Disclaimer: I really don't know why I do these things. We all know that I don't own the rights to Pokémon: not to the anime, video games, manga, or any of the merchandise. I don't know. I guess I like reminding others about that fact. I guess that makes me a masochist of some sorts, because I really wish I did own the rights. :(

"Morning Serena." Gary greeted the girl from Vaniville Town as she walked out of her tent.

Serena smiled and attempted to respond verbally, but the words died on her tongue. Instead of words, the girl ended up yawning. Gary chuckled in response before he turned his attention back to working on his laptop.

Once Serena got ready for the day and had woken up further, she scanned the campsite and looked at all of her friends. All four of them had managed to wake up before her and started their day. Gary was using his laptop and reflecting on the research he had done on the Flabébé. Bonnie and Pikachu were playing together, trying to catch each other as they ran around in circles. Ash and Clemont were standing in the same battlefield that he and Serena had been in the day before, battling each other with Gible and Magnemite respectively.

"Magnemite, use Sonic Boom!" Clemont called out to the electric-type Pokémon.

"Quick Gible, use Dig to get away." Ash shouted.

The girl from Vaniville Town blinked as she watched Gible and Magnemite battle each other. Gible avoided Magnemite's 'Sonic Boom' by going underground. He then jumped out of the ground directly beneath the magnet Pokémon and attempted to hit it with his head. Magnemite floated away just in time to avoid the attack before charging the land shark Pokémon with a 'Tackle'. Gible jumped away just in time and proceeded to attack the electric-type with his 'Rock Smash'.

'… Heh. Clemont must be helping Ash train for his gym battle before we get to Santalune City.' Serena realized as she smiled.

As she thought of Ash's gym battle and his own personal dreams, she felt a desire to reflect on her own dreams and her adventure. Recalling what she and Bonnie had talked about the previous night, she went back to her tent, pulled out the notebook she had been given and a pen, and walked over to a spot next to one of the nearby gardens filled with red flowers. She took a seat on the ground and made sure she could still Ash and Clemont's battle. The girl then opened the journal. After a moment of thinking about what to write, she finally shrugged and decided to write simply about the first things that came to her mind.

"It's only my second day, but things are already really intense. I had my first battle with Ash yesterday: something I never thought I would ever do! He and Clemont are battling right now with each other and helping Ash train for his gym battle today. We'll probably arrive in Santalune City around the time for lunch and Ash will battle the gym leader right away. We'll probably stay the night, but after that, we'll be heading out of the city. Ash is going to want to move on to the next city so he can get ready for his next gym battle."

Serena heard a loud 'booming' noise and looked up from her journal. She noticed that Gible had landed a 'Dragon Pulse' directly at Magnemite and knocked it out. The land shark Pokémon was running around the battlefield in excitement, proud to have won his first battle in the Kalos region. Clemont returned his Magnemite with a sigh before he looked over to Ash with a smile.

"Your Gible's good Ash. You're a good trainer." He told him with a smile.

"Thanks a lot Clemont. You're pretty tough yourself. And your Magnemite's got some pretty cool tricks up its sleeve." Ash replied with a smile, returning the blonde's praise. "At the rate you're going, you'll be one of the best gym leaders Lumiose City has to offer!"

Serena smiled as she overheard the two boys talking to each other. She then turned her attention back to her journal, having another idea of what to write.

"I'm traveling with Ash and a few other people that we've met that I think I can already call my friends. They're all really nice people, but one thing that I truly respect about them all is that they all have their own dreams. Ash wants to become a Pokémon Master and is trying to win the Kalos League Conference. Gary wants to become a Pokémon Professor one day and is working hard on his own research to help get new information on Pokémon. Clemont wants to become the Lumiose City gym leader and is doing everything he can to get himself tougher so he can be the best gym leader he can be. Even Bonnie already has her own dream! She wants to become a Pokémon trainer one day and enter the Kalos League herself: just like Ash is doing. They all know exactly what they're trying to do on this journey. And me…

"Bonnie told me last night that collecting my thoughts and writing them down here would help me figure out my goals. But I don't know yet. I still don't really know what I want to do. Up until now, I always just forced myself into 'Rhyhorn Racing practice' and never really thought about my plans. Now is the time where I have the freedom, but I really don't know what I want to do with it.

"All I can hope for, though, is that I'll figure out soon enough. At least for now, I know that I'll have my friends with me. And if there's one thing I want right now for the future, it is to have a good time with them throughout Kalos and make memories that I'll never forget! I'm just so glad to be here with Ash…"

Serena stopped writing and blushed at her own words. She had intended on writing 'her friends' but she ended up writing only Ash's name instead. She went to go correct her mistake, but she couldn't bring herself to it. This, ultimately, resulted in her blushing more.

'Thankfully this is my journal. No one else will read it but me.' She told herself.

Feeling satisfied with her writing, Serena decided to put down her journal down. She then turned her face towards the red-flower garden.


… She also noticed that she was now facing a Ledyba, who was directly in front of her face and looking at her curiously.

"Ah!" She screamed in surprise at the sight of the bug-type Pokémon.

"Ledy!" The Ledyba, who had not been expecting such a loud reaction from the human, screamed in response as well and flew backwards face-first into the flower garden.

The screaming had alerted the rest of the group. They rushed over to the garden, towards Serena.

"Are you okay Serena?" Ash asked her.

"I'm fine. I just got started." Serena answered, shaking her head in embarrassment at her scream. She then turned her head to face the bug-type Pokémon. "But what was that?"

Ledyba was attempting to hide in the red flowers which camouflaged his shell. Unfortunately for the bug-type Pokémon, the black spots on his shell revealed his location to everyone around him. As a result, it didn't take long for Serena to find him and it didn't take her long to pull out her pokédex and scan him: Ledyba, the Five Star Pokémon. It is timid and clusters together with others. The fluid secreted by its feet indicates its location.

"A Ledyba? It looks so cute!" Bonnie exclaimed as she walked forward to go and hug the bug-type Pokémon.

Unfortunately, the steps of the little girl in the garden startled the Ledyba further. The five star Pokémon flew backwards further into the garden and tried to remain hidden from the rest of the group. His actions caused Bonnie to stop walking and frown in response.

"Don't take it personally, Bonnie. Ledyba in general are a spy species, and this one seems kinda spooked." Gary informed the blonde-haired girl.

Serena, herself, frowned at Gary's words. Although the Ledyba had actually snuck up on her and surprised her, her reaction seemed to have scared the bug-type Pokémon worse. He was shaking within the flowers and seemed to be absolutely miserable. This made her feel bad for startling the Pokémon and made her determined to help him feel better.

She put her journal away in her backpack and pulled out a small container of Pokémon food. She took out a few pellets and held them out in her hand as she inched slowly through the garden in an attempt to not startle the Ledyba further.

"Ledyba?" Serena called out to the Pokémon. She noticed him stiffen and look as if he was about to flee. "No, don't go! I'm not going to hurt you or anything."

"Led?" Ledyba finally stopped shaking in the flowers and hesitantly looked up at Serena.

"I'm sorry for scaring you a few seconds ago. We both just surprised each other. I don't want you to feel afraid or anything." Serena held out her hand with the pellets a little further. "This is for you… It's my apology for scaring you a little bit ago."

