Well since Bulbapedia gave almost literally nothing on the two of them, I thought it would be even more awkward to write their romance than usual. So I let the three Ks discuss it instead. Or at least two of them, while the third provided some entertainment in the form of juggling a few idiot balls. Entertainment does trump smooching, after all.
But anyway. This one here is one of my personal favorites because ... erm ... I found it adorable. Yeah. Hey, I like cute interactions when they're not cliched, okay?
Also, this features game!Dawn, just so you know.
IronWillShipping // Riley & Dawn // G
"—and an extremely high body weight to bone weight ratio," Professor Rowan was saying. "Of course, I'm not saying it would be impossible for Lucario to have an evolution. It's just that I doubt it would be able to adequately defend itself without an even stronger connection with aura just to lift its own body. Which might be possible with an additional psychic type … hmm …"
Riley nodded absentmindedly, not really registering the professor's words. Spending over an hour discussing something he didn't really understand, particularly sitting in the same spot in the lab's dusty warm air, tended to have that effect on him.
"Well," the professor huffed, turning slightly to catch a glimpse of the clock hanging limply on the wall, "it's already past five … don't want to keep you too long, do I? You've come pretty far in one day."
"Indeed I have." It took all the young man's willpower not to sigh deeply in relief. "I had best find a place to spend the night, then. Thank you for your time, Professor. Will I see you tomorrow morning, then?"
"Certainly. There aren't many hotels here in Sandgem, though, but if you must find a place to stay …"
Riley nodded, politely bade the old man goodbye, and gingerly made his way through the maze of unfinished paperwork. He knew the professor had been about to offer his own home as a makeshift motel, and while he appreciated the gesture, he was well aware that he couldn't accept such generosity. He was quite used to sleeping outdoors after all; and he highly doubted he could spend more time than was necessary in a messy house, if the lab was anything to go by.
The evening air was so sweetly crisp that it nearly killed him waiting for the lab's door to shut behind him. Still, he kept himself under control. His discomfort mattered little compared to the sensitivity of others … But when the door finally clicked into place, he took a deep, contented breath, eyes fluttering shut as a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.
Such trials as the ones he had just endured only made the beauty of escaping them sweeter.
"I GOT IT! EEEEEEEE~!"
His eyes snapped open about half a second before a pink blur smashed into him, sending both of them tumbling to the cobblestones of the lab's walkway.
"Ah ..." he moaned softly, feeling his head spin. What just happened …?
The person whose weight pinned him down shifted, as if to get a better view of him. "… Oh, you're not the professor. Er — sorry? Ahahaha … I was kinda excited there." Her voice – for the person was certainly a female, as if the rather small body size hadn't given it away – was excited and breathless, as if its owner had just won a marathon.
"I believe that." Riley winced briefly as his assailant rolled off of him, sitting up so he could rub his arms. "… Do you normally attempt to barrel into Professor Rowan when excited?"
The girl rubbed the back of her head as she stood, ruffling her dark blue hair slightly. "Well … he's kinda my employer, actually," she admitted, glancing to the side in slight embarrassment. "I'm his assistant. And he's put up with me for a while, so it's more like we're friends, you know? He's kinda used to it by now."
She extended a hand, and he gratefully allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. "I see …" he said, not really seeing at all. "But … what were you so excited about in the first place?"
At this her eyes lit up. "It just came out on DVD!" she exclaimed, practically squealing as she brandished the colorful case at him. "I've been waiting for like a million hours at the front of the line to get it … took forever, but it's so worth it! Everyone's going to be sooooo jealous that I got a copy of N! before practically everyone else!"
He peered at the DVD case, feeling a little leery at the … whatever those shapes were supposed to be. Pokemon? People? Or shapes of neon-bright colors that resembled them? His head swam just looking at it. "The musical?"
"Of course!" She hugged it to her chest, dancing in place in excitement. "It's so awesome!"
"That's nice," he stated carefully.
"Nice?" she repeated, freezing in place and staring at him incredulously. "Nice? Are you kidding? N! is like the greatest musical in the history of ever!" She was silent for a few seconds before adding, in a somewhat dangerous tone, "Are you implying you've never even seen it?"
"Well …" Now intimidated in spite of himself, he attempted to step away from the scene, slowly and carefully. "If I can be honest, I have never quite seen the appeal in musi—"
"You," she said flatly, poking him in the chest, "are coming with me. To watch it. Now."
And she took him by the hand and dragged him down the sidewalk.
"What …?" He attempted to free himself from her hold, but her fingers refused to give. Apparently randomly tackling unsuspecting people wasn't the only way she displayed surprising force.
"No buts," she told him, staring ahead determinedly. "Or whats, or something. You are going to watch this movie and that's that."
Not for the first time, he appreciated that Sandgem was a relatively small town – it meant fewer people were around to stand around and gawk at them.
The front door slammed open. Third display of force, Riley noted.
"Hey, honey?" a voice called from the kitchen, not very easily heard over the sound of the girl's boots stomping through the hallway, or Riley's shoes dragging on the floor behind her. "Can you stop doing that whenever you come home? You're going to put a dent in the wall."
"Too late," the girl replied, pulling him into the living room and practically throwing him onto a squishy couch. "Can you cook up a bit more for dinner, Mom? I've got to convert the heathen."
As she turned to set up the movie, a woman's head poked out from behind the wall, taking in the situation. Her eyes narrowed slightly, and Riley could feel himself automatically sinking down into the cushions at her look. "And who are you?" she asked, with a reasonable amount of suspicion.
He swallowed, suddenly not quite sure of himself.
"Oh, it's okay, Mom." The girl's assuring smile didn't seem to be directed at only the frowning woman.
"I'm not quite sure," Riley forced himself to say, feeling that he had to voice his thoughts in this matter. The politest ones, of course; it simply wouldn't do to state that he didn't feel comfortable here in this strange home. "We don't even know each other."
The woman blinked, which was about the best reaction to that statement anyone could have.
"Oh, that's right!" The girl shook her head, smiling as she pulled her hat and boots off. "I'm Dawn, Professor Rowan's top assistant. But you knew that part already, so yeah."
"Dawn?" he repeated thoughtfully. He had heard that name somewhere before – perhaps during the Galactic crisis. Plenty of names had been thrown around then, and he couldn't rule out the possibility that hers had been one of them. "Nice to meet you, then. My name is Riley."
Dawn mouthed his name silently, brow scrunched in thought before her eyes widened. "Hey, it's you! Lucas told me about you. You're the one from Iron Island, right? You gave him that Riolu egg way back when. That was pretty nice of you."
His mind flashed back to a young trainer smiling up at him, tentatively taking the egg from his hands. "I did," he remembered, and nodded at the memory. "He may have told me about you as well."
She grinned. "I'll bet he did."
Her mother rolled her eyes. "All right then," she relented. "He can stay for the movie. But I'll be keeping an eye on you two, believe me." And she raised an eyebrow at Riley, as if to prove her point.
"I do," he agreed, forcing himself to stare back. He couldn't understand the undercurrent of dread her expression instilled within him. Since when had a protective mother been so frightening?
Five minutes later, after the lights had been dimmed, the three of them sat on the couch, with a female sitting on either side of Riley, and a plate of spaghetti sitting in each lap. On the floor, Riley's Lucario and Dawn's Infernape stared up at the food wistfully, but knew better than to beg. Dawn's mother was rather strict in that regard.
Dawn hit the play button, and immediately began to squeal excitedly. "It's starting!" she laughed, bouncing happily even before the title had popped up. "We're watching N! at last …"
"Indeed," Riley agreed, his attention focused more on the pasta threatening to slide off of her plate.
"… Indeed," Riley repeated, as if he hadn't guessed that from his very first minute with Dawn.
"Ohhhh …" Dawn gripped the side of her plate, watching the opening scene begin to play out. "Poor Pokemon slaves … This is our gift, our curse, our fate …" she sang along, trying and failing to mimic the voices of all the oppressed Pokemon at once. "I hate this song, it's so evil. To win the favor of our lord the boy~"
"… And yet you know it word for word?" Riley asked. He watched, with more than a little tug of his heartstrings, as an exhausted Galvantula collapsed, an imposing castle looming up behind it.
"Shush!" she ordered. "The chain rattling is making it hard enough to hear!"
"All right then."
