My dear readers, here is a brand new chapter of Aura Guardians in Time for you all to enjoy :) I started this right before I posted the last one so that's why it's out so quick. And it's definitely longer than the last one, by almost 1,100 words! Wow! I guess my muse is back now. -pets muse-
I am moving on the weekend and I don't know when I'll have the internet to use again so I thought I'd better update this now before that. I might not have internet for a few weeks, maybe even a month. It just depends on my internet company.
Anyway, here's the next chapter of Aura Guardians in Time!
P.S. Thanks to all of the people who have been reviewing, subscribing and putting my on your favourite author's lists. IT means so much to me to see that, thank you :)
"Ash, how are we going to actually track her down?" Amy asked her brother, looking sideways in his direction.
After the declaration that they had 'found' Astrea, Amy and Ash had promptly fainted. May, along with the help of Max, Brock, Misty, Mew, Lucario and Celebi, brought the twins back to Ash's room and placed them on the bed together. Even in sleep, they could sense each other and as soon as they were placed together, Ash reached out unconsciously for his sister and drew her into his arms. Amy sighed against his chest and snuggled closer to the delicious warmth.
May had stood to the side and watched this unconscious display of sibling affection, her heart no longer filled with jealousy. She could see it now. The touches Ash gave to Amy and that she returned in kind weren't those of romantic love but those of sibling affection. She smiled and giggled as the twins sighed in unison.
Max had watched this as well before turning to his sister, happy to see the smile that lit up her face. He'd known of her love for Ash even before she herself could see it. Even though he was younger in age, Max had known and tried to convince his sister to reveal her feelings to Ash.
And, being the stubborn person she was, May refused.
Up until this day.
Something had changed, Max could see that much. May wasn't clenching her jaw in poorly disguised jealousy but smiling opening, love radiating from her eyes for Ash.
And now, hours later, he knew what had changed.
His sister and Ash had finally confessed to one another!
"I don't know, Amy," Ash replied, sitting calmly with May curled in his lap, "I mean, I can feel that Astrea's aura is somewhere just over the large hill to the south-east of Cameron but I can't pin-point where. It could be just behind it, or further away than I can sense. It's hard to sense because it feels like her aura has been suppressed."
Amy nodded in agreement with her brother.
After she and Ash had woken up, in each other's arms, the whole group had decided to gather in one of Lady Irene's spare rooms. The room was quite large and had a large circular table in the centre of the room. Ash felt like he was King Arthur and he was sitting at his table with his knights and his Queen in his lap.
Brock sat to his right, Amy to his left. Max sat on the other side of Brock and Misty, Lucario and Lady Irene sat directly opposite them so they were all facing one another. Mew and Celebi floated over the table.
"Ash is right. I sense that Astrea's aura has been suppressed for some time. That is why we could not find her before," Mew said, floating up and over the table.
"Would it be possible to narrow down where exactly she is?" May asked.
"It would take time and that is something we do not have. The leader of the Black Aura Soldiers is a dangerous man and he will not wait for us. He could attack Cameron if he sensed Aura Guardians here," Celebi cut in.
"But there aren't any Aura Guardians alive anymore. They were wiped out over the last few hundred years, right Lady Irene?" Misty said, looking at Lady Irene for confirmation.
Lady Irene only sighed. "There hasn't been a documented aura guardian since Sir Aaron but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Anyone with the ability to use or see aura is a guardian now."
Mew and Celebi nodded in unison.
Both Ash's and Amy's eyes widened. "So, that means... we're Aura Guardians?!" They exclaimed together, pointing at one another.
Again, Mew and Celebi nodded. "Your father was an Aura Guardian. It's in your blood," Celebi said.
"Whoa…" To say that the twins were shocked would be an understatement.
May giggled at the look on her boyfriend's face.
Brock raised a hand to his chin and rubbed it thoughtfully. "But doesn't that mean that this leader will come here now that there are Aura Guardians here?" Brock questioned.
Mew nodded. "Yes. But a friend of ours has set up a protective barrier around Cameron, so powerful that there is only one person who can sense the barrier and break through it; Astrea."
Ash gasped, knowing the Pokemon they were talking about. "Mewtwo," Ash thought, not realising that his mental link with his sister was open and she could hear what he was thinking.
Amy looked at her brother in confusion. "Mewtwo? He did put up the barrier?"
Max, Brock, Misty, and May looked at Ash in confusion as well. None of them knew who Mewtwo was. Lady Irene looked at Ash and then Mew in recognition. She knew of Mew's clone, Mewtwo. It had happened years ago, when Mew had been captured by Team Rocket's creator, Giovanni. He'd used Mew's genetic material to create a more advanced cloned copy, naming him Mewtwo. Mewtwo had then escaped and used the same technology that had given him life to clone dozens of various Pokemon back in Johto. The last thing Lady Irene had heard about Mewtwo was that he had flown off to a distant island with his company of cloned Pokemon.
