This is the first posted edition of my story Luca.
Luca is a special riolu who is given to the trainer Felix. Meant for each other, the two endeavor to make the best of their lives together. However, what is life without trials to make bonds grow stronger?
Death of a true mate.
Lady and Lisa looked up at me from my left as I stopped silently and took off my pack, but Leo could no longer fight the urge to yawn and rub his eyes. Still silently we settled in for the night, and after setting Jem down gently, then handing Leo the extra bed roll, I spread my own out and lay down with a heavy heart and mind.
Before I could even start thinking to myself though I felt a fluffy body curl up to my left side. A little surprised I looked to see Lady inviting a groggy Jem towards her. When he curled up with her she brought her tails about him and looked back up at me. A second after locking gazes with me she whined lightly and licked at my hand as I laid it on her flank to stroke her fur.
Just as Lady laid her head down I realized Leo had put his bed right next to mine, lay down, and fell asleep almost immediately, but I also noticed that his pillow was blue, yellow, and breathing. Lisa had lay down at the head of Leo’s bed and let him rest his head on her belly, which also let her rest her head next to mine, though she made no further move towards me and simply lay there with her eyes shut.
Seeing all this I knew what they were trying to do, and I appreciated the effort but nothing could make this any easier at the moment. Luca was gone… and with what I had seen from the trip home, I doubted she would return very quickly… if at all.
Still unable to fall asleep I lay there trying to ignore the heartbreak. Tears soon formed in my eyes as I stared at the forest canopy and tried to remember the love we once shared, but in the end my last conscious thought was of a few days ago when I left her alone on that rock, crying…
The next day we slept in until about one o’clock. Of course I was the last to get up and this time I was awoken by a wet tongue across my face. I reflexively groaned Lady’s name in displeasure as I sat up to wipe the drool away, not realizing how late it was.
“Nine Nine!!” I heard shortly after my moan, followed by Leo’s translation, though his voice was actually cheerful at that moment.
“She says not to blame her for something she didn’t do.” He said with a small snicker.
“Then who…?” I mumbled as I opened my eyes to see Leo holding Jem and Lady sitting next to them with her tails swaying idly. For some reason it hadn’t entirely sunk in that Lisa was traveling with us and I spun quickly to identify my “attacker” where I was met nose to nose with a grinning Manectric. Seeing this I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle, half against my will, as I pet her head spike lightly before getting up and packing the remainder of our things. Once I finished we continued down the path, seeming like we were one big happy family again, except my unconsciously slow steps kept us moving slower than normal.
“Where are we going dad?” Leo asked a short while later with more of a depressed tone returning to his voice.
“Where would you like to go?” I replied as I looked over at him, trying to seem happy, for everyone’s sake...
“I-I don’t know… Isn’t there any way we can find mom?” He answered sadly.
“I’m sorry son, but unless Celebi herself decides to show up there’s no way for us to get to her time.” I said and watched as his ears laid back and his gaze went to the ground. I always hated seeing him like this, and even more so now since this was my fault. So in an attempt to make him feel better I put my arm around his shoulder as I spoke.
“Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll see her again. She may be mad at me but you’ll always be her son. You’ll never leave her thoughts, I guarantee that.” I said quietly, intending for only him to hear me though I knew all of the sensitive ears around us also caught it.
“Thanks dad…” He continued, with the urge to cry becoming evident in his voice.
“She’ll be back… If not for me then for you, I promise.” I whispered as we walked, and I rubbed his shoulder firmly. He sniffled lightly and looked sadly up at me with a thankful look through his sadness, which I had managed to help him overcome for the moment.
Returning his gaze with a small smile I thanked the gods above Luca had given me him as a son. ‘I just hope I’m right… Wherever you are, Love… Please come back to us soon…’ I thought to myself, pleading silently for my mate’s return as I looked back to the path and slowly released Leo so we could walk.
“Hey. What would you guys think about finding a gym?” I replied in an attempt to cheer up my son, figuring he might like another chance to battle in a gym match, but also intending to give us an actual purpose for traveling.
“How many more badges do you need for the league dad?” Leo asked, seeming in much higher spirits now, having had the chance to compose himself a little and enjoying the prospect of battling for fun again, rather than for his life.
“Three, but it doesn’t really matter anymore.” I replied without much enthusiasm.
“Why?” Leo asked quickly, wondering if there was some reason other than his mother I had said such a thing.
“Because it wouldn’t mean anything… I had everything I ever wanted with you and your mother. The league lost its importance to me a long time ago.” I replied casually as I looked over at him. He seemed a bit saddened by my words but I could tell he understood what I meant.
At the mention of Luca we remained silent for a good distance. Eventually we stopped for a rest and the others started conversation again. This time Lisa was the first to speak, suggesting we start practicing to battle again if we would be challenging a gym. I didn’t know why but the thought of battling again and training out here lifted my spirits, something I noticed it had done for Leo as well since he eagerly agreed with Lisa.
Before long Lady, Lisa, and Leo were in a tag team match with the odd man out taking over for the looser of their spar. As they warmed up I sat with Jem in my lap and suggested attacks every so often. Lady had decided before they started that she wanted Jem to start learning how to battle but for now she simply had me tell him the basics while we watched. I was rather surprised however when Jem seemed to be enjoying this. I had thought with his laid back and somewhat shy attitude he wouldn’t want anything to do with such a violent sport.
For the rest of the day and the next we worked the rust off of our routine and were stronger than ever in technique. But as a team, I still missed Luca terribly and it was apparent in my demeanor, which inadvertently affected the others as well. However, getting into battles and sparing with my companions had done wonders to lift my spirits from the despair I felt before and it did give me a purpose for being out here with them., but every night I would fall asleep thinking of Luca. It was tormenting to have my thoughts drift to her with every unoccupied second I spent awake, but I noticed after two days, things seemed a little easier… Maybe it was because I was focusing more and more on helping and guiding the others or maybe I really was starting to let go of Luca, I really couldn’t tell…
When we finally found the gym we were looking for on our fourth day out, we made a quick stop at the pokemon center then went for a challenge.
Lady finished off the first opponent without much trouble, but Lisa had given it her all before Lady and ended up pretty badly bruised. With me kneeling beside Lisa stroking her flank and Leo intently watching Lady's style the battle continued.
Lady's second opponent was a Hippowdon, and the darn thing just didn't want to stay above ground. So after turning most of the sand field to solid glass, I had Leo stepped in to finish. Despite how she might normally feel about being switched out Lady didn't mind. She was on her last leg and so filthy with sand that she was having a hard time moving. Luckily Leo easily beat the last two pokemon except for suffering a gash on his right arm from shattering the glass floor.
After winning the battle and receiving our badge we took Lisa and Leo to the center. The gym leader did apologize for harming the two of them but we made sure she knew we understood it wasn't her fault.
Due to the injuries we suffered I kept us in town for another day so everyone could heal. Of course Lisa insisted she was fine, and even growled at me to leave her alone when I made a bigger fuss than normal about her. The only explanation I could come up with, when Lady pointed it out by scolding me… was that I didn’t want to loose someone else I cared about… Thankfully Leo seemed to understand how I felt, and let me take care of his arm without argument.
Having watched the gym battle from beside me on the sidelines Jem was a bit scared when he saw you could actually get hurt when battling, but as she soaked the sand out of her fur in a hot water bath with her son she managed to convinced him that the fun, challenge, and exercise far outweighed the risk of injury, which was only brief and temporary when it happened.
After our “victory” and the day off to get the sand out of our cracks... We left town with somewhat higher spirits. The five of us continued practicing after that, and I even started to smile and enjoy myself more, mostly because of my main comfort, Leo.
Along the way to the next city I started sparing with my son to give me another distraction and to get myself back into better shape. Of course it wasn’t much of a match most of the time. Due to his mother he was faster and stronger than I could ever hope to be and because of this he almost always beat me. I say almost because I somehow won every now and then, though I think he threw those matches...
