26th September 2012, 3:54 AM
Is it weird that this is one of my favorites?
ShroudedShipping // Kate & Darkrai // PG-13
The sky looked … painted. Kate frowned at this observation, shielding her eyes with a trembling hand as she squinted upwards. It was a beautiful blue, regardless of the vast patches of clouds obscuring it. And yet it had lost its depth somehow – no longer did it carry the suggestion of infinity. Even the sunlight shining weakly through the clouds was looking oddly close. Perhaps it was a trick of the light.
Bringing her gaze down, she blinked in surprise to find herself in the Ranger School cafeteria. She stood at the center of the teachers' table, looking over the large room with confusion. Where there should have been several long tables stretched a single spiral-shaped one, twisting so sharply on itself that it was impossible to tell where it began and ended. Streamers sagged from the ceiling and thick carpet coated the floor, transforming the room into a place of true celebration.
Kellyn stepped out of nowhere, blue eyes fixated upon her as he handed her something on a plate. "The first slice is for you," he said. His voice was quiet, yet somehow still audible over the growing rumble of the thousands seated at the great spiral.
It was a chunk of something unidentifiable, though its dark purple color and bumpy texture reminded her of a Drapion. She picked at it with her fingers, bringing up a morsel of it and letting it slide into her mouth. She bit into it, chewing thoughtfully. It tasted salty.
She looked over again at Kellyn; but he had become Keith, smirking at her as juggled twitching hands. "A little helpful, is this true?" he laughed, and bright blue eyes sparkled as the crowd roared behind him roared its approval.
Something moved at the corner of her vision. Still nibbling at her food, she watched a solid-looking wall dissolve into a swarm of Beautifly, fluttering about on jagged wings that twisted like lightning bolts. Somebody seated at the spiral stood up, opening his thin mouth wide, wide, wide, so that his cheeks ballooned to the size of his own body and his jaw dislocated with a wet crack. He swallowed one of the butterflies whole, and after a brief moment his back exploded noisily into chunks of gore and shards of bone as a pair of those wings burst out, flapping so hard that the air around them whistled.
"Watch them dance." Keith was now Rhythmi, her mouth twisting into a grin beneath blue eyes. They floated within water, brilliantly lit by some unseen source. Yet the surface lay miles above them, if it existed at all. Around them twisted the members of the crowd, or perhaps their bodies. It was difficult to tell.
Somehow managing to swallow the rest of her food, Kate pushed herself upwards with suddenly heavy arms, growing lightheaded from the pressure. Water poured into her nose and mouth and eyes and ears, turning everything hazy and shimmering and distant. Dark shapes slid across her vision, briefly taking form before dissolving into meaninglessness like clouds. Instinct caused her to panic, and yet she found herself shivering in delight, wrapped within the tight blanket of water.
Hot breath tickled her ears as two voices murmured into them. "There is always more, of course."
She took a deep, shuddering breath, and suddenly it was a real blanket, warming her back as she sank into the mattress beneath it. Two bodies were pressing down on her, blue eyes glinting hungrily as they hooked their legs around hers to pull them apart and stroked her sides and kissed her neck and tickled her thighs and she dimly realized that her shirt and jeans were gone but that didn't matter, not with the ecstasy flooding through her body and making her tremble in anticipation.
The two became four, all strong young men who surrounded her and wrapped her in their muscular arms, and then eight, twenty, a hundred of them, crushing the breath out of her with their sheer weight, their forms just barely defined but so clearly felt against her own slender body, which was nothing here and yet everything at the same time.
Then there was one, but what a powerful one he was, for his presence was even greater than that of the hundred; his tattered cloak floated on their own accord, blotting out everything above them, and she could only stare up into his searching, rapacious, cold blue eyes.
"Is this to your liking?"
"Yes," she whispered, so softly that it melted into her breath and became inaudible beneath her pounding heart.
"You will stay."
"You will be mine."
"Only one may be the master."
"Tell me which of us is the master."
She simply gazed up at him, her body trembling eagerly beneath his.
"Tell me," he repeated, grasping her shoulders.
"You are!" she blurted, excitement shocking her with his touch. "You are, you are!"
His body radiated satisfaction, and as they drew together the world around them burst into bleeding flowers and dripping swords as a million voices screamed in a terrible joy.
In the waking world, Altru Tower shook with the triumphant laughter of a madman.
Coming up next: SteadfastShipping.
3rd October 2012, 5:12 AM
Is this one #100 in this series? Why yes, yes it is. Thank you all for reading this far! Here's to doubling that number.
SteadfastShipping // Gallade & Ninetales // PG-13
"Hear my words, fellow shiny citizens!" boomed the black Rayquaza. She peered over the vast horde of special Pokemon, a massive group that stretched across almost the entirety of Follywood. "We have all gathered here today to celebrate our superiority over those ridiculous 'normally colored' Pokemon. For years now we have been a staple in Pokemon fanfiction, and our numbers only soar as new writers flock to build their own studios. Today, at long last, I present to you a haven that's all our own! Behold, the majestic face of Club Starshine!"
She gestured to the massive sparkly building behind her, eliciting a proper amount of "ooh"s and "ah"s from the audience. A few of the Pokemon seemed to snort dismissively instead, but she pretended to ignore them. They were quite replaceable; their authors could always whip up a clone of the shiny, and at any rate she hadn't eaten in about a week or so. Nobody would miss the puny little mortals anyway … No! Stay focused. You're not in a fic right now. Be normal.
"Yes!" she continued, stretching up to her impressive full height. "At last we shall have true recognition! And now, without further ado, Club Starshine is now open!"
Saying such, Rayquaza (Ruler of the Skies, Queen of Dragons, Guardian of Heaven, Holder of the Scales, She Who Teaches Fear to the Foolish and Justice to the Wicked) leaned down and carefully snipped the ribbon with a tiny pair of scissors.
Everyone cheered, as if cutting a ribbon were a task worthy of being an Olympic event.
"Now form a line," Rayquaza ordered, though this was clearly being ignored by the now swarming mob, "and allow my good knight to check you in."
A blue Gallade at her side, who had been standing there professionally up until now, gave a start. "Wait, what?"
"You heard me, Chevalree." She lowered her voice slightly, although considering the raucous excitement of the shiny crowd, she needn't have bothered. "It is vital that nothing goes wrong today. If the slightest mishap happens, the slightest mishap, then when the veteran writers get wind of it they'll storm up here to shut this place down before you can say 'Chosen One'. Anything so minor as a normal-colored 'guest' slipping in can and will be labeled a disaster. Do I make myself clear?"
"Er … crystal clear, my queen."
"Good." She nodded curtly, lifted off of the ground in a whirl of scaly coils, and swooped off into Club Starshine, most likely to bother the cooks and such who were even now preparing for the massive mob.
Sighing to himself, Sir Chevalree produced a clipboard and pen seemingly out of nowhere. "Sign your name and species here, good sir," he requested of the closest shiny.
"Ex-cah-use me?" snapped the green Mewtwo, looking down at him over her nose and under her hot pink sunglasses. "Does this hot bod look like a ripped dude's mass of manly muscles, dipwit? Or are you just gay or something? Arceus, you're so retarded."
"My apologies," said Sir Chevalree, though as the Mewtwo signed her name he couldn't help but wonder what sort of writer could possibly think a character like this was a good idea.
"Like, just whatever," the Mewtwo sneered. She stuck her nose into the air and sashayed towards the club, swinging her hips in such a fashion that several onlookers vomited.
A silver Ninetales standing nearby, however, was smirking after the green legendary. Sir Chevalree caught her eye; noticing his questioning look, she explained her mirth. "She stepped on my tails," she stated. Even though she had taken his pen in her mouth, her voice was still quite clear. "Watch."
