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BBF ShinjiLover

Title: One Step Closer
Author: ShinjiLover

I stared down my rival who had just challenged me to a battle. She had something against me. Something, but I didn't know what it was. Perhaps it was the way I always forgot her name, getting it mixed up with something similar. Maybe it was the fact that I had beaten her in my last battle, a contest battle. Both of us enjoyed being trainers, but we loved being coordinators as well. Seeing her in contests, I could get a feel of her battle style; however, do we all judge battle styles on looks? No, we see them first hand.

I readily grabbed one of the Poké Balls in the pocket of my black jeans. My skin-tight, green undershirt was covered in sweat under the arms. Luckily, my very light blue jacket was able to cover any stains I may not want my rival to see. However, the sweat on my brow underneath my light brown, almost chestnut, hair was clearly visible.

"If you're ready, Sakura, I'm ready," I said to her, just loud enough for her to hear so I didn't strain my voice. "It's Zakura!" She yelled angrily, grabbing a Poké Ball from her golden belt against blue capri pants. I decided to throw out my Pokémon first to taunt her. It was as if I were saying that it didn't matter what Pokémon she used against me. I knew I'd win no matter what. The first Pokémon thrown out was Chatot, my trusty bird Pokémon.

"I'll use Azumarill!" Zakura tossed out her Poké Ball; her rabbit-like Pokémon jumped out. The battle was about to begin. No referee in sight for miles. We began calling out our attacks.

"Azumarill, use Ice Beam!" I knew Zakura would do that, since ice was four times as powerful as it should be. "Chatot, use Aerial Ace!" I commanded. Chatot flew right toward the Ice Beam. She used her beak during her flight to slam into the Ice Beam and knock it away. I was always the type to take chances, make mistakes, and then not learn from them.

"Dodge it!" Zakura yelled, saying an overused phrase that was not in my vocabulary. Azumarill jumped into the air and awaited the next command. Brushing her dirty blonde hair out of her eyes, she gave Azumarill another command. One I was all too familiar with.

"Good job, now use Rollout!" Azumarill curled herself into a ball and began to roll at my Chatot. "Chatot, get in there with Peck!" I said, knowing my Chatot would do just that. Chatot, trusting me every step of the way, went straight in with Peck. Unfortunately, the much heavier Pokémon was victorious, knocking down my Chatot. Ruffling her feathers, Chatot shot me a dirty look before she stood back up. Azumarill came rolling right back at Chatot.

"Chatot, use Hyper Voice!" Chatot opened her mouth and screeched loudly at Azumarill. This attack slowed Azumarill down to a degree, but didn't stop her. Again, Chatot was hit with Rollout. This move was doing massive damage to my Pokémon, and I knew I had to finish this before it was too late.

"Chatot get out of there!" I yelled, but my Chatot was too weak to move. The third Rollout hit Chatot directly, knocking her unconscious. In an instant, Azumarill stopped her attack with her back facing me. She looked over her shoulder and gave Chatot a smirk.

"You hung in there, Chatot. Thank you," I returned Chatot and got out my other Pokémon, "Hypno! Battle Phase!" My Hypno, a dictator in his own, jumped from my Poké Ball and landed directly on his feet. I used only one of my psychic Pokémon. The other option was my Mime Jr., but Hypno had more experience.

"Azumarill, use Rollout!" Zakura shouted, pointing at my Hypno. "Hypno, use Assist!" I countered. Dodging wasn't my specialty. A good offense can serve as a great defense. Azumarill went for Hypno. Hypno stood there and flashed a white color. He put up his pendulum and a black ball flew out. Shadow Ball from my Drifblim, no doubt. The Shadow Ball collided with Azumarill, knocking her down and stopping Rollout.

"Again! Use Assist!" I demanded Hypno. He gladly complied. In a stroke of luck, my Hypno used Thunder out his pendulum. This was a move from my trusty Raichu, the only Pokémon I kept out of the Poké Ball. She was small, but she certainly had good moves on her.

Azumarill was hit with an onslaught of electricity, which immediately knocked her out cold. "Azumarill, return," Zakura recalled her exhausted Azumarill and grabbed another Ball, not missing a beat, "go, Delibird!" Delibird and Hypno didn't get along from their last meeting. Hypno didn't like Delibird for one of Delibird's moves.

"Hypno, Hypnosis!" I yelled. "Delibird, use Present!" Zakura commanded Delibird, not giving my Hypno an inch. Delibird threw the red ball at Hypno and it exploded on impact. Unfortunately, it was a damage-dealing Present this time, and heavy damage-dealing one at that. Hypno seemed extremely hurt after the smoke cleared, but looked more determined.

"Delibird, use Avalanche!" Delibird flew right over top of Hypno and opened his tail sack. This was the move. The move Hypno hated the most.

"Hypno, use Assist!" Hypno used Assist at the oncoming wall of snow. It turned into Shadow Claw, but it wasn't enough to push the snow away. Hypno was hit with Avalanche.

"Hypno!" I called, rushing over. I threw the snow off of him with my bare hands. The cold snow stung my frozen fingers, hitting every little nerve in my hands that it could, before I was able to get down to my Hypno. Hypno had enough and was too exhausted. He gave me a sad look as he shivered in cold.

"I'm sorry, Hypno," I returned him. My last Pokémon was already up and I could fight Delibird with either my Raichu or a different Pokémon. The other Pokémon was weak to ice attacks, but I knew what Pokémon Zakura would use after Delibird.

