Notes: I originally wrote and finished this chapter four years ago on April 15, 2008. After looking at it and re-reading it, I decided to go back to all of the previous chapters in this series and do a little bit of rewriting. I won’t totally change the entire story. All the big key events will remain, but I want to go back and improve the writing, fix spelling/grammar mistakes, change a couple of things around, maybe remove some plotlines that went nowhere, and most importantly fix the characterization. I always felt like I made Paul and Dawn fall in love too soon, so I’m hoping to make this a little more realistic.0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0
I won’t waste too much time, let’s dive right in! I hope you guys enjoy the story!
Towering over Hearthome City was a tall, five-story building, painted yellow with a large Drifblim balloon floating above it. It was the Hearthome City Gym, where Fantina, the gym leader, waits for Pokémon trainers to challenge her for the Relic Badge.
Paul, a young purple-headed Pokémon trainer, stood at the doorway of the gym, looking up at the exterior. He had previously won the Coal Badge, the Forest Badge, and the Cobble Badge and was now ready to add the Relic Badge to his collection of gym badges. He had wanted to challenge the Hearthome City gym leader earlier, but she was never at the gym when she was needed. This was his second time in Hearthome City. He wanted to get his next gym battle out of the way.
He was determined to win the Relic Badge. He had spent all of last week training his Pokémon, particularly his Dark-type Pokémon like Honchkrow and Weavile. He was sure that he could beat her with ease.
As he examined the exterior of the gym, a familiar voice called his name. “Paul!” He turned around upon hearing his name and was greeted by the sight of Ash, his Pikachu, Dawn, and Brock walking up to him. “Oh great, you guys again,” he sneered.
“Hey Paul!” Dawn said to him. “Are you here to challenge the gym leader?”
“What do you think?” snapped Paul.
“Well, excuse me!” replied Dawn. “I was just asking a question!”
“Of course I’m going to challenge the gym leader. Why else would I be standing here? What are you three doing here anyway?”
“I’m here for the same reason you are,” answered Ash. “I’m here to challenge the gym leader!”
“Get in line,” replied Paul. “I was here first, so I get to challenge the gym leader...that is if she’s even here.”
The four of them then walked up to the door and pushed it open. They were surprised to see that it was unlocked.
As they walked inside, the lights suddenly came on, illuminating the entire place. The gym was rather basic, with a simple battlefield and a set of bleachers on each side for spectators to watch. The group looked around. The gym leader was nowhere to be seen. “That’s strange, I don’t see the gym leader anywhere,” mentioned Brock.
“Hello?” Paul called out. “Is anyone here?”
Paul’s voice echoed throughout the barren gym. There was no reply. “I’m here to challenge you to a gym battle!” continued Paul. Again, no one answered. “I guess she’s not here,” said Dawn.
“She has to be here,” replied Paul. “Why else would the door be unlocked?”
They were all surprised when the lights suddenly went out. “What?!” gasped Dawn.
“What’s going on?” stammered Ash.
“What happened to the lights?!” asked Brock.
Then, the sound of someone laughing echoed throughout the gym. “Maybe we should go,” suggested Dawn. Paul remained stoic throughout the entire ordeal.
Everyone tried making a break for the door, but a Gastly and a Haunter suddenly materialized in front of them. They jumped as the two ghost Pokémon began to multiply in numbers, until they were dozens floating above everyone. “Oh no, this is bad!” cried Dawn.
All of the Gastly and Haunter then flew closer to each other and began circling around in one spot. They spun faster and faster until a white burst of fire popped in the gym. Everyone jumped back upon hearing the boom, all except for Paul, who remained unfazed by the strange phenomena.
The lights then came back on, brightening the gym once more. The Gastly and Haunter had all disappeared from sight. The explosion from the small firework had created a cloud of black smoke. Suddenly, a woman with an outrageous hair style and a purple dress emerged from the smoke. She spread her arms out wide and smiled as a spotlight beamed down on her. “Ta-da!” she exclaimed. “I am Fantina, contest expert and the Hearthome City Gym Leader!”
