Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of me,Felix9. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Still getting used to her new body, Luca and the others find a tournament to enter. With the hopes it will help get the Lucario acquainted with her new form, the trio enters. Unfortunately, not everyone is as happy go lucky as Felix and his girls when it comes to official tournaments...
Chapter 3 - Tournament
Luca knew what she was doing in battle now so for the most part I stayed quiet unless she needed some encouragement or direction. She had managed to regain full control of her new body quite quickly and was now matching the ghost move for move, despite its phasing in and out of sight. It was almost as if she could sense it somehow while it was invisible… Still, it was a blessing when the ghastly used the move Dark Pulse against her. I caught the ghost building energy and quickly shouted for Luca to watch it closely.
Startled by my outburst Luca blinked before my suggestion registered and she turned back to the Ghastly with a soft yip and nod. Her gaze focused on the building swirls of purple and black just as the ghost finished and released a wave of hazy energy. Luca blocked it with little trouble and I quickly asked her to try copying it. Her eyes looked a little distant as she nodded and looked back at the ghastly. Her thoughts raced in the heat of battle but with an exhale she made a motion with her paws that had become quite familiar to her. Her paws waved one over another as she stood up straight from her rooted stance. Between the black furred appendages a ball of energy quickly swirled to life. A black sparking center surrounded by chaotic black and purple swirls hovered weightlessly between her paws. She’d created her own variation of the normal dark pulse attack!
Luca opened her eyes as she felt she was holding something and started to quake softly in excitement and anticipation. I could tell she was proud of herself for managing the attack but didn’t quite know what to do now… “Throw it!” I yelled franticly, hoping it wouldn’t blow up in her face if she waited too long. Luca yelped softly at my yell, though probably because she too realized she was still holding a volatile ball of energy. When she looked for the ghastly though, it was gone, moving about for another attack. Her eyes darted left and right as the ball began to buzz loudly. In the nick of time her expression turned to one of realization and she spun on her toes, bringing the ball around in one palm and thrusting it right into the reforming face of the ghastly!
A dull boom and an explosion of black smoke rushed outward from the attack, enveloping both the ghastly and Luca. I found my hands clenched tightly as I watched and waited, hoping Luca was ok… When the smoke dissipated though she was laying on the ground, propped up on her elbows with a stunned expression. The ghastly lay on the ground a few yards away with its tongue lolling out of its mouth, unconscious.
“Great job Luca!” I cheered as I ran to her to make sure she was ok, though I knew full well she was fine. My words snapped her out of her stupor though and she smiled, her tail thumping the ground softly as she scrambled to get up.
“I did it Feli!” She barked happily and met me in a hug. I chuckled and pet between her long ears.
“You sure did. Think you can do it again?” I answered kindly, which got her to release me and smile as she nodded. She took another step back and turned to face the lake before she repeated her motion, once more summoning a foot wide ball of dark energy. With newfound ease and grace she took a step and fired the ball out at the water. It hit the surface and exploded in a dazzling pink, purple and black rainbow of glittering droplets. “That’s my girl.” I said proudly and roughly rubbed between her ears, getting her usual giggling growl response.
However… our little experiment inadvertently led us into Luca’s next attack lesson. Her dark pulse had angered a Seaking who was innocently feeding at the surface. It didn’t appreciate being blasted around and angrily shot an aurora beam at Luca while she was distracted with me.
“Luca!? Are you alright?!” I blurted after she yelped, being blasted from in front of me. She groaned and shook her head but stood up to look around for what hit her. She spotted an incoming water gun attack just as Lady reached up to grab my waistline in her muzzle. The fox yanked me back and out of the torrent’s path while Luca quickly guarded against the attack. Of course I indignantly fell to my rump as I was tugged off balance, but I gave Lady a pet and thanked her for the save as I got up. I saw the proud smirk she wore at the praise but I couldn’t return her tease at the moment.
As I brought my attention back to Luca I found her dodging attack after attack as she advanced to the water’s edge. She let loose a dark pulse here and there but the fish was too hard to find in the water and expertly dove out of their path as they hit the water. My Lucario was getting frustrated as she failed to hit her mark and continued to get soaked by water guns only to have her fur frozen stiff by aurora beams. The attacks weren’t fazing her physically but mentally she was unraveling.
“Luca! Try aura sphere!” I encouraged, remembering the different energy she had summoned as a Riolu. “Just like you tried last week.” I advised. A brief nod to me told me I’d calmed her down and she back flipped to land on a rock. Once more she exhaled in concentration as she waved her paws over one another. A haze started to form but an aurora beam was streaking towards her! “Look out!” I yelled urgently, but she was in complete control of the situation. Gracefully, she crouched and spun on one paw, swinging her other leg out for balance before coming back to stand as the beam dissipated. I stared awestruck at the move, feeling my heart still racing.
As she stood again, a ball of energy flashed to life between her paws. A dazzling blue orb with a white lightning core buzzed in front of her and she smiled gleefully for a moment at her triumph. My advice wasn’t needed as she held the ball in front of her and scanned the water. A ripple in the pond bore the very tip of the Seaking’s horn and she fired a split second later. The ball was half way to its target before the fish saw it coming. It ducked back beneath the waves but it was too late. The ball delved in immediately after and exploded, landing a solid hit against Luca’s opponent.
Thinking she’d won Luca started running towards me happily. I was still marveling at her prowess when I realized the fish hadn’t surfaced… “I did it Feli! I did…?” She barked happily at first, but she seemed to pick up on my hesitance as well as the Seaking’s presence. Her run slowed and she turned to see it leap from the water, glowing a deep blue. She looked on in shock as the fish reached the peak of its jump and impacted the water, sending several concentric rings out in all directions!
The movement caught my eye and I tried to warn Luca, turn, and duck all at the same time. None of these things did anyone any good… Luca stared as the waves traversed onto land without pause. Lady casually stepped between me and the waves and spread her tails, summoning a brilliant green protect shield around the two of us. It took me too long to realize that I hadn’t gotten wet, and when I stood Lady yelped and rushed behind me to hide… The next instant I was wholly and thoroughly drenched by a second water pulse attack, while my Ninetales managed to get only a light shower.
“Gee… Thanks super fox…” I grumbled as I looked back at my embarrassedly grinning companion. Her second attempt to use protect had failed miserably so she decided to let me take the attack instead of her… After a brief moment though her ears twitched and she straightened with a turn of her head. Following her gaze I saw Luca had shifted stances since I’d ducked. She held her paw out in front of her and seemed shocked and confused as she stood there frozen. “Luca! Are you alright? What happened?” I gasped as I quickly ran over to her, worriedly looking her over as she snapped from her stupor. She was sopping wet and her fur clung to her slender, tone body but she didn’t seem to be hurt at all.
“I just… copied it.” She said softly as she looked at me and blinked before putting her paws to her muzzle and giggling. “S-sorry…!” She managed to snicker, trying not to offend me but unable to control herself. My hair was a mess and my clothes still dripped as I realized what happened.
I couldn’t even bring myself to fake being upset as I smiled at her with a soft embarrassed blush at her snickers. “You used water pulse to counter? Can you do it again?” I asked eagerly. Her giggles calmed and her tail wagged happily at my apparent pride in her accomplishment. She nodded excitedly and took a step back before quickly waving her paws. The motion seemed as natural as walking to her now and in an instant she held a rippling ball of blue energy reminiscent of waves on water. Her breath quickened in excitement as she managed to repeat her accomplishment for me to see and she looked up at me with her sparkling eyes.
“That’s my girl.” I said cheerfully and gave her a smile as I pet her between the ears. She giggled softly, loving the affection and the smile I gave her.
“Step back.” She cautioned as she moved back herself, readying to get rid of the water pulse attack. I did as she said and gave her some space, watching as she looked to the sky and with a smooth motion and flick of the wrist sent the ball barreling skyward. The next moment it was gone before a soft blue flash went off in the clear sky. A moment later a light pleasant shower cascaded around the area, wetting leaves fur and skin alike with a cooling mist.
“That was great!” I praised, ecstatic that she had a new set of attacks just in time for the tournament. Luca giggled and ran to me when I spoke. She wrapped me in a tight embrace, her tail waging a mile a minute behind her. I blushed as my rather mature pup pressed her chest against mine... I was still sopping wet but now that her body had grown, her fur had more to hide. Something it tended to fail at when she was wet... Thankfully I was able to hide my embarrassment and any further glimpses of her feminine curves by putting my arms around her to return the hug, though I could still feel her form, modest breasts against my belly.
I softly stroked her wet fur for a moment before giving her a soft kiss on the tip of her ear, making it twitch and getting her to release me. “Ready to get going?” I asked cheerfully, still blushing softly. Luca nodded happily and the three of us turned to leave… Though when we joined an already dry Lady, Luca and I exchanged glances and smirked.
