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  1. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    Hello everybody, my name is jmoul18, and I am glad to now be a part of this community. This is my first post on this site, and what better way to start than with my best story from FanFiction.net. The full story is there if you want to read ahead, but I will be posting the chapters over a few weeks. Hope you all enjoy

    My policy with writing and posting stories is to always welcome constructive criticism.
    I'll steadily be adding a list for an index so people can skip to each chapter.
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6
    Chapter 7
    Chapter 8
    Chapter 9
    Chapter 10
    Chapter 11
    Chapter 12
    Chapter 13
    Chapter 14
    Chapter 15
    Chapter 16
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 18
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23
    Chapter 24
    Chapter 25
    Chapter 26
    Chapter 27
    Chapter 28
    Chapter 29
    Chapter 30
    Chapter 31
    Chapter 32
    Chapter 33
    Chapter 34
    Chapter 35
    Chapter 36
    Chapter 37
    Chapter 38
    Chapter 39
    Chapter 40
    Chapter 41
    Chapter 42
    Chapter 43
    Chapter 44
    Chapter 45
    Chapter 46
    Chapter 47
    Chapter 48
    Chapter 49
    Chapter 50
    Chapter 51
    Chapter 52
    Chapter 53
    Chapter 54
    Chapter 55
    Chapter 56
    Chapter 57
    Chapter 58
    Chapter 59
    Chapter 60

    A Momentous Change

    It was a beautiful day for Brendan Maple as he walked the streets of Goldenrod City in the Johto region. The sun was shining, and he was finally free of high school. While he wandered the streets he grew up on, the brown-haired eighteen year-old was lost in his thoughts, reflecting on his family and his life.

    His father, Norman, had insisted that Brendan go through all of school, rather than stopping at ten as most students did to become trainers. That was the route that Norman had taken, and the results were unquestionable. The man was a fantastic Pokémon trainer, and he had to be to maintain his status as the Goldenrod Gym Leader, and currently one of the strongest gym leaders of the Johto region. Norman was also completely obsessed with Pokémon, and their training. When he was home, Norman almost always talked about the gym, especially when there were challengers. Although Norman wanted Brendan to take over the Goldenrod gym one day, he never tried to force Brendan down any particular path, aside from education. Currently, since Brendan had no real interest in becoming a Gym Leader, Norman had been watching the trainers who trained in his gym, and he already had one in particular chosen if Brendan never changed his mind. That trainer was, in Brendan's opinion, an annoying girl who relied too heavily on one Pokémon and one strategy to win.

    His mother, Caroline, was a very kind-hearted woman, but she could be strict when she needed to be. And that was something Brendan knew all too well from the days when he was a bit too rebellious for his own good. While she was not quite on Norman's level, Caroline still loved Pokémon. She had never been much of a trainer when she was younger, but her Sylveon was a constant in the family's apartment. That Sylveon had watched over Brendan throughout his life, even occasionally walking with him both to and from school.

    When he was finished reminiscing about his family, Brendan started looking to the future. In about two weeks, he was scheduled to go to New Bark Town to get his first Pokémon so his journey could begin, and he already knew what Pokémon he was going to choose. He was planning on choosing a Totodile, then developing his team as he went. He then planned to travel both the Johto and Kanto regions, and collect all of the gym badges from both regions and then, when that was over, he and his Pokémon would challenge the Elite Four and, hopefully become Champion.

    Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Brendan was shaken from his stupor as his cell phone rang in his pocket. He pulled it out and saw that was Norman calling. "Strange," he thought, "Dad never calls unless it's about something important." So he answered the call.

    "Hey Dad, what's going on?" Brendan said in a cheerful voice.

    "Brendan, would you mind coming home? Your mother and I need to talk to you about something in person," Norman said in a serious voice.

    "Sure," Brendan said, slightly concerned by his father's tone of voice. "I'm by the department store, so I'll be home as soon as I can."

    "Alright, I will see you when you get here," Norman said as he hung up. Brendan did the same and began to make his way through the winding city. Luckily, he could navigate Goldenrod City in his sleep, so the walk was not a long one. Along the way, he saw a few people having Pokémon battles, and a few others outside beautiful restaurants.

    Brendan got to the apartment and was about to open the door when he heard his mom and dad talking inside. He pressed his ear to the door and listened, hoping to get a hint about what was going on.

    "So, what are you going to do about the gym?" Caroline said.

    "I suppose that it will need to go to Whitney, honestly, this would be a major step up for the family," Norman said. "But still, I'm not sure how Brendan's going to react. He's been so excited about finally starting his journey, and he already seemed to have planned everything out."

    "He’s a strong kid, he should be fine," Caroline said with a sigh. "Besides, Hoenn is a tropical region, and the Pokémon there are pretty exotic compared to what we have in Johto."

    Brendan couldn't wait any longer. He had figured out what was happening, but he needed to hear it from his parents. He opened the apartment door and entered, seeing both his parents sitting at the kitchen table, looking solemn. Before he got too far, however, Sylveon came running up to him, greeting Brendan.

    "Hey Sylveon. I missed you too," Brendan said with a chuckle, petting Sylveon's back while scratching her under the chin, which earned a happy mewling from the Pokémon.

    "Brendan," Norman said. "Thanks for coming home so quickly."

    "No problem," Brendan said, hiding his anger at the situation. "So, what is this all about?"

    "Well, I got a call from the Pokémon League and they need a new gym leader in Petalburg City in the Hoenn region. They asked me to fill the position," Norman said.

    "And you said yes…" Brendan said, not too enthusiastically.

    Norman sighed deeply. "You heard the last part of our conversation?" Brendan just nodded in response. " I'm sorry that this had to happen right before you were supposed to leave for your journey."

    "It's alright, I can start my journey in Hoenn," Brendan said.

    Norman sat quietly for a little bit. "Thanks for being okay with it. If it makes you feel any better, I already spoke with the local professor, Birch. He said he'd be more than happy to provide you with your first Pokémon. We are going to be leaving in about a week's time. The Pokémon League in Hoenn will be in charge of the entire moving process."

    Brendan just nodded. "Alright. If you don't mind, I am going to go for a walk for a while," he said.

    "Alright, take all the time you need, just stay out of trouble," Caroline said.

    Brendan nodded with a slight smile to reassure his mother, although he was trying to hold back his anger and frustration at this whole situation. His plans for his journey were gone, and there was no way for him to make his plan for Hoenn so quickly.

    "Well, I guess I'll just have to wing it on my journey," he said in a depressed tone. "I guess…this is a good opportunity for a fresh start. Who knows, I could make some amazing friends and raise strong Pokémon that most people in Johto haven’t seen before." Just as he said that, Brendan looked up and saw that he was walking past a Kantoan Eagle outlet store. It was supposed to have really good clothes for Pokémon trainers, so Brendan decided to check it out. He decided he’d need a new look to go along with the new region he was moving to.

    "Hey, how can I help you?" the clerk, whose nametag said Lana, asked.

    "I'm going for a new outfit for my journey, but I will be going to the Hoenn region. So, not the typical gear for Johto," Brendan said.

    "Hmm…we have a few sets," Lana said. "Considering you're going to Hoenn, I think we have the perfect one for you, and in your size. I’ll go get it for you." A few minutes later, Brendan was in the dressing room, and he had to admit that the stylist really picked out the perfect outfit for him. The top was a mostly red short-sleeve shirt with two black stripes on the front, and a black collar and shoulders. The pants came down to about mid-calf, and looked like black bike shorts with grey pockets and leg cuffs. He was also wearing a green backpack that slung over his right shoulder and crossed his torso to his left hip. The shoes were stylish as well, being all white with green soles and a green strap. There was, however, one thing that Brendan thought was missing. He took the outfit off, redressed, then he came out of the dressing room, he had all of the clothes folded neatly.

    "Alright, this outfit is almost perfect. I just need a hat to go with it," he said.

    "Sounds good, I’ll take these to the register while you look," Lana said.

    "Thanks Lana," Brendan said as he went over to the hat rack. He was browsing for a while before he noticed the one that went with his outfit perfectly. It was a white beanie with a black band at the bottom. That band had an orange, half-Pokéball design at the front. This was the hat for him.

    "I think that this should be everything," Brendan said as he approached the check-out desk.

    "I like your choice," Lana said as she scanned the hat and totaled the transaction. "Your total is five-hundred PokéDollars." Brendan paid and was soon on his way. As he left, he let his thoughts wander, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have a change of scenery. Besides, half the fun of being on a journey is the unpredictability.


    The next week, Norman left for the Hoenn region. He had to go in person to close on the new house, and he needed to get settled at his gym. In the apartment, there were Machoke and Alakazam placing the Maple family's belongings into boxes then teleporting them to the moving van outside their building. Brendan was doing his best to stay out of their way, but he hadn't been doing such a good job of that. So, he decided to wait in the lounge for the crew to finish, Sylveon curled up on his lap, sound asleep.

    "Hey, Brendan," Caroline said as she came up from the lobby, sounding tired. She was holding a pizza from Growlithe's Pizzeria. "I got us dinner, and it looks like the movers just finished with everything. Let's go eat."

    "Thanks, Mom," Brendan said with a slight smile as he went into the apartment, Sylveon close on his heels, and the apartment was almost completely empty now, and the mover's Pokémon were just teleporting to the truck with the last box. Since Brendan and Caroline had no kitchen table to eat at, they simply stood at the counter.

    "By the way, I've been wondering something," Caroline said.

    "What?" Brendan asked as he finished his slice of pepperoni pizza.

    "What did you buy when you went for that walk last week?" she asked. "I remember you had a bag from Kantoan Eagle when you came home, but I haven't seen you in any new clothes."

    Brendan chuckled. "It's the outfit I'll be wearing on my journey."

    "Oh, now I need to see it," Caroline teased. "I can't let my son travel through an entire region looking like he rolled out of bed."

    "I know I don't have the best fashion sense sometimes, but this time the stylist sorted it out," Brendan said in an almost joking tone.

    "Well that's a relief," she said. "Still, you should really let me see it sometime soon."

    "Alright, how about when we get to…what’s the town we’re moving to again?" Brendan asked, still unfamiliar with the town he'd need to get used to.

    "Littleroot Town," Caroline said with a bit of an eye roll. "I think this is the third time I've told you."

    "Sorry, but you know I can be forgetful about these things," he said back with a laugh.

    Brendan loved these moments with his family, even if his father was gone for the moment. His mother always made even the worst of nights into good nights. The conversation was light, but enjoyable before it got interrupted by Sylveon stealing a slice of pizza from the box, eliciting a laugh from both Caroline and Brendan. It was a good night for their last in Goldenrod City.


    The next day was the big move. There was, unfortunately, a slight problem. When Norman left for Hoenn, he needed to take the family car with him, leaving Brendan and Caroline with only one option. They both had to ride in the moving van. This wouldn't normally have been a problem, except the cab of the van had only two seatbelts, and barely enough room for a small Pokémon along with the people. So, Brendan did what had to be done.

    "Honey, are you sure you will be okay riding in the back with our stuff?" Caroline said, a bit worried for Brendan's safety.

    "Mom, I’ll be fine," Brendan said. He was currently in his new outfit for his journey, which fit him perfectly and was made of light materials designed for hot weather. "I'll just find a comfortable box and sleep the whole way there."

    Caroline sighed. She knew Brendan would be fine, but it would be a very uncomfortable ride for the boy. Despite knowing that, she knew she wouldn’t be able to convince him otherwise. "Alright, please be careful not to break anything, all parts of your body included," she said.

    "I'll be careful Mom, don't worry," Brendan said as he opened the hatch to the moving van’s trailer. "Just leave the vent between the cab and the trailer open so I can get some fresh air in here.

    "Of course," she said. "By the way, that outfit looks very good on you. It should be perfect for your new home."

    "Thanks Mom. Now, you and Sylveon should really get into the cab so we can get going," he said with a smile as he climbed into the surprisingly spacious moving van.

    "Alright. Once you hear the van start, please close the hatch," she said.

    “Of course," Brendan said. With that, Caroline and Sylveon both went to the front of the van and entered. Brendan just sighed to himself and closed the back hatch, moving closer to the vent up front, opening it on his side. He didn't mind being in here alone, since it gave him time to think and mentally prepare for the new region. What would it be like? Would he make friends there? What kind of Pokémon lived there? There were so many questions that he wanted answered, but he knew that he would have to wait. So, he found a few stacks of strong and stable boxes and laid down on them. Just as he did that, the van roared to life and began to move. There was no turning back now. Brendan was no longer a Johto resident. Now, he belonged to the Hoenn region.


    It was almost twelve hours later, with a few short stops along the way, that Caroline called back to Brendan that they were within five minutes of Littleroot Town, and their new home. So, Brendan stood up and walked around a bit to get his legs moving again, and then waited for the truck to stop. Sure enough, five minutes later, the truck came to a stop, and he heard the doors to the cab opening and closing. Unfortunately, he needed to wait to get out since he could not open the back hatch from the inside. Brendan then noticed most of the items that came from his bedroom vanished, presumably teleported to where they were supposed to go. Shortly after those items vanished, the back hatch opened, blinding Brendan with the glaring sunlight as his eyes adjusted. When he could properly see again, Brendan leapt out of the van and took in his surroundings.

    "Hey Brendan, we finally made it," Caroline said. "When you're ready, why don't you come inside and see our new house."

    "I'll be there in a second," Brendan said.

    The new town was small, something completely new to Brendan. There were about twenty buildings around, most of which were houses, and one that looked like a school. The other building looked like a Pokémon laboratory, which Brendan assumed belonged to Professor Birch.

    The climate was incredible. It was barely under 80 degrees Fahrenheit, partly cloudy, with a slight breeze. There were palm trees as well as other tropical fauna throughout the town, and toward what Brendan assumed was the first route out of the town.

    As he was taking in the scenery, Brendan saw some movement outside the house next door. When he looked over, he lost his breath momentarily. He had just laid eyes on possibly the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was about his age, with brown hair that framed her face with two, long bangs that forked to both sides. The rest of her hair was tied back with a red bow with two white stripes, one for each loop. She had on a red tank-top over a black blouse. She had on white short shorts over a pair of what looked like biker shorts. Around her waist was a yellow and green fanny pack, with a belt. Her shoes were yellow, with black stripes and orange soles.

    Across the way, the girl, May Birch, was having a similar reaction to Brendan. She knew that Norman's family was supposed to be moving in today, and she’d heard that his son was about her age. She just never imagined he'd be so handsome. May, much like Brendan, had waited until completing high school before becoming a Pokémon trainer due to the urging of her father, the professor. She was about to go introduce herself when Brendan waved to her. May smiled and simply waved back to her, but before she could go to introduce herself, the woman that May assumed to be this boy's mother came out, spoke a few short words to Brendan, and they went inside. May just remained stunned. Now, she was determined to meet that boy and learn more about him. In the meantime, however, she still had to go help her father with his research, so she walked to the Pokémon laboratory, ready for some work.

    Brendan entered his bedroom, a bit frustrated that his mom stopped his chance of going to talk to the new neighbor, but he could wait for the next opportunity. Meanwhile, he had to admit that the mover's Pokémon got the set up better than he could have hoped for. In addition to all of the old furniture and his computer, Norman had also bought Brendan a wall clock as a gift, and it was hanging on the wall across from his bed. After checking to make sure everything was in place, Brendan went downstairs, where he saw his mother in the living room, watching the new television. When she saw Brendan, she called him over with clear excitement.

    "Brendan, come over here! There’s a news report about Petalburg Gym!" Caroline said excitedly. It took a moment for Brendan to remember that Petalburg Gym was where his father worked, so he came running. Unfortunately, just as he got in front of the television, the farewell was already being given. "I'm sorry Brendan, I didn't realize it was almost over," Caroline apologized.

    "That's okay. It will probably show up on PokéTube, since Dad is the exciting, new gym leader," Brendan said as he checked his watch. It 10:00 pm. "Huh…it got late really fast. I think I'm going to bed, it's been a long day," he said.

    "Yeah, I agree," Caroline said with a yawn. "I will see you in the morning."

    "Good night Mom!" Brendan responded as he went back up to his room, got into his sleeping clothes, and went to sleep. Tomorrow, he planned to explore the town and hopefully introduce himself to the neighbor.

    The next morning, around 8:00, Brendan was slowly waking up. He was on his back, and he felt a slight weight on the bed beside him. He smiled, assuming it was Sylveon, who loved to check on him at night, but she often fell asleep shortly after joining him, so he reached out to pet the Pokémon…only for his hand to touch a smaller, more humanoid head.

    Well, good morning to you too! I was wondering when you would get up, said a completely foreign voice, which sounded like it came from a young girl. Brendan's eyes snapped open, and in front of him was a white Pokémon that stood just above one foot, with green hair that looked like a bowl was on its head, with two red spikes coming from the front and back of its head. Its body looked like it was wearing a dress that was just a bit too long for it.

    Brendan bolted upright in shock at seeing this unfamiliar Pokémon. What was it, and how did it get in the house? Hey, calm down said the voice again. Brendan looked around, wondering if there was another possible source for that voice, but soon realized that it was only him and this Pokémon. To answer your questions, I am a Ralts. I got in here by teleporting here.

    "A Ralts?" Brendan asked as he calmed down, realizing that this Pokémon must be psychic-type, and was likely using telepathy to communicate like a human. "I'm sorry for jumping like that, I just wasn't expecting to see an unfamiliar Pokémon in my bedroom," he said, rubbing the back of his neck.

    It's okay. If I had been you, I might’ve done the same thing, the Ralts giggled. I’m Gwen by the way. What's your name?

    "Brendan Maple," Brendan said. "It's…umm…nice to meet you. Honestly I have never seen a Ralts before."

    You live in Hoenn, and you've never seen a Ralts? How does that happen? Gwen said with another giggle.

    "Well, I only just moved here yesterday. I'm actually from Goldenrod City in the Johto region," he said.

    I guess that makes sense. You know, you're a really nice human. Most would have thrown a Pokéball at me by now, she said with a smile.

    "Well, I'm not a trainer yet. I was in school longer than most trainers," he explained.

    Oh. Well, do you have a dream? Gwen asked.

    "I want to become the Champion of a League," Brendan said.

    That's a really nice dream, but it aims pretty high. It's a lot like my dream of becoming the strongest Gardevoir in history, Gwen said as she sat next to Brendan and put her hand on her chin, looking like she was frustrated. I just haven't found any trainers who are strong enough to help me reach that dream.

    Brendan smiled at Gwen. While he wasn't sure what a Gardevoir was, he figured it was the final evolution for Ralts. "You know, since our dreams are so similar, maybe you and I could become a team," he said, realizing he was taking a liking to the little Pokémon.

    Gwen pondered this for a moment. I agree, under one condition.

    "Name it," Brendan said.

    Once I have been captured, please don’t make me stay in a Pokéball.

    Brendan chuckled. "You don't like being confined?"

    Gwen just giggled with him. No, I can't stand being kept from moving around.

    "I can work with that," Brendan said, extending his hand in friendship. "Once I become an official trainer, you will be my first Pokémon."

    Gwen just smiled and shook Brendan's hand. It's a deal. You and I work together to become the greatest team in history.

    Brendan just nodded and smiled. It seemed Hoenn was going to be much better than he expected. He had a beautiful neighbor, and he just gained a friendship with a new Pokémon who shared his dream. If that was to be an indicator, then his journey would be amazing.

    But then, only time would tell.
    #1 Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  2. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The New Neighbor

    As Caroline was preparing breakfast, she began to hear Brendan talking upstairs. It was almost like he was having a conversation with somebody, but there was nobody else responding (nor should there have been). The woman just shook her head. Brendan must have gotten a phone call to wake him up. Well, he'd be down shortly, so she'd ask about it then; and a few minutes later, she heard him coming down. She was expecting to see Brendan already showered and dressed (he was) like he always did, so she didn't turn around at first. "Hey, how'd you sleep, honey?"

    He slept pretty well until I woke him up, said a voice Caroline didn't recognize at all.

    "Gwen, you were supposed to wait until she turned around," Brendan said with a laugh.

    Caroline turned around when Brendan said the new name, and she saw the new resident riding on Brendan's shoulder. "Oh my, aren't you a little cutie!" she said as she grabbed Gwen from Brendan's shoulder, hugging the little Pokémon. "When did you sneak in here?"

    In the early hours of the morning, Gwen explained. I teleported into Brendan's room, and when he woke up, we talked for a while. I'm Gwen!

    "I knew I heard you talking to somebody up there," Caroline said to Brendan with a smile. "So, I take it you and Gwen are friends now."

    "Yeah," Brendan said proudly. "And we agreed that we will be working together to become the regional Champion."

    It's true. We both want to be the strongest, so we decided to help each other get there, Gwen said with a lot of enthusiasm.

    "Well, before either of you can do that, you'll need some breakfast," Caroline said in a motherly tone, feeling happy for her son. With that, she placed Ralts onto the table and went back into the kitchen to grab a plate of eggs and bacon for Brendan and three Oran Berries for Gwen. "Enjoy."

    "Thanks, Mom!" Brendan said.

    Yeah thanks! Gwen said as well, taking a bite of an Oran Berry.

    "Oh, by the way, why don't you go introduce yourself to the neighbors after breakfast," Caroline said, giving Brendan a sly wink.

    "I already planned on it," Brendan said cheerfully. Caroline just smiled at her son, and went back to get her own breakfast.

    Within the hour, Brendan was walking to the next-door neighbor's house with Gwen on his shoulder. The house looked pretty similar to his new home, but it was a mirror image. It was a two-story Tudor style house, with some vibrant landscaping and a white picket fence.

    Brendan walked up to the door, and took a deep breath before knocking loudly. Within ten seconds, the door opened, revealing a woman around Caroline's age, with dark hair and more rounded features. "Hello young man, how can I help you?" she said.

    "Hi, I'm Brendan Maple. I just got to Hoenn yesterday, so I figured I would come over and introduce myself," Brendan said, sounding as confident as ever.

    "You're Norman's son!" the woman said. "Please do come in!"

    "Thank you, Mrs…" Brendan said, trailing off.

    "Birch, Lily Birch. You can call me Lily," she said.

    "Alright, thank you Lily," Brendan said as he entered her home.

    Yeah, thanks! Gwen said.

    "And who is this?" Lily said as she noticed the Ralts on Brendan's shoulder.

    "Her name is Gwen. I actually just met her this morning," he said with a chuckle.

    "It's a pleasure to meet you too, Gwen," Lily said. "My daughter, May, should be around here somewhere. She's about your age."

    "I think I saw her when we got in yesterday," Brendan said. "We waved to each other, but there wasn't a chance to talk."

    "Well, she should be upstairs in her room. Go on up. It's the third door on the right. She may have earphones in, so make some noise to get her attention if you need to," Lily said.

    "Thank you, Mrs. Birch," Brendan said before walking up the stairs of the Birch household. He went to the right, and surely enough, he found May's room. It had white walls, but it was covered with posters of contest stars, boy bands such as the Back Squirt Boys, and some posters for popular chick flicks. There were even a few posters featuring male gym leaders from around the world, and Brendan was shocked to come face-to-face with a picture of his own father, still labeling him as the Goldenrod Gym leader.

    There was a red carpet in the center, with a blue-blanketed bed right next to it and a purple bean bag chair in the center. There was a book shelf containing some interesting titles, like Harry Delphox, and then there were crap titles, like Twilight. Beside the shelf was a computer desk, which was a bit disorganized, but similar to the layout he used.

    And sitting at that desk was…nobody. The room was empty except for a single Pokéball in the center of the red carpet. Brendan was a bit curious about what was inside, so he walked over to it. Just as he got to the Pokéball, he heard a shocked gasp at the door.

    "Hi, I'm Brendan. Your mom told me I should come up and introduce my…self," Brendan said as he turned to face his new neighbor, suddenly realizing why May had gasped. She only had on a towel, and her hair was soaking wet; she must have just stepped out of the shower. At that moment, both Brendan and May turned a brighter red than radishes. "I – can wait outside," Brendan said as he averted his eyes to be polite.

    "A-alright, thank you…" May said through her embarrassment. She stepped into her room far enough so Brendan could leave and let her have her privacy while she got dressed.

    As soon as the door closed behind him, Brendan began to mentally curse himself. That was a great first impression. Sure, I will just be randomly in your room when you come back from a shower, he thought.

    Hey, don't worry about it Brendan. Gwen said in a comforting tone. There was no way you could've known that was going to happen. She could tell that you were just as embarrassed as her.

    "Thanks Gwen, but it still wasn't a good first impression," Brendan said.

    Are you kidding? You showed that you were polite enough to not stare at her in a towel like a perv. Gwen said with a pat to the back of Brendan's head. Besides, you've been through a really awkward situation with her. There isn't much that can compare, so I'd say you two have just made a pretty strong path toward a friendship. Brendan laughed a little bit at what Gwen said. She had a very valid point. Well, it's time to see how well she will respond to what happened.

    Before Brendan could ask what Gwen meant, the door to May's bedroom opened and she came out in the same outfit from yesterday, with her slightly damp hair styled the same way. On her waist was the Pokéball that was laying on her carpet earlier. She looked directly at Brendan and flashed an apologetic smile at him.

    "Hey, sorry about that," May said. "My mom has a bad habit of sending people up to my room at the least opportune times."

    "Yeah, I'm sorry too. I guess I should have knocked before entering," Brendan said.

    "Well, come on in and take a seat in that bean bag chair," May said, seeming to have dropped the subject and wanting to move on. Brendan did as she said, and he realized that the bean bag was probably the most comfortable he had ever sat on.

    "So...um, let me start over. I'm Brendan Maple, and I'm your new neighbor," he said. "And this is Gwen, she just kind of appeared in my bedroom this morning."

    Hello, Gwen said with a wave. I'm really glad to meet you.

    May nodded. "Well I'm May Birch, and I'm really happy to meet you, Brendan," she said. "So, how do you like Hoenn?"

    "I can tell you that it's a huge change from Goldenrod City in Johto," Brendan said with a laugh. May giggled with him. "But even though I've only seen Littleroot, but it's so beautiful here."

    May nodded. "I'd love to travel to Johto one day and experience the culture there," she said with a slightly dreamy tone. "I've never been away from Hoenn, so I always wanted to travel the world."

    Do you have any dreams? Gwen asked suddenly, catching May off-guard.

    "Actually, I do," she said with a smile. "As you've probably noticed from the posters," she said, "I like performances."

    "I'm guessing you want to become a coordinator," Brendan said.

    "Yes, but not just an average coordinator," May said, as she seemed to have a fire burning in her eyes. "I want to become the Top Coordinator!"

    Your dream is like Brendan's Gwen said.

    "You want to become top coordinator?" May said with a slightly worried tone.

    "Oh, no," Brendan said with a chuckle. "I actually want to become a Pokémon League Champion. It's been my dream since I was five, and since I moved before becoming a trainer there, I decided to just fulfill that dream in Hoenn."

    "So, you're not a trainer yet either, huh?" May said with a sigh.

    "No, Dad wanted me to finish high school first. He did it before his journey, and he wanted me to do the same," Brendan said. "I guess Professor Birch and Norman Maple have something in common."

    "Yeah, they do," May said. "But you know, you're really lucky to have a Gym Leader for a parent. You probably learned so much about battling from Norman's matches."

    "I never got to watch Dad's official matches. He always wanted challengers to be clear-minded and free of distractions so they could fight at their best," Brendan said. "Besides, I'd say you're even luckier to have a Pokémon professor for a father."

    "You'd think, but he is constantly having me help him out with his research, either in the field or in the lab. It can be fun at times, but others can be so boring and tedious," May said.

    "I guess I can sympathize," Brendan said, noticing May's eyes go wide. "What's wrong?"

    "Damn it, I forgot that I was supposed to go help Dad with his research. That's why I was showering!" she said. "I'm sorry, I wish we could talk longer, but I need to get going."

    "No worries," Brendan said with a smile. "But before you go, could I get your phone number?"

    May flashed a dazzling smile, "Of course, I was actually about to ask the same thing," she said. She took out a pen and wrote her number on Brendan's palm before running to the door. "I'll see you around!" May said as she vanished.

    Brendan was walking around Littleroot Town with Gwen on his shoulder. Gwen seemed to be ready to talk about anything, mostly random topics like food, games she liked to play, and her favorite color. Brendan talked with her to pass the time as he walked around the edge of town, and it was honestly fun talking to the little Pokémon.

    Brendan was about to head home for lunch, but he stopped when he heard a loud cry coming from north of the town. He whipped around and saw that the only thing to the north was Route 101, the only road leading out of Littleroot Town. Brendan ran closer to the route, not sure whether the cry had come from a Pokémon he'd never heard of, or a person.

    He got his answer when he heard a man crying out "HEEELLLP MEE!" Brendan didn't give it a second thought as he ran down the path, which opened into a large clearing. There, he saw a rather peculiar sight. There was a man, about the same age and height as his father, wearing a white lab coat over a v-neck shirt and khaki shorts. He also wore sandals, which were slightly fashionable, but nothing Brendan would be caught dead wearing. He had brown hair, the same shade as May's, with a chin-strap beard. What was really strange about the situation, though, was that this man was being chased by two little grey dog-like Pokémon with black muzzles. On the ground a short distance away from this strange scene was a yellow and orange bag, which looked like it belonged to a field researcher.

    The man noticed Brendan as he was being chased. "Hey, there are some Pokémon in my bag, use one and help me out!" he called out. While Brendan was sure that those dogs were not a serious threat, looking as strong as Rattatas. Despite the slight comedic value of the scene, he decided to help the professor out. Brendan ran forward, quickly rummaging through the bag, and finding three Pokéballs. Without thinking, Brendan grabbed the one on his left and he threw it and it released a green gecko-like Pokémon.

    "Treecko!" it said, and it looked directly at Brendan. Gwen also leapt from Brendan's shoulder, ready to battle.

    You'll need both of us to win this! Gwen said. By the way, this is Clint, he's a Treecko, and he's a grass-type. Our opponents are Poochyena. They're dark types, Gwen said. As for me, well you know I am a Ralts, and I have both psychic and fairy types.

    "Thanks Gwen. Clint, I know you don't know me, but I need your help. Will you work with me?" Brendan asked. Clint nodded and turned toward the Poochyena, who had stopped their pursuit of their original target so they could face this new challenge. "Alright, Gwen, use Disarming Voice! Clint, use Pound!" Brendan said. He had just given his first commands as a Pokémon trainer.

    Gwen gave a piercing call that caused both Poochyena to stagger and lose focus. This left them both open to Treecko's attack as he hit both of them with his tail. That was all it took for the two Pokémon to run off yipping with their tails between their legs.

    "Great job you two, and thank you for helping me out Clint," Brendan said.

    "Treecko-tree," the wood gecko said with a polite nod as Brendan returned him to his Pokéball.

    "Whew, thank you for that young man. I was caught off-guard when those two Poochyena attacked," the older man said as he approached Brendan. Gwen had already teleported herself onto Brendan's shoulder.

    "It was no problem," Brendan said. "Just trying to help out."

    "I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself," the man said as he extended his hand. "I am Professor Edmund Birch."

    "Oh, you're May's dad!" Brendan said. "My name is Brendan Maple."

    "Oh, Norman's son. You look just like him. May was talking about you before she went up to route 103," Prof. Birch said. "But, this is no place to talk, please walk with me to my lab." The professor picked up his bag, placed the two remaining Pokéballs inside, and he turned to leave.

    "Wait, professor. Don't you want your Treecko back?" Brendan asked.

    "Actually, I think Clint would be better off in your hands," Birch said as he began to walk away. "The way you battled made it seem like you two were meant for each other."

    Brendan looked at the Pokéball and shrugged. He wasn't going to deny that he'd worked well with Clint, so he figured that training him to be even stronger would be a great idea. "By the way, Professor," Brendan said as he ran to catch up. "What Pokémon were in the other Pokéballs, if you don't mind me asking."

    "The others were the fire and water starters of the Hoenn region. The fire type is Torchic. The water type is Mudkip," Birch said cheerfully.

    "So Treecko is the grass-type starter," Brendan concluded.

    "Exactly," Birch said. "I'd tell you more about them all, but I think that you'd prefer to figure that out on your own." Brendan looked at Professor Birch in some confusion. "Your father told me that you were about to begin your journey before you moved here," Birch said. Brendan nodded. He should have known that Norman would help him get his journey started.

    Hey, Mr. Professor Birch! Gwen said, earning a chuckle from Birch.

    "I'm sorry, I didn't even notice you. Who might you be, little Ralts?" the professor said with a smile.

    I'm Gwen. Brendan and I are going to become the strongest trainer and Pokémon in the world! Gwen said with unbridled enthusiasm.

    "Hehe, you have some lofty goals," Professor Birch said as he reached into his pocket. "You know, since you two are going to be traveling together, and Treecko's Pokéball is the only one that Brendan currently has, you will need to be officially caught before you can pursue that goal." He pulled out one Pokéball and what looked like a holster for six Pokéballs. He handed both to Brendan, who graciously accepted them. He attached the holster to his belt and held the extra Pokéball out for Gwen, who slapped the button happily, she went inside and was captured without a fight. Brendan immediately let her out, as he promised her earlier when they made their pact yesterday.

    They made it to Professor Birch's laboratory shortly after the battle. When the professor got to the door he held his hand out to Brendan. "Thank you once again for your help," he said.

    "No problem," Brendan said, shaking the professor's hand.

    Professor Birch then seemed to get a great idea. "You know, I think you should go meet with May out on route 103, just north of here through Oldale Town. She's been helping me with research and she got her first Pokémon a few days ago. You two would make great training partners since you're the same age and are about the same in experience level."

    "That sounds like a great idea," Brendan said without hesitation. He was actually hoping to see May more often. Additionally, he got the benefit of his first battle with another trainer.

    "Just be ready for a tough battle. May is pretty strong considering she's had her Pokémon for only a few days," Professor Birch said.

    "Thanks, see you around Professor," Brendan said as he ran to Route 101.

    About half an hour later, Brendan had made it to Oldale Town, which was about the same size as Littleroot Town, but it had both a red-roofed Pokémon Center and a blue-roofed PokéMart. As he walked into town, he saw a man in an orange apron walking toward him.

    "Hello sir, do you mind if I take a moment of your time?" the man said.

    "I'm not too busy, so why not," Brendan said.

    "I'm an employee of that PokéMart over there," he explained as he held out a spray bottle. "On behalf of the PokéMart Corporation, please take this free sample Potion, and remember to come to us for all your needs while you travel," he said, clearly using a practiced and scripted pitch.

    "Thank you, I will," Brendan said placing the potion into his pocket as he ran off through town.

    Hey, what's that guy doing over there? Gwen said, pointing toward a man scribbling in a notebook while he was crouched close to the ground of a path that led west. Brendan walked over to the man and noticed that he was making a sketch.

    "Excuse me, are you okay?" Brendan said, only to jump back as the man leapt up suddenly.

    "STOP! Watch your step. I just discovered the footprints of a rare Pokémon, so I'm drawing a sketch," he said, blocking the path and ushering Brendan back into the town.

    Brendan looked at the ground behind the man, noticing that the footprints had tread patterns from a boot, and the man just so happened to be wearing boots with that same pattern. "Alright. Uhh, you have fun with that," he said. Brendan and Gwen waited until they were out of ear shot before they burst out laughing.

    That man's an idiot! Gwen said.

    "I know. How did he not realize they're his footprints?" Brendan said through laughs. When they both stopped laughing, Brendan and Gwen continued moving north toward Route 103.

    Soon, the two were walking on Route 103. From where they stood, it offered a gorgeous view of a massive volcanic mountain in the distance. Closer to them was a small pond covered in greenery. In front of the pond was May, kneeling on the ground with a notebook, writing something intently.

    "May!" Brendan called out, catching the girl's attention as he approached. May, however seemed oblivious. When Brendan got closer, he noticed that she had earbuds in, and she was talking to herself as she wrote.

    "The Pokémon found on route 103 include…" she said. Brendan tapped her on her shoulder as she said that, causing her to jump almost a mile into the air, pulling out her earbuds and turning around to Brendan. "Arceus, don't do that to me Brendan!" she said with a slight laugh in her voice, hitting Brendan lightly on the shoulder.

