HELLO, LOVELIES. I DID AS MUCH AS I COULD, FOR THIS POST WAS REALLY FUN TO WRITE AND IS DEDICATED TO BLINDLOVERR713 BECAUSE IT IS HER WOMB EMANCIPATION DAY. WOOOOOO
Ahem. Oui. But for reals, this is a 30 page long post. No that isn't a typo. I literally have no life, guys. It’s long and confusing. Heh. IT KINDA ALL MAKES SENSE IN THE END. JUST STICK WITH IT. SORRY Dx *shot*
Oh, and if you find any typos... you can point them out or ignore them... I wrote most of this during the wee hours of the morning err late night err whatever. So... yeah. >.< I tried. It was hard but fun. I hope you enjoy it!!!! <3
Included: Ewan, Chandacy, Rai, Delin, Patrick, Tristyn, Tanner, Glyph, Xio, A SUPER SECRET GUEST FROM THE PAST, many minor characters who, while they do have a purpose, will never show up again. ;3
Sorry I didn't use a wide variety... Also, Patrick is just involved in shopping. Because. Yes.
Mentioned: Ewan’s fam
Time: When Chandacy cleans up Ewan, that afternoon, and that evening woooo
I shouldn’t have gone outside. Even watching fights never did me any good. Most of the time, I ended up even more bruised than the two fighting.
One would think I’d have learned my lesson.
It was sheer luck Chandacy was willing to help. Otherwise, I would have been forced to endure a dull agony on my own. It was still painful, but the load was lessened.
“Can you lift your arm?” As I chewed the berries she’d provided, Chandacy’s voice cut into my thoughts. I blinked, attempting to do so for a moment before utterly failing. Abashed, I shook my head.
“Okay, Ewan. Do you care about that shirt a lot?” came her next inquiry.
Puzzled, I shook my head once more. “Uh, no. Why?” She sighed, setting the bottle of peroxide down rather roughly before stripping off her gloves.
“Look, I need to see your shoulder and since you can’t lift your arm, I’m going to have to cut off your shirt.”
F*ck. Oh Arceus, how...
A snicker from the back of my mind sounded. Embarrassing? Are you ashamed of your palor, your lack of muscles or... anything? Or perhaps you are embarrassed of your scar?
“Do you trust me?” Chandacy blurted, slicing through the mental conversation. I paused.
Ask me a simple math question, and I’d have it answered in five seconds or less. Ask me something about trust... well...
Why bother? Trust has never helped you.
Not yet. I’m not going to lie. For once, I don’t need to.
“I trust you,” I said softly, pulling the corners of my lips up into a reassuring smile. The way her eyes lit up as she returned the grin.... Oh, Arceus, what... what is this?
“Stay still,” she ordered fiercely. Fearing the consequences of disobeying, I remained rooted in place. The blades of the scissors she’d retrieved only touched my skin once, but it was enough to send a shiver down my spine.
With meticulous snips, she cut at the fabric, the slits straight and exact. She took special care around my injured shoulder, and once she made the final cut, my shirt fell away in pieces, baring my chest.
Her eyes locked on my skin.
She’s staring, oh Celebi above. This is humiliating.
At the back of my mind, the voice piped up once more. Oh suck it up. Maybe you should invest in some surgery to get that ugly thing off. The least you could do is work out, moron.
Chandacy laid the instruments orderly on the table and snatched the black bottle of peroxide in its place. After pouring a decent amount of the liquid onto a cotton ball, she peered at me with an almost apologetic look.
“This is probably going to sting.” Not as much as X-Scissor or Thunderbolt, I’m sure. Delicately, she pressed the ball to my shoulder, and fire seemed to race into my bloodstream. Okay, I was wrong. Hissing, I gritted my teeth.
She made to peel away, but to prevent her from doing so I spoke up. “No, it’s okay. Just... finish it.” After nodding solemnly, she continued, and once she finished ridding the wound of bacteria, she tossed the bloodied ball into the trashcan in the far corner of the room.
As she began to unravel the bandages she’d gathered, my eyes drifted down and over at her bed. It was a strange observation, but I discovered that I found it... nice. Really? What are you, a child? Then I saw the coat.
“You still have my jacket,” I muttered, pointing to it. Still fumbling with the bandages, she noticeably blushed. The voice guffawed and said, You don’t actually think she’s into you, do you?
No. Of course not, I thought, lying over my hopes.
“Y-Yeah,” she murmured, replacing her gloves to cover her fingers. Retrieving the scissors once more, she sliced a straight line through the cloth, producing a substantial quantity to use.
When she said nothing more, I continued. “Why is it on your bed?” Ewan, don’t get your sick, perverted hopes up. For a while, she stayed silent, focusing not on my question but instead on dressing my injury.
After tucking the edge of the cloth in, she finally speaks. “This might sound strange but it...helps me sleep. Plus it...smells like you,” she whispers, low enough that any mortal wouldn’t have had a clue what she’d said. Of course, my ears were pretty detective.
Unable to hide it, I smiled, pleased. “It’s not all that strange.”
Returning the expression, she bundled the supplies in her arms and returned to her bathroom. As she left, I found myself staring at the bags gathered in a corner. Naturally, the voice thought this was a great time to speak up.
What do you think is in there? Bombs? Dead bodies? Drugs?
I was thinking more along the lines of candy, but y’know, whatever floats your boat.
“What are you looking at?” Chandacy strode directly in my line of view. Feeling rather playful, I smiled.
“What’s in there?” As I spoke, I cocked my head to the side, ears twitching. With a lighthearted laugh, she gingerly laid her hands on her hips.
“Christmas presents.” Raising an eyebrow, I grinned. Feeling playful, are we? My, my, Ewan. What would Usha think? What would mother think?
“Anyone of those for me?” I queried, wagging my tail for effect. You’re worse than a Poochyena...
Much to my disappointment, she responded cryptically. “Ah, maybe. You’ll have to wait and find out.” In hopes I’d weasel something out, I pouted, widening my eyes. “Sorry. You’ll just have to wait. Pe patient, if you can.” We shared a laugh, the sound natural and free. To ruin our fun, there came a knock at the door.
Busted, was my immediate, frantic thought. I didn’t know why; it wasn’t like I’d done anything worth apprehension.
