Welcome back to the International Pokémon League Exhibition Tournament! To those of you who are just tuning in at home, we are now in the semi-finals of the most prolific tournament in the history of the Pokémon League. To celebrate the inauguration of the recently formed Alola League, the Aether Foundation is sponsoring this massive gathering of the strongest trainers from across the world. No grand prize. No official ranking. This is a tournament for both people and Pokémon alike to enjoy the hard fights between these magnificent teams. After yesterday's fantastic battle between Unova's Dragon Master Iris and Hoenn's Mineral Maestro Steven Stone, who knows what else this tournament has in store? Before we announce the next combatants, let's hear from our very important judges!

The famous Mr. Pokemon then went on a tangent about the special bonds between people and their Pokémon partners. Kahuna Hala added his own view for the battling perspective. The third judge that sat alongside these prestigious names has not said a single word since the Exhibition Tournament started. A young teen stood out among these men, torn clothes worn as a choice and not by necessity. The interim-president of the Aether Foundation scared away any interviews with his impressive glare, but in his head another battle waged.

At this moment, Gladion wanted nothing more than to walk out of this tournament and head to the Battledrome. All these battles made his hand twitch in anticipation and he could feel it resonate with Silvally. He was here to make sure that the Aether Foundation was properly credited for this international event to boost their own reputation.

No matter what anyone else may think, he did not organize this tournament as an excuse to see the skills and tactics of the greatest trainers across the world. Gladion especially did not organize this event as an excuse to see someone very close to his heart after a long-time apart. Once the announcer saw that Gladion would not add his own comments she went on with the show.

Get ready folks, it's time for the next battle!

Kanto versus Alola!

These challengers are two sides of the same coin, they show the world just how much we can learn from each other. There are even rumours that these two young champions are quite close to one another.

The female announcer's teasing tone seems to have triggered something within the stadium. The entire audience cooed in delight as the live video footage showed these young champions as they simultaneously blushed from the rather embarrassing attention. Gladion could care less, whatever relationship the press believed these two had, was completely irrational and illogical.

Though Gladion did feel the overwhelming urge to have a talk with them.

On the blue side of the field, we have Alola's very first champion, Aaron Sun.

The current president of the Aether Foundation remembered the first time Sun was put on television. The eleven-year-old champion shook from either fear or exhaustion as he was interviewed after his historic win against Professor Kukui. Gladion felt bad for him at the time as he stammered his way through the interview questions. He chuckled darkly at the thought while the other judges looked at him strangely.

After Sun held the title for two years straight, he definitely got more comfortable with all the attention. Even with the region's rather laid-back approach with the media. The darker skinned boy no longer shined with a layer of sweat but waved rather cheerily at the crowd with his ever-present smile. His black curly hair was stuffed into his trilby hat while his white t-shirt and Toxic-brand shorts showed his new roots to the sun-soaked Alola region.

Born in Kanto, Aaron reached his true potential as a trainer through the Island Trials of Alola. This young man and his Pokémon made waves across the region as they earned the respect all four island Kahunas and Guardian Pokémon. Aaron's team even has a Pokémon mentioned only in the legends of the Alolan Islands, but has never been seen in public.

Gladion remembered the last time he battled Sun and Solgaleo. Silvally beat the legendary by the skin of their teeth, but Sun saved his treasured Primarina for the end. Maybe he could ask Wicke if she could cover for him as President for a week while he goes for a week of hard training before they go for another round.

The spotlight moved from Sun's position on the blue side of the field as it dragged itself across the field. When the light shined down on Sun's opponent, Gladion felt his heart skip a beat. It's been so long since he has seen her in person.

On the red side of the field we have the newest champion to join the elite. Born and raised here in sunny Alola, this young lady left home to stand on her own two feet as a proud trainer. She fought her way through the Indigo League and ended up being one of the youngest champions since Red himself! Let's give this little lady a warm Alolan welcome for coming back home, I give you….Lillie Aether!

Before Lillie left, all Galdion saw was the little girl that always clung to her mother or him the moment something scared her. After two years apart, she has grown. A few inches taller, but there was something more to her as well. He wanted to see more, and one of the best ways to see how far Lillie has come since she went to Kanto.

