Summary: Three trainers travel to the mountains in search for Mega Stones for the upcoming Pokemon League. Little did they realize that ambition comes with a price. It's sometimes easy to forget there is life outside pokemon battles and training. Two-shot. Rated T for adult themes.

Disclaimer: I do not own pokemon. Pokemon is owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Satoshi Tajiri. I however own my OCs and the plot of this one-shot. I do not own the cover image. Enjoy the fic.

Part I: Ambition

Viridian City

Yuuichi's arms were sore when he went over to the bench to get his water bottle. He unwinded the top cap and poured the cool water down his dry throat. The young teen shielded his dark-colored eyes from the sunshine raining down. He watched his two friends from the side as they took out a ball the size of an orange. The two trainers dropped the red capsule with light flashing out to show their pokemon.

The brown-haired boy held up both arms and announced the last match to start. His Breloom cried out its name and cheered for the battling trainers. Before his announcement, he saw brown and blue eyes focusing on each other while calculating strategies. Who was going to make their first move?

"Let's start with Agility!" He cried. Staraptor zig zagged through the cloudless sky with its wide wings spread out.

"Gladius, Torment!"

Her Bisharp speed across the dirt surface and flung itself into the air with its red metallic legs. The humanoid pokemon rose at Staraptor's level and grinned behind its bladed helmet. It opened its mouth and let out a screeching noise that could only be heard by the bird pokemon. Staraptor continued flying, but was unable to make itself go faster because of Bisharp's status move.

The battle wasn't new. It wasn't foreign. Bisharp's trainer caught sight of Staraptor's trainer after exiting out of the Viridian City Pokemon Center. When two trainers make eye contact, they may begin in battle. The two trainers have fought several times since their journey started and this one wouldn't be any different. It was a full six on six battle and they were now down to their last pokemon.

After a few verbal jabs, the trainers exchanged handshakes and took out their pokeballs. The battle has gone on for perhaps an hour. Scorch marks wrecked the standard battlefield. One could still feel the heat walking on parts of the ground from the previous match. Frozen boulders lay between the big cracks of the field.

"It's in the air!" Staraptor's trainer shouted. "Sera, Close Combat!"

The bird of prey swooped down at Bisharp, but the steel type pokemon leaned over to the right to avoid Staraptor's surprise attack. Bisharp curled itself up into a ball and allowed itself to fall towards the earth. A few meters away from the ground, it straightens its body and landed neatly on its feet.

Bisharp's trainer had her palms formed into tight fists. She knew he was going to do that. His over reliance on the move Close Combat made his battling style predictable at times. It was surprising her opponent would have preference for the fighting move despite its risks. Each time Staraptor uses the move, it would leave the flying type more vulnerable to future attacks.

Once on the ground, her Bisharp stood up, never staying in one place for long. The steel type didn't like standing still for it meant being more open to attacks. Bisharp had its eyes on Staraptor and stuck its tongue out childishly. The pokemon backed away slightly when it saw its trainer sending it a warning look for provoking the opponent.

"Night Slash!"

Bisharp leaped into the air again and used the trees to throw itself higher into the air. The sword blade pokemon's arms glowed with light and attacked its opponent. Staraptor's cry filled the air. The impact of the attack threw it off guard and fell to the ground.

"Sera!" The trainer ran over to his pokemon.

"Finish it with Stone Edge!"

Bisharp raised its two arms into the air before striking them into the earth. Ice covered rocks from the previous match shot up from the ground with the steel type jumping and kicking them up. Staraptor cried at the sharp-edged boulders coming its way. The bird's wings glowed and flapped at Bisharp's Stone Edge. The two attacks met at midair before causing an impact. Shards of ice and rock exploded everywhere, creating dust and ice to scatter in the air.

"Now's our chance! Quick Attack now!"

Staraptor's trainer commanded. The bird pokemon flew through the mist and saw its opponent's shadow. Staraptor struck Bisharp with its claws before the steel type realized its presence. The bird's sudden appearance made the Unova pokemon trip over its feet.

"Not bad, Momo (1)." Bisharp's trainer grinned. The girl adjusted her brown ponytail, "Not bad at all."

"Don't call me that," the trainer retorted. "It's Mamoru. Ma-mo-ru."