“Come in!” Chandacy called, and an inexplicable fear seized my heart.
Calm down. It’s probably the gang, stupid. You agreed to go shopping.
I sighed. That’s what I’m worried about.
Like a very disorganized procession, the six fellows poured into the room, and their eyes quickly scanned over the room, locking particularly on Chandacy and myself.
Delin seemed the most entertained, his lips curling into a broad smile.
“Well, what’s going on here?” He asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. With a nod, he indicated my bared chest. Everyone’s got to point out the scrawny guy, huh?
However, I knew what was running through that man’s mind, and I couldn’t hide the blood that surged to my cheeks.
“Delin, get your mind out of the gutter. Nothing’s going on,” Chandacy snapped, yet her cheeks matched my own.
“Sure sure.” He snickered, waving his hand dismissively. “You ready, Lucas?”
I nodded, eager to escape this awkward situation only to dive headfirst into another. “Can I get a shirt from my room before we go?” With a limp hand, I indicated my partial nudity.
Delin pursed his lips in thought. “I guess so.” All of us laughed heartily. They made for the exit, but before I left, I turned back to my friend.
After clearing my throat, I trusted my voice enough to say, “Thank you, Chandacy.” Without my consent, a smile crept over my lips. “Can I stop by when I come back?” She took a moment before nodding, and taking it as a good sign, I returned it.
See? Things are fine, I told the voice as I closed her door behind me. Up ahead, the rest of my companions joked and teased each other, but I hung back. No weirdness, no whatever.
Keep telling yourself that. You and I both know what you want. Don’t deny it, came his reply when I reached my room and opened the door.
I bit my lip as I snatched my now-clean blazer from the edge of my bed as well as a simple t-shirt. I’m not denying anything. You... You’re just a...
I didn’t finish my thought. It wasn’t important, just a figment of my insanity.
With one final sigh, I left my room to reunite with the rest of my shopping group, hoping all the while that this idiotic voice would soon leave me alone for good. I could only hope.
The shops were bustling, crowded with warm bodies and greedy fingers. I nearly cowered into Delin every time a person came too close.
Shopping... was not my thing.
With luck, we only went to two places: a large emporium filled with various goods and a department store with doors that yawned wide and lights that twinkled even in the glaring sun.
I stayed outside of the emporium, too wary of its extreme amount of standardized goods. I resolved to await the department store, a setting I wasn’t entirely accustomed to but one that I would feel slightly more comfortable in.
In the meantime, I stared up at the clouds, picking out shapes in the cumulonimbi.
After about ten minutes, I grew bored of my childish excursion, and fingering the ten dollar bill Tristyn had shoved in my face, I headed for the nearest food vendor. A man with a curling gray beard leered at me from beneath his candy-cane hat, and swallowing my trepidation, I offered a smile.
“Could I have a... um...” I faltered, struggling to decide between the apple and the orange.
“You gonna choose, or you gonna mumble?”
I shook my head. “I suppose I’ll have an orange.” Manners? “Uh, please.”
Grumbling as he retrieved the fruit from his crate, the man averted his eyes, and I took the opportunity to glance around the area.
It was simple, a garden circling the modest fountain the center of the square. There were a few tiny shops, and everyday citizens bumbled about, purchasing last minute gifts.
The thought puzzled me, enough that I paused. My eyes drifted lazily over a tall woman with hair as black as a starless midnight, a yellow beanie tucked snugly over her head.
Don’t you see anything odd? Anything?
Frowning, I ignored the man who fought for my attention, focusing instead on the woman. She seemed... anxious. Her eyes were hidden from view behind a curtain of ebony locks, but she constantly chewed her lip.
Just like I did.
As if she sensed my stare or heard my whisper, the woman slowly turned to face me, a pair of sunglasses shrouding her eyes. When her gaze rested upon me, she frozen for a mere second before fixing her collar, enough that it covered her mouth, and racing off down an alley.
Swallowing, I returned to the furious vendor, stiffly handing him the money as I took my fruit.
“Rotten kids. The attention span of a Furret,” he muttered, obviously to himself.
I finished my fruit in a short while, and by the time my friends emerged from the shop, my mind had been erased of all memory of the mysterious woman. Hell, she was probably a figment of my imagination anyway.
Glyph managed to convince me to buy something at our second stop. I mean, I didn’t want to face the consequences of his wrath; no thank you.
I managed to get separated in ten seconds flat. They’d spread out, each going to a particular area or even to the second floor. My ears drooped. I hate shopping. I feel like a lost child.
A tap on my shoulder sent me into a tizzy. “Calm down, Ewan,” Delin said with a laugh. “I know you were getting all steamy with Chandacy, but you’ve got to chill out now. Pick out something you’d like to get and meet back with us at the register.”
Only after I nodded did he leave, and with a deep breath, I stepped toward the closest area with an array of knick knacks.
What would Chandacy like? I wondered, perusing the shelves with furrowed brows. There were figurines of Pokemon, but they seemed tacky. Some of the necklaces were nice, but the ones that looked decent were way out of my price range. Not that I had one, but twenty bucks seemed sufficient for... whatever.
You’re only getting her something because you want in her pants. Once more, the voice decided to interject. I tried to ignore it, but yet, I couldn’t. A blush crept onto my face.
It seemed to mock me. Oh really? Why so red then? You know I’m right. I’m always right. I shuddered.
You’re a liar.
I bit my tongue. Shut up.
Wow, and I thought you were stupid before. Now you’re just oblivious.
“...I didn’t say anything.” Wearing a positively puzzled expression, Tanner stood before me, a mountain of assorted products gathered in his arms. After a moment, I processed his confusion.
You’re an idiot “Oh, sorry, Tanner. I was just...” I paused. “Um...”
“Talking to yourself?” he offered.
“Yeah,” I immediately confirmed, only to curse myself. “I mean, no. No of course not.”
To my surprise, he laughed, nudging me with an elbow. “You’re a funny guy, Ewan.” I no longer flinched at the sound of my name; its cursed annotation had dispersed with my new home. “But you better hurry up and pick some things. Delin’s checking out.”
Frantic, I scrambled to grab a necklace I’d been eying, one with silver plating and a flawless amethyst embedded in the center. Crystals lined the metal, sparkling in the fluorescent lighting. I barely made it to the counter in time, earning a collective round of laughter from the other guys.
