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Chapter Twenty-Eight: Electrifying Battle at High Speed
Boreas felt strangely wistful as they passed a pile of destroyed umbrellas. In the week since the endless storms had, in fact, ended, the city had begun a large clean-up action to clear the mess the storms had left. To make recycling easier, the different kinds of rubbish were sorted into piles of their own kind. When the storms had first ended and the Sun had shown itself for the first time in weeks, everyone, including Boreas, had been delighted. However, the Sun had quickly shown itself to be a sorry excuse for a lava lamp in this time of year: it would rise very late in the south east, make a tiny hop along the sky, and disappeared under the horizon very early in the south west. During the short time it was in the sky, it would stick close to the southern horizon, looking pitiful compared to its majestic summer self and providing little light and barely any heat. In fact it was possible to look straight into it with little discomfort. Not that Boreas complained, he actually liked the Sun a long better like this.
Though the sky was completely clear in the days that followed, it was even colder than during the storm. But today, the sky was clouded again. These weren't the dark, rolling storm clouds that had vexed Unova for weeks, though, but thick white clouds that bathed the world in a strange, orange light unlike anything Boreas had ever seen.
Boreas shuddered as he saw the Ferris wheel in the distance and turned his mind to the upcoming Gym battle. Now that he had finally learnt Ice Beam during the battle with the anonymous pokémon master, he was fairly confident they would stand a good chance against Elesa. Octa's skills with the Leaf Blade would be of great use as well.
When they reached the Gym, Black stopped for a moment and looked as if he was going to address his pokémon, then shivered in the cold air and hurried inside instead.
Elesa was waiting for them. "Finally we get to battle again, I've been waiting for this rematch but I won't give that Bolt Badge easily, by the way you and your pokémon certainly look more powerful, I wonder if you can defeat me or if the fantastic speed will leave you dizzy again?"
Black and Elesa sat on the chairs as the roller coaster lurched into motion. "We'll each use three pokémon," said Elesa, "switching out counts as a forfeit, no items allowed, Volta, you go first!"
As Elesa sent out her Emolga Boreas stepped forward, already knowing what Black was going to order. Volta the Emolga launched herself into the air and flew through the Gym on her own. The electric pouches on her cheeks flared and she shot a big ball of electricity into the cart. As the ball approached, Boreas ran and jumped over the cart's edge, avoiding the Thunderbolt. In mid-air, he shot an Ice Beam, freezing the left rail before landing on it. When he landed with his feet on the ice-covered rail, he began sliding rapidly, continually firing more Ice Beams on the track in front of him to make sure it would be covered in ice to slide on as he skied over it. Behind him he could hear the crackling sound as the cart's wheels shattered the ice covering on the rail, but it fell farther behind as Boreas was going faster than the cart.
As he skied over the rail at amazing speed, he almost forgot his opponent. Volta had been utterly amazed at Boreas' action and unable to zap him at first, but now she was coming to her senses and pursuing him. She hit the tracks with several charges, but Boreas didn't feel anything as the ice between his feet and the metal track was a very poor conductor. He was getting the hang of this now, and also finding he could easily increase or decrease his speed by hitting the track with Ice Beams more or less often and so lowering or increasing the friction.
A moment after Ice Beaming the track again, he turned his head to the Emolga who was flying to his left, charging another attack, and shot an Ice Beam at her. He didn't have time to see the result, as he already felt friction on his feet increasing, but he heard a loud squeak of pain.
He took another look and saw the Emolga plummet down helplessly, unable to fly because the Ice Beam had hit her right in the chest and frozen her pectoral muscles. She disappeared as Elesa returned her to her pokéball; a flash of light in the cart showed another pokémon being switched in as Boreas reached an uphill part of the track. Fortunately, his speed was great enough that he slid up it, but he had to Ice Beam the tracks continually to do so. When he reached the top of the uphill part, he began regaining the speed he had lost.
Before he could take a look at his new opponent, he felt a sharp yank on one of his legs and a painful shock went through him at the same moment. A thin, sticky, sparking wire had caught around his leg and more of the same kind of wire were being shot at him by the Galvantula. He sped up further and hit it with a few Ice Beams, but unlike his squirrelly ally Galvantula didn't have such easily exploitable weak spots. Another electrifying wire ended up around his tail, and then one around his neck.
Suddenly Boreas' momentum became a horrid disadvantage as the wire around his neck nearly garrotted him. More wires stuck to him, making his muscles convulse with the shocks they received, and pulling him off the tracks. After a fall, he hung from the wires sticking to him and began to black out from the pain of the increasing shocks and the garrotting wire around his neck. He looked between the spots dancing in front of his eyes and saw he was hanging from Galvantula by Electroweb, whom was hanging from the coaster by a single wire. Trying his hardest to keep his shocked muscles under control, he fired two Ice Beams: one at the wire Galvantula was hanging from and one at its bum. The first Ice Beam severed the wire, sending them both into free-fall, and the second disabled his opponents spinnerets.
Without his weight making the wire around his neck strangle him, Boreas could breathe freely. He formed a fierce Icy Wind to blow both free-falling combatants to a lower piece of the track, and then created Powder Snow there to soften his impact. The impact on the snow still knocked the air out of him, but Galvantula, who hadn't had such a soft landing, looked much worse.
The spider jumped on top of him and sunk his mandibles into Boreas' flesh, sending massive shocks through his body while Boreas used the opportunity to fire a lengthy Ice Beam directly into his face. Shocking and freezing each other, both in severe pain, it was only a matter of who would give up first. It turned out to be Galvantula, as his shocks became weaker and weaker and then completely stopped. Boreas carefully pushed the spider off of him, cringing in pain as the two mandibles left the deep wounds they had created. Elesa was at the moment far too distant to see that her pokémon had fainted, so Boreas used the time to start skiing on the tracks again and built up some speed. He was wounded, tired, and still sparkling with electricity, but perhaps he could tire the final opponent so it would be easier for the next pokémon to beat.
Since he was very low in the Gym, it wasn't easy to start moving rapidly again, but eventually he managed to build up a lot of speed. As he skied over the roller coaster tracks again, he heard the sound of hoof beats behind him. A Zebstrika was rapidly catching up, running at incredible speed over the black platform the tracks were resting on. Boreas tried to hit it with Ice Beams, but when he tried it would form a lightning spark right in the way of the Ice Beam, parrying the attack. A moment later it was running next to him, sending the same sparks arcing through Boreas, who countered by enveloping both of them in an icy cloud of frostiness and Ice Beaming his opponent's legs, trying to make it trip.
But it was too nimble, its legs easily dodging Boreas' Ice Beams, so he used them on its body instead. Then it stopped sparking him, and both were engulfed in flames. Boreas howled in pain as the horrifyingly warm flames embraced him, circling around and searing. He jumped off the tracks, away from his opponent and the flames, and landed on a far-away piece of track thanks to his great speed. A moment later, he heard the heavy hoof beat of Zebstrika next to him as it completed the same jump. He saw something that gave him an idea, but he was going to have to endure the Flame Charge for a while.
Burning flames enveloped him once again. He didn't even try to hit his opponent now, instead resolving to use his powers to keep himself as cool as possible and to combat the flames. The track rapidly curved upwards, and the platform curved along with it. It went steeper and steeper, then vertical, and only centrifugal force kept the zebra and the fox from falling out of the loop. When they were upside-down there was a terrifying moment when Boreas's feet left the track, and for that single moment he was sure he'd fall and break his neck. Then his feet touched the loop again as it curved down, and moments later they moved horizontally again.
Boreas realised timing would be vital to his plan and glimpsed between the searing flames embracing him to time it right. He mentally counted down, then took a big jump. He heard Zebstrika follow him and smirked as he neared another part of the track. A moment before landing, he created a fierce Icy Wind that blew him just aside from the tracks. He fell into the black depths under it as the confused Zebstrika landed on the tracks. And was promptly hit by the cart coming the other way.
Boreas landed relatively softly on the cushioned Gym floor under the roller coaster. After a moment, Boreas realised he'd won the battle on his own and cheered.
A few minutes later, as they left the Gym, the entire team was cheering for him and praising him. Basking in their adulation, Boreas didn't even notice the world outside had changed completely until he'd taken a few steps outside. Everything was a bright white now, not just the clouds, as it was all covered in a thin layer of snow. The snow was rapidly getting thicker as more fell from the sky. Boreas was amazed and delighted. He had, of course, seen snow before, but only snow he had made himself.
"...To see it snowing naturally was pretty amazing."
It was late evening by now, the sky had gone black and littered with hundreds of stars. Only the smallest moon was up, so it was very dark; but Boreas didn't mind, as he and Aqua were lying very close to each other and holding paws. Boreas felt incredibly happy and incredibly in love. Butterfrees flew around in his stomach next to the fish they'd caught earlier that evening. Or rather, Aqua had caught fish while Boreas splashed around clumsily in the water getting nowhere close to the figh. Fortunately she had shared the fish she had caught with him.
"D'you know what's even more amazing?" Aqua asked, "you, defeating a Gym Leader entirely on your own! That's awesome. Unless, of course, you were just bragging?"
"No, every words I said was the truth. I was amazed by it myself, actually, I had never expected that. The rest of the team was amazed too, I was their hero for days to come."
For a while they just sat there enjoying each other's company, but then Aqua stood up. "Well, it's getting late, so I guess it's time to go."
Boreas didn't want to go. So far, he'd had one of the greatest days of his life and he didn't want it to end. "But... What about the rest of my story? We're nearing the end, so it won't take that long any more."
"That's all the more reason not to tell it now, it'll give us an excuse to meet again tomorrow," Aqua said, making Boreas' heart jump with joy, "Unless you don't want to, of course."
"No, no, no," Boreas quickly assured her, "I do want to meet you tomorrow. I'd love to."
"Great, see you then!" He saw a flash of movement in the dark and heard splashing in the water. He dreamily thought about how great the day had been. Spending the whole day with Aqua, talking to her, flirting with her, tickling her... He sighed as he remembered it. After a few minutes a worrying thought surfaced, though: Now, how am I going to get back?
The rocks the beach was located between were far too steep to climb, and he certainly couldn't swim all the way home. "Aqua?!" he called, "Are you still here?! I need some help!"
No answer. In that case, Boreas figured he'd just have to swim and try to find a way up the banks as soon as possible. He walked into the frigid water, blacker than the night itself, and began swimming along with the current. After a few seconds in the water, he suddenly felt something brush by his feet, and wondered what kind of horrible water creature was going to eat him. [i]Calm down</i>, he told himself, it was probably nothing worse than a Magikarp or a Goldeen.
Suddenly something grabbed his leg and pulled it down. Blind panic grabbed a hold of Boreas as he began struggling like a madman to escape. Then he suddenly felt a pinch on his left buttock and calmed down. "Aqua? That's you, isn't it?"
A shapely silhouette surfaced next to him. "Aww, how'd you know it was me?"
"Because you also goosed me while we were catching fish."
"I told you, a fish bit you."
"Once maybe, but twice? You're as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo. Anyway, that wasn't funny, you scared me half to death!"
"I'm sorry, it was just too funny not to do that."
"Just help me swim back, okay?"
"Aww, can wittle Boweas not swim fow himself?" she said in a mocking kiddie voice.
"C'mon, you know I'm a worthless swimmer."
"What's the magic word?"
"Please, can you help me swim back?"
"Okay. Hold on tight."
She came close enough and Boreas put his arms around her. Feeling her so close to him, a wave of affection washed over him and he immediately forgave her mean prank. He let his head rest on her shoulder as he began stroking her ears. He felt dizzy with love and almost began kissing her neck, but she said: "Stop. At least, for now. That's all very distracting, and we'll end up swimming into a rock if you keep it up."
They swam on in silence as Boreas stopped distracting her, just enjoying the physical contact instead. They reached Driftveil far too soon for Boreas' taste. When they reached the shallow water by the pier they had met at that morning, Boreas' feet touched the ground and he let go of Aqua.
"Well, see you tomorrow," said Aqua as she began swimming off.
"Aqua, wait!" Boreas stopped her.
"Hmm?" she turned around to face him. With the city's dim ambient light illuminating her face and her eyes reflecting the stars, she looked more gorgeous than she ever had. Boreas knew he had to say it now or his head would explode.
"I'm..." he hesitated, then drew a breath and continued, "I'm in love with you, Aqua. You're the kindest, most lovely, charming, awesome girl I've ever met. You're the most pleasant company I've ever been in, and you make me feel warm and dizzy just by thinking of you. When you touch me, it's like..." he struggled to find the right word and gave up, "I'm sorry. I just can't express it in words, because words that describe what I feel for you just don't exist."
Aqua had slowly been approaching him closer and closer while he talked; her face was very close to his now. "Try..." she whispered, "expressing it without words."
Boreas decided to do so. He closed the last bit of distance between their faces, interlocking their lips in a passionate kiss. He closed his eyes in delight. It was as if all the happiness and joy he had ever felt was repeated five times within a single moment. The warm feeling of love filled his entire body as if he had his own private Sun burning within. After who knows how long, their lips slowly parted as they still sat in the shallow water embracing each other. They didn't say a word for minutes. Then Aqua whispered: "Yes, I feel the same way." She slipped away from Boreas' arms as she disappeared under water.
An awesome battle, and wow, he defeated Elesa's three POKéMON on his own! That was a great battle! :D
And also, in the chapter, you said all Black's other POKéMON cheered him on... I can't imagine Lucius cheering him... o.o
Anyway, their love scene was very nice and romantic.
I wonder if she'll join them. But hm...
Black has (1)Octa, (2)Boreas, (3)Lucius, (4)Capella, (5)Toxica...
Black needs a flying type, so does this mean Aqua won't join them, or will Black remove one grass type from his team to make room for Aqua?
Ah, questions I don't want to be answered, yet. xD
As always, a great chapter. It was a really nice read, and as usual, I can't wait for the next chapter~!
Glad you liked it better than their first battle with Elesa. I thought it would be a nice surprise to have Boreas sweep her team completely, as Gym Leader battles in fanfics (mine too) often end up very close, with the final pokémon being the deciding one.
Part Five: Where the Past Meets the Future
Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Chapter Without a Title
Boreas sat in the shallow water in a blissful daze. He had no idea how long he sat there and not a single thought went through his mind. He just stared at the stars' reflection in the water, still feeling the wonderful feeling of Aqua's soft lips caressing his. His heart pounded like a drum in his chest and he was happier than a mouse in a cheese factory. Happier, in fact, than he had ever been before.
After an unknown period of time, he finally reacted: he began laughing. A merry, happy, loud laugh at nothing in particular. Still laughing, he lay down and was surprised when water suddenly washed over his face. In fact, he noticed he was sitting in water.
"How'd this get here?!" he exclaimed in surprise. Then he suddenly felt really stupid. "Oh, yeah."
He felt like an idiot, but didn't care as he was a blissfully happy idiot. He stood up and walked up the shore. He couldn't contain his happiness and started skipping like a little girl instead of walking. As he skipped through the city, he saw how incredibly beautiful the world was. The stars gleamed, the houses and street tiles had beautiful geometric shapes, the street lights? light brightened his mood even further. Everything he saw, even a wad of chewing gum stuck to the street, seemed gorgeous to him, though none of it even came close to Aqua.
He was filled with joy at everything, and began singing out loud as he skipped on: "Don't stop me now,
Don't stop me,
'Cause I'm having a good time, having a good time!
I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky,
like a tiger defying the laws of gravity!"
He randomly hugged a street light as he skipped on, "I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva!
I'm gonna go, go, go, there's no stopping me!
I'm burning through the sky, yeah!"
He skipped into the pokécenter, still singing. "Two hundred degrees, that's why they call me mr. Fahrenheit!
I'm travelling at the speed of light, I wanna make a supersonic man out of you!"
He stopped in front of Octa, whose left eyebrow seemed to be trying to escape off his face. "Quite..." said Octa.
Boreas was overjoyed to see his friend again and immediately embraced him. "Octa! My dear friend, I'm so glad to see you again!"
"Um... Yes, quite..." Octa stammered, "I say, are you drunk, my dear fellow?"
"Only with love, Octa! I kissed her! She kissed me! We snogged, osculated, smooched, made out! Whatever you want to call it, the result is the same: we kissed." He sighed. "I love this planet."
"Quite, you can let go of me now."
He did so and sat down, sighing in love, "D'you know why I love this planet so much? Because I share it with her!"
"It sounds like you had quite the pleasant day then, my dear fellow?"
"Pleasant?" Boreas scoffed, "it was by far the happiest day of my life. Oh, Aqua, Aqua, Aqua, I love each one of your sixteen tiny toes!"
Octa smiled. "Truly, as the Bard wrote, "Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in a lover's eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet," but alas, my dear fellow, I fear I must darken your bright day with a piece of bad news: Black is quite angry with you."
Boreas didn't even feel the least bit troubled by it, "Is he?"
"Yes, he is. You see, 'twas his intention to spend the day training for our approaching Gym battle, and he was quite displeased by your absence."
"Too bad, I guess. Where's he now?"
"Sleeping, as is the rest of the team. 'Tis quite late, you see. In fact, 'tis so late you might soon say 'tis quite early. I decided to stay awake and read in order to have a chance to welcome you back."
"Cheers, that was nice of you. Anyway, did I tell you we kissed yet?"
"I believe you might have mentioned it at some point."
"Well, it was delightful. And you know what's almost as great? I'm meeting her again tomorrow!"
"I'm afraid that may be a slight problem. Black's intention is to use tomorrow for training as well, and I really don't think you should disappoint him on two successive days."
Boreas' mind weighed the needs of his human friend against the chance to spend the whole day with his lovely Vaporeon girlfriend. He didn't need to hesitate about his choice for a second. "Well, I guess I'll have to disappoint him anyway."
"I had really rather you didn't. After all, you are still a member of our team, and our battle against Clay takes place a week from now. Besides, the day is long enough for both training and dalliance with your dearly cherished paramour. You could train with us in the morning and afternoon and spend the evening with your leman."
Boreas had a better idea himself. "Okay, I'll train with you until late afternoon. I'll just need to tell that to Aqua tomorrow morning and ask her to come back later." Actually, I'm just going to leave with her tomorrow and face your wrath in the evening.
"This morning, you mean. 'Tis already past midnight, my dear fellow. Speaking of, I am off to bed, and would suggest you do the same."
Boreas laughed. "You think I could sleep after today?"
"I wouldn't know. But I don't see what else you could do for the whole night, so pip pip!"
Boreas and Octa were walking through the corridor of the pokécenter's second floor, when Boreas' heart suddenly overran with joy and he just couldn't keep it inside any more: "I just kissed the most beautiful girl in the entire world!"
"Yes, you mentioned that. Now hush, my dear fellow, decent people are attempting to sleep."
Boreas awoke slowly from the latest in a series of delightful dreams. He had half a mind of going back to sleep and try to get back into the dream, but then he realised the real world was even better than dreams because he would get to spend an entire day with Aqua again.
As he had breakfast with his friends and received some minor talking to from Black, he felt a bit guilty about lying to them all. Not nearly guilty enough to change his plans, though. He now mainly found himself nervous about the prospect of meeting Aqua and barely ate a single bite. After a while he excused himself to go tell Aqua to meet him in the evening.
When he reached the pier, he saw she was already there waiting for him, lying on her side on the shore, stretched out and a paw on her wide hip. She smiled at him and arched an eyebrow as his mind just blanked completely and he stood in place, unable to move. He was aware he was staring at her with his mouth slightly hanging open. Any guilt he might have felt about lying to Octa and the others was melted away like snow in front of a burning-hot blue Sun.
Aqua's smile broadened when she saw the effect she had on Boreas, making him fall even further under her spell. He tried to walk and talk but found his body had forgotten how to do either of those things. He moved his midriff, contracting his lungs into unleashing a blast of air through his windpipe. He moved his vocal cords when the air reached them, and then used his tongue and mouth to further shape the words. "H-hi. You look..." Boreas tried to think of a word that described her right now, but eventually settled for the understatement "Gorgeous."
He clumsily walked in her direction. "Thanks," said Aqua, "I know I've already said this, but blushing like that makes you look very cute."
Boreas tried to say several things, but couldn't manage to spit any of it, except "..." out. Calm down, he thought, I should be more at ease with her now, not less!
"What's the matter?" asked Aqua as she got up and closed the distance between them, "lost your tongue?"
She kissed him, immediately melting Boreas' nervousness down into pure happiness. As their lips parted, she said: "No, it's still there."
"Sorry," Boreas giggled, "you just knocked the words right out of me. Let's go somewhere."
Aqua questioningly arched an eyebrow. "Where did you have in mind?"
"What about the forest north of the city?"
"Okay," she said in her most charming voice.
As they walked through the city, talking about nothing much at all, Boreas noticed the way they were going would pass by the pokécenter and stopped. "We should take an other way. You see, I told Octa I would train for the Gym battle with him and the rest of the team today, so I'd rather they don't see me sneaking away with you."
"Well, why don't we combine the two?" Aqua asked.
"What d'you mean?"
"I'll come with you and train with you. We can have a bite to eat first and then I can be your sparring partner."
"I don't know..." said Boreas, "I don't want to hurt you."
Aqua laughed a deliciously mirthful laugh. "What makes you think I'm the one you should be worried about? But don't worry, I'll go easy on you."
"Simple type advantage won't help you defeat me, love. What makes you think you can beat me?"
"For one, I'm much faster." She poked Boreas' side and sprinted off.
"Hey!" Boreas pursued her, "I'll get you!"
She was surprisingly fast for an aquatic creature on land, yet Boreas caught up to her as they passed in front of the pokécenter. He pounced her tail as soon as she was within reach, grabbing it and colliding with her as she came to an immediate halt. They rolled over a few times because of their momentum, and Aqua ended up in a sitting position with Boreas' head in her lap.
At that moment, the pokécenter's door opened. "Ah, my dear fellow, I see you're- Please, my dear fellow, do you think it wise to do this in public? Continue your amorous activities in a more private setting like a civilised person, I beg you."
They both stood up, blushing heavily. "It's not what it looks like," said Boreas.
"Yeah," Aqua reassured him, "I just joined Boreas to help with his training."
Octa arched an eyebrow. "I have never heard it call that before."
"Look," Boreas pointed out, "she just came here to be my sparring partner."
"Yes, I can see she wants to be your "sparring partner.""
"I invited her to come."
"Ah ha," Octa's grin broadened
"To come here to eat and train."
"Eating, you say?"
"Stop it!" Boreas snapped, "You're misunderstanding me on purpose."
"Misunderstanding you? I think you are making yourself transparently clear."
Boreas had had more than enough of Octa. "Blow me."
A while later they were training on a field of grass. Black had tried to capture Aqua once again, but this time a simple threatening look from Boreas had put the idea out of his mind. As much as Boreas would like Aqua to join the team, he certainly didn't want to have her forced into it.
Now he stood opposite Aqua, feeling more ready to kiss her than to attack her. Aqua didn't seem any more ready to fight.
"Pip pip!" Octa, training against Capella, said, "let's see what attacks you can do. Besides the obvious Attract, I mean."
"And Lovely Kiss," Boreas added with a grin.
"Fine, you want to see what I can do?" Aqua asked. A concentrated wave washed over the grassy field to Boreas. He tried to get out of the way, but the wave flowed over him, doubled back, gripped him, and began gyring around him like a maelstrom standing up from the ground. He expected to sink at any moment, but though he was stuck in the middle of the vortex it held his head above the water. He tried to move, but the rapid current swirling around him forced his limbs close to his body. He struggled against the vortex's powerful grip, but couldn't move.
Aqua's head surfaced just in front of him, grinning and apparently unaffected by the raging currents. "Well?" she asked, talking with her mouth a bit further open than was necessary and her tongue seeming to beckon Boreas, "who's in danger of hurting whom now?"
Boreas moved in for the kiss, bringing his head closer to hers, but found she was just outside his reach. He could come to within five centimetres of her, but no matter how he struggled against the water, that was as far as he got. He suddenly understood what Tantalus felt like. Aqua grinned. "Cruel and unusual," Boreas complained.
The current stopped and the column of water that gripped Boreas immediately fell to the ground with him in it. The remnants of the wave passed through a bush of flowers, and Boreas immediately chilled it down, freezing the flowers and snapping them off with an Icy Wind. The beautiful ice flowers scattered around Aqua.
"Watch out," Boreas said with a grin, "they're sharp."
As Aqua was more or less stunned in amazement at the beautiful ice flowers lying around her, Boreas decided to lower her defences with Tail Whip. He turned around and wagged his tail at her as she began humming a song. Boreas stopped in embarrassment as he realised it was "shake your booty."
"Aww," Aqua whined as he stopped, "I liked that move."
