Abnormal Ball 3: Casual Acquaintance

(Cubed Cinder; idea by gamdann)

NOTE from author: This story takes place before Season 7 (Pokémon Advanced Challenge), which explains why Misty hadn't been to Hoenn yet.

On the outskirts of Dewford Town, which was well known for its sandy beaches, May and Max were watching their two new friends, Ash and Brock, board one of the small cruise ships.
"You sure you won't be gone long?" May asked.
"Don't worry, May... it's only a special meeting for members of the Pokémon League! We should only be gone for about three days." Ash said. Indeed, he and Brock had been invited to some special meeting that is held for members of the Pokémon League. Of course, Brock has been a member for years thanks to his former status as Kanto's Pewter City Gym Leader. And Ash was invited thanks to his good finishes in many of the different Pokémon League tournaments, including the Johto league most recently.
"Yeah. Luckily for us it isn't far from here!" Brock said.
"Why can't I come with you guys!? Anything's better than being stuck here with May." Max said.
"Hey, I heard that!" May said before she bonked her little brother on the head. Ash and Brock, along with Pikachu, just smiled.
"Well, I heard they don't allow special guests unless they're also part of the Pokémon League membership program." Brock said.
"Yeah, but like I said, we'll be back before you know it!" Ash said. The ship then started to set sail for the open seas.
"Bye guys! Don't forget to call when you get there!" May said as she and Max waved our group of heroes off. Once they were gone, May glanced down at Max.
"Now what were you saying about being stuck with me?" May said.
"Uh... well... I'll meet you in the Route 107 Forest!" Max shouted as he took off running.
"Hey! You come back here, little brother!" May shouted as she followed suit.

In said forest on Route 107, there was nothing but the cries of many different kinds of Pokémon... well, except for one cry. That came from Misty (in her new outfit) as she was running away from a small group of Spinarak that had decided to follow her until they tired out. Misty was all by herself in this forest, having left Togepi under the protective (?) care of her sisters. It was uncertain what Misty was doing in this forest, let alone in the Hoenn region, in the first place. Nevertheless, she took some deep breaths and felt relieved to be away from the bug Pokémon.
"(sigh) Why do bug Pokémon even exist!? I can't stand them from top to bottom of my body!" Misty shouted. As she continued her trek into the forest, she seemed to be looking for something.
"Now where I am going to find a decent water Pokémon for sisters' birthdays?" Misty said. A few more minutes of walking would bring her to a small pond. That's where she spotted many different water Pokémon swimming around, including one of her favorites, a Marill.
"Oh? A Marill! They're sooooooo cute!!!" Misty said. The Marill that had hopped out of the pond looked over and saw Misty, and it immediately started to run away, but Misty was determined not to let her sisters' birthday present get away. She quickly pulled out one of her Pokéballs.
"Oh no you don't! I choose you, Corsola!" Misty shouted as she threw the ball and out came one of her most favorite Pokémon, Corsola.
"Corsola, Spike Cannon now!" Misty shouted. Corsola followed its master trainer's orders and indeed shot spikes out from the top of its body. They all struck Marill as it fainted down to the ground. It clearly wasn't as experienced as Misty's Corsola was, and that definitely played in Misty's favor.
After returning Corsola to its Pokéball, Misty then reached for her belt and pulled out one of the more unusual looking Pokéballs you will ever see, though that's because it was eerily designed much like a Safari Ball.
"If I'm gonna capture get this birthday present, I'll have to use one of my special Pokéballs that I found inside one of the Pokémon Centers!" Misty said. Indeed, she had somehow retrieved the infamous Abnormal Ball from one of the Pokémon Centers in Hoenn before it could be disposed of. This was the same weird Pokéball that had made news all over Hoenn of people getting shrunken by getting in contact with this ball. Of course, she had no idea of this... yet anyway.

Max and May were still chasing each other, however, like little children having a field day. They had been scaring many of the Pokémon away as they were running and also shouting at each other.
"I'll teach you some manners for making fun of me!" May shouted.
"Nah nah nah! You gotta catch me first!" Max shouted. Their chasing game was getting so intense, nobody was watching where they were going. In fact, they were running right into Misty's warpath to capturing a Marill. Misty was winding up her throw of her new Pokéball, which we knew as the Abnormal Ball.
"Pokéball, go!!!" Misty shouted. As soon as she threw it, she looked to see May and Max running right in the ball's path.
"Hey! Watch out!!!" Misty shouted. By the time May and Max finally looked, the Abnormal Ball literally smacked May right in her face. The ball hovered in the air as it opened up and zapped May inside!
"What the... what's happening to me!?" May shouted as she was being zapped. Before Max could wonder what happened, the ball, after having bounced off May's head, fell down on his head and zapped him too! The ball finally fell down to the ground and bounced a couple of times on the thick grass of the forest.
Misty was simply stunned over seeing what happened. It was only a few seconds ago when she was warning the two to stay out of the ball's path, but now either her eyes were deceiving her, or she just watched May and Max got zapped into a device that's normally used to capture and keep Pokémon! She hadn't even noticed the Marill running away, she was that stunned. Finally she mustered the energy to slowly walk towards the Pokéball.
"Okay... this is new to me." Misty said. After reaching down and picking up the ball, Misty looked at it for a short bit of time before turning the ball so that the front of it was facing away from her. That's because she was about to open up the ball and could only wonder what could happen when that ball opened. She pressed the button on the front of the ball and lightly closed her eyes as the ball opened, but nothing happened. Finally she slowly turned the ball around so she could look inside it herself, and that's when she gasped again.