"Whatever," Her eyes gleamed. "You're not as predictable as I thought."

"Like you're the one to talk, Rin." Mamoru smirked. "Always using the same strategy of Tormenting me before going for the kill." The black-haired trainer wore a red hoodie and a pair of black jeans.

"Both of us have eight badges." She said. "Still think you're going to get to the Pokemon League?"

"Of course I will," Mamoru laughed. "I'll get there so I can see your face when I defeat you and become champion!"

"If you beat me at the pokemon league, it will only be because I was feeling sorry for you," Rin teased.

"Let's finish this battle."

"I was just about to fall asleep talking to you," she said with a smug look. "Gladius, use Night Slash!"

"Head on Close Combat!"

Yuuichi sighed at the two trainer's declarations of bluffing. They were so childish. Calling each other nicknames and making claims that weren't necessarily true. Rin became his childhood friend's rival after she found him getting lost in Viridian Forest. Mamoru came back to Yuuichi with a scowl on his face because he lost a battle against her. Ever since then, the two trainers have challenged each other the moment they come into contact. Yuuichi still couldn't stop smiling at their ridiculous exchange.

Bisharp once again used its legs to bounce to the same level as Staraptor. Its arms glowed purple and rammed itself into Staraptor's chest. The attack pushed the bird pokemon backward; Staraptor then hit Bisharp with the side of the wing while it was still in the air. The steel type flew down and hit the floor head first.

A thin line slashed across the ground from the sharp edge of Bisharp's helmet. Bisharp stubbornly pushed itself up and raised its head again. It didn't notice the shadow going over its shoulder when it repositioned itself. Staraptor swooped down and pressed its weight on Bisharp. The flying type had its claws against the pokemon's exterior stomach with a low squawk.

Bisharp's arms glowed again and used them to fight against Staraptor's wings. Night Slash cut into Staraptor's wings and made the bird of prey shrieked in a high frequency. The two trainers and Bisharp instinctively covered their ears from the sound intensity. Staraptor took advantage of this and threw itself into Bisharp with full strength with Close Combat. The super effective move hit Bisharp with great force and made the steel type groaned before falling to the ground.

"Bisharp is unable to fight!" Yuuichi declared. "Victory goes to Staraptor and Mamoru!"

"I won?" Mamoru gaped at the results.

"Gladius, you okay?" Rin came over to check on her pokemon. The sword blade pokemon had swirls in its eyes and had dents all over its body. "Thanks for fighting with me today." The girl said in a quiet tone and recalled her starter pokemon.

Mamoru's Staraptor went over to its trainer and gently nibbled on a loose strand of hair from him. The thirteen year old boy stroked his pokemon on the head crest and noted the scratches and bruises on its body. Its feathers were fluffed out and a few were out-of-place. Staraptor cooed as its trainer gave it a few Poffins for its effects.

Rin stood up from her spot. "You plan to train for the Pokemon League now?"

Mamoru looked confused. "We already registered for the Pokemon League. Right, Yuuichi?" He turned to look at the battle referee.

"Well, we did, but there's a month period that's usually used by trainers to prepare themselves for the tournament." Yuuichi explained to his friend. He had short brown hair and wore a green shirt and a pair of faded out jeans. Both of the boys were thirteen years old.

The registration process was supposed to be quick and easy enough. After spending an hour it seems talking to the pokemon nurse on details, the boys filled out their forms and were soon registered for the Indigo League. Rin was in town when she spot them exiting from the Pokemon Center and challenged Mamoru to a pokemon battle. Yuuichi was left with the role of the battle referee.

Yuuichi had turned thirteen in the summer, when he and Mamoru were on their fourth badge. His birthday was celebrated with a poor attempt of a cake baked by Mamoru after defeating the gym leader. The cake looked nice on the outside where the exterior was decorated with green icing and yellow lightning bolts. When Yuuichi cut the cake, it became clear that there was a thick layer of burned cake. Otherwise, the insides were fine and the frosting was left for Mamoru's Rhydon, who liked the taste for some reason.

"The Pokemon League is full of strong trainers, so preparing yourself a big part of the deal!" Rin said.

"How are you planning to train for the Pokemon League?" Yuuichi asked the girl. "You plan to go to Mt. Silver?"