Ash, Pikachu, Brock, Dawn, and Piplup all clapped their hands, impressed by her amazing entrance. Paul, however, didn’t clap.
Fantina bowed down to her audience, as did Haunter and Gastly. “Thank you! Oh, merci beaucoup!” she said, in a French accent. “I hope you enjoyed my entrée! After all, I am a Pokémon Coordinator! Beautiful entrances are a must for someone like moi! I have been practicing the entrée for the past few weeks. What did you think?”
“That was incredible!” beamed Dawn.
“When you shut off the lights, you really had us going,” added Brock.
“It was amazing!” Ash said.
Fantina then turned towards Paul, who continued scowling. “And what about you?” asked Fantina.
“Huh...what about me?” Paul asked.
“Well, what did you think of my amazing performance?”
“It was okay, I guess,” answered Paul.
“Okay?” Fantina asked, surprised. “Did it not amaze you? Excite you?”
“No, I really don’t care,” replied Paul.
“Hey Paul! Show some respect!” scolded Dawn. “This is Fantina! She’s one of the greatest coordinators in the Sinnoh region!”
Dawn then turned back to Fantina. “Your Pokémon were great, Fantina!” she said, happily.
“Ah! Indeed they were,” replied Fantina, cheering up a bit. The Gastly and Haunter all disappeared, leaving only one of each. Fantina then hugged the two (despite them being ghost Pokémon). “My entrée would not have been successful without them! For without them, I would be nothing.”
Paul rolled his eyes. He found that Fantina’s affection for her Pokémon pathetic. But he kept quiet about it. “Look, I don’t care about this whole coordinating thing,” he said. “All I want is my gym badge.”
“Aw! You wish to challenge me to a battle?”
“That’s right,” confirmed Paul.
“I see. Very well then Paul, I accept your challenge! This is what gym leaders do, non?”
Fantina and Paul took their places on the gym's battlefield. Ash, Dawn, and Brock sat down on the bleachers beside the battlefield.
"The Pokémon battle between the challenger, Paul from Veilstone City, and the Hearthome City Gym Leader, Fantina, is about to get underway!" shouted the referee. "This will be a three-on-three battle. The battle will continue until one trainer's team of Pokémon is unable to battle. In addition, only the challenger can swap Pokémon. The gym leader cannot. Let the battle commence!"
Paul took out a Poké Ball. "Honchkrow, stand by!" Paul shouted. Honchkrow appeared from its Poké Ball, ready for battle. "Ah! A Dark-type Pokémon! I see you have...how you say...done your homework," said Fantina.
Fantina then took out her Poké Ball. "Very well then! Venir, Drifblim!" Fantina shouted, as she threw her Poké Ball in the air. The Poké Ball opened and Drifblim appeared and hovered over the battlefield.
“Drifblim ,huh?” Ash asked.
“Honchkrow’s a Dark-type Pokémon and Drifblim’s a Ghost-type Pokémon. Fantina’s at a disadvantage,” commented Dawn.
“I wouldn’t count Fantina out yet,” replied Brock. “Part of being a gym leader, as well as a coordinator, is knowing how to improvise. Let’s see what she does.”
“Round One: Drifblim vs. Honchkrow...BEGIN!” announced the referee.
“Honchkrow, use Night Slash!” shouted Paul.
Honchkrow flapped its wings and propelled himself up into the air and towards Drifblim. Its wing glowed bright purple. “Drifblim, dodge and use Gust!”
Drifblim then spun around and around, kicking up a small but powerful tornado. Everyone sitting in the bleachers held on tight to their seats. Honchkrow tried flapped towards Drifblim, trying hard to combat the strong wind. “Honchkrow, use Shadow Ball!” Paul shouted.
Honchkrow formed a dark ball of energy at its mouth and then fired it at Drifblim! Drifblim was still spinning widly. It was unable to dodge the attack! A cloud of smoke erupted from the Shadow Ball upon impact. The wind immediately died down afterwards.
Drifblim staggered to the ground after being hit. Paul saw his chance. “Now use Haze!" Paul shouted.
