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?

Contest Disaster

The next day we set out to get supplies for our next trip. Leaving the current city was defiantly for the best. No matter where we went I could tell we were getting strange looks and many of the trainers were avoiding us. I didn’t mind the absence of challenges but it did hurt me to see people avoiding Luca as if she were a ruthless brute. They didn’t know her like I did, and the only reason she had done what she did was because of that jerk Hariyama stealing and taunting her with the belt I had given her... the one that had helped her evolve! Luca wasn’t acting like her normal self either and I knew why. She had also realized people were talking about her, and not in a good way. She seemed really down and just wanted to slink away, but I knew how to fix that. I put my arm around her, resting my hand on her shoulder, and brought her in close beside me. She knew what I was doing and smiled as she walked. She also began acting more like her usual self. This simple action eased many of our onlookers as well; they saw Luca’s reaction and realized she wasn’t all that bad after all.

With our shopping done we left the city. I had no real idea where to head next; we were at least a month’s walk from home so that wasn’t the best course. The more I thought about it the more I realized we could use a vacation. I knew there was a port city not to far from where we were so I asked the girls if they might like a cruise. Luca about choked with this sudden offer, and Lady just yipped her approval with a smile. I looked over to Luca who had yet to answer, she asked if I was serious and I replied “Yes.” Then she smiled and said “Alright.” At least our destination was settled, and we continued walking down the path. Before long I was getting pretty bored, there was no point in getting any training in with wild pokemon as they were to week to provide any sort of benefit. We just continued walking and as I spared a glance at the girls I thought they looked rather bored as well. I thought about what I could do to shake this, and began walking a little faster when I thought of something. The girls saw I was getting ahead of them and thought that they must have been falling behind. They quickened their pace to catch up, and I sped up again. They realized what was going on so I figured it was time to quit messing around before they decided to catch me. I started running full out ahead of them. This surprised them a little at first, but the smiled as they exchanged looks and began running to over take me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to out run either of them for long but I wasn’t about to let myself get caught! The girls were gaining fast and I spared a look over my shoulder. I saw Luca get a smirk on her face and I knew what she was about to do, the problem was I had no idea what I was going to do about it. My thoughts were confirmed when I saw her vanish from sight. Lady smiled as well and used quick attack to catch us. I turned my attention back to the path ahead and Luca reappeared a short ways ahead of me. Blocking the path in a stance intended to catch me. Lady jumped over both mine and Luca’s head giving the “girl’s team” a second line of defense. I kept running toward them, but started trying to fake Luca out. Left… Right… Left… LEFT. Luca fell for it and lunged the wrong way to catch me. She used her momentum to spin in place and see if Lady would get me. With nine appendages each capable of slowing me down enough for the others to get a hold on me… Lady would be tough to escape from. I figured I had one chance, and if it surprised her enough I might get away. I ran full speed at the waiting fox, and dove to slide underneath her. I made it the whole way past her, but her reflexes were far too quick… a tail quickly wrapped around each of my arms and legs before I could get up, I was pinned to the ground on my stomach and helpless as Luca walked up to stand beside Lady. I managed to turn my head enough to see them; they were both looking down at me smiling menacingly. I laughed and conceded defeat yet again. They too laughed and Luca helped me up, and we continued our way down the path. Every now and then I would poke or prod one of the girls and blame it on the other; they’d laugh and poke me back a short time later.

On our way to the port city we made only one stop in the town just before our destination. We were getting supplies for the last little leg our trip when I saw a flyer. It was for an open pokemon contest. Normally pokemon contests are for those trainers that are aiming for the grand festival. This one was just for fun with a ribbon offered as a prize, but anyone could enter. I looked to both of my girls and asked “Do you want to?” They both replied with an ecstatic yes… of course, what girl wouldn’t want to be in a “beauty show.”

We went to the contest building and registered for the round being held the next day, then made our way to the pokemon center to get a room for the night. I realized that I really had no idea what I was doing except for the most basic showing my first pokemon and battling the other. I figured I should get a hold of my sister and ask her for some pointers.

I called home on the video phone provided at the center, and mom answered the phone by saying “Where have you been!” I remembered after that, that I was supposed to call her every now and then… oops. It had been over a month since I had talked to her and a little over a year since I had been home. She spent a good five minutes telling me everything that had happened at home, then she asked how the girls were. At that point I said “Uh, ya. This might be a bit of a surprise mom.” I had Luca come over to the screen. Mom gasped and said to Luca “You evolved! My god Luca you’re gorgeous!” Luca smiled and blushed under her fur before saying quietly, “Thank you.” Lady wanted to see mom as well and put her front paws on the podium and peered into the screen. Mom replied “Well there you are. I was wondering where you had gotten to Lady.” Contented Lady smiled and got down to let me finish talking. I told mom “We have a lot to talk about, but hold on one second.” I turned to Luca and Lady and asked them to have nurse joy check them out. They knew it was standard worrying on my part and didn’t mind, so they went off to meet the nurse. I turned back to talk to mom. She had a more serious look now and asked how things were; she always knew when something was bothering me. I told her things were fine, and proceeded to explain what had been happening over the past few days, mainly about Luca evolving and the final battle of the tournament. She was rather concerned how Luca was after that ordeal, but I was able to convince her that things were fine now. Next I explained our current situation, and asked if Ashley was there. Mom replied “No, her and Whiskers have been on the road for a month and a half now collecting ribbons.” She went on to say that Ashley had only just called and she was going to enter a contest for fun this evening. This peaked my curiosity and I asked what the town name was. Mom answered and my eyes widened, “That’s where we are!” I said. She laughed and said that I better go find her at the contest hall. In a hurry I said my goodbyes and ran to Luca and Lady who had just come out from the check up room.

They looked at me like something was wrong until I explained what my mother had just told me. They understood and we all ran to the contest hall to try and catch the opening rounds to the contest that Ashley was apparently entered in. The reason I hadn’t entered today was because I wouldn’t have had enough time to prepare. We missed one performer, but managed to catch the rest of the opening round. Ashley wasn’t the first to perform so we got to see her and Whiskers. We yelled and waved, but she didn’t notice us. I had to admit her and Whiskers were defiantly pros at this, their routine was absolutely amazing. I was right to want to ask her for some advice on the subject.

We met up with her after the first round was over, and they had announced the 4 contestants moving on to the next round which, naturally, Ashley was in. Our appearance surprised her and after we congratulated her she asked “What in the world are you doing here!”