“~We love you Lady!~” The two of us said in unison as we ambushed her from both sides! The fox yelped as she found herself tackled between her two drenched teammates and growled as she squirmed franticly in a fruitless attempt to escape. Luca and I both laughed hysterically as we hugged her, making sure we got her wet before letting go and running off towards town. It didn’t take either of us long to dry with the angry Ninetales bent on revenge firing warning flame throwers as we ran…
I was the one to tire first as we reached the outskirts of town. Not wanting anyone to believe her a wild Pokémon she had stopped attacking Luca and I when we saw buildings but she growled and curled her tails around me as I slowed to a walk. She never liked anyone getting the best of her. I chuckled through my gasps for breath and pet her kindly. “Ok, you win, I’m sorry.” I teased with an apology, giving a hollow promise that I’d never do something like that again.
She gave me a knowing glare before she strode gracefully away, giving Luca the same look. The Lucario giggled, knowing she was safe because she’d outrun me. “Well. Are you two ready for this?” I asked as we continued towards the Pokémon center for a quick check up. I got a bark from Lady and a happy nod from Luca that boosted my own confidence. Over the short year that I had Luca she had been in a lot of battles, mostly with similarly skilled opponents though there were some good challenges she’d managed to beat. From what I had seen in our practice battles yesterday and today I knew she would be just fine in the tournament. Still… I hoped when or if we did lose she wouldn’t take it as hard as she usually did. She wasn’t a sore loser; in fact it was quite the opposite. For some reason she always got really upset with herself thinking she’d let me down. She was still cute when she was upset but it hurt to see her sad and it often took me half a day to convince her that it wasn’t important if we won.
As we walked I was soon nudged from my distant thoughts by Luca taking my arm in her paws. I blinked curiously and looked over at her as she murred and hugged me tight. I couldn’t help but blush once more at the affection but I smiled sweetly and held a paw in my hand. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of her tail wagging and I knew I’d made her happy. The two of us were pulled from our own moment by a soft curious “Nine?” to my left. “Oh don’t start. You do the same thing sometimes.” I retorted, getting a giggle from my affectionate Lucario as Lady rolled her eyes.
I ignored some of the curious looks we got as we continued to the Pokémon center with Luca happily staying close to me. I wasn’t sure what had gotten into her but I liked the harmless affections my girls gave me and I wasn’t going to complain. We made our stop at the Pokémon center where nurse joy gave the girls a quick out of ball recharge while I registered a room for us. With both of them feeling nice and refreshed we made our way to the arena to check in for the tournament.
The circular coliseum loomed over us as we approached. A slightly painful squeeze to my hand reminded me Luca was beside me, though she was holding my hand quite tightly. It seemed she was more than a little tense about her first formal Pokémon battle. Lady had done things like this with me before and wasn’t the least bit apprehensive. Still I understood why Luca would be nervous. This would be the first time in a mid level multipokemon fight, and in front of a huge crowd no less. She usually loved the cheers from the spectators that gathered around to see a cute little Riolu beat a rock behemoth, but they were still relatively small groups.
“You’ll do fine.” I offered, inadvertently startling the Lucario. Lost in her thoughts she jumped slightly and yelped, forgetting she was with us. She looked up at me with a scared questioning look and her ears back. “It’s just another battle, don’t worry about it ok?” I continued, getting her to smile softly as her ears raised a little, but she was still uneasy.
Lady observed our exchange and noticed Luca’s remaining worries as well. Without losing a step she switched to Luca’s right side and said something to her. I listened but Luca didn’t reply, so I couldn’t even guess what my fox had said. After that Luca’s attitude changed entirely. She smiled and nodded as her ears perked once again. I wish I knew how, but whatever she said seemed to give Luca a strong focus.
The crowd was roaring as we entered the main field for the opening ceremonies and match ups. The field was groomed nicely for the start of the matches but it wouldn’t stay that way for long. Still it was a ceremony so all the trainers took a place in lines on the field. The gym leader for the city was to be the host and he stood on a platform under the large display. Luca and Lady elected to sit on either side of me after standing for several minutes waiting for things to start. When they finally did there was a rather nice spirit of competition hanging in the arena. Luckily for Luca we were in the first match. So the eager Lucario didn’t have to wait long to work off some energy.
After clearing the field and getting a five minute break my girls and I were headed back down the entrance tunnel. The cheers of the crowd were almost deafening as we emerged to the announcement of our names. Even the girls had a fanfare announcement since I kept them out with me all the time. I looked over at Luca to see how she was taking it, and wasn’t a bit surprised to see her tail wagging as she grinned and looked around at her admirers, obviously enjoying the attention. As we came to the actual battle field I stopped on my place and the girls continued out to stop about midway in their half of the field. Luca began looking around the arena taking in the whole experience. Lady on the other hand sat down and focused on the other entrance.
I knew what my Ninetales was doing. She always got like this before the battle started. She had a very analytical mind, and despite me being the trainer she was quite capable of formulating her own plans. She was teaching Luca to do this as well and though she was still awestruck by the enormity of the arena her attention snapped to our opponent as he was announced and entered. I got a good look at the guy despite the distance of the field and realized we had fought him the day before in one of Luca’s practice matches. His smirk showed he had no doubt thought about a rematch and probably had different Pokémon on him this time.
My opponent sent out his choices as he stopped in the trainer’s box. I should have seen it coming after Luca trounced him with her newfound strength the day before but there was little I could do. I was always at a bit of a disadvantage since I only had two Pokémon, and seeing as how I hated to confine them I never put them in their balls. So everyone knew how to beat me. His choices turned out to be a Blaziken and a Camerupt. Both had a type advantage to Luca but only Camerupt had an advantage over Lady. Lady looked to Luca and got her attention. My Lucario nodded and looked to me with a smile and gave me a wink. We all knew she had a great advantage with her brand new water pulse attack.
With all four Pokémon out the judge made his way to the sidelines and asked each of us in turn if we were ready. With both the trainers answering a yes he began the match with the wave of a flag!
With the sound of the buzzer the Blaziken rushed toward Luca. Luca wasn’t fazed in the least though and lowered slowly into her typical fighting stance. I watched my girls carefully as Lady rose to her feet and started to stalk away from Luca, keeping her eyes trained on the Camerupt. “Bullet punch Luca!” I yelled as the Blaziken let fly with his attack. In the blink of an eye Luca took a step forward and thrust her shining paw up into her opponent’s stomach. The fire chicken’s eyes bugged for a moment as the flare at his wrist extinguished. Luca quickly withdrew her paw as fast as she’d delivered her attack and leapt back, once more falling into a defensive stance as she watched the Blaziken wobble on his feet and clutch his stomach. With just a few breaths though he growled at Luca and took up a stance of his own, the two starting to circle each other.
Meanwhile Lady and Camerupt were having a staring contest. Camerupt was probably waiting for Lady to make her move as she casually padded around to her right; little did he know that she already had. Her stare could mean any number of attacks; most likely confuse ray or leer, but she could also be trying to predict her opponents move. She could get under any Pokémon’s skin if she locked eyes with them for long enough. Our opponent hadn’t noticed my Ninetales’ focus and in a rush to end the fight ordered his Camerupt to use earthquake!
The whole stadium watched to see what would happen with the attack but we weren’t about to let it happen. “Quick attack! Luca! Jump and water pulse!” I barked to my girls, barely getting a syllable out before the Ninetales was amidst a blur of white. As the camel Pokémon reared back to deliver its attack Lady barreled right into its belly, knocking it backwards with a loud groan and a thud.
Having just recovered from Luca’s hit the Blaziken leapt into the air, leaving Luca to fend for herself against the earthquake attack that never came. Her eyes remained trained on the fighting bird though and she too reacted in a flash to my command. Her legs bent just slightly before she rocketed toward the airborne Blaziken waving her paws as she flew. The Blaziken was stunned at the sudden offensive outburst, and it was too late for the trainer to react. A look of shock and fear flashed on the chicken’s face as the pulse flashed to life just as my Lucario thrust her paws into his belly once more. The force of the attack sent the Blaziken tumbling backwards to land on the ground with a thump amidst a light rain of water. Luca expertly back flipped in the air with the return force of her pulse and landed nearer to me, though she stumbled as she landed. I couldn’t help but smile softly for an instant seeing her tail dart around to keep her balanced. She’d forgotten once more she was taller now.
With Blaziken still reeling and having trouble getting up I turned my attention to Lady once again. The Ninetales yelped as the camel kicked at her, connecting with her shoulder but only managing to keep her at bay. “Flamethrower!” I shouted for her, to which she obliged. In a flash she leapt, and roared out massive gout of flame, bathing the camel in an inferno. The other trainer laughed but even a fire type couldn’t escape Lady’s attacks unharmed. Lady used her attack much the way Luca had. Like a rocket kicking on its after burners she flew backwards from the point blank hit, back flipping and fanning her tails to land elegantly on all fours. The crowd loved it and roared their approval of her beautiful battling.