Honchkrow rapidly flapped its wings and created a cloud of smoke that shrouded everything on the field. Ash, Pikachu, Dawn, and Brock began coughing loudly. Fantina’s Drifblim couldn’t see where Honchkrow was. "Now, use Night Slash!" Paul shouted at his Pokémon. Honchkrow flew back up into the air and charged at Drifblim, readying his attack as he flew.
"Drifblim, dodge with Minimize, and quick!" coughed Fantina.
Honchkrow then suddenly appeared on the other side of the Haze, nearly crashing into the wall.
“Huh? Honchkrow missed?” Dawn asked.
Honchkrow was just as confused as everyone else. He was sure he was right on target. Eventually, the Haze dissipated and everyone could see the battlefield again. But Drifblim was nowhere to be found.
“What happened?” Ash asked. “Where did Drifblim go?”
“It used Minimize! Drifblim has shrunk itself down to the size of a penny,” explained Brock. “Drifblim could be anywhere.”
Paul and Honchkrow desperately looked all around the gym, trying to hardest to find Drifblim. “What’s wrong, little Paul?” taunted Fantina, “I thought you had the advantage, with your Dark-type Pokémon. Understand this, type advantages can be quite useful in battle, but it’s useless if you can’t even find your opponent.”
Paul decided not to reply. He continued looking around for Drifblim. “Be on your guard, Honchkrow!
“Drifblim, use Silver Wind!” commanded Fantina.
Paul and Honchkrow’s eyes darted across the field, looking for Drifblim. “Come on Drifblim, where are you?” Paul asked.
While Honchkrow was in the middle of the battlefield, Drifblim suddenly expanded back to its normal size right behind its opponent. “Honchkrow, behind you!” Paul shouted.
Honchkrow quickly turned around and was met with a blast of silver crescents in the face. Everyone gasped as Honchkrow tumbled towards Paul’s side of the field. Honchkrow lied on the ground, battered and beaten. “Come on, Honchkrow! Get up!” Paul shouted.
“Drifblim, use Gust!” ordered Fantina.
Honchkrow did its best to get back on its feet, but Drifblim suddenly kicked up more wind. Honchkrow couldn’t fight it and ended up being tossed around the gym. Everyone covered their eyes as debris and feathers were flung into the air.
After being whirred around, Honchkrow landed with a thud in front of his trainer. Honchkrow tried its best to get back up, but it collapsed to the ground, unable to continue. The referee raised his flag in the air. "Honchkrow is unable to battle," the referee declared. “The winner of this round is Drifblim!”
"What!?" Paul asked, angrily.
“Wow, that Drifblim managed to take out Honchkrow,” commented Ash.
“Poor Honchkrow, he didn’t even land a single hit,” worried Dawn.
“It’s like Fantina said,” reminded Brock. “While Paul had a type advantage, Fantina’s Pokémon was able to outsmart him with Minimize and Gust.”
Paul returned Honchkrow to its Poké Ball and then took out another Poké Ball. "Weavile, standby!" he shouted.
Paul threw the Poké Ball up in the air and a Weavile popped out. “Still trying to take advantage of my Pokémon’s weakness, eh?” asked Fantina. “It shall do you no good, little Paul! My Drifblim has proven that it can overcome its weaknesses and defeat its opponent with ease.”
“Honchkrow was weak!” replied Paul. “But Weavile’s much stronger! It’ll annihilate your Drifblim.”
Fantina was shocked by Paul calling his Pokémon weak. Nevertheless, she continued on with the battle.
“Round Two: Drifblim vs. Weavile...BEGIN!” shouted the referee.
The battle went on! At first, Drifblim dominated over Weavile using Silver Wind, an attack that it was weak to. Weavile tried to counter with Ice Beam and Blizzard, but Drifblim was able to counter with Minimize. Ash watched the battle carefully, taking note of Fantina’s methods.
"Weavile, use Blizzard!" Paul shouted. Weavile leaned back and fired a fury of snow out of its mouth towards Drifblim.
"Drifblim, Ominous Wind now!" Fantina shouted.