Whiskers just looked at Luca wondering where she had come from, and gave a quiet growl at Lady, her way of saying … great you’re here too?... I briefly explained what had happened, and she laughed while saying “Good thing you didn’t enter today huh!” All I could do was agree, with what I had seen her do there was no way I could compete. I asked her if she would mind staying with us for a while and helping me out with my contest tomorrow. She agreed, but asked if I could do something for her.

I was surprised at this; she never used to ask me for something in return even though I always managed to find something to make it up to her. Still, I replied “Sure. What is it?” She explained that this contest wanted the participants to enter a different pokemon in the second round. I immediately saw the problem, Ashley didn’t have two pokemon. Normal contests only had one pokemon as an entry. The officials had made an exception in Ashley’s case, but it would no doubt hurt her score if Whiskers performed again, since the judges had already seen her. The battle round was scheduled to start in 2 hours, and they had told Ashley that if she managed to find a second pokemon for the second round she was welcome to register it.

I understood what she wanted and I really didn’t mind. She asked if she could use one of my girls in the second round. Luca and Lady both looked up at me and I asked if they minded. They both shook their heads no and looked back to Ashley to see who she would pick. I asked Ashley “Who will it be?,” she smiled and said “How about Luca?” Luca was surprised that she was picked, but happily accepted. Lady was a little disappointed, but I told her this worked out for the best. She cheered up a little even though she didn’t know what I meant at the time, but she would understand soon enough.

As I was talking to Lady Ashley thought about something then said in a frantic voice, “Wait I don’t want to show Luca before you do, it would hurt your chances at winning!”

“It’s fine.” I told her. “I was planning on entering Luca in the first round tomorrow.” Ashley understood now, she could use Luca in the second round without hurting my chances in tomorrow’s first round.

We all went to the desk together to register Luca for Ashley’s second round. We then went to the pokemon center next door to get Luca ready for her upcoming contest matches. Ashley soon had Luca looking fantastic, I was rather jealous that I had never been able to do that for her. It was now about 30 minutes till show time and we made our way to a small park to show Ashley some of Luca’s moves. Plus I wanted to see if she could use her new attacks, since the tournament had ended on a bit of a bad note I hadn’t pushed her into using extreme speed and dragon pulse.

I had Lady and Luca take their normal sparing positions and they warmed up before we started having Luca use her attacks. Luca knew not to fire serious blasts at Lady and Lady knew the same for Luca, still they tried to treat this like a real fight and keep up or anticipate each others moves. I had Luca use her three pulse attacks that I knew she already had down. First was dark pulse, then water pulse, then aura sphere. I had Luca use some more basic attacks and without a warning I told her to use dragon pulse. To both mine and Luca’s surprise she charged a bright green ball of energy and fired at her target (not Lady). She looked back at me with a genuine look of surprise. I just smiled back and she continued with her demonstration happy that she had managed to pull off the attack flawlessly. I pulled much the same thing with Luca’s other new attack, extreme speed. I told her to use it but this time she thought about it slightly before disappearing. Ashley and Whiskers both blinked then began looking around confused as to where Luca had gone. Lady however was still focused and tried to figure out where Luca would come from.

This time I managed to see a few small puffs of dust that seemed to come out of no where. Lady didn’t notice these puffs at first but her eyes twitched and she spun rapidly in place charging a fire attack and stopped just as Luca reappeared with an aura sphere in her paw. The two were at a stalemate, Lady had managed to react quick enough to catch Luca in a no win situation, however Luca had managed to do the same to Lady for the first time since they had started practicing together. After a somewhat tense moment the girls let their attacks dissipate, then walked over to me and Ashley. Ashley had made a note of which attacks she liked and also had gotten nearly all of Luca’s others memorized.

Ashley was in the second match so she still had time to talk with Luca and get a bit of strategy down. Me and Lady went and took our places in the stands. When Ashley, Whiskers, and Luca came out onto the field we were the first to cheer for them. Ashley stopped at her spot on the field and Whiskers sat proudly beside her. Luca continued to gracefully walk out to her position. I could tell she was a little nervous and she took a look around at the cheering crowd. She locked eyes with me and Lady at one point; we waved but knew that she couldn’t respond with more than the smile that she gave us.

Her opponent was introduced and Luca focused her attention. Her opponent sent out a Weavile, and I noticed something that only I could. Luca relaxed ever so slightly, a dark ice type would be an easy match compared to the matches I had put her in, after all she had a complete advantage here.

The judge started the match and Ashley immediately had Luca charge a beautiful aura sphere over her head. Luca closed her eyes as she did this then leapt into the air, spinning vertically as she flew. This left an amazing blue blur where the pulse passed through the air. When Luca reached the top of her jump she was upright and facing Weavile, she opened her eyes and threw the pulse at her opponent. Weavile easily back flipped out of the way as the pulse hit and stirred up a cloud of dust. Weavile then fired an ice beam through the cloud where it thought Luca would land. Luca however, had somersaulted down and landed gracefully, much closer to the cloud than Weavile had suspected. Weavile had fired to early with its attack and completely missed, however it did manage to make a temporary window through the dust since the frozen dirt simply fell out of the air. The cloud was beginning to dissipate when Luca landed; she quickly charged a water pulse and fired it through Weavile’s window. Weavile dodged again, but this time straight up while Luca’s pulse exploded out in rings of sparkling water, dissipating the remnants of the cloud.

I felt very strange at the moment, watching Luca from this angle, she seemed so focused and her moves so deliberate. I never imagined that watching her from this angle would seem so different. Lady also seemed surprised at how Luca was battling at the moment, which only confirmed my thoughts about her unusual battle style. The more I thought about it the more I realized that this wasn’t “my” style which was what Luca was used to, it was Ashley’s, which was to be expected and explained why she seemed so different, but not why she seemed so incredibly tense.

Luca watched as her opponent flew into the air and threw a shadow ball at her. Luca gracefully side stepped the attack then leapt into the air, flying directly toward Weavile while charging a second aura sphere. Luca threw the pulse at her opponent when she was about half way through her jump. The blue ball hurdled toward Weavile as she curled into a defensive position in a last ditch effort to endure the attack. It was to late though; the pulse hit and knocked her another ten foot into the air from the top of her jump which made a grand total of 35 foot. Weavile was very disoriented and on the verge of loosing consciousness, she couldn’t get her bearings and wasn’t going to land on her own, and a fall from that height would most likely kill her, especially with the position she was in. She closed her eyes, reserved to her apparent fate.

Luca landed before Weavile’s fall began, and immediately broke her “new” character when she realized what was happening. Whiskers gave a small snort of disgust when she saw Luca deviate from Ashley’s direction. Luca vanished as she used extreme speed. She reappeared just below Weavile, catching the tumbling pokemon in mid air just over halfway through the fall. She then flipped once after catching Weavile and landed gracefully.

