|Teaching Darkness: Memories
Author: Rae Logan PM
Part 5 in the Teaching Darkness series. Mephiles has gained a new ability... and he wishes more than anything that he didn't have it... Even worse, Dark has come back... but he's asking for Mephiles' help to defeat someone more powerful than himself...Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Angst - Mephiles & Shadow - Chapters: 41 - Words: 192,402 - Reviews: 156 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 07-16-10 - Published: 07-26-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4424201
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Okay... I had a great idea for a main story I just had to start. I just know you'll like it :D
So, as of now: I'm bringin' Mephil-angst back! Woo! Have fun, everyone (especially you, T.A.R.N.S! I know you love the angst.)
Oh, and thank you to everyone who helped make "Teaching Darkness: Relapse" a hit. 65 reviews makes it more popular than not only the first story, but all the others. Thank you!
A month after Mephiles (now called Mephiles the Hedgehog, no longer wanting any connection with his former tormentor…) was free from Dark (As well as the time he obtained numerous injuries, many of which were healed over by now, save for his ankle and the slight soreness of his wrist…), Mephiles had gained somewhat of a new attitude towards life, positive, because of what had and had nearly happened. He was now free to be more carefree without that little dark shadow of bad feeling in the back of his mind, which had once seemed to constantly plague him nearly every waking moment, even when he didn't tell them if it did or not.
Since the final fight with Dark, Mephiles had also become a bit more confident in the abilities he had, as well as the few that had surfaced during his harassment from Dark.
Foot still injured, he had decided to abandon the crutches for a while, and take up using his hovering skill that seemed so scarce of a power usage to him in recent days. He enjoyed the fact that he could use it quite leisureably, and as such, he used it when he was "just kicking it…" (A term he picked up from Rae).
"Only three sides, huh?" Rae said as she was watching him try to figure out a Rubik's Cube. She was looking up slightly as she sat on the floor. She was hanging around, a now typical weekend thing.
"Oh, and I suppose you've figured out more?"
"Not really, I can't do these things for crud. I have one at home, but it's a cheap generic swap meet one, as it's a bit shattered in the middle, so it falls apart before I can get very far…" She explained, pulling the said cube out of one of her tails, which looked just about how she described. "I've only got as far as two sides before this shatters, so I dunno if I can. My brother and I each got one of these years ago to see who could solve it, and he won. I knew someone who could solve it in less than a minute…" She added.
"I dunno…" She scratched Jak behind the ears, who hung his tongue out as he wagged his half bald tail quickly. "But it was pretty cool to watch during English class."
"Not really a language class… it's another name for Literature, which is the study of certain stories that are important for us to know…"
"Such as?" Mephiles grew bored of the cube and tossed it halfheartedly onto the couch.
"Are you familiar with 'Beowulf'?"
"Romeo and Juliet?"
"I've seen some parodies…"
"Isn't the name of that cursed play?"
"I don't really believe in curses…"
"Yet you work at the comic shop with that… thing…"
"Hey… first off, I help out, secondly… T.D. isn't a thing… he's a… a…"
"No… I win…"
"Cuz I'm cool like that…"
"Cuz you're cool like that…"
Suddenly, Rae and Mephiles just broke out into laughter, the Rubik's Cube now long forgotten.
"You're never gonna solve that, are you?"
"Nope… I think I'll just keep it like that so it looks like a jumbled mess…"
"Sounds like a plan…"
"So, do you guys have anything planned today?"
"I dunno… just something I guess. You really need to get out more."
"Well, if you spend too much time indoors, the sun's really gonna hurt your eyes…"
"You just want to yell…"
"I see… I don't want that to happen…"
"So do something today. It's not even noon yet, so you have plenty of time."
"Why not a Chao Garden? There's one in Westopolis, and it might be nice for Krystal and Sharpe to meet other Chaos."
"Yeah, I been around one recently. It's a nice little place with trees full of fruit that Chaos love, and Chaos love to play around there. There's supposed to be stuff for every attribute they have, and you can leave your Chaos there for the day if you need to be somewhere."
"So, it's like a Chao Daycare?"
