Contrary to popular belief, HaS will not last for much longer. I give it about 3 small sized chapters. I wanna end it at 10. It's such a nice number. It was originally supposed to only be 2 parts, but I got carried away ^^;
Oh and please don't get offended if you ah, think my depictions of Heaven etc are a little.. . weird. This whole fic is bizarre anyway.
Heart & Soul
Chp 6 – You Think *You* Got It Bad?
She drummed her fingers against the water – suspended hard against her fingers like crystal glass. As soon as the unnatural presence of her fingertips was removed, the water flowed again – the ripples twisted and elongated.
Snapping her wrist, Catisha gathered a few drops of the luke-warm liquid into her palm. Instantly, the water beads hardened into miniature opal stones; with a further flick of her wrist, they distorted into a small, closed rose bud.
"Master, I keep your future bold,
I place my seed in this boy's soul.
With love his eyes, with lust his sword,
He shall keep your future bold, good lord."
Catisha spread her hand out, and the bud opened slowly – the velvety, blue-hued petals pirouetting from the centre with rhythm. When it seemed it could open no more, the small flower head melted back into water, and dripped free between the Angel's fingers to the dark, cobbled floor.
Catisha's pretty face relaxed, and she licked the remaining moisture off her palm. Turning away from the lone fountain, she moved her palm purposely in a circle, conjuring up a blurry image of coloured smoke. The apparition stunk of sulphur, but Catisha seemed to be able to see her desired image of the everlasting soul of Tracey Sketchitt.
"Was life a myth, or just a dream?
Your lives are never as they seem.
Do they control you, or do we?
Are you what we pull you to be?
Pure soul, from you I do beseech
A life that was lead beyond His reach
I return your heart, long since dead,
Accept the voice inside your head.
Reach out with dead emotion, to the wall
A world where Angels all too easily fall."
"Mmm?" replied the half asleep figure beside her on the bed.
"The convention is over tomorrow."
"So?" yawned Ash, as he brushed a strand of orange hair away from his closed eyes.
"So then what? We can't exactly go back to our homes and our separate lives when to all extent and purposes, we are each other!" snapped Misty, pulling her new hefty frame upwards so she could whack her actual body awake.
"Watch it Myst!" he complained, scratching his pouting bottom lip. "You hit hard in my body!"
"I hit hard in MY body too," she said grimly, watching Ash yawn and stretch out her body, and then scratch her stomach a little too high up for her comfort.
Brock watched the two lazily squabbling from where he semi-levitated by the back wall; unlike their excessive fights from only a few days ago, the pair had thankfully returned back to the monotonous bickering of their childhoods. Suddenly he blinked, and fell to the carpet, the absence of a loud thud and throbbing in his heels reminding him once again that he was past-tense.
"Idiot…" grumbled the Espeon peering in from the slightly open walk-in-wardrobe, lifting one slender violet paw.
"Baby!" Brock squealed in delight, gliding into the cupboard.
"That's not my name and you know it," the vessel of the Fate Angel yawned."Jeez Catalia, you're not as polite as you were at fir-"
"Shut up and listen," Catalia (literally) barked. Brock almost lost his afterlife in fright as an image of the Angel's true form shot forward from the Espeon's red jewel. Brock sweatdropped as Catalia stood in front of him, her hair and eyes the same hue as an Espeon's coat, and wearing a scarily fashionable red blouse and violet skirt. Her small silver wings spread blissfully to either side of her, and a random halo appeared and hung itself jauntily around her head."Nice show-"
"This is a divine warning!" Catalia began dramatically, throwing her arm to the side to emphasise her point. "You must keep Tracey from temptation!" she moaned, rolling her head from side to side. Brock sweatdropped profusely.
"And what exactly is going to tempt him?" Catalia stared at Brock, helplessly.
"You'd be surprised…" she said mournfully in a tone that made her sound like she knew more than she was letting on. "Listen to the voices inside your head," she added, almost as an after-thought, as the projection seemed to slowly sink back inside the Espeon body. "But Brock…"
"What?" Catalia bit her lip, the last facial expression visible before her countenance softened away into air.
