My first story.Please Review and comment on my mistakes so I can fix 'em!It starts out a bit short and bad on the earlier chapters, but rewrites for them are being done as I write this. So, if you don't get too hooked by them, please read on, and give this a chance.Reviews are very much welcome. But, if It's gonna be a bad one, please explain what went off so I can work on it. If It's just like 'Hey your bad I dun liek you 111eleven', then please refrain from reviewing.Anyways, enjoy.Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.Comments, questions, or anything like that? I can be reached by pressing that 'contact' next to my penname and sending me an email.
=== STARTING THE SEARCH
It was dark, but that was nothing unusual in the Midnight World. Silence reigned in a large, round hall. It's grey walls were lit by a bluish light that covered the whole room. Several Pokémon were gathered on that hall around a long table; the eighteen members of the Midnight Voices were present there. In the farthest edge of the room, an imposing silhouette presided the meeting.
"And that is our situation," Number I said. "XV has resigned and escaped. From now on, all of our efforts should go towards his capture and recovery. If he fails to comply, you may resort to violence...as long as he is not killed in the process."
"What?!" VII yelled from his seat. "You must be crayzee, Uno!"
"The accent guy's right," the words came from a Gallade that was sitting with a 'V' band around his left forearm. "He just jumped from our dimension to the actual world. How are we even supposed to know where he is?"
"Simple," I answered. "It's his first time traveling through dimensions, and he's only ever been to the northernmost regions. I do believe it is logical to search the city of Lizean first, seeing how it is the last place he was at. If you fail to find him there, search the nearby towns and settlements. Frost could be a good place to search, too. I don't think I need to tell you how important Professor D'Wilde must consider him to be in order to have us perform a massive search for him, so get to work."
The hall was filled with the voices of Pokémon talking, and it was almost impossible to hear anything through all the noise that was being made.
"Alright!" a Nidoking with a 'IV' on a fist tattooed on both his arms shouted excitedly. "I hope he refuses to come back! That way I can mash him senseless! Here I come, runt!" He rushed out of the hall, laughing loudly.
"Let's have a go at it, then," III said calmly as they all got up from their places. He looked at V. "It's time we take action."
""Right..." V answered as they walked out of the hall. "It's hard to believe the kid would leave. Why would any of us want to?"
"Sometimes it's hard to do what we do," III replied. "I don't know if you remember, but we ourselves used to feel bad about the killing. It takes guts to do it when you are the kind of Pokémon he is."
"'Used to'?" V asked. "I still regret it."
"Our enemies defy our honor," III replied. "And because of that, they must die. Innocents, however, have no blame, and I'll be damned the day I harm one."
"I wonder where XV went, though. It's his first time alone out there."
"He'll be fine," the Lucario said. "If he remembers anything I've taught him, he'll make it. That's bad, though. It means getting him back will only be harder."
"As if the Lizean resistance wasn't giving us enough trouble already... One of our guards got attacked yesterday."
"Let me guess," III answered. "Daisa and Hagen stole from us again."
"Damn guys have been giving us nothing but trouble. I wish I knew where they're hiding so we could put them down at last."
They reached the Spatial Gate and stepped into it.
"Get us to Lizean, huh?" V said as they were both enveloped by a bright light and disappeared from the place.
00 The Lizean resistance...were they heroes? Or were they just a gang of crazy boys trying to challenge a new authority? I once asked a friend about it; her thoughts were the latter. And she was a part of them. 00
=== NEW HOME, NEW LIFE
XV was once again surrounded in a vast and infinite darkness, just like he was whenever the voice in his dreams talked to him.
"Come on, now..." the same voice from his dreams called him. "With the ways in which they have changed your body, I'm sure you can survive a fall like this."
"It's not easy..." XV answered. "Besides, what do you want from me? Why can't you leave me alone? How do you even know me?
"I'm always there," the voice answered. "I've known you for your whole life, and I'm always there..."
"What? Have you been stalking me or something? What are you, some revenge-thirsty guy that lost his family to us?"
"I am, indeed, thirsty for revenge," the voice responded, "but I prefer to call myself an 'instrument of justice,' which is what you are. You will assist me in my journey for revenge."