With Luca only a few feet away and our opponents reeling and struggling to regain their feet quickly I whispered a plan to my Lucario. Her ear swiveled towards me as her eyes never left the Blaziken, but a nod at the end told me she understood and a second later she darted over to join up with Lady at center field. I could see Luca’s lips moving but knew even my opponents Pokémon were too far away to overhear. I simply stood back and watched as our trap was set and sprung flawlessly…
My opponent grinned once more when he saw Luca join Lady on the field. He quickly yelled for his Camerupt to use earthquake again, then yelled for Blaziken to jump and use blaze kick. The two did as they were told, with Blaziken leaping off of Camerupt’s back as it reared up and slammed its legs on the ground. The tremors ribbed through the field towards my girls but neither seemed to care. Lady gave a small smirk as she placed her front paws deliberately and barked.
A green shield flashed into existence as the Ninetales barked, encompassing both her and Luca.
The shockwaves from the earthquake parted around the teal green shield without so much as shaking the girls off balance. Luca took her cue and with a few waves of her paws readied a pulse in each. Of course I knew what they were but their color was distorted from the shield, making it tough for my opponent to judge. Blaziken’s resolve never faltered though as he streaked from the air, his foot ablaze. He knew a protect would most likely fail against a second attack.
Immediately after the last tremor passed Lady dropped the shield and leapt to the side. In perfect sync a water pulse flew inches to the side of the leaping Ninetales, headed straight for the fire camel. Still focusing on Lady the Camerupt barely noticed the rippling ball of energy until it blasted the creature with a quadruply effective torrent. He staggered backwards with the hit before falling over, unconscious.
With one down it was time for Luca to wrap up the battle. Barely a split second after launching the first pulse Luca leapt backwards into the air just in time to avoid the incoming Blaziken. He hit the ground and threw up a rather impressive cloud of dust, shrouding the remaining three Pokémon in the haze. The last thing I saw was Luca arching to spin in mid air as she brought her second pulse around to fire where she and Lady had been standing. Those seconds seemed to last hours as the stadium went dead silent in anticipation. When the second water pulse hit, a shockwave of water emanated from the dust, scattering and settling it in another few seconds. Amidst the dust Blaziken was propelled from his feet, landing and skidding to a halt near his teammate. Weakly the bird tried to prop himself up but with a final sigh he passed out and fell back to the ground.
The Judge waited for a moment before he waved his flag, declaring us the victors. The match was over, and the crowd went berserk. The roar when we’d entered was nothing like the praise they gave for a spectacular battle.
With the battle over Luca visibly relaxed and looked around. Her tail wagged softly as she smiled and waved at some of her fans. It wasn’t until Lady brushed the Lucario with a tail that she remembered me and quickly ran to give me a hug. Seeing her coming I managed to brace myself and catch her without falling over but I couldn’t help blushing a bit at the gesture. She had always done this as a Riolu but again her new form made it feel different. Still I couldn’t deny her for a job well done and I pet her softly as I returned her hug for a moment. When she released me I gave our opponent a thank you wave before my girls and I turned to exit the arena and head for the Pokémon center.
With the number of preliminary battles in the tournament the next round wouldn’t be until tomorrow. So we spent the rest of the day taking it easy and saving our energy for our next bout. However, Luca insisted on practicing her new pulse attacks so we made a trip to the park as well.
She seemed to know what she wanted to do so until she needed some advice I sat on a bench to watch. As she gracefully and quickly summoned her various balls of energy I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering. I kept trying to figure out why Luca seemed so different. Sure she’d evolved and she looked more mature now but… there was something else, maybe she’d even started to change while she was a Riolu and I hadn’t noticed. In the end I figured she must simply be growing up faster than I liked, but she never failed to remind me she was still the same sweet little girl I’d come to know and love.
As night began to take over the three of us returned to the center. Luca had caught me daydreaming a couple times as she practiced and since I had been thinking of her I had to fight a soft blush in my cheeks when she asked why I was staring. "Just watching!" Was all I could reply, and each time she gave me a soft shy smile as she went back to work.
Finally I decided to call it a night and went up to stop a panting Luca from continuing. "Come on. Let’s get some rest." I said as I laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Alright." She replied simply and fell into step with Lady and I. Along the way I once again praised her effort and progress, getting her to smile proudly as she walked a little closer.
It wasn't long before we reached the center and headed for the shower for a quick rinse. Lady was the easy one, with a detachable shower head I just rinsed off all her fur and tails to get the dust out and she dried herself. Luca however... I realized I hadn't bathed with since she evolved.
My Lucario came in when Lady appeared in the room, but a quick look at the tub and we both realized our normal bath routine would be quite awkward with her new size. Let alone as I looked her over and tried to think of a solution I remembered seeing her sopping wet earlier that morning... She was more feminine now and though she was a Pokémon and I'd raised her from a pup, I found myself unable to shake an attraction to her...
"U-Umm... Did you? Want to shower alone?" I stuttered softly and she looked down. She saw I was blushing and assumed she should be embarrassed as well. She looked back at me with a bit of a pout and her ears back as she shook her head no, which only made my blush deepen. "Ok." I answered and started the water to let it warm. When it had I held Luca's paw and let her in first. I still wore my trunks out of habit now so thankfully Luca wasn't getting a lesson in human anatomy just yet... but I had to focus on not looking down her form as we both stood in the cascade.
"I-I don't know how to wash my new body yet..." She admitted shyly, hoping I'd still help her.
"It's ok." I answered simply and gave her a soft smile as I rubbed between her flattened ears. I took the shower head once again and started to go over her from head to toe. However, I handed the head to her so she could do her front... "It's just like before, but you're taller now." I said kindly, trying to sound calm and confident for her. She nodded softly and turned around to face me.
"Will that thingy reach my back still?" She asked, referring to the sponge on a stick I'd gotten for her to lather her fur when she wished to bathe alone.
"Of course. You have longer arms now. You can reach the same as before." I said with a smile, keeping my eyes on hers.
"What's wrong?" She asked softly, sensing my unease, and noticing my rather focused gaze.
"L-Luca umm... I think I need to talk to you about boys and girls..." I stammered shyly before turning to shut off the water and open the curtain. She looked confused but I could see the blush under her cheek fur. She knew what I was talking about...
"Lady told me some already..." She admitted, hoping to maybe spare my obvious nervousness about the topic. It worked a little bit... but the fox wasn't exactly discrete and I wound up more worried about what my little girl had been told.
"Ok... so you know the differences then. But Luca you... You're umm..." I replied as I held out a towel for her. She took it and started to dry off like she had many times before but she remained focused on me, listening intently. "You're... more grown up now and... you know how I always let you wash between your legs?" I tried to continue, managing to blurt out something to get me started. She nodded and looked down, holding her paws in front of her femininity as she started to piece together why I was being shy. I couldn’t quite tell but I almost thought I saw a smile of appreciation flash on her muzzle as she looked back to me.
It was a little harder now to ignore her body since she was bigger. "That's your special place and... now you have another..." I continued, getting a quizzical look in return. "These..." I tried to indicate, cupping invisible breasts on me and admittedly looking rather silly.
Luca blinked and looked down at the mounds on her chest. She hadn't seemed to realize they were there or that they were important until now, but since I seemed so bothered by them she was suddenly embarrassed by them. She brought her paws up to try and cover them, not sure what else to do, but this left her lower parts exposed. In an effort to help I took the towel she'd forgotten about and wrapped it around her like a tube. She looked up at me thankfully but was still full of questions.
"This is... only when I'm wet still right...? You don't mind when I'm dry?" She asked with a bit more confidence, getting me to blush crimson. I had my own views on Pokémon and humans and yes... I'd gotten intimately close with Lady over the years but... Luca was almost human, and I realized right then that was the reason this was so difficult. I’d never been very good with human women. It didn’t matter so much before because Luca was almost like a puppy in a way, but now… my insecurities were being revealed to my dear Luca.
"I-I don't mind at all sweetie... I-I mean! Y-yes... It's just. It's your body." I stammered, realizing quickly what I'd said as my blush endured. Despite my reaction she smiled and relaxed a little.
She made sure her private areas were dry before she ambushed me with a quick hug. I was still a bit flustered from our talk but I could never push her away. No matter how embarrassed I was. With a giggle she hurried out into the room to jump on the bed with Lady.
Despite our talk Luca still snuggled up close to me as we got ready for bed. I actually wouldn't have had it any other way but the thoughts from before still lingered in my head. It made sense now... Since she'd evolved I was actually physically attracted to her! The last thing I wanted though was to ruin our relationship... I loved her dearly and I wanted to see her happy. I'd never forgive myself if I took advantage of her trust and naivety. Still... with her cuddled close to me I hoped nothing would ever change between us. She was my sweat little girl, even if she did have the body of a grown Lady Lucario...
When I woke up the next morning I found the girls already getting ready for the day. Luca was stretching while Lady sniffed around in my bag, apparently looking for a snack. I hurried to get dressed and gather my things so we could grab a bite to eat in the lobby before heading to the arena. This time we were third in the line up so we waited and watched our potential opponents Pokémon. Luca seemed the most intent once again as she focused on each of the battlers, trying to figure out what she could do to help me win.