"Nah, too many trainers like to go there." Rin shook her head.

"Where then?" Mamoru asked.

"It's a secret!" She giggled and winked at the boys.

"How annoying…" Mamoru said.

The dark-haired trainer was ever so happy that Viridian City provided battlefields for trainers so that they wouldn't have to worry about damage to the city. Mamoru once tried to train his Starly when she was first caught, but he broke his mother's vase in the process and had to face her rage. His poor Starly hid behind her trainer while Mamoru had to explain to his parents why there were vase shards on the ground and why there were feathers all over the home.

His first pokemon battle was against his father. Once he caught Starly, his father thought it was necessary to train his son how to battle properly. Too bad his father didn't predict how much pokemon were capable of. Their battle was on the front lawn that time and the results were just as disastrous. Water flooded the lawn and the ground had holes all over. It took the family weeks to patch the garden back to its original state.

"I hope you and your pokemon train well then," Yuuichi said to the girl. "Mamoru and I will probably go back home and train ourselves."

"Don't you guys have that cave near your hometown?" She asked.

"Yep, the same cave where Mewtwo used to live!" Mamoru said with pride. "Pretty cool, huh?"

"Not that it matters since Mewtwo isn't there anymore," Yuuichi said wearily. "It would be scary to live so close to a legendary pokemon."

"You mean awesome, right?" Mamoru jabbed his on the sides. "Come on, think of all the cool adventures we could have."

"I already have enough because of you," his friend said with a sigh. His Breloom was never the same after the Sandshrew and Ekans incident.

"What is that supposed to mean?" A vein vessel nearly popped out of Mamoru's forehead.

"I would love to stay and chat with you two, but I need to get going and heal my pokemon." Rin pocketed her pokeball on her belt and threw her backpack over her shoulder.

"And go to your secret training place, right?" Mamoru mumbled.

"Bye Yuuichi, bye Momo!" She gave them a small wave.

"Don't ignore me! And for the last time, it's Mamoru!" Mamoru yelled at her. The twelve-year-old girl laughed at his overreaction and ran off towards the Pokemon Center.

"Hey, Yuuichi."

"Yes?" The brunette looked up from his reading.

"How is this training?" Mamoru asked the question that might as well be caps locked with explanation points behind it.


His Rhydon jumped at his trainer's voice and nearly crashed her head into the ceiling. The rock type pokemon stood almost two meters tall and looked like a rhino standing on its hind legs. She had rock tough skin and a drill like horn. Rhydon was caught by Mamoru when he and Yuuichi took a tour through Fuchsia City's Pokemon Safari Zone.

Rhydon was standing at the table where her trainer and his friend were. She was always turning her head as trainers and library workers walked in and out of the room where they were. Yuuichi's Breloom was there to keep her company, but it was sometimes annoying dealing with the mushroom pokemon's attitude. Breloom had a lot on her mind and wasn't afraid to express it, even if it meant announcing it to the world to hear.

Library visitors stared at the loud commotion to see an embarrassed Rhydon and her trainer. The rock type could have blushed if it was possible. Rhydon let out a series of apologies, but to humans, it sounded like the rhino pokemon was panicking or was angry about something.

"Sorry, Pangea." Mamoru patted her on the horn, "You hurt?"Pangea grunted and gently nudged Mamoru with the side of her head.

"Can you be quiet?" Yuuichi asked with annoyance.

The two of them were sitting in a library. The quieter of the two felt the eyes staring at them because of Mamoru. His Breloom hardly bat an eye at the usual routine between the two trainers and continued reading a book. Or at least it looked like Breloom was reading. Yuuichi wondered if pokemon could read. The mushroom pokemon always looked excited when he mentioned books and going to the library to her.

"This is so boring!" His friend complained, "I thought this was supposed to be easy and bam!" Mamoru made some noises for the sound effects. "Mega evolutions!"

"This isn't like a video game," he said. "It's more than just the stone and the pokemon."

Mamoru groaned and slumped down his chair with impatience. They have been staying at One Island for the past few days. Instead of going outside under the famous Sevii Island's sun to train their pokemon, Yuuichi had forced him to help him look up some information regarding the Mega Stones ('I bet the Pokemon League will have some trainers who can mega evolve their pokemon'). It sounded like a good idea at the time, but now he was starting to regret it.