Weavile weakly opened her eyes, wondering why she hadn’t hit the ground yet. She saw Luca smiled lightly, and whispered something to Luca before passing out in her arms. Luca then carried Weavile over to her trainer, who withdrew her into her pokeball.

After Weavile was withdrawn Luca turned and walked over to Ashley’s side and apologized for deviating from Ashley’s plan. Ashley smiled, put her hand on Luca’s back, and told her it was ok and that it was the right thing to do. Ashley knew what Luca had said even though I was the only one who truly understood Luca.

Luca had managed to win the match in under two minutes, Ashley and her opponent waited for the judge’s verdict before exiting. Lady and I made our way to meet Ashley and Luca in the lobby. When Luca appeared I couldn’t help myself. I ran up to her wrapped her in a quick hug before saying “That was amazing! You were gorgeous!” Luca looked away as she blushed, but managed to reply “Thank you.” From the tone of her voice I could tell that something was bothering her and I already had a pretty good idea what, but I asked anyway.

“I hurt that Weavile pretty bad, I hope she’s ok.” She replied as she looked towards the exit that led to the pokemon center. Ashley knew she had ordered Luca to do every move in the battle and was no doubt feeling just as bad about what happened. I knew there was only one way to fix this so I said “Ok then lets go.” Luca and Ashley both looked at me, they knew what I meant and we headed for the pokemon center.

When we arrived I asked Nurse Joy if a Weavile had just been admitted. She answered “Yes” and I asked if we could see her owner. Nurse Joy agreed and led us back to where the girl was sitting next to her Weavile. When she looked up and saw Luca she ran to her and locked Luca in a tight embrace. Luca was stunned and just looked at me as if I had an explanation. I was quite surprised as well, but managed to ask the girl, who was practically weeping and was thanking Luca over and over again, if she could explain. She thanked Luca one more time before releasing her and turning towards me and Ashley. She still had some tears in her eyes, but she managed to explain. “If your Lucario hadn’t caught Weavile she wouldn’t have survived, I can’t thank you enough.”

I took the chance to ask her how Weavile was doing. The girl looked over toward her pokemon and said “She’ll be fine she just needs some rest.” I looked past her to Weavile who was sleeping peacefully with her wounds healed; no serious injuries had been sustained thanks to Luca catching her.

Luca still felt bad about doing this to Weavile in the first place. She gathered her courage and put a paw on the girl’s shoulder, before trying to say she was sorry for what she did. After she said her apology she remembered that I was the only one who could understand her, she looked over at me and I took the cue. The girl was a bit confused, but it seemed like she had gotten the message anyway. Just to make sure, and to satisfy Luca, I told her what Luca had said. She seemed more confused when she realized that I must have understood Luca, but was moved by Luca trying to apologize. She hugged Luca again and said “Thank you for saving my Weavile!” as she began to get another tear in her eye. Ashley also apologized for hurting Weavile, but the girl made sure we knew that she never blamed us and was just glad Luca had saved her pokemon.

After our little meeting Ashley and Luca both felt a lot better. As we walked back to the hall I asked Ashley how she got Luca to be so lax in the battle, I said it a bit louder than normal so Luca would here me. She turned toward me with a bit of a hurt expression on her face until she realized I was teasing her, then she just smiled as if to say “I’ll get you back for that.”

Ashley explained that she had told Luca to take it slow and focus on what she was doing. That explained it; Luca had been so tense during the match trying to focus and keep her attention on every little detail so as not to let Ashley down in the contest, that she had put a little too much power behind her last attack. When she finally acted on her own to save Weavile she was able to relax a bit.

I found a short moment to talk with Luca alone before her and Ashley went back on. I told her “Just relax, Ashley’s style may be different, but she’s no worse than me.” From what I could tell our talk had calmed her down a lot and she was feeling more comfortable for the next round. Unbeknownced to me Ashley was already planning on speeding things up a bit for the next round.

Lady and I left Ashley and Luca at the entrance and went to find our seats. I hadn’t paid attention to who their next opponent was so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The crowd went wild for Luca, Ashley, and Whiskers as they entered the stage waving. I looked over as their opponent entered the stage. Something about this guy seemed familiar, and he seemed surprised to see Luca on the other side of the field. Just then Lady whined, lowered her head onto my leg, and looked up at me. When the guy released his pokemon I suddenly realized why. My heart sank and I flashed back for a second to the scene of Luca getting electrocuted by Rotom in the tournament. The same electric ghost was floating opposite Luca on the field! I looked over at Luca to see how she was taking this. She was simply frozen, obviously thinking of the same scene I was.

Ashley called her name to snap her out of it. Luca shook her head once then got a serious look on her face, and assumed the fighting pose she usually took for me. Ashley hadn’t planned this but decided to let it go, she could tell something was off and Luca needed more of her normal focus to fight this opponent. My only consolation was that the ghost’s companion Empoleon wasn’t there to take hits this time.

The battle started and the ghost began sparking as it charged a thunder attack. It also began to float menacingly toward Luca in an attempt to scare its previous victim. That was a bad move on its part; Luca was not one to be scared by the same trick twice. Luca held her ground and flicked her wrists charging two half power dark pulses. Luca then pulled out her new trick; she vanished, which got a look of genuine surprise from the ghost. Rotom was still sparkling with electricity but was now at a loss as to where its opponent had gone. Suddenly a dark pulse hit the ghost from behind as its trainer yelled for it to look out at the same time. The ghost turned to face Luca but was again confused when he found no one there. I looked close at the ghost, who had suddenly stopped moving. I saw that it had the same scared look that Luca got when it had shocked her in the tournament. It was terrified for some reason, and I soon found out why. Luca faded into sight behind the ghost with an… aura sphere?... aimed at the ghosts back. Now I was confused, a fighting move like aura sphere would have no effect on the ghost, which I realized soon after was the point. The ghost’s eyes widened as it realized there was a blue aura emanating from behind it. Now the positions were reversed. Luca fired the pulse and the ghost shut its eyes tight as the pulse flew straight through it stirring up a cloud of dust. Luca jumped into the air after firing the aura sphere, and beautifully charged a water pulse as she flew.

I spared a glance over to Ashley and realized that SHE was doing this. No doubt Luca was adding her own little twists to it but Luca’s moves were, for the most part, being dictated by Ashley. At first I thought Luca had some kind of grudge with this ghost, but I was extremely relieved to know that Ashley was behind most of the treatment.

