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Thread: Guardian of Fate (Wishfulshipping PG-13)

  1. #1
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    Default Guardian of Fate (Wishfulshipping PG-13)

    Rated PG-13 for minor swearing and violence.
    Shipping: Wishfulshipping (Cilan x Iris)
    Genre: Alternate Universe/Gameverse, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance
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    Guardian of Fate

    Prologue

    ~*~

    The sounds of battle clashed harshly in a cavern several feet away from Iris. She fixed her crown as she wondered what was happening in there.

    A bead of sweat trickled down her face. She swallowed her fear and boldly ran towards it. She was the maiden who knew the hearts of dragons after all. If anyone was to calm the creature, it'd be her.

    Almost instantly she was greeted by a blast of cold wind.

    Icicles covered the roof of the cave. Some even covered the ground, so sharp which looked like if she touched on it would break her skin.

    Her eyes widened at the vicious battle she saw take place. A Simisage violently fired seeds at the giant ice dragon's side and a Serperior wrapped its long body around the monstrosity to tangle up its legs.

    "Finish it up Ferrothorn! Iron Head, now!" a voice said. It was a callous and distant voice—for a moment she even wondered if it was even human.

    With outstanding power, the Iron Barb Pokemon tackled the dragon.

    Instantly, Iris felt a spasm of pain rush through her body—Kyurem's pain. The mighty dragon keeled over in agony. It was beginning to struggle, and its sides heaved with every breath.

    It was already hurt and confused; she couldn't understand how anyone could be so oblivious to the Pokemon's feelings.

    Bunching up the energy in her legs she broke out into a fast run. "STOP!" she said, her brows furrowed angrily.

    The young man who commanded Ferrothorn turned to her, a warning glare within his piercing green eyes. The shadows and reflections of light made identifying him tough. He wore a defiant frown and raggedy clothes. It was clear that his Pokemon weren't the only ones who had taken damage.

    With a small nod to his Ferrothorn, the iron Pokemon lumbered its way towards her at a surprising speed and swung a giant spiked vine. By instinct she flinched away, with the spikes barely nicking her throat.

    Relentless and determined, it swung its deadly arm towards her again, but this time she was ready for it and nimbly jumped over it.

    "Finish it, Serperior!" the boy said. The long snake Pokemon slithered streamline, positioning itself in an attack stance. Baring its fangs, a purple-blue energy formed in its mouth.

    Iris knew that Kyurem couldn't take much more suffering. Quickly, she tried to grab her Haxorus's Poke Ball. If she could distract Serperior for a moment she could save it.

    Suddenly, the beast's eyes radiated a blood-red. Angrily, it flailed its long neck, shattering large columns of ice. Its deadly fangs glinted a lustrous white as it roared.

    At blinding speed a large, muscular tail knocked both Serperior and Simisage hard against the cave wall, shattering large pieces of rock.

    "Kyurem! Listen to me—"

    "Get out of here!" the boy yelled and began to back up.

    It roared ferociously again.

    This time it caused a buildup of ice shards around it and blizzard-like weather filled the cavern.

    Large, electrically-charged icicles formed from the beast's arms.

    Iris's heart pounded.

    Time seemed to slow down as they were fired towards her—until suddenly, the cavern was bathed in a gentle, luminous green light.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Iris bolted awake. Small blades of grass tickled her legs and the neighboring trees stood strong and sturdy. Their stiff arms extended into the ivory moonlight as night Pokemon sung their evening chorus.

    She sighed and pulled her blanket up to her neck.

    It was just a dream.
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  2. #2
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    Ch. 1 Dreams and Fate

    ~*~

    Iris dipped her hands into the clear stream water. She shivered, the mountain water was far too cold for her personal tastes—she knew however, she couldn't go home with dirt and grime on her hands and wrists—Drayden would surely get mad again. He had told her before, "If she ever wanted society to accept her as a worthy Champion, she would have to learn how to wash her hands first. After all, society wouldn't want to have someone with muddy hands to greet them." Or something like that, anyway.

    With a concentration tongue, she scrubbed harder. Small pieces of dirt flaked off, clouding the water. Once she was Champion, she'd make Drayden get his hands muddy.

    She took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. She had heard a legend passed down in the Village of Dragons that it was Kyurem who had formed mountain water from the ice it created for the people and Pokemon to drink. But what was to be thanked was also to be feared. It was a Pokemon who was said to have a ravenous appetite. To satiate it, tribes from the olden day would perform ritual sacrifices.

    Iris shuddered, while she was sure it was a myth to scare little children back to their beds at night, it had always been the most disturbing to her.

    Though perhaps, she just couldn't bring herself to imagine a dragon Pokemon extorting human life for its own hunger. Dragon-types were always modest, valiant and smart. They may be cold-blooded and perhaps a little scary looking, but that didn't make them callous and cruel. Sometimes, Iris thought that humans were the cruel ones. Like that boy in her dream last night who was trying to take control of the mythical Ice Dragon. No matter how much the creature wreathed in pain, the boy remained oblivious to its cries of desperation.

    People like that made Iris fume. When she was Champion, she wouldn't allow people like that to succeed. She'd kick that guy's butt.

    Iris let out a small sigh. She wished she didn't have to wake up early for that one. There, she was Champion and trying to understand the Ice Dragon's heart.

    Smiling to herself, she fantasized the ending of it. She and Kyurem had teamed up and sent that guy and his pet snake fleeing.

    Iris giggled at the thought. Gleefully, she jumped into the air at her "triumph." Her Haxorus, who was getting a drink of water from the stream, stared at her as if she was crazy.