They came to the islands because there was a battle couple that knew the secrets to mega evolutions and have taught a few trainers. The boys arrived to the island by ship with high hopes, but were instead rejected by the battle couple because they didn't have any mega stones in their possession.

"Why couldn't they just teach us how it works?" Mamoru grumbled.

"It can't be helped since we don't even have the stones to try mega evolutions." Yuuichi said. "At least Claire and Hiroki let us stay at their house."

The battle couple had their own little library dedicated to mega evolutions and the like. Bookcases lined up in the living room and even the wine cellar when the couple introduced their library to the two trainers. Mamoru had to grab Yuuichi by the collar to get him out of the library that morning when Mamoru announced that he wanted a change in environment. They only decided to go to the library to see if there was anything else.

One Island's library appeared small on the outside, but the inside was spacious and had stairs leading to the second floor. Plastic chairs were at the end of some isles for younger children to use. Wooden ladders were always occupied by library visitors or workers. The room they chose to stay in had comfy chairs next to the window and wooden tables in the middle with reading lamps.

"None of the books tell us where the stones are," he said. "All it mentions is that the stones are found in random places."

"Maybe Claire and Hiroki know where they are?" Yuuichi looked hopeful.

"Do they?" Mamoru tilt his head to the side. "They got their stones from Kalos, not from Kanto."

"Huh?" Yuuichi saw brown hair racing by.

The person was tall and skinny from the back. Mamoru immediately sat up from his chair. Yuuichi and Rhydon called after him, but he impulsively went after the person. The person was fast; her shoes made light tapping sound against the tiled floor. He went down an aisle of stuffed with books when the person made a sharp turn.

"Rin?" He looked behind a bookshelf to find the ponytailed girl sitting on the floor with a pile of books next to her. "This is your secret training place?"

Her Zangoose was already looking at him when he came by. It must have noticed his scent before its trainer did. She sat in the room next to where Mamoru was earlier. Rin nearly took up the isle along with her books, making it hard for others to walk in if they wanted to pick a book. Her eyes shift to Mamoru and she had a wide-eyed look like a Deerling in the headlights. Mamoru would have laughed at her reaction if he wasn't distracted by the books around him.

The teenage boy noticed that the shelves were full of books on pokemon training and evolutions. He picked a random book from a shelf and opened to the middle section. The section was all words and sometimes pictures for references. It went into detail about different types of evolutions and how it helped pokemon survive in the wild. However, under trainer ownership, evolution slows down because it's not as necessary, sometimes leading to new evolutions based on relations to trainers. The author of the book was a man from Kalos.

"Shush!" Rin looked embarrassed. "What are you doing here?"

"Did you come here to learn how to mega evolve your pokemon?" Mamoru ignored her question. He picked up a book from her pile titled 'Mega Evolutions: How to Evolve Your Pokemon and Essentials'.

"Yeah…" She looked at the book Mamoru was holding. "You guys are too. Did you find anything?"

"They didn't teach you?" She shook her head. "At this rate, we won't get any training done," Mamoru said with a huff.

"Why don't we compare notes and see if any of the books tell us where the stones might be?" The girl suggested. "Maybe they didn't say it directly."

The brunette girl held up a book turned to a page to show to him. "It was mentioned in this one paragraph of this book."

The page had a photograph of the snowy mountains blooming with evergreen plants and wildlife. In the background was the overview from the mountain of what looked like to be the beach and a small town that were both too tiny for the human eye to see. Swinub huddled in the corner of the photograph with their pig noses nuzzling to each other for warmth.

Below the photograph were paragraphs depicting the mystery of mega evolutions and several theories of its mechanics. At the bottom of the page was the paragraph Rin was talking about. The paragraph was talking about the locations of mega stones. Mega evolution was discovered in Kalos years ago, but that didn't limit the locations of the stones. The mega stones can be found in all regions, but only the shine of the moon at a certain time reveals its location. A list of known locations was on the next page grouped by regions. Under Kanto, the stone was listed to appear in...

"Isn't that the mountain on One Island?" Yuuichi recognized the picture. Mamoru jolted at the sudden presence of his friend. Breloom and Rhydon were right behind him. Mamoru didn't hear the rock type pokemon's loud footsteps.