Inside was May and Max, and they looked to be only six inches tall at Misty's best guess. They both looked unconscious, but Misty watched as May was slowly starting to get up.

May was the first to wake up. She was only looking to the side where Max was still laying down. May crawled over to her brother.
"Max! Max! Come on, wake up!" May said. After shaking his body a few times, Max finally woke up and faced her sister.
"Ugh... what happened? I feel like I just got shot by a laser!" Max said.
"I know, it felt that way to me also. Where do you suppose we are?" May said. Max was looking in every direction until he finally looked forward and just stopped. Then he looked up. Way up... at Misty's huge face, since Misty was holding the Pokéball at chest level.
"Uh... May. I think we're shrunk and inside the Pokéball." Max said.
"Huh? What are you..." May said. She took one look at the giant Misty and screamed. Misty quickly reacted to calm them down.

"Wait... please! Please stop screaming! I promise I won't hurt you! I'm kinda shocked myself!" Misty said. Max just had to grip onto May for his dear life as he nearly buried his head into her chest. May of course just wanted answers.
"What... what did you do to us!?" May shouted.
"Lady, you have to believe me, it wasn't me! There's something odd about this Pokéball." Misty said. Max took his head out of May's chest as soon as he heard that.
"Wait, did you say Pokéball?" Max said, "Can you let us look at it?"
"Well, sure... I guess I can do that." Misty said. She kneeled down and placed the ball on the grass, allowing May and Max to safely hop off the ball and into the grass. After slightly being intimidated over how much bigger Misty looks from ground level, Max walked over to the side of the Pokéball and immediately realized why he and May had shrunk.
"Oh no... not this Pokéball again!" Max said.
"Huh? Isn't this the one that Ash was shrunk by a little while back?" May said. Misty's ears perked right up upon hearing the word 'Ash.' She got down on all fours and leaned in on May, scaring the shrunken girl as she turned around to face her.
"Ash? Did you say Ash!?" Misty shouted.
"Well... yes I did." May said.
"Do you know him!? Where is he? Is he around here!?" Misty shouted, sounding very much determined to the point where May was just plain scared to look at the giantess.
"Hey, take it easy up there! Ash and Brock had to go somewhere to be at some special Pokémon League meeting. That's all I know!" May shouted. Misty quickly realized how scared May looked and decided to back off a bit. She was back to a kneeling position.

"I'm sorry. It's just... it's just I once knew him well. How come you two were traveling with him?" Misty asked.
"Well, we kinda met by accident. He trashed my bike while we were rescuing his Pikachu." May said. Misty just smiled.
"Oh that Ash... it seems he's always breaking bikes to get the girl to follow him." Misty said.
"Huh? You mean..." May said.
"That's how we met. And we were together for so long... I'm just so surprised he would find another girl this soon." Misty said.
"Whoa... wait a minute, it's not like we're dating or anything!" May said, waving her hands rapidly to make sure Misty gets her point. Max, on the other hand, wanted to get out of this mess of being shrunken as soon as possible.
"Okay, this is all dandy I'm sure... but shouldn't we be figuring out how we're going to get back to normal size!?" Max shouted. Misty then had a smirk on her face.
"Actually, I'm kinda starting to like seeing you two this tiny, especially since you know Ash so well." Misty said before she decided to pick them up again and hold them in the palm of her right hand.
"I think I'll have some fun with you two. It's been boring ever since Ash left my life." Misty said with a smile, though this smile was definitely more of a playful type than the evil, demented one. Still, the six-inch-tall May and Max looked up nervously at the giantess.
"Oh boy... this could be a long day." May said. Misty, meanwhile, pondered what she could do next.

