AGNPH Stories

Luca - 1st Edition by Felix


Story Notes:

This is the first posted edition of my story Luca.
Luca is a special riolu who is given to the trainer Felix. Meant for each other, the two endeavor to make the best of their lives together. However, what is life without trials to make bonds grow stronger?


The next day was uneventful until competition time. We woke up early to cover the last two miles, and along the way I had Luca practice her attacks on some wild opponents we found. We always let them escape but they provided enough of a challenge to give Luca some practice. She was getting very good with her special pulse attacks. I had managed to teach her water pulse and she learned dark pulse on her own, both before she evolved. Now that she had evolved she was getting very close mastering aura sphere. Her fighting skills had also increased, as she had demonstrated in a play fight she started with me along the way. I knew she was ready for a real challenge.

Over the short year that I had Luca she had been in a lot of battles, mostly with similarly skilled opponents. From what I had seen yesterday I knew that she would do well in this tournament, but I hoped that if we did lose she wouldn't take it as hard as she usually did. When we lost she always thought she let me down, and it often took me half a day to convince her that it wasn't important if we won.

We stopped by the pokemon center before heading to the arena, we needed a room and I wanted to get the girls one last check up before we got into a serious battle. When we neared the arena I notice that Luca seemed tense and more than a little nervous. Lady had done things like this with me before and wasn't the least bit apprehensive. Still I could understand how Luca felt; this would be the first time in a mid level fight and in front of a huge crowd no less. She usually loved the cheers from the crowds, but they were always small ones. I tried my best to console her by telling her "Its ok. It's just another battle nothing more," but ultimately it was Lady who managed to get through to her. I wish I knew how, but whatever she said got Luca focused and more determined than ever to show me how good she really was.

The crowd was cheering for the start of the tournament and we were in the first match. We cleared the entrance tunnel and looked around. The cheers of the crowd were almost deafening. I looked over at Luca to see how she was taking it, and wasn't a bit surprised to see that she was enjoying the attention. I stopped on my place on the field and the girls continued out and stopped 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 she was thinking; she always got like this before the battle started. She had a very analytical mind, and often formulated a plan before the match even started. I had a feeling that Luca was also picking up some of these techniques as well, which was confirmed when our opponent entered the arena. Luca realized her opponent was here and locked her attention just as Lady had. I too got a good look at the guy and realized we had fought him the day before. He had no doubt thought about a rematch and probably had different pokemon on him.

Unlike him, and most other trainers, I didn't keep my pokemon in their balls, with only two, I felt no need to confine them. Of course this kind of put me at a disadvantage seeing as everyone knew what pokemon I would be using.

My opponent sent out his choices which, I might have known, 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 knew Luca had a great advantage with her water pulse attack, but I wasn't sure if Luca realized it yet. The judge made sure we were ready and began the match.

Right at the start Blaziken took off toward Luca. Luca wasn't fazed and stood her ground in her typical fighting stance as Blaziken quickly closed the gap between them. I yelled for Luca to use palette punch. Perfect timing, Blaziken let fly with his attack which Luca parried and thrust her shining paw up into her opponent's stomach. Blaziken nearly got sick right there and landed unsteadily before doubling over in pain for a split second, then regained his composure after a few breaths. Meanwhile Lady and Camerupt were having a staring contest. Camerupt was probably waiting for Lady to make her move; 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 pokemon's skin if she locked eyes with them for long enough. The trainer didn't realize what Lady was doing and ordered his Camerupt to use earthquake.

This was about the time Blaziken recovered from Luca's hit.
I realized what he was trying to do and before Camerupt got the chance to react to his trainer's order I yelled for Lady to use quick attack. She bolted at her opponent at full speed.

Blaziken had leapt off of the ground to avoid the anticipated earthquake attack.

Just incase Lady didn't manage to stop the attack I told Luca to jump and fire a water pulse at Blaziken. She bent her legs slightly then rocketed off toward the airborne Blaziken charging a pulse in her paws as she flew. The Blaziken was stunned at the sudden offensive outburst, and it was too late for the trainer to react. Luca fired the pulse at close range, and it collided with Blaziken's arms which he had crossed in a vain attempt at defense. Luca landed and braced herself for the coming earthquake attack but it never hit.

