In the spirit of summer and the upcoming Kalos League, inspiration for this fic came to mind. With all the drama that's usually written around this concept concerning Ash's apprehension in competing and someone, usually Serena, comforting him, a little humor that this'll provide should hopefully balance it all out and be in good taste (Even though there are some drama bits here and there… Ah well, can't be helped).

And as with most Pokémon stories I write, we'll just assume Ash and friends have aged up to appropriate teenage years, just to get that out of the way. After all, one has to wonder how one guy could stay ten years old after nearly six generations (six and a half if you count the Orange Islands).

Even before its official beginning, the location of the Lumiose Conference was blazing with activity. The sun was shining with nary a cloud in sight, save for the occasional flocks of wild Flying-types passing through. The warmth of the summertime season blanketed the region, prompting the inhabitants to either wear less restrictive clothing or to flee to the more bearable seaside areas for the day.

It was certainly a beautiful day to ignite a host of battles bound to determine who would receive the right to challenge the Elite Four. Many powerful Pokémon Trainers have arrived in the city this day to register for this major step on the road to the Kalos League Championship.

Among said travelers included Ash and his merry group of friends.

Quick to reach the main desk to register, they had the opportunity to meet up with a few old friends and rivals along the way. Such reunions were bound to happen sooner or later, whether within or outside of the battlefield.

Tierno and Trevor were clearly raring to go, with Shauna only in attendance as to debate on who to fully root for if her friends were to face off each other early on. Such chances, though, were slim to none, so at the very least, Shauna wouldn't feel guilty for choosing one and betraying the other. It was also then that she expressed lighthearted envy towards Serena for being able to have only one guy to focus on and cheer for, much to Serena's bashful disbelief.

Sawyer was eager to make his presence known upon finding that Ash had caught up, but unlike previous encounters, the rookie Trainer from Hoenn carried a sort of confident maturity that came from diligent training and studious improvement. He had certainly come a long way now and was more than willing to prove it to his inspiration once their destined battle was to commence.

Alain simply stayed around the lobby to say hello before coolly slipping back into the shadows, waiting for the match where he could finally settle the score with Ash and his Greninja. Nothing more seemed to matter as his main reason to compete was to further test his Charizard's strength against this unknown form of synchronized evolution.

Of course, these four rivals were but a small percentage that made up the population of great competitors for this particular Conference, most of which appear to be capable of Mega Evolution as designated by the Key Stones they wielded on their persons.

As such, Ash took the opportunity to slip away for additional last minute training despite the mild protests of his friends wanting him to stay around and relax for the rest of the day until the official kickoff.

The group had just finished lunch when the Pallet Town Trainer had decided to momentarily go his separate way. Tierno and Trevor both held similar sentiments and went off on their own to train as well. Shauna thought about exploring Lumiose City some more and had invited Serena to join her, but the latter declined, opting to stay with Clemont and Bonnie. Sawyer had decided to review the notes taken throughout his Kalos journey and formulate future battle strategies for every possible scenario recorded in his notebook.

Thus Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie were left to themselves to figure out what to do for the rest of the day without Ash. The three of them were wandering aimlessly around the main site, throwing around offers on using their time productively. Trainers and tourists alike went along their ways to check out what the Lumiose Conference event held outside of battles.

"We could scope out the rest of the competition and let Ash know what he could be going up against," Clemont suggested.

"You know, it's not really our place to go around snooping on other Trainers just to give Ash an unfair advantage," Serena rebutted, filling the blond inventor with shame. "Besides, he prefers being surprised."

"How's that different from preparing for a Gym battle though?" Bonnie questioned. "You'd still want to know what type the Gym Leader specializes in to make a counter strategy."

"I think it's more up to Ash to figure out what his opponents specialize in on his own rather than relying on outside parties like us," Serena explained thoughtfully. "That way, victory would feel more satisfying to him than anything else."

"I suppose that makes sense," Bonnie murmured.

"Remember, he always credits us for helping him through the toughest challenges, even if we don't really do much of anything," Clemont mentioned. "Not to mention he's always helped us in our times of need."

"Oh, you're right," Serena agreed, feeling slight warmth rise up into her face, "W-Well, I still think Ash has been capable of making it far, even on his own if he wanted to."