"Mmm." She nodded.

How convenient, Yuuichi thought. A little too coincidental. Was that why the battle couple choice to live in One Island? Or they were just as clueless as most trainers were on the mega stone locations?

"So you're saying we should climb on this crazy mountain to get these stones that might not be there." Yuuichi said slowly.

"Let's do it!" A smile formed on Mamoru's face. "I decided. We're going!"

"Do you even realize that it's snowing up there?" Yuuichi took the girl's book and lightly tapped it on Mamoru's forehead. "We can't just go up there at a minute's notice!"

"Of course not," the dark-haired boy waved his friend's concern away. "It's autumn anyway, so we already have winter clothes. What kind of pokemon trainer wouldn't be ready for any weather?"

"So you brought winter clothes with you?" The brown-haired boy asked.

"Well, yeah. Only because you and my mom wouldn't stop reminding me about it." He scoffed. "Wait, are you coming with us?" Mamoru pointed at her.

"Of course!" She beamed at him, "Why shouldn't I? It's better if we were to travel as a group in a dangerous place."

Yuuichi heard his best friend groan and mumble a few inappropriate words to himself. He ignored him and said, "So we meet tomorrow in front of the Pokemon Center of this island?" His dark eyes averted to his wristwatch, "We should start early if we want to get to the top before the sun sets."

"We'll be fine," Mamoru laughed. "Everything always turns out okay!"

As they went into further detail for their trip to the mountains, Mamoru walked over to the window. The mountain was visible even from the center of the island where the library was. Snow caked the top of the mountain and trees dotted the edge of it. Where the mega stones should be.

It only seemed like last week since they started their pokemon journey as new trainers. Each badge was a victory and each training session was an accomplishment. All they had left was to go to One Island's mountain and search for the mega stones and train their pokemon properly for the tournament. The pokemon league was a lot closer than it seemed.

One Island Mountain

"I get no say for this?" He rubbed his gloves together and sneezed. "It's freezing!" His Kangaskhan laughed and gave the young teenager a hug for warmth. Kangaskhan's baby was happily snuggled in its mother's pouch and giggled at its trainer's misfortune.

"Don't complain, all of us are freezing. At least you have a pokemon that can actually warm you." Yuuichi said and pointed at his Scyther. The man-sized bug pokemon was surprisingly indifferent to the cold weather and had no problems moving through the snow.

Yuuichi and Mamoru went to the Pokemart last night and stocked up on canned food and other necessities for the trip. The trip was expected to last for a few days at most, so they only bought enough to last them for at least three to four days. No one made comments when they saw a bunch of twelve and thirteen year olds making their way to the mountains.

After hours of walking, Mamoru wondered if this trip would end successfully. It wasn't the biggest mountain in Kanto, but it had many segments, making it easy for novice trainers to get lost. Not that he would say it out loud, but he was thankful that Rin and Yuuichi were with him. He wasn't the greatest in directions. He didn't like the cold either. Growing up in Cerulean City had spoiled him with the mild weather. The teen wore several layers of clothes and still felt cold. His hood went over his hat and his scarf made it hard for him to see much besides the shadows in the snow and the two trainers beside him.

"Where are the stones exactly?" Mamoru asked.

"They were said to be separated by caves," she said. "It should be obvious because those caves are said to be small. Mega stones are sometimes found close to each other." Rin slowly grinned, "What's wrong, Momo? Scared you might get lost?"

"No," he retorted. "I'm just scared you might scare too many pokemon because you took the long way to the stones."

"Ouch," she faked a broken expression. "Maybe the mega stone will make you gain a few centimeters."

"I'm not short!" He glared at the girl, who clearly taller than him. "I will get taller when I'm older!"

"Not with that attitude," Rin smirked.

"Are you two done bickering?" Yuuichi groaned. "I don't want to hear you two arguing for the rest of the trip and wasting oxygen."

"Bickering?" His friend twitched one eyebrow.

"Wasting oxygen?" Rin had a similar reaction.

"It's already bad enough hearing you guys argue on ground level. I don't want to hear it here too." The brunette boy then said, "The stones will only appear at night at a certain time. It's almost time." He checked his watch. Could they find the stones in so little time?