Our battle wasn’t nearly as interesting as the day before. My opponent had a Mightyena and a Magneton, which gave us a massive type advantage. Lady had fire over steel and Luca had fighting over both of them so we easily won. The girls did still manage to give the audience a good show and they went wild when Luca and Lady won the match. Luca even got the chance to show off her aura sphere attack as well, something she'd been wanting to do since she started trying to use her aura.
As was the case yesterday there were still too many matches left for the next round to finish in the same day. With the rest of the day off once again we spent our time much the same as the day before. Although, Luca was much more confident in her pulses now and only practiced for an hour rather than 4. When it got to be dusk we decided to end our day on the town and made our way back to the Pokémon center after grabbing some dinner. It was still too early to go to bed so I figured I’d treat the girls to a nice bath and massage.
Lady loved my occasional massages, though I think she was happier about having silky fur from the brushing that went with it. Once again though I had to fight my embarrassment with Luca... Despite the night before she asked if I would help get her back. I couldn't say no, so after dawning my trunks I helped her out. Thankfully she tried to be a little more discrete. I got the feeling from her behavior she had managed to decode what I was trying to convey the night before. She was her own person and her body was her own. Although she did insist she return the favor by helping me wash as well... She never mentioned my trunks though as she helped me get my back and giggled as she played with the shampoo in my long hair. It was something she'd never gotten to do before since she had never been able to reach. It still amazed me how adorably innocent and cute she was, even as a Lucario.
With our bathes out of the way I turned on the TV for a bit of distraction as I continued to pamper my girls. Luca helped me with Lady by admiringly brushing each of her nine tails. Lady was in heaven as I gently and slowly worked my way across her body, worming my fingers through her fur to press and rub at the tense muscles underneath. As I worked Luca watched the fox make a complete fool of herself. She murred and groaned as she stiffened and relaxed, rolling over to let me get her belly and letting her leg kick in reflex.
Luca giggled, rarely getting the chance to see her adoptive mother so lucid. As I rubbed Lady's hind legs all the way to her hip though I failed to notice Luca watching to see if I was as embarrassed about females as I apparently was with her. There was a tinge of sad jealousy in the air as my fingers and gaze brushed past the fox's private place and never once showed the aversion I had with Luca the day before. Never the less I was oblivious to my Lucario's private observation as I finished, leaving Lady panting happily and already nearly asleep on the bed.
"Your turn Luca!" I said with a cheerful smile as I dug my hands playfully into her sides. Lost in her thoughts I'd caught her off guard and she yelped loudly as she squirmed to escape the tickling touch.
I was surprised when she looked back at me with a soft growl and a deep blush in her cheeks. I had to wonder just what she'd been thinking of... "Do it again and I'll get you back..." She answered with a soft smile, her tail wagging gently as she returned more to her normal self.
"Oh alright... Come here." I replied with a kind smile and shifted so she could sit in front of me.
Her body was new to me so I went slow and started on her neck. Having grown used to my hands being able to wrap almost all the way around her torso as a pup, she was surprised at how much better it felt to actually have my finger tips massage her muscles. She was quite tense when I started but she melted like butter as I moved to rub her neck.
"Nnnn... That feels so good Feli..." She moaned as I firmly worked the muscles in her neck, working out any knots I could find. I simply smiled as I continued, loving the way her eyes had shut and her ears laid back.
There wasn't much I could do to her head that wouldn't hurt but soft strokes across the fur got me to her rigid ears where I could rub harder. Once more she murred as she sighed in bliss, trying to fight the urge to twitch her ears against my hands. With her ears done I reached for a very soft brush to groom her head ornaments. I'd found out soon after she'd been given to me that these were very sensitive parts of her body as a Riolu, and later I read they had been found to be a sensory organ linked to her species abilities. Ever since then I'd treated them like they were glass.
However I couldn’t help blushing slightly hearing Luca gasp as I brushed the tear drop organs. When touched lightly it seemed to feel amazing for her, and she always loved the quick grooming I gave her. She wiggled a little on the bed as I continued, paying attention to each of the four and being sure to brush them thoroughly. She was panting by the time I finished and set the brush aside, giving them each one last run over with my hand before continuing. Luca tensed with each stroke and shivered softly. She was very protective of her teardrops, and once even beat up a machop for tugging one... but she’d told me before she loved having me groom them and after I'd learned they were tender she never once protested to me touching them.
“Th-thank you…” She whimpered softly and shyly as she looked over her shoulder at me. My thumbs were rubbing across her spine as I gave her a loving smile.
“It’s not over yet.” I said innocently, oblivious to just how much more she enjoyed the grooming of her teardrops now that she was a Lucario. I saw the blush in her cheeks as she faced forward again and murred with my continued massage. I had to wonder what I’d done to embarrass her so much but I shrugged it from my mind and slowly worked my way down her back.
With her being larger now, I could feel just how much tension she held in her muscles. It took me quite a while to get her shoulder blades and lower back to relax before I went to work down her arms. She was in excellent physical condition and I could feel her toned muscles beneath her furred skin. She let her arms go limp and though her breaths were still a bit heavy she watched as I took her paw in my hands. Once more her ears went back as I rubbed her pads, getting in between each and exploring my way around her metal wrist spike.
When I’d finished with one arm I started on the other with her paw, offering my hand for her to give it to me. She smiled as she gave it to me; though she flexed the one I’d finished, enjoying the feeling of the newly relaxed muscles.
Moving on she murred as I finished with her left shoulder and ran my hands down to her lower back. “Lay down for me ok?” I asked, finding it a bit awkward to continue while sitting behind her. She nodded softly and shifted to give me my request, laying front down on the bed.
As I watched I smiled as I enjoyed the beauty of her pose. Not wanting to pause for too long I leaned over and started to rub down her back once more. My fingers traced half circles near her sides and I felt her stiffen as I approached those ticklish areas again. I could see she was trying not to protest so I slowed a bit and lightened my strokes, letting her relax more.
Soon enough I came to her rump, and though it wasn't one of those places I'd told her to respect I still avoided those blue furred cheeks. Instead I favored her tail, an appendage that... especially with a Ninetales as my first Pokémon, I absolutely loved. I slid my hand around the base and as if on cue she giggled and started to wag it back and forth. I chuckled in return as I took her brush again and started combing through her fur. The crook on the end of her tail was particularly fun to play with. It straightened as I ran my hand down it, so it wasn't like the bones had broken or bent; it simply seemed to be the natural way a Lucario's tail hung. I couldn't stop myself from laughing as I continued to run over it, getting Luca to arch and look back.
"What's so funny...?" She whined, looking at me curiously as I played with her tail.
"Oh nothing... Spoink!" I teased, pulling her tail straight and letting it spring back as I exclaimed.
"Now I see why you're not allowed to play with Lady's tails anymore..." She growled playfully, though she had an embarrassed tinge to her cheeks. I laughed because in a way she was right, though I knew I still had to continue...
I tried to seem like nothing was wrong as I let her tail twitch free of my grasp. When she was a Riolu I had been able to do her leg massages quickly and with the excuse to myself that my hands were so big by comparison I was bound to get close to something private... Now though, my anxiety seemed apparent as I started to rub her legs closer to her knee than her hip. She never looked back at me though and her tail continued to sway gently with the pleasant rubs down her legs.
“Could you roll over?” I asked softly. Luca’s ear twitched as she opened her eyes and smiled, happy to oblige. We shifted on the bed once more so she was sitting up at the head of the bed and I was at her feet. “Feel like a queen yet?” I teased with a smirk, earning a giggle in response.
“Be quiet and continue to rub my feet good sir!” She mocked with a deliberately exaggerated regal, commanding tone.
“Yes my liege!” I answered humbly and set about diligently massaging each pad as she laughed then gritted her teeth, trying not to kick as I wormed a finger between those pads, tickling her a little. I did the same with the other foot as well before looking up at her with a smile and letting her go. When it was over she stretched as far as she could before crawling on the bed to me and hugging me tight.
“That felt wonderful.” She murred as her tail wagged happily when I returned her embrace. I just smiled and rubbed her back softly for a moment before she let me go. As we’d grown accustomed we snuggled down in the bed where Lady was already asleep. Luca wasn’t done thanking me though and as she hugged my arm to her she leaned up and gave me an affectionate kiss on the cheek. Before I could react she snuggled against my shoulder with her ears back, acting like she was already asleep though by the strength of her grip I could tell she wasn’t. I blushed softly at the gesture but couldn’t be outdone... I leaned over gently and gave her a kiss on the forehead in return. A soft smile curled across her lips as she cuddled me a little tighter.
“Goodnight sweetie.” I whispered in her ear and saw the covers bump as her tail wagged once. It wasn’t much longer before we were both happily asleep.
The next day the three of us woke together, got ready and headed out of the Pokémon center toward the park next to the arena. As we walked I couldn’t help but notice how happy Lady and Luca both looked. They were confident and smiling as we strolled the streets. I knew today would be a tough day though. We were down to the last three rounds of the tournament and if we won our first match we would be in the semifinals later in the afternoon. The finals were scheduled for tomorrow, but with how the girls were looking I had no doubts that they were ready to give it their all. It wasn’t long before we reached the park and our normal warm up. After that I sat back and watched as the girls had some fun sparing on their own.
