No time for talking, time for the last chapter of Darkness Within! All notes and stuff are at the bottom! (Also, I know I said that there was going to be an epilogue, but it and this chapter were too short, so I combined them. By the way, Ho-oh ships Ash and May)
I don't own Pokemon, nor a lyric from "Your Star" by Evanescence. Also, some Malevolentshippers might squeal at certain parts.
It was dark. Very dark. Darker than anything Ash had ever seen or felt. He couldn't even see his own hand in front of his face even if he wanted to. He was afraid to move, seeing as he couldn't see the ground in front of him. He looked down at what he assumed to be his hands and tried to imagine a golden glow around them like before, but nothing happened. He looked around at the darkness around him, taking a tentative step forward.
"Hello?", he called, but his voice for some reason didn't have much volume to it.
Where am I?
Ash mentally calmed himself. He had to make sure he didn't panic or do anything rash. He took a couple of steps forward again.
I'm all alone
It felt like hours had gone by, but no matter how long he walked or which direction he took, it was nothing but pitch black darkness. He stopped after a while, catching his breath.
There's no way out
Was this it? Had the king pulled one last trick? Was he doomed to wander this vast emptiness?
Maybe there's no point into wandering around
"Yeah...maybe there isn't..." Ash found himself saying aloud.
So I'll just give up hope and stay here
Ash didn't notice how his feet couldn't move anymore.
It's not like I'm really alone
He numbly felt arms circle around his chest, hands resting against his chest.
After all, I've got my thoughts for company
Ash didn't even turn his head as the king had his head on his shoulder, an unseeable smirk playing on his lips as he whispered in Ash's ear.
And how can the darkness feel so wrong?
Ash felt something sharp now poking against his chest...claws...all sense seemed to be leaving him and thoughts and memories were slowly slipping away.
My darkness is your darkness now...but you don't have to bear it all alone
The grip tightened ever so slightly, like a cat that was finally done playing with its mouse.
All you have to do is give me your heart
These words seemed to jostle something in Ash's memory. Memories of a brunette girl who he had made a promise to.
"Sorry, king." Ash said, feeling a smirk protrude on his own lips. "But I already gave my heart to someone else."
The king snarled in disgust in his ear. "You can't escape my darkness."
Ash's grin grew even wider, and he craned his neck so that he could see the king's grey eyes that were narrowed and glowed with hatred.
"But it's like you said. It's my darkness too."
The king's claws was about to pierce his chest, but the king was shocked as something suddenly threw the king off of Ash. The king looked up from where he was on the ground and was met with the strangest sight. Ash was surrounded by images of his friends. First Brock had appeared on his left, arms crossed, then Max, who was looking at the king with a look that suggested pure malice at him for taking his body. Then Pikachu appeared on his shoulder, looking ready to shock the king. And lastly, May who appeared on his right, an arm around his waist.
"And unlike you, I won't bear mine alone."
The darkness around them suddenly started to suck itself away, disappearing into thin air. The king looked down at his hand and watched with horror as the darkness that once surrounded it also disappeared, showing his pale skin, which was also slowly being eaten away.
"Damn you, I will not be so easily defeated!" he screamed as he held out his other hand and shot a ball of darkness at Ash. However, it bounced off of him, as if an invisible shield was surrounding him. The darkness peeled away from the king, revealing the guise of a darker looking Ash.
"This isn't over you brat. I will be back." he hissed as his entire body disappeared, leaving behind only grey eyes that blinked once and vanished. A bright light suddenly burst outward and Ash was forced to cover his eyes. When the light vanished, he found himself now in a white expanse, but it looked just as empty as the darkness had.
Ash jolted slightly at the very familiar voice, except it didn't sound quite as menacing as before. He turned to see what looked like a slightly older version of himself, dressed in a royal blue outfit where a sword was seen tied to his waist. He was smiling kindly, and Ash might have mistaken him for himself if it wasn't for his grey eyes.
The man nodded.
You saw my memories didn't you? You tell me what happened...
Ash looked confused for a second, until an idea came to him. "Now that the darkness is gone...you're free?"
The man nodded, but he seemed sad. No one's darkness is ever truly gone. Just suppressed. You just helped get rid of the darker part of it. He seemed to laugh at this, as if it was a joke.
Ash pointed at his chest. "So does this mean...?"
Yes, the darkness within is still there...merely suppressed.
"But what about Darkrai? And 'that' king?" Ash asked.
Knowing Darkrai, he was smart enough to bolt for it this time instead of getting dragged into oblivion. As for 'that' king, I'm not really sure what happened to it.
Ash paced a little, taking a few steps to look around. "So what happens now?"
You'll be going back to your friends
The king smiled sadly. Well...let's just say that the dead should stay dead.
"W-what do you mean?" Ash asked, startled by this statement.
Ash...I lived over thousands of years ago...isn't it kind of obvious that I'm dead?
"But...what will happen to you?" Ash couldn't help but ask. He had strange concern for this man who had once before tormented him.
I've done some pretty terrible things, so I doubt that I'm getting into heaven so easily. But...