Luca fired the water pulse when she reached the top of her jump. The pulse hit where the ghost had been, sending waves of water out in all directions clearing the dust from the air, but the ghost was no where to be seen. It had taken the chance to go invisible and move to try and regain control of the match. With the waves of water radiating out some water was bound to hit it no matter where it was.

Ashley saw it first, but Luca was only a split second after, a small spark near the center of the arena. Ashley pointed and yelled her attack. Luca twisted in mid air doing a 360 while charging a full power dark pulse in both paws. When she reached the end of her spin she threw the pulse as fast as she could where the spark had appeared. Luca spun again and righted herself just in time to land perfectly. She slowly stood up from her crouched landing position and stared the ghost right in the face with a cold stare. The ghost was hovering where it had gotten hit locked in a stare with Luca, probably wondering how she had become so much stronger in so little time. The ghost was floating fairly unsteady and was out of breath (ya ghost I know…). Before long the tired ghost fell unconscious and slowly drifted to the ground.

Lady and I were the first to cheer when they declared Luca the winner, she had done it! She had won the very first contest she had ever been in. We watched the ribbon presentation ceremony and left a little early to catch Ashley and Luca at the hall exit to congratulate them. When they finally appeared I ran over and hugged Ashley while congratulating her as Lady tackled Luca, pinning her on the ground and licking her furiously. Luca laughed and tried to wrestle free and fight off nine tails at the same time let alone an additional tongue. I could tell Ashley was glad she managed to win with Luca and was also happy she got to show her, even though it was probably a one time thing.

We all eventually calmed down enough to head back to the pokemon center where we were both staying. We called mother as soon as we got there and told her all about it. Luca was beaming the entire time, extremely happy that she had helped Ashley and made me proud at the same time. We went to my room first and Ashley noticed that there was only one bed. She asked why and I told her that Luca and Lady preferred to sleep with me. She thought it was a bit strange at first but remembered how close Lady and I were, and figured I was probably getting the same way with Luca.

We were soon talking about how I should get ready for my contest the next day. I already knew I would be using Luca in the first round and Lady in the second. Ashley thought that was the best thing to do and reminded me to give a good show in the second round even though it is a battle it’s still judged as a bit of a beauty pageant, and if I lost all my points it wouldn’t matter if I could win the battle.

With basics out of the way I asked about the first round. Ashley responded “That’s the hard part. You have to make every attack look as good as possible and amaze the crowd at the same time.” She had some ideas, since she knew what Luca could do. I liked to think I had surprised her with a few of my ideas but she’d probably already thought of them. She also told me that it was good practice to limit yourself to a ten attack maximum and a 5 minimum. Any more and the routine gets long and boring, any less and it’s not a good demonstration of your pokemon’s skills. With a few more strategic pointers that I felt we were ready. Luca was listening intently to this whole thing and even offered a few ideas which Ashley seemed to like.

Ashley told me she had one more thing she wanted to do and asked if Luca and Lady could come with her for a while. I was a bit confused but knew that Ashley would never do anything bad to my girls so I agreed. As they left the room I sarcastically said “Good Luck you two!” to Luca and Lady which got a look of disgust from Ashley and the 3 pokemon following her, but I saw Luca snicker when she was out of the room.

While the girls were with Ashley I got ready for bed. She was taking her time doing who knows what, and I accidentally fell asleep before the girls came back, little did I know that I was in for quite a surprise when I woke up the next day.

I was awakened rather rudely the next day. Ashley tossed Whiskers on top of me while I was sleeping, and I suddenly woke with 16 sharp claws in my chest. I instantly sat up clutching the lightly bleeding wounds on my bare chest while Whiskers jumped down happily and took her place beside Ashley. I gagged when I finally opened my eyes to see Luca and Lady standing on either side of my sister snickering a little. Lady’s fur had a glossy shine and was as soft as silk, and Ashley had given her a blue scarf to wear. Luca was absolutely stunning as well, her fur had the same glossy sheen and was the softest I had ever felt it, plus there was something else, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. All I could do was sit there and gawk at how beautiful they were. Luca blushed lightly and looked away when she realized I was looking mainly at her. Ashley tried to snap me out of it by saying “Well what do you think, and pick your jaw up off the floor you dumb boy!” I managed to stop staring stupidly at my girls and started getting ready for the day. When I did Ashley turned to the girls and said “Well lets go get some breakfast.” They turned to head out the door; Luca was last in line and before she left the room I managed to say “Luca wait!” which got her to come back into the room with me. I made my way over, still only half dressed, and took her in for another second before finally managing to utter “You look absolutely gorgeous!” She blushed heavier this time, it was a bit hard to tell with her fur but I knew. She also looked away and quietly said “Thank you”. I couldn’t help myself any longer I wrapped her in an embrace and said “You never cease to amaze me, God I love you!” She was a bit surprised at what I said, but returned my hug and began to get tears in her eyes. I released her and wiped her eyes for her, then said “We better get going before Ashley gets to impatient. Just remember, I love you no matter what happens.” She looked back at me with those red eyes I loved so much and replied “I love you too!” before hugging me quickly again and running downstairs with a happy smile, to catch Ashley while I finished getting dressed.

I soon joined them downstairs where we finished wrapping up little details in my strategy. After me and the girls felt confident I asked Ashley what she had been doing for the past month and what she was planning on doing after this. She tried to think of the best way to explain and pulled out her ribbon case for this contest season. I wasn’t a bit surprised to see she had four of the five ribbons needed to enter the grand festival. From what I saw yesterday these ribbons where probably a breeze for her to win. She said she needed one more, but didn’t know where she was going to get it. Most of the places with that level of ribbon were fairly far away.

I knew she didn’t like to walk to places like I did, which got me thinking. I pulled out a guide book I had picked up at the tournament, and flipped through to the contest halls page and the cruise destinations page. Sure enough one of the ships at the port city we were headed for was going to a city with a contest hall holding a contest for a fifth level ribbon. I pointed it out to Ashley and she started to think about it as she glanced at the clock. “Jese we gotta go!” she exclaimed and I looked at the time. It was ten minutes till my contest started! We all ran next door to the contest hall and made it just in time. Ashley wished us luck and went with Whiskers to find a seat.