Lady was still stronger than Luca, and yes she had a type advantage, but Luca wasn’t too far behind. As the time for our match grew closer I had the girls practice their hardest attacks. For Lady it was her new attack heat wave, and for Luca it was her aura sphere. Lady managed to fire her attack perfectly the first try, and once she knew she could do it she continued to put more and more power behind the attack. Luca also managed to fire a perfect aura sphere right off the bat, but trying to power up and control the sphere was proving to be a challenge. Her second try buzzed and exploded in mid air after she’d tried to arc it into a target disk. She looked disappointed and a little frustrated until Lady once again stepped in to help. Luca looked to me and nodded she was ready so I tossed another disk. The Lucario seemed much more at ease as she patiently summoned another buzzing and crackling ball of energy. I figured Lady had simply told her she was trying too hard.
When Luca’s eyes flashed open they locked on the disk. With a graceful spin and a rather impressive growl Luca hurled the ball with perfect form. The sphere flew through the air for a moment before it darted off towards its target at an increased speed and angle. It hit the disk but didn’t stop there… The disk was simply vaporized as the ball continued to hurtle back towards the ground.
“Flamethrower!” I yelled for Lady and a split second later a jet of flame struck the ball, exploding it harmlessly about 50 feet in the air. Stunned I looked back to Luca who had her paws over her mouth. I knew that look and expected what came next…
“Oops…” She meeped before snickering softly. She was so proud of the attack she couldn’t find it in herself to be upset.
“What am I going to do with you…?” I said mockingly with a sigh and a shrug, making her laugh again. “I guess it’s my fault. No more cheap targets.” I said with a smile as she grinned back, wagging her tail. With that I was satisfied they had their attacks down pat so we made our way to the arena.
Along the way I was running over our strategy in my head. I had heard rumors of my opponent circulating and none of it was good. All of them were either about how ruthless or strong he was. I was a little worried at first but with what Luca and Lady had just shown me I couldn’t help but have confidence.
Since we’d done this a few times lately Luca had grown accustomed to the roar of the crowd as we entered, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying it any less. She walked proudly with Lady to places as our opponent appeared at the other side. He was a short guy with spiky hair and a blue jacket, the bottom of which was decorated with lightning bolts. As he sent out an Empoleon and a Rotom his wardrobe suddenly made sense.
“This isn’t going to be easy…” I muttered to myself as I tried to think of a plan. Luca defiantly had the type advantage with her pulse attacks, but that ghost wasn’t going to be an easy target.
All ghost Pokémon had the ability to fade from sight; it wasn’t because of their speed it was just because they were all immaterial. It made them a formidable opponent and unless you could find a way to detect them while they were invisible you wouldn’t have an easy time defeating them. Fortunately the Pokémon had to rematerialize to attack, no one knew exactly why, although some scientists had theories, but something always made them visible again. I’d noticed in her battle with the ghastly earlier this week that Luca seemed to be able to feel out her opponents, but she wasn’t skilled enough yet to use that ability in a fast paced battle.
The judge asked each of us if we were ready and with that once again began the match. Luca and Lady took off using quick attack to close the gap between our opponents, just as we had planned. It was a complete 180 from our previous strategy, which I hoped would confuse our opponent. I usually wasn’t the one to rush in head long but this time it worked to our advantage. He immediately had his ghost disappear and start moving while his Empoleon turned to face Luca. I thought the ghost would be trying to get close to Lady so I told her to jump and fire a flamethrower at Empoleon. She obliged but the immense bird simply sidestepped the blast as if it were nothing, though despite his calm demeanor it was a very close call.
The Rotom reappeared in the center of the field and I saw a grin come across his trainers face. Right away I knew this was bad… I had left Lady wide open! He gave his command and the ghost fired a thunderbolt attack at Lady. Like I said, this was bad, she wasn’t grounded and that meant she would get hit full force. She howled in pain as she took the attack and landed unsteadily, her muscles still twitching softly against her control as she stood there. In the nick of time she managed a quick leap, narrowly avoiding an incoming thunder attack from the ghost.
Meanwhile Luca had the Empoleon locked in paw to fin combat. Empoleon easily deflected her sharp jabs and punches with his huge shield like arms and probably thought Luca was week because of it, but Luca’s strength wasn’t physical... and it was our turn to do some damage.
“Now!” I yelled to Luca and she stopped her jab inches away from the Empoleon’s shield. The penguin Pokémon was so used to the block and parry routine that he barely noticed the missing hit. His shield moved out of the way as he prepared to block another punch, but instead Luca had an aura sphere trained on his chest. Shock flashed in his face as she fired the sphere, sending the massive bird sliding backwards and very nearly knocking him off his feet. Luca smiled proudly as she gave a calming sigh. Her muscles relaxed for a split second before her eyes flashed to the side. With a swift and graceful back flip she avoided a second thunder attack from the Rotom fighting Lady.
Lady soon joined Luca at center field with another leap to distance herself from Rotom. I knew Lady had taken quite a hit but not near as bad as what Luca just did to that Empoleon. Probably the only reason he was still standing was because of his resilient steel type even thought that’s what got him in such a mess in the first place.
With the break in the action Rotom took the chance to disappear again while his teammate regained composure. It wasn’t long though before he reappeared high above the field to launch a thunder bolt attack at the girls. Still side by side they simultaneously jumped backwards, making their way closer to me. I knew they needed some help so I took the chance to offer some strategy.
“Good job with detect.” I said first to Luca, getting a sway of her tail before she refocused on watching the ghost. “Right. Let’s take out Empoleon first. Then we can wait on the ghost. You’re doing fine, we got this.” I encouraged, though I was a bit worried. This guy was going for blood with those thunder attacks… “Let’s go! Quick attack!” I barked, sending them off as a lightning bolt crashed into the ground just a foot in front of me where the girls had been standing.
The Empoleon across the field still seemed a bit dazed by the aura sphere. It seemed a bit strange he hadn’t launched an attack and was still reeling from Luca’s hit, but I forced it from my mind. My girls needed me watching out for them.
As the girls closed in on the large penguin his attitude finally changed. With a roar he planted his feet and swung up his arms for his first attack. The claws on both of his massive arms began to glow as he charged a metal claw. Neither Lady nor Luca faltered though as they rushed him, noting which arm was coming at whom. Lady easily counted his hit with a brilliant flash and swing of her tails. A sharp metallic ping rang out across the stadium as metal claw hit iron tail, causing some spectators to cover their ears.
Luca on the other hand, expertly ducked the claws and with a growl, shoved another aura sphere into the bird’s chest from below. It was a solid hit but the odd angle kicked up a cloud of dust around the battlers. I knew that Empoleon was tough but there was no doubt in my mind Luca had taken him out with that hit. I had to watch for the ghost lest the girls get ambushed as the dust cleared. My efforts were all for naught though. It was an agonizing ten seconds of searching before a crackling dark pulse flew from the dust cloud, followed by a heat wave attack that managed to fizzle away some of the obscuring haze.
Luca knew perfectly well which attacks would be more effective on a ghost, but unless she could hit it they did little good. Even before the dust had completely burned away, Luca and Lady jumped back to about mid field on our side. I yelled for Luca to charge a dark pulse and an aura sphere. She obliged and flicked her wrists quickly, charging the respective attacks. She and Lady were rigid and still except for their swiveling ears, watching their surroundings intently for any sign of the ghost. With just a little bit of the dust still hanging in the air I noticed a static spark.
“There!” I yelled, quickly followed by Luca’s reaction. “Heat wave!” I instructed Lady as my Lucario fired the aura sphere followed by the dark pulse. My Ninetales obliged, growling as she flared her tails and sent a blistering wave of heat in that direction. As I suspected the aura sphere went straight through the ghost Pokémon, but it did its job. The ghost had to rematerialize from the “harmless” strike and the dark pulse exploded in its face as it did. Lady’s attack was next to hit, but when the distortion from the heat faded I couldn’t believe my eyes…
The Empoleon was still up! It rose to its feet behind the ghost just quick enough to use protect after the dark pulse hit. Lady’s attack hadn’t hit either one! The bird immediately let down the shield as soon as the danger had passed and shot a brutal Hydro Cannon directly at Lady. Stunned as well Lady was frozen as she stared at the immense jet of water heading straight for her. Being a fire type the attack would defiantly do some damage, but Empoleon had put way too much power behind it… I yelled for Luca, but she was already moving. Though she was steps away each seemed like a mile as she moved to intercept the attack. With her arms crossed in front of her face she braced herself as the torrent hit her full on.
As the figure in front of her registered my fox snapped from her daze. “Lady get out of there!” I yelled as I realized the ghost had reappeared high above Luca… I knew this was bad. Luca was sopping wet as she was stuck fending off the hydro cannon and the ghost was charging an electric attack! I saw Luca’s ear twitch towards me as Lady reluctantly left Luca’s side. Somehow I could tell Luca felt a little betrayed at my command to Lady. She knew the ghost was up there as well but… there was nothing me or my fox could do to protect her.
