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FranticShipping (Japanese: ルサ RuSa) is the belief that Ruby and Sapphire belong in a romantic relationship. This pairing is considered to be canon as both characters have confessed their love for the other. However, whether or not they are together is unknown.
Ruby and Sapphire
Ruby is the main protagonist of the fourth chapter. He has an interest in Contests. He constantly grooms his Pokémon and croons how beautiful they are. He takes much pride in his Pokémon's appearance. In the beginning, he is very shallow and tends to dislike Pokémon that are ugly. He also says that he finds battles to be appalling. However in truth, he happens to be excellent in battling, but after a past experience has vowed to never battle in front of others again.
Sapphire is Ruby's opposite. She is described as a wild girl several times throughout the series. She doesn't care much for looks and prefers battling to Contests. She is very strong and has great senses like sharp eyesight and smell. She loves Pokémon and has a great sense of pride and justice. She finds Ruby to be an annoying, arrogant boy at first, but feelings soon change.
Although Ruby and Sapphire do not find out until much later, they knew each other as little children. Back then Ruby was a mischievous and adventurous boy who liked to battle while Sapphire was a sweet, docile, little girl who liked pretty things and disliked violence. Ruby's father, Norman, was taking the test required for leadership of the Petalburg Gym. Professor Birch, Sapphire's father, came to visit Norman bringing his little daughter along.
The two children played together. Ruby and Sapphire look back describing that time as one of the best in their lives. However it was ruined by the arrival of a wild Salamence. Ruby, to protect Sapphire, attacked the Salamence eventually driving it away. He got hurt in the process, getting a cut across the side of his forehead. When Ruby looked back to reassure Sapphire that the Salamence had gone, he was surprised to see her crying. She then said, "Scary...so scary." That becomes a huge turning point for Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby thinks that he had shocked her with how brutally he fought and had "tainted her crystal clear heart." He vows never to show his true strength in front of anybody ever again. Sapphire also makes a vow. She believes it is because of her inability to fight that got him hurt and by crying she had hurt his pride. So by becoming stronger, she planned on having the ability to protect herself and the others around her. Years later, Ruby became a boy who prefers to groom his Pokémon, while Sapphire starts to believe that the strength of a Pokémon is more important than its looks.
Several years later, they still remember each other, but cannot recall any faces or names. Both have even admitted to loving that childhood phantom.
- Ruby first met Sapphire when he was saved by her from falling off a cliff. At the time she was completely covered in leaves, and he thought that she was a Pokémon. At one point he gets scared of her and orders Nana, his Poochyena, to attack. She immediately becomes violent and sends out Torchic. They both trade insults until Sapphire proposes a bet. They both have to reach their goals (Sapphire: Conquer all eight Gyms; Ruby: Conquer all Contests) in 80 days. However they are interrupted by a Seviper. Sapphire tries her best to battle but eventually gets knocked out trying to protect Ruby. Ruby sees no one is watching and immediately knocks out the Seviper. While Sapphire is unconscious, he measures her and makes appropriate clothing for her so that she can get rid of the grass/leaf skirt and top she is wearing.
- They meet again in Dewford Town where Sapphire earns her Knuckle Badge and Ruby helps Steven in Granite Cave. At one point Granite Cave collapses, and Sapphire, worried for Ruby's safety, immediately goes to try to find him. Sadly, she is thanked with a string of insults. Almost immediately, the two leave to follow Steven on Sapphire's Wailord, Walo, because Sapphire had to deliver a letter to him.
- Eventually when both become fed up with each other, they decide to take a break at the Abandoned Ship. Sapphire forces Ruby to get on the ship which is rumored to be haunted while she stays on Walo. Here they have their first encounter with one of the antagonist teams, Team Magma. The two work together using a Plusle and Minun that were on the ship to escape.
- They separate to meet again at Fortree City right before the massive crisis of Kyogre and Groudon. Sapphire learns that Ruby has a talent for battling as he uses his Pokémon to knock out a rampaging herd of Grumpig to save Sapphire. Sapphire is ecstatic and asks Ruby to join her and the Gym Leaders in the fight against evil. Ruby, however, coolly refuses saying that he's only in Hoenn for the Contests and that he will return to Johto after he is done. This infuriates Sapphire to the breaking point. She rips off her clothes (Ruby immediately covers his eyes), breaks off a branch of a nearby tree to wrap around herself, and starts yelling at Ruby about how selfish he is and how she thought he was actually a good person but she was wrong. She then runs off. Ruby is rather ashamed of himself and sets out to participate in some more Contests. Eventually Ruby realizes he should fight, too.
- The two protagonists meet again much later to dive down to the Cave of Origin to fight Maxie and Archie, who hold the Blue and Red Orbs that control Kyogre and Groudon. Ruby points out his new outfit, and tells Sapphire that he made her a new set also, saying "I thought that you would like it." showing that despite the crisis at hand, he took time to make her new clothes also.
- Before the final battle against the two legendary Pokémon, Sapphire confesses her feelings directly to Ruby. She then tells Ruby about another boy she loved during her childhood, who is actually none other than Ruby himself. Ruby immediately realizes that Sapphire is the girl he played with during his childhood, but he didn't reveal himself to her yet. Not long after Sapphire's confession, Ruby suddenly locked her in an aircar. Sapphire shouts and orders Ruby to get her out. Ruby replied he did that so she will be safe in the aircar. After that, Ruby thanks her for making the 80-day bet with him, then pulled at his headband and showed her the scar the Salamence had left. He then confesses his feelings to Sapphire. It was then that Sapphire realized that it was he that had protected her five years before. Before she can react, Courtney appeared and Ruby joined her, leaving Sapphire and Ruby's mentor, Wallace, shocked.
- After Ruby and Norman defeat Maxie and Archie, Ruby and Sapphire return to their 80 day bet. Sapphire returns to the cave that they met with her Balance Badge to find Ruby has achieved his final Contest Ribbon. He has also re-decorated her cave like a Secret Base. The Ruby and Sapphire volume of the manga ends with Sapphire wanting to talk about their confessions before the battle, but Ruby avoids the issue.
- Ruby and Sapphire next appear in the wedding between Wanda and Riley on the S.S. Tidal (which was sailing towards the Battle Frontier carrying Trainers for the Battle Dome Challenge), where Winona asks how Sapphire's relationship with Ruby is going in retaliation to Sapphire's probing questions of her and Wallace's relationship, in which she responds that Ruby seems to have forgotten everything that was said during the catastrophe in the final chapters of the RuSa story arc.
- Then, after meeting Emerald (and in Ruby's case, becoming traumatized by their first meeting), Sapphire is about to compliment Ruby when he promptly annoys her by wondering about the state of his clothes, causing the pair to argue for a bit until they compete in the Battle Dome.
- Sapphire and Ruby also both tick Emerald off with their support for him, so as Sapphire confronts Ruby about his memories, Emerald yells at them to stop flirting with each other and tosses them from the Battle Dome, literally.
- After landing, they explore Frontier Island until they reach the Battle Palace, where Palace Maven Spenser approaches, grabs Sapphire's chin and looks into her eyes. Then Ruby, in either anger or jealousy, yells at Spenser to get away from Sapphire; he is knocked to the ground by Spenser in response.
- After learning about Maxie's murder, Ruby grabs Sapphire's shoulders to stop her from collapsing, and in an attempt to try and calm her down.