It was nice, in a way. I finally felt like I belonged, even though they were mocking me. I didn’t care. I finally belonged.
~Approximately Twenty-Two minutes Later~
“I don’t suppose you fellows are hungry?” said Patrick, purple ears twitching. Naturally, we all confirmed his suspicion to be accurate, and post haste, we found ourselves crammed ourselves into a long booth inside the old fashioned diner. I sat nearest the aisle, across from Rai and beside Delin.
They all joked and jostled one another, and though I tried to play along, I couldn’t escape the feeling that there was someone... watching us. Watching me.
I tried to ignore it, driving my attention to the guys who chuckled and teased one another.
“What’d you get your sweetie, Glyph?” asked a sneering Patrick. The Gligar furrowed his brows.
“I don’t understand.”
Snickering all the while, Delin leaned closer to him, stage-whispering, “He means Rai,” into his ear. While Rai slapped a palm to his heated face, Glyph’s eyes went wide.
“Rai Rai? Hmmm...” As he stroked his chin, Glyph donned a sly grin. “I can’t very well tell you, can I? It would ruin the surprise.”
“Another... kiss perhaps?” joked Tanner.
Glyph’s smile grew broader. “That’s the free part.” Unable to contain himself any longer, he burst into a fit of gut-busting laughter, and pretty soon, we’d all joined in.
“What can I get for you fellas?” demanded a sassy red-headed waitress.
“We’ll take ummm three orders of chili cheese fries, three orders of wings, and six double cheeseburgers, medium rare,” Delin ordered, closing his menu for effect. Before she left, I had to interject.
“Um, you don’t happen to have veggie burgers, do you?” I asked. She stared at me levelly.
“What kind of place do you think we’re running here? Some kind of vegan, hippie saloon?”
Flustered, blood raced to my cheeks. “On second thought, I’ll just have...”
As I mulled over my limited options, my eyes drifted over to the window, staring straight through them and locking on the same woman from before. She sat on a bench, still clothed in the same outfit. Only this time, she met my gaze.
My mouth snapped shut, and I rose, sliding past the waitress.
“Ewan? Where are you going?” Rai queried, staring at me like I had three heads. The woman rose, as well, nodding sharply to her left. Ever so slowly, she walked in that direction, glancing back once to see if I followed.
“I... I’ll meet you guys back at the mansion,” was the only reply I could formulate. Soon enough, I was out the door, and without any hesitation, I broke into a sprint. Down dark alleys I went, following the faint scent of lavender and rosemary.
The sun was still hung high in the sky when I found her. She faced the lake, hands folded before her, and she refused to turn around.
“Who are you?” I called to break the silence, four minutes later. With just enough movement to make her mouth visible, she smirked.
“Someone. No one.”
What a smart ass. “Please... tell me.”
She sighed, spinning around completely. Just a simple motion was all it took to remove her glasses and hat both.
It was all it took to send me into a nightmare.
For a moment, I was breathless, white spots in the corners of my vision. No. This couldn’t be real. It was... impossible. Yet there she was.
Finally, I said, “Usha.”
Her eyes flashed red, and the same glow appeared around my limbs. A sad smile flickered across her lips, and after a sudden, burning pain, the agony of Psychic, my eyes closed against the sight of a long forgotten memory.
It’s just a dream, I struggled to convince myself as I floated into the unforgiving darkness. But no matter how hard I tried, it was futile. It was real.
It... was Usha.
Sekreta Transiro: Se mi rakontis al vi, estus ruinigi ĝin... KAJ TIU ESTAS EN ALIAN LINGVON POR MIA AMUZOJ~
Somewhere beyond my eyelids, lights flashed in every color imaginable, leaving an impression against the blackness. The notes of a fast-paced song began to register in my ears, and despite the uncertainty persisting in my mind regarding my situation, I groaned.
“Good, he’s finally waking up,” said a voice resemblant of a bell, followed by a few chuckles. Something tickled my ear, and in a tone barely louder than a whisper, the same voice murmured, “Next time you have too much to drink, don’t go outside. It’s not smart to be drunk in the middle of the day. People start to talk. And that’s not good for your image.”
My eyes flashed open, meeting the amber eyes of an incredibly beautiful woman. Golden hair flowed down her back in waves, caressing her narrow hips. Around her chest was a skin-tight tube tip, one in a shimmering material that ended just below her breasts. From her barely-there skirt hung... many identical tails that brushed the ground.
No... not just a woman. A Gijinka. A Ninetails.
This observation did little to diminish my confusion. She was lovely, sure, but not familiar. I didn’t recognize her. I didn’t recognize... anything.
As my brows furrowed, she stepped back, resting her arms casually over the shoulders of a Charizard and a Salamence Gijinka. “Isn’t he cute? Doesn’t even remember a thing. Guess we’ve got to jog his memory a bit, huh?” They all snickered as if they were in on a joke and I didn’t know the punchline.
What? Where am I? How’d I get here? Oh, Arceus, what’s going on?
She moved closer, resting her hands on my bare chest. Her fingers traced my scar, methodically, her skin colder than the woods near Solaceon. “Oh, Ewing, you’re so silly.” That’s not my name. Close, but no cigar. “Stop acting like you don’t remember me.” I’m not acting. I have no idea who you are. “Come on. Get back to the party. It’s only a few hours until dusk.” WHAT PARTY? WHAT IS THIS?
Taking my hand gingerly in hers, the woman tugged me into a sitting position. I gritted my teeth against the sharp pain that sprouted in my shoulder, forcing back a groan.
I don’t know why you’re complaining, said the voice from the darkest corner of my mind. You’ve been so f*cking hormonal all day. It’s like you’re a pubescent boy again. And in walks this goddess who doesn’t know your real name. Yet she is clearly interested. Here’s your chance.
She’s not Chandacy. I don’t know who she is. And I don’t just want... My cheeks flared, and the woman giggled as she ran a finger down one.
“It’s like you have a concussion or something,” she whispered, pursing her lips. “This isn’t like you.”
“How would you know?” I spat, hands trembling as I fought against her. “I don’t know you. I don’t know where I am. I have no f*cking clue what’s going on, okay?”