The Mewtwo abruptly burst into vivid blue flames. It took for her a moment to realize that she was upon fire, at which point she shrieked and flailed about and ran in circles like a headless god chicken. The flames didn't seem to actually be hurting her, aside from clashing horribly with her dark green fur; nevertheless, she kept up her ridiculous manner, oblivious to the fact that the entire crowd was now staring at her.
Naturally a few green Machamp guards came dashing in out of nowhere, attempting to help put out the flames and failing spectacularly. And just as naturally, several Pokemon had pulled out their cell phones (also out of nowhere) and were already planning out how this scene would look on YouTube.
Sir Chevalree cracked a smile in spite of himself. "An excellent show," he stated, turning back to the Ninetales. "Though such a spectacle at the opening of the club—"
He frowned. The fox had vanished.
"How odd," he murmured to himself. His thoughts mulled over her memory as he passed the clipboard on to the next Pokemon in line. Something about her had intrigued him, he knew, barely listening now to the Mewtwo's shrieks and the Machamp's grunts behind him. Something was … different about her from other Ninetales. But aside from the fact that she was a shiny, he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
After a few long hours of socializing with the guests of Club Starshine, Sir Chevalree decided that he definitely preferred the Distinguished Affair Ballroom to the Hardcore Party Auditorium.
He was currently leaning against a cream-colored wall, exhausted from his constant rounds of the place and in denial of the fact that the event was still nowhere close to finishing. Taking a sip from his wine, he glanced automatically about the room at the many shinies in attendance. For some reason none of them looked tired, and only a few of them seemed drunk. Some of them had discreetly departed in pairs to who knew where; he couldn't steel himself to go up and look for them, for various reasons.
So far, the entire thing had gone off without a hitch. In spite of Rayquaza's worry, the only things approaching a disaster had been the flaming Mewtwo and a late shipment of beer for the Pokemon in the Hardcore Party Auditorium. The giant black dragon herself had relaxed a little: he could see her partially coiled up beside the refreshment table, chatting amiably with a green Salamence.
If only he could do the same. The relaxing, that is, not the Salamence. He hadn't caught a glimpse of the silver Ninetales this whole time, which of course only piqued his curiosity further.
With a sigh he examined the contents of his wineglass, swirling delicately between his fingers. Tiny wine droplets still clung to the sides, shimmering in the brilliant ceiling lights. They sparkled like a disco ball, he mused idly. Or perhaps a shiny ice-type, or one of the more pathetic species of vampires, or a—
"Ah, no wonder I haven't seen her," he said to himself.
Setting down his unfinished glass, he made his way out of the Ballroom and crossed the lobby, heading for the wide-open door that led to the Auditorium. A pair of Pichu sat huddled in the corner, swaying a bit woozily; they giggled as he passed, but he failed to hear it in the blast of rock music blaring from his destination.
He paused just before entering, hovering nervously at the edge of the crowd. For the crowd was indeed just before him: it stretched across the entirety of the massive room, pulsing to the beat of the music like a living thing. From this point it was impossible to see the stage, considering the darkness of the room and how dense the crowd was and whatever they insisted on bouncing so much for.
Taking a deep breath of air laden with cigarette-stench, he pushed himself into the throng of bodies.
It was madness. From the very start he was forced to put up an invisible shield to prevent them from trampling them, and though the surrounding Pokemon bounced off of it most comically, it was still a Herculean task just trying to find a path through them. It took a good half hour to get anywhere near the stage, but it was at that point, circumnavigating a pink Wailord with great caution, that he finally spotted her.
"'Ey! Sir Pants-a-lot!" she hollered, stumbling towards him. She somehow managed not to get crushed during this, which astonished him. Perhaps the dripping beer can in her paw had something to do with it. "Joinin' the party, huh? I been wondering, yessirree. I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, THE EDGE—!"
He wracked his brain, fervently considering what he was supposed to say. "Ah … Serena, right?" he asked after a moment.
She shook her head violently at this, inadvertently smacking a Skiploom and sending it flying. "No!" she said sharply. "No no no no no. I dunno who Serena's supposed to be. Name isn't Serena. Pfft, Serena's never gonna be my name ever again. The eeeedge of glory …"
"… You signed the clipboard 'Serena'," he remarked after a moment, not bothering to hide his puzzlement.
"Did I?" He thought he caught a clear flash of worry within her unfocused eyes, but he couldn't be sure. "Wellll, that wasn't me. I told 'em, I said: need a stupid-*** shiny named Serena, don't drag me into it. I'm not doin' a cliché fantasy or a five-way lemon again. I'm not. 'Cause I'm. Not. Her. And I got a brain and a heart and a soul to prove it."
He stared thoughtfully for a few moments. She belched then, giggling feebly, and at that moment he realized what it was about her that had fascinated her about him. Nothing mystic twinkled in her eyes; nothing in the way she carried herself demanded respect or bespoke of secrets; nothing made her stand out as wise or mysterious or even particularly beautiful. She was just … normal.
Aside from the shininess, that was.
"I hate 'em," she grumbled, not quite aware that she was saying anything. "Let 'em pull my tails for all I care."
She suddenly toppled forward. Sir Chevalree reached down swiftly, crouching down to catch her before she could get smashed by the mob surrounding them, letting his shield expand to surround her as well.
"I believe you need to rest," he said softly, unsure of whether her sharp ears could pick out his voice from the shrieks of the crowd and the boom of the stereos. "You're in no condition for such … strenuous activity as this."
Saying such, he straightened up in the midst of chaos, holding the Ninetales in his arms like a bride. She didn't weigh very much, he realized, suddenly feeling … protective of her. How odd.
With a final look at the madness surrounding them, he teleported …
… to the lobby, where he set her down on a soft couch. Her silver body splayed out before him, tails fanning like a peacock's. He knelt down beside her, but his worry died away as he realized she didn't seem to be seriously ill. Grunting quietly, she let her eyes wander over to his face. Her lips twitched and, much to his surprise, she licked his hand.
He found himself smiling back.
Sighing softly, she let her eyelids droop shut. The rise and fall of her chest grew more even.
"Sleep well," he whispered. He reached towards her and, hardly able to believe his own daring, stroked her furry head. Then he stroked her again, scratching behind her ears this time. He couldn't help but shiver at how soft she felt.
Footsteps echoed at the edge of his hearing, but he ignored it. A sudden scream, however, shattered the brief peace the two had found with a single horrified word:
To be continued in: TwisterShipping.
8th November 2012, 8:26 PM
TwisterShipping // Rayquaza & Salamence // PG-13
Previously on Project Valentine:
As you know, shiny Pokemon are not canonically important in canon. The only two exceptions to this long-standing rule are the Red Gyarados of Gold, Silver, Crystal, Heartgold, and Soulsilver, though he was also given a continuity nod in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum; and the pink Celebi of Mystery Dungeon fame, who is strangely unavailable for comment at the moment. Here in the vast metropolis of Follywood, however, fanfiction writers cram many of these creatures into their lurid stories, concerned with how few ways there are to make their characters unique and special. Club Starshine represents the pinnacle of that arrogance, shamelessly flaunting the shinies' supposed superiority.
All is not fun and sparkles at this den of sin, though: opening night has been stained with the blood of an innocent victim ("innocent" being a subjective term; for the meaning of subjective, search for the mystical tome known to scholars as the dictionary, and known to you fic writers as "the big heavy one"). Black Rayquaza, Chairdragon of the Unique and Natural Twinkling Committee and Overseer of the Club Starshine Project, was suspiciously quick in her assertion that nothing disastrous or catastrophic had occurred, in spite of any evidence to the contrary.