However, something strange started happening to me, my reactions were happening faster with each time we practiced. I still had no idea what I had done at the facility with that Alakazam, my mind was in pure rage then and I doubted I could ever do such a thing again. This, however, was different. At first I thought I was simply allowing myself to focus more, stopping my mind from wandering to my troubles, but when Leo decided to use a quick attack on me and I sidestepped it easily, I knew there was something more.
Another incident really scared me though and utterly astonished Leo at the same time. In yet another sparing match between us I was dodging his attacks and in a split second reflex, I put my hand on his chest to push him down and end the match, but at that moment small flash emanated from my palm and sent Leo falling onto his back with a soft yelp. He lay there for a moment looking up at me with a dumbfounded look as fear washed over me and I froze where I stood, staring right back at him.
“Dad… you just…” He stuttered, still trying to catch the breath I had managed to knock out of him.
“Leo, I’m sorry! I don’t know what…” I said frantically, not only afraid that I had hurt him but inwardly terrified that he would hate me for it.
“Dad, I’m fine... But you just force palmed me. How did you do that!?” He said after a cough and a deep breath, but what relieved me more was that his voice was enthusiastic and surprised.
“I don’t know… Are you sure you’re alright?” I replied, looking at my hand for a moment before offering it the other to help him to his feet.
“I’m fine, really. I thought mom had to teach you attacks?” He continued, understandably hesitating before taking my hand. Apparently I just became a more worthy opponent, but at the mention of Luca my disposition changed.
“That was something else your grandfather told me. Some abilities aren’t directly linked to your mother. It’s only because of her I can learn them but they rely more on my half of our… bond.” I explained sadly, realizing this new ability must mean that despite my attempts to let go of Luca I wasn’t succeeding. I still needed, and loved her, deeply, if I could pick up another ability.
However, my explanation wasn’t the whole story. At the time I had no idea Luca was finding it in her to give me another chance, which despite the eons separating us was still strengthening our invisible connection.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to mention mom…” Leo said sadly, bowing his head and letting his ears fall back upon seeing my attitude had changed so quickly.
“It’s alright. Besides, I can’t forget her. You know that.” I replied with a small sigh at first and continued in a sad but at the same time cheerful voice as I looked at him kindly then put an arm around his shoulder for a moment as we started walking back to the campsite where Lady and Lisa were lounging. It wasn’t far from the clearing Leo and I were practicing in and when we got back we found the girls playing with Jem, something I rarely saw him do. He was usually very calm and collected, as well as shy, but he had learned some attacks in the past few days and he was laughing as he tried them out on the moving targets of the larger canines.
Of course we couldn’t just stand by... so Leo snuck silently up behind Jem as he aimed then quickly rolled him over to tickle his belly. Unknown to Leo though, Jem had learned ember and as the golden Vulpix yelped upon finding himself on his back he let loose the glowing orange coals. It was once again Leo’s turn to get a surprise and his eyes widened as he instinctively rolled to the side with lightning speed to avoid the attack.
Out of breath from his gasp Leo rolled once into a crouched position and stared at Jem, who looked over at Leo with a surprised blink once he rolled to his side.
As if to break the tension, Lady suddenly burst out laughing, teasing Leo about how he might want to think twice before sneaking up on Jem from now on. Lisa just shook her head with a smile, then looked up at me to see me chuckling as well…
Over the next few days our spirits remained. Lady, Lisa and Jem seemed to be having a good time. They enjoyed the battles, as well as the fresh air, but whenever Leo or I needed them for some kind of comfort they were always right there beside us.
Leo and I still thought of Luca and missed her terribly. Something that took me a few days to realize though was that Leo had taken to wearing the necklace I once wore with his mother’s now unclaimed pokeball. Of course it wasn’t as if any of us ever asked him to remove his precious item, but never the less, Leo and I had accepted her choice, knowing we couldn’t rightly stop her, or do anything to bring her back. Or so we thought… again, we didn’t know Luca could watch us from across time.
As those days passed my heart slowly started to heal, but once again, in spite of our innocent travels we were being watched. In the town we challenged the gym, a member of Darkrai had spotted us, and thanks to our destruction of their facilities I was at the top of their hit list. If I was spotted it was to be reported directly to the boss himself and no other action was to be taken...
“Sir we found him. Unit Roe spotted him a few days ago and Phi just few hours ago.”
“Good… It’s about time he pay for what he did. Report back to them. Tell them to keep track of his movements but don’t engage him! Don’t even tail him! I’ll deal with this personally.”
“Yes Sir!” the office grunt replied and ran off to relay the message.
“Are you ready to leave?” The boss said without turning his gaze from the door, speaking presumably to an unseen occupant.
“Of course…” A calm deep voice replied as the unnoticed, out of place plant shadow in the corner began to quiver and reform...
It had been a week since Luca left with Ky and Lekan, but the five of us continued to travel, unaware of the danger that now followed us. We left a nice town to head to another city with a gym after spending the night in a pokemon center for a change. We didn't get far though and barely made it about two miles away when we suddenly spotted 5 black energy balls hurdling towards us.
In the instant we had we tried to dodge but none of us could escape the hit. The balls passed right through us as if they were fakes but a split second later each of us utterly collapsed as if we hadn’t slept in months…
As Felix and his companions fell asleep a tall man with a shorter pokemon floating beside him calmly walked down the path. The two looked down at the group squirming and cowering from their worst nightmares and simply chuckled, but after that moment of amusement the white haired Darkrai held out a palm aimed at the party and began charging a massive dark pulse.
“What are you so worried about? Let them suffer.” The boss said without moving or shifting his gaze and Darkrai reluctantly lowered his hand, giving a hateful look to the tormented victims, apparently wanting his own revenge, but when tears started to roll from Felix’s eyes a wide grin spread across Darkrai's lips while he drank in the torment…
“Unggg… What happened?” I groaned as I stood up while holding my head, but when I looked around for the others there was no one around.
“Lady…!? Leo!?” I yelled frantically. My surroundings were exactly as I remembered but I was alone! As I spun around to make sure no one was behind me I caught a glimpse of a figure down the path in front of me. At first I was wary of the figure but I quickly realized the person... was a Lucario… and as I got to my feet I saw who the Lucario was... Luca! I tripped over my feet as I started to run, nearly falling over as I ran and threw my arms around her.
“You’re back! You came back…” I said happily as I hugged her with tears of joy starting to gather in my eyes. However… Luca didn’t move; she didn’t return my affections at all and after letting me have my moment she pushed me firmly away and looked me in the eye as a look of confusion came to my face.
“I came back for Leo. It’s over Felix I won’t forgive you for using me.” She said coldly and took a step away as Leo came to stand next to her with a look of detest aimed at me.
“What…? No, Luca, please, I swear I never meant to…” I argued as sadness and fear overtook me, but I was cut off as Luca turned slightly, extended a paw behind her and opened a time portal with a loud crack of thunder.
“No, no… Please, I…” I stammered as my tears welled up, and I collapsed to my knees as she ignored me and turned to enter the portal without so much as a glance back. Leo took one last look at me and gave a small, upset growl before following his mother through the portal which cracked shut after he disappeared in the swirling energies.
“No… Luca… Leo…” I muttered in despair as I stared blankly at the spot where they stood, my tears start to fall, not noticing Lady, Umbreon, the pups, Lisa, and Tarzan had come out to sit behind me with glares of accusation that seemingly said, “How could you lie to us like that? How could you treat us that badly?”
As I got the feeling I was being watched I turned to see them and only felt my heart sink further… One by one they turned, and left to walk away on their own.
The pups went with Umbreon as he turned and Lady was the last to abandon me, turning to follow her mate and kits. As she turned though I sadly reached out for a tail to beg her to stay, but as my hand wrapped lightly around the furry appendage, not near enough to hurt her, she spun with lightning speed and clamped her jaw on my hand with a feral growl.
I cried out shrilly and recoiled as a sharp, stabbing, and burning pain shooting through my hand. Now sporting fresh gashes and 2nd degree burns from her bite I clutched my hand to my chest in agony as I watched my truest and oldest friend move to walk away with her family.