"Don't be so modest, Serena," Clemont assured.

"Yeah! Ash looks to you for inspiration just as much as you do for him," Bonnie added with a sly wink, putting her older sister figure even more at unease. It did not help that Dedenne and Squishy were cheering her on through their own multifaceted ways. "He's made it farther because of you."

"I-I suppose," Serena attempted to brush off.

She didn't want to come off as egotistical and proud for accepting the praise, as much as she highly favored the idea of being an inspiration for her crush. The idea itself sounded too good to be true, but given what she went through this whole journey with her friends, going from an insipid Rhyhorn Racer full of uncertainties to a passionate and determined individual aspiring to become Kalos Queen, it would seem that nothing would be impossible at this point.

Serena was content enough being able to travel with Ash and adopt the qualities that attracted her to him in the first place. She even mentally told herself that she would be happy as long as he was happy. But as for actually confessing what he truly meant to her, that issue seemed to have been categorized in a level on its own.

She knew deep down that if she were to have any sort of closure with him, he had to know how she felt. Sad to say, there have been many external factors, ranging from Ash's own romantically unaware nature to possibly the unforeseeable forces of the universe itself, that have prevented her from fully enjoying most of her alone time with him.

But a funny thing regarding uncontrollable factors would be that under certain angles, they can be helpful at the most desperate and unanticipated of times.

"Let's just say you raised each other up~," a familiar playful voice teased from behind the Vaniville Town Performer, much to her alarmed surprise.

"Miette!" Serena yelped, scuttling away from the sudden closeness she found herself in with her blue-haired rival.

"Thaaat's me," Miette quipped, politely placing her hands behind her back. "Though I shouldn't be surprised running into you guys here."

"What brings you to Lumiose City, Miette?" Clemont asked.

"Just because I'm a Performer and baker doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good old-fashioned, hot-blooded Pokémon battle now and again," Miette explained. "With that said, I expected to see a certain young man with a Pikachu on his shoulder having qualified for the Lumiose Conference and I was hoping to find him here, and congratulate him personally~."

Serena shivered in comically indignant anger from picking out the subtext of her last line, but was able to appear somewhat composed in front of her friends, as far as they've noticed.

"Ash is out getting some last minute training in," Clemont replied. "As for where he's training, we don't know. We agreed to meet up at the Pokémon Center around evening and that's about it."

"Really wished he could take the day off with us and explore the fun festivities with us," Bonnie added wistfully.

"I hear you guys loud and clear," Miette concurred with a nod. "And here I was hoping he was with you just to make things easier."

"Why are you looking for Ash particularly?" Serena questioned suspiciously.

"Were you not listening, Serena?" Miette responded with a surreptitious wink. "I'm still fond of that boy and want to congratulate him personally. It's the very least I could do, after all. That and he's practically the only Trainer I know actively competing in the Lumoise Conference. You know what? You've just changed the rules, Serena."

"I have?"

Miette then pulled her in for their private girl-to-girl tête-à-têtes, much to Clemont's confusion and Bonnie's personal amusement. She knew what was really going on and it was fortunate enough that there was no real malicious intent from Miette, allowing the little girl to milk out this entertainment for all it was worth, as well as gain some helpful tips in finding her brother's future wife.

"If you're really not going to make a move after all this time, I guess it's my time to shine in front of Ash," Miette whispered mischievously, igniting the sensitive emotions of her honey-blond rival to a fevered pitch before backing off. "Finding Ash amidst all these Trainers will be worth it once he samples some of my latest baked confections."

"What'cha bake?!" Bonnie asked, mouth gaping in hunger at the mere mention of pastries.

"Sorry, but these goodies are currently exclusive for the future Kalos League Champ," Miette jested, holding up her quaint basket. "Of course, if he doesn't have a problem sharing them with you, then by all means! However, I'd like to hear it from him first."

"Aw, no fair!" Bonnie scoffed, folding her arms and pouting, to which Dedenne mimicked on top of her head.

"If it's Ash you're looking for, then I believe I have the perfect invention for you," Clemont chuckled, adjusting his shining glasses upon his face. "Heh heh heh! The future is now, thanks to science!"