"Well, of course I have to admit I'm just the littlest bit upset," Rayquaza (age 1337) admitted, letting out a "charming" combination of a tinkling-chime laugh and a noblewoman's guffaw. "It's very difficult finding those who'd be willing to scrub the blood off of the marble. Still, I believe that this evening has been an overwhelming success in its grand mission of flaunting our definite superiority—"
"Shut up right there," Rayquaza interrupted. "At what point did I ever say that?"
Far beneath her, a startled black-and-white Absol looked up from the curly words on the notepad before him. The notepad was mysteriously levitating, but that isn't important. "Did you say what, Black Rayquaza?" he said, all wide-eyed innocence.
"You know what I said. Or rather, what you said I said," she snarled. Several crime scene investigators glanced nervously at her, but then shook themselves and turned back to the bloody mess before them.
"Oh, do you mean this?" He gestured towards the fluffy black quill that floated beside him, scribbling furiously. "My Quick-Quotes Quill? It's a timesaver, and a godsend too."
She lowered her head to face him directly; considering the sheer length of her neck and size of her body, this was a rather intimidating motion. "You have heard that I eat intrepid reporters who're too stupid for their own good, right?"
The Absol frowned thoughtfully. "Hmm, can't say that I have. Perhaps you're mixing up pseudo-reality and crack fanfic? Just a little?"
She lifted a thin lip, baring a row of massive teeth. Part of her, the snarling, primitive part usually revealed in fanfic, wanted to stretch out and bite him clean in half. It wouldn't be that hard, she told herself. She'd be quick, and relatively tidy with what followed. Just a couple of feet forward.
Only when somebody tugged at her clawed hand did she realize how tense her muscles had become.
"Rayquaza, this isn't the time or place," Liam said cautiously.
She blinked. "I-I know that," she said shakily, twisting a little to glance down at the bright green Salamence. "But really, he's just impertinent. Almost to the point of arrogance!"
"We've been through worse," he assured her, patting her hand. "He's getting the inside scoop, not summoning a monster like Hug-Soggoth. You'll be fine."
She forced a small smile. "You're right, Liam," she said. "Thank you."
He just beamed in response, fluttering his orange wings.
The Absol's bright eyes darted between the two shiny dragons. "… Do you two know each other?" he asked after a moment's thought.
Rayquaza rolled her eyes. "Of course not, puny reporter. I always let random Pokemon touch me without permission."
"We've known each other for ages," Liam said, though he allowed himself a smirk. "Though we haven't actually met up for quite a while. Not since the Great Trollfic Boom of '09—"
"Oh, don't bring that up again," Rayquaza said, groaning melodramatically. "That was so embarrassing—"
"But Rayquaza, it's practically legend by now! Cassio here was one of the first I told it to, actually."
The serpentine dragon attempted to glare murderously at the two males simultaneously, but she failed miserably.
"It was a bit sketchy, though, what you told me," Cassio remarked, stretching a foreleg up to his head in order to scratch behind his black scythe. "Not quite as juicy as I would've liked."
"Was it?" Liam eyed the Absol mischievously. "Did I mention that we were owned by a Parody Stu named Gay Rust?"
Cassio choked. Rayquaza mumbled to herself, squeezing her eyes shut and pinching the bridge of her snout.
"Yep." Liam shook his head, chuckling. "What a time. He could shoot lightning bolts and fire bolts and ice bolts out of his hands, all at the same time. And he won every battle and contest, obviously. And he was so sexy that he slept with everything he came across. Everything. Even us. That was a weird threesome—"
"Liam!" Rayquaza shrieked suddenly, swiveling around to bore twin holes through him with her eyes. "We have absolutely no need to discuss our sex lives so openly! Especially not to an Arceus-damned reporter. 'This isn't the time or place,' remember?"
Liam's horns drooped. "I know," he said, sounding rather abashed. "But it was still nice of him to let us do it by ourselves afterwards."
With an utterly terrifying roar, she lunged at him, and soon blows were being exchanged so quickly that it was highly difficult to see much of the scuffle.
"I do wish I brought a camera," Cassio said to nobody in particular. Staring nervously at the fighting dragons, he skirted past them and padded up to one of the crime scene investigators. "Have any of your people found a cause for the murder yet?"
"Not yet," cawed the Fearow he was addressing. He extended a broad wing, gesturing towards the bloody remains of Spiky-eared Pichu. "She was too hacked up to tell what the murder weapon could've been. And of course the list of suspects is well over ten thousand … not that we can't figure that out easily," he lied hastily. Then his beady eyes lit up. "Say … her murder'll have Club Starshine closed, won't it? Publicity'll be so bad, the veteran writer's are sure to shut down this miserable place before it's far off the ground."
"Are you kidding?" Cassio exclaimed; his Quick-Quotes Quill, which had been scribbling furiously, jumped briefly. "Of course this won't close the club down! In fact, everyone's only going to cheer at the news of her death. She brought too much letdown to canon, after all. And we all know how everyone feels about Canon Sues like her." He rubbed his furry chin. "Of course, there's the question about how Rayquaza plans to kill all those germs, but I'm sure she and Liam can figure something out. Even though they seem very busy right now."
The Fearow's face fell. "That's … that's true. Ah, shaddup!" he snapped, as another Pichu nearby suddenly began to bawl obnoxiously. "Being a crybaby isn't going to change anything, runt! This isn't Mewtwo Strikes Back, especially since that movie was a billion times cooler than you!"
"Buh-huh-hut she was my bestest fwiend!" whined Pikachu-colored Pichu. "We woo the most super special paioo in the histowy of evoo!"
"Pikachu-colored Pichu?" Cassio reached out and placed a paw on the little rat's shoulder. "I have something very important to tell you."
The rat sniffed. "Wh-what is it?" he asked, staring up with eyes glinting with diamond tears.
"Nobody cares about you!" the Absol replied cheerfully. As the rat began to bawl again at this he turned to the Fearow with a respectful nod. "Keep up the excellent forensic work, officer … scientist … bird … person. Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I can get this squeezed into the evening paper."
As he trotted out towards the door to Club Starshine, he glanced over his shoulder at the fighting dragons. From the look of it, they seemed no closer to the end of their brawl than before; in fact bits of scales and blood were scattered around them, much to the investigators' annoyance. With a hint of a smile, Follywood's top reporter revealed some knowledge that every fanfiction writer is nevertheless well aware of, and were most likely already thinking before he opened his mouth.
"Oh, they are just so cute when they're beating each other up!"
Coming up next: ApoldaShipping.
9th November 2012, 11:56 AM
Congrats on getting over a 100. I've just read the most recent 3 ones you've done. I really enjoyed them and found it interesting reading about different and obscure pairings out there. Well done, very creative.
Banner made my Skiyomi and userbar made by Candlereaper
20th November 2012, 7:13 AM
Thanks for reading, I'm glad you've enjoyed them! Obscure pairings are the best pairings I say.
ApoldaShipping // Silver & Houndoom // PG-13
In the grim breaking dawn of the grim future, there is only anticlimax.
"RIGHT!" the human lieutenant bellowed, gazing over his massive audience with a steely glint in his eye. The light of the oncoming morning dimly lit up the sky behind him, casting him as an impressive yet faint silhouette. "The time has come at last. You all know why you're here, of course: to witness the extermination of the vermin crawling our good green earth! At last we may accomplish the dream of destroying our subversive enemies through the use of our classic friend, the machine gun. At last we humans can take our place as the true inhabitants of the world!"
Everyone stared at him. Somewhere beyond the crowd, a Kricketot chirped.
"… You do know there's no reason to wage war on Pokemon, right Surge?" a ninja near the front stated flatly.