Lady had reacted to fast for the slow Camerupt. As he reared up to release the attack Lady broad sided him knocking him flat on his side. With Blaziken halfway across the arena and pretty beaten up I yelled for Lady to fire a flamethrower into Camerupt's side. She obliged and fired a searing hot blast at point blank, as she leapt back to center field propelled partly by the momentum from her attack.

Luca had managed to land only a few feet away from me and was still watching the nearly unconscious Blaziken that had landed only 10 ft away. I took the opportunity to tell Luca what I wanted her and Lady to do. Luca listened while still keeping an eye on her opponents and when I had finished she nodded her approval and ran in an arc to join Lady near center field. They were out of earshot of their opponents and Luca explained the plan to Lady. I knew that Blaziken was almost out but Camerupt still had a lot of fight left in him, and was only stunned not hurt.

My opponent fell right into my trap. He snickered when he noticed that I had my pokemon together in one place. And yelled for his Camerupt to use earthquake again, then yelled for Blaziken to jump and use blaze kick. Lady gave a smile as well and threw up her protect attack. The shockwaves from the earthquake parted around the teal green shield sparing the two pokemon inside the bubble. Luca knew this was her cue and readied two pulses, one in each paw, I knew what they were but their color was distorted from the shield and made it tough for my opponent to identify them.

Blaziken was closing fast and he knew that the shield wouldn't protect against two attacks consecutively. Just after the last tremor from the earthquake attack passed Lady dropped the shield and jumped off away from Luca. Luca fired the first pulse at Camerupt, who was to busy watching Lady to notice the incoming attack. The water pulse hit him and knocked him out cold with a quadruply effective hit.

After launching the first pulse Luca leapt backwards into the air just in time to avoid the incoming Blaziken. His attack collided with the ground and kicked up a cloud of dust. Luca spun in mid air and threw the second pulse right where she and Lady had been standing. The pulse hit and sent out water shock waves from the center. Blaziken was thrown out of the dust cloud and landed unconscious near his teammate.

The match was over, and the crowd went wild. With the battle over Luca took in the praise and walked triumphantly back to my side with Lady next to her. We exited the arena making way for the next match, and heading for the pokemon center. With the number of battles in the tournament the officials had scheduled the next round for the next day, so we spent the rest of the day taking it easy and saving our energy for our next bout.

During the rest of the day I couldn't stop my mind from wandering. I kept finding myself thinking about how Luca seemed different. I guessed that she was just growing up faster than I liked, and no doubt evolving had had a profound effect on her as well, but there was something else, something on my part that I just couldn't identify. She looked so different to me, yet I knew she was the same sweet girl I had always known.

Later that night we were settling down for the night at the pokemon center. Luca had realized something was bothering me, but hadn't said anything until after Lady fell asleep that night. I realized how obvious it must have been for her to see that something was bothering me. I had also been thinking it was about time I told her how she came to be with me, although I was fearing her reaction and hoped she would understand.

I took a breath before turning to her, and saying "I think it's about time I told you everything." She got a worried look when I said this, but I assured her that it wasn't anything bad. I explained to her about how she had been given to me by a strange guy and everything else he had told me about her, even from the second time I ran into him. After that I asked if she remembered playing with a Lucario when she was still less than 2 weeks old. She thought about it and replied "Vaguely, why?" This worried me, but I continued. I told her that that Lucario was her father. She was quite surprised at this, but not at the fact that I wasn't her father. She had figured that out a long time ago, but had never asked me about her real dad. As I expected she was really taken aback by this. She looked as if her mind was racing, trying to come to terms with everything I had told her. I didn't think there was anything I could possibly say, or do for that matter, that would help her feel better... I was wrong.

Seeing that she was on the verge of loosing it I put my arm around her and brought her close to my side. Her eyes went wide and I think at that moment she realized that no matter what happened she could fall back on me. Her eyes were beginning to tear up and she looked up at me to say a sad "Why?..." I returned her gaze and replied "I asked him the same thing, but he didn't give me a clear answer." She wrapped me in a hug and kept crying. I lightly rubbed her back and told her that we would see them again and when we did we would get some answers. She looked up at me with those same beautiful red eyes. I couldn't resist that face and hated to see those tears in her eyes, so I continued to hold her tight and tell her how much she meant to me and that I would never let anything happen to her. After a while she had calmed down enough for us to fall asleep. She was tired from the battle and from our conversation. She fell asleep holding my arm tightly to her chest, and using my shoulder as a pillow. I fell asleep shortly after, thinking about how great it was going to be having her there by my side for the rest of our lives.

