Chapter 5: The Night After

After their hard-fought battle Lillith and Ashley transported Kent back to the Windworks in hopes that Thompson would be able to help them. As luck would have it they had decided to stay behind in case they returned, and upon seeing Kent's tattered body Thompson showed them a bed inside the works that they could lay him down in. Once he was placed gently onto the bed they began to clean his body with damp cloths and wrapped up some of the more serious injuries just to be safe. Kent lie still the entire time, not showing any signs of life other than the expanding compressing of his chest indicating that he was at least still breathing.

By the time they finished taking care of Kent the Sun had begun its descent and was slowly fading from view, taking its light along with it. Ashley was sitting on the ground with her hands and chin resting on her knee as she talked about the day's events with her Pokemon.

"Do you guys think I'll ever be able to become a great trainer like my sis?" she asked them. Their reply was mostly a chorus of small yelps that seemed to say 'yes!' and the nodding of their small heads. Ashley grinned slightly but only momentarily as it slipped back into a frown. She remembered that she'd gotten kidnapped and because of it Kent got terribly hurt. She stared at the ground through the gap in her legs as small droplets of water started to land in the grass beneath her. She had started to cry, the knowledge that she had indirectly harmed Kent was too much to bear. Tears began to flow freely from the corners of her eyes as she continued to let her emotions take control of her.

Suddenly she felt the sensations of warmth and fur rubbing up against her leg. She leaned over to see who it was to find her Eevee, Alice, snuggling up next to her. Alice looked up at her and gave Ashley a heart-warming expression which to Ashley looked like her way of telling her to 'cheer up.' Her other Pokemon started to do the same, although Honey, her Vespiqueen, gave her a hug instead of a cuddle. Ashley wiped away her tears and looked at them all. "You guys…" she started to say before grabbing all of them in a group hug as she fought to hold back any more tears.

When she broke off the embrace she could hear the footsteps of Professor Thompson coming up behind her so she turned to face him. "I just came to check up on you, hope I haven't interrupted something" he said with a smile.

Ashley shook her head and answered him. "No, I'm fine now, thanks" she said, smiling for effect.

"Good to hear that," began the Professor, "I'd like to give you something to show my appreciation for what you've done for us today."

"Oh, there's no need to-"

"Ah-Ah-Ah, I insist" he said moving his finger left and right before handing her a Pokeball.

"A…Pokemon?" inquired Ashley.

"Yes, a Swablu to be precise. I was going to give it to my daughter for her first Pokemon but you see, it's a bit rowdy and I was afraid she'd get hurt so I'm getting a different one for her instead. Why don't you let him out and say hello?"

"Uhm…sure Professor. But can I ask why you've backed up all the way over there?" she asked as she watched Thompson hide behind a tree several meters away.

"Oh, no reason. Just…open it quickly so that I may leave" he said from behind his tree with just a touch of nervousness in his voice.

She shrugged and tossed the ball into the air as she called out the creature's name: "Go Swablu!"

The ball opened and a red light shot out onto the ground and took the form of a light sky-blue bird with puffs of clouds for wings. It was an absolutely majestic sight, up until the point that it noticed Prof. Thompson and charged at his forehead with its sharp beak.

-The following scene contains several words unfitted for minors so the following scene has been censored for your protection. Please enjoy.-

"Augh! Ow ow ow OW! Get off me you insufferable (censored) little (censored) (censored) son of a (censored)-ing (censored) (censored) (censored) on a (censored) sandwich!!!!" cried the Prof. as he was assaulted by the small blue bird by its talons and beaks. He ran off screaming and the Swablu tried to follow but Ashley used the Pokeball to make it return, and Swablu was turned back into a red light by the ball's return beam.

"I see what he meant now…" said Ashley staring at the Pokeball. Against her better judgment she released the Swablu again and it stood looking up at Ashley once it had come out. A few moments passed and nothing happened, so Ashley decided to try petting it. She bent down slowly onto her knees and ever-so-slightly started to extend her arm over the bird-like Pokemon. Sensing that she wasn't in danger she slowly started to pet the small Swablu and was rewarded with a small purring-humming sound that was a delight to the ears.