This will be a 3 on 3 match with no substitutions. Trainers are you ready?

Both Lillie and Sun called out their acceptance, eager to fight. Galdion felt himself rather taken back by the hungry look in his sister's green eyes. Her overly cautious attitude was gone, replaced with an iron will.

Let's get this semi-final match started!

Both champions tossed out their first pokémon. Sun tossed out his Salazzle, toxic lizard Pokémon pulled itself up onto its hind legs slowly, almost hypnotically. Gladion shook himself out of his stupor, he knew that Sun's Salazzle's pheromones were strong, but he had no idea that it's scent could spread so far. Flames burst to life along its back and tail for only a second, before its eyes sharpened, ready to fight.

The flash from Lillie's pokeball disappeared from sight as her own team member came on the field. The Nidoking roared to the open sky. It gave off such an intimidating aura that he could see Sun's Salazle actually shiver.. His little sister actually tamed one of the most dangerous pokemon in Kanto? If it was not for that quick look of adoration the drill pokemon sent Lillie's way, he would have never believed it. If she could befriend this creature, Galdion wondered what happened with her parting gift?

Nidoking versus Salazzle…BEGIN!

Sun made the first move, his Salazzle rears its head back and spits out a purple glob directly at Nidoking. With a wet splat it hit the mark, and the Drill creature starts shaking from the poison. Lillie gritted her teeth in response, before commanding her Nidoking to head underground, only to pop up moments later to score a glancing against the toxic lizard as it twists to the side. From there the battle was truly underway.

Lillie had her Nidoking swim through the earth as a way to keep up with Salazzle's superior speed, wearing each other down at even pace with the power behind Nidoking's moves and Salazzle's poison running through it's opponent's body.

Gladion took his eyes away from the combat to watch his sister. Her face was scrunched up into a grimace as Nidoking took a Flamethrower blast head-on, she called out encouragement for it as it stood unflinchingly under the heat of the attack only to strike Salazzle with a Mega Punch. Her grimace exploded into an open mouth cheer as the lizard pokemon flew across the field.

For years, Lillie was against pokemon battles. Back when he was nine years old, he remembered when they both watched a title match on tv, only to have her burst out in tears when the pokemon viciously tore into each other. Here she is now, in the same situation herself and enjoying every minute of it. Lillie's arm darts in front of her, stance firm as she actually yells her command to her Nidoking.

The drill pokemon's horn shines brightly as it charges into Salazzle and drives it into the wall behind it, crumbling from the impact of the force of both bodies. When the rubble finally settled, both pokemon were out cold.

Looks like we got a double-knockout in the first round between these two trainers and what a battle it was! Speed and endurance, power and technique, these two pokemon had it all. What else do these two trainers have in store for each other?

The two champions shared a smile from across the field before they returned their pokemon. Gladion watched as both of them whispered words of thankfulness to their partners. The ex-runaway thought back to all the times where Lillie watched Suns' battles during the Island Trials, perhaps she picked up a few qualities from him? No, that was wrong. Lillie was always that supportive, for both pokemon and humans. She just was not as outspoken about it.

Both trainers pulled out another pokeball and tossed them onto the field. Sun sent out his famous Lurantis, its twin sickles were pulled close to its body as it saw the massive stadium filled with people. It looked on with awe before it got ready for battle. Lillie released another Kanto native, a Hitmonchan. It bathed in the crowd's applause, calling out to the crowd.

Gladion started to feel a bit disappointed. Perhaps it was a bit much to ask a novice trainer like his sister with that pokemon. She may have the heart to help it, but from his own experience, but it would require a lot of effort to befriend and train.

From the wilds of Akala Island, we have the Bloom Sickle Pokemon, Lurantis. For those veiwers at home, Lurantis is both feared and loved by the locals for its power and beauty. Hitmonchan, a favourite among fighting type specialists, is no slouch. If it can find an opening, it will rain a flurry of punches faster than the eye could see. Let's get this second round started!