As they left I crumpled to my side, trying to ignore the physical and mental anguish I found myself in, and all I could do was weep and pray I died here. However, through it all I found myself unable to tare my tear-filled gaze from Lady as she walked slowly into the woods which only made my wound and heart hurt that much more…
Lying there pitifully I couldn’t help but whisper "Why Lady...?" in despair just as she was about to disappear into the tree line. Apparently she heard me because she turned her head to look at me, then walked back to me with pride in her posture and stopped with her head held high as she regarded me for the pathetic human I was.
I froze as she did this. With my blood staining her fur she looked wild and feral, and for the first time in my life… I was terrified of her. I suppose she took pity on me because she growled and opened her jaw to slowly move toward my neck with her teeth. I whimpered and swallowed hard in terror but now found I couldn’t move! I shut my eyes as her teeth grazed my flesh and the last thing I felt was her wet tongue running over my skin, savoring me before she was to kill me…
As another shiver ran down my body I found I had control of my muscles again. My eyes snapped open but I still felt the wet licks of a canine tongue. I screamed, and out of reflex sat bolt upright as I swung at my attacker. I heard a pained yelp as my hand connected with a furred muzzle, but when I looked I saw a sad Lady bent over and sadly pawing at her nose to try rubbing away the pain.
I was still terrified of Lady at that moment but something was different… She didn’t have blood stains on her muzzle, and my hand didn’t hurt, in fact, when I looked, it wasn’t even scratched. Finally, with a closer look at Lady I saw she had been crying, and it suddenly clicked.
“It was a dream…” I muttered, getting Lady to look sadly up at me with new tears in her eyes from my swipe at her. At that moment I didn’t know what to do. The thought of her leaving again pained me, but I didn’t know if I should reach out to her either. Luckily, after a split second of thought my reflexes and heart took over, making me grab her and pull her into a tight hug.
She nuzzled me back as she whimpered lightly; apparently she had her own nightmare similar to mine and was grateful I still loved her.
Our moment was short lived though as I suddenly caught a glimpse of a figure standing next to me. My eyes widened as I focused on a black paw not 3 feet away. I was nearly frozen in both hope and fear but still I dragged my vision upwards. The black furred paws blended into blue furred legs and hips with a blue tail. Further up, a yellow torso split into two blue arms with black gloved paws and a black and blue head with four head ornaments and pointed ears… As I stopped at the figures head it turned to look at me as if to make sure I wasn’t hurt and I felt like I couldn’t breathe as my hopes were confirmed.
“Luca…?” I stuttered in a hopeful and joyous tone, but the moment was again cut short. Just as I noticed the cuts on her back and the gashes on her forearms she was attacked by a black blur.
“Luca!!” I cried in a terrified voice, trying to get up and help her, but a tug on my sleeve stopped me. I turned quickly with a pleading look to see Lady whimpering at me and holding my shirt sleeve in her mouth then a yelp brought my attention back to Luca, whom I saw had been knocked into a tree.
Obviously she still had fight in her and after dodging a terrifying giga impact attack she quickly retaliated against her opponent. I watched her charge a focus blast and press it to the black pokemon's belly, but a sense of dread came over me as I realized who her opponent really was… It was none other than the legendary Darkrai, and he had a terrifying black aura emanating from him that was visible to the naked eye.
I desperately wanted to help Luca but Lady wouldn’t let go. As I watched the one I loved in the fight of her life she took the chance to meet my gaze briefly before vanishing with extreme speed to escape the blast from her attack. In that split second our gazes met I saw her pleading me to save the others and forget about her...
I blinked as she disappeared, and found I had tears in my eyes, but there was nothing I could do to help her… she was gone from my site and so was Darkrai before I could think straight. However... the thought that Leo might be able to keep up and rescue his mother ran through my head. Half reluctantly I spun to help Lady wake the others.
"Leo!! Wake up! Come on... please wake up!" I begged as I shook him lightly, but nothing I did seemed to rouse him.
"Nnn... Latias... Please... You can't die..." Leo whined in my arms as tears finally rolled from his eyes. As I heard him I momentarily froze with another sharp pain in my heart, empathizing with him and thinking I understood how he felt, though I was unaware Leo loosing Latias was just like me loosing Luca...
"Come on Leo wake up. It's not real." I kept trying to encourage when Lisa suddenly cried out behind me.
"Psy!!! NO!!!!" She howled and quickly rolled to her side with her head up and eyes wide. She was panting hard with a look of horror on her face as she quickly looked around, taking in the quick shift in surroundings.
Meanwhile Lady took to waking Jem. She nosed, nudged, and licked the Vulpix but with every attempt he continued to whine and whimper while remaining curled tightly in a ball.
After a moment Lisa shook off her shock and focused on me. I had turned towards her as she howled, temporarily forgetting about waking my son, and as our gazes met she saw in my eyes a plea for help. She looked to Leo to see him grimacing and crying in my arms and knew how she could help.
She quickly got to her feet and came over to me and Leo. I watched her move and with a gentle nudge from her I laid Leo back down. She then placed a paw on his chest and sent a small shock into him through his still growing chest spike. Immediately Leo inhaled deeply and shot bolt upright, panting hard and looking around to get his bearings.
While Lisa helped me, Lady increased her efforts and finally found an effective way to wake her pup. Jem yelped as Lady nipped his ear roughly but not enough to draw blood. Like Lisa, Jem rolled to his side with his head now raised, though he shook his head quickly to alleviate the pain of his mother's nip. After that it didn't take the mother and son long to nuzzle each other though it was obvious Jem was affected much more than the rest of us by his dream.
As Leo turned and looked at Lisa then at me he broke down and threw himself at me while letting his tears fall. A bit surprised it took me a moment to put my arms around him, but sadly I couldn't let this moment continue.
"Leo, I'm sorry, but we have to talk about this later. You have to help your mother." I said as I rubbed his back. He quickly looked up at me with surprise as I finished and seemed to be wondering if this was actually real.
"She's back?" He asked in a still sad but now bewildered as he looked at me with wide, still tear filled eyes, but just as we both got up to find where Luca was, we saw the fight was over...
The time portal cracked open into Felix's time just as the human and Darkrai became bored with watching their victims writhe in mental anguish. Their advance was halted by the appearance of the portal, and it quickly cracked closed as my tail left the swirling æther leaving me standing firmly between Felix and his attackers.
As I snarled at Darkrai and the man next to him I noticed the dark aura emanating from Darkrai but didn't pay it much heed. All I cared about was protecting Felix and Leo. However, what I didn't know was that Darkrai's aura was from him gaining strength from the group's tortured dreams...
Just as I was about to turn to wake Felix I heard a soft whining yelp. Turning my head I saw Lady had risen to her side and tried to shake off her dream. After a quick look at a golden Vulpix she realized someone standing close by and looked up to meet my gaze. I watched as surprise and happiness flashed in her eyes, but that look soon turned to fear as she saw Darkrai.
"It's good to see you again Lady." I started cheerfully and gave her a soft smile. "Wake Felix and the others. I won't let them hurt you." I continued as I turned my head forward, but when I looked, Darkrai had vanished.
I quickly raised my guard and crouched down slightly as my line of sight darted from left to right expecting an attack. When nothing came at me I relaxed and took a deep breath before closing my eyes to enter wave sight. Much to my relief, it worked, and that familiar 360 degree sphere of sight expanded around me. For a fleeting moment I felt happy; Felix hadn't forgotten or given up on me and this was at least a little proof.
My moment didn't last long though as I found Darkrai. His corrupt black aura emanating from my shadow as he mocking me.
Remaining calm, I acted as if I were still looking for him while I prepared to attack. In the blink of an eye I charged a force palm and slammed the glowing paw into the dirt where Darkrai hid. Unfortunately I missed, only managing to stir up a cloud of dust around me while Darkrai skittered away to reform on a tree branch to my right.
"Do you really think you have a chance Lucario? I'm no ordinary pokemon... I'm the god of darkness and nightmare!" Darkrai said as the dust cleared, speaking with a wholly undeserved sense of pride, but I only turned my head from where I stood and met Darkrai's gaze with a glare from my closed eyes.