They spent quite a while in near-silence, eyes glued on the screen as the musical continued to unfold. As much as he tried to distance himself from it, Riley couldn't help but feel sucked into the story, even if it was an obvious dramatization. The actors were singing, true, but the emotion they put into their performance was so great that it took him several minutes to remember that they weren't actually giving off aura.
"Ooh!" Dawn exclaimed about twenty minutes in, gazing at the musical's titular character. "This is my favorite scene!"
"So the first two times you identified your favorite scene, they didn't count?" Riley asked.
"They're all my favorites," she retorted. "Some are just more favorite than most, that's all."
"'A better future and a brighter present,'" the young man was reading dully, eyes squinting as they looked over the written speech before him. "'Under a fairer ruler than was ever known, the friend called N factorial'—"
"'N factorial'?" his secretly evil father repeated incredulously. "Is your mind still trapped in those clouds of learning, my son? Wake yourself and learn to understand what's right in front of your face! That is an exclamation mark, meant to demonstrate your strength of character, force of will, to end the speech in triumphant thrill—"
"How ironic," Riley mused, watching the oppressive man burst into song in order to convince his son of the value of standing up for something. "Or is that hypocritical? I can never remember …"
"Oh, don't go all analytical on it!" Dawn scolded him, waving him off absently. Beneath her, Lucario and Infernape stared up expectantly, but her unsteady plate never tipped over, much to their disappointment. "It's just awesome!"
He glanced at her mother to see what she had to say; but the older woman was also staring fixedly at the dramatic scene. Perhaps her incredulity had been less sincere than she pretended.
There was a clock hanging on the living room wall, quietly ticking under the sound of the movie. When Riley next looked at it, he was startled to see that an hour and a half had already passed. Could this really be so long? It didn't seem to be heading towards a definite conclusion, even now. The love interest had just soared away from that Ferris wheel on whatever that bird Pokemon was called, dismayed at the revelation of N's true status as a leader and leaving him alone on his own path once more.
"…" At Riley's side, Dawn made a quiet sound. It was brief, and he could have easily believed he'd imagined it. But between the emotional impact of the scene and his own aura senses, he knew for a fact that she had sniffled, just a little.
He glanced over at her, a bit confused. She seemed rather tired now, he realized, noting that her eyelids had begun to droop. Perhaps her energetic attitude was more draining than he had initially thought. What with the addition of a musical she seemed to love more than anything, it wasn't a particularly hazardous guess. Still, it was such a dramatic change from the Professor-tackling girl he had initially met that he spent a while mulling over it, not quite as drawn into the movie as before.
It must have fully distracted him again, though, because when Dawn shifted slightly sometime later, he became aware that her head was resting on his shoulder.
He couldn't understand why she would fall asleep against him. Didn't she enjoy the musical? Surely she couldn't have become that tired. Yet there she was, half-asleep and leaning against his side – he who had been a complete stranger only a couple of hours before! He couldn't help but frown, there in the dark. How could she be so trusting? It was all very puzzling.
Perhaps, he mused, staring at the TV as the storyline continued on, perhaps there could be more to this hyper assistant than there seems to be. Similar to this very musical, in fact … its flashy colors had initially masked a face that looks deeper into … something. Quite fascinating.
He smiled, feeling the rhythm of her breathing melt into the pattern of the slow, sad ballad onscreen.
Dawn's mother rubbed her eyes, briefly blocking out the sight of the scrolling credits. Such a long movie to watch, she told herself. Especially on a Monday night! But it had been quite worth it. She may not have been the fanatic her daughter was, but she did have to admit it was a very touching musical. She made a mental note to thank her for picking it up so quickly.
She looked down at Lucario and Infernape, snoozing peacefully on the floor, before turning to roll her eyes at the sight of Dawn and that strange young man, both fast asleep as well. At what point had her daughter put her head on his shoulder? And … and why was his head resting on top of hers? Her motherly instincts nagged at her to smack one of them over the head and announce that it was high time he left for the night. He'd be grateful that he'd be getting away with only that as punishment, from the nerve of him.
And yet something stayed her hand. They looked awfully peaceful there, chests rising and falling almost in unison. Yes, they were probably both crazy hormonal teenagers, even if the young man didn't act like one … but for the moment, with eyes closed and small smiles, they looked quite a bit younger. Like little kids, really: trusting, sweet, vulnerable. As if they were on the verge of yet another wondrous discovery.
Shaking her head at some sudden memory, she took their uneaten plates of spaghetti and tiptoed silently towards the kitchen, unwilling to disturb their peaceful slumber. Let them be, she thought.
The sight of their faces in the morning would make it worth it, anyway.
It was a very sweet and fluffy story. I loved Dawn's enthusiasm with musicals, and her energy. I liked how, in the end, Johanna (Johanna was the mother, right?) decided to leave them be. So unlike a parent!
Indeed, a cute and sweet story. Didn’t know the musical has such a “sleeping-powder” effect on beings under a certain (Dawn’s mother’s) age. I loved Dawn’s personality, her three displays of force and how she finally got tired so quickly. And her mother’s decision to let them be and see their expressions the next day… evilly epic.
Mothers in fanfiction tend to be ludicrously supportive of their children's romantic activities. That is all.
ActaeonShipping // Grovyle & Dusknoir // PG
Dusknoir, of course, was the first of the two to notice the dim evening light streaming through the library windows. He shook his head, more to clear the exhaustion than anything else, and floated up towards a high shelf to replace his book. "It's almost sunset," he called quietly, startling his friend. "We must go."
Grovyle stared at him for a moment, as if silently accusing him for breaking his intense concentration. Then he sighed, took the heavy book before him in both hands, and slammed the book shut. "Still nothing," he grumbled, mostly speaking to himself. "Nothing. It doesn't make any sense … wasn't there something similar a while ago, around Pokemon Square? That whole Rayquaza business, the natural disasters, the end of the world, et cetera. Except it's about time instead of space now …" He peered up at Dusknoir again. "Did you even read anything?"
The ghost descended smoothly to the floor, the cloths on his body rustling softly as he touched down. "Yes," he replied defensively.
Grovyle raised an imaginary eyebrow. "By 'anything,' I meant more than ten pages," he clarified.
A single red eye glanced to the side. "Well …"
The lizard sighed again. "Look, Dusknoir. I appreciate you trying to help me figure out this mystery, I really do. But you don't have to do this if it bores you or anything. It's not like you're obligated to do this for whatever reason."
"But I want to help," he protested, just a little too quickly. "I don't want everything to fall apart either. And you're interested in these phenomena, so I am interested as well."
Unable to think of a good response to that, Grovyle seized his book and attempted to lift it. "Ah … sorry, this is heavy. Do you think you could—?"
Dusknoir nodded, easily picking up the heavy book and carrying it back to its designated spot.
"Thanks." He stood and stretched, wincing as a few joints popped. "If only everything could be resolved so easily."
"Would you two keep it down?" the Ariados librarian hissed, glaring at them over the stack of books he was trying to replace. "This isn't a funhouse, you know!"
Cringing in embarrassment, the two friends slunk out of the building as unobtrusively as they could possibly manage.
Outside, the sun had just begun to crawl beneath the horizon, casting its orange light on everything in sight. The forest around them seemed to glow as if on fire, with light and shadows dancing and switching places with each inch the sun moved away.
Dusknoir relaxed, the way he seldom did during broad daylight. "This is nice."
"I'll take your word for it." Grovyle shivered slightly in spite of himself, rubbing his arms as he watched the sun wistfully. "If I didn't know it was going to rise again in the morning, I'd be panicking."
Something rested on his upper arm. It took him a few seconds to realize that it was the flat, papery hand of his friend, holding him in a gentle, oddly protective grip.
He glanced upward. "Dusknoir …?"
The ghost gazed back at him for a while before his eye slid over to his hand. He stared at it, as if he hadn't moved it there on his own. "…" he rumbled to himself, withdrawing his hand. "Sorry."
Many people would have scrunched up their brows at that point, frowning as they wondered what had just happened. But Grovyle merely shrugged it off. He was well used to his friend's eccentricities by now; he understood that Dusknoir was familiar with his as well. That, after all, was the basis of their friendship.
