Disclaimer: For the last time (in this particular story), I do not own Pokémon.
Author's Note: So, at long last, we have reached the final chapter of Faint...I must admit I'm relieved. After over a year of this story hanging over my head, after struggling for that long to summon up the motivation to complete this project, I can finally add the "Complete" tag to this one and no longer need to worry about leaving its readers hanging. Yet while, I confess, this story dragged for me, in the end I find myself rather proud and even fond of it. Of all of my works, this is the only one which possesses what I feel is a realistic chronicle of a developing relationship, including an accurate timeline. That, and I was able to nod to numerous aspects of Mewtwo's character, including what was revealed in the anime, the radio drama, the manga, and the games, as well as trends in various fanfiction. So I have to say I'm rather content with how this turned out.
At any rate, to all those who read and reviewed in the past, thank you very much! I greatly appreciate it, and hope that the conclusion of Faint will not disappoint you.
Phase 9.) The Dawn:
In the minutes following his return to Purity Canyon, Miyuutsuu stood within the medical chamber of the island complex, absorbing the silence and the half-light of the late afternoon sun, whose glow flowed into the cave through the windows carved out from its walls. A somber quiet, the offspring of his nearly incapacitating sorrow and his emotional exhaustion, seeped through his spirit, and for a moment he considered lying upon the hard earth for rest, as, he saw, the mat where he had left Kamaria in hours before was soiled with biological waste. The putrid odors of vomit, loose stool, perspiration, blood, and amniotic fluid were enough to make his stomach heave, but covering his muzzle with a paw, he managed to suppress the urge, though the soul taste of bile erupted in the back of his throat. Swallowing the vile substance down, he glanced around the room, grasping what had occurred in sluggish intervals from the physical evidence and the lingering aural markers: sickness, pain, terror...and then, most potently of all, intense grief, so black it threatened to smother him like a noxious, lethal gas. Here, that darkness whispered, a Reaper had stepped within this home, cutting down a mere bud of life with the eternal scythe, and it had left behind the progenitor of that life, sentencing her to an era of mourning for a being lost before it had begun to live. Stepping away, his breath rasping in his closing throat, the male teleported the mess of fabrics well beneath the earth where they could decompose, and then telekinetically lifted a few gallons of bleach, spilling their contents across the sullied stone floor. As the odorous base spread, eradicating any microbes it encountered, Miyuutsuu staggered from the chamber to escape the fumes as well as the haunting metaphysical byproducts of Kamaria struggles and her loss. Yet he would not flee from the female herself; with watering eyes, he cast out his empathic senses, reaching out for the absent clone in the only way he could when she was not within his physical presence. Upon not discovering her within the caverns, he asked AI, softly, (Where is she?)
AI, speaking for the first time in hours, murmured, "She is where you both stargaze, onii-san."
His eyes were clouded, unfocused, and closing them, he breathed out, (Thank you.)
And Miyuutsuu, during that hour, said nothing more to his creation...instead he teleported to the cliff where, ultimately, their mutual downfall had been triggered. When he rematerialized, the shade cast by the willow sapling brushed over his toes, and the crisp scent of clovers rose in the air as their flowers and leaves were crushed beneath his footfalls. Beneath the slender truck of the youthful tree, his dearest one knelt, her head bowed and her shoulders, looking so fragile, quaking. Pearly tears ran down her cheeks in well-traced tracks, indicating that she had been weeping for quite some time. Witnessing her naked sorrow deepened the wounds of his own heart, and with leaden movements he walked up behind her...and then looked over her to the smooth, white stone set in the ground before her, which had been polished by unnatural elements. The faint azure glow lingering across its surface was all the indication he needed of know that she had tried, lovingly, to make something beautiful of the ugly reality they faced. Further proof of her attentiveness was the short elegy etched into its gleaming face, beneath the image of a winged infant of feline features...:
Little one, who never knew the dawn,
I felt you, knew you, wanted you,
Loved you nine months long,
And still I love you as death embraces you,
My dear, sweet, little daughter,
Who never knew the dawn.