Drifblim then fired a dark purple wind at Weavile, completely cancelling out its Blizzard attack. Weavile was hit and was sent flying back towards Paul. “Get up, Weavile!” Paul shouted.
Weavile tried its best to get back up, but it ultimately failed. Weavile’s arms gave up and he fell to the floor, exhausted. The referee raised his flag. “Weavile is unable to battle! The winner of this round is Drifblim!” he announced.
“Wow, Paul’s not doing so good,” commented Ash.
“He’s down to his last Pokémon,” added Dawn.
“I have to admit, I’m impressed by Fantina’s Drifblim,” remarked Brock.
Paul returned Weavile to its Poké Ball. He was starting to become frustrated. "I don’t get it! Why am I losing?” he asked himself. “There’s no reason why my Pokémon should be so weak!”
Paul looked up at the battlefield. Drifblim hovered in the air, while Fantina stood behind it, smirking. Paul reached into his pocket and took out another Poké Ball. He looked down at it. It was his last Pokémon, his last chance at winning. He threw it into the air.
“Luxio, stand by!” he shouted.
The Poké Ball opened up and a small lion-like Pokémon jumped out onto the field, ready to battle. “Ah! A Luxio!” gasped Brock.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” swooned Dawn.
Luxio blushed upon hearing Dawn’s comment, much to Paul’s chagrin. Ash had never seen Paul use a Luxio before. He inferred that Paul had recently caught it and was curious to see it in action.
“Oh! An Electric-type, eh?” Fantina asked. “Well, it’s a nice change from what you’ve been using during our battle, but it makes no difference! My Drifblim will still defeat you!”
Paul turned to his Luxio. “Alright Luxio, you have to focus! You’re my last chance at winning! Don’t screw this up!” he warned.
Luxio nodded his head.
“Round Three: Luxio vs. Drifblim...BEGIN!”
“Drifblim, use Silver Wind!” Fantina shouted.
“Luxio, dodge it now!” Paul commanded.
Drifblim quickly fired a barrage of silver crescents at Luxio, but Luxio quickly rolled out of the way! “Now use Bite!” Paul shouted.
Luxio then charged at Drifblim, baring its fangs as it got closer to its target. “Driflbim, use Gust now!”
Drifblim spun round and round, creating another tornado inside the gym. Everybody held on to their seats. Luxio stopped in his tracks and used his sharp claws to anchor himself to the ground. Debris flew everywhere as Drifblim continued spinning. “Now use Ominous Wind!” Fantina shouted.
Drifblim quickly stopped spinning and fired a stream of dark purple wind at Luxio. “Luxio, dodge and use Shock Wave!” Paul shouted.
Luxio quickly jumped to the side and the end of his tail began to light up. “Drifblim, counter with Minimize!”
Before Luxio could unleash his attack, Drifblim quickly shrunk itself down to the size of a small coin. Paul and Luxio remained unfazed.
Suddenly, a large bolt of electricity was emitted from Luxio’s tail. It traveled through the sky, electrocuting anything in its path. Everyone was shocked to see Drifblim suddenly expand back to its normal size. “Oh no!” gasped Fantina.
“No way!” remarked Dawn. “Somehow, Luxio managed to hit Drifblim, even when it was too small to see.”
“That’s because Shock Wave is an attack that never misses,” explained Brock. “Even if Fantina’s Drifblim uses a move like Minimize, it will still be hit by that bolt of electricity. Very smart of Paul to take advantage of that.”
Drifblim staggered to the ground, with smoke slowly floating off its body. “Oh non! Drifblim, are you alright?” Fantina asked, worriedly.
Drifblim replied with a moaning noise. It struggled to stay afloat. “Now Luxio, use Bite!” Paul shouted.
Luxio quickly charged at Drifblim, jumped up, and bit down on one of Drifblim’s limbs that hung from its body. Drifblim squealed in agony as Luxio’s teeth sunk into its rudder-like limbs. “Drifblim, shake Luxio off with Gust!” ordered Fantina.
Drifblim quickly spun around and around, trying to shake Luxio off its limbs. But Luxio’s teeth were very strong and he held on tight. “Now Luxio, finish Drifblim off with Thunder Fang!” Paul shouted.
