The Way We Will Be @thecartoonfanatic01
Duel of Dual Ambitions

A/N: I'm very, very sorry this took a bit of a while to post. I hope none of you lost interest while I was away.

Obviously, school was a real pain in the butt. Of course, there was a deluge of tests and assignments, which was then followed by finals week. And after that, I graduated from my community college with an Associate's Degree in English! Yep, you heard it here first, folks! HOORAY! After my graduation, I spent the Memorial Day weekend celebrating this monumental occasion and just being lazy. My plans after this are transferring to a four-year university nearby and pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in something writing-related. Wish me well!

In addition to the above, I was hoping I could update my other story "The Wings of an Angel" before this one, because I really needed to let my readers there know that it's still going strong. But it turns out school really screwed that plan up big time. Admittedly, I further screwed up my intended schedule because I was being so firm in sticking to this plan rather than just dropping everything and refocus my utmost attention on this story before I got mentally exhausted. :P

Before I begin, I would like to announce three potential ideas for my next "Pokémon" fanfics. One will be an unofficial sequel to this story, which will hopefully segue into something bigger that I've always wanted to do, especially for a universe that I set up such as this one. Another will be a separate fic focusing on AdvanceShipping, which was my number-one shipping until AmourShipping came along. As for the third one, it will be a major rewrite of my deleted fic "Judgment's Fall", which I have actually been working on-and-off on ever since the XY saga ended; it's been sort of my pet project.

Since I absolutely love the SM anime so much (obvious sarcasm is obvious), the question at the moment is what kind of chronological order these three potential fics will come out in. Well, it all depends on how much longer Generation VII will last before we finally get the Gen VIII Nintendo Switch games they announced last year. Because, to be perfectly honest, I REALLY want to do the "Judgment's Fall" rewrite first. However, in order to do that, I need to get out of Gen VII and see what Gen VIII has to offer because I really do not want the fic to be set during the SM era, which I find totally abysmal. No offense to you Gen VII fans.

Also, I say this because I, or anyone else for that matter, don't know what the heck the Switch games are yet, and I'm still so immensely psyched already. But if it turns out to be a Kanto remake like one theory says it could be, I'm gonna go find the Infinity Stones and wipe out the entire universe, because Kanto reached the point of overrated a little while ago for me. (As you can see, I've recently watched "Avengers: Infinity War" and can no longer resist contributing to the onslaught of memes.)

But it's a damn shame I don't have a Nintendo Switch. :'( My cousin does, though; maybe I'll blackmail him into loaning it to me permanently... :P

Alright, I'm officially rambling, and I've been rambling for way too long! On with the new, long-awaited chapter. ENJOY!

P.S.: Did you guys hear about the new Pokémon games that will be coming out this year for the Nintendo Switch? "Let's Go Pikachu" and "Let's Go Eevee"? They sound pretty interesting. I've got my eye on them at the moment because I suspect there will be a new Eeveelution that'll be introduced in them.

Room 30025, the Blue Suns Deluxe Hotel
The next day

Ash woke up feeling more relaxed and at peace than ever before. At first, he didn't know why. Then, he concluded that it must be the sweet strawberry scent he was smelling. And then, as his mind began to comprehend his surroundings, and his eyesight started to adjust to the morning lights, he realized that he was cradling something.

Something soft and surprisingly pleasant to the touch.

It took a couple more moments for him to realize that it wasn't something, but someone. Then, the boy realized that it wasn't Selene he was holding.

"Nnnnnggggghhhhh..." Slipping out of her long and peaceful slumber, Serena yawned and smiled feebly. "Morning..."

Ash didn't say anything.


Serena finally opened her eyes, and then, it took her a couple of moments to realize the situation she was now in.


Selene had been brushing her teeth diligently in the bathroom for a few minutes with Celebi and Pichu when she heard all the commotion outside. Realizing what had happened, the young girl grinned cheekily at Pichu, who grinned back.

"Hee-hee-hee..." she giggled mischievously.

The Blue Suns penthouse restaurant
Over an hour later

"Morning, guys!" Summer greeted jubilantly as she approached the table belonging to Ash, Serena (who was now back in her original clothes), Selene, and their group. She then noticed the bandage on Ash's misshapen nose, and the ice bag splayed all over Serena's right cheek. "Uhhhhh...what happened to you guys...?"

"You don't wanna know..." both Ash and Serena groaned. Immediately afterwards, they blushed upon realizing they spoke at the same time.

"They slept together," Bonnie replied deviously.

"Oh," Summer responded nonchalantly. Then, her mind finally clicked in place. "Excuse me?"

Bonnie said in a teasing singsong voice, "They slept together on the same-"

"Bonnie," Serena interrupted with a startlingly sweet voice, "so help me, I'll have my Pokémon do unspeakable things to Dedenne and Squishy tonight..."

The blonde girl didn't speak anymore.

"Oooookaaaaayyyyy..." replied Summer. "Anywaaaaay...I just got the call from Officer Jenny. Parker's been locked up in the local jail. He's gonna be arraigned later this evening."

"Arraigned?" Ash repeated. "What's that?"

"A criminal's first appearance in a court of law. Now I know there's some tricky jurisdiction laws going on here, especially concerning Parker's...ahem, temporal origins, but my superiors want to see to it that he's punished for the crimes that he committed in this time period last night."

"What about Parker's Pokémon?" Nate asked.

"Unfortunately, we only have his Sceptile. You guys said he also had a Chesnaught and a Trevenant?" Ash and the others nodded in response. "Well, those two are in the wind. My colleagues are reviewing security footage right now. But so far, we suspect they're holed up somewhere in Kiloude Forest."

"No doubt plotting a way to break their Trainer out." Nate subconsciously squeezed on his glass cup of juice. "Parker and his gang, they always find a way to have one of their own slip through the cracks and break the others out. That always happens. Justice is never served..."

"Well, I've personally ordered security to be tripled on this guy. He's not going anywhere-"

"He's getting out, all right," Nate interrupted bitterly, his brown eyes narrowed with silent anger. He instinctively reached towards his belt, where his Poké Balls were. "But I'm gonna be ready for him..."

An awkward silence fell upon the table, as everyone stared at Nate's serious expression. Then, hoping to break the ice, Ash quickly spoke up.

"Oh, hey Nate! Remember the battle we're gonna have today?"

Fortunately for the raven-haired Trainer, Nate's eyes lit back up with excitement and determination.

"You bet!" he exclaimed. "There's no way I'd forget something like that, Ash!"

"Awesome! I'm totally psyched!"

Summer looked from Ash to Nate and back, and then said, "Alright, well...that's all I have to report to you guys, I guess. Glad to see you guys getting situated so easily. I'll get back to you if anything else happens." She started walking away, waving goodbye all the while. "Keep me posted on Celebi's condition!"

"Will do!" Selene called, saluting adorably at the departing Ranger.

The little girl then looked at Celebi, who was politely eating some Oran Berries out of a bowl. The Time Travel Pokémon was currently wearing a small plaid cloth to obscure her appearance. To Selene, the cloth made Celebi look like Little Red Riding Hood. And she couldn't help but giggle with adoration at that.

