This chapter marks the end of Remembrance. I thank all readers, as well as Diabowserker, Xaniagal, Espolchu, Froggiecool, Kyu333 and Double Dee Edd Boy, and all those that I may have forgotten to mention, for their kindness. Special thanks go out to lupyne, Shadow Blues and NinjaSheik for their continuous support.
When I first started out fanfiction-writing, I never thought I would be able to get so many hits or kind reviewers. You people have truly helped me, and for that I thank you once again.
I apologise for the delay, the real world has been catching up recently, and I may need to take a short break before continuing writing. But put that aside, and let us see how things go.
[Edit: Thanks to Souldin and lupyne's feedback, I have republished this chapter, with a tad more details. Any feedback on any part of the story is of course more than welcome.
Additionally, a list of other fics in the series can now be found at the end of the chapter, mainly because to help minimise confusion about the timeline. If you liked this fic, please feel free to view my other fics in the series if you wish. The links to the fics can be found on my profile. Thanks once again!]
Thanks for reading and reviewing. And, without further ado, please enjoy.
Remembrance – Chapter Seven
Lucario stared with odd calmness as the white beam of light bore down upon him. He had definitely been hit, and was launched through the air, blue fire trailing from his paws... but he felt nothing. Am I dead already? Lucario wondered to himself, idly watching the world move past in a slow-motion blur of colour.
Suddenly the numbness came, followed by the searing blast of pain which started from the torso and spread quickly to the tip of his ears, tail and paws like wildfire. Slow pulsating pain started ebbing in his body, firing occasional electric shocks across his entire body. Lucario snapped his eyes shut, involuntarily convulsing violently in mid-air as Lucario's body finally registered Tabuu's cannon-blast.
Lucario howled in pain. Evidently not!
And to compound his worries, he realised that the blast had not only lifted him clean off his feet, but a few meters into the air – and gravity now took its effect, and threatened to slam him heavily into the ground. A broken spine, Lucario thought distractedly, forcing an eye open, staring at the ground rushing up towards him.
He braced himself for the inevitable hard impact and the shattering sounds of all the bones upwards of his tail, but instead he heard a soft whumpf, felt the rough texture of cloth and his descent was abruptly cut short. Lucario looked about, slightly dazed, until he noticed hands holding him by his back and hindpaws, and tilted his head to meet the face of Solid Snake.
Snake, however, was somehow fascinated by Lucario, as if he was seeing the blue-furred jackal-shaped Pokémon for the first time. "I didn't know Tabuu could do that..." What – Aah! Lucario started, but was cut short by another wave of pain, his head shuddering involuntarily. Snake didn't say anymore. The mercenary knew Lucario's warrior-like discipline and high threshold for pain – anything to send him into this state had to be devastating. Instead, he quickly lowered Lucario slowly to the ground, setting him in a small clearing besides rubble which was once part of the Hall ceiling.
Gripping Snake's shoulder to steady himself, Lucario glanced around the Hall. Other fighters were slowly getting to their feet, some shaking their heads or clutching their temples. Hurriedly doing a visual sweep of the area, he tried to see if there was anyone he had missed out – but another pusle of pain forced him to painfully slam both forepaws onto the ground behind him, contorting him into a slightly more comfortable sitting position.
The monochrome character saw the giant pillar of light tear through Lucario, sending him flying backwards until he fell, disappearing behind a large pile of rubble. Mr Game and Watch silently turned to face Tabuu, who appeared unaware of his presence as he watched Lucario's descent. Turning, and pressing himself to the wall – or what remained of it – Mr Game and Watch ran.
Snake looked around nervously, ensuring that both of them were hidden from Tabuu's view before kneeling by Lucario. "Rukario, I –" I am fine, breathed Lucario, closing his eyes slowly and inhaling a deep breath. Run. Tab –
Suddenly there was a piercing ringing wail, strangely like and unlike a familiar sound. Lucario and Snake turned, and saw how Mr Game and Watch suddenly appeared out of the shadows, launching himself towards Tabuu. It happened so quickly that the little two-dimensional man was practically touching the top of Tabuu's domed head before anyone else could react. The screech he made was of a deeper tone than he normally employed, layered over with the nameless voice of authority.
Mr Game and Watch raised a hammer which appeared out of nowhere, striking Tabuu squarely in the middle of the head. Both strange beings were suddenly covered with little sparks of blue electricity, it having no effect on Mr Game and Watch while Tabuu's face contorted under its sting. In fact, the entire attack was so swift, sudden, and powerful that it actually caused Tabuu to lose balance, breaking out of his half-kneeling, half-standing position, throwing his arms back to balance himself.
Suddenly spurred on, the rest of the Smashers joined in the fray, seemingly newly revitalised. Strange music and an unearthly aura drifted to Lucario's painfully twitching ears as the Negative Zone ballooned and held Tabuu in place, the piercing sounds of baseball bats and Light Arrows as various characters attacked. Lucario heard the familiar yells of Pokémon Trainer, and even Snake set his Missile Launcher's targets squarely on Tabuu's chest.