“Oh non, cela est mauvais!” Fantina exclaimed, worriedly.
Luxio’s teeth began to glow yellow and spark up. Luxio then shocked Drifblim with the electricity stored in its teeth! Lightning bolts flew off of the two Pokémon, hitting various places on the battlefield. Fantina, Ash, Pikachu, Dawn, Piplup, and Brock were all amazed by the sight.
When everything had settled down, Drifblim fell to the ground, unconscious and unable to go on battling. Luxio let go of Drifblims’ limbs and slowly walked back to Paul’s side of the field. The referee waved his flag. “Drifblim is unable to battle! The winner of this round is Luxio.”
“Alright, Luxio!” cheered Dawn.
“That was amazing!” added Ash.
“That Luxio sure is strong,” Brock said. “It wouldn’t surprise me that Paul would add a Pokémon like that to his team.”
“Drifblim, retourner!” Fantina said, as she called back her Pokémon. “Well, well, little Paul, for a moment I thought you would lose this battle. But it seems that you’re actually trying to fight back.”
“Of course I am,” replied Paul. “I’m not some loser like Ash!”
“Hey!” snapped Ash.
“My goodness, Paul!” exclaimed Fantina. “That’s no way to speak about your friends.”
“Friends? Ash isn’t my friend,” corrected Paul.
“Non?” Fantina asked, confused. “Well...what about the girl?”
“What about her?” Paul asked.
“Is she not your petite amie?” Fantina asked.
“My...what?!” Paul asked.
“You know, your girlfriend,” clarified Fantina.
“Girlfriend?! Why would I ever have that troublesome girl as my girlfriend?!”
Dawn crossed her arms in anger. “Well excuse me mister! But you’re not exactly boyfriend material either!” snapped Dawn. Paul only sneered at her. He turned back to Fantina. Fantina was surprised by the two’s interactions with another one. “Interesting. They’re not your friends, she’s not your girlfriend...”
“I don’t need friends and I certainly don’t need a girlfriend,” interrupted Paul. “They would only get in the way of training. Anyway, enough messing around! Send out your next Pokémon already!” demanded Paul.
Fantina was a bit shocked at Paul’s declaration. She had never met someone like Paul. Nevertheless, she focused her attention back onto the battlefield. “You’re right! Let’s get back to the matter at hand!” she said. She then took out another Poké Ball. “Gengar, prepare for battle!” she shouted, as she released her Gengar into the battlefield.
Her Gengar appeared on the battleground, ready to fight. He stared down at his opponent, flashing him a sinister smile. “A Gengar, huh?” Paul asked. “Where was he during your entrance? Whatever, this should be easy.”
“Oh Paul, have you learned not to underestimate my Pokémon and I?” asked Fantina.
“Round Four: Gengar vs. Luxio...BEGIN!”
“Luxio, use Bite!” Paul shouted.
Luxio bared his fangs and charged at Gengar! “Dodge it, Gengar!” shouted Fantina.
Gengar flew up into the air as soon as Luxio came close to hitting him. Luxio ran right below Gengar, completely missing his attack. “Now, use Shadow Ball!” shouted Fantina.
Whilst in the mid-air, Gengar fired a dark ball of energy at Luxio. “Dodge it, Luxio!” shouted Paul.
Luxio quickly jumped out of the way. The Shadow Ball missed and exploded beside him. “Now use Charge!”
Luxio kneeled down and began mustering up as much electric energy as it could. Sparks shot off from his body. He was getting ready for another Shock Wave attack!
But Fantina had other ideas. “Gengar, use Hypnosis now!” ordered Fantina. Everyone gasped as Gengar appeared in front of Luxio, with eyes glowing bright blue. He and Luxio locked eyes with each other and Gengar waved his hands back and forth. “Luxio, look away!” Paul shouted.
But it was no good. Luxio was caught in a trance and he was slowly beginning to shut his eyes. “This isn’t good,” commented Ash. “Luxio is starting to fall asleep.” Paul angrily growled as he saw his Luxio in trouble. “Luxio, snap out of it and use Thunder Fang!”
