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Red fumbled for his PokeBall while glowering hatefully at his rival, who was grinning lazily at him. Blue always had an air of ease and cockiness around him that infuriated Red to no end. He was twirling a PokeBall on his forefinger expertly, as Red chose the PokeBall he wanted and held it high to show Blue that he was ready.
"So, six against six?" Blue said lethargically, his crooked smile betraying his nonchalant attitude of the upcoming battle. Red nodded as the two trainers thrust their PokeBalls into the grassy plain they were battling on. Blue's Pidgeot appeared in a beam of crimson light, she rustled her feathers and cooed softly, stretching her wings wide and flexing her talons into the grass underfoot. Red's Raichu appeared, the auburn Pokemon stretched his long, winding tail high and growled as electricity crackling at his cheeks.
At once, the two Pokemon lunged for each other. Pidgeot batted her large, heavy wings as Raichu ducked and maneuvered, his long tail whipping about violently. Red called for a Thundershock attack, as Raichu paused, landing softly on his feet. His cheeks began crackling more with electricity, spreading down his body to the tip of his tail. It then enveloped him altogether in a thin lightning bolt that struck Pidgeot square in the chest, making the giant Flying-type Pokemon falter and flutter to the ground, where her feathers brushed the grass before she carried herself back to the sky.
"Pidgeot, Take Down!" Blue commanded, as she flapped her wings once threateningly, before rocketing down to the ground. She barreled into Raichu, who tumbled head over heels across the grass, landing hard on his back as he struggled to get up. He rose shakily to his feet, before straightening his tail once again and quivering with excitement. Red was flustered for a moment, he knew Pidgeot was at a higher level than Raichu and was barely fazed from the ThunderShock attack. Raichu did know Thunder, though… It was risky. Finally, casting all apprehension aside, Red shouted out for Raichu to use Thunder.
Raichu rose to the tips of his feet, his tail digging into the ground like an Arbok striking prey; Raichu bunched his tiny fists close to his chest, his ears standing on end. He looked to the sky where charcoal-gray clouds were gathering suddenly, darkening the field. He locked his eyes on Pidgeot, who was fluttering about maniacally to avoid the incoming attack. Raichu let out a shrill scream as a white-blue bolt of lightning struck Pidgeot full-on, sending the Pokemon to the ground. Raichu wrenched his tail from the ground and dropped to all fours again as the clouds dissipated. Pidgeot lay in the grass, her wings twitching feebly as she fainted.
Blue scowled, withdrawing his Pokemon and pulling another PokeBall from his belt. He cast a dirty look at Red as he threw this one onto the field. A great, burly Pokemon appeared – dark gray and massive, with a spiraling horn swaying in the air as he shook his head. The Rhydon glowered down at Raichu, who cowered slightly. Knowing that Raichu stood no chance, Red withdrew his Pokemon, throwing another PokeBall onto the field in his place. His deep, navy blue Poliwrath appeared, clenching his fists threateningly and staring up at the towering Rhydon.
Red called for a Hydro Pump, which Poliwrath quickly obliged. His stomach seemed to twist and turn as the center began bubbling, before finally, a winding, twisting jet of water careened through the sky and struck the Rhydon with a deafening roar. The giant Pokemon called out in distress and anguish as he stepped back from the blast, Poliwrath countering by coming even closer. Eventually the dousing died out as the jet trickled down to a stream and subsided altogether. Rhydon was grasping his knee in exhaustion, breathing hard and heavy.
Blue looked livid, he was biting his lip. Finally saying coolly, "Rhydon, Horn Drill."
Red felt his stomach drop as Rhydon stood back up, although shakily. He lowered his head and dug his feet into the earth like a charging Tauros, as the horn on his head began spiraling, faster and faster until it was a blur with the high-pitched drone of the drill spinning. He grunted and charged forward, striking Poliwrath in the stomach, who was thrown in the air, landing limp at Red's feet. Withdrawing the Pokemon, Red glared up at his rival, whose cocky smirk reappeared. Contemplating his tactics, Red took out another PokeBall, and threw it in the field.
A ground-shaking thud followed, as a massive navy and peach-colored Pokemon fell onto the field, lifting one arm without much interest to scratch his massive belly. Snorlax yawned widely with a grunt that sounded very much like a roar. He rose to his feet, standing tall over the Rhydon, who dropped to his knee again in fatigue. Red knew he had to act fast, but Snorlax's sloth would be a disadvantage.