    "Hey, I called your name. Your music must have been too loud," Brendan said in a joking tone.

    When May finally calmed down, she smiled at Gwen. "And how have you been?" she asked.

    I'm great, Brendan caught me and he got a Treecko from Professor Birch!

    "Did he, now?" May said with an intrigued tone. "Let me guess, Dad suggested that you come and battle with me to get us both started."

    "That's right," Brendan said as he grabbed Treecko's Pokéball from his belt. "So, what do you say? Are you up for it?"

    "You bet I am!" May said with enthusiasm as she grabbed a single Pokéball from her own belt.

    "Go Clint!" Brendan called out, releasing his Treecko.

    "Go, Miranda!" May called out. The Pokémon that came out of the ball was a short, orange chick.

    "So, that's a Torchic?" Brendan asked, using logic to figure it out.

    "Yep, the fire starter of the Hoenn region," May said confidently.

    Hey, Brendan, I wanted to battle! Gwen said.

    "Sorry Gwen, but this is going to be a battle between Pokémon we got from Professor Birch," Brendan said. While Gwen was still a bit peeved, she understood.

    "Alright, let's begin!" May said.
  3. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    I'm about halfway through Chapter 1 (I'm running out of time for today and I don't want to lose my notes), and I think I've already found an admirable strength from you. It seems like you're really into the lore and background of the canon Pokémon universe and the one you're making here, and that's really darn cool. I remember that <RSE player character> and Norman came from Johto region, but I for all my nerdiness never considered that the young Whitney could be a freshly-minted leader filling in for the recently-departed Normal-Type-Expert Norman. It seems so real that it may well be true, and I can't wait to continue and see what other insights and lore translations you can conjure.

    But of course... there's always room for improvement, too. Just a few print pages in and I've already found two tendencies that are bothering me as a reader. First, the way that you repeat some character's names. In the second paragraph alone you say "Norman" and "Brendan" six times each. Pronouns can really break up that monotony some. You could probably replace more than half of these proper noun names with "he" and "his father", and we readers would 100% get who you were talking about. It also seems strange that we continue to call Brendan's mother by her first name. It might be only me, but it feels improper to have the third-person-focus character pretty refer to his mother in such a way instead of the perhaps more fluid "my his mom" or "my his mother". Good retention of detail, but the execution seems odd.

    The other thing that bothers me as a reader is some of your level of detail. On one hand, Kantoan Eagle (I prefer Unovan Eagle) and Growlithe's Pizzeria and all that do add a sense of vividness to the world, but I'm over here wondering if it matters when we're probably never going to hear about these locations again: an imbalance in conservation of detail, where "an outfitter's" and "the best local pizza shop" don't pull my limited attention away in the same amount, but still get the point across. Like with Lana and the mention of Brendan's hair color and the every particular detail of his new outfit: how important are these things? Are we going to meet Lana again, or would Brendan just think back to her next week or next hour as "the girl at the clothes shop"? Does Brendan's hair color tell us anything about him beyond "it's actually only his hat that's white", or would be be better informed by "shaggy-haired" or "well-groomed" or "with gelled spike hair" to give us more insight to his personality as informed by the deliberate choices that he chooses to display himself? Your hair color is a side effect of the phenotype of your DNA, and outside of barber shops and 1940s Germany or stories that are about the social/culture/historical/personal significance of hair, has no effect on who you are as a person. Your hair style, on the other hand, is usually a choice that you make as an individual. Same with his clothes, the details we're informed on can be shifted: he changed simple street clothes for shorts and jackets with all the pockets and adventurer wants and replaced his walking shoes for the boots that have the support that an adventurer needs.

    I'm going to be playing catch-up for a bit with a busy week right now, but keep this up! (Separately, if you're looking for another way to start out around here... https://lakevalor.net/forums/intro-lobby.7/)
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    #3 Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  4. Strytho

    Strytho Giveaway Enthusiast

    Xerneas Egg
    (Xerneas Egg)
    Level 8
    Sep 10, 2015
    Friend Ball ★★★★Beast Ball ★★★★GS Ball ★★★★★Lure Ball ★★★★Basic Gary Oak ★
    DUDE! I am a HUUUUGE fan of this story! I've been reading it and I absolutely love it! I took a break from it for awhile due to life and I'm getting ready to pick it back up. The last time I read it, they had just made it to the seaside town with the mall and the aqua base.
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    Rezna likes this.
  5. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The Arrival in Petalburg
    “Miranda, use Ember!” May called out to start the match. Torchic shot out a stream of sparks at Treecko.

    “Dodge that Clint, and then use Pound!” Brendan said. Treecko leapt into the air, moving away from the incoming attack. That was when he fell toward Torchic, spinning as he hit the fire-type with his tail, sending Miranda stumbling back.

    “Don’t let him get away with that, use Scratch!” May called out. Miranda ran at Clint, and just as she got within a few inches of the grass-type, she leapt a short distance vertically and scratched Clint across the face with her talons.

    “Clint, use Leer!” Brendan said. Clint began to glare at Miranda, causing the fire chick to cower away in fear. “Now use another Pound!” Clint sprinted at Miranda once again, leaping into the air and swung his tail around. He hit Miranda across the face with it, sending her sprawling once more.

    Keep going Clint, you can win this! Gwen cheered, raising her fist as she cheered for her friend.

    “Miranda, use Ember once more, I know you can do it!” May called out. Miranda stood up, shaking off the dust from her previous fall, and unleashed a stream of sparks toward Treecko once more. This time, however, Treecko could not dodge in time, and he was overwhelmed with the small flames. Luckily, Treecko was a sturdy Pokémon. He managed to struggle to his feet after the attack was over.

    “Alright, this last attack will probably decide this. So, Clint, use Quick Attack!” Brendan called out. Clint then sprinted at Miranda, a streak of white light extending behind the Pokémon as he ran.

    “Fight back with Ember!” May said. Miranda let loose another stream of fire toward Clint. This time, however, Clint had time to dodge, and he did so with grace. He leapt over the flames acrobatically, doing a mid-air flip without trouble, before continuing on and hitting Miranda with a lariat. The collision sent Miranda tumbling back, but this time, she stayed down. Clint was on one knee, but he was still standing strong nonetheless. May sighed as she knelt down and picked up Miranda. “Hey, you fought really well. I’m proud of you. Now, get some rest,” May said as she had Miranda return to her Pokéball.

    “Clint! That was a great battle. You won with a disadvantage. I can tell that you and I will be going far together,” Brendan said as he gave the little gecko a high five. “Now, you should get some rest as well.” With that, Brendan recalled Clint to his Pokéball and walked over to May, extending his hand to her.

    “Well Brendan, you are impressive to say the least. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you could be the protagonist of a video game,” May said as she grabbed Brendan’s hand

    “Thanks May,” Brendan said as he helped her to her feet. “You were pretty strong too.”

    “Well, I have been training for about a day now,” she said. “I guess you do have Norman’s knack for battling in you after all.” Brendan just laughed at what was said. “Anyway, we should probably head back to Littleroot Town,” May said.

    “Of course, lead the way,” Brendan said. May smiled and began to walk.

    Hey May, mind if I rode on your shoulders on the way back? Brendan’s are getting a bit dull Gwen said, which earned a laugh from May.

    “Of course you can,” May said. “You and I are friends after all, aren’t we?”

    Yes we are! Gwen replied as she teleported the short distance to May’s shoulder. Brendan just smiled at how kind Gwen and May were to each other.

    At this point, they had just returned to Oldale Town, and Brendan could see the man in the distance, still sketching his own footprints. “What’s that man doing?” May asked.

    Brendan and Gwen just laughed lightly. He’s drawing his own boot prints because he thinks they are from a rare Pokémon. Gwen explained.

    “Really?” May asked.

    “Yeah, she’s not exaggerating,” Brendan said. They passed by the Pokémon Center, and continued on their way toward home.

    May just laughed about what the man was doing, but tried to keep it in check so as to not get strange looks. They continued to pass the time with small talk as they walked through Route 101, using the ledges to avoid the grass before arriving in Littleroot Town. The sun was setting by this point and night had almost fallen.

    “Hey, before we go home, we should stop by Dad’s lab. He will love to hear about the battle,” May said.

    “Sure, let’s go. My mom won’t be too worried about me in the meantime. She was expecting me to be out late anyway,” Brendan said with a smile.

    Five minutes later, Brendan and May were entering Professor Birch’s laboratory, which was Brendan’s first time inside. It was mostly white with pristine cleanliness. There was some clutter of research materials, but nothing too major. At a computer in the back was Professor Birch himself.

    “Hey Dad, Brendan and I are back from Route 103!” May called out, getting her father’s attention immediately.

    “Well, it’s nice to see both of you back here safely. So, how’d the battle go?” the professor asked.

    “Brendan won by a hair,” May said, some frustration clearly in her voice.

    “I see, so Brendan has Norman’s genes in him after all,” Birch said.

    Brendan just chuckled at the statement he'd heard so many times before. Arceus above, while he loved Norman, Brendan wanted to get out of his shadow. It was fun at first to be known as Norman’s son, but he was ready to make a name for himself. “True, but it was also your Treecko who helped me out,” he said, trying to be modest.

    The professor noticed that, but he decided to let it go. “Well, I think you two are ready now. I have something here for both of you,” he said. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out two orange devices with a screen in the center and a circular control pad on the left side. To Brendan, it looked a lot like a Gameboy Advanced. “These are the most recent version of the Pokédex. They will serve as your ID, and your source of information on all the Pokémon you encounter,” the Professor said with pride.

    Brendan had heard about this type of gimmick being pulled by the world famous Professor Oak on Red and, his own grandson, Blue. The gimmick was that Professor Oak gave those two trainers one Pokédex each, but they were both empty. So the lazy professor stuck them with the task of filling it for him. So, to be on the safe side, Brendan had to ask.

    “Those have the data already in them, right?” he asked.

    “Of course they do,” Birch said, trying not to take offense. The stunt Professor Oak had pulled recently had, unfortunately marred the reputation of Professors who gave out Pokédex. “No professor in their right mind would give new trainers an empty Pokédex. The trainers are supposed to be raising the Pokémon as they see fit, not concerning themselves with catching so many Pokémon that the PC systems are overloaded.”

    Brendan breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank Arceus,” This earned a bout of laughter from everybody in the room.

    "Anyway, here are four Pokéballs for you, Brendan,” the Professor said as he pulled out a bundle of four Pokéballs from a separate drawer in his desk, then a separate bundle of five. “And here are five for May.”

    “Thank you Professor,” Brendan said.

    “Yeah thanks Dad,” May said as well.

    “Now, since it’s late, why don’t you two head home and prepare for your journeys to begin tomorrow,” the professor said. Neither teenager needed to be told twice.

    As they walked to their houses, Brendan got an idea. “Hey May,” he said.

    “What’s up?” she responded, slightly intrigued.

    “Since we are both starting our journeys tomorrow, would you want to travel together with me?” Brendan asked, a slight blush forming on his face, feeling thankful that it was too dark for May to see it.

    May seemed to think about it for a while. As they got to where they were supposed to separate to go to their own houses, May did something completely unexpected: she gave Brendan a light kiss on the cheek. “I will see you at the start of Route 101 at 10:00 am. Don’t be late,” she said. With that, she left and ran to her own house.

    Brendan was stunned momentarily, until Gwen waved her arm in front of his face. You awake in there? She asked.

    He shook himself out of his daze. “Yeah, I am. Now, come on, let’s get some sleep before tomorrow.”


    Sure enough, at 9:50 am, Brendan was on his way out of the house, Gwen riding on his shoulder comfortably. Just before he opened the door of the house, he heard Caroline come up behind him.

    “Hey Brendan, I want to give you something for your journey,” she said. Brendan turned around and saw that his mother had a small amulet on a chain in her hand. He recognized it as the necklace she usually wore while they lived in Johto. “This was your grandfather’s,” she said as she passed it to Brendan. “He gave it to me on the day I started as a trainer, and although I didn’t make it very far, I know he would want you to have it now. I hope it brings you luck.”

    Brendan hugged his mother tightly. “Thank you, Mom. I promise I will make both you and Dad proud,” he said before letting go and leaving the house.

    Caroline smiled softly. “Brendan, you’ve already made both of us proud. Just do your best,” she said before going to make herself a cup of tea.

    May checked her watch as she stood near Route 101. It was 9:55, almost time for Brendan to meet her for their journey. She had Miranda’s Pokéball on her waist and her PokeNav as well. She also had a couple Potions in her fanny pack for safety’s sake. May knew it wasn’t going to be long before she and Brendan spent nearly every hour of the day together.

    HEY, we’re here! Gwen called out.

    May just grinned as she turned around. “Hey Brendan! Hi Gwen!” she said with a wave.

    “Hey, how are you today?” Brendan asked politely.

    “I’m excited, how else would I be feeling?” May giggled.

    “Nervous, maybe?” Brendan said with a wink.

    “Don’t get smart Goldenrod!” May said, using a his former hometown as a nickname.

    “Goldenrod? Really?” Brendan said.

    I like that nickname, I may use that more often! Gwen said, laughing to herself.

    “Alright, let’s not make that nickname a permanent thing,” Brendan said.

    “Fine,” May said.
    I promise nothing, Goldenrod! Gwen said.

    “Damn it,” Brendan said, giving up on that conversation. “Well, let’s get moving. I think we should go to Petalburg City first, what do you think?”

    “Actually, we have to go there for my first contest,” May said.

    “Sounds good, just remember to practice your routine as much as possible before we get there,” Brendan said as they began to depart from Littleroot.

    “I’ve actually been practicing since I got Miranda,” May said. “I still need to find the rest of my team in case of double contests.”

    “Well, what about a Bug-type Pokémon?” Brendan said.

    Yeah a Beautifly or Dustox would do great! Gwen said. They both have some beautiful attacks.

    “Then I guess I need a Wurmple,” May said. They were about halfway to Oldale Town when she said this. Then, as if the events were being written in a half-ass manner by an amateur author, a Wurmple crawled out in front of their path.

    “Wow, that was really convenient,” Brendan said.

    “Yeah, but I don’t care,” May said. “I’m still going to catch it. Pokéball go!” She threw the Pokéball at the worm Pokémon, which was captured almost too easily, without the ball shaking more than once. May ran and picked up the Pokéball and raised it in triumph. “YAY! I just captured my first Pokémon!” she called out.

    “Nice job May, why don’t you let that Pokémon out of its Pokéball so we could introduce ourselves,” Brendan said, but May was one step ahead of him as she released the slightly confused Pokémon.

    “Hi Wurmple, I’m May, your new trainer!” she said with a warming smile. Gwen then leapt down from Brendan’s shoulder as Wurmple spoke in the Pokémon language.

    Gwen nodded knowingly, then began to translate. This is Lily. She actually wanted to be captured. Strange coincidence, isn’t it?

    “She has the same name as my mother, that's so cute!" May said with a smile. "Well I am glad to meet you Lily. I’m glad you wanted to be with a trainer, but what about a coordinator?” She pet the bug-type as she asked, and Lily started cooing and rubbing up against her hand.

    Lily says that she would love to be on a coordinator’s team. She really just wants to make as many friends as she can. Gwen translated.

    Brendan then knelt next to May and the two Pokémon. “Well, Lily, I’m glad to meet you as well. I’m Brendan!” he said.

    And I’m Gwen! she said with enthusiasm.

    Lily seemed to relax more with that, until two Pokémon let themselves out of their Pokéballs. Those two were Clint and Miranda, who simply began to speak to Lily excitedly. May was concerned that Lily would be scared by the sudden flux of new faces, but there seemed to be nothing to be concerned about. Lily was conversing with Clint, Miranda, and Gwen as if they were old friends.

    “Well May, are you ready to continue?” Brendan asked as he stood back up.

    “Yeah, Lily and Miranda, return!” she said as she stood up.

    “You too Clint!” Brendan said. With that, all of the Pokémon except Gwen were back in their Pokéballs. Gwen then returned to Brendan’s shoulder, and the trio continued to walk to Oldale.

    About an hour later, Brendan and May were walking toward the western exit of Oldale Town, where they saw a familiar man. This time, he wasn’t sketching anything. Instead, he looked to be crying. The two young Pokémon trainers walked towards him and were about to stop and ask when they heard him whimpering something that sounded like “I am so stupid. How did I not realize they were my prints?” Brendan just shook his head and May stifled a giggle as they walked by without trouble this time. Within minutes, after passing a small pond with some tall grass next to it, both of them burst out laughing and clutching their stomachs. While neither of them normally laughed at others, this was a special case.

    Another hour and ten battles (five for each of them) later, they had arrived in Petalburg City. “Alright, let’s go get a room at the Pokémon Center. After that, I kind of want to go shopping for a little while,” May said.

    “Sounds good, but after we get that room, I think I will go and see my dad at the Gym,” Brendan said.

    “I think that’s a great idea,” May said. “But let’s get the room and some food.”

    “Sure thing,” Brendan said as his stomach growled quietly. Gwen giggled on his shoulder as they entered the red-roofed building and approached the counter, where Brendan rang the bell on the desk.

    “Welcome, how may I help you?” the nurse behind the counter asked.

    “Could we get a room for two?” Brendan asked.

    “Of course,” she said, but she got a curious expression on her face as she looked at Brendan.

    Does she know you? Gwen said. When nobody reacted except himself, Brendan realized that Gwen was only talking to him.

    I don’t think so, Brendan thought back.

    “Young man, you look familiar. I know I haven't met you before, but I can’t lose the feeling that I know you somehow,” the nurse said.

    She couldn’t have made the connection already, Brendan thought, which Gwen picked up on.

    Well don’t just stand there, respond
    , Gwen said back.

    “Well, I do look more like my father than my mother, I guess you’ve met him before,” Brendan said.

    “Hmmm,” the nurse said momentarily as she produced a room key and handed it to May. “I know I’ve seen those facial features before, but I’m not entirely sure who had them.”

    “Need a hint?” Brendan asked playfully.

    “Augh, fine,” the nurse said. She was clearly unhappy that she couldn’t figure it out without help.

    “My father just recently came here from Goldenrod City,” Brendan said.

    “Norman?” the nurse said with a gasp. “You’re Norman’s son?” She said that last part a bit too loudly, causing the entirety of the population in the Pokémon Center lobby to turn and look at Brendan and begin whispering.

    “Yeah, I’m Norman’s son,” Brendan said.

    “Well, your father is an absolutely brilliant gym leader. Not too many trainers can use Normal Types so effectively,” the nurse said. “And the fact he was called here from the Johto region just speaks volumes about how strong he is.”

    Brendan chuckled slightly. “Well I will pass on that information when I get the chance,” he said. “Thanks for your help.”

    “No problem at all,” the nurse said. “Have a great day, and I hope you and your Pokémon stay healthy.”

    Brendan turned to May, “Well that was nice of her to say,” he said.

    “Well what do you expect her to say? She works at a hospital. Would you rather she said something like ‘we hope to see you again’?”

    “I suppose you’re right. But can you imagine if nurses actually said that?” Brendan said with a laugh. “That would be a horrible thing to say in a Pokémon Center.”

    “True, but that’s why they don’t say it,” May said. When she said that, they reached their room, which May unlocked, and they saw that it was small, but it was practical. It looked exactly like a hotel room with two beds and a night stand between the two of them.

    Yay! I want a bed for myself! Gwen said.

    “Gwen, come on, May and I aren’t going to be sharing a bed. You know that,” Brendan said.

    Gwen puffed out her right cheek slightly and began to pout a bit. Fine. Then I will sleep in May’s bed if she is okay with that.

    “I’m okay with that, but it’s only two in the afternoon,” May said, going slightly red with embarrassment at Gwen’s initial suggestion. “Anyway, I will see you two later tonight. Have fun meeting Norman!”

    “Yep, see you later!” Brendan said.

    Brendan had his hands in his pockets as he walked toward the Petalburg Gym. It was in the northernmost part of the city next to a large pond. It had really nice scenery, but Brendan was not actually paying too close to the landscape. He was looking at the gym building itself. It was completely different from those Gyms of Johto. The roof was orange and the structure underneath was silver metal. The door looked like polished steel, and they opened automatically.

    “Ready to meet my dad?” Brendan asked Gwen.

    Yep, she said back. I’m really excited.

    “Then let’s go,” Brendan said. He approached the door, which opened for him immediately.

    “Welcome to the Petalburg Gym!” came a very familiar voice. It came from the back of the building, where Brendan saw his father sitting cross-legged with his back to the door.

    “I know, your name is Norman, and you use Normal types,” Brendan said with a joke as he walked farther into the gym, causing Norman to whip around with a startled expression. That faded when he saw that it was Brendan.

    “Brendan, I didn’t expect to see you here so soon. How have you and your mom been?” Norman said as he crossed the battlefield, which looked like a martial arts dojo’s floor.

    “We’re both great, Mom and Sylveon are adjusting well, and I’ve started my journey with May Birch,” Brendan said with a smile.

    “That’s great to hear,” Norman said with pride in his voice. Before he went any farther, a certain someone made their presence fully known.

    Hi Mr. Norman, I’m Gwen! I’m Brendan’s friend and Pokémon. Gwen said, almost too loudly due to her excitement.

    Norman laughed slightly when he noticed Gwen on Brendan’s shoulder. “Well, I’m certainly glad to meet you, Gwen. I’m sure you’ve kept my son safe,” he said.

    You know it! Heck, if I wasn’t there, he’d be hopeless, she said.

    Norman laughed louder this time. It seemed Gwen’s relationship with Brendan was a mixture of friendship, that of a Pokémon and trainer, and of siblings. “Well that’s good to hear. I’m glad that the two of you are getting along so well,” he said. “So, am I correct to assume that you are still going to try to become a Champion?” Norman said.

    “Absolutely,” Brendan said with a fire in his eyes.

    “Well then, in that case, allow me to-” Norman said, but he was cut off when the Gym doors opened and a scrawny, almost sickly boy who looked to be slightly younger than Brendan entered.

    “H-hello, Mr. Maple, sir?” the boy said.

    “Hmm. Oh, yes, of course, you’re Wally, right?” Norman said to the newcomer.

    “Y-yes. I-I am,” he said. “I’m going to be leaving to live with my aunt and uncle shortly, but I want to catch a Pokémon before I leave so I have a companion.” Brendan smiled slightly, just by looking at Wally, Brendan could see that the boy had the potential to be a strong trainer. He just lacked the needed confidence.

    “Well, I can loan you a Pokémon to help with that, but I expect it back once you’ve caught your Pokémon,” Norman said, handing Wally a Pokéball. “This is my Zigzagoon, which I just recently caught. You should have no trouble catching a Pokémon with his help.”

    “Th-Thank you sir,” Wally said as he took the Pokéball and turned to leave. Brendan stopped him.

    “Hey, Wally,” he said. “Would you mind if I came with you to help you out?” Wally’s eyes brightened when Brendan said that.

    “I-If you want to come, I would love to have an experienced trainer help me out,” Wally said. “Let’s head to Route 102 to find a Pokémon.”

    Oh, that’s a great idea. I lived on Route 102 for a while, and there are other Ralts living there, Gwen said.

    “Wow, thanks!” Wally said. “I think that a Ralts will be the Pokémon I catch.”

    “That’s a good goal,” Brendan said. “Gwen has only been with me for a few days, and all the battles she’s been in were decisively hers.”

    Wally smiled, slightly at this, but then the two fell into small talk until they arrived at Route 102. That was when they approached some tall grass.

    “Okay Wally, I will be right here if you need help. Go on into the grass and find your Pokémon,” Brendan said.

    “I-I will do my best,” Wally said as he entered the grass. When Wally was five steps in, there was a white robed, green haired Pokémon who appeared before the boy.

    Well, he could be Wally’s Ralts in a few moments. Now, let’s see if Wally can catch him, Gwen said, her tone suggesting that she had a connection to the other Ralts.

    “Alright Wally, now’s the time to battle and try to catch it,” Brendan said.

    “Got it,” Wally said as he threw the Pokéball Norman gave him. “Zigzagoon, I need your help!” Wally’s first test as a trainer had begun.
  6. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Rivalry is Born

    "Zigzagoon, u-use t-tackle!" Wally said in a timid voice. The raccoon Pokémon sprinted at the Ralts, slamming into the little psychic type head-on.

    That was when Brendan heard Gwen giggling on his shoulder. "Gwen, what's so funny?" Brendan asked with a whisper so he didn't distract Wally.

    I know him, Gwen said. We were kind of like you and May, but he wasn't nice.

    "What do you mean?"

    Well, he used to bully me when we were younger. His name is Samuel, but he likes to be called Sam. He would often chase me through the grass, throwing little rocks at me a lot. It's funny to see him get some karma.

    "You know he may be captured by Wally," Brendan said as Wally called for another Tackle attack, which Zigzagoon executed after Sam used Growl to weaken the incoming attack. Zigzagoon landed the hit effectively.

    Yeah, but maybe that will set him straight. Especially after all the mean things he did to me.

    "Alright, return Zigzagoon!" Wally said as he recalled the Pokémon. "Y-you throw a Pokéball, right?"

    "Yes," Brendan said. "Do it now before that Pokémon leaves!"

    "A-alright," Wally said as he took out an empty Pokéball and threw it at Sam. The ball hit Sam on the head and took him inside. It shook three times before lighting up, indicating a capture. Wally stood there for a second, seemingly unable to understand what happened.

    "Congrats Wally," Brendan said, hoping to snap him back to his senses. "You've caught your first Pokémon."

    Wally walked over to the Pokéball, almost showing excitement. Brendan was underwhelmed by the reaction, but given how Wally seemed to usually behave, that was likely to be expected. "I caught a Ralts!" Wally said with a tone of disbelief.

    "Yeah, Gwen told me that your Ralts is named Samuel, and that they knew each other." Brendan explained.

    "In that case, let's have a reunion," Wally said. Before Brendan could object, Samuel had materialized, and Gwen was already glaring at him.

    Gwen leapt down to the ground and slapped Sam across the face before leaping back onto Brendan's shoulder. THAT WAS FOR ALL THE TIMES YOU CHASED ME AND THREW ROCKS AT ME! Gwen said with clear anger. You jerk!

    A moment of silence passed before Gwen spoke again. I don't care if you've changed, you were still a massive jerk to me!

    Sam gave Gwen a slightly annoyed look, then he took on a more competitive appearance.

    Fine, you want to become the strongest Gallade in the world, and I want to become the strongest Gardevoir. I can accept being your rival, but just realize that Brendan and I will be the greatest team ever. You and Wally don't have a chance. No offense to you, Wally.

    Brendan was in shock. He had no idea that Gwen could reach this level of anger or that she could be so competitive. He liked that side of his companion. "Well I think that we also have a rivalry now, don't we Wally," he said with a laugh.

    Wally kind of shrunk back. "I-I don't really know. I'll think about it," he said. "Why don't we go back to Norman's gym?"

    "Sure, I think my dad will be expecting us back soon," Brendan said.

    "Your dad? Who is that?" Wally asked.

    "Oh, sorry, I guess I forgot to formally introduce myself. I'm Brendan Maple."

    "Maple? like the new Gym Leader?" Wally said.

    "Yes, exactly," Brendan said with a grin.

    "You're related to Norman. Why did you not say so sooner?"

    "Wasn't it obvious?"

    "I actually thought you had just battled Norman for a gym badge and you wanted to help me."

    "Nope, I actually just started my journey this morning," Brendan said with a laugh.

    Yeah, I'm actually pretty low-leveled right now, to be completely honest, Gwen said.

    "Wow, so we're at the same level?" Wally said, starting to get a little more confident, which surprised Brendan. "I mean, we both have a Ralts, a-and we're both just starting out."

    "So, what do you say? Are we rivals?" Brendan said as he extended his hand.

    Wally hesitated for a moment before shaking hands with Brendan. "Of course, and may the better trainer win," he said.

    Brendan will! Gwen said with a taunting tone.

    Before Wally or Brendan could say anything, Brendan heard somebody calling his name, and the voice was very familiar. When Brendan turned to see who it was, he saw none other than Professor Birch. "Brendan, I'm glad I caught up to you," he said.

    "Hey Professor, what's going on?" Brendan said.

    "Well, I decided that somebody should take this Mudkip with them," he said as he pulled out the third Pokéball. "It wouldn't be good for him to be separated from other Pokémon. Would you mind taking him with you?"

    "Actually, I think that Mudkip would be better off in Wally's hands," Brendan said, placing a hand on Wally's shoulder.

    "Wait, really?" Wally asked, slightly shocked.

    "Yeah, why not?" Brendan asked. "I already have a Treecko, and my friend May has a Torchic, so you should be the one to raise Mudkip."

    "Then I won't refuse the offer," Wally said, and then Professor Birch handed Wally Mudkip's Pokéball.

    "Take care of Mudkip," Birch said. "And, since you're beginning your journey, you may have this Pokédex and these five Pokéballs." Wally took the Pokédex, which was a blue version of what Brendan and May received. "Now, good luck to both of you." Professor Birch left after this, so Brendan and Wally walked back into town.

    "By the way, don't you want to meet your Mudkip?" Brendan asked.

    "I-I guess so," Wally said as he opened his newest occupied Pokéball. "Let's go Mudkip!" With a flash of light, a four-legged mudfish appeared, giving slight cry.

    Gwen then floated to the ground and closely examined the Pokémon. Suddenly, she began to talk with excitement. Hiya! I'm Gwen, what's your name? She paused for a while as Mudkip spoke in Pokémon language. So, your name is Paul. I guess you are going to be facing Clint and me later on.

    "True, but you never know how strong we will become," Wally said. "We may do better than you do."

    "We will see about that, won't we?" Brendan said. Wally recalled Paul and they continued back to the Petalburg Gym. It took about five minutes to get there. They entered the gym only to run into a frustrated trainer with green-grey colored hair leaving the gym, muttering something about how the gym leader must have cheated to win so decisively. Brendan just remained silent as they passed that trainer and moved toward Norman, who was just recalling his Pokémon, but Brendan missed what it was, and he wouldn't even be able to venture a guess about what it was since Norman never told Brendan what was on his team.

    "Well, it's good to see you two made it back. How did everything go?" Norman said.

    "I caught a Ralts and Professor Birch gave me a Mudkip," Wally said, handing back Zigzagoon's Pokéball, which Norman gladly accepted.

    "I see, so you have two Pokémon already. Well, congratulations and good luck to you in Verdanturf," Norman said.

    "Thank you Mr. Maple, it was nice meeting you Brendan!" Wally said as he left the building.

    "That boy seemed more confident than before you two left," Norman said. "It seems that you helped him out with more than just catching a Pokémon."

    "Yeah, but he still has a ways to go," Brendan said.

    "Well, you're in a similar position, since you both started out today," Norman said. "Anyway, before Wally came in the first time, I was going to say that you should head to Rustboro City to challenge Roxanne for her badge. Then travel to the other gyms to continue to become stronger."

    "Wait, so that means I will be battling you eventually?" Brendan said, sounding a bit surprised.

    "Yes, but I will only let you challenge me when you have four badges at least," Norman said.

    Brendan nodded. "I think I can get four badges easily enough," he said. "Just promise you won't hold back."

    "If I did, then I would have no right to call myself a Gym Leader," Norman said with a serious expression.

    "Well, it was great to see you again, Dad. I need to meet up with May and get back to the Pokémon Center," Brendan said.

    "Alright, but let me give you some words of wisdom before you go," Norman said. "Don't be afraid to take risks on your journey; just be smart about what those risks are. And be sure to remember that there may come a time when your beliefs and ideals are tested more fiercely than you ever thought possible. It's at those times that it becomes clear what kind of man you truly are."

    Brendan smiled. "Thank you, Dad. I will keep that in mind," he said as he left.

    May was having a fun time at the Petalburg mall, having found three beautiful dresses for the contest, and she had even had time to battle in the conveniently placed battle arena a few times. One of those battles, which was against a woman with a Shroomish, resulted in her Wurmple evolving into a Silcoon. May couldn't be happier with how the day was going.

    Unfortunately, she had to get back to the Pokémon Center, since the final call for shoppers to leave the mall was being announced. So, she left the building with her bags in-hand. Ten minutes later, she was in the room at the Pokémon Center, laying on her bed to relax.

    Apparently she relaxed really well, because she was soon in the world of her dreams. What she saw there was a bit strange. Her dream was very realistic, but it was a world where she was in Brendan's family. The difference was that Brendan wasn't there. She lived in Petalburg with her family, consisting of Norman, Caroline, and an annoying, know-it-all little brother who seemed to be named Max. She dreamed that she was on her way to meet with Professor Birch for her first Pokémon. For some reason, she was terrified of Pokémon. Eventually, she met a boy with a Pikachu who fried her bike in a fit of unstable electricity. After that, she chose a Torchic and began her journey with that same trainer. That was when she heard a distant voice calling her name. It kept getting louder until May woke up to see Brendan and Gwen standing beside her, looking slightly concerned.

    "Is everything okay? You were talking in your sleep. You sounded like you were being annoyed by something," Brendan said.

    I think you were having a weird dream, want to talk about it? Gwen said.

    "Y-yeah, thank you for waking me up. I have no clue what was going on in my head," May said before describing the dream as best she could. When she finished her recounting, Brendan was unsure how to react.

    "Well, to be honest, it sounds like it was just a dream," Brendan said. "I wouldn't let it bug you too much."

    "Yeah, I suppose. I mean, could you imagine how bad that life would be? It was almost like awful writers were in charge of my every move," May said with a slight laugh as she looked at the clock, and saw that it was almost midnight, and she was still quite tired. "Anyway, I am going to actually clean off before bed."

    "Alright, Gwen and I will be watching TV," Brendan said as he grabbed the remote and flipped the set on to PokeVision, the popular show from Kalos that showcased Pokémon and their trainers.

    May went into the bathroom with the door locked, disrobed, and turned on the shower. All the while, Brendan and Gwen were struggling to stay awake as the comfortable bed and the droning of the TV worked in a combined effort to lull them deeper into sleep.

    Within a few minutes, May left the bathroom, her hair damp, and she was wearing a Chandelures concert t-shirt, with very short shorts. Brendan, however, was so far-gone that he didn't even notice the sight before him. May just laughed to herself. It was probably Brendan's dream to see her wearing this type of outfit, yet here he was, sleeping through it. Oh well, he'd have to see it in the morning.

    The next day, Brendan woke up to find Gwen sleeping soundly on his chest, and she looked to be at peace. So, Brendan had no choice but to stay put until Gwen woke up. While he waited, he got a little bored, so he looked around the room. His gaze eventually wandered over to where May slept. He was a bit surprised to see that she was on top of the blankets, but he was even more intrigued by what she was wearing. She had on a t-shirt from a Chandelures concert, which happened to be one of Brendan's favorite bands, and a pair of lightly colored cotton shorts. What Brendan now wanted to know was how May looked so beautiful, even while sleeping. Most women would kill to look that good, and she pulled it off naturally.

    Looking at something? Brendan heard, which made him jump in shock before looking down at his little, green-haired companion, who wore a knowing expression.

    "I might be," Brendan said in a slightly defensive tone. "What of it?"

    It's not a big deal. I'm curious about something, though. If you think she's pretty, why don't you tell her?

    "I think it's a bit early for me to say something like that, don't you?" Brendan said.

    I just know that all women love to be told that they're beautiful, just don't be creepy about it

    "I guess, but still, I think I'll wait for a little bit. I mean, we only just met two days ago," he said.

    "Are you two talking about me?" May said groggily as she sat up.

    Yeah, I think Brendan has something he wants to say to you! Gwen said. Brendan glared at her, starting to see how their new relationship would function.

    "Oh? And what exactly did you want to say?" May said, picking up on Brendan's discomfort.

    "Uhm...Yeah, I wanted to say something," Brendan said, suddenly finding the floor patterns on the floor incredibly interesting.

    "Go on," May said, still clearly enjoying this.

    "I think you look beautiful," he said, developing a blush deeper than should be humanly possible.