However, Tabuu obviously would not be beaten so easily – two Hands were not enough to defeat him, and he was not intending a ragtag team of fighters to win. A massive swipe with his hand sent Luigi flying out of the Negative Zone, and Lucario saw several large explosions which scattered fighters left and right. He made to get up, but Snake hesitantly put his hand on his shoulder, and forced the Aura Pokémon down again.
Don't stop me, I – Lucario winced as he felt another surge of pain, forcing him to grit his fangs. Fortunately now he had regained some sort of control, it still felt as if the pain was increasing. He tried getting up again, only to find his hindpaws buckling underneath him, and Snake grabbing him by the shoulders to steady him.
The Smashers rallied together, firing, striking, and smashing Tabuu with whatever skills they had. Although Tabuu had managed to defeat both Hands, over twenty Smashers attacking him from different angles at the same instant was starting to be overwhelm him.
A barrage of attacks like never before seen exploded into existence, fuelled by Luigi's defeat and Tabuu's own strength. Between then the Smashers probably had equal power as the Hands, but unnamed unity multiplied their efforts a hundredfold. It also didn't help Tabuu that his stamina started to drain away after his Off Waves, or that for every Smasher he felled, more took their place.
Tabuu collapsed onto the ground, composure gone. Crackling from blue electricity, he hovered slightly beside the remaining Subspace portal, beside the battered remains of the Gunship. In a sudden silence, no more attacks came, a lone howling battle cry echoed across the destroyed Hall. All eyes, including Tabuu's were slowly drawn to an approaching figure in the shadows.
The shadow stepped, limping, into visibility. Fox McCloud was bleeding from his ginger fur, his tail mangled and vest torn. In his slightly-trembling paw he up held Falco's Blaster, and aimed it squarely at Tabuu.
Lucario suddenly collapsed to the floor, wincing as pain once again shot through his body. This time, he caught sight of his torso – and discovered it pulsing a faint blue. In fact, it looked translucent. Lucario hurriedly raised his forepaw to his eye, but another jolt of pain shot through his body – through half-closed eyes, he saw a shimmer, like a electric ripple in a puddle, make its way through his body and up his paw.
"That was what I've been trying to tell you..." Snake muttered. "Tabuu must have upgraded his cannon blast, and I'm sure Master Hand will figure out something –" No. The calm telepathic voice cut the mercenary short, and Snake turned to glance sideways at Lucario.
"No?" Not the cannon blast. Me. Lucario shuddered involuntarily as another ripple spread through his body. Death by Aura loss. Another minute or so. Snake didn't move. Lucario smiled, then closed his eyes.
Smashers started to mill about Lucario, more and more faces pressing in. As soon as they learnt his predicament, many started yelling, pushing forward, their quiet whispers become loud agitated shouts. Lucario kneaded his forehead with a paw, then temporarily blacked out as another wave of pain shot through him. He fought against the encroaching faintness, and opened his eyes a crack.
Suddenly the pain disappeared, as quickly as it came. Lucario felt a refreshing sense of calm pass through him, like a gentle breeze – but the image was shattered with many of the Smashers' teary faces pressed toward him. Meta Knight sheathed his golden sword, and looked anxiously on.
Through the rabble, Lucario suddenly caught sight of someone else, making his way slowly through the rabble. Lucario narrowed his eyes, trying to make out who exactly it was. He looked – different, with attire no other Smasher wore. A large hat covered a good portion of his long blue hair, and his dressing looked slightly out of place. The strange person stepped through the crowd without a problem, and then bent, squatting in front of Lucario, his long cloak settling gently about him. He looked surprisingly clean in the blood-splattered, debris-filled hall, and Lucario suddenly realised he looked familiar...
The person smiled, and then stretched out his hand, ruffling the fur on Lucario's head. Lucario just stared at him, his jaw open in a surprised gape, not taking in the young Smashers' screaming his name, or the tears that started to stream down from his eyes. The translucent person stopped, and then stood up, straightening up to his full height.
Good job, Rukario. Sir Aaron held out a hand to Lucario, smiling.
Lucario had suddenly stiffened, although his fur still glowed insubstantially. He looked slightly past Marth and Ike, as if fascinated by something in the background. All of a sudden, the Aura Pokémon started tearing, and small rivulets of tears dampened his fur, Lucario starting to shudder slightly in a way which had nothing to do with pain.
Fox happened to be the closest there. As Lucario slowly, and jerkily, raised his paw, Fox caught it, cradling the soft fur as Lucario apparently stared straight into his face, tears still streaming and his mouth curving in the slightest smile. Lucario's paw pressed against Fox's, as if he was trying to stand up. The Star Fox pilot continued to yell at Lucario, begging for him to snap out of it. Pikachu nuzzled Lucario's torso, mixing his tears into Lucario's bloodied fur.
The forepaw he held started to tremble. Fox looked up, and his eyes met Lucario's, both pairs moist. Something changed in Lucario's eyes, and he suddenly stared at the vulpine with newfound recognition, as if wondering how he got there in the first place. He then looked around, at Snake, Meta Knight, and all the Smashers who gathered about him in a noisy semi-circle, then back at Fox again.
