A Perfect Duo – Part 2 Brendan and May sat in the waiting room with Gwen fidgeting nervously as Grace and Francis got ready for their battle. The two trainers they were facing were named John Stiles and Jane Stanley. Jane was Shuppet's trainer and she wore a pitch black silk dress that reflected the light very well. John, Numel's trainer, wore an orange vest tuxedo. "Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. Now, it's time for the battle rounds. Our first match is between Grace and Frank Sinatra, and the team of Jane Stanley and John Stiles," Vivian said as the two teams took their positions on the two sides and the audience applauded. "Each battle will be five minutes, or until one team runs out of points. Are both teams ready?" Both teams nodded confidently. "Then begin!" Francis and Grace sent out Alfred and Arya respectively. "Come on out, Leo!" John called out, releasing his Numel. "Join him, Hazel!" Jane said, sending out her Shuppet. "Arya, let's start this off with a Silver Wind!" Grace called out. "Alfred, use Bug Buzz!" Francis said calmly. The cricket Pokémon began to make loud, shrill noise. Meanwhile, Arya began to beat her wings, sending sickles of silver dust at the opponent's Pokémon. "Leo, counter with Flame Burst on Alfred!" John called out. "Hazel, use Confuse Ray on Arya," Jane said. Leo spat out a small ball of flames that flew across the stage at Alfred. It was about to hit its target when Francis acted. "Use Wide Guard!" Francis said, knowing that Flame Burst would affect Arya as well. Alfred acted quickly, a field of light appeared in front of both himself and Arya, and the ball of flame simply bounced off, exploding in midair. Unfortunately, the wispy ball of energy from Shuppet went through the field without trouble, orbiting Arya and disorienting her. "Arya, try to use Flash!" Grace said. Arya, who was now feeling the full effects of the confuse ray, barely heard her trainer's calls. Thankfully, she could still spread her wings, which quickly began to glow with a blinding white light. Only Alfred was able to look away in time, while Leo and Hazel were both blinded by the light. "Great job you two, now Alfred, use Bug Buzz!" Francis said. Alfred buzzed loudly disorienting the two opponents again. That, however, wasn't the only buzzing that could be heard. The other buzzing was the signal that the match's clock had run out. "Alright ladies and gentlemen, let's take a look at the scoreboard and see who our winner is!" Vivian said. The entire audience looked at the board, and the results were clear. John and Jane were at about a quarter of their starting points, while Grace and Francis were just below half of theirs. "And it seems that Grace and Francis are our winners for this round!" "Knew it," May said. Of course they won, Gwen said, with a slight grin, but Brendan could tell that the upcoming match was still bothering her. "Brendan, May, Richard, and Hailey. You're on," said the event coordinator. Brendan looked at Gwen and lowered his shoulder to her level. "Hop on Gwen. You should make the entrance as we normally travel!" Gwen seemed to relax a lot at that. Thanks Brendan, Gwen said as she leapt onto his shoulder like she always did as a Ralts. May then walked up to Brendan. "Then let me take your other side," she said as she put her hand under his and took hold of the crook of his elbow. Brendan smiled before May leaned in and kissed him lightly. "And there's some added confidence for you." Brendan smiled and he led May to the stage. They arrived just as Vivian was preparing to call their names. "Alright ladies and gentlemen. It's time for our last semifinal match up. On the right we have the sibling team of Richard and Hailey Johnson!" Vivian said, and that team entered the stage to the audience's applause. "And for the next team, please welcome May Birch and Brendan Maple!" Brendan looked at May with a smile and they walked onto the stage, the crowd cheering loudly. Gwen, however, was still feeling nervous deep down about facing this Murkrow. It had been more than a year, but the fear was still so strong. Even with Brendan's reassuring words, she still couldn't keep the fear down for very long. "We'll now begin the match. Five minutes on the clock. GO!" Vivian said. "Al, show 'em what you can do," Richard said as he sent out his Murkrow. "Gina, let's dance!" Hailey said. Her Girafarig coming out with a sort of whinny. "Lily, take the stage!" May said as Lily materialized on the field. Brendan looked at Gwen with an encouraging smile, as if he was saying 'You can do this. I believe in you.' Gwen smiled back before Brendan gave his command. "Gwen, dazzle them!" Brendan said. Gwen leapt from her trainer's shoulder, did a midair twirl, and landed gracefully beside Lily. "We'll start things off," Hailey said. "Gina, use Stomp!" The dual headed Pokémon ran at Gwen with her hooves glowing white. "Gwen, Double Team, let's go!" Brendan called. Gwen smirked as she teleported out of Gina's path, leaving an illusory clone of herself behind, while multiple more clones appeared around the stadium, causing