"Earthquake, Rhydon!" Blue called out and after a moment's delay, the Rhydon rose one foot, his drill spinning again, and stomping down on the ground. Red felt the earth tremble, though he knew the magnitude was weakened greatly due to his lack of strength, and Snorlax merely lost his balance for a moment, before standing back up.
Red thought fast – he told Snorlax to use Body Slam. Snorlax yawned again, before lumbering over to the Rhydon, who was stepping back in anticipation. Finally, Snorlax leaned forward and fell with a sickening crash on the Rhydon, lying for a tense second, before rolling over on his side and eventually on his back, where Rhydon lay in the earth, leaving a deep imprint as he didn't move. Blue withdrew the Pokemon, and without as much as looking at Red, threw another PokeBall onto the field.
This Pokemon was even larger than Snorlax – she coiled up in the grass much like a snake would, her gaping mouth stretched wide to reveal sharp, long teeth and her bloodred eyes glared at the lumbering Snorlax. Gyarados stretched her fins wide before letting out a shrill screech that gave Red the impression of nails on a chalkboard. Snorlax, recognizing his opponent's strength, rose to his feet and looked up at the Gyarados, as she stared back down.
"Hyper Beam!" Blue called without any hesitation, Gyarados opened her mouth even wider as a bright yellow light began growing in her throat, changing to a fiery red hue as it grew larger – Snorlax held his ground as the beam of fierce, raw energy struck him hard, enveloping his body. When the light faded, Red saw Snorlax's arms held defensively over his head, though the two deep, upturned streaks in the grass showed where the force had pushed him back.
Knowing that he would have a turn to spare now, Red countered the attack with Hyper Beam from Snorlax as well. Snorlax opened his mouth wide as if to yawn again, but the fierce stature he held showed otherwise; the same yellow energy formed in his mouth, deepening in color as it struck Gyarados hard in her chest, knocking her back. Her tail thrashed against the ground as she situated herself once more into a coiled pose, and Snorlax closed his mouth. The two Pokemon merely stood panting for a moment as they recovered from the intense attack, and Blue was quick to the draw when selecting his next move.
"Use Bite!" Blue spat; Gyarados drew herself up to full height before lunging down at the Snorlax, sinking her teeth into his massive belly. Snorlax groaned in pain, wincing as she clenched her jaw even more firmly. Snorlax gasped when she withdrew, leaving an angry red set of bite marks in his blubbery stomach. He swayed wearily while Red called for another Hyper Beam, realizing Snorlax's failing strength.
Snorlax fired another beam of the raw energy that made Gyarados sway in fatigue – the two fierce Pokemon were wearing each other out with their immense power, they glared at one another in frustration. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Blue demanded for a final Bite attack and Gyarados lunged, sinking her teeth as Snorlax collapsed almost instantly.
Red withdrew the Snorlax, and thrust out another PokeBall. Raichu reappeared, stretching with a fierce ambition to continue the fight. Knowing that Gyarados was nearing her end, he called for Raichu to finish her off with a Thundershock attack. Raichu's cheeks began crackling as the surge traveled down his body and was released with a thin lightning streak, which struck Gyarados and sizzled around her body, until she collapsed with a heavy thud on the ground.
Blue had withdrawn and threw another PokeBall with determined speed. The battle was growing in intensity, and the whole field seemed to be charged with it. A towering, slightly comical Pokemon appeared in Gyarados' place. He was a palm-tree of sorts, lumbering on two swaying legs with mask-like faces that had different expressions, all looking steadfast towards the opponent. Raichu held his ground as the Exeggutor stumbled towards him, falling back, and stumbled forward again. Raichu darted about his legs expertly, waiting for their attacks.
Red called for a Quick Attack, knowing any Electric-type attacks would do little damage. Raichu darted up at the awkward Exeggutor, striking him hard in the back. Exeggutor faltered, his leaves swaying wildly as he turned back to face Raichu.
"Stomp!" Blue shouted. Exeggutor straightened his legs with a sudden determination, then lunged forward and stomped hard on Raichu's back, who shrieked in surprise and pain. Raichu seemed to cripple under the strength and weight of Exeggutor, as he collapsed into the grass, already weakened from the fight with Pidgeot.
