I apoligize for the cheesiness of this whole thing. I wanted to finsih this chapter so I could move on. I'm pretty bad with recovery chapters...you should've read my first Ash and J story...super cheesy. And CafeMocha...accidently. Crud. Let's just get this over with already and no extreme flames please.
EDIT; This chapter has been edited due to crappy dream sequence. Feel free to leave a post review...
Life is bleeding on the ground
Our hero may die,
Or will he recover safe and sound?
Iris knelt down beside the unconscious Ash. Cilan stood beside her, and beside him, Pikachu, Axew, and Pansage. The others had been returned into their Poke-Balls for rest.
Iris felt a small cramping of despair inside her as she examined Ash’s injury. This is…pretty bad… she thought fearfully. The Mightyena’s teeth had done their job that was for sure. The fangs and sunk in a little above Ash’s eyebrow and had slashed crossways (our left, his right) downward, ripping at the soft tissue of his eye. The red flesh seemed to pulse in the dim light, and blood was trickling steadily onto the dry and sandy ground.
It would’ve remained dry if the clouds hadn’t chosen that moment to release their frosty precipitation.
The icy silver droplets seemed to be on fire as another lightning strike lit up the sky, a bright gash on the dark sky. The drops flashed brightly, before seemingly exploding on contact with the ground.
Iris and Cilan shivered as the chilly water showered over them. Pikachu tipped his large tail over himself, Axew and Pansage in a vain attempt to keep them all dry.
“We’d better find shelter, quick, before something else happens…” Cilan said rather anxiously, “We’re going to get soaked…”
Thank the gods there were so many caves.
Cilan and Iris had managed to bring Ash into one of the caves with them, Pikachu, Axew, and Pansage right behind them. All six were soaked already from the driving rain, so the cave, dark and shabby as it was, was a welcome relief.
Iris rested her had on Ash’s shoulder; worry clear on her face as she once again studied the wound. “It’s pretty bad…” she murmured. Pikachu’s ears drooped, “Pikapi…”
Cilan nodded, only to wince at the pain in his injured shoulder. Pansage looked worriedly at his Trainer. Iris eyed Cilan abrasion with uneasiness. “Cilan, are you okay?”
The young Gym Leader winced again as he nodded, “Y-yes…” he replied rather testily. Iris didn’t seem to notice, however, and promptly reprimanded him instead. “Cilan, you’re not okay. Let me see your shoulder.”
Knowing it was useless to argue, Cilan allowed Iris to peruse his shoulder. All three of the Pokémon in the cave did a face-palm. She withdrew a cloth from her bag and used it to drain the blood. Cilan flinched faintly.
Iris swallowed hard. She was thinking about Ash’s condition. Question battered her already tired mind, Why did J laugh when Ash’s eye was torn? Did she hate Ash when they knew each other? When did Ash know her? Why did Ash think she was dead? Who else knew Ash? Are they in danger too?
The last questions seemed to seed another question that irked her; Did Ash know any girls?
Iris growled under her breath. She wasn’t to sure why she was being so possessive. Ash was her friend, so why would she care if he knew other girls? But all the same…why was there a voice in her head that kept saying no to being “simply” a friend?
With Cilan’s shoulder patched up, the Dragon Trainer decided to share Cilan a little bit about what was on her mind. “Cilan…do you think Ash will—“ she cut herself off, afraid to go on, afraid if she said it, it would come true. Pikachu wilted at the thought. Axew patted the older Pokémon on the head to comfort him.
Cilan turned his gaze to the still Ash. He would’ve thought that the Kanto Trainer was dead if he didn’t see the faint rise and fall of his chest. He turned back to Iris. Her brown eyes were glittering with concern. To think…Iris seems to fight with him so much and yet…
“Ash will pull through. He has a powerful flavor and has a strong spirit,” Cilan assured Iris, “He won’t die.”
Pansage nodded confidently, “Pansage Pan Pan!”