Lieutenant Surge seemed to deflate a little. "Well, yeah," he admitted, slipping back into his old obnoxious American accent. "Except that the glory of war is the best of all things! To fight for your country, or species, or whatever … that's a thing we haven't had happen in a long time. Look Koga, nothing breathes fresh air back into your soul quite like an apocalyptic wasteland stinking of blood and gunpowder and crap. And what better way to do it than to assert ourselves over those Pokemon?"
Something tugged at his pant leg. He had only just looked down when he was suddenly flooded with several hundred volts of electricity, and he collapsed to the podium with charred clothes and much twitching. Dimly he registered the face of his disgruntled Raichu scowling down at him, stubby arms crossed.
Koga wasn't the only one in the crowd to roll his eyes.
"Look!" somebody shouted suddenly, pointing off into the distance. "The Pokemon are coming!"
Gasps and murmurs rippled through the humans as they turned towards the newcomers. It seemed like an honest-to-goodness swarm of locusts, so vast were the numbers of the Pokemon: birds swooped through the air like shadowy darts, while beasts lumbered or trotted at their own desired pace. The fish Pokemon, of course, were not present. Racism against those with gills is an unfortunately common trait in many.
"Humans of the Pokemon world!" their leader exclaimed dramatically, stretching out his hand. "The Pokemon world is for Pokemon, and not for humans. That's why it's called the Pokemon world. But there's more to it than that: you are inherently corrupt, cruel by nature and alien to true friendship. We shall tolerate your atrocities no more! Today, on behalf of my oppressed brethren, I declare war upon your foul race!"
A few of the Pokemon cheered weakly at this declaration. Noticing that they were alone in this, however, they quickly dropped into the silence.
"What the hell, you hypocrite?" Surge blurted, still twitching. "You're a traitor to your own race, you damn sociopath, what's-your-name … L or something …"
"N!" a young brunette shouted, eyes wide with shock. "What do you think you're doing? I spent like a year teaching you that humans are good!"
"I encountered another variable," N replied quickly, as if regurgitating whatever words came to mind. He flipped his green ponytail out of his face, causing his vast fanclub to swoon in unison. "I'm sorry, Hilbert. To war we must go."
"Wait, war?" an Arbok exclaimed, blinking. "I thought you said we were heading for a land full of cake!"
"It was a necessary lie," N said smoothly.
Much grumbling and arguments erupted on both sides, as everyone vented their irritation at the pointlessness of this gathering. After all, what was the point? Society was fine as it was, unless you were one of those rebellious teenagers who had come solely to watch everyone shoot the crap out of each other, in which case why not join the actual army and fight in a war that probably mattered more than this? Unless of course they were some of those making up the slim demographic of sulky emo teens, who had never seen any actual blood outside of a biology class or video game, and who needed graphic inspiration for their latest pretentious and horrible poem. Kids these days.
So of course it seemed like this "war" was unlikely to happen, which meant that the arrival of two lean figures wasn't so much timely as it was random.
"Stop the fighting!" one of them panted, skidding to a halt in the no-man's-land between the two groups. He leaned forward, pushing his sweaty red hair out of his face. "Just … stop it!"
"Yeah, because we were just going at it until you showed up," somebody snarked, much to everyone's amusement.
The newcomer blinked. Then he turned to his companion, raising an eyebrow. "… You lied to me, didn't you," he stated flatly.
"Just a little bit." She turned her hands this way and that, examining her claws idly. "It's not as if you would've gone along with it otherwise."
"Okay, what the hell is this?" Surge demanded. "And why do I suddenly feel like all this is going to end in Pokephilia?"
"It's a long story," the redheaded boy replied, shaking his head.
"Then I'll tell it," his companion said with a diabolical grin. "You see, I'm a Houndoom and—"
"No you're not," the Arbok interrupted. "You're pretty obviously a human."
She laughed at this. This resulted in everybody suddenly laughing at her, however, due to the fact that a teenage girl in a black-and-orange dress is not a human, regardless of the horns curling up out of her head. Liars tend to be laughed at, after all. Unless the liar is N, in which case he is swooned at instead.
"Cut out your chortling!" she snapped, blushing faintly. "I'm usually a Houndoom, okay? I'm just in this form right now because I'm a demon and I can do whatever the hell I want. And also because humans find me sexier right now. Isn't that right, Silvie my boy—"
"What she's trying to say," Silver said loudly, "is that humans and Pokemon are perfectly capable of coexisting peacefully. Not that we haven't for hundreds of years now, but I guess some of us need reminding. I mean, what exactly would you gain from fighting each other? Glory and superiority aren't everything. I've learned that the hard way."
Murmurs and nods met his words.
"Although more Pokemon in the form of humans would be awesome," the Houndoom remarked airily. "That way everyone's all sexy all the time, especially if we Pokemon are all girls. I honestly wouldn't mind being part of a few trainer harems, as long as Silver's is one of them. We'd be so moe, haha. And the world would be full of frolicking ladies in dresses, dancing for our sexy trainers, and everything would be perfect! That'd be a fun idea, wouldn't it?"
"NO," everyone said forcefully.
She shrank back a little. "Okay then, so it's just me. Jeez."
Surge cleared his throat awkwardly. "Somehow … I don't think we'll have a war today. Damn it. Well, as you were, everyone." He abruptly shrieked as his Raichu unleashed a few more volts into him.
"But—!" N began to protest.
"War is like Pokemon battles!" Hilbert interrupted. "Except everyone dies instead of fainting."
"…" With a sigh, N snapped his fingers and randomly disappeared into thin air. His fanclub swooned again at this.
As everyone turned to begin heading home, Silver's thoughts were interrupted by something wet and slimy slithering down his cheek. Freezing up in disgust, his eyes wandered over to the Houndoom, whose tongue was currently coating his jaw in sticky saliva. "'Oo till tate good," she moaned, sliding her fingers down his arms seductively.
"Stop it," he said tersely. "Stop it or I'll have to pull my trump card."
She raised her face up to his, letting their noses touch. "Is that a euphemism?"
"Maybe." He let a hand fall slowly to his pants, working at them without taking his eyes off of her. He drank in her pleased yet surprised expression. "But I won't give it to you unless you're good."
"Oh, I'll be good, Master." Her voice was an ironic purr as she rubbed her respectable chest against his. "I'll be very good."
"That's what I was hoping to hear." With a slight tug, he pulled a long, thick object out of his pants.
Her gaze jerked downwards, a hungry grin practically tearing her face in two.
Her tongue lolled out of her open mouth, and she panted in anticipation as he brought the massive thing towards her expectant face. "Give it to me," she growled, drool dripping down her chin. "Give it to me good."
"Okay." He shoved the dog biscuit down her throat.
The few remaining onlookers stared at the smirking redhead and the choking demon, wondering if this was really something they should be doing in public.
And the awkward and creepy interspecies romance lived happily ever after.
Coming up next: SnappyShipping.
26th November 2012, 1:01 AM
SnappyShipping // Piplup & Turtwig // G
"Very well," Piplup said to her reflection, finally deciding that she'd done enough preening. "Let's consider this mission underway."
She took a deep breath and turned away from the mirror, puffing out her chest importantly as she scanned the luxurious hotel room from her vantage point on the vanity. Where had Wig holed himself away? There were likely a hundred places he could be hiding, and this had to be done soon – she wanted to accomplish this before Platina and those ridiculous bodyguards got back from who knew where. It was best to do it with as few witnesses as possible.
Oh. There he was, slumbering peacefully on the four-poster right beneath her beak. Of course he'd be right there.
Resisting the urge to slap herself, she hopped down to the floor as gracefully as possible, which is about as graceful as a stout little penguin can be expected to be. The resultant thump and groan was almost enough to make the nearby Chimhiko glance back at her, but the fire monkey's fascination with his video game kept his eyes glued to the screen and his fingers darting about the controls. Piplup sighed in relief at this; if that hadn't drawn his attention, nothing would.