    "Sorry, Haxorus, just goofing off," she said, while rubbing the back of her neck embarrassed. The dragon merely closed its eyes knowingly, and continued to sip water from the stream.

    Her grandmother always told her that dreams and fate were closely related. If you were to dream about something in the past, it was you reliving your life. If you were to dream about your future of the thing you most wanted in life, that would become your "Mark of Fate," and you were destined to achieve it one way or another.

    Iris had been training hard every day to reach championship. Now the days on the calendar were dwindling and the league was only a week away. She was sure the Spirits sent her that Mark of Fate to reassure her.

    Though, it did seem a bit omen-ish. While she had all the capabilities of becoming the Unova champion, she wasn't exactly the people's first choice. Many people considered her to be too wild and too childish to take upon such a responsibility.

    Drayden, who was both her mentor and parental guardian, had faith in her. And if some people were as strict as him, she was sure others would have faith in her as well. She hoped.

    She shoved the doubt to the back of her mind.

    "Hax-ooorus!~ How do my hands look now?" she said with a playful smile and thrust her hands towards her Pokemon's face.

    Haxorus momentarily flinched away, and then looked them over with a careful eye. With one of his three sharp claws, he gave her a thumb's up.

    Iris cheerfully spun away from the streambed.

    "Let's head back home now, I'm getting a bit hungry." she said as she ran up the side of a hill.

    Haxorus let out a mighty yawn, and stretched his long body in an awkward cat-like way and followed her. His tail and large feet clumsily smashed nearby flowers, causing their seed to spread like mist.

    Iris paused momentarily to take in the scenery from a higher altitude. The stream was crystal-clear as always—the mountains were bold, unforgiving and shrouded in a fog of the morning dew. Iris loved it there—at the mountains. It reminded her so much of home.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "So your training went well, I presume?" Drayden asked. His Druddigon-like white beard barely twitched as he spoke. Iris suppressed a giggle. As long as she had known him, she's never seen his mouth move.

    "Yes, it was great! This time I washed my hands and wrists, see?" she said with a toothy grin.

    With a gloved hand, Drayden grabbed her wrist firmly and inspected it. He flipped it left and right, and checked under her sleeve.

    "So you did," he said, and gave her head a small pat on her head. His face was always stoic, but his golden eyes reflected pride. "By the way, Mrs. Conbrandt called earlier today, she says that she'll need help with the ranch again."

    "Again?" Iris said with dismay. Mrs. Conbrandt always called for her help whenever her husband went away for the day. Iris didn't mind helping, but Flocessy Ranch was tough to take care of, especially by herself. It'd get in the way of her tight training schedule, no doubt.

    "You'll go, won't you?" he said, with a stern eye.

    "O-of course I'll go!" Iris said. "While I'm there I'll ask for some Yache berries again." She smiled and stuck her tongue out.

    "Just don't demand them like last time. Mrs. Conbrandt gave me quite the ear full." he said with a sigh, showing his age.

    "I didn't demand them. She was just in a tizzy," Iris huffed, "and besides after all the work I did, I deserved those berries."

    "Well Yache berries were scarce during that time of the year. You might have better luck this time."

    "Yeah, I hope so. What time does she want me there?"

    "Around 1:30, the sooner the better." Iris looked at the clock. It was going on noon. If she left right now, it'd be a breeze for her Hydreigon to make it there on time, even sooner.

    She stretched her arms.

    "I should get going. See ya Drayden." Iris said as she walked toward the door.

    "Try not to wander," he said to his apprentice. "She'll be peeved if you get there late."

    "I know!" Iris said over her shoulder and was back outside.

    The warm sun hit her face. It was nice to be back outside, she always felt trapped indoors.

    That was another reason she differed from society. She could never sit still in one place for too long. Easily distracted, she had a habit to wander when she was in new places. She'd never forget the day when Drayden took her to Castelia City to meet Burgh. She had wandered into the waterworks during a game of tag with a lone Ratatta. Apparently, she was gone for so long that they had called the police to find her.

    She gave a small huff and sent out her Hydreigon. Just because that happened a few years ago, doesn't mean she didn't mature since then.

    The creature came out with a pop and greeted her with a friendly roar. Playfully, one of its arms went to nip at her shoe.

    "Hey! Knock it off!" she scolded in between giggles. The blue-violet hydra responded with a cheerful lick on her face. Her broad, pink tongue left a streamline of drool on her face. Happily, Iris brushed it off with her long sleeve. "Think you can take me to Flocessy Ranch, buddy?" Hydreigon let out loud roar—her way of smiling—and lowered her long, hairy neck obediently.

    Iris hopped on, sitting at the crook of her neck. Hydreigon let out another rumble and flapped her raggedy wings. It wasn't long before Opelucid City Gym looked like an ant.

    The view was nice; they traveled over verdant forests, blue lakes and even met up with a stray flock of Altaria. The baby Swablu were fun to hug, until Hydreigon got jealous and scared them away with Flamethrower.

    It was a little after one when she reached the ranch. The place was a mess, she didn't even know how one person being gone could cause such a one. The fence that normally held the Mareep was broken, hay was scattered, and few lone Mareep ran in front of her playing chase.

    She hung her head. The ranch had a lot of work to get done. She was about to knock on the front door, when she heard someone raking behind her. She turned around, surprised. She wasn't aware that Mrs. Conbrandt had invited others to clean up as well.

    He was a lean guy—wearing a waiter's outfit, a green bowtie and matching buckled shoes. His clothes were very classy, she noted, even having small cufflinks at the ends of his sleeves. Not the type of clothing one would normally wear for handiwork.

    "Are you one of the Striaton brothers?" she said with a guess.