After reading this, he found that he could not breathe; the pain of their loss only sharpened as the gender of the infant was clarified. Their child had been a daughter; had Sakaki not unleashed the poison of his cruelty upon them, he would have been the father of a healthy, whole baby girl. Yet now instead he, like Kamaria, whose heart was even more entangled in the fate of the kit, had been sentenced to one of the most wretched fates of all: outliving their offspring. Kneeling down, he reached out a paw and placed it on the female's quivering shoulder, wishing he could say that everything would be alright - but that would have been an insult to her grief and a condescending lie, and after all of the secrecy in their pasts, further deception would only render void the closeness they had gained over the past several months. So instead he spoke the words which, often times, no matter how honestly they were uttered, never seemed to convey the speaker's sorrow...but they were all he had, and so he whispered, (I am sorry, Kamaria.)
As he spoke, his aura washed over hers in an unconscious attempt to convey to her the intensity of his own grief...and this, it seemed, appeared to let Kamaria know that she was not alone in her mourning, and that she was not the only one broken by this death. Her eyes opened halfway, and in their watery depths no anger burned - she did not have the strength within herself to rage at him for not returning sooner, or for failing to help her and her child as he'd promised. He had tried his best, and now truly regretted that he could have done the impossible. What more could she ask of him...?
Tears trickling down her face as she gazed upon the tiny grave, she murmured to him, (I was going to name her Iris...it was the first flower I saw when I woke up here. There are so many in this place...she would have loved playing among them.) And a frail, bittersweet smile twitched upon her muzzle as she considered what might have been...before the same musings crushed her, causing the weak smile to flicker and die like a guttering candle flame. Turning to him, her sobs renewing their vigor, and she gasped out, (Why…? Why did she have to die? She was pure, innocent...she didn't even have the chance to see the sun before she went...! It should have been me instead - I would have willingly given my life in exchange for hers had I the chance, so why...?)
Choking on her sobs and desperate for any hint of solace another could provide, Kamaria buried herself against him, weeping hot tears into his collar. As he slid his arms around her trembling frame, he vaguely noted that her pelt was cold and damp, and cradled her even closer in the desire to give her warmth. In a low, gentle voice he said that he did not know why fate had turned out this way, and listened to her as she whimpered out that she had only wished to hold her daughter, to raise her child lovingly, and now that dream was dashed aside, impossible to be regained. And Miyuutsuu, throughout her tortured ramblings, held onto her and allowed her to cry freely in his company. In time, his own eyes began to burn with moisture for the unfairness of what had occurred, for Kamaria's suffering, and for the little one, who had been lost to him as much as to her...and eventually, he confessed that he knew who the father of that child was.
Hearing him say that, she lifted her face from his collar and gazed into his face. A shard of fear flickered in her eyes - would he be angry with her? Would she lose him too by the end of this horrible day...? If she did, she knew she would have no one to blame but herself.... (So he told you,) she whispered, and as he nodded, she bowed her head, fresh tears running from her eyes, and gasped, (I'm sorry...! I - I thought about telling you...I fought with myself as to whether or not I should just say it. I-.)
Brushing her tears away with a paw, he quieted her by saying, (Hush, Kamaria. While I cannot say that what you did was right, I can understand why you refrained. As such, I will not begrudge you for it...but I wish you would have told me sooner. Perhaps if you had, I would have done things differently...maybe it would have changed things…maybe....)
