Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of Pokemon, its characters, locations, or names. All of them, with the exception of the original characters, belong to Nintendo
Credits: The original fan fiction Shadow League was based off, Pokemon Master, was written by Acey. I retrieved permission before starting this the first time.
A/N: Hey, I bet a lot of you wouldn't of thought I'd go back and really get through rewriting this. XD I'm nearly finished (just have to edit everything and rewrite Chapter 19...again.)
Anyway, I did originally finish the first version July 17th, 2003, and have now started this one a few months back. (January? Something, maybe earlier) It was only in the past month or so that I've really been cracking down on finishing it, with the goal of doing so before school starts again.
As it is, I've been making a lot of changes throughout the story, though I'll go into them for each chapter rather then here, at the end of each chapter. XD As for this chapter, not much was really changed. I kept to what happened, just rewording things differently, adding a little more detail, and stuff like that..which is basically a given for all of the chapters.
As I've been writing it, I started posting this on Bulbagarden and on deviantART to get some comments on it before I put it here. If you really wanna read ahead, go there and look for it. :)
Warnings: The pairing in this is RivalSibling. This fanfiction has a lot of violence and gore, not to mention some language, and implied rape/sex. Not for kids, that's for sure.
- - -- Chapter 1: The Awakening -
The small form that was curled up in the bed rolled over onto her back, and opened green eyes. Blinking sleepily, she stretched, her back arcing lithely as she twisted. She waited until she could at least see the dim outlines of the room before getting up clumsily, climbing out of bed, and tripped over to the door. Carefully, she pulled it open and exited, pulling it closed again with a soft click.
She was, unsurprisingly for she had the willowy frame of an adolescent, only a teenager, though her behavior was that of an adult by most measures. Most of the time, she went by the name of May.
The hallway was dimly lit, mostly because May didn't want to have to turn on a light every time she went to check up on her presently injured lover. Padding over to the first door on the left, she entered it without a word. Just as the hall, the lighting was set low. Situated around the room where multiple machines, all of them medical and extremely high-tech.
One caught her eye though, and it was no surprise. It took up more space then any of the others alone, and with good reason. That machine was a glass-domed life-support system, with metal reinforcements and computers monitoring the progress and conditions. May curled up on the floor, her legs bent under her, and a troubled look in her eyes.
"Ash…" she asked, frowning at the contraption that was holding the man in question, "Of all the things to happen to you, it had to be something this major…you just had to get yourself hurt."
She blinked, staring at the eerily still figure inside. May rubbed her eyes, before looking again. Did he just…move she thought, feeling around her for the phone that was sure to be nearby.
Her hand shaking, May called the doctor that was currently staying in one of the rooms close by, not daring to leave the room to go fetch him personally. The groggy voice on the other end of the line mumbled obscenities, before he realized who it was. "I'll be there in a few minutes," came the terse reply, and the line went dead as he hung up.
May twisted around when the door swung open, and looked at the middle-aged doctor that stood watching her curiously. He ran a hand through his brown and gray hair to straighten it out. "What happened?" he asked, rubbing the remaining sleep from his eyes.
Doctor Summers… she thought, before indicating the machine. "I think he moved, or at least tried to," May said, moving out of the doctor's way.
"Hmmm…" He looked into the dome, taking mental notes of any changes he saw. When he finished, he nodded affirmatively. "I believe you are right...look, his head is turned toward the side, and he's clenching his fists."
"What does that mean?" she asked, staring blankly at Dr. Summers. He smiled reassuringly, before walking over to work on one of the computers.
"That means Ash could wake up at any time, since he can obviously hear, or at least sense, us." Ash twitched again, catching May's attention. She bit her lip thoughtfully, watching the still form.
She yelped, startling the concentrating doctor, when Ash's eyes snapped open. When the initial scare wore off, May smiled at the weary man. The smile turned into a frown though, when she noticed his expression; his eyes were wide and unfocused – which made her uneasy, since they looked lighter then before – and he was plainly terrified and confused.