The Beauté Hotel

Yancy sat at one of the tables of the hotel's complimentary café, eating some cereal and milk from a simple glass bowl. Seated beside her was Blanche, and on the other side of the table were Kazalie and Shulin. All four Performers were absentmindedly eating their well-needed breakfast while eagerly watching a TV set at the corner of the café.

"Good morning, citizens of Kalos!" exclaimed a female reporter. She was standing in a room, in front of a screen depicting live footage of the Laurier Maison. "I bring you back to Kiloude City, where a stunning event is about to get underway in about a couple of hours!"

"And it's about to get even more stunning with me around," Shulin proclaimed haughtily.

"Shhh!" Kazalie said, her eyes still glued to the screen.

"That's right, folks!" the reporter continued. "I'm talking about the one and only Exhibition Showcase to mark the end of a beautiful and dazzling Showcase season!"

"Beautiful?" Shulin repeated flatly. "Dazzling? Heh. I'd say it was the same old, same old."

"Shhh!" Kazalie said, her eyes still glued to the screen.

"Boy, it sure was a great season," remarked a male reporter off-screen.

"Indeed it was, and I can't wait to see what these remarkable Pokémon Performers have in store for us and all the people here in Kiloude City today!"

"Ohhhhh, just you wait, lady," Shulin said confidently.

"Shhh!" Kazalie said, her eyes still glued to the screen.

"And now, to start off this fine and fabulous day, I will be having an interview with our one and only Kalos Queen, Ariiiiia!"

"ARRRRRIIIIIAAAAA!" Shulin suddenly squealed with excitement, just as the aforementioned Kalos Queen appeared on the screen, smile and all. Kazalie didn't even bother shushing her this time, though several other customers did look at the Performers' direction, annoyed at the sudden outburst.

Yancy, Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin all watched as Aria stepped beside the reporter, her arrival being accompanied with fanciful music that would make anyone sway. By the Kalos Queen's sides were her Delphox and Aromatisse, while her Vivillon was perched on the top of her crowned head. She was wearing a glittering, flowing red dress that accentuated her hair and eyes, and as usual, she was wearing a beautiful smile on her face. Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin all struggled immensely to hold in their squeals of absolute delight at the sight of their idol.

"So, Aria," the reporter said, "as I'm sure you already know, today's a very special day for you, huh?"

"It sure is," Aria replied, nodding eagerly. "But it's not just my special day." She turned towards the camera, her smile still in place. "It's a special day for all the Performers who have come here to participate in this special event! After all, at the end of the day, there'll be no winners and no losers in this Showcase. Just beauty and happiness for everyone in Kiloude City and beyond!"

"EEEEEEEEEEK!" Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin squealed at once, startling Yancy and the others. "AAAAARRRRRIIIIIAAAAA!"

"WE LOVE YOU, ARIAAAAA!" Kazalie hollered.

"Shhh!" someone snapped.

"Speaking of special days, Aria," continued the reporter, as she briefly checked a sheet of paper that was in her hand, "in a few more days, it'll be the tenth anniversary of Elle's death. Do...Do you have any comments on that?"

Aria's smile softened in reminiscence, but she kept up her positive demeanor. "Only that she would've loved to see this in person. She's always worked so hard and so selflessly to make others smile, and an event like this, with her and all that she's done in mind, would've been beyond her wildest dreams. After all, it's that way for me. But of course, it cannot be done without hard work and dedication, though I'm sure all of that will be shown to us in spades from all of the Performers that are here today!"

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin all sighed out, swooning at the Kalos Queen's kind, warm, and honest words.

"Aria's as awesome as ever..." Blanche breathed out dramatically.

"She truly is our ideal," Shulin commented, smiling dreamily.

However, Yancy continued to stare at the TV with extreme sadness and concern. Though she already knew Aria's story from her parents, seeing the Kalos Queen at this point of time, in person, made her feel even more sympathetic to her situation. She couldn't even begin to imagine what was going through her mind right now.

"Poor Auntie Aria..." the pink-haired girl thought.

The local TV station

"And you heard it from the mouth of the Kalos Queen herself! This Exhibition Showcase is gonna be, without a doubt, one to be remembered! So stay tuned, folks, for the upcoming performances, because we'll be sure to bring it all to you live at Kalos Now! I'm Mandy Buzzington, and now, here is a word from our sponsors!"


"Alright, that's a wrap!"

As soon as the camera crew began to disperse, Aria sighed with relief and quickly tried to make her leave with her Pokémon. Unfortunately, she heard the reporter, Mandy, call out to her.

"Aria! Wait, hold on a minute, Aria!"

Aria quickly sighed again, and then put on her smile before turning around to face the older woman, as did all three of her Pokémon.

Despite the happy-go-lucky demeanor she put on for the viewers at home, Mandy Buzzington always had an unsettling, intimidating aura around her, no matter how unintentional it was. She was tall and thin, with especially wiry legs; and she also had dark-pink hair tied into a ponytail with a dark-brown, feathery ribbon. She wore a brown suit and skirt with a bone-gray undershirt and matching stockings. Her bright red eyes sported noticeable eyeliner.

"Yes, Ms. Buzzington?" she replied politely.

"Oh please, enough with the Ms. Buzzington thing!" Mandy exclaimed. "Ms. Buzzington's my mother...after she divorced, anyway... Made me pursue this job-" She quickly caught herself and cleared her throat. "Anyway, call me Mandy."


Mandy grinned gleefully. "Wow. Words can't even begin to describe I am to be in your presence!"

Aria continued to smile, though her mind started to wander off. "Really now?"

"Of course! See, I've been a reporter for years, but I transferred here from Hoenn a couple years back and this is my first time covering a Pokémon Showcase season! It's definitely a whole lot different from the Contests I see back at home. And golly, you're MILES beyond any of the Pokémon Coordinators I've ever covered!"


The reporter nodded eagerly. "Mm-hm! Look, I know you're a very busy girl and all, but I was wondering if you'd like to sit down for another one-on-one interview with me."

Aria raised an eyebrow, her full attention finally caught. "Another one-on-one? What about? I think I told you everything you need to know for this event-"

"It's not for the Exhibition Showcase, sweetie," Mandy interrupted. "You see, my bosses have wanted to know all the juicy details about your past for some time."

Aria gulped, though she did her best to hide it.

"My...My past...?" she repeated. Delphox and Aromatisse instinctively drew closer to their Trainer.

"Yes, yes, of course! Especially the material concerning Elle! It is my understanding that you've never really talked about your childhood and your old life here, not once during your career as a Performer. Now, forgive me for sounding like a Mandibuzz, but it's been a whole ten years, and all the news stations and the biographers and the paparazzi are starving for details!"

"A-Are they now?" Aria stuttered. She was starting to hear the avalanche again, from the back of her mind.

"Yep! And we at Kalos Now want to be the first to know everything! Trust me, it's better if you share it all with us rather than with some paparazzi agency that's on the lookout for the smallest scandal in every corner-"

"Hey, back off, you Mandibuzz!"

To Aria and Mandy's surprise, Foster pushed past Delphox and stepped beside the former. He had a defensive expression that surprised even Aria.

"She doesn't want to talk about it," he snarled.