She formed another wave and trapped Boreas like she had earlier. But when her pretty head popped up out of the water, Boreas was prepared for it: he froze part of the water behind him, thus shielding him from the current for a moment. He used that moment well: he put his arms around Aqua and held her tightly as their lips found each others'. In the tiny, distant corner of his mind that was not occupied with the supreme joy of kissing Aqua, he was vaguely aware that the column of water had disappeared and they were now lying on the ground.
"I say," Octa sighed, "you two really do have a one-track mind, don't you?"
Boreas paid him no attention even after they stopped kissing. "Jealous, Octa?" Lucius scoffed, "Don't worry, I'm sure it's just a phase he's going through, I know he loves you more."
"Be quiet," said Octa.
"Yeah, I'm sure of it. Just- Aargh!" he yelped as Selene knocked him over with a Wing Attack, "you crazy bird, can't you see I was talking?!"
As Lucius and Selene continued their training, Boreas had stood up off Aqua and helped her to her feet. Aqua stretched her back, and Boreas just couldn't keep his eyes off her as she arched her gorgeous body. For what was the fourth time that day already, Boreas felt as if he was melting.
He was snapped out of his mesmerised stare by a sharp poke in his ribs. "Avert your eyes, my dear fellow," mumbled Octa, "'tis impolite to stare. Besides, I would like to have a word with you in private."
After excusing themselves and walked a few streets away, Boreas asked what the matter was.
"I want to warn you," said Octa.
"About Aqua. No, hear me out. I want to implore you not to allow love to regulate your thinking. 'Tis never wise to let your emotions think for you, but love is especially dangerous, because 'tis such a powerful emotion. What's more, I'm not sure I like Aqua."
While Boreas figured Octa was at least partially right about the first thing, he didn't like where the conversation was going. "What d'you mean?" he growled.
"I mean she acts..." he paused to look for a word. "Improper. Unladylike."
Boreas laughed. "I know what you mean. You mean because she takes initiative and shows me she likes me as much as I like her. But that's one of the many things I really like about her, I'd rather have her than a girl who acts what you would consider "ladylike." But don't worry about the other thing. You know me, I'm not stupid."
"I know you aren't, but you are... Careless. Impulsive, chaotic, unwise. I merely implore you to be cautious, my dear fellow, because I know what you're like when you're not enamoured, and I know being smitten with another shall only increase those qualities."
"Fine, fine, I'll be careful, now let's go back."
Anyway, it was really funny to imagine Boreas doing those all sorts of stupid things while going back to the PokeCenter... xD
And you were right once again about Boreas no longer chikening out from kissing Aqua, thogh it was a bit disturbing that they often do it almost every time they get the chance, well, for me, at least.
And Selene is participating in their training, huh? Cool. I like her innocent-styled role in the story. xD
Aqua joining their training was also nice.
For now, I don't want to think about anything from what Octa said to Boreas about Aqua, though he does make sensable points. Love can really make someone blind.
As always, a great chapter. I'm satisfied by the length of it.
Looking forward for the next chapter~
What can I say? Chapter titles are though to think of. Especially my romantic chapters seem affected heavily by that problem.
Chapter Thirty: The Road to Driftveil
Aqua hummed contently as Boreas gently rubbed her stomach. They were in a clearing in the forest where they had gone to watch the Sun set. "You really shouldn't have overeaten so much," said Boreas, "if you had eaten like a normal person, your stomach wouldn't hurt right now."
"I know, I know," said Aqua, "I just wasn't used to there being so much food and not even having to do anything for it., so I couldn't help myself. Normally I have to catch a fish when I'm hungry and am out . Though if I hadn't eaten so much, you wouldn't be rubbing my belly right now, so I'd say it was a pretty good idea, actually."
Boreas chuckled. "Heh, for you, perhaps."
Aqua gave him a sceptical look. "Don't kid yourself, we both know you're enjoying this about as much as I am."
"Yeah, you're right. I do enjoy rubbing your cute little tummy like this."
After a while, Aqua said: "My love, could you tell me the rest of your story while you continue? I'm curious to the last part."
"Sure. We wanted to leave Nimbasa quickly after winning the Bolt Badge to go to Driftveil, but because it was now snowing and cold we had to buy winter clothing for all of us first. Well, except for me, of course. I'd say the results were mixed: Octa looked quite good in his long Victorian coat and cloak, and Lucius' leather jacket looked okay, while Capella looked like she was fearing a giant, frilled sock and Toxica looked like an egg in its egg warmer.
When we finally left the city via Route 5, Selene came flying after us and landed on Lucius' shoulder, and though Black tried to tell her she should stay in Nimbasa because she wasn't a member of the team and it was dangerous, she just didn't seem to understand. Or she just played stupid, it's always very hard to tell how much of her strange behaviour is genuine and how much is an act. Anyway, the result was that Black yielded and we had to return to buy her clothes too, but because she chose them herself she ended up in a bizarre abomination that might've started its life a particularly hideous rainbow-coloured cake before it was thrown out of the cake shop for its tacky garishness, hollowed out, and found a new life as a sort of loose poncho-dress-toga-like thing. At least it kept her warm while still allowing her to fly.
Anyway, we soon battled through the icy, snow-covered forest of Route 5...
"...And soon they battled through the eternal ice fields of Antarctica, a barren wasteland of ice and snow where temperatures are twenty degrees below zero even in summer. Yet the prospect of being the first people ever to reach the South Pole made both expeditions continue their journey through a climate in which exposed flesh can freeze within minutes, a climate where even fire types can't survive long. And the wind always blows at speeds approaching a storm's, for there is not a single tree or building on the entire continent to slow it down. 'Twas perhaps the greatest challenge in all exploration, to cross the harshest, most inhospitable of all continents to reach the southernmost point of the planet."
"I don't know," said Boreas, casually walking on top of the thick layer of snow the others where sinking into with each step, "it sounds like a lovely place to me."
"To you it does, perhaps," Octa spoke, walking on up to his waist in snow. If he hadn't been wearing his warm coat and cloak, he would probably have frozen to death days earlier. "But just imagine the strain on two teams of human and pokémon explorer, none of them ice types. The first part of the journey was the easiest for both teams, as they were not actually on mainland Antarctica yet, but on the Ross ice shelf, an entire sea so bitterly cold it has been completely frozen into a thick ice shelf for millennia. Yet, even though the ice shelf was visually indistinguishable from the main land, the climate is comparatively mild because of the vicinity of liquid water, which can store a lot of heat. There were no mountains on the ice shelf either, as opposed to the main land, where they would have to cross several frozen mountain ranges. In fact-"
"Octa," Capella interrupted, "could you please talk about something else? Something that doesn't involve the polar regions or an entire expedition freezing to death, I mean. It's cold enough on its own."
Boreas thought the frozen, snow-covered forest they travelled through was a paradise, but had stopped mentioning that to his companions as it tended to turn them very grumpy. He seemed to be the only one who liked the wintrous cold. The others all sank into the snow to various depths with each step, while Boreas walked on top of it by locally freezing the snow under his feet with each step into ice so cold it became hard as rock. He had tried helping his friends the same way, but the ice he created this way was so cold it severely hurt their feet.
"Of course," Octa conceded, "you're quite correct; tales of Antarctic exploration are hardly an appropriate subject in these temperatures."
"I wonder," croaked Selene, sitting on Lucius' shoulder, "what happens when you're on the South Pole and you go south."
"Well, one can't," Octa explained. "The South Pole is the southernmost point of the planet, one can only go north from there."
"I know," said Selene, "but what happens if you do go south?"
"'Tis an impossibility, one cannot go south from the South Pole."
"But where do you go if you do?"
"Look, that is an impossibility, for the South Pole is, by it's very definition, the very epitome of southness, the place that one going south always approaches closer by its very definition. Once one has achieved a distance of zero to the pole, i.e. one is on the South Pole itself, it is therefore impossible to approach it even closer, and therefore impossible to go further south. "South of the South Pole" is a meaningless phrase, like "more than a hundred percent chance", "colder than absolute zero", or "before the Big Bang.""
"What's wrong with any of those things?"
Capella interrupted once again. "Really, can we stop talking about the South Pole? Talk about the desert or the Sun, or something else that's warm, please, I'm freezing my scales off."
As they walked on, sounds of music and lots of people congregated sounded far away but came constantly closer. Eventually they found out it was a large festival to celebrate the end of the year, with lots of music and performers and fireworks. Black and his pokémon walked amongst the festival goers, enjoying themselves.
Suddenly, an attractive Umbreon said: "Hey, Boreas, long time no see!"
She looked strangely familiar, yet Boreas couldn't remember ever even meeting an Umbreon. "Oh. Hey. It's you... Uh... Great to see you again. It certainly has been a long time. Yes. Remind me, when was the last time we met?"
She laughed. "You don't recognise me, do you? It's me, February!"
Boreas immediately became nervous and felt his heart pound. "Oh, hey, Febby! You... evolved into an Umbreon." And a pretty one, too!
"Yeah," she said shyly, "I evolved a month ago, White was real happy about it." She squinted, "oh dear, I wonder who dressed that poor Murkrow up like that..."
A silence fell between them and then Boreas decided he should tell her how he felt about her. It was ridiculous that he was barely even be able to talk to her with nervousness and he decided he was going to take the risk of rejection. "Febby? I... um... I must tell you something."
"Well, you see, it's like this..." he drew a deep breath. "I like-"
"Oh, hold on!" Febby interrupted him, suddenly wagging her tail in joy, "I want you to meet someone, a new member of White's team!"
An Espeon ran at them, stopped before Febby, and kissed her on the mouth. Boreas felt colder than an Antarctic grave.
"Boreas, this is my boyfriend, Esper. Esper, this is my friend Boreas, the one who was locked up along with me by Team Plasma."
Boreas forced himself to smile, though it looked more like his cheeks were being pulled aside by fishing hooks in them than like a smile. "Oh. Your... Boyfriend. I see. Well. Nice to meet you. Esper."
"Nice to meet you too, dude," Esper returned Boreas' fake smile with a genuine one, making Boreas want to freeze his head into a solid cube of ice, "Febby told me much about you, your friendship really helped her when you were locked up."
"Did. It." Boreas spat out each word like they were cockroaches that had crawled into his mouth.
"So, anyway," piped Febby happily, "what did you want to tell me, Boreas?"
"Oh. Yes. That. I just wanted to tell you... I like the winter. Don't you? I love all this snow and ice, it's delightful."
"Heh, I guess," said Febby, giggling as Esper began nuzzling her ear. Boreas saw her head turn to kiss him, and was pretty sure he would not be able to keep his anger contained this time and would end up trying to murder Esper.
"Boreas!" Capella's kind voice called him, "will you hurry up? We'll be late for that thing with that guy!"
Sighing in relief at the excuse, Boreas quickly said: "Oh, I'm sorry, I have to go right now, see you later!" and walked away with Capella.
"Thanks for the rescue," he said flatly.
"I'm so sorry," Capella said compassionately.
"I should have listened to you last time I saw her."
Capella nodded. "You probably should have." It was a credit to her that she managed to say this without sounding pedantic or wiseassy, merely friendly and compassionate.
"I was just... Too nervous and too afraid she would reject me. I was going to tell her just now but... Well, you saw it."
"I've been in your position myself. I never had the courage to ask my first love either, and for years I kept wondering what she might've said if I had. I'll tell you, simple rejection is far better than that. Not that that is a picnic either."
That made Boreas feel slightly better, strangely. "Do you still wonder about her? About what she might've said?"
Capella thought for a moment before responding. "By now? Only academically, really. At the age we were then, it's unlikely it would've lasted long time even if she liked me too. I also found the torch I carried for her extinguished itself with age and when I fell in love with others."
"Capella? With all the time you had for it, how come you never found a partner?"
"I found several, actually, but I take it you mean the more permanent, happily-ever-after kind. I'm not sure why I never found one. You just tend not to rush these things too much when you have centuries to take care of them, and contrary to what a hundred-and-seven-year-old may seem to you, I'm still young. I mean, for all we know I might meet the one during the lifetimes of your great-great-great-grandchildren."
Boreas smiled, genuinely this time, liking that idea. "I hope you do, and I hope I live to see it. Thanks for talking to me like this, it really makes me feel better. It still hurts, but it's not that bad. If this is lovesickness, I can handle it."
"Are you sure?" The Dratini looked at him with an arched eyebrow, "I always found lovesickness feels like it tears up your insides and makes the world a horrible place. I've been known to smash things in blind rage when I was lovesick."
Boreas found it impossible to imagine the kindly Dratini in a blind rage. "Really? You?"
She nodded. "Just imagine how powerful a broken heart is if it can do that to me. All I'm saying is, are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah. I'm not angry any more; I mean, it's not as if she knew how I felt about her, so I can't really blame her and Esper for liking each other. Besides, there are plenty of fish in the sea. It's a shame I missed my chance, but I can handle it. It feels more like a pretty roughed up and damaged heart than a broken one, actually."
"I see," said Capella. Boreas could tell she didn't really believe him. "Well, if you want to talk about it again, feel free to. Now let's go see if they're doing any decent firework shows here."
Black decided to stay at the festival to celebrate the new year. In the two days afterwards, Boreas found he could indeed handle his lovesickness. He felt sullen and a bit sad, and made a point of avoiding Febby and Esper, especially when they were together, but overall it was not that bad.
On 30 December, New Year's Eve, Black and his pokémon were watching a big fireworks display being set up for midnight when they ran into Cheren.
"Cheren," Black greeted him, "I guess it's a small world after all."
"Ah, Black," said Cheren, "great to see you here. Guess what? I defeated Elesa too!"
"So you finally got your stomach- your pokémon strong enough to beat her, eh?"
Noticing the slip, Cheren blushed and frowned. "Yes, I did. And now that we both have a Bolt Badge... Let's test who's stronger, I have a feeling I'm going to win this time!"
It was a hard battle, but in the end Black was victorious and their battle had attracted quite a crowd.
"Well, you are strong as usual," said Cheren, "but why can't I win? I'm strong too, by all rights I should be able to defeat you."
Elesa walked out of the crowd, greeting Cheren and Black. "Oh, wow, guys, that was a rousing battle, of course I already knew you were both powerful trainers as you defeated me, by the way it's great to see you again, did you know they were holding the festival here or did you just happen to pass by on the way to Driftveil, which reminds me, I should probably warn you that Clay, Driftveil's Gym Leader, might take some getting used to, but he's really a good guy at heart, though he's a busy man so you'll probably have to make an appointment with him instead of just showing up at his Gym, because odds are he'll be too busy, also he usually dresses like a cowboy, quite funny, though who am I to talk, right, seeing as I regularly wear the weirdest designed clothes for my work, I suppose Clay just likes westerns, I never asked him, really, so this is a cool festival innit, a bit weird to hold an open air festival in December, but then it's not as if New Year's Eve ever falls in July, so anyway, you guys should follow me, there's someone I want you to meet," Elesa blurted out within half a minute.
She led them to a big, orange-haired man in a poncho who was listening to several guitarists playing. "Ah, Elesa," he greeted, "Isn't this festival great? Life should be enjoyed."
"Who's this guy?" asked Cheren.
"Cheren, Black, meet the Unova region's Champion, Alder."
Cheren burst into laughter. "Oh, that's very funny, Elesa. As if the Champion would be wasting his time clowning about in a place like this."
"Um..." said Elesa, "he is actually the Champion, and a master of the bug type."
"Yes, I am," said Alder, standing up, "except for the master of the bug type bit, I actually use whatever pokémon I like best, which just happen to mostly bug types. But you're quite the judgemental young person, aren't you? My name is Alder, and for your information, I'm not clowning about, I'm on a voyage. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
"Um," said Cheren, "I'm Cheren from Nuvema Town, and I'm on a voyage too. To become the Champion."
"Hm," said Alder, "What about you?"
"I'm his friend and rival," explained Black, "I'm on a journey to become the Champion too."
"Travelling with a goal in mind is a commendable thing. What do you intend to do after becoming the Champion?"
"Become even stringer, I suppose," said Cheren. "What else is there other than becoming even stronger? The strongest trainer, that's the Champion."
"I'm not sure," said Black, "I suppose becoming even stronger to defend my title would be necessary, but I wouldn't just want to do that. I would want to get a vacation or something first, and then I would seek something worthwhile to use my power for."
"Hmm," nodded Alder. "Cheren, is becoming stronger alone enough of a goal? Hmm, I'm not trying to say your way of thinking is wrong, but what will you use your power for? Your friend here seems to have an idea, albeit a vague one. But in my travels, I have learned many people to love their pokémon, because I think that is important too, the most important thing of all, even. If there are people like you who pursue strength, there are also those who are happy just to be with pokémon. There are many different people and many different answers. When it comes to what the Champion should be, you and I hold different views, but so be it. Give it some thought."
Cheren considered this. "The Champion is the strongest of the strong, and that's all there is to it. I am a trainer, and I'll prove it by getting stronger and winning battles, even against the Champion." He walked off, leaving Black and Elesa to talk to Alder.
"I say," said a highly pitched voice in a very poorly faked posh accent with an obvious Cockney accent hidden very poorly underneath it, "'tis quite the suhpwise to meet the Champion of all Unover heayah. Who would have evah expected it?"
Boreas looked in surprise at the source of the voice, which turned out to be Toxica. "Hmm?" she said in the same silly accent, "What ah you looking at me foh like that, chap?"
"Why are you talking in that ridiculous accent?" Boreas asked.
"What is youh meaning? Do you pehchance mean my impwoved elocution?"
Boreas sighed. "You're trying to imitate Octa's accent to impress him, aren't you?"
"Shh! Don't say that in front of 'im!" she whispered in her normal accent.
"He hasn't heard anything we said anyway, he's been to busy listening to the guitars and Alder talking to Black and Elesa."
"Oh," Toxica pouted, noticing now that Octa was indeed a few metres away and had his attention turned away from her, "Well, I'm not doing it to impwess him eitheh way, I just pwefeh to be moah eloquent. 'Tis a fohm of self-impwovement, you see."
"You are doing it to impress him, and it's not going to work."
"And why wouldn't it?"
"Because you sound like you're mocking him. Mocking him really, really poorly. I mean, I've met potatoes with more genuine-sounding accents than that. Just give it up, Toxica, he doesn't like you in that way, and he never will."
lol at Toxica looking like an egg, and even more lols for how Selene looked like. xD
Sad that Boreas actually met Febby and her boyfriend. At least he can handle it, and besides, he has Aqua now, so yeah. xD
Capella blinded by rage and fury... o.o
I can't imagine... Anyway...
Elesa still hurts my head, trying to read fast to at least imagine her talking like that, but I gave up... -,-
And Boreas was a bit mean to Toxica, but I suppose it's always better to be frank than to be dishonest.
All in all, it was a nice read.
And as usual, I can't wait for the next chapter~!
That's right; seven weeks from now he'll meet Aqua. And by that time, he'll be sure not to be too shy to tell her how to feel to avoid making the same mistake twice.
Chapter Thirty-One: The Trouble With Team Plasma
Boreas walked through Driftveil City's smelly industrial parks, letting his thoughts run free. He was actually supposed to be listening for any news about Team Plasma the humans might be discussing, but he had become bored with that days earlier. When they had arrived in Driftveil City, Clay had proven to be as busy as Elesa had said he was, so it took a while before Black even had a chance to talk to him. And when he did, the Gym Leader had conscripted him into looking for Team Plasma by claiming he didn't have a single moment of time for a battle for months to come. But if Driftveil's branch of Team Plasma was caught he wouldn't have to search for them any more, so he would then have time to accept the challenge.
Unfortunately, though Clay claimed they had been very active in Driftveil, Team Plasma now seemed to have gone into hiding and were near-impossible to find. Black had tried asking people about them, but they didn't seem to like it much and he didn't get any information that way. So now his pokémon walked amongst them in the hopes of overhearing something that might help catch Team Plasma. So far without success.
Boreas still couldn't believe he was now a year old. In fact, his birthday had been the day of their arrival in Driftveil. He hadn't even realised it until the evening, when someone happened to mention the date and he remembered 25 January was his birthday. It wasn't until later, after the surprisingly well-done party his friends had thrown him despite having had only a few minutes' notice, that he realised it meant he was now an adult. Which was a bizarre idea, as he didn't feel like an adult at all. In many ways, he still felt like the cub Octa had rescued from the claws of his attackers last spring. He had gone through a lot since then of course, not the least of which was evolving to a Glaceon, and in some ways he realised he had grown up, but still he didn't really feel different.
"Be careful no to pay too much attention, my dear fellow," a voice said.
"Baah!" Boreas exclaimed, "oh, Octa, it's just you. I was paying attention, I've been listening to find clues for hours."
"Yes, and I'm sure you only pretended not to notice me walking next to you for the past minute."
"Um... Of course I noticed- Lucius?! What in the name of Ho-Oh's contact lenses happened to you?!"
The Houndoom was walking towards them a bit ahead, his fur stained with large amounts of blood, one of his horns broken and several large wounds covering him. Except he wasn't so much walking as dragging himself along, at least one leg broken. Boreas and Octa rushed to support and help him. "Get your hands off of me!" Lucius growled, "do I look like I need your help or something?" Boreas saw he was missing several teeth and bleeding from the mouth.
"No, not at all," sneered Octa, "I regularly walk around soaked with blood, my bones and teeth broken, for pleasure. Now what the devil happened to you?"
"While you two have been wasting time here, Black's been kidnapped!" Lucius snapped, "that's what happened!"
"Kidnapped?!" Boreas exclaimed.
"Kidnapped?!" Lucius imitated in a stupid, shrill voice, "Yeah, by Team Plasma, while you two were wasting your time prancin' around the industrial parks like two ballet dancers!"
It was only because Boreas' concern for Black drowned out his anger that he didn't throw a pawful of sand into Lucius' wounds. "Tell me what happened precisely, and stop with the insults."
"Please delay the interrogation, my dear fellow," Octa said, "Lucius, first we need to get you to the pokécenter."
"Shut up, Smugleaf, I'm fine!" gnarled Lucius.
"Smugleaf?!" Octa roared, "do you have any idea how insulting that term is to a member of my noble species?!"
"D'you think I would've used it if I didn't, Smugleaf?" Lucius grinned.
"Why, you degraded heap of smelliness-" Octa began.
"Look," Boreas interrupted them, "this is getting us nowhere, let's focus on Black being kidnapped and continue tearing each others' heads off later."
"Quite," Octa said between gritted teeth, "you are quite right of course, my dear fellow. We should all remain calm and rational."
"You're the one who's angry, Smugleaf," said Lucius.
Seeing the effect that insult had on Octa, Boreas quickly said: "Anyway, how did he get kidnapped? Where?"
"I heard some shouting from an alley while I was listening for clues, that's the stupidest plan ever, by the way, and looked to see what was happening, and a dozen Plasma grunts were dragging Black off!"
"Then why didn't you do anything about it?" Octa asked.
"Because I didn't feel like it. I watched them drag him off, then I went to get some ice cream, and to finish the morning off, I decided to see if trains are really as heavy as they say by jumping in front of one, you complete idiot!"
"Um," Octa seemed speechless for a moment, "quite, I should have realised this was the origin of your wounds. I apologise."
"So did you see where they took him?" asked Boreas.
"Yeah, after they ganged up on me and beat me half to death I followed them unconsciously. It's like sleepwalking, except you do it on broken legs and teeth fall out of your mouth. Of course I didn't see where they took him, you moron!"
Boreas tried very hard to remind himself that Lucius was probably acting even more obnoxious than usual because he was worried about Black, ashamed he lost, and in a lot of pain; and that attacking a badly wounded person was not very nice. He managed to get his anger under control, but only barely.
"So why did you fight them if there were so many?" Boreas asked, "if you had just followed them, we would know where Black was."
Lucius scowled. "At least I wasn't wasting my time like you and your boyfriend, pup. Where were you when Black needed you, anyway?"
Boreas had had enough. "Look Lucius, what's it going to be? Are you going to shut up, or am I going to freeze your balls off?"
"Boreas!" Capella's voice exclaimed, signalling her arrival, "don't talk like that, especially to someone wounded! Lucius, you need to get to the pokécenter immediately."
"Don't tell me what to do, you mouldy old earthworm," barked Lucius, making Boreas even more infuriated with him. Fortunately he managed to control himself thanks to the shame he felt after Capella's reaction to his earlier outburst, "the only thing I need right now is to find Selene, so that crazy old chicken can fly around to look for Black from the air."
"Of course, good thinking," said Octa.
"Of course it's good," snapped Lucius, "it's my thinking. Now make yourselves useful while I go to the pokécenter."
I... accidentally found your fanfic through Google... o.o
sorry, but I just finished reading all the available chapters from where I stopped.
but not to worry. I will still read the chapters here and post my comments about them.
I do agree that this chapter is far too short, and I was a bit disappointed that the scene where Black was kidnapped and Lucius tried to save him wan't included in this chapter. If you did, I think it would have made this chapter longer than it is now, but meh.