Miette quickly held up her hand, easily prompting Clemont out of unveiling his invention, much to his disappointment. This kind of thing rarely happened.

"I mean no offense to you, but I want to find him by my own means," Miette stated, throwing a Poké Ball into the air and summoning her Slurpuff.

"What are you up to?" Serena pressed skeptically, to which her blue-haired rival suddenly pointed directly at her.

"Search," Miette commanded.

Slurpuff waddled over to Serena and started sniffing her, much to her discomfort. The Meringue Pokémon clearly took after her Trainer in their apparent disregard for other's personal space. She sniffed around her boots before working her way higher on Serena's body. She then appeared to pause around the blue ribbon worn around her neck and deliberate her sniffing there.

"Now I get it," Clemont mused. "Miette plans on using Slurpuff's exceptional sense of smell to find Ash."

"But why is Slurpuff sniffing me?" Serena demanded, having had enough of the uncomfortable closeness the Meringue Pokémon imposed on her as she carefully pushed her off.

"Don't think I haven't noticed the clues, girl," Miette began, wagging her finger friskily. "Almost every time I've been around you guys since you changed your look, I've notice how you carry that ribbon every time you feel strongly for Ash. I figured it must be related to him in some way, so most likely, he gifted it to you. That should mean even a faint trace of his scent should still be in it mixed in with yours. Slurpuff should have no trouble differentiating them."

"Wow, she must be really observant to notice that detail," Clemont commented. "I never noticed it before and I know Serena said she got that ribbon from Ash."

"It's honestly not that surprising, Brother," Bonnie muttered wryly with a roll of her eyes.

"Any success, Slurpuff?" Miette asked, to which her Pokémon responded affirmatively. "Sweet! Lead the way!"

"Slur-Slurpuff," Slurpuff barked, picking up an existing, though unclear trail based on the scent she imprinted into memory and heading off to uncover it.

"I'd love to stay and chat some more, but I've got a dashing competitor to give my personal regards to," Miette said, giving a mock salute before running off to follow her Slurpuff. "Catch you all later!"

"Have fun, Miette!" Bonnie cheered, waving back before sensing an unusual amount of heat emanating near her.

"Oh, no she doesn't!" Serena intervened with a stomp of her foot. She was not as angry as she initially appeared, but she really did not want to risk letting Miette getting close to Ash after witnessing how shameless she came off from this recent interaction. "Clemont, your invention."

"Serena, you feeling alright?" Clemont asked.

"I'm fine," Serena replied rather firmly. "I can't explain it now, but I need to get to Ash before Miette does. I can't do this by myself, so please just trust me on this and show off your invention."

"I really don't know what's going on between you two and I don't think I want to know, but at least you're giving me the time of day to show off my invention," Clemont resumed, bearing his proud accomplished look once again. "As I said before, the future is now, thanks to science! Clemontic Gear, on!"

He instantly revealed a familiar machine that closely resembled a miniature round red UFO at first glance.

"I feel like we've seen this one before," Serena commented.

"It saves time in sharing a new invention," Bonnie added, shrugging. "Not that it matters in the end."

"That's because this isn't the first time we've gotten to fall back on the Body-Detecting Radar Bot," Clemont announced. "Now called the Body-Detecting Radar Bot Mk. V, this device has been improved with the ability to appropriately distinguish body heat signatures between people and Pokémon. But wait, there's more! I've also taken the liberty in preprogramming heat signatures into its system in the event that one of us goes missing and out of reach."

"So this can easily recognize Ash's signature body heat?" Serena asked, having caught on.

"Exactly! Having thought ahead to save his height and weight measurements in the database, my invention will be able to narrow down on the body searches until we can find an exact match," Clemont continued. "Switch, on!"

From flicking the power switch, a floatation sac was released from the bot's top compartment and self-inflated to the point that the machine was able to sustain itself in the air. It floated to a sufficient elevation while Clemont examined the findings through the remote heat residual screen pad. It covered about to a hundred meters radius.

"There are a lot of bodies on screen," Bonnie remarked offhandedly, noting that the Radar Bot was currently detecting the various people and Pokémon in the city.

"Just let me put in the filters and we should pinpoint Ash's exact location," Clemont mumbled, inputting the needed settings. "Here we go."