"Who are you?" Mandy replied. She then flared her nostrils. "And who're you calling a Mandibuzz?!"

"I'm Aria's farmhand, and it's time to have her Pokémon, ahem, groomed." Foster took Aria's hand, ignoring Mandy's surprised reaction to that move. "Come on, Aria, let's go."

Before the Kalos Queen could protest, he led her away from Mandy, essentially half-dragging her away with her Pokémon right at her heels. As soon as they left the room and found a spot where they could be alone, Aria tore her hand away from Foster's.

"What was that all about, Foster?!" she exclaimed.

"What do you mean, what was that all about?!" Foster replied in protest. "That Mandibuzz-"

"I'M NOT A MANDIBUZZ!" Mandy's voice shouted from the middle of nowhere, but both teens ignored it.

"She was asking you about-"

"I know what she was gonna ask me about!" Aria interrupted. Then, she took a deep breath and straightened out her dress a little. "But you didn't need to interrupt the conversation and drag me away like that. All I had to do was decline her offer. I didn't need your help at all, no offense."

"Are you sure that was all you had to do?" asked Foster. "You were becoming quite unsettled as soon as she started to say the words..."

"I'm fine, Foster. I told you last night, I'm fine."

Foster pursed his lips. "Are you sure? Because it doesn't look like it from my point of view."

Aria frowned angrily. "Hey, if you see me unsettled, it's because of the upcoming Exhibition Showcase, more than anything else!"

"You're concerned about that? B-But...I-I thought it was just an-"

"Just because it's an informal Showcase, doesn't mean the Performers don't have to put all their effort into it, Foster. All Pokémon Showcases are events that bring joy and brightness to other people's lives. And if the Performers can't give it their all to accomplish that one simple goal, then they've...they've failed the audience. ...And that's something I cannot allow myself to do."

Before Foster could respond, a woman suddenly entered the room and spotted Aria.

"Oh, Aria!" the woman called, catching the attention of both teens. "Palermo just called. She wishes to speak with you ASAP."

"Roger that!" Aria replied. Her optimistic smile was back. She then looked back at Foster and said seriously, "I gotta go, Foster. Please, please, please don't worry about me. I told you, I'm fine! I swear I am!" She started to sprint off with her Pokémon, before Foster could have a chance to respond. "I'll see you later!"

Foster could only watch helplessly as the one girl he ever loved pranced away from him. He knew, from the bottom of his heart, that Aria was in complete denial about her needing actual help. He couldn't blame her; after all, a Showcase was coming up and it was her duty to play the part of Kalos Queen. The show would be woefully incomplete without her and her charming optimism.

"All Pokémon Showcases are events that bring joy and brightness to other people's lives. And if the Performers can't give it their all to accomplish that one simple goal, then they've...they've failed the audience."

"And what about you, Aria?" Foster whispered to thin air. "Where does your joy and brightness lie...?"

Unbeknownst to him, Aria was asking herself the same thing.

Near the Laurier Maison
Several minutes later

Ash and Nate stood on both sides of the battlefield, staring each other down with determined smiles on their youthful faces. Serena, Selene, Bonnie, Shauna, Tierno, Trevor, Calem, Grace, Layla, and Moose were sitting in a nearby bleacher, watching with shared eager anticipation. As for Clemont, he was standing at the side of the battlefield, acting as the referee.

"Alright!" Clemont announced. "This will be a three-on-three Pokémon battle, with the Trainers using one Pokémon per round, with no recalls! The one who scores two wins out of three rounds first wins!"

"We'll have a battle to be proud of, Ash!" Nate called. "Let's do our very best!"

"You got it!" Ash replied confidently before pointing at Nate's direction. "Pikachu, I choose you!"

"Pika!" Pikachu cried as he hopped off Ash's shoulder and entered a battling stance.

"Pikachu, huh? Alright, I'll start off with someone fun!" Nate pulled out a Poké Ball and threw it into the air. "GO!"

The Poké Ball opened up and unleashed a beam of light that hit the ground. Once the light subsided, it revealed a Shiny Barbaracle. The Collective Pokémon roared and slammed both of its left fists into the palms of its right hands.

"Whoa, a Barbaracle!" Ash exclaimed, quickly remembering Saizo's.

"Nate's starting off with Barbaracle?" Shauna asked curiously from the bleachers. "Isn't it a Water-type, though?"

"True, but it's also a Rock-type," Trevor replied, his focus completely on Nate's Collective Pokémon. "The battle could go either way for Nate, depending on his tactics. It'll be pretty interesting to see how Nate will use this dual-typing to his advantage..."

"Yeah, go Daddy!" Selene cheered loudly, her fists shooting up in the air. "You and Pikachu can beat them!"

"Pichu pichu!" squeaked Pichu, her cheeks sparkling with electricity from all of the excitement.

"Gee, thanks for the support, Selene..." deadpanned Nate.

"Alright!" Clemont announced. "Battle...BEGIN!"


"Pikachu, use Electro Ball!" Ash commanded.

"PIKA!" Pikachu dashed towards Barbaracle, and as he did, his body became enveloped in sparking yellow electricity. All of that electricity then began to condense at the Mouse Pokémon's tail, quickly forming into an orange-yellow sphere of pure sparking electricity.

"Get ready for it, Barbaracle!" Nate shouted, with the Collective Pokémon nodding in response.

Seconds later, Pikachu jumped into the air and did a stylistic front flip, throwing the electric sphere at Barbaracle in the process.

"Now, Barbaracle!" Nate ordered. "Use Ancient Power!"

Barbaracle quickly brought all four of its arms together, and a silver sphere of pure energy began to form in the small space between its palms. The sphere expanded into a considerable width in just a few seconds, though Barbaracle continued to hold its palms steady. When Pikachu's Electro Ball became dangerously close to hitting it, the Collective Pokémon fired its own sphere.

Both the Electro Ball and the Ancient Power collided a split-second later and exploded, covering the area between Pikachu and Barbaracle in smoke.

"Whoa!" Ash exclaimed. "Be careful, Pikachu!"

"Pika!" Pikachu squeaked, the Mouse Pokémon making sure he avoided the billowing smoke.

"Now use Stone Edge!" Nate ordered.

"Stay sharp, Pikachu, and dodge!" commanded Ash.

Multiple stones shot through the wall of smoke like bullets, and Pikachu dashed around the battlefield in order to avoid being hit.

"Alright, we've got Pikachu running! Use Skull Bash next!"

Barbaracle propelled itself through the smoke and rammed Pikachu as hard as it could with its rough, spiky forehead.

"PIKA!" Pikachu squealed in pain. The Mouse Pokémon was knocked backward by several feet thanks to the sheer force of the latest move, but fortunately, he managed to land on his feet.

"Hang in there, Pikachu!" Ash cried, before pointing at Barbaracle. "Use Thunderbolt!"

Pikachu unleashed a bolt of electricity at the Collective Pokémon.

"Dodge, quick!" Nate called.

Barbaracle tried to do so, but it was too heavy, and it had become a little exhausted from using both Stone Edge and Skull Bash in a short amount of time. As a result, the Thunderbolt hit its target head-on, and the Collective Pokémon let out a scream as the electricity coursed throughout its body.