"Not all Angels are good."
Tracey sat moodily on top of the bureau, not even finding amusement in the sight of the lanky Pokémon Master lying on 'his' front on the bed, with his short scruffy hair in a towel-turban, reading a beauty magazine and eating chocolates. Brock was ignoring him; stared straight through him earlier – even when Tracey had yelled his loudest about Catisha, the new Fate Angel guarding them, Brock had totally disregarded him.
Ash and Misty were forced to hide out in the hotel suites for as long as possible. They didn't know WHAT rumour Gary had spread, but the entire Symposium had taken it in turn to ruffle Misty's hair with a general chorus of 'Ketchum, you ol' dog!'. Ash on the other hand, had ingested more girly tittering and 'wink, wink – nudge, nudge' sessions than he felt was healthy. Back in the hotel room, they had each violently professed the other's true gender to be stupid, and separated.
Tracey jumped as 'Ash' let out a girlish giggle and flipped the glossy page. It was really strange to think that it was really Misty inside the outer bulk – even for him, the dead guy. The dead guy with pink wings. Tired of nothing, Tracey indulged in a little reminiscing; after all, the only thing he had now was the past.
Don't let Tracey get tempted… well, doing as the Angel said might have been a lot easier if he knew where the heaven Sketchitt was! It was quite out of character for him to leave a job unfinished.
Brock looked around the room, empty except for Misty's body – namely Ash. He felt nervous – he had to keep flitting between the two, since Tracey was obviously not taking his job of watching over Misty seriously. Brock was now reaching the stage of utter confusion, what with Catalia's encrypted and ominous warnings, and Tracey's haunting absence since the night before…
Brock sighed. Why couldn't he rest in peace already?? The afterlife was seriously screwed up.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Misty asked in her gravely voice, pushing open the door that adjoined their hotel rooms. Ash grinned and waved a fork in her direction.
"Mlo," he managed between mouthfuls. Misty arched her eyebrow as she sat down at the small table opposite her body.
"Wh…at are you eating?" she faltered, staring down in disgust at the brownish-red mess on the plate. Ash stared at her like she was stupid.
"It's curry," he said slowly for emphasis, forking yet more into his mouth, in some inane, desperate ploy to salvage his tattered masculinity by eating the hottest curry he could find. Misty blinked. Then shrieked.
"AAAAAAAAAAIE THAT'S MY STOMACH YOU'RE RUINING!" she cried in fury, yanking the plate away in horror, and plucking the laden fork from the bemused Ash's fingers. "YOU are going on a Detox Diet!" she continued, dragging Ash's slight form from the chair and prodding him out of the door. "And getting on a TreadMaster, pronto!"
"Aie-aie-aie-at least take off the turban!" Ash whimpered as he was ushered towards the Gym. And not the kind of Gym he liked…
"Ash, I think we should see a doctor," Misty said, resting her chin on the handles of a stationary exercise machine, watching Ash work her body to exhaustion on the parallel TreadMaster. Ash looked annoyed.
"W-what, y-you don't th-think I can h-handle it?" he wheezed, running his arm across his sopping wet forehead. "I tell ya I could go for twice this long at twice this speed!"
"No, I was actually referring to the fact that we're living in each others bodies," Misty said coolly, regarding her new chipped and square nails and grimacing.
"B-but Brock and Tah-racey said we c-could manage it," Ash wheezed, his scrawny legs heading towards failure. Misty pouted and yanked a lock of her black hair childishly."Ash, it's not natural-"
"No shit," Ash snorted, trying to calculate how much longer he could last without slipping on the river of sweat he had managed to work up, and in the end, turning the dial down to the slowest speed. "But I trust the guys that we can deal with this. What did Trace say? He said we have to find out for ourselves. So… let's find out."
From across the room Tracey stared, almost perversely entranced by the definite jiggling occurring as Ash's worked the exercise machine. In turn, Brock seemed to be staring straight at Tracey, unnerving him.