I stood there for a moment more before using extreme speed to move behind Darkrai, beginning our fight. As I moved faster than eyes could register I charged a full power aura sphere. When I rematerialized behind Darkrai in mid jump I thrust my paw forward to fire the attack with a snarl on my muzzle. He was not going to take my son or mate away from me!
"To slow..." Darkrai said in amusement as he spun with his own incredible speed, grabbing my paw and pointing it at a nearby tree as the sphere fired, splintering the wood harshly. However, before the sphere even left my paw, Darkrai brought his free hand to drain punch me right under the rib cage.
My eyes snapped wide open as I gagged harshly and tried to support myself weakly with my left paw on his arm. The bastard smirked at me as I tried to growl at him despite my lost breath, then tried to slash at him with a metal claw. The attack yet again missed completely as Darkrai faded into the tree's shadow and once again put some distance between us by reappearing on another branch.
As he vanished I was left to catch myself on the branch, coughing and gasping for breath while shakily balancing on one knee and trying to renter wave sight. With my eyes tightly shut as I continued to pant for air, now that my lungs worked again..., I stood on the branch and managed to focus on Darkrai once again.
Once I found him I fought through the pain in my stomach and held my hands at my sides to charge two more aura spheres. Standing shakily on the branch I waited for Darkrai to move, but he only remained still with his smoke like 'hair' waving in the light forest breeze. I knew I couldn't let this drag on lest I get caught in a bad situation, or worse, let Felix and the others get hurt, so with a confident stance I threw my first sphere. Once again I missed as he chuckled and melded with the shadows before the sphere could make it half way to him.
However, it was my turn to smile now... Using a little trick Master Brenus taught me I threw my second sphere. Just as Darkrai arrogantly reformed beside yet another tree trunk the aura sphere slammed him square in the chest, and I couldn't help but grin as I heard him grunt in surprise and pain.
With his years of practice Brenus had nearly perfected the art of predicting an opponent’s move. At least as much as someone without psychic foresight could... Luckily for me he had taken the chance to teach me the first 'level'.
I intently watched Darkrai as he took my hit, and not two seconds after my aura sphere exploded in his face he angrily retaliated with a dark pulse. While staying focused on him I sidestepped the pulse and charged two more aura spheres, but as I faced him from my spin I was forced to quickly throw one of my attacks to intercept another overcharged dark pulse. The two energies collided and exploded violently, but through the flash of light in my wave sight I saw Darkrai moving.
After I landed a hit on the legend he was no longer willing to toy with me, as I soon found out. I knew I was out matched but I didn't know by how much, and I was determined I wouldn't let him harm the one's I cared about!
Darkrai flew through the flash from our attacks with a fist glowing from a focus punch. Ducking his swing I fired my second sphere at him, but he instantly melted with the shadows again when his swing missed, sending my sphere careening into the sky.
This time he didn't go far; instead, he reformed behind me. Knowing he was there I spun quickly to deliver a kick to his head with a force palm charged in my foot. Unfortunately I found my leg caught in mid strike, and with me in his grasp, Darkrai willed electricity from his palm. With Darkrai hovering I was the only grounding path for the shockwave attack, and I howled in pain as I vainly tried to free my leg with a jerk.
Reflexively I managed to charge a water pulse and I quickly twisted my arm to aim it at Darkrai. Yet again Darkrai avoided my attack, partially due to my shaky aim, but luckily he had to drop my leg in order to dodge.
Panting lightly from being shocked I regained my footing, only to get a harsh focus punch to the cheek as Darkrai's fist formed from the shadows. I could only yelp as I was hit and thrown from the thirty foot high branch. I felt and heard a crack from my jaw as searing pain ran through my head, but despite such a strong hit my jaw wasn't broken; it was only a fracture, though it still hurt...
For some reason I couldn't concentrate enough to right myself and land on my feet. My wave sight trance flickered as I was hit and from the swift fall into the lashing branches below which swiped trough my fur, reaching the skin beneath and giving me several stinging minor cuts. Yet none of this hurt as much as the impact when I hit the ground. My back cracked, though not from an injury, as all the air was forced from my lungs, stifling my pained cry and leaving my maw open as I gasped for breath through the now blinding headache.
Having fallen out of wave sight when I landed, I weakly opened my eyes as I continued to try regaining the ability to breath, move and think. What I saw though wasn't encouraging... A terrifying rain of black energy spheres and poisonous blobs plummeted towards me while Darkrai laughed with his arms outspread from the attacks.
Still unable to move much of anything I panicked, and closed my eyes as I somehow managing to cross my paws in front of me while the attacks rained down. The sludge bombs exploded on impact, spreading a thick black smoke while the dark void energy balls simply phased from existence upon contact with any object.
I released my held breath an instant later to find I could breathe again, but when I went quickly into another wave sight trance I saw Darkrai rushing me. I tried to reinforce the protect shield I had unwittingly raised but it shattered under a shadow claw from Darkrai, letting his black clawed hand slash at me with the encasing purple energy.
I screamed in agony as the purple energy burned with pure pain when the ghostly claws raked through my frame, but Darkrai also managed to physically wound me with his real claws, which, when mixed with the energy of the attack, festered at the touch, leaving long horrid looking gashes.
After his blow Darkrai decided to appreciate his work, and retreated to a low branch with a simple leap while I weakly sat up, then stood, panting, and attempting to hide the tears in my eyes while fighting the pain in my arms, back, chest and fractured jaw...
As I found the will in me to return to wave sight once again I looked up at Darkrai while still clutching at the fresh and bleeding wounds on my arms. He only met my gaze with a smirk and a shake of his head at the unworthy opponent before him. While trying to catch my breath I saw Darkrai become distracted and look to where Lady was trying to wake Felix. Seeing the Ninetails worriedly trying to wake her trainer Darkrai grinned wider.
Seeing a chance I threw a focus blast at him, but he merely waved his hand to create a protect shield, blocking my attack though as the smoke cleared he was smiling cruelly with a focus blast aimed at Felix.
My breath stopped cold as I watched, thinking there was no way he would, and that he was trying to trick me into letting down my guard. Of course Darkrai really was that vicious and he fired the blast to prove it...
Using extreme speed I hurriedly bolted to stand between Felix and the incoming energy sphere. I quickly threw dark pulse at the attack but it only barreled through to continue on. Fear flashed in my eyes but I still managed to react, and with some effort, charged a focus blast of my own, throwing it at the last possible second to collide the two spheres, destroying them both in a violent reaction.
Standing there after the explosion I heard Lady yelp and Felix scream in fear while Darkrai hovered down in front of me with that same smile. I had to watch the legend lest he attack me or Felix again... but as Felix quietly said my name, I couldn't help myself! I had to turn my head to look at him.
Seeing the hopeful yet worried look Felix wore; I temporarily forgot my fight and pain. However, just as I started to smile upon meeting my mate's gaze, Darkrai took the opening to attack me as I had done before.
Me eyes darted to my right as I sensed Darkrai move, but I barely had time to bring my paws up to cross my wrist spikes and defend against a focus punch. With the metal harmlessly taking the brunt of the attack I avoided serious injury, but my defense was inadequate and Darkrai pushed forward to hit me in the chest, still with quite a hard hit.
I could barely register Felix calling my name as the hit threw me off my feet and backwards into a tree with a pained yelp. After sliding a foot down the bark to the ground I opened my eyes to see Darkrai rushing me with his arm glowing with a giga impact, and in the blink of an eye Darkrai swung with a right hook. A sickening and deafening crack rang out after a dull impact as the attack connected only with the thick trunk of a tree, splintering it violently on the other side.
Having crouched to duck the almost certainly fatal attack I met Darkrai's gaze while the next few moments ran in slow motion... The tree at my back began to topple as another reflex of mine charged a bright and buzzing focus blast. As I pressed the warm ball of energy into Darkrai's chest I looked towards Felix, and trying to seem as strong and confident as I could, I begged him with a silent plea to help Leo and the others.