Ledyba remained motionless in the flowers for a few seconds as it studied Serena and the Pokémon food pellets in her hand. Finally deciding that the girl wasn't going to harm or try and do anything to him, the Ledyba finally floated over slowly and shyly over towards the girl. He reached for the pellets in her hand and started to eat them slowly. He realized that he enjoyed the taste and started to quickly eat the pellets, causing Serena to laugh.

"You like them, don't you? Were you hungry?" She asked the bug-type with a smile on her face.

Ledyba looked up and smiled awkwardly at the girl for a second before he returned back to eating the pellets. Serena giggled at the Pokémon's behavior.

"He's so cute!" Bonnie exclaimed once again after seeing the bug-type warm up to Serena.

"He's just a little shy." Gary noted with a light chuckle.

Clemont nodded at Gary's statement. He opened his mouth to respond, but he was interrupted by the sound of a grumbling stomach – his stomach. The entire group, even Serena and the Ledyba, turned their attention towards him. This caused him to blush slightly and look towards the ground.

"Uh… D-Does anyone else want to eat s-some breakfast?" He questioned with a stutter. He was unable to look up to the others.

"Pika pika." Pikachu stated as he walked over to Clemont and put his hand on the blonde, letting him know that he agreed with the trainer.

"Pikachu seems hungry too, and so am I. Yeah, let's eat a quick breakfast before we head out!" Ash stated with a smirk.

The group started to walk away from the garden towards the center of the camp, where Clemont would prepare a small breakfast for them and their Pokémon. Just as Serena was about to join them, she turned her attention to the Ledyba and gave him another smile.

"If you're still a little hungry, you can eat up with us. We'll have some more food you can eat!" She offered to the bug-type.

The Ledyba looked at Serena in surprise. Despite Parterre Way being a commonly traveled path, the Pokémon had not interacted with many humans before and honestly was both curious and scared of them. The bug-type had a few negative images of what a human could be like – a ruthless creature that imprisoned Pokémon to do battles for them. Serena seemed to be the antithesis of this image and seemed like a warm, friendly person. He was really curious about her and seemed to enjoy being around you. As a result, he decided to nod his head.

"Ledyba!" He proclaimed, expressing his thoughts and agreement. The five star Pokémon proceeded to fly behind Serena, looking forward to another meal.

Ash was right when he described breakfast as 'quick'. Clemont's breakfast preparations, due to his own hunger and impatience for food, was simply getting a few breakfast granola bars from his backpack and distributing them to the others. He then pulled out some specially-designed Pokémon food and distributed it amongst the Pokémon, including the wild Ledyba. The group and the Pokémon ate together for twenty minutes before everyone managed to finish their food. Once they were done, Pikachu jumped on Ash's shoulder as the rest of the Pokémon were returned to their pokéballs. The group then gathered all of their supplies, packed up their tents, and prepared to head on the way again.

"Ledy?" Ledyba questioned as he watched the humans finish packing all of their supplies.

"We're going to head off to Santalune City. I got a gym battle there and we need to get there early enough in the day for it." Ash told the bug-type Pokémon.

"I hope you liked the breakfast. It wasn't much, but…" Clemont smiled slightly awkward at the Ledyba.

"Ledyba!" Ledyba nodded his head, expressing his enjoyment with the good. This caused Clemont's smile to become more sincere.

"It was nice meeting you Ledyba. And sorry again for scaring you a little bit ago." Serena told the bug-type, apologizing once again.

"Bye! Take care Ledyba!" Bonnie exclaimed happily, waving goodbye to her new friend. "We'll meet again someday!"

Ledyba blinked in response. He then watched the group of humans and Pikachu walk off, heading towards Santalune City. The bug-type had really enjoyed their company, especially Serena's, and didn't want them to leave. He then realized that if he wanted to stay with them, he'd have to come with them.

For a few seconds, the bug-type did nothing but float awkwardly as he watched them start to walk off. Finally, he shook his head and flew forward towards them.

"Ledy!" He called out to them.

The group turned around to face the Ledyba. The bug-type proceeded to fly up directly in front of Serena's face and pointed to her waist.

"Ledyba? Ledy Ledyba!" The five star Pokémon requested.

"What's wrong Ledyba?" Serena asked.

"What's Ledyba trying to say?" Ash questioned. The bug-type, during their breakfast, was pretty quiet and didn't seem very expressive. Right now, however, it seemed to be extremely expressive and was trying to tell them something.

"… Heh. I think I know." Gary smirked. "Looks like Ledyba wants to come with us."

"You do?" Serena looked at the bug-type in shock.

"Ledy!" Ledyba nodded his head. He then looked directly in Serena's eyes pleadingly.

Seeing that Ledyba was being serious, Serena smiled and giggled slightly. She reached for a pokéball and held it up to the bug-type Pokémon.

"You want to join up with me?" She asked again.

"Ledy." Ledyba smiled in response as he poked the center of the pokéball.

The pokéball immediately released a red light that surrounded the bug-type Pokémon and forced it inside the ball. The pokéball didn't even bother to shake or light-up: Ledyba put up no resistance whatsoever to his 'capture'. Once he was inside, Serena looked at her pokéball, her smile developing into a grin.

"I just caught my first Pokémon…" She stated, feeling a sense of accomplishment.

"Well, I'd almost say Ledyba caught you." Gary commented with a chuckle. "Still, he seems pretty cool and I'm sure you two will get along well."

"Yeah, you two will get a lot closer!" Ash declared as he smiled to his childhood friend. "Congrats on your first catch."

Serena turned to face her crush and continued to grin as a slight blush developed on her cheeks. "Thanks Ash."

The group continued on their walk towards Santalune City, having another addition to their group and Serena's personal team.

It did not take much longer before the group finally got off Parterre Way. After about two hours of travel, the group arrived in Santalune City.

Unlike Lumiose City, Santalune City was much smaller in size. It was still big enough to be considered a 'city', with many buildings and streets visible. However, the size felt a lot more comfortable. The entire city was surrounded by a forest and many trees were located in between the buildings. The people of the city, as well, seemed a lot more relaxed than the people of Lumiose City. They were walking down the streets of the city at a much more relaxed place.

"You know, this place kinda looks like Viridian City. Just a bit though." Gary noted with a chuckle as the group started to walk through the city.

"I can see that. It looks like a nice place." Ash commented as his eyes moved throughout the city.

"Yeah, it's a nice place. A lot different than Lumiose City." Clemont noted. "It's considered more… traditional, for lack of a better word."

"Probably not as much as Vaniville Town." Serena replied with a slight giggle.

"Nothing wrong with traditional. Kinda nice to be in a relaxed place like that." Gary said with a shrug.

The group continued to walk down the streets of Santalune City, admiring the different sights. Serena was leading the way, looking at a map of the city.

"So, the gym isn't too far away from here." She announced to the group. "We can probably get there in just a few minutes."

"Do you care if we go to the Pokémon Center first, actually?" Ash asked.

"Really? I thought you'd want to head straight in for your gym battle." Gary noted as he studied his childhood rival.

"Oh, I'll be heading over there as soon as possible! But I'd kinda like to go get registered for the Pokémon League first. That's kinda important too, you know?" Ash stated with a chuckle. "Besides, I'd like Nurse Joy to maybe see my Pokémon right before the battle to make sure they're all okay. And I may need to give my Mom a call. I, er…" The trainer laughed sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head slightly. "I haven't called her yet since we arrived in Kalos."

"Pikapi." Pikachu shook his head at his partner's 'forgetfulness' when it came to calling his mother.

"Can we meet her then?" Bonnie asked Ash.