Mew nodded at Ash, confirming his thoughts. "My old friend, Mewtwo, has been using his powerful psychic abilities to put up and maintain the barrier. It has been up and running since the first moment you stepped through the gates to Cameron, Ash."
Ash slumped in his seat in shock. After all this time, Mewtwo was still helping the world, trying to make up for his past sins.
Despite Mewtwo's attempt to erase the memories of that horrible time from Ash's mind, the spell began to undo itself within a month after the incident. Ash began to remember, through dreams at first and then flashbacks later, about Mewtwo and the clones, on their island with the cloning machine. He dreamt about Pikachu falling into the machine and her clone emerging. He remembered Mew and Mewtwo sending attacks at each other, barely missing each other before their final attacks were on a collision course with one another. Ash had screamed at them to stop, running forward to place himself between them and their attacks had collided with him instead. Ash didn't remember much after that but he did remember that the Pokemon, originals and clones alike, had all been overjoyed when he awoke and peace settled upon them.
Now, it seems Mewtwo had decided to change his ways and use his abilities to protecting the world.
May looked towards her boyfriend, worriedly. He had paled slightly after Mew confirmed his suspicion about Mewtwo and he had become silent. She waved her hand in front of his face but Ash gave no indication whether or not he saw it. He sat, frozen in the aftermath of this revelation.
Amy watched him for a moment longer then reached out to Ash and was about to try to bring her brother out of the deep well of his thoughts when the gate to their link opened from his side, sending a flood of images her way. She gasped as she realised that these images were Ash's memories.
The first memory that burst into her mind was of seeing Mewtwo stand over Ash and his friends. Amy could almost feel the way they were trembling, especially when Mewtwo roared at them in his anger. As quickly as it came, the image when, leaving Amy to internally sigh a breath of relief.
But soon enough, another memory was upon her.
This one was different, darker. Ash and Pikachu were on an island, trying to find a way to get back all of the Pokemon that Mewtwo stole. After stumbling down a ramp and into a room, they saw all of the stolen Pokemon, still in their Pokéballs, on a conveyer belt. They were headed into a machine which hummed as it scanned each Pokemon through their ball and created a cloned copy, sucking the balls into the machine, depositing them in a room nearby. The cloned Pokemon grew at a rapid rate in clear, jelly like chambers. They were then released and marched in a line out of the other door to the room. Ash stood shocked at the cloned Pokemon but soon snapped out of his shock as Pikachu quietly reminded him why they were there. In the process of trying to get all of the Pokéballs, including his own, Pikachu had dived into the machine to try and catch a ball that rolled down the conveyer belt from Ash's end.
Seconds later, a clone of Pikachu was created and Ash was still screaming for his partner through the inside hull of the machine.
The memory left Amy's mind, the echo of Ash's screams still resounding in her head.
A few more memories flew by without much thought until finally; a new memory settled in and started the show.
Ash was standing in what looked to be an arena. Stands surrounded the whole area with some Pokemon fighting on them and the majority fighting in the arena. The cloned Pokemon picked their counterparts and initiated a battle. The stands didn't stand a chance at survive. Pokemon dodged attacks from both sides, causing damage to the stands to the point where they were smoothed down and the new curve rounded down the walls to the arena. Pikachu stood in the middle of the arena, fighting with her clone as it attacked. Lightening, the most powerful Ash had seen Pikachu emit, sparked up around the pair and lashed out towards Pikachu's clone.
The battle between all of the clones was fierce but none more so than the battle between Mew and Mewtwo. With their psychic abilities and being able to fly, they flew around the arena, up into the stands and down into the depth of the arena. They hurled energy balls and attacks at each other, a few missing and slamming into the battle field below them. Most, however, collided with Mew and Mewtwo themselves.
At last, an attack collided with the wall beside Mew and she was thrown to the ground. Mewtwo lowered himself down, glaring at Mew. She rose unsteadily to float and look at her cloned counterpart with sadness in her eyes. Amy could see in her teary eyes that she hadn't wanted things to go this way.
With one final breath, preparing themselves for death, the two psychic Pokemon gathered their attacks and launched them at one another. They were on a collision course with the other but Ash stepped in, running forward and shouting at the two Pokemon to stop.
A bright flash of light lit up the arena, temporarily blinding the Pokemon in the arena as well as Brock and Misty. After a few seconds, the light died down to reveal Ash on the ground, as grey as stone. Pikachu screamed in horror, bounding toward her trainer. She began to shake Ash, trying to wake him up as if he were asleep. Ash's whole body rocked with the movements, sounding very much like stone rubbing against stone.