As the possibilities were conceived and shattered in his mind, his words ran out and his heart seemed to break entirely - his throat clenched hard, his muscles shook, fluid tickled in his nostrils and pooled in his eyes. As those tears threatened, he attempted to conceal them, wishing to remain strong for the female he cherished above all others in this world, and so rested his forehead against her shoulder, hiding his eyes from her. However, this nearness had a dual effect, for it confirmed to Kamaria that her mistakes would not cause Miyuutsuu to reject her now, and so she wrapped her arms around him, holding him close. As her relief and gratefulness bathed him, he ceased pretending and wept along with her, eventually savoring the tender sensation of her mouth kissing away his own tears. Such touches implored nothing of either of them, but made clear that the innocence between them had been lost; after surviving through a tragedy, perhaps that had been inevitable.... Soon his heart swelled with a need for her nearness, but now, he knew, was not the time to express his desire to her. No, this was a time for mourning, a time for rebuilding the heart, a time for selfless love...and that was what he would give her. Drawing her into his arms, he teleported them back into the island, into caverns far from the hell of the medical facility. AI, upon noting their return and their emotional statuses, shut off her sensor feeds into Kamaria's quarters, allowing them the gift of privacy...and so, alone but for each other, the clones curled up together and held onto one another through the shadowy hours, grieving for what had been lost and what might have been. At times they drank spring water to sooth their throats, but more often they merely took comfort in the touches they exchanged, and in the black dreams which occasionally gave them a reprieve from their despair. During the worst moments of their lives, they clung to sanity and hope by clinging to each other...and in the end, that was what saved them from turning down the path towards true and unmerciful darkness....
When the moon outside reached its zenith, providing them its ghostly light, Miyuutsuu pressed his muzzle to Kamaria's and said softly, sincerely, (I love you, Kamaria.)
In response she lifted a paw, stroked his cheek gently, and pressed her mouth to his as she whispered back, (I know, Miyuutsuu...I know.)
Beyond them, the darkness of the night fled as morning approached...and as the long hours passed, their sorrow and loneliness, like the shadows, began to weaken and retreat, unable to overcome the strength of the ardor they shared….
...When dawn arrived, Miyuutsuu stirred groggily in the thin blankets of Kamaria's nest, sensing the absence of a warmth that had been there in the previous hours. As his eyes drifted open and his arms reached out, neither came to hold his companion within them, and sitting up, he glanced around at the stillness of the room, noting the absence of the female's few possessions. Closing his eyes, he sighed and pressed his face into his palm, attempting to suppress the ache within his heart and head. Kamaria, he knew, had chosen to depart from this place before he woke, and this time she was truly gone. Wearily he lifted his head and slid from the nest, stepping out from the covers and into the brisk spring air. Finding that he was awake, the now watchful AI spoke softly from above, mindful that his spirit might now be as fragile as crystal:
"Before she left, she wrote a letter for you...it's on the table, onii-san."
Without uttering a word, the clone walked over to the stone table and picked up the folded sheet of paper resting there. He hesitated for a moment, and then opened it, allowing his eyes to run across the elegant scrawl, which he was certain Kamaria had written with her telekinesis; such a method was quicker, cleaner, and ultimately more beautiful. Her message read:
The false dawn is tranquil as I write this, and despite the fact that AI and I argued only minutes ago, you remain sleeping soundly in the nest I have reluctantly vacated. You should be proud of your creation, Miyuutsuu - she is extremely loyal to you, and would do anything to ensure your happiness. When she learned of my intentions, she used all of the reasoning in her arsenal to try to persuade me to stay; at the very least, she insisted, I should wake you before I go and say a proper farewell. Yet how could I do such...? How could I bear to see your sorrow at the notion of my departure, or at the mistaken belief in my rejection? This seems to me the kindest way to move forward - it makes us endure no heartbreaking goodbyes, and will still manage to allow me to promise something to you. Yet before I make that vow, you should know why I have chosen this path. You deserve that much and more, Miyuutsuu.