Also, before i forget, it was nice of them to throw a last-minute birthday party to Boreas.
It's not a problem. I hope you liked it, and thanks for wanting to continue posting comments here.
Chapter Thirty-Two: Venenum in Aura Bibitur
Boreas suddenly awoke in the dark room. For some reason, the word "Zinzolin" was stuck in his head like a particularly annoying song. He was pretty sure he'd heard it before somewhere, but couldn't quite remember where, so he tried to go back to sleep. Though it was 4 in the night and he had just awoken from deep sleep, he felt as awake as a caffeine addict at noon. And the word "Zinzolin" kept racing around his brain, trying desperately to find a bell to ring.
Boreas realised how nice it was of Nurse Hate to allow them to keep their room for now, despite Black's disappearance. So far they had had no luck in finding him or Team Plasma, and neither had the police or Clay. Boreas felt very lonely without Black. Because the human couldn't talk to him he often felt like a background object and Boreas often barely realised he was around, but now that he was gone he really felt how attached he had become to his trainer. He noticed the same feeling in all his companions; even Lucius seemed depressed and sad.
Hey, Zinzolin Enterprises, Inc. is a company that does business in Driftveil... They have a large cold storage facility in the docks...
Now he knew what "Zinzolin" was. The name must have stuck in his mind because it sounded so silly. At least now it would stop bothering him, he thought, but the word kept hanging around in his head like the extremely drunk patron whose desire to drink even more is in conflict with the bartender's desire to close the bar before morning and get some sleep. Boreas tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but like the bartender that simply wasn't an option for him. Both the name and the drunkard were far too annoying for that.
Besides, he found he was terribly worried about Black. He could easily guess why Team Plasma had kidnapped him, and Boreas felt at least partially responsible for it. If they hadn't defeated two of the Sages through his trickery, Team Plasma wouldn't have considered Black a threat and wouldn't have bothered him. Of course Boreas knew they would all be dead if it hadn't been for his trickery, but he couldn't help but feel a bit guilty. Black had been gone for four days, anything could've happened to him. Boreas felt his heart burn with raging fury at the thought that he might even be dead. If he was, Boreas swore, he wouldn't stop until every last member of Team Plasma had discovered just how cold revenge could be.
"Derek, the piñata's got a gun..." Selene mumbled in her sleep, "...Stop licking the Marmite jar out and do the dishes, or it will shoot us both..."
He forced himself to breathe slowly and calm down. He wondered if Black had felt the same way when Team Plasma had kidnapped his pokémon in Castelia. Boreas guessed he did, as Black really cared a lot for each of them. They never really talked of course, given Black's spectacular talent for misunderstanding, but an occasional petting and the general good care he took of them showed a lot. Besides, how many trainers let their pokémon walk outside their pokéballs all the time? Black might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he had a very kind heart and was brave. The human was quite a lot kinder and braver than Boreas himself, the Glaceon realised with shame.
Suddenly and without warning, a seemingly random memory echoed in Boreas' mind. N had just told them he was Team Plasma's king, and Boreas and Black were shouting accusations at him. Suddenly he stopped them and said to the two grunts: "Go now, report to sage Zinzolin, and I'll cover your retreat."
"I've got it!!!" Boreas roared.
"It wasn't me!" yelped Toxica, "I don't know who did it, but not me!"
"It's a wedding, not a funeral!" Selene croaked.
"What the crap?!" barked Lucius.
"Wah!" yelped Capella.
"Silence, you fool!" Octa shouted, "You'll kill us all! Oh dear, I seem to have been dreaming. What's going on here?"
Before they could get enough of their senses together to start shouting at him and ask why he woke them up in the middle of the night, Boreas scrambled to his feet and blurted out: "Guys, guys, guys, I've got it! I've just had an epiphany!"
Lucius responded: "Don't be so loud you wake us up with it, pup, just clean up your mess quietly and let us sleep."
"An epiphany," Octa explained tiredly, "is an illuminating realisation or discovery, you illiterate barbarian."
"Ooh, I like those," remarked Selene.
"Now, what is it, my dear fellow?" Octa asked, "I do hope 'tis very good, or I shall be forced to become quite cross with you."
"I know where Black is!" Boreas said, turning on the light. It blazed in his eyes as if he was directly looking into the Sun, but he ignored it, "I know where he is! Team Plasma took him to Zinzolin Enterprises, Inc.! It's the name of one of their Sages, N mentioned that, I'll bet the company is just a cover operation for Team Plasma!"
"Hmm," Octa said, "Quite, yes, I do remember N saying that, now that you mention it. It might just be a coincidence, but we should investigate regardless. Jolly good, my dear fellow, at least we have a clue now."
"Right," Boreas said as they reached the cold storage, "here's my plan: we run inside, fight our way past any guards, and rescue Black. Let's go!"
"What happens if it's not actually a cover operation for Team Plasma?" Octa asked.
"Then we go outside again and try to find a new clue, let's go!"
"What happens if we encounter resistance?" Octa asked.
"We defeat it."
"What happens if we encounter quite a lot of undefeatably powerful resistance and/or traps?"
Boreas swallowed a lump of fear in his throat. "Then we go out in a blaze of glory. Freeze of glory in my case."
"Good luck," said Lucius, sitting down. "Let me know how it went if I ever see you again."
"What?" seethed Boreas, "aren't you going to help us rescue Black?"
"No, I think I'd rather live another day, pup."
"Coward!" Lucius' behaviour just sickened Boreas, "don't you remember what Black did for us in Castelia? He saved your life!"
"Yeah, he did, so I'm not gonna throw it away."
"Traitor," sneered Boreas, "Black is counting on us."
"Your plan is crap," said Lucius, "we go in and get ourselves killed is more like. Who made you the boss anyway?"
"Gentlemen!" Octa interrupted, "calm down, please. My dear fellow, you have to concede that he has a point, it really isn't much of a plan. If you would just calm down, we could think of something better."
"Okay, okay," Boreas conceded, "what about this then: we sneak in carefully, try our best not to be seen and try to find Black, if he's here at all. If we see any sentry we fight-"
"Try to stay hidden and out of sight?" Octa suggested.
"Okay, that. Everyone agree?"
Everyone, even Lucius, did agree with that plan. But when they tried to get in, they found the large cargo doors locked. And so were the smaller doors for personnel.
"Well," said Capella, "that is a shame. Does anyone have another idea?"
"We could try to pick a lock," suggested Boreas.
"None of us have opposable thumbs, lock picks, nor the skill required," Octa responded.
"We could climb down the chimney," suggested Boreas.
"It's cold storage," sighed Octa, "a chimney would be as useful as an open window in a space station."
"We could break the door down."
"Yes, you truly are a master of stealth and subtlety. Besides, 'tis a storage facility, we can safely assume the doors are powerful enough to withstand any damage we could do to them."
"We could wait for the first worker to arrive and follow them inside."
"That would mean we'd attempt to rescue him at day, while the facility is operative. That significantly lowers our chances. Though it does give me an idea: while the facility is operative, we could sneak inside, hide ourselves, and wait for night to fall."
"Only that'd mean we'd have to wait another day to save him."
"It would, but it seems we don't have much of a choice, my dear fellow."
"Why don't we just use the door?" Selene asked.
"Because it's locked."
"No, it isn't, I unlocked it."
"Wh-" Boreas gasped, "how? What? When? Where? Who? Huh?"
"You really do have a way with words, my dear fellow," said Octa, "but allow me to rephrase that, if I may: did you really unlock it? And how?"
"I picked the lock," said Selene, "like Boreas suggested."
They were all left speechless as Selene flew to the closest personnel door and opened it. The first to recover was Lucius, who laughed jovially. "You crazy bird, you are good for something!"
"You know it!" Selene croaked happily as she landed on his shoulder.
As they entered the cold storage a blast of cold air enveloped them to Boreas' joy and the others' dislike. Inside, the cold storage was a hall that would've given most cathedrals an inferiority complex. There were loads of huge containers that probably contained food. They were stacked in massive towers of containers and left paths between them. Chills ran down Boreas' spine as he realised Black's corpse could be hidden in one of those containers.
Distant footsteps echoed through the huge hall and a flashlight's light could be seen far away. Without saying a word, they all agreed to be very, very quiet. It was immediately obvious that looking for Black would be like looking for a needle in a haystack in a mountain of needles if they had to check every container in cold storage. So they decided to try and find evidence that it was Team Plasma's hideout first.
They sneaked through the dark warehouse as quietly as possible while trying to avoid the guards. It was fortunate that the containers were so large, as it meant they could easily hide when a guard approached.
They crossed the great hall cautiously and slowly without seeing anything interesting. But when they were on the other side of the entrance, they saw there was a large cargo door guarded by two workers. They were wearing thick blue clothes that protected them from the cold and seemed to be half-asleep.
"There," whispered Boreas, "why would those guys be guarding this door in the middle of the night unless it was to prevent a certain someone from escaping?"
"Y-you may be r-right," Capella, shivering with cold, agreed, "w-we'll have t-t-to dispatch them quickly and quietly."
Boreas summoned a powerful gust of frosty air, blowing the two sleepy guards out of balance so they fell over and hit their heads on the door, knocking them out.
They entered the large cargo doors, which led to another cold storage hall. This one was smaller than the other one, but still quite large. They sneaked through it until they saw a lone container guarded by two Team Plasma members in their normal uniforms.
"W-w-w-we should've worn the warm clothing..." one of them muttered.
"S-s-shut up," the other one snapped, "we're Team Plasma! We'll show it by wearing our uniforms."
"B-but the other guys are all wearing warm clothes..."
"Yes, so just think how proud Sage Zinzolin will be that we wore our normal uniforms while guarding the prisoner!"
"I think he'll chew us out for being so stupid instead..."
Since they weren't close enough to any hard surface and too awake to knock them out as easily as the other guards, they would have to be battled.
As he took the key to the container from one of the knocked-out guards, Boreas paused for a moment, thinking how bad the security was compared to Bronius' hideout in Castelia. But that was not important, as Boreas opened the container and saw the unconscious, bound form of Black and immediately pounced him with joy. His skin was icy cold, but Black slowly awoke as his bonds were undone.
"I... is that you? Octa? 'Reas? You... came to... rescue... me?" Black mumbled as he hugged them all slowly.
Boreas was so happy to see Black again, but furious to see the wounds the bounds around his wrists and ankles had caused and how badly hypothermic he was. Black tried to stand up and immediately collapsed.
"We'll have to carry him," said Capella, "let's hurry up, I think he'll be fine if we can get him to the pokécenter."
To get the 80 kilo human to the pokécenter when none of them was even half that weight would be quite a chore, but if the six of them worked together they could do it. They began dragging him out of the container. But when they opened the container's door, thirty-two pairs of eyes looked back. They put Black down carefully and formed a protective half-circle around him.
"Leaving so soon, boy?" a French-accented old man with long, greying brown hair and a goatee asked, "I was 'oping you might stick around a bit longer." He was wearing long, purple clothes and seemed to be a sage of Team Plasma.
"Zinzolin..." Black muttered, "...Bastard... let us go."
"You know I can't do that. You 'ave become a thorn in Team Plasma's collective eye and we consider you too dangerous to be allowed to go free."
"You 'ave very loyal pokémon. Smart too, to find you 'ere, but not smart enough to realise we 'ave more security measures than meets the eye. It's good, because we can use pokémon like them at the Castle. Grab them!"
As soon as he gave the order, the fifteen Plasma grunts darted forth, and a few of them were immediately struck down by counter-attacks. Zinzolin ordered them to stop, and they did so. He threw six ultra balls, unleashing a Drapion, an Amoonguss, a Garbodor, a Seviper, a Crobat, and a Muk.
"I am a merciful man," said Zinzolin, "and will let all seven of you live if you don't resist. You will go to the castle and get to help work on our majestique future. But if you resist, I'll let my pokémon kill you all, including your master."
"We'll never betray Black!" Capella stated firmly. Four determined nods showed the others' agreement.
"Good luck with that." Lucius suddenly ran at the half-circle of grunts, firing a Dark Pulse at two of them. They fell the ground, screaming and clutching their heads.
"Merde!" cursed Zinzolin, "You and you, after 'im!"
"Dirty coward!" Boreas shouted after him. Though he felt a lot like routing himself, he couldn't leave Black behind.
"Lucius might have scarpered," Toxica said, "but the rest of us are loyal and will defend Black with our lives!"
"If you want to stand in my way," said Zinzolin, "you and your master alike will die. It's a pity, really, but we can't allow evil to prosper. Attaque!"
As the six powerful poison types attacked, the grunts all ran back to leave room for their leader's dangerous pokémon. They began guarding the exits to the cold storage, though, so that wasn't much of an advantage. A large X-shaped bullet raced at Boreas, and he only managed to dodge it by pressing himself to the ground immediately. As it turned in the air, it slowed down for a moment, so Boreas saw it was the Crobat, the razor-sharp edges of its wings covered in an unpleasant-looking liquid. He tried Ice Beaming it, but it was incredibly agile and easily dodged, immediately swooping at him again with wings in a slashing position.
Boreas raised a front paw in a reflex to hold his enemy off, then, in the quarter of a second he had left, first realised that was a stupid idea, and then thought of a way he might use it to his advantage anyway. He unleashed a mighty flare of cold from his palm in that single moment, liquidising a small pocket of air in an instant. The heat of the surrounding air meant the liquid air boiled away immediately with a poof, forming a small shock wave that hit the Crobat and made it lose its speed and aim. It hit the ground clumsily. Boreas immediately followed up with an Ice Beam to its back, but then a sharp pincer grabbed his own back and lifted him up.
It was the Drapion, and the pincers' points felt like sharp knives trying to dig through his skin and flesh. He tried Ice Beaming its face, but the only reaction was that it looked angrier.
"That's not very nice!" Selene landed on Drapion's head and dug her beak into its right eye. It screamed and let go of Boreas, but before he could thank Selene she had been knocked away by the Drapion's tail. His enemy was enraged and missing an eye now, so it followed her.
Boreas pursued the Drapion, but then did a double-take as his eyes drifted over the spot where Black had been and saw he had disappeared. The Seviper was slithering to one of the guarded exits, coiled around a struggling Black. He ran after them immediately, Ice Beaming the Seviper. It turned to face him with a hiss, then bit Black with its large poison teeth. Black stopped struggling immediately and went limp.
"No!" Boreas roared, "I'll kill you for that!"
The snake uncoiled itself from Black. "Relaxxx, It'sss jussst a paralytic, not a poissson," the gigantic snake hissed, "givesss me time to deal with you. It'sss not often prey offersss itssself ssso willingly."
Boreas Ice Beamed his opponent's face and rolled aside to dodge the creature's Poison Tail. He jumped over its lengthy body as it formed a circle around it and Ice Beamed its neck. It turned around rapidly and tried to bite him, but he jumped out of the way quickly.
But then disaster struck: as he tried to dodge a simultaneous attack by both of the Seviper's ends at once, it turned out it was just a feint as he was slammed down by a crushing impact of the snake's middle. He rolled away from the snake's attempt to bite him while he was helpless, but he was just too slow and the left poison tooth scraped him. He felt numbness spread through his body almost immediately. It was strong, but not powerful enough to fully paralyse him, as he'd received only a small scrape. He found that with some difficulty he could still move, but when he tried to create an Ice Beam, it just failed.
He tried easier ice attacks, but he just couldn't do it. It was as if he was an Eevee again, and he did the only thing he could: run for his life. But he ran slowly and clumsily, and was tripped by Seviper's thick tail. He heard the snake's hissing laughter as he tried to stumble back to his feet panicky. Seviper's thick body wrapped around him. Just a single coil was enough to press all four of his paws to his body in a deadlock.
He looked into the eyes of his captor, and to his horror it licked its lips with a forked tongue. He struggled for his life to get up and out of the Seviper's coil.
"No, don't!" he yelped as the Seviper opened its mouth and struck. Suddenly he struggled downwards instead of upwards, and through sheer surprise managed to sink lower into the coil. The Seviper's huge jaws snapped just above his head, where his neck had been a moment earlier.
The Seviper shifted its coils so that he was once again completely wrapped and lifted him up above its head. It opened its massive jaws once again, and this time put his entire rear half into its mouth, his midriff on the smaller teeth of the lower jaw. Boreas knew he had less than a second before he would be bitten in half and struggled desperately to jump out of his enemy's mouth, but his rear legs didn't have any grip on the wet tongue. Instead he used his front legs to push himself back off the teeth. When the mouth snapped closed a moment later, the roof of the mouth hitting his back felt like a bookshelf falling on top of him, but at least he wasn't bitten in half, as the sharp teeth had closed just in front of his nose. The mouth opened and the tongue pushed him back on the row of teeth and pinned him down like an executor forcing his victim's head onto the chopping block. Boreas bit the tongue and as it jerked away in reflex and took Boreas, who was still lying on top of it, with it, away from the teeth.
As the mouth snapped close again, the mouth's roof hit Boreas once again painfully hard. Suddenly a thunderous noise roared through the mouth and the tongue he was lying on moved around. It was a moment before he realised Seviper was speaking, and though its mouth being closed and Boreas lying on top of its tongue didn't exactly improve its articulation, Boreas could make out the words "If that's the way you want it."
To his horror the tongue he was lying on suddenly angled itself, and he began sliding down into the throat on its slippery, saliva-coated surface. "No!" he yelled, grabbing desperately for anything he could hold. He tried to grab one of the molars, but it was just outside his reach. He felt his hind legs enter a vertical tunnel as he slipped further down. "Please!" he begged his enemy as his upper body reached the rear of the tongue, "anything but that!"
The fleshy muscles of the Seviper's oesophagus pressed on him on all sides as he lost sight of the mouth and slid down. They were crushingly powerful, yet did not quite go to the point were they broke his bones. He could feel the dark moist tunnel opening under him and closing above him. He tried desperately to do something to save himself from the horrible fate that awaited him at the end of the tunnel; he clawed and bit at the walls but found them too powerful and too smooth to be penetrated, he tried to make cold and freeze Seviper's throat from the inside, but the poison still inhibited his powers. He tried to jam his paws into opposite sides of the oesophagus, in the desperate hope he could get himself temporarily stuck in the throat, though he was sure the muscles were powerful enough to just break his bones if he obstructed them and force him down further. The disgusting smell of vomit was getting stronger.
He felt his feet enter a liquid and submerge, giving him a curiously tingly sensation. His feet soon touched the bottom of the small, liquid-filled fleshy room and he tried to brace himself against the muscles that forced the rest of him in. But his knees and back were absolutely no match for the oesophagus' muscles and just bent. His lower half was forced in, completely filling the fleshy bag. But more of him kept entering and the room expanded to fit him. Finally his head entered the rancid-smelling stomach, and the oesophagus closed itself behind him despite his best efforts to keep it open.
Though it was as dark as a cave inside the Seviper's, Boreas could feel he was in a curled up, almost foetal position, all his body under the horrible tingling liquid's surface and only his head above it. He could barely move because of the walls pressing on him from all sides. It was very warm and the walls pulsated with the loud, thumping noise of the Seviper's heartbeat. He could barely move at all, fleshy walls pushing on him from all sides.
Though his knowledge of anatomy was sketchy at best, Boreas realised hanging by his tail from the Ferris wheel was paradise compared to what awaited him if he didn't think of something very clever really quickly.
Selene talking in her sleep is...very very creepy... o.o
Also, during the battle with Sage Zinzolin, wouldn't his POKéMON be shivering from the cold as well, or have they got used to it?
Lucius, though his behaviour is annoying, somehow surprised me that he retreated and left them there.
And that Seviper is evil as heck!
Selene's way of rescuing Boreas from that Drapion was a bit hilarious. xD
And oh, before I forget... Seviper bit Black... o.o
That snake's fangs are almost half the size of humans (after looking at how Jessie beaten a Seviper up)...
That would... I'd rather stop imagining things now...
All in all, a great chapter, and it was a long one, too.
The pipz in fanfic are really giving you a lot of nice reviews. And I can't blame them, for you're an awesome writer~
I also finished reading the latest chapter you put up on fanfic. I'll put my review about that later when it reaches here~
Heh, most people seemed to find it funny or just weird.
Chapter Thirty-Three: Full Circle
Boreas struggled in panic against the stomach's tight embrace. He had already tried to open both exits with all his strength, but hadn't stood a chance against the powerful muscles. If he pressed hard on one side, he could feel the ground outside, which the Seviper seemed to be slithering over. His breathing was very fast and ragged as he struggled.
I'm going to die in here! He thought, I'M GOING TO DIE IN HERE!!!
He tried to get himself under control. Calm down.
No, I'm going to be digested alive!
Not if I stop panicking and think my way out of here! He tried to get his rapid shallow breath under control and stopped struggling. He noticed the parts of him that were submerged were getting very itchy, but tried not to scratch because that would probably only make things worse. He realised there was little chance he would manage to get out on his own, so he would have to try and appeal to his enemy's better side, if it had such a thing, for a chance of mercy.
"Hey!" he said loudly, hoping Seviper would be able to hear him, "Seviper, what is your name?!"
"None of your busssinesss," a hissing voice sounded far away.
"Uh... Well, hi anyway, my name is Boreas!" Boreas thought that if he could make her see him as a person, rather than prey, maybe she would spit him out, "meeting you is a... let's call it a unique experience."
"Could you be quiet and ssstart sssquirming around again? That ticklesss very nicccely."
"I just want to tell you a bit about myself, if that's okay with you."
"I don't care," hissed Seviper, "I'd rather you were quiet, becaussse I'm going to take a nap to digessst you."
"Are you sure? I mean, I'm not just any prey, I'm a sentient being like you! I have hopes and dreams like you, and have friends like you, and I really, really like to live, like you. So, um, could you please show how good a person you are and spit me out?"
"Please? Don't you realise how cruel this is? You're sentencing another sentient being to a very slow, painful death. Won't you please let me out? I surrender, so you might as well let me out."
"No! You are nothing but food, and I eat food!"
"But I'm not food! Can't we solve this like fellow civilised beings?"
"You tassste like food and you fill my belly, ssso you are food."
"Imagine the pain I'm going to go through!"
"Yesss, they alwaysss sssquirm delightfully for hoursss before finally sssettling down."
"They? You mean you've done this to someone before?"
"Oh yesss. Not often, but occasssionally. Live prey tassstesss very good and isss niccce and sssquirmy."
Boreas was horrified by the thought that others had been eaten alive by this Seviper before, in part because it meant his chances of negotiating his way out were very tiny. "Please let me out? I have a mate and sixteen cubs, what will they ever do without their father? I can already imagine poor... Stephen crying for his daddy, and how will little... Marina cope with her father's death? And what about young... uh... Flapdoodle? Can you live with the idea of him growing up without his father? Please don't don't do this, for my kids if not for me."
"That'sss what all prey sssaysss if they get the chanccce."
"Do you want sixteen grown-up Eevees coming after you to avenge their father?"
"If they come after me, if they exssissst at all, I will welcome them. They can go the sssame way as you."
"Spit me out right now! If you don't, my friends will cut you open to rescue me!"
His fleshy prison shook with the snake's laughter. "Your friendsss are either dead or dying. I didn't even bother continuing the battle, becaussse my friendsss were winning ssso overwhelmingly. I've gone outssside, where it'sss warmer."
"Let me out! Don't you see how unbelievably cruel this is?!"
"No. Ssshut up."
Desperation was setting in now as Boreas was beginning to see the snake would never let him out. "Please!" he begged, "I... I will turn to your side! I will help you kill my friends if you let me out!"
"Please!" he begged, "I- I don't want to die!"
"Ssshould have thought of that before fighting Team Plasssma."
The horror of the entire situation threatened to overwhelm Boreas as he realised he would never get out. "O-okay," he said glumly. "You win. I will be your prey. If you spit me out, I will let you kill me without resisting. And then you can eat me."
"Why ssshould I ssspit you out? I like you where you are now."
"Because it will be unbelievably painful for me! If you're going to kill and eat me, at least give me a quick death."
"Too late. You ssshould've thought of that before I ssswallowed you. Now let me sssleep."
A last bolt of desperate fury went through Boreas. "You complete evil monster! I will freeze you from the inside once the paralytic wears off!"
"It won't wear off for hoursss."
Boreas tried to make cold in a single, focused point, and found it was incredibly difficult, but with titanic effort managed to. He aimed right for where the heart was, and shot the Ice Beam from his forehead. The snake shook with laughter. "Hey, that ticklesss, do it again!"