Gina to get confused. "Lily, Silver Wind on Gina," May said. Lily flew over the Girafarig and began to beat her wings quickly, sending silver scythes toward the Psychic type. The attack hit their target, sending her into the ground, but it wasn't strong enough to end it there. "Al, use Brave Bird on Lily!" Richard said. Gwen's eyes flew wide in worry. No, don't you dare! Gwen said loudly. The entire audience gasped at hearing a Pokémon actually speak. "Gwen, use Disarming Voice to stop that attack!" Brendan said. Gwen didn't need to be told twice as she shrieked loudly, sending sonic waves at the crow Pokémon. I will not let you hit any of my friends with that attack! Gwen shouted as she attacked. Her shouting was shockingly powerful, especially for a contest battle, but it did the job and made Al flinch, effectively stopping the attack. "Gwen use Calm Mind, please relax!" Brendan said. Gwen heard him and knew he was right. She, and all her clones, stood in a yoga position and took deep breaths with their eyes closed. A greenish glow came from Gwen as she meditated. This is only a contest, Gwen said to herself. Brendan's right. I can't lose control here. "Gina, Future Sight!" Hailey said confidently. The giraffe Pokémon's eyes glowed blue temporarily, but nothing happened…yet. "Alright Lily, use Silver Wind on Al!" May called out. Lily turned to Al and began to beat her wings hard, sending sickles of glowing wind at the gangster bird. "Al, dodge it and use Brave Bird on Gwen!" Richard said. Al did what he was told, doing a barrel roll into a nearly vertical dive above Gwen, flames wrapping around the bird. "Gwen, Teleport, then use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said, trying to have a calm tone of voice. Gwen, who was still meditating, didn't even open her eyes. She just disappeared as Al was about to land a hit. This caused the bird to run headfirst into the ground. It took him a second to recover, but that was a second too long. Gwen had reappeared right behind Al and shrieked at the top of her lungs. Al had no time to react, and was sent flying across the field, right into Gina. "Now, Lily, use another Silver Wind on both of them!" May said. However, Lily never got the chance to fire off the attack. A large ball of psychic energy materialized in front of Lily and flew directly at her, knocking her back a few feet. Brendan gritted his teeth. "Gwen, finish this with another Disarming Voice!" he called out. Gwen complied, sending another sonic wave at the opponents. The impact kicked up dust and left the crowd in stunned silence. May was about to give another command, but she was interrupted by the buzzer. "It looks like that's it folks. Richard and Hailey are out of points, and the clock has hit zero. Congrats to Brendan and May for advancing to the final round!" Vivian said. The audience applauded as Gwen leapt onto Brendan's shoulder and May recalled Lily to her Pokéball. The two walked back into the tunnel as Vivian made her next announcement. "There will now be another ten minute intermission to give the finalists a chance to rest before their battle." Those ten minutes passed all too quickly for the four finalists. The two couples now stood at opposite ends of the field with their Pokémon already out, the battle having just begun. Alfred and Arya were both out, as well as Gwen and Lily. This match would be one to remember. "Gwen, you and I will start this match with Psychic on Alfred!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as a blue aura surrounded her, sending a wave of energy at Alfred, gripping the bug tightly before throwing him into the air. "Arya, use Bug Buzz on Gwen!" Grace called out. Arya's wings began to vibrate loudly, disorienting Gwen slightly. Brendan, May, somebody help! Gwen said as she covered her ears. "Lily, use Gust on both Alfred and Arya!" May said. Lily began to beat her wings hard, sending a small tornado at the two bugs. It caught Arya, ending the auditory assault on Gwen. Francis and Alfred, however, had other plans. "Alfred, use Aerial Ace on Lily!" Francis said. The cricket Pokémon landed deftly on his feet before leaping toward Lily, his front legs glowing brightly, ready to strike. "Gwen, use Psychic to stop that Aerial Ace!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as she glowed blue and extended her hand. Alfred was mere inches from Lily when he stopped cold. Gwen then whipped her hand toward the ground and Alfred followed the path. "Arya, Morning Sun!" Grace called out. From inside the tornado, a beam of sunlight streamed through, making the gust glitter beautifully. "Now spin and use Silver Wind!" The tornado broke apart as sickles of wind sliced through it proceeding to hit Lily and just barely missed Gwen. Brendan looked up at the scoreboard, and he saw that they were currently both dead even, at the halfway point with three minutes left. "Gwen, use Disarming Voice on both of them!" Brendan called out. Gwen shrieked loudly twice, first at Alfred, then at Arya. Neither bug had enough time to get out of the way of the sonic waves. They both recoiled, sending