As Misty was taking a few steps around in circles, wondering what to do with the tiny May and Max that she continued to hold in her hand (the Abnormal Ball was clipped to her belt for the time being), she could feel her feet pounding in slight pain. She definitely felt she had been walking around a whole lot ever since arriving in this forest. Finally she found a stump and sat down on it, kicking off her shoes and then taking off her socks, leaving her in her bare feet.
"Ahhhh... that feels much better. My feet could use some rest after all the walking around I've done." Misty said.
"Well, that's nice... but when are you going to return us to normal size!? If you knew how to do it anyway..." May said.
"I don't know... you two kinda remind me of the little toys my sisters used to always take from me, and this before I got into water Pokémon training!" Misty said.
"Great, if there's one thing I hate more than being stuck with her, it's being called a little toy!" Max said.
"Hey, speak for yourself, goggle eyes!" May said out of frustration.
"Now then, little children!" Misty said, who couldn't help but giggle a bit over what she said, "You better behave or I'll have to spank you!" She didn't spank them, but instead she poked the both of them in the stomachs, knocking them down to their behinds. She then looked down by her feet.
"So what are your names? I'm Misty, the Cerulean City Gym Leader." Misty said.
"Well, I'm May, and this is my little brother, Max. We're originally from Petalburg City." May said.
"I see... hey, I got a better idea. I could use a good massage." Misty said. She lowered her hand down to her feet and tilted it just enough for May to lose her balance and fall onto Misty's toes. Right away May was picking up the filthy scent of Misty's bare feet, having been locked up in her shoes and socks for such a long time. May tried to sweep the smell away with her hands, but it was just too brutal.
"Go ahead, start massaging!" Misty shouted from above. With no other choice, May started to rub away at the skin of Misty's toes, trying her best not to let the smell of her feet knock her unconscious. As Misty could feel her toes being gently massaged, she then laid flat on her back and pulled her shirt just a little bit back before placing Max on the skin of her belly. The cool skin made Max jump around a bit before he finally settled down. All of this touching was making Misty feel very good as she lightly sighed out of comfort.
"Mmmmm... this feels great. It's like getting a free massage!" Misty said. She then twirled her finger around her belly until she was able to touch Max on the head. Then she continually patted him on the head, causing him to fall face first into her skin and not able to get up.
"Hey! Can't you go easy on the patting!?" Max shouted. Misty was able to pick up on that somehow.
"I can't help it... I just can't resist getting free comfort from your itty bitty self on me." Misty said. She then wrapped her fingers around Max and lifted him up again. This time Misty kept a firm grip on the shrunken boy and began to cuddle him against her face.
"You're just the cutest thing ever!" Misty said.

May, still stuck massaging Misty's feet, couldn't help but get a bad feeling judging by what Misty was saying.
"That's my brother she's messing with... nobody picks on Max but me!" May shouted. She just had to get up there and make sure this giantess knew who she was dealing with. So with that, May jumped on top of Misty's feet and grabbed a hold of her flesh and bones. May slowly climbed her way up until making it to the very bottom of Misty's yellow shorts. From there, May watched as Misty cuddled up Max as best as she could. May walked a little further, up to the giantess's chest in fact, and raised her voice for Misty to hear.
"Hey! You leave my little brother alone!" May shouted. Misty then picked up on that voice and picked herself up to a sitting position. Of course, this took May by surprise as she collapsed back down to Misty's legs. Picking herself up, May could only look up and see Misty's huge face staring right down at her.
"Gee, sorry... I had no idea you cared for this boy so much." Misty said.
"Well... he may be a jerk but he is still my little brother. He needs me to look up to." May said.
"I thought you said I looked up to Ash more often!" Max shouted.
"Look, any friend of Ash Ketchum is a friend of mine too!" Misty said. She reached down and picked up May, holding the two in the same hand once more.
"Listen, could you two do me a favor?" Misty asked. Max and May looked at each other, wondering what the heck Misty had in mind.
"I guess we could. Anything to help you." Max said.
"Yeah, well... my feet are still tired. I need to rest just a tiny bit longer. Do you two think you can find some berries for my Pokémon?" Misty said.
"Huh? How are we supposed to get berries as small as we are?" May said.
"Oh, I'm sure you'll think of something, like Ash always does! Besides, I think I saw a bush full of them not too far from here." Misty said. She made a 90-degree turn to the right and gently dropped off the shrunken duo onto the grassy grounds. The two just looked up at Misty sitting on the stump with a smile on her face.
"I'll be here when you get back!" Misty said as she laid back on the stump once more. May and Max finally got going after staring at the giantess for a few seconds.
"Sheesh... I hope she didn't treat Ash like us by making us do her dirty work." May said.
"Oh come on. I've seen all those old movies where the big girl always makes the guy do what she wants. It's never pretty." Max said.
"You're probably right. Well, let's go find those berries." May said as the two walked several yards into the bushes, which as small as they are would turn out to be a forest in itself.

