AN: A legendary-shipping story. Enjoy the read!
Raikou, come to the council room in the Hall of Legends. We have much to discuss…
Those very words echoed throughout Raikou's head as he slowly made his way down the said Legendary temple, his tiger-like fur matted against his skin from nervous sweat, his eyes narrowed in obvious fear. His brain wanted him to stop, forcing him to run in the opposite direction and leave the Hall of Legends so he wouldn't have to confront the God Pokemon for what he did.
For the grave mistake he had made.
Even the thunder tiger had to admit, though, that he deserved the worst of all punishments for the past accident, which happened only a few weeks ago and therefore left Raikou amazed on how quickly news spread between the Legendaries. He assumed that his comrades – the fire lion, Entei, and the water dog, Suicune – had informed Arceus about it, while he had sworn an oath to himself he wouldn't tell anybody, mainly because of his fear of what the said God Pokemon would do in response.
Despite this, he wasn't surprised that Arceus now knew about it, as it would've been sooner or later when the God Pokemon would learn of his crime. Of course Raikou didn't want to face trial, but needless to say his heart wasn't dark enough to convince him to deviously escape from punishment when he so obviously deserved it.
Besides, he didn't like being called a criminal, although he wouldn't bother to object to the title now.
The golden halls of the Hall of Legends grew bright with flashing beauty, but Raikou was quite used to this, as the said legendary temple was the main headquarters for the Pokemon that kept watch over the planet and created and debated on new rules for the natural balance between all things. It was practically the Pokemon version of the capital building, a place where all of the laws for life were decided and put into place.
And also where Legendaries were put on trial.
Raikou knew that the other Legendaries didn't like to give him the title of 'Legendary' often. He couldn't blame them; it's not like his past acts were mature and worthy enough to earn him a place among the great heroes of the world.
Hell, when he thought about it, his counterparts were usually the ones stuck doing all of the hard work.
His four-legged body continued down the mile long hallway, his head lowered in both shame and in the act of pondering. His ruby-colored eyes danced across the floor's golden tiles in emotionless interest, making eye contact with his yellow-dubbed figure that was being reflected across it. Small sensations of heat bounced off his fur as he passed each blazing torch that hung off the walls, their flames brightening up the whole hallway despite that they were quite small.
It wasn't long before he reached a vast golden doorway at the end, which bore indents of famous historical events that told the story of Earth's creation. Raikou wasn't interested in the carved tablets, though, and instead measly slid one of his large front claws over the door's hard surface, cringing slightly at the screeching sound that followed. Eventually the door opened slowly like the hidden entryway of an ancient tomb, filling the hall with a blinding light that came from the room inside. This didn't seem to affect Raikou, though, as he stood still in his place, his face expressing a combination of nervousness and boredom, while his ruby eyes peered monotonically into the new opening.
The vast room that played the role of the council quarters came into view, its golden appeal radiating with beauty. Apart from its palace-like impression, the room was shaped and designed like some sort of court room, its large pedestal that stood tall at the top of the elegant flooring fit for some sort of judge. On this very pedestal, though, playing the rule as the judge and king stood the God Pokemon himself.
With golden eyes peering down at his nervous, yet still, figure, Arceus watched in an unimpressed manner as Raikou slowly trailed down the stunning entrance and into the pit center of the room, which was surrounded by smaller gold pedestals fit for seating the jury. These very seats were where the other Legendaries sat, watching Raikou with piercing eyes, obviously annoyed with the thunder tiger.
Despite that the glorious room was large in occupancy, the air was filled with an awkward silence, although soft whispers sailed through the encompassing Legendaries as their eyes focused on Raikou, who was now staring yearningly at an empty stall among the jury bleachers. The designated seat was his, and he would've been sitting proudly on it if he hadn't come to the council room for trial.
"Order," Arceus softly mumbled, anger hiding between the slurs of his powerful accent, which silenced the whispers among the jury quite quickly. With narrowed golden eyes, Arceus took the attendance mentally, sighing with relief when learning that everyone was accounted for and present. Meanwhile, Raikou only kept his nervous eyes on Arceus, his stomach churning and burning with stress and uneasiness.
Returning his eyes to Raikou, Arceus then announced, keeping his place among his pedestal during, "Raikou – Legendary tiger of thunder – do you know what you have been asked to come here for?"