After that moment I tore my gaze from Felix and used extreme speed to escape the blast from my attack, but somehow I knew this fight wasn't over yet. Whether it was the persistent sick feeling I had in my stomach from just being around Darkrai, or if it was my wounds reminding me of just how strong a legendary pokemon was I don't know, but that last attack surely wouldn't have ended this.
With the little bit of time I bought I tried to relax. While panting heavily I leaned against a large tree, and it didn't take long for the pain of my wounds to make itself known. I whined out loud as I moved to sit at the base of my tree, the small scrapes on my back stung, the gashes on my forearms throbbed suddenly and my various other bruises started to ache with my over exerted muscles. What I found most disheartening though was how weak I seemed...
"Did I really slip this much...?" I muttered sadly as I shut my eyes and let a few tears fall to the ground as I wondered what Felix would say if he saw how powerless I'd apparently become.
"I have to admit... No one's ever hit me that hard. I suppose I'm a little rusty..." I heard Darkrai's low haunting voice say from above and in front of me. My gaze immediately snapped to the dark pokemon but I remained on the ground cradling my wounded arms.
"Oh come on. This is the troublesome Lucario who destroyed my island facility, and stole a valuable research project and member of my organization? This is the Lucario whose trainer utterly decimated a dozen of my covert research labs in order to save her? What a joke! You're not worth the effort I spent to come out here!" He continued to mock as I found the strength to stand once again.
"Your facility...? Your organization? You're just a pawn to that human; he doesn't care about you for more than your power!" I answered back with a growling tone, for some reason hoping Darkrai would turn and I'd be spared.
"Naive creature... He's my pawn! He's delusioned himself into thinking that ball of his could really contain me! Even a weak creature like you could escape those pitiful devices. Nooo... I'm the real head of team Darkrai..." He replied proudly, but it only disgusted me. I was at the mercy of a heartless, manipulative pokemon who held no attachments to anyone. With a grimace I felt a second wind suppressing my pain and lifting me to stand steadily as a glowing aura sphere grew in my palm.
With a growling yell I threw the sphere at the branch Darkrai stood on. He only chuckled and hovered above the branch as my attack exploded. Immediately I rushed where he was, using extreme speed while charging my paws with a constant energy for force palms.
As before, Darkrai only smirked at my attacks, though this time he ducked and dodged my swings, only bothering to block the concussive hits if he couldn't bend in the right direction to avoid me. Still I swung away, and as a finale to my out burst I summoned an aura sphere and fired quickly. Once again Darkrai faded into the shadows as my sphere splintered the tree trunk I'd backed him into as we fought on the remnants of the mostly exploded branch. With a growl I quickly went into wave sight but froze in fear as I found dozens of Darkrai surrounding me...
Each of the dark figures wore a grin as it sheltered a small blue flame; something I knew from Lady's attacks was a Will o Wisp. What frightened me more however was that I couldn't tell which Darkrai was the real one, even with wave sight... The double team clones were absolutely perfect, and before I could shake the fear the Darkrai launched their attack.
Crossing my paws once again, but staying focused, I used protect. Five fake flames passed through my shield before a real attack hit, bursting into licks of blue flame. Immediately after the burst I focused in on the Darkrai who had thrown the real flame assuming he was my true opponent, but just as I was about to take a step and attack the figure, two more flames impacted my shield and shattered it as I turned in surprise and tried to correct my footing from my half step.
Without a barrier I now had dozens of flames hovering towards me as most of the clones had been holding back their attacks. I tried to dodge after snapping quickly from my shock, but as I tried to escape the main target area the wisps swerved in their listless paths to follow. Just as I leapt off the branch one of the real flames engulfed my foot, burning the pads with severe second, almost third, degree burns and scorching the fur away as I gave a loud whining yelp.
A split second later I landed on the branch I had intended to, but unwittingly put far too much pressure on my injured paw. Pain shot up my leg and I quickly lifted it to lessen my suffering. However I hesitated to long and the flames reached me yet again...
Several fake flames and one or two real ones dissipated into the branch beneath me as I inspected my new injury, but as my now open eyes caught a glimpse of a flame phasing into my shin I quickly realized I wasn't out of danger.
At the moment I was too distracted to remember to keep my focus on Darkrai, a grave mistake on my part... for as I leapt awkwardly from my perch to a lower one my fate was sealed.
While many of the remaining flames were fading and fizzling I failed to see one behind me and as I fell through the air in my jump the ball of flame burned its mark into my back. Once again I howled in pain as the heat sunk into my skin, reminding me of the small cuts that were there previously as they were quickly erased and replaced.
Luckily I still managed to hit my mark, landing on the thick branch below, though on all fours, and I once again ground my raw paw against the bark of the tree. Wincing and gritting my teeth I shut my eyes tightly at the stinging and throbbing now covering my entire body. Soon the need to breathe returned to my mind and I gasped in deep breaths even though every inhale and exhale stretched the burns on my back. Unsympathetic to my plight Darkrai wrapped a hand around my throat to lift me to my feet then off the branch as a tear of pain fell from my nose.
As I was lifted my hands went to the arm holding me and I weakly opened my eyes to find Darkrai was still unscathed and grinning... In an admittedly weak attempt to fight back I tried to charge two force palms, but as a faint glow began to emanate from my black gloved paws Darkrai casually brought his free hand up to grasp my arm where he'd injured it earlier with the shadow claw.
I screamed in agony as he raked his claws through the gash, making it bleed once again and shattering my concentration, along with any hope I had of retaliation. Of course he only delighted in my pain, though he stopped digging through my flesh as we seemed to move.
Disoriented from my strained breathing and blinding pain I suddenly had to shut my eyes from the light of an open sky.
"Maybe this will teach you... Stay out of our business unless you wish to be alone in this world." I vaguely heard Darkrai say, and I tried to open my eyes to see if he was talking to me. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he wasn't, and with a final focus punch to my chest it was over...
Leo and I simply froze as we saw Darkrai holding Luca off the ground by her neck, and just before he spoke I saw the penetrating burns on her back. Yet none of this horrified me more than when Darkrai's hand began to glow.
I never heard what the pokemon said to me even though he spoke clear English, I was too focused on what I feared was about to happen and it was all happening far to fast for my mind to process...
Just as he finished his warning, I watched as his fist pulled back. Leo stared in utter terror and disbelief at what he was seeing, and I never thought to shield his eyes. Instead my legs moved on their own, propelling me up and forward as I screamed a desperate protest though it was entirely in vain. With a crack, and a dull, almost splashing sound so sickening I nearly threw up simply from hearing it, his fist connected...
A brief yelp and cough escaped my dear Luca's lips as she tensed and tried to pry herself free from the pain with all the strength of a newborn. Darkrai quickly disposed of his dying prey, tossing her lightly in my direction as I ran closer, though each o my steps seemed like an eternity.
My desperation to save Luca turned to an overwhelming need to catch her as she was dropped. Reaching her just in time, I wrapped my arms around her to cushion her fall with my body, and without hesitation I quickly knelt to cradle her to me.
Upon seeing Darkrai's blow Lady lost her composure. With a feral snarl she lunged past me as I caught Luca, though she had been running with me the whole time. Darkrai never flinched as the fox flew with fangs bared, and he simply backhanded her out of the air to the ground with a loud thud before turning and floating off down the path with the boss beside him, leaving a broken and bleeding Lucario in my arms, and everyone else utterly terrified and unable to move.
"Luca...? Luca!? Come on, please hang on!" I begged futilely as I held her and stared into her eyes. Her gasping breaths were sharp, ragged, and gurgling as the urge to breath fought the obvious pain it caused her. No doubt she had at least half her ribs broken and serious internal wounds, which was only confirmed as she began to cough up blood...
Tears began to stream down my face as I begged Luca not to leave me while nuzzling my face to her forehead. "Felix..." She coughed weakly in response and tried to move, succeeding in bringing a hand up to my forearm, which cradled her waist, and I immediately moved my hand to take her paw tightly in mine while raising my head to look my suffocating mate in the eyes.