"YEAH!" Ash cried with excitement.

"It's not over yet, Ash!" Nate replied, a smile back on his face. "Barbaracle, remember what we've practiced! Reconcile your types!"

"Reconcile your types?" repeated Serena.

To the group's surprise, Barbaracle clenched all four of its fists as it withstood the electricity that continued to crackle on its body. Then, everyone noticed that the electricity was not subsiding.

"Alright, you're getting the hang of it, Barbaracle!" Nate commanded. "Now use Water Gun!"

Barbaracle's upper hands shot out streams of water, which (to Ash and Pikachu's collective surprise) were coated with some of Pikachu's own electricity.

"Pikachu, dodge it!" shouted Ash.

Pikachu did a front flip to dodge the first Water Gun attack, but he didn't have time to prepare for the second one. As a result, the Mouse Pokémon was sent tumbling across the battlefield, his body sporting more than a few bruises.

"Whoa!" Layla exclaimed with interest. "What in the world just happened?"

"It's Barbaracle's dual-typing," Clemont replied, the inventor having just rejoined the others on the bleachers.

"Dual-typing?" repeated Bonnie.

"Yeah. Barbaracle, like its pre-evolved form Binacle, is part-Rock type and part-Water type. Even though it is vulnerable to Electric-type attacks like any other Water-type Pokémon, Barbaracle's Rock typing gives it a slightly higher defense against those attacks."

"Nate definitely trained Barbaracle to withstand Electric-type attacks long enough to fit in an extra attack or two. The fact that it's a Rock-type certainly helped a little. And then Nate went a step further and used Barbaracle's Water-typing to his advantage."

"How so?" Tierno asked.

"Water conducts electricity," Clemont replied. "And Barbaracle knows Water Gun. The electricity was conducted by the Water Gun, and so its strength increased a little. Not only that, but Barbaracle also has the side-benefit of removing some of the electricity from its body. See?"

The inventor pointed at Barbaracle, who only had a few volts of electricity left on its body before swatting them into nonexistence. The Collective Pokémon then snorted aggressively at Pikachu as the Mouse Pokémon stood back up.

"Wow," Bonnie said. "Barbaracle's good as new..."

"Nate sure knows what to do to turn the tide of a battle around in his favor," Grace remarked.

"But let's not forget, Barbaracle's still part-Water type," replied Clemont. "Ash just needs to be on his toes, and I'm sure he'll find a way around Nate's novel strategies."

"Yeah, you show him, Daddy!" Selene called excitedly.

"Pichu pichu!" squeaked Pichu with encouragement.

"That's a pretty cool strategy, Nate!" Ash called excitedly towards the brown-haired Trainer. "But that's not going to beat me and Pikachu that easily!"

"Pi-KA!" Pikachu cried, the Mouse Pokémon hopping back up on his feet.

"After all, I'm just getting started!"

Nate smiled with eager anticipation. "Music to my ears!" he replied.

"Pikachu, use Iron Tail!"

Pikachu's lightning bolt-shaped tail turned silver and metallic, and he dashed forward at high speeds. In response to this new move, Nate narrowed his eyes with concentration.

"Barbaracle," he said, "use Skull Bash again!"

The Collective Pokémon propelled itself forward towards the incoming Pikachu.

"Jump, Pikachu!" Ash shouted. "Attack it from above!"

The Mouse Pokémon did so. But this didn't daunt Nate one bit.

"Don't lose focus, Barbaracle!" he cried. "Jump towards Pikachu!"

Barbaracle did so, and now, the Collective Pokémon was headed towards Pikachu while he was falling back down towards it. Ash immediately knew that it was time to act.

"DO IT, PIKACHU!" he called. "Slam your tail down on Barbaracle's head! Don't let it hit you!"

"PIKA!" Pikachu squeaked loudly as he twirled through the air, his Iron Tail sticking out menacingly. "Piiiii...KA!"

The Mouse Pokémon's tail collided with Barbaracle's forehead with enough force to trigger a shock-wave. As it expanded above everyone's heads, their hairs were blown suddenly and momentarily, as if their faces were blasted with a powerful fan for just a couple of seconds.

As for Pikachu and Barbaracle, the two were both knocked away from each other by the collision. Pikachu twirled through the air again and landed perfectly on his feet. But Barbaracle let out a cry of agony and landed painfully on the ground.

"Barbaracle!" exclaimed Nate. "Are you okay?!"

Barbaracle growled and gave its Trainer a nod of affirmation. Then, it slammed all four of its fists together and roared confidently, the sound of it being heard throughout the battlefield. Nate smiled happily in response.

"Alright! Use Ancient Power again!"

Barbaracle created another silver sphere of energy and launched it towards Pikachu.

"Dodge it, Pikachu!" Ash ordered.

"Pika!" Pikachu jumped into the air, avoiding the Ancient Power in the nick of time.

"Use Water Gun!" Nate commanded.

Barbaracle shot out a stream of water from one of its hands.

"Quick, Pikachu! Use Thunderbolt!"


The Thunderbolt hit the Water Gun and easily coursed through the water that was being channeled out of Barbaracle's hand. However, the Collective Pokémon allowed the electricity to hit his hand. When it did, Barbaracle collapsed to the ground as the electricity started to course through its arm.

"Yeah!" Ash cried. "Nice hit, Pikachu!"

"Pika!" Pikachu squeaked as he landed on the ground.

"It's not over yet!" Nate replied, still smiling. "Now, use Thunder Punch, Barbaracle!"

"Thunder Punch?!" everyone else exclaimed with surprise.

Barbaracle charged as fast as it could towards Pikachu, its arm still channeling the electricity from the Mouse Pokémon's Thunderbolt.

"Dodge it, Pikachu!" shouted Ash.

"Pika!" Pikachu jumped into the air again, avoiding Barbaracle's makeshift attack.

"Whoa!" Tierno exclaimed from the bleachers. "So Nate's using that strategy of his again!"

"Except this time," added Trevor, "he used Pikachu's Thunderbolt to create a makeshift, one-time move of Barbaracle's own. This is a very unconventional battling strategy, not like any other I've ever heard. How does he do it...?"

"Natey's very weird that way," Selene replied, her eyes still fixated on the battle. "But he makes up for it with his sheer awesomeness!"

"Pichu..." Pichu squeaked, impressed at what she was seeing.

Meanwhile, Ash was thinking, "So Nate's trained Barbaracle to withstand Electric attacks by channeling them through its body, so that way it can deal even more damaging moves. I gotta avoid using Electric attacks from now on..." Smiling, he ordered aloud, "Pikachu, use Iron Tail, quickly!"

Pikachu leaped into the air, his tail silver and metallic again.

"Use Stone Edge!" Nate commanded in response. "Keep Pikachu on his toes!"

Barbaracle launched a barrage of large stones at the Mouse Pokémon. Ash thought quickly on his toes.

"Hop over each stone until you reach Barbaracle!" he ordered.

"Hop over each stone?!" everyone else repeated on the bleachers.

But Pikachu didn't argue against that. Instead, the Mouse Pokémon hopped on one large-enough stone and then hopped over to the next, repeating the process until he was getting dangerously close to the Collective Pokémon.