Lurantis versus Hitmonchan…BEGIN!

Both creatures dash towards each other. Lurantis was lurching forward, its wing-like petals on its back flutter in the wind. Its sickles were in the air above its head, like twin guillotines ready to cleave whoever stands in its way.

Hitmonchan stood its ground, warily watching the approaching grass type. Lillie called out her support, strengthening its resolve as it prepared itself to face the pokemon head-on.

The two pokemon duel against each other, fists parrying sickles. Both of them taking a beating with no end in sight. The grass-type shrugged of any punches that made through its defense.

As Gladion watched the ensuing duel, his eyes drifted back to his sister. She has to know how much punishment Lurantis can take. She has seen it in action many times. Her Hitmonchan is already weakening under the unforgiving onslaught. Lillie stood still, the camera focused solely on her as it zoomed in. On the big screen Gladion could see Lillie's fingers were entwined, constantly twisting and turning. She always did that with her hands when she was anxious. She was waiting for something, but what?

When the two pokemon pulled away from one another, Lurantis raises its arms into a position very familiar to the young president. His hand twitched in anticipation, like clockwork. Sunny Day. Sun was about to get serious. Gladion watched on as Sun gave the command and the battlefield was bathed with sunlight.

Lillie's hands stopped.

Her command was clear and loud. It ran out through the battlefield. "Hitmonchan, use Fire Punch!" With a flame doused fist, boosted by the sweltering heat of the strengthened sun, Hitmonchan moved with renewed vigor. It dashed across the field and smashed it right into Lurantis's head. The eyes behind it's strawberry lenses spun as its world was rocked to its core. With a single major attack, Lurantis was out cold, embers and sparks littered across it form.

Hitmonchan was beaten and bruised, but it still stood proudly on the field after winning against a much stronger opponent.

Aaron's famous Lurantis is down for the count. This round goes to Lillie and Hitmonchan!

The crowd roared at the underdog win. "Lillie has done her homework. She has studied how he battles and must have made strategies accordingly." Hala stated.

"Such a remarkable amount of trust between both trainer and pokemon. For Hitmonchan to be able to withstand such an onslaught without so much as a whimper. Remarkable!" Mr. Pokemon said excitedly.

Gladion heard someone say, "She really wants to win." As he looked over to his fellow judges to see who said that, he only got raised eyebrows in return.

"Did you actually speak boy?" The Kahuna said, a smile tugged at his lips. "I knew it would only be a matter of time before there would be a battle that would get your blood boiling!"

The platinum blond boy, grunted in response. He did not want to give the old kook the satisfaction of being right.

It looks like the undefeated champion of Alola is on the ropes under the surprising skills of the Kanto rookie. Let's get a little input from Aaron Sun!

The announcer flew down onto the battlefield astride her Skarmory and landed beside Sun.

Anything you want to say to the audience Aaron? For the first time since the climactic battle against Professor Kukui, your team has been pushed to their corner. Is there anything you want say?

Sun took hold of the microphone, but when he spoke, it was not to the audience. No he spoke directly to his opponent. "I remember that sheltered girl that I travelled with across the region just a few years ago." Sun was staring right at Lillie. The camera did not show it, but Gladion could feel it. "When your world was turned completely upside down, you changed yourself."

The first showdown Lillie had with their mother underneath their estate on Aether Island. Gladion thought back to their first confrontation, with the museum of horror. He sighed with relief that the scientists were able to restore pokemon from their frozen state.

"You found a small seed of strength within yourself and you evolved into your Z-powered form." Sun cheekily grinned at her. "You have come very far Lillie. I can say from the bottom of my heart that you have blossomed into a beautiful flower." The sincerity of Sun's statement made his sister blush. Then his eyes hardened into a familiar gaze. "I'm not the only one who wants to see your strength. I have a friend who has been waiting for you." Sun plucked another ball from his waist, even from this distance, Gladion's recognized the colour and shape.

The Masterball.

Lillie gasped in shock before Sun's filled the stadium. "It's time for battle, Solgaleo!"