I simply held her tightly as my heart shattered when I saw the love she had once held for me had returned to her eyes, and just then Leo somehow managed to move to his mother's other side.
I looked up at my son to see him fighting his tears, which were staining his cheeks. "Mom...?" He said in a heartbroken whimper, and she turned her head to meet Leo's gaze with a small smile for her final moment before her eyes slowly slipped closed and after a few more light breaths... her jerking tenses slowed and she fell limp in my arms.
Leo began to stutter in his breaths as his eyes went wide. He muttered for his mother to wake up pleading her to open her eyes while I shook her lightly, frantically trying to do the same as I began to sob.
“Luca… no… You can’t leave me. I need you… Leo needs you! You can’t…die...” I pleaded though the words drove a stake through my heart and all I could do was continue to hold her tightly as I mourned.
Jem stayed frozen where he was, the poor golden Vulpix scared out of his young mind after watching someone get executed, and then watching his mother, who he thought was the most powerful person in the world, get thrown aside like an old chew toy.
Lady weakly managed to stand a few moments after Darkrai left, and as she looked around she saw Leo and I bent over Luca's now lifeless body. Knowing where she was needed most she turned back to her son to see him visibly shaking. Slowly she went to the pup to comfort him, knowing there was nothing she could do for either me or Leo.
After a minute of watching Leo and I cry over Luca, Lisa cautiously came over to sit beside me. I don't know if she was trying to tell me she understood how I felt, or if she was trying to get me to accept my loss and carry Luca back to town, but she nosed my elbow lightly which got me to look sadly over at her.
My mind had been racing through the whole ordeal. Ever since I saw Luca standing in front of me I kept trying to think of something that would help the situation... but nothing would, and it was painfully obvious. If my back pack had been next to me I'd have been using every bottle and vial of medicine I could, but neither I nor Leo wanted to leave Luca alone to get the bag. However, for some odd reason, as I met Lisa's apologetic gaze a flash of inspiration hit me.
My wet eyes widened and I quickly looked back to Luca, whose head rested against my arm. Gently I laid her flat on the ground and ignored her blood on my arm from the burn on her back. I slipped my hand out from under hers and from her waist to look at my palms for a moment as I tried to focus as she had once taught me…
It was a desperate idea, but even if it was a long shot I had to try, though I also had a good idea of what the consequences would be if I actually succeeded… As I felt what I had so many times before when charging an aura sphere I carefully hovered one hand over Luca’s chest and the other over her belly. Leo sadly watched me, wondering what I was doing until a blue haze appeared between my hands and Luca’s body. After that he immediately realized what was happening and eagerly moved to help me.
“NO! Stay back!” I snapped as I saw him trying to assist me.
“But dad…” He replied simply after recoiling quickly.
“Leo, if this works you’ll have your mother back. Please promise me you’ll take care of her… She’ll be mad at me, and maybe you, for a while, but it’ll pass. I need you to promise me that you’ll take care of her, and never let her blame herself for this! Do you understand me!?” I said firmly as I looked up from my hands, and of course hearing me scared my son even further out of his mind. In his whole life I’d never acted like this towards him and he had to wonder why I wouldn’t let him help and why I was making him promise these strange things. It hit him a short time later… I didn’t intend to live through this ordeal… He saw the sad and pleading look in my eyes through the stern appearance of my face and his eyes welled with tears once again. Despite his effort not to, his tears started to fall once again, realizing that however this turned out, he would only have one of his parents.
“I… I promise dad!” He managed to sniffle through his tears as he rubbed his eyes to try clearing the tears from them.
Even before I heard his response I knew he would do everything in his power to honor my request, and with his response I turned my attention back to Luca as I started forcing more of my energy into my efforts.
My desperate ploy was starting to work and luckily, much better than I expected. I watched as Luca’s wounds began to heal all at once, though slowly at first, the gashes on her arms slowly lost the infection of ghostly energy and began to close as the burn to her foot also started to regenerate. Unseen to our eyes both her internal injuries and the large circular burn on her back also began to mend themselves, miraculously expelling any debris from the ground she was laying on.
Her soft fur then began to grow back where it had been lost and even the blood that had stained her coat faded as I continued. However, as I watched with a joyous heart I was finding it harder and harder to stay awake… let alone, sharp pains had started to form on various parts of my body causing me to wince and clench my jaw in an attempt to ignore it.
Once a pain formed it steadily became worse, it was as if someone were slowly but steadily driving a sword through the point and it seemed to coincide with the wounds I’d seen on Luca, though no visible wounds actually appeared on my body. My forearms soon felt like they were being slashed apart and my back began to burn as if it had been hit with a fire blast. A short time after the pains became noticeable I started to sweat and pant lightly in exertion, but I kept my will, and continued, determined to hold on long enough to revive my love...
A few moments later my feet started to grow cold and numb, which was actually a relief as I could no longer feel the burning of my left foot nor the small stabbing pains along the rest of my legs when the feeling spread. Inch by inch the numbness continued to creep up my body, spreading quickly through my chest and arms and making me shiver as it suddenly seemed 30 degrees colder.
For some reason Leo couldn’t tear his gaze from me, and I simply wished he would have watched the much happier sight of his mother healing rather than watching the life slowly drain from me. Meanwhile Lisa sat there, dumbfounded, and not knowing exactly what to make of my efforts until I seemed to be fatigued and in pain. At my first wince of pain she moved towards me but, realized what was happening and froze as I looked to her.
“It’s alright Lisa, I’m fine. You’re free to go wherever you want after this, have Leo break your ball if you’d like to go free.” I said to her after turning my head upon seeing her move through the corner of my eye. She whimpered in response and seemed to debate stopping me, not wanting to loose the one person who had shown her so much kindness and taken her in after she was content to simply waste away with the passing of her potential mate.
About when I turned from Lisa back to Luca she began to regain her strength. With a deep gasp she filled her now healed lungs, and her chest expanded normally as her ribs had mended perfectly with the energy I provided. After that gasp she started to breathe normally and deeply through her mouth, though she still seemed to be unconscious and unresponsive.
Feeling my ordeal was nearing its end I took one final chance to look over to Leo who was fighting his tears valiantly and upon hearing his mother gasp had turned his eyes to her.
“Leo, don’t forget your promise to me… And remember, I love you… Never forget that, alright…?” I continued, inadvertently using a loving tone my own father would have with me. At this Leo looked back up to me and as he met my gaze he couldn’t help but break down again.
“I love you too dad!” He said through his renewed sobs in a frantic attempt to make sure I knew how he felt before I left him.
Leo’s outburst, however, now alerted Lady to the activities behind her. She had been trying to comfort Jem until then, but with what she heard she spun quickly to see what was happening. Fear shot through her as she panicked and bolted towards me with a bark telling me to stop. I’m not sure if I even heard her bark but Lisa quickly blocked Lady’s path with a growl and a charge in her fur.
“Move! He can’t do this!!” Lady growled desperately in heartbreak at Lisa as she rushed towards her fellow canine, ready to attack.
“No… it’s too late.” Lisa replied and Lady saw the tears in Lisa’s own eyes. That mutual gaze froze the fox in her tracks and she looked up at me in disbelief, unable to grasp the fact that she was about to loose me forever… Something she knew would happen eventually with her 1000 year lifespan, but she hadn’t wanted it to happen for another 50-100 years.
I weakly looked back to Lady when I saw Lisa move, and the heartbroken fox now stared at me, knowing I would never forgive her if she stopped me.
“Lady? Take care of Luca and Leo for me…” I said, to which her tears started rolling as she nodded and calmly walked up to me as Lisa moved aside to let her. She gently gave me a lick on the cheek, followed by another small one on my lips.
I knew what she wanted, just one more kiss for all we’d shared in the past, and though I was unable to move my arms now, which were actually resting on Luca’s body as they continued to glow, I parted my lips to let Lady do the work. She immediately pressed her warm muzzle to me and kissed me deeply as she and I both shed our tears.