When I woke up the next morning I found the girls already getting ready for the day. I hurried up and got ready my self then we went and got something to eat before heading to the arena. The battle wasn't near as interesting as the day before. My opponent had a Mightyena and a Magneton, which gave us a huge type advantage. Lady had fire over steel and Luca had fighting over dark 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.

There were still too many matches left for them to begin the next round today so we had the rest of the day off again. We spent our time much the same as the day before, taking it easy and saving our strength. When it got to be dusk we made our way back to the pokemon center, and got some food along the way. It was still too early to go to bed so I figured I'd give the girls a nice bath and a massage. Lady loved it when I did this and she quickly fell asleep after I finished with her. I started on Luca who wasn't to sure at first, but she had seen how much Lady had enjoyed her treatment. I began Luca's shoulders and worked my way down her arms. Almost immediately she relaxed and was telling me how good it felt as she leaned in close to me. I smiled and continued to massage her back then continued down her legs and finished with her feet. When it was over she stretched and gave me a hug for no real reason. I returned her embrace then we joined Lady on the bed, but before we fell asleep Luca did something that took me by surprise. As we laid there she reached up and kissed me before saying good night, snuggling down and closing her eyes. I was surprised, but was also happy that she felt she could do something like that for me. Not wanting to be out done I leaned over and gave her a kiss on the forehead and also said good night as we both fell asleep, happy to be with each other.

We all woke up together the next day, got ready and headed out of the pokemon center toward the park next to the arena. I couldn't help but notice how great Lady and Luca both looked, those massages I gave them worked wonders.

I knew today would be a tough day. 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 still scheduled for tomorrow, but with how the girls were looking I had no doubts that they were ready to give it their all. We got to the park and I began putting the girls through their normal warm up before letting them have some fun sparing on their own.

Lady was still stronger than Luca, but Luca wasn't too far behind. About an hour before the match I had the girls practice their hardest attacks. For Lady it was her new attack heat wave, and for Luca it was aura sphere. Lady managed to fire her attack perfectly the first try that day, and now that 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 her second try fizzled out. She looked disappointed and a little frustrated so had Lady give her some advice.

Lady had the innate ability that once she actually fired an attack she could do it again pretty much whenever she wanted, but it did take a lot of practice to get that first successful attack off. She talked to Luca for a while, and after they were done I had Luca use aura sphere again. This time it was bigger than her first success and I actually had to have Lady hit it with a flamethrower to explode it before it hit something. I was amazed, and looked over at Luca who was just smiling happily with a look that said "Oops, hehe." I was satisfied that they had their attacks down and we made our way to the battle field.

I had heard rumors of my opponent circulating. None of it was good; all of them were either about how ruthless he was or how 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 be a little more at ease. We entered the arena as the crowd roared its approval. The girls took their places and our opponent appeared at the other side. He sent out an Empoleon and a Rotom. "Dang this is going to be hard," I thought to myself. Luca defiantly had the type advantage here with her pulse attacks, but that ghost wasn't going to be an easy target.

All ghost pokemon had the ability to fade from site; 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 pokemon had to rematerialize to attack, no one knew exactly why, although some scientists had theories, but something always made them visible again.

The judge saw we were ready and began the match. Luca and Lady took off using quick attack to close the gap between our opponents, just like we had planed. I had changed my strategy from the previous battle and this caught my opponent off guard a little. 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 managed to sidestep the blast just in time.

The Rotom reappeared in the center of the field and I saw a grin come across his trainers face. 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 then landed a little unsteadily, but managed to keep her feet and dodge an incoming thunder attack from the ghost.

Meanwhile Luca had the Empoleon locked in hand to hand combat. Empoleon was having an easy time deflecting her sharp jabs and punches with his huge shield like arms and probably thought that Luca was fairly week. Now it was my turn to do some damage, I yelled "Now!" at Luca and she stopped her jab inches away from the Empoleon's shield and quickly charged an aura sphere. So set in his pattern the Empoleon lowered his arm to look for Luca's next punch. He realized too late that a punch wasn't coming, because as soon as he lowered the shield to see, he got an aura sphere in the chest. The massive bird slid backward, barely managing to keep his feet from the blast. Luca lowered her guard and relaxed her muscles slightly then suddenly used detect to dodge a second thunder attack that came from behind her.