A few minutes had passed, and the miniature May and Max were fighting their way through the shrubbery like it were a dense forest.
"Someone oughta trim these hedges. They're as big as we are!" May said.
"Uh... newsflash, May! The reason these bushes are so big is because we're so tiny. Remember!?" Max said, clearly frustrated that May had another one of her memory lapses.
"Oh... right, sorry!" May said. Finally they made their way to the other side of the bushes and into the open area again. Max looked back at the bushes one more time and saw that's where the berries were.
"Look, there are the berries!" Max said.
"Yeah, you're right, but look how high in the air they are. How are we going to reach them?" May said. Max was trying to think of an idea when he suddenly glanced down at May's belt and saw her Pokéballs attached to her belt.
"Hey! Why don't you use your Pokémon?" Max said. May looked down to see the balls as well.
"You're right! I guess it's a good thing my Pokémon shrunk with me!" May said.
"So don't just stand there! Pick a Pokémon that will pick a pair of perries!" Max said. May gave a confused look to her brother.
"Honestly, this isn't the best time for alliteration. And that completely stunk anyways!" May said as she pulled out a Pokéball from her belt.
"Sorry..." Max said, for once taking responsibility for his verbal blunder. May threw the chosen Pokéball into the air.
"Beautifly! I choose you!" May shouted as Beautifly came flying out of its ball. The Pokémon, obviously shrunken along with May, flew in front of its trainer and awaited orders.
"Alright, Beautifly, get us those berries up there!" May shouted. Beautifly nodded, calling out its name in response as it flew up and got to work pecking the many berries off the bushes.

Eventually, there were about six berries laying on the ground. Being only six inches tall, May and Max just barely towered over the fully grown berries. They certainly weren't big enough to carry them with two hands, let along one hand like if they were normal-sized. Having done its job, May called Beautifly back into its Pokéball.
"Return, Beautifly!" May said.
"Well, we got the berries for Misty. I guess we just roll them back to her." Max said.
"Seems like a good idea to me. I doubt even Combusken could lift these things!" May said. Before Max could start to push his set of berries, however, he was looking around himself listening to the sound of grass rustling about. Finally, he looked behind and gasped.
"Uh... May, I think pushing berries is the least of our problems." Max said.
"What do you mean?" May said. Max walked over to May and pointed back to the problem he was talking about. A giant Caterpie was slowly crawling their way!
"Eeeeek!! A Caterpie!" May said.
"Yeah... what a time to be shrunken like this!" Max said. Indeed, with a normal Caterpie being just over a foot in length, and the two kids only six inches tall, the Caterpie certainly looked big to their eyes. May and Max, too stunned to even move, just looked as the Caterpie crawled almost right up to them and looked first at them and then at the batch of berries.
"What do you suppose that thing wants with us?" May asked.
"If I know Caterpie from studying them a lot, they're probably upset because we were taking their berries." Max said.
"How can that be!? Usually Caterpie just run away when they see people grabbing their berries!" May said.
"Yeah... but we're tiny people!" Max shouted.
"Oh... yeah. That makes sense." May said, once again slapping her head to try and set her memory straight. Finally, after the Caterpie gave an unusually mean look at the tiny kids, it crawled backwards and let out a small cry and even spat some string shot eastward and westward. Suddenly, a whole group of other bug Pokémon, such as Spinarak, Ninjask, and even Volbeat joined the lone Caterpie in surrounding May and Max.
"Now what... May?" Max said.
"Huh? What are you asking me for!?" May shouted.
"You're the older sister! Can't you get us out of this jam!?" Max said.
"Oh yeah... I've got a plan. How about we RUN!!!!!!!" May shouted as she and Max took off running away from the bushes, screaming for their lives. The bug Pokémon naturally followed them in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Misty was relaxing on the stump after putting her shoes back on and checking on her Pokédex.
"I wonder what kinds of new Pokémon I'll find here..." Misty said. She could then pick up the faint sounds of screaming, so she looked behind her, and indeed she looked over the bush and could see Max and May running for their frantic lives! When she looked to see what they were running from and it was nothing but bug Pokémon, every nerve in her body started to shake. The one thing she could not stand at all was bug Pokémon.
"B...b...b...b...bugs!!!" Misty said. Nevertheless, she slowly walked up to these bug Pokémon, who had stopped their trek upon cornering the shrunken May and Max to a tree. The shrunken two, meanwhile, were grasping one another.
"May... I just want you to know that you have been the best sister I've ever had!" Max shouted.
"Gee, thanks for the compliment." May said. Then she looked beyond the bug Pokémon and beyond the bushes to see Misty show up.
"Misty! Help us!" May shouted. Misty at first slowly approached the shrunken duo, but when some of the bug Pokémon turned around and looked up at Misty, she yelped and backed away.
"Eeeeeek! I hate bugs!!!" Misty said. She looked nervously down at the bug Pokémon, but then looked back at May and Max who were holding onto each other against the tree. Misty shook her head. She couldn't abandon her new friends, not like this! That's when she took a deep breath
"I'll protect the two of you! Starmie, I choose you!" Misty shouted. She pulled out one of her Pokéballs and threw it in the air, causing Starmie to come out. Starmie landed on the ground right in front of the many different bug Pokémon.
"Starmie! Use water gun to sweep away those bugs!" Misty shouted. Starmie then shot a steady stream of water from the top of its head, hitting all of the bug Pokémon and sweeping them away from herself and the tree where May and Max had been standing. The bug Pokémon, obviously freightened from the sudden attack, scampered away to the safety of the forest depths.