A few seconds had passed and the three of them watched as the number of body heat signatures was quickly reduced into measureable units. As the young inventor had predicted, one heat signature was left.

"That's got to be Ash," Serena concluded.

"According to this, he's close to the southern outskirts of Lumiose City," Clemont surmised from the coordinates. "The only known place of interest in that area is Professor Sycamore's lab, but he's not even close to it. Most likely, he went there because of the additional space to train in. There is also plenty of greenery down there now that I think of it."

"On it," Serena grunted after committing the location to memory, ready to run off at the drop of a hat. She was certainly becoming close to Ash in more ways than one. "Thanks, Clemont!"

Right as she turned heel and dashed south to hopefully head off Miette, electrical sparks started to discharge out of Clemont's remote pad. The laws of the universe certainly have a way of exercising the principle of expecting the unexpected at any given moment. Taking this warning sign from experience, Bonnie quickly backed away while her brother fumbled with the pad in his hands.

Before he could attempt to repair this random malfunction…


The whole thing practically blew up right in his face and coated his entire body in black charred soot, as well as frizzing his blond hair to large proportions.

"Back to the drawing board for the Radar Bot, huh," Bonnie deduced before someone of interest came into her line of vision.

"… At least Serena has… direction," Clemont wheezed, shaking himself out of his post-explosion state only to hear a high-pitched squeal that suddenly made him fearful for his life.

"I recognize you!" Bonnie exclaimed, addressing a familiar blond female Trainer dressed in prim purple attire. "You're that cool Mega Absol Trainer Ash battled!"

"Do I… know you?" Astrid asked, unsure on what to make of the little girl fawning over her so suddenly. "You do look a bit familiar."

"If you're competing in the Lumiose Conference too, then you're definitely a keeper!" Bonnie shrieked gleefully, getting on one knee for her proposal. "I hope you remembered my offer to take care of my brother!"

"Um, 'take… care'?" Astrid repeated, completely lost on what she was going for.

Before long, a long mechanical Aipom Arm seized Bonnie by the back of her shirt and pulled her away from the female Ace Trainer. Astrid's day had been relatively normal before this, that much was certain.

"Bonnie! I've told you a million times to stop doing that!" Clemont scolded while running away in humiliation with his younger sister on tow. "This is so embarrassing!"

As the sibling duo disappeared, Astrid merely tilted her head in confusion before resuming her merry way back to the Pokémon Center. Whoever this lively bunch was, she was bound to run into them again and solve the mystery of their identities later and what that little sister meant when she called her a keeper.


Serena was determined.

As far as her body and stamina were concerned, she managed her bouts of sprints in a way that she didn't quickly tire out all at once. And at the rate she was going, she was sure she had managed to overtake Miette despite not having seen her during her run.

She had passed Professor Sycamore's laboratory, and according to Clemont's calculations, it would take about five to ten minutes to reach Ash's last recorded location if she continued at an even pace. In any case, there was really nothing to stress about and overexert herself over.

Serena took a deep breath and calmed down, allowing the rest of her body to recover from her previous physical struggles. She also had a chance to reflect on the insanity that just happened, how she was now racing for her life to get her feelings out in the open before another girl could steal Ash away from her and break her fragile heart.

So far, it resulted in her being as exhausted as she currently was now. She was sweating, thankfully not too heavily that she looked completely drenched, unappealing, and sloppy. However, it was irksome enough to feel that there was plenty of sweat buildup inside her boots whenever she wiggled her toes.

She quickly thought about how to approach Ash as means to distract herself from her somewhat unsavory opinion over her current hygienic state. She needed to act fast before Miette could charm him beyond her reach.

"You're gonna blow a fuse with a face like that," Miette's taunting voice rang in her ears.

Serena jolted her eyes wide open. That voice sounded too real to have originated from her lively imagination. Feeling a pair of small delicate hands clasping onto her shoulders and briefly massaging them had been proof enough.

"N-Not this again!" Serena gasped, scrambling out of Miette's touchy-feely grasp. "What is it with you today?!"

"You get so worked up easily," Miette giggled, to which Serena quickly bit her lip down to prevent her mouth from any potential self-betrayal. Her Slurpuff was nowhere to be seen. It was likely she recalled her upon getting the final directions to Ash. "Look at you. You're already at your boiling point. It really makes me wonder if you can keep up with Ash before the climax with the way you are."