them skidding (or in Arya's case, spinning) across the battlefield. "Arya, use Flash!" Grace said. Arya righted herself in the air and spread her wings, brilliant light shining from her wings, blinding not only Gwen and Lily, but Brendan and May as well. "Gwen, I need you to use Psychic and stop Arya's attack!" Brendan said as he covered his eyes. Gwen, who was having enough trouble seeing herself, trusted her other senses to grab Arya with her psychic aura. That stopped Arya and the blinding light just before Gwen threw Arya to the ground. Arya, you're a friend, but don't you ever blind me like that again! Gwen said as she rubbed her eyes. I'll be seeing spots for a week or more. "Lily, use Gust and Silver Wind!" May said. Lily beat her wings again, sending a new, glittering tornado at the two bug types, this time it caught both of them. Two minutes left, with both sides only having about a third of their original points. Both Grace and Francis had worried looks on their faces. "Gwen, use Magical Leaf!" Brendan called out. Gwen smiled, knowing what Brendan had in mind. The Gust was already in place, they just needed to give it more color. Gwen sent the rainbow colored leaves at the tornado, recreating the performance from the appeals round as the leaves entered the cloud and made it glow in rainbow colors. "Lily, use Stun Spore!" May called out. Lily flew over the tornado, letting yellow spores fall from her wings, dusting the cloud, ensuring that Arya and Alfred were both hit. "Now break that tornado up with Psychic!" Brendan said, Gwen smiling slightly. Her body began to glow once more as she held up her hand, and the tornado dispersed. Both bugs fell to the ground, knocked out. The buzzer sounded as the judges all ruled a knock out. Grace and Francis looked shocked, but they weren't too disappointed. "It looks like this contest is over. May and Brendan have won the Slateport City Contest!" Vivian said. "Let's give them a round of applause." The crowd cheered and applauded the duo. "Wow, that was really fun!" May said. "It's too bad there aren't more doubles contests." I know what you mean. I really enjoyed performing like that, Gwen said with a smile. "And you guys really earned that win. I've never seen anybody use their appeals round performance in the battle round," Grace said as she and Francis crossed the field. "You two should be proud for winning today, but don't count on it next time, May!" "We will see about that, won't we?" May said confidently. Mr. Contesta approached May and Brendan with the two ribbons in-hand. "Congratulations to you two. You just showed a lot of skill and teamwork out there. Good luck in future contests," he said as he presented their ribbons to them. "Thank you sir," Brendan said while May was beaming with joy. "We'll try to keep getting better!" With that, May and Gwen gave a cheer of happiness. Even all the excitement of the contest the previous day didn't stop the fact that Brendan and May were on a journey across Hoenn. So, the next morning, Brendan and May were exciting Slateport and heading toward Route 111. "Wow, this is a pretty long route," Brendan said. "I just wish I could have a bike so we could ride on the cycling path up top." "Where's the fun in that?" May asked. "Besides, there could be Pokémon we want to catch here." Yeah Goldenrod! Why would you want to skip out on the adventures this route has to offer? Brendan smiled in some slight defeat. "Alright, besides, we won't be able to get on the road anyway. The sign says that it's only for bike riders." As they continued, they both saw a very…strange house in the distance. It was loud in its color scheme, and it had some weird designs in those colors. What is that? Gwen asked. "Oh, that?" May asked. "That's the Trick House. It's a very weird house that belongs to the Trick Master. Somehow he turns his house upside down to make mazes for people to explore. He's always extremely quirky." "So it's a no-go?" Brendan asked. "For me, yes. We should avoid it for now. Maybe come back later as tourists or something," May said with a grimace. The duo kept going through the route for a while, diverting to Route 103's eastern half where they had a few battles with random trainers on the route. They then returned to route 111, and continued through the grassy area. They were about halfway to the next city when May stopped walking. Brendan turned around to face her. "Something wrong May?" May just shook her head. "No, nothing's wrong. I was just thinking that we haven't had a battle since we were in Rustboro City, and the contest just showed me how well we battle as a team. Now I want to see how well we do battling each other," she said. I'm down for a friendly battle, Gwen said. "So am I," Brendan said. "I'm ready to start whenever you are." May picked her first Pokéball from her belt. "Then pick your first Pokémon and let's start," she said before throwing out her Pokéball. "Go, Graham!" The little Wingull appeared with a chirp. Brendan smiled. "Go Nikki!" he said as he threw out his first Pokéball, letting out the sloth Pokémon. "Now let's go!"