Between My Brother and Me
Author: Green Phantom Queen
Summary: Before heading off to the Johto league, May and Max decide to take a trip to Domino City where they encounter real live Duel Monsters, ancient spirits, and the task to protect the Pharaoh in his darkest hour. Armed with their Pokémon, Duel Disks and courage, these two will stop at nothing in saving the world from utter destruction.
Notes: Take places after the finale of Pokémon Battle Frontier and starts at the "Waking the Dragons" arc.
1: Trial of Nightmare
"I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality."
It was sunset on that faithful day when everything changed.
After the battle in the Terracotta Grand Festival, which lead to May's Combusken evolving into a Blaziken and both she and Ash tying for the Terracotta ribbon, it was time for her to head off for the next Pokémon Festival and to improve her skills as a Pokémon Coordinator. Saying good-bye to people you grew close to was always difficult, but there would always be a chance for them to reunite once more.
"It's been fun," May said to Ash and Brock as the ship appeared at the port. "But...now it's time for me to go on my own adventure, and take what I've learn to become the best Pokémon coordinator ever! So, I hope you understand."
"We do, don't worry," Ash replied, patting the girl's head. "Just promise me that you'll call us from time to time, okay?"
"Pikachu. Pika!" The small yellow rodent replied on top of Ash's head.
"And make sure all of your Pokémon are in good condition," Brock added. "You don't want them to get sick."
"Promise," May replied, saluting them. "I won't let any of my friends get sick."
"That's good to hear," Ash replied. Suddenly the sound of the foghorns came in, May turned to see the ship at the dock, placing a hand on her forehead to block the glare of the sun.
"Well, Max," she said to her brother. "This is our stop."
"Huh?" Max asked in confusion. "You're not heading off for Johto yet?"
May shook her head. "I'm going to go back home and rest for a while before I head off," she explained. "Mom and Dad haven't heard from us for a while, anyway. It would be great to be around them before my next Pokémon Contest anyway."
"That's awesome! Then we can spend more time before you leave."
"You're...really going to miss me that much?" May asked with some shock. Max turned away, trying to hide the embarrassment on his face.
"Well...I'll miss you...a little bit," Max replied in a soft voice. May smiled as she hugged her brother.
"That's okay," she replied. "I'll miss you too."
"Goodbye then!" Ash said, as the two siblings headed to the ship. "Take care!"
"Goodbye!" May and Max replied as the ship started to sail away. Slowly, Ash and Brock became nothing more than dots underneath the red and orange sky. Resting against the side of the ship, May stared at the waters, seeing it ripple and foam. A gentle breeze blew and caressed her cheeks. At one point, she thought she could hear voices whispering directly into her ear, but she brushed that thought aside and took in a deep breath to smell the salty air.
"I wonder what's going to be like once I'm alone," she murmured. "I'm a bit scared..."
Max turned to his sister and placed a hand over her own. May turned, seeing hower her brother smiled at her.
"Don't worry," he said. "You'll be fine. No matter what happens, you'll have me, and everyone else. All you have to do is believe in yourself, and things will turn out for the better!"
May smiled as the two siblings clasped hands. The wind blew softly as they continued to stare for a few seconds. May then released the grasp and looked for something in one of the pouches on her fanny pack. She then pulled the items out. They were two necklaces that looked like the halves of a Poké ball pendant.
"I almost forgot about these," she said as she placed the necklace with the silver half around her brother's neck. "That way, no matter what happens, we're always there for each other. What do you think?"
Max stared at the pendant for a while. Despite all of the bickering the two went through, the siblings had a bond that no one could break. The pendant halves proved that they would always be together no matter what.
"It looks great," he said. "Now we'll..." He was interrupted when a light appeared from one of May's Poké balls. Munchlax appeared, greeting the two.
"Munchlax!" May replied as she knelt closer to him. "You hungry?"
"Munch!" Munchlax replied patting his stomach. May laughed as she pulled out her Pokéblock case.
"Okay, open wide!" She replied as a pink Pokéblock popped out of the case and into her gloved hand. Munchlax immediately dove for it, swallowing it whole. In seconds, it's stomach expanded before shrinking down to its normal size. Munchlax then fell asleep on his back, happy that he was full.
