"Raikou…please wake up…"
That voice…it sounded so familiar – like a vocal memory of the sort, seething into Raikou's mind like the very coldness that began to climb up his forelegs. His sight was enshrouded in darkness, his hearing only on the verge of returning to normal, which was why he couldn't fully comprehend the gender of whoever was calling out to him, obviously trying to coax him to wake. He found himself wondering if it was Jeff, as the Roselia had been the one to wake him in a similar moment quite a while ago, which, to Raikou, felt like years had gone by since.
The war with Terotrey…it appeared that it took more than an entire millennia to finish; when, in reality, it had spanned across a time range of only a few weeks. These weeks were hard, tedious, filled with tribulations every living organism out there couldn't possibly comprehend – every warrior could not outmatch, despite that the Legendaries, who had been the main victims, most likely saw this as another attempt towards world domination like all the other occasions in the past generation. This wasn't the first time a human grew insane from the advantages a Legendary's strength could bring; oh no, it was not – it was far from being the first time.
"Raikou…open your eyes…"
There it was again; that voice. Raikou could feel his nose scrunch up in response – a reflex that brought his snoozing face to display conflict and bewilderment among trying to identify the mysterious coaxer. The exile knew now, due to his halfway-replenished hearing sense, that it wasn't Jefferson Drewyer Roselia like he had speculated at first. In fact, he was convinced it wasn't Mewtwo, Deoxys, Heatran, Drendan, or even Skyler. The tone was feminine, belonging to a strong owner who, as of now, was apparently carrying slight compassion for his status. No doubt was she worried for him; but if she wasn't one of his allies, then who was she?
Raikou did not remember much of what happened after Terotrey was killed. Arceus had been released just like the Legendaries only minutes before, and with their combined powers had finally slain the aforementioned being. In the process, Arceus had engulfed the world in light, exorcizing his corrupted figure away, and also drawing out and destroying any leftover evil that was lingering in the air around the deceased scientist's gravesite. It was a sort of revelation, you could say; the religious aftermath of Armageddon when the planet renewed itself; although, in this case, the act wasn't as epic as pictured in the bible.
"Raikou…come on…please wake up…"
The exile found himself succumbing to wake as each memory of prior times found their way back into his mind. His amnesiac moment was beginning to dissipate, and, alongside it, his drowsiness – the fatigue brought onto him by the battle with Terotrey. Because of this, he noticed the ability to open his eyes come into his control, his sense of feel returning and therefore allowing the coldness of the room he was in to become known. His fur was damp; the floor colder than the atmosphere around him, which seemed to carry a quiet hue of calmness. If there was any action – any sort of conflict happening in the room, then the semblance that existed did not match it. It was because of this did Raikou feel relaxed, no longer hesitating to spend time reconfiguring himself before finally releasing his eyes to gaze upon the surroundings.
It was blurry at first, and light decked the ceiling, or what he thought was the ceiling. He was laying down on his side, the frozen touch of the granite floor cushioning his cheek and the rest of his body. Lights shone from above, reflecting off the gold color that the walls around him seemed to portray. As his vision sorted itself, the smoky veil that doused it dissipating with every small blink he took through his squinted eyes, he was able to see his own fallen countenance being mimicked from the mirroring architecture of the room. He remembered only one place that held such attributes among its walls and flooring, which the thought of it brought both comfort and even more confusion to his state.
The Hall of Legends.
What was he doing here, he wondered? Had he been brought here after Arceus' revelation?
It was also at this realization did new questions come to mind – questions that grew antsy to liberate themselves through his mouth. Where were the other Legendaries? Were they okay? Where were his allies, or Atsila's army?
Was it over? Was it finally over for sure, or was this simply a false illusion of peace when the tables had really turned at the last minute?
No…for some reason Raikou was certain that it was over; that Terotrey was finally dead and there was no need for fear to still exist. In the midst of this thought, Raikou found himself growing curious to know who had been coaxing him to wake earlier. Now that he was fully aware of his surroundings, he was able to raise his head and spot the mirrored image of the said mysterious caller as they were reflected across the wall, shown standing right behind him.
He quirked his eyebrow as he focused on it.
A crystalline head ornament that was attached to its head…
Raikou's eyes had only begun to brighten with realization when the said coaxer cooed out his name in the loving voice he had been so longing to hear.
Immediately the thunder tiger rolled around so he could face the being that he presumed was his long-lost lover – one of the many Legendaries who had been revived in the midst of Terotrey's defeat.