"Then we'll find the stones one by one!" The black-haired boy exclaimed.

"That's the spirit, Momo!" Rin pumped her fist into the air. "Our pokemon are already strong. Think how much they will improve once we get the stones!"

"Don't call me that." Mamoru said automatically.

"I swear," Yuuichi sighed. "You guys are going to be the death of me…"

With those two, it was going to take some time getting to the caves with the stones. It was amazing how far they came through the mountain in a few hours. They met a few trainers on their way up, but most of them were on their way back. The trainers were just as bundled up as they were and complained of frost bite. Yuuichi took a step forward and watched his feet sink in the soft snow. He saw a few caves grouped together. Light shone from them.

Yuuichi always loved the snow. The teen liked waking up to see the snowflakes fall down and decorate his window with its intricate designs. Winter meant no school and spending the day playing outside with Mamoru and the neighborhood children. Mamoru would insist on making snow zombies with their jagged mouths dripping on his parent's car. The unorthodox snow zombies scared the neighbors who passed by on their morning walks and lead the boys laughing on their sides. They participated in snowball fights with Mamoru's siblings and would later have hot chocolate in the warm house.

"Yuuichi!" He heard his name. Not now. The trainer wanted to sleep just a little more. "Wake up! Yuuichi!" He opened his eyes and saw Mamoru shaking him with a wild expression.

"…" Yuuichi coughed. His head was dripping wet from having his hair caked with white snow earlier. His hood fell off his head when he was trying to escape.

"It's okay," Mamoru said. "Rin called emergency. They're coming soon."

Yuuichi found it hard to focus. It was hard to see Mamoru in the dimly lit up place. The last thing he remembered being hurled into a small stream. The stream's water bit Yuuichi with sharp impatience. His fingers went numb and he couldn't move his legs when Rin and Mamoru went after him.

The brunette teen turned his head to the side and saw that they were inside one of the small caves where they found a mega stone, away from the wind. Yuuichi woke up in a sleeping bag, finding it hard to concentrate on anything with a severe headache. It felt like his head was going to burst. It took him a few minutes to realize that the hot prickling feeling he had on his face was from the heat of the fire.

"So cold…" He uttered.

"You're stupid," the dark-haired trainer looked at his pale face. "What were you thinking?"

"Your stone," he said. "Almost had it." His voice was hoarse.

"Who cares about the stupid stone?" Mamoru shook his head violently. "I had to drag your sorry ass out because of an avalanche."

Rin and Yuuichi already had their stones when they saw Mamoru's lying half-frozen between two rocks. The mega stone was mostly likely there because a previous trainer went there for the same reasons they did. Even with the efforts of Mamoru's Rhydon and Rin's Medicham, the stone refused to budge and stood in its place.

It was strange to see Yuuichi become impulsive. Of all times to become hasty. He foolishly went after the stone and didn't notice when the earth shook and snow came tumbling down on him. The trainer tossed himself across the mountain and rolled into a small stream. He remembered the cold piercing him like fire when his skin made contact with the icy water. Parts of his skin looked pale blue even with the fire on.

"Eat your soup," he shoved the plastic cup at his friend. "It'll warm you up."

"Later," the sick trainer showed no interest. "I'm not hungry yet."

"We could have trained for the league some other way," Mamoru pressed his hand against his own forehead. "We didn't have to cheat our way through by mega evolutions."

"It's not cheating," Yuuichi gave out what meant to be a laugh, but sounded more like a cough.

"Anything to be a Pokemon Master," he rolled his eyes.

"Every trainer's dream."

"You were always ambitious." Mamoru said quietly. "Even for someone who wanted to be the best like everyone else. You always knew what you wanted to do. Even as kids."

"Thank you," he said without sarcasm. "No goal?"

"No." he said. "Even though I don't have one, it was fun traveling with you and meeting people like Rin…" Mamoru noted that his sentences were getting shorter. This worried him. The trainer kept talking to fill that lack of dialogue, in hopes of getting Yuuichi to talk more. "Is that a bad thing?"

"Don't think so," Yuuichi whispered. "You'll find your goal."

"Maybe," Mamoru saw him trying to sit up. "Don't. Rest."

