Gladion changes in many ways when Lusamine passes away. In which Gladion listens to his mother for the first and last time.
Author’s Ideas: I needed to. I’m sorry that I enjoy suffering like this. I think this ship is called Mahinashipping? I really don't know, it's a big mess, but right now it seems to be Mahinashipping. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.
Also posted on FanFiction.
Disclaimer: Of course I don’t own Pokémon. Why would you ever think that?
Gladion changes in many ways when Lusamine passes away.
It happens during his yearly visit to Kanto. He’s eyeing the Viridian City Gym when his PokéGear begins to obnoxiously ring. He picks it up, half-expecting one of the annoying trainers in Kanto calling for a rematch, only to get his mother’s doctor, calling to inform him that his mother was not well, and that her condition had spiked since she had been brought in a few days ago.
“I thought it wasn’t critical.” He growls, and he feels real rage for the first time since he ran away, and the doctor’s only response is weak in comparison.
“I’m sorry, sir, but you should come to the Saffron City hospital. Your mother is waiting.”
Gladion’s the first to arrive because his sister couldn’t be contacted, and is hustled up the stairs and into Lusamine’s room.
“Mother.” He murmurs.
To be truthful, he doesn’t want to believe the woman in front of him is his mother. His mother had bright, energetic green eyes with comforting golden hair, and her hugs were always the warmest. The woman in front of him had dark bags under her eyes, frail arms, and her once-beautiful hair is now streaked with gray, blocking out the light that she had once been in Gladion’s life.
“Gladion… You should change… that attitude of yours… How do you expect… to approach women that way?” Lusamine mumbles breathily.
He scoffs. “Still scolding me to your very end?” Nevertheless, he takes a seat beside her, and Silvally curls up at his feet.
“Gladion… It's been ten years, hasn't it… since that time… you ran away…”
“Even when you ran away… I still loved you… I could never stop… I'm sorry I treated you so-”
“Mother.” Gladion murmurs. “That time has passed. Please, if there's anything I can do… Tell me.”
“Let me… see your full face…” Lusamine smiles, reaching a hand towards the adult.
He doesn't flinch away like he used to. His mother smiles, brushing aside his long pale blonde bangs.
A bright green eye blinks back at her, and Lusamine smiles.
“Ah… Just like… your father…”
“Mother!” Lillie screams, the door bursting open.
“Lillie…” Lusamine beckons the teenager closer.
Gladion stands, walking to his sister’s side. His Silvally trots close behind. “Lillie. She won't-”
“I know, Brother.” Lillie looks up at her brother with weary eyes. “Get some sleep. You've been up all this time…”
“I can't leave Mother’s side at a time like this…” The Silvally at his side nudges him, and Gladion reaches down to pet it.
“Brother, you're going to work yourself to death at this rate.” Lillie pouts, placing her hands on her hips.
“Gladion… Lillie… Please…” Lusamine lets out a weak laugh, and the siblings are beside her in a flash.
“Mother!” Lillie cries. Gladion just reaches for Lusamine’s hand, squeezing it gently.
“You two… stop arguing…” Their mother laughs again, and this time, they both join in.
Lillie begins talking about their childhood, their family moments, their happy moments, and Gladion loses himself in the pleasantries of the past that he doesn’t realize his mother has stopped laughing, that she’s stopped responding, that her hand has gone cold, icy cold, and Lillie is the first one to notice.
“Mother?” Lillie whispers. Gladion stares at Lusamine, the warm feelings in his chest gone.
There was no response.
“Mother? Mother! Mother!” Lillie is screaming now.
A shrill beep emerges the green monitor beside her.
Gladion releases her hand and stumbles out of the room, leaving behind the deathly cold feeling of his mother’s hand and Lillie’s frantic screams.
~ / . / . / ~
He isn’t sure why his heart pounds, and why his eyes feels hot. Perhaps it was the run, the cold air outside, seeing his sister again, or maybe it was the feeling of losing his mother, the loving mother that she had learned to become after the fusion with Nihilego.
He races up the concrete stairs of his Saffron City apartment, his Silvally close on his heels.
His fingers shake as he swipes his ID card across the panel. It beeps green, and Gladion all but tumbles into his apartment.
Silvally enters, and the blonde slams the door, falling against the back of the door, gasping for breath.
