A/N: Hey, all! :) Be glad I decided to be nice and post, because I was initially planning on making you all wait until I got 20 reviews... But I'm in a good mood this morning. Part three, and the final chapter, of Poisoned! Hope you enjoy!
Three days later, Lucas was well on his way to recovery. He had slept for almost twenty-four hours after talking with Dawn that morning, and woken up feeling refreshed. Against Dawn's pleads, he started helping the Professor out with his research again, this time doing odd jobs around the lab. He couldn't go for very long without getting tired, and both the Professor and Dawn made sure he was never overworked.
Lucas had been particularly stubborn that morning, insisting that he was well enough to go search for wild pokémon in the grass surrounding Sandgem town. Both Dawn and Professor Rowan knew this was a plea to get moving again, but both also agreed he wasn't quite up to the task of a pokémon battle just then. So, the Professor had told Dawn to keep him occupied and out of the lab for a bit.
Which naturally meant a trip to the beach just south of the tiny town.
Dawn swam around in the shallow ocean, never straying too far from the shore. Lucas kept up with her, standing in the area that she was swimming in, with the water coming up to his chest. It was cold water, being as it was mid-fall, but Lucas's Infernape breathing fire into the water a ways away helped warm it up some.
Dawn came up for air, and Lucas sent a splash her way. It filled her mouth as she took a breath, and she doubled over, gagging as he grinned. When she had spit out all of the salty water, she glared at him, "What was that for?"
"You splashed me when you dove under the water last time," he responded lightly, clearly just happy to be outside.
"Are you sure it wasn't a wave that hit you?" she demanded, motioning towards the vast spread of ocean. "Look, here comes a big one."
As he turned his head to see, she hit the water and smiled in satisfaction as it effectively soaked his head and body. He sputtered and feigned bruised emotions, "I'm still recovering, you know!"
She rolled her eyes and splashed him again.
And the war began.
A half hour later, both teens were panting, and Lucas dragged himself back to the shore, sitting in the water just past the area where the waves broke. Dawn joined him, stretching in the midday sun.
"That was fun," she remarked. "I haven't had a water fight in a long time…"
"Yeah," he took a few deep breaths, a bit paler than normal. She glanced at him in concern.
He winked at her, "No problem. Just a bit winded, that's all."
She studied him for a minute longer before shrugging, "If you say so."
They sat in silence, watching the waves crash just a foot in front of them, enjoying the chilly water as it wrapped around their feet. Dawn loved times like this. Growing up with her other best friend, the blonde Willis, she had rarely been able to just sit and enjoy something simple in nature, like the lake's glistening water or the town's lovely flowers. No, Willis was always in a hurry, always rushing to get from one place to another. As a result, she could truly appreciate something as simple as waves crashing on a beach.
It was a nice change, sitting with Lucas and knowing that he wouldn't jump up seconds later and take off as Willis so often did.
As she daydreamed, a thought struck her mind, "I guess Latias was predicting the future…" she mused to herself.
Lucas glanced over, cocking his head, "Who?"
"Latias," she repeated, then grinned. "You were unconscious, so you missed it. But the Professor called in a favor to one of the legendary pokémon, Latias, and she was the reason we got you back to the lab for treatment so quickly. When I went to say goodbye to her, she told me that you'd survive. I wasn't sure if she was reassuring me, or if she was telling the future."
Lucas discarded that idea, instead focusing on the pokémon herself, "Wait, are you saying that you actually saw Latias? From Latias and Latios, Latias?"
"We rode on her," Dawn enjoyed the look of pure envy on his face. She knew it was wrong to rub it in, being as he was unconscious from saving her, but she couldn't help it. "You did too."
"And no one thought to wake me up?!" he cried out in anguish.
She scoffed, "Well, if we could do that, then we wouldn't have needed Latias's assistance in the first place, now would we?"
He opened his mouth to retort, realized that what she said was right, and closed his mouth again. Instead, he looked up at the sky with longing, as if expecting the legendary pokémon to just appear, "I wish I hadn't missed that."