She joined Lady at about center field. Lady had jumped a second time after dodging the initial thunder attack, to put some distance between her and her opponents. I knew Lady had taken quite a hit but not near as bad as what Luca just did to Empoleon. I suspected that the only reason he was still standing was because of his resilient steel type even thought that's what got him into this mess in the first place. The Rotom took the chance to disappear again while his teammate regained composure. Soon after he vanished though, he reappeared high above the field to launch a thunder bolt attack at the girls who were side by side. They simultaneously jumped back wards making their way closer to me. I took this chance to offer some strategy. I told Lady that we were going to focus on the Empoleon first, and told Luca "Good job with detect," then I told them keep it up we were going to win this. I sent them off with a quick attack as a lightning bolt crashed into the ground in front of me where the girls had been standing.

The Empoleon across the field still looked a bit dazed, but I thought something was off. I had yet to see him launch an attack. I put it out of my mind and continued to watch him as before.

The girls were closing in on him and he finally launched his first attack. The claws on both of his massive arms began to glow as he charged a metal claw. He swung them at his incoming opponents, one at each of my girls. Lady knew what to do, all nine of her tails began glowing and she countered his blow with an iron tail. Luca was quick enough to dodge his attack and fire an aura sphere into his chest again. This time a cloud of dust enveloped the three pokemon. I had no doubt that the Empoleon had been knocked out so I turned my attention to finding the ghost. It had disappeared again and wasn't reappearing to attack that I could see. Suddenly a heat wave flew from the dust cloud, followed by a dark pulse.

Luca knew perfectly well which attacks would be more effective on a ghost. Just after the blasts cleared the cloud Luca and Lady both 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, charging the respective attacks. She and Lady were still watching the cloud and their surroundings intently for any sign of the ghost. I saw a spark in the dust cloud that hadn't quite settled yet, and yelled for Luca to fire both pulses at it, and then told Lady to fire a heat wave as well. As I suspected the aura sphere went straight through the ghost pokemon, but the dark pulse collided and stunned the pokemon. Lady's attack was next to hit, but when the attack faded I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The Empoleon had jumped in front of the ghost and used protect just after the dark pulse hit. Lady's attack hadn't hit either one! The bird immediately let down the shield as soon as Lady's attack was over and shot a hydro pump directly at Lady. Lady froze when she saw the immense jet of water heading straight for her. Being a fire type the attack would defiantly do some damage and from the way the attack looked (as if Empoleon had put way to much power behind it) Lady would be hurt pretty bad if it collided. I yelled for Luca, but she already knew what I wanted her to do. She ran as fast as she could and intercepted the water jet with her arms crossed in a defensive position, taking the full force of the attack. Lady was quite surprised at this as she snapped out of her daze.

I soon realized the ghost had reappeared high above Luca. This was bad, Luca was now sopping wet and the ghost was charging an electric attack. I ordered Lady to get out of there which she did reluctantly. Luca seemed a little hurt at being left alone in the crosshairs of the attacks until I yelled for her to use endure. The water jet stopped suddenly and Luca turned her attention upward to the thunder attack that was already half way to her. The attack struck her, but I couldn't make out what happened. If she had managed to pull it off we were ok, but if not she was in real trouble. Lady was horrified watching this onslaught, but I snapped her out of it by yelling for her to fire blast the Empoleon. She got a cruel look on her face and let loose an immense X directly at the bird, pouring all of her anger from watching Luca into the attack. The Empoleon tried to use protect but must not have been concentrating hard enough because the defense failed. He got blasted by the attack, and finally fell unconscious.

With Empoleon taken care of I turned back to see if Luca was alright, but to my surprise there was nothing where she had been standing. She was gone! I looked around frantically before spotting something some 35 ft in the air. It was Luca, she had jumped to get a better view and try to pinpoint where the ghost was. At that moment I had an idea, and yelled for her to fire an aura sphere in the dead center of the arena. She charged the bright blue ball and threw it straight down. The bomb exploded, shrouding the entire field in a cloud of dust. As I said this, Lady quickly made her way back to two foot in front of me. Luca landed about 20 ft away from us and fell to one knee, unable to keep her balance as she landed due to the hits she had taken. As she fell the ghost reappeared directly behind her with a maniacal grin on its face. Luca sensed the ghost behind her and froze with fear, knowing what was coming next. The ghost began charging an electric attack, which would only take a split second to fire. I was terrified when I saw this, and my heart felt like someone had stabbed me. I quickly told Lady to fire a precise heat wave at the ghost. She knew she had to avoid Luca but hit her opponent, but also knew she could do it, and she fired a concentrated blast straight at her opponent just as the ghost let loose a thunder attack into Luca's back. Luca screamed in pain from the attack, and collapsed to the ground as the attack ended a mere second after it had started. The ghost turned towards me and Lady just in time to get hit full force in the face by the heat wave. It too wailed in pain as it was severely burned and fainted.