Red paused for a moment, contemplating his options – he knew which Pokemon he should use against Exeggutor, but he wanted to save the best for last, he knew he would need it. Finally making a decision, he picked a PokeBall, and threw it skyward, as a grand, albeit rather ugly bird Pokemon burst forth, flapping his wings. The red plume atop his head fluttered in the wind as he snapped his beak threateningly, Fearow focused his beady eyes on Exeggutor, flexing his talons. Exeggutor resumed his stumbling, as Fearow kept himself aloft just meters above the ground.
Taking advantage of Fearow's speed, Red called for an immediate Drill Peck. Fearow soared higher in the sky, beating his wings with more power. He squawked once before clamping his beak tightly, and folding his wings, launching down and striking Exeggutor hard in his torso. Exeggutor fell back off his feet, shaking his multiple heads as they all grimaced in pain.
"Psychic!" Blue howled, losing patience as his Pokemon struggled to his feet. Exeggutor swayed his leaves suddenly, in a manic, eerie fashion as if a tornado were blowing through. A ripple in the air, much like a heat wave on the horizon, danced through the air before enveloping Fearow, distorting his body as he fluttered wildly, feathers falling to the ground. Fearow lost balance in the sky, falling to the ground for a moment before the attack faded, and he drifted back up to the sky once more.
Knowing that Drill Peck was highly effective, Red called for another attack, and although Fearow was still fazed from the Psychic attack, he launched himself into Exeggutor, sending him hard into the ground, where he fell on his back, his leaves falling limp on the ground. Exeggutor's many eyes fluttered, before closing softly. Drawing a slow breath, Blue recalled his Pokemon, knowing the battle was drawing to an end.
He clenched one PokeBall tight in his fist, before replacing it on his belt and picking another, which he threw onto the field. The red light erupted, revealing an elegant, lean Pokemon who stretched her body nimbly, waving her many long tails. She rested her ruby red eyes on Fearow, lifting her head slightly. She gave a soft bark, and a trickle of smoke escaped her lips. Fearow cawed back at her, waving his beak threateningly.
"Ninetales, Flamethrower!" Blue shouted; Ninetales opened her mouth wide, as more smoke spewed out. A few embers snapped in her throat as a sudden jet of red-hot fire spewed forth, crackling and sizzling over Fearow's body. The bird Pokemon fell, the pungent odor of burnt feathers filled the air as the flames ceased, and Fearow's charred form staggered across the earth.
Red called for a Quick Attack, knowing that Fearow wouldn't be able to handle another attack like that. Fearow shook himself, smoke billowing from his wings and a faint glow of smoldering feathers intensified from the movement. He rocketed forward, skimming across the grass in the blink of an eye and tackling the fox-like Pokemon, knocking her off her feet, though she quickly recovered.
"Quick Attack, Ninetales!" Blue countered, and Ninetales flung herself at Fearow, knocking him over easily. Fearow crumpled on the ground, his feathers still smoldering. Red withdrew Fearow, pulling out his second to last PokeBall. He threw it in the air, as a crimson beam revealed a gaunt, humanesque Pokemon with a fox-like face, grasping two spoons firmly in his hands. Alakazam lifted his head and narrowed his eyes at the Ninetales, who returned the intense glare.
"Another Quick Attack," Blue commanded, as Ninetales disappeared in another flash, barreling into Alakazam, who stumbled back but did not fall.
Grasping the chance, Red called for Psychic; Alakazam twirled his two spoons swiftly, clenching them. The same heat wave effect that was used against Fearow enveloped Alakazam's spoons, rippling with an intensity that distorted the field before magnifying and striking Ninetales, making her cry out in pain as she was lifted in the air, enveloped in an intense prismatic light. Red knew that Alakazam's psychic powers were far more powerful than Exeggutor's, as Ninetales crashed hard into the ground, and the field returned to normal.
She staggered to her feet, growling and sticking her tails straight out, her paws tightening in the grass as she spat an angry plume of fire in the air.
"Fire Spin!" Blue howled; Ninetales gave a quick bark, the wind stirring around her suddenly. A fierce heat struck the atmosphere, as the grass around her suddenly caught fire. The intensity of the flames grew as she waved her tails, spewing another plume of fire into the spiraling fire tornado growing around her, fueling the flames that eventually rose meters into the air. The tornado suddenly flew forward, completely trapping Alakazam in the fiery twister.