"I'm sure you'll run into her someday," Dawn reasoned. "The Professor did, after all."
He looked heartened by this comment.
Just then, a loud, "Lucas!" rang out, echoing over the waves. The two teens swiveled their heads to see who was calling, and Lucas blinked in surprise as his mother bounded over the hills.
"Mom?" he questioned, getting up. The minute she got close enough, the older woman lunged at her son, engulfing him in a hug.
"Oh, honey, we were so worried about you," she cooed. "We came as soon as we heard. Are you all right?"
Lucas shifted uncomfortably when his mother released him from her vice-hug, "I'm okay now, mom."
"Good, good," the older woman eyed Dawn, who scrambled to stand up. "Is she the one you saved?"
Lucas's mother narrowed her eyes at Dawn, "Listen here, young lady. You need to be more careful when you're adventuring. My son can't always jump in to save you!"
Dawn blinked and bowed her head, "Sorry, ma'am." She missed Lucas's look of disgust at his mother's attitude, instead studying the sand as if it were the most interesting thing in the world.
"Hmm," his mother stared at her for a moment more before turning to Lucas. "Lucas, I want you to come see me later tonight. A detailed description of the effects of Nidorino poison is in order, don't you think?"
Dawn almost opened her mouth to object, but she remembered who was ordering Lucas around and stopped herself just in time.
Lucas grimaced, "I'll try to get around to it, mom."
"Not try, son," his mother retorted sternly. "You will get around to it. This is for science."
"Where's dad?" Lucas tried to divert his mother's attention.
The older woman shrugged, "He got caught up in Veilstone, I think. He'll be here soon…" but she trailed off uncertainly. Then she started backing up, "Rowan has many things to go over with me, so I'm going to go. Remember, Lucas. See me tonight." She threw a dirty look at Dawn, "I hoped you thanked him, girl." Then, Lucas's mother strode off towards the town.
Dawn stared in amazement after her, "I've… never met your mom before…"
Lucas turned to her, "Dawn, I'm sorry. That wasn't fair; she shouldn't have said those things."
"Oh, no," she waved her hands. "It's okay—I deserved them."
"No, you didn't," he scowled. "It was uncalled for."
She put a finger on her cheek, pondering, "Was it just me, or did she seem a bit more concerned about getting your reaction to the poison than about how you were actually doing?"
"It wasn't just you," Lucas picked up a stone and hurled it into the ocean. "Both of my parents are like that. They only act that way because they feel obligated to—if it were up to them, they would put science and research first, and me second."
Dawn felt sympathy welling up inside her, "I'm sorry…"
He shrugged bitterly, "It's not your fault. Besides, the Professor took me in at an early age. He's been more of a parent to me than either of them combined."
"How does he react to the way your parents treat you?" she asked slowly, timidly.
"… He pretends not to notice. It's not really his business, that's his reasoning," Lucas sighed and looked at the sky again. "The time that I'm out adventuring—that's the best time of my life. No parents to pretend around, no Professor to please… Just me, myself, and I."
Dawn nodded slowly, and Lucas looked so lonely just then that she reached out and engulfed him in a hug. He blinked in surprise, but hesitantly embraced her in return. She squeezed a bit, being careful to avoid his bruised stomach.
"You can always come travel with me, Lucas," she told him. "I'd love your company."
He smiled into her hair.
"Well, looky here!" a familiar voice rang out, and just then Willis bounded over, eyeing them suggestively. "I leave for a few months, and you two hook up!"
The two teens broke apart as if on fire, blushing fiercely. Dawn glared at her other best friend, "Must you always be so intrusive?"
The blonde boy grinned at her, "I've known you long enough to earn the privilege."
"Fine, but leave Lucas out of it," she retorted.
Willis chuckled, wrapping his arm around the other boy, "Nah, we're cool. He knows I'm just joking, right, Lucas?"