"Could you let him out?" May glanced toward Dr. Summers, who gave her a sympathetic look and a shrug in response. She scowled.
"I need to make sure he can be out first," he replied edgily, returning to his work. May sighed and looked at Ash hopelessly. He watched her from in the misty liquid, worrying his lower lip with his teeth. Going wide-eyed again, he curled into a tight ball, covering his head and neck with his arms, trembling. The doctor looked up.
"GET AWAY FROM IT!" Dr. Summers yelled when the life-support capsule started glowing blue-black. He dove to the side, pulling May with him, and tumbled behind a table. They flinched when there was an explosion and the room was showered in metal, glass, and the medicinal liquid that had formerly filled the chamber.
"What was that?" May asked, though it came out as a strained squeak. She peeked over the broken table to look. Dr. Summers picked at the shrapnel that was in his hair, frowning at her. The system that had held Ash was demolished, most of it laying in pieces around the room.
Ash was on the floor, his back against the wall. He was panting from exerting so much energy in the blast, staring pitifully at his knees. Scowling, he scrambled to get up, trying to get a hold of some type of handhold on the wall. When it looked like he'd managed it, his legs would give out, and he'd crumble to the floor. The scowl returning, he tried several more times before giving up; he plopped back down with a defeated sigh.
May looked at the doctor and got up, trudging over to him through the rubble. Ash looked at her forlornly, giving May another sight of his eyes – she blinked again, coming to the conclusion that she was not mental and that something had made his eyes lighter, and more of a gold color. She decided to ask about it, but left it for a later time. "How're you feeling? All right?"
May felt her heart break, when Ash turned to face forward, looking on the verge of tears. She twitched, and pulled him over to her, wrapping her arms around him gently. It was unnerving how clammy he was, but she blew it off in light of the situation. Ash turned his head, mumbling into her shoulder quietly. It took several moments of prodding for him to finally speak up; "I can't stand." he said, his voice rough from its lack of use, "…can't stand, can't walk. All I've managed is to blow up that machine…thing. How?"
"Well…" she looked uneasily at Dr. Summers, who shrugged and hurried off for some towels, before sighing, "You don't remember?" May had to bite her lip, stopping the giggle that came up when Ash attempted to scoot over closer, but ended up doing no more then wiggling. He scowled at her, before getting a curious look.
"Remember what?" She blanched. May was amazed; it was near impossible to forget such an incident as the one that caused him to be put into that tank!
"You have got to be kidding? You don't remember anything? Kiall? Ancient Ball? Evil Shadow Master near killing you?" Ash started biting on his lip once again, this time thoughtfully, before shaking his head. She sighed, before shifting to get comfortable, taking the towel that Dr. Summers brought back and using it to start drying Ash off – getting another scowl and a protest that he 'could do it himself.' He nearly managed it except for his hair, which had grown a bit longer then he remembered it being, when she humored him and let him. "OK then, now if you'll stop glaring at me like I just tried to poison you, I might actually explain it all."
Ash once again put his head against May's shoulder, nodding passively.
- - -
"Are you sure they won't do anything?" May peeked around Ash, eyeing the offending Ancient Ball nervously. He rubbed the polished globe with his thumb, turning it in his hand, before smiling soothingly at her.
"Well, none of them have been opened, and I doubt are able to be anyway. Anything in them, is staying there," he said, admiring one of the artifacts that had taken so long to get.
"They're glowing." she pointed out, "That has to mean something!" Ash shook his head, dismissing it as nothing, but May noticed the suddenly uneasy look he had. Laughing nervously, he looked around to find where the final Ancient Ball would go.
"If anything does happen…I'll handle it just fine." It seemed to May that Ash was trying to convince himself of that, instead of her. She stayed silent however, as he carefully placed the glowing ball atop the Kanto Item, and backed off quickly. The light glow the Items and Ancient Balls had taken grew brighter, to a dark blue-black wavering glow.
