The girls were waiting for the boys on the bench they sat at yesterday. John came down the path carrying Lucario on his shoulders. Anissa waved to them, showing where they were. Lucario waved back to show they saw them. John set Lucario on the bench and Celia gave him a small hug. Lucario handed her something; it was the candy bar from the night before. Celia happily ate it while John let out a laugh, he knew what it was. John looked back over to Anissa.
"So what have you got planned for today?" he asked.
"I thought we could go fishing, this pond is full of Water Type Pokémon."
"That's sounds like fun! Lucario and Celia can do it too." Lucario and Celia both smiled and nodded, looking like they would like to fish with their trainers. John found four long, sturdy sticks and tied some string he had in his bag on the tips. He tied some pieces of the candy bars to the other end.
"Wow John, these are really nice for being hand made." Anissa said as she grabbed her pole.
"Thanks, they should do alright to catch something." Lucario and Celia took their polls and everyone made their way over to the pond. The same man from the day before was there with his lure in the water. He had fallen asleep again. The group gave him some space and casted their lines. John caught something almost instantly; he pulled up the rod with little effort. He had caught a small Polliwag. Anissa soon caught a large Goldeen, and Celia caught a Magikarp. Lucario waited patiently for his turn; he was the only one who hadn't caught anything. He folded his legs and stared intently at his pole, waiting. John and Anissa went and sat under the shade of a tree while Celia stayed with Lucario.
"It's really cute how well those two get along." Anissa said watching the two wait for a catch. John was picking at the grass.
"Yeah, I can tell Lucario really likes Celia. She's all he talked about last night." Anissa looked confused.
"Talked about?" John forgot only HE could understand Pokémon.
"Er, that is... I mean, you know, IF Pokémon could talk..."
"O...k... anyway. I think Celia is happy to finally meet another Lucario. They aren't exactly common Pokémon." John continued to pick at the grass.
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I found Lucario as an egg in a field. No one knows where the egg came from, heck; no one in Pallet Town even knew what a Lucario was before he came. I think he's happy to meet another one too."
Lucario waited patiently for something to bite. Celia sat by his side, not saying a word fearing she would break his concentration. Suddenly, the end of the rod started to bob up and down. Lucario opened his eyes to observe. He slowly reached for his pole, and lunged for it as it shot up into the air. He grabbed it and pulled back tenaciously, he wasn't about to let this one get away. Celia grabbed him and helped him pull back. The two pulled and pulled and pulled, when, CRASH! The two flew back and rammed into the ground and the hooked Pokémon shot out of the water. A huge Whiscash was on the end of Lucario's line. John ran over to help Lucario up.
"Look Lucario, you caught a HUGE Whiscash." The big fish flailed on the dry land, not used to not being in the water.
"Master, please help it back into the water." Lucario requested. John went over and picked the fish up. He kneeled at the water side and slowly released it from his grip. It fell into the water with a big splash that left John soaked. Anissa laughed as she poked at his shoulder.
"Here, I got this from your bag." She handed him a dry shirt. John smiled as he accepted his shirt.
Celia carefully checked Lucario to make sure he wasn't bruised or anything.
"Are you sure you're ok? That was quite the fall." She asked as she examined his back.
"Yes, I'm alright, I've had worse. Falling on my back is nothing compared to being chewed on by an Onix." Celia gave out a little giggled but straightened up.
"I'm sorry, that was inconsiderate of me." Lucario blushed a bit.
"No no, it's alright! Really!" he tried to reassure her. "It's ok; you've never had something like that, so it's going to sound funny!" John couldn't help but laugh. Lucario looked at John with an evil glare. John took the hint and lightened up.
"Lucario, shame on you!" Anissa pointed. "You should treat your trainer with more respect!"
"No no, I deserved that one." John insisted. "Sorry Lucario." Lucario couldn't help but forgive his Master and smiled. Anissa seemed confused.
"What are you talking about? All you did was laugh."
"I know, but I shouldn't have. Don't worry about it." Anissa seemed more curious than ever. She knew there was something to this boy.