Misty returned Starmie to its Pokéball and then walked up to May and Max, kneeling down right in front of the two.
"Are you two okay?" Misty said.
"Yeah... we're fine! I guess it's not everyday you come this close to being bug Pokémon food." May said.
"Well, I'm just glad you weren't hurt." Misty said. She then lowered her right hand and allowed May and Max to walk onto it. Misty then stood back up to her full height.
"So I guess you couldn't find those berries?" Misty asked.
"Oh we found them, it's just those Pokemon tried to keep us from having them." Max said.
"That's true. They should be over there." May said, pointing over to one of the nearby bushes. Indeed, the berries that the duo had picked earlier were laying on the ground next to those bushes. Misty walked up to these berries and used her free hand to pick them up. May just sighed over seeing how easy it was for the normal-sized Misty. Max picked up on her frustration and whispered something in her ear.
"Listen, maybe tonight when Misty is asleep, I can find out how to reverse the effects of that Pokéball." Max said.
"You can really do that?" May said.
"Sure... I studied how a Pokéball works for a long time, you know." Max said.
"I wish you could do it sooner... I'm tired of being six inches tall!" May said. Finally, the two were looking at Misty's huge face.
"Say, I have an idea! You two must be dirty from going bushwhacking and running from creepy little bugs. Maybe you can use a bath!" Misty said. May and Max looked at each other before looking up at Misty.
"That's great... but where are we gonna find a shower for six-inch-high people like us?" Max asked.
"I've got just the place! There's this great pond I found elsewhere in the forest..." Misty said. She then closed up her right hand so that May or Max wouldn't fall out, and then she started walking for this pond.

A short while later, Misty came across the small pond that she had talked about with May and Max. It was indeed small... there wasn't a single water Pokemon to be found swimming around. But this was perfect for Misty as there wouldn't be anything to bother May and Max. They deserved the break after risking their lives for a few measly berries that Misty now feels she would've been better off getting herself. Misty got down on her knees and held her hand a few feet over the pond.
"Okay, you two. Dive in!" Misty shouted.
"Wait a minute! These are my best clothes! I don't want to get them wet!" Max said.
"Yeah... I can't go swimming without my swimsuit." May said.
"No, you two deserve it. Now jump it before I make you... well, walk the plank!" Misty said. She held out a finger from her other hand and slowly brought it towards the two. May couldn't stand being poked again and quickly inched out to the edge of the hand she was standing on.
"Last one in is a rotten Exeggcute!" May said as she turned around and made a swan dive for the pond. Max saw May jump off and then looked to see Misty's fingernail close to him.
"Hey, wait for me!" Max shouted as he made a less-than-graceful dive after May. Both were now swimming around the pond while looking up at the giant Misty.

After several minutes of doing nothing but swim around and maybe play a quick water game or two with each other, May was clearly starting to feel tired. It must've been the night sky that was starting to settle in.
"(sigh) I think I've done enough relaxing swimming. Just look at my hair! It's all wrinkled!" May said. Misty looked up at the night sky.
"Hmmm... yeah, I think you guys have been swimming for long enough. And it is getting dark." Misty said.
"No kidding. At night is when a lot of the bug Pokemon come out." Max said. Misty's body shivered upon hearing Max say the words 'bug Pokemon.' But he was right, and that's why she wanted to finally get out of that forest once and for all. She dipped one of her hands in the water and allowed May and Max to swim onto it. May and Max's clothes were each dripping wet as they both tried to shake the water out.
"Man, this is a real drip." Max said.
"Max, your puns are still annoying." May said. Misty couldn't help but chuckle a little.
"You two remind me of my sisters. We're always fighting with each other." Misty said.
"Really?" May said.
"Yeah... they think I'm too big for their gym, when I'm the smallest of the four. But I'm glad I have them. My life would be pretty dull without them. So you should be glad you have each other." Misty said. May and Max looked at each other.
"Well, yeah. I think we do care for each other." May said.
"After all, you did stay by my side during the bug Pokemon attack." Max said. They smiled at each other before looking back up at Misty. Misty nodded as they agreed with her thoughts.
"Alright, let's go. I think the Pokemon Center in Dewford still has a room open." Misty said. She once again closed up her hand to protect her tiny friends as she began her trek for Dewford Town.