"I won't!" XV answered. "I'm no one's tool! Stay away from me!"
"It's time to wake up. You can't do it by yourself, it seems, but don't worry. Someone will help you. And remember, little one... I'm always there..."
"Hey!" The scream broke the darkness of the dream, pulling XV towards reality. "Hey, li'l one! Get up! Get up, I tell ya!"
"Huh?" XV opened his eyes, being suddenly blinded by a bright light. He came to his senses and realized it was sunlight.
"Hey! Come on!"
XV was becoming more aware with every passing second. He felt something rough rustling under him. He was lying on grass... Grass? That wasn't right. Where was the snow? Why was the sun shining so brightly on him? Puzzled by where he was, he decided to get up. He was in a vast lush, green meadow, several deep red flowers were in bloom around the field. The sky was a clear blue, much different from Lizean's grey one, and the sun was shining down on him. This was the first time he had been in a place like this.
"Well, It's about time ya woke up!" the voice came from behind him. "For a moment I thought I was talkin' to a dead body!"
XV turned around to see that the one talking to him was a Pikachu.
"Where... Am I?" XV asked, as anyone would have if they found themselves in an entirely unknown place.
"'Where am I?'" the Pikachu mimicked. "You're in Ruby Plains, about a week's walk from Sol. What kind of question is that, anyway? Ah, never mind. What's a little guy like you doin' out here? I thought I was the only Electric Pokémon within miles!"
"I fell," XV answered, not realizing how stupid his reply was until a moment later: How could he have fallen if there wasn't a single tall spot in sight? He just wanted to get that conversation done with and walk away as far as he could. When he said he wanted happiness, he didn't imagine a place like this. But coming to think of it, the ambiance seemed nicer than that of the North region.
"You fell?" the Pikachu asked, puzzled as he looked around. "From where? Well, doesn't matter. Let's just get you out of here before officer Roserade or some of his goons come and grill us for trespassin' into private property. Let's go, huh?" He took off towards some woods in the distance. XV decided to follow; it was better to follow a stranger for a while than to be caught by the law and get into trouble. He tried to remain as silent as possible, however.
"So, what's your name, tyke?" the Pikachu asked as they both walked through the woods, the strong sunlight filtering through the treetops and making small flakes of light cover the ground.
"It's... XV," XV said, speaking as low as possible. "And I'm no tyke. I'm two, I'll have you know."
"Really?" the Pikachu replied in awkward surprise. "Well, Fifteen's a funny name. And sorry, I had no idea you were that old. You just seem-"
"Baby-like?" XV finished he sentence. The fact he was often mistaken for a baby annoyed him.
"No, I didn't mean that," the Pikachu said. "It's just it's weird, seein' a Pichu your age... Either way, nice to meetcha, Fifteen. I'm Leon: Adventurer for Hire!"
"Adventurer for hire?" XV asked. "What kind of business is that?"
"What it sounds like," Leon answered. "Want something done? You hire me! Simple business. Pays out nicely, too!"
"Sounds exciting," XV said. "Well met, Leon."
They stopped in front of Leon's house. The Pikachu approached it and opened the door, letting XV have a look inside: It was a warm place, with a calm atmosphere. It was built of logs that were held together by solid tar. There was a table close to the door, and a fireplace at the end of the room, next to which were two beds with a window behind each.
"This is where I stay," Leon told the Pichu. "S`been nice talkin' to ya. D`ya know the way home from here?"
"Um... That's the problem," XV replied. "I have no home..."
"Uh-huh..." Leon didn't quite know what to say now. "So, no home, huh?"
"But I'll find one," XV answered as he turned and began to walk away.
"Nah, wait!" Leon reached out and grabbed the Pichu by the arm. XV reacted instinctively and tugged away, as he had been taught to whenever someone did that. After XV calmed down, Leon continued, "Listen, it's dangerous out there, and it's gettin' dark. You got no home, and I have two beds, so... well, you can stay here if you want. Some company to talk to is welcome, too."
"I...I don't want to give you trouble," XV responded, determined to go away; he wanted to avoid being seen. In fact, he felt amazed the Pikachu hadn't noticed the band on his forearm. "I'm fine, I just need to get to town from here and I'll find a place to stay."