Ninetales stood her ground, and the fire spun mercilessly around Alakazam, whose feeble attempts of breaking free were visible by the distorted ripples in the seamless tornado. The attack seemed to last forever, as Blue called for multiple attacks – Quick Attack, where Ninetales disappeared into the twister, reappearing a moment later with smoke searing from her body, Flamethrower, which only seemed to intensify the trapping attack.
Suddenly, the flaming tornado vanished, leaving only a great deal of smoke and an entirely blackened patch of grass, where Alakazam fell forward, his body smoldering and his glare intense. Standing up on shaking legs, he held his spoons tight, breathing heavy enough that his chest heaved.
Red demanded for another Psychic attack, and gathering his ferocious intensity, Alakazam began glowing, in an odd effect that seemed to evaporate the smoking ash that clung to his body. A deep cyan light grew in his eyes as well as his spoons, and the rippling distortion in the air seized Ninetales, twisting her in a sickening way, before dropping her hard on the ground, where she struggled to her feet, eventually dropping with a soft groan.
"You've gotten good, Red." Blue said suddenly, all cockiness vanished. He looked intently at Rival, who returned the solemn stare. Blue chuckled softly, shaking his head, "I guess gramps was right about you. But, you've forgotten about my best fighter."
"It's not about fighting." Red said softly. "It's about partnership."
"Yeah, well." Blue shrugged, "Brace yourself all the same."
Taking his last PokeBall, a battered little thing, he threw it in in the air, where his last, most trusted partner appeared. His Blastoise was fierce, an aged, wise look creased his face, and many scars littered his sturdy shell. The cannons on his back clicked once as they extended out, and he flexed his little claws.
Knowing the sheer power that his Blastoise held, Red hastily called for a Psychic attack. Growing worn from the battle, Alakazam used another Psychic attack, barely able to lift the great turtle Pokemon from the ground. He landed easily, shaking his great body.
"Hydro Pump," Blue said simply. Blastoise lowered himself to all fours, the cannons on his back clicking again ominously. Without any hesitation, two fierce, powerful jets of water rocketed forward, striking Alakazam with such force he was knocked off his feet and onto the ground, where the water continued to pound him into the earth. The attack stopped almost as suddenly as it started, with the bedraggled, soaked form of Alakazam laying on the ground, no longer moving.
Red drew a deep breath as he withdrew Alakazam, pulling out his last PokeBall. Blue laughed, a genuine smile appearing on his lips.
"I know who that is." He said, looking at the PokeBall with an almost fondness. "This is just like the battle back in gramps' lab. You remember? I beat you then, too."
Red held his tongue, and threw the PokeBall into the air. A lean, equally battle-scarred lizard appeard, his great wings flapping and a thick tail waved through the air, leaving a streak of fire. Charizard let out a deafening roar, slowly descending to land on the ground, shooting a look of pure hatred at the Blastoise he had battled so much.
There was a moment of silence, Blastoise clicking his cannons in anxiety and Charizard lashing his fire-tipped tail hard against the ground. Suddenly, without any warning, the two were lashing at each other without command. Charizard dove, climbing up Blastoise's shell with his thorn-sharp claws, finally snapping his jaw firmly on one of Blastoise's cannons, avoiding their threatening jets and clamping his jaws simultaneously. Blastoise was straining to withdraw the cannons, loosening the powerful grip that Charizard had.
Blastoise managed to wrench the cannon from Charizard's mouth, withdrawing them and butting his head hard into Charizard's chest, winding the giant lizard. Charizard beat his wings hard, taking to the sky as Blastoise pulled the cannons out once more, shooting a jet of water to Charizard, who deftly avoided the attack.
"Blastoise!" Blue stomped, furious at the disobedience of his Pokemon. Red did the same, as both Pokemon glanced at their trainers, fuming as they braced themselves for their commands.
Red demanded a Slash attack, and almost instantly, Charizard flew forward, claws outstretched and scoring down Blastoise's softer underbelly. Blastoise reached to grasp Charizard's fast claws, failing as Charizard slashed one last time before headbutting Blastoise and knocking him back. Charizard landed on the ground, growling and roaring with an intimidating intensity.