Her tails twitched once, and the men she’d been with previously stepped ahead of us, turning incredulous glares on me. Eye twitching ever so slightly, she forced a smile onto her lips, lips in a tight line. As I stared, her cheeks seemed to grow paler, thinner, skin stretching over prominent bones.
“I’m Nina, your best friend since college.” I didn’t go to college. What the hell? “Stop acting like an ass,” she said stiffly.
“I’m not acting. I’ve never seen you before, ‘Nina,’” I replied, adding a flourish of air quotes. “This doesn’t make sense. My best friend isn’t a slutty Ninetails.”
Her eyes flashed, fingers curling into claws. Hissing, she grabbed my collar, forcing me to look her in the eyes. “Look, you little sh*t. I’ve had enough of these games.” The men behind her faded into the stonework, leaving us alone. “You better sober up real fast or else. Go take a cold shower, and no, I won’t be joining you this time.” What the actual f*ck. “Get out of my sight, Ewing.”
“My name isn’t Ewing.” Bitter, I tried to keep myself calm and collected, but as the seconds ticked by, my control melted. I began to shake in her hold, and when I struggled to escape, her grip loosened, only so that her nails carved lines into the flesh at my throat.
“Get out!” she screamed, shoving the spot right between my shoulder blades, sparks flying from her open palm. I stumbled, catching myself on the nearest door frame.
When I turned around to face her, there was no one in the room. A small, 8x8 structure was all I saw. No furniture was visible, just identical slate gray walls and flooring.
A chill traveled up my spine and down again. ... What... what’s going on?
Drunken shouts and bouts of laughter filtered in from beyond this room, lights still flashing and music still blaring. How about instead of wondering about it like an idiot you go and find out? the voice suggested sardonically. Though it annoyed me to no end, it had a point.
With a shaky sigh, I licked my lips and headed out.
A fountain of booze stood tall and proud in the center of the first room, numerous lights dyeing the liquid in every color of the rainbow. Speakers hung in the corners, discordant bass pouring through them. On the dance floor, bodies swayed to the beat, red cups held high. It was obvious how intoxicated they all were.
“Hey there, sweet thang,” a charming yet slurred voice called as a chilled hand found it place on my bare shoulder. “Come here often?”
The owner spun me around, and I found myself face to face with a Froslass gijinka, her icy blue eyes heavily surrounded by violet.
I shrugged her gloved hand off. “No, I don’t.”
“What a shame. Oh well. It’ll be more fun to have you dance when we will never see each other ever again,” she said, giggling. Before I could object, she grabbed me hand and tugged me out on the dancefloor. Honestly, there was no designated area to dance; the whole room was a freaking club, for Arceus’ sake.
Despite every warning signal flashing in my head, I couldn’t resist. Her grip was like steel, and for some odd reason, I felt too giddy to acknowledge the potential dangers. There I was, in an alien place with strange people, yet I couldn’t discern what made me uneasy. It was as if the worry had been erased from my mind. And... I was relieved.
A grin spread on my lips, and I allowed the strange woman to guide me through the motions. Dancing hadn’t been a favored hobby of mine, so I’d never dabbled in the practice. But it wasn’t as difficult as I’d anticipated, and to my surprise, I found myself having fun.
“The name’s Aneira,” she shouted above the music. “Aneira the Froslass. And what are you?”
I paused before answering. “Ewing the Eevee.”
“You ain’t like any Eevee I ever seen.”
And that was all that our conversation consisted of. I preferred it that way. Aneira, as she’d told me, was a strange character, more of a child than a woman. She seemed to care little for trivial matters and more for living in the moment. I admired that.
When the song ended, I was drenched in sweat, but Aneira, on the other hand, was merely glowing. She bowed. “Thank you for the dance, my liege.”
Playing along, I mimicked her obeisance, sweeping low and near the ground. “Twas my pleasure, m’lady.”
My eyes lifted before my head, but by the time I straightened, she was gone. The music had stopped, and though the lights were still flashing, the room was otherwise empty.
Well, it was good while it lasted, I said to myself, wiping a hand across my forehead.
You’re still just as horny. So no, it wasn’t even worth it, the voice responded.
I didn’t ask for your opinion.
For a few moments, I stood stoically, still processing the events that had transpired. What a strange place I’d found myself in. A place where people vanished with no explanation, where they believed they knew me, was absurd. Yet I stood in the center of it all.
After a short time spent dwelling on my predicament, there came a soft whimpering from the dark room off to my right. Prior to that moment, I hadn’t noticed the doorway, but now that I had, the darkness beyond it seemed inky and impenetrable. The whimpering grew louder, and through everything I’d experienced, I was soon moving toward the sound.
A sob served as my reply.
“Are you alright? Should I call for someone?”
In the midst of the blackness, a pair of round, yellow eyes flashed. “It wouldn’t do anyone any good. No one cares.” The voice was meek and girlish, weak above all else.
“Well...” I paused. “I do.”
“Don’t lie to me,” came her bitter response.
“I’m not. I promise. Just tell me how I can help you.”
A low growl surfaced from her throat. “If I told you, you’d only run away. I’m used to it. Just leave now, before I get my hopes up.”
In spite of myself, I knelt on the ground, crawling forward as slowly as I could. “Please, I want to help you. I won’t leave you. I promise.”
“Empty promises...” She laughed. “Human nature, I suppose.”
“But I’m not human.”
“That makes two of us.”
“Please. Tell me what to do.” There was a sense of desperation in my chest that seemed to press against my heart and lungs, hindering my ability to breathe. It wasn’t just that I wanted to help her. It was almost as if I needed to.
Finally, she sighed, and with my barely-adjusted eyes, I watched as she bowed her head, red antennae dusting the ground. “Come closer.” I inched forward, unsure of what to expect. “Closer. If you’re going to help, you need to be fearless.”
Oh, Arceus, what am I getting myself into? Once I could prod her arm with a single finger, I asked, “Now what?” Her small, fragile hand clasped around my own, and she then led it to the mouth of a hole just beyond where my knee rested.
“There’s something I need in the hole. I’ll die without it.” Cryptic, her response served no purpose to me.
“Because I’m trapped here. I can’t leave. It’s a curse or enchantment. Something. Either way, I need it,” she tried to explain, the tears audible in her voice. “Please, if you’re going to help me, do it. If not, leave now. I’ll be dead soon.”