"Hey, it's no trouble at all," Leon told him as he held the door open. "Come on in, kid. Welcome to your new home."
"Thanks, I guess," XV answered in a whisper as he walked, still undecided, into the house and headed for one of the beds. "I can stay in this one, right?"
"Any one ya like," Leon answered. "It's no prob."
"Okay, then," XV said, still unsure of what he was doing as he climbed into one of the beds and lied down. "Good night, I guess..."
Later that night...
Night had fully fallen in Ruby Plains now. Silence filled the air as beams of moonlight filtered through the windows, falling right on the beds. Leon wasn't aware of this, as he was asleep, but XV was wide awake. He couldn't sleep thinking on what was going to happen to him now.
'Man...' he thought. "What did I get myself into? I left because I wanted happiness... and because what I was doing wasn't right, but I'm not so sure that was the right thing to anymore. No, what am I saying? Anyways... this Leon character seems pretty open just taking me in like that... I can't trust him, though. Ah, I don't know what to do...'
**You could sleep, you know?** the voice from his dreams was heard again. XV had grown tired of how it seemed to speak to him whenever he wasn't in the mood for it.
'Ah, you again...' XV thought. 'Please, please leave me be. It's because of you that I even considered quitting in the first place. Carmine only left it clear.'
**You did the right thing. You didn't just sit and watch as the others did wrong. You chose to leave, and believe it or not, that is a huge setback to their plans.**
'A 'setback'? I wasn't important to them at all. How is me quitting going to change anything?'
**All answers come in due time, after all, you and I are both instruments of justice. And we have a mission to accomplish.**
'Again with that... Just leave me alone, okay?' XV decided to try out what the voice had just told him and sleep, even if it seemed like something so hard to do. He felt amazed by how quickly sleep was catching up to him now, feeling that soft, pleasant feeling of closing one's eyes and drifting off into the land of dreams...
00 That's how he met Leon. Quite a weird one, from what I've heard. I guess he liked adventures. What better way to make a living than to do something you like? 00
The next morning...
"Rise and shine, Fifteen!" Leon's voice broke through XV's dreams, slowly bringing him back to reality.
"Ugh... Just...five mo...e...i...utes..." XV muttered from his bed.
"C'mon!" Leon grabbed XV and shook him, not realizing that by doing this, he was only rocking the Pichu back into sleep. "I have to get to town early if I wanna get some work, but I dun' wanna go 'til I'm sure you're awake, so gettap!"
"O...kay..." XV replied as he got up, still more present in his dreams than in the actual world.
"Okay, you're up," Leon told him. "Now let's get something to eat so I can get to business."
A few minutes later they were sitting at the small table by the entrance. A large apple rested on a plate in front of XV, but he wasn't taking one bite. His attention was focused on Leon; he wanted to know how safe it was to stay with this stranger.
"I'll be damned!" Leon said, looking at a piece of paper. "Says here them Midnight Voices guys are going around messing towns up! No real casualties so far, though. Seems they've got more trouble handling the Lizean resistance than everyone thought... What are they up to, anyways?"
'Oh, man...' XV thought as he hid the band without Leon noticing and prayed that he wouldn't see the mark on his arm, unlikely as the latter was. "Well, they're a bad bunch," he said. "Maybe they just feel like causing trouble."
"Yeah, you're probably right." Leon got up. "Anyways, I gotta go to work now. Try to stay here, okay? I dun' want ya gettin' lost."
"Okay," XV answered. "How long are you gonna be out?"
"What time the job might take!" Leon replied. "Could be an hour, could be the whole day..."
"Fine, I'll see you later then," XV answered in a dull tone. What was he going to do if Leon spent the whole day out, leaving him alone and bored there?
"...Unless ya wanna tag along?" Leon's request came as a bit of a surprise to XV.
"Um... Sure, I guess,"
"Awrite! So let's go, then!" Leon held the door open. Once XV was out of the cabin, he closed it and walked towards town, followed by the little Pichu. The grass in the fields was swaying softly with the gentle breeze that was blowing that day. The sun was, once again, incredibly bright; it made XV's eyes hurt, as he was not used to such strong light. Once in town, they were strolling down the road. Almost immediately, they were approached by a Weepinbell.