They began their trek through the forest, Grovyle keeping to the places where the sun still warmed the earth, while Dusknoir for the most part trailed behind in the cooler patches of shadow. This was a unique time of day, Grovyle mused, his thoughts darting into philosophy as they often did. Sunset and sunrise, times of equal light and darkness … the only hours when a ghost- and a grass-type could walk together in equal comfort. Perhaps that was why those were his favorite times of day, in spite of the lure of the warm noon sun. Something about Dusknoir's companionship made up for the presence of the nighttime chill.
A short distance away, a Sentret whimpered and burrowed rapidly into the ground. Everyone had been far more tense lately, Grovyle noted. The rodents and psychics in particular were on edge. It was all connected to the disruptions of time, he was sure of it. It was the only correlation that made sense at this point. Why was time acting like this? He gritted his teeth in frustration as the question crossed his mind yet again. There had to be something, he knew. The answer had to be close …
"Grovyle," Dusknoir said tentatively, just before the sun vanished over the horizon and night covered the land.
The lizard forced himself to swallow his snappy reply, as he often did whenever his pondering was interrupted. "Hmm?"
"I was …" The ghost was silent for a while, as if trying to remember something. "I wanted … no … I just …"
With a sigh, Grovyle halted, turning around to face Dusknoir. It wasn't like him to dodge a subject like this, he knew. Something was up. "Yes?" he asked, trying not to sound too inquisitive.
"We've … we've been friends for a while, haven't we?"
"… Yes," Grovyle repeated. What an odd question, he thought.
Dusknoir nodded. He was staring at the ground, as if he suddenly couldn't bring himself to meet his friend's gaze. "You see, I just wanted to … I wanted to tell you that … I l—"
His words were drowned out by the sound of something rumbling, an impossibly deep sound that chilled Grovyle to the core. He had just clapped his hands over his head, trying to block out that terrible noise, when the ground shook so abruptly and powerfully that he was thrown into the air, only to be smashed by the trees that were moving just as violently.
Something caught him just as the sound died down again, and he was set gently onto the earth – earth that seemed now deathly still.
"What …" He stared off into the distance, still shaken, barely able to sit up.
There was a pained grunt – looking to the side, he stared in horror at Dusknoir, who had just seized his head as if plagued by demons. The ghost's entire body was curled up and shaking, something that Grovyle had never seen before and hoped to never see again.
Forcing himself to his feet, trying to ignore the sudden wave of dizziness his motion brought, the lizard stumbled towards his friend, grasping at him as if he could singlehandedly save him from whatever was afflicting him. "Dusknoir!" he exclaimed, his voice rather high-pitched in anxiety.
At the sound of his name, the ghost's eye swiveled around, and Grovyle could see the terror in it, along with something else he couldn't quite identify. "Grovyle," he rasped. "I'm … I'm sorry. He's trying to get in my head."
His blood ran cold. "Who?"
"I'm not sure." His eye was fixed on Grovyle, as if the lizard were the only other Pokemon left in the world. "Some monster … called the Primal Lord. It's horrible, Grovyle!" he choked out, suddenly hysterical. "It's so horrible. He wants me to …"
An odd sadness pushed some of Grovyle's fear away, and he gripped Dusknoir's papery hands. "It's okay," he said, trying to be soothing. "It can't want you as much as I do, my friend."
"Thank … thank you." Dusknoir's eye squeezed shut. "Grovyle, I … before it takes me, I wanted to say … for so long, I have wanted to tell you how much I …"
Grovyle squeezed his hand more tightly. "You what, Dusknoir?" he asked.
"I … I love—"
The ghost's body went limp.
Grovyle had barely been staring at him for a few seconds – if seconds still existed, for it seemed to his soul that they no longer did – when a great roar blasted across the dead-looking night sky, signaling the beginning of something he never wanted to face. It had to be the voice of a monster, his panicked mind told him. Something soulless, something mad.
And, he realized through his growing numbness, it had taken the only one he had ever really cared about.
He continued to stare at his fallen friend – perhaps he did shed a tear or two, though he would never admit it – until the ghost rose and tried to kill him for the first time, the light gone from its eyes.
True, really sad. The moment he was going to tell it… he became controlled by Dialga. And Grovyle crying for Dusknoir’s loss before actually being attacked by his once best friend and companion…
I liked how you gave a background to what the two were doing before the crisis began (the game never told us, especially about a library with an Ariados as a librarian) and how you wrote about Dusknoir from another perspective: not the tough, slightly arrogant guy, but a more sentimental, shy and touching one that also finds reading books boring…
The problem with last-minute confessions is that they never give the recipient a chance to deal with it properly. That's why Dusknoir and Grovyle have such levels of antagonism towards each other in the game: the remnants of the former's personality are embarrassed about it and are therefore prone to lashing out, while the latter is also embarrassed but refuses to focus on that when there are more pressing issues to be dealt with. In my headcanon, anyway.
Now that I think about it, it'd be fascinating to see how they reconcile in the future after Arceus brings them back into existence. After all the things that Dusknoir's done to Grovyle, he'll have a lot to make up for. But they're both shell-shocked and soul-scarred and confused, so of course misunderstandings and failures in communication will abound, and thus hilarity will ensue. Why oh why is there not more fanfic on this pairing I mean honestly.
BluebirdShipping // Articuno & Lugia // PG-13
A cold wind is blowing from the north around the time when he decides at last to make his move.
Roosting on the lip of his icy mountain cave, he sees her flying in his direction from several miles away, a ghost over the mildly churning ocean waves. He remains still, patient, waiting for her to draw close. She travels along this route twice every year, he remembers, for reasons that likely have nothing to do with him. But this time, she will meet up with him soon enough. He will make sure of it.
Seconds crawl by, emphasized by the water dripping from icy stalactites. He watches her form grow larger, nearer, more solid, approaching on powerful wings that put his own to shame. They will be his wings soon enough, he assures himself. His wings to control. They will be his and his alone, and there will be nothing she can do about it, nothing at all.
When he can finally see each individual wing-beat against the steel-gray sky, he springs into action. Puffing out his chest, he opens his beak and unleashes the ice storm he has been building up this entire time. Scores of snowflakes, glowing vivid tints of silver and pale blue, rush outwards in a swift, massive swarm; their edges, honed to perfect sharpness, cause them to whistle as they slice through the air. Soon the snowstorm has expanded to a size larger than that of his mountain, rushing out towards the ocean in a howling gale.
Smirking to himself, he spreads his wings and takes off, following his mighty blizzard. He can just barely see her head lift slightly upwards, taking in the sheer scope of his deadly storm. He cannot help but laugh, prideful of his accomplishment so far and eager to strike her down so easily.
His gleeful expression melts as he watches her twitch the tip of one wing, scattering the blizzard as though she were merely dismissing a horde of flies.
Impossible! His claws beneath him tremble in rage. She should have been incapacitated by the ice!
Careful plans forgotten, he swoops sharply towards her, diving through the scattered snowflakes now floating idly between them. His wings' edges turn sharp, feathers hissing from his growing speed – the crest on his head begins to glow in a cold, harsh light – his beak snaps open again, and he prepares to utter a savage, mindless war cry as he strikes—
Her eyes roll around to watch him descend. With a single lazy flick of her wing, she summons a miniature twister that swiftly devours him, spinning him about far more rapidly than he has ever flown. Though perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the world is spinning, for that is how it feels to him: the entirety of existence swirls around him in a shapeless, unfamiliar blur. He distantly registers how his wings, claws, and tail all whip around him, with daggers of ice slicing into his flesh with their new sharpness, cutting open fresh wounds that spurt blood and turn the whole world red.
Five seconds later, she easily dissipates the twister, sending him spiraling wildly towards the ocean, a faint trail of blood falling behind him.
There is a great splash – he dimly notices the water churning beneath him, though the blackness at the edges of his consciousness seems to be swallowing his vision. He coughs weakly, trying to flap his wings, his stupid, useless, powerless wings, but that only sends a bit of blood splashing further away from him. Disheartened, he lays them against the ocean surface again, just as a great shadow sweeps over him.
For the first time, he really notices just how enormous she is – hovering almost lazily above him, he and his siblings could easily lay spread-eagled beneath just one of her wings. The entire sky appears to have been swallowed up in her massive form, as well it should. She is its queen, after all.
She lowers her head, long neck stretching as far as it possibly can, so that she can stare at him directly. There is something odd in her gaze, he thinks, watching as she tilts her head slightly. Something he would not have expected to see in the deep black eyes of a creature he had tried to kill minutes before. Curiosity. Interest. Amusement. A mystery.