“Luca! Endure!” I yelled quickly, hoping she would forgive me for what was coming.
The Lucario’s ears perked at her name and I knew she heard me but even as the water jet weakened a bolt of lightning was halfway to her. The next instant a deafening crack rang out in the stadium as the attack hit, enveloping Luca in a blinding light.
It was agonizing not knowing what happened. If she had managed to pull it off we were ok, but if not she was in real trouble… Lady was horrified as well but as I yelled with a rather harsh tone for her to use fire blast she once more focused on Empoleon.
A vicious snarl crossed her lips as smoke and flames poured from between her teeth. In a flash she unleashed massive gout of flame at the penguin. The Empoleon tried to use protect but seeing the feral ferocity of the fox unnerved the Pokémon and it failed. Green sparks were all that flashed and a split second later he was enveloped in a blistering X of flame. The ground around and between him and Lady had been fused into a glittering glass, a testament to my panting fox’s anger as the bird finally keeled over, unconscious and badly burned.
With Empoleon taken care of I turned back to see if Luca was alright. It had only been a few seconds since the flash but to my surprise… there was nothing where she had been standing. She was gone! I looked around the field frantically before a black explosion of energy overhead brought me to look up. There, about 70 feet in the air was Luca! She had leapt to try and catch the ghost with a dark pulse, and though it had frantically dissipated and escaped her vantage gave me an idea.
“Luca! Hit the arena with an aura sphere!” I yelled. Her gaze flashed to me and with a quick nod she charged the bright blue ball. Astounded Luca was still moving Lady barely managed to scramble closer to me as the Lucario threw her signature attack straight down with a mid air flip.
With Lady mere feet from me the bomb exploded as it hit the ground, shrouding the entire field in a cloud of dust. I couldn’t see much but a dark figure landed about 20 feet away from Lady and I and fell to its hands and knees. “Behind you! Lady, Pin point your heat wave!” I ordered frantically, seeing a spark as the ghost started to reform in the dust like before. I was too slow… Luca froze as I yelled, knowing she couldn’t react in time as the fur on her back prickled with a building electricity.
It felt like someone had stabbed my heart as I helplessly watched the scene unfold. Lady had reacted as fast as she could but Luca’s scream pierced the air as the point blank thunder attack coursed through her. With its focus though, the ghost sealed its fate. Its power expended it tried to fade back into shadow but wailed in pain as the air around it boiled. A part of me was actually disappointed it fainted so soon after getting hit… but that hardly registered as I stared at my crumpled Lucario on the ground.
I wanted so badly to run out and make sure she was alright, but I couldn’t. If I set foot on that field for anything other than self defense we’d be disqualified and all her effort would be for nothing. The dust cleared in a matter of seconds, but it felt like hours…
Finally, the judge the Rotom was unconscious and Lady was still standing. He waved his flag and I was running before the buzzer even sounded. Lady wasn’t far behind but I actually beat her there. Our little Luca was still breathing, but was badly hurt. I quickly scooped her in my arms and hurried out of the arena towards the Pokémon center. Despite our victory and the intense battle, no one cheered. There was an eerie silence as my opponent and I cleared the field. I heard him curse at his Pokémon as he withdrew them and my stomach turned… People like that made me sick, no regard for their Pokémon what so ever. I didn’t spare a second thought for him though as I carried Luca to the center as fast as I could.
Thankfully, as we exited the arena Luca managed to weakly open her eyes and look up at me. She seemed surprised to be in my arms and meekly asked if we had won. I smiled as best I could, but couldn’t hold back the tears in my eyes. Even after taking a hit like that all she wanted to do was make me happy…
“We did, now shh... You’ll be ok.” I answered gently and cradled her close, earning a light smile before she passed out again and resting her head against my chest.
We entered the center where I quickly laid Luca down on a stretcher for Nurse Joy. I knew Lady needed some attention as well so she followed Joy into the back. I knew the girls would be ok but all I could do was in the hall waiting for what seemed like and eon. Sure there were magazines around but… my mind was preoccupied. All I could think about was if I should be putting the ones I cared about through competitions like this. Battling nice people in a friendly competition was alright but the more I participated in them with my girls the more I thought these competitions were too… competitive. Lady had always convinced me she wanted to battle, that it was something that came naturally for her and she would miss if she couldn’t. But now that I had Luca to worry about, I couldn’t help but feel I was wrong to be doing this. If that ghost had really wanted to… it could have killed her. I quite simply didn’t know what I’d do if I ever lost either of my girls in a battle…
Eventually my daze was snapped when Nurse Joy came out with a smile, saying that both of them would be fine and ready to go this evening after some rest. With that she led me into the room to be with my girls. Lady was conscious and as always, happy to see me. She and Luca looked a lot better; I had to admit Nurse Joy did good work. All signs of the battle were erased from them except for one thing; Luca’s paws were bandaged around her wrist spikes.
“What’s wrong with her paws?” I asked Joy softly.
“She had some burns around the metal. They’ll take another treatment later to fully heal but she’ll be fine.” Joy answered and indicated a seat between the beds for me. I took the offer and thanked her for all her help. Joy nodded and left us alone as I started to pet Lady where she lay.
About an hour later Lady gave a soft whine as she shifted her gaze from Luca to me. I knew she was worried but all I could say was that she was ok as I kept stroking the fox’s ears and mane. She seemed to take solace in my words but exhaled deeply as she continued to watch our Lucario sleep.
Four hours later, Luca finally started to stir. She blinked her eyes against the bright lights of the ER and slowly tried to sit up to look around. Afraid to leave, I had dozed off with my head resting on her arm. Feeling the pressure Luca looked over to find Lady and me asleep. She wondered if something was wrong and gently moved her other paw to wake me. She stopped though when she saw the bandages. It was about then that Lady woke and raised her head. Seeing Luca awake she wasted little time leaping to the other bed and giving Luca’s face a liberal tongue bath…
When the bed jerked I bolted upright, pulled violently from my rest by the girls. Luca looked over to me and couldn't help letting out a giggle at my shocked look and red face from leaning on her.
Seeing Luca laugh though made me feel a bit better. I figured if she was laughing already she'd be ok. I was still bothered by what had happened though and I couldn't help but wrap my dear Lucario in a tight hug. A little confused by my emotion it took Luca a moment to return the embrace. "I'm so sorry..." I said sadly as the tears welled up in my eyes. In response I was pushed softly away so our gazes could meet.
“For what?” She whined softly as she looked at me with an innocent concern and confusion. I realized as she answered that I was still holding her paws and my grip had tightened in my regret. I quickly released her but kept my hands gingerly on her paws as I looked down at them.
"For getting you hurt... for putting you in that position... I'm sorry." I said again as I stared at the bandages. Following my gaze she seemed to realize how hard I was taking this and flexed her paws to take my hands tighter.
“Feli...? F-Felix? It's ok. It was just a tough battle. I know you wouldn't do that to us on purpose. Sometimes we have to take hits right?” She said, getting me to look up at her as she dipped her head and said my full name to get my attention. The look in her eyes was soft and caring; she really thought nothing of her injuries as she tried to console me. I knew she was right in a way. It was a part of battling, but I had always managed to avoid those positions in the past, why couldn’t I in that battle and what if it happened again...?
"Are you sure you feel ok?" I asked as I held her paws softly and gently ran my thumbs over her bandages. She smiled back at me and quickly leaned close to nuzzle to my neck.
"I promise and we won right!? So we made it to the semi finals?" She asked, hoping to cheer me up a little more with the results. I nodded softly and smiled at her affections, feeling much better. After that we went back to the room for some rest before our next match. If we won we'd be in the finals, but after taking Luca back down to Joy for her last short treatment I couldn't shake the tinge of unease from the last battle. As we left Joy and a Chansey wished us luck, while Luca walked proudly next to me, hoping her confidence would let me relax.
Still we entered the arena to the same fanfare as before and took our spots. I had been so worried about Luca that I had forgotten to check who had even won the next match. Luckily we were able to win the match without the hardship of last time. Luca and Lady took some hits but not near enough to even faze them. Needless to say I was very relieved the match hadn’t turned out as bad as that damned electric ghost.
After we had been declared the winners, and the first team to enter the finals, we made our way back to the Pokémon center. Joy gave the girls a once over and we headed for our room. I closed the door and turned around to find Luca flumped on the bed, dead tired after such a hard day. I couldn't help smiling at the cute Lucario as well as with pride in their work. Not giving her or Lady time to react I flopped heavily on the bed, jostling them around and rolling Luca into me with a yelp. “We did it! We’re in the finals!” I said happily as I hugged the now softly blushing Lucario. Lady rolled her eyes at my theatrics but waved her tails happily while Luca smiled eagerly and wagged her tail as well. "Thank you girls... I'm glad you're ok." I continued to both of them, reaching up with a hand to scratch behind Lady's ear. Too tired to even respond Lady laid her head down while Luca clung to me, the three of us falling asleep right there with me still fully dressed. As I faded off though I thanked my lucky star for protecting my girls...