    She had never met or even seen them before, but she heard that they dressed as waiters wherever they went. Word on the street was that they recently quit being Gym Leaders, their reasoning unknown. People said that they were always clannish, preferring to hang with themselves rather than conversing with other Gym Leaders.

    The boy paused momentarily and stared down at her with a small frown. His piercing green eyes felt as if they were staring straight through her.

    She backed up a bit, her instincts screamed. She had seen that boy before, somewhere.

    He gave her a small nod and went back to work. Could she have imagined that glare?

    "Oh, there you are, Iris!" Mrs. Conbrandt said. "I can't thank you enough for coming here. After Herb left for the day the Mareep broke out of their pens and caused this mess. I would have picked this all up myself but oooh…I have to sit down. My nerves are acting up." she said as she pulled out a small handkerchief to dab her forehead.

    "That's okay, Mrs. Conbrandt, I can handle things from here." Iris said with a small smile. "By the way, who is that boy?" She nodded towards him. He was still absorbed into raking stray pieces of hay back into a small pile and didn't pause once.

    "Oh, him? His name's Cilan, I believe. He offered to give me a hand this morning. Not too bad looking either," she said with a wink and gave Iris a soft nudge.

    Iris narrowed her eyes at him.

    If he glared at her again, she'd glare right back. To her disappointment, he didn't even look up, not once.

    With a defeated sigh, she let him be and grabbed rake nearby. She wanted to get a better understanding of this kid. Something about him was very unnerving, and it wasn't just their earlier encounter either. She could feel his eyes burn into her every time she didn't face him. If she could get close enough to him, she thought that maybe she could read his emotions like she does with dragon-types. While the skill was perfected towards dragons, she found that the perception could also work with people. It had often gotten her out of sticky situations with Drayden.

    She side-stepped her way over, whistling a small tune trying not to make it look like she was edging closer to him on purpose.

    "Kind of far for Striaton City isn't it, what brings you here?"

    Cilan didn't move his head to look at her, only his eyes. A small frown was still placed on his face.

    She noticed that he was a very guarded person, and his emotions were unreadable. They felt like a barrier of thorns.

    "I came to train," he said quietly.

    "Oh, for championship?" Her interest perked. She could be meeting one of her future rivals.

    He gave her a brusque nod.

    "Is that why you and your brothers quit?" she pressed. Cilan's pale hands tightened on the rake he was holding, and he turned his head towards her.

    "No." he said. His voice wavered a tiny bit. Iris felt bad, she was sure she hit a tender spot of some sort.

    "I see…you know, I think we were fated to meet," she said, deciding to change the subject. "As rivals." She smiled and held out her hand.

    His frown turned into grimace and he clenched his teeth. "I don't believe in fate. I never have and I never will," he said, and looked for something on the ground. "I will be the one to win championship, Iris." He didn't smile, or shake her hand. He only handed her a hammer.

    She cast him a confused glance and looked at the small hammer she now held in her hands. Cilan's left eyebrow quirked and he nodded toward the broken fence.

    She turned around and angrily kicked a rock. If he wanted her gone he could have said so. She stole a quick glance to see if he was glaring behind her back again. To her surprise, he had stopped working. The rake was settled against the crook of his arm and he held a small, silver flip phone. His gaze was intent as he thumbed keys at a fast pace.

    E-mailing on the job…Iris thought bitterly. She found it interesting he used a cell phone; most people these days used an X-transceiver. Though, as far as her knowledge went on the item, one could only voice chat with people. Logic told her that this boy didn't like to talk much.

    Putting Cilan aside, she grabbed a broken piece of plywood that lied halfway against the ground, and halfway against the piece it fell off of. Fixing fences were never her specialty, but she had to get the job done one way or another.

    Kneeling down so the fence was eye-level, she held up the piece of wood, grabbed a nail and hammered it in diagonally. It wasn't so bad, the wood was soft and even had a bit of lichen growing on it. Iris wondered if the wood could hold through a tough thunderstorm with one nail. Just to be sure, she added another.

    "Why are you using rotten wood?" Cilan said, his voice startling her. It was odd—there wasn't a trace of accusation or exasperation in his voice. It was hollow, as if he was merely going through the motions. She turned around and he still fixed her into his gaze.

    "I uh…well, wanted it to match," she said, with a small embarrassed blush creeping onto her cheeks. It wasn't really a lie, she just assumed it'd be best as it came from the same plank. "D-Don't you think so too?" she started to say, but Cilan had already left to find a dry piece of plywood in a nearby shed.

    Iris bit the bottom of her lip. He made her feel uncomfortable. It wasn't just his stoic behavior, it was something deeper. She couldn't remember what the boy looked like in her dream, but their voices were a perfect match.

    He walked back with a short piece of wood slung over his shoulder. There was a tree stump in front of him that she thought he might stagger over, but the green-haired teen simply walked around it without glancing at the ground.

    Setting the plank down near her, he forcefully grabbed the piece of wood she nailed on and heaved. With a loud snap the piece of wood slipped in two. With a disgruntled look on his face, he went to pull off the other side.

    "Err…here, let me help." Iris decided to intervene. Even if she had a creepy sense of foreboding about him, she felt she couldn't just stand there awkwardly and let him do all the work. He looked momentarily surprised by her offer and took a step back.

    His gaze burned through her again. Wearing a confident grin—trying to hide her discomfort—she wrapped her arms around the plywood.

    "So do you like grass-type Pokemon?" she asked, trying to relieve the tension.

    "Yeah," he said, with his voice still hollow.

    "Interesting, aren't they difficult to use?" she said as she pulled the plank. It broke off with little effort.