Opening ceremonies were pretty boring; we only had to stand there while they introduced us then dismissed us together. Luca and I were up second so we didn’t have long to wait after the ceremony. When they introduced Luca and me, I walked out with Lady beside me. The crowd was waiting for me to throw a pokeball to release Luca but that wasn’t my style. Lady and I took our place in the trainer square and soon after Luca faded into view in the center of the stage kneeling on one knee. The crowd went nuts at this and Luca slowly stood up to give the crowd a good look at her shining coat. With the crowds encouragement I had Luca fire a dragon pulse straight up from her position followed by a water pulse which was thrown a bit faster than the first. The two exploded high above the arena with a loud sizzling noise and shot out shining water droplets mixed with small green flames that cascaded around the entire field. Luca finished spinning from her elegant launch of the spheres and I told her to start using Dark pulse. She began to dance in a way while charging small dark pulses, and threw them lightly into the air where they popped spreading multi colored sparks in the air mixing with the water and flames from the previous attacks. With one last dark pulse thrown up as the first two attacks faded Luca stood center stage again, but this time with her feat at attention and her arms raised high in the air. I told her to charge a dark pulse and aura sphere, which she gladly did with her eyes closed the whole time. Luca knew what to do now, so I let her take over. Without an order from me she smiled and opened her beautiful eyes to the crowd before disappearing quickly. The crowd thought things were over, but that was far from the case. Two pulses suddenly shot from opposite ends of the stage and exploded high above center stage. Luca then reappeared right where she had started in her attention position with her hands raised as bright blue and black sparks cascaded beautifully down around her from the pulses collision. She took a bow after the sparks had cleared and gracefully walked over to stand beside me. The crowd was almost deafening now as it cheered its approval for Luca’s performance.

Once we heard the judge’s verdict the three of us took one last bow and exited the stage. The results wouldn’t be up till later so we took it easy for a while and got Lady ready for her matches if we managed to make it. Ashley didn’t meet us outside. She preferred to watch my opponents to size up the competition.

When the last contestant had performed Ashley found us in the small park next to the building, warming up for Lady’s match. I found it hard to start Lady’s practice. She looked so beautiful I really didn’t want to ruin it by getting her dirty. I suppose it couldn’t be helped, but I did want to keep her as clean as possible for her match.

Ashley came up and told us that the 4 people that were advancing were about to be announced. So we all went inside to see if we had made it. Ashley didn’t seem the least bit worried, which seemed odd to me, but was fairly comforting at the same time. They began announcing the winners… 1st … 2nd “Luca and her trainer Felix!”… 3rd and 4th. We had done it, and in second place no less! When I heard our name I turned to Luca and hugged her tight, she was just as excited and returned my embrace. Ashley was excited as well and congratulated us on advancing. Perhaps the happiest of all of us was Lady; she would get to show off her moves now that we knew we were advancing.

Now that we knew we were in the next round Ashley was firing tips at me left and right. Foremost was that I shouldn’t rush in and go for a knock out. If the other pokemon managed to steal enough of my points we wouldn’t last till the knock out. With all these things Ashley was telling me I couldn’t help but realize that this contest thing was actually pretty complicated. I found myself a little tense trying to remember everything Ashley had told me as the girls and I made our way back to the stage for our match, but for some strange reason when I reached my spot on the field my mind went clear.

This time Luca remained at my side while Lady gracefully walked out and sat in her place on the field with her tails cutely weaving through the air in every direction. My opponent soon appeared and sent out an Absol. Luca knew she would have had a type advantage but wasn’t worried because Lady was no push over. The judged made sure we were ready and started the match. Lady stood up and took a fighting stance. Her tail’s pace quickened and now looked like they were writhing, searching for a target to attack. Absol ran towards Lady at the start, and jumped at mid field to launch a razor wind at Lady.

I told Lady to use quick attack and she took off with a glistening white vapor trail. After her initial dodge lady continued her attack by moving in an increasingly larger zigzag pattern. She then reversed direction and rocketed directly toward Absol, broad siding the pokemon just before it landed. Absol managed to keep his feet and back flipped to dissipate his momentum landing on all four feet. Lady continued to focus on her opponent while I contemplated our next move. Of course Absol wasn’t going to wait, and he jumped into the air again and began charging a dark pulse. I thought of an attack plan and ordered Lady to get under Absol and fire a heat wave straight up. She obliged, but Absol kept a bead on her. When Lady stopped and fired her attack Absol threw his pulse straight down. The two attacks collided midway between the two pokemon. Absol continued his flight to land opposite the field from Lady. Meanwhile Absol’s attack didn’t explode, but floated like a buoy on the waves of heat from Lady’s attack. Seeing this I then had lady stop her attack and told her to use Iron tail. Lady knew what I meant by this and took the hint. Absol used quick attack when Lady stopped using heat wave, and when Absol heard me yell Iron tail he suspected that Lady would come at him with tails aglow. Much to Absol’s surprise his own dark pulse came flying his way. He was surprised by this but still managed to quickly sidestep the attack just in time. He refocused his attention and his head piece began glowing. I knew this could be one of many attacks, some of which would hurt badly with an Absol using them and this Absol seemed to use a little too much power in his attacks. I told Lady to dodge, but it was too late. As she tried to jump away Absol hit her with his attack, nailing Lady square in her right side. Lady yelped in pain as the critical hit slammed full force into her. She didn’t land on her feat; instead she landed on her side and slid a painful five foot before stopping herself. I got a sharp pain when I heard her yelp, but couldn’t afford to worry about her now lest I get her in a worse situation. I yelled for her to use quick attack when she stopped. Lady heard my command and streaked out of the way of Absol’s follow up attack. Before she put to much distance between her and her opponent I yelled for her to jump and use fire blast. She did exactly as I told her and fired a full power fire blast at Absol only five feet from where she dodged and 10 foot above. The searing hot X flew from Lady’s mouth and hit Absol leaving a scorched X in the dirt with Absol’s silhouette in the center. Amazingly Absol was still standing with some places of its fur slightly scorched. Apparently he had found a way to weaken Lady’s attack before it hit him. I hadn’t seen how but maybe Lady had. Lady landed gracefully but winced in pain at the hit she had taken. The two pokemon began a staring contest waiting for the next move or command, but just then, the buzzer sounded.

“No way it’s been five minutes already!” I thought to myself and looked up toward the score board. As it turns out weI had managed to drain Absol’s points in just 2 minutes. The judges gave their verdict and the crowd cheered. Lady looked around when the buzzer sounded and once the judges had given their verdict she began walking over to me. When I saw this I met her half way. I could see she was in quite a bit of pain as she tried to yip to show how happy she was that she had won for me. Sadly she was too big for me to carry to the center. I reluctantly pulled her pokeball out and withdrew her. She gave me an understanding smile as she disappeared in a flash of red. Absol had made his way back to his trainer’s side. My opponent gave a nod to me when I looked up from withdrawing Lady. I wasn’t sure whether to take his gesture as one of insult or respect. I’d make sure to ask him if I saw him again. Luca knew I was worried about Lady and she kept right beside me as we walked to the pokemon center, I couldn’t bring myself to reattach Lady’s ball to my belt thought. I carried it the whole way and most of the time just stared at it while I walked. Ashley met us at the entrance and congratulated us quickly before asking how Lady was. That was one of the times I looked away from her ball and said “I’m not sure, but I hope she’s ok.” Luca took the chance to put her paw on my shoulder to try and cheer me up. It worked a little and we continued to the nearby pokemon center.

