Just a warning, this fic has spoilers if you have not completed the main plot of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness (c) Nintendo, Chunsoft and GameFreak

Chapter 1: The Beginning

"I don't work with anyone if there's no trust. There's no point in working together if there's no trust between us. You think this is playtime? Where if you don't listen to me when you need to or if you don't follow my lead when I know the way and you don't, you'll get a do-over? Someone will step in and save your neck, like your precious Wigglytuff Guild? Like I did back there? Newsflash, there's no guild here, and I've got my own skin to look after. The trust between us has to be absolute, or you'll be in less danger travelling by yourself. So..." his eyes met the Chikorita's in a challenge, "Do you intend to trust me or not?"

The Chikorita bit her lip and shifted from foot to foot, shooting anxious, unhappy glances at what he knew to be the remains of Temporal Tower. She in particular seemed to be determined not to believe him. Her partner, meanwhile, a Charmander, watched him intently. From her expression, he was willing to bet she had more doubts than she was letting on, before Dusknoir had even shown his true colors to their face.

As if on cue, still eyeing him shrewdly, the Charmander spoke, "Just having a common enemy isn't enough?"

"Not here," he replied flatly.

There was a short pause. "I don't know..." the Chikorita said doubtfully, "I just don't think I can trust you just like that, I mean... you're a criminal! You stole the Time Gears! You wanted to stop time!"

Frustration flared inside of him. Was she really going to believe that pathetic story, that lie that Dusknoir had spread around to ensure that no one considered the possibility that his motives were anything more than petty selfishness? Trying and failing to keep the annoyance out of his voice, he growled, "You have to be sure. You can't be second-guessing yourself. You either trust me or you don't."

The Charmander's gaze softened slightly as her eyes moved from him to the Chikorita, who backed up, her leaf waving from side to side as she shook her head.

His frustration intensified. "Fine, whatever," he snapped, "Just take my advice." He pointed towards the collapsed Temporal Tower, "Don't go that way. I'm not going to risk my neck because you're stupid enough to walk straight back to the Pokémon who ordered you to be killed."

The Chikorita gasped and flinched as though he'd punched her and the Charmander's expression darkened significantly as she stepped forward to her friend's defense.

"Hey," she growled threateningly as her tail flared with rage, "That was too far. We're not idiots despite whatever you may think." It was her eyes that held the challenge now.

"Save it for the Sableye," he shrugged off her rage coolly, "You're going to need it if you keep hanging around. And if you don't mind, I'm going to get going. No reason for me to stay." They'd made it clear they weren't going to trust him. He turned to leave.

"Wait!" the Chikorita called desperately, "What about us? How are we supposed to get home?"

"Not my problem," he replied flatly as he strode into the darkness of Chasm Cave, "I have my own job to do."

He had never worked in any way except for alone or with the complete and total trust of those he had worked with. He wasn't about to change that now.

I never liked the dark. Even when I was first hatched as a Treecko, it was like I knew that I was not supposed to emerge from my egg into more darkness. I was alone then. Most Pokémon are born alone in the future, and stay alone, except for the wild ones, the ones who travel in packs and have been driven insane by the silence and darkness. I picked up survival fast, and evolved within a year of hatching. Though even that part is confusing, especially after returning to the past. I don't know how we could evolve, or how we could tell the passage of ages in the future, where time had stopped and no light reached the place where the Pokémon of the past went to evolve, but Pokémon still grew up in old in the future. I guess somehow we eventually came up with a way to replace what we had lost when Temporal Tower collapsed.

I travelled a lot, early on. I saw a lot of places, caves, mountains, valleys, deserts, beaches, fields, plateaus, canyons, anything you can think of. Some of the sights were pretty fantastic I suppose, if you didn't mind so much black like I did. I also saw a lot of things that weren't scenery, things that I don't like to remember, even now. This future was - is - a dark world. The rest of it was fairly hard. It was lonely, and finding food and water and shelter was tough. But mostly lonely, which is probably why I kept moving, to keep myself occupied and focused on something, instead of thinking about my isolation. It may seem odd, to miss something I'd never really had before, but I didn't actually figure out the whys until after I'd experienced real friendship and returned to solitary existence, and suddenly understand why I had felt the way I did in the beginning.

Another side effect of travelling was that I never had anything to attach me anywhere. It wasn't a bad existence, I suppose, but it wasn't whole. I wasn't whole.