But Boreas couldn't. He had managed to overcome the low dosage of paralytic coursing through his veins through sheer force of will, but it had taken him an effort as if he had run a marathon up mount Everest. He just lay in the stomach panting. His final hope had been blown to smithereens. His skin was horribly itchy, and was beginning to sting with pain in several spots already. He realised that soon he would be in similar pain all over, which would grow worse and worse until he would lay there screaming in agony while his skin dissolved slowly. He wondered if he would die once his skin had dissolved, but realised there was little chance of such a quick way out, as the veins in the skin were tiny and would almost immediately close themselves, so he would lose little blood. Once his skin had been digested, the gastric acid would continue its horrifying job as it began work on the tissue underneath. He was pretty sure the major organs were all deep within the body, so he wouldn't die of damage to them. He realised he would probably die of blood loss after many hours of torment when the acid finally began destroying his major arteries.
As the horrifying realisation filled his mind, he sat there hyperventilating in panic. Then he just burst out struggling and screaming. "NO! Please! Kill me quickly, anything but this! I don't want to die like this!"
He stopped the useless struggling and cried. The tears streamed through his fur as he thought of the terrible fate that was already happening to him. He let out a loud wail for himself.
Then a grim, cold determination set in. Enough self-pity, justified though it is, he thought. I have one final option to save myself from that: I'm in a room mostly filled with liquid; I could drown myself.
Drowning himself in the acid would be quite horrible, especially when he couldn't stop his breathing reflex any more and began breathing the acid, but it sure beat being digested alive.
So this is it, he thought with complete calmth. This is how I die. I drown myself inside a Seviper.
He couldn't help but chuckle with gallows humour at the irony of having escaped being eaten by Zangeese only to be eaten by their arch nemesis eleven months later. At least those eleven months had been fun; with the exception of a few days he wouldn't have wanted to miss them for anything. He took a deep breath and prepared to plunge his head under the horrid liquid, but then realised that was a bad idea, as he was trying to give himself a quick death. He breathed out, collected his courage, closed his eyes, and sunk his head under the surface. He felt himself rapidly running out of breath and shifted positions so it would be harder for him to get his head back above the surface if he lost courage.
Suddenly the entire stomach shook violently, he heard Seviper scream in agony, and a light shone past his eyelids. He almost opened his eyes to see what it was, before realising that would be an enormously bad idea. He resurfaced, wiped the acid away from his closed eyes, and opened them as his meaty and dangerous prison moved violently. He couldn't believe his eyes: light was streaming in through a minuscule hole in the wall.
The entire stomach jerked fiercely along with its owner. "That wasss the lassst missstake you ever made!" Seviper roared furiously. "I'll make you sssuffer for that!"
"No!" A furious voice came from outside, "eating Boreas was the last mistake you ever made, you fiendish creature!"
Boreas put his eye to the hole. Though tiny, it was bleeding massively and hard to see through, but his heart jumped with joy as he saw Octa on its other side, with his Leaf Blade drawn and covered in blood, dodging the Seviper's attacks like a master swordsman. He looked far more furious and impressive than Boreas had ever seen, his eyes ablaze with furious determination and a single-minded purpose in every move. "Octa!" Boreas called, "Octa! You're a sight for sore eyes!" he tried to widen the tiny hole that Octa had cut all the way to the Seviper's stomach, but found the flesh was far too strong to tear.
"Boreas, my dear fellow!" Octa said, his voice soaked with joy, "how joyful I am to hear you are still alive." Boreas was thrown away from the hole as the snakes battled each other.
"If you like your friend ssso muccch," Seviper seethed, "you can join him inssside my ssstomach and ssspend your final hoursss being digesssted together! After I bite your limbsss off for what you did!"
"You, milady, are a cruel monstrosity and a barbarian, and do not deserve to have your name capitalised. Your Mephistophelean maliciousness brings a black mark of shame to all those who have the misfortune of sharing a species with you."
"Do you think you ssstand a chanccce againssst me with that puny leaf?"
"I have already demonstrated it has the required attributes to stab into your stomach. That is all I shall need to deliver this planet from your vileness and rescue my dear friend."
Boreas tried to follow the battle by looking through the hole Octa had carved, but most of the time it wasn't facing Octa, and it was too small and too filled with blood to see much anyway.
"Ssstabbing sssomeone in the gut while they're asssleep... Zssinzssolin warned usss our enemiesss were evil, but thisss isss an unexsspected low."
"Do not speak to me about low actions. Your own actions are so low I'd imagine mining companies would be willing to pay you generously to have them mine metals from the Earth's co- ARGH!"
Octa yelped in pain. Boreas pressed his eye to the bloody hole, and saw his friend was backed against a stone wall, bleeding from a large cut and trapped.
"Hehehe," Seviper laughed, "time to join your friend inssside my tummy!"
As Seviper was about to strike, Boreas decided he had to do something. With another outpouring of titanic effort, he created another Ice Beam and fired it straight at the wound Octa had made. Seviper jerked back in pain, and Boreas pushed himself against the stomach's dorsal wall. Just in time, as a razor-sharp Leaf Blade sliced the stomach open lengthwise. As he was flushed out the opened stomach in a flood of gastric acid and blood, he heard Seviper scream. He landed on grass, panting heavily and exhausted, but happy to be out in the air again.
"To leave you to bleed to death would be a merciful thing to do," Octa said grimly, "compared to what you tried to do to Boreas. But I shall be even more merciful and give you the quick death you never had the decency to grant my friend."
Seviper, lying flat on the ground with a large part of its front side cut open, hissed at Octa and tried to bite him.
"We both know a wound of this extent is impossible to survive. You shall bleed out within minutes."
Seviper paused, then exposed its throat to Octa. "Make it quick."
Boreas looked away and heard a loud slash and gargle. He tried to stand up. "Octa... You saved me!"
He was about to hug the Servine when he got to his feet, but thought better of it because he was still drenched in acid and blood. Then Octa surprised him by hugged him instead. "My dear fellow, I almost lost hope when I came outside and saw the bulge at its stomach had stopped moving."
"Both of us," said Boreas, "I was trying to drown myself to avoid being digested alive."
"I apologise for not being here sooner, the guards gave me a bit of trouble."
They stood there embracing each other, when Boreas really began noticing the burning sensation on his skin again. "Octa? I think I'd like to wash myself right now."
Fortunately the cold storage was right next to the river, so they could jump straight in. Underneath Boreas' fur, his skin was red and sore, but it seemed he had escaped with nothing worse than that. The wound Octa had received didn't seem to be poisoned either.
"Now, my dear fellow," said Octa, "I'm afraid we shall have to go back inside to help the others."
Boreas had completely forgotten about the battle in his joy to be alive. "Of course! But, Octa, Seviper poisoned me with something that is inhibiting my powers. I can make Ice Beams, but it's extremely tiring."
"Then you shall just have to use that quick mind of yours instead," Octa said as they ran inside, "It seems the only way we are likely to defeat the remaining five pokémon in the first place."
"Well, I'm glad you don't put me under any pressure," mumbled Boreas.
In the inner part of the cold storage, Boreas found the guards were all knocked out. "Did you do this on your own?"
"Yes. They attempted to obstruct my way as I came to rescue you."
Their friends had clearly lost the battle. Capella was writhing on the ground in agony, every vein in her body clearly visible under her skin in an obvious and disturbing black. Selene was buried in a mound of sludge, heavily struggling against its pull to keep her beak in the air. Toxica, who was missing one of the leaves on her head, was clutched in Drapion's death grip. Black's still body lay were Seviper had left it, so at least he was out of direct danger for the moment.
"Octa, I've got an idea, but it'll probably result in broken bones and/or necks for both of us," said Boreas.
"Do tell. If it can help us save our comrades, we should execute it."
"Look at that high stack of containers there, it looks very unstable. If I climb to the top, I bet I could make it fall over just by shifting the goods in the top container. You would have to draw all five of them to the spot under it and keep them there for as long as possible. Only, there's a large chance either or both of us would get crushed along with them."
Octa nodded. "I shall give you a few minutes to climb to the top, my dear fellow. Be quick about it, for I shan't be able to hold all five of them off very long. And just in case we shan't see one another again, I want you to know it's been an honour to consider you my friend."
Boreas nodded. "It has."
He ran to the unstable stack of containers and saw just how hard it would be to climb them. Each container was three metres high and made of solid, smooth metal. The only grabbing point on the containers was the heavy handle on the doors, which was about halfway up. Each container's front side was in the same direction, so Boreas decided to climb that side of the stack.
He pulled himself up on the handle of the first container, carefully placed his rear legs on it, and stood up on two legs. He still had almost fifty centimetres to go before the top of the container. He jumped up, and just managed to grab the edge. He pulled himself up and managed to stand on the thin ledge the second container left because it wasn't stacked evenly. Six more to go. He was beginning to wonder if Octa might have the easy half of the plan when he saw that the third and fourth container were stacked evenly, without leaving ledges to stand on between them, and that the sixth container even overhung the fifth. But he would tackle those problems when he got to them, first he had to climb the second container.
When he pulled himself up to the door handle halfway on the third container, he took a look down and saw he was very high already. Falling from this height would probably mean breaking bones, even without the containers falling as well. But he also saw that his impression of the fourth container being evenly stacked on the third had been faulty: it left a tiny ledge of only a few centimetres on this side, actually. It would never be enough to stand on, but he could probably hold it and climb to the side of the container. Since the fourth container was placed too far to the right there was a wider ledge on the container's left side. He jumped to the edge, and held on to it. He tried not to look down at the depth of nine metres gaping under him.
Cautiously, he shifted his left paw further to the left, then followed with his right. Like this, he climbed to the left corner, where he could pull himself up to the ledge. He looked for a way to scale the fourth container, but the only place to grab between the top of the container and the ledge was the door handle, which was on the front side, while he was on the container's right side. He realised he would have to make an almost impossible jump to grab the handle. He prepared himself, then made a jump that just allowed him to clear the corner. For one sickening moment he thought he wouldn't make it and would break all his bones on the ground, but with a grunt of pain his left paw managed to grab the handle. He quickly joined with his right. He was getting exhausted after climbing eleven metres and was in desperate need of a rest. While pulling himself up on the handle, he heard Octa's voice echo through the vast hall:
"A good morning to you, brutal fiends. Take a good look at this blood on my Leaf Blade. I'm afraid I shall have to inform you it's your friend the Seviper's. I killed her myself, and I believe I could dispatch all five of you with similar ease."
Boreas wanted to shout at him that it was too early, that he was only halfway, but that would give away the plan, so he just climbed faster despite his exhaustion as he heard the five poison types run after Octa. By the time he scaled the fourth container, the sounds were beginning to approach him. But there was a big problem: since the sixth container overhung the fifth by a good forty centimetres, there would be absolutely no edge to grab once he scaled the fifth. He tried to see if there was any ledge on the sides, but the containers were evenly stacked there. Of course there would be a ledge on the backside of the fifth, but he had no way of getting there. The sounds of running stopped and he heard Octa fight with all five opponents down below him. He climbed on the fifth container's handle and pulled it as hard as he could. To his fortune he found the container wasn't locked and swung open in a wide arc with him still hanging from the handle.
Octa's voice sounded from far down: "I can handle you all, just you wait, though a little help from above would be very convenient if it hurried up!"
He climbed on top of the open door and then lost his balance as it moved under him. He fell down and for one horrifying moment it seemed he would die fifteen metres down, but he managed to grab the handle. Despite his sore muscles' protests he pulled himself up to the top of the door. This time he was more prepared for the door's shiftiness and managed to keep his balance. As he heard Octa yelp in pain, he jumped up to the sixth container's handle. Completely exhausted, he noticed the stack wobbled with each step he took, so poorly balanced was it. He opened the seventh and highest container's door and found it contained heavy crates. He began shoving them all to the door's side of the container and felt the stack heave more and more with each crate he moved. Finally, when he moved the third crate, the entire stack lost its balance. The effect was incredibly scary, as the entire container began falling with him in it.
In freefall, he opened one of the crates and dived into it, landing in a heap of fish. He wanted to close the crate, but then a massive impact made him lose consciousness.
A part of Boreas' consciousness returned to him and he opened his eyes. He saw a white roof.
"You okay, pup?"
"Lucius?" he mumbled, "you filthy traitor."
"Hey, no need to thank me or anything, I only got the help that saved your ass and your boyfriend's from the mess you made."
"Octa?!" Boreas exclaimed, "is he alright?!"
"You nearly killed him with that stunt, but he got lucky and was only lightly crushed."
"Capella? Selene? Toxica? Black?"
"Nurse Hate thinks they'll all recover. Of course, you'd all be dead from either being crushed or poisoned if it wasn't for me and the help I got."
"Lucius, I can't believe I'm saying this, but thank you. And I'm sorry for calling you a coward and a traitor. So what happened to Zinzolin and his pokémon?"
"When we arrived, he was trying to rescue his pokémon from that pile of containers you buried them under. He agreed to come with us as long as his pokémon would get to go free once the pokécenter healed them."
"So he's been arrested?!"
"Yeah, he's kept in Clay's Gym because Clay thinks the police aren't strong enough to keep him locked up if Team Plasma comes to save him."
On an unseasonally sunny and warm day two weeks later they were on their way to the Gym to make an appointment for a battle with Clay. All of them were fully healed once again. Capella had been the closest to death, she almost hadn't survived the poisoning, and Boreas had broken a number of bones and suffered a bad concussion. But now they were all healthy again, and taking a walk through Driftveil's market on their way to the Gym. All sorts of goods from all over the world were on display.
"Oy, shir," the deep voice of a salesman cried out as they passed his stall, "wanna buy an evolushunary shtone? I've got all kindsh, and they're only 2000 pokémoney! Your pokémon will love them, I'm shure!"
"Sorry," said Black, "but none of my pokémon evolve with a stone."
"But what about your Oddish, shir? When it evolvesh to a Gloom, it can ushe one of my shtonesh to
become a Vileplume or a Bellosshom!"
"Shorry-" Black blushed at his inadvertent imitation of the man's speech impediment, "Sorry, but I don't think she wants to evolve at all."
Boreas suddenly became aware of an awful stench of rotting meat that hung in the air. A Gloom ran past him. "Yes I do!" she piped, "Come on, give me the Leaf Stone!"
"Your Oddish jusht evolved, shir."
"Huh? Oh, so she has!"
"Sho do you want a shtone?"
"Yeah, I do!" said Toxica.
"I guess she does. Toxica, do you want to be a Vileplume or a Bellossom?"
"I want to be a Vileplume!" she said, grabbing the Leaf Stone. A bright white light enveloped her, and her body transformed to a Vileplume's. When the light stopped, the flower on her head had become huge and shadowed her face rakishly.
"Hey, I like this," she said happily, "how do I smell?"
Boreas sniffed the air and noticed the rancid odour of rotting meat had disappeared, and instead there was now a quite lovely smell. "Fine."
"Really? How about now?"
Suddenly Boreas began to cough at the disgusting smell. "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever smelt, and that's coming from someone who spent some time inside a Seviper!"
"Hee hee, I can control it now that I'm a Vileplume," Toxica laughed, "and Octa, don't I look lovely now?"
"I... um... can't deny you possess a certain amount of attractiveness."
Suddenly a light tremor shook the ground and flashes of light came from the Gym. Black and his pokémon ran there. When they arrived at the Gym, they saw Clay was standing in the door to his Gym, which was surrounded by Team Plasma, led by Ghetsis, the Sage they had first seen in Accumula.
"Clay," Ghetsis spoke. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Ghetsis of Team Plasma's Seven Sages. I've come to pick up my friend who is in your care."
"Ah don't need no thanks," Clay responded, "yer buddy here stole people's pokémon, kidnapped some young'un, an' then tried to kill him an' his pokémon."
"What's this? There seems to be a misunderstanding... We never steal pokémon, and we only free pokémon from wicked people. And if evil people fight against our noble cause, we will occasionally use extreme measures against them."
"Well, that sounds real nice if it's true. Ah may not talk purdy, but at least Ah'm an honest man. You talk real nice, but what yer sayin' kinda sounds like lyin'. So tell me plain, what are ya tryin' to say?"
"Team Plasma's goal is to liberate all pokémon from humans. This is a noble goal, and to achieve such a noble goal, occasionally it can be necessary to do quite unnoble things. All servants of our king are necessary to achieve our goal. Give your prisoner up, or I shall be forced to do quite unnoble things."
Scowling, Clay shouted some things inside, and then Zinzolin walked out the Gym. "Ghetsis... Merci beaucoup."
"Well, Ah reckon you've won this without a fight. Take 'im and git!" Clay said.
"Not so fast!" Black interrupted, "Clay, the odds aren't as bad as you think! Those grunts are pretty poor fighters and Zinzolin's pokémon aren't here. Ghetsis is the only real threat."
Ghetsis laughed, a very unpleasant laugh that sounded as if he'd learned it from a book. "Well, well, the trainer who's been giving us so much trouble. Get out of our way, boy, or I will do what my friends could not and teach you never to interfere with Team Plasma again."
"Ghetsis," said Zinzolin, "please don't. There 'as been enough death already. Three of my pokémon were killed while doing their duty."
"I see, my friend. Very well, in that case, I expect we will all meet again sometime."
"Hold on!" shouted Black, "I haven't agreed to just let you go!"
Ghetsis nodded, and the grunts threw their smoke bombs. Boreas blew away as much of the smoke as possible, but there was an awful lot of it and most kept hanging around. It seemed Plasma was spreading out: most of the grunts were staying here and throwing their pokéballs to fight, while Ghetsis, Zinzolin, and three of the grunts were running off. Boreas couldn't let them get away and ran after them. He heard Black shout behind him:
"The Sages are escaping! Octa, you and the others stay here and get these guys while Boreas and I go after the Sages!"
Boreas ran faster than Team Plasma, but they had a head start and were quite a bit ahead as they ran through the docks. They reached a pier on the river and jumped into a boat that was waiting for them. Boreas cursed and jumped in the water to swim after them as they speeded off, but found out he could barely even stay afloat, let alone keep up with the boat.
Boreas splattered around in the water, feeling like a total failure, when suddenly he was lifted into a passing boat. Black was steering the motor boat. "It's not over yet, Boreas! I hired this boat to pursue them, we may still get them!"
The other boat was far away by now, but this boat was even faster. They pursued Plasma up the river for many kilometres, very slowly approaching the slightly slower boat. Boreas was full of hope that they might still catch them, when they reached the thinner, meandering parts of the river. Now Black's inexperience with steering a boat became very obvious, and they nearly crashed into the riverbanks or rocks several times. Black was forced to take it very slowly, and pretty soon no sign of Plasma remained. Though they kept going for a while, both eventually had to concede that they'd lost Team Plasma and Black turned the boat around.
Boreas yawned as he stared off at the passing riverbanks, bored out of his skull. There was absolutely nothing to do on the small motorboat except to be bored. Now that Team Plasma had escaped all exitement had worn off and Boreas really noticed how long and boring the way back to Driftveil was. He could not even play with Black, as he was too busy steering the boat. Maybe I should just ask him to return me to my pokéball, Boreas thought, at least I'll be out of the direct sunlight in there.
Boreas sighed and stared off at the riverbanks again, but this time something caught his eye. They were passing by a small rock in the river, and on the rock a very cute Vaporeon was sunning. Her shapely body was covered in blue fur that sparkled in the Sun, her finned tail was about as long as her body, and when she looked up as the boat passed her Boreas saw she had a lovely face. She smiled and winked at him, and Boreas felt as if his heart had stopped and his blood was boiling. He tried to greet her back in some way, but only managed an awkward nod and something that was supposed to be a charming smile but probably looked more like two fishermen had caught their hooks in each of the corners of his mouth and were now trying to haul him in. It had been a long time since he had last seen another Eevee, let alone one as pretty as this Vaporeon, so Boreas yearned to go talk to her, but the boat had already passed and they were moving away.
"Black, stop the boat, I want to talk to that Vaporeon," Boreas said to Black, who didn't understand a word of it as usual.
"Not now, Boreas," he said, "Let me just focus on steering, or we'll end up on a rock."
"C'mon, just look over there, and you'll get it!" Boreas said, pointing to the Vaporeon.
Unfortunately, Black's back was turned to him while he steered. "If you're hungry just get some berries from my backpack."
Boreas sighed, looked at the shapely Vaporeon again, and jumped off the boat. The water was cold, but that was quite a relief after sitting in the unseasonably warm Sun for a while. He managed to resurface and began swimming clumsily to the rock. Though his swimming was bad, he managed to keep himself afloat and slowly made progress against the river's calm current. After a few minutes of the clumsy swimming while the Vaporeon watched him amused, he finally arrived at he rock and held on to it with his front paws to keep afloat. He looked up into a pair of gorgeous black eyes looking at him expectantly, and realised he had no idea what to say.
"Uh... Hi," he said.
"Hi there," said the Vaporeon, "my name's Aqua."
"Hi, Aqua," Boreas said awkwardly.
"So... Do you have a name?" She asked.
"Uh... Y-yes, it's Bors. No, Boreas!" He kicked himself underwater for making a complete mess of this. He realised that though he had planned to be really charming and witty, he was currently displaying all the charm and wit of a spoilt carrot.
After a highly awkward pause of a few seconds, she said: "So um... Can I help you, Boreas?"
"Uh, well... Y'see... I just wanted to tell you that though my Blizzard is usually powerful enough to freeze a Heatran, with someone as hot as you nearby I couldn't even manage a cooling breeze."
This chapter, at first, was very sad. Boreas inside that snake's belly was really really eewy to imagine... x,x
Octa rescuing him was really a great scene in this chapter.
Their plan was very very suicidal though. Lucky for them to have survived such a dangerous event. o.o
And Lucius calling for help was a great idea, but what took him so long? x,x
Sad that Toxica didn't spent much time being a Gloom, though I couldn't blame her, after what Octa told her about her evolving. I just wished she turned into a Bellossom though...
And so that's how they ended up on that boat! xD
This chapter's a great read. It was long as well.
Keep at it~
Yes, it was. But at least it saved their friends.
"...And I believe you know the rest of the story already," finished Boreas.
"Yes, I think I might have the rest before," Aqua grinned, "That lovely Vaporeon laughed at our plucky Glaceon hero's cute pick-up line and invited him to join her on the rock, taking pity on his awful swimming and already finding him and his intelligent cyan eyes quite intriguing. They talked and talked, and ended up falling completely in love, and one evening eight days later they were walking through the glade together when our charming and witty Glaceon hero finished telling his tale to her as she listened in awe to the amazing tale being told in his sexy voice."
"Eight days?" asked Boreas, walking closer to her so their sides brushed together, "surely it can't have been only eight days."
"Incredible, isn't it?"
"I can hardly believe I didn't even know who you were nine days ago. Or that I wasn't in love; in hindsight it feels like I wasn't even really alive then."
"I know just what you mean." She approached his face for a kiss, but suddenly water began pouring down from the sky like they were walking under a waterfall.
"Kyogre's crotch," Boreas cursed, "I don't like getting wet... And it's an hour back to the pokécenter."
"I do like getting wet," said Aqua, "but not by rain. I think my burrow is somewhere close by here, though, follow me."
Boreas followed her as she ran. "What d'you mean you think it's here?"
"I never approached it by land before, I always come by the river."
They ran to the riverbanks, though by this point in the river they were five metre high cliffs rather than banks. They ran along the cliffs for a while, until Aqua announced: "This is it. My burrow is down there, by the water."
Boreas peered down. "How are we supposed to get there?"
"I don't know, I told you I've never come this way before. But I guess we could try to climb."
Boreas saw there were indeed footholds and small edges to climb down on. They grabbed each other's paw to help them climb. It was a scary climb, but easier than it looked. Once you were on it it seemed less like descending from a sheer rock face and more like a ladder. They arrived at the bottom of the cliff safely and entered a burrow in it.
Boreas had never really imagined what Aqua's burrow would look like, but he had expected something warm, soft, pleasant and lovely like her. But the only pleasant thing about it seemed to be that it smelt of her. For some reason, it felt like a sad, lonely place, though it looked like any other burrow.
"Well," said Aqua, laying herself down, "now that we're here, I can finally lie down. My feet hurt from all that walking."
Boreas grinned, "What, that short hike tired you out?"
"Short?!" Aqua exclaimed, "it was very far."
"It wasn't. Besides, we had breaks at several points, usually when we started kissing and just wouldn't stop." He blushed at the memories.
"It was far for me, I'm not used to walking."
"Aww, poor you..."
"Hey! Don't make fun of me, I don't make fun of your swimming either!"
Boreas arched an eyebrow.
"Okay, I guess I do. But only rarely."
Boreas arched it a bit further.
"Okay, okay, I do that quite a lot and have no real right to complain. But could you massage my feet for me? They're very tired."
Laying down next to her, Boreas did so with pleasure. "So... um... you live here all by yourself?"
"Of course I do!" Aqua said defensively, "you didn't think I was cheating on you, did you?"
"No, of course not, that came out wrong. What I meant to say was that it seems a bit... I dunno... Lonely."
Aqua's face suddenly seemed wistful and sad, but then it disappeared in favour of a smile. "Nah, not at all! I may be alone, but there's a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Besides, I'm only here at night, at day I'm usually outside."