I gave Nurse Joy Lady’s pokeball as soon as we entered the building. She hurried back and began checking Lady over while me and everyone else waited for the results in the lobby. Before long Nurse Joy came back out and handed me lady’s empty pokeball. I asked how lady was and Nurse Joy smiled and said “She’ll be fine, she has three cracked ribs, but with some rest she’ll heal in no time.” I was relieved to hear this, but had to ask if Lady would be able to participate in the next round of the contest. Nurse Joy got a somewhat concerned look on her face, but soon answered “Yes, if you have a full restore potion to use before and after the match.” Luckily I always carried more than what I needed in the way of potions and I had four full restores on me. After that the nurse led us back to see how Lady was. She was sleeping peacefully so we decided to let her get some rest.

While we let Lady sleep we decided to get some food. I brought some back for Lady, who was just starting to wake up as we came through the doors. She was still a bit dazed from what ever medicine the nurse had used, but still managed to smile when I came over to her side and pet her head. I asked her if she was ready to win this contest. She stiffly and sorely sat up and yipped her agreement. I gave her the food we had brought for her and when she was done we made our way back to the contest hall. Ashley wished us luck as she left us at the stage entrance to go find a seat. Before entering the stage I knelt down and used a full restore on Lady. She looked much better than she had at the end of the last match, but I was really hoping this match wouldn’t be too hard on her. Luca was with us as usual and I was sure she wanted to make sure Lady didn’t get hurt just as much as I did.

When I had finished applying the potion the three of us entered the stage floor and took our places. This time we were the slow ones; my opponent was already in his place and had called out his pokemon by the time we appeared on the floor. When I finally took a look at his pokemon I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Our opponent was a Scizor, a steel/bug type, this left us with a huge type advantage, and with any luck this wouldn’t take long. The judge started the match and Scizor began hovering with its wings. It was only floating a few inches above the ground, but it was moving with incredible speed especially for how much it weighed. As Scizor hovered it began moving in a seemingly random pattern. I realized that this wasn’t going to be near as easy as I first thought, and a major problem was getting a bead on this pokemon. Luca had the speed to keep up with Scizor, but I could be disqualified even if I only asked her for help watching Scizor. I kept trying to think of a plan while Lady continued to try getting a lock on Scizor. She was having almost as much trouble as I was. I knew with Scizor hovering that ground moves wouldn’t have an effect; our only chance was to try and slow it down with some kind of fire move. After a few rounds of its pattern Scizor made a move to attack Lady. Lady had figured out enough of Scizor’s pattern to know that he had now broken it, at this time I thought of something that might help our situation. Lady was ready to go as I yelled my command “Lady, use fire spin around yourself!” She understood perfectly and through up a gigantic vortex of flames around her position.

Scizor immediately began trying to reverse its momentum before it hit Lady’s pillar. Scizor managed to stop mere inches before the vortex and flinched from the heat of the flames. I knew this was our chance and I yelled for Lady to use flamethrower, hoping that she remembered which direction Scizor had come from. Luckily she had and a flame jet burst from the vortex just in front of Scizor who had managed to back two foot away from the vortex. Scizor saw the attack coming, but it was far too late to dodge it. He crossed his claws in front of him and took the full force of Lady’s attack. I then yelled for Lady to use dig, which she did and disappeared underground as her fire shield finished its 5 second show. Scizor regained its composure after a short time and began hovering in its pattern again, but at only at two thirds of its original speed. We had succeeded in dealing some damage and slowing it down slightly. Scizor was looking around the field wondering where Lady would come up. A short time later Lady popped up on the opposite side of the arena from Scizor, which actually surprised the bug who was expecting an actual attack. I yelled for Lady to use quick attack and she rocketed off straight towards Scizor. Scizor was unfazed and began rushing Lady as well, just as its trainer had told it to. I saw Scizor’s claw begin to glow and knew what was coming. I thought this might be a nice time to get Lady to use her new combination. I yelled for her to use iron tail’S. She smirked a little and knew what I meant. She began charging her iron tail attacks by making one tail at a time start glowing.

This idea had come to me as I watched Luca get pinned and assaulted by Lady’s tails. I thought why not use that to our advantage and we started practicing this move a while back. Luca was also surprised at Lady’s new move and looked over to me with a surprised look, before smiling at me and turning her attention back to the battle.

The two pokemon released their attacks. Scizor thrust its shining claw at Lady, but Lady blocked it with one tail and a loud metallic clang. A split second later Lady brought her second tail around. Scizor blocked her second tail successfully with its other claw, but he was now out of limbs… Lady brought her other seven tails around to continue the onslaught; Scizor managed to dodge two of the attacks by squirming in the close quarters, but took the rest full force. The iron tails didn’t do much damage to Scizor as he was a steel type, but his contest points were draining quickly. As Lady’s last tail flew to knock Scizor in the head he bent backwards to dodge and back flipped away form Lady before she could continue pummeling him. Unfortunately this attack took a big toll on Lady as well. Charging that many attacks at once and keeping the mental focus to use them all at once was a tough job, and put an enormous strain on her both mentally and physically.

Both pokemon were very worn out now and stood staring defiantly at each other while breathing heavily. After a short time I yelled for Lady to use quick attack. She gave me a quick glance and realized I wanted her close to me. She took off in a random zigzag pattern towards Scizor as he began hovering again. Lady managed to covertly end her attack right in front of me. Scizor continued to hover in his pattern as I took the chance to converse with Lady. I told her I wanted her to have a flamethrower ready and when I had her use quick attack I wanted her to swerve to get behind Scizor. Lady gave me a glance out of the corner of her eye and nodded her approval, before turning her full attention back to Scizor, and flattening her ears. With Lady caught up on my plan I told her to use quick attack again. She lunged out toward where Scizor was most likely going to stop next. Sure enough the bug stopped there and began its own quick attack. The two pokemon flew towards each other once again, but Scizor had no idea what Lady was about to do. When they were nearly on top of each other Lady swerved quickly and ducked just to Scizor’s left, spinning around to face the bug’s back. She fired her Flamethrower as Scizor spun to face her. Scizor only had a split second to react but to my surprise he managed to pull it off. He bent backwards and just as he was about to loose his balance he began floating on an air cushion created by his still beating wings he was now floating completely horizontal to the ground. He had very little room to maneuver but still spun to attack Lady. I watched in horror as Scizor got a serious look and charged his left claw with an attack. I yelled for Lady to use protect as a tear began blurring my vision. It was too late, and Scizor’s claw hit Lady’s right side with a sickening crack. Lady hit the ground and slid ten feet, limp and unconscious.