Turning her focus back to the task at hand, she waddled over to the bed and gazed up at its comparatively huge form. This was an unexpected obstacle. If Platina were here, she could simply lift her up to that height. But she certainly wasn't going to wait for her trainer to return.
There was only one thing for it, then.
She launched herself into the air with a grunt, stubby wings reaching for the edge of the bed. Her heart leapt as she saw how easily this part of her task would be accomplished, for she had jumped far higher than she had thought she could! This would be a snap.
Unfortunately she was wrong. She only managed to seize the blanket, and her eyes had just widened in realization of this fact when another fact reared its ugly head: the bed was about as far from being properly made as possible. As such, when gravity tugged her down, she found herself pulling the blanket, the sheets, and the snoozing Turtwig down with her.
Chimhiko failed to look around at the resulting crash. He was far too busy blowing up aliens.
"Huh-wha?" Wig awoke with a snort, staring at the scene around him. He was fairly sure he hadn't fallen asleep down here.
Something shifted beneath him. Blinking in surprise, he glanced down to see a penguin-shaped blob pushing against the sheets. "Oh dear!" the blob exclaimed in a rather muffled voice. "My sincerest apologies, Wig. I assure you this catastrophe was entirely my doing, but it was far from my intention to actually do it."
"Huh?" He got to his feet a bit dizzily, then lowered his head to pull the sheets away and reveal his friend laying there. "What're you apologizing for, Piplup? I'm the one who fell on you."
"But it was I who caused you to fall in the first place." She rubbed her head, looking quite abashed.
"Aw, it's nothing," he laughed. "No harm done." He yawned broadly and proceeded to stretch the kinks out of his limbs. "Is Dia back yet? I could use a couple of rice balls."
"They haven't returned, no." She fidgeted for a moment, considering whether to go through with her scheme. Then she reminded herself that backing out of it now would be stupid and cowardly, and so she proceeded to take the plunge. "Wig, there's something I need to tell you."
"What is it?"
"Well, I … you see, I have some … oh, how can I put this?" She wrung her wings nervously. "Wig, I believe I have a … a strong affection for you."
There it was, laid out on the table. She watched his face for his reaction, feeling no small amount of anxiety.
Slowly Wig's eyes widened. Then, without a word, he turned and walked away.
Piplup's heart sank. She had understood that a reciprocation of her feelings was unlikely, but she hadn't expected it to be this painful. Was this what vulnerability felt like?
She'd been sitting there amidst the sheets for a few moments, contemplating whether her Poke Ball would be a sufficient place to hide in for the rest of her life, when soft footsteps pulled her out of her contemplation. A sudden stab of surprise shot through her upon realizing that Wig had reappeared, with a small box clenched in his mouth.
"I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to give this to you," he said after setting it down in front of her. "Guess it's a good thing I brought it."
Piplup stared down at it, feeling the gears in her mind begin to twirl into motion again. Could this be …?
Picking it up tentatively, she pulled the lid off of the box with some difficulty. She wondered vaguely how Wig had managed to put it together, considering his lack of fingers or wings. His mouth couldn't be nearly that dexterous, could it …?
The lid fell from her limp flippers.
Nestled within the box was a tiny flower, sprouting sapphire petals that shimmered so brightly that it was impossible to tell whether it was vegetable or mineral. It looked so fragile that she hesitated to pull it up into fresh air, fearful that it might shatter at her lightest touch.
Her wide eyes turned upwards to Wig's expectant face. "Is it all right?" he asked, sounding just a bit anxious. "I'm not good with colors or anything, but—"
"It's perfect." She smiled and pulled him into a hug, careful not to jostle the box too much. "Thank you."
Across the room, Chimhiko rolled his eyes at the whole mushy-gushy display. "Wig, you totally owe me one for that box," he muttered to nobody in particular, turning back to the more important matter of destroying as many aliens as possible.
Coming up next: SleepyShipping.
4th December 2012, 12:30 AM
I am so, so sorry for this.
SleepyShipping // Hypno & Jigglypuff // PG-13
The birds of the forest fell silent as a foul pedophile crept along the winding path, drawing closer to his ominous home. They were of course well used to his slinking about by now, and no longer were they particularly worried about him, but providing a creepy atmosphere still seemed appropriate. It was the principle of the thing, after all.
A few unconnected cackles wracked the pedophile's frame. His name was Hypno, because his parents were some of the least creative Pokemon in history, and they were only slightly less stupid than the parents of an unfortunate girl called Facebook. Oh, how sad that poor little girl had been. Luckily he'd been able to comfort her with his body before it was her time to go.
A sack was slung over his shoulder, thrashing about at odd intervals due to its unwilling occupant. Hypno wasn't particularly bothered by this, considering how soft and squishy his newest friend was. Even so, he couldn't help but reach back and pinch that burlap-covered form, relishing the way her plushy body gave way between his fingers as it went slack.
The avian onlookers noticed all of this, of course. They were quite grateful his taste in birds only extended to meals.
As the cackling pedophile rounded the corner, coming into view of his looming lair, Hypno's new friend dealt him a particularly vicious kick – that is to say, a blow that he could actually feel. He shifted it in response, letting it bounce back and forth along his bent back. "Hehehe, you may as well relax, my little pillow … Hush little baby, don't say a word … Daddy's gonna make you sing like a bird …"
He set foot in the cave, and his warbling off-key singing bounced against the walls. His lair was rather more luxurious then one would expect from somebody living way out in the middle of the woods: the floor was covered in a thick carpet, and huge pillows were scattered all over the place. Of course, being partially exposed to the elements had turned everything white with mildew, creating such a powerful stench that most visitors would faint dead away from at the merest whiff. It wasn't exactly the best of living conditions, but it did help to mask the rich scent of blood that might have drawn hungry carnivores this way.
With a grunt, the pedophile swung the bag around and unceremoniously upended it, sending a pink balloon clad in a black outfit tumbling out onto the stinking carpet. She bounced around a few times before rolling to a stop, groaning and swaying slightly from the dizziness. She was going to be so much fun, Hypno thought gleefully. He'd never had anyone with that shape in here before. How refreshingly exotic.
As she painstakingly pushed herself onto her feet, he realized that outfit of hers was rather strange … did a few strips of leather count as an outfit? He wasn't an expert in such things …
"What the … what the hell was that for?" the Jigglypuff shouted, her voice ringing off of the walls. "Didn't you see the sign, bozo? I'm closed for all daylight hours. If you want my services, you should've waited 'til this evening. And you'd better damn well believe I get paid up front."
Hypno blinked. "Was there a sign? I was merely picking your plushy form up off the street. I prefer to get to know my friends gradually. HeheheEEYOUCH!"
"And that's for nearly suffocating me," she said, grinning in satisfaction as he bent double from the pain of her sudden kick. Then she frowned. "Oh hell … you're that pedophile, aren't you?"
He nodded proudly, eyes still streaming.
"Ever heard of the phrase 'biting off more than you can chew'?"
"Oh yes," he said, "I certainly have. I do it very frequently."
She decided not to think too hard about that answer. "Well then. You have exactly one chance to let me go, or else one of us is going to find themselves in a world of pain."
His beady eyes lit up. "Oh good! I always appreciate it when my little friends acknowledge that with great pleasure comes great pain."
"But I think you could stand to appreciate it a bit more."
It happened so fast that even Hypno's limited precognitive abilities couldn't save him: the Jigglypuff pulled a plethora of black ropes seemingly out of nowhere, lashing them out to curl tightly around him, pinning his arms to his sides as he crashed down into the carpet with a powdery cloud of mildew. Looking proud of herself, the pink balloon placed a foot against his body and posed dramatically there for a moment.
"Ah," Hypno coughed, "y-you are a very feisty one, my little friend. I like you."