    May smiled, but didn't give more indication of how she felt other than that. Gwen, however, could detect exactly what her response was. Her heart rate was accelerating, and she was clearly happier than mere seconds ago. "Well, thank you," she said. "I'm going to go clean off before we get started on training for the contest."

    "Alright," Brendan said, still not really looking up. May just laughed as she went into the bathroom and began to prepare for the day.

    "Well," May said under her breath. "I can say that you are pretty handsome yourself."
  7. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    May Takes the Stage Part 1

    Three days have passed for Brendan and May, and during this time, both young trainers had been battling, with May practicing her routine for the contest. During this time, Gwen was easily the stronger of his Pokémon, but Clint was no slouch either, having a natural affinity for battling on instinct. That would be extremely helpful in future battles, but he still had a while before battling the first gym. There were, however, a good number of other trainers who wanted to battle in their spare time.

    Today, however, was the day of the Petalburg Contest, and May was more than ready. Miranda's fire attacks had been polished to look gorgeous and eye-catching. Brendan had given some critique about where she needed to improve her appeals. May had already arrived at the contest hall and registered for the contest. Now she was in the dressing room, wearing one of her new dresses, this one was a royal blue formal sheath with a sleeve on the left side, but the right arm would be showing. She enjoyed the fact that the dress was tight in all the right places, while still appearing elegant due to the flowing skirt. She wore a matching pair of elegant stilettos, with small gold earrings which had shimmering sapphires on the ends. Her make-up was done in such a way that Michelangelo couldn't have made her more beautiful. Her mascara was applied to near perfection, which caused her blue eyes to stand out and shimmer like the ocean on a bright, sunny day, and she had on a dark red lipstick. In short, she looked amazing.

    She had thoroughly prepared for this contest, but there was still one thing missing for her. She couldn't find her confidence. All that she felt was nervousness. Miranda, who was sitting on the table next to May, could sense how nervous her trainer was but she could do little to help May calm down, since her nerves were getting the better of her as well. The contest would be starting at 5:00, and it was currently 4:45. May was going to be the second to last appeal, but she wasn't sure how she would keep herself calm when the time came.

    Brendan was in the middle of the third row from the stage, with Gwen on his lap, and she was clearly excited to see a contest. This was mostly evident because she was practically talking Brendan's ear off, or would have been if she was able to physically speak.

    It must be getting close to time for the contest to begin! Gwen said for a seventh time since sitting down. Brendan just looked at his PokeNav clock, which read 4:58.

    "Well, we have about two minutes before it's supposed to start, so it should be starting any minute now." As if that was the cue, the lights in the auditorium dimmed down and a single spotlight turned on, aiming at the MC, who was wearing a purple, frilled dress. She had golden, blonde hair that was styled similar to Marilyn Monroe and she wore a microphone headset.

    "Welcome one and all to the annual Petalburg City Pokémon Contest. My name is Vivian Meridian, and I am your host for the event. Allow me to introduce you to our panel of judges," She said as she pointed at the four podiums set up for the judges., which were empty at the moment. "First is Director of the Contest Committee Mr. Contesta!" As Vivian said that, a panel in the floor opened up and a chair was brought up on a lift behind the far left podium.

    "I am looking forward to seeing how all these coordinators show the appeal of their Pokémon," Mr. Contesta said. He wore a red suit with a white rose pinned to his lapel. His hair was mostly dark, but his sideburns were turning grey.

    "Next is Head of the Pokémon Fan Club, Mr. Sukizo!" This time, the chair was raised to the immediate right of Mr. Contesta

    "Thank you Vivian, and I hope this contest proves to be…incredible!" Mr. Sukizo replied. This earned a shocked look from Mr. Contesta, but he said nothing about it.

    "Our third judge is the local Nurse Joy!" Vivian said with enthusiasm as the floor behind the third podium.

    "I am sure that all these coordinators will show just how close they are with their Pokémon," Nurse Joy said. "That is my favorite part of any Pokémon competition."

    "And our last judge is a relatively new face to Petalburg City," Vivian said.

    "No way," Brendan said with a slight facepalm, already knowing who this judge would be.

    "He's originally from the Goldenrod City Gym, but now he's become the leader of the Petalburg Gym. Please put your hands together for Norman Maple!" As she said that, Norman was raised to his chair, and he wore a partly stern, partly excited expression.

    "It's a pleasure to be here at the Petalburg City Contest, and I would like to thank all of you for welcoming me so openly as your Gym Leader. My expertise may be battling, but believe me when I say that I can fully appreciate when a Pokémon attack is truly beautiful. So, let's see some performances." Norman said. This earned a round of applause from the audience.

    "With those great introductions out of the way, let's move on to our first part of the contest: the appeals!" Vivian said. "Our first contestant is a veteran of the contest circuit, and she is sure to catch your eye with her performance. Give it up for none other than Grace!"

    Brendan watched the twenty-year old trainer come on stage, and she wore an interesting choice of attire, consisting of a dress that looked to be the color of a pink pearl. She walked with confidence, and she seemed to know what she was doing. "Let's dazzle them Arya!" she called out as she released her first Pokémon, which was a Beautifly. "Use Morning Sun!" At that command, Arya's wings began to glow and shimmer like a rising sun. "Now show them your Electro Web!" she called out.

    As she said that command, Arya sprayed what looked like String Shot, but it formed a spider web the hummed with electricity. "Now break it apart with Silver Wind!" Beautifly beat her wings, sending shimmering silver scythes at the web, and when they collided, they both exploded, forming a cloud of multi-colored sparkling lights.

    "Excuse me," Brendan heard beside him. He turned to face the source of the voice only to see an eccentrically dressed woman with cute, aqua blue hair that looked like a lightning bolt on top, with a long bang, similar to May's, on her right side, and another bang that looked almost like Vivian's headset. She wore a blue hoodie and khaki pants.

    "Yes?" Brendan asked.

    "Do you mind if I take this seat," she said, gesturing to the empty seat beside him.

    "Feel free," Brendan said politely.

    "Thank you so much," the girl said as she sat down. "My name is Lisia Rain, by the way."

    "I'm Brendan, and this is Gwen."

    Nice to meet you Lisia! Gwen said, which caused Lisia's eyes to go wide. Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.

    "No, it's not a problem. I just wasn't expecting to meet a talking Pokémon," Lisia said. She paused to watch Grace finish her performance. Arya had begun a Gust attack, forming a tornado in the center of the stage.

    "Silver Wind!" Grace called. Arya once more sent multiple glittering waves of silver scythes of wind, which fused with the Gust attack, giving the tornado a glittering appearance. "Now Sunny Day!" With that, Beautifly sent an orb of light into the sky, which intensified the strength of the sun's rays. "Finish it with Solarbeam!" Beautifly's wings both glowed brightly before firing a green and yellow beam of energy at the swirling wind. The attacks collided and they burst into brilliant sparkling dust and energy. Gwen looked to be completely entranced by the gorgeous performance.

    The judges all wrote their scores and, with forty points being the maximum points a coordinator could score, Grace was rewarded with 39 total points. Vivian congratulated Grace on her performance. Grace recalled Arya and cleared the way for the next coordinator. Brendan was a bit surprised, he was expecting a perfect score from that performance.

    "I figured she'd be just shy of a perfect score," Lisia said, and she noticed a curious look from Brendan.

    "How could you tell?" Brendan asked.

    "Oh, I figured you would have recognized my name," Lisia said.

    "Sorry, I'm new to the Hoenn region. I just recently moved to Littleroot Town from the Johto region," Brendan said.

    "Oh, I guess that explains it. Well, I don't like to bring it up, but people consider me to be Hoenn's top coordinator," she said.

    Brendan got a look of admiration on his face. "So you're really the expert when it comes to contests."

    "In a way," she said. "But now I'm looking for somebody I can be a mentor to."

    "I think I know somebody who you could teach. She said she's the second to last performer," Brendan said.

    "Oh? Well, I will need to see how she does then," Lisia said.

    In the contestant waiting room, May was sitting on a bench with Miranda next to her and she was in awe of what Grace and Arya just did. It was incredible to say the least. Just as she was getting over her amazement, Grace returned to the waiting room, and she received a round of applause from the other coordinators. As she passed by May, she stopped and glanced at her.

    "You're somebody I haven't met on the contest circuit before," she said. "My name is Grace Sinatra."

    "I'm May Birch," May said. "And this is Miranda," she said gesturing to Torchic.

    "So I take it this is your first contest, am I right?" she asked.

    "Is it that obvious?" May said.

    "When you've been a coordinator as long as I have, you start to be able to pick out the rookies from the crowd," Grace said.

    "I guess that's true. Anyway, that was an amazing performance, it must have taken a long time to perfect it," May said.

    "If only I had spent a bit more time, that would have been a perfect score," Grace said. "Ah well, it can't be helped now. So, when is your performance?"

    "I am the second to last," May said, a bit disappointed.

    "I see," Grace said. "Well, here is a quick tip for you. Just relax, think of this like your practice sessions."

    "Thank you Grace," May said. "I'll do my best."

    "Good, because I want to see you make it to the second stage," she said.

    May's eyes went wide with surprise at first, but then she smiled with some confidence. If Grace thought that she had what it took to make it to the second stage, then why did she doubt herself?

    Brendan, Gwen, and Lisia enjoyed watching the performances after Grace, but none really seemed to compare, and the scores reflected that, with most falling in the low thirties or lower. In this contest, there were thirty coordinators, and they had already gone through twenty-eight. It was now May's turn.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, for our next coordinator, we have a newcomer to the contest circuit, so please give her a warm welcome. It's May Birch!" Vivian called out. On that cue, May walked out of the tunnel, and Brendan could not believe what he was seeing.

    "Well, let's see how she does," Lisia said.

    Brendan, however, could only respond with an "Uh huh," as he was awestruck. May didn't just look pretty. No, she had gone far beyond that. She was stunning. Brendan couldn't stop staring at her, no matter how hard he tried…not that he was really trying.

    "Gwen, is he okay?" Lisia whispered to the little Pokémon.

    Yeah, he just has a crush on May that he won't admit to, Gwen said back.

    "That explains it," Lisia said with a slight giggle.

    May waved to the crowd as she walked toward the center of the stage. She didn't pay too much attention to them, though. She was ready to begin her appeal. She pulled out the Pokéball, and readied herself.

    "Miranda, take the stage!" May called out as she let out her Torchic, who chirped as she appeared.

    "Alright Miranda, use Ember!" May called out. Miranda began to run in circles. While she ran, she spat out multiple sparks of fire into the air, which began to swirl in a spiral pattern.

    "Keep going!" May said. Torchic kept running and spitting fire. Brendan smiled in the crowd. The appeal was going really well based on how she practiced it. The fire was coalescing and beginning to take the form of what looked like the Milky Way Galaxy, only in a fiery orange color.

    "Oh my, ladies and gentlemen, this is an astounding sight. I think this is the most breath taking performance we've seen from a newcomer coordinator in a long while," Vivian said.

    "I couldn't agree more," Lisia said. "She came up with that on her own?"
    "Mostly, I helped a little in polishing it up, but she was the one who thought of it," Brendan said.

    "Well, it seems you were right. She is something else. I think I can help her learn how to refine her skill to the level of a world class coordinator," Lisia said. "She's a natural with a performing."

    "Now, use Peck!" May called out. Miranda's beak began to glow as she leapt up directly into the center of the flaming galaxy. She burst out the top, trailed by a stream of flames as the galaxy broke apart. Miranda flipped and landed strongly in the center of the stage where she chirped with joy and pride. May and Miranda both took a bow, and the crowd erupted into cheers. May couldn't believe how much praise she was receiving from her first performance. When Miranda jumped into her arms, the crowd loved it even more, since it earned a couple 'awws' from the crowd.

    That was when May looked at the screen showing her score. Her jaw dropped. It was a perfect forty. She then looked over at the judges table, where she got a smile and thumbs up from Norman. She smiled back and gave a bow to the audience before leaving the stage.

    "Hey, Lisia, Gwen and I are going to go to the contestant waiting room," Brendan said.

    "Mind if I join you? I want to meet with May," Lisia said.

    "I don't mind, and I am sure May will want to meet you as well," Brendan said.

    She will definitely love to meet you Gwen said with enthusiasm.

    May walked into the tunnel back to the waiting room, only to pass by a younger boy with green hair, holding a rose. He couldn't have been more than twelve years old. "Well, that was impressive," he said. "But just know that you won't win the contest. That ribbon will be mine."

    "And who exactly are you?" May said with a slight glare.

    "Drew Rosa from LaRousse City," the boy said.

    "Well, good luck on your appeals at least," May said.

    Drew just scoffed. "As if I need anything as useless as luck," he said as he walked to the field. May just shook her head. She was not going to let a twelve year old bother her.

    She got back into the waiting room and saw Grace standing with her arms crossed, her left eyebrow raised, and an amused smirk across her face. "Well, you seem to have made your mark," she said. "That was a beautiful performance!"

    "Thank you," May said with a smile. "I couldn't believe that I got that score. I never thought I'd get a perfect score on my first try."

    "Well, if that's the case, then you seriously underestimate yourself," a new voice said from behind her.

    Yeah, that was incredible. You really shouldn't doubt yourself, said a very familiar Pokémon voice.

    May turned around to see Brendan and Gwen, but there was also a new face she recognized, but only from television. "Holy Arceus, is that Lisia?" Grace called out. May didn't know why she knew that name, but she knew it from somewhere. "Do you have Ali with you?" Grace asked.

    "Yes, but he's a bit tired from training and practicing for our performance at the Grand Festival this year that he really needed the rest in his Pokéball," the new girl said.

    "Wait, Lisia? As in the Lisia Rain?" May said.

    "Yes, that's me," Lisia said with a smile

    "Wow, I can't believe this! I am a huge fan of yours," May said.

    "Well, I can say that the feeling is mutual now," Lisia said. "That performance was astounding."

    Just as she said that, there was a roar from the television screens. "And there we have it, the second perfect score of this contest. Drew Rosa has shown his skill with his Roselia. That perfect combination of Stun Spore, Petal Dance, and Magical Leaf was incredible to say the least. I think three of the four who go on to the second stage. Our fourth finalist is going to be Richard Johnson."

    May groaned when she heard that Drew had a perfect score.

    "What's wrong?" Grace asked.

    "That kid was an arrogant brat when he passed me on his way to the stage," May said.

    "I'm sorry, was my perfect score not proof that I have every reason to be arrogant, as you call it," said a snobbish voice behind Brendan.

    Brendan just turned around, coming face-to-face with Drew. The kid was no more than twelve years old, yet he acted like he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, especially with that rose he carried around ridiculously. "So, you're Drew?" Brendan said with a glare.

    "Yeah, that's me. Sorry, but I don't do autographs," he said.

    "Good, I wasn't asking for one," Brendan said.

    "Well then you can get out of my way, loser," Drew said as he tried to walk by Brendan.

    "I'm sorry, I must have misheard you. Care to repeat what you just said?"

    "Brendan, don't bother with him," May said. "He's not worth it." Brendan gave Drew one last glare before turning around. That would've been the end of it, but Drew took it too far.

    "I should have figured that the weak trainer, who doesn't even know how to control a weak little Ralts, would run from a challenge," Drew said. Nobody expected what happened next, not even Gwen.

    In the blink of an eye, Brendan had grabbed Drew by his shirt, lifted him three feet off the ground, and had him pinned against the wall. He then leaned in close to Drew. "Kid, you don't know me, and I don't know you. I don't care if you insult me, but don't you dare call my Pokémon weak. Do you understand me?" The look of fear in Drew's eyes was enough for Brendan. "Next time, don't be a prick to people who you don't know," he said as he released Drew, who shakily made his way to a bench in the waiting room.

    He turned to face May, Grace, and Lisia, only to be surprised that they looked impressed by what just happened. May was the first to talk. "You know, you handled that better than I would have," she said.

    "Thanks, I wasn't going to hurt the kid. I just figured a good scare would set him straight," Brendan said with a slight smirk.

    "True, but I wouldn't make a habit of that," Lisia said.

    "I won't if he doesn't," Brendan said.

    "Good, anyway, I wanted to talk to you, May," Lisia said.

    "About what?" May asked, a bit intrigued.

    "I've been looking for somebody I can teach in the ways of Pokémon coordinating, an apprentice of sorts. They couldn't be just any old coordinator, they had to show potential," Lisia said. "Today, I became convinced that you are my best choice. What do you say?"

    May was dumbfounded. "Uh, that would be great, but I still want to travel with Brendan, is that still possible?"

    "Don't worry, it will only be the occasional meeting and polishing of your techniques," Lisia said. "You don't have to change any of your travel arrangements for this."

    "Great, then I accept your offer," May said.

    May, you're going to be so great! Gwen said before teleporting over to May and giving her a hug.

    May smiled. "Thanks Gwen. I'm glad I have your support."

    That was when a bell rang lightly. "Alright ladies and gentlemen, the intermission is over. It is now time to determine the order of the battle round!" On the screen, four panels were showing and the pictures of the finalists appeared a minute later.

    "Well, it looks like Drew loses in the first round," Brendan said.

    "I agree," Lisia said. The board showed Grace against Richard, and May would be battling Drew. It seemed that karma was working its magic.
  8. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    May Takes the Stage Part 2

    Brendan and Lisia had taken their seats in the crowd and were eagerly awaiting the match between Drew and May. Brendan had been thoroughly annoyed by the little brat, and he wanted the kid to be completely humiliated by May.

    "This should be fun to watch," Brendan said. "May plans to use Miranda, and Drew uses Roselia, which I assume is a grass-type. This should be a lot easier for her."

    "Not quite," Lisia said. "While the type does give her an advantage, contest battles aren't like gym battles. Points are taken away when your opponent lands a hit, if they dodge attacks, or if they counter it to make their Pokémon look better. Whoever has the most points by the end of five minutes is the winner. It's either that, or if one contestant runs out of points, the other wins."

    "I see," Brendan said. "So Drew could pull this off if he battles right?"

    "Yes, exactly," Lisia said. "However, I think May has what it takes to win the ribbon."

    May will win this, I just know it! Gwen said, showing her enthusiasm once more. Brendan just smiled and tousled her hair lightly.

    "I like your confidence," Brendan said. As he spoke, May and Drew exited their tunnels.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for our first battle to begin. May Maple and Drew Rosa, the only two coordinators of this contest who received perfect scores, are to face off," Vivian said. This earned cheers from the audience as the two coordinators took their positions on the battlefield. "Begin!"

    "Miranda, take the stage!" May called out as she sent out Torchic.

    "Violet, let's go," Drew said as he released his Roselia.

    "Miranda, begin this with Ember!" May said. Miranda spat out a stream of flames.

    "Counter that with Petal Dance!" Drew said. Roselia unleashed a barrage of pink flower petals, and each caught a flame, blocking the attack. Brendan watched as May's points dropped slightly.

    "May, you can't let this guy counter that easily," Brendan said quietly.

    "Miranda, use Sand-Attack!" May called out. Miranda kicked at the ground rapidly, throwing sand and dust into the air, effectively blinding Drew and Violet. "Now move around the field and use Ember again!" Miranda did as she was told, spraying a stream of flames into the cloud of dust, creating a hole in the dust cloud. Drew and Violet could not see where the attack was coming from in time, and Violet took the attack head-on. This attack caused Drew to lose a large amount of points.

    "Violet, use Sweet Scent, then Toxic!" Drew said. Violet's roses began to release pink dust clouds which spread through the entire contest hall. Gwen seemed to visibly relax as the scent wafted over her.

    That smells great, she said. I just want to bottle this scent up and keep it with me. Brendan just smiled. Gwen certainly had a way of making things amusing.

    That was when Violet threw a brown ball of sludge at Miranda. "Miranda, hit that Toxic with an Ember to burn it up!" May commanded. Miranda, however, was slower since she had been completely enticed by the Sweet Scent. She started to shoot Embers, but it was too late to fully stop the attack. The blob splashed over Miranda, poisoning her badly. This dropped May's points significantly, she was now down to just less than half of her original points. Drew, on the other hand, still had three quarters of his original points. May grimaced. If she didn't think of something soon, she would be leaving empty handed. That was notgoing to happen. When Miranda looked back at her trainer, however, any worry faded away. There was a fire in the little Pokémon's eyes, and that was conveyed to her trainer. May took on a look of absolute confidence as she figured out how to win this match.

    "Miranda, use Scratch and Peck together!" May said. Miranda was quick to start closing the distance between herself and Violet as her talons began to glow lightly and her beak began to glow as well.

    "Violet, use Stun Spore!" Drew called out. He had clearly forgotten that he had just poisoned Miranda, so Stun Spore would be completely ineffective. Nonetheless, Violet followed orders by unleashing a cloud of yellow spores. Miranda just kept running, going through the spore cloud without batting an eye. She got to Roselia and began to claw and peck that the floral Pokémon.

    "Keep it up Miranda, don't stop!" May said. The little fire chick didn't need to be told twice, as she kept the barrage going.

    "Well, that was both May's connection with Miranda, and Drew's stupidity that allowed this," Lisia said as Drew's points plummeted to less than a quarter of what he had to start with. "That kid may have a talent for contests, but a slip up like that one is a sign that he's not ready to be here." Drew's points continued to drop with every successful attack until, simultaneously, Violet was knocked out and he ran out of points. He looked at the clock and saw that there was still two and a half minutes left.

    "Damn it," Drew said as he fell to his knees and hung his head. He had lost humiliatingly, and he would be going home with nothing.

    "And it looks like May has won the battle!" Vivian said. "She will be proceeding to the next round of the finals, either facing Richard Johnson, or Grace Callahan. This next battle will decide who that opponent is!"

    "Now everybody, it's time for our second semifinal round to begin. On my left we have Richard Johnson!" Vivian said. A round of applause erupted throughout the contest hall as the young man, who was around Brendan's age and wore a nice suit.

    You know, he has a really unfortunate name, Gwen said to Brendan. I mean his name is pretty much D-

    "Gwen, that's enough," Brendan said, trying to hold back laughter.

    What? I know you are all thinking it!

    "On my right, we have Grace Sinatra!" Vivian said, this time earning even more cheers than Richard got as she walked onto the stage, waving to the audience. Both coordinators got to their positions and Vivian raised her arm. "BEGIN!"

    "Let's dazzle them once more, Arya!" Grace called out as she sent out her Beautifly.

    "Come on out, Al (A/N: as in "Capone)!" Richard said. The Pokémon that came out was a Murkrow, which was different from the Pokémon that Richard used in the appeals round. This Pokémon had a very unsettling air to it, much like a majority of dark types. Gwen in particular shrunk away from the crow, showing that she was a bit uneasy around dark types.

    "What's wrong Gwen?" Brendan asked.

    Nothing, Gwen said, but Brendan could tell that there was something she was avoiding. He gave her a look that told her he knew she was lying, but he let it drop.

    "Well, if it's something you want to talk about, I will gladly listen to help you," he said. "For now, enjoy the performance."

    Y-yeah, I'll do that. Gwen's tone really concerned Brendan. She was talking like she was more than just concerned near a Murkrow; it sounded like she was truly scared of it. This was something he needed to address later.

    "Arya, start this with Silver Wind!" Grace said. Arya swiftly beat her wings, sending silver scythes of wind at Al. This caused a strange red glow to appear around her, indicating an increase in her attacking and defending abilities as well as her speed. Murkrow didn't even bother to dodge, though.

    "Al, use Payback!" Richard said. The dark crow flew at Beautifly at incredible speed, a deep purple aura surrounding him as he crashed into Arya, sending her reeling. Brendan winced at the force of the attack, and at the quarter of her total points that Grace lost, while Richard only lost about an eighth, if that. Gwen's reaction was even more worrying to Brendan. Her eyes were wide and she was shrinking back even more, trying to hide her face with his shirt. Lisia noticed too, and she gave Brendan a look to say "Is she alright?"

    "Arya, Morning Sun, then use Bug Buzz!" Grace said. Arya's wings began to glow brightly, and the light nearly blinded Richard and Al. Then, a harsh buzzing was heard coming from Arya. This buzzing formed green sonic rings that flew at the crow Pokémon, staggering it and causing a purple glow to appear, indicating a reduction in his Special Attack power. Richard lost almost a quarter of his points from that attack.

    "Al, use Brave Bird!" Richard said. Al flew high into the air before diving directly at Arya, a blue cloak of flames appearing around him. He struck Arya hard, sending the butterfly spinning.

    That was when Brendan felt such a strong wave of panic coming from Gwen. He looked down at her and saw that she was on the verge of hyperventilating, her eyes wide. Brendan didn't bother explaining to Lisia as he stood up, got out of the row and ran to the exit of the contest hall. He had to get Gwen out of the hall immediately, and find somebody who could help her. A few of the ushers at the door saw him coming and got out of his way as he picked up his pace, pushing the doors open hard, earning a look of shock from the receptionist.

    "Ma'am, is there a Pokémon nurse or doctor here?" Brendan asked. The receptionist saw Gwen, whose expression conveyed just as much panic as before, if not more.

    "Well, she's on stage right now, but there is a police officer just outside the door, talk to him, he should help you get to the Pokémon Center," she said.

    "Thank you," Brendan said, not skipping a beat as he ran to the sliding doors. Gwen please calm down! Sure enough, there was a police officer only a short distance away, and a motorcycle with a side car was right beside him. "Hey, I need help!"

    The officer looked over. "To the Pokémon Center?" he said, assessing the situation. Brendan nodded. "Then get in and hold on to that Ralts." He kicked the bike to life as soon as they were both seated, and sped toward the Pokémon Center, his lights and sirens on.

    Back in the contest hall, Grace had just won her match against Richard in a close match. "That was a great match from both of our contestants, and congratulations to Grace Callahan as she progresses to the finals to face May Birch!" The audience cheered for Grace, as she and Richard both shook hands and left the stage. Lisia was the only one who wasn't cheering, she was too concerned about Gwen, but she knew that she would need to wait for the end of the contest to tell May, so that she was able to perform the best possible.

    Backstage, Grace was given access to a healing machine so the next battle would be a fair match between two fully healed Pokémon. She was ready to battle; she just hoped May was too. She wanted to make this a memorable final round for May's first contest.

    May stood at her end of the stage. Luckily, she had not seen Brendan running out the door with Gwen, but she did see that his seat was empty. Oh well, he'll be back before the match ends. What she didn't understand, though, was Lisia's troubled expression. She decided to file her questions in the back of her mind for after the final round.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the final round. This is a battle between Grace Callahan and May Birch!" Vivian said. The crowd began cheering again as both coordinators came back on stage.

    Norman, who was still sitting behind his podium, was not focusing on the contest at all. He had just seen his son sprinting from the contest hall, with Gwen cradled in his arms like she was hurt. He shook himself out of his stupor. He had to stay here for twenty minutes at most, and he could drive to the Pokémon Center as soon as this contest was over.

    "Begin!" Vivian said.

    "Miranda, take the stage!" May called.

    "Let's dazzle them one more time Arya!" Grace said. Both Miranda and Arya appeared, and they were both happy to be on stage once more. "May, since this is your first contest, you can have the first attack," Grace said.

    "Thank you Grace. Now, Miranda, show them how strong your Ember is!" May said. Miranda began to shoot flames at Arya, but Grace saw this basic attack coming.

    "Counter that with Silver Wind!" Arya began flapping her wings rapidly, sending silver scythes of wind at Miranda, hitting and stalemating with the Ember attack.

    "Just what I hoped you'd do," May said. "Miranda, jump over Arya and use Ember as you go over!" Miranda jumped into the air, vaulting over the butterfly, pelting her with flames, and, since Arya's attack was already aimed at where Miranda began, Silver Wind was too slow at catching up to the stream of fire. That caused Grace to lose almost a quarter of her points. At the same time, May lost about a sixth of her points due to Grace's counter.

    "Well, that was devious and well planned," Grace said. "But I still have some trump cards. Arya, use Hidden Power!" At that command, blue orbs began to circle Arya before joining into one orb, which then shot a beam at Miranda.

    Damn, that must be a water-type hidden power, May thought. "Alright, Miranda, jump to my right side and get out of the way of that attack. Then use Ember as you run around Arya!" Miranda dodged as May said, just barely getting out of the way in time, as she began pelting Arya with sparks of fire from all sides. May grinned as she saw Grace's points drop below the halfway mark.

    "Arya, use Flash!" Grace said, clearly not concerned about her points. May and Miranda had no time to shield their eyes from the blinding light that flared from Arya's wings. This blinding light caused Miranda to lose track of her footing and trip, causing May to lose almost another quarter of her points. "Now use Gust!" Arya began to flap her wings again, this time generating a tornado. This gave May an idea.

    "Miranda, use Ember on that Gust attack!" she called out. Miranda got back on her feet and began to shoot fire at Arya's tornado. The wind picked up the fire, which began to spread through the wind. Grace's eyes went wide as May turned an incoming attack into her way of dazzling the audience and the judges, and it was working well. Grace was now down to less than a quarter of her points, while May was just below the halfway mark.

    I guess this is why Lisia likes this girl. She has incredible talent Grace thought. "Arya, use Solar Beam, break that tornado and end this battle!"

    "Miranda, leap through that tornado and use a fiery Peck!" May said, using part of their appeal routine in the battle round. Miranda didn't waste a second as she leapt through the flames, bursting through like a rocket, and she was aimed perfectly at Arya, who would not be able to move as she charged up her Solar Beam. She was almost done charging up, but almost just wasn't enough, when Miranda hit her mark. The combination of the flying type attack and the fire trailing behind it was too much for Arya to take and she fell to the ground.

    The judge podiums all had red X's on their screens, indicating a knock out. The match, and thus the contest, was over. May just stood in shock for a moment as she processed what just happened. She had just won her first contest, and she didn't know what to do. That was when Miranda leapt into May's arms, bringing her back to reality, where the crowd was roaring and Mr. Contesta approached May with a fancy box in hand.

    "Miss Birch, I am very pleased to present you with the Petalburg Contest Ribbon. Congratulations on winning your first ribbon, and let me say that we are already expecting great things from you," he said as he gave May her newly won ribbon.

    "I WON MY FIRST CONTEST!" she cheered ecstatically. She looked into the crowd hoping to see Brendan and Gwen cheering for her, but she saw that neither sitting in their seats. This troubled her. What was so important that Brendan missed her final performance?

    That was when Norman came up to May. "May, congratulations on your win, but you need to come with me. I know you noticed that Brendan wasn't here, and I think it has something to do with Gwen," he said.

    "Wait, what?" May said, not sure if she heard Norman correctly.

    "It's true," Lisia said, approaching May. "I'm not sure what happened, but during Grace's battle with Richard, it seemed like Gwen was having a panic attack. Brendan ran out of the hall almost immediately after Richard's Murkrow used Brave Bird."

    "Oh Arceus!" May said. "I'll grab my bags and we can leave then."

    "Come on, we should be there for Brendan and Gwen as soon as possible," Norman said.
  9. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The Loss of Serenity

    Brendan ran into the Pokémon Center's main room, Gwen's look of fear was still on her face. Despite having been out of the contest hall for ten minutes, she still was unable to calm down. There was no nurse at the counter, but the other option was probably better. There was a man wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope. "Hey, my Ralts needs help!" Brendan said. The man, whose nametag identified him as Dr. Jameson, looked up and got a look of shock.

    "Chansey get a gurney right now, and ready a sedative!" he said before turning to Brendan. "What happened to her?"

    "We were just at the contest, and when one of the coordinators brought out a Murkrow she started getting scared. About halfway through the battle, she was panicking. It got worse every time the Murkrow attacked," Brendan said as the Chansey arrived with the requested gurney, a tray with a syringe and needle, and a bottle of what Brendan assumed to be the sedative. Brendan placed Gwen onto the cart and followed the two to the examination room.

    "Young man, if you don't mind, I will need you to wait outside the room for a while. Once Ralts is stable, we will take her to a medical suite where you may stay with her," Dr. Jameson said as he entered the room.

    "Thank you," Brendan said. He walked over to the padded bench a few feet from the exam room door, and sat quietly. Damn it, why didn't I get her out of the hall sooner? I knew something was wrong, but I didn't do anything about it! If this is how I react when my Pokémon are sending me clear signals that something is wrong, how will I be any better when those signals are more hidden? Brendan clenched his fists and his eyes tightened in frustration. He looked at the door with a look of deep concern etched on his face. Please Gwen, just be okay.

    As he thought that, the "Operation in Progress" light turned off and Dr. Jameson exited the room with a sigh of relief. "Your Ralts has calmed down, thanks to the sedative, and she is asleep now. All she needs is a night of rest to recover, and she'll be fine," he said.

    Brendan breathed a little easier when he heard that. "Thank you Doctor."

    "Be glad that you got her here when you did. If she got here much later, there may have been permanent damage," he said.

    "What exactly happened?" Brendan asked, needing to get some information about his Pokémon's condition.

    "The best I can tell, she had a severe panic attack. I'm no Pokémon psychologist, but she seems to have a deep seated fear of Murkrow and Honchkrow. That is something that needs to be addressed to make sure this doesn't happen. If she keeps having these episodes, the strain on her heart will shorten her lifespan significantly," he said with a grave tone of voice.

    "I understand. I'll help her get through this," Brendan said, a slightly upset tone.

    Dr. Jameson had a sympathetic look. "I will arrange for you and your Ralts to stay in our best suite," he said.

    "Thank you," Brendan said.

    Brendan sat in a chair by Gwen's bedside, and he was waiting for her to wake up. He was about to fall asleep when a soft knock sounded on the door. "Come in," he said. The door opened and revealed May, Norman, Lisia, and Grace.

    "Hey, how is she?" May said, a look of concern on her face as she and the others entered the room.

    "She's fine, she just needs some sleep," Brendan said with a slight smile. "How'd the contest go?"

    "May won against Grace in the final match," Lisia said. "It was close, but May came out on top. It really was an impressive match."

    "Well great job winning May," Brendan said.

    "Thank you. But next time, I hope you can stay for the whole show," May said.

    Brendan just looked at Gwen and placed a hand on her head. "So do I," he said. That was when Gwen's eyes began to flutter open.

    W-where am I? What happened? Gwen asked.

    "You had a panic attack," Brendan said. "I brought you to the Pokémon Center as fast as I could. The doctor said you would be fine if you slept for a while."

    Oh, I see...I guess I'm still not over it, Gwen said.

    "Gwen, I know it won't be easy for you to tell me, but I need to know, why you are so afraid of Murkrow and Honchkrow," Brendan said.

    Gwen was quiet for a time. Lisia, Grace, Mr. Maple, would you mind leaving me with Brendan and May? I'm not sure if I'm ready for so many people to hear this.

    "Of course," Norman said. "We'll be right outside if you need us." They left the room and closed the door.

    May looked at Gwen when they left, and she saw that Gwen was fidgeting a little bit, clearly not sure how to start this. And more than that, she had tears in her eyes. She placed a hand on Gwen's and held it tightly to comfort her. "It's okay Gwen, no matter what happened or what will happen, we will be here for you."

    No, it's really not okay, Gwen said. I'm glad that you two will be here for me, but the reason I'm so scared of Murkrow and Honchkrow is… That was when she began to cry openly. Because a flock killed my mother.

    May didn't know what to say. This was a big revelation.

    Brendan, however, knew how to address this. "Please, tell us what happened so we can help you."

    Alright, I will. It happened about a year before I met Brendan:

    *One year earlier*

    "Sam! Stop that, it hurts!" Gwen cried out as she ran and covered her head from the incoming pebbles. All that came from behind her was laughter from the other Ralts. She was running with her eyes closed, not seeing a cliff getting closer. Sam didn't see it either until he stopped throwing stones long enough to notice. When he did, he dropped the remaining rocks.

    "Gwen, stop!" Sam said. "You're running straight for a cliff!" Gwen heard him call out, so she opened her eyes, but despite trying to stop, she tripped over one of the rocks that landed in front of her. She stumbled too far and she fell over the edge. "Gwen!"