"Sure, you guys can-"

"Oh crap!" Serena gasped, interrupting Ash's sentence. All eyes went directly to her as she looked horrified as realization dawned on her face. "I was supposed to call my Mom after I picked up my Fennekin and before I left Lumiose City and I forgot to call her!"

Clemont, Gary, and Pikachu sweat-dropped at their friend's forgetfulness, especially after Ash's own admittance to forgetting to call his mother. Ash, on the other hand, simply laughed.

"Glad to know I'm not the only who forgets to do things like that." Ash told her.

"Hehehe. You two made the same mistake. It's like you two were made for each other." Bonnie commented teasingly.

Ash didn't quite catch what the blonde had said and, therefore, had no reaction. Serena, on the other hand, heard what she said and a bright red blush developed on her face. She looked at the little girl in horror.

"Wh-What? Th-That's a little extreme to say!" She noted, hoping that Ash really didn't hear that.

"No it's not! It's just the truth-" Bonnie started to speak before she felt herself being lifted off the ground. Her brother had used a mechanical arm that was attached to his backpack to pick up the girl. "Huh?"

"Bonnie, don't talk about things like that. It's embarrassing to Serena!" Clemont scolded.

"It shouldn't be embarrassing!" Bonnie declared as she crossed her arms together over her chest and huffed. "Put me down big brother!"

Although Ash had missed what Bonnie had said, he did notice the fight between her and her brother. He also noticed the blush on Serena's face. The trainer turned to Gary and nudged him slightly in the elbow.

"Did I miss something?" He asked.

"…" Gary sighed. Ash really did have problems noticing things around him from time to time. "Don't worry about it."

"Pikachu." Pikachu brought the palms of his hands to his face, feeling similarly to Gary.

Once Clemont and Bonnie had finished their 'argument', the gym leader-in-training let the girl back down on the ground. They then continued walking, heading towards the Pokémon Center.

Upon arrival at the Pokémon Center, Ash dropped off his Pokémon, including Pikachu, with Nurse Joy. He also handed her his pokédex. She promised that the check-up would only be for an hour and she would return his Pokémon, along with his pokédex after she finished his registration for the Kalos Pokémon League.

Once they finished, the group walked over to the nearby videophones. Ash was the first one to sit down and dial his mother. A few seconds passed by before the screen displayed an image of Ash's house in Pallet Town. Delia Ketchum, along with Mr. Mime, were on the screen.

"Mime!" Mr. Mime greeted the trainer cheerfully.

"Hey Mr. Mime!" Ash greeted the psychic-type Pokémon. He then turned his attention to his mother, who did not share Mr. Mime's cheerful disposition. "Er… H-Hey Mom."

Delia continued to look irritated for a few seconds, frowning. Finally, her face softened and she shook her head as a smile developed on her face.

"One of these days Ash, you'll call me when I ask and actually check-up on me. I know you will." She noted with a chuckle.

"Sorry." Ash chuckled in response, feeling a little more relaxed. "I've just been a little excited. Kalos is already exciting!"

"I knew it would be. I was happy when you said you wanted to go there next." Delia commented with a chuckle. "So? How is everything so far? Did you meet up with your friend?"

Ash's response was to gesture for Serena to come forward. The girl nodded and walked into view of the videophone's camera.

"Hi Mrs. Ketchum. Do you remember me?" Serena asked with a smile.

"Of course I do! It's lovely to see you Serena." Delia replied happily. "How are you doing? How's your mother?"

"I'm doing great. I'm excited to begin my own adventure." She answered. "As for Mom, she's doing good as well. She's kinda settled down for a little bit, but she's still doing good with 'Rhyhorn Racing' on her mind at all times."

"Some things will never change. Your mother has always been so passionate about that." Delia chuckled. She then noticed something in the corner of her screen: something that appeared to be blonde hair. A curious look appeared on her face. "Do you have someone else with you Ash?"

Ash nodded and ushered for his other friends to come into vision.

"I'm Clemont. It's nice to meet you ma'am." Clemont introduced himself.

The gym leader-in-training was then pushed out of the way as his sister jumped in front of the camera. "And I'm Bonnie! It's nice to meet you Mrs. Ketchum!"

"It's nice to meet you Clemont and Bonnie." Delia giggled at the dynamic between the siblings.

Gary chuckled as he walked forward and stood right behind Ash. "I don't think I need to introduce myself, do I Mrs. Ketchum?"

"No, I know you well." Delia continued to giggle. "It's nice to see you again Gary. Your grandfather has been talking to me about all of the research you've done for Professor Rowen. You're really making a name for yourself."

"You as well. And thanks." Gary smiled at the mention of his research. "Don't worry: Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, and I will be watching after Ash. Nothing bad will happen to him with us here." The Pokémon researcher told her with a smirk.

"I'm still here, you know? And I can look after myself." Ash grumbled to himself, causing everyone else to grumble.

Conversation became more basic as Ash began to tell his mother about how he met up with Serena, Bonnie, Clemont, and Gary. He told her about the few days that he had been traveling in Kalos and about his plans to challenge the Santalune City gym later that day. Delia was excited to hear every detail about Ash's journey and was excited for him to begin his journey officially.

After a few minutes, Delia admitted that she had to get off the phone to do a few errands. She looked at the image of Ash on her videophone and smiled.

"Whenever you think of me, Ash, just give me a call. I'm not like how I was back when you first started your journey. I know you can take care of yourself, and you have your friends along with you." She told him. "Have fun in Kalos Ash. I love you!"

"I love you too Mom. And I promise I'll call more often as well, just to talk to you." Ash told her with a smile, feeling happy about what his mother had told him.

With those words, the call ended. Once Ash had finished his call, it was Serena's turn to dial a number on the videophone. She looked a little hesitant, but finally pressed the 'call' button. A few seconds passed by before the image of her mother, Grace Paschall, appeared on the screen.

"I was wondering when you were going to finally call me." Grace chuckled.

"S-Sorry Mom. I just kinda got excited with everything. A lot has happened already." Serena admitted with an uneasy smile, still feeling embarrassed and bad about forgetting to call her mother sooner.

"It's only been a few days and 'a lot has happened already'? Like what?" Her mother questioned.

The woman from Vaniville Town was quickly introduced to Serena's new traveling companions. Clemont, Bonnie, Gary, and Ash introduced themselves one-after-another. Grace was excited to meet Serena's new friends, and was even more excited to see Ash again.

"You've really grown up from when I last saw you Ash. You look like a young man." Grace commented with a chuckle. "We watched you on the television during the Lily of the Valley Conference."

"Thanks. And yeah, Serena told me about that." Ash noted, smiling after the compliment.

"Did Serena tell you about how excited she was to see you?" Grace questioned teasingly.

Serena's cheeks brightened again for the umpteenth time and her eyes widened.

"H-Hey Mom, would you like to see my Pokémon?" She asked quickly, eager to turn the conversation to another topic.

Without waiting for her mother to respond, Serena pulled out her two pokéballs and released her Fennekin and Ledyba. The two Pokémon appeared on the screen and looked curious at the woman on the screen.

"Mom, meet my Pokémon. Fennekin, Ledyba, meet my mother." Serena introduced her mother to her Pokémon.

"Fenn!" Fennekin greeted the woman happily, raising her paw in a 'waving' motion.

"Ledy…" Ledyba waved to the woman as well. He, however, was a lot shyer compared to the fire-type next to him, who had greeted her so confidently.