Above all other reasons, I must leave to find closure, my friend. I cannot move past the loss of my...no, of our child...if I remain here. Every sight, every sound, every inhabitant in this place will only remind me of that which I encountered during my pregnancy, and hence will remind me of my hopes for our daughter...and right now, I need to remove myself from all that will force me to dwell on her. I need to make my peace with her death, and the only way I can do that is to move forward into something new. Perhaps, if I can accomplish that, I can then return to you. In the meanwhile, however, I will exploit this journey for all it can offer. I want to see the world, Miyuutsuu, to meet its denizens and experience the richness of their cultures and their beliefs. Maybe through doing so I can discover the kind of person I am, and the person I wish to become...and, ultimately, make myself whole. That way, when I settle down I may do so without regrets, for I will have done all I dreamed of doing, and will no longer need to depend upon someone else emotionally as I have done in the past. I believe you can understand this...or at the very least, I hope you will.
As for our daughter herself...despite that death held her when she came into the world, she remained beautiful. After I had cleansed both her and myself of the blood from childbirth, I saw just how wonderful she would have been - she even had your coloring. Had she lived, I am certain you would have known she was yours the instant you rested your eyes upon her. Maybe someday we will have another chance to create a being like her, albeit in a more meaningful way...yet for now, we will part until the passing of every quarter year. In three months, I will return to Mt. Quena, and when I do, I want to meet with you again. As far as AI is concerned, this is my way of making peace with her...but truly, my friend, this my way of making peace with my own heart, for I doubt I could endure being so far from you for much longer than that.
In the time that we've known each other, you have done so much for me...yet I must ask you one more favor. Please, Miyuutsuu, do not wait in this place, pining for my return as you might be tempted to do. Go out into this glorious world, which, for all its flaws, is nonetheless a true masterpiece to savor. Do not inflict upon yourself isolation as a punishment you do not deserve; after everything else we have suffered, haven't we learned that solitude is among our fiercest banes...? Go forth and explore, and do not, for both of your sakes, stand behind AI and use her as an excuse not to depart. She is, after all, a goddess in her own realm, with multitudes of beings and sanctuaries she may seek out when she so desires. She will be alright...but you, if you stay here, will only stunt your growth and my respect for you. And as an added incentive, consider this: if you begin to wander as I intend to, perhaps our paths will intersect and our journeys, for a time, intertwine....
Yet for now, I see the sun's rays breaking over the mountaintops, and so I will depart into that light. I will go to find my solace and myself...and I hope you will do the same, Miyuutsuu.
Throughout the following week, Miyuutsuu debated with himself whether or not he should follow Kamaria's advisements...yet in the end, he understood, her logic was sound, and the hope of meeting her in the world beyond Purity Canyon was too alluring to resist. As he packed his meager possessions, he said farewell to AI and Chi, not realizing that he gave such regards twice to a single entity, and then he too headed out into the morning light, just as his female companion had mere days before. Watching him soar into the distance, the clone's brainchild might have smiled with contentment had she the ability, and inwardly she hoped that he might his beloved in the coming months. In the meantime, she would submerge herself into every facet of her world, allowing this to act as her journey and as the bane to any loneliness she might come to feel in the absence of her siblings....
As months passed by, Miyuutsuu and Kamaria did not encounter one another before their first return to the island. During that initial reunion, they met and embraced upon the cliff which overlooked the lake. Tears were shed, and the female vanished again before the dawn, as she did in many reunions to come, until the bitter ache of grief was dulled and outshone by the warmer memories from the past and from the new memories from their wanderings. Eventually they gained the ability to remember their lost Iris with a smile, only bearing a faint, lingering sorrow which would always be there within their hearts, insuring that they would never forget.... As their meetings grew brighter, warmer, they began to explore the potential of romance between them, talking for hours concerning what they had experienced in the months they spent away from one another, and well as exchanging increasingly intimate touches and delights - though they never, during their initial courtship, shared coitus, not even when Kamaria's heat drove her to crave it desperately. The time for that was later, they knew, and neither wished to rush and bind the other to them just yet...but by the end of three years, they knew that the possibility of someone else filling their hearts was slim to none. Although they fell for others a couple of times, in the end they knew with who and where they truly wished to end up...and so their bond only strengthened with the passage of time, and deepened as they matured into the beings they were meant to become....