    "Aaaaahhhh!" she cried out as she rolled and bounced down the steep slope. It wasn't long before she landed at the bottom of the cliff, just about twenty feet below. "Owww!" she said as she landed hard. Gwen's right leg felt like it was broken, and her body was covered with cuts and bruises.

    "Gwen, are you okay?" Sam called out, clearly scared as he looked over the edge of the cliff.

    "I think so, but I think my leg is broken!" Gwen called back up.

    "I'm going back to the village to get help, just hold on!" Sam said.

    "O-okay," Gwen said. "Not like I really have much of a choice," she muttered.

    It felt like many hours had passed since Sam left, even though Gwen knew that her village was about a half an hour walk away from where she was. She was trying to keep herself calm as she lay there, but the pain radiating from her arm kept bringing her mind back to her predicament. The only thing that really helped her relax was the pond nearby. Other than that, she was terrified.

    "Serenity! Serenity!" Sam called out as he ran toward Gwen's home, one of the grass huts that filled the hidden village of Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir, and Gallade. The cloth draped in the doorway was pushed aside as a Gardevoir came outside.

    "What's wrong, Sam?" Serenity asked, noting the worry in the boy's voice.

    "Gwen's in trouble, she needs help!" Sam said. Serenity gasped in surprise as her eyes went wide.

    "Where is my daughter?" Serenity said.

    "I'll take you to her." With that, Sam and Serenity both ran from the village.

    Gwen was growing concerned now, as menacing storm clouds gathered overhead. "Sam, Mom, where are you?" she said. When she heard movement near her, she thought that it was her rescue. Oh how wrong she was. What she heard was neither her mother nor her friend. What she had heard, which became clearer by the second, was the beating of wings.

    "Mom, where are you?" Gwen said, fear clear in her voice. Her fears proved to be well founded, as, unprovoked, a flock of Murkrow and Honchkrow swooped down at her and began to attack her.

    "Get outta our territory!" the largest Honchkrow said, with a thick Italian accent. "Or we'll kill you!"

    "I can't walk," Gwen called out. "My leg is bro-. OW!" she was cut off as two Murkrow pecked at her.

    "Does it look like we care if you're injured?" the large raven Pokémon said. "This is our territory and you trespassed. Now move!" A blinding flash of light filled the area.

    "Liar!" Serenity yelled. "This has never been your territory, it belongs to the Gardevoir and Gallade village. Now leave my daughter alone, or I will show you no mercy!"

    "What the hell can you do, you hussy?" the Honchkrow said.

    "This," Serenity said. Her eyes began to glow with a soft pink glow. Gwen quickly found herself teleported to her mother's side before another blinding light that filled the area as Serenity hit the flock with a Dazzling Gleam attack.

    "Mom!" Gwen said as she hugged Serenity's leg, earning a smile from the Gardevoir.

    "You're safe now Gwen, I'll handle this," Serenity said. "But first, you need to be healed!" She opened her palm toward Gwen and a ring of purple energy appeared and Gwen felt her injures heal in an instant. "Now, find Sam and get out of here. I'll deal with this gang."

    "O-okay," Gwen said.

    "Forget about getting out of here, little bitch! Now, all of you use Payback!" Honchkrow said. Every one of the Murkrow and Honchkrow in the flock fired multiple dark streams of energy at Serenity.

    "YOU WILL NOT DO HARM TO MY DAUGHTER!" Serenity said as she created a barrier around herself and Gwen. "Now, I will show you what happens when you anger a Gardevoir, especially by attacking her baby!" She yelled out. She gathered multiple balls of pearlescent pink energy and threw them at the flock, where they exploded. The attack, however, only seemed to anger the flock.

    "Oh, I would not worry about your daughter anymore," Honchkrow said. "Now, I think we're going to kill you! Everybody, hit her with Brave Bird from all sides!"

    Serenity's eyes went wide. She understood what would happen to her. No matter how strong she was, there was no defending against so many Pokémon using the most powerful flying attack. And with so many coming at her, she doubted that she would get home unscathed, if she got home at all. And if she ran with Gwen, the flock would follow them until they got what they wanted. Serenity just looked to her daughter, and gave her a sad smile. "Gwen, this won't be easy for you, but no matter what happens to me, just remember that I love you. Now, you must stay safe," she said as she teleported her daughter away from the danger. There was so much more that she wanted to say to her daughter, but she had not the time to say what she wanted to.

    That was when the flock of Murkrow and Honchkrow began to dive at her with blue flames erupting around them. Gwen, I wish I could be there to help you as you grow up. You will need to be strong from now on. I am so sorry that this had to happen, but I know that you will be okay, that you are destined for greatness. I know we will see each other again, I just know it. I will watch over you, my pride and joy. I love you. That was when all of the incoming birds slammed into her, creating a massive explosion.

    Gwen had tried to stay with her mother while being teleported, and as a result, she appeared at the top of the cliff, and she crawled over to the edge. She peered over just in time to watch her mother get hit by the entire flock. They slammed into her mother and created the explosion. "MOTHER!" she cried out. The flames subsided and the flock flew away, clearly proud of their victory.

    "Alright boys and girls, let's go back home. This will show everybody that we are not to be messed with," the head Honchkrow said. This got people cawing in agreement. They all flew to the tree line and went deep into the forest, finding their nesting for the night.

    Gwen could not keep herself on the cliff, she climbed down the rock wall as fast as her body could carry her. "Mother!" she cried, tears forming in her eyes as she ran toward the burned and battered body on the ground. "Mother, please be okay!" Gwen got to her mother, who still had not moved from the spot that she had fallen, and tears were falling freely. "Mother, please get up!" Gwen shook Serenity's shoulder, trying to wake her up, hoping she was just knocked out. "Mother, PLEASE!" That shaking cause Serenity's head to turn and face Gwen, revealing that her eyes were wide open, but Gwen could see that their light had already gone out.

    "No," she said, shock easily seen on her face. "No, you can't be dead. You can't be! Mother, COME BACK TO ME!" Gwen said.

    *Back to the Present*

    I was told that the rest of the village found me there a few hours later. I don't remember when that happened, I wasn't really conscious at the time. It took me half a year to get over my grief, and even though the village helped me, after a while I didn't feel like I belonged there anymore. I left about two weeks before Brendan moved to Littleroot Town. I was actually on Route 101 when he and his mother went by in their moving van. I sensed that Brendan had an innate talent for Pokémon training, but I sensed something even greater in him. I sensed that he had a pure heart. That was when I decided to meet and befriend him. I figured that having a trainer would do me good.

    "Gwen, I'm so sorry," Brendan said.

    I-it's alright she said as she silently cried. I just need some more time.

    Brendan picked up Gwen and held her closely. "I'll be here for you, no matter what. If you need to talk to either of us, don't hesitate."

    "Exactly, we will both be here," May said stroking Gwen's hair, which seemed to calm Gwen a lot.

    Thank you both, Gwen said.

    "I just want you to promise me that you won't keep things like this hidden from us anymore," Brendan said. "If you hide things from us, we won't be able to help you through your troubles."

    Gwen looked up at Brendan in a way that told him that their bond had just been strengthened considerably from this moment alone. Thank you Brendan, and you too May. You're the best friends a Pokémon could ask for.
  10. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    Meeting New Friends

    Two days later, Gwen had fully healed and she was cleared to leave the Pokémon Center. So Brendan and May had their bags ready, with Gwen riding on Brendan's shoulder as they left the building.

    "Alright, it's about time that we continued to Rustboro City," Brendan said. "I want to win my gym badge!"

    "Right, and I want to see the sights of Rustboro City. It's home to Devon Corporation, which is one of the two biggest technology companies in the world. The only company that rivals Devon is The Silph Company."

    Wow, really? That sounds really cool. I can't wait to see that place.

    "I see I've come across a couple traveling trainers, one with a Ralts on his shoulder, the other who won the Petalburg Contest. And they are traveling together. This is a rare sight indeed," said a new voice. Brendan whipped around to face the source, only to come face-to-face with a middle-aged man wearing black sunglasses, and a blue Hawaiian shirt.

    "Um, can we help you?" Brendan asked.

    "Hmm, well, you guys looked like experienced trainers from behind, but now that I see you from the front, it seems like you are rookie trainers still," he said.

    "Yeah, but why does that make any difference?" May asked.

    "Well, it's not a bad thing to have just started out, don't get me wrong. However, I'm looking for the strongest trainers. I hope I can actually approach you two in the future with the offer I was going to present to you, but I think you two should continue to improve your skills as trainers first," the man said. "Sorry for wasting your time." With that, the man left, heading toward Route 104.

    What the heck was that all about? Gwen said.

    "I've heard that there is a new, exclusive battle facility opening in the Hoenn region," May said. "Apparently only master trainers are allowed to participate in the battles there."

    "Really?" Brendan said.

    "Yeah, it's pretty prestigious to even be invited to it," May said.

    "Well, let's hope we both get to that level of ability," Brendan said.

    Of course we will! Gwen said enthusiastically.

    "Right! So, shall we keep moving?" May said as she kept walking without waiting for the answer.

    "I guess we will keep moving," Brendan said.

    Sounds good Goldenrod! Gwen said. Brendan face-palmed when he heard her say that nickname. What? I never said I was going to stop using that nickname!

    "Oh it's nothing, I just realized that you plan to annoy me a lot," Brendan said.

    It took you this long to figure that out? Well, if that's the case, then I feel sorry for May.

    "What do you mean by that?"

    Oh nothing. At least nothing that you will find out for about three months, Gwen said. She teleported away, only to reappear on May's shoulder a few feet away from Brendan.

    "Oh, hey Gwen," May said. "What's up?"

    Nothing, just wanted to have some girl time, Gwen said. I can only take so much of Mr. Goldenrod at a time.

    "I heard that!" Brendan called from behind them.

    Good, because you were supposed to! Gwen replied, causing May to laugh at how the two interacted. It was almost like they were brother and sister, just by how they acted.

    May continued to walk until she made it to a small cliff which offered a beautiful view of a small beach and the ocean. There she stopped, closing her eyes and letting the breeze blow through her hair. Brendan was a few feet away, but he was stopped dead in his tracks when he saw what May and Gwen both looked like.

    Gwen looked as cute as she normally did, well cute for a Pokémon. May, however, had taken just the right pose and the sunlight was hitting her perfectly. Even more than the first day he met her, May had taken Brendan's breath away. Gwen, however, noticed Brendan's attentions being fixated on May. Instead of calling him out, she began to talk to May about it.

    You know, Brendan is completely enamored with you. He can't stop looking at you.

    "Oh I've noticed," May said quietly so that Brendan couldn't hear her. "I'm just having some fun in seeing how much I can make him squirm."

    Oh, you're evil! Gwen said. I knew I liked you for a good reason!

    Behind them, Brendan had gotten out his phone and snapped a picture of the two girls. This was a moment he wanted to remember for a while, especially since he felt like this was when his journey was about to seriously begin.

    "Hey, Gwen, sorry to do this to you, but can you go back to Brendan? I see a Pokémon I want," May said.

    You needn't ask, the little Pokémon said as she teleported onto Brendan's shoulder. May then hopped down the small cliff and ran across the beach, a Pokéball in hand.

    "Wait, isn't that an empty Pokéball?" Brendan asked.

    I think so, by the way, do you know what Pokémon she saw?

    "No, did you?" Brendan asked.

    I missed it. That was when they all heard cheering from May. Brendan ran to the cliff only to see May leaping up and down, a Pokéball raised.

    "Hey! Are you going to tell us what Pokémon you caught, or will you be keeping us in the dark?" Brendan said as he approached.

    "Yeah, here's my new Pokémon. C'MON OUT!" May called as she opened the Pokéball. What came out was a small seagull Pokémon, which Brendan didn't recognize at all.

    "Huh, what is that?" he asked as he pulled out his Pokédex.

    Wingull, the Seagull Pokémon. Wingull rides updrafts rising from the sea by extending its long and narrow wings to glide and it flies as if it were skating across the sky. This Pokémon's long beak is useful for catching prey. It also has a habit of carrying prey and valuables in its beak and hiding them in all sorts of locations.

    "So, you're a Wingull," Brendan said as Gwen leapt from his shoulder. It seemed she wanted to serve as the translator of the group. She began to converse in Poke-talk with the bird Pokémon. After a few minutes she turned back to the two trainers.

    This Wingull says that his name is Graham. He said he's a bit shocked that May caught him without even trying to battle first, but it he's glad that you didn't, since he's not a big fan of battling.

    "Well, Graham, would you mind contest battles?" May asked.

    Wingull looked at her inquisitively for a moment before talking a bit more, which Gwen translated. He said that he's seen a contest about a year ago in Slateport City and he thought it looked like fun.

    "That's good to know, because you and I will be performing together from now on!" May said. This earned a cheerful screech from the gull Pokémon. "Alright, we're going to have to keep moving, so do you want to go back into your Pokéball?" May asked. Wingull nodded, so May recalled her newest Pokémon and looked to Brendan. "Alright, let's go, we have to go through the Petalburg Woods to get to Rustboro City."

    "Sounds good, but just realize that I am catching the first Pokémon I see when we get in there," Brendan said.

    "That's probably either a Wurmple or a Taillow," May said.

    "What do you mean?" Brendan asked.

    "You came from Johto, so I assume you know about the Ilex Forest. Petalburg Woods are basically the same, just with Hoenn's Pokémon."

    "So it's a bug and bird paradise?"

    "Yes, there are other Pokémon there too, but they are harder to find."

    "What Pokémon are there in this place?"

    Nincada, which are bug types that evolve into two separate Pokémon, Shroomish, which is a grass type that gains fighting type upon evolving, and then there's Slakoth, who has the Truant ability but has insane attacking capabilities.

    "Hmm," Brendan hummed as he considered his options. "Well, those are some pretty good options. I guess we'll see what we come across."

    Just as they were getting to the entrance of the woods, two people, a boy and a girl who couldn't be more than twelve, approached them. They were wearing really expensive looking clothing. "Hey, peasants!" the blonde haired boy called out. Brendan and May didn't dignify that with a response as they began to walk by the two people.

    "HEY, DON'T IGNORE US!" the girl said.

    May just rolled her eyes and turned toward the two. "What the hell do you want?"

    "It's not about what we want, it's about what you are going to do for us," the boy said.

    "And what exactly is that?" Brendan said.

    "We are both bored, so you are going to battle us, and you will lose intentionally," the girl said.

    "Well, you got the second part right, but we will never lose to you," May said.

    "Oh, you will find that we always get what we want, no matter what!" the girl said.

    Damn talk about spoiled brats Gwen said.

    The two brats heard Gwen speaking and looked intrigued. "Well, I think we found what we really want now. If you win, you may leave. When we win, you give us your talking Ralts," the girl said.

    "Okay, let me set you straight right now. If you think you will ever lay so much as a finger on Gwen, then you are delusional. Besides, you don't have the skill to beat us," Brendan said.

    "Well, we are richer than anybody in the Hoenn region, so we will beat you easily with our superior items," the boy said. "And we always get what we want."

    "Richer than the Stone family?" May asked, referring to the president of the Devon Corporation and his family.

    "Well, no, but that's not the point!" the girl said. "Our money will ensure our win!"

    "We will see about that. Gwen, you want to battle these fools?" Brendan asked.

    You need to ask? Gwen asks as she jumped to the ground, with an angry look in her eye. How dare they think that their wealth could separate her from her trainer! They would learn the hard way that she was not a prize to be won.

    "Oh, this is a tag battle," the boy said.

    "We know, we're not idiots like you two," May said as she tossed out Lily's Pokéball, releasing her cocoon Pokémon. "Are you ready to lose?"

    "Oh such foul words from such a pretty mouth," the girl said. "You should know that ladies never act that way!"

    "Whatever, just send out your Pokémon," May said, increasingly annoyed by this couple.

    "Go, Zigzagoon!" they both said simultaneously as they released two raccoon Pokémon with spiky brown fur.

    "May, you ready?" Brendan asked.

    "One moment; Lily, it's time to evolve!" May said. Lily looked back at her trainer with a gleam in her eyes as she began to glow a brilliant white color as her body transformed into that of a butterfly as she became a Beautifly. The glowing stopped and the evolution was finished. "Now I'm ready."

    "Let's begin!" the boy said. "My Zigzagoon, use Tail Whip!"

    "My Zigzagoon, use Tackle!" the girl said. The boy's Zigzagoon began to wag his tail cutely, trying to get Gwen and Lily to lower their defenses. That didn't exactly work as intended, as Gwen took initiative and grabbed the raccoon with Confusion and froze it in place. The other Zigzagoon ran at Gwen, hoping to break her focus.

    "Great job Gwen, now throw that Zigzagoon!" Brendan said.

    I planned to, Gwen said as Zigzagoon flew back into the boy, sending both sprawling into the dirt.

    "Lily, use Gust to stop the other Zigzagoon!" May commanded. Lily began to flap her wings rapidly sending a powerful wind at the raccoon Pokémon, who was stopped by the power of the wind alone.

    "Alright Gwen, use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. As he gave the command, he noticed that the boy's Zigzagoon had gotten up and the boy had dropped the casing of a used Full Restore. Gwen shouted loudly, sending out two distinct soundwaves at both Zigzagoon, which caused both to recoil. "May, care to finish them with a combination attack?"

    "You bet! Lily, use Gust!"

    "Gwen, use Confusion to power it up!" As Lily beat her wings and generated a powerful wind, Gwen's eyes began to glow blue and the wind suddenly became much more vicious, with dust kicking up and hitting the Zigzagoons hard and then causing them to be thrown through the air. The two raccoons slumped on the ground as they landed, resulting in a double knock out.

    "Yeah! Great job Gwen!" Brendan said as he ran up and scooped up Gwen in his arm, hugging her.

    "You were incredible Lily!" May said hugging her Pokémon as well.

    "Well, I guess we will be taking your Ralts now," the boy said.

    "What the hell are you talking about? You lost, and you weren't going to get Gwen even if you won," Brendan said.

    "Did you not hear me when I said that we always get what we want?"

    Brendan glared at them hard. "I don't know who you two are, but if you try to lay a single hand on my Pokémon, I will call Officer Jenny," Brendan said.

    "Go ahead and try it, we'll just buy her off," the girl said. The boy began to reach for Gwen.

    DON'T YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME! Gwen said as the boy was gripped with a Confusion, which froze him in place. NOW IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO LEAF US ALONE! With that, Gwen threw the boy into a nearby treeline. Brendan looked at Gwen, shocked at the pun that she slipped into what she just said. What? If we're going to deal with these brats, I might as well get some laughs out of it.

    "Winston!" the girl called out as she ran to the tree line, but stopped before going through. "Are you okay?"

    "No, that bitch of a Ralts ruined my suit!" the boy said as he limped out of the treeline.

    "WINSTON! CINDY! WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING?" said an angry sounding man called out. Brendan and May turned to see a middle-aged man, dressed as nicely as the two twelve year-olds, but he looked furious.

    "Father, th-they attacked us!" the boy, who was apparently Winston, said as he began to fake tears.

    "Tauros shit! I saw you trying to grab that Ralts off her trainer's shoulder as if you were trying to steal it!" he said.

    They challenged Brendan and May to a battle, and they said that they would take me from Brendan if he lost. When we won decisively, they tried to take me anyway! Gwen said.

    The man glared at the children. "Is this true?" The girl, who Brendan assumed to be Cindy, looked down at her feet. The man squeezed the bridge of his nose in frustration. "How many times do I have to tell you that you can't take things from other people just because you have money?"

    "But Father," the girl started.

    "BUT NOTHING!" the man said before approaching Brendan and May. "I am so sorry for the horrendous behavior of my children, they should know better than this."

    "It's alright. To be honest, I think Gwen helped them learn their lesson pretty quickly," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, I saw that, and I was quite impressed by that attack," the man said. "I was a decent trainer back in the day, but I've never seen such a strong confusion attack from a Ralts."

    Brendan reached up and gave Gwen a gentle hair tussle. "Yeah, she's impressed me every day since we started this journey."

    The man smiled. That was when his children tried to sneak off without their father noticing.

    Hey, jerks, where do you think you're going? Gwen yelled at them, still bitter about their attempt to steal her from her best friend.

    The man turned to look at his children. "They will stay right there or their punishment will get more severe!" he said. That made Winston and Cindy stop where they were. "Anyway, I can't make up for what my children did in a way that's helpful to you two. All I can do is promise that this will never happen again."

    "That's fine," May said. "Thank you for coming along when you did."

    "It was nothing," he said as he turned to Winston and Cindy. "Now, let's go home, your mother will be very interested to hear what you two did today." With that, the man and his family left Brendan, May, and Gwen behind.

    "Well, that was unnecessarily convoluted. It felt like it was a filler episode in an anime," May said.

    Brendan looked at May with an intrigued expression. "You watch anime?"

    "On occasion, mostly shows like Naruto and Bleach," she said.

    "That's pretty cool," Brendan said. "Well, I think it's high time we went into the Petalburg Woods, don't you?"

    "Absolutely," May said. Without any more motivation, Brendan and May began to walk into the forest. As they moved under the incredibly thick canopy, morning turned to dusk within minutes.

    Damn it's dark in here," Brendan noted.

    How long did it take you to figure that out? Gwen asked.

    "Don't give me sass," Brendan said. Gwen just laughed to herself.

    "So let's find you a Pokémon," May said.

    "Sounds good to me," Brendan said.

    Let me handle this! Gwen closed her eyes and began to concentrate for a short time. She opened her eyes and pointed toward a set of trees. The closest Pokémon is just behind that tree.

    "Can you tell what it is?"

    I can, but I'm not telling you, because that'd be no fun!

    "Fine. May, I'm going to see what's back there," Brendan said.

    "Ok, I will be waiting here," she said.

    Brendan crept around the tree, expecting to see a Pokémon trying to escape. Instead, he saw a small sloth Pokémon that barely even acknowledged Brendan's appearance.

    "Is that a Slakoth?" Brendan asked as he pulled out his Pokédex.

    Don't bother with the Pokédex. I know for a fact that this is a Slakoth.

    "So, should I battle it? It doesn't look like it has the energy to move, let alone battle."

    That's just how all Slakoth are, they have a lot of power for battles, their just incredibly lazy.

    "Okay, come out Clint!" Brendan said as he released the wood gecko. "Use Pound!" Treecko ran at the sloth Pokémon and hit it with his tail. The impact startled Slakoth, and it got the Pokémon roused. Slakoth swiped its clawed hand at Clint, hitting him hard with a Scratch attack, throwing him back.

    "Take some health back with Absorb!" Brendan said. A small orb of green energy gathered in Clint's hands, which he threw at the Slakoth. The orb hit the sloth, grew in size, and then flew back to Clint, where it melted into his tail, replenishing his health. For whatever reason, Slakoth just scratched at an itch on its head. "Alright, I think it's time for me to try a Pokéball," Brendan said as he pulled out an empty Pokéball and threw it at the Slakoth, who made no effort to dodge or stop it. The Pokémon was taken into the ball, which shook three times before it stopped and released sparks into the air, indicating a capture.

    "Alright, I caught a Slakoth!" Brendan cheered. May, who was half asleep on a tree stump, bolted upright as Brendan's cheering scared her out of her daze. She got up and approached Brendan, who already had the new Pokémon out of its Pokéball and Gwen was having a rather slow conversation…or maybe it was fast for the Slakoth.

    Hmm, so this Slakoth is Nikki, and she said she is okay with battling, but she will not move too quickly. Gwen said.

    "Well Nikki, it's nice to meet you. I'm Brendan and this is Gwen, as I'm sure she told you. The speed you have isn't a problem, so long as you have a strong fighting spirit," Brendan said.

    May waved to Nikki, "My name is May, and it's great to meet you."

    "Slakoth-Slaaa!" Nikki said.

    That means that she is happy to meet you too," Gwen translated. Then she turned to Brendan. She also said that she doesn't want to walk too much, if you don't mind.

    "I don't mind at all," Brendan said as he pulled out Nikki's Pokéball. "Now, return!" Nikki smiled lightly as she was recalled to her Pokéball. Brendan straightened up and Gwen teleported back onto his shoulder. "Alright May, you ready to continue?"

    "Absolutely," May said. The two trainers continued to walk through the forest , unaware of the mess in which they were about to find themselves.
  11. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    More Than Friends

    Brendan and May walked side-by-side, with Gwen standing on Brendan's shoulder as they continued through the dense forest. It was getting late in the day when they came across a man wearing a business suit and holding a nice briefcase, looking out of place. "Ah, not a one to be found," he said. He then turned to Brendan and May, and approached them with a smile. "Hello," he said in a pleasant tone.

    "Good evening," Brendan said. "Can we help you with something?"

    "It's nothing important, I was just wondering if either of you had seen a Shroomish. I'm really fond of that Pokémon," he said.

    "Sorry, but we haven't," May said.

    "Ah well, I guess I won't be finding one today," he said. As soon as he said that, two people, a man and a woman, in matching outfits leapt from the trees. They both wore a black bandana with what looked like a dis-figured "A" on the front. Their shirts were horizontally striped blue and white, they wore black gloves and a black sash around their waists. The woman's shorts barely went halfway down her thighs, and they were cut in a zigzagging pattern. The man was wearing jeans with a similar cut pattern, but they went to his ankles. Lastly, both wore blue and white striped socks and black shoes with blue accents.

    "Well, we were going to ambush you, but you had to dawdle around here all day," the man said. The business man seemed to jump out of his skin as he turned toward the duo.

    "Wh-what do you two want?" he asked in a panic.

    "For starters, we want the documents from your company," the woman scoffed, her tone making it sound as if that should be completely obvious.

    May looked at Brendan and Gwen, her eyes asking "What will we do?"

    We stop them; we can't let this go on! Gwen said to Brendan and May only.

    "You're right," Brendan said. "So, Gwen, do you want to lead this battle?"

    Actually, I think this one should go to Nikki. She should learn how you battle as soon as possible Gwen said.

    "Good point," Brendan said as he grabbed Nikki's Pokéball.

    "I'll be starting with Lily," May said.

    "Alright, you ready?" Brendan said.

    "Hey, you two, please help me," the business begged Brendan and May.

    "You got it," May said as she and Brendan stepped between him and the two goons.

    "You two are honestly going to try protecting this idiot?" the man said. When neither Brendan nor May wavered, he shook his head. "Whatever, it's your funeral. It's time for you two to experience a world of hurt, delivered by none other than Team Aqua!"

    "We'll see about that, won't we?" Brendan said. "Let's go Nikki!"

    "Lily, come on out!" May said. Both Pokéballs opened and released the sloth and butterfly.

    "Go Sal," the male Aqua said as he let out a Poochyena.

    "You too Danni," the female Aqua said as she let out a Poochyena of her own.

    "Alright, Nikki, let's start things off with a Scratch on Sal," Brendan said.

    "Lily, use Gust on Danni!" May called out. Nikki stood up and ran at Sal, swinging her clawed hand across his face; at the same time, Lily began beating her wings rapidly, sending powerful winds at Danni." Both of the Poochyena stumbled backwards as they were hit by the brunt of the attacks.

    "Sal, use Howl!" the man said. The Poochyena began to howl, and that howling created a crimson glow from the little dog, indicating an increase of his attacking power.

    "Danni, you use Growl," the woman Aqua. The female Poochyena gave a guttural growl, this caused both Lily and Nikki to glow a dark purple for a few seconds, indicating a loss of attack power.

    "Nikki, use Yawn on Sal!" Brendan said, hoping to put Sal to sleep. Nikki did as she was told, yawning just enough to make Sal yawn as well.

    "Lily, you use Poison Sting on Danni!" May called out. Lily's long mouth uncurled and she spat a single barb covered in purple toxins at the little dog. The barb hit her on her side and stuck where it was. Danni took on a vibrant, violet color, and lightning of the same color coursed through her fur. It was clear that she had been dealt a poisoned status condition.

    "Danni, Tackle that Slakoth!" the woman said. Danni ran toward Nikki at a pretty high speed.

    "Nikki, use Scratch to stop that Tackle!" Brendan countered. Nikki raised her right arm slowly, or maybe quickly for her. Then, just as Brendan was sure Danni would land a hit, Nikki's claws swiped across the dog's face hard, sending it flying. When she hit the ground, her poisoning acted up again. Her entire body lit up with a violet glow and she yelped in pain shortly before going silent and passing out. The woman recalled her Poochyena with a grimace.

    "That's one down, one more to go," May said. "Now, Lily, use Gust one more time!" Lily began beating her wings rapidly, sending powerful winds at Sal, who was thrown against a tree from the force of the wind, and he passed out as well.

    "Shit! How could we lose?" the man said as he recalled his own Poochyena. He turned to face Brendan and May and growled at them. "Damn it, you two, battle us again!"

    "You dumbass, we're both out of Pokémon!" the woman yelled at her partner. "Besides, we already have an operation going on in Rustboro, this is really an inconsequential job."

    "Yeah, you're right," the man said as he calmed down. "You two brats better not cross Team Aqua, or you won't live to regret it." With that, the two thugs left Brendan and May with the businessman.

    "Oh thank Arceus you two were here," the man said. "If they had taken my documents, then I would have lost my job for sure."

    "It was no problem at all. We weren't going to watch somebody get robbed," Brendan said.

    "Well, either way, take these as my thank you," he said as he pulled out two Pokéballs, but they both had a blue top with red protrusions at the top. "These are Great Balls, they have a better catch rate than normal Pokéballs, so they should be very helpful to you in your travels."

    "Wow, thank you sir," May said.

    "It's the least I can do," he said before falling silent briefly. Then his eyes went wide. "Shit, they said that they were going after something in Rustboro. It's a crisis." With that, the businessman left in a full sprint going north.

    "Oh boy, something tells me that we haven't seen the last of those Team Aqua thugs," Brendan said.

    "What makes you say that?" May said.

    "You know about Team Rocket, right?" Brendan asked.

    "Yeah, they're a criminal organization from the Kanto and Johto regions. Weren't they just forced to disband by that new Indigo League champion, Red?"

    "Yes, exactly," Brendan said. "The story is pretty famous in Johto now. Apparently, Red stopped Team Rocket in Mt. Moon as they were trying to poach Pokémon and steal fossils, and after that one time, he was practically dragged into a practical war against them until he caused them to disband."

    "So, what does that story have to do with us?" May asked.

    "Well, we just stopped a Team Aqua assault, the same situation might easily apply to us now," Brendan said.

    "Let's hope that's not the case for us," May said. "Now come on, I want to get to Rustboro soon."

    "I hate to break it to you, but it's a bit late. We may need to camp in the forest tonight," Brendan said.

    "Well, I can't cook," May said. "But I can easily pitch a tent and start a fire."

    Yeah, and I'm no chef either, Gwen said.

    "You're in luck, in that case. I learned how to cook when I was eleven, and I've only gotten better with time," Brendan said.

    "Do you happen to have any cooking materials with you?"

    "I brought a wok and a ladle. As for food, I also have a lot of different berries and spices from the Petalburg Market."

    Well, I guess a berry stew could work. Were you thinking sweet, savory, or spicy? Gwen asked.

    "I was going to go for a mildly spicy combination. How about a mixture of Oran, Pecha, Cheri, and a little Tamato Berry?"

    "That sounds pretty good," May said. "I can get the fire started, then put up the tent while you begin prepare the meal."

    "Sounds good," Brendan said as he set down his bag and took out his wok and ladle as well as a small knife and a bag of berries.

    I'll get us some firewood! Gwen said. An instant later, a pile of twigs, leaves, and split logs appeared out of nowhere.

    "W-where did you get all this?" Brendan asked.

    We're in a forest, I just picked out what was on the ground, Gwen said with an innocent look.

    "Alright, if you say so," Brendan said. "Gwen, can you stay with May while I fetch some water?"

    Of course! I really could use some more girl time today, Gwen said as she leapt down from his shoulders. Hey May, need some help?

    "Yes, as a matter of fact," May said as she placed rocks around a pile of logs and kindling. "Can you please set up the tent for me?"

    No problem. Gwen's red horns began to glow a light blue as the nylon and poles levitated into place with little to no effort. Then the stakes were thrown into the ground, keeping the tent in place. Done!

    "Thanks a lot Gwen, you're such a big help," May said with a smile as the fire lit began to blaze to life.

    "Hey! Looks like you have both been busy," Brendan said as he returned with his wok partially filled with clean water.

    "That's an understatement, you ready to get cooking?" May asked.

    He'd better be, I'm getting hungry! Gwen said.

    "I'm about to start," Brendan said as he sat down to cut the berries and mix them into the wok. He cut up three Oran, Cheri, and Pecha berries each, then about half of a Tamato Berry before putting the wok over the flames and letting it simmer and cook. As the meal was cooked, Brendan mixed in spices and stirred the soup, which began to smell absolutely amazing.

    Brendan, come on! I can't take the smell anymore! Gwen said. Is it ready yet?

    "Almost," Brendan said as he pulled out multiple bowls and spoons from his bag. He filled the bowls with the soup and passed two of them to May and Gwen, then he let out Clint and Nikki and gave them each their own bowl. May followed suit, letting out Lily, Graham, and Miranda, and gave them some of the soup. "I hope it turned out well."

    May was the first to taste Brendan's meal and she was astounded. It was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and there was even a hint of cinnamon. "This is really good," she said. "I can't wait to taste your other recipes."

    Brendan smiled. "Thanks, it's great getting compliments on my cooking," he said.

    Gwen tried it next and just shrugged. Eh, I've had better. She said with a devious look on her face.

    "So you love it, and you just want to mess with me, is that about right?" Brendan asked.

    You already know me too well, Gwen said with a slight giggle. But seriously, I'm glad you're my trainer, and your cooking is about ninety percent of the reason why.

    "Thanks Gwen," Brendan said as he ate his soup. They sat around the fire for a few hours, eating their fill and sharing fond memories. After their meal and the clean-up, which involved Graham using Water Gun to wash the wok and bowls, the two trainers had all their Pokémon except Gwen return to their Pokéballs as they began preparing for bed.

    "Alright, Brendan, do you mind changing first, so I don't have to stand in the cold after I change?"

    Brendan smiled. "Sure," he said as he got into the tent, Gwen staying by the fire, almost falling asleep, but forcing herself to stay awake a bit longer. Within minutes, Brendan emerged from the tent wearing a simple t-shirt and athletic shorts, with his hat off.

    "Huh, you know, I don't think I have ever actually seen you without your hat on," May said, a look of…well we'll just call it interest…on her face. She walked past and ran her fingers through his hair. "I like it." With that, she zipped up the tent and began disrobing and getting into her concert t-shirt and her short shorts.

    She likes you, by the way, Gwen said.

    "Thanks Gwen, but I kind of figured that out already," Brendan said quietly.

    Then ask her out!

    "I'll do it before we get to Rustboro."

    I'm holding you to that.

    "Fine, just don't mention this to May. I want to surprise her."

    "Brendan, you're okay to come into the tent!" May said.

    "Alright," Brendan said as he unzipped the tent flap and entered with Gwen on his shoulder. May sat on her sleeping bag with her knees pulled up to her chest, and she looked happy. Brendan laid down on his side on his sleeping bag while Gwen leapt to the space between the two trainers.

    "May, I have a question for you," Brendan said.

    "What's up?" May said.

    "Are you really a fan of the Chandelures?"

    "Yeah, they're my favorite band. I was actually sitting in the front row at the concert that I got this shirt at."

    "Sweet, I've never had the chance to go to any of their concerts. They're actually going to be in Goldenrod in about five months, and had I not moved here, I definitely would have been there."

    "I went to their Slateport concert three months ago. I can tell you they were incredible."

    "Wow, that's pretty cool. Maybe we can go to one of their concerts together while we're on our journey."

    "Either that, or we can do it once we finish our journeys as a way to celebrate our accomplishments."

    Brendan smiled. "I like your idea better," he said. "What do you think, Gwen?"

    I've never even heard of the Chandelures, but I'd love to go with both of you.

    "Great to hear," May said with a smile. She then crawled into her sleeping bag and laid down on her back. "Now I have a question for you, Brendan."

    "Hit me," Brendan said.

    "Have you ever dated anybody?"

