"Drew..." May whispered to herself as she watched the contest battle unfold on the television screen inside the waiting room.
She was sitting alone in one corner of the room, Blaziken's Pokeball in her hand. She was so grateful for everything it had done for her, and whilst she had no doubt of its abilities, she did have doubts about her own - particularly with regards to how her emotions might affect an eventual showdown against her long-time rival, Drew.
Of course she had battled Drew numerous times before, but not since she had left Johto after that incident. She was worried that she might not be able to pull through if her emotions were cloudy. Drew was always so strong and never showed any signs of weakness, yet she... She was different. She knew she was a great coordinator and her results spoke louder than words ever could, but she still felt like she was missing something. She hated being alone, and perhaps that was why she now harboured so much ill-will towards Johto and her time there. She knew she didn't need anyone to help her, so why did she always feel so helpless whenever her friends weren't around?
"Penny for your thoughts." came a voice from behind the girl, causing her to jolt upwards in surprise and turn to see who it belonged to.
Her partner, Nico, stood above her, his expression as blank as always. Silently he took a seat next to her on the waiting room bench and looked up towards the television monitor, where Absol continued to staunchly fend off any attacks which were targeted at Piplup.
"Ah," May stammered in reply, turning her gaze back down to the Pokeball that lay idly in her hands, "I was just thinking about my next match, is all."
"You know you're a terrible liar, right?" Nico answered bluntly, not taking his eyes away from the television monitor which was hanging above them. "You and him used to have something, didn't you?"
"Wh-what!?" May exclaimed suddenly, backing away from the boy. "N-no! I mean, uh... I'd rather not talk about it, if that's okay with you."
"Well you can deny it all you want, but it's so painfully obvious to me." Nico explained, leaning back and stretching his body out of boredom. "Well I'm glad you left him, anyway. He doesn't deserve a girl like you."
"Wh-what do you mean?" May mumbled, slumping her shoulders in a depressed state.
"I know exactly the kind of guy he is." Nico continued, his mouth curving into a slight smile as he spoke. "Rich, good-looking, talented, well-respected... He could have any woman he wants - you know that as well as I do, I'm sure."
May was silent as Nico's words seemed to penetrate through her like a nail being hammered into a wall. She didn't know why she was letting him speak to her like this - she barely even knew the boy - but for some reason she just didn't have the energy to protest as he continued his hypothesis.
"Which is exactly why he doesn't deserve you." Nico said, his eyes idly tracing the action on the screen above them as Magcargo went down to a powerful Water Pulse attack from Drew's Absol. "I'll bet it took him a long time to win you over, huh? Didn't you ever think it was strange?"
"...I don't know what you're talking about." May lied, turning her gaze the other way.
"A good-looking girl like you deserves a guy who's gonna treat you with respect." Nico pressed, his words wrapping around May's emotions like a Seviper slowly choking its prey. "You're just a trophy to Drew, and you know it."
May began to feel tears well up in the back of her eyes and she quickly stood up and dashed towards the exit, mumbling some excuse as she went. She didn't know where she needed to go, but she just couldn't sit there listening to Nico's words any longer; she had to get some air.
Just as May entered the main corridor to head to the restrooms she heard a roar from the crowd and looked up towards the television monitor where Dawn and Drew had just won their contest match. The camera gave a close-up view of the two coordinator's faces; Dawn was wearing an enormous grin, whilst Drew simply smiled in his typically subdued manner.
"Congratulations to our winners!" Alisa's voice boomed throughout the arena, coming through loud and clear on the television set. "What a perfectly matched duo! It's as if they were made for each other!"
"Made..." May repeated, sniffing as tears started falling down her face. "For each other?"
Just then the crowd roared even more as Drew embraced his partner in a powerful hug, which she eagerly returned, and May felt her heart slowly and painfully break inside of her chest. Bursting into tears she sprinted into the restroom and locked the door, falling to her knees and sobbing desperately.