Ash stepped back, with May matching his steps, as the Items started vibrating with a hidden force. She hid behind him, near to tears out of simple fear; nothing on her pokemon journey had been able to strike fear such as this into her. When she looked at Ash, his expression mirrored how she felt.
The seals on the Ancient Balls broke open, and a bright red light – much like the one of a normal poke ball – shot out and hit the others, until the one on the Kanto Item opened. It unleashed a blue light, matching the dark glow they had, and it materialized into a tall form. Features and details formed, and before long a man stood in front of the Holder, looking extremely disgruntled.
Holding his breath, Ash stared in wide-eyed fascination at the stranger, his mouth slightly open. Almost five minutes went by before anyone made a move. Scowling, the stranger stared back at them. "Who the hell are you?" he asked.
"Kindness isn't a talent of yours, I see," Ash said. He looked at May, who had started pulling urgently at his sleeve. "What?"
He saw what was bothering her, when he saw past the red-eyed man to the Holder, which was once again vibrating with leashed energy. Even the stranger turned around, eyeing it solemnly. With a crack, the Kanto Item split down the center, a smaller Ancient Ball revealed.
"You gotta be kidding…another one of these things?" Ash groaned, rubbing his temples. His exasperation ended fast enough though, as a confusing longing to pick up the new object surfaced. Bending to the will of the caller easily, he started to slowly walk toward the Holder. May grabbed his arm, trying to hold him back.
"Please, stay away from it, Ash!" May pleaded, pulling on him. Ash turned to look at her apologetically, and shook her off. The stranger hurried out of the way, as Ash walked past, and stopped in front of the Item. He pulled the pieces off, leaving bare the remaining Ancient Ball. It shot up into the air, startling the young man, and hovered above him silently.
When Ash relaxed, thinking it was safe, the Ancient Ball vibrated and went flying at him. Swatting it away, he glared at their visitor. "What are you laughing at?" he asked, yelping and ducking down.
"You." was the calm reply, "Idiot, you sealed your fate the minute I was unleashed."
"Shut up!" Ash snapped, "Who are you anyway?" He growled, edging over to May. She looked worriedly at him. The stranger laughed cruelly, as the Ancient Ball hovered in the air.
"Me? I am Kiall…" he said, pulling his cloak close. Kiall took a deep breath, and opened his glowing red eyes. "…the Shadow Master."
"Oh, that's just great." Ash was eyeing the floating orb warily, not trusting it any longer. "We have a crazed Ancient Ball and an evil maniac who should be 1000 years dead and buried in the same room. I just love today, don't you May?"
"Oh, um…" May said, pulling him over, "It's about to try to kill you again, if you didn't notice." Ash's eyes widened, as he turned to look. The Ancient Ball vibrated, before releasing a beam of dark blue-black energy, forcing the trio back. Kiall's mouth formed an oval as he watched the energy take shape – a sphere.
It hummed quietly, hanging in midair passively. "The SE Sphere." Kiall muttered, getting curious looks from the frightened lovers, "What?"
"What's that?" May asked, finally recovering from the initial shock. Kiall rolled his eyes, and scowled at her. He didn't like meddling children.
"It means the Shadow Element Sphere," he sighed. Ash and May looked at each other, then at Kiall blankly. He scowled even deeper, his eyes narrowed into blood colored slits. He had no patience for ignorance. "It unlocks the power within the Shadow Master at the time of Awakening. It also brings about the Elements in other…Masters."
Kiall spat the term Master, as if it was an acid to him. May slid her hand into Ash's, taking comfort in the connection. "Then why doesn't it get on with it and stop trying to kill him? What's it want with us anyway?" she asked, her voice strained.
The elder man hid his shock at how bold and upfront she was. He smiled without humor, seeing just how many years had gone by – which, in fact, had been a thousand. "Kill? Bah." He turned his look to Ash, who stepped backward defensively. "I assume you are the Chosen One for this time. As that is most likely the case, I'll get to the point so I can get out of here…if you couldn't tell already, you're destined to be the Shadow Master for…this era."