Luxio heard his trainer’s words and shook his head, breaking free from Gengar’s trance. He wasted no time electrically-charging his teeth and lunging at Gengar. Gengar was fast, though. Luxio tried his best to land a hit on Gengar, but Gengar was able to swiftly dodge each attack. All the while, Gengar still kept up his Hypnosis attack.
“It’s no use,” worried Dawn. “Gengar’s just too fast. Luxio can’t keep up.”
Eventually, Luxio became tired from chasing Gengar around the battlefield. Gengar seized the moment and locked Luxio in his trance again. Luxio stopped his attempts at attacking with Thunder Fang and he began to feel drowsy again. “Come on, Luxio! Don’t fall for it!” jeered Paul. “Fight against it!”
Paul’s words fell on deaf ears, as Luxio slowly slumped to the ground. Luxio lied on his stomach, asleep. “Luxio, wake up!” Paul shouted, hoarsely. Luxio didn’t respond. He still slept away. “That’s it,” said Brock. “Luxio’s out like a light.”
“No, he’s not!” argued Paul. “Get up, Luxio!”
Luxio continued to sleep, reluctantly ignoring his trainer’s commands. The referee saw this and raised his flag. “Luxio is unable to battle!” he announced. “The challenger Paul has run out of Pokémon! Therefore, gym leader Fantina wins this battle!”
“Ha-ha!” she guffawed, happily. “Outstanding work, Gengar!”
While Fantina and Gengar celebrated, Ash, Brock, and Dawn looked over to Paul’s side of the field. They saw Paul flaring through his nose, glaring at the sleeping Luxio in front of him. “Wow, this is the first time I’ve seen Paul lose against a gym leader,” mentioned Ash.
“He doesn’t look like he’s taking it well,” added Dawn.
Indeed, Paul was furious at the outcome of the battle. He only managed to take out one of Fantina’s Pokémon, and that Pokémon managed to knock out two of his with hardly any effort. He looked ahead and saw Fantina and her Gengar happily celebrating their victory. He struggled to keep his composure. He retreated Luxio back into his Poké Ball. Afterwards, he stared at the Poké Ball, contemplating on what to do with Luxio.
He then walked over towards Fantina. He bowed down to her. “Fantina, thank you for accepting my challenge,” he said to her.
“It was not a problem,” replied Fantina. “I do feel sorry that it didn’t turn out the way it did.”
“Well just you wait! Next time I come back to this gym, I’ll win my Relic Badge!”
“I look forward to it! May I offer some advi-”
Paul didn’t listen. He hastily made his way towards the door and out the gym. His sudden and quick exit surprised Fantina, much like the rest of Paul’s behavior today. “Hmph, very well then,” she shrugged.
She then turned to Ash. “Now then, I believe that you were next to challenge me to a gym battle,” she said.
“That’s right,” Ash said, pumping his fist excitedly. “My name is Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town and I want to challenge you to a gym battle!”
“Well, I would love to. But perhaps we can battle tomorrow?” Fantina asked. “I have to attend to some important matters at the contest hall. Plus, my poor Drifblim is no condition to battle.”
While Ash and Fantina continue talking, Dawn couldn’t help but worry about Paul and what he would do with his Luxio. She hoped that Paul wouldn’t release it back into the wild.
That night, Ash, Brock, and Dawn spent the night at the Hearthome City Pokémon Center, which sat along the outskirts of the city. While Ash and Brock slept easily (with Pikachu sleeping beside Ash’s head), However, tried as she might, Dawn found that she couldn’t fall asleep. She still couldn’t help but be worried about Paul’s Luxio. She let out a depressed sigh, surprisingly not waking up Brock or Ash. "I really hope Paul doesn't let go of his Luxio," she thought. “I mean, Luxio may have lost the battle, but he fought hard! That has to count for something, right?”
Conflicted, Dawn got up from her bed and stared out the window in the room. Suddenly, she caught a glimpse of a purple-headed trainer down below her room. She immediately grew suspicious. “Wait...no, that can’t be him,” she whispered, quietly.