“She's dead.” He whispers. Silvally glances up at its agonized trainer.
“She's dead.” Gladion repeats. “She's dead and I couldn't do anything to stop it, goddamnit!”
He pounds his fist against the door behind him, and Silvally jumps.
He freezes. “Moon…? What are you doing here?”
“Sorry. Lillie let me in… she wanted me to look after you.”
“Excuse me?” Gladion glares at her, and she crosses her arms.
“Look, Lillie didn’t want you to drown your sorrows in cheap alcohol now that you’re legally allowed to. I was with her when the doctors finally got through to give her the call about your mother, so she gave me the card key to your place. I’ve been here for a couple of hours.”
He curses his sister out under his breath, turning to glare at Moon. She meets his eyes with a steely glare until she notices his face.
“You’re…” She stops talking, taking a step towards him. Her hand reaches out tentatively, brushing her fingers against his cheek.
He flinches, and she pulls away apologetically, guilt clear on her face.
“Sorry… you were crying.” Moon murmurs.
Gladion glances at her, shaking his head. “As usual.”
“What?” Moon blinks, and Gladion continues.
“You’re always worried about others. Did you shower?”
“What about sleep?”
“Did you even eat?”
“Go eat. There are leftovers in the fridge. Feed Silvally while you’re at it. The guest room is right down the hallway. The first room on the left. The bathroom’s right across the hall. I’ll be sleeping first.”
Gladion heads down the hallway, shaking his head as he goes.
“Good night.” Moon calls out to him, and he sighs, and waves his hand over his shoulder, hiding the tears that slowly fall from his eyes.
~ / . / . / ~
Silvally and Moon refuse to leave his side for the next few days.
One day, while he was poking at the food Moon has prepared for him, he glances up, only to meet Moon’s gaze, stuck on him.
“What.” He deadpans.
She squints, and then slams her hands on the table, standing up. “You need a haircut.”
“What is this all of a sudden?” Gladion frowns. “Besides, my hair is fine.”
“Your hair is not fine. You have a ponytail. I’m willing to bet your hair is as long as Lillie’s now, too.” Moon places her hands on her hip.
He scoffs, waving her off with the fork in his hand. “Lillie said the exact same thing. We compared hair lengths. Hers is much longer. Tell her to get a haircut.”
“Even still, you shouldn’t-”
And just for a moment, he’s reminded of Lusamine, how she always scolded him about his hair, and how she was always talking about his hair, and the fork in his hand clatters against the table as he stares at her.
“Sorry, I just-” He looks away before standing, walking away from the table.
“Wait, Gladion, you didn’t-”
He simply lays a hand on her shoulder, and Moon looks away.
As he’s walking away, he hears her murmur a quiet “I’m sorry” and Gladion can’t help but feel guilty.
He turns to look at her, giving her an offset smile for the first time in eight years.
She just smiles back.
~ / . / . / ~
Moon meets him at the graveyard, wet-eyed, alongside Lillie and Hau after he gives his speech. She seems out of place, even with her black dress and heels, and it takes Gladion a moment to realize that she doesn’t belong here, that she doesn’t deserve to be crying for a selfish son who can’t bring himself to grieve about his own mother.
Lillie whispers something to Moon, and then steers Hau off in a separate direction, but not before giving her brother a bouquet of large white flowers.
He doesn’t wait for Moon to join him, and instead takes off for the large gravestone that occupies the corner of the graveyard. Wicke moves away from the grave, patting him on the shoulder.
Wordlessly, Gladion lays the bouquet of flowers Lillie gave him onto the stone.
He stares blankly at the gravestone in front of him, showered with lilies and gladiolus flowers. His mother’s name is engraved on the large stone, and he tucks his hands in the pockets of his suit, looking away as light raindrops begin to fall on him.
Gladion looks up, seeing Moon approaching him with an umbrella in hand. She stands next to him silently, and he leans under the umbrella, casting one more look at the gravestone.
He feels Moon’s hand slip into his, and he grips her hand tightly, trying to control the trembling in his shoulders, caused the familiar feeling of guilt that he’s been awash in for days now.
He turns away from the gravestone covered in flowers, looking down at Moon. She meets his gaze, gently wrapping her arms around him. He tenses up, but Moon just holds him tighter, trying to hold back her own tears.