And, who not to say, there she was, gazing at him with those scarlet eyes he had been lusting to see again; the scarlet eyes whom he had fought Death directly for; the scarlet eyes that served as his motivation to not give up; to not surrender; to not go down without a fight.
The scarlet eyes he had finally been reunited with.
A big smile found its way onto Raikou's snout, his voice coming out as a breathless gasp – most likely out of grateful confirmation.
The water dog grinned herself as she noticed that he was awake. "Raikou!"
Needless to say, despite that the said thunder tiger was struggling to get up then and there and was on the verge of finally gaining balance, she purred in joy and ran forward, colliding with the exile. Together they crashed to the ground in a laughing heap, glad that the other was there, and that they were finally reunited after what felt like years apart. They nuzzled, licked, and everything else that affectionate lovers would do after coming together once again, and, in the midst of it all, Raikou didn't even care about how much his back ached from all the pounces Suicune gave him, giggling herself like the childish Pokemon Raikou was always proclaimed to be. No, he didn't care at all; in fact, all of his worries dissipated then and there, as if Suicune was the cure for every single type of external and internal tribulation that had been conflicting with him.
"I'm so glad you're okay," the water dog commented as she pulled away from a nuzzle under his chin. Raikou blinked, the blush on his cheeks still apparent, although her words had distracted him from trying to hide it. Instead, the exile looked at her, his eyebrows slightly furrowing.
"'I'm okay'?" he then repeated, tone displaying his offended thoughts. "Screw me! What about you?" He leaned in, watching her with worried eyes, slight hesitation swimming around in his irises. "Are you okay?"
Suicune chuckled on how overprotective he had sounded. Of course, she wasn't surprised that he wouldn't care for his own safety, but instead feel only concerned to know the status of hers. He had lost her a while ago to Terotrey; it made sense for him to be paranoid around the topic of her being hurt, despite that she was just fine, and all thanks to him. She brought her eyes to him, softness radiating from her gaze that somehow spoke her words of assurance for her, convincing Raikou to smile anyway. "I'm fine…Raikou," she murmured, tone soft and calm, yet filled with a ghost of pure joy – like an echo that was taking a while to dissipate. "And all because of you." She turned her gaze downward, her small smile growing big as her next words poured quietly from her lips. "You did it."
Raikou, relieved that she was all right, could feel himself cock his head at her statement, regardless that the answer behind it was obvious. "What'd I do?" he asked, his cluelessness showing through the goofy-looking quirked eyebrow Suicune had always expected a lot from her counterpart, and therefore had grown satisfied towards seeing.
Nonetheless, she chuckled towards his obliviousness. "You stopped Terotrey, Raikou. You won – we won, and all because of you." As Raikou smiled among the remembrance of it, Suicune added, "Every Legendary is back to normal now."
The thunder tiger blinked at those last words, his earlier questions peaking into his mind and coming out his mouth just as fast as they had been resurrected. "Where are the other Legendaries?" he began, his tone swift to where Suicune struggled to comprehend what he said. "Is everyone okay? Where are Mewtwo, Deoxys, and Heatran-"
"Raikou!" Suicune moaned out, ceasing the thunder tiger instantly. Her annoyed eyes shook themselves back into a warm veil, however, and her smile returned, replacing her bewildered frown. "Everyone's fine. In fact…" She turned around, pointing towards a golden hallway nearby that appeared deserted, but yet led down to somewhere important. "They're all waiting for you. Everyone's been waiting for you. I'm not the only one who has thanks to give."
The exile quirked his eyebrow, but before he could ask her on what she entirely meant, the water dog was already halfway out the door. "Come on," was all she muttered, voice drenched in softness, and Raikou found himself shrugging to no one in particular as he moved forward and followed her.
They both made their way down the hall, Raikou silent the whole time, seeing as how he somehow knew all of the questions he wanted to ask would soon be answered. Suicune stayed in front, leading him, yet not turning to face him at all, despite that the exile could tell her smile was still present. In fact, when they both reached a closed door, Raikou recognized the hieroglyphics on the front and mentally-dubbed it as the entrance into the meeting room, where he began to wonder if that's where everyone was located.
Slowly Suicune slid her paw down the door's gold surface, feeling its genuine coldness reach her paw pads, and as the door opened, revealing the cathedral-sized room behind, Raikou felt his eyes widen as high calls of cheer reached his ears in response.