"You'd better," she said; a bit more steel crept into her voice. She flicked her hand, and a lengthy black whip mysteriously appeared in it.
His eyes widened. "What is this …?"
"My specialty." She smirked evilly down at him, raising the whip over her head. "You've been pretty naughty, so it's time to give you an important lesson. I'll be your teacher for this afternoon. Today we'll be learning the meaning of the word 'dominatrix'."
The whip came down with a mighty crack.
Outside the cave, a terrified scream echoed throughout the forest for miles.
No one in town was quite sure where the pedophile had gone. Oh, they were naturally very pleased that he no longer stalked their streets to find some new prey, and parents were no longer paranoid about letting their children walk around in broad daylight. But the fact that nobody had seen neither hide nor hair of him for the past two months … well, it struck them as fairly ominous. Much gossip circulated about as to what sort of horrible fate could have befallen him.
In other news, Jigglypuff could often be seen buying an odd variety of foods and leashes for her "poor little pet"; inquiries as to the nature of what that pet might be were only met with a devilish grin and a knowing wink. But that was entirely unrelated, of course.
Coming up next: CandlestickShipping.
25th January 2013, 4:30 AM
CandlestickShipping // Steven & Flannery // PG
The mountain towered over the surrounding landscape, looming dramatically of course. Peeking his head around a boulder nearby, Steven Stone stared at it intently, then sighed in relief upon deciding that today would be a mercifully quiet day. Such days were sadly rare when one was the Hoenn Champion, heir to Devon Corporation, and Five-Time Winner of White-Haired Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award.
"Stop whining about how special you are," his gigantic steel spider stated flatly, or as flatly as a mechanical voice can be. The Metagross floated easily just behind him, with her legs tucked beneath her massive metallic body. She looked exactly like a meditating Kadabra in this stance, assuming said Kadabra was huge and blue and weighed over a thousand pounds.
"I'm not whining," Steven said distractedly. Shielding his eyes from the sun with a dusty hand, he began to make his way across the rough plains towards the mountains. Rocks gave way from beneath his feet with a series of satisfying crunches. "I'm simply appreciating my day off. The two scenarios are completely different."
"Then why did you mention the trifling magazine in your thoughts?"
"Because they're expecting me to attend another photo shoot tomorrow. It's rather ridiculous. I don't understand why they couldn't just find pictures of me from the internet."
"Perhaps, if you take a moment to consider the nature of the internet, you will find your answer."
There was a brief lull in the conversation. Chattering birds and a chilly mountain breeze were quite happy to fill the gap of silence.
"… Oh," Steven said a few moments later. The birds and the breeze reluctantly faded back into the ambient noise surrounding the area, feeling sulky. "Oh. I see."
"Yes." Metagross clicked in amusement. "I calculated that you might."
Shuddering at the horrible mental images, the young man paused for a brief moment to pluck a shiny-looking rock from the ground nearby, and proceeded to bounce it idly in on his palm as he resumed his walking. "So anyway," he said, feeling quite eager to subject, "this area should be empty for the day. Everyone's watching that hero kid take on the Elite Four. They're too busy crowding into the stadium and around their TVs to do their work."
"The kid seemed to have the talent," Metagross whirred. "He almost looks to be on the verge of beating the four of them and reaching you."
"All of the others were 'almost' to that level as well," Steven remarked. "It's pretty unlikely that Brendan could manage it."
It was really a pity that he was facing forward. Not everybody lives to see the rare sight of a Metagross facepalming.
"But anyway," he went on, completely unconscious to the comical clang of claws against chrome, "there should be plenty of evolution stones hidden in this place. It's quite likely that we might find enough Water Stones to really spruce up my collection, and a few extra Thunder Stones should add a nice contrast against that dark blue. Of course, a Dawn Stone would always be nice too."
"Indeed," Metagross muttered mechanically. "Heaven forbid we find anything that's actually valuable. Like gold."
"Oh yes, that," Steven said absently, pausing again and closely examining the rock with squinting eyes. "Gold is nice too."
"No way! Gold is a silly poison to the economy! Shiny Fire Stones are where it's at!"
"Well, they are very nice, I suppose … wait … Metagross, since when did you have that voice box?"
The giant metallic spider smirked. "What voice box?"
"You know, hers ..." Steven blinked. Then he let the rock fall through his fingers and onto the ground with a soft clink. "She's right behind me, isn't she?"
"Yep!" the person right behind him confirmed happily, nudging him. Unfortunately, he had stiffened up at this point, so the nudging action caused him to fall forward rather unexpectedly, where he smashed into the ground face first. "Um … sorry?"
"I'm … fine, thanks." With a wince and much brushing away of dust, he pushed himself onto his feet. He then turned to face the newcomer, feeling a hint of dread at whatever was going to happen.
She was the redheaded personification of laughter – it was as though his vision had become filled with noise the second he caught sight of her, beaming as widely as she typically did. She wore short shorts and a loudly colored T-shirt, with her midriff bared as usual. She also wore a vivid look of liveliness and energy, which mildly annoyed him. He knew that she had to have been hiking up here for at least as much distance as he had, and yet she didn't look the tiniest bit exhausted.
For the moment, though, she was looking rather concerned. "Are you sure? You kind of took a pretty impressive fall, there."
"Nothing seemed particularly bruised or broken," Steven assured her, though he winced as he rubbed his nose. "But enough about me. What are you doing here, Flannery?"
"Well, the Elite Four challenge today coincided with your day off," the fire-type gym leader replied, "so it was pretty obvious that you'd be heading out this way! I mean, it's not as if you go to the hot springs anymore or anything like that!" She grinned cheekily at him, as if that explained everything.
He glanced off to the side, pretending he hadn't heard that last bit.
The smile slipped from Flannery's face at his reaction, little by little. Her hair itself almost seemed to be deflating. Then, with a sigh, she said in a slightly more serious voice, "Uh … look, Steven. I didn't mean to be a jerk, I just … well, you know how people say stupid things sometimes? I say stupid things sometimes. I wasn't thinking really straight when I said that you and I together weren't working. It was kind of an off day for me."
Steven gave her a slanted look. "Since when do you have off days?"
"It happens sometimes." She gave a knowing look to the author, who waved her on impatiently to continue her heartfelt apology. "But I haven't stopped thinking about it or feeling like a guilty watered-down jerk about it! Seriously, I haven't! This has easily been the longest thirteen hours of my entire life!"
He bit his lip. "Well … to be honest, I think I might understand what you mean. I don't exactly feel justified at having taken your shouting at face value, myself." With a slight hesitation, he met her eyes and extended his hand out a bit with a small smile. "I think we can put that little fight behind us, can't we?"
Flannery fairly squealed as she shook her hands around like a madwoman, and before Steven could fully comprehend what was happening, she had launched towards him with a huge leap (which was impressive, considering how close together they had been standing) and tackled to the ground with a spectacular glomp. "Ooh, thank you thank you thank you!" she gushed, squeezing him. "You are the most amazing boyfriend in the history of the planet! Or even this whole fic?"
"This whole what?"
"Oh, never mind that. Come on!" Suddenly on her feet again without explanation, she hoisted him up by the hand and fairly dragged him along behind her as she sprinted towards the nearby mountain. "To the caverns of glittering Fire Stones!"
Metagross watched them streak off, feeling amused in spite of herself. "I don't even know why I'm here," she remarked idly, and proceeded to float off in pursuit of the reunited couple.
Coming up next: CommonerShipping.
1st February 2013, 5:08 AM
CommonerShipping // Dia & Platina // PG
You're a clown. That's all you ever were.