“What does it feel like?” I demanded, bracing myself and I slid across the sediment under me.
“Like a polished ruby that faced relentless erosion from the waves for fifty years. Like new glass, like freshly-sanded wood. It has a heartbeat, but it isn’t alive. You can feel it inside,” she murmured, her voice growing softer. “Hurry,” was the last word she uttered before falling silent.
Swallowing, I hesitated for a single second before plunging my hand into the hole. It was moist and cramped, the edges unpleasantly earthy. The deeper my hand went, the more detestable the hole grew. Thorns stabbed into my skin, embedding themselves there, and the soil seemed to close in, sticking to my flesh.
I fought against the urge to recoil, gritting my teeth to propel myself, and finally, my fingers brushed an incredibly smooth surface. Heat seemed to radiate from it, only enough that it dispelled the chill of the earth enveloping it. Now in a hurry as I realized the girl’s breathing had slowed, I clutched the object, no bigger than a pebble, and yanked my arm out of the cavity as quickly as I could.
In the darkness, the girl’s eyes flickered open, and with shaking fingers, she reached for the object. The instant the two connected, there was a brilliant light that emitted from the point of contact, brighter than the light of the morning sun.
When the light died down, the room was light enough that I could see every detail. There wasn’t much to take in, but the fact that there was a source of light was enough to amaze me. Standing before me was a lovely Butterfree Gijinka, one whose two black antennae were separated by a small circle of green.
She smiled. “Thank you, Ewan. You’re the only one who went through with it. You saved me.”
I paled a bit. “How do you know my name? And who are you?”
Giggling, she grinned even broader. “Lia at your service. Silly, Eevee. Your sister told me.”
Nodding, she swayed a bit on her feet. “Yeah. None of your other ones ever show up. It’s kind of sad.”
I shrugged off the comment, figuring that was the case. “What was that stone anyway? How’d you evolve so quickly?”
“It’s a Punaise Stone, the only one of its kind. The only way to obtain it is to risk death and find someone willing to sacrifice.” For a brief moment, her eyes locked on my arm. Following her gaze, I noted how it continued to bleed through the coating of mud. “You were that one. I can’t ever thank you enough.”
“Glad I could help.”
“Go find your sister. She should be nearby.”
Just like I’d grown to expect, she faded into black, the light disappearing with her. Behind me, the music had started again, lights flashing against the whitewashed wall before me and carefree shouts rising up above the song. Deciding that I had nothing left to lose, I spun on my heels and trekked back into the main room.
The instant I set foot in the room, everything shut down. Silence reigned, the lights ceased flashing, and all eyes turned to me. Time stopped.
From the crowd of Gijinkas emerged a tall form, one with bleached white skin, black shaggy hair, white irises, and black ears. I froze, nerves overrun with fear.
No. No this isn’t... this... You don’t exist. You’re not real. What?!
As if he heard my inner rambling, the man grinned. “Ewan, don’t be foolish. Of course I’m real. You talk to me all the time. Sure, not many others can hear those conversations, but who’s to say no one does?” His voice was smooth and flawlessly articulate.
“I don’t understand.”
“You never do!” he snapped, striding forward to take my collar in hand. “You’re a fool, Ewan. A weakling. A pathetic, spineless child in an adult’s body. Do you expect to amount to anything the way you continue to live? So dependent and incapable, it’s a shock you’re still alive.”
My eyes burned, but instead of succumbing to his jarring remarks, I clenched my fists. “I don’t care what you think. You don’t exist. This is some illusion or something.”
He smirked, offering a slow, mocking clap after releasing me. “Congratulations, you figured it out. I’m sorry I didn’t prepare a prize; I assumed you’d remain unaware or the truth.
“Oh, but the time for fun is not now.” Stepping back, he sneered. “You may call me Nawe, N for short, if you so desire. I don’t quite care, really.”
“I don’t plan on calling you anything. You aren’t the person I want to speak with, and I especially don’t want to talk to you in front of these people.”
“Why not? It isn’t as if you know them, correct? They’re strangers. Perhaps they’re figments of your imagination, as well.”
“Is little Ewie getting upset? What a shame. And here I thought you were stronger than that,” he chided with a cluck of his tongue.
“You aren’t real.”
“Oh, but I am. I may not have a physical form, but if I recall correctly, you created me because you couldn’t handle being alone. You couldn’t face it. So you made a pathetic escape.”
“I hate you,” I hissed, closing my eyes. His bone-like fingers pressed against the underside of my chin.
“And by saying so, you only admit to hating yourself.”
A tear fell, followed shortly by another, and a round of laughter circled around me, never ceasing; never relenting; never quieting; never ending.
But it did stop, and abruptly at that. The silence from before made its reappearance, and once I felt it safe to open my eyes, I did so, meeting nothing but emptiness. The lights had vanished, as had the speakers, and there was nothing in sight but a single doorway about two feet tall. On the wooden door that occupied the hole was a small piece of paper.
“‘Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction,’” I muttered sourly, the quote from the famous tale surfacing at precisely the right time.
Throwing caution to the wind, for I no longer had any reason to want to continue this enduring hell, I raced over the thirty feet to the door, kneeling down as soon as I reached it. With ginger fingers, I plucked the paper off of the door, resting a hand against it to steady myself as I read it aloud.
“‘The place that you fear, yet you love all the same.
The people you hate, but whose attention you crave.
To find the truth and the path you must take
Think of those whose kindness has been faked.’”
I dropped the paper as if it had seared the flesh off my bones.
Usha’s handwriting... I felt ill, resting my head against the wooden door. She always had a taste for poetry. None of it was was ever very good, but this is just cruel.
In order to gain access to the place beyond the door, I did all I could think of. Repeating the lines of the poem was all I could do. I needed to figure the riddle out.
“‘The place that you fear, yet you love all the same.’” That must be home. It was my safe haven until Team Rocket showed up. I couldn’t bear to see it again.
I closed my eyes against the pain that swelled in my chest.
“‘The people you hate, but whose attention you crave.’” Oh, Arceus, my family. Usha, Gabriel, Zuma. Enya and Cato. Even Marius and Viridian. I miss them so much. But I can’t forgive them for abandoning me. Ever.