"So what do you do outside?"
"Well, I go to see you."
"Aside from going to me, I mean before you knew me."
Aqua smiled another smile, but it seemed fake. "Oh, you know, I fish... I sun... I... uh... swim? And I... well, I visit my friends of course. Yes, I visit.... Marie? And um... Josephine?"
"Are you okay, my love?"
"Of course," she said far too jovially, "I-I'm fine."
"No, you aren't," Boreas pointed out, "I can clearly see the sadness you're hiding under that pretty smile. You know you can tell me everything, right?"
"Okay," Aqua said with fake joviality, "so maybe I don't really have that many friends here, and maybe on occasion this burrow can be a tiny bit lonely, but that's no problem."
She paused, and the fake smile on her face disappeared as she looked into Boreas' eyes with great sadness. "Actually, you're right, I feel lonely here quite often."
"It's strange, but I can feel it... I could the moment we entered here. You don't really like this burrow, do you?"
"I didn't say that," she said with more fake joviality, "It can just be a bit lonely, I didn't say I don't like it..." the fake smile disappeared, "but you're right. I don't like this place at all. I-I'm..." to Boreas' surprise, Aqua's voice began breaking up and tears glistened in her lovely eyes, "so-so lonely here. Y-you just can't imagine how lonely this place is."
Boreas wasn't sure what to say, but he stopped massaging her feet and took her in his arms instead to give her some emotional support. "Hey..." he said kindly.
"I-I've been here for six months," the tears were beginning to stream now as her shoulders shocked in his arms, "and I don't even have a s-single friend... Everything he-here is either prey, predator, or just doesn't se-seem to like me-he! I-I hadn't seen a friendly face in months before I met you."
Boreas embraced her tightly. "Oh, my love, I didn't know... I'm sorry. But now you have me, at least."
Aqua cried onto his shoulder. "Bu-but only for now. T-tomorrow, you'll defea-eat Clay and the-then you'll have to lea-eave with Black, and I'll s-still be here, all alone."
"No, dearest," Boreas gently rubbed her back, "it doesn't have to be that way... You could come with me when I leave!"
"N-no, Boreas," Aqua sniffed.
"We could still be together, my love, forever if we like! And you wouldn't be stuck in this lonely burrow any more."
"B-Boreas, I can't," cried Aqua.
"Of course you can, what binds you to this place?"
"W-well, nothing, but-"
"Then join me, love! You would never have to be lonely again. Not only will you be with me, but you'll have friends in the others. I'm sure you'll like them all very well once you get to know them... Well, except for Lucius, you probably won't like him, but that's pretty common."
"No, Boreas, listen to me, I can't join you."
Boreas felt his heart sink while it was pounding against hers. "Why?"
"B-Black," Aqua said sullenly.
"Oh, him? There's nothing to be afraid of, my love, he's-"
"No, I'm not afraid of him. I just- can't travel with a human. Not after what they did."
"Oh, but Black isn't like the humans that hunted you, he's kind and loves his pokémon and he'd never harm you, and will always take good care of you. Black is different."
"I know!" Aqua surprised Boreas by yelling this angrily, "I know. But tha-that doesn't matter. Even if he's a g-great guy, I hate him. Don't you see? I hate all humans. I have to hate them. I can never forgive them for what they did, Boreas, don't you see?"
"Listen, my love, I lied to you. When-when I told you how I evolved, it was more or less a made-up story. I wasn't there to fish, I was there to meet someone. A very good friend. In-in fact, he was my lover. Lothario was his name... I loved him, Boreas, and the humans killed him! I-I saw his corpse... That's why I fled, not because the humans would come after me with harpoons, I mercilessly drowned both of them and their pokémon like the miserable insects they were, so who would ever know I was there at all? B-but I just couldn't return... I couldn't announce to his family that he had died, and that it was because he wa-was meeting me... And I couldn't face all the memories; everything would remind me of him. I-I fled down the river wi-without saying goodbye and never even t-t-told anyone what happened to him... My family and friends must think I've been dead for months... I feel like I've been dead for months..."
A pang of jealousy had clouded Boreas' mind for a moment, but he had stuffed it away carefully. Aqua needed his support now, above all. "Oh, my love, I can't imagine how hard that must've been for you," he said gently as he rubbed her back and held her tightly.
"N-no, you can't... At least you had Octa after your parents died... And all kinds of th-things to distract you... I-I've been here for s-six months, all by myself with only painful memories to keep me company. Y-you have no idea how that feels like, and I hope you never will. Do you see now, Boreas, do you see why I can't help but hate Black, even if I know he's not like them?"
Boreas thought of Thomas. "Yes. I do. But- but if you stay here alone, it'll only make things worse. You'll be alone and miserable again, and I couldn't stand the thought of travelling on while you're still here like that."
"It wouldn't be as bad as it was, my love, because now I have the happy memories of you to keep me company besides the sad ones... And I would have hope, hope that I would see you again one day."
"But you would still be miserable, even if you were less miserable than you used to be. There must be a solution... You could travel along with us, but not actually with us. You could travel on your own and just sort of follow the same path, and we could meet every evening, as far away from Black as you'd like."
"I-I don't know... I would have to follow you pretty closely to follow the same path, and it would still feel like travelling with Black. P-please understand, I want to like him, I honestly do, but seeing a human... It reminds me of that horrible day... I can never forget it, or forgive them. And I would have to come close to human-infested places... I know I never showed this, but going into Driftveil with you really hurt and scared me, it's just that at those moments I was able to drown that out with my love for you, but at night I felt horrible about it. But I have another idea: stay with me! Not here in this miserable place, of course, but we could travel together to wherever we'd like! Just you and me and the world."
Aqua interrupted him, "No, I don't want you to answer this impulsively, because as much as I want to travel with you, I don't want you to become unhappy with a rash decision later on. Just... think about it carefully. I don't want an answer before tomorrow."
"I could never be unhappy if I was with you."
Aqua brought her face in front of Boreas' and smiled while tears still twinkled in her eyes. "Maybe. Maybe being together would be enough, but you'd miss your friends and your ambition, and that might make you very unhappy in the long run... I want you to be happy, I couldn't live with the idea that I made you unhappy, so think about it carefully, okay?"
She kissed him while salty tears continued to stream from her eyes. "But whatever you decide and whatever the future may bring, stay here with me tonight, o-okay? I've never told any of this to anyone, and I-I feel like it's opened all the old, barely healed wounds... I-I just can't face loneliness right now..."
Boreas thought about the Gym battle tomorrow morning, then decided he didn't care if he missed it. If Aqua needed him, he would stay with her for as long as she needed him. "I will," he whispered.
He felt her cry on his shoulder again. "Thank you. I-it must be strange, t-to suddenly see me become so... weak and-and sad and lonely when I must normally seem so strong and jo-jolly and flirtatious..."
"You're not weak. Crying after all that isn't weakness, in fact I'd say it shows how strong you are that you are even sane at all after half a year of being vexed in loneliness by your memories."
"Th-thank you. B-but I want you to know that when I'm jolly and flirty and all that, it's not just a mask or an act or anything, I act like that because of how happy you make me feel.
The way I felt when you jumped out of the boat and began talking to me... I can't describe how glad it made me... It was the first time I had really felt joy in half a year. I mean, when I saw you come by the first time, about an hour earlier, I had thought you were cute, and I had seriously considered swimming after you to talk to you, but I didn't because you were with a human and because I didn't know what to say anyway... So I just checked out your tail and bum as you boated past," (Boreas blushed deeply at this), "and then I went back to sunning, which was sort of my only pleasure in all that time alone... But I found I just couldn't put you out of my mind, that I was wondering what would've happened if I had gone to talk to you. It was very nice to have something non-depressing to think about for a change, really. And then I couldn't believe my luck as I heard a boat pass again and saw you were on it. So I smiled and winked, and tried to collect my courage to go talk to you, and to my surprise and joy you came to me! And, well... the eight days since have been the happiest of my entire life. You made me feel things I haven't felt since Lothario died, Boreas."
Boreas had a momentary urge to ask her whether she had loved Lothario more than him, but he resisted it, recognising that would be a very cruel question, and exactly what she didn't need from him right now. He didn't want her to be unhappy, and he decided to be a good, supportive boyfriend for her. "I didn't know I made you so happy... That alone makes me happy..."
They lay silently in each others' arms. Aqua's sniffing and whimpering on Boreas' shoulder soon stopped, and a while later her breathing became very slow as she went to sleep in his arms. Boreas was in a daze of love for the gorgeous creature in his embrace, as her sharing her anguish with him had only made him adore her more. He was only snapped away from his blissful adoration for her by a momentary pang of annoyance as he pictured the faces of his friends when he returned to them the next morning and they would draw the obvious conclusion. At least he figured Selene might be clueless enough that she wouldn't jump to that conclusion, and maybe some of the others would believe him if he told them there had been no horizontal dancing involved. Lucius would certainly make himself incredibly annoying, though.
But after that momentary pang of annoyance, he found he didn't really care as he cradled the soft, finned head resting on his shoulder. And then he knew it for certain: tomorrow he would tell his friends that he would leave the team. He would fight one final battle with them against Clay, and then he would leave with Aqua. He would miss them all, of course, but he wanted to stay with Aqua more then anything else in the world.
I need to tell you that, even if I already read the chapters ahead, I wrote down my comments for each of them on Notepad, so I just need to copy+paste+edit some little things before posting 'em here.
Somehow, I really felt really sad after Aqua told him the truth as to why he hated humans.
But she's really a great Vaporeon. It was really nice of her to give him time to think about her offer.
that was really funny, but I was still feeling sad, so I couldn't really laugh out loud, but at least it was enough to break those sad feelings a bit.
Aw... He's gonna leave?
Well, at least he's with Aqua.
Chapter Thirty-Five: The Underground Boss
The flying mountain suddenly began turning as they climbed it. Boreas' paws lost all grip and he nearly fell into the depths, but he managed to grab hold of a small ridge, trying not to let go and reach the plateau just above him. Below him the vast, forested vista the mountain was flying over was breathtaking, but kilometres down. If he fell, he would certainly be dead. But he just couldn't reach the plateau above him.
"Need some help?" Aqua's pretty finned head looked over the edge.
"Aqua!" Boreas said happily, "there you are, help me up!"
"Of course, my love!" she said as she extended a paw over the edge.
Boreas tried to grab her paw with his free paw, but something heavy was hanging on to it. He looked down and saw it was Octa, dangling above the depths. "Octa? Are you here too?"
"Obviously," spoke Octa.
"Look, it isn't that I'm not glad you're here too," Boreas explained, "but I can't grab Aqua's paw while you're hanging on to mine."
"Oh, I shall just let go and let myself fall into the depths then, shan't I?"
"Yes. Since this is obviously a dream, I could just let you fall without any problem."
"Very perceptive, my dear fellow. However, have you paid any attention as to what this dream is trying to tell you?"
"It's not trying to tell me anything, because dreams are a product of the brain, basically thoughts had while you're asleep. Since it's a product of my own brain, it isn't going to tell me anything. I was just having a fun, albeit far-fetched adventure with Aqua when you had to enter my dream and start having this silly discussion with me. So why don't you just let go, if I know my dreams lately, the real fun starts when I get up there on that edge." He giggled in anticipation.
"You are right, of course, this dream is merely your own brain thinking while asleep. But perhaps that means you are trying to tell something to yourself? Maybe your decision to leave the team to go adventuring with Aqua isn't the right choice?"
"If it's trying to say that, it's not being very convincing. Because if I don't let go of you and grab her paw, I fall to my death in this dream. While if I do let go of you and grab her paw, not only am I safe, but I'll have... fun with her right there if the pattern of my dreams the last days holds."
"Well, don't blame me, we've just established you're the one dreaming all this, including me, up. I can't help it if your metaphorical thinking is awful, I am not even real and even if I was you'd still be the one dreaming this, not me."
"Just go away, okay? Just let me have my fun in my dream and save the lessons for when I'm awake. Now since this is my dream, I'm just going to pretend you weren't here, climb up there, and have some fun."
"You might want to direct your eyes upwards once again before doing that, my dear fellow."
Boreas looked up and saw the grinning face of Diego instead of Aqua's. "AAH!" he yelped as he lost his grip on the mountain.
Boreas tumbled through darkness. "Octa, you bastard, this dream was going awesomely until you had to show up and poke your haughty nose into my business!"
Flames erupted in the darkness and coalesced into the shape of a gigantic Zoroark head. "Hehehe," laughed Diego's fiery face, "it's not his fault, you know, but yours!"
"And as for you!" Boreas yelled at the flaming Zoroark, "Get out of my dreams!, unless it's so I can practise killing you, which, by the way, I'm still going to do next time we meet!"
"But if you leave the team, you'll get to kill me, because you'll never meet me again!"
"Even better, I wish I had never met you in the first place! I still have occasional nightmares about the night you hung me from that Ferris wheel, or at least, I had them before I met Aqua and all my dreams, aside from this one, sort of started following a similar theme."
"But what I meant was: the team will have to continue fighting Team Plasma without you. What if they die?" suddenly a watery silhouette of Octa drifted past and evaporated as Diego slashed at it, "What if Team Plasma wins?" a mount of dirt shaped roughly like Black drifted by and was immediately melted by Diego, "Could you live with that?"
Boreas pointed angrily at Diego and saw his own paw was made of air, as was the rest of him. He was not invisible, though, he looked more like a Glaceon-shaped cloud. "You. Get. The. Hell. Out. Of. My. Dream. Everyone except Aqua, sod off! It's my dream and I don't want any of you to bother me!"
Diego began to talk, but was suddenly interrupted when starlight coalesced into a shapely Vaporeon who kissed him. The madness all around him disappeared as he felt her lips caress his.
Boreas was aware of nothing but the kiss waking him up and Aqua's body pressed against his. His eyes opened when their lips parted and he was greeted by Aqua's gorgeous visage. "Good morning," she whispered.
"Good morning, gorgeous," said Boreas, "and thanks. I was having a really annoying dream."
"So I heard," she smiled.
"Oh. Was I talking in my sleep?"
"More like mumbling, I couldn't catch most of it. But you sounded very annoyed."
They kissed each other again. "Aqua," said Boreas, "I've decided my answer to your proposal."
"Don't tell me yet," said Aqua, "don't decide yet. I want you to spend the day with your friends first."
"But why? It's not going to change my mind."
"It may. It just seems unfair since I cuddled you all night. That's got to be very persuasive, but your friends haven't had any chance to convince you. I just don't want you to make a mistake you'll be unhappy with."
"Okay, fine." I will need to tell them anyway, thought Boreas, might as well do it today and get it over with. "You will hear my decision tonight. Oh, that reminds me, I need to get to the Gym for our battle!"
"No problem, love, I'll swim you there."
Boreas should really be enjoying holding on to Aqua while she swam, but his mind was preoccupied. The dream had been annoying, but it had alerted his mind to the downsides of leaving the team. Then again, what difference would he make in the fight against Team Plasma? In the end, he was just a single Glaceon, and he wouldn't really make that much difference. Besides, even if he did and Team Plasma succeeded because he left the team, that was no problem to him any more. Without a trainer, how much did he really care about pokémon and humans being separated? Sure, other pokémon might not always like it, but he could hardly be putting their happiness before his own. He was going to choose what made him happiest, and as his mind drifted back to Earth, he realised that was Aqua. He began covering her neck in kisses as she swam.
"Mmm," Aqua hummed in delight, "you know you'll make me lose concentration like that..."
"I know, but how could I resist it?"
When they arrived at the city, they kissed and said goodbye. Boreas would've asked her to come watch the battle, but he realised now that asking her to enter a human building would be out of the question.
He ran to the Gym, where he arrived just as Black and his other pokémon arrived too. Boreas was greeted by six grins that made him want to sink into the ground with shame. Though, when he took another look at Selene he saw her grin was more of an absent smile then a grin.
"Ah, Boreas," Black grinned, "glad to see you found some time in your uh... busy schedule to join us."
"'Ow'd it go?" beamed Toxica.
Boreas felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment as Octa, one eyebrow arched, started talking. "I suppose 'twas only a matter of time before you two engaged in carnal knowledge, given your respective personalities, but for you two to move so rapidly was quite rash. Regardless, you have my congratulations, my dear fellow, and I do hope you had fun."
"Just listen to the guy," Lucius sneered, "cropped up with jea-"
Octa interrupted him. "No, I am not jealous of Aqua. No, 'tis not just a phase he's going through. No, he does not love me more. There, I made the jokes so you can do us all a favour and keep your mouth shut. In fact, don't ever open it again if you want to do the entire planet a service."
Boreas spoke up. "Would any of you believe me if I told you that what you think happened didn't actually happen?"
"You mean you didn't sleep with 'er?" Toxica asked incredulously.
"Well, if you put it like that, yes I did, but not like that."
"You mean, without rumpy-pumpy?"
"Yes, that's pretty much what I mean."
A couple of sarcastic grins and looks showed how much they believed him. "Fine," he said, "then I'm not going to tell you what really happened either."
He wondered if he should tell them he was leaving the team, but he figured he'd rather tell them one-on-one then to just throw it into the group. Black looked on his watch and entered the Gym. Inside was a deep pit with a mining elevator. Since Clay wasn't there, Black stepped on the elevator and it sunk down into the shaft. They travelled down into the depths, through layers of earth and past the occasional fossil. Finally a light from downwards became brighter than the sunlight from upwards. They reached the end of the shaft, a large enlightened cave. In the middle of it was Clay in his cowboy costume.
"There ye are, boy!" he said, "Ah think it's about time Ah saw for myself what it is about yer skills that makes a Gym Leader like Elesa take such a shine to ya! We'll be usin' three pokémon each! Krokorok, yer first!"
"Toxica," said Black, "show him what you can do!"
As Toxica and the Krokorok began their combat, Boreas noticed with a twitch of annoyance that Octa was looking at the battle with a bit of an absent smile on his face. "Octa," said Boreas, "I have to tell you something."
"Oh?" Octa answered without even looking at him, "nothing unpleasant, I hope?"
"Well, that depends on how you look at it. I'm leaving the team."
That got Octa's attention. He immediately turned to Boreas, a startled expression on his face. "I beg your pardon? I believe I might be suffering from a slight aural impairment today."
"I'm leaving the team."
"You... are... what?" Octa enunciated.
"I'm leaving the team to stay with Aqua, Octa. We're going to travel the world together."
"Don't you think this is a bit rash, my dear fellow?"
"No, she suggested it last night, actually, and told me to think it over carefully because she didn't want me to make a rash decision. So I decided this morning."
"Even a decision that one took quite a while to make can be rash, my dear fellow. And this decision is rasher than a rash on you on a day you are both inebriated and enamoured. Surely you must realise the idea of leaving your friends, whom you've known for most your life, to go gallivanting with a lady whom you've known for barely nine days is a truly silly and frankly wrong decision. But fortunately I have a much better idea that shall allow you to stay together with her even as we leave Driftveil: Aqua can join our team. I know 'tis unorthodox for a trainer to have more than six pokémon with him, but that needn't necessarily be a barrier. Besides, Capella still insists she is not technically a member of Black's team, so if Aqua joined he would technically have six pokémon in his team."
"I already thought of that, Octa, but she didn't want to join us."
"Oh, and quite obviously if 'tis an inconvenience to Aqua, you should just leave your friends. My dear fellow, I had rather hoped our friendship was strong enough that you wouldn't break it because 'tis a minor inconvenience to some strumpet you barely know."
"Look," Boreas was getting pretty angry at Octa's attitude, "it's not like that. She really has a very good reason why she can't join us, and there is absolutely no way she could without feeling horrible. And I know her very well!"
"Yes," said Octa with a mirthless grin, "you "knew" her all night long, didn't you?"
"Shut up, I told you nothing happened between us last night!"
"Don't lie to me, my dear fellow. And what might this compelling reason she has to ask you to abandon me be then, hmm?"
Boreas realised there was no way he was spilling Aqua's secrets to Octa. "I can't tell you, that's between me and her."
Octa gave him a cold stare. "Fine. Evidently our friendship is not as close as I thought it was. I would've thought you would feel by now you could confide any secret in me, but perhaps I was mistaken. I would've thought our friendship would be worth more to you than the whims of a lady you met a week ago, simply because she has brought you sexual pleasure, but evidently I was mistaken."
"I told you!" Boreas yelled, "We did not have sex!"
All pokémon eyes in the room turned to Boreas, who felt embarrassed as well as angry now. After a momentary pause, the battle continued. Boreas saw Krokorok was on its last legs, and Toxica finished it with a single Energy Ball. "Woohoo!" she cheered, "being evolved is awesome!"
"Well, Ah'll be, young'un," said Clay as he returned the Krokorok and sent out a Palpitoad, "Sure didn't see that coming!"
A Palpitoad appeared from the pokéball. "Ha, that's both a water and a ground type!" scoffed Black, "Toxica, you'll easily handle this!"
But as a bright green Energy Ball formed in Toxica's hands, one of the big blue bumps on Palpitoad's forehead burst open and a disgusting blob of purple sludge fired out at great speed and exploded all over Toxica before she could react. Toxica screamed in pain as her skin rapidly dried out and yellowed wherever the sludge touched her. It seemed for a moment she was going to continue the battle, but she was covered in a great amount of the horrid sludge and her flower was hanging limp and turning a sickly orange. Black forfeited and immediately rushed over with an antidote to help her.
"Ya don't become a Gym Leader without coverin' for weaknesses, boy," said Clay.
"Octa," commanded Black as he cleaned the horrid sludge off Toxica, "you take over."
Instead of making a remark or saluting his opponent as usual, Octa grimly nodded, drew his Leaf Blade, and stepped forward. He and Palpitoad carefully circled each other, both realising that whoever made an aggressive move would probably get hit first: if Octa attacked, he would be too close to his opponent to dodge a Sludge Bomb, while if Palpitoad fired a Sludge Bomb, the lithe Octa could dodge it and attack him, and both combatants could probably be defeated by a single attack from the other. They eyed each other cautiously, not daring to break the stalemate. Boreas hoped Octa would get one of the Sludge Bombs right in the face.
"Boreas," whispered a kind voice next to him.
"Capella," Boreas nodded, "I take it you want to talk to me about the little disagreement I just had with Octa?"
"Not really," said Capella, "it's hardly the first time you argued and you'll work it out in a few days as usual. I just wanted to ask you if it's true that you didn't have sex with Aqua last night."
"Yes, it's true," Boreas said frustrated.
"Okay," Capella nodded, "then I believe you."
"You do?" Boreas asked in surprise, "That's so unlike... Well, everyone else."
"Thanks, you've got no idea how frustrating it is that no-one believes me, even if it doesn't really matter."
Suddenly the stalemate was broken. Boreas hadn't seen who broke it, but Octa was dodging Sludge Bombs left and right, but didn't run at Palpitoad, instead dropping his sword and extending his vines. The vines slammed Palpitoad and left nasty red stripes, then they wrapped Palpitoad and seemed to dehydrate him within moments. Octa had to duck under one last Sludge Bomb before it was over.
"Givin' up's the easy way out!" said Clay, "If Ah wanted, Ah coulda given up any ol' time!"
He threw a pokéball, unleashing an Excadrill. Octa picked up his Leaf Blade once again and began battling the badger, but his every strike was parried by the massive metal claws.
Boreas was feeling a bit disappointed. "So... Aren't you going to ask me what happened last night if it wasn't what everyone thought it was?"
"No. Unless you really want to tell me, of course. But otherwise, I figure whatever may have happened was between you and Aqua."
"Well... I think I'd like to tell you. I asked her to join the team, but she can't. You see, human hunters killed her previous boyfriend and she's still very shook up about it. She can't help but hate humans and so there's no way she could join the team. And she can't just stay where she is either, because she is incredibly lonely and has absolutely no-one in the world, except for me. And so she wants me to leave the team and travel with her. And so do I."
"I see," said Capella, "that explains the argument. Well, I will miss you and so will the others, but I hope you'll be happy with her."
Boreas sighed in relief. "I'm glad you take it so well. Octa... He was furious! Why can't he just react the same way? Why does he have to start meddling and try to hold me back?!"
"Because he's very fond of you," Capella said earnestly. "He likes you a lot, Boreas, and doesn't want you to leave."
"Why?" Boreas seethed, "why can't he just be happy for me?"
"You do the same thing, you know. When you try to stop Toxica's attempts to win his heart, it's essentially the same behaviour. You are scared of the thought that Octa might like Toxica more than you at some point, aren't you?"
"No, I'm not! That's ridiculous!"
"You are, aren't you?"
"Well, not as such. I mean, I just don't think Toxica is right for Octa and I want to protect him from her."
"Maybe, but the main reason is that you're afraid he might like Toxica more than you if he ever falls in love with her."
Boreas sighed. "I guess. What does it matter anyway?"