"Oh, lovely." Ash turned slightly, shaking his head. "What is next, killer pokemon…"
"Yes sir. Lucky for you, they won't obey an order. Now me, on the other hand, they will." May looked at Ash, worrying her lower lip. He was visibly shaken already, and she doubted they had seen the worse of what was to happen. Kiall smirked at them, before stepping to the side, out of the way. The Sphere shot toward them, it blurring with the speed.
Ash pulled May down with him to the floor, as it flew past and nearly hit the wall behind them. It went back to the Holder, just barely touching one of the Ancient Balls, turning it to dust. "You're just delaying the inevitable," Kiall sneered, his eyes glowing.
"I refuse it!" Ash said, his voice wavering, "I don't want it!" Growing increasingly impatient, Kiall glared at him. If the Sphere was left to its own devices, it would cause more damage then it was worth…he wanted the world intact for him to work on. And to stop the Sphere from unleashing the full force of the Shadow Element in one shot, he had to do something…
"If you will not take your fate willingly, you will just have to be forced!" Kiall growled, putting his arm up, parallel with the floor, with his fingers outstretched. Ash's eyes widened fearfully, as he actually felt the control he had over himself fade to nothing. Kiall had almost total control of the movements Ash made. The younger man stood up straight. It was like a puppet being made to move by the puppeteer.
May leapt up, taking hold of Ash's arm and glaring back at Kiall. "No, get away." Ash said, grinding his teeth with the effort of trying to regain control of his body, "No-"
Kiall flicked his wrist. Ash shoved May away roughly, the force knocking her to the ground. He bit his tongue, holding back the curses he wanted to fling at the man standing only feet away, as May stared at him, looking hurt from the attack. The Shadow Master's eyes narrowed once again in concentration, as he fought the younger man's attempts to loosen his grip. "Obey! She means nothing to the ones that deemed this so!" Kiall snapped.
Ash gave a strangled cry, as Kiall willed him to walk toward the Holder, and toward the glowing blue-black sphere that waited. He spasmed, as he instead collapsed down, denying the order with all his might. Kiall growled, using his spell of manipulation to force him back up, and toward the Sphere. May's shoulders shook, her eyes watering up from the fear and hopelessness that had taken over.
At that moment, there was only one thing she could do. May screamed, the sound ringing through the room, and the hall outside.
Kiall ran over and threw a hand over her mouth, cutting off the blood curdling noise abruptly. May looked satisfied, even though the idea had been, for the most part, ruined; someone should have heard it by that time anyway. Ash was still, stuck between Kiall's tightening grip and his own wanting to get away, but he nodded his approval stiffly.
"Let it be done!" Kiall said, once again concentrating fully on Ash. Biting down on his lip, tasting his own blood, Ash reluctantly stepped up to the Sphere, which hummed louder then ever. He gripped the edge of the Holder, trembling, before he was maneuvered to put his hands around the bottom of the Sphere. It gently landed in his cupped hands, its surface feeling like a liquid, yet it was unsubstantial.
Letting go, Kiall stood back on his heels, his lip curled in another sneer. There was no way for Ash to back out, or to get away from the Sphere. Several painfully silent minutes went by, with only their breathing to indicate anyone was actually in the room. The Sphere seemed to melt in Ash's hands, fading into a translucent blue color, before disappearing.
Nothing happened at first, before a searing pain ran through, each nerve being wracked with a white-hot, lightning fire that didn't relent. The scream that was unleashed, filled with the agony of having his very self being attacked by the unknown force, rattled May down to the bone. "A…A…Ash…" she whispered, watching her lover grip the Holder again in an attempt to stay the pain.
A sudden silence fell over the room, as they watched Ash. His shoulders rose and fell with his heavy breathing, most of his breath stolen. After what seemed like an eternity to the teenage girl, he fell like a leaden weight to the floor, the resounding thud breaking the panicked paralyzation.
May scrambled to get over to him, pulling Ash up so that his head was against her chest, half-sitting up. He was gasping for air, and nearly unconscious. "Why?" she asked, hatred threaded through the single word.