And all because every single Legendary inside had broke out into victorious chants upon the thunder tiger's long-awaited arrival. He allowed his surprised scarlet eyes to sail across the grateful expressions that rested on the Legendaries' faces, as well as on those that belonged to Atsila, Bouldarin, and the remaining members of the army that blended in well with the collage of Pokemon who were cheering for him.
And more cheering.
Raikou felt his smile return at the sight – at the realization that every single Legendary – every single Pokemon in the room was cheering for him. They were actually cheering for him. Him. Such a thing had been proclaimed oxymoronic and impossible to happen only weeks ago; but now, the looks on the Legendaries' faces were, for once, not directed towards one of their own, but instead him. He was being praised, clapped for, and mentally complimented by each ruler of natural balance that currently existed; and all because he did something right.
All because he was a hero.
The thunder tiger turned his happy expression towards his lover, in which the said water dog had already joined in with her Legendary comrades, cheering for him. As he met her gaze, she nodded, physically signaling that he deserved to walk forward and accept the renown and thanks he had earned. Even in such times of darkness, he had continued to move along, fighting for the sake of Legendaries even when he wasn't one himself. When Death stared him in the face, it only motivated him to continue. He may not have been a Legendary, but he showed more courage than one has ever done before. Needless to say, as the Legendaries and Pokemon army's cheers echoed throughout the meeting room, Raikou realized the aforementioned thought, grinning to prove that he was convinced he did something right; and, as to add, he was quite proud of himself.
However, instead of boasting arrogantly like he would've done in the past, he basked in the moment by walking forward, immediately being covered by the Legendaries, who took that time to say their thanks out loud, some even reaching forward to pat the exile affectionately on the head.
"Good job, Raikou!"
"I always knew you could do it!"
"You sure showed us!"
"What were you exiled for again? I forget…"
Raikou allowed his grin to widen as he made eye contact with every single Legendary that surrounded him. There was so much cheer in the air…he started to feel his ears ring; although, he didn't mind due to the fact that this – actually being praised for victory – was new to him.
"MY MAIN DUDE'S BACK!"
The exile stopped in movement as this very sentence burst though the air, the familiar tone somehow louder than the cheers from the surrounding Legendaries. He wandered his bewildered eyes in search for the source, but instead widened them when a recognizable Roselia and Flygon burst from the crowd and began to run straight towards him like runaway trains. In fact, when they made contact, Raikou was thrown backwards and onto the ground as Jeff and Skyler pounced on him, their expressions reflecting the definition of joy. The Roselia accompanied this by wrapping his tiny arms around the exile's neck, rubbing his cheek affectionately against his, while Skyler hugged the thunder tiger's abdomen, tail wagging like crazy. Eventually, Raikou smiled once he regained his surroundings, returning the warm embraces his two friends were giving him.
Soon, they both stepped off, allowing him to return to his feet and continue his way to the front of the room as the Legendaries gestured him to do so. He emerged from the crowd, making eye contact with Atsila and Bouldarin as he passed them, watching them smile and nod as the Pokemon behind them exploded with cued cheer. Raikou could even feel himself smirk when he spotted Flame and Shadow amongst the group, the Absol leaning in to lick the Charmeleon's cheek, causing the emerald-eyed fire lizard to blush (although his red skin hid it well).
Raikou turned his head forward as he continued on, feeling himself grin with relief when he spotted none other than Mewtwo (who was partially busy from hugging his 'sister', Mew), Deoxys, Heatran, and Drendan standing nearby, eyeing him with gratefulness. The thunder tiger quickened his pace and ran up to them, hugging each one as a sign of thanks, their own congratulations on the whole situation pouring from their mouths in the midst of it. They eventually pointed to a certain phantom and metallic swan who were floating by Arceus' pedestal, in which Raikou nearly squeaked for joy when he recognized them as well.
The thunder tiger rushed forward, coming up to the two counterparts. Darkrai had bandages wrapped around certain parts of his body, but apart from that, his glowing sea-green eyes and hidden smile signified his happiness towards the conclusion of the tale. Cresselia, on the other hand, had a motherly look gracing her own gaze as she floated forward when Raikou approached, craning her neck down so she could plant a soft kiss to the thunder tiger's forehead. "Thank you, Raikou," she then murmured as the exile blushed. "I would be lost without you – we would be lost without you."