"Guess some things never change," Max replied as May laughed in reply.
Far away from where May and Max were, in an ancient stone temple that sat in the middle of the ocean, a white hooded figure stared at them through a bowl of water. Waving his hand over the bowl, the image disappeared. He looked up at the temple, stone panels revealing images of people were surrounding him, and three stone snakes, their mouths wide open with pointed fangs greeted him. After all this time, he finally had to worry about two very dangerous adversaries.
"These two," The figure murmured. "The Leviathan senses great power within these two...they even rival the Pharaoh's power."
"Two little kids rival a 5,000 year old Pharaoh?" A voice from behind him replied. Hearing it, it sounded as if he had a strange accent. "That's highly improbable."
"Improbable, yes," The white hooded man replied. "But it is not impossible. Apparently these two have met up with some beings that gave them these strange auras...could it be possible that these two will give the Leviathan more power than before?"
"It could be," A second voice chimed in. "What is your plan, Master?"
The so-called "Master" grinned. "Stick to the plan for now," he replied. "But, should you find evidence of these children unlocking their true potential, bring them to me. We might be able to use them for our cause..."
The waters in the stone bowl rippled again, revealing the two siblings once more. However, they both had glowing auras. May's was a ocean blue, while Max was a starry yellow...
After dinner on the ship, May and Max immediately made it to their quarters. It was a small room, complete with a desk, lamp, chair and bunk beds. Both siblings removed their shoes as Max ran to the ladder.
"Top bunk's mine!" he said climbing up the ladder. He immediately removed his backpack, setting it to the side of his bed. He let his back bounce against the comfy mattress as he laughed. "This mattress is so comfy, May!"
"Don't bounce on it too hard, or you'll crash into me," May replied, placing her fanny pack on the ground. Grabbing her four Poké balls, she tossed them into the air, all four of her Pokémon—Blaziken, Squirtle, Munchlax and Eevee—soon settling on the floor.
"Okay guys," May replied as she pulled out some food bowls. "Dinner time!" The Pokémon cried in happiness as the bowls were filled with delicious food. The coordinator sighed as she rested her head on the pillow, closing her eyes. It was a tiring day and she could really use some rest.
"Hey May," asked her brother suddenly, causing the coordinator to look up. "Do you think I'll become a great Pokémon trainer someday?" May sat up and stuck her head out of the bunk.
"You'll be fine, Max," she replied. "I mean, Dad is Gym Leader of Petalburg, and traveling with Ash and Brock helped you experience what it was like traveling all over the world. In fact, I'd be very proud of you once you're out on your own with your first Pokémon."
Max smiled as he stared at the top of the ceiling. "You're right...everything is going to be just fine."
After all of the Pokémon had been fed, May returned them all to their Poké balls. She turned off the lights to the room, smiling a bit as she removed her bandana off of her head and onto the desk. Stretching her arms, she got back inside the bunk, pulling the blankets over her.
"Goodnight, Max," she said, her brother replying with his own "Goodnight, May." In a few minutes, she soon fell asleep, her eyes closing shut.
May didn't know how long she was asleep when she opened her eyes to find herself swimming in the ocean. Her mind instantly recalled the the dream she had long ago, when she met up with Manaphy, the Prince of the Sea. Mantine, Luvdisc, Goldeen, Magikarp, and Remoraid swam past her, while bubbles of water surrounded her like a small tornado. She could only laugh as other other Pokémon like Chinchou, Wailmer, Seaking, and Lanturn said hello. It was a beautiful sight of different color coral coming out of the ground and a ocean current calming her. Nothing could replace this beautiful feeling of peace and serenity.
That's when she looked up and saw a sight that she had not seen for such a long time. It was Samiya, the Sea Crown. Memories appeared in her mind. She recalled the journey to find Samiya and the Sea Crown so Manaphy could go back home, and of the tearful goodbye the two had shared. She missed Manaphy very, very much.