The answer to the question was obvious, and Arceus was aware that Raikou knew it, as the tiger's eyes shifted away from the God Pokemon's intimidating gaze out of the obvious sensation of fear. Of course Raikou knew that the situation was bad, as if it wasn't he would've been sitting on his designated seat among the Legendary jury. Besides, the question was rhetorical anyway.
"You are here to learn of your punishment for the death of innocent Pokemon," Arceus answered for Raikou, narrowed eyes glaring. Both Suicune and Entei, who sat in front of the left side of the jury seats, lowered their heads in shame since they had been in the area when the 'crime' was committed.
Of course, when thought about, it hadn't been much of an intended crime at all.
"It was an accident," Raikou muttered, his voice reaching barely over an incoherent mumble. Arceus seemed to hear it, though, as his eyes narrowed with more annoyance.
"Accidents cannot be forgiven in this case!" Arceus suddenly spat, his harsh voice echoing ferociously throughout the vast council room. Raikou stuttered back in fear, the other Legendaries doing the same, eyes widened. "Because of your childish foolishness Pokemon who didn't deserve to die had fallen, and it all could've been prevented if you had acted like a real Legendary!"
This time Raikou didn't fall back, but instead lowered his head, agreeing with Arceus' words.
With a sigh, as if releasing a large array of lingering anger, Arceus continued with a quieter tone. "Raikou, ever since you were created I have watched over you and your comrades, keeping progress of your daily duty of protecting the inhabitants of the Johto region. I have noticed that you sported quite an arrogant attitude, which usually led to your downfall when you would help your comrades with dangerous tasks.
"Raikou, I believe that you let your Legendary status and powers get the best of you, as you usually boast to the enemies rather than stopping them half the time. I'm sure if you hadn't sat there bragging all day that rampaging Salamence would've never had the chance to kill those Pokemon."
Raikou could feel his muscles vibrate with coldness, obvious guilt and regret for the things he had done. He was indeed arrogant, believing his title of a Legendary Pokemon made him better than everyone else. He couldn't help it, though, although he even agreed that his arrogance proved to be a distraction when it came to most missions, like the said task in which he could've easily finished successfully if he hadn't let the Salamence get its hands on the Pokemon he had been 'trying' to protect at the time.
To make a long story short: he screwed up.
"Raikou," Arceus began again, earning the attention of the said thunder-type, as well as the rest of the Legendary jury, "this has not been the only time you let your arrogance get the best of circumstance. I am aware that you know that, and I see that you have learned nothing from your past mistakes. I cannot risk innocent Pokemons' lives with your protection if you can't even follow through on it. I also believe that you shouldn't deserve your Legendary traits if you don't even know how to use them…"
Raikou's eyes suddenly widened. Arceus wouldn't, would he?
With another sigh, Arceus eyed Raikou compassionately. "I'm sorry, Raikou, but that was the last straw."
Immediately the jury broke out into pleads and debates, most finding Arceus' implied choice quite reasonable, while others objected to it, finding that the lack of Raikou's responsibilities would cause more damage than he made on a daily basis. One of these Pokemon was the stubborn Suicune who, despite that she didn't favor her thunder counterpart, found that his absence would be a little too much.
"Order!" Arceus spat, calming down the jury instantly.
The God Pokemon turned to Raikou, his glaring eyes digging deep into the thunder tiger's nervous ones. "Raikou, you must serve punishment for your actions; however, I cannot allow you to cause more trouble among the Pokemon world. Because of this I have decided to remove you of your Legendary powers and status, therefore leaving you with abilities no powerful than the average thunder-type."
While Raikou stumbled back in disbelief the jury broke out into debates once again, eyes glaring at each other, although they all turned to the green dragon, Rayquaza, when he suddenly stepped forward. "I believe that the punishment sounds quite fair," the emerald Legendary hissed in a venomous tone. "Raikou's responsibilities among the balance of life can easily be taken over by Zapdos" – the said yellow bird, whose mysterious red eyes matched his appearance and attitude, grunted from somewhere in the corner of the room – "but by all means I think that Raikou should not be let off so easily like he has been loads of other times."
The Legendary Pokemon that surrounded the dragon Legendary only nodded to each other, voices of agreement rising from within their numbers. Raikou's heart plummeted to the pit of his stomach, although he somewhat couldn't blame them for following through on the punishment plans.