She floated aside to let Darkrai in, in which Raikou's blush dissipated and his smile returned almost instantly. The phantom leaned forward and brought the exile into a warm hug, all in the while of saying, "Thanks for looking out for my ass back there."
"When don't you need someone to look out for your ass?" Raikou then replied, teasing humor gracing his tone, and Darkrai pulled away, his expression displaying sudden annoyance.
"Bite me, kid."
However, just as fast as his eyes had narrowed, they loosened up and a laugh burst from his lips. He continued his brotherly hug with Raikou, in which the thunder tiger returned happily.
The voice that had called his name was strong and slow, filled with pride of an elegant being. Raikou exchanged a look with Darkrai, who turned around towards the source of the call, making eye contact with none other than Arceus as the God Pokemon stood tall upon his pedestal. At that direct moment, the cheering stopped, and every Legendary stumbled to take their places among the jury seats, in which Raikou could only stare bewilderedly as they did so. However, Darkrai seemed to catch what was going on, and therefore he floated away from Raikou, Cresselia doing the same, leaving the exile the only being standing right in front of Arceus' pedestal.
Just as he had been doing when he was exiled.
Raikou realized what was happening – Arceus wanted to talk to him about the war, possibly his contribution among it. Was he going to praise him like the other Legendaries did? Did the thunder tiger perhaps break another rule in the midst of trying to rescue them? Whatever it was, Raikou felt nervous despite the odds of it being something good. He had mental flashbacks of the day of his exile as he stared up into Arceus' golden eyes, the God Pokemon remaining silent, which added suspense to the already tense moment. A cough protruded from the jury seats, the Legendaries keeping quiet, while Atsila and the Pokemon army remained in the back alongside Raikou's closer allies, acting like the spectators in the court-like room.
Arceus let out an elongated sigh, his voice soon emerging from his lips like slow-moving water. If he was happy towards Raikou for anything, he was hiding it well with his intimidating countenance. "Raikou…as you know…the last time you stood in the place you are now, you were being put onto trial. Reasons were stated, and you soon found yourself exiled from the council permanently, which was due to your arrogance and the mistakes caused by it."
Raikou bowed his head, remembering it all. He found his mind soon drifting back to what Terotrey had said – about how all Legendaries were arrogant and therefore made unforgivable mistakes. However, at this thought, the exile felt his head rise so he could look at Arceus, feeling his next words pour out with meaning. "Terotrey Horrifiance wanted to create a better world, but yet he was willing to hurt so many to do so. However…" He turned his scarlet eyes to the army behind him, making eye contact with Heatran. "…even if he was evil…he was right."
The Legendaries gasped at this like offended people stating blasphemy. Arceus himself even arched his brow, although he didn't find Raikou's words at all backstabbing, but instead curious to know the reason why he said it.
Raikou sighed, ignoring the Legendaries. "I have made mistakes due to my arrogance; but yet, as Terotrey said, we all have." He began to wander his eyes over the jury, watching as the Legendaries' faces grew down with realization of the truthful matter. "You've all had your bickering; your fights; you needs to prove to your counterparts that you were better, and in the process accidentally hurt others. When thought about, you've all committed the grave mistake that I had." He returned his eyes to Arceus. "On the other hand, unlike Terotrey, I was told and still believe that forgiveness will always be there. Mistakes are made to be learned from, and I've learned not to let my arrogance blind me – to see matters in the viewpoint any other would instead of just in the eyes of a Legendary: to believe that just because I hold supreme power I can't make mistakes.
"Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone learns from them. Just because we're Legendaries doesn't mean we're different from normal Pokemon, or even humans. In fact, we talk, we have emotions, we laugh, we know how to have fun, we make friends, we even need hope at times" – he shot a friendly glance to Darkrai at this – "and we make mistakes. The best thing we can do is learn from them, and hope that the future will be better, like any individual would."
Needless to say, as Raikou's speech ended, every Legendary in the room exchanged both surprised and realizing glances. The army did the same, some with their jaws dropped at the philosophical hues the words had contained, while Mewtwo and the rest of the exile's closer allies only waited in tension for Arceus' response.
Speaking of which, the said God Pokemon's own eyes were slightly widened from Raikou's mature statements, although his gaze showed more support than shock. In fact, Arceus' expression soon contorted back into its serious one, his words coming out with deep mellowness. "Raikou…"
The thunder tiger tensed up.
"…you are right."