The stadium heard it before they could see it. Each step shook the earth with the power contained by the beast. The sunne pokemon was a sight to behold as it stood proudly, over 11 feet tall. Its metal body shined brightly under the setting sun, glinting off its hide. It stared directly at Lillie in silence. Gladion knew that it recognized Lillie. It was watching her, judging, waiting, and more. The audience was enthralled by the legendary pokemon, no one knew what to say and do, even the announcer was speechless.

The world entire world froze at the sight of the legendary. Gladion resisted the urge to call out to his sister, who was in still in shock. She has come so far, Lillie cannot stop here. Galdion gripped his pants in frustration. He could not help her, if he did, Gladion would not be able to forgive himself. This was Lillie's fight.

At the referee's mumbled announcement of "begin", Lillie visibly scrambled as she tried to think of something, anything to do, but Gladion could see that she had lost her rhythm with the appearance of her old bag buddy. Sun capitalized on that moment of weakness, much to Gladion's displeasure and respect in equal parts.

"Let's go, Solgaleo! Zen Headbutt!" Sun commanded as he through his whole body in order. Sungaleo's head shined bright enough that Gladion could see many members of the audience had to shield their eyes from the building psychic power. Faster than his size led anyone to believe, Solgaleo leaps across the battlefield, and lands right in front of Hitmonchan.

Lillie finally recollects herself and shouts out hurriedly, "Dodge it, Hitmonchan!" Her orders came too late. Hitmonchan was sent flying from when the attack struck. Her hair blew from back from the sheer speed as the punching pokemon was crashes into the wall behind Lillie. She turns around and sees her embedded pokemon, groaning in pain from the powerful attack before fainting. Her hand was shaking as she returns Hitmonchan and places the ball back onto her belt.

The audience awaits with rapt attention for Lillie to choose her next pokemon.

And waited.

And waited.

Lillie has not moved, her hand still hovering over her belt, her other pokemon at her beck and call, but she simply stares with wide-eyes, at Sun and his Solgaleo before her.

Champion Lillie, you must choose your next pokemon or you will forfeit this battle by default!

Everyone heard the plea in the announcer's tone and Gladion shared the same sentiment. A timer appeared on the giant screen above the stadium, counting down from ten, but Lillie was still transfixed upon Sun and Solgaleo, neither showing any emotion.

As the timer hit five, Gladion begaun to panic on the inside. Lillie fought hard. She freed herself from the shadow of their mother to become herself. She fought against him as he tried to take her away from Aether.

4

She's been fighting for so long, and she finally has a chance to prove her worth to herself and she freezes!? Gladion started to seethe. Screw the rules, screw his pride and screw this entire charade.

3

Gladion's chair fell to the ground with a resounding smack as he stood. The judge's table is envelop in a white light. A bestial roar echoes throughout the stadium.

2

Lillie snaps out of her stupor, without hesitation a single pokeball is chosen from her belt and tossed onto the field. "It's up to you, come on out Silvally!" She cries out, determination and grit at the forefront.

The synthetic pokemon, one of the three creations of the Aether Foundation, stood its ground in front of the legendary pokemon. The shadow of Solgaleo was practically suffocating the smaller creature, but Silvally did not falter. It turned back to look at Lillie and Gladion watched with awe as they breathed in sync. Through that single moment, both partners and trainer gained a presence that Galdion could feel eclipse that of Sungaleo and Sun. Silvally roared in defiance against its opponent. It sounded nearly identical to the one that woke Lillie from her stupor.

Gladion could feel something wet slick across the side of his face. He turned and saw his own Silvally standing there with rather content look on its face.

"What a remarkable pokemon you have Mr. Gladion! But it is rather crowded back here to let him out isn't it?" Mr. Pokemon commented.

"Sorry. He gets a bit antsy after a long day. Let him stay and watch this final bout. I promise that he won't be any trouble." Gladion replied with genuine humility.

Mr. Pokemon agreed readily, quite happy that Gladion could actually speak. He thought the boy was mute. Hala met the boy's eyes before his face broke into a grin. When both men turned their attention back to the battlefield, Gladion place his hand on Silvally's mane while looking it in the eye. The gratitude towards the pokemon went unsaid.

