Merry Holidays yo!
"No," May said. "No, this couldn't be..."
There was a brief silence that went through the four of them, their eyes glued on to what they were looking at.
"This isn't the gym," Ash finally announced. But his words seemed to make no effect.
"It has to be the gym," Max said. "Didja see that sign?"
Ash nodded, he had seen it, but now, he wished he hadn't.
"'You'll find your answers at the gym'," May said, quoting Martha. "Why did she say that?"
"Maybe because this is where you'll find your answers, look!" Brock pointed towards the grieving people in the corner. "Look around guys, this is no longer a gym, but a hospital. If I didn't know, I'd probably instruct you guys to come here too. This place looks like it's the center of questions. And answers too."
Ash, May, Max, Pikachu, and Ribbons looked. Where the dusty floors of Vermillion city gym were supposed to be were white carefully placed tiles. Where the gym leader was supposed to sit sat a long white desk. And instead of pokemon, people wondered the gym floors, some looking feverish while others were simply sad.
"Vul!" Ribbons hid behind Max's leg, obviously scared by what he saw.
"Oh, poor Ribbons," May said, looking down at the shivering pokemon. "He's scared."
"But, it is scary," Max gulped. "I never liked going in to hospitals."
"But you're perfectly fine with Pokemon Centers?" May asked.
"Pokemon centers are different," Max said. His eyes squarely focused on what he saw.
"I guess we should go in," Ash said slowly.
The others agreed and they all headed inside.
Max could feel shivers going up and down his spine, there was a reason he hated hospitals. It was because of the depressing atmosphere that swallowed it upon first step. Sure, some places were happy because a person who was sick got better or a mother gave birth to a healthy child, but mostly, it was sad. He could feel the pressure of it all, choking him with each step he took. Ribbon's felt the same, his body was constantly slithering through Max's legs as if deciding whether it was safe or not to look.
"What are you kids doin' here?"
The four of them, along with their pokemon, looked up in surprise as the eyes of a tired nurse searched them.
"This isn't a playground," said the nurse sternly. "Go home."
"We aren't here to play," Ash said, angrily. "We were told to come here!"
"Well, I'm telling you to go," the nurse replied, equally angry.
"Ignore my friend," Brock said, stepping in. He put a hand before Ash, trying to shut him out.
"Hey!" Was all the hot headed trainer said.
"What do ya'll want?" The nurse asked. "If it's nuthin' big then it would help for ya to just leave 'cause I've got places to go, patients to heal."
"No, we just have a question," Brock said.
The nurse placed a hand on her hip. "What is it?"
Brock fell down to one knee and took hold of the nurse's hand. "What's your phone number?"
"Oh brother," Max took hold of Brock's ear and pulled him away. "Do you always have to be an embarrassment?"
"Was that what you wanted to ask?" The nurse said with disgust.
"No, no," May said. "Brock's just a little..."
"... Weird..." Ash said, watching his friend being dragged.
"... When it comes to ladies..."
"...Especially pretty ones."
The nurse peaked an eyebrow at Ash and even May was staring.
"Huh?" Ash began to wave his arms frantically in front of himself. "Wah, not that I'd think that!" He paused. "It's not that you're not pretty, I mean, there has to be somebody who finds you attractive, right? I mean, of course there is! There must be plenty of men out there who follow you around, not that I'd be one of them, I mean your... nice and all but..."
"Ash!" May said. "You're making it worse!"
"Eh?" Ash's face was flushed with embarrassment, he looked at the nurse. "I'm sorry."
The nurse rolled her eyes. "Whateva, what was it you wanted to ask?"
"Oh," May put up her index finger. "Why does this look like a hospital, what happened to the gym?"
"Ya mean ya don't know?" The nurse asked.
The two trainers nodded.
"Listen hons, I'd love ta chat with ya, but I really got to go."
But just as the nurse was about to leave, Ash stepped in front of her, stretching out his arms. "Just answer us," he said.
The nurse stared at him in surprise and looked back at May. "Is this guy for real?"
"Just, please, answer us," May said. "We were told to come here for answers, and we're not going to leave without them."