"Well, put yourself in Octa's position. He is not just having to face the fact that you like Aqua more than him, but now you are leaving with her too, meaning he would see you only very rarely any more. You've got to agree, having your best friend suddenly disappear from your life like that is pretty horrid, and you would likely react even more possessive of him if the roles were switched."
Octa ducked under a powerful metal claw as Boreas grudgingly had to agree. "Maybe. So you're saying I should try to make things up to him before I leave?"
"That might be a good idea, yes."
They watched the battle in silence as Boreas grew more and more annoyed. "Well?" he snapped, "when are you going to talk about Team Plasma?"
"Team Plasma?" Capella asked quizzically.
"Yes, Team Plasma. I know you're going to mention them next to convince me to stay, but I can already tell you it's not going to work."
"I'm not trying to convince you of anything, Boreas. And what does Team Plasma have to do with it anyway?"
"You are trying to convince me, you're just being subtle about it. And what if I was just the one person who might make the difference between Team Plasma winning and Team Plasma losing?"
"The chances of that are minimal," replied Capella, "it's very unlikely you're that special person who might make all the difference, or that such a person even exists."
"Yes, but what if I'm just the drop of water that makes the bucket flood over? It doesn't necessarily have to be because I'm special, but I could just be the one extra person good needs to defeat evil."
"Again, what are the chances things are so close that a single person would make the difference? Is it worth that tiny chance to give up your own happiness?"
"Okay, but what... What if one of you dies while fighting Team Plasma and I've left? What if you died, Capella? Or Octa? If I hadn't left, you might still be alive because in a single battle there is a good chance I would've made the difference! I could never forgive myself if that happened."
"But what about yourself? Isn't your own happiness worth more than all that? Why should you care what might happen to us if you're happy? We are old enough to take care of ourselves, and even if one of us died you would eventually get over it."
"But I-" suddenly Boreas' thoughts caught up to him and realised something very strange was going on. "Hold on, this is really weird. You tricked me into arguing your side while you argued mine!"
While Boreas hadn't been paying attention, Octa had been defeated. Black looked unsure of whom to choose. "Uh... Bore- no, wait, steel weakness... Luc- no, ground weakness... Uh, Capella, finish it!"
Capella threw Boreas a friendly smile as she slithered forward. "Believe it or not, but I'm not arguing either side. I just want you to make the best choice, so I voiced the arguments you already thought of. You've essentially been arguing with yourself."
She began using water and fire to battle her opponent while Boreas rushed over to help the unconscious and wounded Octa regain consciousness. But his thoughts weren't there, they were raging through his mind in a storm of conflicting thoughts and emotions.
Alder stood in silent awe as his last pokémon was defeated. Finally he spoke the words: "...It's over. But it's an odd feeling. I'm not angry that I lost, in fact I feel happy. Happy that I witnessed the rise of a great new Champion!"
Boreas couldn't believe it. He looked at his friends and they all had the same dumbfounded expressions on their faces. Then he began laughing in victory, and before he knew it they were all hugging each other happily. Their journey was finally at an end, Team Plasma defeated and now the Elite Four and the Champion too, but... Yet, Boreas felt empty inside. He was glad they'd won, but he realised he had had to give Aqua up for it. He remembered her lovely smile, the soft touch of her lips, how he had stayed with her for a whole night to help her deal with her loneliness and just felt dead inside despite his superficial joy. He had achieved all he had ever hoped for, but at what cost?
"Never," mumbled Boreas.
"Whuh?" mumbled Octa, slowly waking up, "Oh, 'tis you." He looked at Boreas as if the Glaceon was a very foul insect that had somehow found its way into his sandwich.
"Yes, it's me!" Boreas snapped. "But I'll go stand over there if I'm in your way, my lord."
Boreas bowed sarcastically and stood a bit away. He was convinced now that leaving the team was the right choice. And yet...
Boreas thought the kiss would never end, and would've been quite happy if it never did. But eventually they broke apart and looked into each other's eyes. But Boreas saw the reflection of something unsettling in Aqua's gorgeous black eyes: six gravestones. He tore his gaze away from her and saw all six. He was filled with horror at the thought that he'd let this happen. He hardly dared read the names on the graves, even if he knew what they said.
???, KNOWN BY HER FRIENDS AS SELENE
CAPELLA OF THE HOUSE OF DRACO
BLACK H. TOUYA
OCTAVIANUS OF THE HOUSE OF EQUINOX
How could he have let it happen? How could he have left them? Even if they hadn't met their premature ends he would never have seen them again. He looked back into Aqua's eyes with nothing but sorrow and hate.
"Never," Boreas mumbled even more vehemently. This time, his mind was made up. As much as it pained him, he couldn't leave with Aqua. He realised he had to go tell her and sneaked onto the elevator while the others were too busy watching the battle to notice. When he reached the top of the shaft he pressed the button that sent the elevator down again and ran out of the Gym.
He had to search by the river for a while, but eventually found Aqua fishing and called for her. She surfaced with a radiant smile on her face that evaporated when she saw Boreas' grim face. "I see you've decided."
"Yes, I have," said Boreas glumly. He had no idea how he was going to tell her his decision, he couldn't bear the thought of telling her.
"You... Didn't choose for me, did you?" Aqua said flatly.
"N... No. I'm sorry, Aqua, I'm so sorry, but I just can't leave now... When this is all done and Team Plasma has been defeated, I will happily join you, but I just can't now.... Please forgive me."
Aqua's pretty eyes found his and she kissed his forehead sorrowfully. "You don't need to be sorry, my love. I think I already knew this would be your decision if you really thought about it. It's why I gave you a day to think about it..."
Tears shot into Boreas' eyes as he hugged Aqua. "I really wish I could stay with you."
"I know. So do I. In a perfect world, I would join you and your friends on your surprising adventures in Unova, but we don't live in a perfect world. But that doesn't mean we'll see the last of each other tomorrow, my love. Your next stop will be Mistralton, won't it? I can get there by myself and meet you there."
"B-but..." Boreas stammered, "it'll be ages before we reach Mistralton... We won't see each other for weeks, if not months..."
Aqua kissed him. "But we will see each other again, my love, and that's what's important. We'll spend as much time together as we can in Mistralton. And I won't even have to stay here, because like you, I'm leaving tomorrow. I'll probably reach Mistralton before you, so maybe I'll make some new friends there." She said it all in a cheerful voice, but Boreas could hear the sadness under it.
"Well," he said, "at least we've got one last day together."
Late that evening, Boreas arrived at the pokécenter.
"Well, well," Lucius laughed, "look who decided to spend the night here."
"Shut up," said Boreas, "Uh... Capella, Octa, can I speak to you two?"
Capella looked at him with an encouraging smile while Octa coldly stared at something a bit above his head.
"I... Well, I've changed my mind." A happy smile flashed over Octa's face for a single moment before his scowl returned. "I've decided to stay with you. I've already talked it over with Aqua, and we decided to meet in Mistralton. And I'm sorry for upsetting you, Octa. I didn't mean it that way."
"It's great to hear you're staying," Capella smiled.
"Hmpf," Octa sniffed haughtily.
"Come on," said Capella, "we all know you're incredibly happy about this and he's already apologised. So just make it up and be friends again. You know you want to."
Octa stared haughtily for a bit longer, and the a smile spread across his face. "Excellent, my dear fellow, 'tis most agreeable that you decided this way. I knew you'd come to the right decision eventually."
I just finished re-reading this chapter. It's as good as always.
I wonder how it feels that you're aware that you're dreaming... =/
Never felt that before. Must be awesome doing everything you can possibly think of.
Even Black gave Boreas 'the grin', eh? xD
I laughed when Octa silenced Lucius up. xD
I read the reviews about Toxica being poisoned. That made me remember that a Vileplume is also a poison-type. I guess it's one of those errors, eh?
Capella is a really nice Dratini.
"BLACK H. TOUYA"
May I ask what the middle initial means, and where did that surname came from?
That was sad, but at least she can get away from that lonely burrow of hers. And though it's really sad, he did made the right choice, and besides, after it's all over, he can go back to her.
Nice to know Octa and Boreas are friends again.
It's less awesome than you'd think, because "everything you can possibly think of" usually isn't all that much, as your mind is still asleep and incredibly groggy. In my case, I generally don't even realise I could do anything when I realise I'm dreaming; the only thing I usually manage to do with that knowledge is waking myself up when the dream takes a nightmarish or annoying turn.
Part Six: Blood, Magnets, and Tears
Chapter Thirty-Six: In the Broad Daylight
Heavy raindrops poured down from the sky. They were at the riverbanks at Driftveil's northern edge, about to leave, and Boreas could feel his friends wishing he'd hurry up as they waited for him to say goodbye to Aqua.
"Well, I guess this is goodbye," Boreas said awkwardly, not quite sure how to handle it.
He was about to turn away and walk off with them when Aqua's lips suddenly interlocked with his. Boreas could feel his legs give away as his mind was enveloped by the highly sensual kiss. He rubbed Aqua's back lovingly and felt her rub his back too. They lay on the ground firmly entangled as they kissed for what seemed like ages. Boreas felt Aqua wrap her legs around him as they kissed passionately.
"Hum-hum," Octa scraped his throat.
With a stab of disappointment, Boreas slowly ended the kiss, reminded of the world. They kept hugging each other very closely, though, relishing in the physical contact. "Well, my love," said Boreas, "I'll see you in Mistralton, then." He jocularly added: "if you still want to, that is."
"I want you right now, Boreas," Aqua whispered in his ear, "but I'll settle for waiting until Mistralton."
Boreas began kissing her again, but this time they let go of each other after a while. After winking one last time, Aqua jumped into the water and swam away. Boreas followed Black in a happy daze as they left the city while he chilled the rain above him to give himself a very cold shower.
Boreas usually enjoyed travelling and seeing new, unpredictable places. In fact he loved it and had a tendency to get annoyed and bored whenever they stayed in the same place for a long time. The horizon would seem to beckon for him, to invite him to come see what was behind it.
But not this time. Boreas pined for only one thing, and it was Aqua. The only part of the horizon that seemed to call for him was the part behind him, where he had left her. He could barely appreciate the forest they travelled through as they journeyed over Route 6. Instead he would spend most of the time thinking of Aqua, thoroughly lovesick. If he wasn't thinking about Aqua for a moment, he would soon be reminded of her by basically anything. Any amount of water would spark happy memories, and though he knew she wouldn't be passing through these rivers on her way to Mistralton, his heart jumped at every shadow in the water and every wave. In fact, anything blue would make him very joyful for a single moment, only to feel disappointed next. It seemed even the clouds conspired to remind him of the forked shape of her tail, or the finned shape of her head, or the pointed shape of her ears, or the curved shape or her hip, or the round shape of her eyes...
He was beginning to have a lot of second thoughts about choosing not to leave the team. He couldn't help but think he would've been much happier if he had chosen for Aqua, at least for now. Of course he might be unhappy eventually in some distant future, but he wondered if it had been worth sacrificing his current happiness for.
"Did you ever wonder how Capella can move without legs?"
"Wah!" Boreas startled, "Oh, Selene, it's you. Uh... Can't say I did."
"It's just weird," Selene croaked, "she doesn't have any legs or wings, yet she moves... I wonder how she does it."
"It's not really that strange, you know," Boreas explained. "Just look at her, she sort of keeps the front of her body on the ground and then slightly lifts her rear and-"
"Are you talking about my rear?" Capella suddenly asked.
"No, no, no," Boreas blushed, "of course I wasn't. I mean, I was, but only because I was explaining how you can walk without legs to Selene, who didn't understand that."
"Why don't you ask Lucius?" Capella suggested, "I'm sure he'll be glad to enlighten you."
"Okay, I'll go ask him," Selene flew off.
"So... How are you holding up?" Capella asked.
"Oh, fine," Boreas said with as happy a smile as he could muster, "A bit lovesick, I guess."
"That's very understandable. You two really seem to have something great going on between you."
"I can't wait until I see her again... She's so lovely."
"She certainly is," Capella agreed. "I hope the thought of her waiting for you in Mistralton cheers you up a bit."
"It does, it does. Also the fact that you're with me helps a lot too. All of you, I mean, but you in particular. You always seem ready to support me with kind words or wise advice, and I want you to know I really appreciate it."
"Thank you," she smiled.
Boreas sighed. "I can't wait for Mistralton... How long d'you think this route will take us?"
"Well, the route won't take very long, but we'll have to cross Chargestone Cave afterwards. You weren't there, but Clay gave Black all kinds of advice and information about it after our battle. Apparently it's a cave full of powerful electromagnetism, with many electric and steel types calling it home. Clay talked about floating stones, held afloat by sheer magnetism and gigantic electric arcs like lightning. It'll be quite a spectacular place if even half of it is true."
Boreas would normally love the idea of exploring such a bizarre place. "I guess," he sighed, "but to me it'll just make the journey to Mistralton a few days longer."
"More like a few weeks, if Clay is to be believed, actually."
"Weeks?!" Boreas exclaimed, "Aww, I wish we could just skip it."
It is a well-known fact, of course, that most prophecies and expectations turn out to be mistaken. It is probably a good thing too, as it means our universe is an unpredictable, interesting one. But on occasion, someone says something so uniquely and thoroughly mistaken that it becomes a deliciously piece of hilarious irony in hindsight. When Bill Gates said "There's nobody getting rich writing software," or when Napoleon told the inventor of the steamship "you would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I have no time for such nonsense," they were these kinds of situations.
Capella said: "Cheer up, Boreas, I'm sure we'll all have a great time in the cave."
It was clear that winter was coming to an end. The snow had already disappeared before they reached Driftveil and temperatures were pretty warm now as well. But only at day; it was still frigidly cold at night so Black and all his pokémon would sleep in the tent, underneath all of Black's spare clothes and coats to keep them warm.
On one of these nights, most of them had gone to bed already. Only Toxica was still outside. Boreas was nearing sleep, his brain a soft, empty pillow of sleepiness inside his head, when he was suddenly snapped awake by a voice whispering: "Psst, Octa? You awake?"
"Yes," Octa whispered back, "I believe I am quite awake."
"Well, come on out 'ere!" Toxica whispered, "The stars are gorgeous tonight, you really 'ave to see them!"
There was a bit of a pause. Then Octa said "Yes, I believe I shall go outside," and Boreas could hear him sneaking out of the tent.
Boreas considered just going to sleep for a moment, but then rejected it and sneaked out of the tent himself. It was indeed an unusually beautiful night. Hundreds of stars glittered in the sky, and all five moons were up. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky. Octa and Toxica were sitting on a small slope, uncomfortably close to each other for Boreas' tastes. He walked up behind them and suddenly sat himself down between them, though there wasn't really enough room left between them. "Hey guys," he said cheerfully, "nice night we're having, isn't it?"
They made a bit of room for him. "Yes," Toxica spoke with a withering glare.
"Quite," said Octa. "My dear fellow, could I have a word with you in private?"
"Uh, sure." They excused themselves and walked some distance away, until Octa stopped, apparently satisfied Toxica couldn't hear them any more.
"My dear fellow," Octa asked, "Why do you exhibit this behaviour?"
"Uh... What do you mean?"
"Do not obfuscate stupidity, my dear fellow. I know you're doing it on purpose, and I ask you what the reasoning behind it is, for your interference makes me feel quite glim-flashy."
"What do you mean?"
"Fine, if you want me to spell it out for you: you have systematically been attempting to interfere in the friendship between Toxica and myself for a long time now. Why do you do this? Do you honestly believe I would ever consider her more of a friend than you? And even if you do, what makes you think you have the right to interfere?"
Boreas felt very embarrassed. "Well... I don't know how to put this, but... Um... I think she might be interested in being more than just a friend to you."
"What?" Boreas asked flatly, "You mean you knew that?"
"Do you think me blind and stupid, my dear fellow? Evidently I knew it, it has been quite obvious for a long time now. But that is completely irrelevant."
"Well... I... Huh? But..."
"You have such a way with words, my dear fellow. I anticipate your next syllable with great eagerness."
"But you always seem not to notice... I just thought you were oblivious to it or something."
"Quite, yes, because obviously a disinterest in obvious romantic advances showcases obliviousness towards them, rather than simple disinterest. Isn't it quite obvious that I am in no way romantically interested in Toxica? Honestly, for one so smart you can be quite stupid, my dear fellow. Yet all this is entirely irrelevant to the discussion we're having. Whether I consider Toxica a friend or a romantic interest is not the issue, the issue is your apparent belief you have the right to interfere in my relationships to others."
Boreas felt very embarrassed and rather silly about it now. "Uh... Yeah, sorry. I shouldn't have, you're right. But-"
"No, you shouldn't have. And I would appreciate it if you ceased this behaviour at once."
"Okay, I will. I suppose it was rather childish of me. But, you know, on occasion it really seems as if you like her too in that way."
"Total codswallop. Poppycock. Nonsense. Utter balderdash and cobblers. Rubbish, tosh, tripe. An utterly mistaken impression, my dear fellow. I am not in the least romantically interested in her, and even if I were 'twould not matter, for she is neither of my species nor of noble birth."
"Therefore, even if I was romantically interested in her in some bizarre kind of alternate universe, I could never allow myself to mingle with her in such a way. After all, thirty-five generations of my ancestors were properly bred to give me the great gift of a noble birth, so I could hardly deny that gift to my own descendants, could I?"
While Boreas had liked to hear Octa wasn't interested in Toxica, he didn't like the sound of this at all. "I thought you said that whole idea of not mingling with non-properly bred pokémon was outdated and only your great-aunt Galaxia still believes in it?"
"Oh, evidently I consider that rubbish, otherwise we would not even be friends. But this is just being friends and socialising, 'tis hardly the same as squandering the noble Equinox blood running through my veins willy-nilly by procreating with non-pure-blooded, non-well-bred pokémon."
"You've got your priorities in a very weird order, you know? First of all, just because you're in love with a girl or romance with her doesn't mean you're automatically going to have cubs with her." He shuddered at the thought of suddenly having cubs to care for due to his relationship with Aqua. "Also, it seems to me you're kind of limiting yourself to a very small group of girls there. I mean, how many female Snivies, Servines, and Serperiors of pure blood can there be who aren't related to you? What if you don't like any of them?"
"'Like' doesn't enter into it, my dear fellow. When my breeders and my family decide 'tis time for me to procreate, I shall do so, regardless of whom they choose."
Boreas was shocked by this. "But that's disgusting! They're just gonna choose some girl they want you to breed with and you have to sleep with her to make little Snivies without even knowing her?"
"Now, do not denigrate that which you do not understand, my dear fellow. I would know her, as we shall of course be properly introduced and given time to woo one another before the matrimonial ceremony would be conducted. After that, yes obviously 'twould be our duty to produce progeny to make sure the noble blood of Equinox flows into the next generation, but our union would be a loving one, my dear fellow."
Boreas still thought it was completely ridiculous. "But what if you don't love her?!"
"Love shall grow eventually even if it may not be present at first. Our respective personalities shall be taken into account when my mate is chosen, my dear fellow, don't worry."
"But what if you love someone else? You can't even choose for yourself, that's so horrible!"
"I suppose 'tis the downside of being of noble blood, my dear fellow. I have a duty to both my ancestors and my descendants, therefore 'tis irrelevant whether I love another than my chosen mate. You see, my blood is quite a lot more precious than yours, or that of most pokémon, for 'tis not just mine, but that of my entire family. 'Tis my duty to ensure my descendants shall be able to claim the same birth that I can."
"To hell with your 'duty'!" Boreas shouted angrily, "You can't let them do this to you, it's totally unfair!"
"To. Hell. With. My. Duty." Octa slowly and coldly articulated. "I know you do not view duty and honour as very important matters, but I do. I would consider both of them more important than my life, and frankly I find the suggestion that I should just ignore my duty deeply insulting."
Boreas was about to argue with Octa, but recognised his friend was adamant about this and if he argued it would turn into a very nasty argument. "I still disagree, but I'm not going to argue about it. Anyway, back to Toxica, if you don't like her in that way, why don't you just tell her so? It seems kind of mean to let her think she has a chance for so long instead of just breaking her heart quickly and getting it over with."
"Well, she has never admitted her feelings towards me. The day she does I shall be forced to tell her the truth, but until that day I see no reason to unnecessarily complicate our relationship with a sudden declaration that I see her as no more than a friend, and couldn't consider her more than a friend even if I did. And now, my dear fellow, I'm going to return to Toxica to gaze at the celestial panorama. I would appreciate it if you didn't interfere."
Boreas returned to the tent, but he just couldn't get to sleep. What Octa had told him seemed horrible, and he didn't wish it to anyone, let alone his best friend. He reminisced about how he had fallen in love with Aqua, spent so much wonderful time with her, kissed her; and felt horrible when he realised Octa could never allow himself something as wonderful as that. Octa would never be in love, when he kissed someone it would be because he had no choice, and he would only ever be with a girl for the rest of his life because he had to. Boreas trembled with the unfairness and with annoyance that Octa himself, who could easily just ignore all that nonsense and love whomever he liked, would proudly continue that idiocy.
He also felt sympathy for Toxica. He might have found her obsessing over Octa annoying, but now he really felt sorry for her. When she finally collected enough courage to admit her feelings to Octa, all she would get would be a refusal and the same cold-hearted story Octa had told Boreas. It would feel far worse than when Febby had shown up with a boyfriend, Boreas realised.
You forgot to add what Lucius said to Selene...
Anyway, it was a great re-read.
I loved how Selene suddenly broke Boreas' lovesickness... xD
Five moons? o.O
Anyway, that was a nice read, sad about the end-part of this chapter, though.
Boreas has made a lot of good points, but different people do believe in different things and beliefs, so...yeah.
All in all, a great read.
"How can you fly around without a brain? Some things no-one can answer, you crazy bird."
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Into the Shadows
"...And so his family and breeders will choose his mate... He will never get to fall in love, he'll never kiss a girl a really loves, he'll live unhappily ever after with someone he doesn't love. And the worst thing is, he thinks it's just great... He thinks it's his duty to his ancestors and descendants and is very adamant about it."
Capella nodded. "I see," she spoke back softly, so the the others didn't hear the conversation. "I didn't know things were like that for Octa. I suppose I should be lucky my family never went went around telling me whom I could and couldn't love, despite our claim to great ancestry. I can really understand why you'd feel so bad about it."
"It's just... I've had all that joy of falling in love with Aqua, her falling in love with me, kissing her and all. The thought that Octa won't ever get to experience that... I want him to experience the same kind of happiness I have. I mean, he's my best friend, and he really deserves that sort of thing. But you know, I can tell if I argued about it with him, it'd just turn into a really nasty and bitter argument and he wouldn't be convinced anyway... But I can't just stand by and let him throw his happiness away either."
Capella surprised Boreas with a quick, friendly hug by wrapping around him. "Cheer up, Boreas. Remember that it's not an immediate problem right now. While he isn't actually in love, and probably never has been, it's easy for him to just write it off and assume he can go without it. But when he actually falls in love, it'll be a lot harder to keep to his 'duty' and there's a good chance he'll depart from family tradition."
That would cheer Boreas up, if not for one thing: "But surely his ancestors show he won't? If they did it like this for 34 generations, surely many of them have fallen in love with others than their chosen mate, and yet they ended up with the one their family and breeders chose. Why would Octa be any different?"
"First of all," said Capella, "Octa is not his ancestors. He likes to pretend he is, but he isn't. It's not his ancestors who are relevant, but him. Secondly, his ancestors didn't have you and me as friends. Because when Octa falls in love I'm going to do everything in my power to convince him to jump at it and not let family tradition stand in the way of his happiness. I'm sure you'll do the same."
That made Boreas feel much better. "Yeah, yeah, I will. But do you think we could convince him? He's very adamant about this kind of thing and you know he doesn't change his mind quickly."
Capella nodded. "True, his convictions can be as strong as a mountain's foundations. But surely you've realised by now that love is powerful enough to move mountains? Especially when we give it a bit of an extra push."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I am. Love conquers all, Boreas. I'm sure it can even melt our friend's cold heart with its flames. We can't do anything about it now on our own, but I guarantee you that when he falls in love we only need to give him that little extra push he'll need to make the right choice."
"Yeah, we will. You really know how to give someone hope, you know? You're such a great friend."
"Thank you. That's a very nice thing to say."
"We're being followed," Selene whispered in Boreas' ear.
They had been in Chargestone Cave for a week now, and Boreas still marvelled at everything in the cave. The rocks held afloat by electromagnetism were only the beginning of the wonders of Chargestone Cave. The walls themselves glowed with a weak, pulsating blue light making flash lights unnecessary. Electric charges ran through the rock, and on occasion they would jump out in massive lightning bolts. The charge in the air made Boreas' fur stand on edge more often than not. The cave was quite rocky too, and they had to climb up and down rockfaces often. It was easy to forget his lovesickness in such an exciting surrounding.