Gladion takes the umbrella from her hands, holding it above them as his other hand goes around the girl hugging him. He leans down, his chin touching the tip of her head.
“I’m sorry…” He murmurs, brushing a kiss against her silky hair.
If she feels it, she doesn’t say anything, and they stand there together, under the light rain, in each others’ embrace.
~ / . / . / ~
He barges into the League one day, face flushed and his sister’s amused voice going through his mind.
“Where’s Moon?” He demands, and it’s apparent how impromptu this visit is because he hasn’t even bothered to change out of the white suit he wears when he’s on business with Aether. He learns that when meeting with the Champion, he should really schedule this sort of thing ahead, and spends the next half hour with his arms crossed, tapping his foot impatiently, trying to endure Hau’s rambling about his position as the new Elite Four member as he waits for Moon to finish with the challenger.
Finally, after ages, the floor beneath him lights up, and he gives a wave to Hau, thanking the Pokémon gods above for sparing him.
He dashes up the stairs, brushing past the challenger. He knows she’ll be standing there, and he doesn’t know how he’ll tell her, but he will do it.
Gladion reaches the top and spots her, squatting in front of her Decidueye as she feeds it PokéBeans, and it’s like he forgot how to talk or speak, and resorts to clearing his throat in order to get her attention.
Moon turns her head, a soft smile gracing her features when she realizes who it is. She dusts herself off, returning Decidueye to its Pokéball before turning to face him, her hands behind her back as she smiles.
“I’m guessing you’re not here for a battle?” She asks, gesturing to his outfit.
“I- uh- no.” He’s tripping all over his words, and he hates himself - and Moon, but mostly himself - for being this way, this awkward. He lets out a sharp breath, and Moon laughs, and it’s the best thing he’s ever heard since his sister told him that Moon liked him.
“You’re all over yourself. Is this how you meant to confess to me?” She quirks an eyebrow at him, her hand on her hip.
“How- How did you-”
“Lillie told me.”
Moon smiles up at him. “I love you too, you dork.”
He freezes, and the words his sister told him earlier run into his mind, and the only thoughts he can register are holy crap she likes - no, she loves me and goddamn my sister.
“Gladion?” She asks, waving her hand in front of his face.
“Damnit, Moon.” He mumbles.
“Did you say something?”
“I said, damnit, Moon, you’re too-” He cuts himself off, and she smirks, crossing her arms.
“No.” He glares at her, but his eyes are joyfully happy, full of affection. Moon giggles, taking his hands in hers and staring at his reddening face.
Gladion squeezes her hands, leaning in.
“I love you.”
He kisses her, and knows that his mother is proud.
~ / . / . / ~
Gladion laughs at the eager look on her face, brushing aside her long black hair from her face.
“Oh, stop it, you. It's midnight. That's enough movies for tonight.”
“But, Gladion-” She’s cut off by a yawn, and he sighs, hauling her over his shoulder before standing up.
She laughs boisterously, flailing her arms. “Put me down, you dork! My bed is two feet away!”
“I love you too.” He chuckles, placing her down on the nearby bed. Gladion moves to stand up, but Moon pulls him down beside her, nuzzling him affectionately.
“If you’re going to make me sleep…” She yawns, and he smiles as she continues, “You have to stay here with me…"
“Alright, give me a minute. I’ll be right back, I just need to step outside for something.” Gladion murmurs, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead and unwinding himself from Moon’s grasp.
“You’ve changed…” Moon murmurs suddenly, sleep clinging to her voice like cobwebs.
“Have I, now?” Gladion asks softly, sitting up.
“Mm hm…” Moon smiles up at him with sleepy eyes. “You’re nicer now. More protective, too. And more handsome.”
His face flushes red, and he runs a hand through his hair.
“Just shut up and go to sleep,” he mumbles, leaning down and pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead before gently walking out of their room, waving at Moon’s mother, who smiles back at him before returning her attention to the papers in front of her. He makes a slight detour, bending down to pet the Meowth that sleeps beside her.
He finds himself outside on the porch, staring up at the sky, scattered in bright twinkles.
“You were right, Mother. Changing… It was a great idea. The best.” He murmurs to the stars and the spirit of his mother that shine like the bright sun missing from the dark twilight night illuminated by the moon.
“So, thank you. And… goodbye.”