"Hey! I nearly won the Kalos Queen title and I served as a training partner for him whenever Clemont is too busy toiling over his inventions!" Serena snapped, allowing her emotional temperament to get the better of her. "I think I would know whether or not I'm a match for him!"

"I suppose, but just because our rivalry for Kalos Queen has been water under the bridge for now did not mean that I was going up to let up on our 'other' rivalry," Miette responded, deciding to get serious in spite of upholding a confident air that showed how much she was in control. She narrowed her ruby-red eyes, initiating an intense competitive spark that matched the glare casted from Serena's sapphire-blue eyes. "You knew full well the consequences of holding it off and I've been a good sport about it after all this time. You seem to be lucky that no one else had gone after him. But how much do you really care for him if you're not going to throw your fears aside?"

Every muscle within Serena's body involuntarily tensed up. As much as she didn't want to admit it, Miette did raise up a point. Maybe she was overcomplicating things as usual, but she wanted to feel safe and secure before attempting something of momentous magnitudes that could affect her highly treasured friendship with Ash.

"You're right," Serena huffed calmly, attempting to steady her nerves. "I won't know unless I do go up and tell him. But… I'm afraid, alright? I'm afraid he'll reject me… that we won't be the same ever again. I care too much about what I have with him now to risk it on some careless decision made on some whim."

"Serena… look," Miette sighed, softening her gaze upon her friendly rival as she placed her hands upon her upper arms. "As wonderful of a guy Ash is, him rejecting you or leaving you behind won't be the end of the world. You're still a remarkable young woman who's got the rest of her life ahead of her. I probably will never understand the depths of your affection for him, but you know you shouldn't get so hung over him like that. You're capable of moving on, even if it would take a large amount of time to do so."

"Get to the point, Miette," Serena grumbled impatiently.

"O-kay," Miette said, keeping an uneasy grin for the sake of keeping her friend stable. "Point is that whether or not Ash accepts you, just be happy for him like he probably is for you, alright? Besides, if it's any consolation, I feel like I'm not the only one who would think you and he would make a lovely couple if you did get together."

The blue-haired Performer slowly pulled her into a comforting hug. Serena held enough self-dignity as to not cry openly despite shedding a few tears. It was times like these that she was grateful for Miette being so benevolent in spite of her bouncy quirks.

"Thanks, Miette," Serena whispered before breaking out of the hug, but was unexpectedly pulled back in.

"I hope you realized what I really meant by 'keeping up with Ash before the climax,'" Miette quipped slyly, a sinful grin having replaced her previously compassionate look in which her rival could not see.

"I don't understand," Serena replied, backing away again to read Miette's expression before coming to a disturbing revelation of her own. If there was anything worthwhile that came from her banter with the Vaniville Town Performer, Miette would mark off Serena's unique facial expressions as the top item on the checklist. Serena shook her head slowly, unamused. "… You dirty, dirty girl."

"Oh, come now, you're just as naughty for coming to such a conclusion," Miette tittered, fancifully waving a hand by her mouth. "Seriously, Serena, get your mind out of the gutter, girl. And here I thought you're trying to prove to Ash that you're a clean, cultured, and well-mannered lady, but I suppose everyone has their voracious appetites."

"Why you!" Serena hissed, attempting to snag her blue-haired rival with the intent to mildly strangle her, but said rival quickly slipped out of range and started to jog away.

"You shouldn't waste time blowing off steam on me when there's a loveable, but dense boy you can do," Miette continued, unable to control her laughter. "The very same boy I'm still going after, by the way! I'm pretty sure he's enough for the two of us!"

"Miette! Stop corrupting me!" Serena cried out as she chased that blithe floozy down.

"Too easy!"


In spite of the pursuit and other minor squabbles with laughable results that occurred along the way, both Serena and Miette arrived at their destination safe and sound. They were still among a thicket of trees, though beyond one tree they were behind existed a sizeable area of open space filled with fresh air and green grass.

At the center of this space was Ash, monitoring and actively participating in the training of his Kalos team.