"Pretty much. There's also a 'Kindergarten', where they can take classes to learn new fun stuff."
"Drawing, singing, dancing, and even how to play instruments."
"That sounds nice…"
"Okay… let's ask Shadow and Rouge…" She said, slipping on her sandals, having ditched normal shoes after graduating.
Mephiles was in total awe of the Garden. Chaos of all colors, ages, sizes and styles were all over. Some had quills like the blue hedgehog, one looked like Shadow, some had horns, others had things on their heads much like Krystal, and many had animal attributes, such as ears like rabbits, whiskers like otters, and even wings like birds.
"What kinda animal did this one see?" He asked pointing to a white Chao with a dark blue halo. It had a purple scaly tail, purple and green bat-like wings, yellow horns, clawed purple hands and arms, and was breathing fire onto a fruit before sitting to eat it. Obviously, it liked its food to be warm.
"That's Ajax, and he's been around a dragon." Rae said, smiling before she whistled. The Chao spotted her and churred excitedly before hurrying over to her, before tripping and landing on his face, his emotion dot a spiraling twister. He got back up and shook his head before running again. Jak took a playful running start at him, only to have the Chao jump and beat his wings briefly to jump over him, then landed in front of Rae with a skidding halt on his front, smiling at her. "He's one of mine."
"Where did you get a dragon?" Mephiles asked, sitting down carefully, setting his crutches down beside him.
"Found it on the streets. Small little guy. He left after a while, but he hung around Ajax all day."
"You have Chaos, Rae?" Shadow said, handing a fruit to the Shadow Chao, who began munching at it happily. This was obviously his.
"Only two. I got 'em last month."
"How come you didn't tell us?" Rouge said, petting the Shadow Chao on the head, who was purring and nuzzling his head against her hand.
"Well, I wanted to make sure they were nice enough to be around Krystal and Sharpe before I let you know."
"Who's the other one?" Mephiles said, looking for any Chaos with any of Rae's traits.
"This one." Rae pointed out a dark looking Chao with purple accents. He had fiery looking wings of feathers, and a matching marking design on his forehead, as well as a medal on his chest. His emotion dot was a spiky purple ball. He was snoozing under the shade of a tree, hugging a plush blue hedgehog.
"What's his name?" Mephiles said, wondering just how many things that hedgehog sold his image to.
"Sykes. He's a dark Chao because he ate a buncha dark fruit when I wasn't looking. He's been around a phoenix… Found that in a cage. She left after a couple of days."
"He's supposed to be the kind you might find that Egg-guy with, but he loves just about anyone. He's the best outta the two as far as skills go. He's never lost a race, and he loves to swim, but he's actually a speed Chao."
"He's… cute…" Mephiles said a bit skeptically. "I didn't think you were able to get a dark Chao…"
"Any one can if you get the fruit, or if you're a bad person…" A nearby rabbit told him, holding her own Chao, who seemed normal, but had a red bow tie. "But if her other Chao is a hero Chao, then it's likely her Chao got into the dark garden…"
"That your Chao?" Mephiles asked the rabbit, gesturing to the Chao in her arms. She nodded.
"I've had him for as long as I can remember. His name's Cheese and he's got a brother, too. His name's Chocola. Chocola's somewhere around here…" She looked around, but didn't seem to find him. "He must have wandered into the hero garden again…"
"My Chaos are siblings, too." Mephiles smiled, motioning for his to come over to where he was sitting. "They're twins actually. Hatched from the same egg."
"Really? That must make them very special! I've heard of that happening, abut I've never seen twin Chaos!"
"The one with the eggshell on her head is Krystal, and the other one is Sharpe. I've never really seem Krystal with the shell off, because she hatched with it one. I bet she looks just like Sharpe though."
"What's your name?"
"Mephiles the Hedgehog."
"I'm Cream the Rabbit." The rabbit nodded as Cheese climbed his way up one of the trees to knock down a fruit to eat. "How old are your Chaos?"
Mephiles thought about it. Taking the math into consideration, he gave his estimate.
"About a season. Three months."