He fires a beam of ice directly into her face, powered by the last of his will and vengeance; but his heart sinks as he realizes how small it is, and how she takes it without even flinching.
"I always thought you were an interesting creature, little one," she remarks, and her breath washes over him, carrying the pungent scent of fish. He squirms, feeling a few feathers dissolve in its heat. "Such behavior I would not have expected of you, though I cannot say the same concerning your siblings. Why have you plotted against your ruler and overseer, Articuno? For power, perhaps? There is no greater motivation I have ever heard of, nor a stupider one."
He twitches, and his expression must relay how suddenly livid he is, for she continues, shifting into a more grave tone.
"Surely you are aware of the recent law passed in the legendary courts, little one. 'Any instance of direct and selfish rebellion of one or more triad members against their overseers, with the intent to kill, maim, or severely injure, shall result in the immediate execution of said member(s).' I was at the signing, in person. As such, I will be permitted – no, expected to bring you before Arceus herself."
His chest stops moving, the breath caught in his throat. When did this happen? He should have heard of this, especially if it happened recently. But his planning and secrecy secluded him. And … yes, perhaps that was why Zapdos had unexpectedly dropped by the previous week. If only he had not been so swift to assume she wished to steal his territory again, and chased her off!
"But I will not."
He blinks, mind freezing. Why …?
"You are perhaps blinded by a lust for power, little one, but I … I cannot bring myself to condemn you. Not this time. We will keep quiet of this matter, should anyone grow suspicious. But be warned, Articuno: should this occur again, you will find that my … patience has run out." Her claws descend, wrapping around him like a great warm blanket, and her mighty wings lift them into the sky. "I will return you to your cave, if you will let me."
There is silence for a while as she flies, only broken by each wing-beat thrusting against the winds. He cannot summon the energy to puzzle over her actions. He only knows that he is tired, and she is acting strangely. Bits of slush still drift about on the breeze, as if mocking his fruitless attempt.
"Why …?" he manages to croak.
From what he can see of her face, there is an uncharacteristically troubled expression. "I … I don't know."
As she speaks, her claws tighten and loosen around him ever so slightly, surprisingly gently, massaging the pain from his body … but he has barely begun to form a suspicion when his weariness finally drags him into unconsciousness, where he dreams of a storm made of snowflakes and feathers.
Not bad. Not real good with romance, but it was a good story. I thought Articuno was the girl and Lugia was the boy. Just cause, Articuno looks so much more graceful and prettier. But then I realized it was the opposite. Hmm.
I've been meaning to read/review one of these for awhile now, so I'll have to apologize for being so tardy.
This latest one... I really like it. Your descriptions are really strong, and that stands out particularly in the zero-dialogue, action-oriented first half. In fact, I was kinda disappointed when the dialogue kicked in--not because it's bad, no, there's nothing wrong with it; in fact, I really like how Lugia comes across as powerful, assured, and curious and her speech. It's just that I was enjoying so much how the story was flowing along without the use of dialogue, and how much emotion was being conveyed, that I almost would've liked to see it dialogueless. You'd lose directness, but I think it could be done and that it would be very cool.
As for floracat's comment about this story's romance-quotient... well, I suppose I've never been a huge fan of conventional romance anyway. There's a definite spark here, a beginning of something that's conveyed in both Articuno's obsessive need to, in some ways, prove himself to her, and in Lugia's interest in the little rebel. So there's the beginnings of romance there, but it's appropriatly couched in a wild sort of atmosphere.
Good job with this. I'll be around to read more in the future.
Very vivid descriptions. You created an atmosphere full of horror, coldness, harshness. It’s very straightforward and quick. I liked the antithesis between his total sureness, his arrogance, him gathering so much strength for only one blow, and just how easily, with a lazy movement of her wing, Lugia beats him and smashes all of his confidence and plans. Didn’t await for Articuno to be so hungry for power and so afraid to lose any of his controlled territory (what with chasing Zapdos away). And I liked the ending.
:D Thanks, guys! It's fun considering the dynamics among the legendaries. Lower-tier gods like Articuno are definitely weak compared to the likes of Lugia, even with a type advantage. And since that kind of hierarchy would definitely spark some resentment on one side, and amusement on the other ... well, it's fun.
And that is a great point about the dialogue. I originally added it in because I wasn't sure how I could draw out the silent drama, but now I feel silly for doing so. I guess implication is the way to go in cases such as these.
AntarcticShipping // Vaporeon & Glaceon // PG-13
Eventually, after a great deal of increasingly unbelievable failures, Valentine the Vaporeon at last decided to do what every young foolish male does when he happens to be so unlucky in love. Namely, he consulted a witch.
To be fair, he was not as familiar with fairy tales as he should have been.
"Where are the skulls?" was the first thing he blurted upon entering her lair. He shivered at the abrupt drop in temperature; it had been perfectly nice and humid just outside. Surely, he reasoned, any witch who could create such a cold cave in the middle of the Amazon rainforest would have dabbled in arts dark enough to warrant a skull or two hanging around.
Naturally the witch had not been expecting any visitors. She disliked trespassers and valued privacy as much as the next person, so the enchantments she had set up should have prevented almost anyone from even getting near this place. With this in mind, one can hardly blame her for dropping the jar she had been handling, swiveling around, summoning a massive spear made of ice out of nowhere, and hurling it straight into his body before the glass had even shattered on the floor.
Valentine stared down at the spear, which had pinned him to the wall. "… Hm," he remarked, poking at it with a webbed paw. "This is new."
She stared at the apparently unharmed Vaporeon, wide-eyed. "… Are you insane?" she finally asked in a near-whisper, as if any raised voice on her part might cause him to explode in a bloody mess.
"Not that I know of," Valentine replied, reaching into his body and tugging out the spear; the watery spot where it had stabbed him converted back to unblemished flesh as he removed it. "It tends to happen a lot, I guess. Once I got an axe stuck in my neck." He tossed the spear from paw to paw, temporarily freezing each limb as it made contact, though this didn't seem to faze him. "I think that woodsman was aiming for the girl I was with, though. She was an ugly little thing, didn't even have muffins."
"I dunno." He flung it over his shoulder, coating the entire icy wall behind him with another thick layer of frost. "But can you help me out? There's a girl who won't notice me, and I need you to get her to notice me, because otherwise she'll never notice me and I'll die of sadness."
She blinked at him, temporarily breaking her soul-piercing stare. "Er … I'm not that kind of witch," she told him. "I don't deal with love potions or anything like that. I'm an ice witch."
"Oh good! I kind of hoped you'd be a nice witch. Those are less likely to eat customers, you know."
"No, no, no, I'm an ice witch. But I don't mean to imply I'm cruel; I'm not. I don't eat people, unless they give me a really good reason to." She smiled at him broadly.
He swallowed hard, beginning to edge backward towards the exit.
She sighed. "That was meant to be a joke."
"Oh, right!" His ears perked up. "I knew that. But, can you help me to get me to notice the girl?"
"I just told you, I don't use those sorts of things." She turned away from him, appearing to browse through rows of shelves covered in strange-looking objects. "If you want some sort of charm or hex or something that can warp her mind so that she thinks of you and only you, I'd recommend a drug dealer. Highly effective, or so I'm told. But I deal with ice, not drugs. Ice storms, ice chains, ice fortresses, ice cream – if it's ice, it's made by me."
His eyes lit up. "Hey, that rhymed!"
"Not really, but think what you will. Now, if you'd kindly leave me to my work—" She glanced over her shoulder at him, as if hoping he wouldn't.
"But I need ice!" he blurted, finally seeming to realize why he'd come in the first place. "Because the girl who needs to notice me has this 'best friend,' and she's always hanging out with him. And obviously they're in love, because there's no other reason why a guy and a girl would spend so much time together. So I need to deal with him, but he's a grass-type. And I'm kind of sure I'm a water-type, so if I tried taking him out, he'd take me out instead. Like irony, only not funny. So something to do with ice would take care of him, I think, and she'd notice me, and we'd live happily ever after, and yay. So you can help me, right?"
"… Sure," she said, looking as though her brain was spinning in circles. Taking a deep breath, she exhaled a large cloud of cold, foggy-looking air, which quickly condensed into a coil of something pale blue and seemingly full of holes. "This is a Nevermeltchain," she explained, noting his confused look at the floating object. "Pretty simple to maintain; it won't melt even just outside. Tie up your intended victim, and it is extremely unlikely he'll escape on his own. The magic makes sure of that."