Meanwhile, however, the Legendaries on the opposite side of the room found the choice somehow barbaric, which Latias didn't mind expressing as she took her own spot up front. "Arceus, I beg you to reconsider," the red and white dragon pleaded to the God Pokemon, not earning the attention of the said Legendary but that of Rayquaza instead, who glared at her with piercing eyes. Ignoring him, though, she continued. "It is true that Raikou has made mistakes, but we all have. The Legendary trio of Johto wouldn't possibly be able to protect the region unless all of the members are present."
Roars from the same side of the jury helped show support for the theory.
Arceus only shook his head slightly, glowing eyes peering at Rayquaza, as if he was silently agreeing with the green dragon's views on the situation. Taking this as a bad sign, Latias rose up to his level, and said, "Arceus, I believe that such a choice should at least be placed on Entei and Suicune to decide upon. They are his counterparts, after all."
The God Pokemon only slid his eyes to the opposite side so they met Latias', although he eventually shifted them towards Suicune and Entei. The other Legendaries did the same, even Raikou.
Suicune only eyed the crowd with disappointment, which was obviously aimed towards her thunder counterpart, while Entei merely sighed in shame. Raikou felt hurt by their reactions, as when one's own counterparts didn't even stick up for them then it was obvious they did something horrible. He wasn't surprised that Latias was the one who was defending him, though, as she had always been the nice one in the group, despite that the showing of the other Legendaries' support was obviously out of mere pity for his predicament.
"Well?" Arceus growled impatiently, earning an unsurprised look from Entei and Suicune in which he was aiming his attention towards. "What do you think we should do with Raikou?"
Immediately silence fell onto the inhabitants of the room, eager eyes returning to the counterparts of the guilty one. Entei glared at the jury in annoyance, although he quickly changed it to sympathy whenever he shot a look towards Raikou. Suicune, however, kept her head low, not bothering to look at anyone. They both remained silent.
"No objections? Well, that leaves me with only one choice then…" Arceus stated, his voice trailing off. He eventually snorted, apparently finding the lack of support somewhat dishonorable. Latias remained silent, figuring that debating against anything now was practically pointless. Raikou only turned to face Arceus, nervousness still radiating off of him, which showed in the small shivers his forelegs expressed every few seconds. It was then when Arceus made the final judgment, a mere sentence that even made those who were opposing against Raikou gasp in utter disbelief.
"Raikou, I hereby exile you from the Legendary council!"
Suicune's eyes widened, her head snapping upward so she could stare at Arceus with hurt eyes. She didn't think he would go that far, as to ban Raikou from the Legendary council permanently! Entei even gasped in shock.
Raikou, however, fell backwards completely, eyes widened. He couldn't be exiled from the council altogether…forever! Where would he go? What would he do? If he didn't have his Legendary powers how would anyone expect him to defend himself from the Pokemon-hungry human trainers? His whole life flashed before his eyes, as if he was seconds away from a painful death.
"But Arceus," Suicune eventually called out, earning the attention of every living thing in the room, the sudden exposure of her opinion on the matter coming unexpectedly, "how will Raikou live among the world? He is practically sentenced to death if he is stripped of the very powers that protect him from the people who are eager to use him for their horrific fantasies!"
The crowd grew in volume, thoughts on Suicune's theorization of the future for the banned Legendary being expressed through even more debates. Arceus even seemed concerned about the matter, as his glowing eyes peered at the still-stunned Raikou with a hint of lingering sympathy.
"I'll take him."
The room suddenly grew silent when a ghastly, yet powerful, tone had muttered that single sentence which filled Raikou's heart with uncertain ease. All eyes turned to the corner of the room where the ghost-like body of Darkrai stood still, his black smoke-like skin swaying in the passing breezes of unnatural air. His sea-green eyes switched emotionlessly between the dozens of colorful eyes that were set on his countenance, every one of their owners expressing pure shock at his very out-of-character decision.
"Are you sure about this, Darkrai?" Arceus muttered over the silence of the crowd, his glowing eyes filled with its own implied surprise on the matter.
Darkrai only nodded, eyes still narrowed. "Yeah…my island would provide the kid good protection, and he will practically be out of way of everybody. Besides, I could use his help on some things around my place." After finishing his sentence, the dark-type Pokemon only leaned against the wall, arms crossed.