Over the course of the next few days, John and Lucario met Anissa and Celia in the park every morning and would spend the whole day with each other. Lucario's ankle was starting to get better; he could walk on his own again but he left the splint on just in case. Underneath the shade of a tree, the four had decided to take a brake from the afternoon sun. Lucario and Celia had fallen asleep.
"Hey John, do you like Big Band music?" Anissa asked, breaking the silence. John scratched his chin in thought.
"Yeah, I've always kind of liked it, why do you ask?"
"Well, you were thinking of leaving tomorrow right?"
"Well, there's going to be a Big Band Dance tonight here in the park. I was wondering if you wanted to come." John looked up at the sky with a grin on his face.
"I'd love to, that's sounds like it'd be a lot of fun." He looked over at the sleeping Pokémon. "I'm sure those two would like it too." Anissa looked a little glum.
"Yeah. It's going to be sad when they have to part tomorrow. They've really grown to like each other." John's grin grew as he glanced over at Lucario. 'You have no idea.' He thought.
For the past week all Lucario had talked about was Celia. He would say she was a great listener, she was cute, she was funny, she was kind, and the list goes on. John couldn't help but laugh, even though he shouldn't have. Lucario had possibly found love. John started to give it more thought. How was he going to break it that they were leaving tomorrow? Lucario was his best friend, he didn't want to break his heart, but what else could he do?
The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for the dance. Anissa and Celia went home to get ready, while John and Lucario went searching for a suit. John found a store where he was able to rent a suit and a bow tie for Lucario. They went back to the hotel to make further preparations. Lucario asked John if he could give him a bath, so they both went into the bathroom. John ran some hot water and bubble bath. Lucario was a little hesitant to get into the tub, but John helped him by slowly lowering him into the hot water.
"See, it's not so bad once you get used to the heat." John took a cup and poured water over Lucario's head. The water was already somewhat dark. "Wow Lucario, you are really dirty, the water's already dirty." Lucario sat there in silence. "Oh, I'm sorry Lucario! I didn't mean it that way! If anything it's my fault. This is the first time I've given you a bath." John lathered shampoo into the fur on Lucario's head and back. He handed Lucario a sponge, who stared at it curiously "You can use this to clean your front, unless you want me to do it."
"Oh, thank you Master." John poured a little of the shampoo on the sponge and Lucario scrubbed himself with it. John poured water over Lucario's head again to rinse it all out. He helped Lucario out of the tub and went to get a towel.
"Br, Master, I'm cold." Lucario shook himself off like a dog, sending water everywhere. John laughed as he tried to hide behind the towel, but it was no good, he was soaked. They both playfully laughed as John dried Lucario off. John found some product and rubbed it on Lucario's spikes.
"Let's get these polished up." He wiped the product off with a towel to reveal the shining spikes. Lucario looked great, he felt great too. He gave John a big hug in thanks.
"Oh, thank you Master! I feel great! I can't wait for tonight now!" he was truly happy, and very excited. John held Lucario closer.
"Lucario, you really like Celia, don't you?"
"Yes! She fantastic!" John sighed heavily; this wasn't going to be easy.
"Lucario, we're leaving tomorrow."
"WHAT?!" Lucario tried to break free but John held him tight.
"I'm sorry Lucario, but we have to keep moving. We can't just stay here forever; I can't afford to pay the hotel much longer."
"But Master! I... I!-" John held Lucario tight.
"You lover her, don't you?" Lucario gripped John tight. They both let out tears.
"Master I love her!"
"I know Lucario, and I'm sorry but there's nothing I can do. The best thing for you to do now is to enjoy what time you have left with her."
John and Lucario made their way to the park and saw a large gathering near the big pond gazebo. That must be where the dance was being held. John was wearing his nice rental tuxedo and Lucario wore a black bow tie.
"Hey John! Lucario!" Anissa and Celia were waving to them near the pond. Anissa was wearing a beautiful dark blue dress and Celia was wearing the same dress only smaller. Lucario beamed at Celia's beauty, words could not describe what he was thinking.