    He shrugged as he crouched down next to her with the new piece of wood. Its tan bark glistened in the sunlight.

    Helping him prop it up, he skillfully hammered in a few nails. His four green flicks of hair swayed in a gentle breeze, like grass. The light wind was pleasant; it was turning out to be a hotter day than Iris expected.

    "You get the other side, I'll find the Mareep." Cilan said as he got up. Grass and small twigs crunched under his feet as he stalked off.

    Iris watched him through suspicious eyes. Her fish-like pigtails bobbed in the wind. He was e-mailing as he walked toward a faraway berry bush. Was it something he didn't want her to know?

    Letting out a soft huff, she went back to work. Always reckless and sure, Iris had been one to often jump to conclusions. Drayden warned her avoid doing so, but she just couldn't help but follow her instincts, which were almost always right.

    A few minutes later the wind shifted. She heard a clamoring of very annoyed baas. Cilan appeared, with a blue sheep under each arm, and his Simisage gently patted one along.

    Her heart skipped a small beat when she saw Simisage.

    She narrowed her eyes at Cilan. There was no doubt he was the boy in her dream who tried to take control of Kyurem. She had never seen him before—there was no way she could have made him up. The Spirits clearly sent her a dream into the future.

    She suppressed a small shiver. If he will take control of Kyurem, what would be his plans from there on?

    It was only a few years ago that Team Plasma tried to take control of Zekrom, and rumor had it that they were in the shadows, just waiting to for the right time to strike—like a Liepard after its prey.

    She watched as Cilan placed the Mareep back into their pin.

    He flipped out his phone and thumbed at the keys again. His emerald eyes were distant, as though he was thinking of something that happened in the distant past. Mechanically, he looked up to stare at her. His expression was vacant, and for that moment, they locked eyes.

    Iris fixed her gaze into a glare—she wouldn't let him intimidate her—no matter how much it felt like he was staring through her soul.

    "We need one more," he said, and nodded toward the Mareep.

    1…2...3…Mareep, he was right. There was one more they needed. Just as she was about to turn around and look for the final Mareep, she heard a gruff voice calling out to them.

    "Hey, kiddos, is this what you were lookin' for?" Iris's eyes widened as she recognized the voice.

    It was Alder.
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  3. #3
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    Chapter 2 A Journey to Remember

    ~*~

    Iris turned around in astonishment causing her long violet hair to whip behind her like a tail. The older man had one foot on a rock and in one arm he held a very feisty Mareep. Its legs were still trying to run, but to its surprise it wasn’t getting anywhere.


    “Alder, when did you get here?” Iris said with wide eyes. Alder cast a gentle, wise smile. His fiery-orange hair swayed delicately with the wind.

    “Just long enough to find this Mareep you were looking for. Funny thing, this little guy always manages to sneak off. I can’t even count on my fingers how many times he’s wandered over to my battlefield while the rest were grazing. He’ll be a fighter, that’s for sure.” Alder said with a toothy smile as he placed Mareep into the pin. Gently, he scratched the back of Mareep’s neck causing him to close his eyes blissfully.

    He’s a natural when it comes to Pokemon, no wonder why he’s Champion… she thought. It had been almost a year since the cataclysmic battle between Truth and Ideals took place. Both heroes fought valiantly, but because Truth prevailed in the end, Hilbert managed to gain championship. His championship was short however. For reasons unstated, Hilbert stepped down, giving the Champion title back to Alder. It was whispered that he wished to find N—the hero of Ideals, who mysteriously disappeared after the battle.

    Because Alder gained back his title by default, the Pokemon Association decided it would be best to hold a “Unova League,” where only the top trainers in Unova could battle for championship. Whoever was to win the league could skip the traditional Elite Four challenge and battle Alder straight away for the crown.

    Iris had always wanted to become Champion. Alder, Cynthia, Lance…their names made her heart race from admiration. One day, she would be there, at the top with them. She wasn’t sure why, but when the league was announced, she couldn’t help but feel it was her calling. She turned to face her rival, wanting to share the same mutual feelings of challenger against challenger in the upcoming league—surely Alder’s presence must have given him those same warm feelings.

    Clearly not cooperating with her, Cilan’s fingers were busy e-mailing while his eyes stared intently at his phone. Iris face-faulted at what was becoming his usual behavior and her eyes wandered back toward Alder, who had just finished petting the Mareep. Once she defeated the league, Alder would be her next opponent.

    “Oh Cilan, you were so quiet I didn’t even notice you. I had a feeling I’d see you here. How’s your training coming along?” Alder asked and happily ruffled up Cilan’s verdant hair—much to the latter’s annoyance.

    “Good, I guess.” Cilan said with a small shrug and stared uncomfortably at his feet.

    “Just keep up the hard work. What was that motto again? ‘From the roots to shoots,’ was it?”

    Cilan nodded briefly and put his hands into his pockets, still not looking Alder in the eye. Alder broke into a hardy laugh at his behavior and turned toward Iris and whispered, “He’s always been a bit of a shy boy.” Shy? More like text-happy and apathetic. Iris thought bitterly.

    “By the way Iris, I have some important news about the league. Meet me at my place once you are done. You too, Cilan, we can have lunch. See ya kiddos!” Alder said as he turned to leave. He flashed them a small wave.

    Iris tilted her head and wondered what the important news could be. She glanced over at Cilan wondering if he was thinking the same thing. Curiously, it looked as though he was counting on his fingers. With a small sigh, he picked up a rake to sweep up the final bits of leftover hay.

    “What do you think is up with the league?” she said, tilting her head to the side.