"Neat! … How does it work, anyway?"
"Simple: just speak the magic words while keeping your eyes on it, like so. Keep this one bound forever, according to my wishes—"
The Nevermeltchain lashed out, quicker than the eye could follow: one second it was quietly sitting in the air, and the next it had so thoroughly tied up Valentine that, upon toppling to the ground, the chain managed to completely absorb the impact. Already the water in his body was rapidly cooling, and he had to suppress a shudder at the change in temperature.
"What do you think?" the witch asked.
"It's amazing!" he exclaimed, surprised at its unexpected level of efficiency. "Perfect for that guy! Ha, with a toy like this, he'll never see it coming 'til it hits him. And then he'll be trapped, forever. And then that girl will be mine! All mine! Muahahahaha. This is awesome."
"Yes," she agreed, smiling.
"Yeah. Can I get out now? It's starting to get really cold where it's touching me."
Her smile broadened. "No."
"Thanks, the rainforest'll feel so much nicer after – wait, what?"
She stepped towards him, not at all in a hurry, keeping her eyes fixed firmly on him. Her cheerful expression looked rather forced, he realized, suddenly beginning to worry. "I said no, Valentine. I am not about to let you go. You can't even remember me, or even what you did to me, you pathetic pup."
His brow furrowed. "What? I have no idea what you're going on about. Did I even tell you my name? Come on, stop fooling around, I need to get out and put this thing to use … Can you stop looking at me like that? You're really weirding me out."
Standing above him, a paw clenching and unclenching at either side of his head, the witch's smile morphed into a terrible hardened scowl. "The name Glinda ring any bells for you? No? How about Ice Rock, where we first met – you couldn't figure out ice even when it was bashing you upside the head. I should've left you to freeze there, I really should've."
He squinted, sifting through memories of his many escapades and female-hunts. That sounded vaguely like something he'd gone through before, almost dying at Ice Rock only to be saved by a mysterious girl … but no, it couldn't be. Surely there were lots of Glaceon out there named Glinda.
"Or maybe that alleyway in Floaroma Town, where I caught you with that other girl … that was the eighth one, wasn't it? You'd think that my disposing of them would have convinced you to quit while you were ahead by then." She curled her lip in disgust, exposing teeth. "You didn't belong to them, Valentine. You belonged to me. And you will, forever and always, stay with me."
"Now, uh, maybe we can talk this out …" he said, willing his body to transform into water – but that was no good: the Nevermeltchain had already frozen most of it, locking him into a solid form.
"Do you think I didn't try?" she snapped, voice as cold as the chain. "Believe me, I tried. I sunk so low begging and pleading, trying to get you to just think of me … you'd just nod absently and turn around and go screw the first female you saw. And in the end … you did consult that psychic, didn't you. Thought it'd be harder for me to find you if your memories of me were suppressed." She scoffed humorlessly. "Explains why you act so moronic now, even more than you used to."
Her face lowered towards him until they were nose to nose, and this time he couldn't stop himself from shuddering.
"And you still came back," she whispered, stabbing him with her eyes. "Trying so hard to get away, and in the end you walked right into my paws. That's destiny for you, Valentine. We're meant to be together. And this time, you're not going to run off."
"Please," he whimpered, ears pressed against his skull. "Please let me go."
"I did once, and you never returned. Until today, of course, but that's beside the point. The point is, that girl you wanted to get with is never going to see you. No one will. You're mine and mine alone. Perhaps I can teach you that lesson correctly this time … and maybe I can help bring all your old memories back. I've picked up a couple techniques about the water content of the brain, and even though I haven't tried them yet, you can help me perfect them. We can make it a project. That'll be fun, won't it?"
He whimpered again, more pitifully this time.
"I thought so." She licked his forehead, softly enough to send another shiver through him. Then she stepped back, exhaling another foggy breath which condensed into a sharp-looking shard of ice, which was soon floating obediently in front of her. "You're not going to leave me again, Valentine. You can't imagine how much I need you."
His eyes began to well up with tears. Seeing this, she smiled warmly at him, and that was somehow the most terrible thing he'd seen. The shard dropped down, hovering beside a tied-up paw.
"I really do love you, sweet Valentine. It's just time for you to return the favor, that's all."
Outside, in the rainforest, the wildlife fell silent as the screaming began.
Moral of the story: love isn't always a nice thing. :D Happy New Year!
Whether stable!Glinda and psycho!Glinda are the same person ... that is a good question. Since the continuity between these is extremely loose, I'm not exactly sure myself. They could be alternate universe counterparts, or the product of multiple personality disorder, or a Glaceon who is hiding her true colors (whatever those may be), or simply two different Glaceon. Possibly all at the same time. You may believe what you like.
Also, I'm sorry I haven't been around to update for a while. My laptop was acting weird and I had to send it off to get fixed. Ugh, viruses. How do they work?
But anyway. Let's venture out of creepy rape setups and onto lighter and softer things, yes?
PlasmaBlazeShipping // Rotom & Torchic // G
Snow whipped about him incessantly, with swarms of snowflakes sticking to his body. He would have thought they'd be melting more quickly, but the sheer amount of them was overwhelming. The land had become covered in the stuff almost overnight, transforming into a featureless landscape of white sprawling beneath a stormy gray sky. Over a day later, the snowfall still showed no sign of stopping anytime soon.
This wasn't supposed to happen. They'd been told the Great Winter wasn't supposed to hit for another week, at least. No particular reason to hurry. But the weather, as always, had a mind of its own, and now the already considerable trek towards the Safe Place was drawn out even longer as he pushed on against the icy wind.
A cough barked out from within his body. "Still nothing?" a voice asked, slightly echoing against metal.
"Still nothing," he affirmed, glancing over at the horizon in case he had missed something. "Are you comfortable in there?"
"Very," the voice sighed. He felt its owner shift within him a little, feathers rubbing against the inside of oven walls as she changed position. "It's perfectly warm in here. Ahh, feels so nice … You don't need to use too much energy for me, though. You know that, right?"
"I'll exert myself as much as I have to," he replied, wiping his eyes clear of the snow.
"Really, Rotom, I can handle a little chill—"
"This isn't a little chill!" The sudden intensity of his own voice surprised even him. "Calling the Great Winter a little chill would be like calling my mother a faintly unpleasant woman. Honestly, Torchic, I'm pretty sure that even in normal circumstances, your internal body heat wouldn't be able to stand up to this weather. You have to be as stable as possible until we can get the cure at the Safe Place. It's my job to keep you stable, and if I can't … you know, I don't want to even think about that."
Torchic was silent for a moment, leaving only the hiss of the wind and Rotom's humming electric field to fill the deathly winter quiet. After a few minutes, she cleared her throat. "I know that," she said. "You've said it about a dozen times. But the point is to make it to the Safe Place, isn't it? You should pace yourself. Collapsing in the middle of nowhere isn't going to help either of us."
"You're going to be stable," Rotom said tersely, gritting his teeth. "And that's that."
"Why—" She coughed again, this time with more phlegm behind it. "Ugh … Why are you being so stubborn? You shouldn't forget about your own well-being—"
"Which is not particularly important," he interrupted. "I'm not the sick one here, and you'd better believe I'm going to see you through to the end."
"I appreciate it, I really do, but there were others just as … just as sick …" She trailed off thoughtfully, coughing twice again.
He didn't reply, opting instead on pretending that she wasn't forming the correct conclusion.
"… You like me?" she asked, sounding more inquisitive than disbelieving.
He grumbled, batting a few snowflakes away. "A little bit."
"Hee." She made an odd sound somewhere between a grunt and a squeal. "I knew it."
"See, I thought before you'd wanted to transport me because it was ironic. You know, saving the chicken's life by oven-baking it. But this explanation makes sense too." She sounded as if she were the canary that swallowed the cat. "I'm kind of flattered, Rotom."
"You should be," he said. "You deserve to be flattered."
"I'll assume that's a compliment. When did you first start liking me? Was it when the Council partnered us up for Volcano Duty? I bet it was, I was dancing all over the place then … I looked kind of silly, didn't I? Or was it last spring, when I helped you with the lighting that one time?"