That all changed one day in particular. I was resting from travelling a bit in a large forest; in the past, I think it was called Midnight Forest. I liked it there, being in my own element. According to humans, members my species are supposed to be unparalleled navigators of the trees. I'd have believed it that night, moving lightning-fast from branch to branch simply for the joy of moving that quickly and feeling my limbs respond so much more easily than they did while walking on the ground.

Then, out of nowhere, a blur of pink flashed before me, I felt something heavy hit me in the middle and I went flying, finally hitting the ground with such force that I must have been knocked out, because next thing I knew, two green eyes and a pink face were about an inch from my own, and a slightly childish voice was speaking. I was so dazed that it took me a minute to understand the words that it was saying.

"... I mean, I have you quite a bump there, then you hit the ground so hard; I really should watch where I'm going more, and... oh, are you sure you're all right? You haven't said anything and..."

I blinked and managed to croak "Wha-?"

"Oh!" the thing in front of me jumped in surprise and flitted backwards on fairylike wings. Slowly I pushed myself into a sitting position. The world spun a little as I did so, and the little pink thing drifted forward once more.

"Careful," it cautioned. Its voice was distinctly feminine. "You took quite a ka-bonk there."

"I did?" I replied dazedly.

"Yep," she - I guessed it was a she - said knowledgably, nodding, then grinned impishly, "I can show you, if you like."

I stared at her. "Uh..."

"Okay!" she chirped, apparently taking my "Uh..." for a "yes," as she flitted down and grabbed my arm. There was a flash of light so bright, I had to shut my eyes against the glare. When I opened them again, everything looked exactly as it had. The little pink thing still gripped my arm with one hand though, and held up the other.

"Wait forr iiitt..." she said, staring at a particular branch expectantly. I watched it too for a moment, then gasped with shock as two separate blurs, green and pink, collided with each other at high speed. The pink spiraled and spun off, cushioned slightly by how its whirring wings slowed it to a midair halt before it hit anything. The green, however, arced spectacularly through the air, flipping over as it soared straight at...

"Oh dear," the little pink thing said, before there was another flash of light as the green blur was a mere foot away from landing on top of us. As I blinked spots out of my eyes a second time, she
continued, "Sorry, didn't think about that."

"What was that?" I said in amazement.

"That," replied the little pink thing matter-of-factly, turning her back on me, "Was us. Or rather, us as of 

a few minutes ago. I was trying to prove my point, but that I idea clearly doesn't work out so well when you forget that time does not exactly equal space, no matter how closely the two are related."

"Wait so..." I mumbled, feeling like I was trying to grasp something slippery, "Did... if that was us... then... wait, was that... did we... did we just... travel through time?" She said nothing. After a minute's tense silence, I insisted, "Who are you?"

She turned back to face me, her eyes suddenly so serious she was almost unrecognizable. She looked older, much more powerful, so much that it was almost unnerving to look at her, for she looked like one of the legends of old, the ones that even wanderers such as myself had heard of. But I could not look away, because at that moment, her eyes held mine in an iron grip.

"Before I say anything... What do you know of a Pokémon named Dusknoir?" she asked, and even her voice sounded ancient and steeped with the kind of history that was beyond anything I could hope to understand.

"Dusknoir...?" I murmured faintly, my eyes still riveted on hers as they searched my face, seeming to see something else, at least, something much more. Meanwhile, as for the name she'd mentioned, it sounded half-familiar, like a name I'd heard once or twice, spoken in nothing above a whisper. Beyond that, though... "Nothing..." I finished.

"Oh, good," And just as suddenly as they had come, the sense of power and seriousness around the little pink thing, as well as the inability to look away from her, were both gone. In its place, her playful, childish demeanor had returned. "What's your name again?" she asked, her face peering at mine again, this time with friendly, innocent curiosity. I, still unnerved by what had just happened, avoided catching her eye.

That, and the fact that this was the first real conversation I could remember having. And that I'd never really needed a name before. I'd never really known any Pokémon long enough to need one. Finally, though, her expectant gaze prompted an answer.

Oh, well. I never was one for creativity.

"Grovyle," I said, then looked up at her again, "Who are you?"

She gave me a slightly pitying look. "You mean you really don't know? Goodness, I thought you were just playing around with that," she giggled. Seeing my still-blank look, she did a graceful twirl in the air and laughed, "My dear Grovyle, I'm the time-travel Pokémon, Celebi!"

I'll be updating this fic on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. I've already got a fair few chapters ready, but I want to pack on a few more before I post too many here. I like a nice buffer. So expect Chapter 2 in the next 10-14 days.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading.