This is a one-shot fan fic I made about Zinnia, detailing what I think happened to the original Aster. Just a little something to satiate my curiosity. Inspired by this song.

Enjoy!

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Together With The Wind

“The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection.” Henri Nouwen

***

She always liked the sound of the waterfall in Meteor Falls. The roar of heavy waters crashing down, echoing all throughout the caves. But then again, she always felt safe in this place. After a long day or a long journey, she would mosey on here to stretch her arms out as she would gaze upon the craters and the pokemon scuttling about. Meteor Falls wasn’t big or powerful, but it was beautiful, it was hers, and it was where she came from.

Her home.

And yet...something was missing. She knew it all too well. There was a void in her heart which she knew would never be completely filled, no matter what she did.

Then it hit her. She never took Aster to Meteor Falls, to show her where she came from. To show her the place she was born. The chance to do so had been taken away from her in one fell swoop.

Memories came flowing right back. She thought she had locked them away in her brain for safekeeping, to protect herself from the overwhelming sadness.

***

They first met in the National Park, just a little ways from the city of shimmering goldenrod. He had just caught a Sunkern with a Great Ball. She was impressed with the way he handled his Flareon, the way he threw his Poke Ball with a graceful swipe of his arm, and the unabashedly goofy enthusiasm he displayed when embracing his Flareon, rejoicing in his capture.

Just the sight of his rosy cheeked face and the cacophony of his goofy laugh made her let out a few merry laughs. The Flareon gave her a glare that seemed to say “don’t laugh at my trainer!”

“You...saw me, didn’t you?” She couldn’t help but find it cute that his nose wrinkled up when he blushed upon seeing her.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh. You just looked so...happy.”

He let out an embarrassed chuckle and rubbed his hair with his hand. “Yeah. I’ve always wanted a Sunkern. They’re just so cute with their big eyes, the leaves on their heads, and their voices. My mother always had a gaggle of Sunflora with her, and they always brought a smile to everyone’s day.”

She couldn’t help but picture a little boy singing and dancing happily, frolicking through a field of radiant Sunflora. “I’m...Zinnia.”

“Curtiss.”

When she touched his calloused hand, her heart began racing, pounding in her chest. She could feel the callouses on his bulky hands. Where did they come from? “Your hands are hard.”

“Yeah. I know. I fix cars for a living.”

That explained it. In fact, she could see some oil stains on his pudgy, cracked fingers. She found herself smiling at the stains, and he smiled right back at her. Curtiss could feel his Flareon tugging on his jeans. “I know, I know, Flare. Umm...would you like to go for a bite to eat? There’s a burger joint in Goldenrod.”

She clasped her hands together. Was he asking her out on a date? Oh well. Might as well roll with it. He seemed nice, and his eyes were kind. His skin was warm and hard, but he seemed gentle enough. “Sure! I could go for a burger. Maybe you Flareon can cook some up.”

The red and yellow fluff ball cooed at that remark.

***

It all happened so fast. One day they were just having burgers. Those days evolved into spending all of their time together. Then, Curtiss came out and presented her with a ring, shimmering with the sheen of a diamond. “Will you...marry me?”

She leaped on him so hard she almost knocked him over, causing the box and the ring to fall into the dirt. “YES!” Her heart exploded with too much joy. She simply couldn’t contain it. All Curtiss could do was laugh bashfully, rejoicing in winning over the girl of his dreams.

She never cared for those fancy formal weddings. She had been to a few, and she always felt out of place. Tuxedos and white lace gowns, fizzy pink drinks and shining chandeliers, merry laughter and bouquets of flowers, with petals so long they looked as though they could come right out and hug you. She had to wear a dress once, and not only was it too tight for her to move around in, the lace itched at her legs, and the high heels left huge red marks on her feet whenever she walked. A heel had actually broken off once. A wild girl at heart, she was. She’d much rather run through fields of radiant sunflowers barefoot than concern herself with artificial formalities.

Curtiss seemed to understand, and all they did was get a marriage certificate. Neither of them were financially secure, and Curtiss had saved too much for the ring alone. But neither of them minded. If they were together, that was all they needed.

Whether it was making love, or rejoicing in the birth of their daughter, whenever he was there, he brought her a joy unlike any she had ever experienced.

The birth of a healthy daughter only solidified that and more.

“Aster.”

“Hm?” Curtiss tilted his head to one side in response to the odd name. “Aster? Never heard that one before.”

“In the ancient Hoenn language, it means ‘radiant dragon,’ and the aster is one of my favorite flowers. I like it,” She loved everything about her new baby. Her curly, raven black locks, her rosy red, aster flower-like skin, her chubby cheeks...everything about little Aster was absolutely perfect.

Curtiss let out a bashful smile. “Well, you’ve won me, Zinnia,” He said in his gentle voice, still hoarse from worrying about her during the laborious delivery process. “She’s Aster from now on.”

***

Three autumns later, the aster flowers bloomed.

She had grown the red, fluffy flowers outside her yellow house. She always liked these flowers. They looked like tiny red sunsets with their rays outstretched like arms embracing the world, telling it goodnight as it descended across the sea, bringing forth the night.

Aster loved the fact that she was named after a flower, and would sometimes run around the house, scattering red petals all over the rug. It made Zinnia’s heart leap to see her daughter laughing, smiling, running around happily. Life was perfect. Her husband had a steady job now, she was at home raising her daughter, teaching her about Pokemon, her lineage, etc., and was happier than she had ever been.

She hoped this happiness would last.

***

A piercing screech.

Two cars ramming into each other, rolling on the concrete in pieces.

Curtiss dangled out of a broken window, face down on the concrete, unmoving. Beneath his face was a large spatter of red blood, painting the cold ground beneath him.

Aster! Was she alright?! That was Zinnia’s first thought as she crawled out of the crumpled heap, covered in blood and broken glass. One piece was protruding from the skin of her arm. But it was nothing.

A man mumbling a bunch of garbled nonsense was staggering away from the car, walking in a daze, about to wobble over at any moment. A broken glass bottle rolled onto the concrete, stopping upon some grass.

There was no sound. No crying, no screams for her mother. Aster was okay, right? She had to be! She just had to be!

Finally, Zinnia crawled to the back seat, clutching the window. But she was going to wish she hadn’t.

There was Aster. Unmoving and lifeless. Something was inside her. It was...she didn’t know what.

Zinnia could do nothing but howl and bawl, slamming her hands on the broken car door, leaving huge dents on the paint.

No scream in the world would be able to alleviate her suffering and her anger.

She came back to the yellow house, but without Curtiss or Aster. She was surprised to find a visitor. An old woman wearing a white shirt and poofy red pants. “Granny…”

“I heard about what happened, dear. I figured you deserved some company.”

The sky was blanketed with thick, black clouds, as though her suffering had spread to the heavens. She grabbed a nearby grass sickle and began slicing every flower she had planted, including the red asters she loved so much.

“It’s my fault they’re gone!!” Slash! “My fault!” Slash! “My fault!!” Slash! “MY FAULT!!”

The old woman grabbed Zinnia and made her fall to her knees, keeping her from killing her precious garden. “Please don’t blame yourself, dear.”

“No!” Zinnia smashed some blades of grass with the back of her sickle, pressing them down until they were flat as pancakes. “I was the one who suggested we go to Mauville City together!! I should never have asked to go!! I...I killed them!! They didn’t do anything to deserve this!!” She had never heard her voice so high and hysterical.

But she knew what their deaths entailed. Now that they were gone, she was alone. She could never watch Aster go to Preschool. Elementary school. High school. College. Become a Pokemon trainer. Learn about the dragon clan and lorekeepers and the legend of the green dragon. Curtiss wouldn’t grow old with her. They’ll never be able to make love and grow old and watch their daughter grow up.

“I can’t...go on…”

“Zinnia. It wasn’t your fault. That man got arrested. He’ll receive his punishment.”

“But Aster and Curtiss...they’re never coming back!! If I hadn’t...suggested we go to Mauville...they’d still be alive!!”

For months, Zinnia saw nothing. She heard and felt nothing. All she could do was go about her day. But even that was too hard. Soon, she found herself with no home or income. On one morning, she wobbled over to a cave, her legs burning and aching from too much walking. Not even nature’s beauty and wonders could heal her heart. She fell to the grass and cried onto a big rock.

“Aster!! Curtiss!! I’m sorry!! I can’t...live with myself…” She wished she could sleep. Sleep forever, and never wake up.

“Mur?”

That voice...it sounded just like Aster.

“Aster?!” Alas, all she saw was a purple Whismur. An ordinary Whismur, with yellow ears and a tiny voice. But she could see something in its beady eyes. The Whismur nuzzled up to Zinnia and gave her a red flower. It was an aster flower.

“Mur mur?”

How sweet. How could she refuse this little thing’s kind gesture? “Thanks, little one. You sure are cute.”

“Whismur!”

“Hey...would you like to be my friend?”

“Mur mur!” The Whismur cooed happily and jumped up and down. Just like Aster did.

“Can I...call you Aster?”

“Mur!” The Whismur nodded.

***

Some years later, she had passed by some TVs in Mauville’s shops, and she heard a news story reporting on an incoming meteor heading right for Earth. “Huh. So the time’s finally come, huh? Better get to it!”

Key stones. Those were all she needed. At this point, she was a free woman. She didn’t care if what she did was wrong. If doing this and summoning the green dragon meant seeing them again, then she’d gladly do it no matter what. Her life didn’t matter, she thought. If she saved the world, she could be with them again.

Too bad fate had other plans.

The green dragon. The Delta. She had succeeded in summoning it, just like the legend. But...her Mega Stone didn’t react. Someone else awakened the green dragon’s Mega form.

Why couldn’t she be the one to awaken the green dragon’s power?

Oh well. It is what it is. Might as well let fate do its job.

She didn’t stick around for her successor to come back. She had done her job. Back to Meteor Falls she went.

“Aster...it’s over…it’s all over…”

“Zinnia, my child…”

“Granny…”

“You have worked so hard…”

Zinnia knew that none of this would bring Aster or Curtiss back.

“It is enough, my child. Be done with your burden. Let it go now. For everything there must be an ending. Only then...Only then can there be a new beginning. This is the immutable truth that all living things on this planet, great and small, must accept. We Draconids have seen it in our history, as you have seen it in your own life.”

Good points.

“Now is the time for rest. Let down the great burden you have borne so long alone so that you might at last take a step toward new life. Now is the time for rest…”

She was right. No, she IS right. Zinnia needed to start over. Aster and Curtiss wouldn’t want her to spend her entire life sad and grieving, as she had done for so long, rejecting herself and hurting others. Somewhere, her broken heart yearned to move on. If she couldn’t move on and live her life, then she will never be able to face adversity.

She knew how to face danger. In fact, she welcomed danger. She knew how to fight, and when to endure when she couldn’t. But moving on? Moving on was an attribute of the truly strong. She wasn’t sure if she could move on. But she had to try, for Aster’s sake, Curtiss’s sake, and for her own.

The red aster flowers grew, heralding spring.

***

"Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same." Helen Keller

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Well, that's my oneshot. I know I'm not the best at writing, nor will I ever be, but I wanted to get this idea out of my head. I hope you like it! If not, that's fine, too!