"I guess you're not as violent as Prof. Thompson said you were, are you?" she said to the sky-blue colored bird as she brought what was apparently a 'she' up to her chest. "You must not like it when your handled by guys then if you're angry enough to be attacking the Prof. like that, am I right?"

Swablu chirped to let her know that she was right. Ashley giggled for a moment before she realized something. "That's right, if you're going to be one of us you'll need a name! Lets see, what would be a good name for you…?"

As she started mumbling to herself as to what she should name Swablu, Swablu had jumped out of her arms and was sketching something in the ground with her small talons. Once she had finished she checked it over and, satisfied that it was a job well done, turned to face her owner and gave a loud 'Chirp!'

Ashley snapped out of the trance she had been in and looked down at Swablu who was pointing to the ground with her wing at where the sketch was. Ashley was surprised at how skilled Swablu was. "Wow, that's incredible Swablu! What's it say though? Lessee…Sap…ph…ire. Sapphire? Is that your name Swablu? Sapphire?"

Swablu chirped as if congratulating her for getting the correct answer as it waved its wings about in the air. Shortly afterwards she flew up and over onto Ashley's shoulder and started to nuzzle itself against her face. Ashley laughed some as she exclaimed, "H-hey, stop that! It tickles! Hee-hee!"

Suddenly there was a funny feeling on the other side of her face. Angel had perched herself on Ashley's other shoulder and started to nuzzle up against her as well. Ashley laughed as she tried to get the two of them to stop. "Ha-ha, are y-you jealous Angel? Hee-hee…come on, stop it! Ha-ha-ha!"

Losing control of her balance from the two Pokémon's' merciless tickle-attacks she tripped over a root and they all fell over onto the ground. They got up slowly and looked at each other covered in dust from the fall. They couldn't help but start laughing at how ridiculous they looked and dusted themselves off giggling. Ashley picked up Sapphire once more. "Welcome to the team, Sapphire."

While Ashley had managed to find a distraction to keep her from remembering the day's events Lillith sat faithfully by Kent's bedside. She was still mulling over the fact that he was injured because of her carelessness. She was supposed to be protecting him but she ended up being the one in need of rescue and because of it he had suffered greatly. She looked over at him and saw how nice his face looked in the moonlight and began to blush slightly. Realizing that she had been staring at him for over a minute she shook her head and regained her composure. Just as she did the door opened and she turned to see who it was. Ashley stuck her head in and seeing Lillith asked her, "I-I'm sorry, I just wanted to check on Kent…"

[There's no need to worry, he is fine for now] Lillith told her, [You should get some rest though. It is late now and we may have a big day tomorrow.]

"Alright, good night then, Lillith" said Ashley as she closed the door behind her.

Once Ashley had left Lillith returned to watching Kent as she had done for years. She began to reminisce about the day they meet. There was a storm that had separated her from her parents. She was only a Ralts at the time and she was wandering through a forest when lightning struck a nearby tree and fell on her. She managed to avoid injury but she was trapped and the tree could be blown the rest of the way over by the heavy winds. As she was about to give up hope she had a vision in which Darkrai appeared. He told her that if she were to become the guardian of a boy he had chosen to assist him that he would lend her the power to do so and help her escape. Lillith had little time to think so she agreed almost straight off. Darkrai had nodded and used what power he could from afar to remove her from under the tree. She found some cover in a cave that Darkrai led her to and waited the storm out.

The next morning she was visited by Darkrai again. He showed her the way to find him and Kent. She traveled for over a year, training and even evolving into Kirlia before she finally meet them. He was still young at the time, only about 13 years of age, and he smiled as they met. That day was the beginning of her new life as the partner of Kent as they traveled throughout the land, powering up and experiencing new things.
Eventually she became a Gardevoir and was further able to protect him from those who wished to bring him harm.