‘“To find the truth and the path you must take/ Think of those whose kindness has been faked.’” Everyone. My siblings, my ‘friends.’ I know that they lie all the time. I’ve learned that. Even those I... love. Even Usha. Even Chandacy. They all lie. They don’t care.
Good job, Ewan. You figured something out. Congratulations. Mother would be so proud.
A soft grinding sound startled me, forcing my eyes open and urging me to rise to my feet. The door had stretched higher so it was a good two inches above my head. But I’d seen this door before. It was a strange observation, but it was true. As if it had been stored somewhere deep in my subconscious, it brought back ancient memories that were coated in a thick layer of dust.
~Ushering a weeping Viridian into the kitchen, his knees scraped and bloody. He’d foolishly tried to climb the tallest tree in the woods. He’d fallen, and I’d been the only one home. He never stopped thanking me for ‘saving him.’~
~Gabriel fighting against Zuma and myself as we tried to hold him back. We’d tripped on the doorstep and tumbled into the kitchen. Gabriel had picked a fight with the wrong gang, and none of us wanted mother to find out about his fiery temper. Once he'd cooled down, he only acknowledged our efforts with a sheepish nod befor retiring to his apartment in the attic.~
Countless others flitted through my mind, but I tried to ignore them. Before me, the door creaked open, revealing an ever familiar tile floor, the alternating pattern of black and white registering in my mind immediately.
I stepped inside, unsure of what to expect. Simultaneously, I knew what was about to occur, and I wasn’t pleased one bit about the notion.
She sat at the edge of the kitchen in the far corner, a tall glass held tightly in her pale fingers as she perched atop the cracked counter. Now that she’d relaxed, the gleaming hilt of a dagger glinted in the lights, exposed by the slight shifting of her coat. Her eyes drifted up to meet my own.
Though I’m not certain how I managed, I refrained from shouting across the room. Instead, I waited until I’d reached her and taken a hold of her wrist to speak. “What the h*ll are you doing to me? What game are you playing, Usha? I don’t see you for nine f*cking years, then you do this to me? Where am I? Who were those people? Why do they act like they know me? What the h*ll is going on?”
She appeared unfazed as she motioned for me to move beside her. “I don’t know the answer to any of those questions.”
Smirking, she shrugged, taking a sip of her beverage. “You caught me. But I’m not telling you anything.”
“Then why do this to me? Why take me... wherever we are?”
She sighed. “Look, I needed to talk to you, and I needed to do so in private.”
“So you chose a f*cking party for privacy?”
“It’s not what you think,” she countered.
I looked around. “Well, I suppose it’s not a party here. No, you just brought me to the place my life was ruined. Thanks a lot.”
Slamming her now-empty glass on the counter, she rose to her feet, matching my height only through her heels. “Listen, you little brat. I’ve been tracking you since you Team Rocket found you at that old pervert’s place.”
“He wasn’t a pervert!”
Her stare became hard. “That’s what you think. Look, you don’t know the truth about a lot of things—”
Something she said finally registered, and I couldn’t resist cutting her off. “What do you mean, you were tracking me?”
“F*ck,” she said under her breath. I smiled. Point one for the “little brat.” “Ewan, I... The day Team Rocket attacked, we didn’t all just abandon you. I waited in the woods with Gabe. We saw that you didn’t get out in time, and we were so worried. When we saw you run out, you were...” A strange expression flashed across her face. “You were different. Something had changed.”
“I saw our parents murdered. And then they set our house on fire. How could you expect anything less?” I shouted, grabbing her shoulders. “You have no idea what I’ve been through.”
Finally, she permitted the sorrow to show on her features. “Yes. Yes I do. For the most part, I’ve been there.”
I released my hold. “Tell me this then. Why didn’t you do anything? Why would you let me starve and scavenge and live like a deranged creature? Don’t you care about me at all?”
Something sparked in her eyes, a shadow crossing over her face. “It wasn’t my choice. I did what I was required to do.”
“Oh? Then whose choice was it? Arceus?” I laughed, but there was no humor in my tone. “I can’t believe you’re still lying to me, Usha. After everything we’ve been through.”
To my surprise, she wrapped her hands around my throat quicker than what I’d deemed physically possible. “Ewan, I swear...” She sighed, loosening her hold and laying her palms on my shoulders instead. “It’s classified, but you shouldn’t remember every detail from this when we’re through.” Biting her lip, she turned away. “I joined Team Rocket when I lost track of you the first time. You were special, and I knew they’d be on your trail. But they trained me so well, and I guess I got caught up in my job.
“It was never my intention to become what I am. I never wanted to end up like this. Every chance I could, I protected you.” Her eyes burned in the slim moment they locked with mine. “You have no idea how much it hurt when Amethyst almost had you. I thought everything I’d done had been in vain. I thought I’d failed you.” She bit her lip once more, just as she always did when she grew nervous or mildly upset.
“I don’t blame you, Usha. I’m glad you tried. But if you just would have told me—”
“They would have killed me. But only after they killed you and made me watch. Ewan, I... I couldn’t do that. I did the best I could,” she murmured, a small whimper escaping. “I tried, Ewan. I did. But I never did enough. I know I made a lot of mistakes, but I want you to know that I tried to protect you.”
Unsure of what to do, I initiated an awkward hug. She was frail and spindly, but I could feel the presence of lean muscle beneath her skin. I could barely stand to imagine what hell she’d experienced in her years with Team Rocket.
Shakily, I took a deep breath, hoping to calm my frayed nerves. I was pleased to find that, even after all these years, she still smelled of cinnamon.
“What happened to Gabriel?” I couldn’t help but ask into the silence.
“I don’t know,” she confessed. “I haven’t seen him in years. Last I checked, he was trying to find a teacher, one who was strong and wise, to teach him everything. He was searching for Kyurem.”
“That’s suicide,” I muttered, closing my eyes. In her arms, I felt like I was truly home. Even though we’d faced terrible things, in that moment, everything was fine.
“I have to go now, Ewan,” she whispered as she tried to pull away, and automatically, I tightened my hold, eyes flashing open.
“No, Usha. I don’t care what you did to me here. I don’t care that you’ve made mistakes. I need my big sister.”
She shook her head, peeling my fingers from herself with ease. “No you don’t. You’ve been fine on your own for many years. When the time comes, we’ll all be united again, just like we should have been in the first place.”