This comforted Iris and soothed her anxiety to some extent. He’s tough…Iris thought rather hopefully, He’ll be okay…
But a different point surfaced in her mind. “Cilan, I’m pretty sure I can save him, but…” Iris swallowed before continuing, “I don’t think he’ll thank me.”
Everyone started at the remark. “W-why do you say that?” Cilan asked, rather confused. Why would Ash not appreciate something like that?
Axew turned his head to Iris, Ash, Cilan, and back again. The little Dragon-Type was getting more and more perplexed as the conversation continued. Pikachu and Pansage looked at each other and shrugged, just as baffled.
Iris turned back to Ash’s motionless figure, the cave’s shadows hiding her face from view. “I can try everything but it won’t get his eye back. That Mightyena ripped it out completely—he’ll never see with it again…”
Cilan gasped, “He’ll be half-blind?”
Pikachu’s ears went up in shock, “Pikapi Pikachu Pika?!”
Iris nodded, her signal almost hidden by the shadows. “Yeah…but!” she turned and faced Cilan, a new light of mingled determination and fear in her eyes; “He’ll survive this and will know he was supposed to!”
Even in Ash’s fevered dreams, Death was close by. Literally.
Truthfully, Ash wasn’t sure who he was running from. The threatening and gloomy figure behind him was certainly not human; no human could run so fast for so long.
Ash, on the other hand, was exhausted. Not to mention, he had no idea where he was, either. Several times, he tried to recall something, but his fear, fatigue, and pain mad the reminiscences blurred together, and exact recollections were near impossible to bring about.
The Kanto Trainer had been trying to clear his aching head—he appeared to had fallen head-over-heels to this murky region—and was suddenly startled by a chilling voice behind him, and when he whirled around, the young boy saw…that figure.
Ash gasped as a dark shadow pounced on him and pinned him to the dark and sandy ground, launching him out his thoughts. He struggled as the shadow attempted to constrict him, but he was losing energy rapidly. The shadow merely laughed at the Kanto Trainer’s resistance, “You can’t fight me! I am Death! Bow your head to me!”
Ash snarled at the remark “I will not bow!” he growled angrily, ears ringing with the words of both his captor and his own. He tried to fight back, but he was losing strength too quickly…he was fading fast. Death’s cackle rang in his ears, “It’s hopeless, you’ll never escape alive!”
The shadow cackled loudly, and there was a rush of pain in Ash’s chest, and he cried out. Death’s constriction tightened, and as the Kanto Trainer gasped, he called out mockingly, “Just give in, there is no hope for ye!”
It indeed seemed this way. Ash was running out of air and defiance. Was there truly no hope?
“He’ll survive this and know he was supposed to!”
The voice echoed over and over. Ash’s mind cleared. The smashed memories joined together, and all at once, everything began to make sense… The voice…belonged to—
Ash kicked out at Death, sending the laughing Death sprawling. He jumped to his feet and ran…and ran…
It felt like Ash had run for ages before he stopped. Darkness, choking and black, surrounded him at every side. A small question pinged in him—Am I alone?
Ash cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted, “Is anyone else here? Hey!”
At his cry a small laugh could be heard, “There’s only yourself here,” and a figure stepped out of the darkness.
It took Ash’s breath away. The figure looked exactly like him, but his eyes were redder and catlike, and he was covered in blood and scars. A slim, black, and scarred tail trailed behind him and a pair of triangle black ears poked out of the top of his head. The Kanto Trainer gulped. “Who are you?”
“I am you.”
Ash blinked at the even reply. “How are you me?”
The cat-like Ash said nothing in reply, just smiled treacherously, and the young boy shuddered. Then Cat-Like spoke, “I am you because there are two consciousnesses inside you. I am the second one, the less seen one.”
“Must you spit everything I say back at me?”
Cat-Like twitched his tail, rather amused at the silence. “Why did you fight off Death?”
Ash cocked his head sideways at the question. “Why do you ask that? Do you think it would’ve been better if I died?”
The Kanto Trainer jerked in surprise at the question, “W-why would it have been better?!” he demanded, “If I died, wouldn’t you die too?!”