"How should I know?" he replied. He squinted; was it his imagination, or had he just spotted a vague shape in the distance? "I sure can't remember. It's like I've always … thought of you that way. How could I not? You tend to light up a room, and I guess that's what really attracted me, in the end."
"I'll bet it was," she agreed, clearly smirking. "You know, Rotom … I've kind of had an eye on you as well."
He smiled. "Is that so?"
"You'd better believe it. Even though you're crazy overprotective …"
The shape in the distance flickered, a tiny beacon. Feeling a fresh wave of confidence, he floated onwards with renewed vigor. "It paid off, though. The Safe Place is up ahead, maybe a mile or two. I'll be getting you there before you know it."
There was a satisfied chirp. "Thanks, Rotom. For everything."
He was silent, but his unceasing movement through the snowstorm told her everything her heart wanted to hear. She leaned against his oven wall, smiling at all the warmth he insisted upon giving her – especially now, when they were close enough for his energy to matter less. For a moment she considered telling him again how much he should conserve his strength anyway … but the thought passed, and she closed her eyes and yawned, safe and comfortable in the middle of an unrelenting storm.
Up ahead, the tiny light flared once as if beckoning.
Thanks guys! Also I apologize if the sudden mood shifts have been giving you whiplash. It's just that sometimes I can't resist making this swing all over the place, you know?
NightmarePulseShipping // Rotom & Mismagius // PG
The abandoned mansion was actually rather generic, as far as abandoned mansions go: gothic-looking, dark, imposing, out-of-the-way, and surrounded by an eternally stormy night. Peeking within, one might find the usual long, winding corridors, the cobwebs draped all over the place, the cracked windows and creaking doors, and the occasional swarm of Zubat dropping by.
One would not, however, encounter hordes of shrieking banshees, wailing spirits, or cackling ghouls. The ghosts of the manor, being far removed from all human settlements, had no visitors or passersby to torment, and thus had long since abandoned their mischievous and/or bloodthirsty ways. It simply wasn't worth the effort, they decided; and in any case such behavior could grow quite annoying over time. Even the most patient of their number could only tolerate so much of the old "turn around and jump at the sight of a nightmarish face" routine.
There came a night, however, to change that. In the mansion's inner sanctum, a dank room stinking of cheese, the resident ghosts had flocked , the self-declared leader of the group, wrung her hands together anxiously, an action not missed by several pairs of bright, inquisitive eyes. "We have an intruder," she said at last, once the last of the ghosts had arrived. As they began to cry out in shock, she added hastily, "Now, this is nothing to get upset over. I understand that none of us are quite sure how to deal with a situation like this. I think it safe to say, though, that the sooner we can send it away, the better."
Everyone nodded. After all, trespassers were meant to be persecuted, so simply driving the stranger away was rather merciful.
"It is currently floating around, devouring all our food," she continued, eliciting several outraged exclamations. It was one thing for this creature to show up uninvited, but eating their precious ectoplasm was going too far. "I would suggest we deal with it immediately."
She was quickly trampled as everyone rushed out of the room again, eager to deal with the insolent glutton.
"It had to have gone this way!" Dusclops exclaimed, and proceeded to stomp up a long staircase to the basement.
His friend, the warlock Mismagius, nodded grimly as he floated just behind. "Indeed. I can't see any ectoplasm around here. Do you suppose he might be headed towards the poolroom?"
"Yeah!" The mummy flexed his long, bandaged fingers, gesturing for the warlock to follow him up towards the main floor. "We'd better hurry, before it finds my secret stash—"
"My nothing. Wait!" He froze, staring at another dark corridor, which was currently a tad less dark than usual. "Something's glowing up there … you think that could be the intruder?"
"Why would it be the intruder?" Mismagius asked, voice oozing with sarcasm. "Maybe someone forgot that they'd used a Will-O-Wisp up there."
Dusclops's single red eye blinked slowly. "Oh. Who do you think was that careless?"
The warlock shook his head, biting back a retort. "Never mind. Let's go catch it already."
He floated off into the corridor, robe rustling quietly. Several seconds passed before Dusclops realized he was supposed to follow; feeling abashed, he quickly stomped after his friend in an attempt to catch up.
Soon enough, after several twists and turns, he caught sight of the stranger. It was very small, he noted: even Sableye and Litwick had to be larger than it. Its orange body was surrounded by a neon-blue glow, which reacted a tad violently every time it touched a floating sphere of ectoplasm, frying it into nothingness almost instantly. This seemed to be its method of eating, for it let out a little buzz of contentment with each bit of ectoplasm it encountered.
"Excuse me!" he blurted, putting on his best intimidation face. "Why have you come here?"
The intruder whipped around, bobbing up and down a little in midair as it examined him with wide, blue eyes. For a moment there was silence, aside from the hum of its electrical field and the bumping and rattling of the other ghosts as they searched elsewhere. He narrowed his eyes a little, hoping it would get the hint. The creature just stared at him for a moment, then tilted its head to the side, looking a little puzzled.
"GOOOOOOOOTTTT YOOOOOUUUUUU!" Dusclops howled, laughing maniacally as he leapt at the thing with outstretched hands – but she flitted out of his reach quite easily, darting further down the corridor as he smashed rather painfully against the floor.
"A superb display of stealth," Mismagius snarked, psychically lifting the mummy to his feet. "Come along; I believe we will be able to corner her up ahead."
Dusclops stared at him. "Her?"
"It had a feminine buzz to it," Mismagius elaborated, feeling a little defensive. "If you have any evidence to the contrary, please feel free to correct me."
"Sure," Dusclops said, sounding as if he hadn't understood what half of that meant.
Some moments later, the two ghosts found themselves in the poolroom. Naturally, everything within was quite clean, for even ghosts enjoy losing themselves in a pool game or two. The only other exit from the room was the large window overlooking the grounds; they doubted that the creature, ghostly though she seemed to be, would think to use the walls.
"Kekekeke," Dusclops laughed, advancing on her as menacingly as he could, which of course was not at all. Naturally, she paid him no attention, opting instead to eat all the ectoplasm she could find. "We've got you now! Wait …" He clutched at his head dramatically, eye widening in horror. "Wait! Don't tell me she ate my secret stash already!"
Mismagius, of course, ignored him, keeping his attention instead on the intruder as she rose towards the magical lantern floating above the pool table. His eyes narrowed, analyzing the way sparks hissed between the creature's and lantern's respective glows. Something seemed rather ominous about it …
As she devoured it, she suddenly popped – for that was the only word Mismagius could think of to label her sudden transformation. He wasn't quite sure what had happened, but suddenly, instead of a cute-looking impish creature, there was a demon floating above them, eyes and electrical field a brilliant green, wheels churning and teeth gnashing.
Dusclops screamed like a little girl and got the hell out of there.
"Er …" Mismagius swallowed, suddenly highly unnerved. "You seem to be full … surely those teeth weren't meant to eat gh—"
Seconds later, he found himself following in his friend's footsteps, fleeing the demonic creature as she rolled just behind him, snapping at the hem of his robe.
"What is this?" A voice floated up towards him, and seconds later he emerged into the entrance hall and spotted its owner: Froslass was glaring down at Dusclops, who was rolling around on the floor and crying like a baby. "Do you really believe that you are acting your age?"
"IT'S GONNA EAT MEEEEEE!" he shrieked in reply.
Froslass looked up at Mismagius as he approached, clearly hoping for some help in this case; her exasperated stare, however, rapidly morphed into one of sheer terror. "What is that thing?" she shrieked, eyes practically bugging out from behind her icy mask.
"No idea!" Mismagius barked back, lifting Dusclops into the air again and soaring off down another corridor. The intruder, of course, followed him relentlessly.
It seemed like no matter where he turned or how quickly he moved, the demon was always just one step behind, electrical field humming hungrily. It fully intended to eat him, that much he knew. Being eaten wouldn't hurt him, at least not for long, considering that he was a ghost; but even so he doubted the process would be very pleasant.
In spite of that threat, he couldn't help but feel strangely … something. What was that word, the one used to describe a sudden rush of euphoria in the face of danger? The one that symbolized the feeling of holding his own life in his hands (or unlife, as it were), and sent his thoughts jumbling into one another in an intoxicating whirlwind of superego and id?
Somehow, in spite of himself, he found himself laughing for the first time in decades.
