Hey guys, this is my first ever fanfic, I've put a lot of effort into this first chapter and I hope you will enjoy. Please give me your feedback and any recommendations you have for future chapters.

The Kalos League is coming to a close and Ash has reached the final. But now he faces his toughest challenge yet, Alain. Serena knows what this means for him and strives to do what she can to make sure that Ash achieves his dream. But beneath the shadows, lies an even greater challenge that threatens all of Kalos. With emotions running high, Ash and Serena find themselves in a new situation unlike anything they've faced before.

Chapter 1: Pre-Game Pressure

The sun began to set on another beautiful Kalos day. Ash Ketchum stared at Lumiose stadium as he walked back. Behind him, Serena looked on thoughtfully. A massive 6-4 win for Ash over Shota had brought positivity to the group. It was a heard-fought battle and a deserving win for Ash. He and his pokemon has battled well, proving Serena’s confidence in him to be logical. However, the happiness of the win had slightly faded now. Serena and the others knew that Ash now was in the final against an opponent who has arguably been his superior. Alain was going to be a tough opponent and Ash couldn’t get his mind off the battle. How could he? This was his dream.

“Let’s get to bed now”, Clemont stated as they entered the hotel room, “It’s a big day tomorrow”. Bonnie nodded in approval as she went to brush her teeth and get changed. Ash was still quiet. In some ways, it was a little concerning to Serena. The often energetic Ash was silent, clearly lost in thought. Bonnie quickly noticed and immediately began to question her. “You’re worried about Ash, huh?”. Serena sighed. “How can I not be? It’s not like him to be this quiet”. Obviously, Bonnie knew way more about Serena’s crush than anyone else. She wasn’t surprised about how Serena was feeling. “Are you sure it’s not just because you like him?”. Serena blushed, which caused Bonnie to grin. She did enjoy messing with people, but it was largely for their benefit. “My point is that if you are concerned about him, then why don’t you talk to him and help him?”. Serena thought about that for a moment. “You’re right Bonnie, thanks”. Bonnie smiled. She was happy to help.

“Where’s Ash?”, Serena walked back into the small room, but he wasn’t there. “I think he stepped outside”, Clemont responded. Sure enough, Ash was sitting along the steps outside their room, Pikachu sitting right next to him. He looked out at Lumiose City. “Here we are. Tomorrow is the Kalos League final. And I’m facing off against Alain”. He knew that this was the battle of his life and yet he still felt conflicted. Alain is a truly impressive trainer whom Ash has never beat. “You ok Ash?”, a soft voice replied behind him. Ash turned around to find Serena standing behind him. “Yeah, I’m ok, what are you up to?, Ash replied. He felt a little different suddenly, but he wasn’t sure what it was or why he felt this way. “I figured you could use some company”, Serena replied with a smile, “You don’t want to be alone do you?” Ash was a little surprised by Serena’s response, but he appreciated it. “Of course, I’d enjoy some company”, Ash felt something still but he still wasn’t sure.

Serena smiled and sat beside Ash. He was immediately reminded the Master Class, when he had the conversation with Serena. “You’re stressed about the battle tomorrow, right?” Ash wasn’t going to deny it. Serena knew him well. “Yeah, how can I not be”, Ash replied with a sigh. This match was clearly nagging him. “You shouldn’t be so worried”. Ash immediately looked up after the words came out. Serena kept going. “You are an amazing trainer, the best I’ve ever met, your bond with your pokemon is unlike anything any other trainer has. You have things that others, including Alain, don’t have”. Ash was a little stunned. “Serena...”. “You’ll be fine. I know it”. Those words completely snapped Ash out of his trance. Serena was right. He could win this, he was a strong trainer with his best team ever. If he really wasn’t good enough, he wouldn’t have beaten Shota. Then something else came to mind, his mind flashed back to Snowbelle. He remembered when he lost to Wulfric and ran into the forest, it was Serena who ran after him. It was Serena who snapped him out of his depression. There was a reason he admired her so much. “Thank you, Serena”, Ash responded calmly. Serena looked at Ash, who was evidently in a better condition then he was a couple minutes ago. “You’ve always been there for me whenever when I’m in a rough spot”. Serena smiled and moved a little closer to him. “It’s because I care about you, I just want to make sure you’re ok”. Part of her really wanted to say more, but she the thought of it made her blush and she decided not to.

The two sat on the steps for a while. Eventually Clemont came out and tossed the two a blanket. “If you two are going to stay out here tonight, you best not get a cold”. Serena blushed. Clemont basically suggested the two can spend the night outside together. But Ash didn’t seem to think much of it so Serena grabbed the blanket and rapped it over the two of them. “We best get some sleep, it’s a big day tomorrow” Ash nodded in approval. He found it a little odd that Serena was sleeping right next to him, but he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he actually kinda liked it. He looked up at the stars. “Serena’s right, I can do this, I’ve come too far. Tomorrow, I will become Kalos champion and take another massive step towards becoming a pokemon master!” He flashed one last glance at Serena who had already fallen asleep beside him and then laid down and quickly dozed off.