"Yep. I got them as a bit of a… therapy thing…"
"Something… pretty bad happened to me, so my friends got me the egg in hopes that it'll make me feel better."
"I'd say so. I just love 'em!" He smiled, wrapping an arm around Krystal, who had clamped onto him when a fruit fell from the tree the hedgehog and the rabbit where sitting under. She buried her eggshell hidden face into his side, obviously a bit startled. He rested his other hand on her head to calm her down, and then took a glance around to find Sharpe in a tree with Sykes, trying to knock down fruit for Ajax, Cheese and the other Chaos in the garden to eat. "Funny, never seen Sharpe get along with anything like that right away…" He added.
"Chaos are pretty social, they love the company of other Chaos." Cream explained, watching them, too.
Mephiles felt Krystal tug at him, causing him to look down at her. She looked at him with a bit of a worried look before directing her gaze at a sad looking little Chao.
Mephiles stared at this one with a bit of interest. This one also looked like Shadow, but unlike Shadow, it had greenish markings, much like the kind Mephiles once had when he looked like Shadow. The Chao was whimpering, until it finally started crying, tears falling down its face as it gave no effort in hiding its tears.
"What's wrong with that one?" Mephiles pointed to sad Chao, Krystal leaving Mephiles' side cautiously and making her way over to it.
"That's Kai…" Rae's voice sounded above him. Mephiles and Cream turned their heads up to find Rae hanging upside down from one of the low hanging branches of the fruitless tree shading them, her tails wrapped around it to give her more support as her dog tag slipped off. "Crud… can you hand me that please? It's a gift from my brother."
Mephiles picked up the dog tag and paused a moment to study it. It had a stylized bird of some kind, perhaps an eagle or some other bird of prey, with the words "AIR FORCE" in the middle. Two words, one on the top and one on the bottom, read "PROUD SISTER" on it.
"I see your brother must be doing well over there, huh?" He added as he handed it to her. "Anyway, about Kai, what's wrong with him?"
"Oh…" Rae stuffed the dog tag into one of her tails to not lose it. "Kai's an abandoned Chao. He's been left here for about a couple of months apparently, and no one's come to pick him up. Apparently, he's a bit of a cry baby, and because of that, no one wants him…"
"Can he be adopted?"
"I think so, after two… months… pass… oh! Yeah! I think he can!"
Mephiles watched Krystal roll a fruit slowly over to Kai, who looked up at her, watching her carefully. She nudged it closer to him, telling him that it was for him.
For a moment, the Chao's eyes lit up and he took a bite and pushed it towards Krystal, saying: "Chao Chao!"
Krystal took a bite and pushed it back, and until the end of the fruit was reached, the two took turns.
"Krystal seems to have a new friend…" Mephiles said. "You say he can be adopted?"
"I think so…"
"So, let's check out what we can do. He seems to like Krystal, and oddly, I see a bit of myself there…"
"Sounds like a plan. He looks like a cutie…"
As the day stretched on, Mephiles watched how his Chaos were doing with the others.
Sharpe played a ball chasing game with Sykes, Cheese, Ajax and several other unnamed Chaos, Sykes showing off his incredibly high skills in speed and agility. From what could be seen, two trees were used for goals, and the even numbers of Chaos made it easy to split into teams of four; Sykes, Sharpe, Ajax and Cheese on the same team.
Krystal and Kai spent their time doing other things. Kai shared a toy car he had with her and for some of the time; they played with that, rolling it back and forth. Later, Kai showed Krystal how to swim a bit, using one of the buoyant fruits as a flotation thing for her. By the end of the time there, she was able to keep her head for a while and float for a while before paddling her way to the edge to hold on there.
"More like a boyfriend…" Rae added after a while, having long fallen out of the tree on her back, and smiling at the two. "He's a keeper. He looks after her… he shares… and he's a bit of a gentleman. He's a gem, right there."
"Then it's settled… I'll see if I can get him." Mephiles nodded, getting up carefully, leaning his weight into one of the crutches to balance himself. "Can you hand me the other one, please?" He gestured to the other crutch.
Within hours, the group was leaving as the sun started to hide behind the buildings, a new member to the group.