Not wanting to suddenly barge in on his intense session, both girls opted to wait and observe until Ash cooled down enough to approach. This was for the Lumiose Conference, after all, and intruding in during such training was considered both rude and inconsiderate.

"So this is how expert Trainers get down to business," Miette remarked, giving an accompanying whistle to compliment her wonder. "Even the Trainer is getting trained alongside his Pokémon."

"That's Ash for you," Serena surmised fondly. "Ever since he's mastered the bond between him and Greninja, he's really gotten more and more involved with his Pokémon during training."

"What about the bond between him and Greninja?" Miette inquired. "Is it really that much greater than that with his Pikachu?"

"It's kind of hard to explain," Serena mused. "Basically, Ash's Greninja has a special, powerful form that emerges when they're both synchronized and totally united. In this form, Greninja looks a lot like Ash and wields a giant shuriken made of water on its back. This transformation comparable to Mega Evolution, but it's also entirely different at the same time. No one here really knows what it is exactly."

"You know, I recently read about something of a new evolution that sounds like what you described to me," Miette said thoughtfully. "This phenomenon was supposedly discovered in the Alola region with certain Pokémon, but the reports refuse to divulge any more details until the local researchers are able to come to a conclusion."

"I didn't know that," Serena mumbled. "But it sounds like we're still in the dark on this synchro evolution thing."

"That's not a bad name to call it."

"It made sense to me, so that's what I've been calling it so far."

"Interesting… You think Ash might go to Alola next?"


"I know he's traveled through a number of regions now, but I'm sure he hasn't visited Alola just yet."

"W-What's your point, Miette?"

"Maybe once the Lumiose Conference is over, he might want to go over there and figure out the evolution thing with his Greninja, not to mention also compete in the Alola League."

"… I see."

"Serena, I told you not to get so bent out of shape over Ash. You're acting as though you'll never see him again once this is over."

"… Well, what if he wins the Lumiose Conference and goes on challenging the Elite Four?"

"Then he'll be sticking around Kalos and train until he's ready to challenge the Champion. Honestly, you're overthinking this. Just go with the flow!"

"… Easier said than done," Serena sighed. "I had hoped that all the hints I threw around would've gotten his attention by now, but even I underestimated how dense he can be. It's one of the reasons why I haven't been so sure about this."

"Well, if a boy you like is denser than a mountain of Graveler, then you have to either make the first bold move, by which according to you would have potential disastrous consequences on the heart, or…," Miette purposefully drew out, leaning closer to Serena with a dubious gaze. "… You'll have to educate him in the arts of romance~."

"Um, 'e-educate'?" Serena repeated hesitatingly, not liking the implications behind Miette's supposedly wild intentions.

"Of course!" Miette responded like a teacher to a kindergartener, using a finger to lead Serena's line of vision back to where Ash was. "The first lesson in understanding your man is to thoroughly study him, which I'm sure you have throughout your journey with him. What your main focus should be right now is knowing what makes him tick."

"I don't like this plan anymore," Serena whimpered, attempting to flee, but was wrapped by Miette's arm and held firmly in place.

"Nonsense!" Miette brushed off cheerily. "I'm evening out the playing field by helping you gain more confidence in the love department. You're otherwise beyond expectation in all other categories."

"Miette, please stop!" Serena pleaded.

"Now back to our lesson," Miette resumed, having Serena watch Ash's training alongside her. "See how this magnificent specimen of a Trainer is matching his Greninja's movements step by step. That takes true dedication, not to mention an athletically built musculature, to accomplish such a feat."

"This is an invasion of Ash's privacy!" Serena protested, flailing her limbs out hopelessly as to break away from Miette's hold. "You shouldn't—Mmph!"

The blue-haired Performer moved a hand over her mouth as to lessen their chances of getting caught by Ash, as well as reduce the growing headache that came from Serena's constant whining. Even though her lips had some limited range of movement, all sounds that uttered from Serena's concealed mouth were ultimately muffled.

"I wonder if he's going to tap into that synchro form you mentioned," Miette whispered, leaning closer into the bushes in front of them to see while avoiding being seen.

"Now Greninja, Cut!" Ash called out.