I wasn’t going to wait for the judge to declare the match this time. I knew it was over and didn’t care if they penalized me further. Luca was just as worried as me and we ran to Lady together to kneel beside her. She was hurt bad, and wasn’t moving. A trail of blood had begun to flow from her open muzzle. My heart sank, but my unconscious mind was still acting quickly. I grabbed Lady’s pokeball and withdrew her immediately. When she was inside I stood up and handed the ball to Luca and said “Use extreme speed, get her to Nurse Joy, NOW! Me and Ashley will meet you at the center, and stay with her if you can!” Luca nodded with a scared and serious look then vanished.

I then turned and shot a look at Scizor. I could tell he saw I was extremely upset, lucky for him I was a nice guy or I probably would have had Luca continue the fight as payback. After that short look I turned and ran from the field as fast as I could. I hadn’t notice but the crowd hadn’t said a word, they saw Lady get hit and fall limp, and the entire hall went completely silent, even the judges didn’t know what to say as they watched the events unfold.

Ashley and Whiskers both met me at the contest hall exit, and asked me if Lady was alright. I continued running as they joined me. I did manage to say “I don’t know.” and Ashley decided it was best not to ask again. The three of us burst through the pokemon center doors and ran to meet Luca who was sitting by the ER doors holding Lady’s pokeball in her paws. I knew this wasn’t good, and asked Luca what the nurse had said. She looked up at me with eyes full of tears and said “She only told me that it looked bad.” I knew it was bad when I had seen her get hit, but somehow this feeling was infinitely worse. My legs gave out and I knelt on the floor near Luca, frozen completely. I couldn’t think of what to do next, couldn’t get mad, couldn’t cry, nothing… Ashley quickly helped me onto the bench with Luca, but all I could do was stare at the ground with my elbows on my knees and cradling my head in my hands, eventually my eyes finally cooperated and a few tears fell to the floor. Luca continued to cradle Lady’s ball in her paws and just stare at it with tears in her eyes as well. Ashley knew there was nothing she could do for me so she tried to help Luca feel better. All I could think of was what if questions to ask myself, “What if she died, because of me! What if I never saw her again! I’d be haunted by this for the rest of my life if something happened to her!”

After an agonizing two hours the ER light flicked off and Nurse Joy finally came out to talk to us. Luca and I both stood up to face her, Luca clutching Lady’s ball to her chest. Nurse Joy began to explain “It’s not good. What ever happened broke her three previously cracked ribs plus one more. One of the ribs punctured a lung and she has a dislocated right front shoulder.” I could just feel Lady slipping away from me until the nurse continued “However her vitals are stable and she looks like she’ll be alright, but she needs time to heal.” Both Luca and I released our breath, which we had unwittingly been holding the entire time. I got a wave of relief from that last part, Lady would be ok, even thought it would take a while. Nurse joy said one last thing to us before leaving us. “She is sleeping at the moment and I don’t want to disturb her. This is going to be tough for her as well, I hope you understand.” I understood completely, but had one request. I asked the nurse if she would call me and Luca when Lady woke up. She agreed and said that that was probably the best course for Lady as well.

The four of us went to my room to wait, despite the news that Lady would be ok no one talked, not even me and Luca. Ashley saw that Luca and I were pretty broken up about this so she left us alone in our room once she knew we were essentially alright. Then she and whiskers headed for their room. I couldn’t believe this had happened… again! Lady was my very first pokemon; she had been my only real friend for most of my life. How could I have let this happen to her! Luca felt much the same way. Lady was like a mother to her, always there taking care of her. She had grown up with Lady, and could talk to her about things she couldn’t talk to me about! Luca was still staring at Lady’s pokeball with tears in her eyes as we both sat there on the foot of the bed. I finally calmed down enough to reach out to Luca. I put my arm around her and began rubbing her shoulder. She jumped at the sudden touch, and looked at me with her teary eyes before closing them and resting her head on my shoulder, letting her tears fall on my shirt. I still felt horrible about what had happened, but with Luca near me I felt better. As she cried in my embrace I rested my head on hers. A few tears soaked into Luca’s fur as I held her closer. We sat there for lord knows how long before we lay down and fell asleep on the bed, with Lady’s pokeball between us.

I awoke to the room phone ringing at about midnight. I knew what it was and lightly shook Luca to wake her. We got up and went downstairs to see Lady. A Chansey was working the night shift while Nurse Joy got some sleep. The large pokemon led Luca and I in to where Lady was lying. As we approached Lady lifted her head to see us. I could tell by her eyes that she was happy to see us. She tried to sit up, but I stopped her by placing my hand on her neck, she understood and remained in her current position. She apparently thought she was fine, but I wasn’t about to get her hurt more. Luca and I pulled up some chairs and sat there for a long time making sure Lady was alright and comforting her. I decided to let Luca have a little time alone with Lady and made up an excuse to leave for a short time. I cleared the ER doors and looked back at my girls, Luca had begun crying again, and I left to use the bathroom. When I came back Luca had stopped crying and had a small smile on her face, but still had tears in her eyes. I entered the room slowly and joined Luca at Lady’s side again. Lady was getting tired again, so we thought it best if we let her get some rest. Luca said her goodbyes and began walking to the door as I gently hugged Lady. I whispered “I’m glad your alright.” in her ear and she licked my cheek. I left her by whispering “I don’t know what I’d do without you!” and with that she drifted back to sleep. I rejoined Luca and we went back to our room, feeling much better now that we had gotten to see Lady. We fell back to sleep and slept in the next day.