"On, Leon!" the Weepinbell said as she approached the two. "Thank goodness I've found you!... And who is this?" She asked, looking at XV, who hid behind the Pikachu. "He's adorable!"
"His name's Fifteen," Leon answered. "Kid's an orphan, I think. Took him in yesterday... And he's here to help me on the job today!"
"Ah, yes, the job!" the Weepinbell said in surprise, remembering why she had approached them in the first place. "That reminds me, Leon, I have work for you today!"
"Name it, missy!" Leon said enthusiastically, raising his hand in excitement. "You know I can do anything!"
"Good! Listen, some Carnivine fiend took my money and headed into the woods. All my savings are there! Can you please, please, get it back? You know some of it would be yours..."
"On it!" Leon called back as he sprinted off into the woods, followed by a very surprised XV.
"Leon!" XV called at the Pikachu as he hurriedly sprinted after him. He couldn't quite grasp his personality. He was hasty and upbeat; the closest he had ever met to him was Carmine. Come to think of it, he did remind him of his Plusle friend... "Leon, wait fo- -Whoa!" He let out a yelp as he tripped on a root on the road.
"C'mon! Show some excitement!" Leon told the Pichu, walking back to where he had just tripped to help him up. "Life's a blessing, boy! And y'have to show you are alive!"
"Right..." XV replied as he got up. 'So optimistic and enthusiastic... I wonder what makes him be like that?' he thought as he followed after Leon.
It didn't take long before they reached the forest. And it was only a few steps before they found the one that would be their target: a Carnivine was hanging from a few branches with a bag dangling from one of its roots.
"Yo!" Leon called out to the Carnivine, which scrambled further into the woods the moment it saw him. "Well," he looked at XV. "That's our guy. What does a Carnivine want money for, anyway? It's not like what they eat can be bought...or can it?" He shivered at the thought. "Let's just get him."
They headed in after it, going deeper and deeper until XV was no longer sure he could see the way back. He looked ahead and realized something that made him feel a lot less safe: Leon wasn't there.
"Hey..." he heard the voice coming from above him. "How nice of your friend to have left me something so tasty to eat..."
"Huh?" XV looked everywhere for the source of the voice, but couldn't see a thing. He had dealt with situations like this before, but the difference was he had always had the company of someone else while he did so. And he had to admit he was feeling quite scared right now. Just when he thought whoever said those words before was gone, he felt a drop of something fall on his arm. It was...sap? He looked up and realized that's the one spot he hadn't thought to look in. And it was too late. The plant fell on him and entangled him. He struggled to break free, but nothing he tried helped. That's when he remembered what he could do. Only hoping that no one else was around to see him, he changed his hands into claws and slashed at the vines. They fell to the floor, setting him free, and making the Carnivine flinch.
"What?!" He stared at the Pichu and the unnaturally large claws he had instead of hands. "What the hell are you?!"
XV didn't answer and just stood there, not sure whether attacking like that had been a smart thing to do. He changed the claws back into his hands and took a few steps back, scared that he had only enraged his attacker even more. And he was right.
Before he could react, the Carnivine had flung itself at him, it's gigantic maw open wide. XV stepped back as much as he could, and once the Carnivine was just a few inches away from him, he extended his arms, closed his eyes, and let out a panicked scream, not realizing that he had launched a Flamethrower attack while doing so. The Carnivine fell charred in front of him.
"I'm right here, Fifteen!" Leon called as he hurried back to where XV was. He arrived to catch sight of something that he couldn't believe: The Pichu was standing, still shivering, in front of the burnt and blackened remains of what he could only assume was the Carnivine he was chasing after. "Whoa..." He walked closer, then looked at the Carnivine, then at XV, then back at the Carnivine. "You did this? How the heck didja burn this sumbitch so bad? It looks like it was hit by an Arcanine or Blaziken!"
"I...don't know," XV answered with another lie. "I just did!"
"Kid," Leon replied, "you're full of surprises." He searched the burnt remains and found the money bag. "C'mon. Let's go give this back."
That night, back at Leon's house...