    “Maybe it was prolonged.” he said and shrugged his shoulders apathetically.

    Iris didn’t like the thought of that. She could barely wait a week, she didn’t know if she could any longer.

    “Why don’t you tell Mrs. Conbrandt that we’re almost done? I can finish the rest from here.” he said silently. She could barely hear him.

    “Uh, okay. Are you sure you got everything?” Iris said, remembering her manners. Cilan replied with a brief nod.

    Mrs. Conbrandt still sat on the porch, with a floral-patterned, pink handkerchief in hand. She seemed a bit dazed. Iris waved to try and get her attention. Mrs. Conbrandt looked up and waved back.

    “Are you done, Iris?” she said over to her.

    “Yeah we are—well, almost. Cilan’s getting the last few bits.”

    “That’s great. Stay there, Iris. I have something for you two.” she said, her short brown hair bobbed as she entered the house.

    Iris turned around to see if Cilan was still raking. She was pleasantly surprised to see he was heading toward the shed to put the equipment they used back.

    Iris closed her eyes and tipped her head up toward the sun. It was such a lovely day—not a cloud in the sky. The days had been cloudy, and the forecast for the upcoming week was all but promising. A gentle breeze tickled her face.

    “Sun basking?” Iris flinched. Cilan had crept up on her. She looked down at her feet.

    “Y-yeah, it was so nice out I couldn’t resist.” She didn’t know why she felt so embarrassed. It wasn’t something unusual for her to do, but often time people from the city would stick their nose up whenever she played in trees or basked in the sun. It almost felt like she had to be busy working on her goal to gain their respect.

    Cilan grunted. She couldn’t tell its context though. “It’s almost too nice out…” he said quietly. She looked up at him.

    “How can it be too nice out?” she asked, bewildered. Cilan replied with a small shrug. Before he could say anything more, Mrs. Conbrandt stepped out onto the porch carrying a large, straw basket full of bright, blue berries.

    “I remember you wanted these last time, Iris. Share ‘em amongst yourselves.” she said with an amicable smile and handed Iris her prized Yache berries.

    “Thank you, Mrs. Conbrandt! Err, sorry about last time…” she said while remembering and bobbed her head. Cilan copied, without saying anything.

    “It’s quite all right, Iris. Be careful on your way to Alder’s…it’s not far but there’s a lot of Pokemon in the tall grass.”

    “We will be! See ya, Mrs. Conbrandt.~” she said with a fast wave. Holding the basket of Yache berries she whipped around and headed toward the entrance of the ranch. She started to run, but slowed her pace when she remembered Cilan was following her. Iris wasn’t really so keen on Cilan being her tag-along buddy. She always felt like he was watching her, studying her. When he wasn’t watching, he was communicating with someone far away. Extra-terrestrials? she thought, and quickly tried to brush it away.

    She looked behind her, her brows furrowed with unease. He was e-mailing as he walked. What if he was secretly some kind of dragon poacher? Should she hold on tighter to her Poke Balls? She looked him over. He was lean—but didn’t have much muscle either, she was sure she could take him on if action called for it.

    “Something wrong?” he said, just barely lifting his green eyes from his phone.

    “Oh no, honestly it’s nothing! Believe me! I just uh…I was wondering if you’d like to split these berries?”

    “Ok,” he said. Slowly he closed his phone and put it back into his pocket. The area they stopped at was lush. Ferns scattered the ground and bright green moss blanketed the trees. The grass was spongy and soft.

    “So how do we want to do this? Five and five?” she asked, looking at the ten berries. Cilan lifted his shoulders.

    “That’s fine; I left my equipment back at camp. Maybe we can meet up again sometime.”

    “When?”

    Cilan turned his head toward the core of the forest and stared vacantly. “Next time we meet.”

    Iris curiously looked into the direction he faced. She thought she might have heard a Pokemon scurrying in the flora, but she wasn’t fully sure. “Is something over there?”

    “My camp is that way,” He gave a short nod in its direction. He opened his mouth to say something else, but stopped. Apparently he changed his mind. An awkward silence fell upon them. Leaves rattled in the wind, sounding vaguely like rain.

    Iris heard a crunch in the grass as Cilan got up. He brushed off small flakes of dirt off his pants, scattering them into the air like ash. He gave her a tentative glance before extending a hand to help her up. This gesture surprised her, and she wasn’t quite sure how to react. She looked him up and down, curious to see where his other hand was. Warily, she took his hand.

    “Thank you,” she said. His emotions were masked and he said nothing. He merely turned around and stuffed his hand that he used to help her in his pocket.

    Neither of them spoke a word after that encounter. Cilan kept his eyes shadowed and head down low. He clearly wasn’t in the mood to speak anymore. Iris didn’t know why, but she felt a small part of her wanting him to say something—anything. It felt incomplete, making their walk feel unnatural. But at the same time, she felt quite comfortable keeping a distance from him.

    It wasn’t long before Floccesy town came into view. The village was sleepy. A young boy ran through the otherwise quiet streets with his Lilipup. An old, broken clock tower loomed before them.
    The bricks were crumbling, and vines worked their way to the top. Mosses and lichens squeezed in between small gaps and holes in the brick.

    “It’s sad that it’s broken.” Cilan said while reaching a pale hand to touch it. It sounded like he said it to himself than anyone else. Iris shot him a quick glance, Alder’s house wasn’t too far away.

    “Hurry up!” Iris urged him. She was anxious for the news about the league—she didn’t have patience for some clock. Cilan took one last look at the tower and followed.

    -:-

    Alder’s house was just as quaint and traditional as the other houses in Floccesy town—Iris couldn’t tell it was the house of a champion if she hadn’t already known previously. The battle field out in front, however, was a dead giveaway that a battler lived there.

    Iris sat across from Cilan at a small coffee table, and she hungrily grabbed a few small sandwiches and turned toward Alder expectantly, her brown eyes wide and curious.

    “I s’pose you want information about the league?” Alder asked after taking a bite. Iris sat up straighter and nodded her head vigorously. She fixed her hair so she could be ready to catch the information like a Joltik’s web. Alder cleared his voice, getting ready to make his announcement.

    “As you know, Iris, the league will be held in Lacunosa Town. However, there has been a quick change to the scheduling, due to some circumstances...” He lowered his voice with “circumstances.” Despite Iris’s falling heart, she had to wonder if those “circumstances” were the ever inconspicuous Team Plasma. “…the league will be delayed for a month. I know you were pumped, but it looks like you’ll have to wait a bit longer.” Alder must have seen Iris’s face drop because he apologized soon after.

    “O-oh, it’s ok! Really! Things do happen after all…I’ll just use this time to get stronger and stronger!” she said while raising a fist with umph. Alder burst into laughter.

    “That’s what I like to hear! I always wanted a feisty champion to take my place.” Suddenly modest, Iris stole a quick glance at Cilan.

    “Well, Cilan’s entering the league too…” she said while twiddling with her two index fingers. Alder looked genuinely surprised.

    “Oh? Why Cilan, I ran into you about a few weeks ago. Change of heart?” Cilan visibly flinched and opened his mouth aghast. “I-I-I uh…y-yeah,” Iris couldn’t help but flinch, herself, by his sudden actions. He got up stiffly, stumbling over his feet. “I’ll…uhm...m-make us some tea.”

    Alder cast him a gentle smile. “It’s good for him to get out of his shell a bit. The league will be good experience for him, no doubt.” Iris tipped her head, bemused. What was unusual about his behavior to her didn’t seem to surprise Alder. It seemed very odd. She turned towards the spot he was sitting; she couldn’t help but notice he left his plate of sandwiches untouched.

    Cilan walked back after a few minutes—clearly more composed than he was when he left—balancing a tray of tea on his fingertips. He sat the tray down, and hugged his legs as he took his place on the floor.

    Iris grabbed a forest green mug and took a curious sip. While the Striaton brothers’ battling skills were subpar, they were famous for their tea. She wasn’t a big tea fan herself, but it wasn’t bad. A little watery and tepid, but overall it had a nice flavor.

    “You didn’t have to make us anything, you know?” Alder said. Iris could tell he was grateful, but he said it in his usual light-humorous tone.

    “I wanted to.” Cilan said quietly, not looking up from his shoes.

    The air became quiet around them. Iris looked around, waiting for someone to break the silence.

    “I have an idea, since both of you are entering the league, why don’t you have a practice battle out front?” Alder asked. He paused soon after and took a sip of his tea.

    Iris’s ears perked at the word “battle.” Nothing made her happier than fighting side by side with her Pokemon. She loved having serious battles with people who had the same desire to win as her.

    She wasn’t so sure on Cilan—if he found the same enjoyment as she did. But after all, they were on the ultimate quest to become stronger—she was sure her feelings would reach him.

    “That’s a great idea!” Iris said as she shot up from the floor. “C’mon Cilan, meet you outside!” She motioned to him as she darted off.
    The outdoors was pleasant—the sun was just beginning to set. The breeze was a bit cooler than it was earlier. She shivered a bit and took her spot on the battle field. She was sure though that the battle would warm her blood.

    After a short wait, Alder and Cilan made their way out of the house. Alder took his place as judge and Cilan stood across from her.

    “Let’s have this be a three on three battle!” Iris said with confidence booming from her voice. Cilan held up a hand.

    “Two. I only have two Pokemon with me.” he said.

    “Well, okay…” Iris was slightly disappointed. Alder chuckled, and raised a fist to commence.

    “Are you kiddos ready? Begin!”

    Iris took a sharp breath, thinking on her feet as to which Pokemon she should send out. She closed her eyes as she reached her decision.

    “Let’s go, Haxorus!” She pulled out a small-metallic ball. Pressing the button in the middle, she gave a sharp toss of it into the air. It quickly collided to the ground and a large dinosaur-esque Pokemon popped out. The golden dragon gave a throaty screech, and swished his tail, ready for battle.

    Cilan stood there, with an apathetic frown across his face. He didn’t look surprised or amused. His eyes locked with hers. “Ferrothorn!” He gave his Poke Ball a soft toss. It too landed on the ground—only this time a large, barbed Pokemon came out. It waved its large vines threateningly.

    Iris knew it would be a tough opponent. Ferrothorn were like walls of rock when it came to battle. Plus those sharp barbs at the end of its vines that came so close to nicking her throat in her dream…She shook her worries off.

    “Haxorus, let’s end this quickly! Use your Brick Break!” Haxorus ran at a blinding speed toward the spike ball-shaped Pokemon. With a muscular arm it swiftly struck against the Pokemon’s sharp and steel skin. The Pokemon’s yellow eyes looked up at Haxorus, clearly taking miniscule damage. Cilan didn’t move, and didn’t give a command. His four flicks of green hair blew from the collision.

    Iris heard a loud screech of pain. Her own body hurt, closing one eye she held her wrist. Haxorus recoiled from the Pokemon, it too holding its scratched arm. Darn it! I forgot about Ferrothorn’s Iron Barbs. Iris knew she would need to take a different approach when battling this monstrosity.