"Defend yourself with Ancient Power, Barbaracle!" Nate called.

Barbaracle launched yet another silver sphere at Pikachu's direction. Ash narrowed his auburn eyes.

"Dodge it, then use Iron Tail, Pikachu!"

"PIKA!" Pikachu propelled himself from yet another stone and twirled through the air, dodging the Ancient Power with ease. Then, he fell towards Barbaracle, his beady eyes gleaming with energy as his tail started to turn silver and metallic again. "Pikaaaaa...CHU!"

"Watch out, Barbaracle!" shouted Nate, his brown eyes wide with shock.

The Collective Pokémon quickly raised one of its arms to defend itself from the Iron Tail. The Steel-type attack hit its target, knocking both Pokémon backward. Whilst Pikachu landed on his paws, Barbaracle was shoved to the ground, and it struggled to get back up. As it tried, the arm that it used to protect itself appeared to be injured.

"Now, Pikachu!" Ash exclaimed, pointing determinedly at Pikachu's opponent. "Finish Barbaracle off with Thunderbolt before it gets back up!"

"Pika-CHUUUUU!" Pikachu screeched at the top of his lungs. Split-seconds later, a powerful bolt of electricity flew out from his body and struck Barbaracle, drawing out a loud cry from the Collective Pokémon.

"Barbaracle!" Nate shouted in disbelief.

Once the electricity subsided, everyone saw Barbaracle frozen in its position, electricity crackling off its body. It seemed to be trying its best to keep itself steady and composed, but after a few seconds, it gave up the fight and collapsed to the ground, kicking up a small cloud of smoke as it landed. Once the smoke dissipated, Barbaracle had squiggles in its eyes.

"Barbaracle is unable to battle!" Clemont announced. "Ash and Pikachu are the winners!"

"YAY, DADDY!" Selene screamed, the little girl shooting up on her feet from the sidelines.

"PICHU PICHU-PI!" Pichu squeaked at the top of her lungs.

"Yeah!" Ash exclaimed. Then, he looked at Pikachu and called out, "Good job, buddy!"

"Pika!" Pikachu replied in a celebratory tone.

Meanwhile, Nate approached Barbaracle's fallen body, knelt down, and patted it on the head with a soft, satisfied smile.

"Great job, Barbaracle," he said. "You did all you could." He then pulled out a Poké Ball and aimed it at the Collective Pokémon. "Now go get some rest. You deserve it."

After returning Barbaracle to its Poké Ball, Nate stood up and looked at Ash and Pikachu. His smile had turned into one of confidence.

"That was a good battle, Ash," he called. "You're a great battler in the future as you are now, I'll tell you that!"

"You're a good battler yourself, Nate," replied the Pallet Town native. "You sure have some interesting strategies!"

"Thanks!" Nate sheepishly scratched his cheek a little. "Though I do admit they still need to be worked on a little."

"They're still very good! Once you improve them and work out the kinks, I hope you'll use those against me next time!"

"I think I will." Then, Nate reached into his pocket and pulled out another Poké Ball. "But for now, I'll be sure to win this round! GO!"

He threw the Poké Ball, unleashing a Jolteon, which barked determinedly at Ash.

"Whoa, it's a Jolteon!" Shauna cried from the bleachers.

"Jolteon, huh...?" Serena remarked. Out of curiosity, the honey-blonde pulled out her Pokédex and aimed it at the small Lightning Pokémon.

"Jolteon, the Lightning Pokémon, and one of the evolved forms of Eevee," the device explained. "Every sharp hair on its body stands upright when it is charged with electricity, and it is capable of sending out electrical charges of about 10,000 volts."

"So that's another one of Eevee's evolved forms..." Serena said to herself, her mind wandering to her Sylveon a little.

"So you're using Jolteon, huh?" Ash asked on the battlefield, intrigued. "Alright, then. I'll use this Pokémon!" As Pikachu scurried off the battlefield and joined his side, the raven-haired Trainer pulled out a Poké Ball of his own and threw it. "Noivern, I choose you!"

The Sound Wave Pokémon emerged from its Poké Ball and roared triumphantly at Nate and Jolteon. The former's smile widened at the sight of Noivern.

"Wow, so you're using Noivern, huh?" he asked. "This should be a very mobile battle!" He looked at his Jolteon. "You know what to do, Jolteon!"

The Lightning Pokémon smiled and barked confidently in response. Nate nodded subtly and then pointed at Noivern.

"Use Discharge!" he commanded. Jolteon roared as it promptly released multiple bolts of yellow electricity.

"Dodge it, Noivern!" Ash ordered. In response, the Sound Wave Pokémon lifted off into the air.

"Keep aiming for Noivern, Jolteon! Direct your Discharge everywhere it goes!"

As it continued to release electricity, Jolteon kept moving parts of its body and changing positions, making sure the bolts of electricity followed Noivern as it soared through the air. Noivern twirled, circled, and spun across the sky at high speeds, dodging several bolts with every passing second. Eventually, Jolteon couldn't release anymore electricity for its Discharge, and the attack subsided, whereupon Ash pointed at Noivern's opponent.

"Now, Noivern!" he cried. "Use Acrobatics!"

Noivern's body glowed light-blue, and it quickly shot through the air, towards Jolteon. But Nate smiled; he was ready for that.

"Use Baby-Doll Eyes, Jolteon!"

"What?" Serena asked from the bleachers. "Baby-Doll Eyes?!"

Everyone watched as Jolteon suddenly sat down and looked up at the Sound Wave Pokémon with a legitimate expression bordering pleading and fear. Its beady eyes were glimmering with some sort of youthful hope, and its mouth was open just a little. Noivern immediately took notice of this and fell for it; it shifted to the left just by an inch, and wound up hitting the ground pathetically and headfirst, without even hitting the Lightning Pokémon. Everyone but Nate sweat-dropped at this.

"That Baby-Doll Eyes sure was effective..." deadpanned Bonnie.

"Nenene..." Dedenne replied, while Squishy just let out a dull, one-note chirp.

"N-Noivern!" Ash called, almost with embarrassment. "Are-Are you okay?!"

Noivern grumbled pathetically in response, blushing brightly at its immense failure at securing a hit. Nevertheless, the Sound Wave Pokémon stood back up and stared Jolteon down as it snickered mischievously.

"Don't lose focus, Noivern," continued Ash. "We've still got a whole lot of other moves to spare! Now, use Boomburst!"

Noivern's body started glowing light-blue, with the inside of its ears glowing the same color mere moments later. After ignoring a wince, it then unleashed a supersonic wave of light-blue aura towards Jolteon, which first swirled around in the air before straightening out as it is neared.

"Break through the Boomburst with Thunder!" Nate ordered.

Jolteon fired one single, extremely powerful lightning bolt into the incoming Boomburst. The bolt tore straight through the supersonic aura wave with ease before heading straight for Noivern's head.

"Dodge it, Noivern!" Ash called.

Noivern flew out of the way, avoiding the Thunder just in the nick of time.

