And once she realizes that, Shaymin decides to make amends by accompanying Ash into the Reverse World.
  • A bit of Villainous Valor, but Zero truly cares for his Artificial Intelligence companion Infi, asking if she's alright splitting her attention between his two crafts, and her being worried for him whenever he takes a hit.
  • It's extremely heartening to see everyone who is called to help doing their part, be they the Nurse Joys who work in a medical zone, or Pokémon who dive into fires or put themselves in the path of avalanches to rescue those who are trapped.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 4 (268-283) 

  • During a battle against a Delcatty with Cute Charm, Buneary continually looks into the stands at Pikachu to keep from getting distracted.
  • While Ash is still trying to process being shot at, Cynthia asks what he would do if one of his Pokémon had a life-threatening incident and was upset, and Ash says that he'd give them a hug. Charizard obliges, since he's the biggest one here that has arms.
  • When competing in the Chocovine Contest, Dawn advances to the finals and ends up facing Zoey. During the match, Dawn is stricken with memories of the Shadow Zoroark, and Zoey beats her. Afterwards, Zoey talks with Dawn about what happened and reassures her that it's not her fault. When Ursula shows up to heckle Dawn, Zoey defends Dawn, shutting down her claims of Dawn being a terrible coordinator.
  • The second time Mawile Mega Evolved, Ash focused on how she was growing up, showing an interest in becoming a researcher, and it made Ash a little sad... But only in the way he knew his mother felt about him, a sadness born from a deep, proud love.

     Arceus and the Jewel of Life (284-287) 

  • When Mewtwo informs Arceus that he was created by humans, Arceus comments that humanity has surprised Him; they have done an excellent job in creating Mewtwo.
  • Sheena reaffirming Damos's doubts that his act to return the Jewel of Life to Arceus even though it could possibly spell Michina's downfall is the right one, as she has seen the future for herself. And Arceus informing His loyal servant that his fears are unfounded; Michina will remain fertile.
  • Ash reassuring Mewtwo when they witness a Bad Future where Mewtwo's genocidal plan had succeeded, and what could have been if he hadn't met Ash.
  • Sheena giving Kevin a hug on their final return to the present, on account of all she had seen.
  • And after seeing Gary lament on something going wrong while watching a desecrated Earth from humanity's moon refuge in a Bad Future, it's heartening to see him again in the real present, alive and well.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 5 (288-291) 

  • The Rotom travelling with the group talking to Dragon of the PoryDozen about his agoraphobia, and how he wants to overcome it.
  • Charizard returning to his and Charla's home, and apparently he hadn't seen her for almost a month from his perspective, having to teach the ancestral Charizards about Blast Burn.
  • Ash calling his mum to tell her what had happened, and just to reassure himself that she's alright, after all the timelines where she probably wasn't.
  • The Shiny Entei gets flashes of the timeline where his wife and son were not dreamed up by Molly, and he abandons his job and runs all the way home from Hoenn to reassure himself that his family is alright. His relief when he sees them again is smile-worthy.

     Battle Finale of Legend (292-295) 

  • The reactions to Ash's temporary death makes it incredibly clear how beloved he is by his friends and pokemon.
  • The 'mon pile Ash finds himself under after Team Galactic is finally dealt with.
  • Riolu!Aaron getting glomped by his old friend.

     Sinnoh's Gym Challenge part 6 (296-298) 

  • Arceus thanking Molly and her Eevee/Sylveon for causing the Fairy type to be created, which helped immensely in stopping Cyrus and his brainwashed Dragons and thus kept him from unmaking reality for good.
    Arceus: So yes, Molly Hale. Thank you, for your creation has saved mine—and I do love it so.
  • Mawile finally calls Ash, her father figure, "Dad." They later talk about it and he accepts his role as a dad, since he's already doing everything he should do, and all that changes is the name.

     Sinnoh Grand Festival (299-300) 

  • After Zoey and Jessie tie in the festival finals and are both given the trophy, Zoey invites Dawn up to share the glory, since she tied with Zoey in their semi-final match, a clear sign to show that all three coordinators are so evenly matched that they all deserve the win.
  • Mewtwo is talking to engineer about building a telescope half the size of the sun so he can view other planets.
    Engineer: You don’t think small, do you?
    Mewtwo: Once I did. Then I met someone who showed me differently.
  • In a meta sense, Porygon. After its introductary episode, it was never seen in the anime again due to real life events. In the new timeline, Ash and friends made sure that the Porygon species would not be forgoten thanks to Dexter and his offspring. Porygon are now a lot more common, and even Volkner now has one named Minvera to help him track and regulate Sunyshore's energy grid!
    • The fact that all Porygon introduced in fic have their own names and are seen as intelligent beings and not artificial servants.
  • The fact that it's implied that Volkner never got into his canon slump due to Ash and Pikachu inspiring him, meaning he never had his fight with Flint.

     Lily of the Valley Conference (301-304) 
  • Just how did Tobias manage to win the respect of and recruit at least four legedary pokemon? For three of them, he saved their lives.