"Sure," the black-haired boy grinned.
Dawn stared in mock horror, "Oh my god. Sometime when I wasn't looking, you two became friends."
This spurred laughs from everyone, completely dispelling the melancholy mood that Lucas's mother had set.
"So, Willis, what brings you back here?" Lucas inquired.
The blonde boy shrugged, "The Prof here called me and told me you were in critical condition. I would have come sooner, but I was caught up battling the gym in Snowpoint, and then the blizzard made it impossible to leave by air."
"Wow," Dawn drawled. "That must have killed you, waiting in one spot for a blizzard to die down."
Willis shuddered mockingly, "No kidding—that's one reason why I'll never live in a place like that."
"You mean you actually planning on settling down and getting a house?" she gaped. "I always assumed you'd buy a boat and sail for the rest of your days. At least then you'd be moving."
"Oh, ha ha," Willis stated dryly, and the two had a little miniature staring contest while Lucas snickered off to the side. Willis broke off first, turning to the other boy, "So, dude, you're okay now? What happened?"
Lucas glanced at Dawn, who nodded encouragingly, "I jumped in front of a rampaging Nidorino and got poisoned. I'm okay now though."
"Hold it," Willis raised an eyebrow. "You jumped in front of a what?"
"A Nidorino," Dawn supplied. "It's a poison type pokémon from a different region. We don't know how it got to Sinnoh, or why it was so far north."
Willis ran a hand through his blonde hair, "Okay, but why in God's name did you leap in front of it?"
Lucas blushed slightly, "It was charging at Dawn."
The blonde boy gaped at his friends in sheer amazement, "So you're saying that you almost got yourself killed to save her?"
Dawn glared at him, "Excuse me!"
"Seriously, are you joking me?"
Lucas shook his head, "I'm serious, dude. I saw it charging and acted without thinking."
"Oh, that must be why then. You weren't thinking."
"Hey!" Dawn objected indignantly. The two boys ignored her, continuing their conversation.
"I was thinking, though. I was thinking that I didn't want Dawn to get hurt."
Silence fell over Willis for a moment as he stared thoughtfully at his two friends. Then he frowned and grabbed Lucas's arm, "Come on, buddy. We have to talk."
Dawn watched the two guys walk off and come to a stop a few feet from town, interacting noiselessly. She could see Willis talking seriously, and then Lucas was laughing. Willis got mad, and that only made Lucas laugh harder. Finally, the black-haired boy squelched his chuckles and nodded stoically. Willis patted his shoulder and started back towards Dawn, smiling. Behind him, Lucas was barely holding back another bout of laughter.
"Well, you two won't have any problems," Willis exclaimed to a confused Dawn when he got within hearing range. "Now that I've checked in, I have places to go. I'll catch you two later!" and he waved and threw a pokéball, disappearing on the back of a giant bird pokémon. Within seconds, he was a mere dot in the sky.
Lucas drew even with Dawn, staring up in amusement, "He never stays long, does he?"
They stared at the clear sky for a bit longer before Dawn couldn't hold her curiosity in any more, "What did Willis say to you that was so funny?"
Lucas smirked, "He was giving me tips on what sort of things you like in a guy, for when we started dating."
She stared at him, and he met her gaze, and they both burst out laughing. But while this was humorous to them at that moment, both knew the idea wasn't as far-fetched as they made it out to be. Perhaps something more might come between them in the future. Perhaps they would date. They could even get married and start a family.
But for now, they were content to sit on the beach and laugh, enjoying each other's company and the mirth Willis had provided them with.
A/N: Sorry, but I didn't feel like ending this one with the cliche kiss. :P I may write more Dawn x Lucas in the future, but for now I'm not really inspired because I don't have a DS, and thus can't play my Diamond game.
Anyway, check out my other pokemon fic, if you liked this one. It's basically silliness, but I had fun writing it! It's on my profile page, titled "Falling". :)
PS: It would make my day if you reviewed!