I wanted so bad to run out to Luca to make sure she was alright, but couldn't because of the rules. The dust cleared in a matter of seconds, but it felt like hours to me.

The judge finally saw that Rotom was unconscious and Lady was still standing and declared me the winner. Hearing this I ran out to Luca with Lady beside me. She was still breathing but was badly hurt. I picked her up in my arms and walked out of the arena towards the pokemon center. My opponent had withdrawn his pokemon and cursed them before walking form the arena to who knows where. People like that made me sick, no regard for their pokemon what so ever. I didn't spare a second thought about him as I carried Luca to the center. As we exited the arena Luca managed to weakly open her eyes and look up at me to ask if we had won. I smiled as best I could, but also got a tear in my eye, even after taking a hit like that all she wanted to do was make me happy. I told her "Yes. Hang on we're getting help." She smiled lightly back before passing out again and resting her head against my chest.

We entered the center and I immediately laid Luca down on a stretcher for Nurse Joy. I knew Lady needed some attention as well and sent her back with the nurse. I could only sit in the hall waiting for what seemed like and eon wondering if I really should be putting the ones I cared about through competitions like this. Lady had always been able to comfort me before, but now that I had Luca to worry about I couldn't help but think I was wrong to be doing this.

Finally Nurse Joy came out and smiled, saying that both of them would be fine and ready to go this evening, but they would need some rest. With that she led me into the room to be with my girls. Lady was conscious and happy to see me. She and Luca looked a lot better, I had to admit Nurse Joy did good work; both Lady and Luca's wounds were fully healed. I went over and sat between the beds where Lady kept her head within petting distance, but fixed her gaze on Luca who was sleeping peacefully.

After about an hour Lady began to whimper as she shifted her gaze over to me. I knew she was worried about Luca, and told her that it was ok Luca just needed rest. Lady let out another whine and continued watching Luca.

Another 4 hours later Luca finally blinked her eyes in the bright lights of the ER and slowly sat up to look around. Lady saw this and leapt onto Luca's bed to give her face a tongue bath. This got Luca laughing as she tried to ward off the sudden attack.

Seeing Luca laugh allowed me to relax a bit, if she was laughing she wasn't seriously hurt. I got up, and sat next to her on the bed with a bit of a sad expression. Lady stopped playing and Luca folded her arms in her lap before asking me what was wrong. I was on the verge of tears when I finally managed to say, "I'm sorry..." She continued to look at me and innocently asked, "For what?" All I could do was stare at her with a blank expression, how could she not know "what". I managed to say, "For putting you in that position! For getting you seriously hurt! What else!" as I looked back down at the floor. She finally realized how hard I was taking this and put her paw on my back. I still couldn't bring myself to face her after what I had just put her through. She began rubbing my back a little and said "It's alright I know you'd never purposely do that. Plus its just part of the battle sometimes we have to take hits right?" She was right in that aspect, but I had always managed to avoid those positions in the past, why couldn't I now.

Luca continued to console me and before long I was feeling a little better. Lady decided to try and lighten the mood and covertly reached a tail around to tickle me. She knew me way to well and found the one spot that when touched I couldn't help but laugh. I managed to stifle the laugh but it wasn't enough and she knew she had me. I still felt bad about what had happened to Luca but there was no use fighting it now. Luca was about to join in on making me laugh when I lunged to try and pin both of them before they got the upper hand. This was pretty pointless as Luca was much stronger than me and managed to easily escape and Lady had nine appendages that I couldn't possibly hope to contain. A split second after I had tried to pin them they had me on my back and pinned on the bed with menacing looks on their faces. I managed to say "Ok...Ok I know when I'm beat!" and they released me (they just wanted to make sure I knew who was really in charge). I wiped my eyes and gave both my girls a hug, whispering in their ears that I was glad they were ok.