Raikou opened his eyes in surprise, looking up to the God Pokemon, who seemed to be keeping his own gaze away out of shame. "We've all committed the same mistake you have, and perhaps it was this very arrogance that prevented us from realizing until now.
"Raikou, in times of need, you have shown what it takes to be a Legendary – to be a hero. You've have also proven that the heroes of the world do not always have to rest on just the shoulders of a Legendary, but of the normal inhabitants as well." As if on cue, the Pokemon army smiled to one another, while Arceus continued. "Mistakes were meant to be learned from, and Raikou…you were the first to learn from ours."
The exile felt a smile begin to creep up his snout.
Arceus returned his eyes to the jury, his own smile beginning to form across his lips. "Forgiveness should always be considered, which is why...well. All on favor of Raikou becoming a Legendary once again, say 'aye'!"
To no surprise, Suicune spoke up first with the word, Entei, Darkrai, and Cresselia following, while soon, the other convinced Legendaries did the same. Mewtwo, Deoxys, Heatran, Drendan, Jeff and Skyler also agreed, Atsila and the army mirroring. Raikou could feel his smile grow big as his eyes wandered to all of the supporting Legendaries, amazed by the fact that every single organism in the room wanted him back on the team.
Arceus brought his eyes to Raikou. "Then it's settled."
Before the exile could respond, though, he felt himself being lifted into the air as blinding white light flashed from Arceus' eyes. Every Legendary, despite that they knew what was happening, gazed in awe at the sight, while the army and Raikou's closer allies allowed their own jaws to drop. Raikou felt a tingling sensation erupt throughout his body as Arceus returned his Legendary essence, power that had been absent before returning to his every sense. Soon, the thunder tiger made soft contact with the ground as Arceus awoke from the state he was in, now gazing upon Raikou with soft eyes, his next words coming out with friendliness.
"Welcome back, Legendary."
As if on cue, the other Legendaries exploded with cheer while Raikou grinned with glee upon realizing he was finally one of them again. Darkrai rushed forward, Cresselia following, and Mewtwo, Deoxys, Jeff, Skyler, Drendan, and Heatran came forward, picking the readmitted Legendary up altogether so he could gaze down at his allies with confidence. Arceus felt himself smile at the sight, the other Legendaries soon getting up and rushing forward to surround Raikou once again.
He was finally back.
He was finally home.
"So…have you heard that Arceus says we're gonna be considered Legendaries although we're technically not?"
Mewtwo blinked at the sound of Deoxys' voice. He turned around to face her, watching as she approached. The meeting room had grown calm after Raikou's return to the council, and now the Legendaries were spread out throughout the room, talking to one another as if they were now celebrating the ceremony with a small party.
The manmade Pokemon (or 'Legendary' now, as Deoxys stated) crossed his arms, eyebrow quirked. "Really now?"
Deoxys nodded. "Yup – something about us proving ourselves and that we can be considered one of them if we want to be."
Mewtwo could feel a smile grow across his snout, which was abnormal for him, although it was all because Deoxys being considered a Legendary assured one thing. "So," he began, trying his best to keep his voice as calm and emotionless as he was known to do, "does that mean you're going to stay here…on Earth?"
Deoxys scratched the back of her head, and when his words processed through her mind, her expression became that of a bewildered one. "Hmm…you didn't think I was going to stay even if I wasn't made a Legendary?"
The manmade Legendary stumbled from her sentence, realizing that she was nearly onto his need for her to stay…with him. He quickly turned around, trying to hide his blush, mentally scolding himself for even having the ability to crack under pressure. He was Mewtwo! The supreme clone of all! He wasn't the type to stumble under the mere flick of embarrassment! He was better than that…
Okay, not really.
He escaped from his thoughts when he felt a hand grasp his shoulder, turning him around and allowing his eyes to come in contact with the ones of Deoxys, the short distance between them causing his face to heat up. "I'm not gonna leave…" she then softly assured. A warm laugh emitted from her. "You can't take care of yourself without me. Knowing you, you'll probably blow something up as soon as I escape the ozone layer."
"I will not blow-" Mewtwo began, offended; however, he was cut off by Deoxys when she brought him into a warm embrace, her head resting right below the edge of his shoulder. He blushed from the contact, but eventually found himself smiling as he returned the hug, resting his head on top of hers.
He may have had his intolerance when it came to 'softness'.
Mewtwo pulled away from Deoxys, who gazed at him lovingly as he was doing to her.
But, for her, he'd make an exception.
Besides, he needed someone to look out for his big jug-like head.