"All right, Gible, you're up! Battle Phase!" I tossed out Gible's Poké Ball. Gible jumped out of the Poké Ball and landed on his feet, throwing his arms into the air.

"Delibird, use Ice Beam!" Delibird opened his mouth and sent out a fierce Ice Beam. "Gible use DragonBreath!" Gible came right back at Delibird with an equally intense DragonBreath attack. Both attacks collided, creating a massive explosion. I had to hold my arm over my face to avoid debris getting into my eye. Once the smoke cleared, both Pokémon were okay.

"Gible, use Shadow Claw!" Gible jumped into the air and tried to use Shadow Claw. "Delibird, Ice Beam!" Delibird opened his beak and used Ice Beam before Gible had the chance to attack. Gible was hit with Ice Beam and was even flung back down to the ground by the force. Luckily, Gible was able to stand back up. Gible fell to his knee in pain.

"Gible, use Draco Meteor!" Gible opened his mouth and shot out yellow balls of light, hitting Delibird straight on as Delibird was left wide open after Ice Beam was used. Delibird was hit multiple times from the different meteors and fell straight to the ground. Instantly, Delibird was rendered unconscious.

"Delibird, return," I knew which Pokémon was coming up next, "all right, Venusaur, show them what you got!" She threw out her Venusaur, her starter.

"Gible, you know what to do. Use Fire Blast!" Gible opened his mouth wide and shot a Fire Blast at Venusaur. "Venusaur, use Vine Whip!" Venusaur was able to use his vines as a shield. Once the attack stopped, Venusaur slammed his vines into Gible's chest. Gible was flung backwards, but was able to flip himself over and land on his feet.

"Venusaur, use Leech Seed!" Venusaur shot a seed from the flower on his back. "Gible, use Shadow Claw!" Gible's paw glowed black as he slammed his paw into the seed, breaking it and rendering it ineffective. Zakura growled at me, knowing she had to watch out for Gible's Fire Blast. However, her angry quickly turned to laughter once she noticed that Gible was nearing his breaking point. The Ice Beam from earlier caused way too much damage to Gible.

"Venusaur, let's give this little punk what's coming to it. Razor Leaf!" Venusaur thrust his leaves forward, creating a Razor Leaf attack. Many sharp leaves flew at Gible, but I thought I had it covered.

"Gible, use Fire Blast!" Gible opened his mouth wide and blew out. However, only a little bit of smoke came out of his mouth. Gible's eyes widened as the leaves collided with him. "Gible, quickly! Use Dig!" Gible was able to avoid the rest of the leaves by digging underground. Gible's Fire Blast was still a work-in-progress because Gible wasn't fully in control of his Fire Blast just yet.

He quickly came up from underground, trying to knock Venusaur back. However, Venusaur jumped backwards, causing Gible to miss. I was starting to get nervous. My palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding in my chest, just like always. The rush of battling Pokémon was too great for some people, but I felt as if it were the rush of a lifetime. Even if I lost, I won in a way.

"Venusaur, use Vine Whip to grab Gible!" Venusaur did so, wrapping Gible in his vines. "Gible, break free! Use Fire Blast!" Gible thrashed about and opened his mouth, trying to use Fire Blast. However, only a puff of smoke broke free from his throat. The vines around Gible tightened considerably, squeezing the energy right out of him. He panted, exhausted from the battle.

"Venusaur, let's finish it with a SolarBeam!" Zakura smirked. Venusaur started to take in sunlight from the open field.

"Gible!" I called. Gible's tightly closed eyes shot open. He shouted out his name and started to glow a bright white color. I gasped, knowing that today was the day. Today was the day that Gible did what he's dreamed of doing for as long as I've had him on my team. My Pokémon was, for the sake of his trainer, evolving. The vines around him grew tighter, but were soon torn away from him as his form began to take shape. Those large fins on his arms were responsible for getting him out of the vines and they were responsible for allowing him time to hang in the air. Finally, the form was complete. Gible had evolved into Gabite right before my eyes.

"What!?" Zakura seemed just as surprised as, perhaps even more so, me. "Gabite! Use your Fire Blast!" I demanded, hoping that Fire Blast was able to work now. Gabite confidently opened his mouth and shot out a powerful Fire Blast. Venusaur took massive damage, but was still able to keep fighting.

"Venusaur, use Frenzy Plant!" Venusaur's body glowed green as he stomped on the ground. Spiked vines flew from the earth and at Gabite.

"Gabite, use Dig!" Gabite, unafraid of the vines, dug underground and came up right under Venusaur, knocking him off his feet. Venusaur was stuck on his back, flailing his legs as he tried to get to his feet.

"Gabite, finish this! Fire Blast!" As I said that, Gabite knew what I wanted, already getting his Fire Blast ready. He took in a deep breath of air and shot a Fire Blast at Venusaur's stomach. Venusaur shouted out in pain before an explosion ensued. The explosion sent Venusaur backwards ten feet, knocking him back onto his stomach. He was finally out cold.

Happily, I ran over to Gabite, embracing him in my arms. "You did it, Gabite, you evolved!" I congratulated him. I could see the happiness in his eyes as his dream of evolving came true after all our training. He knew it was only a matter of time before the form of Garchomp became his. He was one step closer.