Footsteps came toward the two of them as April came out of nowhere, wrapping her arms around the king's neck.
I won't be alone when crossing that hurtle, now will I?
Ash couldn't help but smile. "I hope you two find peace then."
Then you should be getting back to the one you love...
Ash saw the white expanse starting to disappear. "I have a question. Is this all really happening, or is this just in my head again?"
Stupid brat, the king snapped, but Ash saw that he was smiling, just because its happening in your head doesn't mean that its not really happening
Everything was disappearing, including the two of them. And after a moment, he suddenly noticed something...
...He was falling...
Ash blinked and found himself looking up at the bright blue sky above him. The falling sensation was still apparent, and he looked to his left and saw Pikachu, and surprisingly enough, Max falling downward alongside him. Instinct finally kicked in as he spread his arms outward and caught Pikachu and Max, which caused him to fall faster. His feet glowed gold as he slowed down, gracefully landing on the ground, somewhat surprised that he had not collapsed yet.
Ash looked up from putting Max and Pikachu on the ground to see Brock, Cresselia, Ho-oh, and May heading toward him, with May at the front. Ash felt his legs start moving too as he ran toward her, and, without any warning, practically lifted her off her feet as he kissed her. Everyone thankfully gave them space as they kissed, and when they both broke apart, both were blushing madly.
"Sorry, don't know what came over me." Ash grinned.
"I love you Ash."
Ash stared at her, unsure of what to say. Everything went deathly silent...until...
"May, I love you too, but I can't believe you said it before I could. I'm pretty sure its usually the guy that says it first." Ash joked.
May playfully smacked him as a low groan came from behind them. Max and Pikachu were stirring.
"Guh...what happened?" Max asked.
"Max, you're ok!" May yelled as she let go of Ash and ran over to him and started hugging him.
"Stop it May, you don't have to hug me so hard!"
"Max, I thought I lost you!"
Ash was about to comment when Ho-oh interrupted them. "Sorry to cut this sappy moment short, but we need to get out of here some time closer to now. The city's about to go down."
"You mean like back underwater?" Brock asked.
Cresselia nodded. "This city was being held up by the king's powers, but now that he has been defeated, the city will fall."
"But...what about the people?" Ash asked.
"They were merely the illusions of what the king wanted. The king wanted to see his empire again. An empire would feel empty if there were no people, now wouldn't it?"
A low rumble caused the ground to shake. Cresselia and Ho-oh lowered themselves down.
"Get on our backs and we'll take you home." Cresselia said.
Ho-oh looked disgusted at the thought of letting humans ride it, but none the less it allowed Ash, May, and Pikachu onto his back while Brock and Max went on Cresselia. They lifted off into the air just as the ground below them crumbled and pieces were falling into the ocean. Ash craned his neck to look back at Poke'lantis, just in time to see June, who was standing on the cliffs next to the stone statue of April. June smiled and waved once just before vanishing into thin air and the cliffs soon followed after.
"It's going to feel weird going back to your place Ash. Your Mom must be worried sick wondering where we disappeared off to." Brock called from behind him.
Ash frowned, now thinking of his mom standing on her porch and calling for them. May, who was behind Ash and holding onto him, hugged him tighter.
"I'm sure she's alright, so don't worry about it."
Ash smiled back at her. He heard Ho-oh chuckle under him that sounded suspiciously like "You guys make a cute couple."
Both Ash and May opened their mouths to retort, but Brock, Max, and Cresselia were laughing too loudly for them to really comment, so they joined in too. Max, who was behind Brock, moved his head to one side so that they could see him.
"Hey May, when we get back, are we leaving?"
A horrible sinking feeling was now in the pit of Ash's stomach. That's right...May and Max are going back home and May's leaving to the Johto region.
May looked at Ash, noticing how his face fell, but surprisingly she hugged him closer. "Well Max, it depends on when Ash leaves."
Ash couldn't help but turn his head to gawk at her. "What do you mean?"
"Silly, we're coming with you!"
Ash was speechless. "B-but...what about your plan of going to Johto?"
"Ash...I think that would be kind of cruel for us to tell each other our feelings and then just separate..." May pointed out.
Ash smiled and had to restrict himself from turning around and hugging her, otherwise they might have fallen off. "Thanks May, but you know...I would of gone to Johto with you..."
May shook her head. "I wouldn't want you to miss out on the Sinnoh league. Johto can wait for me. And besides..."
May smirked lightly as she leaned forward. "Would you really want me to be in the Johto region...with Drew?"
Ash sputtered. "Well of course not!"
"But then again, Drew may have given me roses and was nice to me...but I don't really like him."
Ash gave a sigh of relief. Oh thank-
"Now Harley on the other hand, that's different-"
"W-WHAT!?" Ash shouted loudly, which caused everyone to erupt into a fit of giggles.
"I'm just kidding Ash." May laughed before planting a kiss on Ash's cheek. She then turned to look behind her at Max. "What about you Max, do you want to come?"