Lillie and her Silvally made the first move. "We won't be intimidated! Silvally use X-Scissor!"

The tailfin on top of its head glowed brightly with power as it closes in on Solgaleo. Surprisingly, neither Solgaleo nor Sun attempt to fight off the move. With break-neck speed, Silvally swipes its head in a criss-cross motion, hitting the much larger sunne pokemon underneath its chin.

The festering pain of a bug-type attack made Solgaleo snarl in pain before it stamp its feet around trying to crush the creature that could harm it. Silvally was far more agile, with flippant ease, it wove past the giant paws of the legendary before leaping backwards ready for the legendary's next move.

Sun saw the challenge made by Lillie and her pokemon and decided to face it head-on. "We can't let them get away with that! Solgaleo, use Flare Blitz!" Sunlight shines down on the battlefield, Solgaleo's body glows brightly as it absorbs the sunlight. With a mighty roar, the energy erupts and wreathes its body in flames before it barrels down on Silvally.

Only with Lillie's warning yell was the synthetic pokemon able to dodge the mass of steel and flame. It could not move fast enough to dodge it completely, but Silally was able to lean just barely out of Solgaleo's reach, sparing it from the massive amount of damage. Putting some distance between itself and the literally steaming legendary, Lillie gave her next command. "Use Metal Sound!" A horrible mechanical screech bellows out of Silvally's mouth, making many people shiver in discomfort.

Solgaleo laughs aloud while Sun watches on. "That won't work Lillie! Solgaleo use Zen Headbutt!" The familiar purple glow of psychic energy builds upon Solgaleo's head.

Lillie gritted her teeth. "We can't let him finish. Silvally, Crunch!" With a cry of acknowledgement, Silvally charges forward, its jaws preparing to clamp down on anything it can to cause pain. With an act of extreme recklessness, Silvally leaps upwards and wraps its jaws around the highest metallic point of Solgaelo's mane.

The legendary pokemon bucked wildly as it attempted to shake the synthetic creature off, only for it to clamp down harder as its clawed legs tarnished the steel mane as it scrambled for a better grip. The lion-like creature roared in annoyance and pain.

With a final buck, Silvally was thrown off Solgaleo only for the chimera pokemon to right itself in the air to land on its feet. The head of the Aether foundation saw the look on the pokemon's face as it stared back at the legendary. His own Silvally looks the same when it feels especially smug about something. Especially at this moment as it watched its sibling fight. The deep growl of the sunne pokemon could be felt within his body as it made its own agitation known about its opponent.

As his body shook from the force of the dual-type's growl, it built tension between Lillie and Sun. Gladion's own instincts were screaming as well. Both champions wanted to finish this match in the next deciding move.

"Solgaleo its time to finish this." Sun reached toward the sky in an outreached hand, the clouds parted as if by his very will as the sun shined down upon the arena. The legendry's body glowed bright with the power of an ever-burning star. "Use Sunsteel Strike!"

Gladion knew from his own experience when he battled that pokemon in the past. It's speed when using this move was otherworldly. Lillie's Silvally never had a chance to dodge.

A miniature sun crashed into Silvally. Gladion waited for synthetic pokemon to be launched into the air only to be stunned.

It took the hit head-on. Its legs buried up to its thighs in the dirt, quivering in exhaustion, only for it to look back at Lillie and immediately stopped shaking as it prepared itself to counterattack. "Silvally, use Tri-Attack!" The primary beams hit Solgaleo with force beyond Gladion has even seen from the move, his partner beside him howled in triumph as the legendry's body was covered in burn marks.

The bigger creature faltered under the damage, and Lillie capitalized on it like a Sharpedo going for a sinking ship. "This is our only chance, Silvally use Multi-Attack!" She commanded. What was once a lab experiment glowed white with power beyond all projections. "This is our last gambit, so put everything you have into it!" She yelled with pride as her partner shined even brighter, a growl built up in the back of its throat to emerge as a vindictive howl as Lillie called out, "Go Silvally!"