We then walked out of the emergency room together. Nurse Joy was glad to see that everyone was alright, including me, and wished us luck in our match as we exited the center, and headed for the arena. After the last match I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been so worried about Luca that I had forgotten to see who had even won the second match. Luckily we were able to win the match without the hardship of last time. Luca and Lady had taken some hits but not near enough to even faze them. I was very relieved that this 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 pokemon center. I got the girls healed up again then we headed for our room.

When I closed the door I turned around and raised my hands. I looked at the girls and said "Well we did it we're in the finals!" This got a smile from Luca who was tiredly lying on the bed and a happy yip from Lady who was sitting on the ground beside the foot of the bed. I knew we were all beat from the rough day so I gave the girls a nice hot bath and another massage. I took it easy with the massages since I knew the girls were most likely sore from the battles. With all of this done we settled down for the night. Luca and Lady both snuggled in close to me to make sure I knew that they didn't blame me for anything that had happened. We quickly fell asleep, with me being the last. As I faded off I thought again of how lucky I was to have them both.

The next day we slept in till about 1:00 pm. We were all pretty wired for this last match, we were only one battle away from wining this thing. There was one problem though. We would be facing a fighting type and a dragon, 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. Luca and Lady didn't know who our opponents were, nor did they know we were at a disadvantage, but by about 3:00 both of them had picked up that I was worried about something. Luca was the one to ask me if the finals were bothering me, but I knew that Lady was sharing the same concern. I sat down on a nearby park bench, while the two of them stood in front of me awaiting an explanation. I started out by telling them who our opponents were. A Hariyama (fighting type) and a Dragonite (a dragon/flying), 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.

Well that wasn't exactly true. Luca would be learning dragon pulse in a few levels, but I wasn't going to push her into learning it so quickly, nor could I. It always took some practice to learn a new attack and this would be no exception. So in light of this fact I wasn't going to mention it to her, because if I did she would most likely blame herself if we lost.

They now knew why I was a bit down, but it didn't faze them at all, and they were soon back to their normal prebattle selves. I only wished I could be that carefree, all I could think of was me ending up repeating my mistakes and getting one of them hurt again. I tried to shake those thoughts off and promised 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 this helped raise my spirits. Before I knew it we were back in the entrance tunnel heading towards our final battle. We took our places, as did our opponents.

The judge waved his flags to start the fight and... no one moved. I spared a look over to Dragonite. He was sizing up Luca no doubt trying to determine if she knew the one attack that could take him out easily. Satisfied that she did not know dragon pulse the dragon turned and nodded to his trainer. Luca and Lady were both on edge and could sense that things were ready to kick off. Not long after, our two opponents took off. Hariyama ran full speed at Luca and Dragonite began flying above the field. Lady kept an eye on the flying pokemon, but knew to help Luca out first. On my command she fired a flamethrower right in front of Luca to form a barrier between her and the closing Hariyama. Hariyama stopped to avoid the sudden outburst. Luca had taken her cue and charged a strong water pulse, and as soon as Hariyama stopped on the other side of the flames she fired the pulse through Lady's attack. Hariyama was surprised by the flames but reacted quick enough to block Luca's pulse with his enormous hand. After Hariyama blocked Luca's attack Lady quickly stopped her attack and dodged a dragon rage attack from Dragonite. Luca had managed to put some space between her and her opponent and Lady used quick attack right after her dodge to get back to back with Luca.

They were close to center field and right between their opponents... just as we had planned... The four pokemon were staring each other down, it was a perfect stand off. Luca flicked her wrists and charged a dark pulse and a water pulse, one in each paw, while still in a fighting stance facing Hariyama. Lady began charging a fire blast in her clenched jaw, and a small trail of smoke began to rise from between two of her exposed teeth. The girls quietly counted down together ... 3...2...1...GO!

Hariyama started a quick attack to try and close the gap between him and his opponents before they could attack, while Dragonite began a steep dive to close his gap. Luca and Lady spun in place keeping their backs together. In a fraction of a second they had reached 180 degrees rotation and fired their first attacks. Luca fired her dark pulse at the Dragonite then put her paw on Lady's back after Lady had fired a huge Fire Blast at Hariyama. The two continued their spin and reached their original positions to fire a second attack. Luca let the water pulse fly towards Hariyama, as Lady fired a heat wave attack at Dragonite.