Kai seemed greatly pleased to be leaving the garden, having spent nearly sixty straight days there. He hugged his arms around Mephiles' neck, riding on his back as Krystal and Sharpe rode on his shoulders.
Having had an entire day of play, the Chaos were all napping curled up on an end of the couch, Kai resting his head on Sharpe as Krystal curled up next to him. In Sharpe's tiny clawed hands was the toy Mephiles Rae had made, which was now completely dried and hardened.
"He seems to have settled in quite nicely…" Mephiles said, nodding towards Kai. "Can't imagine why someone would just leave him…"
"Possibly the same reason Jak was left on the streets…" Shadow said, Rae and Jak having already left for home, as it was getting dark outside. "Could be anything… and we don't know what."
"Well… at least he's got a home…"
"Can you help me up? I need to… uh… do stuff…" Mephiles added with a bit of a blush of slight embarrassment from his slightly helpless state he was in currently.
Shadow grabbed him by the wrist and started to pull him up, Mephiles catching onto Shadow's arm with his other hand.
Then something strange happened.
Mephiles blinked for a moment before his eyes glazed over, a half tired expression washing over his face.
"Meph?" Shadow said, instantly knowing that in his experience of living with Mephiles for nearly a year, that that wasn't a good thing. "Mephiles? Are you alright?"
The hedgehog he was holding up was mumbling something under his breath, possibly having not heard him.
Shadow shook a hand in front of his face, and received no reaction. He flicked him on the ear, an action that normal gained a death stare… and still nothing.
What was going on? This wasn't an absence seizure, because he never made a sound during them.
Mephiles had shut his eyes and was shaking his head slowly from side to side, the muttering under his breath becoming more frantic, as if he was scared. Some of the words were becoming clearer as he spoke louder.
"… Hurry up… don't slow down… don't slow down… run faster… don't let go… I've got you… don't worry… keep running…"
Something about the words struck something in the back of Shadow's mind sharply. Very familiar, they were…
"Mephiles?" Shadow lifted his free hand and planted it on his fellow hedgehog's shoulder, giving him a light shake.
"… No… please don't… leave her alone… it's not her you want…"
"Mephiles?" Shadow said a bit more urgently, noticing that Mephiles' hold on his arm was starting to tighten, digging his claws into his arm somewhat painfully, causing Shadow to wince a little. "Meph… wake up…"
"No!" Mephiles was now speaking loudly, still out of it and still in his little dazed trance. "Don't! Leave her alone! MARIA!"
The last thing caused Shadow to freeze and widen his eyes. What was going on? What was Mephiles seeing? He remembered him having the ability to see things through dreams almost five months ago. Did he have other psychic abilities he had yet to discover? He recent found out a couple of new ones during his time plagued by Dark… so it wasn't too crazy of a thought. A lot his abilities seemed to rely on his mind, so…
Shadow was pulled swiftly out of his thoughts when Mephiles' hand tightened harder on his arm, Mephiles' head lowered as he shook, the poor hedgehog in tears, sobbing and taking no effort to hold them back.
"… It's my fault… all my fault…" He was whispering, on the verge of collapsing right there.
Shadow carefully pried his hand off his arm and eased him back onto the couch, letting go of his wrist. Immediately, Mephiles came back to reality with a harsh gasp of fright, visibly shaken.
"Mephiles… what just happened?"
Mephiles stared blankly for a moment, before quickly dissolving back into his weeping, bringing his hands to his head and working his fingers into his quills and fur.
"What happened?" Shadow asked again, concern building up as the question remained unanswered for a while longer.
Mephiles inhaled sharply, hiccupping as he moved his hands down to cover his face, shaking his head as if he didn't want to believe what he saw.
"Oh, Sh-(hic)-Shadow… Oh, (hic) God! I'm s-s-so (hic) sorry!" He stammered between hiccups, shaking even worse. "I s-saw it all! (hic) They shot her (hic)! They sh-(hic)-shot her just bec-(hic)-cause she was t-t-(hic)-trying to help you!"
"You… saw it?"