We woke up late the next morning, but me and Luca got ready quickly and headed downstairs to see how Lady was. Much to our surprise Nurse Joy had Lady up and walking around. Lady was still limping on her right front leg, but she seemed to be doing very well. Nurse Joy saw us watching and motioned for me and Luca to join her. We happily obeyed and entered the back room to hear the news. She explained that Lady was ok to leave, but needed to take it easy for the next month, this included no, battling, contests, attacks, or rough housing. I nodded and asked if there was anything else. She smiled and said that Lady’s bandages would need to be rewrapped once a day, at the end of the day was best. She showed me how to wrap them, then told me that she wouldn’t need them after 2 weeks. I then asked about Lady’s shoulder and Nurse Joy said that it would fade after a day or two with no complications. By this time Lady was sitting next to me, and I was unconsciously scratching her head. When Nurse Joy was satisfied that Lady was well enough to leave she let us go.

The girls and I made our way to Ashley’s room to show her that Lady was alright. We opened the door without knocking which, much to my surprise, got a surprised reaction from Ashley as she hid something red in her pack. I knew what it looked like, but couldn’t believe it. I quickly said “Wait, what was that!” and she replied by yelling “SHUT THE DOOR!!” Luca was last in the room so she quickly obliged and locked the door. I settled on the spare bed where Luca sat next to me and Lady jumped up behind us and lay down with her head next to my side. Ashley looked over at Whiskers as if wondering if she should show us or not. Whiskers just opened one eye to return Ashley’s look then shut it again and continued resting. Ashley turned back to me and my girls and said “You can’t tell anyone!” Of course I agreed and she pulled out a bright red egg with a single blue triangle on the upper half.

I was amazed; there was only one pokemon that I knew had that pattern. I asked Ashley if she knew what kind of egg it was and she replied “No, do you?” I smiled and replied “Yes, but I’m not going to tell you.” She gave me a look of distaste, but didn’t push the subject. As I suspected she probably didn’t really want to know, it would ruin the surprise. My next question was the obvious one “Where’d you get it?” I asked and she began explaining. “I was walking through this island city where I won my 4th ribbon. When all of the sudden I felt something tug on my pack. Whiskers and I spun to face a thief, but no one was there. We looked around confused, but could see nothing. To make sure nothing was missing I opened my pack, which is when I found the egg. I couldn’t believe it, and wondered how in the world this had happened.” I had a pretty good idea from what I knew about the pokemon I thought was inside, but I wasn’t going to tell her. “How long have you had it?” I asked. Ashley replied “Two weeks and nothing has changed. I’m starting to wonder if it’s ever going to hatch.”

I didn’t know much about pokemon eggs but figured this one would take a while to hatch. After a short while Luca asked if she could see the egg. I translated for her, but wasn’t quite sure what she was up to. Ashley carefully handed the egg to Luca. Luca cradled the egg in her arm and unconsciously closed her eyes and put her other paw over the blue triangle. Luca looked as if she was concentrating and her head ornaments vibrated for a split second. She then snapped out of her trance with a bit of a wide eyed expression, as if wondering what exactly she had just done. I asked Luca if she was alright and she said “Yes” in a bit of a bewildered tone. I then asked what had just happened and she replied “I’m not sure!” Luca handed the egg gently back to Ashley who tucked it away in her pack. Luca then turned to me to tell me that the egg would hatch in 3 days at the most. I kept thinking of what Luca had just done, I knew what it looked like but how could she do it without knowing? I put it out of my mind for the time being as Ashley asked what Luca had said. I smiled and said “Let’s just say you’re not getting rid of me for a while!” She was so mad at me that she threw me onto her bed next to whiskers and pinned me in an attempt to force me to tell her. Luca and Lady laughed at me as I refused to tell Ashley when her egg would hatch and said with a smile “You might as well give up you’re not getting it out of me! I’ve withstood more torture from Lady and Luca than Whiskers can give.” She eventually let me go but was still pretty mad at me for not telling her about HER egg.

After everyone calmed down I asked Ashley what she was doing today. She replied “Probably just getting supplies for my trip towards my 5th ribbon.” Well there went leaving Lady to relax with her. I was planning on going out to stock up as well, but figured it would be bad for Lady’s leg if she tagged along. I then asked Ashley where she was headed. She smiled and said “Well I’m taking that cruise you offered.”

“Good we’ll get to see her egg hatch.” I thought to myself as I returned Ashley’s smiled and began filling her in on our time schedule. We would have to leave for the port city tomorrow morning, it’d take most of tomorrow to get there and the ship left the day after. She agreed and we all made our way downstairs to head out for supplies. Ashley and Whiskers were the first to leave the center, but before I did I knelt down and asked Lady if she would stay with Nurse Joy. She didn’t want to stay, but understood why I wanted her to. I also hated carrying her around in her ball if I could leave her out, even if it was only with Nurse Joy, I preferred to. Lady grudgingly agreed to stay when and went over to sit beside the nurse as me and Luca waved and left.

After stocking up on some potions and finding some food I finally found what I was looking for, for half the day; a custom pokeball shop. These places were fairly rare and always privately owned by an artisan of some sort. We entered and I began explaining what I was looking for. The lady behind the counter said she could have it ready later tonight. Luca knew what I was doing and stood quietly beside me observing some of the more elaborate pokeball designs on display. With a ball on order Luca and I tried to think of something nice to do for Lady. Sadly we could think of nothing except spending time with her, so we returned to the center. Later that night the time rolled around to pick up the ball I had ordered. Luca was excited; she wanted to see it just as bad as I did. I thought it’d be nice to let her pick it up, so I gave her the money and told her to bring it back here.

She gave me a look and asked “Really? You want me to pick it up alone?”

I told her “Yes. I trust you, and I know you can handle yourself.” Then jokingly added “You just can’t give it to Ashley yet, ok?” She smiled and got really excited then took off using extreme speed. Meanwhile I set to giving Lady a nice warm bath.

I hadn’t seen her without all of her bandages on yet and I accidentally let a snicker out when I saw she had a bald spot where Nurse Joy had made and incision to help mend Lady’s ribs. Lady shot a glare back at me and I apologized. She really didn’t like it when someone messed with her beautiful coat, but she did look pretty funny.

Even with my teasing her a little she enjoyed her nice bath and as I was carefully drying her off when Luca returned with the ball. I was still busy tending to Lady so I asked Luca to show it to us. She unfolded the small piece of cloth it was wrapped in and revealed a beautiful pokeball with a shining white bottom, an equally shining bright red top, and a deep blue triangle centered above the activator button. It was perfect and I knew Ashley would love it, I just hoped the pokemon it was intended for would as well.

Satisfied with how the ball looked, I had Luca put it in my pack as I wrapped Lady’s chest how Nurse Joy had shown me. With everything taken care of the three of us went to sleep early that night, since we had to get up early the next morning. Lady slept closer to me than usual and Luca did the same. I was glad they didn’t blame me for what happened, but that wouldn’t stop me from blaming myself.
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