    “Ferrothorn, use Iron Head.” he said as he reached out a commanding arm. Iris and Haxorus closely watched it lumber toward them. It was quite fast—for a Ferrothorn. It used its long spiked vines as legs and sharp iron burrs as cleats.

    “Wait for it Haxorus, then grab one of those vines and toss it!” Haxorus gave an assured nod and waited. Swiftly, he grabbed Ferrothorn’s thick vine. Doing as his trainer said, he attempted to gain the leverage to swing it. Ferrothorn dug its sharp spikes into the ground, clearly making Haxorus struggle.

    “Send your roots into the ground!” Did she just see a small smirk across his face? Ferrothorn did so, causing Haxorus to come to a complete halt. He tripped over his own weight. Haxorus got back up, giving himself a shake as he did so. Suddenly, he keeled over a little. Iris narrowed her eyes. Something was wrong.

    “Wh-what’s going on?” Then she saw it. It was tiny, but it made itself clear. A long thin vine wrapped itself around Haxorus’s left thigh.

    “I’m impressed,” she said with a smile as she held Haxorus’s Poke Ball in the air. “I didn’t even see you plant Leech Seed, but…” She wasn’t one to switch out often, and she wasn’t fond of it, but that’s what she needed to do. “…let’s see how you fare against my Druddigon!”

    The crimson-faced dragon popped out of his ball with a mighty roar. His blue, rough body glinted in the sunlight.

    “Ferrothorn, Stealth Rock!” Iris bit her lower lip. That could mean trouble if Druddigon was to faint.

    “Drudiggon, let’s attack like never before! Flamethrower, and more Flamethrower!” With a deep breath, Druddigon released a powerful flame from his wide and intimidating jaws. Iris couldn’t help but smirk. “Druddigon, use one more Flamethrower!” The dragon obeyed again, and let loose another stream of fire.

    The Iron Barb Pokemon staggered, its vines twisting and tangling as it moved. Its body didn’t take long to give in, and it stumbled over and hit the ground—hard.

    “Ferrothorn is unable to battle. Good job Iris and you did well as well, Cilan.” Alder said with a smile.

    Cilan narrowed his eyes with a frown on his face as he returned his Pokemon. It looked like he was beginning to feel the pressure.

    “Come on out, Simisage. Use Bullet Seed!” The grass monkey ran fast around Druddigon in circles at a breakneck pace. Iris could feel the small seeds powerfully hit her Pokemon. With her heart connected it stung her almost as much as it hurt her Pokemon.

    “Druddigon, come on buddy, concentrate and use Flamethrower!” The crimson Pokemon gave its head a rough shake and closed its eyes. Once focused, it opened its bright golden eyes and released a powerful flame. Simisage did a fast side-step, the flames just leaving a small scorch on its arm.

    Cilan grit his teeth. “Simisage, Acrobatics!” The monkey Pokemon nodded toward its trainer. Iris took a small step back. Acrobatics was a powerful move.

    With a lot of force the grass-type lunged toward Druddigon with a powerful fist. Druddigon stepped backwards, breathing hard with his hind legs starting to buckle. Scratches from the previous Bullet Seed marked his body.

    Simisage recoiled from the dragon’s rough skin. Both Pokemon looked each other in the eye. Simisage stood confidently while holding its arm. Druddigon couldn’t take it anymore, and he fell over in agony.

    “Druddigon is unable to battle! Simisage is the winner.”

    Iris sighed. Now they were even. “Return, Druddigon. You were really great.” Iris turned toward Cilan and looked him in the eye. He seemed a bit more relaxed now that the tables were starting to turn.

    “Come back out, Haxorus!” The golden dragon popped out of its ball. It had a few scratches, but barely anything compared to what Druddigon had. Soon however, sharp pointed stones collided against him—making him fall to his knees. She expected that to happen, but there wasn’t anything she could do about it now.

    “Haxorus, are you okay? Try and use Dual Chop!” Haxorus shakily gave her a thumb’s up and lunged toward the monkey Pokemon.

    “Simisage, dodge it!” Simisage dodged one of the powerful tusks by jumping up. The next tusk hit it hard on its belly.

    “Great job!” she said while pumping a fist into the air. Simisage got back up, panting. It clearly took a lot of damage. Haxorus himself was looking rough. Both Pokemon looked like they could topple over at any minute.

    “Simisage, use Acrobatics one last time!” he called.

    “Haxorus, finish it with Brick Break!” Both Pokemon leaped toward each other. Their attacks collided, causing a huge cloud of dust to envelop them. Iris raised an arm, trying to shield herself from the sandy particles. It made her eyes sting. “H-Haxorus are you okay?”

    The fog lifted after a minute. Both Pokemon were lying on the floor, unconscious. Holding both fists into the air, Alder announced that both Pokemon could no longer fight.

    Cilan remained quiet and closed his eyes. He returned his Pokemon and whispered to it with a soft smile. She couldn’t hear what he said, but she was sure he was thanking it. She copied by returning Haxorus to his ball. “You did very well, Haxorus.” She was mildly disappointed their battle ended in a draw.

    She stared at Cilan. She wondered why the Striaton brothers’ quit. He seemed pretty talented to her—not many people could trap her in corners like that, he certainly seemed eligible to continue being Gym Leader. She narrowed her eyes.

    Alder clapped his hands. “I’m very pleased with the both of you. You two put your all into that battle. Iris, you were linked perfectly with your Pokemon. I could tell the amount of trust they had in you,” He turned his gaze toward Cilan, who was walking over toward them. “And Cilan, I must say you improved a lot. To tie with Iris, that’s not an easy feat!” Cilan gave a short nod. Iris couldn’t tell for sure, but he looked a little guilty.