"Momma!" May gasped as she turned to her left, as a small glowing orb of light soon appeared by her side. It dissipated as Manaphy appeared in front of her eyes. "Momma, momma, momma!"
"Manaphy?" The coordinator said to herself. "Manaphy!" She cried as the Seafaring Pokémon came to her.
"Momma!" Manaphy replied. "May!" May couldn't help but hug the Prince of the Sea as it came near her. "Momma! Momma!" The Pokémon cried out in distress.
"Manaphy, what's wrong?" May looked up to see Samiya being destroyed! Manaphy started to cry as May held him close, seeing the palace being destroyed by a dark serpent-like shadow. A ghastly roar was heard as Samiya started to fall into the ocean. Manaphy flew away from May's arms, swimming toward its fallen home.
"MANAPHY!" May cried as a swarm of bubbles covered her vision. "Don't go, Manaphy!"
"MANAPHY!" May cried as she woke up from her nightmare. She panted for breath, a hand on her heart. Looking outside, she found light pouring out of the porthole; it was morning. Sweat fell down her face as she recalled that horrible dream. What type of monstrous being would go after Samiya like that?
"It couldn't be..." she whispered. "What's happened to Manaphy?" She didn't have time to think as she heard Max climbing down the ladder, she looked into her brother's eyes, seeing that they showed concern and worry for her.
"Are you all right, May?" he asked his sister. "You were screaming about Manaphy..." May slowly nodded her head. "Is something wrong with him? Has some poacher tried to make off with Samiya again?"
"I...I don't know. I was dreaming a similar dream when we were with Lizabeth and her family, but then something strange happened. Some sort of giant snake was destroying Samiya, and Manaphy went after it..."
"Could it be that Manaphy is in danger?" Max asked, some fear in his voice. May shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.
"I'm...not sure myself," she answered back. "I don't have all the answers, and Manaphy is with Samiya wherever the current is moving it. I'm not a descendant of the People of the Water, so why did I have that vision?"
"Maybe because you and Manaphy had a special bond, he's telling you what is going to happen in the near future. Or maybe...he's told you something about what's happening right now."
"I'm afraid, Max," May whimpered, closing her eyes as she pulled her knees to her chest. "What if Manaphy is in danger? And what about Samiya? What's happening to them?" She stayed silent while horrid thoughts of her nightmare played through her mind. She covered her ears with her hands and squeezed her eyes shut. Seeing this, Max crawled up into the bunk and hugged his sister.
"Things are going to be better, I promise. Manaphy's going to be fine, I'm sure you were just having a nightmare, that's all."
"Yeah...a nightmare," May whispered, repeating her brother's words. The two were still in that embrace for some time before heading outside of the ship.
After arriving at Slateport City, taking a ferry to Dewford Island, and using Mr. Briney's boat to head back to Petalburg Forest, it was night time. The stars greeted the two as the wind whispered a soft hello against the trees. Around them, Tailow were asleep against the branches, Wurmple—along with its evolutionary partners Silcoon and Cascoon—were asleep against the grass, while Poochyena were sleeping in packs.
"It's been a while since we've been here," said Max, staring at their surroundings. "It was if it was only yesterday that Ash captured a Tailow, and we met up with Brock for the first time."
"I know," May replied. "There are so many Pokémon here: Poochyena, Zigzagoon, Wurmple, Slakoth..."
"And Shuppet!" May finished up. Then she paused. "Wait a minute, Shuppet don't live in Petalburg Woods." Both siblings turned around to see a smiling Puppet Pokémon looking back at them. They screamed as they stepped back from the Ghost Pokémon.
"What's a Shuppet doing out here?" Max asked as the Ghost Pokémon traveled to them. That's when the two noticed what was surrounding him—a Poké ball and a message that were wrapped in a light blue aura.
"And why does he have a Poké ball and a message floating around him?" May added as she picked up the message. Unraveling the paper, she soon began to read its contents.
"To Max and May,
"If you are reading this, then Shuppet has been able to successfully find you.
"Let me explain, after Shuppet and I reunited, I slowly came to realize that Shuppet missed playing like in the old days. Knowing how much fun he had with you two, I thought it would be best that you would have him. It was sad to let him go, but it is for the best...I wish him the best of luck.