Yuuichi's body was so stiff when he and Rin picked him up. He had his arms on his sides and he remained that way when they wrapped him in a sleeping bag for warmth. Mamoru wanted to go outside to be on lookout for help, but the girl insisted that he stayed behind with Yuuichi. He still couldn't bring himself to argue when she left the cave with only the clothes she had and her pokemon.

"I guess it's now you who worries about me." He laughed.

"Of course I do," the teen huffed. "Who was the one dumb enough to hurl himself into a frozen stream?"


"Let's train when we get back," Mamoru said.

"That's not like you to want to train." Yuuichi wheezed.

"I don't need a mega stone to be strong. I will train." He said with a serious face.

The dark-haired boy really didn't mind not having a mega stone. It was possible to win against mega evolutions with normal pokemon. He won difficult battles before. Having Rin as a rival taught him to do research on his opponents before hand to get an idea of their battling style. She always conjured different strategies to counter his team while he would do the same vice versa.

Mamoru had thoughts of going back to his hometown to train at that cave Yuuichi feared so much. There were hardly any pokemon living at that cave now since its original inhabitant abandoned the place. Mamoru knew the cave better than any citizens of the city because of the frequent visits. The cave has a few good places to train where they wouldn't be bothered by any passerby. Maybe he should invite Rin to come along too. He will owe her for saving Yuuichi's life.

"I think Rin will be happy to hear that," Yuuichi smiled.

"Huh?" Mamoru's response was more coughing. He coughed for at least a minute before he settled down again and closed his eyes.

"Here," Mamoru offered him the bowl of soup again. "Eat. Soup's getting cold."

"Guess we can't battle again." His voice grew distant.

"Don't talk like that," Mamoru hissed. "Help is coming. Yuuichi?" He shook the boy in the sleeping bag. His call was answered with silence.

He heard his name being called by Rin. Her voice pierce through the air like a single candlelight in the dark. He saw a helicopter flying over her head when he stepped outside the cave. Even the helicopter's obnoxious sound couldn't be heard over the violent wind and hail. Lights beamed down at them and blinded his vision. Mamoru shielded his eyes with one arm and saw paramedics climbing down the ladder. She slowly approached him with the professionals following her.

Mamoru closed his eyes and told himself that it was over. They will be back in town soon. That this was all just a dream. Rin looked so tiny from a distance. Snow went up to her chest and half of her face was covered with her blue scarf. It was odd seeing his rival look so vulnerable when she was always the one towering over him in height.

"Mamoru! Momo!" She shook him by the shoulders. She looked at him and Yuuichi in his arms with concern. "What's wrong?" Her eyes looked glassy.

"Medi?" Her Medicham went to Mamoru and offered to carry Yuuichi, but the boy declined.

"It's too late," Mamoru let out a loud laugh.

His cackling bounced across the mountains, but he didn't care. He hugged his cold body against his chest. Medicham abruptly stepped away at his sudden laughter. The psychic pokemon cried its name with surprise. Mamoru sat up from his squat position and spread his arms out, "Some help this turned out to be!"

"Mamoru?" She looked at him with shock.

"Gone, all gone." He shook his head and continued laughing.

"Is he mad?" Rin whispered to a paramedic.

"Ha!" Mamoru wore a wide grin. "Madness!" He closed his eyes but opened them again. The trainer said in a low tone, "I'm perfectly fine. Mind is clear as crystal." He thought he heard someone mumble something about interrogation, but the words were meaningless to him.

"What happened?" Rin glared at him. "What happened to Yuuichi?" She stared at his half-frozen body with fear.

"It's too late," he repeated and threw his head back. "He's gone. Yuuichi is dead."


Momo (1) = Means "peach" in Japanese, is normally a girl's name.

Mamoru can mean "to defend or protect". Rin has many meanings, but her name can be written with the kanji "plum". Yuuichi can mean "excel, number one".

Sera can mean "star, sky" in Japanese. Gladius is "sword" in Latin. Pangea is named after the supercontinent because Rhyhorn/Rhydon's skin looks like tectonic plates.

Author Notes: This was originally meant to be a one-shot, but this story will expand to a two-shot instead because it is too long. I will update this story in one week. Check out this story next week on February 8, 2014 (next Saturday) for the new chapter! Thank you for reading this and be sure to leave a review!