The next day we slept in till about 1:00 pm. We were awake before then but none of us really wanted to get up and start the day. When we did get up and bathe the three of us quickly found our energy. By the time we left the center we were pretty wired for the last match. We were only one battle away from wining the whole thing but there was one hitch in our luck. Our opponents were a fighting and a dragon type, which meant we would be at a pretty severe disadvantage. The final round began at 6:00 pm so we had plenty of time to practice and prepare. I hadn't told the girls who our opponents were, but by about 3:00 both of them had picked up that I was worried about something.
Luca was the one to ask if the finals were bothering me, but I knew that Lady was sharing the same concern. So to give the girls a break I took a seat with them on a nearby park bench. I started out by telling them who our opponents were. A Hariyama and a Dragonite, when they heard this they understood why I was worried. We had no type advantage in this fight, and no attacks that would be super effective. As I continued I could see Luca was trying to think of what to do. She was getting to be a pretty good strategist.
I knew there was one thing she could do for us, but I wasn’t going to push her. Luca was capable of learning dragon pulse but to gather and use energies like that would certainly be difficult and we didn't have the time. I knew it would be far too much for me to ask of her. So despite the aid it would give I wasn’t going to mention it. Especially because if I did she would blame herself if she couldn't master it and we lost.
So the girls now knew why I was a bit concerned but it didn’t faze them at all. Luca seemed intent on perfecting her form and Lady wasn't one to disappoint her. I smiled as I watched them dodge and fire their practice attacks. I simply wished I could banish my worries so easily. All I could think of was repeating my mistakes and getting one of them hurt again. I tried to shake the thoughts though and tightened my folded hands, promising myself not to let that happen again, not to either of them, ever again...
As the battle drew closer I helped the girls warm up in what little ways I could. They were looking great, and with them so confident it helped raise my spirits as well. Before I knew it we were back in the entrance tunnel heading towards our final battle. We took our places, as did our opponents, amidst the tens of thousands of fans packing the stands.
As the Pokémon each took a readied stance the judge waved his flags to start the fight and… no one moved. My nerves tightened as we waited to see who would move first. I spared a look over to the Dragonite. He was sizing up Luca, no doubt trying to determine if she knew the one attack that could take him out. I saw as a soft smirk crossed his face. He seemed satisfied she didn't know dragon pulse as his gaze shifted to his trainer to give him a soft nod. Luca knew he was watching her and her ear twitched as she saw the motion but she couldn't have known what it meant.
Luca and Lady lowered their stances, sensing things were about to kick off. Not long after, our two opponents launched into action. Hariyama ran full speed at Luca and Dragonite rocketed into the skies. Knowing their targets Lady kept an eye on the flying Pokémon, but knew to help Luca out first. On my command she fired a flamethrower right in front of Luca, making a barrier between her and the closing Hariyama. The sumo Pokémon slid to a stop, barely avoiding the blistering flames. Luca took her cue though and in a flash summoned as strong a water pulse as she could muster. She saw Hariyama's feet stop on the other side of the fire and hurled the ball right at his belly through Lady’s attack.
The Hariyama was surprised by the flames but a whiff of steam tipped him to Luca's surprise. He was no pushover and he blocked the rippling ball with his massive hands. Just as he did the flame thrower fizzled as my Ninetales leapt into a quick attack to dodge a dragon rage. With her attack neutralized Luca played it safe and back flipped to join Lady back to back.
They were close to center field and right between their opponents… just as we planned… The four Pokémon were staring each other down once again, it was a perfect standoff. Luca lowered her stance and flicked her wrists, ready to begin again. With a dark pulse and a water pulse in hand she held her ground as the Hariyama took a step forward, trying to bait her into attacking. Meanwhile, waves of heat started to emanate from between Lady's teeth as she charged a fire blast in her clenched jaw. I just smiled as I watched, knowing the girls were quietly counting down together. "3…2…1…" I murmured to myself, followed exactly by Luca barking "GO!"
Hariyama reacted with a quick attack to try and close the gap before they could attack, while Dragonite began a steep dive. Rather than attack their beginning opponents though they switched! With an elegant flurry of tails the girls spun and attacked. In a fraction of a second they attacked their confused opponents. Luca fired her dark pulse at the Dragonite while Lady fired a huge Fire Blast at Hariyama. They didn't stop there though. With a paw now free Luca put it on Lady's back as they continued their spin. Luca hurled the water pulse in an arc and as her feet touched the dirt it jolted and rocketed towards Hariyama. Even as the dark pulse bore down on the diving Dragonite Lady let loose a stifling heat wave attack, setting the air writhing with the heat.
Hariyama skidded to a halt as he raised his guard for the fire blast attack that was careening toward him. His hands took the brunt of the attack but it did still hurt him. He unknowingly lowered his guard though and got blasted off his feat by Luca’s water pulse. With a cough and sputter he scrambled to get back up. The Dragonite barrel rolled, managing to avoid Luca’s dark pulse, but the bulky dragon wasn't nimble enough to avoid Lady’s heat wave. The attack clipped his wing, setting him off balance with the change in air density.
With his teammate struggling to recover the dragon had to attack alone. He rolled and recovered from the hit before firing a powerful dragon breath at my girls. Lady knew what to do and I didn’t have to say a word. I stood back and watched as the girls were engulfed in bright blue green flames. Hariyama regained his feet while Dragonite landed and wondered if he had succeeded with his attack. As the flames began to die down though, Lady let down her shield. She had used protect in plenty of time to shield both her and Luca from Dragonite’s attack.
As I watched I couldn’t help but admire the scene as one of the best I had ever seen. Lady was standing proud and regal, staring her dragon opponent down out of the corners of her eyes and Luca was just as stunningly beautiful as she gave the same confident smirk at Hariyama. Lady’s tails writhed through the air behind her and all of this coupled with the beautiful blue green flames surrounding them. Arceus, I wished I had a camera at that moment.
The girls knew it was time to cut the charade and put our opponents on the defensive for a change. The flames died down enough for the girls to get through unharmed and they each took off toward their respective targets. Dragonite flapped his wings to once more make it hard for Lady to get to him while Hariyama took a defiant stance as Luca crouched and ran. Little did any of us know though... this match was about to get very serious for Luca.
She raced toward Hariyama as she charged a bullet punch on her way. She was a blur of white and blue as she came within striking distance. Just then Hariyama’s trainer yelled for him to use Knock Off. I heard the command and at first was confused. I quickly remembered though… The belt I had given Luca for her birthday! Luca almost never took it off so I had forgotten that it actually came off! Just as Luca let her attack fly with a feral growl Hariyama ducked and thrust his huge hand out at Luca’s waist. The impact knocked the wind from her lungs and sent her skidding back a fair distance and tumbling onto her back. As the hit connected though Hariyama had wrapped his hand around her belt and pulled it off. Luca rolled with her momentum, stopping upright and prepared for a second attack, but when she looked up to see Hariyama taunting her with her now missing belt her eyes widened. Her gaze shot to her waist and she felt for what should be there, only to find it really was missing...
I tried to think of something to say but my mind was blank as I watched her heart sink. Her eyes shut tight as tears started to leak into her fur. She stood, about to charge the Pokémon when she opened her eyes but froze as she saw the fat bastard showing her his rump as he smacked himself with her belt... I couldn't blame the other trainer, I heard him yelling for his Pokémon to stop screwing around and attack but the Hariyama was oblivious.
What happened next... I will never be able to forget. Luca's expression was simply shocked for a split second before a feral snarl flashed across her muzzle. I had never seen Luca this mad before... and I never wanted to again. I knew the sweet girl she was but even I was aghast seeing her like this. Hariyama locked eyes with her at that moment and froze himself. The fat Pokémon knew he was in for it now, and was no doubt regretting taunting her. As she snarled her fists clenched tight, alighting in shimmering blue and purple flames, her eyes turned to slits and her irises actually seemed to glow crimson. Everything happened in a fraction of a second before she simply disappeared!
Needless to say I was utterly shocked, and so was every other participant in this battle, crowd and Lady included. Hariyama’s eyes widened and he quickly looked left and right, frantic to find his opponent before she hit him. The crowd had fallen completely silent; Lady and Dragonite had dropped their guards to watch the spectacle. Everyone wondered what had just happened and what was coming next.
Those seconds felt like hours as I watched. Hariyama suddenly froze in fear as he realized there was a blue light emanating from behind him. Luca had reappeared behind the fat Pokémon and was now holding an aura sphere half his size inches away from his back. She fired the enormous pulse which hit him and exploded point blank. Dust enveloped Luca as the Hariyama flew nearly 30 yards before landing and skidding another twenty feet before he came to rest, unconscious in the dirt. Hariyama had dropped Luca’s belt before she hit him but she was to mad to notice. The dust blew away from her form, showing her just standing where she had been with no formal stance whatsoever. Her head was cocked towards the Dragonite with the same sharp stare she'd given Hariyama. Still stunned, the Dragonite hovered in the air wondering what to do to stop her. He never had the chance though as Luca flexed her paws, spreading the digits as she summoned two glowing orbs. Something was off though... they weren’t the same color as her previous attacks, instead they had a greenish tint to them...