Cat-Like grinned eerily, and he shuddered again. Cat-Like’s reddish eyes glittered with spite. “Why do you want to live? Are you even aware about what happened to you?!”
Ash shook his head slowly, “I don’t—“
Cat-Like’s hands suddenly morphed into black paws and he unsheathed his claws, slashing them across Ash’s view. The air around him shattered, the ground went from underneath him, and he was falling…falling…falling…
Ash twitched as he regained consciousness. The Kanto Trainer was aware of a dull throbbing in his left eye. Was that what awakened him?
Iris turned in Ash’s direction, a small smile on her face. “I think he’s waking up, guys!” she exclaimed, looking more at ease. Pikachu sighed in relief, “Pika!”
Ash opened his one eye rather blearily to see Iris’s smiling face. The left side felt petrified, yet he could still feel its pain. “I-Iris…? What happened?”
Iris set her hand on Ash’s shoulder to steady him as he sat up. He looked up and saw that Cilan was there, too. The Connoisseur smiled with relief.
Iris eyed Ash rather worriedly. “Ash, are you okay?” she asked rather nervously. The Dragon Trainer wasn’t sure if she should tell Ash about his disfigurement.
Ash nodded slowly, “Err, yeah I think so. Are you guys okay?”
Iris and Cilan nodded. Pikachu jumped onto Ash’s lap, overjoyed his Trainer was alive.
Ash smiled and stroked the little Electric Type’s head. Pikachu smiled and looked up at him, black eyes sparkling.
Axew let out a rather celebrative “Axew!” and Pansage let out a cheerful “Pan!” They were also relieved Ash was okay.
Ash felt a small twinge of uneasiness. His left eye was still blind and frozen…why was that? He conveyed his question to the others.
Iris and Cilan looked rather nervously at each other. Iris swallowed, Uh oh. I was afraid he’d ask that…
“Well…you see…” Iris began, struggling to find the right words, terrified she would say the wrong thing, “…when the Mightyena bit you, it…um…”
Ash felt agitation well up inside him. What is she so scared to say?
The answer came to him the moment Iris said it, “You lost an eye, Ash. You lost your eye to the Mightyena.”
The prickling agitation became icy fear, “Oh…” he murmured and clutched his left eye, or what was left of it, “Oh…Oh God…”
Ash felt his stomach churn, and he shut his single eye tightly. Iris gazed dejectedly at the Kanto Trainer, “Oh, Ash…”
J was soaring through the stormy clouds on Salamance. Ignoring the icy rain on her face, she closed her eyes, bringing back the memories…of the brat’s mutilation.
For some reason, it kept coming back to her. A rumble of thunder made Salamance quiver with fear, but J ignored it. Why was it repeating itself over and over in her head? Why did it bother her so?
J was a cruel woman, no doubt. She had personally killed, tortured, and maimed aplenty during her fraudulent career. She had only felt pride and satisfaction at her victories and at her prey’s pain.
But why was she feeling shame now?
Salamance could sense his Master’s uneasiness. It pleased him. Finally, she was actually realizing how evil she was? How cruel, how hated?
Maybe she’ll let me go…Salamance mused to himself. He shook the hopes away. She isn’t feeling guilty or anything. She will never let me go, or treat me as a partner. It’ll always be Master and Servant playing in this twisted play. And I’m Servant.
A flash of lightning lit up the dark sky, and also put out the light of remorse in the Huntress. Bah, who cares if he’s lived or died? Either way, I’ve avenged his meddling.
But for some reason, J had a sneaking suspicion that he would try to stop her again. She pushed that away as well. He’s probably too scared to even try to stop me. Be ready, Unova…the Huntress is has arrived and his back in action.
At this thought J promptly threw her head back and cackled, and even the loudest roar of thunder couldn’t drown out the horrible laughter.
Salamance let out a whimper which was left unheard. Oh no…oh no…oh no…, he grieved, and the same two words seemed to echo over and over in his ears, like a mythical chant, oh no…oh no…oh no…
AAH ONE SENTENCE PARAGRAPHS