Finally, as she pulled away to softly nuzzle my neck I slowly lost the feeling in my lips and the warmth she provided turned to bitter cold as she took a step back. A small groan from Luca tore my eyes from Lady to look down at my mate. Slowly and very weakly she opened her eyes, parting them just enough for me to see the bright red irises I knew and loved. A moment later her head raised slightly to let her eyes focus on me though she was still completely disoriented.
I simply gazed back at her, meeting her seemingly confused gaze for my final moments, wanting her beautiful face to be the last thing I ever saw. And just like that it was done... My energy ran dry and the blue glow faded from my hands. I felt cold, and extremely tired, yet I wanted to get just three more words out... but all I could manage was to mouth "I love you..." to Luca as I fell limp across her lap and blacked out, silently and peacefully reserved to my fate…
“No!!!” I gasped desperately as I watched Felix start to fall over me. With that gasp I suddenly realized I could move again and in a flash I sat bolt upright to catch Felix.
“No! You can’t do this! You can’t bring me back and leave me…!” I yelled at him as sadness and anger once again overtook me, bringing tears to my eyes. I shook the human in my arms but his eyes remained shut and his breathing still, even as I doubled over him to weep softly and clutch his cold frame to my chest.
“Mom…?” I suddenly heard Leo’s voice say sadly and lovingly, but at that same time something inside me snapped…
I nuzzled my nose to Felix once more, but as my son’s voice met my ears I opened my eyes and my mind cleared. Slowly I raised my head and turned towards Leo and saw him both in normal and aura sight.
It was a strange sensation running through me, and I could only feel a calm empty fury in my chest. Leo’s own gaze went blank as he saw my eyes glowing blue, but before he could say anything else I carefully slipped out from under my mate and stood to walk down the path in the direction Darkrai had left.
“M-mom…? Where are you…?” I heard Leo continue as he remained where he sat but turned to watch me. However, I found couldn’t reply, and instead used extreme speed to escape him and everyone else so I could catch up with my target...
"No!! Luca, stop!" Lady howled as mom left without a word. I'd never seen her cry like she was, but then again... I understood. When Lady yelled after my mother I suddenly realized what she intended to do, and I fearfully turned back to Lady.
"What do we do!?" I asked in despair, having been enlightened to late to stop my mother.
"Let’s go." Lady replied quickly and started to walk in the direction mom had gone.
"But what about... dad...?" I had to ask with a heavy heart as I looked down at him lying there peacefully, which also seemed to remind Lady of Jem.
"Come here sweetie." I heard her say soothingly to Jem, which got him to come closer though so timidly he didn't seem like the same person.
"I need you to stay here and protect Felix. We'll be back soon hun, just stay here and don't let anything happen to your uncle." Lady told the scared Vulpix and he simply nodded skittishly. With that Lady spun to me and locked our gazes.
"Leo, we have to go after her. We'll come back, I promise... you..." She said firmly and almost pleadingly, something I hadn’t really expected, but as she finished a loud explosion sounded in the distance.
Hearing the explosion I spun to see a pillar of smoke rising in the distance. Knowing I had little choice I stood up and sniffed as I wiped my eyes. Lady and Lisa quickly walked around to me and we moved out to follow my mother. However, as we started running I couldn't resist the urge to look back at my dad once more, but when I forced my eyes forward again I had to rub the tears from them a second time. Jem had gone to dad's side and sniffed at him for a moment before starting to nose at his hand then lick softly at his cheek to try waking him...
In a few seconds dad and Jem were out of sight and the three of us were running down the road towards the large pillar of smoke. We had a long distance to cover and I had to wonder how mom had managed the run so far so fast. And yet, for some odd reason I wasn't overly concerned about my mother... Lady was in a panic and Lisa just seemed blank, but I simply had a feeling that mom was alright, despite the smaller explosions we heard as we ran...
After I left Leo and Felix I bolted down the path towards Darkrai and the human he arrived with. Of course I was no longer myself and I actually have no complete personal memory of this experience, only parts... (But I'm telling my part anyway. ^^)
My paws, including my feet, began to emanate blue energy that behaved as a flame. My eyes glowed a bright blue and I could somehow see far beyond what I normally could in wave sight.
Still moving with extreme speed I ran towards a large helicopter idling in a field. I could see Darkrai and the human simply strolling up to it and as it powered up then lifted off the ground I materialized about thirty yards away.
My presence was felt only by Darkrai, but as I raised my paws above my head and charged a focus blast, several of the humans noticed me. Finally, and without regard for those wretched criminals who caused so much pain to befall my family, I fired my attack...
A series of small explosions followed my attack on its path through the machine, but as the fuel tanks ruptured, the entire field was engulfed in an enormous fireball. Still I stood firmly in place as the flames enshrouded me, but I was neither burned nor felt the heat as an invisible spherical shield instinctually arose without a command from me.
It was a gruesome scene after that explosion. I watched solemnly as several of the human's aura's faded from existence, leaving only broken shells bleeding out in the inferno. However, in my half insane state of mind, all I could think was that this quick death was too good for the crooks.
An instant after the flames from the blast subsided my shield flashed a bright blue as a second focus blast attack impacted it. Calmly I turned my head to stare at Darkrai, though I had known he was there the whole time. He had melded with the shadow of the helicopter to protect himself, and there was nothing he could do to protect his precious pawns…
“You wretched Lucario! I thought I killed you!” He yelled angrily as he summoned every ounce of power he had, reforming some of his black aura from before, but without sleeping victims writhing through nightmares he couldn’t summon the strength he neglected to use when he was toying with me earlier.
Without a word and without hesitation I started our fight once again. In the blink of an eye I vanished even from Darkrai’s sight with an extreme speed, then flew at him from his right to deliver a harsh punch with a force palm charged in my paw. Darkrai saw it coming a split second before my fist connected with his head, knocking him to the ground as I continued and snarled while bringing my foot down where his chest was.
With great surprise that I had managed to knock him down Darkrai managed to roll out from under my foot before it dug a small crater through the dirt with yet another force palm. In an effort to fight back he swept a clawed hand at my foot, knocking it out from under me, or so he thought. With a grace I never knew I had I seemed to half float and flipped forwards over top of him.
As I flew, two aura spheres flashed into existence in my outstretched paws and as I landed I spun and fired them at Darkrai. The ground once again exploded as I missed, with him melding into the shadows and appearing elsewhere, but I wasn’t fooled. In an instant I used extreme speed to reach him in the burning vehicle wreckage and once again I thrust a fist at him. This time he managed to defend and with a shadow claw he blocked my punch.
“Where did you find this power!?” He growled as he strained to push me back through the hit. I still remained silent as I broke the stalemate by forfeiting the hit and pushing off his dark energy to move backwards. This time however Darkrai wasn’t willing to stand around while I attacked. He charged a hyper beam in a flash and fired at me, but as I simply stood there the beam refracted into many smaller, jagged arcs of orange energy when it flashed against my shield, which I was unconsciously learning how to use, and this time summoned with an outstretched arm.
With another yell I rushed him with a feral snarl. I batted away the hand that fired the hyper beam and grabbed the other hand as he brought it forth to hit me with a charge beam. As I touched him though he roared in pain, simply my touch hurt the dark type pokemon with my aura currently burning from my paws.
Again without a moment’s hesitation I spun and threw the 'god of nightmare' further into the helicopters hull, sending him crashing through a wall and into the destroyed cockpit. Not that I actually thought of the helpful aspects of my actions, but I charged a massive water pulse over my head and fired it at the hole Darkrai had made in the wall before turning my head with bared teeth and using extreme speed to move once again.
With another growl I raced towards Darkrai with my claws bared and glowing from a metal claw attack. As I locked claws with another of Darkrai's shadow claws my water pulse erupted from the cockpit, raining a cool drizzle over us and extinguishing the large fires closer to the impact sight.
In a flash Darkrai swung at me with his free hand, starting a blindingly fast clash as I began blocking his hits with just one paw. Once again I ended the clash, this time with a strong force palm to Darkrai's chest followed by another with a sharp kick to the jaw and finally a third with my second paw in the middle of his chest again though with a greater power, sending him careening backwards, and into a large tree with a pained grunt and cough.