"Alright Lucario, this is it. You know what to do." John encouraged. Lucario nodded his head.
"Yes Master." They walked over and joined the girls in wait for the dance to start. John gave a light bow to Anissa; Lucario did the same for Celia. The girls giggled and returned a curtsy.
"Wow John, you look great." Anissa observed his fresh tux.
"Thanks, I could say the same to you." He returned with a kiss to her hand. Anissa giggled.
"Celia, you look truly beautiful tonight." Lucario said in a calm, polite tone.
"Why thank you Lucario. You look really handsome in that cute little bow tie." Lucario couldn't help but laugh at Celia's remark.
A man in a fancy blue suit walked to the front of the gazebo.
"Hello and welcome all to this year's Big Band Cerulean Dance. Please help me in welcoming the Cerulean Big Blue Band!" The dancers all clapped and the band immediately broke out into 'In the Mood'. All in attendance, dancer or not, danced and enjoyed themselves to the swinging music. John and Anissa had already started their swing dance routine, while Celia and Lucario danced a little slower.
"Celia, we can go a little faster if you want." Lucario offered.
"Are you sure? I don't want you to hurt your ankle." Lucario grew a smug look on his face.
"Oh don't you worry about that!" He twirled her and they picked up the pace. Before anyone knew it the song was over. The band played a lot of old swing songs, and John and Anissa and Lucario and Celia danced happily to all of them. After a while, the conductor took the microphone to make an announcement.
"Thank you all for enjoying our music! It looks like everyone's having fun. Now, grab your lover and get ready to slow dance!" The band started to play the time old classic 'Moonlight Serenade'. John and Anissa took to the slow dancing immediately, as if they knew each step to an already rehearsed slow dance. Lucario and Celia danced slowly, truly enjoying each other. The two moved so calm and naturally that some people stopped dancing and watched them. Soon the song was over, and everyone started to applaud for the dancing Pokémon. John and Anissa smiled seeing their Pokémon together. The night had started to pull its grip on them, so they went and sat down, continuing to watch their Pokémon. The band started playing 'In a Sentimental Mood' and Lucario and Celia continued to dance to the slow moving music. It was totally clear to everyone there; those two were in love.
"Lucario, you really are a great dancer. I'm really enjoying the time I'm able to spend with you." Celia commented.
"Me too, Celia. It is always nice to be around you." They stayed quiet for a while, still dancing. Lucario thought now was the time. "Celia, I know this is going to be hard to hear, but, I'm leaving tomorrow."
"What?!" she gasped. The song ended and the dancers applauded again.
"Alright, I hope everyone has had a good night!" The conductor said over the microphone. "We're going to end things off with one more song. Thank you all for coming out to this year's dance!" The band started to play 'As Time Goes By'. Everyone who was sitting got up to enjoy their last dance, including John and Anissa. Celia was still awestruck.
"You-your leaving?" tears began to run down her face and she ran off to the pond. Lucario chased after her.
"Celia, wait!" he cried out. Anissa saw Celia run and turned to follow, but John grabbed her.
"Don't worry Anissa, Lucario has this under control. Let's just enjoy our dance." Anissa smiled, knowing everything was going to be alright and they continued to dance.
Celia had run to the edge of the pond, she was holding her head in her paws crying. Lucario came up behind her and put his paw on her shoulder; she turned and hugged him with ferocity.
"Lucario you can't leave! You're the greatest thing that's ever happened to me!" tears ran down her face onto Lucario's chest. He held her with great compassion.
"Celia, you are truly a great friend. Only my Master has ever shown me such compassion. When I'm around you I feel like I know that there is always going to be someone there for me, whether my ankle is bad or I'm healthy. You have accepted me for me. Celia?" She looked him in the eyes, tears still immerging from hers. The full moon's light reflected off the pond and into Lucario's eyes. "I love you."
Then they closed their eyes, and they kissed.