"Followed, eh?" Boreas asked the floaty-brained Murkrow jocularly, "by what?"
"I'm not sure," she whispered, "but I think they're invisible in a way."
Boreas smiled at his silly friend. "Invisible in a way?"
"Yeah, I'm not sure how to explain it... I think they really are as visible as you or me, but are just very good at seeming so uninteresting our brains just ignore them as somebody else's problem... The only reason I even noticed them at all was that I just happened to be surprised by one in the corner of my eye, but when I looked at it directly I couldn't even see it any more... I've seen them in the corners of my eyes a couple times since."
Boreas smiled disbelievingly. "Invisible people who are not really invisible? Oh, those guys. Don't worry, they're just here to see if I would make a good member for the Invisible People who are Really Quite Visible club. I sent my application in a few days ago."
"Really? Can I join too?"
"I'll tell them you want to join if they accept me."
"Oh, that'd be so- Hold on, you're not serious, are you? I think I've heard of this... It's called saw-cast-him, right?"
Boreas nodded. "Yeah, I was being sarcastic."
"So no club for invisible people?" Selene said sadly.
"I'm afraid not. But why don't you go warn Lucius about the invisible people?"
"I'll do that, thanks! He'll want to know this." She flew off.
"Heh, invisible people," Boreas chuckled, "this magnetic field must be making her brain even fuzzier than normal."
But then he had to swallow his laughs: three very visible masked people were suddenly around Black, one of them with a knife on his throat.
"Ah!" Black yelped, "Who are you? What do you want?"
Boreas wanted to help, but realised he couldn't do that without risking Black's life. He saw the same helplessness in his companions.
"Come," said one of the masked men. Black had no choice but to follow them. They walked him around a corner, where a huge TV-screen was built in the wall. Suddenly the masked men were gone.
"Wow, you forced me to walk five metres I would've walked by myself anyway. That was so incredibly useful."
"There's a TV in this wall," remarked Boreas. He frowned. "Why is there a TV in the wall?"
The TV turned on seemingly by itself. Boreas startled, seeing the faces of the five Sages they had met and two others. Ghetsis stood in the front, smiling like a car salesman about to rip you off, and the other six stood in a row behind him, their coloured robes looking like a rainbow.
The goateed Zinzolin stood on the left of the screen in his purple robes. Boreas shuddered at the memories of his Seviper eating him alive. Next to him stood the bald old Gorm in his blue robes. Boreas remembered how he had nearly been executed under water by his Kingdra. All the way on the right of the screen was the greying blond Rood in his red robes. Boreas remembered the pain as flames consumed his flesh during the battle against him. Next to him stood the moustached Bronius, in his brown robes (though they seemed more of a dark orange now). Boreas was reminded of the time he'd spent locked up with his legs broken and how Thomas had breathed his last breath in front of him, his neck broken.
The final two sages stood in the middle. The one on the left was thin as a skeleton, had a long beard and wore green robes. The one on the right was very fat, had a sleazy moustache, and wore yellow robes. Standing next to each other, they looked almost exactly like the number 10.
Six of them were grinning maliciously, while Zinzolin simply stared in a mixture of anger and sorrow.
"Hello, Black," spoke Ghetsis. "I believe you know most of my friends already, but let me introduce the two you have never met. These are Ryoku, master of the grass-type, and Giallo, master of the steel-type. We are the Seven Sages. I believe it's time to tell you how I created Team Plasma."
He began pacing in front of the other Sages. "It's thirty years ago by now... I had a dream. I saw a world where pokémon and people were free to reach their full potential. Free to develop themselves to the fullest, without interference from the weak humans, free to use their power however they liked. You see, our world is a very imperfect one... Worthless humans hold back both pokémon and the few worthy, intelligent, powerful humans from reaching their full potential... Pokémon and some people have great potential, but the other humans... They're weak. They have no ambition, no spine, no drive, no dreams! They capture pokémon and use them for futile contests and fake battles, stifling their potential forever. And they do the same to humans who show potential, they are forced not to use their power to their fullest, but to consider the wishes and needs of the weak... This is evil. It was a terrible realisation. The mighty should rule, be revered by the weak! They, or should I say we, should be in charge of the planet, not the weak! We alone can make our dreams and ambitions true, and rule in the best way possible. In the end, it would even be better for the weak.
I realised I was one of the mighty... But by myself, I could never change the world. I would need to seek allies worthy of my friendship. And so I travelled the world for years, seeking out the most powerful trainers on the planet... Sadly, most of them didn't agree with me, brainwashed as they were by the weak... But I forged a powerful friendship with the six who did agree with me. I convinced them their various positions as Elite Fours, Champions, and pokémon masters were not worthy of them and their pokémon, so they all left their posts... To join me. We realised that even with the power the seven of us wielded together, we were still not powerful enough to bend the world to our will... So we planned. We found a perfect plan to allow pokémon and people to unleash their full potential! And we realised we'd need the legendary pokémon of Unova for it. But the legendary dragon would only appear to a 'hero'. Unfortunately our ambition, our might, our very potential disqualified all of us for it... We needed someone pure of heart, someone weak, yet strong in a way, with ambition like us, but willing to waste their ambition on others. And so we decided on a plan: I would concei-"
Suddenly the skeleton-like Ryoku stepped forward. "Ghetsis, I think you had better not tell him of this yet. Just in case."
Ghetsis nodded. "You are right, my friend. This information is too valuable." He turned back to the camera. "I will not tell you the entire story today. You will likely never hear it, but I may tell you the rest later. If there is a later for you, which I highly doubt. You see, after more than twenty years of planning, we initiated the penultimate stages of our plan a year ago. All seemed to go well... But then Rood here returned from his operations on Route 3 with startling news... He had been defeated. Defeated by an outnumbering force using foul trickery and cheating, but it was still defeat... A hard hit to all of us. And soon, Gorm followed. We realised you, who were involved in both incidents, were a threat. A very minor one, but still a threat. So Bronius decided to take care of you when you reached his city... Sadly, he had mercy on you and it led to the temporary downfall of our operations there... Zinzolin made the same error when you reached Driftveil, and three of his pokémon died for it. It is clear by now, you are not be an ordinary trainer. It seems you mainly won through luck and trickery, but it is still impressive. We have decided to take you seriously.
And, at the same time, our lord N reported he had met you, and he thought you might be the other hero... He wanted us to test you. N is what I raised him to be, naïve and dramatic. He believes you will defeat any threat we send your way, because it's destiny that you... Well, I can't tell you yet. But we take another view. Even if you are the other hero, that will not save you. We have the power to change any destiny we want! Therefore, I want to inform you this is the final day of your life. Ryoku is waiting for this recording to finish to attack you. He will not show you, or your pokémon any mercy. There will be no cages or wounds involved this time. Only graves. This is regrettable, but necessary. Farewell, Black."
The TV turned off by itself. Footsteps approached after a moment. Ryoku looked even thinner in real life than he did on the recording. He looked like a green-clad, bearded skeleton, very spidery. Behind him followed six pokémon; a Ferrothorn, a Lilligant, a Cradily, an Exeggcutor, a Tangrowth, and a Shiftry. There was no mercy in any of their eyes, just determination.
"It is useless to flee," spoke Ryoku in a Japanese accent, "there is no escape. The Shadow Triad would stop you."
Black's pokémon formed a protective line before him. "So, you're just planning to kill me?" Black asked.
"You gladuated from a minor annoyance to a major threat when you murdered three of Zinzolin's pokémon, Black. We have no choice but to eliminate you and your pokémon."
"And for what? For your ridiculous idea of allowing yourselves to reach your full potential? I thought you were simply misguided before, but now I see you're just seven egomaniacs who thirst for power. The whole pokémon liberation business is just a distraction from your real goals, isn't it?"
"Silence, boy. I won't argue with you about this. There's no use, as you'll soon be dead."
"Why not simply get your invisible guys to kill me, then?"
"Because we believe you deserve to die like this. You have a promise of power. That promise deserves to be extinguished in a worthy manner; by one even more powerful, namely, rather than by a knife in the back or a cut throat. Secondly, because this is a personal matter. You have interfered with our plans and murdered three pokémon of a very close friend of mine, it seems only fitting I should be the one to end your interference for good. Sayonora, Black. Kougeki Kaishi!"
I just finished re-reading this chapter. It was a great read, as usual.
I also finished reading the latest chapter on fanfic. I'll share my thoughts about that when it gets here.
Anyway, onto my comments...
Sometimes, warnings from someone who we know who are a bit off sanity are really difficult to believe in, eh?
Well, not really the same words, but having the same thought, at least.
(I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't even thought about how stupid it was when I first played the games)
If I'll trouble myself with it, anyway...
All-in-all, a great read, a bit short for me, but it's good.
edit: (Erm... The next chapter's gonna be a bit off from a T-rating. Should you censor it, or maybe put a warning on your next post, perhaps?)
Yeah, the Shadow Triad make a habit of doing that. It is really silly, so I felt compelled to make a joke about it in this fic.
WARNING: The next chapter contains a pretty gory bit.
Chapter Thirty-Eight: Penumbra
Though they were all powerful grass-types, not all of Sage Ryoku's pokémon battled in a similar way to Octa, the most powerful grass-type Boreas knew. Some of his enemies fought like him, using speed, agility and finesse to rapidly dance over the battlefield, but did so in a much more powerful, rapid sort of way. Lilligant and Shiftry were a lot like this; they rapidly and agily danced over the battlefield, unleashing powerful blasts of energy as they drained their enemies. Others, like Ferrothorn, fought without any finesse or style, simply unleashing mighty attack upon mighty attack while seeming entirely impervious to damage. To his luck Boreas was finding the type advantage he had over all Ryoku's pokémon, except Ferrothorn, very useful. Though they were far too powerful to be simply taken down by his attacks, he could hurt and distract them.
Tangrowth was somewhere between the two styles. As a whole, it walked like a powerful, dangerous force of nature; but its vines were nimble and agile. It walked around over the uneven battlefield like a massive storm of vines trying to grab Boreas. He nimbly dodged some of the vines, and when one came too close he would quickly Ice Beam it to make it jerk away in reflex. But with dozens of vines attacking him at the same time, he found himself backing into the cave wall. He focused entirely on his defence, and remembered a trick he had used in the battle against Zinzolin: he could quickly parry an attack by unleashing a very small, but very cold blast of cold from his paw, rapidly freezing and sublimating the air so it created a small, but powerful shock wave that interfered with most attacks. He found that if he timed it right, it was very useful for fending off the vines trying to grab and beat him. He parried vines left and right, but it still wasn't enough. Eventually the inevitable happened as a vine caught his hind paw and lifted him in the air. Boreas used Ice Beam on Tangrowth's hidden face, but it still whipped him with the vines. Boreas screamed in pain as the vines left long whip-marks on his back.
Suddenly flames burnt on Tangrowth backside. It roared in pain and dropped him. "Yeah," Boreas heard Lucius' voice call out, "and how did ya like that, ya nimrod? Why don't you pick on someone strong like me instead?"
Tangrowth turned to deal with Lucius, so Boreas immediately attacked. Burning Tangrowth from one side and freezing it from the other, Boreas and Lucius were giving it quite a hard time. The battle seemed to be going well for them, but Boreas saw something he couldn't ignore: Toxica lay writhing on the floor in front of Exeggcutor, whose eyes were glowing an eerie purple. She was entirely defenceless and apparently in pain.
He broke off combat with Tangrowth and ran through the battlefield, passing Octa duelling Shiftry with moderate success and Capella and Black fighting Lilligant together, Black wielding a big rock and Capella spitting flames and nets of electricity at it. As soon as he came close, Boreas struck the Exeggcutor's egg-heads with Ice Beams. The eyes dimmed as the Exeggcutor broke off its attack, only to turn on Boreas.
Suddenly Boreas felt something touch his mind... A powerful will attempting to enter it. He tried to repel it somehow, to focus on stopping it, but it easily penetrated his mind. He heard a voice in his mind and felt it probing his memories. "Well, well, Boreas, you've been through a lot over your short life, haven't you? Combat... Friendship... Tragedy... Love..."
Get out of my memories! They're private.
"Hahaha, silly Boreas... Do you think me looking at them is the worst that's going to happen to you? Maybe I should alter them a bit, hmm? How would you like to have a memory of Black snapping Thomas' neck? Or Octa raping Aqua? You'd never realise they were fake..."
No, you-you can't!
"Oh, but I can. I could make you hate all your friends forever, but I won't. It would take far too long and wouldn't be productive. I'll just overload your nervous system with blasts of psychic energy to kill you instead. Sigh, it's a shame to have to destroy your mind, it's a very good mind... There is much intelligence in here, and also powerful, fiery, passionate emotions. It's a shame you sided with the wrong side. I think we could've become friends in another life. Hehe, listen to me getting melodramatic; it's not easy to kill someone whose mind you've seen."
Exeggcutor's glowing purple eyes were all Boreas saw as powerful energy coursed through his body, overloading his nerves and making him scream as his entire body was in severe pain.
"Oy, not on my watch!" yelled Toxica and the pain disappeared, as did Exeggcutor's mind, as Toxica had covered it in toxic pollen. Before Exeggcutor could attack her, Boreas got back to his feet and began attacking too. Fighting two pokémon at once, Exeggcutor had no chance to probe their minds and instead tried to overload their nervous systems with psychic pulses. But the poison Toxica had used and Boreas' own ice attacks were quickly getting to it.
Toxica suddenly grabbed Boreas and dragged him to the ground. "Get down!"
An intense beam of pure white light, like the Sun itself, blasted past just above his head. It was thick enough to have completely enveloped Boreas if he hadn't ducked, and Boreas could feel its incredible intensity as it raged past. It hit the cave wall, where it created a massive, smouldering crater as the cave was showered in debris. "That's Hyper Beam!" Toxica yelped.
"Thanks," said Boreas, staring at the smouldering crater, "that'd have vaporised us if it hit..."
But then, the spiky, steel-clad Ferrothorn attacked. It swung its powerful, thorny seed pods around like maces, shattering rocks as it hit them. Toxica and Boreas both tried counter-attacking, but its powerful steel armour seemed to make it impervious to damage. Boreas' Ice Beams just left a slight white snowy residue that quickly disappeared, and Toxica's Energy Balls seemed to do nothing at all.
Boreas ducked behind a rock to hide from Ferrothorn's powerful pods, but the rock shattered as the mighty steel-type hit it, showering Boreas in painful stone splinters that made many small cuts. He realised only the fire attacks Lucius and Capella could use stood any chance against the Ferrothorn and began withdrawing to Capella (as Lucius was still very busy fighting Tangrowth). The mighty pods hit the ground with Earth-shaking impacts behind him as he ran. As he passed Octa, who was still fighting Shiftry, his friend suddenly tackled him to the ground as another Hyper Beam blasted overhead with the intensity of a solar flare.
"That beam's devastating," Octa pointed out, "dodge it at all costs!"
"Thanks, that's the second time someone- LOOK OUT!" he grabbed Octa and rolled them both away, just avoiding Ferrothorn's seed pod crashing down to crush them both.
They quickly got to their feet and continued fighting. Capella was fighting Lilligant, who had given Black a nasty cut and was trying to keep attacking him. Boreas shot Ice Beams at Lilligant to give Capella some freedom. "Capella, some help with Ferrothorn would be very useful!"
Momentarily not busy with Lilligant, Capella had a chance to spit flames at Ferrothorn, who really didn't seem to like that. The flames left nasty marks that kept smoking. After several flames, it actually retreated to its trainer. "Awesome, Capella!"
"Thanks, now let's get that Lilligant, together we may be able to defeat it!"
The dragon and the fox battled Lilligant, and it quickly turned into a very defensive battle. Boreas would parry attacks by making a short, concentrated pulse of cold with his paw; Capella would use a spark of electricity from the jewel on her forehead; and Lilligant would neutralise attacks with a blast of energy.
They circled around each other firing attacks that were either dodged or parried, all trying to find an opening in the enemy's defences. Capella and Boreas outnumbered Lilligant and they were both at a type advantage, but Lilligant was phenomenally fast and powerful. Even though she had to spread her attacks between him and Capella, Boreas was still having a hard time parrying all the energy balls and barely had time to Ice Beam his opponent. They tried to outflank Lilligant, but the nimble way it danced around as it battled meant they often ended up next to each other anyway.
"Keep putting pressure on it, Boreas!" Capella encouraged him after ending up next to him again, "I think we can win this battle without casualties!"
Suddenly Boreas felt something wrap around his tail, and before he could do anything Tangrowth lifted both him and Capella up. They dangled from the charred, smouldering mass of vines upside-down. Boreas used Ice Beam against the Tangrowth, but it actually seemed to like that as it put the flames it smouldered with out.
"Cradily," Ryoku commanded. "Execute them with Hyper Beam!"
The next second seemed to last for an eternity. Cradily's head glowed with a white, solar light. Boreas and Capella both realised her flames were the only thing that could save them. They looked each other in the eyes. A friendly smile tugged on the corner of Capella's mouth as a grim fatality entered her kind eyes. Boreas realised what she was going to do and wanted to tell her not to do it, to save herself first, but it was too late. She spit a string of flames at the vine Boreas was hanging on. Tangrowth yelped in pain and let go of Boreas as it retracted its vine. Capella spit fire at the vine holding her own tail as Boreas began to fall, but it was too late: a blinding light blasted just over Boreas and his tail burnt with pain. Capella's thin, serpentine form was slightly visible in the beam, like a wisp of smoke.
Boreas fell in a shallow hole on the ground, the pain in his tail far outweighed by the pain in his heart. But when Capella dropped into the hole too, her back turned to him, he was happy again. "Oh, Capella, you're still alive! I thought you'd been vapo- GAH!"
He almost gagged as he embraced her and turned her around and saw the Hyper Beam had blasted most of her flesh off her front side. There was no skin left on that entire side of the body and most of the flesh underneath it had been destroyed too. He could see most of her organs, at least the parts that were left, and could see all the way to her spinal chord in various places. Blood squirted out massively, soaking Boreas' fur within seconds. He realised what was left of her heart still beat and the one lung that remained still breathed and looked into her face.
It was horrible to see his friend like this. Her face looked as gruesome as the rest of her body, but in a way even worse because he could still recognise her kind features in it. Her cheeks and snout had been blasted away entirely, resulting in a bloody skeletal grimace. In fact, little flesh remained on her skull. But parts of her kind eyes were left in her sockets.
"Capella, evolve, right now!" Boreas desperately shouted, "Please! You will survive if you evolve! It will all be better!"
Capella looked into Boreas' eyes with the remnants of her own and exhaled her final breath as the heavily damaged remains of her heart stopped beating. "No!" Boreas cried, "no, you can't die! Please, just evolve! Everything will be alright... Please..." He cried softly as he fully embraced her horribly damaged corpse. "...please... Capella..." She was gone forever.
Boreas sat there in the hole for a while, crying for his dead friend. Then a furious, burning rage worse than anything he had ever felt before came over him and set his mind alight. "I... will make them pay for what they have done!"
He jumped out of the trench, looking like a ferocious werewolf or hellhound that has just committed unspeakable acts of horror, between the blood he was soaked with and his furious, vengeful face. His enemies stopped fighting in horror as he appeared from the ground looking like this. Boreas screamed with burning rage and attacked them. He fought his way through the battlefield in blind rage with massive clouds of snow and ice waving around him and attacking while he bit, clawed, and kicked his opponents, trying to inflict as much pain and death upon them as he could. He was screaming in inarticulate fury. His entire body was ablaze with hate as he tried to avenge Capella.
"My dear fellow, calm down please," said Octa as he grabbed Boreas, stopping him from continuing his rampage.
"Let me go, Octa! They killed Capella!" Boreas roared.
"I know," Octa said with a grave face. "I saw her body. Calm down."
"How could I calm down?! I have to avenge her!"
Suddenly Octa slapped his face. It served to partially wake Boreas from his rage. "Yes, you do, and you shall be far more useful to that end if you just alm down and think."
"THINK?!" Boreas bellowed, "I'm going to kill them all!"
"Do - so - calmly!" Octa hissed, "Put your cunning mind to avenging her, not your stupid rage! Revenge is a dish best served cold!"
"I'm serving it just fine hot! Capella sacrificed herself to save me!"
"Then don't throw her sacrifice away along with your own life! They'll easily kill you if you don't calm down!"
"It's been going just fine like this before you interfered!"
"Only because they were terrified of you! But they have realised by now you are just a mortal, albeit very angry, Glaceon. So get your emotions under control if you don't want to follow Capella!"
Boreas tried to breathe normally. His fury was still very present, but at least he was no longer ablaze with it. "Okay! I am calm!"
Ferrothorn, Shiftry, and Lilligant chose that moment to attack them. "We need to think of- gah!- something fast, my dear fellow!" Octa said, dodging seed pods and parrying attacks, "We are the only ones left standing, while we took only two of them down. Don't worry, the others are merely wounded for now."
"Where's the fourth?" Boreas asked, parrying an Energy Ball and jumping away under a crushing seed pod.
"Defending Ryoku, it's that Cradily!"
The Cradily that had fired the Hyper Beam... But Boreas tried to focus, to keep calm. There would be time for mourning and rage later. The three enemies surrounded them now and formed a circle as Boreas and Octa fought them back-to-back, Octa with his Leaf Blade and Boreas using Ice Beams and parries. "If we can get past that Cradily," Boreas whispered as they fought, "we could take Ryoku hostage, like we did with Gorm." Or kill him for what he did to Capella.
"But these- argh- three will - never let us do that," Octa said, "and we can't- just have one of us distract them, because they'd never keep fighting one of us with the three of them, and we'll need someone to battle Cradily as well. We can't do all of that with just the two of us."
He was right. In fact, it seemed they could only lose. They were thoroughly outmatched by three stronger opponents surrounding them.
Suddenly Lilligant screamed as Black dived upon it, stabbing it with the long bread knife he kept in his backpack. "Run!" he commanded Boreas and Octa as Ryoku returned his wounded Lilligant to its pokéball, "run for your lives!" he began attacking the other pokémon, wielding the knife like a dagger.
The other two would defeat or kill Black within a minute, Boreas realised, but he actually had an idea now. "Octa, you heard him, run!"
"Never! We shan't leave our trainer behind in combat!"
"I've got an idea, c'mon!"
Jumping over an attack by one of Shiftry's branches, they ran and got some distance between them and the two pokémon battling the human. Boreas unleashed an icy stormwind, not on the battlers but on a stone floating nearby. He channelled all his anger into the wind and the sparkling stone moved, kept accelerating it rapidly, until it arrived by the battle between Black and the two pokémon.
The two had just knocked Black down with some nasty blows and were about to kill him when the stone reached them. Though only Boreas had noticed it, a charge had been accumulating in the ground under them. When the floating magnetic rock approached, that charge suddenly found a way to go and arced through the air, using the bodies of Black and the pokémon as easy conduits on the way. Boreas thoroughly hoped Black would be okay, but he didn't have time to worry about it now.
Boreas and Octa ran at the Cradily, jumped out of the way of a Hyper Beam, and began fighting it. They synchronised their attacks so one of them would hit Cradily even if it defended. Though Cradily seemed slow, lumbering, and passive, it proved itself a powerful and agile battler as it easily battled the two friends with Energy Ball and Ancientpower. Ryoku watched the battle with interest. Boreas couldn't wait to get the human. He imagined knocking him to the ground, jumping on top of him, then freezing his head until he died. This little lapse into fantasy cost him dearly: Cradily slashed at him and he dodged too late. Terrible pain went through his head and he felt blood flow through his fur, but he kept fighting.
The attacks, which kept hitting Cradily soon had their effect on it. It was surprising how soon it was unable to stop them from running on to Ryoku. The human returned his pokémon to their pokéballs. "Very impressive," he said. Then he suddenly disappeared, probably with help of the Shadow Triad. They tried to find him as best they could, but were soon forced to concede that they'd lost a valued friend and the ones responsible had escaped.
"Today," Octa spoke solemnly, "we acknowledge a terrible loss. For this morning, Capella of the house of Draco died. Incredibly brave and selfless to the end, she gave her life in battle against her enemies, so that her friend might live. The manner in which she died was cruel and brutal, but at least her suffering was over soon.
Yet despite our terrible loss and the premature ending of a wonderful creature's life, this is not just a tragic occasion. 'Tis an opportunity to appreciate the time we spent in her presence, and to be grateful we were her friends. An occasion to celebrate her life, while we mourn her death. For Capella lived a life I believe we should all strive for. She was loved dearly by all those who had the pleasure of knowing her, and with good reason. Capella was wise, kind, friendly, loveable, sweet, honourable, brave, hard-working, fair-minded, and most importantly, a fierce friend. Capella graced this planet with her presence for a hundred and eight years. This is longer than any of us are likely to live, yet 'twas far too short. She was, despite her endless wisdom, still young. She could have made the world a brighter place with her presence for centuries. But death intervened."