Atsila smiled as he gazed upon his army, who were packing up to head back to Earth and return to their rightful clans. He was proud of all of them for displaying such bravery in battle, and although some were lost, their spirits would not be forgotten – he would make sure of that. His emerald eyes turned towards Raikou, who was talking to Suicune alongside the rest of his closer allies. The Charizard had spoken to the thunder tiger only minutes ago, stating that if he needed any help, then his clan would always be available for guidance.
The chieftain felt his eyes blink in surprise when he noticed a Rhydon come up to the side of him, gaze transfixed onto the army, which happened to consist of both of their clans' members. The Charizard remembered his feud with the stone Pokemon – on how they were brothers, but confusion and misunderstandings led to a war between their tribes that eventually convinced the Charizard to forget the family connection he had with the Rhydon. Of course, from the things he had learned that day – from the things stated by Raikou – he, for some reason, started to dislike having the relationship between them remain as a forgotten bloodline.
"It looks like you might have to plan a wedding soon," Bouldarin the Rhydon suddenly stated, causing Atsila to look at him with confusion. However, following his gaze, he saw his son, Flame, and Shadow the Absol stick out from the front of the group, enjoying each other's company. The Charizard felt himself smile at the sight – that Shadow had always proven herself to be a good friend to Flame, and all because she watched over him like his mother, Scalene, always did. Of course, now, it had grown to be more than just a family-like relationship between them – everyone saw that.
Returning to the topic of Bouldarin, though: Atsila knew the Rhydon was just trying to start a conversation out of the blue to possibly ease up the tension that had lingered around them ever since the start of their clans' war. Even with it 'solved', there was still much nervousness that existed when the two chieftains were in the same room. Then again, Atsila's mind kept returning to Raikou's moral.
Mistakes are made.
They are learned from.
And forgiveness is allowed.
Atsila returned his eyes to Bouldarin. "Perhaps our clans should feast together – to celebrate the outcome of the fight with Terotrey."
The Rhydon turned to look at the old Charizard, although, with his depression for various things still present, all he did was nod in agreement. Atsila felt slightly hurt at the sight, despite that he was sure he knew how to fix it, and did just that as he turned to walk the other way.
"Then I'll be looking forward to seeing you there, brother."
Bouldarin simply nodded, still seeming sad…
…that is, until his mind comprehended what Atsila had said.
Immediately his eye widened, and he quickly turned his attention to Atsila, mouth gaped. "You…you just called me 'brother'!"
Atsila laughed at Bouldarin's surprise of the matter, and turned his head to look at the Rhydon, emitting his response to the clan leader's implied question on why.
"Forgiveness should always be considered."
"So…it's finally over…" Suicune observed as she laid her head against Raikou's shoulder. The thunder tiger felt himself smile at the thought, glad that he was a Legendary again, and yet had convinced the council to attempt to avoid the mistakes they had made in the past. He felt like he had revolutionized the entire system, or something like that; he didn't really care at the moment. Instead, he just continued to nuzzle his lover, smile strong.
However, when his scarlet eyes wandered over to a certain lava toad that was in the midst of leaving, the thunder tiger turned to Suicune. "Uh, can you excuse me for a minute?"
Suicune smiled, nodding.
Raikou broke away and took off down the room until he came up to Heatran, ceasing the lava toad's movement by calling out his name. As the old exile, Drendan his trustworthy Lucario friend by his side, turned to face the approaching thunder tiger, he watched with curious eyes.
"Where are you going?" Raikou asked as he came closer and stopped.
Heatran turned to look at the door before returning his gaze to the thunder tiger. "Raikou…the Legendary council ain't no place for me anymore. Besides, Terotrey may be gone, but he still left a big mess behind back on Earth. It's going to take Drendan and I a while to clean it up."
"But you helped me!" Raikou replied, his grin returning. "Maybe if we talk to Arceus, he'll let you back on the council."
Heatran chuckled as a parent would if a kid mentioned something absurd, yet generous. The lava toad then brought his eyes to Raikou, who had cocked his head at his response. "Raikou, I told you; the Legendary council ain't no place for the likes of me. I've been on it for centuries, and now, to tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind a long vacation. And there's also Team Rocket. No doubt with Terotrey gone will Giovanni return sooner or later to fix the damage he did. We gotta make sure they don't do anything desperate."