"It's nice to meet you both!" Grace informed both Pokémon. The woman looked back-and-forth between the two Pokémon and Serena. "Both of them look so nice and strong. I feel a lot more comfortable, knowing you also have some good Pokémon to travel with along with your friends."

Her comments caused Serena, along with Fennekin and Ledyba, to smile at the woman brightly.

"Well, I'm actually in the middle of something, so I kinda have to get off. But thanks for calling me. I was starting to get a little nervous about how you are doing." Grace admitted with a chuckle. "But you got some good Pokémon and your friends with you. I know you'll be safe. You take care, okay Serena?"

"I will Mom." Serena nodded her head. "I love you!"

"Love you too." Grace smiled at her daughter as they disconnected the call.

"Neither of your mothers seemed too upset about waiting for your calls. They were just nervous." Clemont noted with a chuckle.

"They were really nice!" Bonnie commented simply, happy to have met the mothers of her friends.


A sound managed to grab the attention of the group. Standing right by the entrance to the room was a young woman with sandy blonde hair and green eyes. She was wearing a pair of green shorts and a white shirt that showed off her midriff slightly. The woman had a camera in her hands, which was focused intently on Serena's Ledyba.

"Ledy?" Ledyba seemed to become aware of that fact and looked at the woman nervously.

"Sorry about that. I was just walking by and noticed the Ledyba out. I had to take a picture!" The woman with the camera apologized. She took a step closer and smiled. "He looks really sweet."

"Ledyba!" Ledyba quickly flew backwards and hit behind Serena.

The woman stopped walking forward for a second before she chuckled to herself at the sight.

"Seems your Ledyba's a little bit camera-shy. I'm sorry about that." The woman apologized.

"No it's fine. He's just a little nervous around others at first." Serena shook her head. She then pointed at the woman and looked at Ledyba. "She doesn't meet any harm, Ledyba. She was just taking your picture."

"Ledy." Ledyba nodded his head hesitantly. He flew a little forward towards the woman, who reached out to him and petted him on his head. Immediately, Ledyba felt himself become a lot more calm and relaxed. "Ledyba…"

"Wow, you got him to warm up to you almost as fast as Serena did!" Bonnie gasped.

"Well, I'm pretty good with bug-type Pokémon. We just understand each other." The woman with the camera replied with a giggle.

After petting the Ledyba for a few seconds, the woman finally backed away and started to walk off.

"Sorry to be a bother. I love taking pictures of Pokémon, especially bug-type Pokémon. I just saw your Ledyba in my peripheral vision and knew he would take a good picture." She told them. "Hope you guys have a good day!"

With those words, the woman left the room, leaving the group alone.

"Why'd she leave? I would have liked to have properly introduced her to you Clemont." Bonnie pouted slightly.

"Ex-Excuse me?" Clemont blinked in response.

"Remember Clemont: you need a 'keeper'." Gary reminded him with a chuckle.

"He's right!" Bonnie declared. She then turned her attention to Gary as an idea entered her head. "Hey Gary, you know a lot about women, right? Can you help me find the perfect wife for my brother?"

"What?" Clemont's eyes widened at Bonnie's request. "Y-You can't-"

"Sure, I'd love to help." Gary spoke up, interrupting the inventor.

"Yay! Together, you and I will be able to find the perfect wife to take care of my brother!" Bonnie cheered happily as she held out her hand. Gary chuckled as he quickly shook it. "Together, we can't not find her!"

"Bonnie… Gary…" Clemont's face was now red in embarrassment and his eyes were focused solely on the floor. Ash and Serena couldn't help but laugh at the blonde's situation, much to his chagrin.

The group remained in the Pokémon Center and talked to each other for another hour as Ash waited to hear from Nurse Joy. Finally, the hour passed by and the group was called up to the front. Standing at the front desk of the Pokémon Center was Nurse Joy. Pikachu was standing right by her side, alongside two pokéballs and a pokédex.

"Pikapi!" Pikachu called out to his trainer.

"Hey Pikachu!" Ash greeted as he reached over and pulled his electric mouse into a hug. "Feeling good?"

"Pikachu." Pikachu nodded in response.

Ash chuckled at his partner's response. He then proceeded to face Nurse Joy and took his pokéballs and his pokédex.

"Everything is fine with your Gible and Fletchling as well. They should be ready for battle." She told him, knowing that he was probably going to take on the Santalune Gym afterwards. "The registration has also been complete. You're now officially entered in the Kalos League."

"Thank you so much Nurse Joy!" Ash told her with a smile.

The Pokémon nurse smiled in response. The group turned their attention towards the door and prepared to walk out when the doors opened and another trainer entered. He was a boy who looked the same age as Ash, Serena, and Gary with black hair and had a pair of glasses covering his blue eyes. He was dressed in black dress pants and a blue jacket that he wore over a white shirt. The trainer walked forward towards Nurse Joy and set two pokéballs down on the counter.

"Can you check on my Pokémon?" He requested.

Nurse Joy nodded her head immediately and took them back to take care of them. The boy then walked over to take a seat nearby while he waited for her to finish. Ash watched the boy curiously as an idea entered his head as to why the boy needed his Pokémon to be 'checked on'.

"Hey. Did you just have a battle with the Santalune City Gym leader?" He asked.

The boy turned his head to face Ash. He nodded before he pulled out a gym badge that resembled a beetle.

"I finished the battle about an hour ago." He answered.

Ash grinned, realizing that the trainer in front of him was pretty tough to have earned the badge. "Congrats on getting the badge. What kind of trainer was the gym leader like?"

"Thanks." The boy shrugged in response. "She's pretty eccentric, but she knows how to battle well. She specializes in bug-types and her team is pretty fast."

"Bug-types?" Serena repeated the type in surprise. Hearing that and learning that the gym leader was female put an idea of who the gym leader was in her head. 'I wonder if that woman we had just met…'

"Bug types huh? That's fine with me!" Ash declared excitedly as he pumped his fist.

"Pikachu!" Pikachu exclaimed with equal excitement.

The boy with the glasses chuckled slightly, as if his excitement reminded him of somebody.

"You should probably hurry. The gym leader has plans for later today, so she'll be closing her gym earlier than normal. You'll want to get there and battle her before while you have the chance." The boy advised matter-of-factly.

"Really?" Ash's eyes widened. "Well, we gotta get going! Come on guys!"

"Pikachu!" Pikachu exclaimed.

Both Ash and Pikachu hurried out of the Pokémon Center before his friends could react.

"Ash, wait up! Do you even know what direction the gym is in?" Serena called out to him as she hurried behind her friend. Bonnie followed closely behind her.

"Thanks for the info." Gary told the boy with the glasses before he followed his friends.

"Yeah, thanks a lot." Clemont bowed slightly in thanks as well before he started to run behind everybody. "Guys, wait up for me! Can we not run this time? Guys?"

The boy blinked in response, once again, as the group had all left the Pokémon Center. He remained motionless for a seconds before he shook his head and chuckled at the behavior of the group, especially at the behavior of Ash.

"He reminds me of you, Hilda. Maybe a little less… thoughtful, but definitely as excitable as you." The boy commented to himself with a chuckle. "Funny. I leave the region and I still find you here with me in some way."

The boy continued to sit while he waited for Nurse Joy to finish looking after his Pokémon. While he waited, he couldn't help but be curious about the boy he had just met and whether or not he would manage to beat the Santalune City gym leader.