"Whaaaaaat?" he hissed in Brock's general direction, but the former Gym Leader totally ignored him again, and continued to stare straight through him, in a bored fashion. Tracey folded his arms irritably and his wings shot out of his back in the reflex. He wondered to himself if the crazed feeling that he just had to PUNCH someone was suited to an Angel.
But Tracey wasn't feelin' too good, if that was possible. He had headaches, and he guessed the fact he was dead was definitely settling in, as he had begun to pine after his life more than he had before. The fact that Brock was utterly ignoring him for no apparent reason didn't help matters one bit.
"Well okay then Ash…" Misty said slowly, reaching over and hitting the shut down button (much to Ash's relief) with her large hand. "I think that we should talk." Ash arched his eyebrows, warily."Talk about what exactly?"
"About… why we…" Misty began, turning her soulful brown eyes onto Ash, and startling him as he realised that he could easily see features of Misty appearing on his own face. He shuddered and dabbed his face with a nearby towel.
"About how you were a total and utterly unforgivable bitch?" he asked airily, and Misty leapt from her sitting position in a flurry.
"ME!?" she squealed, "it was YOUR fault! And it shows JUST where you value your friends in the scheme of things!" Ash flinched, but turned to glower."It's where I valued YOU! I still can't believe I spent so much of my life letting you TAG ALONG BEHIND ME!" Ash spat. Misty's eyes opened wide, and Ash was startled as they seemed to glaze over the colour teal for a moment, before reverting to brown. Misty's hands were raised up by her face, and for a second they clenched into fists, before opening again weakly and beginning to tremble.
Realising how much that had hurt her, Ash sighed.
"Look, Misty, I-"
"No, no… that's fine," Misty murmured, turning on her heel and walking out of the Gym. Ash sighed and sat down on a rowing machine, hanging his head between his knees and clasping his hands together.
"Smooooth," Tracey muttered, then started backwards as Brock's head snapped in his direction and his mouth hung open.
"Tracey? Where the hell have you been?!" he yelled, confusing Tracey tremendously.
"Right behind you?" he answered, tensely raising an eyebrow. Brock's face twisted into disgust, and he took a step backwards.
"Man there is something really wrong with your wings…" he ventured, and Tracey turned his head to look. They looked no different to him – well, okay… maybe a shade darker than usual but what did it matter? "Can't you see them?" Brock urged as Tracey sent him a confused look, "you've got all these… pointy… red crystals poking out… everywhere!" Tracey looked again, startled, but still could see nothing.
"Stop being stupid," he spat, suddenly vehement, reaching out and giving Brock a harsh push to the floor. Brock yelled in pain – where Tracey's hands had come in contact with his chest, even through his clothing, Brock felt searing burns that seemed to infiltrate straight through to every nerve in the region. When the pain subsided enough for him to pull himself up, Tracey was gone.
Brock literally flew to the hotel room, totally bypassing the sobbing Misty who had locked herself in her bathroom and looked around frantically.
"Yo, Baby! Cat? Catalia?" he called, spinning around mid-air, and moulting lemon feathers, which disappeared before they hit the ground. "Oh great," he muttered to himself, flying through the wall into Ash's room, "she's always lurking around, except for the one time where things are getting damn freaky…"
"You called?" purred the Espeon, bitterly from where she had materialised on Ash's bed. "Honestly, I am not meant to tailor to your every command," she said with an air of superiority. "Do you realise I had to leave the Grand Council of-"
"No, and I really don't give a damn," Brock babbled, coming to a halt by the bed and accepting his wings back under his shoulder blades with a small zipping sound. "Something is definitely wrong with Tracey. I mean… psycho movie scary." A look of human dismay appeared on the Espeon's face.
"Oh Brock! Did I not specifically tell you-"
"You told me specifically nothing!" Brock yelled in a worried tone. "All you've done is spout cryptic bullshit! Now I want answers – I'm worried for three of my friends now, and I want to know what's going on!" Catalia smiled smugly as Brock ceased breathing so heavily.