"I d-(hic)-dunno how… but (hic) I was… it was like… (hic) like I was you, or s-something… (hic)" Mephiles' hiccupping was making it a little difficult to understand him, but Shadow was sure he heard him right.
"Whatever it was… It's over now…" He tried to reassure him, Mephiles staring at him wide eyed and teary faced, his pale muzzle darkened from tear trails and he was now hiccupping every few seconds. "C'mon… let's figure out how to get rid of these hiccups…"
He knew that several remedies were just silly sounding, so maybe they would cause Mephiles to smile even slightly. When he got sad, it usually spiraled down into such a depression, that it worried everyone, so that was something they wanted to avoid. When he was upset and even hysterical, sometimes his powers sparked off and there had been several close calls as far as both injuries and shattered items went (though some things had been destroyed, several Mephiles was unaware of because it had been kept secret.).
Mephiles nodded numbly, half in a daze as he tried to run through what he had seen through his mind. He couldn't get far with these hiccups, however and let himself be led to the kitchen and to a chair at the table.
"Okay… there are a lot of 'home remedies', many based on different reactions people have." Shadow explained, fishing a glass out of the dishwasher and drying it off before he filled it with water and ice. "Here." He set it down in front of Mephiles, and pushing it forward. "Let's try drinking from the far end of the glass."
"… f-f-(hic)-far end?" Mephiles looked up at him. He didn't quite understand what he meant.
"Just drink from the end farthest from you."
Mephiles stared at the glass for at least a minute, his fingers drumming on the table nervously.
"Sh-(hic)-Shadow… I don't th-think I can (hic) do that…" He said after a minute passed, resting an arm against his stomach for his other arm to rest on as he brought his other hand to his forehead, letting his eyes drift shut for a moment, silent, save for the frequent hiccup. He started his explanation. "… (hic) If I tried… no mat-(hic)-ter which end I choose… the one opposite (hic) is always the farthest end… it's a (hic) fail either way…"
"Okay… fine…" Shadow pulled a large jar out of the pantry and grabbed a spoon and set them down in front of Mephiles. "Spoonful of sugar… try that."
"(hic) Can I not? I'm st-(hic)-starting to feel sick… I think I need to lay down (hic hic)…"
Shadow noticed the pale muzzle slowly taking on a shade of white, Mephiles' fur was damp and he just couldn't stop shaking enough to sit up properly.
"Please, Shadow? I (hic) don't feel well right now…" Mephiles gave him a half pleading look before shifting his eyes to his feet.
"Okay…" Shadow led him back to the couch carefully, Mephiles leaning against him for support. Mephiles eased himself into a comfortable position on his side, curling up slightly, letting his eyes drift shut again. "Let me know if you need anything…" Shadow added.
"Uh, huh…" Mephiles muttered, already half out. "Yeah, (hic) I'll be sure to do that…"
Within minutes, he was asleep.
Shadow watched him closely, thinking about what had happened earlier. If he had to go out on a limb, he'd say that Mephiles somehow accessed his memories.
How? He didn't know. Why? Same comment.
Shadow hoped Mephiles was going to be fine. But then again, if what Shadow was thinking was right, Mephiles had witnessed the death of Maria from Shadow's eyes, seeing just as he had.
Mephiles was already sensitive about death and related matters, so it was possible that this might have him on edge for a while.
As Shadow had predicted, with the images of that fresh in his mind, Mephiles' dreams were becoming troubled. A whimpered escaped the still hiccupping hedgehog, his face showing sickened fear as he whispered pleadingly under his breath. A hand clenched against his stomach tightly, and Shadow hurried off to find an empty trashcan for the poor hedgehog to throw up in if he needed to, not able to run off to the bathroom because of his injured foot.
Okay. So end of Chapter one. Mephiles seems to have seen something that he didn't want to see. With the memories Shadow has, who can blame him?
As for the Chaos, all of them are ones from my Sonic Adventure 2: Battle garden. My best is Sykes... he came with the memory card (got it used). He started as a Shadow Chao, but he's reincarnated. Ajax I hatched myself, and Kai came with that card. He's often crying, but he's a cutie overall. He loves his toy car.
So, I guess Kai's part of the family now, huh? :D