All of the other Legendaries remained silent, surprised at Darkrai's sudden urge to volunteer and actually help with something, as the said dark-type was of the loner attitude, always keeping his thoughts to himself. Even Cresselia, his counterpart psychic-type, who was floating only a few feet away from him, allowed her eyes to soften, impressed by his sudden show of support and generosity (although doubts still filled her mind).
Suicune exchanged a look of relief with Entei, happy that Raikou wasn't going to get thrown out on the streets. She even had to agree that such a way of life as sharing Newmoon Island with Darkrai would be a nice idea since it gave the thunder tiger all the space and isolation he needed to think over his life. A sudden feeling of sadness roared from within her, though, at realizing that it would be extremely hard to visit Raikou under these conditions, as well as seeing as how exiled Legendaries weren't allowed to correspond with still active ones.
"Very well," Arceus muttered, eyes closed in the act of calming himself. "Raikou, in the midst of your exile I will allow you the option of staying with Darkrai on his island. I am sure you already know of the terms of being banned from the Legendary council, on how you won't be able to visit or make contact with any of the other Legendaries apart from Darkrai and Cresselia."
Raikou only nodded, his eyes expressing joy from Darkrai's generous offer, although his conscious still moaned in depression from him being banned in the first place. Why didn't he bother to plead himself not guilty? He knew of his sins (despite that they all had been accidents), and he even agreed to how he didn't deserve the title of 'Legendary' because of it. So, he thought, maybe if he was absent from the council the world would be a lot better place. Despite these obvious facts, though, he couldn't fight the small pinch of regret that filled his body when he pondered on it, or every time he looked at Suicune – at remembering he would never be allowed to see her or Entei ever again.
Entei was like his mentor, the father he never had. The large fire lion had always been there whenever Raikou had been depressed about something, cheering the thunder tiger up with his wise views on everything, which convinced Raikou to see his problems in a different viewpoint.
Suicune…well, Suicune was everything to him. He was aware that she didn't favor him a whole lot, but he couldn't help but be amazed by her stunning elegance anyway. It was now and only now when he regretted never telling her that he –
His thoughts were suddenly subsided when he felt himself being lifted into the air, a blinding light encompassing him. He could feel his muscles weaken, as if the energy that surged through them was being drained out at that very instant. It didn't take the thunder tiger long to comprehend that Arceus was removing him of his powers that made him a Legendary in the first place, lowering the strength of his abilities to nothing above the normal level. Eventually when Raikou felt his claws make contact with the floor, he opened his eyes, spotting the last bit of pure blinding light escape from Arceus' eyes as the God Pokemon sucked in the immense power that had been removed from his body.
"There," Arceus began as he returned his eyes towards Raikou, "you are a Legendary no more."
The God Pokemon sailed his eyes over the Legendary jury. "My decision is final. Court is adjourned."
Immediately the Legendaries rose, although they didn't move afterwards and instead watched Raikou make his way over to his counterparts. The thunder tiger gave Entei a friendly nuzzle against the shoulder, in which the fire lion only nodded in an understanding manner before stepping back to allow him to say goodbye to Suicune.
"You idiot," the water dog choked up, tears threatening to fall out of her ruby eyes as Raikou approached her. "You really messed up this time, didn't you?" Her head was low, her body shivering with every tearful gasp. Despite that she was quite happy that Raikou had a safe place to stay - that she didn't even favor her thunder counterpart that whole much - she couldn't fight the unexplained emotions that were building up inside of her.
Raikou only lowered his head in response, aware that his mistakes had cost him his place among the Legendaries. He nuzzled her in a friendly way under the chin, almost stepping back at the sudden radiation of power that bounced across his fur in response. Was that the normal feeling an average Pokemon felt every time one made contact with a Legendary? It was quite an amazing sensation. Because of this reason Raikou wanted to nuzzle her again, but shook the urge away and instead reluctantly made his way towards the exit out of the court room, which Darkrai was already standing impatiently by, waiting for him.
Shooting a look of yearning towards his used-to-be-fellow Legendaries, Raikou eyed the rows of compassionate eyes that were being given to him by those who had even opposed against him – the whole court was feeling sympathy for him. He soon sighed, however, and bowed his head low as he followed Darkrai out of the room, ready to be taken to Newmoon Island.
His new permanent home.