    Brendan was caught off guard, and he started to blush a bit. "Well, I wasn't expecting that question so quickly after we met," he said with a slight chuckle. "No, I never dated anybody. The only girl I could even consider anything close to a girlfriend was a girl named Lyra from Cherrygrove City, and that wasn't much more than a high school crush. Besides, she had eyes for the shadiest kid in the school, his name was Silver," he said.

    "I see, but how was that Silver kid shady?" May asked.

    "Nobody could really prove anything, but the rumor was that his father is Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket."

    "Wow, that sucks for him."

    "I don't think so; he was a complete jackass too. He always talked about how 'weak' Pokémon were worthless. On top of that, he would always pick on my younger cousin, Ethan."

    "What a prick," May said.

    "Yeah, but Silver dropped out of school a while ago, and Ethan is doing really well. He just started high school, and he's already got a girlfriend named Kris."

    "In that case, I think Ethan will do really well for himself when he starts his journey."

    "Yeah he should," Brendan said with a smile. "Anyway, what about you; have you ever dated anybody?"

    "No, there hasn't been anybody I've really seen that way," she said. Until now, but I think I've been throwing you strong enough signals to make that obvious.

    "So it looks like we've both been single all our lives."

    "Yeah, that unfortunately seems to be the case."

    "Alright, then I propose a pact. Let's both agree to be dating somebody before this journey is over," Brendan said.

    Need my help with your plan, Gwen asked Brendan, excluding May from this conversation.

    Sure, but nothing too weird, Brendan said back.

    I hear you loud and clear.

    "I think that's a great idea," May said as she extended her hand toward Brendan. "Want to shake on it?"

    Brendan gave May a gentle, but firm handshake and a smile. "It's a deal."

    "Well, I am going to get some sleep, so goodnight. I will see you two in the morning," May said.

    "Alright, goodnight to both of you," Brendan said.

    Good night, Gwen said.

    The next morning, Brendan began to stir awake, but he was stopped by the fact that his arm was wrapped around what felt like another sleeping bag. Given that there was only one other sleeping bag in the tent, he didn't need to be a genius to figure out who his arm was draped over. On top of that, he was in a spooning position with May. Gwen, what did you do?

    Oh, hey you're awake. I just moved your bodies together once you were both sound asleep.

    Why did you put us in this...particular position?

    I put you two into multiple positions. Some were funnier than others, but this was the one that made both of you happier. Plus, it's a position that can cause increased affections between the people involved.

    You'd better be right about this. Brendan said as he began to roll onto his side, but he was stopped when May's hand grabbed his wrist and pulled him back.

    "Where do you think you're going?" she asked.

    "Uh, I was, uh, just about to wake up," Brendan replied.

    "Nope, that's not allowed until I say so. So stay right where you are."

    Brendan was blushing wildly. "Wow, so you're okay with this?"

    "Yes, I'm very okay with it. You know, you weren't really good at hiding the fact that you like me as more than just a friend."

    "I was that obvious?" Brendan said.

    "That, and Gwen has been feeding me information," May said.

    Way to rat me out, May!

    "He was going to find out eventually, besides, I'd rather not lie to him," May said.

    Fine, she said with exaggerated dislike.

    "So, I guess this means that the feeling is mutual. So, what does this make us now?"

    May rolled over so she was face-to-face with Brendan. "Maybe this will answer your question," she said as she leaned in and softly kissed Brendan on the lips.

    When they broke contact, Brendan knew the answer. "So, we're dating now. Deep down, I knew that moving to Hoenn would be the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

    "And it seems that our deal from last night is already fulfilled," May said. "That was quick."

    "So, are you ready to start the day and get to Rustboro?" Brendan asked.

    "I think so, but I may need something to get me moving," May replied. The two trainers left their sleeping bags and prepared for the day.

    Gwen walked out of the tent and she picked a fresh Pecha Berry from a nearby tree and sat to enjoy her breakfast. Getting two people to start down a beautiful path of love: all in a day's work for the great Gwen!
  12. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The Evolution of Battle

    Brendan and May left their campsite, leaving only a burned patch where their campfire had been. This time, however, they were walking hand-in-hand as they went through the remainder of Petalburg Woods. Luckily this went without a hitch, and they got to the other side of Route 104. This part of the route was really serene in Brendan's opinion. There was a large lake, and a bridge extending across it. Closer to them was a building with a greenhouse in the back.

    "Hey, it's the Pretty Petal Shop," May said.

    "A florist shop?" Brendan asked.

    "Yeah, and they are really good at what they do. It's run by identical triplet sisters, and they all have their specialty with floral design."

    "Want to go in?"

    Absolutely! Gwen said.

    "Alright, let's go," Brendan said cheerfully as they walked toward the shop. They entered through the front door, and they saw three young, identical women. They were all brunettes with fair skin, and they all wore different colored aprons over khaki capris and dark green t-shirts. From left to right, they wore red, blue, and green aprons.

    "Oh, hello, how may we help you today?" the woman in the red apron, whose nametag said Emily, said.

    "We were just passing through and we both decided to see the shop," May said.

    "Oh, is this your first time here?" said the green aproned woman, whose nametag identified her as Trinity.

    "Well, I came here a few times with my mother when I was a little girl," May said. "But Brendan here has barely been anywhere in the Hoenn region yet."

    "Oh yeah, I remember you, you're May Birch! So you're traveling with a boy now?" said the third, blue apron wearing woman, whose nametag read Jennifer.

    And me too! Gwen said.

    "Oh, you're such a cute Ralts!" Trinity said. "I think I have a flower here for you that will make you look even more adorable." She went to the display case and took out a single stargazer lily and brought the bloom to Gwen and put it in her hair, behind her ear.

    "Aww, that is so pretty!" Jennifer said.

    Gwen started blushing at the compliment.

    "Hey, Brendan, I'm going to take a look around," May said as she walked around the shop.

    "Alright, Gwen and I will be here," Brendan said. He went to the counter while May wandered the shop admiring the multitude of bouquets.

    "So, Brendan was your name, right?" Emily asked.

    "Yeah, that's right," Brendan said.

    "That's a really nice name," Jennifer said. "Just like May's"

    "Thank you," Brendan said, leaning against the counter with his elbows casually.

    "So, how long ago did you and May start dating?" Trinity asked.

    "How canyou tell that we're dating?" Brendan said in shock.

    "You both have that look in your eyes that just screams 'We're a new couple, be jealous!'" Trinity said with a charming smile.

    "Actually, it was just this morning that we made it official," Brendan said.

    "And how did you ask her?" Jennifer asked.

    Actually it was mostly my doing, Gwen said, getting slight surprise from the shopkeepers as she spoke.

    "And it was kind of a personal story too," Brendan said. "No offense, but I'm not sure if I want to tell people who I just met a few minutes ago."

    "Alright, we won't pry," Trinity said quietly. "But you should give her a tulip. They symbolize perfect love."

    "Really? Well, I think I'll do that. How much is it for a single tulip?"

    "For this, it's free," Jennifer said with a wink.

    "Wow, thank you," Brendan said. With that, he walked up to the tulip selections and picked out a fresh, beautiful red tulip. He then walked over to where May was browsing and tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned to Brendan, he held out the tulip. "For you," he said.

    May took on a cute, light blush at the gesture. "Brendan, it's beautiful, thank you," she said as she kissed his cheek. "And tulips are my favorite flowers."

    "You're welcome," Brendan said. He pulled May into a tight embrace.

    Trinity, Jennifer, and Emily all watched the exchange, smiling the whole time. "They make a really cute couple, don't they?" Emily said.

    "Absolutely," Jennifer said.

    "I hope it lasts. All too often people who are perfect for each other lose sight of their love for each other and the relationship goes south," Trinity said.

    "I know, I remember when Steven Stone was dating Clair from Johto. He would always come here for flowers before his big dates, and then they broke up because the stress of a long distance relationship got the better of them," Emily said.

    "I remember, and the last bouquet of flowers he got for her was out of apology over the fact that they couldn't make it work," Jennifer said. "It was so sad."

    Brendan and May, however, didn't hear a word of what the triplets said. They were too happy to care what others said.

    Ten minutes later, Brendan and May had left the shop, May's tulip safely tucked into one of her belt loops. "Well, that was a great stop," Brendan said as they began to cross the bridge toward the massive city.

    "Absolutely," May said. "Now, we need to pick a fun spot for our next date."

    "Well, if Rustboro City is anything like Goldenrod, then there should be some tourist attractions there," Brendan said.

    I hear that Rustboro is home to the Pokémon Trainer's school, maybe you can go check that place out, Gwen said.

    "Eh maybe," Brendan said. "Maybe we'll be asked to demonstrate a battle or something like that."

    "That would be fun, especially since I'd definitely win," May said, a competitive look in her eyes.

    Dream on May! Gwen said with just as much fire in her eyes.

    "Yeah, we'd win that battle for sure," Brendan said.

    "My team has more advantages over yours, so I wouldn't be so sure about that," May said.

    "You want to test that when we get to Rustboro?" Brendan asked as a blaze began to burn in his eyes too.

    "Well, then that won't be too long now, since we are about five minutes away from the entrance to the city," May said.

    "Perfect, even though we're dating now, I'm not holding anything back," Brendan said.

    "You're damn right you're not," May said.

    Yeah, Brendan, you'd better not hold anything back. If you do, I'm the one who takes the heat...literally, Gwen said. As she said that, they got to the entrance to Rustboro City.

    "Alright, let's do this!" May said as she moved an appropriate distance from Brendan and pulled out her first Pokéball, throwing into the air. "Graham, come on out. It's time for a battle!" The seagull appeared from his Pokéball, and although he didn't like battling, he still looked ready to fight.

    "Is this going to be a three-on-three?" Brendan asked.

    "Yep," May said with a smile.

    "Alright, then let's go, Nikki!" Brendan said as he let out the sloth Pokémon. She looked a bit lethargic, but that was typical for her.

    "HOLD ON!" came an excited woman's voice. Brendan turned and saw a girl about their age in a black dress that looked like it belonged on a teacher running toward them. "DON"T START YET!"

    "Who are you?" Brendan asked, wanting to know why she was interrupting their battle.

    "My name is Roxanne. I'm the Rustboro City Gym Leader, and a teacher at the Trainer's School. I've been hoping to find some passing trainers who'd be interested in giving my students a demonstration battle," the woman said.

    "Wow, we were just saying that it would be interesting to battle for a class," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, this is awfully convenient," May said.

    Yeah, but it works out, Gwen said.

    "Well, what do you say?" Roxanne asked.

    "Sure, that works for us," Brendan said as he had Nikki return to her Pokéball. "Hey, Nikki, sorry for the early call, we'll be battling for real in just a few minutes."

    "Same to you Graham," May said as she had the seagull return to his Pokéball. "Alright, lead the way to the school."

    "Perfect, let's go!" Roxanne said as she led the duo to a large building with a clock tower. "Now, allow me to welcome you to Hoenn's Pokémon Trainer Academy. This is widely considered the most prestigious trainer school in the region, and it is among the top ten in the world."

    "Wow, that's quite the accomplishment," Brendan said. "I graduated from Goldenrod City Trainer Academy."

    "So, you're from Johto. That's interesting, might I ask why you came to Hoenn?" Roxanne asked.

    "My dad is Norman the Gym Leader of Petalburg City," Brendan said.

    "You're the son of a Gym Leader," Roxanne said. "How…interesting." They then entered an office, where Roxanne exchanged a few words with a secretary, who then handed her a PA microphone. "Attention all staff and students please make your way to the outdoor battlefields. We have a surprise for everybody," she said into the microphone. She then put it onto the desk. "Now, please follow me to the battlefield."

    So, Brendan and May followed Roxanne to the backyard of the school and found an amazing battlefield which had stands surrounding it. As the two trainers got into their positions on each side of the field, the students began to fill in the stands. Once most everybody had found seats, Roxanne began to speak.

    "Welcome students, today we are proud to present you with a demonstration Pokémon battle," she said. This got the students excitedly murmuring. "I want you all to pay close attention to how they battle, because a battle can teach you more about how to be a trainer than any of your professors can, provided that you pay close attention. This is a best of three battle with no time limit. They will have three rounds of one-on-one, and they will both switch Pokémon between rounds. Now, are the trainers ready?" Both Brendan and May nodded as they grabbed Nikki's and Graham's Pokéballs and threw them out.

    "Alright, this is for real now, go Nikki!" Brendan said. The sloth appeared

    "You're up, Graham!" May said as well.

    "Alright, now begin the battle!" Roxanne said.

    "Nikki, use Yawn!" Brendan said. Nikki yawned loudly, causing Graham to yawn as well.

    "Graham, use Water Gun!" May said. Graham unleashed a jet of water at Nikki.

    "Dodge it and use Scratch!" Brendan said. Nikki rolled around to the side on the ground, dodging the incoming water before she stood up and sprinted at Graham, her arm raised and ready to attack.

    "Fly up and use Supersonic!" May called. Graham leapt into the air, dodging Nikki's attack, and cried out at an impossibly high-pitch. Nikki heard it loud and clear, and that caused her to become disoriented and confused. At the same time, Graham fell to the ground, fast asleep.

    "Nikki, if you can hear me, use Scratch!" Brendan said. Nikki seemed to hear him, since she began to run toward Graham, but halfway there, she tripped and face-planted. "Nikki, come on, I know you can do it, you need to get up!" Nikki struggled to her feet and continued her attack. This time, she managed to land a strong hit, sending Graham rolling toward May.

    "Graham, I need you to wake up!" May said. Unfortunately for May, Graham was unable awaken. In fact, it only got worse for her. Nikki's attack had apparently been a critical hit, because Graham was not asleep anymore. Now he was knocked out cold.

    "Graham is unable to continue. Nikki and Brendan win this round," Roxanne said.

    "Nikki/Graham return!" both Brendan and May said simultaneously.

    "Well, Brendan, you've improved since our battle on Route 103, that's for sure," May said.

    "Thanks, now, how about a battle between Clint and Miranda?" Brendan said.

    "I like it," May said as she pulled out Miranda's Pokéball. "Come on out Miranda!" she called as her Torchic out.

    "Come on out Clint!" Brendan called as his Treecko came out of his Pokéball.

    "Alright, Treecko vs. Torchic, begin the round!" Roxanne said.

    "Clint, use Bullet Seed!" Brendan said. This was a move that they had been working on during their training sessions, and it was almost perfect. Clint began to spit seeds covered with green energy at Miranda.

    "Miranda, counter that with Ember!" May called out. Miranda began to spit out a stream of flames at Clint. The two attacks collided, canceling each other out.
    "Clint, get close and use Pound!" Brendan called out.

    "Miranda, counter with Peck!" May said.

    Clint and Miranda closed the distance between each other quickly, and they began to battle fiercely. Clint swung his tail with immense strength only to take an equally strong Peck attack in response. This exchange went back and forth for nearly five minutes. They hit each other hard at the same time and they flew back a few feet. They landed, but fell to one knee from exhaustion.

    "Clint, you can keep going, I know it!" Brendan asked.

    "Miranda, I know you can continue!" May said. "I believe in you!"

    As if they were responding to their trainers' spirits, Clint and Miranda looked at each other with incredible determination before they both began to glow white at the same time.

    "No way," Brendan said in disbelief. "They're both evolving?"

    "Miranda, this is awesome!" May said excitedly.

    The two Pokémon grew and changed their body shapes quickly before the glow vanished, revealing the newly evolved Combusken and Grovyle. "May, this round is only just beginning!" Brendan said confidently.

    "Oh I know it. Miranda, use Double Kick!" May commanded. Miranda began to sprint across the field, showing that she had become much faster.

    But she wasn't even close to Clint's speed. "Clint, dodge and use Quick Attack!" Clint leapt to the side just as Miranda flew by with her right foot raised. He landed about five yards from Miranda before he leapt back with a white streak of light behind him. Clint slammed into Miranda hard, but as she was flying away, her left leg whipped around in a reverse roundhouse, the talon on the back of her foot hitting Clint on the cheek. Both Pokémon slid across the ground, still standing strong.

    "Alright Miranda, use Ember!" May called.

    "Clint, don't let up, keep using Quick Attacks!" Brendan said. Clint kept running around the field, dodging the incoming streams of flames by doing acrobatic backflips and rolling around on the ground. He closed the distance and lowered his shoulder for the hit. May and Miranda had other plans.

    "Miranda, use Peck as fast as you can!" May called out. Miranda's beak began to glow and extend as she pecked forward at Clint. Both attacks hit simultaneously, Clint getting pecked on the face and Miranda taking a body check. Both tumbled to the ground, and managed to struggle to their feet. Unfortunately, Clint had taken one too many super-effective attacks, and he collapsed shortly after.

    "Clint is unable to battle, so Miranda and May win the round. This next round will break the tie!" Roxanne said.

    "Clint, come back," Brendan said as he recalled his newly evolved Pokémon. "That was an amazing battle. Get some rest, because they won't win next time."

    "Miranda, thank you for such a great battle, now take a good rest," May said as she recalled her Combusken.

    "Now, it's time for the final round," Roxanne said.

    "Gwen, you ready? It seems that you'll be facing Lily," Brendan said.

    You know I'm always ready. Besides, I can't let Clint and Miranda be the highlight round of this battle, Gwen said. She then took the lily out of her hair and handed it to Brendan. Just hold this for me; I don't want it to be destroyed.

    "Then let's win this with style," Brendan said.

    Sounds good, Gwen said with a smile.

    "Alright, Gwen, I'm counting on you!"

    As if you had any other choice, Gwen said with a giggle.

    "Lily, it's time to win this battle!" May said as she let out her Beautifly.

    "Ready, and...begin the final round!" Roxanne said.

    "Gwen, start this with Confusion!" Brendan said. Gwen's horns and eyes began to glow a teal color as she extended her right hand up toward her opponent, and that glow soon covered Lily. Gwen then whipped her hand toward the ground, and Lily followed suit, slamming into the ground.

    "Lily, fight back with Gust!" May said. Lily flew back into the air and began to flap her wings rapidly, kicking up a whirlwind which pushed Gwen back several inches.

    "Disarming Voice!" Brendan commanded.

    You got it! Gwen said as she began to sing in a shrill voice that caused Lily to falter in her Gust attack, and she took damage from the attack.

    "Now, use another Confusion!" Brendan commanded. Gwen's horns and eyes both began to glow teal as she gripped Lily and she threw her into the ground once more.

    "Lily, use Poison Sting!" May said, hoping to play against Gwen's weakness to poison-types. Lily spat out a barb covered in purple slime that flew at Gwen quickly.

    "Gwen, Teleport out of the way!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled and vanished quickly before reappearing behind Lily. "Now finish this with Confusion!" Gwen once again took hold of Lily with her telekinesis before throwing the Pokémon around in a vertical loop before slamming her into the ground hard. Lily stayed down where she landed. The battle was over.

    "And that's it, Lily is unable to battle, therefore Gwen and Brendan have won the round. Brendan has won two of the three rounds so he is the winner," Roxanne said.

    "Yeah, great job Gwen!" Brendan said as he ran onto the field and picked her up in a hug. "I knew you could do it!"

    It was your strategic mind! Gwen said, trying to be modest.

    "Yeah, but you pulled it off perfectly."

    Well, if you say so.

    "Lily, you fought really well. Now get some rest," May said as she had Lily return to her Pokéball. "Well, that was a great battle, but I'll need to keep training to catch up to you."

    The students began to applaud the trainers for their battle and Roxanne walked to the center of the battlefield. "Thank you to both Brendan and May for that excellent battle," Roxanne announced. "Now, students, please head back to your classrooms. Your assignment today is simply to have a class discussion over the subtleties of each round." This earned a groan of disapproval from the student body, but they left the stands, beginning to file back to their classrooms. When they were gone, Roxanne turned to Brendan and May. "So, Brendan, I take it that you're challenging the Pokémon gyms. Am I right?" she asked.

    "Yes, that's correct," Brendan said.

    And then we are going to win the Pokémon League tournament, and become Champion. Gwen said loudly, raising her left hand like she was making a victory cheer. Hearing Gwen speak caused Roxanne to jump a little. Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.

    "No, it's not a problem, I just didn't expect to be meeting a talking Pokémon," Roxanne said with a bit of a laugh. "Anyway, when do you want to challenge my gym?"

    "Would tomorrow at noon work?" Brendan asked.

    "Tomorrow is a Saturday, so it works perfectly," the leader said.

    "Great, I look forward to our battle," Brendan said.

    "As do I; and I'm looking forward to seeing what you, Nikki, Clint, and Gwen can do in a gym battle. Now, I apologize but I must go and deal with some paperwork for the school," Roxanne said. With that, she left Brendan and May and re-entered the school.

    "So, where do you want to go now? We could head to the Pokémon Center and get a room for the night, or we can explore the city some more," Brendan asked.

    "Well, we should go to the Pokémon Center to treat our Pokémon after that battle. We can get a room and relax a little bit before experiencing the night life. What do you think?" May said as she pulled the still intact tulip from her belt loop.

    "That's a great idea," Brendan said as Gwen clambered up onto his shoulder. She knew she would only fit in the spot for a little while longer, so she figured she would enjoy it while she still could.

    That sounds like an awesome idea, so let's go! Gwen said. When she said that, Brendan and May both left the battlefield and began to walk toward the Pokémon Center. It was already gearing up to be a great evening, and Brendan couldn't wait to find out what the future had in store.
  13. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    Some Rocky Battles

    Gwen was more than enjoying her time with Brendan and May. They had been to a bowling alley, followed by dinner at a fun restaurant, and they finished the night with a stop at an incredible hard-serve ice cream shop which used Miltank milk to make their ice cream. Brendan got a vanilla cone, May got chocolate, and Gwen got mint chocolate chip, and they were some of the best ice cream cones any of them ever tasted. It was the perfect combination of sweet and creamy, and it wasn't too icy.

    "This ice cream is phenomenal" Brendan said. "There is nothing like this in Goldenrod."

    "Yeah, the food in Hoenn is really delicious and fresh a lot," May said. "But it has another purpose sometimes."

    "Oh yeah, what's that?"

    May swiped her finger through a melting portion of her ice cream and then dabbed that finger on the tip of Brendan's nose. "It can make you look so pretty," she said.

    "Oh you're asking for it now," Brendan said as he did the same thing to her. "There, now we're both equally pretty." After a few seconds, they both burst out laughing before wiping off their noses and making their way back to the Pokémon Center.

    Gwen was just basking in the joy that radiated from both Brendan and May, and she couldn't help noticing that sensing emotions was becoming much easier for her. You two were made for each other, I just know it, she said to herself quietly. I can't wait to see where you two go together. The group all arrived at the Pokémon Center and went to their room for the night. They all got comfortable and were soon asleep. Tomorrow would be a big day for both of them. They just didn't know how big of a day it was going to be.

    Brendan woke up at nine the next morning to get some last minute training in before his gym battle with Roxanne. Currently, he was going through active stretching before with his team. Clint was still getting used to his new strength, but he was still clearly proud of his evolution. Gwen, however, seemed to look at Clint in what looked like jealousy. Brendan felt like he knew what was causing this, but he wasn't about to ask Gwen a question that would throw her off her game before the battle. May had woken up around ten in the morning and gotten ready for the day before going out to the practice fields to join Brendan.

    "Hey Brendan, how are you feeling?" she asked.

    "Good Morning May. I'm doing great, and we are just about to finish preparing for the battle," Brendan said.

    "Have you eaten breakfast yet?"

    No, he's working us like slaves! Gwen said with her eyes glistening like she was about to cry.

    "Gwen, you know that's not true. You had three pancakes this morning," Brendan said.

    Gwen just giggled. Yeah, but I wanted a fourth, and you said no to me.

    "Dear Arceus, you would have gotten sick if you ate a fourth."

    May just giggled as she watched the comical exchange. "You guys are so cute," she said. "Anyway, we have about forty-five minutes before the gym battle. Are you ready?"

    "Hell yeah, I'm completely ready," Brendan said. "What about you three?" Clint and Gwen both nodded in approval, but Nikki just gave a slightly blank stare and a smile. "I'll take Nikki's response as a yes."

    "Then we should probably get going. It should take us a little while to get to the gym," May said.

    "Sounds good; Clint and Nikki, return!" Brendan said as he called them back to their Pokéballs. "Gwen, come on up," he said as he lowered his arm for her to climb up to his shoulder. She smiled and quickly made the climb, ready for the battle.

    Let's go, I am so excited to win that badge! Gwen said.

    They all began walking toward Roxanne's gym. The building stood out clearly since it had an orange roof and a very distinct shape. They walked for about half an hour before they arrived at the entrance to the gym. "Alright, it's time," Brendan said as he opened the doors.

    "Welcome Brendan, are you ready for our battle?" Roxanne asked from across the gym.

    "You better believe it!" Brendan said. "We are completely fired up!"

    You know it! Gwen said with enthusiasm.

    "By the way, do you mind if some of the school's more advanced students attend this battle?" Roxanne said as she gestured toward a group of kids with notepads and pens.

    "Not at all," Brendan said. "It'll make the battle fun."

    "Then let's begin. This is a 2-on-2 battle." she said once Brendan set foot on his side of the battlefield. "Let's go, Ginny!" She threw out her Pokéball, which released a Geodude.

    "Then you're up, Clint!" Brendan said as he sent out Grovyle.

    Brendan, I want the next round, Gwen said.

    "Alright," Brendan said.

    "Brendan, you may have the first attack!" Roxanne said.

    "Thank you, Roxanne, but you'll regret that choice. Clint, use Bullet Seed!" Brendan said. Clint spat a stream of green-glowing seeds at Ginny, which struck and caused serious damage. Ginny rolled back, but she was not beaten yet.

    "Ginny, use Rollout!" Roxanne said. Ginny pulled her arms in close to herself and began to roll across the floor, bearing down on Clint.

    "Alright Clint, use Dragonbreath!" Brendan called out. This was the first time he was using the attack in an official battle, and they needed to show the results of their training. Clint opened his mouth and let out a stream of electricity-laced dragon fire. The attack hit, but Ginny had already picked up a lot of speed. Despite a head-on hit, the Dragonbreath attack simply split apart and flew past Ginny, who proceeded to roll under Clint, throwing him into the air. Clint wouldn't be defeated that easily, and to prove it, he landed lightly on his feet. That was when Brendan saw something that made him grin confidently.

    Ginny suddenly stopped rolling, electricity coursing through her and freezing her in place. "Great job Clint," Brendan said with a snap of his fingers. "Now, use Mega Drain!" Multiple streams of green energy spread from Clint and grabbed Ginny tightly. They then shifted to a more neon green as Ginny cried out in pain. Her health was being sapped rapidly from the attack, and Clint showed little sign of stopping. Ginny fainted and stopped crying out less than a minute later, so Clint stopped his attack.

    "Ginny is unable to continue, Leader Roxanne, send out your last Pokémon," the referee said.

    "Clint, come on back. You've earned a rest!" Brendan said as he had Clint return to his Pokéball. "Gwen, you're up!"

    Alright! Don't worry about a thing! Gwen said as she teleported herself onto the field.

    "So, you're going with Gwen. She is now quite famous in the school after your battle with May. Having said that, she will be facing an opponent she can't just throw around. Come on out, Chad!" Roxanne said as she let out a…blue stone with a red stone nose? "You look confused. Have you never seen a Nosepass before?"

    "I admit, it's a new Pokémon to me," Brendan said. "It's probably very rare in the Johto region if it shows up at all."

    "Well, regardless, let's finish this battle. Now, Chad, use Thunder Wave!" Roxanne said. The Nosepass's nose stone gathered lightning in a spherical shape before firing it at Gwen.

    "Gwen use Teleport to dodge that!" Brendan said.

    I know, Gwen said as she vanished as the paralyzing attack flew past where she had just stood, only to reappear behind Chad, her eyes glowing bright blue.

    "Alright, now use Confusion!" Brendan said. Chad was shrouded in the blue glow and started to rise from the ground, but then Brendan saw Gwen's face. She was struggling to lift the Pokémon. He pulled out his Pokédex, scanned Nosepass, and his eyes went wide. No wonder Gwen was having trouble. Nosepass weighed over two-hundred pounds, a weight that Gwen had never even tried to lift before. "Gwen, drop him! Then use Disarming Voice!"

    Gwen did as Brendan said, relief evident in her expression when she let the monolithic Pokémon drop to the ground. Holy Distortion World that thing is heavy, Gwen said before crying out, creating sonic waves that flew at Chad.

    "Chad, use Harden!" Roxanne said. Chad's body began to shimmer with a silver sheen just before Gwen's attack struck. The attacks were powerful, and since it was a special attack, Chad felt it at full force, sending him staggering back. "Now use Rock Tomb!" Nosepass threw four boulders at Gwen, which all fell around her and trapped her in place. Gwen's body took on a purple glow as her speed dropped. That could be trouble if the battle continued much longer. They needed to end this quickly.

    "Gwen, throw those rocks back at Nosepass with Confusion!" Brendan called out.

    I was about to do that! Gwen said with a sassy tone as her eyes began glowing blue and she threw the rocks directly back at the compass Pokémon, but she was slower than before, which could be problematic for the rest of the battle. Luckily, Chad was not a fast Pokémon, and he was hit by the incoming rocks, taking some damage from the attack.

    "Chad, use Thunder Wave again!" Roxanne said. Chad gathered purple electricity before firing it at Gwen.

    "Gwen, Teleport out of the way!" Brendan said. Gwen nodded as she vanished from where she was, only to reappear behind Chad. "Now, finish this with Disarming Voice!" Gwen shouted out with a sharp, high-pitched voice, which caused Chad to flinch as he took significant damage. He was thrown from his position, and toppled onto his side and fell into unconsciousness.

    "Chad is unable to battle, Gwen wins the round, which means that Brendan wins the battle!" the referee said.

    "Alright!" Brendan said as he ran out onto the battlefield, picked Gwen up and embraced his first Pokémon. "You were amazing out there!"

    Well of course. Did you expect any less from me? Gwen said in a sly tone.

    "No, I'm still complimenting you on your battling."

    Still, I didn't evolve. It's so frustrating.

    "Don't worry, that will come soon enough. Just be patient," Brendan said.

    "That was a great battle," Roxanne said as she held out a bronze badge that looked like a disfigured diamond. "You two were so in-sync that it was shocking. This Stone Badge belongs to you now."

    Brendan smiled as he took the gym badge from Roxanne. "Thank you for that battle. We certainly grew from the experience, and we will put that experience to good use in the future."

    Yeah, and by that he means become the champion of Hoenn and his ace Pokémon! Gwen said enthusiastically.

    Roxanne giggled. "Well, I wish both of you luck in that endeavor. If I may be of some more help on your road to greatness, please accept this TM34. It can be used to teach Rock Tomb an indefinite number of times."

    "Wait, not just once? In Johto, TMs can only be used once," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, Unova just recently created the technology to make TMs usable infinitely. Pretty cool, isn't it?"

    "Yeah, that's cool and really convenient," Brendan said.

    "And there is one other gift that you get as the victor," May said as she grabbed Brendan's shoulder, turned him toward her and planted a soft kiss on his lips.

    Oh come on. Couldn't you two wait until later? Gwen said with mock disgust.

    May broke the kiss and looked at Gwen. "Nope, it had to happen now," she said with a slight giggle.

    Well fine, you can keep going then, Gwen said with her arms crossed sarcastically.

    "We would, but you kind of ruined the mood," Brendan said.

    Perfect! Mission accomplished! she teased.

    Brendan just rolled his eyes before turning back to Roxanne. "Any way, thank you so much for the battle. If you ever want a rematch, just contact me!" he said.

    "I intend to, but only after you've collected more badges so I don't need to hold back to test you. In the meantime, where were you planning to go for your next gym battle?" Roxanne asked.

    "We haven't actually decided," Brendan said.

    "Then if you'd like my suggestion, you should head to Dewford Town. It's an island resort, and it's where my good friend, Brawly, lives. He's the gym leader there, but he'll be a lot harder to beat than I was for this battle."

    "Well, the island resort part alone is enticing, but pairing it with a gym battle is even better. Gwen, May, what do you two say?"

    "I'd love to go to Dewford. The beaches are beautiful and there's even a few caves there, we could catch more team members there.

    You know I'm okay with it. I really love beaches! Gwen said with glee.

    "Then it's settled, next stop Dewford. Thanks for everything Roxanne!" Brendan said as they turned to leave the gym.

    "No problem, come back any time!" Roxanne said. Then Brendan and May exited the gym.

    "Well that was a fun time," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, but for some reason I've got this feeling that something is about to make this day interesting in a bad way," May said.

    You're right. Look over there! Gwen said as she pointed toward the path leading to the biggest office building in the city, which the trio assumed belonged to Devon Corporation. What caught Brendan's and May's attention was the duo of Team Aqua members, the same duo that ambushed the Devon employee in Petalburg Woods. They were running away from the same employee who they ambushed earlier.

    "WAIT! DON'T TAKE MY GOODS!" the employee said as he chased them to the north.

    "Oh boy, looks like we need to help him again," Brendan said.

    "It seems that way," May said as she grabbed Brendan's arm and pulled him with her, following the Devon employee. "Come on." They ran for nearly five minutes before arriving at a fork in the road, the one to the north leading to a series of dreadful, three-foot high, impassible ledges (countless physicists are still trying to find out why it was physically impossible to climb them). That left only one option: the path going to the east.

    They went along the path to the east, where they ran into the employee they followed. As soon as they arrived behind him, the man turned around and got an elated look on his face. "Oh praise Arceus it's you two! Please help me, those thugs from earlier stole some very important machine parts from Devon. I lost them as they went onto Route 116."

    "Sure, no problem," May said.

    Well, it may be a slight problem, but he doesn't need to know that, Gwen said to only May and Brendan, earning a silent giggle from both of them.

    "We will take care of it for you," Brendan said as they ran off to Route 116. Unfortunately, the various trainers on the route, including multiple youngsters, bug catchers, school children, and hikers, all seemed to want a battle, and none of them took "no" for an answer. That, however, probably proved to be much more helpful in the long run, as this gave both Brendan's and May's teams much needed experience before battling the thugs of Team Aqua. Luckily, most of those battles lasted for only one attack, which left their opponents in shock, but it also earned them some information on where Team Aqua went.

    Alright, there is the tunnel up ahead. We should be able to catch those pricks in a few minutes. Gwen said. But, who is that old man in the sailor get-up? She was referring to a tall man wearing a blue and white striped shirt with a naval commander's hat and a pair of dark-washed jeans.

    "Hey, that's Mr. Briney. He's retired now, but he used to be a legendary sea captain," May said.

    "He looks concerned about something," Brendan said, noting the disconcerted look on the man's face as they got closer.

    "Gaah, those scoundrels. Both of 'em. They just assaulted me and took my beloved Peecko hostage," Mr. Briney said.

    "Don't worry sir, we will get your Pokémon back from them," May said.

    "Thank ye fair lass, and ye as well young lad," he said. As Brendan and May entered the cave, they heard Mr. Briney give an echoing shout of "WROOOARRR PEECKO!"

    It didn't take long for Brendan and May to find the two grunts in the tunnel, having come to a dead end. "DON'T TELL ME THAT THE TUNNEL ISN'T COMPLETE! HOW ELSE CAN WE POSSIBLY FUCK UP THESE OPERATIONS ANYMORE?!" the woman said. "THE BOSS WILL HAVE OUR HEADS ON A PLATTER FOR THIS!"

    "Just calm down, we can still get away. We just need a Pokémon that knows Rock Smash," the man said.


    "No, I don't."

    "Then Rock Smash is worthless outside of battle!" the woman said angrily.

    "How does that make any sense? A Pokémon can use an attack at any time. It doesn't require a gym badge," the man retorted.

    "Shut up, that logic doesn't apply here!" the woman said. Brendan, May, and Gwen looked at each other, all of their faces asking whether this was a bad comedy routine or if these two were serious. They looked back and saw two machine parts and a sad-looking Wingull in a small cage by the feet of the two grunts. The little Pokémon screeched softly when it saw the trio, and Gwen translated.

    That Wingull is Peecko, and she is begging us for our help, she said with anger in her voice, directed at Team Aqua.