"Well," Leon said as he flung an apple at XV. "We worked an honest day, so we get an honest pay." He took a bite of another apple he was holding, then proceeded. "Y'know, if ya torched that guy, and that's NOTHING common among our kind...maybe there's other stuff you can do!"
XV didn't answer. He knew what he could do all too well. He also knew how most reacted to it, especially the more drastic changes like the claws, which he disliked to use for the same reason: They reacted with either fear or by calling him a 'freak'.
"We could be SO rich...partner," Leon told him XV, who was once again surprised. "That's right. From now on, I have a partner in this business: You!"
"So get rest, champ!" Leon replied. "We're getting up early tomorrow!"
=== THE LAST DAY
Days flew by quickly as XV and Leon made a living off helping the Pokémon of Ruby Plains solve their problems. This was a new experience for XV: For the first time, he wasn't forced to act on the commands of a superior or hurt others that had nothing to do with his job. In fact, Leon wouldn't make him go out to work if he didn't want to. Over those days, he had grown to trust Leon more than he had anyone before, and for once, it looked like he was finally starting to be happy, but he wasn't aware of the violent searches the Midnight Voices were conducting for him. Three months passed without him even realizing it. And, as he and Leon went out to do business, he became curious of one thing: Leon was the only one in Ruby Plains, and apparently in a very long radius, who did the kind of business he did. So one night, he decided to ask.
"Hey, Leon," XV asked as he and Leon were heading back home through the forest after a long day of work.
"Yeah? Wassup, pal?" Leon answered.
"I've been meaning to ask..."
"Yeah? What's on your mind?"
"How come you work as an adventurer for hire? I mean, I've never seen anyone else around here do what you do..."
"Ah, that story..." The Pikachu replied in a bored tone. "I guess someone was bound to get curious about it... Here." He opened the door to his cabin and walked in behind XV, then sat at the table. XV sat across from him.
"Well... I'm from a town way too far away from here. It's called Blitzheim. Plenty of Electric- types there. Anyways, I was into legends and history...and I had a talent for getting into trouble. One day, I heard about heroes, brave and strong adventurers who would go around helping others in trouble. I liked the idea. After a few days of thinking it over, I made up my mind: I'd be a Hero. My old man went nuts when I told him." Leon chuckled. "He was all 'Think about your life!' 'Screw it,' I told him, 'you're rarely around.' So I left and headed off to Sol, a bit to the south. There, I discovered there that I was quite good and skilled at fighting and decided to get into the real Hero life. After about a week of helping other Pokémon get out of trouble, I arrived here. After helping some poor Bellossom out, I was offered some money. That's when my eyes went ka-ching! I realized I could be an adventurer for a living! I'm pretty ashamed to say I ended up becoming a sellout. My ideals of becoming a hero died with that first payment."
"Wow..." XV sighed. "And, if you're ashamed of being a sellout, why don't you just leave this and go live the life you wanted?"
"And miss out on the money? Sorry, Fifteen. I guess I'm just too greedy... Ah," he sighed even deeper than XV. "Let's just...let's just get some sleep now."
"Well..." XV felt a lump in his throat. "I guess I should tell you something about myself too..." This was it. He was about to reveal who he was to the only one he felt he could trust. And if Leon wouldn't accept him, then no one else would. He knew a moment like this would come since he became Leon's friend, but he still hoped it wouldn't have. "You know how the Midnight Voices are going around, harassing others around towns and attacking innocents?"
"Yeah, I hate them."
"Well... That's because they're looking for me. I'm... I'm one of them. I am XV, and I was one of their leaders..."
"Wait, wait...wha?" Leon was stumped to hear this. That minuscule mouse was the source of all the suffering that the nearby towns had suffered? It seemed almost impossible that someone so little, adorable even, was part of something so evil. "You're...one of them?"
"That's why I have those powers I have," XV replied. "Genetic alteration..." He closed his eyes and looked down, waiting for the moment in which Leon would kick him out for being who he was, but the moment didn't come.
"Well, that's a surprise," Leon said in a low tone. "I guess there's no way to tell who someone is just by looking. But that's okay, I guess. We all have our dirty little secrets we want to hide."