"Don't let it out of your sight, Jolteon!" Nate shouted, pointing at the Sound Wave Pokémon. "Keep shooting at it with Thunder!"

"Keep dodging, Noivern! Try to find an opening!"

With that, the Lightning Pokémon fired Thunder attack after Thunder attack at Noivern. Noivern roared and growled as it twirled and soared through the air, dodging every last powerful lightning bolt. It tried to get close enough to Jolteon so it could attack effectively, but Jolteon had great reflexes; every time it noticed Noivern's movements, it moved its body position within split-seconds and fired yet another Thunder.

"Wow," Ash thought. "Jolteon's just as quick on the ground as Noivern is in the air. Its agile, it has a quick familiarity of all of its surroundings, and it knows exactly when to defend itself. Nate already has a strategy that can counter Noivern's Boomburst, so using that move successfully is going to be difficult. And I can't forget Baby-Doll Eyes. Using close-range moves is going to be useless when Jolteon knows that move..." Then, an idea hit him, and Ash grinned. "Now I know just what to do."

He pointed triumphantly at Jolteon, and called out loudly, "Noivern, use Supersonic!"

Noivern stopped dodging Jolteon's Thunder attacks, winced, and generated multiple sound-waves from its ears. These sound-waves moved through the air and hit the Lightning Pokémon, causing it to cry out loudly and cower.

"Jolteon!" Nate called in concern. "Hang in there, buddy! Be on the lookout!"

"Yes!" Ash exclaimed. "We have him distracted! Now, Noivern, use Acrobatics!"

Noivern roared, winced, and swooped down towards the Lightning Pokémon. But Nate immediately thought of a good counterattack of his own.

"Quick, Jolteon! Use Double Kick when Noivern gets close!"

Still reeling from the Supersonic attack, Jolteon turned its body around so its backside was facing the incoming Noivern. Then, its hind legs glowed white, and once Noivern got close enough, the Lightning Pokémon kicked it hard and upwards with both legs. Noivern cried out in pain and collided with Jolteon, with both collapsing to the ground.

"Noivern!" Ash cried with concern.

"Jolteon!" Nate shouted loudly.

Once the dust settled, Noivern and Jolteon both shook their heads and stood back up. Then, they looked each other, and a certain spark flashed in their eyes.

"QUICK!" both Trainers shouted at the same time. "USE BOOMBURST/DISCHARGE!"

Both Pokémon fired their attacks at the same time, and both attacks seemed to tear through the air in order to reach their targets. Jolteon was struck and knocked back by the Boomburst, while Noivern was electrocuted by the Discharge, eliciting a cry from the Sound Wave Pokémon.

"WHOA!" everyone exclaimed from the bleachers.

As soon as both attacks were over, Ash and Nate saw that Jolteon had recovered and was standing on its legs again. But as for Noivern, it was on its knees and wing-claws from the Discharge, wincing.

"Quickly, Jolteon!" Nate commanded. "Use Double Kick, then follow it up with a Thunder!"

Jolteon dashed towards its opponent, its hind legs starting to glow white again. Ash narrowed his auburn eyes.

"Noivern, you gotta hang in there!" he shouted.

Noivern moaned weakly in response, but it shook off the effects of the Discharge and glared at the incoming Jolteon.

"Now, Noivern!" exclaimed Ash. "Intercept it with Dragon Claw!"

Once Jolteon got close and was about to execute its Double Kick maneuver, a light-green aura started to envelop each of Noivern's wing-claws and they both enlarged into greater claw-like shapes. Split-seconds later, Noivern slashed at the Lightning Pokémon with both of the claws, knocking it backward and sending it tumbling across the battlefield.

"Don't let up, Jolteon!" Nate called. "I know you've still got it in you! Stick with the original plan and use Thunder!"

Jolteon barked roughly as it fired a powerful lightning bolt from its body.

"Quick, dodge it, Noivern!" Ash ordered.

The Sound Wave Pokémon lifted off into the air again, avoiding the Thunder successfully. But once it got a couple of feet off the ground, it suddenly yelped out in pain and winced even more noticeably. Ash's eyes widened with concern.

"Noivern, are you okay?! Wh-What's wrong?!"

"What's wrong with Noivern...?" Bonnie asked fearfully from the sidelines.

"I don't know," Shauna replied. "It looks like it's in pain."

"Wait a minute," Trevor said, pointing. "Look at Noivern's forehead!"

Everyone else was quick to spot it. "Is that a bruise?" Serena asked.

"It sure looks like it," Calem replied. "Noivern must've gotten that when it hit the ground the first time."

"So that means-"

"Noivern has a big headache?" remarked Bonnie worriedly. "Oh, no..."

"Well, one thing's for sure," Calem said as he looked at Ash. "It sure doesn't do Ash any favors..."

"Noivern!" Ash called from the battlefield. "Hang in there! You've almost got this! Just focus on the battle!"

"Sorry, Ash," Nate replied cockily from the other side of the battlefield. "It looks like this round is mine. Jolteon, use Thunder again!"

Jolteon barked and discharged another powerful lightning bolt at Noivern's direction.

"Dodge it, Noivern!"

Noivern roared as it twirled away from the Thunder attack. Moments later, however, it winced yet again from its splitting headache, and the Sound Wave Pokémon started spiraling towards the ground. Ash's auburn eyes widened with concern.

"Noivern, look out!" he called.

"Bingo," Nate said. He pointed at Noivern's direction. "Use Thunder again, Jolteon!"

Jolteon unleashed yet another Thunder, and this time, it hit its target dead-on. Noivern cried out in pain as the electricity coursed through its body and fired off in multiple directions, illuminating the battlefield with yellow light.

"NOIVERN!" Ash shouted in disbelief, seconds before the Sound Wave Pokémon suffered a painful crash-landing.

Just a few feet away from the battlefield, Yancy was strolling down a cobblestone path with Florges, Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin. Blanche was in the lead, skipping jubilantly and with excitement at the upcoming Exhibition Showcase. As for Kazalie and Shulin, the two cousins were gossiping energetically about the latest news regarding Diantha and one of her male costars in their upcoming romantic-comedy movie.

As for Yancy and Florges, they made sure they were at a safe enough distance from the others so they could have a secret conversation.

"So, what exactly are you going to say that'll convince your parents to help?" asked Florges.

"I'll just tell them Selene wandered off into the city and I couldn't find her," Yancy replied. "It's not exactly lying, anyway. She loves to run off whenever she's in a new place, that Selene."

"That does make sense..."

"And yet..." Yancy looked down at the ground. "It's still gonna be awkward when I first meet them, though. I mean, I've only seen their younger selves in photographs. Now I've gotta talk to their younger selves in person and treat them like they're strangers?" She looked at Florges. "Flo, what if I accidentally let something slip? What if I say something or do something that'll make them suspicious of my story?"

"You continue lying, I guess."

"And if that doesn't work, Flo? I mean, applying layers and layers of lies to cover the original lie never turns out well for anyone in the end..."

"Well, if push comes to shove, then just tell them the truth." When Florges noticed Yancy's reluctant expression, she continued, "You gotta try something, Yancy, if it means finding Selene, Nate, and Evelyn."

"I guess..." Yancy replied hesitantly.