He closed his red eyes, allowing his head to tilt slightly to the side. Thank you all, his telepathic voice still sounded the same, although Snake discerned that Lucario's chest heaved less with each breath, and small motes of light started to gather around the Aura Pokémon. Thank – you... the voice came slightly fainter as Lucario smiled, his eyes closed, his paw still held by Fox as he grew even more insubstantial, the Smashers starting to see the dusty floor through him.
"Rukario!" someone snapped, as if commanding the Pokémon to stay, although the voice broke on the last syllable and was replaced by a teary choke.
Pikachu's head thudded against the floor as he suddenly realised Lucario's torso fur wasn't there anymore, and Fox numbly gripped his paw against another that he couldn't find.
The Blaster had shot once, the blast ringing oddly loud in the decimated Hall. Fox's grip on it was shaky and trembling, but the single shot had flown true and connected squarely with Tabuu's exposed neck. There had been an unearthly screech, and an explosion of dark blue smoke which filled the Hall, causing the Smashers to splutter and gasp. Fox, however, had stood unblinking, the Blaster still pointed dead ahead and shivering in his grasp.
When the thick blue smoke had finally thinned out, the last Subspace portal containing the protruding Gunship had receded, neatly slicing the destroyed Gunship into two as the portal shrank into nothingness. The wrecked metal had hit the ground of the Hall with a loud clang and buried itself an inch in the rubble. More importantly, perhaps, Tabuu was gone - or had simply disappeared from their sight and returned to Subspace? The lingering doubt of his return still kept the younger Smashers awake at night sometimes, but they knew that he wouldn't be coming back for at least a while.
After the Hands had recovered, the Smash Mansion had been reconstructed. Each part of the Mansion that had been destroyed by the invasion was recovered – although there were new additions to the Mansion, specifically, in a slightly breezy spot in the Garden grounds.
Fox numbly traced Lombardi on the cold headstone, shaking his ginger head with a sad smile. He straightened up, stepping backwards, viewing the grave in its entirety. His gaze shifted to include the newer graves in the shallow grove, his sharp eyes picking out the names, even though they were slightly eroded over time.
After the vicious backhanded slap from Tabuu, the Negative Zone could not protect its creator as Luigi was smashed across the Hall. Fox couldn't help but regret not spending more time with the mild-mannered plumber, but that was beyond him now. A small number of other graves lined up next to theirs, but Fox had already paid his respects to them.
The circle around the Garden had looked significantly smaller - not only were there lesser fighters in it, the number of graves they encircled had grown since then. The cool evening was interrupted by various wails, Pokemon cries and silence as the Smashers started to come to terms with their loss that dark evening.
Fox nearly had to bury his rival, but Wolf pulled through, managing a half-hearted smirk at a relieved vulpine. The Hands were also on the receiving end of Lucario's Aura - subsequently, when they regained consciousness afterwards, they set about wordlessly repairing the Mansion and reconstructing the Hall.
Some other Smashers and Assist Trophies weren't so lucky. Mario and Peach had moved the limp body of Luigi out to the Garden grove that evening. The double Links greived for their fallen princess, and even Ganondorf had stopped short when her body was recovered in the rubble. The Assist Trophy Pokemon's Trainer had suffered serious injuries during his fight, being on the wrong end of several of Tabuu's enraged strikes. The Pokemon trudged silently behind Ganondorf and Bowser, who to everyone's surprise, had silently volunteered to carry his body after Dr. Mario had exited the emergency ward with his head down.
Much earlier on, the fox had started to wander around the battlefield, trying to search out survivors, when his vision came across Snake and Lucario. He started to walk towards the duo. Two steps later, Lucario's back arched, Lucario gripping the floor in silent pain, and Fox broke into a run.
Fox sighed inwardly as he remembered Lucario. He didn't know the details, but he knew he was indebted to him for saving his life – twice over – and Fox's respect for the quiet Pokémon had grown since then. Bowing his head in the direction of the graves once again, the vulpine smiled, sharing a quiet moment as the wind whispered in the trees.
The trees rocked gently in the breeze, Fox closing his eyes to feel the soft touch on his cheeks. He knew, for one, that although he knew to move forward, that he would always remember. Turning around, he walked back into the Mansion, the double doors closing behind him as he joined the rest of the chattering Smashers for breakfast.
Lucario didn't have a grave, having no body for anyone to bury. Instead, a small pile of stones was gathered together, a mark of respect for the Guardian of the Aura. It was Fox who suggested the idea for Lucario's monument - and he had made it himself, too. Kneeling down, he had gathered a small mound of pebbles and rocks, and laid them carefully in front of the small headstone beside Falco's, running his paw past the cold stone and its grooves spelling Lucario's name. With no belongings, there was indeed little to remember him by. Although they knew they'd keep him in their memory, unknown to the fighters, however – his Aura was with them.
The sun – or whatever provided the light – poked a ray past the horizon, bathing the horizon in a shimmering golden glow. The grass swayed slightly in the breeze, as the golden flood slowly claimed the Garden grounds inch by inch. The Smash Mansion was soon showered in a magnificent light show, softly illuminating the Mansion from the ground to its roof.
Days of Our Lives Arc
Days of Our Lives