"You should watch your language, Angel," she yawned, "but as you wish. What is it you so desperately wish to know, then?"
"First off, what the hell is wrong with Tracey?"
"How should I know?" Catalia said haughtily. "A Helios Angel probably infected him with a virus. If that's true, I wouldn't touch him, by the way."
"Too late," growled Brock, and Catalia's eyes widened in shock.
"Oh! Oh my! I was… only joking…" She looked horror-stricken, panicking Brock. "He's been infected?"
"His wings were all screwed up with red crystals, and it hurt like hell when he touched me. Plus I wasn't able to see him all day, although he said he had been there."
"Ohhh no, no, no…" the Espeon yipped, jumping up. "I shall need to consult the Council's advice… speak to Grace…" she murmured, half to herself. "You! Don't go anywhere! I shall be right back!"
However, Brock didn't have time to go anywhere, because as soon as the Espeon had closed her eyes, they snapped open again.
"Grace isn't happy," she snapped, pacing the bed, "trust him to do something like this – he's so immature!"
"WHAT are you TALKING about?" Brock yelled, "You said you'd stop with the cryptic crap!" Catalia sighed, sitting regally upright and stretching out her forelegs.
"You humans," she murmured, "you think you're so important – and that you have the answers for everything. You're the Third Existence – and the least meaningful. The other two worlds are Heaven and Helios-"
"Excuse me?" Brock asked, bewildered already. Catalia stared at him blankly.
"Helios – you know, the Bottom Plain…"
"Hell?" Brock asked, in disbelief.
"Yes, whatever you humans are calling it these days," she rolled her eyes, and carried on. "Basically your entire world was made by Grace and Judas – they went out when they were young," she added by way of an explanation. "And when they broke up…" she hesitated, "I'm afraid your world got a little caught in the middle…
Judas was from Helios… it's really not as bad as you humans make it out to be, scenery wise. There isn't any fire, or physical torture, but… you can have everything you could ever wish for, but you could never become happy. You would be surrounded by miserable people, and be miserable yourself, for all time. So yeah, it is torture," she grimaced.
"I don't believe this…" Brock groaned. "So you're saying that God is a woman called Grace, and Satan is a guy called Judas?"
"I didn't say they had specific genders," Catalia defended, "gender segregation is an invention of your little world, don't try to heave it on us!
So anyway, Judas encourages the… ah, not so good things in your world, and of course, Grace encourages the good. And the two are always pulling on people, as a way of… well, winning over the other. You know how people get when they go through a messy break-up," she smiled. Brock furrowed his brow.
"Okay, enough. Long story short… what has happened to Tracey?" Catalia bit her lip.
"Well, he's been infiltrated by Judas, we think. By the Head Fate Angel of Helios probably… Catisharach," she growled the name. "What it basically means is that he now has access to all of Tracey's feelings and memories, and can manipulate them – and he will. He'll find any way to encourage Tracey to stop Mr Ketchum and Miss Waterflower from reconciling." Catalia snarled to herself. "He is SUCH a jerk…"
"Yes, but what does this all mean to Tracey?" Brock asked, impatiently. Catalia looked up at him, with wide eyes.
"He's become a Fallen Angel," she said simply. "We must make sure Fate runs smoothly if he ever has a chance of returning to Heaven…" Brock groaned.
"So basically, what you're saying is: keep trying to get Ash and Misty back together, and be wary of Tracey?"
"Pretty much… Ash is coming…" the Angel sensed his presence approaching. "I must leave you now. I'm sorry for this, Brock, it must be a bit of a shock for you…"
"Nah, it's cool actually," Brock said, decidedly, standing up. "But I do have one more question."
"What's Heaven like then?" Catalia smiled as she slipped from view.
"If you have even the smallest amount of good and decency in you, then you will be happy there, for as long as you wish," she murmured, as she disappeared proficiently.
"Yeah but-" Brock called after her as Ash entered the room dismally, and of course, paid him no heed, "-can you spy on girls in the showers and stuff?"