While Solgaleo was like the sun, Silvally shined like a sole streetlight in the night. It charges forward across the field; dirt kicking up with every step while Solgaleo prepares itself for the impact. Silvally collides with its opponent with world-shaking gong as it rang with tremendous force. The soundwave rolls across the field and audience, only for silence and held breath to replace the empty air.

One creature stood upon the other and roared in victory. The crowd goes wild in cheers as the announcer speaks up above the crowd.

I don't believe it folks! The legendary Solgaleo has been defeated by Silvally. For the first time in three years, Aaron Sun has been defeated by the rookie champion Lillie Aether!

Gladion has never felt this proud for someone else in his life. His little sister defeated his rival after earning the trust of a pokemon that had every right to hate humans. The cheers from the audience were deafening and was that his voice as well? He could barely think only for a large hand to clap him on the back. "Even you need to cheer her on, eh lad?" Hala could not resist a small jib at Gladion's expense. The teen refused to acknowledge it, he was far too happy right now for his sister, so he could let out right now.

Both champions walked across the field to their pokemon. Silvally bounces toward Lillie in and shares in joy with its trainer, and she could not stop her partner from enveloping her head in its mouth, much to his sister's obvious displeasure. Solgaleo woke up with Sun next to its head on the ground. Its eyes flicker behind the glass-like shell of its forehead as it mewls in disappointment at the lost, only to immediately stop with a few words of encouragement from Sun. With a bit of effort, the sunne pokemon stands back up and walks with Sun toward Lillie.

What's this? It looks like Aaron wants to have a chat with Lillie. Are these words of encouragement, or a promise of vengence for breaking the champion's streak?

When the two trainers met on the field, Lillie waves the announcer over to her.

It looks like the Kanto Champion has something to say, let's hear her out folks!

The microphone now in hand, Lillie took a deep breath to steady herself as she placed a hand on her chest. "Thank you, I promise that I won't take too long."She pauses before looking out to the crowd today."When I left Aloha three years ago, I had no idea that I could get this far, even my partner Silvally tried to get me to quit." Said pokemon, kicks the dirt as it avoids looking at the crowd in embarrassment."But after watching Sun go through the Island Challenge, I knew that I had to go through my own trials to become a real trainer. Kanto gave me a chance to stand on my own, and I promised that I would return to Aloha stronger than before." She looks to Sun and Solgaleo,"I want to say that I think that I proved that today."

Chuckles rolled from the audience, accompanied by Solgaleo chuffing loudly while Sun smiled. Lillie tried to hand the microphone back repeatedly, only for Silvally to shove her forward with a conniving look on its face as it glared at its trainer. She looks back to her partner as if it was sacrificing her to the Tapu. The girl's face reddened in embarrassment. "I al-also made a promise." She stuttered out. "That once I beat Sun in a battle that I would do something." Lillie nervously shifted her feet.

Gladion really hoped this was not what he thinks this is. Solgaleo rolled its eyes and shoved Sun closer to Lillie, the boy jumped from the motion while Lillie blush deepened. "I'm so sorry Sun." Before the boy could react, Lillie jumped forward and gave him a peck on the cheek. Sun broke out into a blush, but the smile on his face certainly showed his own appreciation of the action.

The crowd awed at the rather cute display while the announcer finally got back her microphone and immediately teased the young teens. With the way Hala and Mr. Pokemon both looked at him, Gladion had the feeling they expected him to shout something out. He did not want to give these men that satisfaction.

But he was certainly going to have a talk with both of them after the tournament.

A/N:

This story was started three years ago, I got it 75% done, then finally finished a couple days ago after the three years and being passed through three computers. I'd initially wrote this out prior to the Ultra Sun & Moon release, because I liked the idea of Lillie coming back tough enough to kick some butt and taking names. The add-on being that Aether has three Type:Nulls and Gladion would be remissed if he didn't have some tiny inkling to trust his sister with one.

Not completely happy with the ending, its what I wanted initially, but it still feels weird to read for me. But I wanted to keep this in the general "pokemon" age range. So, Old Fic finished. Another half-a-dozen waiting to go.