The nurse looked from Ash to May, then down to Pikachu(Ribbons had ran back to Max). Finally though, she gave a sigh of resignation. "Fine," she said, somewhat annoyed. "Since it don't look like you kids will be leavin' anytime soon, and I don't wanna get my keister in trouble, I guess I should let you find your answers."
"Find?" Ash repeated. "But I thought you were going to just answer us."
"No way hons, I told ya, I'm busy." She adjusted her hair. "But ya can visit some patients, and walk around for a little." She looked back at Ash, May, and Pikachu, carrying an intense glare on them. "But only for a little, and if anyone asks you what you doin' back there, tell them your lookin' for Miss Dolley."
"Miss Dolley?" May tilted her head to the side. "Who's she?"
"The person who has your answers." The nurse simply replied before marching off.
"Miss Dolley?" Max said, looking over at his sister in surprise. "Who's she?"
"I don't know," May replied, holding up the paper the front desk had given them. "But it says here that she's in room 113."
"Aw," Brock sighed. "I was sooo close to getting her number."
"No, you weren't."
"On another note," Ash shoved his hands in to his pockets. "Do you think maybe this will help?"
"I guess we can only hope." Brock said.
The four trainers nodded.
"Well," May said, looking up from her paper. "Here's the room."
Slowly, their eyes looked up and through the wooden door. The room, as they were beginning to see was decorated in white, from the pasty curtains in the corner to the clothes on the frail woman sitting alone on her bed.
Instantly, May could feel sadness emanating from the room. This woman, Miss Dolley, had she always been alone? Had no one visited her? What about her family?
Sickness is a cruel thing, is it not?
"Ah!" May's head began to pulse with pain, she placed her hands over it. Who said that? Who was it that said that? And why did it make her head hurt? "Ah!" She squeezed her eyes shut, attempting to pull the pain away, or at least wait for it to go over. Her friends, why weren't her friends helping her? May opened one of her eyes, trying to search for those who were closest to her. "G-guys, h-help me..."
But her friends weren't even paying attention to her, they walked right by her and towards the woman, Miss Dolley. She could see Ribbons hop playfully on to Miss Dolley's lap, the woman smiled weakly. Max and Ash talked to her while Brock attempted to make her bed comfortable for her by pressing the different buttons.
Why weren't they helping her?
Ne, Yuki, even if it is a cruel thing, it is my job to help people.
May's eyes widened in surprise as a man, a bit taller than Brock walked in to the room. It looked as if he wasn't from their time, his clothes wasn't composed of jeans and a shirt, but a simple blue kimono. He smiled when he saw May, he had a nice smile. But his green hair was what May found herself looking at the most, she admired it the most. But after a while, May noticed that it wasn't her the man had been smiling at.
Moonsay, your soul is too kind for this world, I think such a kindness is wasted on these people.
It was then that May saw flashes of pink and brown pass by her, she could feel her knees fall down towards the floor. Instantly, her headache left her, and her eyes began to water involuntarily Before she knew what she was doing, a single word left her mouth, "Moonsay."
Beautiful, was that the only word that could be used to describe her? No, that couldn't be. Moonsay was above the word beautiful, May could see, if there was a stronger word, it should have been used for her.
May couldn't see the woman's face clearly for some reason, but she could see the wave of beautiful brown hair that sprouted from the woman's skull. She could see the beautiful pink kimono that covered her body so modestly. And the matching pink hat that held itself on her head.
And then, May could hear laughter, laughter that reminded her of drops of water, pattering on the floor. It was soothing, and if she could, May would hear it all day.
Yuki, I am not as kind as you perceive, many souls have left because of me.
May felt strange waves coming from Moonsay then, sadness? No it couldn't be, it felt, strange. She couldn't tell what it was, but all of the sudden, fear began to fill the coordinator's body. Moonsay still seemed happy, even though she confessed to the man she loved that she killed many people, she was still happy. May stared up at the couple, now she couldn't tell whether she should admire them or fear their crazed souls.
Many souls? I do not believe that.
Yuki's smile suddenly seemed to disappear. Did he see how crazy this woman was as well?
Whether you believe it or not does not change it, for it is true.