She leaned a bit forward to get a closer look. Sure enough, her suspicions proved to be true. Outside of the Pokémon Center was Paul, dressed without his usual purple jacket. He had just appeared from behind the trees and stood around the Pokémon Center. Dawn was confused. "What's he doing up this late?" she asked.
Then, it hit her. She quickly gathered her things and made her way to the door. Her Piplup woke up and saw her leaving the room. Surprised to see her trainer leaving, Piplup quickly rose up from Dawn’s bed and followed after her. Ash, Pikachu, and Brock continued to sleep, unaware that their female companion had left the room.
Paul stood in the middle of the forest, far from the Hearthome City Pokémon Center. He looked down at the Poké Ball in his hands and grunted. “And here I thought that you were different,” he whispered.
He then threw the Poké Ball up in the air. It popped open and Luxio appeared in front of Paul. Luxio looked all around him. He was confused as to why he and his trainer were out in the forest in the middle of the night. Paul put the empty Poké Ball back into his pocket. “You’re too weak,” Paul harshly told him. “I’m done with you!”
Luxio was shocked to hear that his trainer was abandoning him! As soon as Paul began walking away, Luxio immediately jumped in front of Paul to try and stop him. “Look Luxio, you’re not strong enough! I don’t have time to waste with a weak and pathetic Pokémon like you,” Paul told Luxio. “Now get out of my way!”
Paul pushed Luxio to the side and continued walking back to the Pokémon Center, leaving Luxio behind. Paul refused to look back at Luxio. It was no different from the other times that he released or abandoned Pokémon.
He continued walking through the forest, not giving a second thought to Luxio. He was more focused on how to win his next gym battle against Fantina. Although he wouldn’t admit it (even to himself), he felt embarrassed about how it turned out. He felt that Honchkrow and Weavile should have put up a better fight. “I need to focus,” he thought. “There’s no way I’m going to lose her again!”
He was then distracted when he heard the sound of a stick breaking. He quickly turned around and saw Luxio standing right behind him, his paw on a broken twig. “Are you following me?!” Paul asked, angrily. “Look, what part of ‘I don’t want you anymore’ you not understand?! I don’t want you. Now get lost!”
Paul then turned back and continued on his way, trying to regain focus on his next battle. He didn’t want to look back at the small, lion-like Pokémon. But as Paul continued to walk back to the Pokémon Center, he could still hear small footsteps behind him. He didn’t have to look to know where it was coming from.
Without looking back to check the noise, Paul began to walk a bit faster. Likewise, the Pokémon behind him picked up the pace to keep up with him. In response, Paul walked faster, essentially power-walking. He could hear the small footsteps getting louder and quicker.
Finally, desperate to rid himself of the annoying pest, Paul took off sprinting. He ran as fast as he could through the trees, hoping that Luxio would fall far behind. After a while, he looked back. He was glad to see that there was no one following him. “Finally!” he sighed.
But then suddenly, Paul tripped over a small Pokémon and butted heads with its trainer. They both landed on the ground and immediately grabbed their aching limbs, as did the Pokémon. “Oh, my head,” groaned Paul. Paul looked up to see that the other person was Dawn, with her Piplup right beside her. “My eye...” she moaned.
“Hey, watch where you’re going, stupid girl!” snapped Paul.
“Hey, I’m not the one running around in the dark!” argued Dawn.
Dawn then realized that she was talking to Paul. “Paul?” she asked. “Paul, I was looking for you!” explained Dawn.
“Looking for me? For what?” Paul asked.
“Quick! Where’s Luxio?”
“Luxio? Why does that matter to you?!”
“Where is he?!” Dawn asked again, this time in a more serious tone.
Dawn then looked over Paul’s shoulder. She immediately calmed down. “Oh good,” she sighed. “He’s right there.”
“What?!” Paul asked, surprised.
Paul quickly turned around and saw Luxio, sitting beside the two, wagging his tail. He titled his head back and threw his hands up in the air. “Oh come on!” he groaned. “Leave me alone already!”