Kent began to shift some in his sleep and Lillith broke out of the trance she had been in. She looked over at him but he had stopped moving and was silent again. She got up and sat down on the bed as she brought her arm down to his face and started stroking it with her hand. Why must you cause me to worry so much about you? She thought to her self as she continued to watch his face bathed in the moonlight. She took her hand away from his face and used it to balance herself as she glanced into the night sky.

Such a beautiful night she thought to herself. As she did so Kent suddenly began to moan in his sleep. He was more quiet at first but he began to get louder and started to break out in a sweat. Lillith down at him and started to get worried.

[Kent? Are you alright, Kent?] she asked him but to no avail. He started to toss and turn as he cried out in frustration. Lillith was about to wake him when he started to moan out, "Father…mother…" Tears started to well up in his eyes as he had the nightmares he usually had. Lillith didn't know what to do; she had never seen him like this before. As he continued to have the nightmare Lillith tried doing the only thing she could think of: sing. She started to sing a melody her mother had taught her long ago, before they had gotten separated. Her singing seemed to take effect on Kent for he started to calm down and his breathing returned to a normal rate. Soon he was back asleep, peacefully and restfully.

"What was that?" asked Darkrai, taking Lillith by total surprise.

[I-It's a song I learned from my mother long ago] replied Lillith. [She would use it whenever I became upset or sad.]

"Well whatever it is it effectively ended his nightmare" he told her.

[Nightmare?] asked Lillith.

"He has a nightmare of his parent's death every night. You didn't already know that? Strange, I thought you did."

[That's horrible…] she said thinking aloud.

"But that song of yours…somehow it got rid of the nightmare. I can tell, I'm seeing it right now."

[You can see his dream?]

"Yeah. It's still about his parents but this one seems more…peaceful."

[I'm…glad to hear]

"I'll tell him what happened once he gets up and we'll see what we can do about it from now on. But for now you should be getting some sleep. I don't wanna be tryin' to wake you when it's time to leave."

[Right. Good night then, Darkrai.] She got off of Kent's bed and returned to her seat where she promptly fell asleep.

"I wonder…" said Darkrai once she had gone to sleep.

The next morning Kent was awake and feeling just fine. Darkrai told him of what had happened during the night and they talked about it with Lillith.

"So does this mean that Lillith's song has the power to dispel your nightmare ability, Darkrai?" asked Kent.

"Not sure myself, kid, but whatever it did it stopped your nightmare from continuing. We should probably wait to see if you still experience those nightmares before coming to a decision" said Darkrai in reply.

[Then we should prepare to depart for our next destination] said Lillith.

The door opened and Ashley walked in saying, "Excuse me, I Kent awake yet?"

Kent smiled and looked over at Ashley. "Morning, Ashley. Are you all set to head on out?" he asked her.

"Y-Yes. I'm glad to see that you're doing better now, I was really worried yesterday…" she said as her voice started to drift off.

Kent chuckled a bit before answering, "Oh I was fine. Say is there any breakfast?"

"Yes, Stevenson told me to get you all and meet him in the kitchen."

"Alright then, to the kitchen!" Kent shouted.

Once they finished having breakfast it was time for them to head off. They were all outside while Stevenson and his daughter Sarah stood in the doorway.

"Thank you again for all that you've done for us" Stevenson told them.

"It was no big deal" said Kent.

"Thank you for the Swablu, Professor Stevenson" said Ashley.

"Bye Ashley! Bye Angel! By Kent!" shouted Sarah.

They all finished their goodbyes and they headed down the path to their next destination: Eterna Forest and Eterna City!

Thanks for reading this chapter of NOD (all 15 of you…)! I hope that you can at LEAST leave some small form of comment in the reviews such as "I liked it" or "It could be better." I don't care if it's only 3 words, I'll still reply and I need the motivation boost. I'd like to know that people are actually reading this and not just doing whatever. So please review/comment! Next chapter should be done within a week.