The Santalune City Gym was only a fifteen minute walk away from the Pokémon Center. After waiting for Serena and the rest of the group to make sure about the directions, Ash and Pikachu arrived at the entrance to the gym. The two of them looked at the front door and grinned.

"Pikachu!" Pikachu declared excitedly.

"Yeah, me too buddy. Let's get our first gym battle started!" Ash exclaimed, nodding his head.

Ash and Pikachu opened the door to the gym and entered the building along with his friends. The first room they came across was a large, open room that resembled a museum. On the white walls of the room were pictures of a variety of different bug-type Pokémon. The group all looked in amazement at the pictures and went over to study them.

"These are really well done. They look like some of the pictures from textbooks." Gary whistled in approval as he studied a picture of a Scizor. The Pokémon looked as alive as the one that he had left behind before coming to Kalos.

"They're professionally done, yeah." Clemont noted, his eyes focused on a picture of a Weedle.

'There's no way that the gym leader isn't that woman. She has to be the gym leader!' Serena realized as her eyes moved from picture-to-picture.

"Do you like my photos?"

The group turned around and noticed that the same blonde-haired woman with the camera walk out of a different room. She walked towards them with a smile on her face as she reflected on her pictures.

"It's only a hobby, but I really like it. My sister tells me if I ever decide to quit my job, I could take up photography professionally for a newspaper or something." She commented in amusement.

"I knew you were the gym leader." Serena spoke proudly.

She had meant to really keep that to herself, but the gym leader seemed to hear. She looked over at Serena curiously before chuckling.

"You're the group from the Pokémon Center. Kinda funny that we had just ran into each other." The woman stated. "So I take it at least one of you wants to challenge me?"

"That'd be me!" Ash declared, getting the woman's attention. "I'm Ash Ketchum, from Pallet Town. I'm just starting my adventure in the Kalos region and I'd like to try and earn my first Kalos gym badge."

"Pallet Town, huh? From Kanto? Interesting." The woman noted with a smirk. "Very well. My name's Viola, and as the Santalune City gym leader, I accept your challenge."

"Alright! Let's go!" Ash exclaimed, pumping his fist slightly.

"Pikachu!" Pikachu pumped his fist as well, mimicking his trainer.

Instinct took over Viola's body and she quickly took a picture of the duo with her camera. Both Ash and blinked after the flash and gave the woman a strange look. Viola studied the photographed image on her camera before she grinned.

"Sorry. I have a separate collection of photos that show the bond between a trainer and their Pokémon. You and your Pikachu seemed so in sync for a second, I couldn't help but take a shot. And trust me, the photo looks great. It'll fit in with the rest of the collection." She informed the boy.

"Heh, I'm glad you think so." Ash and Pikachu smiled in response to the comment. "Can I see the collection sometime?"

"Sure. But first, let's get the battle underway." Viola suggested.

"Wait! Hold on a second!" Bonnie spoke.

All eyes were brought to the little girl. Bonnie rushed over to Viola and proceeded to get on one knee – much to Clemont's horror and Gary's amusement.

"Viola, would you please marry my brother? S'il vous plaît?" She requested, giving the woman a pleading look.

"… Marry? S'il vous plaît?" Viola blinked in confusion as she repeated the words the little girl had told her.

Immediately, the robotic 'Aipom' arm came out of Clemont's backpack and grabbed Bonnie. She was lifted off the ground.

"Bonnie, I've asked you not to do that a thousand times! This is so embarrassing!" Clemont exclaimed, his cheeks bright red.

"She's just trying to help you out. Cut her some slack Clemont." Gary snickered.

"This isn't helping! Not like this!" Clemont exclaimed as he started to walk off, dragging along a struggling Bonnie with him. "Don't mind us. Bonnie and I need to talk for a little bit. You two just begin your gym battle!"

Clemont (along with Bonnie) left the room for a little… sibling discussion. The rest of the people blinked in confusion at the action for a few seconds before regaining their composure. Viola gave Ash a confident smirk as she pointed towards a door: the door towards the battlefield in her gym.

"So, you said you're up to battle right away. Still good?" She asked.

"Yep. Lead the way." Ash nodded. He and Pikachu exchanged looks with each other, excited to begin.

"The gym battle between Ash, the challenger, and Viola, the Santalune gym leader, will now begin. Each side will use two Pokémon and the battle will be over when either trainers' Pokémon are unable to continue. Only the challenger is allowed to substitute Pokémon." The referee of the Santalune City gym announced.

Ash and Viola grinned at each other after the referee finished his announcement. The of them were standing across from each other in the middle of the battlefield: a simple, ground arena surrounded by a garden. Serena and Gary, along with Clemont and Bonnie after they finished another round of 'discussions', were standing off to the side, waiting for the match to begin.

"This is so exciting! I don't think I've ever seen a gym battle other than Dad's." Bonnie noted as her eyes moved from Ash to Viola, eager to see the battle.

"I'm excited to see this as well." Clemont noted with a smile. He, too, was eager to see another gym leader in-battle. The blonde was paying attention very carefully, looking for any strategies or a general attitude that he would need when he took over the position from his father.

Gary looked at Ash confidently. In his peripheral vision, however, he noticed that Serena had a worried expression on her face. The Pokémon researcher turned his attention to her and gave her a curious look.

"You're not worried about Ashy-boy, are ya?" He questioned teasingly.

"Well… kinda." Serena admitted with a sigh. "Ash has been talking about the gym battle all of this time and in our e-mails. I'd hate to see it not go the way he wants it to."

"I wouldn't worry about that. Ash is more mature than he lets on. He can handle himself if he loses." Gary told her with a shrug. "But I wouldn't even worry about him losing. You'll see just what he can do with this battle."

Serena nodded hesitantly. She wanted to believe Gary's words and, deep down, she knew that Ash was capable of winning. Still, she couldn't help but be slightly nervous as she waited for Ash and Viola to begin the battle.

"Let's get this started!" Viola declared as she pulled out a pokéball and tossed it. "Come on out Surskit!"

Surskit was released from the pokéball and started to glide across the battlefield. Ash, upon seeing the bug-type Pokémon, pulled out his pokédex and scanned it: Surskit, the Pond Skater Pokémon. Surskit can walk on water as if it was skating. It attracts prey with a sweet aroma it produces.

Seeing the type of Pokémon he was going against, Ash reached for a pokéball of his own. "Go Fletchling!"

"Fletch!" The flying-type exclaimed upon being released from her pokéball. She immediately flew up in the air and glared at the Surskit, ready to begin the battle.

"You're going to try and use a flying-type against me?" Viola noted with a chuckle. "Very well then. We'll see if you'll actually benefit from the type advantage."

"We'll see indeed!" Ash replied with a smirk.

Seeing that both trainers and their Pokémon were ready, the referee raised her hands into the air. "Surskit versus Fletchling… begin!"

"Let's start the battle strong! Surskit, use Bubblebeam!" Viola exclaimed.

Surskit nodded at her trainer's order and immediately released a barrage of bubbles towards the Fletchling.

"Dodge it and then use Peck." Ash called out.

Fletchling didn't have to wait for her trainer's orders: the tiny robin Pokémon proceeded to evade the bubbles before she could take any damage. She then proceeded to charge directly at the Surskit, inching her beak out further in preparation to strike.

"Surskit, use Protect!" Viola declared.