Paul got up onto his feet and walked over to Luxio. “What do I have to do to get rid of you?” he asked.
“Hey, come on Paul,” pleaded Dawn. “Why would you get rid of a Pokémon like Luxio?”
“What do you think? Because he’s weak!”
“But look at him!”
Dawn got up and walked over to Luxio. She kneeled down and petted him, which Luxio liked very much. Dawn then wrapped her arm around his head and hugged him. “I mean he’s so cute. And he’s very strong. He put up a great battle today against Fantina’s Pokémon.”
“A great battle?! Were you even paying attention?! He lost!”
“Well, give him a break. He had to pick up the slack after your other Pokémon fainted.”
“That’s no excuse.”
“Well at least he actually managed to defeat one of her Pokémon,” rebutted Dawn.
Paul turned away from Dawn and Luxio. “Look, I’m not going to argue about this anymore,” Paul said, “If you want to keep Luxio, be my guest. But as for me, Luxio has no place on my team. I’m done here!”
Paul then continued on his way to the Pokémon Center. Dawn and Luxio’s faces drooped. “I’m sorry Luxio,” Dawn said to the sad little Pokémon. But Luxio refused to allow Paul to disown him. He broke free from Dawn’s grasp and charged at Paul. Using his teeth, he grabbed onto the bottom of Paul’s pant legs and pulled him back. “Hey, what are you doing?!” Paul asked, angrily.
Luxio used his strength to pull Paul back and keep him from walking any further. “Let go of me!” ordered Paul. Paul tried shaking Luxio off, but it was no good. Luxio had his teeth sunk in and he refused to let go. Dawn could only watch the two as they played tug-o-war with one another. “Look, I’m not taking you back!” snapped Paul. “So get lost, will you?!”
Luxio only pulled back in response. Paul eventually grew tired of trying to fight back and stopped. Luxio, however, continued tugging on his leg. “Okay, okay!” he shouted. “I won’t get rid of you! Just let me go already!”
Luxio and Dawn’s heads perked up, not believing what they had just heard. “What was that?” Dawn asked.
“If Luxio lets me go, I’ll keep on my team,” repeated Paul.
Luxio and Dawn’s faces then beamed happily. “Really?! You mean it?” Dawn asked.
“Don’t get used to it!” Paul shouted. “It’s only because it’s late at night and I just want this to be over.”
Luxio did as he was told and he let go of Paul. Before Paul did anything else, he kneeled down and looked Luxio in the air. “Listen, what I’m doing with you is something I usually never do with my Pokémon,” he said, sternly. “Don’t let me down, understand?”
Luxio nervously nodded his head. Paul took out an empty Poké Ball and threw it at Luxio. A red light took Luxio inside the Poké Ball. It shook around for a bit before making a ping noise, signaling Luxio’s capture.
Paul picked up the Poké Ball and placed it back into his pocket. “Geez, talk about being persistent,” he muttered. “I’ve never met a Pokémon who wanted to be on my team that bad. Usually whenever I release a Pokémon, they just take off and don’t care to look back.”
“Luxio just wants you to be proud of him,” Dawn said. “He may not have won the battle today, but I could tell he was trying his hardest to win.”
“Well that’s not going to cut it,” Paul said. “I want Pokémon who do and not try.”
Paul then yawned. “Look, I’m done talking. It’s late and I’m tired. I’m going back to the Pokémon Center.”
Paul then went about his way. Dawn and Piplup quickly ran after him and walked beside him. “You’re coming with me?” Paul asked.
“Well duh, I’m going back to the Pokémon Center too,” answered Dawn.
Paul said nothing more after that. The two just continued walking.
“I’m glad Paul changed his mind and decided to keep Luxio,” Dawn thought. “You know, Paul may come off as this cold, brash person. But I think there’s more to him than that. Deep down, there is some good in him.”
So, that’s it for the first installment of my Ikarishipping story. Personally, even though it took me longer, I’m proud of how well this rewrite turned out. Of course, I am open to suggestions, criticisms, and feedback from you, dear readers!
Let me know what you think!