Hariyama 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 unwittingly lowered his guard and got blasted off his feat by Luca's water pulse. Dragonite barrel rolled in mid air to avoid Luca's dark pulse and tried to change direction to avoid Lady's heat wave, but the heat wave managed to clip his wing. With his teammate down the dragon had to attack alone. He fired a powerful dragon breath at my girls, but Lady knew what to do and I didn't have to say a word. I watched as the girls were engulfed in bright blue green flames. Hariyama scrambled back to his feet while Dragonite landed and wondered if he had succeeded with his attack. As the flames began to die down 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 think that this was one of the best scenes I had ever seen. Lady was standing tall staring her dragon opponent down out of the corners of her eyes and Luca was standing in much the same way with her arms at her sides and the same look as Lady focused on Hariyama. Lady's tails were writhing in mid air, all of this coupled with the beautiful blue green flames made me wish I had a camera at that instant.

The girls knew that it was time to take the fight to our opponents, and get them on the defensive for a change. The flames died down enough for the girls to get through unharmed and they took off toward their respective targets. Dragonite began hovering again as Lady raced toward him. Little did any of us know that this match was about to get very serious for Luca.

She raced toward Hariyama charging a palette punch on her way. Just before she got within striking distance Hariyama's trainer yelled for him to use Knock off. At first I wondered why he would use that attack, but then I remembered... 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 go Hariyama ducked the attack and thrust his huge hand out at Luca's waist. The impact knocked her back a fair distance and onto her back, but as she had flown back Hariyama had wrapped his hand around her belt and pulled it off of her. Luca rolled with her momentum stopping upright and prepared for a second attack, but when she looked up at her opponent she saw Hariyama taunting her with her now missing belt. Her eyes got wide and her attention unconsciously went to her waist, trying to convince herself that this wasn't happening. She realized it was her belt and all I could do was watch as her heart sank. I saw a single tear fall from Luca's eye just before she looked up at her opponent. Hariyama locked eyes with her and suddenly froze. I managed to catch the look on her face and it even scared me. I had never seen this from Luca before. Her eyes were cold, and filled with rage. She stood up straight and remained there for a moment just glaring at Hariyama. The fat pokemon knew he was in for it now, and was no doubt regretting taunting her. Luca was standing in a completely open stance, no apparent guard in any direction just staring coldly at Hariyama, then... she vanished!!! And I mean completely dematerialized! Needless to say I was utterly confused and surprised, and so was every other participant in this battle, crowd and Lady included.

Hariyama's eyes got wide and he began to look around, wondering where she would attack him from. The crowd had fallen completely silent, Lady and Dragonite had dropped their guards to watch this spectacle, everyone wondered what had just happened and what was coming next. Hariyama froze in fear as he realized there was a blue aura emanating from behind him. Luca had reappeared behind the fat pokemon 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, sending the fat pokemon flying nearly 30 yards before landing and skidding another ten foot 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 at that moment. She lowered her attacking arm just after she fired the pulse and turned her head to stare at Dragonite in the same way she had at Hariyama. Luca continued her glare and neatly flicked her wrists charging two pulses, but something was off they weren't the same color as her normal aura spheres they had a greenish tint to them.

The dragon had just watched his teammate get demolished and was not about to "let" that happen to him. He flew up higher to give Luca a harder time attacking him and fired a dragon rage toward her. She turned to face the attack, and stared it down. Just millimeters before the attack was going to hit her she vanished again, without even blinking. Dragonite began looking around trying to find her before she found him. It was far to late for that though and a green pulse hit the dragon square between the wings on his back knocking him off balance and into a second pulse that was coming almost simultaneously from in front of him. The shots both hit the dragon within a half a second of each other! The dragon was still flapping his wings and flying when the little bit of smoke cleared, but he was out of breath and barely staying airborne, and dropping in altitude slightly with every flap of his wings. He was still trying to find Luca and was completely ignoring Lady.

