Hilarious, totally hilarious. Giants + Evil Dragonair = So Much Fun. I liked this one so much. Hurrah for the unexpected return of the Evil Dragonair, and dilemmas about freefalls from mountains… Nice dialogues (as always) and the touch with their bulk causing them such movement problems… Also, a good combination of comical characters.
Thanks guys :D Yeah, Torterra and Snorlax aren't exactly romantic Pokemon, so that one wasn't easy to slip shipping into. Ah well. Bernie is a boss, though.
But anyway. Yay for more obscure people from Ranger!
Who'sOnTopTonightShipping // Sven & Wendy // G
Dust and bits of dead grass were swept away in the sudden rush of wind, cleaning the runway in a rather unorthodox way. Thus Keith, who had decided to stand right in the path of the approaching airplane for some reason, received a mouthful and eyeful of dust, and of course was forced to cough in disgust. Only when he had rubbed the stuff out of his eyes did he realize the fighter pilot was practically upon him; with a shocked yell he threw himself to the pavement, cringing as the plane's wheels sliced through the air where his head had been a second before.
Various Rangers in the crowd nearby cringed at the near miss. Kellyn just rolled his eyes, though. Typical Keith: the guy was practically married to danger. And it wasn't a normal marriage, either, with the ones involved in it acting normal. It was more like danger was some crazy girl who clung to the idiot's shoulder, giggling and trying to jump on his back all the time.
The guy standing next to him was looking super excited, fiddling with his cowboy hat and staring intently at the plane for some reason. Kellyn wasn't sure why; everyone knew that Keith had acted far stupider in the past, so today's near-death experience wasn't something to get excited over.
On the runway, the fighter plane touched the pavement, wings bouncing slightly as it began to slow down. Several members of the crowd, growing more confident that its speed was no longer enough to kill a man, started to flock in the direction in which they assumed it would come to a stop.
"Can you believe it?" Kate had somehow managed to reach his side without him noticing. He made a mental note to work on his peripheral vision, in case Keith tried to pull off the same thing. "Wendy's finally home! It's been way, way too long, hasn't it, Kellyn?"
He watched in disinterest as the pilot pulled off her helmet and tucked it under her arm, shaking out her green hair as if it needed to breathe or something. "The one who helped us out that one time?" he asked, raising his voice a little to be heard over the hiss of the cockpit and the cheers of the crowd.
"If you mean the Dialga incident, yes."
"I didn't know she'd left," he remarked, causing her to facefault. "It's not like she ever did anything, so there's no way I would've remembered her."
"Be nice, Kellyn," she scolded.
Naturally he ignored her, instead keeping his eyes ahead on the scene before them, lazily moving from one person to the next as they all bunched around the plane. Keith was still sprawled on the pavement, rubbing his head as he stared at them in confusion. The idiot. Barlow and Crawford had come forward to help get her luggage out, as well they should. And there was that Isaac person, practically tripping over himself to get out of the way of … wait, what?
"What's with that person over there?" Kellyn found himself asking, gesturing at the man with the cowboy hat. The guy was practically swimming through the Rangers, doing his best to reach the plane and almost accidentally knocking over everyone in his path.
Kate gave him a look. "Don't tell me you've forgotten Sven's name, too."
"If they don't do anything notable, I forget about them," he replied serenely. "But what's he doing?"
At the plane, Sven finally arrived at the front of the crowd just as Wendy jumped out onto the pavement. Although they were a fair distance away from all the action, Kellyn and Kate could easily see the looks of pure joy on the adults' faces as they gazed at one another for a long moment, before rushing into each other's arms for a tight embrace.
The Rangers cheered.
Kate couldn't help but shoot a grin at him. "Does that answer your question?"
"Not really," he replied, resulting in another facefault from her.
"Kellyn …" She sighed, ruffling his hair good-naturedly. "You're too silly. They've been going out for ages, but when Wendy first sailed off to Unova to look at those planes, a whole two months ago … well, I guess you could say Sven was pretty sad."
He raised an eyebrow at the sight of the couple, which was now chattering excitedly to each other. "Well, now they can stop angsting about it," he stated.
"Exactly!" Kate's eyes shone with gleeful excitement as the two turned back towards the plane, Sven helping her step back into the cockpit before climbing in himself. "I think the whole thing was worth it, though. For them, I mean."
"You know how Wendy … well, of course you wouldn't know it, but Wendy loves flying. More than practically anything—"
"Except Ace Cowboy over there, apparently."
"—and it's even the reason why she has a flying-type for a partner. But yeah, she was always a bit sad leaving him on the ground, alone or whatever romantic people call it. Her old plane broke down, though, so she had to get a new one that's in good condition. I guess she kept Sven in mind while deciding on which one to get …"
The Rangers had begun to scatter from the front of the plane, screaming and laughing as it swung sharply around, quickly beginning to pick up speed before taking off into the air once more. Keith, of course, had apparently seen it fit to stand up at the exact moment it was over him; one of the retracting wheels caught on his shirt, and he was soon lifted up as well, yelling something incoherently as he trailed beneath the ever-ascending plane.
Kellyn was so busy staring at this display of sheer idiocy that he almost missed Kate's wistful words.
"'Cause you know how Unovans make fighter planes, Kellyn? With two cockpit seats placed side by side, instead of just one."
A smile twitched on his face, though she couldn't tell whether it was due to her information or to watching his rival deal with such a predicament. She sighed to herself and turned her gaze upwards as well, watching the fighter plane corkscrew through the air with a thoroughly panicky brunette in tow.
Finally got around to reviewing. And I wished I'd read this sooner! It was really funny. I loved Keith's idiocy. I mean, standing out in the middle OC the run way? Good lord that was dangerous. And the end was hilarious as well! And Kellyn's inconsiderateness and inability to remember a NPC character's name, that was real funny as well! And it wasn't bad in the romance department either. I liked how Sven missed Wendy so much.
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.