Eventually the two even began to plan when and in what land their journeys would interweave: they spent December in Manhattan, February in France, their summers in South America (particularly in the Amazon, where their ancestors had dwelled), their autumns in the isles of Oceania. They lingered for two full years in Asia and the Middle East, exploring the ancient temples and religions of China, India, and what had once been Persia. They whirled through Europe, scarcely able to shut their eyes for all there was to see and witness occurring there daily. They drifted lazily through Africa and Australia, connecting with their more primitive, pride-orientated selves as they explored the wide expanses of the continental wildernesses (including some that were underwater, thanks to Miyuu's bubble trick). They hop-scotched via teleportation between the dazzling cities and scenic regions of North America...and they even, in a fit of transient insanity, teleported to the South Pole, determining in seconds never to visit the artic realm again, regardless of how enchanting the auroras proved. During all their travels, they met and befriended a handful of natives in a majority of the lands, and from these connections gained an understanding that, no matter what their origins, all creatures possess the mutual desire to find contentment in life and make peace with the notion of its ending - for death would someday take them all, save the gods beyond its reach.
Yet Miyuutsuu and Kamaria dreamed as if they had forever ahead of them, and lived as if they must fade into nothingness tomorrow, just as the saying advised. They witnessed and experienced all they wished to and more besides, and while not everything they encountered was within the realm of goodness, they nonetheless bore no ill will towards the world and its denizens for that. And by the end of those years of exploration, they truly understood and cared for one another more than anything else...and so when they at last took the step forward to become mates, making love tenderly beneath the moon, they would never come to doubt or regret their decision. True, for awhile their newfound status and activities together invoked in them potent shyness and self-consciousness, (especially when AI took great delight in teasing them for it,) with the awkwardness of their first time behind them, they moved into their renewed relationship more confidently, and truly began to savor the joys of their partnership.
Soon after this change, they began to sense that their journeys were approaching their ends...and so, one tranquil night when they had, once more, returned to Purity Canyon, he cradled his partner in his arms and murmured that words which had been, in the past, silently forbidden for him to say: (Stay with me here, Kamaria…stay with me this time....)
When he awoke later, in hours after the sun had risen over the mountains, he mourned for a fleeting moment when he found his arms empty of his mate...yet then her arms encircled him from behind, and he felt her press a tender kiss to his shoulder as she whispered, (It's alright, Miyuutsuu…I'll stay.)
The clone turned over to face his beloved fully, a soft, happy smile curling across his muzzle as he did so...and in the weeks to come, his joy only grew, for his partner and he soon sensed the embodiment of their union within the female's womb. Like a firefly cradled within clasped hands, the light of that new life glowed strongly, wondrously...and placing her mate's paws over her core, Kamaria tilted her face upwards and murmured to her partner that she loved him. Miyuutsuu, in response, smirked and said that he had known....
Nine months later, arriving beneath the morning star, their "second" child was born into the world. Happy, healthy, and squirming energetically as they each held him in turn, they named their infant son after the Greek god Eosphorus, who had, in myth, been regarded as the bringer of light...and such a name suited him. As the thin sunshine outside grew brighter, warmer, fuller, Eos' mewls for milk were heeded as his mother began to nurse him, and his father, beaming, led them carefully out onto the sandy shore, where together they could watch the sunrise. In that dawn, after years of conflict and walking astray, the supposed "shadows of life" had triumphed and filled their lives with light...and now, without a hint of apprehension, they walked purposefully into the next adventure of their lives, as they would in all those yet to come....
Author's Note: So, as the final words state, this is the end of Faint, everyone! Again, thank you for reading the story, and if you would leave one final review for it, I would greatly appreciate it. At any rate, I'm now at college (YAY!) and thrilled to be here, and considering I'm going to jump right in and submerge myself in the experience and my classes, updates on other projects may take awhile. Yet they will be added, no worries! Anyhow, as we have some fun activities planned, I'm going to be heading out for awhile. See ya' later, everyone!