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"Why does a villain fight?"

Grovyle and Dusknoir tumbled onto the unsoftened ground of the future. The dimensional hole snapped shut behind them. Grovyle rolled off his opponent and sprang to his feet, ready for any possible attack. Dusknoir was not known for giving up, even when he had clearly lost. Grovyle was not disappointed. Dusknoir flew off the ground with a primal roar. His fist slammed into Grovyle's guard with an audible thunk.

''Damn you!'' Dusknoir screamed. "I'll kill you, you bastard!" Grovyle was mildly surprised. Cussing was not normally Dusknoir's thing. The ghost did not give Grovyle any time to think about it, launching one powerful attack after another. It took all of Grovyle's attention to avoid being flattened by Dusknoir's wrath. Only when the ghost paused, panting for the air even he needed, did Grovyle get a chance to gather his thoughts.

''Give it up Dusknoir. You've lost. Isn't there a better way to spend your last hours on earth than fighting me?'' Grovyle tried to muster a gentle voice for his enemy and found he couldn't. He only managed to sound weary.

Dusknoir started charging a black vortex in his stomach mouth, then paused and let it dissipate.

''You're right. There is.'' With that astonishing statement, Dusknoir turned and fled. Grovyle stared after him for a moment, then shook his head and turned towards the forest. If there was enough time, he wanted to see Celebi again.

Dusknoir flew with a speed he didn't know he possessed, away from the stockade and Master Dialga. The great beast could figure out what had happened in the past himself. This ghost had another mission. Dusknoir cursed every precious second the flight took. He had originally chosen his place for it's distance from Primal Dialga's home, faintly hoping that distance could be a protection. Now it seemed much too far away. Finally he arrived.

''Honey? Are you home?" Dusknoir called into the mouth of a small cave. He entered cautiously, alert for one of the traps his family used to secure their belongings when not at home. He needn't have worried.

"Hubby? What are you doing here? I thought you were busy slaving for Primal Dialga.'' Another dusknoir emerged from the darkness to meet him. Only one of their species was likely to know that this was a female.

''I had to see you.'' Dusknoir floated forward and put his hand on the side of his mate's face briefly. "Is Duskull here?"

"He's asleep. I can wake him..." Dusknoir's mate moved towards the back of the cave, but he caught her arm and pulled her into an embrace.

''No, let him sleep. I just need to be here.'' Dusknoir nuzzled her neck gently, breathing in the scent that was uniquely hers. ''Honey, I-'' Words deserted him.

''You what? Why are you here?'' Dusknoir's mate pushed him away. Her expression was not far from anger.

"I failed.'' Dusknoir choked the words through a knot of shame that threatened to suffocate him. ''Renegades went to the past to change history. I was supposed to stop them. I failed.'' He couldn't look her in the eye, but he saw her confusion just the same. ''When history is changed, the future and everyone in it disappears."

Dusknoir's mate gasped.

''B-but what can we do?'' She asked anxiously.

''Nothing.'' Dusknoir closed his eyes and slumped in despair. ''I'm so sorry.''

Dusknoir's mate put her arms around him and led him to the stone ledge that served as a sleeping place. Their son lay against the wall snoring softly.

''It's all right. At least we're together,'' she whispered. Dusknoir's mate reached towards the small ghost. ''He should get to see you again." she said when Dusknoir tried to stop her. Dusknoir nodded and roused their son himself.

''Hey kiddo. Guess who's home.'' The young Duskull blinked up at his father, then sprang awake.

''Daddy!'' Duskull clapped his hands in delight. ''You came home!''

''You bet I did son. So what's been happening since I left? You been taking good care of your mother?''

"Uh-huh. I can make a real Shadow Ball now. Come see!" Duskull grabbed his father's hand and tugged him outside. The child demonstrated a small but explosive ball of ghost energy on a boulder.

''Good job, kiddo.'' Dusknoir applauded. Duskull glowed with the praise. Dusknoir's mate came out and all three played a vigorous game of tag. Finally they collapsed in a giggling heap of ghosts in front of the cave mouth.

''That was so much fun!" Duskull enthused. ''Can we play again?''

''Give your father and I a chance to catch our breath, sweetie.'' His mother said fondly.

''Okay.'' Duskull amused himself tossing pebbles in the air, seeing how high he could toss each before the planet's paralysis suspended it midair. He threw one straight up as hard as he could and craned his neck back to watch the moment when it froze. Then he gaped, distracted from his pebble.

''Mommy, Daddy, look at the sky!'' Duskull raced back to his parents, pointing upwards. For the first time in generations, the sky was turning a rosy color in the east.

''The sun is rising.'' Dusknoir said. He gathered his son to him and murmured to his mate. ''This is it.'' His body felt heavy and strange.

''This is what, Daddy? What is that?" Duskull twisted in his father's arms, then stilled suddenly. ''I feel funny." Dusknoir couldn't answer. He didn't know what to say. He just held his son as tight as he could. His mate put her arms around them both and they held Duskull between them.

"Everything is okay sweetie.'' She lied softly. ''Mommy and Daddy are here. It will all be okay.'' The sky was getting very bright. Small balls of lights were now flying from their bodies. Faster and faster, they blinded the family.

Dusknoir held on to his loved ones until there was nothing left.


This story came out of a line in another fanfiction which guessed what happened in the future after Grovyle took Dusknoir back. It was either Grovyle or Celebi who claimed that the reason Dusknoir was such a jerk was that he'd never found a mate or family. Something in the back of my head just scoffed at the notion. In retrospect, I think it's the Amp Plains arc in the games that makes me think that. Dusknoir had no overt reason to help the hero, yet he came dashing to the rescue as soon as he heard. That is not the act of a jerk or an evil mastermind, it's the act of a person with genuine respect for life. With this in mind, I had to ask: Why would such a person serve Primal Dialga?