A/N: Angst stories are rare for me. Expect this to not come from me often :P Stories that make no sense will come out often, instead.
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. If I did, I'd make it better than it was now. But all you'll get is my fanworks.
The crowd at the Battle Tower was going wild. It was Dawn versus Palmer, the great Tower Tycoon. Dawn trained very hard for this moment to come. She trained her Empoleon to match up against that Dragonite of his, and so far it was going great. Dawn's mother, Johanna was cheering her on along with Lucas and Professor Rowan, and Pearl was next to them cheering on his dad along with the hundreds of fans that gathered.
Dawn's Empoleon dodged as instructed, pumped its Hydro Pump as ordered and it gave a great deal of damage to the foe. But of course, Palmer wasn't going to give this up. He was going to give his best friend's kid the fight of her life.
But then every thing went wrong.
Palmer commanded his Dragonite to give a full force Dragon Rush against her Empoleon. It flew up into the air to gain altitude and then dropped back down like a heat-seeking missile. It followed Dawn's Empoleon at every direction and it seem like if the attack were to hit, Dawn would lose. She commanded her Empoleon to dodge and it did just that, but the Dragonite was not going to stop. Dawn had no time to dodge the attack herself. It just happened too quickly.
She remembered being rammed into the wall behind her, feeling her ribs break multiple times, spurting out blood, and the wind being knocked out of her, and before she knew it, she went numb and couldn't even feel the pain anymore. She could hear the muffled voices of the crowd, her mom running towards her side shrieking in horror, the shouts of a disaster and the demands of an ambulance. But the last thing she heard before completely blacking out was her mom putting the blame all on Palmer.
Dawn was only half-conscious when she over heard a conversation. When it was over, she blacked out again.
She remembered there was a lot of yelling. A lot of blaming. A lot of punching and kicking. And it all came from her mother. She gave them all to Palmer. And he didn't do anything but apologize over and over to her. It was until the nurses and doctors came to restrain her mother before she ended up killing Palmer for almost killing off her daughter.
Again she blamed him. Again she gave him death threats.
And again, he apologized.
Dawn was hospitalized for what seemed like a month.
She remembered seeing herself as a complete mess. She remembered being covered in casts, bandages, and bruises. She remembered feeling the constant pain of her crushed bones and internal bleeding. She remembered always having to endure them until the morphine came. She remembered having that surgery to correct her bone structures and had to endure another period of pain with it.
She remembered the therapy. She remembered learning how to walk again. She remembered being spoon fed everyday by the nurse or by her mother. And she remembered how her mom constantly blamed Palmer for the accident.
She also remembered getting visits from everyone to see how she was doing.
She remembered Roark giving her fossils that he found as a get well soon gift. Gardenia and her fresh picked flowers. Maylene and her martial art improvements. Crasher Wake and his boasts of encouragement to stay strong. Fantina, her elaborate dancing and dress-ups with her Drifblim. Byron and his bickering with his son. Candice and her cheerful disposition. And Volkner. Volkner and his small smiles and his hushed get well wishes as he petted her head. Wishes that demanded that she got better soon so that they could have an electrifying rematch.
It wasn't just the Gym Leaders that came. The Elite Four, too.
She remembered Aaron bringing his bug Pok mon, detailing how beautiful they could be. Bertha, praising her for withstanding that accident with her strong, youthful body. Flint for calling her hot stuff for surviving the accident. Lucian on finally putting a book down to give her some attention in wishing her a speedy recovery. And she even remembered Cynthia telling her that no matter how long it will take, she will get better and live on, leaving the trouble behind.
She remembered Pearl and Lucas cheering her on to a speedy recovery. And if she didn't, Pearl would fine her 10 million yen. They were both enthusiastic and optimistic, Dawn felt like she was getting better already.
But when it came to Palmer though, it was nothing but guilt and sadness. He could only offer his deepest apologies, his deepest regrets, his self-blame and repeated what everyone else had said.
"It was all my fault," he whispered softly. "I did this to you. I'm so sorry."
Dawn could only frown from sadness for him.
"Honestly," he laughed quietly to himself. "You can be angry at me for doing this. After all, I caused all this." She watched him bury his face into his hand, trying to hold back the guilt and the tears. "How can I tell my best friend that I did this to his precious daughter? Am I even worth his punishment if I faced him?"
Palmer really took all the abuse from her mother to the very bone. The man was emotionally abused by her mother repeatedly until he himself believed that everything was his fault. The man was so numb with guilt that he couldn't even bring himself to shed tears from his eyes.
Dawn felt a tear slide down her eye and drop into the blankets. And then another. And another. And another. And then she realized... they wouldn't stop. But she also realized that she wasn't crying for herself. No, she was crying for herself and for Palmer, because he couldn't.
She took his hand in hers and held them against her tear-streaked cheek. And she told him the most kindest words he needed since ever.
"It wasn't your fault," she spoke gently with a sad smile. "You know it isn't."
Palmer looked back at her with his tired eyes. His tired, sad eyes that began to water for the first time in years. And he smiled a real smile for once. "I-I'm... I'm sorry, Dawn..."
He then pulled her into a tight embrace, stroking her head in the most fatherly and loving way possible. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..."
"It was all an accident," she continued warmly, stroking his big back. "Whatever you heard from everyone else, is a lie. You didn't do anything wrong. It just happened."
"I know... but," Palmer stopped and she felt him trembling. "Everyone..."
"Not everyone blames you for this accident," she reassured, resting her head against his. "All the Gym Leaders... the Elite Four... Cynthia... even Professor Rowan and Lucas and Pearl don't blame you. They knew it was an accident. They've been trying to clear your name and slowly gaining everyone's support. They know it s not your fault, Palmer. It never was."
She remembered hearing Palmer thanking her, over and over and over. He thanked for her kind words, for her forgiveness, for her support. But mostly, he thanked her for making him realize that he should've believed in himself from the very beginning.