    Brendan stepped forward, getting Team Aqua's attention. "Oh no, as if this day couldn't get any worse, now we have to deal with you two kids from before!" the woman said.

    "Yeah, that's right. Now, hand over the machine parts and that Wingull and I will let you walk away. If you don't leave now, then I will not hesitate to take you both down!"

    "And I'll be fighting right beside him," May said.

    "You know what? You only beat us because of a fluke last time. Now you will lose to the great Team Aqua!" the woman said. "Let's go Danni!"

    "I agree. Come on out Sal!" the man said. Both grunts sent out their Poochyenas, who looked stronger than the last battle in Petalburg Woods.

    "Well then, Gwen, do you want this battle?" Brendan asked.

    Yes. I need to put these two assholes in their place! Gwen said, which caused Brendan to smile at her confidence.

    "Then I will use Miranda!" May said as she sent out her Combusken.

    The two grunts initiated the battle. "Sal/Danni, use Tackle!" they both said. The two dogs began running at Miranda and Gwen with their heads lowered.

    "Gwen, use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen smirked.

    Of course, she said as she shrieked at a high pitch. The sound hit both Sal and Danni, but Miranda was unaffected.

    "Miranda, hit both of them with Double Kick!" May commanded. Miranda ran at the Poochyena and lashed out with two powerful kicks to each of the little dogs, sending them sprawling.

    "Now, Gwen, use Disarming Voice one more time!" Brendan said. Gwen didn't need to be told twice, or once for that matter. She was already shrieking like she had been earlier by the time Brendan had given the command. Both Poochyena were thrown back by the force of the sound and were subsequently knocked out by the attack at the same time.

    "Wow, that was easy," May said.

    I guess these two really are just useless bitches, Gwen said with an angry tone. I mean, what kind of sick bastards kidnap a Pokémon from their trainer?

    "You'd really hate Team Rocket in that case," Brendan said under his breath before speaking to the Aqua Grunts. "Now, hand over the machine parts and let that Wingull go. The police are probably on their way by now."

    "You know, you're speaking to members of one of the only two mafias in Hoenn. You should know that we will not just let you off the hook just because our Pokémon are beaten," the man said as he drew a revolver from one of his pockets. He pulled back the hammer and aimed it at Brendan. The woman did the same thing, but she aimed at May. Both guns used .22 caliber bullets and they gleamed from a fresh polishing.

    "Now, back away slowly if you know what's good for you, and let us through, or we will empty these guns into both of you," the woman said.

    Gwen was wide-eyed. No, I will not lose Brendan and May like I lost my mother, she thought.

    "Recall your Pokémon, put your hands in the air where we can see them, and get up against the wall or we will fire," the man said. May called Miranda back, but Brendan did not do the same with Gwen. "Did you hear me? I said to recall your Pokémon!"

    "Gwen hates being in her Pokéball, so no. I will not comply," Brendan said.

    "Then you'll be six feet under in no time!" the male grunt replied aiming his gun at Brendan's head.

    GET AWAY FROM MY FRIENDS! Gwen shouted as she sent a wave of psychic energy, knocking the Aqua Grunts to the ground.

    The man stood up with a groan and an angry look. "Forget you boy. I'll just shoot your Ralts and be done with it!" He leveled the gun at Gwen, only to be tackled by Brendan who began wrestling and fighting the man. The gun discharged, lodging a bullet in the cavern wall.

    Gwen was beyond scared for Brendan now. If that fight continued much longer, he might get seriously hurt, or maybe killed. Damn it. I won't lose you too! she shouted as loudly as she could as her body began to glow white and blue. The glowing caused everybody to stop moving and watch as she began to evolve. She grew by about a foot, and her dress turned into a ballerina's tutu. Her hair grew longer, turning into two strands that looked like wide pig-tails to the side, and her bangs took a triangular shape. Her two horns moved to the sides of her head, one on each side, and they grew longer, stretching from the front of her head to the back.

    "Gwen?" Brendan said in amazement as the glow ceased, revealing a Kirlia where a Ralts once stood.

    Alright, you Team Aqua grunts, I will give you until the count of three to drop the guns and leave this cave. Gwen said, but her voice now sounded like that of a teenager. Despite her evolution, the two grunts didn't seem to be backing down. Brendan, get off him, then you and May get behind me. I can't promise that I won't hit you by accident if you're so close to him. Brendan did what she said, getting away from the grunt, grabbing May and pulling her with him behind Gwen. Now, you two can get the hell out of this cave, she said as she threw both her hands forward and sent a wave of psychic energy at the grunts that, while neither Brendan nor May had psychic abilities, they could sense that it was far more powerful than anything she had ever produced as a Ralts. The force was so great that the duo of grunts were taken off their feet and thrown out of the cave completely.

    "Gwen," Brendan said with amazement in his voice as he pulled out his Pokédex, and scanned her:

    "Kirlia, the Emotion Pokémon. Kirlia uses the horns on its head to amplify its psychokinetic power. When the Pokémon uses its power, the air around it becomes distorted, creating mirages of nonexistent scenery. It is said that a Kirlia that is exposed to the positive emotions of its Trainer grows beautiful. This Pokémon controls psychokinetic powers with its highly developed brain."

    YAY! I finally evolved! Gwen said joyfully as she leapt into Brendan's arms. Brendan caught her as a wide grin spread across his face.

    "I'm so proud of you. That was awesome," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, you were amazing Gwen!" May said as she joined in the embrace, hugging both Gwen and Brendan at the same time.

    "Peecko, you're safe!" Mr. Briney called out as he entered the cave and approached the cage holding the Wingull, and opened the door. The little bird hopped out of the cage and onto Mr. Briney's shoulder as Mr. Briney turned to Brendan, May, and Gwen. "You young'in's saved me darlin' Peecko's life. I owe ye much to pay that debt. If you ever need a favor, come by my cabin on Route 104. It's right outside of Petalburg City and it's right by the ocean," he said.

    "It was no trouble, but we may take you up on that offer soon," Brendan said. "By the way, my name is Brendan. These two are May and Gwen."

    "Well Brendan, May, and Gwen, I thank all of you," Mr. Briney said. "Alright Peecko, let's go home." With that, the old sailor departed the cave, leaving the trio on their own.

    Hey Goldenrod! Gwen said. Where am I going to sit now? It will be really hard for me to stand on your shoulders now.

    "Hmmm…I don't know. Would you be willing to walk?" Brendan asked.

    I was afraid you'd say that, Gwen said with a slightly annoyed pouting expression. But I guess walking will help get me stronger for the Hoenn League Championships.

    "I like your attitude," May said as she picked up the two machine parts and handed one to Brendan. "Now, what do you say we return these to the Devon Corporation?"

    "Sounds like a great plan," Brendan said. "Let's go!" They departed the cave and walked back to the city, excited to see what adventures awaited them next.
  14. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The High Seas

    Brendan was lost in thought as he walked with May and the newly evolved Gwen to return the machine parts to the Devon Corporation. This was the second time they had encountered Team Aqua, and this time, they had just had guns pointed at them by people who would not have lost any sleep over shooting them.

    "Hey, Brendan, you doing okay? You've been really quiet since we left the tunnel," May asked.

    Brendan took a deep breath. "Yeah," he said. "Just thinking about what just happened to us."

    Brendan, I can tell you're not alright, Gwen said with concern.

    "It's just a bad feeling that any more encounters with Team Aqua will only get more dangerous. And they said that there was another group like them in Hoenn. I get the feeling that we will be running into them again."

    But by then, we will be a lot stronger by then.

    "Yeah, we shouldn't worry too much right now. There's nothing we can do about them now, so worrying about it won't do us any good," May said. "All we can do is to continue training and if we run into them again, we stop their plans."

    "Yeah, I guess you're right. But we really do need to be careful. We really shouldn't be trying to piss off a mafia," Brendan said. May and Gwen just nodded their approval as they walked back onto the streets of Rustboro City, where they saw the Devon employee facing away from Route 116, and he was talking on his cell phone.

    "Sir, I think that the goods will be fine. Those two trainers I told you about, the ones who helped me in the Petalburg Woods, went after Team Aqua. This incident shouldn't last much longer," he said as he turned around, seeing Brendan and May. "Actually, strike that, they've returned with the goods." He paused for a moment. "Understood sir, I'll tell them." He ended the call and smiled at the teenagers and Gwen. "It seems you met with success," he said.

    "Yeah, it was pretty easy, to be honest," Brendan said, not wanting to tell him about what really happened.

    "Well, no matter how easy it was, I have something to give you as my way of saying thanks," he said as he pulled out two Great Balls, handing one to each of the trainers. "And that's not the only reward you two are getting. For the other reward, though, you will need to follow me to Devon's building. Our president would like to meet you two."

    "Wow, really?" May asked.

    "Of course; you've helped the company twice without any real reason to do so," the man said.

    We should go. This could be really interesting, Gwen said.

    "Alright, lead the way," Brendan said.

    They walked for about ten minutes, arriving at the Devon Corporation building, where security waved them in without question. Upon entering, Brendan and May were amazed at what they saw. The floor was made of granite tiles mostly, except for a glass panel over multiple fossils, as well as multiple display cases lining the walls, each one holding fossils from around the world.

    "Wow, this place is very well designed," Brendan commented.

    Yeah, Goldenrod is right, Gwen said, earning a slight glare from Brendan when she said the nickname. She merely stuck her tongue out in response.

    "Yes, Mr. Stone and his son are both interested in fossils and rare stones. You won't find a bigger collection of fossils anywhere else, barring museums," the man said. "Even I haven't seen all of them, and I've worked here for nearly ten years now."

    "That is impressive," May said.

    "As much as I love giving people tours of this place, you're here to meet with Mr. Stone. Please follow me to the elevators. Otherwise you'll be walking up about fifty flights of stairs," the man said.

    "You don't need to tell me twice," Brendan said, earning a giggle from May.

    They all entered the elevator, where the employee hit a button and they ascended to the top floor. "I should let you know that Mr. Stone is a very friendly man, but he hates when people don't speak clearly," he said as they neared the top. "But you three should be just fine. Besides, the only thing he loves more than fossils are Pokémon." When he said that, the doors opened and they walked into what had to be the single biggest office Brendan, or May had ever seen. On the far side of the room was a red, mahogany desk with two computer monitors. There were multiple fossils in large display cases around the room. At the desk was a man who appeared to be around sixty years old with white hair styled in a slight star-shape, and he wore a dark suit.

    "Ah, welcome to Devon Corporation young trainers. You two have helped Jerry here on two separate occasions, and you've saved vital parts of our company" the man said as he extended a hand, which Brendan and May shook in turn. "I am in your debt. You can call me Mr. Stone; I am the president of the company."

    "It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Stone," Brendan said. "I'm Brendan, and this is Gwen."

    "And I'm May," May replied.

    "Oh I know your names. You've become quite famous within this company," Mr. Stone said.

    Wait, that man we helped out is named Jerry? Gwen asked, only speaking to Brendan and May. I guess we should've asked earlier, but oh well.

    "Unfortunately, I fear I must ask you two for a few favors. You've proven your competence as trainers, so to keep those goods safe, would you mind taking them to the shipyard in Slateport City?" Mr. Stone asked.

    "Well, we will be going there after we go to Dewford, so it shouldn't be a problem. It won't be a problem to make that delivery. It may take a week, but we can get it there," Brendan said.

    "Oh, you're heading to Dewford? While you're there, could you make another delivery for me? This one is a letter for my son, Steven," Mr. Stone said as he pulled out a white envelope, holding it out.

    "We might as well," May said as she took the envelope. "It'll take a couple days to get to Dewford, and Brendan will likely train for a while before challenging the gym. So it will be no trouble."

    "Thank you so much," Mr. Stone said. "You should know that I would never ask a favor without giving you some form of reward. So, I'd like you two to take these." He went to his desk, pushed a button and two devices that looked like cell phones, but more complex. "These are PokéNavs. They contain a Hoenn map, a Match Call feature that allows you to send rematch requests to any trainers you've already battled, it can connect to the internet and it can also be used to check on the conditions of Pokémon for contests."

    "Wow, sounds expensive," May said with interest as she and Brendan took their PokéNav.

    "Well, it's a small amount compared to the business deals you saved for us," Mr. Stone said with a smile.

    Wow, that's a really cool piece of technology, Gwen said. Brendan, may I see it?

    "Of course," Brendan said, handing the device to Gwen.

    I like your gift, Mr. Stone! she said.

    "Well, I'm glad it's to your liking," Mr. Stone said with a smile. "Now, before you two leave, I should warn you both that there is a gang war going on right now. It's between Team Aqua and Team Magma. Their objectives are unclear at the moment, but they seem concerned with the landscape of Hoenn. Please, be very careful, and go heal your Pokémon at the Pokémon Center before you go to Dewford."

    "We will, and I promise that these deliveries will be made promptly," Brendan said.

    "I trust that you will," Mr. Stone said. With that, May, Gwen and Brendan all walked to the elevator, and began their descent to the ground floor. Mr. Stone then walked over to his desk and pushed a button on the desk phone. The phone on the other end rang twice before it was answered.

    "Hello?" said a young man who sounded like he was between twenty-five and thirty years old.

    "Steven, it's your father. Listen, I need to ask you to go to Dewford Town in two days, and stay there for about a week. There are two new trainers heading there now, and they seem to have a lot of potential. I want you to meet them and help them when you can," Mr. Stone said.

    "Oh, and what are their names?" Steven asked.

    "Brendan and May are their names; Brendan has a Kirlia who walks beside him and she can talk through telepathy, her name is Gwen," Mr. Stone said.

    "I think I can make time for that. Since Wallace took over as champion, I've had a lot of free time, so this will work perfectly for me," Steven said. "I'll let you know what I think once I've met them."

    The next morning came, and it saw Brendan, May, and Gwen all eating breakfast in the Rustboro Pokémon Center. This time, Brendan had reluctantly allowed Gwen to have four Oran Berry pancakes with Pecha Berry syrup, which was met with a look of what could only be described as unbridled joy. Brendan and May had a more protein-filled breakfast. Brendan had a spinach, mushroom, ham, and cheese omelet, while May had scrambled eggs with a side of hash browns and pineapples, and both had a cup of coffee to drink. This was going to be their last meal in a Pokémon Center before they made their second trek through the Petalburg Woods.

    "This is a really nice way to spend the morning, just relaxing with friends," May said in a contented voice.

    I know, especially when you get an extra pancake to start the day! Gwen said happily as she cut and ate another piece.

    "Yeah, it's a really good way to wake up and prepare for a long walk," Brendan said.

    You know I could just teleport us to Mr. Briney's house, it will take us all of a few seconds, Gwen said.

    "As nice as that sounds, it's probably not the best idea. It would mean taking shortcuts, and if we want to become the best in the world, we can't afford to take any shortcuts," Brendan said.

    Aw, Goldenrod, you're no fun sometimes, you know that? Gwen said with a slight pouting smirk, which quickly disappeared when she continued to enjoy her pancakes.

    "Well, let's finish eating and leave pretty soon so we can minimize the number of times we have to set a camp. I personally hope that we can get through the forest in less than two days, if that's possible," Brendan said.

    Four hours later, they were walking along through Petalburg Woods. Gwen was skipping along merrily, doing graceful twirls in the air like a ballerina and just enjoying her time with her friends. It's so nice out today! I hope the weather stays nice while we travel, she thought to herself. She was a few yards away from Brendan and May, but she wasn't in any trouble.

    "You know, I've never actually gone sailing," Brendan said. "Have you?"

    "Absolutely, I live in Hoenn. It's the region with an obscene amount of water. If you ever want to travel to the eastern parts of the region, you need to either ride on a Pokémon, or you take a boat," May said.

    "Oh yeah, I remember seeing that on the map of the region. It's nearly fifty percent water, right?" Brendan asked.

    "Something like that, I'm not entirely sure though," May said. "Some people describe the region as one big battle between the land and the sea."

    "Seems a bit poetic," Brendan said as they passed the spot where they had camped a few nights ago. Luckily, they had a lot of time to keep moving before it got dark. Gwen kept skipping and dancing as they walked, feeling an incredible sense of freedom and bliss as they kept walking toward the exit near Petalburg City.

    Sure enough, just two hours later, they had left the shade of the dense canopy of Petalburg Woods, and into the bright, afternoon sunlight. May raised her arms and stretched in the warming light. "Mmmm," she sighed. "It feels so good to finally be out of the shade."

    Brendan smiled in response before wrapping his arm around May's waist, pulling her closer to him, earning a different type of smile. This one was more of content relaxation as she laid her head on Brendan's shoulder. They continued to walk to the cottage next to the beach with a dock and a boat that looked like a Wingull. They assumed that this was Mr. Briney's home.

    Gwen was waiting on the front step of the cottage when the two trainers arrived, and she was pretending to be asleep. Well, it took you two long enough to get here, she said.

    "Oh hahaha, that's very funny Gwen," May said.

    Yeah, I know it is. Now, let's go inside and get that ride to Dewford, Gwen said as she floated to her feet and went to the door. Mind if I knock?

    "Go ahead," Brendan said. Gwen tapped on the door loudly.

    "Be there in a moment!" Mr. Briney called from inside the house. In less than a minute, the sea captain opened the door. "Oh, it's good to see you two. What can I do fer ye?"

    "Well, we were hoping to get a couple boat rides," Brendan said. "First to Dewford Island, then to Slateport City. We have a few deliveries to make for the Devon Corporation."

    "I see, seems to me like you both have very busy lives," Mr. Briney said with a laugh. "But it'll be no problem at all. Since retiring, I've had a lot of time and not much to do besides sailing."

    "Thank you very much sir," May said.

    "Think nothing of it lass," Mr. Briney said before turning back into his house. "Let me grab the keys to the boat, some food fer the trip, and Peecko before we go. You can get in the boat over there and get comfortable. I'll only be a few moments." Gwen didn't waste a moment's time getting into the oddly designed watercraft, followed closely by Brendan and May. The deck was a textured surface for grip, and it was quite spacious.

    "Oh, this will be perfect for getting a tan along the way!" May said.

    "Yeah, and all the Pokémon will be able to move around if they need to," Brendan said.

    Yeah, and the seats are really comfortable too, Gwen said from the bench that she was laying down on.

    "Now then, seems everything's in order and yer all set to get moving," Mr. Briney said as he stepped into the boat with Peecko on his shoulders, couple bags of ready-made meals for the boat in one hand, and the keys in the other. He walked over to the steering block, started the ignition. "Boy, untie us from the dock!"

    "No problem," Brendan said as he undid the slip knot holding the boat to the dock.

    "Excellent, and we're on our way!" Mr. Briney said as the boat began to move away from the dock before racing across the waves, heading south. "We'll be on the water for about two days, give or take half a day depending on the weather. So relax, and enjoy yerselves."

    We will sir, thank you! Gwen said with enthusiasm.

    While they were driving, Brendan felt his phone vibrating and heard it ring from his pocket, so he pulled it out answering it. "Hello?"

    "Hey Brendan, it's your father, I just heard from Roxanne that you won against her. Congrats!" Norman said.

    "Thanks Dad, how is everything at the Petalburg Gym?" Brendan asked.

    "Things are going smoothly. I haven't lost to a challenger yet. But enough about me, I called to see how everything is going with you."

    "Well, for starters, both Clint and Gwen evolved, as did Miranda and Lily, and I caught a Slakoth named Nikki. We stopped a group called Team Aqua from robbing the Devon Corporation twice, and as a result, May and I are traveling with Mr. Briney to Dewford Town and Slateport City to make some deliveries for Mr. Stone."

    Norman was silent for a short while, probably stunned, before talking. "Wow, you've had quite an experience. And it's no wonder why it's so windy where you are," he said. "And how are you and May getting along?"

    "Oh, you could say that we're getting along much better than either of us anticipated," Brendan said with a smile. May heard him, giggling to herself about how Brendan subtly told Norman that they were dating.

    "Well that's excellent. Remember that you still have a long way to go. Don't push yourself or your Pokémon too hard," Norman said in a fatherly tone.

    "I won't Dad. Thanks for calling. Would you mind telling Mom how I'm doing?"

    "No problem, Brendan," Norman said with a smile to himself. "Alright, I'll be seeing you when you get your fourth badge."

    "See you then. Bye," Brendan said as he hung up. This was becoming a great day, and it was only about three in the afternoon.

    Back in Petalburg, Norman chuckled to himself as he made another call. "Hey Norman, what's going on?" Professor Birch said as he answered.

    "Hey Ed, you lost the bet," Norman said.

    "What? Are you kidding me? Brendan and May are already dating?" the Professor said in disbelief.

    "Yeah, I just got off the phone with Brendan, and when I asked about how he and May were getting along, his tone of voice gave it away. Granted, he was trying to be subtle about it," Norman said with a chuckle.

    "Damn it, there go 300 PokéDollars," the Professor said as Norman was left laughing triumphantly when they ended the call. It seemed that Hoenn was being very good to his family.

    "And now Brendan is raising a Slakoth. Yeah, he's definitely becoming a chip off the old block," Norman said to himself.
  15. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Storm and a Dance

    May laid out comfortably on a beach towel near the bow of the ship, sunbathing in a new white and sapphire-blue-striped bikini and a cute pair of sunglasses, something she knew Brendan liked when he saw her walk out of the cabin wearing it. Gwen was lying next to May on her own, slightly smaller towel, and they were both waiting for Brendan to come out of the cabin to join them.

    "This is so relaxing," May said with a stretch.

    I know. Even though I really can't tan, I love sitting in the sun like this.

    "You can't tan?" May asked with intrigue.

    No, all Pokémon lack the ability to get tan. I know it's weird. We have the ability to produce and withstand impossibly powerful attacks, yet we can't get tan.

    "Seems a bit weird," May said.

    "Hey, seems like you two are having a fun conversation," Brendan said as he came up to the bow. He had removed his hat, letting his messy brown hair show, and he wore a ruby red pair of swim trunks. What May noticed most was that he was clearly athletic, because his muscles were all very well defined. Not massive like a Machoke's, but impressive nonetheless, especially his six-pack abs and pecs.

    "Hey handsome, and yeah, we were talking about something really interesting. Did you know that Pokémon can't get tan?" May said.

    "No, I didn't. That's pretty interesting," Brendan said.

    Yeah, it's a shame though. I think that I'd look really good with a tan, Gwen said.

    "Well, you may not be able to tan, but I think I can get enough sun for the both of us," Brendan said.

    Yeah, then you can really become Goldenrod, Gwen said with the most sass she could muster, earning a high-five from May.

    "Haha, you're hilarious!" Brendan said as he laid out his towel and lied down next to May. "But I'm glad the weather is so nice right now. It's been a while since I got the chance to get sun."

    Since Gwen wasn't between her and Brendan, May decided to lean over and plant a kiss on his cheek before returning to her back. "I think we should keep enjoying each other's company while we have some privacy," she said.

    Ahem! Lovebirds! I'm still sitting over here! Gwen said in a mildly joking tone.

    "Sorry Gwen, it was just one kiss," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, and don't forget that you're the one who started this," May said to the Kirlia.

    Okay, you got me there, Gwen said.

    After that, they just sat and enjoyed the sun while the boat kept moving toward their destination. This lasted for a few hours, but then they felt the wind become cold, and the sun was covered with dark ominous clouds. "Ah damn it, looks like there's a storm coming," Brendan said.

    "Aye, there be a storm approachin' fast. Ye three should get below the deck before it hits. Peecko and I will be in the cabin, so I can keep the boat away from and rocks," Mr. Briney said as he came to the bow.

    "Yeah, we'll take your advice there," May said as she rolled up her towel, Brendan and Gwen following suit. They walked back into the cabin and down the staircase to get below deck, and not a moment too soon. As soon as they got into the cabin, which was very nicely furnished, the downpour began.

    "Well that wasn't a moment too soon. Now, you three get yerselves comfortable down there, and don't worry about a thing. Peecko an' I have our share of rough weather," Mr. Briney said as the teenagers went below the deck.

    Gwen leapt onto the top bunk on the right, above Brendan's side of the room. Let's hope this boat can stay steady on a rough sea, she said.

    "Motion sickness?" Brendan asked.

    No, but I don't particularly like being thrown around like a ragdoll, Gwen said.

    "I understand," Brendan said with a slight smile. He then felt the fabric of a bikini top pressing into his back as May hugged him from behind. "And what are you doing there, May?" he asked in a joking tone.

    "Oh, I just wanted to warm up a little bit, and you looked really inviting," May said sweetly.

    Brendan smiled, he grabbed her arms, pulled them apart and spun her around so they were facing each other. "I think we will both be warmer this way," Brendan said as he wrapped his left arm around May's back, and placed his right hand on her head, hugging her tightly.

    May sighed happily as Brendan held her, enjoying how close she was with him. That was when Gwen decided to join in. Hey, I'm cold too, so I'm joining in the hug, she said as she leapt from the bed and onto Brendan's back and began hugging her trainer and May.

    "We should sit down in case the waves get rough," Brendan said.

    "Why don't we just lie down on a bed? The storm looked pretty large, and I get the feeling we will be down here for the rest of the night," May asked as she kissed Brendan on the cheek. Brendan smiled at May, and the two walked over to the lowest bunk, where they both laid down. Brendan was on his back, his right arm wrapped around May's shoulder while she was laying facedown with both her head and her left hand resting on Brendan's right pec. Gwen decided to grab herself three blankets, and she climbed up to the bunk directly above Brendan and May, handing one blanket to the couple.

    I'll be up here if you two need anything, Gwen said.

    "Alright Gwen, if you fall asleep, then we won't wake you up," Brendan said as he covered both himself and May with the blanket.

    Thanks Goldenrod, you're so sweet, Gwen said as she wrapped herself in two thick, soft white blankets, set her head on her pillow, and started to relax. The three sat and listened to the rain battering the roof of the boat as it came down steadily. The tapping rain eventually lulled them all into a peaceful sleep.

    Brendan woke up slowly, feeling a familiar weight and warmth on his chest, and he smiled as he stroked May's hair lightly. She shifted her weight, rubbing the side of her face against his chest.

    Oh, you're finally awake! Gwen said only to him.

    Hey, do you know where we are and what time it is? Brendan replied.

    It's time for you to get a watch, Gwen said, earning an eye-roll from Brendan. It's about ten in the morning. And the good news is that the storm ended a couple hours ago. We're anchored within half a day of Dewford now. The storm gave us a really strong tailwind, so we gained a lot of time. Mr. Briney thought it best if he let us sleep here while he and Peecko slept on the couches in the cabin, Gwen said.

    Wow, that was awfully kind of him, Brendan thought. That was when May began to wake up; her hand moving to her eye's rubbing it as she returned to consciousness.

    "Hey, did we seriously sleep like this all night?" May asked.

    "I think so. And I slept better than I ever have before," Brendan said.

    "Same here. Your chest is really comfortable," May said.

    You two are so cute. I'm going up to the deck to get some fresh air and some breakfast. See you up there soon, Gwen said as she left the cabin.

    Brendan turned to May. "Well, I can go into the cabin and wait for you to get dressed, or we could do it the other way around. It's your choice."

    "I think I'll go first," May said as she sat up, letting Brendan get up and walk into the cabin.

    Hey, you're up already? Gwen said from the small card table as she took a bite of a Pecha berry.

    "Yeah, May wanted to get changed into her normal clothes before we arrive in Dewford," Brendan said as he grabbed a small carton of orange juice and a pre-packaged blueberry muffin, joining Gwen at the table.

    Mmm, and I suppose that you'll be doing the same when she's done, Gwen said as she took another bite of her Pecha Berry.

    Brendan sat and ate, enjoying some time alone with Gwen while they talked about unimportant topics, but at the same time they made a world of difference. Since they had left from Littleroot, they'd had next to no time to without May nearby. Even though neither of them would dream of traveling without May, both Brendan and Gwen had to admit that this time was important to them. They enjoyed every second of their conversation, strengthening their bond as much more than just trainer and Pokémon; despite their banter, both Brendan and Gwen saw each other more as siblings, and it was getting stronger.

    Hey Brendan, I've been wondering when Nikki is going to evolve, Gwen said.

    "I'm not sure," Brendan said. "But it shouldn't be much longer."

    That's good, she's going to be very strong when she evolves.

    "Really?" Brendan said after eating the last of his muffin.

    Yeah, you should check your Pokédex. It will show you what she evolves into.

    "Not a bad idea," Brendan said as he opened the Pokédex, searching for Slakoth. "Let's see; it says here that Slakoths evolve into Vigoroth, which then evolve into Slaking. It says that a Slaking is among the most powerful physical attackers in the Pokémon world. It even rivals Machamp in sheer power."

    Yeah, and I have seen trainers with all three when I was exploring outside my village, and I once saw a Slaking punch an opponent once and it won with just that hit, Gwen said.

    "Well damn, that sounds dangerously powerful," May said as she entered the cabin in her normal travel attire.

    Oh, hey May! You look refreshed, Gwen said.

    "I wish I could have had a shower, but it'll have to do until we get to Dewford," May said with a laugh as she grabbed a carton of orange juice and a banana nut muffin for her breakfast.

    "You look beautiful, even without the shower," Brendan said, causing May to blush.

    "Uhmm, thanks," was all that May could manage to say with her flushed state. "And you're good to get dressed."

    Brendan stood up and went below deck, closing the door as he went. Meanwhile, May sat at the table with Gwen.

    "I can't believe how much has changed in so little time," May said as she took a sip of the juice.

    Yeah, neither can I. It's strange to think that about three weeks ago I was still wandering around on my own in the wild, Gwen said. And now I have two of the best human friends a Pokémon could hope for, and I'm friends with five of the coolest Pokémon I've ever met.

    May smiled. "And you've evolved too," she said. "And it was amazing how you did it to save Brendan and me."

    Yeah, that too, Gwen said as she finished her Pecha Berry. It just makes me wonder how much more is going to change as we go farther.

    "I guess that only time will tell," May said as Brendan re-entered the cabin with his traveling outfit on.

    "Ah, good, yer all awake," Mr. Briney said as he entered the cabin. "I was just about to continue our trip and get us to Dewford."

    "Great to hear," Brendan said.

    "And we should be arrivin' in around four hours," Mr. Briney said.

    Sweet, I can't wait to get on that beach, Gwen said with a joyful smile.

    "Aye, 'tis a thing o' beauty that island," Mr. Briney said as he went toward the steering block. "Ye won't be disappointed. Now, I'll start the boat, raise the anchor, and we'll be on our way." True to his word, Mr. Briney started the boat's engine, hit a button to raise the anchor, and began driving. "We should arrive in Dewford within four hours," Mr. Briney said.

    The ride was cut short by less than an hour due to both a helpful tailwind and a slight current that propelled them toward their destination. When they rounded the final turn before Dewford's docks, Brendan and May could tell that it was a beautiful place. There were palm trees and more tropical fauna around a mixture of luxury hotels and simple huts made from palm leaves and wood. Then there were multiple t-shirt and surfing shops, with large umbrellas scattered around the shoreline.

    "Well, that was a great trip," Brendan said with a smile as they pulled in to a dock and disembarked. "Thanks for your help Mr. Briney."

    "Any time, m' boy," he said as he wrote something down and handed it to May. "Here's my number, call me when yer ready to go to Slateport."

    "Thanks, we won't take too long," May said. "Three days at the most."

    "Take yer time, this island is a good spot to relax and have fun," Mr. Briney said. "I'll see you later young'uns." With that, Gwen led the way from the docks, across the beach, to the Pokémon Center.

    Along the way, they got a little lost, unfortunately, and they eventually decided to ask for directions. The nearest person they found was dressed in light clothing for the more tropical weather, and he wore sunglasses.

    "Excuse me, sir," Brendan said, catching the man's attention, and causing his expression to brighten considerably.

    "Why hello there! You're new around here," he said.

    "Yes, we are, and w-" May said, only to be cut off.

    "Well, have you heard about Feebas Victory? It's the most hip and happening thing around," he said.

    Brendan and May just responded with blank stares. What is this guy smoking? Gwen asked the two trainers, who just shrugged.

    "Oh you haven't heard about Feebas Victory? You two must have been living under a rock your entire lives. Or is there something more hip and happening where you're from?" he asked.

    "Uh, we don't know what you're talking about, we're just trying to find the Pokémon Center," May said.

    "Oh, um it's about a two minute walk that way," the man said, pointing to the southern part of the island. "But if you don't know about Feebas Victory, what's the hippest, most happening thing where you're from?"

    Brendan was drawing a blank and he could see this man wouldn't leave him alone until an answer was given. Say something ridiculous like Epic Magikarp, Gwen said.

    "Umm, I'd say that the most happening thing where I'm from is Epic Magikarp," Brendan said, knowing full well that it was just nonsense.

    "Oh, uhhh, yeah, of course I've heard of Epic Magikarp. I mean come on, Epic Magikarp is easily the most hip and happening thing," the man said.

    "You just said that Feebas Victory was the most hip and happening thing," May said.

    "Come on, Feebas Victory is so five minutes ago," he replied as if that should be completely obvious. "Epic Magikarp is all the rage now."

    "Okay, well, you have a good day," Brendan said as he led May and Gwen to the Pokémon Center before the guy's craziness began to make sense.

    Thankfully, the man had been accurate with his directions to the Pokémon Center, and it only took two minutes to get there. When they got to the building, they saw that it was relatively empty other than the Chansey and Nurse Joy.

    "Oh, hello there, welcome to Dewford Town," the Nurse said with a smile. "How may I help you both today?"

    "We'd like to get a room for two people and one Pokémon," May replied cheerfully.

    "Well, you're the only ones here right now, so I will give you our best room for no extra charge," the Nurse said as she gave two room keys to Brendan and May. "It's got three queen-sized beds, and the bathroom has both a shower and a bathtub."

    "Wow, that's really nice of you," Brendan said.

    "It's no problem at all, I just want to make your stay with us as enjoyable as possible," Joy said.

    "Thank you," May said.

    "Your room is at the end of the hall on the left. Also, be sure to watch the sunset tonight. They are really beautiful on this island," Nurse Joy said.

    "Thanks, we will enjoy the sights," Brendan said.

    "Oh, and since this is a resort site, many of the visitors and residents have parties on nice nights. There is probably going to be one tonight if you two want to go," Nurse Joy said.

    "Sounds like fun," May said.

    I want to go too! Gwen said enthusiastically. I like to party!

    "So I guess that's where we're going tonight," Brendan said as they went to their room. Gwen took Brendan's key and skipped down the hall toward the room. Brendan just shook his head and laughed as he followed his Pokémon, with May not far behind.

    In two hours' time, Brendan and May were dressed in nicer clothes for a party. Brendan wore a purple short-sleeved, collared, button-down shirt with khaki shorts. May wore a short blue dress and some light makeup. Gwen just brushed her green hair to make it shine and look pretty. While it was unlikely that she would meet a male Kirlia here, well you never know what will happen at parties like this one.

    "Alright, the sun's about to set, you two ready to head out?" Brendan asked.

    "Yep, let's go," May said.

    Then let's go, Gwen said. With that, they all left the room and began to walk toward the beach. The walk took only a few minutes before they could see the outdoor bar, and they could hear both the conversation and the music playing. The crowd was relatively small, but that was no problem. Brendan preferred smaller crowds, since it made it harder to lose his friends.

    "Seems the party is already getting started," May said.

    "Yeah, seems like it. Let's get in there," Brendan said.

    May and Gwen didn't need to be told twice as they followed Brendan to the bar, and the tender looked up at them.

    "What're you drinking?" he asked.

    "I'll have a margarita," May said, knowing that the drinking age in Hoenn was eighteen.

    "I'll have a rum and Coke. And the Kirlia will have Oran Berry Juice," Brendan said. The bartender checked their IDs, nodded, and mixed their drinks quickly.

    "Here you are," the man said. Brendan paid for the drinks, and they joined the crowd.

    The DJ was playing really good songs tonight, mostly modern music like dubstep and hip hop. While Brendan and May were dancing with Gwen between them, the night took a turn. A large and muscular guy, who looked about twenty years old, approached May.