After a few of those incredible minutes, the gnashing sound behind him abruptly died away. Confused, he slowed to a more casual pace and glanced over his shoulder, realizing that the intruder had somehow reverted to her old form, small and glowing neon-blue. She stared back at him for a moment, then grinned mischievously, tiny teeth glinting.
He couldn't help but smile back, floating towards her a little cautiously. "Little troublemaker," he said, and she tilted her head at the sound of his voice. "You're a fascinating creature, you know."
Whether she understood him or not, it was impossible to say; but she giggled and darted past him, zapping him with a little spark.
He stared after her, wondering whether he should try and catch her now that she was more vulnerable again – but he couldn't quite bring himself to. She didn't seem to mean any real harm, at least not in her current state. And he had really found himself enjoying their little chase, strangely enough. He might as well let her go, this time.
Exhilarated. That was the word.
With a slight chuckle, he headed off to give Gengar a report, dragging a gibbering Dusclops behind him.
Quite funny. The description of the mansion, the ghosts and their activities was quite hilarious. Dusclops outbursts of sure triumph at first and sheer fear and terror the next moment were unbeatable. I liked Rotom’s personality. There were Pac-Man references everywhere and indeed, there is no other way to describe the whole story as a Pokémon version of Pac-Man: Rotom/Pac-Woman eating the ectoplasm and running away, then transforming into Mow Rotom and chasing the ghosts and when finally transforming back, just leaving the mansion (or, to be precise, “clearing the level”).
"Er …" Mismagius swallowed, suddenly highly unnerved. "You seem to be full … surely those teeth weren't meant to eat gh—"
Unfortunately, they are…
It fully intended to eat him, that much he knew. Being eaten wouldn't hurt him, at least not for long, considering that he was a ghost; but even so he doubted the process would be very pleasant.
Anyway. I guess I won an award in the Shipping Oscars! Thanks to everybody who voted for me, it's really appreciated. If you didn't, well, thanks for reading these at least.
Fun fact about this one: it's a crossover with an old oneshot I whipped up years ago. But you don't have to read that to get this one, of course.
NeurospastaShipping // Banette & Swellow // PG
"Perhaps I should put it this way," the Banette said. "This is the only water source in this dimension. If you really want something, you'll have to stay here with me to get it."
Pressure the Swellow glared blearily at nothing in particular, trying not to listen to the fountain's inviting splashes. It was a trick, she told herself again. That was all it was, a trick. Like that one story her trainer used to tell, the one about a dark king binding his unfortunate bride to the underworld through the use of a mere half dozen seeds. This water probably existed to serve the same purpose – drinking even a drop would probably spell her doom. Assuming it wasn't full of toxins, of course. She couldn't remember the last time she'd tasted water that hadn't been purified first.
The Banette sighed. "Why don't you believe me?"
"Look," Pressure snapped, nearly smacking the ghost away in her frustration. "I'm not about to touch it, so can you stop hovering about like a bug and leave me in peace? I'm never going to get out of here if you keep distracting me. Weird little doll—"
"My name is Sally," the other interrupted, sounding a little defensive.
"Heh. Funny story: I don't care. What's important is that I get back to the real world, wherever that is, and you're most definitely not helping."
"You can't get out on your own. You'd need a ghost to do that, and—" The ghost paused, as if peering around at the dull gray landscape, with a hand shielding her eyes from a nonexistent sun. "And I'm the only ghost here. Last time I checked, at least. Then again, that was only a thousand-mile radius or so, perhaps there's a little Drifloon floating around at the furthest edge of—"
"Stop mocking me." Pressure swelled slightly, feathers a bit ruffled, trying to ignore the dry itch gathering in her throat. "If you can really get me out of this place, why don't you?"
"Oh, Pressure," the ghost said, letting out a slight chuckle, "'can' isn't equal to 'will,' as much as you might like it to. I haven't had company in quite a long time … a very long time …" She descended towards the nondescript ground, lolling back like the ragdoll she was. "You might as well have a drink, since you're going to be here and such. You wouldn't want to wither away into dust, would you?"
Part of her wanted to screech, to lunge at that stupid ghost laughing silently at her problem. Her trainer and teammates had to be worried sick – they had probably been searching for her for several hours by now. She'd just have to force the thing to take her back, seize her and start shredding her with her claws, since none of her less violent methods of persuasion seemed to be working. Then they'd see who was laughing now …
But she couldn't do it. No matter how hard she tried, she simply couldn't summon the energy. She trembled slightly, out of both exhaustion and fury, as she did the only thing she could.
Odd, she thought a few seconds later, beak dripping wet. She hadn't expected it to taste so sweet.
It took her a while to figure out that she'd never mentioned her name aloud.
Time didn't exist here.
It was the only explanation Pressure could think of. In other situations she should have slowly but surely regained the energy to actually move and beat some sense into her annoying companion. Yet the longer she lay there, wings spread to either side and eyes glaring half-lidded at the dim horizon, the clearer it became that nothing of the sort was about to happen. In fact, she seemed to be getting weaker from the increasing hunger gnawing at her stomach.
She had to do something. But the headache was making it hard to think …
"I've been here maybe a thousand years," Sally spoke up. From the sound of her voice she had moved a little closer, as opposed to far away as she should have. "In outside time, of course. Hard to keep track lately … well, ever. You know, the last time I actually saw a living person was when I was first banished to the underworld. My owner, from when I was a doll, she was sleeping. In the snow, I think."
Pressure said nothing.
"I saved her life, kind of—"
"Banette are supposed to kill those," she found herself saying, feeling a little uneasy at the way her words slurred. "Those … what do you call them, kids. Revenge and everything."
"You'd be surprised. She abandoned me because she had no choice." There was a light shifting of cloth. "Funny how people always think everything can happen in only a certain way. Always think in the most mundane terms, never considering war or sorcery or anything out of the ordinary. Gets to the point where a stubbed toe becomes the event of the year, know what I'm saying?"
"No. And I don't really care."
"Knew you'd say that. Heh, predictable Pressure … Fought off the Unseen King then, when I saved her life. You know who that is, the Unseen King?"
Pressure didn't; but a bit of curiosity prevented her from saying so.
"Of course not. I couldn't face him on my own, of course. Back then I had a buddy to help me. Nice guy, tried not to show he had a heart though. We died, for real that time, but the underworld isn't such a bad place. Most of the time."
"Why're you telling me this?"
A brief moment of silence ensued, in which the ghost was probably shrugging. "I don't know. Maybe I want someone to understand. In a place like this, even a ghost can get lonely. Needs to see the light of someone's eyes, even for just a little while. You understand, don't you, Pressure?"
"I … I guess so." And she did, albeit in some weird way that made her headache hurt even more.
"I knew you would." Something brushed against her wing, but she was too weary to be very startled at the touch. "You're getting tired, aren't you? Maybe a little sleep would make you feel a little better. You know I'll be right here when you wake up. You won't be lonely, Pressure. Even in the loneliest place imaginable, you won't be lonely."
Something crossed into her vision, but her brain had gotten too fuzzy to register it. "I don't …" she tried to say.
"Shh, shush. Close your eyes. Block it all out, retreat to your mundane little world. I know that's what you want. I understand that."
Pressure tried to stay conscious, tried with every ounce of her waning energy. But it was no use, none at all: her thoughts were simply too weak and scattered to rally together. Still, even as her body began to grow numb, she managed to consider how the ghost had stuck around for so long, waiting until she was too weak to manage an escape from this place …
"H-how many?" she croaked.
When Sally next spoke, there was a smile in her voice. "I've lost count, to be perfectly honest. Although I have to admit, you're the first one I've considered actually letting go." There was a tiny clink of metal against metal. "It's a bit of a shame, letting your prettiness go to waste. I'll try to make you last a little longer – make it easier for me to enjoy devouring you, you know. Tell the Unseen King to rot for me."
She heard a sudden zip, followed by an unimaginable burst of agony, before she spiraled into oblivion.
I think I need to have a look on this thread more often. I liked the stories I did read. I think you're really brave and crazy for doing this, but I admire it. I thought they were consistent and well written. Description is defiantly one of your strong points.
Sorry it took me so long to reply. This was really good! That was th Banette from your Pokedex one-shot, isn't it? This was soooo creepy, but at the same time sweet. I like how Banette kinda opened up to pressure, but the killed her in the end! That was good.