Surskit nodded and braced herself. She was surrounded by a protective aura just as Fletchling struck at her with her 'Peck' attack. Surskit was able to hold off taking any damage and proceeded to knock Fletchling back in surprise.

"Now, hurry and use Ice Beam!" Viola continued.

'What?' Ash's eyes widened after hearing Viola's order. 'An ice-type move? Crap!'

The trainer from Kanto didn't have time to order his Fletchling: Surskit released a beam of ice aimed directly for Fletchling. The flying-type quickly flew above, avoiding the attack just in time.

"Got away in time I see. Not bad." Viola noted with a smirk.

"We got more to show you if you think that's impressive, huh Fletchling?" Ash asked his flying-type.

"Fletchling!" Fletchling replied with a confident chirp.

"Use Double Team!" Ash ordered.

Fletchling nodded and proceeded to fly around in circles around Surskit at such a fast speed that she appeared to be in multiple places at once. Soon, there were many Fletchling images surrounding the bug-type, all of whom looked real and ready to strike.

'Surskit will have a hard time moving fast enough to hit the real one. Guess I got to help her get some extra speed.' Viola realized as she pointed directly towards the battlefield. "Surskit, use Ice Beam on the ground!"

Surskit nodded and unleashed another beam of ice directly onto the battlefield. The ground froze over instantaneously, creating a new, icy terrain.

"Now, start moving and try attacking Fletchling with another Ice Beam!" The gym leader called out.

Immediately, Surskit started to skate across the ice at a rapid pace that matched Fletchling's. The pond skater Pokémon released another 'Ice Beam' upward at the illusions underneath her. The bug-type Pokémon was moving fast enough that it was able to strike at all of the different illusions before Fletchling could do anything. A moment passed before Fletchling was hit head on by the 'Ice Beam' before she could fly away.

"FLETCH!" The flying-type winced in pain as she started to fall to the ground.

"Now, use Signal Beam and hit her before she hits the ground." Viola called out her next planned attack.

Surskit proceeded to release a strange beam of light from its antenna. The beam flew through the air quickly and was about to make direct contact with the flying-type.

"Fletchling, fly out of the way!" Ash shouted. "Don't let Surskit beat you down; you need to be the one on the attack!"

Just as Ash finished his orders, Fletchling gathered her bearings and managed to fly underneath the beam of light. She then flew rapidly at Surskit and hit the bug-type Pokémon directly in the face with her wings, using her 'Steel Wing' attack. Surskit inched backwards in pain.

"New, Fletchling, use Peck and keep going at it!" Ash continued.

Fletching quickly charged at Surskit once again and used 'Peck' to send Surskit skating further back on the ice. The flying-type then charged once again, preparing to land one more 'Peck' on the bug-type.

Viola noticed that the flying-type was getting dangerously close to her Surskit and seemed as if she was focused solely on attacking. The blonde-haired trainer smirked as she raised her index finger and pointed it directly at the flying-type.

"Use Ice Beam, quick!" Viola called out.

"Fletchling, fly lower. Get directly against the ground!" Ash ordered almost simultaneously to Viola.

Surskit unleashed another 'Ice Beam' directly towards the flying-type Pokémon. Fletchling, however, acted on Ash's prediction and lowered her flight pattern just as the bug-type used 'Ice Beam'. The beam of Ice barely missed Fletchling and was now wide-open to a direct attack.

"Now, use Peck!" Ash exclaimed.

Fletchling continued to fly rapidly forward and collided her beak against the bug-type. Surskit was sent backwards quickly, not able to evade or defend itself after using her 'Ice Beam'. The pond skater Pokémon eventually stopped sliding on the ice and eventually fell over, dazed and exhausted.

"Surskit!" Viola shouted out to her Pokémon.

The referee noticed Surskit's condition and quickly raised her hand towards Ash. "Surskit is unable to battle. Fletchling is the victor."

"Alright! Way to go Fletchling!" Ash cheered for his flying-type Pokémon.

"Fletchling fletch." Fletchling chirped in approval as she looked over at her trainer, pleased that they had been able to work together so well in the battle.

"That was amazing!" Bonnie cheered loudly. "WAY TO GO ASH AND FLETCHLING!"

"That was really impressive work. Ash was in sync with his Fletchling and was able to help her avoid that last-second Ice Beam." Clemont praised, looking at Ash in approval.

"He's got good instincts. He can predict well once he's in the battle. Ash is a natural at battles." Gary commented about his childhood friend. "Although, he's still got a bit more to do. Remember, there's still another Pokémon for viola to use."

Serena nodded. She had remained quiet with her cheering because she was very well aware of that fact. 'Ash… You're ahead. You can do this!'

Viola quickly returned her Surskit and wished her Pokémon well as she put the pokéball away. She then pulled out a second pokéball and tossed it. "Let's go Vivillon!"

A Vivillon with meadow-pattern wings flew in the sky immediately after being called out of her pokéball. Upon seeing the Pokémon, Ash pulled out his pokédex for a second time and scanned the bug-type: Vivillon, the Scale Pokémon. Vivillon are skillfully able to find a source of water. It has been said that you'll find a spring if you follow a Vivillon.

"I'm impressed with how you and Fletchling fought against Surskit, but this match is far from over. Are you ready to keep going Ash?" Viola asked with a grin.

"Vivi." Vivillon smirked as she looked at Ash's Fletchling, ready to begin the fight.

"What do you say Fletchling? Still up for battling?" Ash asked his flying-type. His Fletchling gave nodded her head, causing him to grin. "Well we're ready when you are."

"The match between Vivillon and Fletchling… begin!" The referee called out.

Ash, this time, was quick to make the first move. "Fletchling, use Double Team and surround Vivillon!"

Fletchling quickly flew around in circles, creating illusions of herself as she continued to fly. Vivillon didn't bother looking at the various Fletchling copies: she only took a brief look to her trainer, who nodded in response.

"Psychic." Viola said.

Vivillon's eyes lit up with a blue light. She then looked at the Fletchling illusions intently. Almost immediately, the illusions faded as the real Fletchling stopped flying. Her eyes were narrowed as she was forced to stop flying due to a blue light that completely surrounded her.

"Toss her to the ground." Viola called out.

Instantaneously, Vivillon looked downward to the ground. The blue light that surrounded Fletchling forced the flying-type down, causing her to collide against the icy battlefield hard. The Fletchling winced in pain as she pulled herself up.

"Are you alright Fletchling?" Ash questioned his Pokémon frantically. Once he saw her nod in response, he pointed directly at Vivillon. "Be careful of its Psychic. Try and use Peck on it!"

Fletchling nodded once again and charged directly at Vivillon.

"Use Gust to make it fly away!" Viola ordered.

"Fly underneath, once again." Ash called out simultaneously to the gym leader.

Fletchling began to fly lower to avoid a 'Gust' attack from Vivillon. The flying-type proceeded to fly directly underneath Vivillon. This caused Viola to grin.

"Quick: use Sleep Powder." She suggested.

Vivillon released a cloud of sleep-inducing dust from her body directly underneath her. Fletchling, unfortunately, did not have to avoid the dust and was quickly made a victim of the attack. She fell to the ground, asleep.

"Fletchling! Wake up!" Ash called out to his flying-type, hoping that she could hear him. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to. This caused him to shake his head. "Crap…"

"Vivillon, use Gust before it wakes up!" Viola ordered.