    "Hey baby, you know you should get yourself a real man," he said as he began to get closer to May, disregarding her very uncomfortable expression. "Let me show you what you're missing with this scrawny kid."

    "Not interested. Please leave me alone," May said.

    "Hey, don't be like that. I get it, my good looks are intimidating. Why don't I buy you a drink?"

    Brendan stepped forward. "Hey, she asked you to leave her alone. Now leave her alone," he said.

    "Get lost loser. This doesn't concern you," he said.

    "It sure as hell does concern me, considering you're antagonizing my girlfriend," Brendan said.

    The guy just laughed. "Yeah right; there's no way a punk like you could get a dime like her," he said.

    Hey jerk, back off, she's not interested, Gwen said.

    "Aw, and now a talking Kirlia thinks she has any power here," he laughed. By now, the scene was drawing attention from the crowd.

    "BATTLE HIM!" said somebody in the crowd.

    "That's not a bad idea," the twenty-year-old said, letting May run to Brendan's side. "I challenge you to a Pokémon Battle. If I win, the girl comes home with me. You win, I'll leave!"

    "May, are you okay with the stakes?" Brendan asked. He would not agree to this if May didn't agree first.

    "Put him in his place," May said. Brendan got a serious look in his eyes as he faced his opponent.

    "What type of battle will this be?" Brendan asked.

    "One-on-one," the guy said.

    That's when the DJ got on his microphone. "Alright ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have a battle on our hands. Lucky for everybody here, I'm a league certified referee, so this will be an official match, it's one-on-one, now let's get this started!" he said enthusiastically as he stepped out from his equipment set up. "This battle is going to be between the local battler, Tony, and a newcomer to Dewford." He held out the microphone to Brendan. "What's your name, man?"

    "Brendan Maple," Brendan said.

    "So it's Tony vs. Brendan. Both battlers, send out your Pokémon!"

    "Come on out, Nate!" he said, sending out a Tentacool. The jellyfish Pokémon sat on the base of his tentacles, with his body struggling to remain upright.

    "Let's go Nikki!" Brendan said. The young Slakoth appeared, and she seemed very energized.

    "Alright, it's a Slakoth against a Tentacool. Begin the battle!" the DJ said.

    "Nikki, use Yawn," Brendan said calmly. Nikki yawned widely, sending a wave of energy at Nate. When it hit the Tentacool, the jellyfish Pokémon became drowsy quickly.

    "Nate, use Poison Sting!" Tony said. The Tentacool spat out a single barb covered in purple sludge at Nikki.

    "Roll to the left!" Brendan called out. Nikki did as she was told, casually rolling to the left as the toxic barb hit the sand. "Now Feint Attack!" Nikki then vanished from sight, only to reappear behind Tentacool and punch him in the back.

    The reaction from Tentacool was lackluster, as he was already asleep. "Damn it Nate, wake up!" Of course, Nate was in dreamland so he couldn't hear Tony's calls.

    "Nikki, use Scratch to finish this!" Brendan said. Nikki stood up and ran at the jellyfish Pokémon, slashing it across the face with both of her claws, sending it rolling. When it came to a rest, it was clear that Nate had been knocked out.

    "And this battle is over. Brendan Maple is the winner!" the DJ said. "Now, unfortunately for Tony, it's time for him to hold up his end of the bargain and leave the bar for the night." With a string of curses, Tony reluctantly left the bar, not to be seen again that night, while the DJ went back to his equipment. That was when Gwen got an idea, so she followed the DJ, a music request in mind.

    Once he left, Nikki began to give her own version of a victory shriek. As she was cheering, her body began to glow brightly. She grew until she was around 5' tall, her arms got longer and looked stronger than before. When the glowing ceased, a proud Vigoroth appeared in full.

    "ALRIGHT NIKKI! I'm so proud of you," Brendan said as he hugged the sloth Pokémon.

    "Vigoro!" she said in a deeper voice than before. She then tapped Brendan's Pokéball, and smiled as she returned to her capsule.

    That was when Brendan was pulled around, only to receive a kiss from May. "Thanks for helping me out there," she said when they broke the kiss.

    "Now, ladies and gentlemen, grab somebody special to you, because it's time for us to slow things down with Faithfully by Journey," the DJ said. Brendan looked around and saw Gwen by the DJ's booth with a smile on her face. Gwen merely winked and Brendan knew that she had requested this, and he couldn't agree more that it was the perfect song for the moment. The song began, so he held May close, and they danced the night away.
  16. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The Legends of Hoenn

    Brendan woke up the next morning in his and May's room in the Pokémon Center, and he felt the distinct pressure of May's lips on his. He moved his right arm up to the back of her head, continuing the kiss further. They ended the kiss after a minute. "That's got to be the best way to wake up," Brendan said.

    "Well, you definitely earned it after last night," May said. After they had danced for a while, multiple other trainers decided that they wanted to test themselves against him, and all of them had lost. Needless to say, May was quite proud of her boyfriend.

    What they had planned for today was the delivery of the letter to Steven, but they had to figure out where he was before they were able to do that. So, once they were both showered and dressed, they went to Nurse Joy's desk.

    "How are you two this morning?" she said cheerfully.

    "We're doing well, and yourself?" Brendan said politely.

    "Everything is just peachy," she said. "Is there anything I can help you with?"

    "Actually, there is. We're looking for a guy named Steven Stone. Has he come through here recently?"

    "Yes, he actually arrived while you were at the beach party last night. He left early this morning, and said something about going to Granite Cave. It's a famous cave on the northern western part of the island," She said.

    "Can you mark it on our map?" Brendan asked as he pulled up the Map feature on his PokeNav.

    "Yes, the entrance is right…here," she said as she touched a spot on the map, marking it on the touch screen. "You can't miss the entrance."

    "Great, thank you for your help," Brendan said.

    "It was my pleasure," Nurse Joy said. That was when Brendan and May took their leave, followed closely by Gwen, who was once again skipping.

    So, what do you think this Steven guy is like? Gwen asked as they began their trek to the cave.

    "I've heard he's always well dressed, and he's a strong Pokémon trainer," May said.

    "Sounds like an interesting guy. I'm sure that he will be helpful to talk to," Brendan said.

    "People say he's a really nice guy, so he may help us out," May said optimistically.

    They walked for about two hours, making jokes and telling each other stories about their childhoods. It was a really fun walk, and along the way, a man called them over to him, and he gave them both older fishing rods, telling them that it would help them with catching water-types.

    "This island is truly beautiful. The beaches are just gorgeous, and the water around it is so clear," May said in a slightly romantic voice.

    "I'd say so," Brendan said. "But it looks terrible when compared to you."

    May began to blush deeply. "Th-thank you," she said.

    You smooth son of a bitch! Gwen said. Brendan just smiled and winked as they arrived at the cave's entrance. They walked in, and they could see it was surprisingly well lit, and they saw a few Pokémon.

    "Hey, Brendan, before we go any further, I want to see if I can catch a Pokémon," May said. She pulled out Miranda's Pokéball and began to walk around. Meanwhile, Brendan and Gwen sat on a rock, and just talked while May went on her search.

    She searched for ten minutes, and was about to move on when she heard a metallic squeaking behind her. She whirled around and saw an Aron glaring at her. It looked a lot like any other Aron, but the biggest difference was that its underbelly had a slightly green tint and its eyes were red, rather than blue. "So, you want to battle, do you?" The little steel type nodded, looking determined. May threw Miranda's Pokéball out and called for her. "Alright, Miranda, let's go!" Miranda came out of the Pokéball in a superhero landing pose, ready to battle.

    The Aron sprinted as fast as it could at Miranda, its head lowered for a Tackle attack. "Miranda, dodge and use Ember!" May called out. Miranda casually side-stepped the Iron Armor Pokémon before spitting balls of flames at it. The fire hit squarely, but Aron barely even flinched. Instead, it just kicked the ground, throwing mud at Miranda, which hit her in the eyes. It was a perfectly executed Mud Slap attack, which caused Miranda to have trouble seeing, and a purple aura radiated from her briefly, indicating a loss of accuracy.

    "Miranda, use Flame Charge!" May said. This would hopefully do enough damage to allow May to catch this Pokémon. Miranda began to sprint, becoming shrouded in flame as she ran. A slight red aura radiated from her as she ran, indicating an increase in speed, and she kept getting faster with each passing second. She kicked the Aron into the air, then body checking it into the wall.

    "Great job Miranda, now go Pokéball!" May said as she threw an empty Pokéball at the little creature. It went inside, and the struggle began slowly. After three shakes, it stopped and three stars came out from ball, and the Aron was captured. "Alright! I caught an Aron!" May said, catching Brendan and Gwen's attention. They both walked toward May, who let her newest team member out of its Pokéball. Gwen skipped up to Aron and began to speak with it briefly. When they finished conversing, Gwen turned back to Brendan and May.

    So, this is Erza, and she likes to battle a lot. She says that she is the strongest Aron in this cave, Gwen said with a smile.

    "Wow, that's really cool. And the red eyes make you look even stronger," May said as she crouched down to get closer to the Pokémon. "Erza, do you want to travel with me? We'll be performing in contests, but you'll get stronger every day we're together." Erza thought for a short time, before chirping happily, and excitedly.

    She says that she will do that if you provide strawberry cake every once in a while, Gwen said, smiling. That is something I think I can get behind as well. She then looked at Brendan. Why don't you provide us with cake already?

    "I didn't realize you wanted cakes. I guess we can arrange for that," Brendan said, rubbing the back of his neck.

    "Well, I don't object either," May said before turning back to Erza. "I think we can manage that request. Welcome to the team, now return. I will call for you later when we begin our training together." Erza smiled and chirped as she returned to her Pokéball.

    "Well, let's go deliver that letter," May said as she stood up and brushed off her knees. Brendan followed her as she walked to the back of the cavern, moving toward an opening that led to a large cavern. They entered the room, and were shocked by a magnificent cave painting. It showed a whale-like Pokémon in a raging ocean under storm clouds facing a behemoth of a Pokémon that stood on land under intense sunlight. In the sky above those two was what looked like a massive snake-like dragon.

    "Oh my Arceus," Brendan said breathlessly.

    I know what you mean, Gwen said. This is beautiful.

    "Hello there," said a man, who looked to be in his mid-twenties, from a higher landing. He was dressed in a tuxedo, with a vest and steel cuffs. He also wore two rings on each hand, and a stickpin on his lapel with a blue jewel with a gold and white swirl inside it. "You two must be Brendan, May, and Gwen. Father said you'd be coming."

    "And you must be Steven. We have a letter here for you," Brendan said as he reached into his backpack's side pocket and pulled out the letter before walking up the staircase leading to the landing Steven was standing on. May and Gwen followed close behind.

    Steven took the letter and put it in a pocket on the inside of his coat. "Thank you Brendan, May, and Gwen," he said. "My father told me that you're both new trainers from Littleroot Town."

    "Yeah, that's right," May said. "Although I'm a coordinator."

    "Then Brendan is the one that just beat Roxanne," Steven said. "Well, normally when I meet other trainers, I like to see the Pokémon they are raising. Do you mind if I have a look?"

    "Not at all. Alright everybody, come on out!" Brendan called as he tossed his two other Pokéballs into the air, letting out Clint and Nikki. May sent out Miranda, Lily, Wingull, and Erza at the same time. Steven smiled as he inspected each Pokémon, including Gwen.

    "You two seem to be raising your Pokémon properly, with love and trust above all else, but you don't baby them. That is perfect. Keep that up, and I am sure you will make it far in your travels," Steven said. Brendan looked over at Gwen, who was looking happy that Steven was complimenting them.

    "Well, for me, when I meet a trainer who looks strong, I want to battle them," Brendan said. "What do you say to that?"

    Steven smiled almost apologetically. "I know exactly what you mean. I was that way when I started traveling. Unfortunately, I think it would be best to hold off on our match until you have more experience," Steven said.

    Brendan nodded. He understood what that meant. It meant that, like Norman, Steven was in a much higher league than he was ready for. "Alright, I'll hold you to that," Brendan said.

    "But, I would like to help you two along your journey. Here, I have a gift for both of you," Steven said as he reached into another one of his pockets, and pulled out two grey discs, with the number 51. "These discs are for TM51, it will teach your Pokémon Steel Wing. It's actually my favorite move." Brendan and May both took a TM and placed them in their bags.

    "Well thank you so much Steven," Brendan said.

    "Now, there is another thing you two should learn about before you leave. That is what this painting is representing," Steven said. "Before I begin, do either of you know about legendary Pokémon?"

    "I know about a few of them, like Arceus, Ho-oh, and Suicune. Aside from them, I don't know much," Brendan said.

    "Well, in Hoenn, there is a legend about the formation of the land and sea," Steven said. "The two Pokémon depicted at the bottom are Kyogre, the leviathan who controls the sea and causes terrible storms, and Groudon, the behemoth controlling land and bringer of droughts. It is said that they clashed millennia ago, and that battle is what shaped the continents and the oceans."

    There are Pokémon with THAT much power? Gwen said in awe.

    "Yes, but they eventually got out of control. So, the Pokémon above them, Rayquaza the sky dragon Pokémon, came down from the ozone layer and put an end to their battle. After the two titans were calmed, they went into hibernation, while Rayquaza returned to the ozone layer," Steven said. "They have not been seen since then."

    "So, even with all their power, Kyogre and Groudon both ran from Rayquaza. It's hard to believe that Pokémon with that much power exist," Brendan said.

    "There is more, however," Steven said. "By now, I'm sure you've at least heard of Mega Evolution, right?"

    "Yeah, if the bond between a Pokémon and Trainer is strong enough, they can achieve a new level of power, where the Pokémon temporarily takes on a different form, right?" May said.

    "That's correct. But according to a recently found document, Kyogre and Groudon do something like mega evolution called Primal Reversion. In their Primal forms, one of them could reshape the landscape of a region with little effory. Together, they could devastate the entire world," Steven said. "Their power is essentially the power of the worst possible weather for their element."

    "That's really amazing," Brendan said. "But I'm confused. Why are you telling us this?"

    Steven smiled again. "Partly because we're standing in front of the cave painting and the story is interesting. It's also because I wanted teach you that there will always be forces more powerful than you can control. While you're on your journey, can you promise me that you will not take unnecessary risks, especially if you are not ready for them?"

    I'll make sure that Goldenrod here doesn't do anything stupider than usual, Gwen said, making Steven chuckle, while Brendan just rolled his eyes at Gwen's antics.

    "I'm not sure if that'll be possible, since we've already battled Team Aqua twice. And I'm sure those are not the only times we will encounter them. And we might also run into Team Magma while we travel," Brendan said.

    "I understand," Steven said. "But just remember to not try to battle their admins until you're absolutely sure you're ready for it." Brendan nodded in agreement, as did May.

    That was when Steven's phone beeped with a message. He checked and his eyes went wide. "I'm sorry about this, but I need to leave. My father just found something important that he wants me to see," he said. "It was very nice meeting all of you, and I hope we meet again." Once he said that, he took his leave and exited the cave. Brendan and May recalled their Pokémon, and followed him out shortly thereafter.

    "Well, he was really nice," May said.

    "Yeah, I'm glad we took that delivery job," Brendan said.

    Yeah, and tomorrow is Brendan's Gym Battle! Gwen said.
  17. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Brawl for a Badge

    Early the next morning, Brendan was on the beach with his Pokémon, just finishing up some stretches like they had done before facing Roxanne. Gwen was the most excited because she knew she would be Brendan's first choice for this battle, since Brawly supposedly trained fighting-types.

    May was happily watching her friends as they prepared for their next test. She sat on one of the chase lounges with a hot cup of green tea and a bowl of mixed fruits, including multiple kinds of melons, bananas, and pineapples. She had Lily, Miranda, Graham, and Erza sitting on the beach with her, watching the four figures on the beach getting loose and limber for their match.

    "You guys looked great over there," she called out with smile. "I know you guys will be great today!"

    Thanks May, Gwen said excitedly. I think we should be ready for the battle by now.

    "Yeah, I'd say you're right," Brendan said as he pulled out Clint's and Nikki's Pokéballs. "Alright you two, return for now." They were both brought back into their Pokéballs, which Brendan placed on his belt. "Gwen, you ready for this?"

    You act like you don't know that answer already, she said in a sassy tone.

    "True, so what do you say we head to the Gym and take on Brawly?"

    May finished what fruit was left, had her Pokémon return to their Pokéballs and she took her tea with her as they left the beach and began to walk toward the southern part of town, where they were told the gym was.

    It didn't take long to find it, since the building was similar to the Rustboro City gym. "Alright, let's go inside!" Brendan said as he approached the automatic doors. When they got inside, however, all three of them were confused. Instead of a battlefield, there were rows of work out equipment, with multiple people and Pokémon already there working out. A man with grey hair, an orange shirt, and athletic shorts was standing at the front desk next to a woman with black hair, a blue sports bra and yoga pants when they arrived. The man walked up to them with a smile.

    "Hello there, and welcome to both of you. I haven't seen either of you before, so you must be new to the island," he said.

    "Yeah," Brendan said, a tone of confusion. "We are looking for the Dewford Gym, but I think we got directions to the wrong type of gym."

    "Oh no, you're in the right place," the man said. "I'm Brawly, and this is my gym. It has two sections: the workout room, and the battlefield."

    "That's a relief," Brendan said. "Well, I should introduce myself too. I'm Brendan Maple."

    "So you made it here. Roxanne told me that the new Petalburg gym leader's son was coming here for a battle," Brawly said as he shook Brendan's hand in greeting. He then turned to May. "Then that must make you May, and the Kirlia is Gwen, right?"

    Yeah, that's right! Gwen said cheerfully. Brendan nodded.

    "Then you three should follow me! Hannah, could you send Jack to the battlefield for me? We'll need a referee," Brawly said as he led the trainers and Gwen to the back of the weight room, and opened a door in the back. They entered the room and saw a battlefield surrounded by bleachers. "So, you only have the one gym badge from Roxanne, right?" Brawly asked.

    "That's right," Brendan said.

    "Then I will be using my standard team for this battle," Brawly said. "It will be a three-on-three battle, agreed?"

    "That sounds good to me," Brendan said.

    "I'll be sitting in the bleachers," May said as she sent out her Pokémon so they could watch the match. She then gave Brendan a kiss on the cheek. "Good luck out there."

    Brendan smiled at her. "Thanks May," he said. Brawly went to the left side of the battlefield and took his position, while Brendan and Gwen did the same on the right side. That was when a young man with two flags in-hand. This had to be Jack, but then Brendan recognized him.

    "Hey, you're the DJ from the party two nights ago!" he said.

    "Well, if it isn't Brendan Maple, good to see you my man," Jack said. "I shoulda guessed you'd be the challenger today. Brawly, you'd better be careful with this one. He's an incredible battler."

    "I will keep that in mind. So Brendan, are you ready to begin the battle?" Brawly asked.

    "Absolutely,' Brendan said.

    Bring it on! Gwen said.

    "Then come on out Rick!" Brawly said as he tossed out a Pokéball. The Pokémon that appeared was very familiar to Brendan, since it was a common site in Johto. It was a Machop, the grey-skinned fighting type that was known for having immense strength.

    "Gwen, what do you say we try to win this without losing a round?" Brendan said.

    I like it, Gwen said with determination.

    "Then get out there. You'll be battling first," Brendan said. Gwen cheerfully skipped onto the battlefield, and took a stance that looked almost like a ballerina's before a dance began.

    "Begin the battle!" Jack said.

    "Rick, use Bulk Up!" Brawly said. Rick took a deep breath and began to take deep breaths as a red aura surrounded the fighting-type.

    "Gwen, use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen began to sing in a shrieking voice that sounded like nails on a chalkboard, and a light pink ring of energy flew at Rick, who had little time to dodge. "Now use Double Team!" Brendan said. That was when multiple copies of Gwen appeared around the battlefield, and the sonic rings hit Rick, throwing him off-balance.

    "Rick, use Karate Chop!" Brawly said. Rick sprinted at Gwen, and spun so the ulnar side of his right hand would strike her in the neck.

    "Gwen, use Confusion and stop his attack!" Brendan said. Gwen's eyes and her red horns began to glow blue, and that aura wrapped around Rick, stopping him merely a centimeter from her neck.

    Boy, do not test me! Gwen said as she threw Machop across the field, where he landed hard on his side, but he still struggled to his feet.

    "Rick, use Focus Energy!" Brawly said. Rick closed his eyes once more as sparks of energy escaped from his pores and flew into the air. His muscles began to bulge as his strength also increased.

    "Great," Brendan muttered under his breath. "Gwen, finish this with your strongest Confusion!" Gwen smirked.

    You got it Goldenrod, she said as she gripped Rick's entire body with her psychic power. Brendan just rolled his eyes at the nickname. Gwen then threw Rick across the field, this time throwing him into a wall. Rick slid down the wall and slumped to the floor.

    "Rick is unable to continue, Gwen wins the round!" Jack said.

    "Return Rick!" Brawly said. Once Rick was inside his Pokéball, Brawly turned back to Brendan. "Man, I should have realized that Jack wasn't kidding when he said you were strong. But I guess that was my mistake for underestimating you as a challenger." Brawly began to chuckle. "Now, I guess I should be getting serious for this battle. Go, Franz!" The Pokéball released a short, grey and blue humanoid Pokémon.

    "What Pokémon?" Brendan asked.

    "Franz is a Meditite, a meditation Pokémon that has amazing strength for its size," Brawly said. "And, its secondary type is psychic."

    So that means that we should use Fairy Type attacks mostly, Gwen said to Brendan only.

    I know what you mean, that and some power boosting attacks, Brendan responded. Gwen smiled.

    We don't want to destroy Brawly's confidence, Gwen said with a slight laugh.

    "Franz, use Focus Punch!" Brawly said. Franz closed his eyes and began to gather his energy, first to his center, then to his fist.

    "Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen shrieked once more. The sonic rings hit Franz head on, knocking him back and causing the energy around his fist to dissipate. "Nice hit!"

    Did you expect any less? Gwen asked.

    "Franz, get up, and use Bullet Punch!" Brawly said. Franz's fists began to glow like steel before he sprinted toward Gwen with his fist raised.

    Brendan's and Gwen's eyes both went wide. Bullet Punch, a steel type attack, was one of Gwen's few weaknesses. They needed to act fast. "Gwen, use Protect, then Double Team!" Brendan said. Gwen threw up a green field of energy just as Franz was about to hit Gwen, and that sent him stumbling backwards from the recoil. Then Gwen proceeded to create over twenty copies of herself. "Now, use another Disarming Voice!"

    My vocal cords can only take so much of them, Gwen said, but she still shrieked loudly, sonic rings flying from all of the copies, and each one struck at the same time. The one real attack sent Franz into the air.

    "Now, use Confusion, and throw Franz to the ground," Brendan said. Gwen reached out with her energy, gripping the Pokémon tightly and holding him in place before she swung her arm toward the ground, causing him to crash into the floor with tremendous force. Where he landed was where he remained.

    "Franz is unable to battle, Gwen is the winner!" Jack said. "Brawly, you'd better step it up man, or you'll be more beaten than the eggs I had this morning."

    Brawly recalled Franz with a bit of a grimace. "Yeah, I can't believe how strong that Kirlia is," Brawly said. "You two are probably the single best team of Pokémon and trainer I have ever seen at this level. But with my pride as a Gym Leader on the line, I can't let you win this next round. Go Aries!" He threw his next Pokéball, and it released a fat-looking Pokémon that looked like a small sumo wrestler.

    "Wow, what is that Pokémon?" Brendan said.

    "Aries is a Makuhita. They have a great deal of power from their dense muscle," Brawly said. "He won't be beaten easily."

    "Alright, Brawly is down to his last Pokémon, while Brendan still has all three of his Pokémon left," Jack said. "You may resume the battle!"

    "Gwen, use Confusion!" Brendan said. Gwen's body once again began to glow with a blue aura which soon ensnared Aries. "Now, throw him to the ground!" Gwen swung her arm down, sending the Makuhita plummeting to the ground.

    "Aries, use Vital Throw!" Brawly said. Just as Aries was about to land, he flipped and landed on his feet, then sprung forward, his left arm held out for a lariat, while his right arm was in front of his chest. Gwen had no chance to dodge as Aries's left hand got to her neck, and his right hand grabbed her waist. Aries then swept Gwen's legs out from under her and choke-slammed her. Aries leapt back toward Brawly and took up a fighting stance.

    "No, Gwen!" Brendan said as he saw her eyes bug out from the impact. Gwen struggled to her feet. "Hey, are you alright? Can you keep going?"

    Yeah, I'm just fine. Don't forget, fighting type attacks have little effect on me, Gwen said. But that thing is strong. I don't think taking too many of his attacks will be a good idea.

    "Yeah, you're right about that. So what do you say we end this?" Brendan said.

    Let's do this in style, Gwen said.

    "Then use Double Team, followed by Confusion, then Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as almost twenty copies of Gwen appeared around the entire battlefield. Then they all began to radiate blue aura, which gripped Aries tightly and raised him into the air. The last thing they all did was shriek at the top of their lungs, sending multiple sonic rings at Aries while he was still in the air. Every ring was perfectly accurate, and it struck Aries from all sides, making him cry out in protest. "Now throw him to the ground!" Gwen's copies all nodded as they swung their arms down, sending Aries flying into the ground. He slammed into the dirt, sending up a dust cloud. When it settled, Aries hadn't moved.

    "And it looks like this battle is over," Jack said. "Aries is unable to continue, that means Gwen wins the round, and the match goes to Brendan!" Gwen's clones all faded away as Brendan ran onto the field.

    "Gwen that was amazing!" Brendan said as he picked up Gwen to celebrate.

    Yeah, but I'm going to be feeling that Vital Throw for about a week, she said with a cringe.

    "Hey, we'll take you to the Pokémon Center and get you healed up in no time at all," Brendan said as Brawly walked over to him.

    "Well, you two were incredible. I really need to increase my training, then I will call you for a rematch once I'm ready. Since you won, I present you with the Knuckle Badge," Brawly said as he held out a badge shaped like a boxing glove. Brendan took it and placed it into his badge case next to the Stone badge. "And another gift from me, here is TM08, use it to teach Bulk Up. The move will raise both attack and defense at the same time. It's pretty invaluable if you want to buff up your Pokémon in a tough situation."

    "Thank you so much Brawly!" Brendan said. "And I look forward to that rematch!" That was when May surprised him by spinning him toward her and kissing him on the lips.

    "Congratulations on your second badge," May said.

    "Thank you May," Brendan said. "I'm just glad you were here to see it." They then turned to leave, bidding a fond farewell to Brawly as they left.

    "Now, I think we have to get to Slateport City as soon as we can," May said as they walked back outside.

    "Right," Brendan said. "Isn't there going to be a contest there in about a week?"

    "Yes, that's why we need to hurry. You already have two badges. I need my second ribbon!"

    Do either of you remember where Mr. Briney, said he was staying? Gwen inquired.

    "I think it was the Wingull Inn, or something like that," Brendan said.

    That man is really obsessed with Wingulls.

    "Yeah, it seems that way," May laughed.

    While their stay on Dewford Island had been fun, Brendan, May, and Gwen were all ready to continue on their journey through Hoenn, blissfully unaware of what was getting ready to unfold in the tropical region.
  18. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    The Dangers of the Sea

    The next day, Brendan, May, and Gwen found themselves on Mr. Briney's boat once more, this time they were driving to the east. Gwen sat on the bow with Brendan beside her, with May next to him. Brendan had taken his hat off as he enjoyed the wind in his hair, while May had chosen to forego the bow and letting her hair fall freely. Today was set for relaxation on the water and enjoying their downtime.

    "This is such a nice day again," Brendan said.

    "I know," May said as a gust of wind blew her shoulder-length hair gently. "I just hope we don't get another storm like last time."

    I think there should be smooth sailing the entire trip to Slateport, Gwen said.

    "Well that is good to hear," Brendan said with a sigh of relief.

    "Yeah, but with our luck, we will encounter something just as bad, if not worse than a storm," May said with a slight chuckle.

    Brendan shook his head, knowing that May was probably right.

    Back in the cabin, Mr. Briney was sitting at the captain's seat, with the throttle set, while he steered the boat away from any rocks. His boat was very high tech, and it came complete with multiple sonar sensors, and so far, the only things that had been picked up on the scopes were rocks and the occasional Pokémon. "Peecko, this is a great day t' be on the sea," he said after taking a sip of coffee. "The sun is shinin' and there's no sign of any foul weather."

    "Gull!" Peecko said cheerfully. Unfortunately, that cheery mood didn't last, as the sonar suddenly began to show multiple Pokémon approaching, and they were moving fast.

    "Oh no," Mr. Briney said. "What are these Pokémon doing on this route? They should only be near Pacifidlog Town."

    Back on the deck, Gwen had pointed out the fins of multiple aquatic Pokémon, which she called Sharpedo. Brendan decided to look them up in his Pokédex.

    "Sharpedo, the Brutal Pokémon, and the evolved form of Carvanha. This Pokémon is known as the vicious and sly gangster of the sea. Its skin is specially textured to minimize drag in water. Its speed tops out at over 75 miles per hour. It is also referred to as 'The Bully of the Sea.'"

    "Oh no, these Sharpedo are going to be much stronger than any Pokémon we've faced before," May said with concern as the fins got closer and more numerous.

    What should we do? Gwen said. Sharpedo are part dark type, which means they have an advantage over me.

    "Maybe if we don't bother them, they won't bother us," Brendan said.

    "Wishful thinking," May said. "Sharpedo can be very aggressive, especially with things in their territory." That was when a massive Sharpedo leapt out of the water, ramming the side of the ship, making it rock and putting a dent in the hull.

    "Damn it!" Mr. Briney said as the boat shook. "They're already startin' to attack us."

    May and Brendan were both worried now, as at least seven fins appeared in the water, and they had the ship surrounded.

    "What'll we do?" Brendan said.

    "We need to fight them off," May said as another Sharpedo attacked. "Otherwise they will tear this ship apart."

    Those Sharpedo are way too powerful for us to face. The weakest one is at least twice as strong as any one of your Pokémon. That wouldn't be a problem if it was just one or two, but there are seven there at least. That's one for each Pokémon. We won't be able to battle them for too long, Gwen said. It'll only get us hurt.

    "I know, but if we do nothing, then we'll be stranded out here," Brendan said. "We need to at least try."

    Damn it, I hate it when you're right about these things!

    Brendan and May both took out their other Pokéballs and let out Miranda, Clint, Lily, Nikki, Erza, and Graham. "Alright everybody, we need you to protect the boat. This will be our hardest battle yet, but we have to fend of the Sharpedo," Brendan said with determination and some slight fear. "May and I might not be able to keep track of everything going on, so trust your own judgment but don't get reckless!"

    All of the Pokémon nodded in unison, with Gwen smiling nervously. She knew this battle would drain her physically and mentally, but what other choice did they have? They needed to fight to make it through this.

    "Alright, remember to stay on the boat or in the air to attack. Don't get too close," Brendan said. All the Pokémon nodded before taking positions around the boat and preparing for the fight of their lives.

    Gwen, who stood on the tip of the bow, used Disarming Voice, which struck a Sharpedo as it circled the boat. It flinched, but then began to swim even faster than before as it swung around and leapt from the water. Shit, she said as she ducked and the incoming Pokémon flew over her and the boat and splashed back in the water. Clint go to port and hit them with Bullet Seed; Miranda go to starboard and use Ember! Nikki and Erza, you stay near aft in case anything tries to get into the boat from there. Lily and Graham, you two fly overhead and fire attacks from above, but stay out of their jumping range. I will be on the bow hitting them with Disarming Voice and my new attack, hopefully that will hold them off. Everybody, waste no attacks, try to get a hit. The Pokémon all took their positions and began attacking while the pack of Sharpedo circled the boat. Gwen hit four with Disarming Voice attacks, while Clint and Miranda had hit all six with their attacks. Three had tried to enter the boat only to be repelled by quick Headbutts or Fury Swipes from Nikki and Erza. Graham had hit a couple of them with a Supersonic attack, causing them to start attacking one another. Lily had hit one with a lucky Poison Sting that poisoned the Sharpedo. Despite using their most powerful attacks, there seemed to be very little effect on most of the Brutal Pokémon, since none of them seemed to be giving up.

    What May noticed, though, was that one of the Sharpedo seemed to be steadily getting faster, whereas the others seemed to be getting slightly slower. "Shit, does that one have Speed Boost?" she asked, referring to the rarer of Sharpedo's special abilities.

    "I don't know, but if it does then we need to take care of it before it's too fast to hit," Brendan said. "Gwen and Clint, focus your attacks on the fastest one, we need to stop that one as soon as we can!"

    Got it, but I'd better power up! Gwen said. She closed her eyes while a blue aura surrounded her with the power of Calm Mind. She opened her eyes and a gust of wind spiraled outward, sending a powerful ripple forward. Now I am ready. Gwen shrieked once, sending a Disarming Voice directly forward, which was timed perfectly. Unfortunately, the attack wasn't as effective as Gwen hoped. Clint, on the other hand, hit another Sharpedo with five consecutive Bullet Seed attacks. The shark Pokémon then leapt out of the water, mouth agape. Clint, look out! Gwen said with concern in her voice.

    Clint snapped his attention to the airborne Sharpedo as his leaves began to glow a yellow-green color as he powered up a Fury Cutter, leaping into the air and repeatedly slashed the Pokémon across the face, leaving a mark across its right eye and sending it back to the water.

    Great Clint, keep that up! Gwen said before unleashing another Disarming Voice. On starboard, Miranda had scored a few hits with Ember, burning one of them in the process. That was another leapt from the water, this time going for Miranda. Luckily, Miranda saw it in time and reacted by jumping into the air and hitting it with a fierce Double Kick, which sent it back into the water.

    Nice kicks, keep it up! Gwen said as two of the Sharpedo swam away, deciding that they'd had enough. That was when the Speed Boosting Sharpedo took a more aggressive approach. It leapt from the water and fired off a ball of water at Erza, which sent her flying to the center of the boat with a cry. May sprinted over to her Pokémon as Sharpedo dove back into the ocean.

    "Erza, are you alright?" she asked with concern. Erza shook her head to get herself out of the daze she was in.

    "Brww" Erza chirped with a determined expression.

    "Alright, be careful, I don't want you to get hurt," May said as the steel type ran to her previous position, using Harden repeatedly to prepare for the next attack.

    That was when one of the other Sharpedo flew over the boat, firing a burst of dark rings at Gwen from behind. "Gwen, behind you, dodge it!" Brendan called out.

    I got it! Gwen said, waiting for a moment before the attack hit, she used Teleport, and returned once the attack flew by. The Speed Boosting Sharpedo fell past the bow, but not without Gwen hitting it with a Disarming Voice, sending sonic wave out, hitting it in the stomach and sending it flipping through the air.

    "Damn it, these things are too powerful," Brendan said. "How are we going to get out of this?"

    "With strategy, skill, and a whole lot of luck," May said.

    "I was afraid you'd say that," Brendan said.

    Then we need to keep pushing, or we're screwed, Gwen said. They fought bitterly for nearly an hour, and each attack they made seemed only to get weaker from fatigue. The Speed Boosting Sharpedo was moving at a blinding speed, moving so fast that it almost appeared to be in four places at once, and all of the defending Pokémon seemed to be on their last legs of energy.

    Brendan, we can't keep this up much longer! Gwen said through heavy breaths. We need a miracle if we're going to win this!

    "I know, but we can't give up," Brendan said.

    That was when an incredibly loud roar echoed across the water, and it sounded close. That one roar caused the Sharpedo to halt their circling, turn fin, and swim the opposite direction.

    As they left, Brendan wanted to celebrate their survival, but there was now a bigger problem facing them. Even with all their strength, what had scared the Sharpedo so badly that they just abandoned the attack?

    They didn't need to wonder long, as the source soon became visible over the horizon. What they saw was a massive sea serpent's head swimming toward them at a blistering pace. Brendan and May were both terrified at first, since they both recognized the Atrocious Pokémon, Gyarados, but Gwen alleviated their fear.