Silent tears streamed over Boreas' cheeks as Octa delivered his solemn eulogy. He heard Toxica cry loudly next to him and embraced her to support her and himself. Lucius was scowling furiously, while Selene looked at her feet sadly. Black looked at the motionless corpse he held in a blanket with a trembling lip. All of them were wounded or hurt in various ways, but it was nothing compared to the gaping wound in their hearts. Toxica cried on Boreas' shoulder as he cried into her flower. When Octa described Capella with words like wise or brave, they sounded so empty. To Boreas, Capella was the memories to the kind words she spoke, the gentle hug she had given him, the friendly way she could smile, and the hope she could fill him with.
"The pain we all feel at this dreadful loss reminds us that though we may not always agree with one another, our hearts beat as one. The bonds of friendship between us celebrate a lady who was kind and brave and honest, to the very end. Though the world may seem so much darker without her light, that light is still present in all our hearts. We shall never forget Capella, and I feel honoured to have called her my friend. Farewell."
"She was good and kind," Lucius growled, "and I'll get the bastards that did this to her."
Black slowly lowered Capella into the grave he'd dug for her. "Farewell, Capella. Rest in peace."
Boreas wanted to tell him to stop as he threw the dirt back into the shallow grave, but he knew it would change nothing. Octa walked back, his face a calm mask, but Boreas knew the pain he had to be feeling under it and included him in the embrace as well.
The first time I read this chapter was very, very heartbreaking...
At first, I had doubts whether or not to re-read it, but I ended up re-reading it anyway, since I was bored at the time...
Anyway, onto my comment
Boreas' self-created move is really useful.
I won't be surprised if one day, Nintendo will make this move...
anyway, the way you wrote how these psychics work are really scary... o.o
hm... I wonder what that egg-head was telling Toxica... probably about Octa, huh?
But hey, I guess that's what makes the story more...interesting...
I almost shed a tear, y'know...
edit: and even now that I'm re-reading this part, I still can't understand it. =/
Anyway, this is a very sad chapter...
Capella was a really really great character. Sad that she's gone. Sigh...
Yes, it was a very hard chapter for me to write as well. Though I'd known Capella's fate since before I'd even introduced her, I had gotten rather attached to her.
Chapter Thirty-Nine: Umbra
Black and his pokémon walked through Chargestone Cave in a sombre silence for several days. With the loss of their friend a crushing wave of despair had overcome all of them. Before Capella's death, Chargestone Cave had seemed like an adventurous, mysterious, and bizarre cave full of strange mysteries. Now it was like a dark, sombre, and Sunless tomb. Without the Sun, the darkness n their hearts was matched by the darkness of the surroundings. They rarely spoke to each other, and when they did it was a short, shallow conversation; all of them were too preoccupied with Capella's death to talk about something else, yet they couldn't talk about that either because it hurt too much.
They progressed slowly because of all their wounds and broken bones. With no pokécenter in sight for weeks, it was likely most of the bad wounds would become scars. Octa was the only member of the team without broken bones or bad wounds. Toxica had had a large part of her flower cut off (though that would fortunately regrow in spring) and a broken arm. Lucius had broken two legs and had several ugly cuts. Selene had had her wing crushed, a bit of her beak chipped off, and cuts on her belly. Boreas had lost the tip of his tail from the Hyper Beam that annihilated Capella, had a nasty gash on his face that promised to become a quite prominent scar, and the whip marks on his back from where Tangrowth had flayed him might become scars too. Black had a broken leg and cuts all along his arm and torso.
Black had treated all wounds and set all broken bones, including his own, with skill, but it didn't compare to the cares of a proper nurse and a healing machine.
Just a day earlier, the thought of having to go through the rest of his life with the tip of his tail missing and a disfiguring scar on his face would've horrified Boreas, but now he just didn't care. He'd happily have his entire tail chopped off and his face disfigured much worse if it'd bring Capella back. He had to fight his tears as he remembered the smile she'd given him before she sacrificed herself to save him and the skeletal grimace after the Hyper Beam had killed her. The horrific image of her ravaged body's final moments would stay burned onto his eyes forever, he was sure of that.
Why did she do it? he thought morosely. Why did she sacrifice herself?
Because that's what she was like. Saving herself before me was something she could never have done.
But she should have! I will die in seventy years at most anyway... She had a whole millennium ahead of her.
She would never have made such an important decision so calculatingly... She'd never choose herself over a friend based on simple arithmetic.
I should never have put her before that choice.... If only I'd helped Lucius finish Tangrowth off before I went to save Toxica...
"Then you'd probably be mourning Toxica's death now instead of mine," a kind voice spoke in his mind.
Boreas felt incredibly happy for just a moment before he realised it was just his imagination. Great, now I'm imagining dead people's voices in my head. Couldn't be better.
"Yes, you are, I'm afraid. But that doesn't mean you're going crazy. After all, you know I'm just your imagination trying to cope with a loss, not actually Capella's spirit."
I wish you were Capella's spirit... I so want to talk to her. But I know I'll never talk to her again... She's dead, and there's nothing I can do about it any more. It's horrible. He couldn't hold his tears back by now and cried as he walked.
"You're right. But you can talk to me instead."
Oh, perfect. A good round of talking to myself, I'm sure that'll be a great substitute for Capella.
"Talking to your memory of me. I may be dead, but I am still in your heart and mind."
But I can't talk to you, that's the problem! I wish I could, because you always gave me hope and I could bloody use some right now. But you're dead, it's over! Not only can I never talk to you again, but you don't even exist any more! Sure, your body still exists, buried in the ground, and your blood still exists, drenching my fur, but your thoughts, your feelings, your personality, the things that really made you you? They're all gone forever!
"But all those things are still here, in your memories! If they weren't, we wouldn't even be having this conversation."
But that's not real! Those are just memories inside my head!
"Of course they're just inside your head, but why would that mean they're any less real? Think of all the good times you had with me, were they not real?"
Of course they were, but those good times are gone!
"Not in your mind. You remember them, don't you?"
But that's not the same! They're over!
"Yes, but you still remember them and me. That is important."
What does it matter whether I remember them? Capella is still dead, and whether or not I remember her won't change anything about that.
"It changes your feelings. I may be gone, but I'm not gone for you, not really."
But you're gone for yourself! What do my feelings matter?!
"What makes you think I mind being dead? The very fact that I'm dead makes it impossible for me to have any emotions about the matter. I probably didn't want to die while I was alive, but now that I'm dead I don't want anything any more. Whether I'm dead or not, like all other things, is something I don't care about any more, on account of being dead. Your feelings are more important than mine right now, Boreas, because mine don't exist any more."
No, they aren't! So maybe you don't literally care about it any more, but think of all that could've been! You could've lived happily for a thousand years... All the things you missed... Nine hundred years of happiness gone, oh Giratina, I could cry about it... And am, in fact. I remember when you were trying to cheer me up after Febby showed up with that prat Esper, and you mentioned you might find a girl you really loved and would spend the rest of your life with during my great-great-grandchildren's lifetime... And now that will never happen...
"Yes, that is a shame, but I lived a hundred and eight years, Boreas! I lived a very long life, much longer than you're likely to live."
Long for me perhaps, but it was short for you! You shouldn't have had to die!
"But the reality is, I did. What do you think I would tell you if I was here?"
Why don't you tell me? You're supposed to be my memory of her!
"Don't mourn for me. This is my destiny. Hold your head high and remember my life with happiness, not my death with sadness. I was nothing before I was born, and now I am nothing once more. Overall I lost nothing, I just got a hundred and eight great years of life as a short break between endless seas of non-existence."
You expect me to cheer up and be happy when you were so brutally taken from my life? How could I ever be happy again?
"Bleak though things may seem right now, you will eventually get over my death, like you got over the deaths of your family. Then you'll remember my life with happiness, instead of focusing on my death."
How can I be happy for your life if it's my fault you're dead?! If I hadn't allowed Lilligant to let us end up battling next to each other, Tangrowth could only have caught one of us, and you could've saved whomever it was!
"You might as well blame Lucius; if he hadn't burnt Tangrowth so badly your Ice Beams would've hurt it enough that we could each have saved ourselves."
But I've done so much more! If I hadn't lured Ferrothorn towards you we would never have ended up being caught by Tangrowth together! If I had listened to Selene we might've detected the Shadow Triad before they caught Black! If I had come up with a plan earlier we might've defeated Ryoku before it was too late! If I had left the team and gone with Aqua... His thoughts trailed off as he came to a horrible realisation. I made the wrong decision. Oh, Rayquaza, I made the wrong choice! I should've gone with Aqua, but I didn't and now Capella died for it!
Enough! I don't want to pretend Capella is still alive by talking to memories! She's dead and it's my fault! Something in him recognised that the only ones who were really to blame for her death were Ryoku and his pokémon, but he wasn't really interested in thinking sensibly now. The image of Capella's face, still alive but with most of the flesh blasted off her skull, was burnt in his mind forever. His fur was still drenched in her blood after three days; because of all the wounds that had needed cleaning, Black simply didn't have enough water to clean Capella's blood out of Boreas' fur too and now he walked around in her blood as a horrific reminder of her death.
Boreas felt as dark and gloomy as the tomb-like Chargestone Cave itself. Depressed, mournful, guilt-torn, and with gruesome images stuck in his brain of the death of the one person who had been best at cheering him up, his morbid mood was enlightened by only one light of hope... Aqua. He wanted to see her again more than anything now. He wanted to hold her, to cry on her shoulder, for her to whisper consolations in his ear with her sweet voice, and for her soft lips to restore his joy with a kiss... The thought of Aqua was all that kept him from just giving up out of pure misery.
They reached a three-way split in the cave. Black was about to lead them into one of the other directions when they heard sounds of other travellers come from the other way. Black curiously shone his torch into that way, and all thoughts disappeared from Boreas' mind. He ran at the most beautiful creature in the universe, by some miracle right here in the cave, pounced her with joy, and kissed her, letting all the sorrow disappear from his mind for a moment.
"Aqua..." Boreas happily spoke.
"My dear fellow," Octa gravely spoke. "Tear your gaze away from her eyes for one moment and look at her companions.
Boreas hadn't even bothered to look at her companions until now. He took a few steps back as he felt as if he'd been lost in a desert for days, then found a jug of water just as he thought he'd die of thirst, only to find out after drinking it that it was sulphuric acid, not water. Behind Aqua stood a human in white clothes with long green hair and a Zoroark grinning cruelly, as well as some pokémon Boreas didn't know. The human and the Zoroark were all too familiar to him, though: N and Diego.
"No." Boreas could almost hear the sound of his heart shattering. "No!"
Aqua looked at him sadly as he stepped backwards. "Boreas, I'm sorry."
"No! You-you're with them!"
"I can explain, Boreas."
"Can you?" Boreas spat, "Let me just ask you one thing: are you with N out of your own free will?"
The dust that was left of Boreas' heart burst into a burning flame of pure hate. "No buts, Aqua. How could you?" He asked as he stared furiously into her treacherous eyes. "You betrayed me!"
Just finished re-reading this chapter.
It was short... Too short. =/
But it was a good read. I learned a thing of two about Boreas talking to himself through his mind.
Anyway, I only have one comment bout this chapter...
Well, that was totally unexpected, and something Boreas didn't NEED right now... o.o
Oh? Now I'm kind of curious what these things are.
Interestingly, it didn't come totally unexpected to all my readers. A few mentioned they had partially expected it, and one of them had even sent me a private message containing lots of speculation, including of this event, around chapter thirty. (that message also contained lots of speculation that was completely wrong, but half of it, including the bit where she speculated about Aqua being in Team Plasma, was right)
Chapter Forty: Eclipse
"I didn't betray you, Boreas," Aqua said ruefully.
"You joined Team Plasma!" Boreas roared furiously. "You're here with N and Diego! Of course you betrayed me, N is Team Plasma's leader and Diego... Diego is an all-round bastard who went out of his way to torture me!"
Diego interrupted Aqua's response. "How's the tail, Boreas?" he grinned.
Boreas really wanted to kill Diego. He had sworn to after the Zoroark had hung him from the Ferris wheel by his tail, after all, but he had more important matters to deal with right now. "I'll deal with you later," he spat.
"Listen Boreas," Aqua explained, "I know you're upset and-"
"Upset?!" Boreas exclaimed. "Upset?! No, how could I be?! After all, the only thing that happened is my girlfriend betraying me to the people who murdered Capella!"
"Capella is dead?!" Aqua asked at the same time as N, who had been talking to a similarly furious Black.
"Yes." Boreas spoke furiously. "Murdered by your Sage Ryoku. Truly a man as pleasant as he is fat. He had his pokémon execute her. This blood in my fur is hers. The same blood is on your paws now, Aqua."
Aqua looked very sad. "Boreas, I didn't know-"
"You didn't know?!" Boreas bellowed, "Didn't know what?! That Team Plasma is a gang of filthy murderers?! Because I distinctly remember telling you all about them and the things they've done! They tried to kill me many time, set me on fire, broke my legs, and had me swallowed alive among other things! Don't lie to me, you knew all about them but just didn't care!"
"And don't you dare give me that Leppa metaphor! There's not just one rotten Leppa in this basket, all of them are filthy and rotten to the core! And so are you, you traitor! Let me guess: you joined those bastards to get your revenge on the humans for killing your darling Lothario?! Because clearly you loved him enough to mope about him for months and hate a whole species for him, while I can just be thrown away and betrayed like a piece of rubbish!"
Boreas could see anger rising in Aqua, but so far she managed to keep calm. "No. This has nothing to do with Lothario, and I wish you wouldn't talk like that. After you and I separated, I became incredibly lonely again-"
"Oh, what a convenient excuse! You were lonely, so you joined those murdering bastards! You're a pathetic traitor!"
Aqua looked angry now. "What if-"
"What if nothing! You betrayed me, you *****!"
Suddenly Aqua burst out furiously. "BOREAS!" she roared, "now you listen to me! I didn't betray you, I just made a different choice than you! I'm not a servant you can order around, I was your girlfriend! I have a right to make my own choice!"
"You chose to side with those murderers, and now you're an accessory to Capella's death! That is not a choice, it's treason!"
"N is not like the Sages! N is a very good man, and would never harm anyone! He's a true hero, and if you knew just what he was planning..."
Boreas laughed a fake, hollow laughter. "He's the leader of them all, so he's responsible! Besides, he's helping the Sages' plan by working with them! You know, their plan to satisfy their thirst for power under the pretence of liberating pokémon?"
"The Sages are only human. Yes, they are evil people, but they're on our side. We work together with them, but they're not N! I did not join them, I joined N!"
"He is responsible just as much as they are. And what about that git Diego, I take it he's just a friendly, good person too?! I'm sure he only hung me from the Ferris wheel to give my back a nice stretching! How could you join them after all I told you?!"
"I didn't even know who they were for ages! Diego used his illusion to mask them both. And yes, he's a much better person than you think! I told him what a bastard he was for what he did to you, but now I see you probably deserved it! I would never have thought you were such a hard-headed, oppressive fascist! What makes you think you have the right to decide my opinions?! I thought you'd accept my choice after some initial misgivings, but you're much less flexible and considerate than I thought."
"I should be considerate of you betraying me to those egotistical, murdering bastards?!"
"I-did-not-betray-you!" Aqua seethed, "I didn't tell N anything you told me! This is my choice! Mine! Not yours! Just because I kissed you and thought we had something together doesn't mean I'm yours to command!"
"'Had something together', hah! You were just winning information from me, using me, you filthy ****! And all this, just to avenge Lothario and not to go lonely! Boohoo, well if you're lonely maybe it's just that no-one likes you, and with good reason!"
"I was such an idiot to believe you would support my choice! You're a blind, inconsiderate fascist, and pokémon like you are the reason humans keep treating us the way they do! I thought you loved me and would support me no matter what, but now I can see what you're truly like! When you looked at me or complimented my looks I always thought you were actually interested in me, but now I can see you just liked my looks. You couldn't care less about me, it's just my body you want, isn't it, you heartless bastard?!"
"Oh, I see, I'm the one who betrayed our relationship now, how silly of me to think that was you for siding with my enemies! Maybe I was fooled by your looks! They made me think there was a beautiful person underneath them, but now I see that pretty face hides an evil mind! You're an evil, treacherous heartbreaker, Aqua!"
"How typical. You never even considered another point of view, did you? Just because you've had good experiences with a human makes you think you're his friend, and humans are good! Let me tell you, humans are evil! N is the only exception, because he was raised by pokémon instead of his own disgusting kind! Humans will keep oppressing pokémon forever if it was up to you! Even after I told you all the humans had done to me, you didn't care! I always accepted your opinion of matters, because I thought I genuinely liked you and you liked me. But now I see you never liked anything beyond my beauty, and I just liked you because you were the first meaningful contact I had had in months! But now I have real friends, and we will change the world for the better, without you!"
"What about you, then?! No matter what I told you, you kept supporting Plasma, and now you're one of them!" Boreas, blinded with hate, only now noticed N and Black were battling: Toxica was fighting a Ferroseed. "But that's enough talk. You are my enemy, and I fight my enemies."
"Fine!" spat Aqua, "There's no way I'll ever get through your thick skull with words alone!"
Both stepped forward, about to attack each other, when Octa suddenly stepped between them. "Enough! My dear fellow, I shan't allow you to destroy what's left of your relationship with her like this."
"Get out of the way, Octa! She's with Team Plasma and I'm going to get her for it!"
"I wouldn't get out of the way if she had personally killed Capella. 'Tis my duty as your friend not to let you do something you'll regret for the rest of your life. I shall battle her in your stead."
Maybe something deep in Boreas recognised Octa was right. If it did, it was completely drowned out by the roaring fires of hate incinerating his heart. "Keep your haughty nose out of my business, you inbred twit! If you don't step away right now, I'll Ice Beam your arrogant face until your meddlesome brain literally freezes in your skull so you can personally go tell your idiotic ancestors of the trouble you got in for being a meddlesome nuisance!"
Boreas realised as he shouted it that he'd gone way too far. Octa's deeply insulted face told him the same. He realised he shouldn't have talked to Octa like that, but his anger was just far too great to contain.
"Fine," Octa spoke icily. "Do it, then. Why should I care if you ruin your life with your own stupidity?" he stepped aside.
They were about to battle when N commanded: "Aqua, switch for Jacob! Nothing good will come of this fight!"
"No way!" Aqua yelled, "this is between me and him! Don't you dare interfere! Any of you!"
"Ready then, traitor?" Boreas sneered.
"Ready to destroy you," Aqua replied.
The battle erupted at incredible speed. Beams of water and ice hit each other in mid-air, narrow parries and absorptions were executed, wind and water gyred through the cave furiously. The fires of love that had once burned in their hearts now burned as brightly with all-consuming hate. They wanted nothing more than to hurt and kill the other. Boreas used ice-attacks so cold they liquefied bits of air into a horribly painful rain that was much colder than ice and Aqua used Scald to blast boiling water at Boreas in an attempt to burn him. So far neither of them had managed to hit the other, but it was only a matter of time before they succeeded.
"I can't believe I let you even touch me! How could I have been so blind not to see what you are really like?!" Boreas raged.
"You're blind about many more things, Boreas!" Aqua sneered as she blasted boiling water at him. "Like which side is in the right, and which side is going to win! Your dogmatic adherence to the evil and the losing side will be your undoing!"
Aqua shot a beam of boiling water right at Boreas, and he immediately countered it with an Ice Beam. But she didn't stop, she just kept firing it and Boreas kept stopping it with the continuous Ice Beam. Massive clouds of steam formed with terrifying hisses at the point where they connected. That point approached Boreas, so he put more power into his Ice Beam to stop it. The power of both their attacks rose, and soon they were both fully concentrating on bringing even more power into their attack. Boreas realised this wasn't going to work and used slightly less power, so he could make a freezing wind of ice to blast Aqua from the left.
The Icy Wind hit her at the same moment that Boreas' Ice Beam gave up under the blast of boiling water. They both screamed in agony as their attacks hit their targets.
Diego was watching their battle with a wide grin. "Boreas, did she tell you she's now my mate yet?"
"What are- Yes, indeed I am. That hurts, doesn't it, Boreas?" Aqua grinned.
"How could you?!" Boreas asked as he summoned more and more cold.
"After how you treated me, you dare to ask that?"
"No," Boreas grinned, "I meant physically. How did it fit in? He's twice as large as you! Unless of course... either or both of you has parts that aren't to scale."
Diego roared in fury at that and tried to attack Boreas, but was caught in the crossfire of boiling water and Ice Beams burning and freezing him.
Since Diego had absorbed both their attacks they both had an opening in their defences for a moment and a chance to approach each other. Boiling clouds of steam and freezing clouds of hail collided at the same moment that the two Eevees did. They tore at each other, using tooth and claw as their weapons while clouds of steam and ice scalded and froze them. As he bit Aqua's flank, drawing a lot of blood, Boreas finally heard the voice in his mind that asked him what in the name of all legendaries he was doing, which told him that this was deeply wrong. But only for a moment, as he let his hate flow through him, incinerating his every fibre, and he listened to the voice that told him to hurt Aqua physically as much as she'd hurt him mentally instead.
The pain caused by the steam and the wounds Aqua inflicted only increased Boreas' hate for her. Even more so than when Capella had just died, he was a mad, hate-driven cyclone of revenge. They were entangled, trying to bite each others' throat, for several minutes before they somehow broke loose and stood facing each other.
"Enough playing around!" Aqua yelled, "Let me show you my true power!"
"You're right, time for the gloves to come off!"
A massive river of water flowed into the cave at the same moment that Boreas summoned a ferocious Blizzard he couldn't even control properly. Boreas was caught in the wave of water as the Blizzard made it rain hail and liquid air. The wave bashed into and around him several times with impacts like powerful punches. It whirled around him, grabbing him and attempting to break his bones with its phenomenal power. Boreas saw the furious Aqua swim in the water a few metres away, trying her very best to control as much of it as she could.
He made the Blizzard lash out at and she screamed in pain as she was pelted with hail and liquid air and her skin began to freeze. But then the water pulled Boreas under with a mighty current. He struggled and tried to swim back to the surface, but it was far too powerful and he soon began running out of air. He saw Aqua's elegant form under water, no doubt grinning as she drowned him.
He burnt with rage and he channelled it into an intense pulse of cold that rapidly froze the water around him into ice. It was easy to make the rapidly freezing water push him back to the surface and allow him to breathe. His body froze in, but he hardly noticed as he continued letting Neptunian amounts of cold freeze more and more of the water. It froze so fast the waves and currents that had flowed through it were still visible in the ice. Aqua looked terrified at the freezing perimeter rapidly approaching her. Freezing all this water cost Boreas incredible amounts of energy and he couldn't control it, but he didn't care, only having thoughts for freezing Aqua.
Aqua tried her best to stop the advancing ice. A pulse of boiling water expanded from her and met the perimeter of freezing water. Boreas concentrated on freezing the water while Aqua tried to boil it with all her might. The water on the perimeter boiled and froze at the same time, making the most incredible noises. The edge slowly crawled to Aqua, but Boreas was increasingly getting exhausted, and soon the edge began moving back. He looked at Aqua's firmly concentrated face and realised just how much he hated her for all that she'd done to him. The hate empowered him, and the ice's edge moved back to Aqua. But now he was getting so exhausted that black spots danced before his eyes and he felt his consciousness slipping away rapidly.
He gave one last massive pushed and relished in Aqua's screams of pain as the water around her froze. Boreas tried to freeze her with his final bit of power. But she launched another counter-offensive. This time Boreas had no strength and almost no consciousness left to fight her, yet he tried. As his vision went black he heard noises approach him closer and closer, and then he felt a terrible, boiling pain. But only for a moment before he blacked out.
Boreas awoke in pain all over. Then he wished he hadn't woken up at all as he remembered the fight with Aqua. He hated her, and yet he felt like he had done a horrible thing in fighting her.
"Boreas, you're awake!" Black said happily.
Boreas sighed morosely and with self-loathing. They were still in the same place, but N had left. Boreas' skin ached, but it seemed neither the burns nor the wounds were very bad. Aqua's water had also washed most of Capella's blood out of his fur.
"That was the same Vaporeon you met in Driftveil, wasn't it?" Black asked sadly.
Boreas said nothing.
"I'm sorry. I should've returned you to your pokéball, prevented you from fighting her..."
"You couldn't have stopped me," Boreas said flatly.
"About an hour. Toxica stepped in when you fainted to prevent that Vaporeon from boiling you to death. She defeated her, and in the end we won..."
Boreas just said nothing. He caught Octa's eye for a moment and immediately wished he hadn't. Octa gave him such a withering, furious look. With terrible despair, Boreas realised the three people he cared most for where all lost to him in some way. Capella was dead, Octa was so furious at him he might never forgive him, and Aqua had betrayed him.