Vivillon nodded her head and unleased another gust of wind directly at the sleeping Fletchling. The wind struck the flying-type, causing her to wake up and wince in a pain. Once the wind faded away, Fletchling fell to the ground once again. This time, however, she was simply exhausted and couldn't fight any longer instead of being asleep.

"Fletchling! Are you okay?" Ash shouted to his flying-type, a frown on his face.

"Fletch… ling…" Fletchling replied quietly.

"Fletchling is unable. Vivillon is the winner!" The referee declared.

"Good job Vivillon. Nice timing on the Sleep Powder." Viola praised her Pokémon, earning her a smile from the scale Pokémon. The photographer then turned her attention towards Ash. "So, what do you think of my Vivillon Ash?"

Ash returned his Fletchling to her pokéball and told her she did a good job. Once he finished, he turned his attention back to the gym leader. "Your Vivillon is good. I can tell she's going to be a tough Pokémon to take out." The trainer then reached for another pokéball and took it out. "Luckily, I got a tough Pokémon that I think can do the job!"

"Pika?" Pikachu looked to Ash in confusion. Seeing Ash pull out another pokéball meant that the electric mouse wouldn't be able to fight in this gym battle… much to his disappointment.

He tossed the Pokémon down to the ground, releasing his Gible. The land shark Pokémon grinned upon realizing that it was time to battle.

"Gible!" He declared, excited for a match. He took a step forward on the battlefield, but immediately slipped on the ice, causing it to wince slightly in pain after the impact. "Gib."

"Gible? Wouldn't Pikachu have been a smarter choice? I think he would have been able to move a little better on the ice battlefield than Gible." Clemont noted with a frown on his face.

"Ash…" Serena closed her eyes and grasped her hands as she began to wish for more good luck for her friend. "… Don't make a mistake or worry. You got this."

"Well, if you think your Gible is tough enough to take on my Vivillon, then I'd like to see what he can do. Let's do this Ash!" Viola declared.

"Vivillon!" Vivillon nodded her head, agreeing with her trainer.

The referee, once again, raised her hands in the air. "The final battle, between Vivillon and Gible… begin!"

With that declaration, Gible took another step forward in preparation to attack or defend himself. He then, immediately, slipped on the icy ground once again. Viola noticed this and an idea entered her head.

"Vivillon, let's end this match earlier. Use Sleep Powder and knock Gible out right away." She ordered.

"Vivi!" Vivillon declared as she started to fly over the arena, dropping the sleep-inducing powder.

"Quick, Gible, use Dig and get underground!" Ash called out to his Pokémon.

The dragon-type nodded his head and, instead of trying to step forward, jumped head-first into the ground. He created a hole that pierced the ice and the arena ground before he could be hit by the 'Sleep Powder'.

"Ah, so that's why Ash is using Gible! With Dig, it can move around freely on the battlefield a lot easier than Pikachu." Clemont realized, understanding Ash's logic.

"Yup, and it makes it a lot harder for him to be hit by Sleep Powder the longer he's underground." Gary noted with a smirk.

"You got this Ash. You do!" Serena continued to tell herself.

"Your Gible can try to stay underground if he wants, Ash… as long as he can stand the noise." Viola noted with a smirk as she pointed directly at the hole. "Vivillon, fly over the hole and use Bug Buzz!"

"Vivillon!" Vivillon immediately flew down towards the hole.

Once she was there, the Vivillon proceeded to vibrate its wings rapidly, releasing a loud sound wave. The sound traveled throughout the hole and proceeded to grow louder as it echoed throughout the tunnel. This resulted in Gible jumping out of the ground, creating a new hole. The dragon-type Pokémon was holding his ears in pain from the 'Bug Buzz' sound.

"And he's out." Viola noted with a smirk. "Vivillon, use Psychic!"

"Quick Gible, use Dragon Pulse!" Ash shouted immediately as Vivillon's eyes started to glow blue.

Gible released a colorful shockwave of energy from his mouth just as he was surrounded by a blue glowing light from Vivillon's 'Psychic'. Almost immediately after he was caught by the psychic-type attack, however, Vivillon was hit directly by 'Dragon Pulse'. The bug-typed cried out in pain, losing her concentration and freeing Gible from her control.

"Gible, use Draco Meteor!" Ash exclaimed, pointing directly into the sky.

"Gible!" Gible shouted as he looked directly above.

The dragon-type released a large, singular comet into the air. Once it reached the top of the room, the comet split into several, smaller meteors that rained from above.

"Vivillon, dodge!" Viola called out.

Vivillon proceeded to fly in a quick, elegant manner to avoid all of the falling meteors. They all collided onto the icy battlefield, destroying it and creating plenty of dust after the impact. Once the dust was blown away, Gible was revealed to be standing on solid, broken-up ground instead of on an icy battlefield. Various chunks of rock and broken ice were now visible on the ground's surface.

"Alright, no more slipping around." Ash smirked.

"So that was more so done to get rid of the ice battlefield, huh? Not a bad idea, once you realized being underground wasn't going to be enough." Viola praised. "However, that's not going to be enough to win this. Vivillon, use Sleep Powder!"

"Jump out of the way Gible." Ash ordered.

As Vivillon started to release her 'Sleep Powder', Gible began to jump and move away from the her. The dragon-type was now moving towards an area with a high concentrated amount of the debris that was knocked up from the 'Draco Meteor'.

"Stop Vivillon. Use Psychic and trap Gible!" Viola called out.

Vivillon immediately stopped using 'Sleep Powder' and immediately started to concentrate, her eyes turning blue. The debris that had been scattered around the battlefield quickly clumped together and surrounded the Gible completely. The Pokémon was completely covered to the people around him.

"Gib!" Gible shouted as he tried to pull himself out of the debris. He found out that he was stuck between the earth and couldn't just 'get out'.

"Gible!" Ash's eyes widened in panic as he noticed the situation his Pokémon was in.

"That's it. He's not going to get out." Viola declared as she pointed directly at the clumped up debris. "Vivillon, he's not going to get out, so drop the Psychic. Let's give this battle a photo finish: use Solar Beam!"

"VI!" Vivillon immediately flew further into the air as it started to charge up energy from the sun. Soon, solar energy started to collect and surround the scale Pokémon's wings.

"Pikachu!" Pikachu, who had been quietly observing the entire match, closed his eyes. He didn't want to watch his fellow Pokémon and friend get injured from the 'Solar Beam'.

'This is bad! This is really bad…' Ash realized as he looked to the clump of debris that Gible was stuck in. He could hear his Pokémon trying to break free, but nothing was working. 'No…'

"Is… This it?" Bonnie asked quietly, her eyes wide as they focused on the Vivillon preparing to unleash a Solar Beam.

"It may be…" Gary mumbled, shaking his head slightly.

"Ash…" Serena looked over at Ash intently. The boy looked frustrated and defeated, knowing that he was going to lose the battle. He looked like how she assumed she looked when she had tripped during Professor Oak's Summer Camp. '… Wait a second!'

"OW! It-It hurts!" A seven-year old Serena cried as she tried to stand up. Her leg was in too much pain and wouldn't let her get up off the ground. Something like this would happen to her. She didn't even want to come to Professor Oak's Summer Camp; her mother had forced her to come. Now, here she was with an injured leg and crying in front of a boy she had just met.

"Sure you can! Just try." The boy, Ash, told her with a bright smile on his face.

"It's not working! I can't!" She continued to sob in response. No matter what the boy said, his words wouldn't take away the pain.

"You can! Don't give up until it's over!" He told her as he held out her hand. "You can do it!"