A few moments later, the moon shining over the quiet beaches of Dewford, Misty was walking towards the Pokemon Center and was about to go through the automatic sliding doors when she stopped in her tracks. Something just occurred to her... how is the Pokemon Center going to react to seeing two tiny people in her hands? That's when she came up with an idea.
"Hmmm... it wouldn't do a lot of good if people saw you two in my hands." Misty said.
"So what do you suggest?" May asked.
"You'll be safe in my hair." Misty said with a smile. She then quickly dropped both May and Max into her orange hair. The two got up and looked around to see nothing but Misty's orange hair around, and of course the skin of her head.
"Well, you have to admit... we've gone from one forest to another." Max said.
"Yeah. At least this one doesn't have any Pokemon." May said. She started to take a step, but after putting her right foot down, she suddenly slipped and landed against one of the strands. She put a hand on this strand of hair, and it too was very slippery. She could clearly see the oil on her gloved hands.
"Yuck! This is disgusting! When did this girl last take a bath!?" May said.
"What difference does it make? She spent a long time in that muggy forest outside of town. She probably worked herself into a frenzy before meeting us!" Max said.
"Yeah, sure. I'm sooooo taking a shower when we get back to normal size!" May said.
"Don't worry. Hopefully after tonight everything will be all better." Max said. May would just keep on trying to wipe the oil off herself until the time Misty arrived in her room.

While all this was going on, Misty finally walked inside and approached Nurse Joy at the counter.
"Hi! How can I help you today?" Joy asked. Misty handed Joy all of the Pokéballs on her belt, except of course for the Abnormal Ball.
"I'd like to have my Pokemon healed. I'd also like to have a room for the night." Misty said.
"Of course. Not a problem!" Joy said. It was fortunate that both of these services were free (as long as the trainer stayed for one night anyway) to accommodate the demanding needs of Pokemon trainers around the world. After the healing machine did its work on Misty's Pokemon, she was given her all her Pokéballs back as well as a key to her own private room upstairs.
"There's your key. Enjoy your stay!" Joy said. Misty just nodded as she made her way upstairs and quickly found her room. She unlocked the door using her key and entered, closing the door and sitting down on the bed. Then she tilted her head down and allowed the shrunken May and Max to fall onto her hand. She could see both of the kids slightly greased up, not realizing until now that her hair was a bit dirty from her long adventure in the forest today. She could even see May throwing aside what looked like a piece of dandruff that got stuck on her shirt.
"Oops... sorry. I guess I forgot my hair would be all sweaty from today's adventure." Misty said.
"No kidding! It makes me glad I'm always wearing this bandana." May said.
"No really, I'm sorry! I can let you two take a shower in the sink if you'd like!" Misty said.
"Forget it... we're used to getting a little dirt up our sleeves when we're adventuring with Ash and Brock!" Max said. Misty then placed the duo on a table that stood right next to the bed that she jumped onto. After kicking off her shoes and socks, she looked at the shrunken duo.
"So... tell me you two. Has Ash been real nice to the both of you?" Misty said.
"Yeah. He's been pretty helpful, I guess. He taught me much of what I know about Pokemon contests." May said.
"He's much cooler than I could ever imagine. I remember watching him in the Johto Pokemon League Championships a while back!" Max said. Misty was beginning to tuck herself into the bed.
"Well, that's good. I wish I could see him one more time. We had something special going..." Misty said, gazing up to the ceiling like there was a starry sky above. She then shook her head, not wanting May to know the true nature of her feelings so that it wouldn't cause any ill will.
"It's time for us to go to bed." Misty said.
"Wait, Misty! Can I play with that funny Pokéball that shrunk us earlier today?" Max asked.
"Well, I suppose you could. You can watch over all my water Pokemon even!" Misty said. Indeed, she unclipped all of the Pokéballs from her belt, including the Abnormal Ball, and laid them next to the shrunken duo, who it seemed were going to sleep (a bit uncomfortably) on the table.
"Good night..." Misty said before she turned the light off. The only light that remained on was a nightlight that was installed in every room for safety reasons.

A few minutes passed as May and Max watched as Misty drifted herself off to sleep, turning her head out to the window that let her see the stars. Once she was out of it, Max was ready to get to work.
"Okay, May, help me get this thing open!" Max said.
"If you insist! Combusken, I choose you!" May shouted, tossing up one of her Pokéballs into the air and revealing the star of her lineup, Combusken.
"Combusken! Use Peck attack on that ball!" May shouted. Combusken made a high leap into the air and pecked on the button of the Abnormal Ball, causing the ball to increase in size like any other Pokéball would. Combusken then hit the ball again, causing it to open up, and it then landed next to its trainer. Max climbed inside and inspected it before opening a very small panel full of wires.
"Max, you know what you're doing, right?" May asked.
"Of course! I didn't study furiously for nothing, and that even includes the insides of a Pokéball. Let's see... if these wires control the laser..." Max said. He started speaking to himself as he fiddled with the insides of the Abnormal Ball. May was impressed. She never really thought of her brother to be some Pokéball engineer. But it shouldn't have been surprising given he did all the studying in the world right up to the time she left her father's gym to start her own Pokemon journey.