May's eyes widened as Moonsay's ghastly body hovered towards Miss Dolley's bed. Everyone there seemed so happy. Miss Dolley's face seemed to light up when Max told her something. They smiled with her, not knowing the fate that would soon come upon them.
What are you doing?
Yuki's bark made May jump in surprise, but Moonsay continued onward.
Showing you the truth.
Moonsay was now standing right beside Ash, her hand slithered past Ash's raven hair, past his slightly chubby face and down to his neck.
"No," May whispered. "She wouldn't."
Don't do it! Moonsay, my beloved, I believe you, please, do not take this upon an innocent soul!
Yuki's yells didn't seem to do much, Moonsay continued her deed.
May could see Yuki's worried face, he wouldn't be able to do anything, nothing he said would do anything.
May squeezed her eyes shut. This didn't make sense, why were they even here?! Weren't they dead? Weren't they gone? Hadn't they left this world so many years ago?! WHAT WERE THEY DOING HERE?!
But that wasn't it, why? Why of all people did Moonsay choose Ash? Why of all people did she find it necessary to kill him. If he died, if he died when May could have done something she knew she wouldn't be able to live with herself.
Moonsay! DON'T DO IT!!!
May felt strength surging through her as she stood up, her mouth opening up for a scream. She knew she couldn't let Ash go just like that. "NO!!!"
"What're you doing, May?"
"Ugh, my sister's the biggest embarrassment in the world."
"Huh?" May blinked. Suddenly it seemed as if Moonsay and Yuki disappeared. "Wh-what happened?"
"What do you mean?" Brock asked. "You've been standing there ever since we came here staring into space, and all of the sudden you screamed no."
"I-I," May looked down at her hands. What was going on? Those two -Moonsay and Yuki- they were both so real. It felt as if they were in the room. It felt as if Moonsay was really going to take Ash's life... May balled her hands up in to fists as she looked up at Ash, if she hadn't said anything, would he still be here?
"May, what's wrong?"
"Huh?" May looked as Ash made his way towards her, with Pikachu riding safely on his shoulder.
"You look like something's bothering you." Ash explained. "Are you alright?"
"I'm... fine," May said. "But, um, what about Miss Dolley, did you ask her the questions? Did you find the answers?"
Ash's face became serious then. "May, pokemon aren't the only ones who're becoming sick from the Lavender Flu."
"Humans are too..."
"That's horrible!" May cried. "That means people are dying too! We can't have that, there has to be something we can do!"
"I know, but Miss Dolley doesn't know anymore than we do." His eyes became dark. "All she knows is that... her time is almost up."
"Huh...?" May pulled back a little. "Y-you're kidding."
Ash shook his head. "Everyone down this hallway is on their last week of their flu, and after that, they're dying."
"No... no.. no!" May grabbed on to Ash's arm. "We can't just let them die, there has to be something we can do! We have to do something to save these people!"
"I know, but what can we do? Everyone's trying their hardest to fight, and even then it's not good enough."
"Pika..." Pikachu slumped down in sadness.
"Well then," May said, a determined look coming on to her face. "We'll just have to try harder!"
"Harder?" Max repeated, as he and Brock stepping in beside Ash.
"Yeah, even if there's nothing we can do, I think we should try, because that way we would have done something!"
The four trainers looked back at Miss Dolley.
"Surge..." the woman croaked once more. "Go to him."
"Why?" Brock asked.
Miss Dolley looked towards the four of them, her eyes piercing through. "I heard... I don't know, but suddenly, I heard someone say that to me." Her face wrinkled in to a smile. "Go... to him."
END OF CHAPTER 8
This is weird, honestly, every time I wanna write for this fanfic(or any fanfic in that matter), I never EVER get to write what I planned to in a chapter, I mean, Miss Dolley, when I first thought up this story, Miss Dolley didn't exist. XDDD And the nurse too, the kids were just supposed to see the gym as a new hospital and dash towards Surge's place, but I guess that didn't happen.
This is totally why I always say, just because I'm the one writing doesn't mean I know where this fic is going. I'm going to be just as surprised as you are when a twist or turn appears in this fic. XDDD (Well, okay, I don't say it like that, but I still do say it.)