All of a sudden, Yancy, Florges, and the others heard an explosion, followed by the squawks of startled Fletchling. Gazing towards a row of trees next to them, they all noticed a plume of smoke rising above the treeline.

"What in the world was that?" Kazalie asked.

"There must be a battle going on over there!" Blanche exclaimed.

At that moment, Yancy heard a familiar voice in the distance shouting, "NOIVERN!"

"Daddy...?" she asked worriedly.

Without the slightest bit of hesitation, the pink-haired girl burst into a full-on sprint, quickly followed by Florges.

"Y-Yancy?!" Blanche cried. "Wh-Wha?! Where are you going?!"

But Yancy didn't answer her and just continued to run as fast as she could towards the rising pillar of smoke. She didn't care if she was on her way to the Laurier Maison. All she knew now was that her father was most likely in danger, and she had to help him somehow.

Within a minute, she found herself in a battlefield, situated several yards from the Laurier Maison's southeastern corner. Once the smoke cleared, her blue eyes widened in surprise: Nate was standing on one side of the battlefield, his Jolteon out and looking rather pleased with itself, while on the other side was...

"Daddy?!" she squeaked loudly, causing Florges to face-palm.

The young Ash looked up from his unconscious Noivern and spotted Yancy almost immediately. But before he could talk to her, another voice suddenly squealed excitedly, "YAAANCYYYYY!"

Yancy saw Selene sprinting towards her from the bleachers, Pichu scurrying right beside her. Before she knew it, her legs were tackled so hard in a hug that she almost fell over.

"Yancy, I'm SO glad you're alright!" Selene squeaked.

"Sel-Selene!" Relief swept over Yancy like a tidal wave, and she knelt down to hug the little girl. "Oh, thank Arceus! I'm so glad I found you all safe and sound!" She then broke the hug and started checking every inch of her sister's body like a concerned, overprotective mother. "Are you okay?! Are you hurt?!"

"I'm fine."

"Pichu pichu!" Pichu squeaked. Then, the Tiny Mouse Pokémon started charging up her electricity. "Piii-CHUUUUU!"

Before Yancy could react, she was electrocuted by Pichu's Thunder Shock.

"A-A-A-A-A-G-G-G-G-G-H-H-H-H-H!" the pink-haired girl squealed, her jaws chattering from the volts of electricity.

"Looks like Pichu's happy to see you too!" Selene exclaimed optimistically.

"Th-Th-Th-Thank-k-k-k y-y-y-yo-you-u-u-u, P-P-P-Pi-Pi-Pich-Pich-ch-ch-ch-chu-u-u-u..." Yancy stuttered severely.

"YANCY!" Nate cried, dashing from his position on the battlefield.

"N-Na-Nate-te-te...?" Then, the girl's eyes widened. "N-N-N-N-No! D-D-Do-Do-Don't-t-t-t-t!"

It was too late. Nate hugged Yancy as tightly as he could, only to receive a minor shock from the leftover electricity on the Performer's body.

"A-A-A-A-A-G-G-G-G-G-H-H-H-H-H!" the brown-haired boy cried, his jaws chattering from the volts of electricity.

Unfortunately, some of that electricity rebounded onto Yancy, shocking her again.


And some of that electricity rebounded onto Nate.


"Nate!" Ash cried, having just approached the two teenagers and Selene. "Are you okay?"

He reached out his hand in concern, prompting Serena to cry out, "Ash, don't!"

Too late. He touched Nate's shoulder, and-


And thus, the three continued to receive minor but effective shocks from the electricity left over from Pichu.







Selene and Pichu both simply giggled. Florges merely face-palmed hard.

Fortunately, it only took a couple of minutes or so for the electricity to subside, and Ash, Nate, and Yancy all recovered. Now, the entire group was congregated at a picnic table located near the battlefield.

" guys know we're all from the future?" asked Yancy, addressing the past selves of her extended family.

"Yep," Calem replied. "Everyone here knows."

"Uh-huh, uh-huh!" Selene added, nodding eagerly.

Yancy heaved out a heavy sigh. "Oh, what a relief. I thought I was gonna have to make up a complicated lie to get you guys to help me out..."

"So you're...Yancy, right?" Serena asked.

"That's me."

Serena blinked in surprise from this answer. She could definitely see herself in Yancy, what with the hairstyle, choice of clothes, and physical traits, but she was puzzled by the color of her hair. She never recalled any of her blood relatives having pink hair, so she wondered where that trait came from. Perhaps it was some sort of recessive trait?

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Yancy," Ash said, smiling. "You do look a lot like Serena."

"I'll say!" a swooning Tierno exclaimed. Yancy couldn't help but feel uneasy from this; was her honorary uncle, who she knew her entire life in the future, actually smitten with her?! Well, she did know about his old crush on Serena, and the fact that she resembled her mother quite a bit, but still...

Fortunately, Shauna caught on to the pink-haired girl's discomfort and elbowed Tierno in the side, a little harder than usual.

"Cut it out, Tierno," she whispered.

"Well," Yancy said, addressing Ash, "it's nice to meet you too, uh...Dad..."

Nate then piped up, "So, now that we've found you, Yancy, we just need to find Evelyn. And then, we wait for Celebi to get fully healed, and then, we'll be outta here!"

"Celebi?" Yancy asked, casting a glance at the Time Travel Pokémon, who was now tucked in Selene's arms. She noticed it was bandaged, especially its arm.

"Celebi got hurt, Yancy," Selene replied. "It needs to get better if it'll take us home."

"Pichu pichu," Pichu squeaked in agreement.

"I see..." Yancy looked at Nate. "How long will that take?"

"Nurse Joy said it would take a couple of days. Maybe less."

"So we need to find Evelyn within that time-frame if we're all gonna go back to our time. Arceus, I hope she's around her..." The teenage Performer looked down at the ground somberly and whispered to herself, "I...I still need to apologize to her too..."

"Hey, don't worry, Yancy," Ash said confidently, catching his future daughter's attention. "We'll find Evelyn in no time!" The Pallet Town native clenched his fist with determination. "I promise you that!"

Yancy looked up at him, her eyes shining with awe and admiration. It had been a while since she saw or heard her father being so bright, optimistic, and determined. She should not have been surprised to see such behavior coming from his past self, but nevertheless, it brought her immense relief and comfort, as it always did in her original timeline.

"'Kay..." she replied, nodding her head shyly.

At that moment, Nate said, "It's not gonna be easy, though." He stared at Yancy with a grave expression. "Yancy, Parker is here too."

"Parker?!" Yancy exclaimed in horrified disbelief.

"Mm-hm. He tried to get Celebi last night, but we defeated him and threw him in jail."

Yancy narrowed her eyes seriously. "Like that's gonna make a difference..."

"It really doesn't?" Trevor asked.

Nate ignored him and said, "Also, I haven't seen her here so far, but I'm willing to bet Kay's here as well."

Yancy looked at Celebi again. "We're gonna have to protect Celebi too, and then there's the Exhibition Showcase on top of that."

"What do you mean?" Calem asked.

"Well..." The pink-haired girl started tapping her index fingers together nervously as she focused on Ash and Serena. "I had a feeling you two would be here, so I sorta had to sign up for participation. That way, I could have a good chance of coming in contact with you."