In a process that seemed to take hours, despite it only taking an hour at the most, Max closed up the panel and then asked Combusken to help close the ball. May returned Combusken to her Pokéball and looked at the sweat-soaked Max.
"Heh, look at you. You look like you've been working out with a Hitmonchan!" May said.
"Hey, maybe I should've asked you to fix this thing!" Max said.
"No thanks... that's a boy's job, if you ask me. So, did you fix it?" May asked.
"I don't know. We'll only know if one of us gets zapped by the ball again." Max said. He didn't say anything more right afterwards, which was giving May a bad feeling.
"Wait a minute... why does it have to be me? Why can't you be the test subject?" May said.
"Don't look at me! I'm almost afraid to think what will happen when I get zapped by this thing again. We could shrink even smaller than we already are." Max said.
"Or we could grow back to our normal size. Fine fine... I'll take that risk." May said.
"Thanks, sis." Max said. May walked over to stand in front of the Abnormal Ball. Max was then looking around the ball, trying to figure out how to possibly turn it on.
"Y'know, these cures have been strange. First there was Ash sniffing that apricorn, and then that Joy able to care so much for Brock." May said.
"Yeah... whoever is crafting these weird people-shrinking Pokéballs knows what they're doing." Max said.
"You think someone is making these things on purpose?" May asked.
"Hey! Three times is no coincidence, if you think about it." Max said. Finally, he decided to give the ball a good kick. Although he slightly yelped from his foot pounding in pain, the ball started to vibrate a little before shooting out its red laser again.
"Here it comes!" Max said. The laser then hit May spot on. She could feel the electricity from the laser flowing through her body, but luckily this was a series of comforting shocks. May then smiled. It was the world around her getting smaller and not her.

Indeed, May started to grow again and at a rapid pace too. She had to leap off the small table as she was quickly running out of room to stand on. After safely landing on the floor, the laser blast finally evaporated from May's body. She looked at herself to see she was back to her normal size.
"Alright! It's great to be at least five feet tall instead of five inches tall!" May said. She then looked over at the table she used to stand on and saw the tiny Max waving up at her as he stood next to the Abnormal Ball.
"Hey, that's great and all! Now how about helping get me back to normal!?" Max shouted. May walked up to the table and couldn't help but grin happily from looking at the shrunken Max.
"I don't know... I kinda like having a really tiny brother." May said. Max could almost feel his heart sink down upon hearing that. May seriously wasn't going to keep him shrunken, was he?
"M...M...May! I hate being tiny!" Max shouted, having trouble finding the right words to say. May then let out a smile.
"No, you're right. It's no fun being so small." May said. She then picked Max and the ball up from the table and placed Max on the floor, right next to her feet. Luckily, Max wouldn't have to envision having a giant sister for long as May activated the ball, allowing the red laser to strike Max. He too returned to his normal size and breathed a big sigh of relief that this latest size-changing crisis was over. But there was still one problem.
"Wait... what about Misty? What is she going to think when she wakes up and sees us like this?" Max asked.
"We'll just tell her the truth. Your little handiwork with a Pokéball saved our skins, after all." May said.
"No... I mean she's got the only bed in the room." Max said. May looked around. Indeed, there was only one bed in the entire room and Misty was sleeping on it.
"Well... like Misty said, we'll just sleep elsewhere. Like on the floor!" May said as she got down on the floor and tried her best to drift off to sleep. Max felt like now wasn't the best time to argue given what they both had gone through the last several hours.