Eerie. But I liked how the story developed, gradually leading to Pressure's death. About the shipping part... Quite a strange shipping pair. One could find the romance only in a very strange, twisted way...
Thanks guys! Yeah, the Banette was an entry for Pokedex One-Shots from way back when. Someone wanted a sequel for it, and this pair was in the queue, so I though, Hey, I might as well!
And yes, that is a very strange ship. It's not the weirdest one out there though. I vaguely remember seeing Ghetsis/Mewtwo fanart somewhere out there, for instance.
PerennialShipping // Phanpy & Eevee // G
"You know," Phanpy said, looking as if the sun were rising in front of him for the first time in his life, "this would probably be a great time for us to confess our feelings about each other and whatnot. 'Oh Phanpy, I cannot leave this world without telling you the secrets of my heart!' 'Eevee darling, worry not, for I understand your love for me, and that love is mutual. Fare thee well in the mists of the next world—'"
"Would you please just shut up and help me out here?" Eevee growled around the root clenched firmly in her teeth.
Phanpy's ears drooped. "Okay," he said, and stretched his trunk downwards as far as it could possibly go.
Grimacing, the fox swung her paws up, hooked her claws into the trunk, and slowly shimmied up it until she had reached solid ground again, where she shook her head to dispel the dizziness in it. "Thanks," she said grudgingly, peeking back over the cliff and shuddering at the emptiness of space yawning below. "Let's just go find K," she went on, turning and trotting off towards where she thought they had last seen their trainer. Phanpy practically bounced after her, thinking big hero thoughts.
Up above them, hanging in the sky in much the same way bricks don't, was an enormous spaceship displaying the colors of the Resistance. Missiles rained down from it, occasionally actually hitting somebody. Something exploded a few yards away, sending another chunk of the planet hurtling away into space. Phanpy jumped at this, ears slapping against his head as he looked about himself wildly; suppressing a sigh, Eevee grabbed his trunk in her jaws and pulled him away, ignoring his whine. She would have been frightened too, if she hadn't remembered that the ship was actually on their side.
She remembered how imperative it was that another planet of the Sueniverse be destroyed; after all, the only good Sues, out of the millions of sprawling legions of the creatures, was a dead or demoralized Sue. Of course, the planet undoubtedly housed valuable information of some sort, which was where their trainer, Agent K, came in. The girl was supposed to locate this information, get off-planet in time, and report back to Resistance headquarters. Eevee wasn't sure whether K had found the info yet, but in the meantime it was important for them to look as cute and terrified as most of the shrieking Sues around them, albeit more intelligent about the whole ordeal.
"She might've been this way," Phanpy said nasally, and Eevee let go of his trunk upon deciding that he no longer sounded as if he were about to jump off a cliff himself. "Hey, look! Another Mewtwo and Lugia!"
Following his gaze, Eevee groaned at the sight of the two monsters exchanging blows not too far away, with a girl commanding each of them in an overly excited way. "Oh, come on," she muttered. "A battle? When their entire planet is being destroyed?"
"Kind of a good thing, though." Phanpy kept his gaze glued to the legendaries as they passed, looking starry-eyed again. "They're not going up against our guys this way."
"That wouldn't matter," Eevee retorted, and wondered (not for the first time) whether this place was affecting him somehow. "We have Wobbuffet. Stop staring, we saw a shiny one of those just ten minutes ago!"
"Shiny of which one?" Phanpy asked distractedly. "I can't remember."
"Oh, just hurry up." She glanced skyward nervously as a missile screamed through the air, smashing into the ground too close for comfort. "Why don't you stare at something that isn't tainted? Like the ship, or me, or – Agent K!" She waved her tail like a flag, and a girl in the distance seemed to notice this, as she began to sprint towards them. "Finally, we can go. Phanpy … Phanpy, what are you doing?"
"Doing what you said, of course!" And indeed, he had turned his wide-eyed gaze towards her, admiration still shining in them.
"… Yes, well, it's almost as creepy as the Rayquaza-hybrid Sue we saw earlier." She stiffened, catching sight of someone else approaching them. "Or that."
The Sue was tall and willowy, as most Sues were, and sported hair that shifted colors from time to time, which was practically equivalent to nondescript in a place like this. She wore a T-shirt and miniskirt, which her author could probably have gone on about for several pages, but it was the eyes that had made Eevee freeze up. They were chocolate orbs. Literally. They squeaked as they swiveled in their sockets, bits of cocoa sprinkling down on her cheeks and her grin-bared teeth.
"Another Eevee!" the Sue exclaimed in a voice like rose petals dancing across the soft summer breeze. "Just what I needed! I'm so lucky, aren't I? Steeleon, go get it!"
The Pokemon at her heels leapt forwards. It looked just like a shiny Eevee, except that it was even shinier than usual and wore a silvery pendant around its neck. Growling in such an adorable manner that it circled all the way around back to creepy, it barreled right into Eevee, who was taken by surprise at the sudden assault and found herself sent sprawling several feet away.
Phanpy blinked in surprise at the sudden turn in events. Why had Eevee just let herself get pummeled by that fake creature? She was stronger than that, wasn't she? Then he noticed the Sue, preparing to throw a Poke Ball, and realized what had put her off guard so much. That … that creature wasn't natural, he knew, pressing his ears back. It was bleeding from its eyes! You couldn't get much more unnatural than that!
His eyes darted back to Eevee. She had gotten to her feet again, a bit shakily but still defiant. She was so brave, he thought. Against something so foul and twisted that it scared even her so badly, she still stood strong. That was what he admired about her – she surely knew that the fake Eevee and its master could easily overpower a single untainted Pokemon, but that fact wasn't about to stop her from trying anyway.
Swallowing his own fear, he lifted his front feet, summoned the power he had practiced at using for so long, waiting until she had sufficiently distracted the Steeleon with a Quick Attack of her own. Then he slammed down against the earth, unleashing an enormous shock wave that sped through the ground and sent the surprised Sue and her fake fox flying through the air, where they were vaporized by a conveniently placed missile.
Eevee stared at the spot they had once occupied, panting heavily. After a few moments of getting her breath back, she turned to look at Phanpy, who looked just as winded but had puffed up his chest in pride. "You … did you just …?"
"I sure did!" he said with a grin. "It's not like you could've done that by yourself."
She opened her mouth, ready to give him a piece of her mind … but she couldn't do it. Somehow, her pride had been swallowed up by the knowledge that Phanpy – cowardly, overblown Phanpy – had not only stuck by her side but even helped her against a terrifying foe. "I … um, well … thanks." She curled her tail around her paws, feeling suddenly embarrassed.
"No problem! Anything for the most amazing girl in the universe! And you did kind of need to be saved—"
"No, I didn't," she snapped back. "I needed to be helped. I'm not so weak that I need saving."
"Well, you did."
"I did not."
"Guys, guys, stop arguing!" Agent K panted, finally arriving on the scene, dirty blond hair still fluttering behind her. They quickly shut up and turned towards her, looking abashed. "How much of the planet would you estimate has been destroyed?"
"Thirty percent, give or take," Eevee replied after a moment's thought. "The gravity well should have it collapsing any second now. The info?"
"Snatched from right under their noses." The agent patted the pouch on her belt, where a disc or something was secure and hidden. She unclipped a walkie-talkie, informing the Resistance ship that her mission had been completed, requesting three to be beamed aboard.
As she spoke, distracted for the moment, Phanpy tapped Eevee's shoulder with his trunk. "I wasn't kidding," he told her.
"Look," she huffed, "I did not need to be saved, those eyes were just—"
"Not that. The other thing." He looked down at his feet, suddenly all shyness.
As Agent K replaced the walkie-talkie, Eevee considered Phanpy's words for a moment. He'd said she was the … he was always saying things like that, she told herself. Declaring his undying love at the most inopportune moments, and so on. This had to be just another one of those things.
But his expression at the moment … she couldn't remember seeing that in him before. She wondered, just for a moment, if maybe he really meant it.
Then they vanished into thin air, and the Resistance ship turned slowly above the dying planet, preparing to carry its passengers to their next mission.
I really enjoyed this one. A mission to destroy the Sues and the Sueniverse... awesome. The Sue with the Steeleon was a work of creepy wonder. Chocolate coming from the eyes? That's really too much even for the Sues.
I liked Phanpy's personality and the chaotic atmosphere on the planet and I agree that Sues have taken things too far.