Lady was absolutely dumbfounded and wasn't entirely aware of what was going on, but I had managed to figure it out. Luca had gone up in level, just from watching her precious belt get stolen, and she was using two brand new attacks. Another second after the two pulses hit the dragon Luca appeared below him. The crowd was speechless but they knew what was coming, and so did Lady and I. Luca quickly charged a third green pulse, spun once, then threw the pulse straight up at the dragon. Dragonite realized there was a green glow beneath him and looked down just in time to get blasted in the jaw by the pulse. This was the last hit, dragonite's head was thrown back and he flipped in mid air before falling the remaining 20 feet to the ground, landing on his back unconscious. Satisfied Luca casually but firmly walked over to where her precious belt was lying in the dirt. She picked it up and brushed it off, before tying it tightly around her waist again. She looked over at the stupefied judge who suddenly snapped out of it and raised his flag to declare us the winner. "The victory goes to Luca, Lady, and their trainer Felix!" The crowd was silent at first, but then went absolutely wild. Lady and I couldn't believe what had just happened. My opponent had withdrawn Hariyama after he had been sent flying and tried to help Dragonite but there was nothing he could do. He withdrew Dragonite after a tense pause when Luca watched him drop. Luckily the dragon had landed on his back, and not his head.

When I snapped out of my stupor I ran out onto the field and hugged Luca who had gone back to making sure her belt was on tight. She was genuinely surprised to suddenly see me. While I embraced her I was yelling "You did it! We won the tournament!" She had calmed down a little bit since the end of the match, but I knew that she was still a bit hurt (emotionally). I released her but kept my hands on her shoulders and asked her quietly if she was alright. She was still somewhat surprised to see me but she managed a smile. I knew that meant she was ok for now so I grabbed her paw and raised it high for the crowd. Lady had made her way over to us. She understood why I went over to Luca first, and didn't mind at all. She was happily coalescing her tails behind her to show off for the crowd. The judge came out to us with three metals. He placed one around each of the girl's necks before placing the last around mine. Luca was now calmed down enough to enjoy the crowd's applause. She took it all in, then looked down at the medal around her neck. The crowds praise began to die down and we made our way to the exit.

By my choice we left by my opponent's tunnel. We managed to catch up with him just after he exited the facility. I ran up close to him and said "Hey are you ok?" He turned and gave me a look of surprise that asked "Why do you care?" Seeing that he was a bit confused I asked him how his pokemon were. He then understood why I had found him after the match. He replied "Ya, they'll be fine." Then turned to leave, but I caught his arm, I still wanted to explain. Meanwhile Luca was being shy and trying not to be noticed behind me. I had removed our medals and placed them in my pack. No need to rub salt in his wound. He turned back and looked at me in a way that said he would fight if he had to, but I released him when I had his attention. "Hey I wanted to apologize for what happened." I said and tried to explain. I turned halfway around forcing Luca to stop hiding. She bowed her head and apologized as well. I had to translate which probably just confirmed his thoughts about us being crazy, but he replied "It's ok, I know Hariyama pushes things to 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." "I hope so. See ya later!" I said as we both turned toward our destinations saying goodbye with a wave.

The girls and I proudly walked back to our room at the pokemon center. I could see that Luca was thinking about what she had done, even 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.

When we finally were alone in our room Luca locked me in a tight embrace and began sobbing managing broken "I'm sorry..."'s through her tears. I rubbed her back to calm her down, and kept telling her "It's ok, don't worry." After a while she calmed down enough to realize I wasn't mad. She was still sniffling when she tried to explain what had happened to her. "Just seeing that... fat lummox holding my belt... much less taunting me with it...just got me so angry... I just lost it!" she explained. I understood completely how she must have felt, and the more I thought about it the more I was impressed that she had the self control to not seriously hurt her opponents. If she really had been completely blind with rage Hariyama wouldn't have survived that blast.

She released her embrace on me, and we sat down on the bed together. I still had my left arm around her and was rubbing her shoulder to continue calming her as she rested her head on my shoulder. Lady had come to sit in front of us, wanting Luca to know she was there as well.

Lady was a bit uneasy in the back of her head though. She knew that with what Luca had done today she could beat Lady in an even fight. Lady however knew that Luca's new speed ability did have its limits. Luca would only be able to use the attack about 5 times in a match before she was completely exhausted. Luca didn't know this yet but that would come later when she started practicing again. For now though I just wanted her to know that everything was alright, no one had gotten... seriously... hurt, and no one blamed her for what happened. I knew that Luca and Lady must be tired from the match today, so once Luca was calmed down we got ready for bed. Just like last night Luca snuggled in close to me. Lady had taken her usual spot at the foot of the bed with her tails randomly spread over the bed. Before Luca fell asleep I leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. Just to let her know everything would be fine. She didn't open her eyes but I saw a tear role down her cheek as she smiled, and snuggled in closer before saying "I love you..." and falling asleep before I could answer back. Lady and I were soon to follow, exhausted from the day.
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