“How do you know? And where are you going? Please, Usha, at least tell me how to get back to the mansion, to my... friends,” I begged.
After taking my hand in hers, she planted a quick kiss on my forehead. “Ewan, darling, this hasn’t been real. I needed a private and solitary place to talk to you.”
My face went numb as her words registered. She doesn’t mean...
“This is nothing more than a dream, Ewie. I’m sorry for doing this to you. Please... You’ll find room in your heart to forgive me eventually. Go. Go back and find happiness. We’ll see each other eventually.”
“No... No! No! Usha!” My screams were drowned out by a sudden gust of wind. Blinded, I fought against the current that blew from all directions. Everything went black, and the last thing that was visible was a lingering imprint of a pair of red eyes, winking in the dark.
Then everything vanished once more, and I succumbed to the floating existence of nothingness.
“USHA!” I screamed, sitting up as quickly as I could. My back ached, and my head didn’t feel much better. From somewhere out of my line of sight, two hands grabbed my shoulders and pressed me back to the ground.
“Whoa there, Ewan. Not so fast.” Tanner? “What were you thinking?” I wonder what he thinks happened...
“Who’s Usha?” Rai asked, appearing in my field of vision. His eyebrows were furrowed, and he held a sodden washcloth in his hand.
I shuddered, chilled both by the winter wind and thoughts of my dream. “She’s my sister.” My mind began to clear, and despite the protests of my companions, I sat up, resting my elbows on my knees. “Why are you here? And how’d you find me?”
“Well, you ran off like a maniac. We knew something was wrong,” said Tristyn matter-of-factly.
“The way you’ve been so distant during training...” Glyph began, expression deadly serious, “Well, I didn’t want anything to happen. None of us did.”
I bit my cheek to keep from outright expressing my gratitude. Oh, Arceus, who knew? Who knew anyone would actually... care? “Thank you all... I really appreciate it.”
“No problem,” Delin said with a smile. He offered a hand, and I took it without hesitation, using it as leverage to rise. “What I want to know is why you ran off in the first place.”
“Well... I...” Classified information. No one knows about my family. They don’t need to. “I needed to go see Chandacy. I still do. I guess I just...”
“Got a bit too excited?” suggested the Togekiss with a smirk. Playing along, I bowed my head, leading them to believe I was hiding a blush.
“I think I tripped and hit my head, or something,” I offered, forcing out a laugh. “But now that I’m good again... I really should go see Chandacy. She’s probably waiting.”
“From what I saw at the last meeting we interrupted, I’d say you better run,” Delin said, winking.
“You’re probably right,” I agreed, chuckling. “I’ll see you all later.”
After waving goodbye, I took off, stumbling only once on weak legs.
I swallowed down every ounce of fear that’d welled in my veins. It wouldn’t help, not anymore. If what Usha said was true, then I had nothing to worry about. But I wouldn’t forgive her.
Just the fact that she’d been so heartless made me bitter, and I only hoped that the meeting with Chandacy would help to ease the mood.
No. Any hope I’d had disintegrated the moment I saw Chandacy’s door wide open. She cherished her privacy. There was no chance she would disregard it.
A feeling of dread settled in my stomach, and I raced over to her room. When I reached the frame, I peeked inside, and in that instant, everything turned sour. Memories were tossed about. I couldn’t...
“Chandacy? Wh-what?” My voice wavered, but I tried to infuse as much authority as I could into it. She pointedly ignored me, trembling hands lifting the bottle in hands to her mouth. Before she could do any more damage, I’d sprinted over to her, snatched the bottle, and reached the bathroom. Though I was tempted to drown my own problems with the solution, I decided against it, pouring the alcohol down the sink instead.
“What the fuck are you doing?” she hissed, eyes livid. In response, I tossed the empty bottle into the trash, walking back to her with purpose.
“I could ask you the say thing,” was my reply. I hadn’t really intended it to be so crude, but with everything I’d experienced in the previous hours, not to mention the vivid recollections that’d surfaced, I couldn’t help myself. “What were you thinking, drinking that?!”
Her eyes narrowed in disbelief. “Like you care. For your information, I was trying to rid my mind of my nightmarish images when you can barging in, trying to be a knight in shining armour,” she accused, eyebrows furrowed.
I knew this situation all too well, and it certainly wasn’t the way to go. “But drowning it in alcohol? What—” I never got to finish.
At last, she snapped. “I was trying to numb the withdrawal! I didn’t want to explain myself, especially to you! It seemed like the only option at the time! Do you know how it feels, to be angry all the time? To wonder why you’re alive? To try and live without something you’ve been addicted to for years? To want to die? No, you don't! For the last three months, this is how I’ve felt over and over again! That’s is why! Are you happy now?!” Her words flew through the stagnant air without relent, and though I had anticipated some sort of anger, this was unexpected. I couldn’t help but flinch.
Though she didn’t know it, I really did understand her pain. “Chandacy,” I murmured. “Why didn’t you tell me? I can help.” By this point, I was desperate, but I needed to be.
Still, she refused to accept my assistance. She remained abrasive. “No, you don’t understand. You can’t help me. You don’t care.You don’t know what this is about.”
For a few brief seconds, I was transported back to a time with Enya and her pain. It had been a petty trouble, a frivolous crush, but she had been unable to handle it. At the age of thirteen, she turned to the unthinkable.
I was seized by an immeasurable fury. My vision turned red at the edges, and I couldn’t control myself any longer. “I don’t understand? The hell I don't! For years I had to help my sister through withdrawal! Years! and that means nothing?! I had to literally hold Enya back from drowning herself in alcohol! I had to hold her back from killing herself! And that means nothing?
“I understand more than you think I do! And another thing. I don’t care? How would you know? For Arceus’s sake, I care about you! Is that what you wanted to hear? You want to drown yourself in alcohol to not feel anything? Do you want to die?!” I could tell my face had grown fiery in color, and my breathing had become erratic.
Ewan, I know we’re normally not on the same side, but d*mn man. Think you could have made a bigger *ss of yourself?
My eyes burned, tears filling them. Oh, Arceus, no. They altered my vision, making everything too blurry to make out, and once I’d wiped them away, I got a good look at the expression on Chandacy’s face.