Darkrai stood once again and tried to gasp for breath after my hit, but I wouldn't allow him the break, and hit him dead center with a large dragon pulse. Once again he grunted at the hit but as the flames began to clear I saw him floating there in frustration and anger, but with an unphased and stern glare aimed at me.
"You little whelp..." He said angrily as his eyes suddenly went black, and with a snarl of his own he held out a hand to fire an astoundingly numerous volley of dark voids.
My reply was simply to cross my arms and out stretch them to summon my shield once again, but what I didn't notice was that as I summoned the shield I summoned more of this mysterious power and lifted myself off the ground to hover as Darkrai was.
The rain of energy balls soon ceased as Darkrai fired a dark pulse the size of a Rhydon at me. Again without effort, I kept my shield up, but with a slight movement from my arms I narrowed the shield and deflected the pulse by shaping the shield surface like a concave mirror.
As I deflected the pulse Darkrai stopped the attack and rushed me with the speed I had used before. As he thrust at me with a focus punch I simply floated to the side to avoid it and delivered a force palm charged chop to the back of his head. However, the Darkrai beside of me phased out of existence at the hit and the real one rushed me from behind with a second focus punch.
Undeterred I grabbed the glowing hand as it passed over my shoulder with yet another dodge and flipped the solid Darkrai over top of me and threw him to the ground as I continued to spin vertically once more and brought my foot down once again at him.
Darkrai managed to cross his arms and catch my foot as it hit its mark, and though my fiery aura must have burned, he held me fast and grinned as he summoned an over powered will-o-wisp to engulf me. He then released me to escape to a safe distance but as he started to move I gave a short shout as I spread my arms to scatter the flames from me, leaving me unscathed.
"Why won't you die!?" Darkrai snarled as he saw my display before I turned to face him, finding a volley of focus blasts being launched at me.
As the first blast reached me I batted it away as it were nothing more than a fly. The overcharged ball of energy arced around to explode against the ground behind me as I began to float towards Darkrai.
"You, worthless, bitch! You're, nothing, compared to, me! This, power, of, yours, will, run, out, eventualah..!" He spoke, pausing to fire the blasts as fast as he could with as much energy as he could muster, but I only inched closer continually batting each ball away as easily as the first. Finally, one got through, exploding in my chest as I came within arms reach of my opponent.
Unphased and unscathed I reached through the obscuring smoke to take hold of Darkrai's red collar and pull him close. My touch once again burned him and interrupted his rant, but I wasn't finished...
"My mate gave his life to save me... You took me from him, and now, him from me and my son... I will not allow you to continue breathing..." I spoke for the first time since entering my rage, and found my voice had been altered greatly. It was as if Felix and I were both speaking in a solemn tone at the same time.
A look of hatred tainted with fear crossed Darkrai's snarling face as I finished speaking and held my paw up next to our heads. I focused and found I still had power far greater than I had used so far. With the intensity of the sun a light blue ball of shining energy gathered around my paw. Without a second thought I punched Darkrai in the side of the head, knocking him quickly to the ground and sliding him through the dirt where he coughed violently in pain and weakly tried to prop himself up to watch for another attack.
I however, had started a reaction I couldn't stop. Unknown to me, both my paws had started to glow, which was why Darkrai had been hurt so much, and he now sported a paw shaped burn on his collar from the fighting type energy I was summoning.
I started to hover once again as I looked at my left paw and flexed it curiously. I thought perhaps this power would end us both, and if I was lucky... I'd find Felix waiting for me on the other side. But before that happy thought could linger Darkrai managed to stand. Though he was panting, and actually bleeding from my paw mark, he began summoning the depths of his own energy.
As bright as my paws gleamed, his grew black, and as my shining blue stare met his black pools we knew this was the end of our fight...
With that mutual gaze I saw all the torment team Darkrai had caused me and my family, and as I snarled a tear rolled from my eye, bringing the hatred and rage I felt to double the intensity of my light. Finally, with one last growling yell, I lifted my paws then brought them down to fire.
Almost in unison Darkrai mirrored my actions, meeting my beam of aura with his own. The two met with a flash, and for a moment Darkrai grinned in triumph, but with a sad yell from me as I shook the tears from my eye, my aura attack quickly overshadowed his.
Fear flashed in Darkrai's eye one final time as I easily tore through his beam, and in the blink of an eye he disappeared... fading from existence in the white flash with only a stifled plea for mercy.
Panting hard my rage began to subside. Slowly I floated back to the ground as the light and visible flames of aura around my paws grew dim and the blue glow in my eyes faded. As my feet touched the ground I continued to fall until I was kneeling on all fours, and as my mind returned, dwelling only on loosing Felix, I started to cry.
"Why...? Why did he do this...?" I wept to myself.
After realizing I still wanted to be with Felix and coming back to either get some closure, or fix things, I had lost him... forever...
"Mom!?" I suddenly heard my son yell in the distance, but with my heart broken I could do little more than sit on my legs and double over to fight the small bit of nausea I had.
Pieces of the large helicopter were scattered everywhere, with one of the enormous blades sticking straight up in the field a short distance away from me. As I sat there with my eyes closed Leo came around the main hull, frantically looking and calling for me. Soon enough Lisa came around the other side of the twisted metal hull with her nose to the ground, and finally, Lady came around searching closer to the still flaming pieces, once again with her nose to the ground.
Leo was the first to spot me, and he couldn't reach me fast enough after pausing to make sure he wasn't seeing things. As he came closer though he slowed and stayed silent until hesitantly, he put a hand on my shoulder and moved to kneel beside me.
"Mom...?" He said softly, and seemed to suppress some kind of fear that I wasn’t myself. That is until he saw that I was crying softly.
"I'm sorry Leo... I never... I never meant for this to happen..." I replied through my tears, and tried to force them to stop. I wanted to be the strong mother my son needed but I couldn’t… it hurt too much…
"It's not your fault mom..." Leo answered comfortingly and at that I found the strength to stand up with him. All I wanted to do at that moment was cry, and unfortunately for my son, he was the only shoulder I had to cry on. So I softly put my arms around him, as if begging him not to leave me. Of course he returned the gesture and nestled his head under mine… He had grown a little in that short week…
As he returned my embrace I hugged him tight while my tears soaked into his head fur. After a short time it just wasn’t enough to hold him, and I began to rub his back in and effort to reassure myself he was really there. In response he snuggled closer to me and whimpered softly as his tears started to run anew.
“We missed you…” He managed to say though he stayed huddled to me.
“I missed you too… and I won’t leave you again sweetie… I promise.” I answered and hugged him tighter. Of course it was just about that time that I noticed we weren’t alone. Lady and Lisa had spotted Leo and I and calmly walked over to sit and let us mourn. Reluctantly I relaxed my embrace and slowly let Leo go. When he stepped back from me he tried to wipe his tears quickly so no one would see his sorrow. I wasn’t as subtle and slowly wiped the wet orbs from my saturated cheek fur.
“Hello Lady…” I said after a long sad sigh to calm my nerves and give me the strength I needed for what I knew would be coming. As I spoke to her she got up and walked closer, and when she was near enough she jumped up to put her front paws on me and stand on her hind legs. A little surprised I caught her quickly where she immediately nuzzled to me just under my chest.
“I told you… Call me mom.” She said sadly yet happily at the same time before she slid off of me to end our embrace.
“I can’t now… I met my actual mother.” I tried to reply with strength, which Lady’s comment had helped me do. As I spoke I smiled lightly and knelt to her level when she sat down, where I quickly embraced her tightly by throwing my arms around her neck.
“I’m sorry Lady… I didn’t want this…” I finally said as I lost most of the composure I’d had before, and felt my tears swelling again.
"I know sweetie. I know..." Lady replied and nuzzled to me comfortingly for a moment before speaking again. "Come on. Let’s get out of this place." She continued and moved softly to get me to release her.
Reluctantly I let her go and stood up once again as my heart ached. Still I knew we had to go back... I couldn't just leave my mate in the middle of the road...