"You're...not mad?" XV asked, surprised. "You don't hate me?"
"Why would I hate you?" Leon asked. "You're not a bad guy, squirt. I think ya've proven that over these three months. Now c'mon. Sleep well, 'cuz we've got a LONG day tomorrow."
"T-Thanks...Leon," XV was amazed; Leon was far more open minded than he had thought. For him to have accepted him like that was something that moved him. He climbed on his bed and quickly fell asleep.
00 We can trick someone for a long time. We can trick many for a short time. But we can't trick everyone all the time. There's nothing better than to get that weight off your chest, taking off that mask that you wore for such a long time...well, actually there is: To be accepted when you do so. 00
The next day...
Leon and XV were walking back to town carrying a lost Miracle Seed they had been asked to find - incredibly hard to do so because of its size. Today, XV had given his best to show he was, in Leon's words, a 'good guy.' He was incredibly happy to think he had finally been able to reveal who he was to his friend. All he kept thinking as he and Leon walked through the forest with the orange of the setting sun filtering through the trees and bathing them in a soothing light was that he was ready to start a new life away from the troubles he had been a part of. He and Leon had been talking about berries the whole day for some reason he couldn't quite remember anymore. It was simple, amiable chatter between two friends.
As they entered town, they noticed something was wrong. Where was everyone? There seemed to be a commotion further ahead. As they approached, XV noticed many of the homes were destroyed. That was not a good sign, and that's when he saw him: the grotesquely huge Nidoking with the 'IV' on his arm. He let out a surprised and anguished gasp when he saw him.
"Well, look who it is!" IV roared as he noticed them approaching. "It's the runaway tot! C'mere kid, we're goin' home!"
"No!" XV yelled back. "I'm through with you! Just go away and leave me alone!"
"Oh, you don't get it, ya tiny rat coward!" IV said in an overconfident tone. "We're goin' home, whether ya want it or not! For three months now, it's been nothing but searching for you! So, come back, or let me pummel some sense into you!"
"So, you're messing with my work source," Leon took a step forward, looking at the destroyed homes. "And you're threatening to hurt my friend? Bring it on!" He got into a fighting stance and sparked some electricity from his cheeks.
"Okay!" IV roared. "I was looking for a punching bag, and it looks like I found myself two of 'em!"
"Not here, though." Leon looked around. "I don't want to leave this place a bigger mess than you've already made it. Fifteen! Let's make a run for the woods!" Saying this, he took off with XV following close behind him.
"That's right! Run, wimps!" the Nidoking yelled as he chased after them. They came to a stop once they were deep enough into the woods.
"Okay," Leon said, turning around and getting ready to fight. "Let's go!" He leapt at IV and hit him in the face with Thunderpunch. This did nothing to the giant.
"That's all?!" IV said, unimpressed. He punched Leon with such strength that the smaller Pikachu was sent flying away. After this, he grabbed him and started slamming him against the ground and a tree trunk alternately. "C'mon! Put up a fight!"
"Leon!" XV screamed in anguish as he saw his friend get slammed without a chance of defending himself. He felt so powerless to help. That's when he felt a strange surge in his strength. "Leave him alone!" He launched himself at IV and head-butted him so strongly that he made IV drop Leon and stagger. He then charged against IV and tackled him, then grabbed him by the tail and flung him away.
IV looked in surprise at the small Pokémon that has just thrown him away so easily. The Pichu's body was irradiating a grayish aura, and his eyes were glowing red in rage. "No way..." he said, feeling fear for the first time in his life. "What are you, XV?"
"I'll tell you who I am," the Pichu said. His voice sounded like two Pokémon talking at the same time. "I'm XV. I come from Ruby Plains. And this is the second time you've ruined my life. Go away!" He grabbed the Nidoking by the tail once again and threw him away into the horizon, so far that IV's large frame vanished in the distance, yelling.
XV wasn't too sure of what had just happened, but he didn't stop to think about it. His attention was focused on his friend.
"Leon!" he called out to his friend, tears in his eyes as he ran towards him. The Pikachu was lying on the ground, almost unconscious. "Leon, stay with me!"
"Heh...I guess I ain't gonna make it..." Leon coughed out some blood.