"I told you before," Kiall said quietly, turning so his back was to them, "the ones not of this planet decided his destiny."
When there were footsteps just outside the door, he looked down, and pulled his cloak tight around him. "Until we meet again." Before May could turn to look at him, he had disappeared.
- - -
"…then when they found us in there, we called Dr. Summers and had this equipment brought in. You wouldn't believe how many old books we had to look through to see what was actually happening. I guess it was like a major shock to your system, so it'd be like an Elemental coma, if you will." Ash had watched May as she talked, blinking sleepily as if she was telling a fairytale instead of the story of what had happened to him. "So far Kiall has taken over the Pokemon League, and has attempted to take over Kanto, Johto, and the Orange Islands."
"Why me? Why does this always happen!" Ash sank down lower, burying his face in the loose folds of May's shirt. "What am I supposed to do now? I can't do anything even remotely helpful," he asked.
"Don't worry about it. You just need to recover," May said calmly, getting a glare from Ash. "Not in a good mood I see."
"Would you be! My god, the world is doomed, that idiot has taken total control of the Pokemon League, and no one is doing anything to stop him!" he said sourly. May tightened her embrace around him.
"They don't know how. Ash, it's total chaos. People are going crazy because some of them are getting Elements when they never had them before, and pokemon are in no better state," she replied quietly. He bit his lip, looking at May with confusion. "Come on, let's get you in bed. This can all be discussed more when you are better rested."
Dr. Summers looked up from cleaning up the room, dropping the bag that had the glass he had picked up in it, to help them up. He pulled Ash up off the floor, letting him lean unsteadily on the doctor. When Ash had somewhat stabilized himself, he tried walking with help; his knees buckled under him. May pushed herself up, adding her own support. It didn't help any.
With a sympathetic shake of his head, Dr. Summers lifted the suffering, crestfallen young man. He nearly choked from shock, his eyes widening. Ash couldn't possibly have been of a normal weight, and it unnerved him how light he was. It surely wasn't healthy for someone of his age and height.
In silence, they went into the darkened bedroom, none of them voicing a thought. Dr. Summers gently put Ash down on the bed, before turning and walking out, indicating that May should follow. She looked hesitantly at Ash, who shrugged, before following the older man. When the door was shut, he looked at her seriously. "It will most likely be a long time before his strength is built up to where he will be able to do most of his normal activities without struggling," he said, folding his arms across his chest.
"And what are we to do in the meanwhile? Isn't there any way to speed up the process?" May asked, looking at the door, her hand on the handle. The doctor thoughtfully watched her, before nodding. "What then?"
"First we need to at least get Ash walking again, and to build up his muscles again. I can call in a personal trainer to help with that, because I am no therapist. I'll also get a wheelchair he can use temporarily." May nodded, as they went quiet. Dr. Summers rubbed the toe of his shoe on the floor, before coughing. "Well, I must be off to fill out the paperwork that's going to be needed. I'll come back later in the morning to see how he is doing."
"Thank you," May said, as he turned and walked down the hall. She watched him leave, before going back into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her. She wanted nothing more then to go to sleep, but that was an option that was not to be done. "Ash, how are you doing? Any better?"
Turning his head to look at her, Ash frowned. "No. This is about as bad as it could get," he said, closing his eyes.
"Don't say that!" May climbed into bed, once again pulling Ash over so they were leaning into each other, and pressed her cheek against the top of his head. "You could have been a lot worse off then you are!"
"Like how? How May?" Ash snapped, glaring at his hands, which were loosely clenched into fists, "I can't do anything! I can barely sit up, not even able to stand or walk, probably can't even…"
"Try dying for one." He went silent, his ranting ended. Ash turned red, angry at himself and at the man that had caused him to be in a coma for so long. "You're going to get better. The doctor said he is going to make sure you have everything you need to build your strength back up."
May pulled the blanket up, when she saw that Ash had nothing more to say. Without complaint, he wiggled down to get comfortable, and instantly drifted off to sleep. The rest of the night went by without a disturbance.
- - -