"Oh," Ash said. "Well, you don't have to worry about that anymore, Yancy. You can just skip out on it now."

"I wish I could, but I can't anymore. You see, um...I, uh...accidentally made some new friends and-"

"YANCY!" a voice suddenly squealed. "There you are!"

Everyone turned their heads and saw Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin running up towards the group. Blanche was the first to reach them, whereupon she stopped and bent over to catch her group.

"'re...alright..." the Performer panted out.

"Oh, hey, you guys," Yancy replied.

"Did you find out what that explosion was all about?" Kazalie asked.

"That was us," Ash replied, raising his hand slightly. "Nate and I were just having a friendly battle, and I guess we were using some pretty powerful attacks."

With that, both Ash and Nate chuckled and scratched their own cheeks sheepishly.

"Oh, thank goodness for that."

"Yeah, we were wondering if it was anything serious," added Shulin. "We were also wondering if we should follow Yancy, since she wanted to step in and all. But it's a relief that we don't have to get our clothes dirty or anything."

Everyone else sweat-dropped at the Performer's obviously skewed priorities. In the meantime, Blanche eyed the group for a brief moment before looking at Yancy with an expression of curiosity and intrigue.

"Who are these people, Yancy?" she asked.

"Oh, these are my family and their friends," Yancy replied. She first pointed at Serena. "This is my mo-"

"I'm her sister," Serena interrupted, thinking right off the bat. "My name's Serena!"

"I'm her other sister!" Selene piped up, realizing what her mother was trying to do. "I'm Selene! This is Pichu and Cel- I mean, Sewaddle!"

"Pichu pichu!" greeted Pichu.

"Bi!" Celebi added. Fortunately, none of the three Performers gave it a second thought.

"A-And I'm her cousin," Ash added, quickly following Serena and Selene's lead. "I'm Ash Ketchum, and this is my partner Pikachu."

"Pika!" greeted Pikachu.

"And I'm Clemont!" Clemont stuttered. "Y-Yancy's, uh, th-third, uh, s-step-cousin t-twice removed... Yeah, that's right!" He crossed his arms, looking rather proud of himself and his lie. "Third step-cousin twice removed. That's who I am."


"...I'm his sister Bonnie..." deadpanned Bonnie, pointing a thumb at the inventor's direction.

"Nenene!" Dedenne squeaked cheerfully, while Squishy merely let out a low, apprehensive chirp.

"Huh..." Blanche replied. She looked a bit suspicious, especially from Clemont's description, but she seemed to shrug it off and continued with a smile, "It's so nice to meet you!" To everyone's surprise, she bowed politely and then gave them a cheerful smile. "I'm Blanche. Yancy's been so kind to us, so I'm happy to meet her family. I can see where she gets her kindness and hospitality from!"

"I'm Shulin," Shulin added before slinging an arm over Kazalie's shoulders. "And this is my cousin Kazalie."

"Nice to meet you all," Shauna replied warmly.

"Yeah," added Serena. "Thank you all so much for taking good care of my daught- ahem, sister."

Yancy shot her mother a puzzled look, but chose not to speak up about it. At that moment, Shulin spoke up.

"Ohhhhh, so you're Serena!" She pointed at the honey-blonde with excitement. "I remember you!"

"You...You do?" Serena asked with awe.

"Yeah, you're the Performer who lost to Aria by a mile in the final round of the Master Class Showcase!"

The honey-blonde immediately sweat-dropped glumly. "I'm glad you remembered me that way..."

Then, Shulin looked at Nate, and her eyebrows suddenly shot up. Yancy stared with suspicion as her fellow Performer proceeded to scan every inch of her crush's body, a certain glint shining in her eye.

"And who are you?" she asked with interest.

"I'm Yancy's friend Nate," the brown-haired boy replied, oblivious to the sultry tone of the Performer's voice. "Pleased to meet you, Shulin."

"Yes, pleased to meet you too..." Once again, Shulin scanned Nate's body from head to toe, and Yancy felt a jealous aura envelop her.

Fortunately, it was dispelled moments later when Shauna remembered something, and she checked her wristwatch.

"Uh-oh!" she exclaimed. "Guys, we've all better get going! The Showcase is about to start in an hour!"

"Wh-What?!" Blanche cried in concern. "Come on, girls, let's get going!"

With that, Blanche, Kazalie, and Shulin all rushed off, followed by Shauna. Everyone else looked at each other before running off after the girls. As they did, Ash looked at Nate with a slightly disappointed look.

"I guess we're gonna have to put that battle on hold, huh?" he asked.

"Yep," Nate replied. "It's a shame. I had my best Pokémon saved for the last round..."

A/N: And thus concludes this chapter! I hope I made the battle between Ash and Nate interesting and unique. I notice I don't particularly excel in formal, sporty battles, but I did put my all into that sequence. And yes! Yancy's finally reunited with the group! Now all they need to do now is just find Evelyn...

I'd like to thank the following for reviewing (but I can't respond to the reviews this time, unfortunately, due to sudden time constraints):




-Arno wisp

-Rajiv A. Rajaram

-Childhood Reality

-Phantomorion (guest reviewer)




-Ron the True Fan

-Shirony (guest reviewer)


Plus the two anonymous users who also submitted reviews for the previous chapter.

Well, hope you enjoyed this VERY late chapter! TheCartoonFanatic01 is out. PEACE!

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Vaniville Town Start 4102 0 0 2. Childhood Recollections 4580 0 0 3. Hometown Is Where the Heart Is 6052 0 0 4. A Deluxe Experience 8831 0 0 5. Gifts and Crises 10354 0 0 6. The Girl From The Future 8517 0 0 7. Beware the Pokémon Poachers 9470 0 0 8. A Night of Truth 7140 0 0 9. Pokémon Center Attack 9109 0 0 10. Battle on the Kiloude Streets 10953 0 0 11. Futures To Look Forward To 12673 0 0 12. Duel of Dual Ambitions 9028 0 0 13. An Intersection of Rivalries 6088 0 0 14. Setting the Exhibition Stage 7806 0 0 15. The Jaw-Breaking Jailbreak 5758 0 0 16. Quizzical Onstage Showdown 7415 0 0 17. A Chance Encounter with Royalty 6798 0 0 18. Some Soul-Searching and Pokémon Rescuing 8853 0 0 19. Shop Till You Flop 7512 0 0 20. What's About to Come 5456 0 0 21. Crouching Poacher, Hidden Love 10299 0 0 22. Maison Mayday 12868 0 0 23. All the Queen's Daughters 13152 0 0 24. Four Battles and a Celebi 13923 0 0 25. Recoup and Regroup 8389 0 0 26. Lead-Up to the Dress-Up 9318 0 0 27. Reflecting With Style 11311 0 0 28. An Unexpected Turn 8933 0 0 29. Judge, Jury, and Performer 11338 0 0 30. The Story of the Lost Queen 9510 0 0 31. A Grim Fate and a Triumphant Return 12630 0 0 32. Six Words for One Heart 12363 0 0 33. Freestyling With Free Spirits 8922 0 0