Seeing her preparations and having just watched his teammate get demolished he was not about to “let” that happen to him. He flew up higher to give Luca a harder time attacking him and let loose a dragon rage. Luca turned to face the incoming purple and blue flames with an unblinking stare. Her pupils were still furious slits as the attack drew ever closer. Then, with the brunt of the attack just millimeters away she vanished again, without so much as a twitch of movement!
Dragonite looked around franticly, trying to find her before she found him. It was far too late for that though. Again it seemed like eons before something happened when it was really only a few seconds before a green pulse hit the dragon square between the wings. It obviously did a lot of damage to the dragon but that wasn't all. The hit knocked him off balance and into a second pulse that was coming almost simultaneously from in front of him! The shots hit the dragon within a half a second of each other and from out of nowhere! Weakly the dragon still flapped his wings, staying aloft as the smoke cleared from around him, but he was out of breath and barely staying airborne. Panting hard he continued to search for his attacker, completely ignoring Lady.
Lady, and most of the crowd, was absolutely dumbstruck as they struggled to keep up and figure out what was going on. I had managed to figure it out though... Luca had gotten so furious from watching her precious belt get stolen that she had tapped a dormant reserve of strength and technique. She was using extreme speed and dragon pulse, two brand new attacks I didn't think she would be able to learn or control for another month or two at least!
As everyone gawked at the stunned dragon, surprised it was still conscious, Luca was preparing her end game... As the smoke blew from around the Dragonite, movement caught my eye. Luca had reappeared directly under the dragon and now gracefully waved her paws, summoning a violently swirling ball of green energies.
"Below!" my opponent yelled at his dragon, though it was once more too late. The dragon noticed a green aura beneath him and looked down just in time to see Luca perform a walking front flip and hurl the ball towards him. I actually noticed the Dragonite forget to flap his wings as he stared at the attack, mesmerized in fear. The ball nailed him right in the jaw and burst, covering him in another cloud of green haze.
It was all the dragon could take. His head was thrown back and he flipped in mid air before tumbling from the smoke. With a dull thud he hit the ground, unconscious. Luca's eyes were still slits of anger as she stepped purposefully over to where her precious belt lay in the dirt. She picked it up and slid it through her paws quickly, snapping the dirt off of it before tying it tightly around her waist once again. She looked over at the stupefied judge who suddenly turned ridged at the slowly softening glare and raised his flag to declare us the winner. “The victory goes to Luca, Lady, and their trainer Felix!” He said quickly, hoping to avoid the same fate as our opponents.
The crowd was silent at first, but soon went absolutely wild! Lady and I couldn’t believe what had just happened, and both of us stared at Luca as she watched the Pokémon who'd driven her to madness get withdrawn. She didn't acknowledge anyone else though and continued to fiddle with her belt, trying to make sure it wouldn't come off.
When I finally snapped out of my stupor I ran out onto the field and timidly put my hand on her shoulder. "Luca...? Are you ok?" I asked softly, not caring about the tournament at that moment, though I had butterflies knowing we'd just won. She looked up with a start, genuinely surprised to see me there. Her eyes teared up a little bit but she fought the urge to cry and nodded with a sniffle. "It's ok sweetie." I said, giving her a smile and hugging her tight. She was surprised by the gesture but hugged me back for a moment before I decided to show her how much the crowd loved her. I released her from my arms but kept hold of her paw to raise it high for everyone to see. "You did it Luca! You won us the tournament!" I said happily as the crowd's pitch rose to a near deafening roar of approval.
Meanwhile, Lady had made her way over to us. She knew why I went over to Luca first, and was actually glad I was the one to touch her first. She was happily coalescing her tails behind her to show off for the crowd as the three of us drank in the praise. As a final show the judge came out to give us each a metal. He placed one around each of the girl’s necks before placing the last around mine. By then Luca had calmed down enough to enjoy the crowd’s applause. She took it all in, then looked down at the medal around her neck and smiled happily, having never received such a token before.
After that the crowd's praise began to die down and we made our way to the exit. By my choice we left by our opponent’s tunnel. We managed to catch up with him just as he exited the facility. “Hey are you ok?” I asked as we came closer. He turned and gave me a look of surprise. "Are your Pokémon ok?" I continued, seeing he was more than a little confused.
“Ya, they’ll be fine.” He answered, visibly relaxing as he realized why I'd found him. He turned to leave but I caught his shoulder, I still wanted to explain. As I did Luca was shyly trying not to be seen as she stood there behind me next to Lady. I had since removed our medals and placed them in my pack figuring there was no need to rub salt in the wound of his defeat.
At my touch he turned to face me again with a look that suggested he was still ready for a fight. Once I had his attention though I took my hand away. “I just wanted to apologize for what happened.” I said and tried to explain. I turned halfway to reveal my girls, forcing Luca to stop hiding. She bowed her head and apologized as well. By now she had calmed down and was back to her normal self. She was still mad about Hariyama but she did feel bad about hurting him and the Dragonite, and her apology was sincere. I had to translate for her, which probably just confirmed his thoughts about us being crazy, but he waved it off like it wasn't necessary.
“It’s ok; I know Hariyama pushes things too far. He always does and it gets him into trouble, a lot... Anyway I better get going; maybe I’ll see you again some time.” He answered, even giving Luca a soft smirk as he finished. He was a trainer after all. Getting beat by a stronger opponent usually fueled a good trainer to get better.
“I hope so. See ya later!” I answered and gave a soft wave as we both turned toward our destinations.
With the air cleared after our crushing win the girls and I proudly walked back to our room at the Pokémon center. I could see Luca was thinking about what she had done, though she was trying not to show it. Lady and Luca could also see that the same thing was bothering me a little bit, but I didn’t want to say anything until we were alone.
As soon as I closed the door Luca ambushed me, locking me in a tight embrace as she began sobbing and managed broken apologies through her tears. I blushed in surprise at first but quickly smiled as I stroked her softly between the ears.
"Hey... It's ok. No one was seriously injured and you already apologized." I said gently to try calming her down but she was still distraught.
“I-I just... I lost it Felix! Seeing that fat... l-lummox, holding my belt… and whipping himself with it!? I just lost control!” she sobbed as she clung to me. I thought I understood how she must feel but in truth. I had no idea how much my gift had really meant to her. For a long moment I held her and gave a long shush. When she had stopped crying so hard I gently pet the back of her head to get her to look up at me.
"Luca... You did fine. I don't blame you at all. You said you lost control but sweetie you just roughed them up a little bit more than normal. They weren't injured. Ok?" I said confidently and gave her a kind smile. Her gaze was fixed on mine but tears welled up again as I spoke and when I was done all I got in reply was a whimper of agreement before she buried her face in my chest once again. I knew she wasn't giving herself enough credit though. That flash of power she gave off at the start of this mess made me think if she really had been completely blind with rage, Hariyama wouldn’t have survived that blast, and the Dragonite would at the very least never have been able to fly again...
After growing tired of standing I urged Luca to the bed where we sat for a while before she was truly alright. Her cries had lessened to sniffles and with my constant reassurance she seemed to accept that I wasn't mad. In fact I actually got her to smile when I praised her technique and power. She thought it was hollow praise I'm sure but she really did impress me. Lady decided to join in as well when we sat down. The fox came up and nuzzled under Luca's right arm, earning a giggle and some pets. It was the last push she needed to put the whole thing behind her.
However, I knew the fox was a little worried. With her new abilities Luca could probably beat Lady in an even fight. She took solace in the fact that her abilities were still new, though with some training the student might soon surpass the master. While Lady liked being the alpha I could care less who was stronger. I loved my girls the same no matter what. At least... That's what I had always told myself...
Exhausted after everything that happened the three of us tiredly started to get ready for bed. After stripping to my underwear I got under a single sheet, where Luca quickly joined me. Her tail swayed under the fabric as she took my arm and cuddled in close to me. I happily pulled her close and gave her a kind smile. I noticed her ears were back and she seemed to be rather shy for some reason. Hoping it was just the last of her worries over the battle I leaned over and gave her a kiss on the forehead once again. She flinched and giggled softly before she kissed my cheek in return and nuzzled down with her eyes closed tight. "I love you Felix..." She whispered gently to me as she clung; only making my blush deepen...
Already in her spot Lady draped her tails over Luca and I, a warm blanket against the air conditioned room. "G-good night girls." I said to both, but Luca was asleep before I'd found my voice. I didn't know what to say to her anyway. And though she'd said those three words many times before. Once again it was somehow different this time. I wanted to reply in kind but... my voice had failed me. My heart continued to race as I drifted off, dwelling on the wonderful feeling emanating from my dear Lucario, as well as the sensation of her soft fur against my skin...
Chapter End Notes:
Seems I hadn't posted chapter three and four here. Well I hope you all enjoy the triple post today then. ^^;
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of me,Felix9. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.