A strange expression came over Max, it only briefly flickered across his features, but then he smiled. "Of course May!"
"Good. Then when we get back, it's off to Sinnoh, eh?"
"Well we might have to stick around my place for a while, Mom's gonna be furious that we left without saying a word." Ash pointed out. Cresselia and Ho-oh beat their wings harder as the group took off into the setting sun, Ash and May's laughter ringing the air as Brock and Max looked on, but as they flew on, no one noticed the familiar smirk that Max was wearing as they disappeared beyond the horizon...
"Well, we saved the world again." James commented. Team Rocket were clutching to a piece of driftwood that they found after being blasted off once again.
"True, but we're miles away from civilization. Who knows how long it's gonna take before we get there." Meowth pointed out sadly.
"It doesn't matter, because when we get back, we'll be going after the twerp's Pikachu!" Jessie said determinately.
"Ash." Meowth automatically corrected.
"His name is Ash. We've been chasing after them for years now, calling him twerp gets kinda boring and confusing to the others he's with." Meowth explained.
"Fine. When not in company with them, we'll call them the twerps. Got it?" Jessie asked.
"Whatever, let's just get moving." James said boredly, but he's words were drone out as they heard a birdlike screech above them. Looking up, they saw Cresselia and Ho-oh flying above their heads, but luckily for them, Ho-oh was close enough to the water for James to reach out and grab a hold of his tail feathers. Jessie and Meowth quickly grabbed his legs as they were pulled into the air, but also lucky that Ho-oh didn't seem to have felt them grabbing its tail feathers, nor did the twerps-I'm sorry, Ash and his friends notice their presence.
"I guess we don't have to worry about taking too long getting back." Jessie whispered as not to attract the attention of the twe-Ash and his friends.
James didn't say anything until...
"You know, I still think that Ash's taste in fashion is-"
"You're still on that!?"
The trio argued about it (quietly of course) all the way back to the Kanto region.
Later that evening...
Cresselia was flying alone that starry night, like many nights before. Well...the world was saved...the evil was contained...and Darkrai...
She didn't want to think along that line anymore, so her thoughts drifted to April, which made her slightly sadder. She was happy that April moved on and found peace, but now Cresselia was alone...again...
As Cresselia flew on, she heard a low sound, like the blowing of the wind, behind her. She turned her head and saw with vague surprise a familiar dark Pokemon that was following behind her, but not too close. Darkrai and Cresselia stared at each other for what felt like days. After a moment, Cresselia started to fly off again, but Darkrai did not follow. After going farther away by a mile or two, she turned back.
"Aren't you coming?"
Even though she couldn't see it, she knew that Darkrai was smiling as he followed after her and they disappeared back to their islands underneath the gaze of the moon.
It was cold. Very cold. But what made the terrain strangest was two very key factors. The ground below was blue while the sky was green. The land seemed to barren of all life forms. That is...except for the lone figure that was moving forward. Every footstep that he took left behind a shadowy imprint on the ground, as darkness trailed in wisps behind him. He didn't really have any recognizable features, only hands that ended in claws and glowing grey eyes.
It's mind was a complete and utter wreck. He wasn't the king...but he wasn't the brat...nor the dark Pokemon god. He was now merely darkness itself, a combination of all the things and people that it had plagued...Disjointed thoughts and memories went through its mind every few seconds, going by too quick for it to sort out. The only thing that it could think of was to escape...to escape back to that world and get its revenge on all those that had been foolish enough to get in its way and think that darkness could be so easily beaten. But how?
It came upon a waterfall that stood before it. As it stood in front of the running water, a grey shape was see-able beyond it. The shape of a large grey dragon with black and red wings and a yellow head that looked down upon the darkness with narrowed red eyes. The darkness laughed aloud to itself before a single word escaped it.
And it's over! Yes everyone, that's it, The Darkness Within is over! But...will there be a sequel in the works? Honestly...I don't know. The idea sort of sprung itself on me and it may take a long time before I could really start a sequel. But do not despair, there are more Advanceshipping stories to come! I am currently working on three other Advanceshipping fics (Two of them are more on the lighter side while the other has a darker edge to it like this one did) as well as one Advanceshipping oneshot.
I just want to say thank you. Thank you everyone who read this story and who reviewed and enjoyed it. There are too many people to specifically list, but just know that I appreciate each and every one of-
King: Look, they don't care about how much you care about them, they just want to know when I'm coming back!
But isn't there a oneshot I might work on that involves you and Mewtwo?
King: Shush, don't give that away! And besides, you still haven't decided if Mewtwo is going to be in the sequel, if there ever is one!
Stop spoiling the fics!
King: Make me! I'm pissed at you for what you did to me! -fumes-
Just ignore him. So anyway, I just want to know if you all liked the ending and if you'll be there for more stories to come! As for the title of the sequel, if I ever get around to working on it, I haven't really decided yet. Just know that it's "The -insert a word here- Within" as its title. I haven't decided what the word is going to be. You can throw out ideas if you want, but that doesn't mean that this is a contest nor that anyone's idea will be accepted.