Fear. Unadulterated fear.
"Chandacy," was the only word I could form at first. "Oh Arceus, I'm so sorry. I-I..." Please... let me make this up to you. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. It’s...
Hugs made things better between friends, correct?
But no. When I got closer, she flinched, noticeably so. Way to screw everything up.
No longer able to make a sound, I mouthed a constant apology as I ran out of the room, so ashamed I couldn’t stand it.
You’ve f*cked up big time, Ewan, the voice spat as I ran, descending the stairs as quickly as possible. I needed to get out. Honestly, if you push away the only person who f*cking cared about you from the start, how the h*ll are you going to stay sane? You’re better off in the woods, where you’re alone and pitiful like always.
More tears burned in the corners of my eyes, and I didn’t bother wiping them away. Where I was headed, no one would care.
“Whoa, slow down there, guy,” Xio barked, hands raised as if to stop me. I skidded on the carpet before him, preventing a collision. “What’s the hurry?”
“Nothing,” I panted, eyes darting back and forth frantically.
“Listen, I hope you didn’t take any offense from earlier. Incentive is key, y’know? Besides, if you can’t handle a simple f*cking thunderbolt, you don’t even deserve to be here.” He chuckled, finding his “joke” to be humorous. I didn’t laugh.
“I’m fine.” Flat and cold, my voice reflected the state of my mental functions rather perfectly.
He looked at me strangely, a single eyebrow raised. “Uh, you sure?”
“I. Am. Fine. Now get the f*ck out of my way, *sshole, before I make you,” I growled, and in response, his eyes went wide.
“Someone’s got a temper.”
Without another word, I stormed past him, ignoring his fuming expression.
Stupid f*cking cat. Has to be in everyone’s business.
Somehow, I made it to the trees without anymore interruptions. With only a second of thought, I began sprinting into the forest, dodging limb after limb with ease. Huh. Guess Glyph’s drills come in handy after all.
Twenty minutes later, I collapsed at the base of a yew tree, panting and staring up at the now-visible stars.
“How can I ever go back?” I muttered to the breeze, bowing my head in my hands. Maybe I’d overreacted, but chances were that I hadn’t. Snapping like a lunatic... it wasn’t smart.
“You have to,” called a voice from above me. Confused, I jerked my head back just in time to see Usha drop down, hair loose and shades gone. “Ewan, it’s your home. So what if you snapped once? It happens to the best of us.”
I rose. “Oh, shut up, Usha. Like you know.”
To my surprise, she nodded. “I do. Hello, I can use Psychic. Not like it’s solely offensive.”
“What’s it matter? I probably terrified Chandacy beyond redemption. How could I face her again, Usha? I’m so...”
“Lost,” she finished with a knowing smile. “I know. I’ve been there. But let me tell you one thing before I must go. Chandacy cares deeply for you, just as much as you feel for her. Don’t screw things up. Go and win her back, Ewan. I believe in you. You can do it.” Once more, she pressed her lips to my face, this time on my cheek. When she pulled back, I saw tears residing in her eyes like precious crystals. “Good luck in your upcoming trials, Ewan. Do us all proud. I love you.”
And with that, she disappeared into the shadows.
“I love you, too.”
I bowed my head for a brief moment before turning on my heel and sprinting back to the mansion. With the new burst of adrenaline, I made it to the mansion in ten minutes flat.
Up the stairs and down the hall I went, sliding as I rounded a corner. Her door came into view, and I bolted, taking the longest strides I could.
“Chandacy!” I cried, grasping the door frame for support. Her bloodshot eyes lifted to meet mine. Still trying to steady my breathing, I moved closer. “Chandacy, I am so sorry. I was stupid. All I wanted to do was help.”
She nodded steadily. “I know, Ewan, but—”
Sitting down beside her, I pressed a finger on her lips. “Shh. Let me finish.” Once she nodded again, I swallowed. “Chandacy, you... I know this will sound terribly lame, but it’s the only way I know how to say this.” Clearing my throat, I brushed a stray strand of hair away from her forehead. She flinched, but when she realized nothing happened, she simply gaped. “You are amazing. You’re my best friend. But you’re more than that, Chandacy.
“Best friend doesn’t do you justice. I... I love you, Chandacy.”
I watched her carefully, awaiting her reaction. At first, she seemed utterly shocked. Then as the seconds ticked agonizingly by, her expression softened into a smile. I took it as a good sign.
Wary, I did what my heart was telling me to. Do it. Lean in. Do it, you wimp. Okay, maybe not my heart. But either way, I cupped her cheek in one hand and moved closer until our breath mingled.
“I’m not burning you. Oh, Arceus,” she murmured, clearly overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to respond.
My heart raced, but I couldn’t back down. Hoping I wasn’t misinterpreting everything, I gingerly pressed my lips against hers.
True, I was... inexperienced, but she didn’t seem to notice. Her fingers wove themselves into the hair at the base of my neck, and after a while, I found myself lying beside her. Just lying there in silence, hands intertwined.
And I wouldn’t have prefered it any other way.
So... extremely long post... ~yay? xD It was fun.... and a challenge.... heh
Um yeah.... Oh, the characters in Ewan’s dream thing do represent things. I figured since I am going to be an English teacher, I should incorporate underlying themes that people will eventually be forced to discover *shot*... I will totally use this in class.
Nina the Ninetails displays his sexuality (awkward, etc.).
The unnamed Charizard and Salamence are power and manliness nonexistent.
Aneira the Froslass represents his naivety and innocence.
Lia the Caterpie/Butterfree helps to show his willing sacrifice and the inner torture he endures for being unable to evolve.
Nawe is his inner voice personified; he displays embarrassment and honesty.
And uh Usha pretty much represents his family and his avoidance of them.
So ah yeah. I really hope you like it, and sorry for the length ^-^”” I was trying to best my record. I wanted to go for twenty-five.... so..... y’know... yay exceeding my goal? xD
Um... this is one of the strangest things I’ve written just because of the dream. It kind of makes no sense, but at the same time it does(?).....PSYCHOLOGY... Eheh yeah. Let me know what you thought of it, please! :3
Comments are immensely appreciated, even if they are essentially hate mail. ;) Thank you all for reading!! I LOVE YOU ALL <3