"Hey, cheer up! It's my fault for underestimating that purple brute..."
"I'm so sorry, Leon!" XV cried. "I should have left last night. You wouldn't be suffering like this..."
"And you said you weren't a baby..." Leon answered faintly. "C'mon, don't cry! Even if I'm gone, you'll remember me. You were lucky enough to have gotten out of here alive, so get out there and live our life! Stop them tears! Go and live the dream, kid. Be a real hero, and don't sell out like I did. You just beat one of them Midnight guys. How hard can it be to take the others on? Now go on, and get them..." Saying this, he drew his last breath.
"Leon... You're right, Leon." XV stopped crying at once. "I'm gonna be a Hero. I'm gonna give them what they deserve. I'm gonna go and get them all, Leon! For you..."
He took one last look at what was left of his hometown, then took Leon's bag and headed off into the woods. Where would he go? He didn't know. But any place was better than staying where his friend had died. He wandered around the forest until he reached a road. The road towards the beginning of his adventure. More determined than ever, he set out on his journey...
00 The loss of a friend is something sad, isn't it? One moment of misery, one unfair twist of fate, and It's all over. I know how that feels. I lost almost everyone. But, in the end, life goes on, and we have to make the most of it. 00
=== FIRST ACT OF HEROISM
After two days of following the path he had been walking, XV arrived into a calm-looking town. Appearances can be misleading, however, as he discovered while walking into it.
"Riale," he read the sign that was hanging above the town's entrance. "Town of Train's Pride... So, this place has a train?"
The streets were bustling and filled with all kinds of Pokémon. To his right, he could see a Sentret peddling some goods, and to the left he saw a gathering of Murkrow scanning the area, as if looking for something. As he kept walking, he felt something crash into him and fell into the floor.
"Hey, watch it!" he said as he got up.
"No time, mouse boy!" a Buneary called back at him as she ran away.
"Hey, wait!" XV called her, but she didn't stop. "What's the rush? Hey!" He ran after her. He followed her through the crowded, bustling streets. They came to a stop when they reached a dead end in an alley. The dark alleyway was hardly frightening with all the bustle and noise coming from the streets outside.
"Now, you can't run away, little girl!" a Machoke followed by two Makuhita told her as he approached her. "Last chance: Hand it over, or we'll beat you so bad, you won't even be able to take...well, the 'second option'." He gave a malicious laugh.
"I'm not giving it to you!" she answered.
'Looks like she's in trouble,' XV thought as he witnessed the scene. Decided, he took a step forward. "Be a hero," he muttered as he stopped in front of the bunny and spread his arms.
"What?!" the Machoke asked, a little thrown-off at the Pichu's sudden appearance.
"Leave her alone," XV said. "Or else."
"Please!" one of the Makuhita said as both of them threw themselves at XV. He zapped them both, and they fell paralyzed in front of him.
"What the hell?!" the Machoke cringed a bit as he saw his two henchmen easily dispatched, then grabbed the Pichu and proceeded to use the famous Seismic Toss attack on him.
"Done?" XV asked as he got up, then grabbed the Machoke with his tiny hands. "Big mistake." He lifted the Machoke with the greatest of ease and used the same attack on him. The Machoke fell, immobilized on the ground.
"You okay?" XV looked back at the Buneary.
"Yeah," she answered. "Thanks, mouse boy! But this ain't no place to stay! Here!" She took his hand in her paw and ran, dragging him all the way to a train and climbed aboard it. They took two empty seats as the train suddenly started moving.
"So," she said. "I didn't thank you properly, you little yellow cutie! What's your name?"
"Fif-" XV stopped. If he used the name he was used to, then finding him would be easy for the Midnight Voices. 'Well,' he thought. 'There's no harm in it. He was my best friend, after all...'
"Fif?" the Buneary asked with an amused look. "Weird name!"
"No...not Fif," XV replied. "My name...is Leon."
00 And that's how those two met. It's hard to believe happiness can sprout from the worst of sorrows...I, too, know that too well. But, if there's something I learned from this journey, is that it doesn't matter how deep you fall, you'll always be able to get back up. 00Chapter End Notes:Well, whaddya think? did I do better here?