"Raikou, you taught me a lot. You showed me that it doesn't just take a Legendary to do something great. However, for me, the life of a Legendary is pretty damn hectic. I have to give you kudos for wanting to stick with it." He smirked, and Raikou smiled himself as he begun to understand. The lava toad turned to face the door. "Maybe, eventually, I'll return; maybe I won't. I just need some time to myself to think things over, you know? But hey…" He flashed a smile towards Raikou. "If you ever need someone to talk to, you know where I live. Just because you're a Legendary again doesn't mean you can't chat with a good old friend."
And with that, Heatran left, Drendan murmuring out a "See you later, Raikou," before following after the lava toad.
Raikou smiled, watching where Heatran used to be as Suicune, Entei, Darkrai, Cresselia, and Jeff and Skyler came up from behind him. "Thanks, Heatran," he muttered under his breath before turning to face his best friends and lover.
"So," Darkrai began, crossing his arms, a slight tone of hopelessness covering his voice. "It looks like with the way you're a Legendary again…you won't be bunking with me anymore. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted, even though it didn't last very long…"
Raikou smiled. "Come on, Darkrai, I can always just sleep over at your place every now and then."
"Yeah…" Darkrai replied, dragging the word out. "I don't do the sleepover thing. You know, since it's sort of like freeloading?"
Cresselia groaned from the side of him. "There you go again with that freeloading thing!"
"What?" Darkrai retorted, eyes narrowed. "If they're not paying me for giving them ground to walk on, then they can get the hell off!"
"Do you have to be so inconsiderate when it comes to simple Pokemon trying to find a place to stay for the night?"
"Yes. I. Do."
Cresselia snorted. "I don't even know why I'm in love with you. Seriously, I don't."
"Pfft, you say that now! I bet you two to one that you're going to want to get up real close tonight."
"What? It's the truth! You know you can't resist me." He put on a seductive grin - until Cresselia smacked him right on one of his wounds. "OW!"
"That's what you get!"
Raikou and Suicune, ignoring the bickering between Darkrai and Cresselia as it continued on behind them, rolled their eyes at the situation before sneaking off unnoticed like Entei. As Jeff and Skyler ran off – no doubt to bother Mewtwo and Deoxys – Raikou turned to Suicune, nuzzling her one last time as they both gazed at the meeting room together.
"Are you glad to be back?" the water dog asked, resting her head on his shoulder once more. Raikou chuckled before licking her forehead, all in the while of softly emitting his response.
"Yeah…this is home."
And it always will be…
"You idiots! I swear I should throw you all down this blasted mountain!"
The grunts of Team Rocket winced at the sound of Giovanni's roaring voice. Not too long ago had he been let out of his prison state, finally able to take back the control of Team Rocket due to the fact that Terotrey was dead. Now he was watching over the betraying grunts as they struggled to recover any important data from the ruins of the Rocket base among the valleys of Sinnoh – aka the battleground where Terotrey was defeated. Needless to say, and he didn't say this often, but Giovanni was quite thankful towards the Legendaries for taking the aforementioned silver-haired scientist out.
The day was calm and cool, the sun shining, although the grunts were going through hell despite. They were all too scared to dare neglect Giovanni, seeing as how the said man's expression was drenched in hatred. Of course, the fact that his face was bruised up, him having to keep an icepack against his cheek, the intimidation of it all wasn't exactly as strong as it could've been.
"I said faster, you morons! Arceus, I should demote you all to janitors and then have you build more facilities so we have an excuse to have more damn janitors!"
Yeah…he was still pretty horrifying. The grunts didn't mind accepting him as their boss once again.
Giovanni snarled to himself, squishing the icepack against his face. Absentmindedly, he turned his eyes downward to look upon the sandy ground, and only to allow his brows to rise slightly at the sight of a small piece of metal sticking out of the dirt. With a decent amount of curiosity he leaned down and picked the palm-sized fragment up.
It looked like it was from a machine of a sort.
No…it wasn't just from any broken machine. Giovanni could tell of this. It was from Terotrey's extraction machine.
The renewed boss of Team Rocket stared at it with narrowed eyes, remembering how Terotrey betrayed him. And, because of this, he soon tossed the piece behind him, snorting. "Good riddance," he muttered, walking away from it.
And the said fragment laid there, the winds allowing sand to cover it, soon disappearing beneath the ground.
Like a lost artifact.
Like a thrown-away memory.
Like a forgiven sin.
Like a forgotten legend.
AN: This marks the end. Thanks for reading!