"Hydro Pump!" Blue called, as Blastoise lowered himself to all fours, and Charizard beat his wings to take off again; but, Blastoise's attack struck hard as it hit Charizard, knocking him out of the sky and into the grass. With more durability than Alakazam, Charizard kept his footing and stood against the powerful jet, roaring with pain, frustration, and hatred.
The attack ceased and Charizard remained standing, breathing laboriously and still roaring. Blastoise stood back up, returning the caterwaul angrily. Red demanded Charizard to use Seismic Toss, and the giant lizard Pokemon became airborne, soaring across the grass and grasping Blastoise's heavy shell firmly in his claws. He rose in the air, spiraling as the turtle slipped in his grasp, eventually reaching enough height, Charizard flew in circles until his speed increased enough that they seemed to appear in a ball of fire. The ball soared down like a meteor, crashing hard into the earth and dissipating into a ball of smoke.
Charizard flew out of the crater, landing heavily on his feet as the smoke faded, and Blastoise lay in the crater, half-buried in the dirt. He rose up, groaning in pain as he found his footing, and crawled out of the crater. He swayed on his feet, staring intently at Charizard as he waited for his last attack.
"Hydro Pump," Blue said again, foreshadowing the outcome of the battle. He knew what await him and his most trusted fighter – his partner.
Blastoise wasted no time in dropping to all fours again, but was not so quick to attack. He held his gaze as Charizard returned it with a ferocity. There was a sudden understanding between the two Pokemon; even though I beat you before, I will not beat you every time. They had both grown significantly over their journeys, and at that moment, Blastoise acknowledged that he would not win this.
Nonetheless, the most powerful Hydro Pump he had ever delivered shot through the air with such force that his clawed feet dug into the earth, digging up the grass. The water struck Charizard hard, as the great Pokemon remained standing, though his wings fell limp and he looked wearily at Blastoise.
"Fire Blast," Red said quietly, already realizing the outcome of the battle. Charizard opened his mouth wide, fire sparked up from his throat, growing white-hot in intensity before soaring from his mouth in a giant ring. The ring flew through the air, scorching the grass underfoot and leaving a trail of fire and smoke in its wake. The ring twisted into a five-point star and crashed into Blastoise, enveloping the turtle completely. The fire seemed to stop for a moment, leaving in its center the dark, blackened shell of Blastoise.
The fire disappeared in an eerie plume of smoke, as Blastoise's dark shell rocked slowly in the grass. Blastosie remerged, giving one last glance at Charizard, before falling limp on the ground. Blue looked down at his partner, speechless. He pulled out his PokeBall and withdrew it, as Red did the same, to a roaring, triumphant Charizard.
The two stepped over the field, puddles pooled where Poliwrath and Blastoise had struck their opponents, many scorch marks from Ninetales and Charizard, and upturned earth from the sheer power of their Pokemon. The two looked at each other, never breaking eye contact as they shook hands.
"It was a good battle." Red said, nodding his head in recognition of Blue's strength.
"Yeah, well, I've been thinking about what I want to do. I'm going back to gramps' lab." Blue lowered his eyes for a moment, pursing his lips. He looked back up at Red, his shifty grin returning, "I have filled out more of my Pokedex than you have, anyway."
"Tell Professor Oak hi for me, won't you?" Red asked, a bit put off by Blue's sudden change in attitude. They stood in silence for another minute, surveying the field, lost in thought.
Blue chuckled a moment, looking past Red at something unseen. "You know, I've been thinking. I think you've gotten better than me, Red."
Red shrugged a little modestly, as Blue let out a bark of laughter, snatching Red's hat. Red lifted his hands to his head automatically, as Blue waved it out of reach.
"Give it to me, Blue!" Red spat, glowering at his rival as Blue tossed it back to him, ruffling his hair before Red replaced the hat on his head.
"You know, I don't think I'm done playing with you yet."
"What?" Red asked, furrowing his brow in suspicion.
"I'm going to be stronger than you, Red. And I will beat you again. I'm going for the Elite Four, and I'll be Champion. When you get that far, not if, when, I'll be waiting for you." Blue struck his hand out again, tilting his head a little at Red, who grasped his hand firmly.
"I'll look forward to it." Red stated, narrowing his eyes.
Blue grinned his usual, crooked grin once more. He nodded and turned around, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Smell ya later."