It's a harsh truth, but you've known it for a long time now – even in your happiest moments it still lingers in the back of your mind, watching and whispering. You're so used to it by now that it's quite easy to forget, and you can smile and fool around without a care when times are peaceful. But it's also easy to remember, and as you remember how they look at you your smile grows fixed and your antics become more forced, just a little.
Sometimes you can wake up and look out the window, surveying whatever landscape is out there, and just forget that your double act is almost always met with incredulous stares and nervous giggles. Sometimes you can hum to yourself as you fix breakfast and genuinely look forward to another day of new sights and sounds and faces. Sometimes you pull on your hat and jacket and bound away from the mirror, putting aside its mysteries for another wondrous day.
But now it all comes back, settling into your thoughts like the silent snow that's drifting down all around you. Now you and the others stand at the top of this tower, staring out at the city below with its glowing radiance lighting up the night. It's all black and gold, dotted here and there with green and red and silver, and a billion white flakes float towards the lights like a flock of tired fireflies. Up here you can feel the massive weight of the city with its millions of people and Pokemon; yet at the same time the sheer height cuts you off from all of them, pushing you into icy isolation. Even your companions seem distant, separated by gaps of several millimeters that you could never bridge. You can't even remember what you're all doing up here. Waiting for something, perhaps, or else waiting for nothing. It doesn't seem to make a difference in this black silence.
Sometimes you pause to stare into the mirror, and your reflection stares back with a haunted, quiet look. Tired eyes, chubby cheeks, rather messy hair peeking from beneath the brim of your beret … you take all this in and you wonder, in a moment of fleeting panic, if they can see this face behind your smiling façade. But then the fear fades as you remember that that's impossible. You would never let them see this. You would never let their amusement fade. It's better to be a clown than to be nothing.
You're so tired. The streets are invisible from this height, hinted at only by the headlights of vehicles crawling below. There's a short wall just in front of you, separating you from a sixty-story drop. It would be so easy to step over it and fall away from all of this. You could become something else. Make a change. Be taken seriously. Escape the shadow of your reputation forever.
It would be easy … except for the anchor that pulls you back from that fatal step.
It's a five-fingered anchor, to be exact.
You can feel the warmth from her hand mingling with your own, even through the double-layered boundary of winter gloves. There's that slight comforting pressure as she squeezes your hand, that silent assurance of simply standing there beside you. You pull your gaze up from the gaping abyss to meet her dark eyes, which are sparkling in the lights. There's something knowing in her look, as though she's ready to guess your secret thoughts.
Not for the first time, you wonder why she bothers to be your friend. She has everything going for her. Conquering gyms and contests and entire frontiers … carrying on an ancient legacy … awaiting her massive inheritance. Servants at her beck and call. Powerful Pokemon. Connections with nearly everyone of importance. A mind that pierces the oldest riddles. She has everything, and she still wants you at her side, a common jester for the princess's court.
But these sorts of bonds don't necessarily have a concrete explanation. You know full well of that. Kindness, joy, friendship, love … you remember that these are more real than disdain and mockery could ever be. That's why you're still together, even after the mishaps that threatened to drive you apart. That's why, at the brink of a terrible fall, you give her a small, genuine smile that only grows when she returns it.
With a wordless exclamation, she points up at the sky with her free hand, her breath emerging as a brief puff of fog. There's a streak of light in the midst of the stars, trailing across the cosmos as it races silently toward its unknown destination. It's faint, considering the lights of the city and the flurries of snow, but it's there.
Murmurs of appreciative awe ripple through your companions. You can only stare up at the comet in wonder, watching its distant course towards the eastern horizon.
For now, everything is beautiful.
You're only a clown, when all is said and done … but you're her clown. And for now, that's all you need.
Coming up next: DayShipping.
6th February 2013, 1:17 AM
DayShipping // Espeon & Lucario // PG-13
The first thing he noticed upon returning to consciousness was the unrelenting motion, an insistent vibration that unceremoniously jarred him out of the land of dreams. With a deep breath he opened his eyes, only to immediately shut them again at the harshness of the light shining above him. For a few moments he simply lay there, unsure of whether he wanted to fully embrace waking or slip back into sleep. He let his furry fingers curl and uncurl slightly, if only to remind himself that he was alive.
"I did it," he breathed. He felt himself smile despite the soreness in his throat, painful from shouting. "I fought in the depths of Vast Valley … and I lived."
"You most certainly did." He felt someone shift beside him, fur rustling against metal. "We are headed away from the field even now."
One of his ears flicked. "Shouldn't I have sensed your aura?"
"Possibly. I don't pretend to be an expert in such things." There was a brief pause, broken only by the continual rattling around them of the vehicle's motion. Then, in a cheerier tone: "You should be proud, Lucario! You must have fought very bravely."
The omnipresent rumble of millions of scar-torn feet and paws. Soldiers as far as the eye could see, teeming like ants, jeering and sprinting and leaping and stabbing and blocking and failing and screeching. Heat everywhere, everywhere, carried everywhere in a foul air, humid and stinking with sweat and blood and piss and frothing saliva. Turn every direction to find no escape, no path to safety. Jerky movements, raspy breaths. Even the birds of prey, falling, falling to the haunting sounds that passed through dying throats.
"Of course I fought bravely," he boasted blindly, twitching the corners of his mouth upwards. "I'm one of the greatest heroes who ever lived! Really, they didn't seem to do a good job injuring me." He licked his lips, idly considering their lack of taste. "My name's New, by the way. New Bus."
"I know." A paw patted his own, rather more gently than his ego would have liked. "I'm Esme. It's nice to finally talk to you."
There was a smile in her voice, a cautious smile. He decided to bask quietly in his own victory rather wonder what it meant.
The train pulled into its station a few hours later with screeching wheels; its hissing sounded about as tired as New Bus felt. As Esme helped him step shakily onto the platform, he couldn't help but glance around at the other returning soldiers, who shambled off as if they had only just stepped off of the battlefield. He remembered the lurching steps of a Mightyena with half its face missing, whimpering through exposed teeth. His stomach turned at the memory.
"That's all behind you now, New Bus," Esme reminded him, guiding him through a creaking gate and out of the station. "We can finally have peace. Now, my farm isn't too far from here—"
"What does your farm have to do with anything?" he couldn't help asking. The bandaging around his torso itched, and he managed to scratch at it when she wasn't looking.
"Well, somebody needs to make sure that you return to full health," she stated matter-of-factly. Fields of waving wheat opened up before them and without missing a beat she led him down a well-worn path that twisted through the grassy sea like a sleepy riverbed. "The medics agreed that I could bring someone home to let them recuperate. That war was quite nasty, after all. But it should be nothing that a little quiet farm life can't take care of." She smiled up at him again, and her sad purple eyes glinted in the sunlight.
He resisted the urge to reply that what he'd seen wouldn't be fixed by a few mornings watching the sun rise over rippling fields. "I guess it would be a nice rest after all my rampant heroism," he said instead, giving her a half nod, half shrug.
The farmhouse soon appeared in the distance, a quaint building covered in fresh white paint. As they drew near it, passing a sturdy wooden fence, the front door suddenly flew open, and a brown-and-cream blur barreled out and tackled Esme to the ground before the door had even smacked against the outer wall with a bang.
"Mama!" the brown-and-cream fox exclaimed, nuzzling at the Espeon eagerly. "You actually came back! Oh man, was the war really exciting out there? I know I heard that there was a ceasefire and everything but I didn't know you'd get back so soon or even if the group you were in needed to stay out there for longer or not. And you're all okay, too!"
She beamed at the little Eevee, licking at those long ears in return. "Oh Elle," she sighed with a purr. "I've missed you so much."
Somehow, as New Bus watched their joyful reunion, a little bit of his haunting memories slipped away.