Facing Hawlucha as his sparring partner, Greninja dashed forward while pressing webbed fists together at one side. Hawlucha stood resolutely, observing Greninja conjure up a glowing white katana of pure energy to swipe at him. Using his small size and incredible reflex, the Wrestling Pokémon bent backwards, narrowly avoiding a horizontal slash.

Unsatisfied with the first result, Greninja made several twists on heel for another chance to use Cut. At the same time, Ash imitated those movements rather flawlessly, much to the hidden Performers' fascinations.

It was only until Hawlucha countered with an X-Scissor did the Cut cease and both Pokémon slid backwards on their feet for another round.

"I think I can use something like this for the next Showcase," Miette commented.

Serena fumed while her rival's hand still covered her mouth, objecting that she had first rights to implement those graceful ninja movements for her own performances.

"Aerial Ace!" Ash issued.

With both hands and feet glowing with solid Flying-type power, Greninja went forth to pursue a more physical confrontation. Hawlucha had no objections to such conditions, flexing off his arms before powering them up for successive Karate Chops to fight back with.

Seeing Ash do a high kick in extension to Greninja's made Miette's grin stretch beyond normal lengths on her face.

"This isn't a boy, I realize that now," Miette said with a gleeful twinkle. "We're dealing with a noble beast!"

"You're getting a thrill from this, aren't you?" Serena snarked after pulling Miette's hand off over her mouth.

"Oh, and you aren't?" Miette shot back.

Serena looked away, her entire face nearly as red as her flowing sleeveless garment. It was previously mildly red out of shame due to watching Ash without his consent, but it became as red as it was now due to Miette's unabashed influence in getting her to see Ash the way she wanted him to.

To be fair, Serena did look at Ash the way Miette wanted her to from time to time, but under a more controlled and respectful level. With her around, it was taken to more extreme levels that even the honey-blond Performer was unsure if she could handle. Watching Ash's agile movements combined with his natural charms had certainly gotten her hot under the blue-ribbon collar, as well as various locations on her body that she's not willing to divulge anytime soon.

"Greninja, use Water Shuriken!"

Due to their previous physical brawl, Greninja and Hawlucha were standing in opposing sides, meaning the Ninja Pokémon was facing both Hawlucha and his own Trainer. On command, Greninja leapt high in the air and formed a large sharp throwing star made of condensed water in his hands.

Anticipating the projectile, Hawlucha leapt up and prepared a High Jump Kick. As expected, Greninja flung it down, to which Hawlucha was able to break apart upon connecting his powered knee with it. The recoil of Greninja's throwing strength in addition to the density of the Water Shuriken, however, did cause Hawlucha to leave airspace in order to recover.

The destroyed Water Shuriken was reduced into two halves of liquid, which splashed upon Ash as a result. Greninja, Hawlucha, and Pikachu, who had been overseeing Talonflame and Noivern, noticed this and ceased further action in order to check up on their doused Trainer.

"Oh, my," Miette gasped, whose face was partially flushed in red, at least when compared to the more excitable Serena. "You getting thirsty, Serena?"

"Sh… Shut up!" Serena growled.

"Guys, I'm okay," Ash laughed off in front of his Pokémon, removing his cap and shaking the water off.

"Pikapi," Pikachu sighed.

"Gre-nin," Greninja mumbled apologetically, scratching the back of his head.

"Luu," Hawlucha mumbled, who also appeared uneasy over the situation due to being involved as well.

"It's only water, so no one's at fault," Ash reasoned. "Though knowing Serena and the others, they'll be mad if I continue to train with a wet shirt. I don't blame them. I remember the day after I got soaked I got a nasty fever. I definitely don't want my debut in the Lumiose Conference to be like that. Excuse me for a sec."

Ash quickly stripped his upper body of his wet shirt, not even noticing that there were more than his Pokémon watching him. Fortunately, it was only his upper body that had been drenched from the broken Water Shuriken. Even after his shirt was off, everything from the waist up was still soaked.

Serena and Miette were certainly treated to a matinee with bewildering twists and turns if their wide eyes, open mouths that their hands could barely conceal, and bright red blushes were indications of their reactions.

"… Serena?"

"… Yes, Miette?"

"… I envy you… so much."

"… Wh-What?!"

"You've been traveling for so long… with that by your side each passing day… and you never even noticed?!"

"Well excuse me for seeing Ash more than just eye candy, tart!"