The next morning, Misty slowly woke up and turned her head to face the table. At first her heart jumped when she noticed May and Max were not there. It was when she looked down from the bed on the floor when she suddenly got mixed emotions again. She was relieved that May and Max were there, but then confused to see them at their normal size. She finally decided to wake them up by poking both of them in the back. May and Max slowly stirred themselves awake.
"(yawn) Mommy, I want a Teddiursa for my birthday..." May said before she snapped herself back to the real world. She looked up at Misty.
"Oh, Misty! Good morning!" May said.
"Yeah, good morning to you... but how...?" Misty said.
"Oh, well... Max has been studying a lot on Pokéballs lately." May said.
"Yep. It's amazing what a lot of studying will do when it comes to fixing abnormal Pokéballs!" Max said, who was also waking up. Misty just smiled.
"Well, I'm glad you two are back to your normal selves." Misty said. May and Max stood back up again, as did Misty. In fact, both gathered their things and started to walk out of the room they stayed in for the night.
"Say, Misty, if you don't mind... we'd like to keep this Pokéball." May said.
"Huh, how come?" Misty asked.
"Well, we don't think it's gonna be handy for catching Pokemon since I've... well, tampered with it." Max said.
"You're right. That is one crazy ball. I probably wouldn't want to use it anyway." Misty said. As the trio were walking down the hallway that would lead to the main room of the Pokemon Center, they heard some familiar voices.
"May! Max! We're back!" Ash shouted.
"Yeah... where are you?" Brock said. Misty gasped. She wasn't possibly ready to face Ash now!
"You guys go ahead. I'll catch up with you later! And PLEASE don't say anything about me to Ash!" Misty said.
"Well, okay then..." May said. She then went running back down the hallway and tried to find a place to hide. May and Max just shrugged their shoulders and continued their walk to the main room where they were reunited with Ash and Brock.

"Hey guys! You're back much earlier than expected!" May said.
"Yeah, the meeting wound up cancelled because not everyone was present." Ash said.
"I heard it was something about the Johto gym leaders shouting out in protest of the continued popularity of the Kanto gym leaders... but that's just gossip, really." Brock said.
"Yeah. I hope it isn't true. Some of those people were quite nice... like Clair." Ash said.
"Gee... that's too bad. We met this new person named..." Max said, but he got bumped in the head by May before he could spit out a name.
"What he means is we were helping out this trainer and we couldn't catch the name before she left." May said.
"Was she a nice person?" Brock said. May and Max looked at each other and then nodded back at their friends.
"Oh yes... very nice. She took real good care of us like we took care of her." Max said.
"Yeah... I hope we see her again!" May said.
"Well, me too! I'd like to meet this trainer and maybe have a battle with her!" Ash said.
"Hey, we should get going now. I think we should see what's going on in Slateport City today." Brock said.
"That's a great idea!" Max said.
"I'm all over that! They may even have a new contest there for my Combusken!" May said.
"Cool! Let's go, team!" Ash said as the four walked out of the Pokemon Center. As they were leaving, Misty was poking her head out from the hallway.
"Farewell, Ash Ketchum. Perhaps someday we will meet again." Misty said with a smile. She decided to stick around the Pokemon Center for a short while before she would eventually head back home to Cerulean City in Kanto.

May and Max were letting Ash and Brock get quite a few yards ahead of them as they were walking along the sandy beaches and then eventually onto the docks, where they waited for the next ship that would take them to Slateport. May was staring at the Abnormal Ball that she had gotten from Misty.
"So what did you want that thing for?" Max asked. May then dropped the ball down on the wooden dock and actually slammed her foot against it, breaking the ball apart to many tiny pieces.
"To make sure it never gets used again." May said. Max looked at what was left of the ball and then looked at May.
"Remind me never to upset you when I'm looking way up at you." Max said.
"Right you are." May said with a smile. The two finally rejoined Ash and Brock just as the ship arrived to take our group of heroes off the island of Dewford and onto their next destination.

Several minutes later, long after our heroes had departed from Dewford, the Meowth balloon was flying through the skies and then it landed just outside of Dewford Town. Jessie, James, and Meowth climbed out and headed for the docks.
"There it is!" Jessie said. They all arrived to find the Abnormal Ball, only to find it in a ton of pieces.
"You mean there it was... or there's a lot of it!" James said. Jessie just slapped James for another bad punch line of his.
"So what was it again?" James asked.
"The broken shards of our future. That's what I think!" Meowth said.
"Meowth's right. Ugh.... the boss is not going to like this one bit. This is his most prized invention." Jessie said as she picked up what looked like a small microchip.
"Well, at least the homing chip still worked for us to find it!" Meowth said.
"Even so... I doubt he's gonna like it when we tell him he has to build another one!" James said.
"His fourth one in fact. The Safari Zone destroyed the first one after those twerps discovered it. Some stupid scientists stole the second one that looked like a Heavy Ball that Kurt made, and now this one has been torn to shreds!" Jessie said.
"Who do you suppose is responsible, Jessie?" James asked.
"I'd bet all my nine lives those twerps had something to do with these balls disappearing from our hands!" Meowth said.
"I bet you're right... but next time, we gotta make sure we nail all of them!" Jessie said.
"Yes! The ultra secret Team Rocket Abnormal Ball project depends on us!" James shouted.
"Absolutely! So good luck to us all, right?" Meowth asked.
"Ugh... have some faith, Meowth... for once." Jessie said as the trio boarded the Meowth balloon, taking the lone microchip from the broken down third Abnormal Ball with them.

Clearly as long as Team Rocket was at least a little bit involved with these last three size-changing shenanigans, the Abnormal Ball would live perhaps another day...