Serena looked up at Ash with tear-filled eyes, surprised at his words and how passionate he was when he said them. Hesitantly, she took his hand and he pulled her up off the ground. Eventually, she found herself standing on the ground. She winced in pain and the tears threatened to come back.

"Here, let me help a little bit." Ash told her as he bent over and let one of Serena's arms surround his neck. He then helped her up, lifting her body off the ground and putting less weight on her injured foot. "Does that help a little bit?"

Serena looked at the boy in complete shock at his actions. He was okay with getting this close to her and helping her, somebody that he hadn't met before? She didn't know anybody, other than her mother, who she thought would be able to help her in this situation. Ash, however, was able to offer her the help she needed when she needed it.

"It does… Thank you. Thank you so much..." She replied, a small blush developing on her face as Ash helped her back to camp.

'If he's just like how I was back then, then he needs help too!' Serena realized as she started to speak up. "Don't give up until it's over Ash! Just think hard and you'll find a way to do something!"

Serena's shout took everybody in the room by surprise, especially Ash. The boy recognized the words she said to her. Although he remember them, he had not taken those words to heart. The second he saw his Gible completely trapped, he had given up before the match had finished. His childhood friend had helped him remember the advice that he told her years ago… advice that he desperately needed to hear.

'Serena's right… I need to think…' Ash studied the clump of debris that had trapped his Gible. He then noticed that the material itself, even if it was keeping Gible stuck, was made from the ground: material that he knew Gible could dig through. 'That's it!'

"Gible! DIG!" Ash shouted.

Gible managed to hear his trainer's order and proceeded to rotate in circles within his confinement, trying to break free by digging out. After a few seconds of trying, the 'Dig' managed to work and Gible freed himself from the ground.

Viola's eyes were wide in surprise. 'What the-'

"Gible, use Draco Meteor before Vivillon finishes charging!" Ash called out, interrupting Viola's thoughts.

Gible immediately released another large comet his mouth directly at the Vivillon. Since the scale Pokémon was so focused on charging solar energy, she wasn't able to fly away and avoid the attack. The meteor hit her head on and flew further upwards. A few seconds passed before the attack split apart into multiple, tiny meteors that fell to the ground. Vivillon fell along with the meteors and managed to get hit by a few of the smaller meteors that hit the ground after she landed. Dust covered the entire battlefield for a few seconds. Once it cleared up, Vivillon was revealed to be on the ground, unable to move.

"Vi… vi… llon…" The bug-type moaned in pain.

"Vivillon is unable to battle. Gible is the winner! That means the winner of the battle is Ash, from Pallet Town!" The referee announced.

Upon hearing the announcement, a grin developed on Ash's face. The trainer jumped up in joy before he and Pikachu rushed over to Gible, giving the dragon-type Pokémon a tight group-hug.

"You did it Gible! That was amazing!" Ash cheered.

"Pikachu! Pika pika!" Pikachu praised the dragon-type for his performance.

"Gible…" Gible replied with a smile. The land shark Pokémon was exhausted after the battle, but he was still happy and proud for how well he did. He was happy to have helped his trainer win his first gym battle and he knew many more battles like this one would come.

"He got out of that situation. Wow…" Clemont blinked in surprise. "He's… Wow. That's awesome!"

"WAY TO GO ASH! YOU AND GIBLE ARE AMAZING!" Bonnie cheered loudly, jumping up-and-down in excitement for her friend's victory.

"… Are all of his gym battles like this?" Gary shook his head, chuckling to himself. For a moment, he actually imagined his childhood friend and rival losing in his gym battle, only for him to pull himself together and win in the end. "Good job Ash."

"He won…" Serena clapped her hands together and a grin that rivaled Ash's developed on her face. "HE WON! Thank goodness!"

"Vivillon, return." Viola returned her Pokémon to her pokéball. She looked at the ball for a second and smiled. "Well done. You deserve a nice, long rest for that battle."

The gym leader walked forward to Ash and gave the boy a smile as she started digging into the pocket of her shorts.

"That battle was fantastic Ash. It was a perfect shot. You and your Pokémon did amazing." Viola praised him.

"Heh, thanks. But really, all of the credit should be given to Fletchling and Gible." He told her with a smile as he looked affectionately at his Gible.

"That's true, but it takes more than just strong a Pokémon. They need a trainer that they can trust and rely on. And you showed you are definitely a strong trainer as well." The gym leader informed him. She finally pulled out a badge in the shape of a beetle and held it out to him. "So, take this and remember that you are definitely a strong trainer. Here's the Bug Badge."

Ash's smile turned into a grin as he took the badge. He quickly held out the badge proudly.

"I got my first Kalos Pokémon League badge: the Bug Badge!" He declared excitedly.

"Pikachu!" "Gible!" Both Pikachu and Gible cheered happily with their trainer.

Viola giggled to herself as she studied the trainer that had just defeated her and her Pokémon. They really seemed to be good examples of a good, true bond between trainer and Pokémon. He was a strong, respectable trainer: just like the trainer that had defeated earlier that day.

'… Wait.' Her eyes widened as an idea entered her head. "Hey Ash?"

Ash, who was about to go meet up with his friends, turned his head and gave the blonde gym leader a curious look. "Yeah Viola?"

"Since you managed to really impress me, I'd like to ask you for a favor." The photographer started to speak. "I'm supposed to do a lecture this evening for the Pokémon Trainers' School. This isn't the first time I've done lectures there and I know they may be sick of me, so I thought it would be kinda nice to bring some of the trainers that impressed me over to show them a few more examples of Pokémon trainers." She then gave Ash an expectant look. "Are you and your friends free? Would you be able to attend the lecture?"

"Sure. That shouldn't be a problem for me at least." Ash told her. Pikachu and Gible both nodded, agreeing with their trainer.

"Awesome! I'll pay you back for this. Thanks so much." Viola replied with a smile. "I'll see you later tonight. Good job again on the victory."

"Thanks! See you later!" Ash replied as he rushed over to join his friends.

Viola continued to watch the boy as he rushed over to meet up with his friends. He was pulled into a group-hug by Bonnie and was quickly surrounded by the rest of his friends. Viola giggled at the sight and quickly took a picture of the group. She didn't really have a collection for human trainers, but she supposed she could start one if she found a group that seemed as photogenic and close to each other as Ash and his friends.

'… Wonder how he and Ash will do against each other.' Viola wondered to herself, recalling her previous opponent.

Quick Trivia:

1: When Gary says Santalune City is similar to Viridian City... that's actually a reference to Bulbapedia. If you look at the article on Santalune City, you'll notice that it actually shares a lot of similarities with Viridian City. Since I have been using the website to fact-check everything I write to make sure I don't write anything too contradictory to canon, I thought it would be a nice small reference and nod to the website.

Author's Note: Hey everybody! Here's chapter five. :)

Here was my take on the battle between Ash and Viola. Again, any comments about the battles and how I write fight-scenes is greatly appreciated. I think I still have room for improvement and I'd love to improve before I really get into writing the good fight-scenes planned for later in the story. So, let me know!

Thank you all again for all of the support! You are all so amazing and it means so much to see a review or message about the story. It really does. :) Make sure to let me know what you all like and dislike in the reviews. Everything will be read and can help me grow as a writer and make the story more enjoyable for you guys!

I hope you all have a good day. I'll begin working on chapter six immediately. I will see you all when it's finished! Until then :)