Life at Esme's farm was a simple affair. Every day, Fawkes the farmhand would crow at the break of dawn, and the Espeon would sleepily emerge from her farmhouse and proceed to make her daily rounds. Fuel the fire. Feed the chickens. Milk the cows. Check the pipes for leaks or freezing. Every day, like clockwork, she would circle from one area to the next, with Fawkes trailing behind her to give her a feathery hand. Only once they had finished these tasks would they return to the house for breakfast, which the bright-eyed Elle would have already prepared. Afterwards the three of them would venture out into the broad seas of wheat, harvesting those great waves.
With his injury, New Bus could only watch them as they went about their work. He would sit on the fence, watching them move about their work. Thoughtfully he noticed the differences in their tactics: Fawkes would slice at the wavering stalks with his great claws, while Elle used a small scythe clasped in her mouth. Esme, though, would simply cut the wheat psychically, levitating and depositing them into neat bundles. Nothing sharp in her methods, just a gentle cut. Or perhaps it was a pinch. He couldn't quite tell from this distance.
He couldn't see their auras at all. They were alive and breathing, certainly, but every now and then he had to remind himself of that fact. Without that familiar sense, they seemed almost like puppets with hidden strings. It might have had something to do with his injury, but it was still somewhat eerie.
At least the memories were beginning to fade. His nightmares, once savagely constant, were growing fewer and farther between. They were still horribly surreal, with their faces disintegrating into bloody mist and their howls echoing throughout his soul; but they were easily displaced by the wheat fields, still and silent under an ashen sky, while Esme looked on with her sad smile.
"He's been gone for several years now," she was saying. Her forked tail swished in the air just behind her, and she gazed unseeingly into the embers in the fireplace. "Elle's father, I mean. He was always a roamer … sometimes I wonder if the war got to him in the end. It managed to get us, so why not?" She shook her head, and her whiskers rustled quietly. "There's just no way to know."
New Bus picked at his food awkwardly, his spoon clinking against his plate. "I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to pry—"
"No, it's quite all right. It's all in the past now." Her stare turned upwards, towards him. "Though you've spent more time here than he ever did …"
"Have I?" He scratched at an ear idly. "That's odd … You know, I could help around with everything once this thing heals up. Seems to be a lot more work to do before winter."
She nodded. "I'd like that."
A few coals in the fire shifted, sending a tiny cloud of sparks dancing in the air. In the rocking chair, Fawkes grunted in his sleep; the pillow in his claws slipped from his grasp and bounced off of Elle's head. The little Eevee glanced at it in surprise for a moment before returning her attention to her book, eyes wide and ears pricked.
The Lucario and the Espeon looked back into the fire, pondering on the future. Their paws were touching, but neither of them noticed.
Esme closed her eyes, letting the blurry afterimage dance on her retinas. For the first time, she felt a terrible pang of guilt – for she starting to selfishly wish that her companion would never wake up.
Coming up next: HaughtyShipping.
10th February 2013, 1:02 AM
And with this update, we are finally caught up to FF.Net! This particular story was written for Valentine's Day last year(!!), so I'm both somewhat surprised and relieved that I've gotten this up to date at last. Next chapter should be more indicative of what my current writing is like ... hopefully it hasn't degraded into atrocity.
HaughtyShipping // Pearl & Platina // G
Snow was drifting from the thick gray sky, as it often did in February. The lights of Hearthome City glittered all around, lighting up the sky with artificial stars. Ledges of buildings, bare branches of trees, and sidewalks yet to be shoveled were all blanketed in a modest depth of white. Pink and red heart-shaped cutouts were scattered everywhere, attached to doors and windows and traffic lights and wherever else the residents of the city could think to put them. A faint chorus of cheers drifted from the direction of the distant Super Contest Hall, which was open even at this late hour.
But to Platina Berlitz, the elegant beauty of artificiality was a trivial thing compared to her current pursuit. She was standing before an impressive window display, a stack of velvet-covered shelves filled with creamy chocolates in their heart-shaped boxes, lush flowers flourishing in their sculpted vases, jewelry and watches sparkling with gems, and grand holiday cards that would have easily dwarfed any others she'd ever seen. All items were equally tempting.
She tapped her fingers against her chin thoughtfully, and her black hair shifted slightly as she tilted her head. "So many decisions," she said aloud, feeling confident that nobody was close enough to hear her talking to herself. "I suppose I could get him a box of chocolates, but that may be a more suitable gift for Diamond. Then again, I have never heard of a young man turning down food unless he is very full … Perhaps a Luvdisc? I am sure there are some at the back of this place somewhere, considering how exotic they are. But they are not particularly powerful on their own, and he may get impatient with a single one …"
Then, in a sudden flash of realization, she came to the perfect solution. In fact was certainly the best solution to any problem, and the fact that almost nobody ever thought of it was a quaint mystery.
"Of course!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands together in delight. "I'll simply buy it all!"
Pearl blinked once, slowly. His eyes traveled up the massive mountain before him, an impromptu creation that blared a brilliant combination of pink and red and purple and white and tufts of green. Unnaturally colored stuffed Teddiursa stared back at him, their marble eyes glinting rather eerily in the cold winter sun's light. Bright flowers well out of season peeked their wilting faces out from their cheerful prison. Assorted cupids and angels lay all over the place: one particularly fat ceramic baby sat quite neatly at the top, aiming an adorable arrow at who knew what.
A snowball splattered against the back of his head, courtesy of some passerby kid; the sudden cold wetness now dripping down his neck was barely registered.
"… You bought it all?" he repeated weakly.
"I certainly did. Since I wasn't sure what you would have preferred to get, and since this was a surprise …" Platina frowned a little, stepping slightly further back. "Is something the matter?"
"No!" he said hastily. "But Platina, you didn't have to get me all these things. You didn't have to get me anything, even, since there's more to Valentine's Day than buying all the things. No matter what consumerism tries to convince everybody." He tugged a bit at his striped scarf, feeling awkward. "I probably should've told you more about how people usually celebrate today. Sorry."
She glanced to the side briefly. "I suppose this was a rather silly thing to do … I'm sorry, Pearl. I only wanted to find something to show you how much I care."
"… That's fair," he conceded. He rubbed at the back of his head, further transforming his hair into a tussled blond mop. "Although that makes me feel kind of bad about the present I got for you."
"You have a gift for me?" Her eyes lit up, and he felt a light tingling in his chest that had almost nothing to do with the chill.
"I sure do." He pulled a festive-looking card from his coat pocket, and she took it curiously. "Yeah, sorry again."
Platina's eyes skimmed over the flowing writing that greeted her on the outside, and she flipped it open to see Pearl's less elegant writing within, facing a red heart made of lace. A tiny candy bar lay nestled there, its bright holiday wrapping flashing briefly as her grip on the card shifted.
"Because girls like hearts and chocolate," he explained sheepishly. "Or so I heard."
She smiled up at him. "It's perfect, Pearl. Thank you."
She gave him a gentle hug which he returned, feeling both content and grateful that she hadn't laughed at him for such a paltry offering.
"I still want to give you everything the store offered, though," she insisted, patting him tentatively on the back. "It is certainly the thought that counts, but since I think that you should have it all, I believe that I am justified in giving it."
"Yeah, well, okay," he said with an overdramatic sigh. "Thanks for all of those things … although I still don't know just what I can do with that huge mountain of stuff."
"But that is easy!" she said with a light laugh. "You can enjoy it as a mountain that is even grander and greater! This is only the first shipment after all."
A sparkling semitruck loomed into view over her shoulder, and his eyes bugged out at the sight. "WHAT?"
Coming up next: RukarioShipping.
14th March 2013, 10:56 PM
Wow! I didn't imagine that someone could write all this! Love... a feeling from all forms and colours... Please, keep impressing me, maybe I can learn a thing or two from you.