    “Thank you Alder, for letting us use your battlefield,” Cilan said. He bobbed his head politely and continued. “I’m off. It was nice meeting back up with you and Iris.” He gave Alder a short wave and paused to look straight at her. His acid green eyes seemed to bore right through her. It looked like he wanted to tell her something, but ultimately turned around and left.

    Iris breathed a small relieved sigh. He was kind of creepy.

    “So Iris, where will you head to next?” Alder asked amicably. Iris placed a tentative finger on her chin. She really hadn’t thought of that. She guessed she could go back to Opelucid, but part of her wanted to train in different places. She never traveled much in Eastern Unova after all. She wanted to check out Virbank City—she heard a new Gym Leader made her residency there.

    “I think I’ll travel for a bit. It could be great practice when it comes time for the league! And don’t worry, don’t worry, I’ll tell Drayden first thing tomorrow!”

    “Atta girl, always smart to let people know where you’re going. Are you sure you don’t want to call him right now? You can use my phone if you’d like.” he said while using his thumb to point back toward his house.

    Iris shook her head. She wanted to get a head start, calling Drayden would take too long. “Nah, I should get going, it’s getting late after all. I’ll call him tomorrow when I reach a Pokemon Center. See ya, Alder!” She gave him a happy wave and broke into a run. With a concentration tongue she leaped into a lush tree and grabbed its vine. She knew she could just use Hydreigon to fly her to Virbank, but she smiled at the thought of feeling the wind through her hair and the hard work put into a “journey.” She wanted to train hard, but enjoy herself as well. Her heart pumped faster at the thought. This would be a journey to remember.

    -:-

    The sun had fallen, and night Pokemon chirped. The trees shielded the blanket of stars; Cilan only had his phone as a competent light source. He felt weary and his legs were stiff. With a sigh, he plopped down on the grass. It was soft and cool. Silently, he cursed at himself for leaving his equipment back at camp. It was his own fault though, he had been running late.

    He stared blankly at his phone, sifting through the messages he had sent himself for today’s data. Normally he would have already written it into his notebook. His eyes started to ache from the light.

    He knew his brother, Chili, would call him soon. He always did around this time. Chili always seemed to have some sort of “power” to bring a smile to his face. At the same time though, he wondered if he should tell his brothers about his mission—their mission. Trying to find what he was looking for was like looking for a needle in a haystack, or greater even. He was growing weary of it.

    He had made a reckless decision today, he wasn’t sure if it was a plan he should really go for. His partner insisted he started from the small, miniscule things—his partner! They were supposedly connected—though he often scoffed at the notion.

    Sometimes he wondered what he was doing anymore. He felt foolish for the path he had taken. There were times he wondered if it was some type of morbid self-harm, other times he wondered if it was only a figment of his imagination. He laughed a small, sickly giggle.

    Above all, he felt lonely. It always crept into the center of his belly on nights like these. It was a cold and ruthless feeling. He never would have thought this journey would put him through as much pain or despair as it did. He was bound by an unbreakable promise, as was his partner.

    “I’m sorry!” he said, still looking at his phone. A single tear drop flowed down his face.

    Please don’t leave me again.”
    3DS Friend Code: 1306-5187-6204

  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
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    Default A Review to this wonderful fic

    First of all, I don't see a reason why you are hesitating to update such a good story. The idea is original, having Wishful Shipping in the game verse and that too in the timeframe before Iris becomes a champion--nothing can get more original than this.

    And on top of that your story is well-written. I have had my share of bad stories and I have read fics where I had to force myself to complete reading just for the sake of completing it. This fic definitely doesn't come under that category. I completed the Prologue and the two chapters within no time.

    First of all, Iris was awesome. I am actually not much connected with her character in the anime, but this story helped me connect to her. Right now she's in a phase where she has already become a seasoned Gym Leader and is looking forward to become something more. In other words, you have to give her character a middle-ground between a unsure, inexperienced trainer with no experience of outside world and a powerful confident woman who is a champion. It's not easy to write this Iris unless you are a good fan of hers and took care in understanding her character. You constantly remind her bond with her Dragon Pokemon, something she must have developed from being a Gym Leader and learned from Drayden. Over all, it's almost perfect.

    I am amused with Cilan actually. He's completely different from the Cilan I know from the anime. But I remember the Striation brothers going through a lot between BW and BW2. Maybe you are giving your own take on it? What leaves me slightly uncomfortable is you making Cilan shy. Cilan is one of the Striation trio, who are known to be excellent waiters. And shy waiters don't fare well, do they? Then again, I am not entirely clear on it because I am not sure what backstory you have in store for him. You have foreshadowed that there is something substantial in his flashback with the last part of Chapter Two.

    Next, the battle. I think your writing style was an odd combination of game and the anime. While you maintain the game feasibility while using believable moves like Brick Break against Ferrothorn, Flamethrower on Druddigon, you also incorporate a sense of realism by mentioning the bruises and damages. I think it's a good mix and I highly recommend you to continue writing the same way.

    My overall opinion? The story is still starting, and the plot branches haven't spread out yet. We've seen very less and it was clearly hinted that there is a lot more waiting. At this point, I have a question: Is this focused on romance with a backstory of some kind or is this focused on action, adventure or w/e with romance giving a strong support from behind? I am not sure actually.

    I hope this review is inspiration enough for you to pump out chapter 3.

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  5. #5
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    Oct 2007
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    Default

    I love the fact that this is a gameverse wishfilshipping because I feel like I can get into it a lot more because I don't really watch the anime. But great job, I don't think there's anything else to say that I haven't already said on ff.net.


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