"Oh, give me a break, prude! I respect him too, but I'd be an idiot not to take advantage of the benefits! Just look at him!"

Emotional and hormonal tensions were at a considerably high level for the two Performers the moment they stumbled upon Ash's training. Amplified by the pressure of their rivalry, both Serena and Miette were not about to cool down any time soon. One could even say that they were steaming once Ash tossed his damp shirt aside.

They were certainly not helping their boiling frenzied states upon gazing upon Ash again, in all his half-nakedness.

An exposed fit physique…

Alluring tan skin and messy dark hair moist and glistening under the sun…

A youthful, sincere resolve in his eyes that could melt any heart gazed upon…


"Pika?" Pikachu shivered, having heard a distinctive collapse nearby and felt prompted to investigate.

"Where're you going?" Ash asked upon catching sight of his buddy running off.

Thinking that there was something wrong, he immediately followed along the Mouse Pokémon's trail alongside Greninja and Hawlucha. Noivern and Talonflame descended from the sky to where they were upon noticing that training was put on hold with the others.

Pikachu stopped in front a couple of bushes. He was sure that was where he heard the sharp noise. He then took a precautionary peek with his head into the bush only to swiftly pull it back out in complete dismay. Apparently whatever he saw was not a pretty sight.

"Pi-Pikachu," Pikachu mumbled, still in disbelief.

"Pikachu, what's wrong?" Ash inquired, arriving at the bushes with the rest of his Pokémon.

Wondering what got Pikachu rather spooked in the first place, Ash was quick to push aside the foliage. Pikachu soon snapped back into reality and attempted to warn him, but it was a little too late.

Ash wasn't sure how to make of this scene.

Two girls he knew well were passed out on the ground, both with boiling red hot faces. While he wondered why Serena and Miette were here of all places and together like this while he was taking care of last minute training, several more pressing questions took precedence in his mind.

Why did steam seem to periodically spout out of Serena's ears?

Why did her eyes seem unresponsive and lips stuck in a sort of demented grin?

Why was Miette mumbling, or was it giggling, incoherently with a gaping mouth and a side of drool?

Why were her fingers involuntarily twitching together as though she was trying to grab something?

And how did they end up in this passed-out condition in the first place? Ash needed to act quickly as they were also losing blood through their noses.

"… I, uh, probably should get Clemont and Bonnie for help," Ash pondered, nodding to both Talonflame and Noivern to take care of the unspoken job. "Maybe they know if Serena and Miette are sick? I think they were wet beforehand."

Pikachu and Greninja each placed a hand over their foreheads while Hawlucha appeared to seriously consider his Trainer's wise deductions.

Serena and Miette are quite the duo, at least from my perspective. I've enjoyed their interactions a lot not simply for the fact that Miette serves as a love rival for Serena, but because she reminds me of the type of energetic friend that seems to have the best of intentions for you but goes about doing things that really push you out of the comfort zone... That, and Serena seems to make the best facial expressions with her around.

Looking back now, if you used a magnifying glass here, you probably could pick up pieces of hinted FondantShipping (SerenaxMiette). However, since I don't actively promote same-sex pairings (I don't having anything against them or anyone that does support them, but that's just my preference. Please respect.), I won't list it as a featured pairing.

Maybe in an alternate reality if both girls fail to win over Ash (I know Miette is still supposedly debatable on whether or not she does have a crush on him, but for all intents and purposes, let's just assume she does here), I can see them start their own comedy duo based off the Japanese comedy style (called manzai) with a funny airhead that sets up jokes (called boke) and a straight man that reprimands the airhead (called tsukkomi). This was attempted previously during the Advanced Generation saga with Brock's Lombre and Jessie's Wobbuffet (episode is called Once in a Mawile), just for fun.

So, there are a lot of things to expect from Pokémon now (the Kalos League, Team Flare, Sun and Moon). I personally look forward to see what's going to happen. There are a lot of things beyond our control, such as Ash possibly winning the Lumiose Conference and Serena staying with Ash or not, but all I can say about this is to just prepare for any possible scenario and accept whatever happens in the near future.

Also, to address the status of my current activity (such as why I haven't updated my other stories often), please refer to my bio page.

And please review as always!