"I have sent along with this letter a Poké ball that will be used for keeping my good friend. I hope you take care of this little Pokémon, and will be able to have fun with him like I did in my youth."
"Emily?" Max said in shock. "Wait, she's the same woman who owned that mansion that we stayed in when the rain was pouring."
"And she's giving us her Shuppet..." May ended, staring at the Ghost Pokémon. He grinned at them as he floated near Max.
"Shuppet..." The Puppet Pokémon replied, letting the Poké ball circling him fall into Max's hands. "Shuppet, shup."
"Huh?" Max asked in confusion. "You want...to be with me?" Shuppet nodded his head. "Really? But...what if I don't become a good trainer. What if I fail?"
"Shuppet, shup, Shuppet," The Ghost Pokémon replied with that big smile on his face. "Shuppet, Shuppet!"
"Shuppet is right," said May, placing a hand on her brother's shoulder. "You need to believe in yourself in order to succeed. Besides, Shuppet has a liking to you, and until you're old enough to become a trainer, you can use Shuppet to be your soon to be partner."
"What about Ralts?" Max replied, recalling the promise he had made to the Feeling Pokémon on Izabe Island. "I made a promise to him. That we'd be together..."
"I'm sure Ralts will understand what's going on when you show him Shuppet. Then, Ralts and Shuppet will become great friends just like you're friends with them. Now come on; throw that Pokeball and capture Shuppet."
"All right, here goes," Max tossed the Pokeball to Shuppet, the sphere tapping against the Pokémon's forehead. He them became a red beam of light as he was transported into the Poké ball. The metal sphere closed and fell to the ground, the silver button in the center blinking red as the ball vibrated for a bit. Then with a satisfied 'click', Shuppet was captured.
Max picked up the Poké ball and cried, "All right, Shuppet. Come on out!"
The Poké ball opened and the Puppet Pokémon appeared with the same smile on its face.
"Shuppet!" he replied as it flew near Max. The young boy laughed as the two partners embraced each other. May could only smile as she saw Max playing with a new friend.
"I'm glad we're getting to know each other better," she said after a few seconds. "But we still need to get back to Mom and Dad."
"Oh yeah," Max replied before turning to Shuppet. "You're going to meet up with my parents, and then you'll see all the Pokémon we have. Isn't that great?"
"Shup!" The Pokémon replied.
"Let's hurry up so we can get some sleep!" May replied as the three raced across the forest. They didn't have time to look around as they eventually saw the sleepy town of Petalburg come up to them. They stood still, seeing the quite scenery around them, just knowing that they had all arrived home safe and sound.
"We're here," May whispered as the three ran to the Petalburg Gym. "We're home."
Deep within the basement of the Petalburg Gym, amongst dust, boxes and ancient knickknacks, a tome filled with strange, archaic symbols was lit by the light of the moon. The symbols of the cover started to glow...
And with it, four pairs of eyes opened from a deep slumber. Each one was trapped within the confines of the pages, each one praying to be let loose. For the first time in what seemed like a millennium, they were fully aware of their surroundings.
"Finally," One voice replied. "She has returned...our goddess. The one who talked to us...the one who cherished us."
"And yet," Another voice added. "She does not know, and she cannot recall what has happened in her past. Evil is afoot though, she must fulfill her destiny."
"We must be free of our prison," The third voice stated. "Then we can finally be free!"
"May the gods protect us," The last voice ended. "So that we can protect her...our beloved Goddess of Joy."
May: So, we finally made it back home. Mom and Dad must be excited to see us.
Max: Huh? They want us to visit some place called Domino City? I've never heard of that place before.
May: They must have some awesome Pokémon trainers and coordinators. I bet the food is also tasty.
Caroline: Actually, it's known for this tournament known as the Battle City Tournament. And get this, it doesn't involve Pokémon, but something called 'Duel Monsters'.
May and Max: Duel Monsters?!
May: Next time, "Between my Brother and Me" Chapter 2: Domino Effect
Max: What exactly are Duel Monsters?