    Guys, it's okay, there's a trainer on that Gyarados, Gwen said with relief.

    That was when Gyarados pulled up beside the boat and the trainer, dressed in almost all white except for the aqua interior of his cape, and his button down shirt. He wore an artistic hat over his aqua hair, which looked very much like Lisia's hair color, but it was kept in a different, more reserved style. He leapt from the serpent and boarded Mr. Briney's boat.

    "Are you all alright? I saw what was happening only a few minutes ago, and I could barely get here in when I did," the man said.

    "Yeah, we're fine. Thank you so much for helping us when you did," Brendan said. He noticed all of the Pokémon on the boat were congregating on the bow, while the Gyarados just swam alongside the boat. Gwen leapt over to join the other Pokémon, who all began to converse with the sea serpent.

    "Oh, it was no trouble, I just wish I could have gotten here earlier," he said as he reached out and shook Brendan's then May's hand. "I'm Wallace by the way."

    "Wait, Wallace as in the expert water-type trainer?" May asked.

    "The very same," Wallace said with a grin. "And who are you all, if I may ask?"

    "I'm Brendan, and this is May," Brendan said with a smile.

    Hey, Goldenrod, you forgot me! Gwen said with mock offense.

    "And my Pokémon are Gwen the Kirlia, Nikki the Slakoth, and Clint the Grovyle," Brendan said with a slight laugh at Gwen's action.

    "Then the others are May's?" Wallace said.

    "Yep, mine are Miranda the Combusken, Lily the Beautifly, Graham the Wingull, and Erza the Aron," May said with a smile.

    "Well, it's good to meet you all, but I must get going," Wallace said as he handed May a bag of ten Sitrus Berries. "Before I leave, I'd like to give you two this so you can heal your Pokémon."

    "Thank you sir," Brendan said. With that, Wallace leapt onto Gyarados and departed, leaving the trio on Mr. Briney's boat as it continued toward Slateport.

    "Alright everybody, come here and get your Sitrus Berry," May said cheerfully, getting the Pokémon crowding around her as she distributed the medicinal berries. Brendan, however, took a seat on the bow, contemplating what had just happened to them. "Brendan are you alright?"

    "Physically, yeah, but I can't believe how powerful those Sharpedo were. Why did they even attack us in the first place?"

    "It could've been for any reason, since Sharpedo are naturally aggressive. Most likely, we were in their territory," May said.

    "Unfortunately, that's not the case," Mr. Briney said as he came out of the cabin with Peecko on his shoulder. "By my experience, Sharpedo has never been seen in this area of Hoenn. They're normally only seen in the eastern areas of Hoenn, namely near Pacifidlog Town. If they came here, then something must have upset their habitat."

    "But what could have caused them to go so far from Pacifidlog?" May said as she finished distributing the Sitrus Berries.

    "I don't know, an' I don't think we really want to find out," Mr. Briney said.

    "Yeah, but based on how this journey is going already, I'm guessing that we'll figure it out whether we like it or not," Brendan muttered under his breath, only to be surprised when Gwen leapt onto his lap like she used to when she was a Ralts.

    Hey, it'll be alright. All we can do is to keep training and soon nobody will be able to stop us, Gwen said with a sincere tone.

    Brendan smiled as he hugged Gwen. "Thanks Gwen," he said. Clint and Nikki both joined their trainer, while May stood back with her Pokémon and her phone out as she took pictures of Brendan and his Pokémon.

    You know Brendan, it's rare for a girl to find a sensitive guy like you, May thought to herself. And I'm just glad I got to claim you before anybody else did. That was when May realized that her thoughts may not have been so private, because she noticed Gwen giving her a knowing look. Please don't tell Brendan. Gwen just smiled and nodded.

    "By the way, you should know that we will be arriving in Slateport by about noon tomorrow," Mr. Briney said. "So, you two just keep enjoying yerselves, and I will let you know when I need some help getting the boat docked."

    "Sounds good," Brendan said. Then he turned back to his Pokémon. "And then we may need to double our training. What do you guys think?" The entire team gave a cheer, and Brendan knew they approved.
  19. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    This Chapter Belongs in a Museum

    Brendan and May leapt from Mr. Briney's boat into the sandy beaches of Route 109. Luckily, the rest of the trip had gone without a problem, short of some slight boredom over lack of things to do on the boat. The weather wasn't quite as warm as it was on Dewford, but it was still beautiful. They bid farewell to Mr. Briney, who smiled and waved before returning to the boat and driving it toward the Slateport harbor. In the distance, Brendan could see towering skyscrapers, as well as an outdoor market.

    The trio walked across the beach toward the city, with a few trainers challenging both Brendan and May to battles, some of them being tag battles, but they alternated who fought the single battles

    "So, there are a few things we can do in Slateport, first, there's the harbor, and we are supposed to deliver the package for Devon there. Then there's the market, which is supposed to be a lot of fun," Brendan said.

    "Or you could stop and say hello to your friend!" said a familiar feminine voice. May and Brendan both looked toward the beach chairs and saw a bikini-clad Lisia, an Altaria was sleeping on the sand next to her and a drink in her hand.

    "Lisia!" May said excitedly as she ran over to her friend and fellow coordinator. "How have you been? I haven't seen you since the Petalburg Contest!"

    "I've been great!" she said with a smile and she turned to Brendan and Gwen. "And I see you two have been training hard since I last saw you."

    Yep, I guess the results are pretty obvious, Gwen said with a little giggle.

    "Yes, you look beautiful as a Kirlia," Lisia said. "But I'm surprised that you evolved so quickly."

    Yeah, it's a bit of a long story, Gwen said with a smile as she rubbed the back of her head.

    "By the way, May, have you decided who you'll partner with for the contest?" Lisia asked.

    "Partner?" May asked in a confused tone.

    "Didn't you here that it's a tag-team contest? You need a partner to compete with you," Lisia said.

    "Wow, then I guess it's lucky we ran into you, otherwise I would have been screwed," May said.

    "You know, I'd be more than happy to join you on stage," Brendan said, getting a surprised look from Lisia.

    "Really? I never really thought of you as a coordinator," Lisia said.

    "Well, I'm more focused on Gym battles and the league. For May, however, I will gladly try contests," Brendan said.

    Lisia got an inquisitive look on her face, which quickly changed, showing that she had figured it out. "You two are dating now, aren't you?"

    "How'd you figure it out?" May said with a slight blush.

    "It's obvious from the way that both of you talk about each other and then there's the fact that you two look at each other the way a new couple does," Lisia said, giggling to herself. "But you two make a very cute couple."

    Yeah, but Goldenrod is still really awkward, Gwen said.

    "Goldenrod?" Lisia laughed.

    "Yeah, she and May gave me that nickname a while ago, and Gwen hasn't stopped using it," Brendan said.

    Lisia laughed at that, but quickly regained her composure. "It's good that you have such a strong relationship. A Pokémon and Trainer should be the best of friends."

    "Yeah, but at the same time she always seems to find ways to get on my nerves," Brendan said.

    Yes, but if I stopped doing it then you'd think something was wrong, Gwen said.

    "Yeah, but do you think you could at least tone it down a little?"

    Hell no, Gwen said with a smile.

    "I figured you'd say that," Brendan said as he shook his head. May and Lisia just laughed at their banter.

    "So, Brendan, I think we need to get a room at the Pokémon Center and begin practicing a routine for the contest," May said, interrupting the conversation.

    "Alright," Brendan said.

    "You know, I think I've tanned long enough," Lisia said as she finished what was left of her drink. "I'll go with you guys, but you shouldn't worry about a room at the center. I have a penthouse in Slateport, and there's more than enough room for all of you. I have my own Pokémon healing machine and a hot tub."

    Brendan, if you refuse this offer so help me… Gwen said.

    "Relax Gwen, I was going to accept," Brendan said with a chuckle.

    "Good, because I was going to accept regardless of your choice," May said.

    "Alright, then follow me," Lisia said as she put on a shirt, sandals, and a beach skirt before kneeling next to her Altaria. "Ali, come on, we're heading home." The cloud winged bird raised his head, revealing a pendant with a pink gem with a blue and white streak through the center, catching Gwen's eye. The Pokémon flapped his wings as he followed his trainer.

    Is that Altarianite? Gwen thought to herself. Wow, this Altaria must be really strong.

    They all walked for a while, walking past the outdoor market, but then they saw the shipyard. "Hey, we need to make that delivery for Devon Corp," Brendan said.

    "Ok, here's the address of my building, I will tell the doorman that you will be coming," Lisia said as she wrote it in a sheet of paper and gave it to him.

    "I hope you two don't mind, but I'm going to go with Lisia," May said.

    "It's okay," Brendan said. "Gwen and I should be fine."

    Yeah, sounds like a recipe for a great time, Gwen said sarcastically to herself as she leapt up to Brendan's shoulder. Hey, Goldenrod, you mind giving me a ride there?

    "Not at all, Gwen," Brendan said as they departed from the group, heading toward the shipyard while May went to Lisia's penthouse. Brendan got to a security gate, and the guard stopped him.

    "Excuse me kid, what're you doing here? You're not a worker," the guard said.

    "My name's Brendan, I'm making a delivery from the Devon Corporation," Brendan said.

    "Oh, that's right, we were told to expect you within the next few weeks. The office is that trailer over there," the guard said, pointing to an unimpressive, tan trailer with only two windows and a door. Brendan walked over to the trailer, and knocked on the door. The man who opened it was bald and looked to be in his fifties.

    "Yeah, what d' ya need?" he said.

    "I'm here with a package from Devon Corporation," Brendan said.

    "Oh, damn it, of all the times for Stern to be at the museum!" the man said. "I'm sorry to have to send you somewhere completely different, but could you take that to the Oceanic Museum for me? There should be a man named Captain Stern there. He's the one the package is meant to go to."

    Brendan pulled out his PokeNav and went to Slateport's map. "Can you mark it for me on this? It's my first time in Slateport," he said.

    "Of course," the man said as he looked at the map momentarily before tapping a single point. "Go there, you'll know it when you see it."

    "Thank you sir," Brendan said.

    "You're welcome, cute Kirlia by the way," he said as they left.

    Gwen blushed. Thank you, she said quietly.

    The man either didn't hear her or he didn't care, because he just closed the door and went back to work.

    The walk took about ten minutes, during which they played a few games of twenty questions. Although, Brendan got the feeling that Gwen read his mind during his turns, since she figured them out with a maximum of five questions.

    Hey we're here! Gwen said, pointing to a large, blue building with an oceanic paint design.

    "Wow, the guy wasn't kidding when he said that we'd know it," Brendan said. "You ready to get this job out of the way?"

    Yeah, it should be easy enough. Just a quick in and out, Gwen said. They walked into the building and what they saw stopped Brendan cold in his tracks.

    "Team Aqua," Brendan gasped. "They're here." He began to walk into the museum, but the receptionists didn't take too kindly to that.

    "Hey! Kid, it's fifty dollars to enter!" one of them said, drawing Brendan's gaze.

    Brendan just rolled his eyes. "Fine, here," he said as he put the money on the counter. "Don't bother with the ticket."

    "Thank you sir, enjoy your visit," she said politely.

    Wow, they must really be oblivious, Gwen said.

    Well, it is an ocean museum, so Team Aqua must not want to cause trouble here, Brendan said. That was when one of the grunts noticed him.

    "SHIT, not that kid!" he shouted as he retreated. Brendan and Gwen both looked at him strangely. "You already beat me in Petalburg Woods and Rusturf Tunnel, what more do you want from me?" At this point his shouting was drawing the attention of a few other grunts in the vicinity. "Here, you can have this TM, just leave me alone!" he said as he pulled a black disc in a case from his pocket, threw it at Brendan and sprinted out of the museum. Brendan caught it and saw TM16 written on the top.

    "Huh, fitting that a criminal would have the TM for Thief," Brendan said to Gwen.

    Well, there are nothing but Team Aqua members here, want to head to the second floor?

    "Sure, let's go!" Brendan said as they went to the stairs. Brendan climbed up and they came to a nearly empty floor. The only other person was a middle-aged man wearing a naval captain's uniform sitting by an exhibit of a submarine, examining it and scribbling notes. Brendan approached him. "Excuse me sir, are you Captain Stern?"

    The man looked up from his writing. "Indeed I am, and who do I have the pleasure of speaking to?" he asked.

    "I'm Brendan Maple, and this is Gwen. We have a package from Devon Corporation," he said for the third time that day. He pulled out the package from his bag and handed it to Stern.

    "Ah, the parts finally arrived. Thank you so–"

    He was cut off as two grunts from Team Aqua came up the stairs. "Oh no, I knew they were up to something," Brendan said.

    May and Lisia had just arrived at Lisia's penthouse and had their Pokémon healed and they were sitting on a large, L-shaped couch, their Pokémon out and relaxing, the girls both had a cup of tea in their hands. They were now catching up. May had told Lisia of the encounters with Team Aqua, Brendan's gym battles, and the meeting with Steven Stone, and Lisia told May about some of the more obscure contests that she had gone to see. There was, however, one topic that Lisia wanted to discuss.

    "So, May, how did you and Brendan start dating?" Lisia asked as May was taking a sip of her tea. May almost did a spit-take of her tea at the question. When she had recovered, began to tell the story.

    "Well, it's kind of a long story," May said. "I guess it kind of starts the day that Brendan moved to Littleroot Town, right next door to me. I was outside when the van got there and he hoped out of the trailer."

    "He was in the trailer?" Lisia laughed.

    "Don't ask me why, I still don't know," May laughed with her. "But he was really cute and he had an air about him that I couldn't quite place."

    "Sounds like a good first impression, what did you say to him?"

    "Well, I never actually got the chance to talk to him that day. He was busy with the unpacking and the rest of the moving process. I didn't meet him until the next day, and by then he'd already befriended Gwen. He came over to my house to introduce himself around ten in the morning, but there was just one problem, when he got there, I was showering," May said. "And my mom sent him up to my room without realizing where exactly I was."

    "Oh my, don't tell me. You were in a towel when you first saw him," Lisia said with a giggle.

    "Yeah, I was expecting him to start ogling me, but he turned away like a gentleman. When I got dressed, we just talked and got to know each other better," May said. "Gwen was… well, she was Gwen."

    "So, you three pretty much became friends immediately after meeting each other," Lisia said.

    "Yeah, I guess Arceus just works in mysterious ways," May said with a smile. "Then came the time I really saw Brendan's compassionate side. It was after Gwen had the panic attack from the contest."

    "I remember that, Brendan was sprinting out of the contest hall to get her to the Pokémon Center," Lisia said. "He looked so scared for her."

    May smiled. "Yeah, that was what showed me how compassionate and selfless Brendan was. I guess that the way he was protecting his Pokémon and how he was comforting Gwen when she needed him just made me fall fast. I didn't even realize it at the time."

    "So then what happened?"

    "Well, after we beat two grunts from Team Aqua in the Petalburg Woods, we were camping in a tent, but apparently Gwen had her own plans. I woke up and I was in an … intimate position. I enjoyed it, so when he woke up I … kind of … made him stay there for a few more minutes."

    Lisia just laughed. "And that's how you two started dating?"

    "Yeah, and since then I haven't regretted it at all. We're going to be spending so much time together anyway, it really just makes sense," May said.

    "I agree completely," Lisia said with a sparkle in her eye. "By the way, where is he? A simple delivery shouldn't take this long. Do you think he met with some trouble?"

    "Probably, but if he did, then Brendan has Gwen, Clint, and Nikki with him for help," May said as she took a sip of tea.

    Lisia just smirked. "Maybe I'm just over reacting."

    "Hey, you, hand over those parts! We need them for our organization and the betterment of the world," the first grunt said.

    "Yeah, and nobody is going to stop us this time," the other said.

    "Oh? You want to put money on that?" Brendan said as he stepped forward.

    "Who the hell are you?" the first grunt said.

    "Who I am doesn't matter to you. What my Pokémon and I are going to do to you two if you don't step the fuck off and leave this museum, however…" Brendan said, trailing off for dramatic effect.

    They don't look scared, Gwen said. Actually, it looks like they're trying not to laugh.

    Brendan just kept glaring at the two grunts who were barely composed as they seemed to take him lightly. What do you think? Should I go overkill and battle them with you, Clint, and Nikki, or at least give them some solace in belief that they actually have a chance to win? he asked Gwen.

    It'll be funnier to let them think they have a chance, Gwen said with a smirk.

    Nikki first?

    Nikki first.

    Brendan threw Nikki's Pokéball out, releasing the energetic sloth from her Pokéball.

    "So, this kid is serious. Well, Phil, mind if I take the first crack at him?" said the first grunt.

    "Go ahead Hank," the second, who Brendan figured was Phil, said.

    "Sweet, come on out Bruce!" he said as he released a Zubat. "Use Supersonic!" The bat shrieked loudly, but it was such a high pitch that Brendan could not hear it at all. Nikki, however could hear it perfectly, as could Gwen.


    "Nikki, use Fury Swipes!" Brendan called out. Nikki, however, seemed to be disoriented, as she stumbled and fell to the ground.

    Brendan, she's been confused, there's a chance she will keep hurting herself, Gwen said.

    "Damn it. Nikki, try another Fury Swipes!" Brendan said. Nikki got up again, shaking her head quickly to bring herself from the daze. She then leapt at Bruce, slashing him across the face repeatedly, even leaving a slight scar. After the fifth hit, the Zubat had fallen to the ground, and was knocked out.

    "W-what?" Hank said.

    "Tch, pathetic," Phil said as he pulled out a Pokéball. "Step aside Hank. I'll do this. Go, Bart!" The Pokéball released another Zubat.

    Brendan smirked. "Hey Nikki, are you ready for another go?" Nikki nodded confidently. "Great, use Bulk Up!" A crimson aura flared around Nikki as her attacking and defensive power rose.

    "Leech Life," Phil said. Bart flew at Nikki, baring his fangs at Nikki. Brendan just smiled confidently.

    "Nikki, hit him with Fury Swipes!" Brendan said. Nikki began slashing the Zubat swiftly and powerfully. This round didn't last much longer than the previous battle.

    "As I thought, you're using the same strategy," Phil said as he recalled the now unconscious Bart. "But I still have one more Pokémon left, and he's much stronger than Bart. Go, Michael!" The Pokémon that appeared was, surprisingly, the Kanto water starter's second form, Wartortle.

    "Nikki, you've done well, return and get some rest!" Brendan said as he held out Nikki's Pokéball. "Sorry Gwen, but this is Clint's battle." He then threw out Clint's Pokéball, letting out the wood gecko.

    "Heh, this should be good, a pure grass-type against a pure water-type. Let's go," Phil said. "Michael, Rapid Spin!" Michael tucked his head into his center as he tucked his head and limbs into his shell and spun as he flew at Clint.

    "Clint, dodge and use Bullet Seed!" Brendan said. Clint easily side-stepped the incoming attack, but when he fired his Bullet Seed, Rapid Spin sent the seeds in multiple directions, hitting the walls. Thankfully there was little damage, and the exhibits were miraculously untouched. "Now use Mega Drain!" Brendan said. A vibrant green vine of energy shot out from Clint's head leaf and wrapped around Michael, stopping the attack and beginning the draining effect.

    "Michael, push through and use Ice Punch!" Phil said. Wartortle popped out of his shell as he began to move closer, wrapping the vine around his arms as he moved closer, ice energy enveloping his right hand. He got within striking distance and hit Clint hard across the face, releasing himself from Mega Drain, and sending Clint across the floor. Thankfully, Clint stood up and looked pretty pissed.

    "Alright, let's finish this, use Fury Cutter!" Brendan said. The leaves on Clint's arms began to glow yellow-green and extended like blades as he ran at Michael. Clint got within striking distance and began to repeatedly hit his target, each hit getting stronger. On the fourth hit, though, he sent the turtle Pokémon bouncing across the floor. He came to rest at Phil's feet, and fainted there.

    "DAMN IT!" Phil said. "The boss is gonna be livid when he finds out that we failed. What's he gonna do?"

    "That's a good question," said a deep voice. The speaker walked up from the stairs and Brendan could only react in slight fear. This man was dressed like an eccentric pirate captain. His clothing was all blue and white with a golden belt that held a short maroon cape, and a golden anchor charm hanging from his neck. He wore a sky blue bandana with the Team Aqua logo, and a blue wet suit with white underarms. He had an impressive goatee and a make-up X on the bridge of his nose and his eyes. He also wore blue and white water shoes. "What will I do to you two?"

    "Boss!" both Phil and Hank said simultaneously as they clambered back to clear space.

    "Save it you pathetic louts!" the new guy yelled before looking to Brendan. "Boy, do you know who I am?" Before Brendan could answer, the man continued. "I'm the leader of Team Aqua, Archie. I have heard of a miserable whelps has been messing up our operations, so I'm assuming you're the boy." Archie then began to inspect Brendan and Gwen closely. "I'm sure that you aren't Team Magma, you're not dressed for the part. So I ask you, why do you interfere with our work?"

    "Because every time I have encountered your people, they are committing theft, trying to shoot people, or they kidnap Pokémon. I'm just the guy who won't stand for things like that," Brendan said.

    "Hm," Archie said in an annoyed tone. "It can't be helped. You're too young to understand our objectives and how they will improve the world. I'll let this go for now, but don't expect mercy next time you interfere. You two, come with me." He gestured to the two grunts, and they left the building.

    Brendan was left speechless until Gwen began waving her hand in front of his face. Earth to Brendan! You in there?

    "Yeah, I just zoned out for a moment there, sorry Gwen," Brendan said.

    I see, well, we should get to the penthouse, May and Lisia are probably getting concerned.

    "Right," Brendan said before turning to Captain Stern. "We will be heading out now. Sorry that we had that little fiasco."

    "It's no problem. That was some impressive battling," Stern said. "And thank you for the delivery."

    Brendan nodded his acknowledgment before departing for Lisia's penthouse. "I really need to take a dip in her hot tub tonight," he said.

    Gwen smiled. I was going to say the exact same thing.
  20. jmoul18

    Level 28
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Perfect Duo – Part 1​

    "Lily, use Morning Sun!" May said. Beautifly flew into the air as a pretty beam of light fell from the sky.

    "Gwen, use Magical Leaf and Confusion!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as she sent fifteen rainbow glowing leaves into the air. She used Confusion to control the leaves, making them collide into one another, exploding and creating glittering fireworks that only sparkled more with the addition of the Morning Sun.

    "Good Combo!" Lisia said. "But to really wow the judges, you need something a bit bigger than that."

    I've got something! Gwen said. Lily, use Silver Wind! Lily did as Gwen asked, sending multiple scythes of shining wind from her wings. Gwen then used Confusion, whipping the wind into a tornado. Okay, now use Morning Sun, aim it at the tornado! Lily once again followed Gwen's lead, sending a beam of light toward the twister, making the entire thing sparkle. Great, now the rest of it! Gwen used Magical Leaf again, sending the leaves into the tornado, making it flash the rainbow. She then used Confusion to break the twister apart, making the air glitter brilliantly.

    "That's perfect!" Lisia said. "Do that during the performance and you'll make it to round two!" May and Brendan smiled, while Gwen and Lily started dancing in celebration. "How about we run that a few more times before we call it a night?"

    It was midnight before the contest and Gwen couldn't sleep. She had gone out on the balcony of Lisia's penthouse while Brendan slept on the couch, hoping that some fresh air would calm her down. She was worried about the contest today.

    Come on, it's not a big deal, she said to herself. It'll be fine. Brendan won't let anything happen to me. If there is a Murkrow or Honchkrow at the contest, it won't be a problem. I need to get over this fear anyway.

    That was when the door opened and Brendan walked out. "Hey, is everything alright?"

    Right now it is, Gwen said. But I'm freaking out about what will happen tomorrow. What if there is a Murkrow or Honchkrow like there was last time in Petalburg?

    "If it's there, then understand that it's not from the flock that killed your mother. It won't have the same disposition, and it won't try to harm you any more than is normal for a contest battle. Besides, you and I both know that neither of them can lay a feather on you," Brendan said as he hugged Gwen closely.

    Yeah, true. I guess I could look at it that way,Gwen said.

    "After all, the world's strongest Gardevoir can't be held back by a fear of other Pokémon, can she?"

    You're right, Gwen said with some slight hesitation, with a slight smile. I need to strengthen my resolve and not be afraid of some stupid crows.

    "Exactly," Brendan couldn't help smiling at Gwen's enthusiasm. "Now come on. You need sleep for your performance tomorrow."

    Give me a moment, I just want to sit for a little longer to calm my nerves, Gwen said.

    "Alright, just don't take too long," Brendan said as he hugged Gwen, hoping it would help. Gwen closed her eyes and enjoyed the contact from her closest friend.

    Thanks Goldenrod, Gwen said. This time, she didn't say the nickname to annoy her trainer. Rather, she said it to show that she was truly grateful that Brendan was her trainer.

    "Hello everybody and welcome to this Slateport City's annual Pokémon Contest! I'm Vivian Meridian, and I'm happy to be the MC for this wonderful event," Vivian said as she stood in the center of the open ceiling stadium. The sun was shining brightly with a few clouds in the sky. "Before we get the performances underway, allow me to introduce our judges!"

    Brendan turned away from the screen in the contestant waiting room and tuned out the announcements as he looked at his new contest outfit. It was a red and suit with a grey tuft of fur on the right shoulder and multiple steel studs throughout, and really large cuffs. He also wore a pair of black jeans with a red belt with gold accessories, and red shoes. From his left pocket came a chain with a steel Pokéball charm and finally a Pokéball in a steel clip keychain. His last item for the outfit was a red and yellow feather accessory in his hair over his left eye (His contest costume from ORAS). He thought he looked pretty eccentric, but stylish nonetheless. "I just hope other people think this isn't too gaudy," he said.

    "Oh come on Brendan, you look fine," said a familiar voice. Brendan turned around and saw somebody he hadn't seen since the Petalburg Contest.

    "Grace, it's good to see you again," Brendan said as he extended his hand to the woman.

    "Likewise, how are Gwen and May?" she asked before looking around. "Actually, where are they?"

    "May is still putting on her new outfit from Lisia, and Gwen is looking in that mirror over there. She's making sure she looks presentable for the contest," Brendan said.

    And I think I'm done, Gwen said from across the room, earning looks from multiple coordinators. She then walked across the room with a smile directed at both Brendan and Grace, the latter of whom had a surprised look on her face.

    "That's Gwen? When did she evolve?"
    It was in Rusturf Tunnel, but it's a long story, Gwen said.

    "Well you are beautiful as a Kirlia. It just makes me wonder what you'll look like as a Gardevoir," Grace said. Gwen blushed deeply.

    Thank you, Gwen said kind of quietly.

    "By the way, Brendan, why are you in the contest?"

    "I'm doing this for May since it's a tag-team contest," Brendan said.

    "Well, then I should introduce you to my husband, Francis," Grace said. "He's around here somewhere."

    "Well, I'm finally ready!" May said as she entered the waiting room. She was wearing the outfit that Lisia had given her, which consisted of a pink and white tutu and blouse, not unlike Lisia's outfit. The blouse had frilly sleeves, and also showed May's midriff, something that caught Brendan's eye. She also had a pink ribbon in her hair as well as pink high heels with white tall socks accentuated with pink bows.

    "Wow, you look like everybody's idol," Grace said with a slight smile.

    "Grace! How are you?" May said cheerfully.

    "I'm doing very well. I was actually about to introduce Brendan to my husband. Care to join us?" Grace asked.

    "Sure, but we may need to keep it brief so we're ready for the contest," May said.

    "What are we keeping brief?" said a man who was a bit older than Grace, and his most definitive feature was his bright blue eyes. He wore a very nice tuxedo and a bolo hat

    "Oh, Francis, I was just going to introduce you to May, and Brendan. We met at the Petalburg Contest," Grace said with a smile.

    And then there's me! Gwen said. Francis smiled.

    "Gwen, right? Grace told me about the talking Ralts, but I guess you've evolved," he said. "Anyway, when are you three going on?"

    "We're supposed to be the last act, so we have a long time to wait," May said.

    "Oh, well, we'll be the fifth act tonight, so we'll get the crowd hyped for you two. Hopefully we'll face each other in the final round," Francis said.

    "Oh, is that Drew kid here?" Brendan asked.

    "Didn't you hear?" Grace asked. "He was banned from the contest circuit for using a fake trainer's license, and for using a fake city name in the Petalburg Contest. I'm surprised that they didn't catch it before the contest began."

    "I was wondering about that, since I'd never heard of LaRousse City before," Brendan said.

    "Hey all!" another familiar voice said. A lot of the others in the waiting room were gawking at the speaker.

    "Oh, Lisia, what're you doing down here?" Brendan asked.

    "Well I had to be here for my new prodigy," Lisia said with a sly wink to May.

    "And what a great third performance from Richard Johnson and his sister Hailey," Vivian said, her voice echoing from the television. "They pulled off a great combo with Murkrow and Girafarig!"

    Brendan… Gwen said, excluding all others, including May, from their conversation.

    It'll be okay. I won't let anything bad happen to you no matter what, understand? Brendan said.

    Gwen hesitated. Okay, I trust you.

    "Well, Francis and I will need to get to the tunnel for our performance," Grace said. "We'll really impress you with this performance."

    "I hope so, because Brendan and I have something incredible for our performance," May said with a confident smile.

    "We'll see, won't we," Grace said as she and Francis left for the stage.

    When they left, May turned to Gwen. "Hey, will you be okay with Richard and his Murkrow here?"

    Yeah, I'll be okay. I need to face this fear sooner or later, and there's no better time to do that than here with my best friends, Gwen said.

    "Alright, just let us know if anything happens," May said with a caring, but concerned look.

    It wasn't long before the fourth act ended. It was mediocre, with a Mightyena and a Dustox. They had made some fireworks with Shadow Ball and Psybeam together. It was now time for Grace and Francis.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, it's time for some contest veterans to show their skills once again. Please welcome the husband and wife team of Grace and Francis Sinatra!" Vivian said. Now May and Brendan were watching intently as the older couple took the stage.

    "Come on out, Arya!" Grace said as she sent out her Beautifly.

    "Join her, Alfred!" Francis said. The Pokémon that came out was a gold and black Kricketune.

    "It's the classic combination of Arya the Beautifly and Alfred the Kricketune who is occasionally called the Viola

    "Now, start things off with Sweet Scent!" Grace said.

    "Alfred, use Sing!" Francis said. The combination of the soothing scent and the beautiful melody from the two bug Pokémon made the entire crowd, including the usual trio of judges, relax and almost fall asleep.

    "Now, Morning Sun!" Grace said. Arya's wings shimmered lightly as the sun's rays intensified and focused as a natural spotlight on Alfred. The entire audience was on the verge of dozing off.

    Francis smiled. "Bug Buzz!" The singing then turned into a sharp shrieking, startling everybody in the contest hall almost out of their seats.

    "Now, take a bow!" Grace and Francis both said. Arya landed next to Alfred before bowing to the audience and the judges. After catching their breath, the audience burst into applause.

    "Wow, an unexpected combination of soothing, then startling us out of that daze. Let's see what the judges think of that performance!" Vivian said. The screen lit up and showed a score of 29.6 out of 30. "And it's just shy of a perfect score, but it's our highest of the contest. Great job to both Francis and Grace Sinatra!"

    The couple walked off the stage and into the tunnel. May and Brendan just smiled to each other. That was a good show, but they knew theirs had it beat. There were only about six more performances from now until their act. "That was good," Lisia said thoughtfully. "But I don't think I would've gone that route of performance, but they pulled it off."

    "Yeah, it was certainly attention grabbing. Let's just hope that nobody in the audience had a heart attack from the shock," Brendan said with a slight laugh. May just smiled too.

    "Well, I hope so too, Francis and I don't have the money to pay for a lawsuit of that size," Grace said, having heard what Brendan had just said as they entered the waiting room again.

    "But we made sure the timing was perfect so it didn't cause anything more harmful than an accelerated heart rate," Francis said with a charming smile. "But we'll just have to see how things go with you two. Grace told me that May has a very distinct style, so I look forward to your performance."

    For the remainder of the appeals round, Brendan and May watched eagerly. There were very few routines that really stood out from the crowd, except for one routine that involved a Numel and a Shuppet, where they created shadowy fireworks with a Shadow Ball and Ember combination.

    Now, however, it was time for Brendan and May to take the stage. Gwen, with a lot of protest, had gone into her Pokéball, but only to make an entrance. Unfortunately, Brendan knew this would earn him some nagging from the sassy psychic type later on. "Well, you ready for this?" he asked May.

    "As ready as I'll ever be," May said with a grin.

    Luckily they didn't have much longer to wait, as Vivian began to introduce them. "For our final duo, we have a couple of relatively new faces on the contest circuit. Please welcome May Birch and Brendan Maple!" The audience applauded politely as the two entered the stadium, while some gave cheers as they remembered May's Petalburg performance.

    "Well, let's give them a show," Brendan said as he took out Gwen's Pokéball. "Gwen, come on out!"

    "Lily, take the stage!" May called out. Both Gwen and Lily appeared in pretty poses.

    "Now, you two know what to do!" Brendan said.

    Right, Lily, the Silver Wind and Morning Sun!Gwen said, making sure to not speak to everybody in the audience. Lily flew into the air and began to beat her wings, sending out sickles of glowing silver air. At the same time, Gwen's Confusion spun the Silver Wind into a tornado. Then she timed her Magical Leaf with Lily's Morning Sun perfectly so the tornado began to swirl with the colors of the rainbow. And now for the secret finale!

    "Wait, what?" Brendan whispered. Gwen then sent another Magical Leaf attack into the sky, making them crash together and explode like fireworks. Brendan smiled. Of course Gwen would do something like this. Anything different would be weird for her. That was when Gwen broke the tornado with Confusion, making the air sparkle colorfully. Lily flew down and landed on Gwen's head, as Gwen curtsied. Then there was stunned silence for a few seconds, before it gave way to a massive roar and cheer from the audience. Gwen and Lily both turned to their trainers, Gwen was smiling, while Lily just made a really happy expression (one can only do so much without a mouth).

    "What a way to finish off the appeals round. That looked like something that would be in a Grand Festival routine. Now, let's see what the judges thought of the performance," Vivian said as she looked up at the screen, only to see that the score was already up. "And we have our only perfect score of the night. Great job to both Brendan and May, and good luck in the battle round. There will now be a ten minute intermission while the judges determine who will be in the next round."

    Brendan had Gwen riding on his shoulder as he entered the waiting room, with May by his side. That was when the applause from the other coordinators. Grace, Lisia, and Francis all looked very impressed. "Looks like you guys managed to keep your word. That was a spectacular performance," Grace said.

    "Yeah, and that little addition at the end there, nice touch there Gwen," Lisia said.

    "Wait, the fireworks weren't planned?" Francis asked.

    "That's Gwen for you," Brendan said with a look at the little Pokémon, who simply stuck out her tongue at him.

    They talked for a little bit longer before Vivian got on the mic again. "Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. We have our four pairs second round qualifiers and the match-ups. They are up on the screen right…now!"

    Everybody went in front of the screen, seeing that the teams that had moved on were the Sinatras who were facing the Numel and Shuppet team, and Brendan and May, who were facing Richard and Hailey Johnson

    Brendan, Gwen said uneasily, only addressing Brendan, and also May.

    I know, Brendan said. I know it'll be tough, but you have to face this fear sooner or later.

    But in front of so many people, Gwen said.

    Gwen, you know that I will not let anything happen to you. I know you can do this,Brendan said, putting as much confidence in his mental voice as he could. Gwen seemed to calm down a lot after he said that.

    Okay, I'm trusting you, Gwen said.

    Brendan took her off his shoulder and hugged her. I'm glad to hear it. Now, we have a contest to win! he said.

    Gwen looked at Brendan, a fire in her eyes. Alright, let's do this, she said with newfound confidence. May just smiled as she once again saw the bond between Brendan and Gwen grow stronger. It made her think that they could truly achieve their dreams. But that was a thought for further in the future. Right now, they needed to focus on winning the second round of this contest.

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