Once Pikachu realised what had truly happened to Ash, she began to cry, wailing in grief as her partner no longer moved. Despite the fighting that had occurred moments before, all of the Pokemon turned to watch the scene before them, many of them being brought to tears at the immense pain in Pikachu's screams. Pokemon and clone alike cried for the one human who had sacrificed everything to bring peace between them.
The memory left Amy then, leaving her exhausted beyond belief and tears flowing like a river from her eyes. Sobs broke out in her throat. The others, aside from Mew, Celebi and Ash looked at her in confusion and shock. Amy turned her tear stricken gaze upon Mew and uttered, "How could you?"
Instantly, Mew knew she was referring to the moment where her attack and Mewtwo's had collided and turned Ash to stone. Tears welled up in her eyes and spilled over. They slipped from her face in drops, splashing quietly on the table beneath her. "We didn't mean to do it, Amy," she whispered, feeling her heart clench at the look of betrayal on her young friend's face.
That look of betrayal was quickly replaced by one of anger. Ash's sister jumped up from her seat, slamming her hands on the table in front of her. Her eyes cast a murderous glare on Mew, who shrank back in slight fear. "It doesn't matter if you meant to do it, Mew!" Amy roared. "What matters is that you did do it and it did happen! Nothing you say can excuse what you and your clone did to my brother, an innocent bystander!"
Mew flinched at the harshness of Amy's voice. She'd never had anyone speak so harshly to her but she knew she deserved it. Despite the emotional intensity of the situation back then, it was still no excuse for their actions at the time. They not only caused harm to Ash, which was fortunately able to be reversed, but could have caused further damage to both the Pokemon and their cloned counterparts. It was a very dark moment in her past; one Mew wished she could forget.
But that wasn't a luxury that she had.
"I almost lost my brother and I never would have known him. Do you realise how much that thought hurts? To know that my twin could have died years ago and I wouldn't have even met him, let alone known him?" Amy asked Mew, tears in her voice and sliding in thick trails down her cheeks.
Mew hated the way Amy was looking at her. Broken, like someone who had just been told that their family was already gone.
May watched in stunned silence as did the rest of the people at the table. Despite knowing her brother for only mere days, Amy already had a bond with him like she had been with him all of their lives. May supposed that it was because of their twin bond but it also felt like something more than that. A deeper connection than just being twins: a bond of their auras.
Suddenly, May felt the arms around her stiffen before one shot out to place a hand on Amy's arm. Both May and Amy looked at the boy who had been lost in his thoughts until that moment and saw it was looking between them, with a soft, loving look on his face. It changed slightly when he looked at Amy, as if pleading with her through his eyes. He eased May off of his lap slowly, dropping a sweet kiss to her hair and moved to embrace his distraught sister. Her arms wrapped tightly around her brother, sobbing fiercely into his chest. Ash rubbed his hands over her trembling back. He looked at Mew over Amy's shoulder and saw Celebi trying to console her while Mew herself just looked on helplessly, realising the pain that could have been caused by her actions. Not just hers but that of her clones.
Ash wished he could go and comfort Mew as well, knowing it wasn't her fault he had stepped in and risked himself for her, Mewtwo and all of the other Pokemon, originals and clones, but right now, his sister needed him more.
Meanwhile, not far away, Mewtwo felt the distress of Mew and Amy. He had been keeping an eye on Mew and the twins. It startled him to feel such distress from the two of them and he almost teleported to their location but his instincts were telling him that he needed to stay in the shadows a little longer. Amy had a lot of emotions she needed to unload after she had learned the truth about what he and Mew had done to her twin and he could feel that Mew needed to listen to all that Amy had to say, not only for Amy's benefit but also Mew's.
Both he and Mew didn't really know how Amy felt about the thought of not ever being able to know her brother. While Mewtwo still didn't understand much about humans, he did at least understand that the bond between family was as strong as they come, even stronger than the bond that had developed between Mew and Mewtwo after their attack on each other.
This was a moment for him to stand back and watch, not interfere.
Brock, Max, Misty, Lucario and Lady Irene looked at them with shock written on their faces. For Brock and Misty, they felt like they should know exactly what was going on and it frustrated them that they had no idea. It was obvious that something bad had happened to Ash and it was caused by Mew and her clone but try as they might, they couldn't figure out what had happened. All any of them knew now was that Amy was so distressed that her own twin had to bring her into his arms and whisper sweet nothings into her ear, reassuring her with soothing rubs along her back and shoulders that he was there, still alive with her, that he wasn't going to leave her without a fight.
"We've been through so much to end up where we are now and I am not going to let anything happen to either of us. You're a part of me now, just as I'm a part of you. Never forget that," Ash whispered fiercely, squeezing Amy once more in reassurance before releasing her. He was happy to see a smile once again on her beautiful but tear stained face.
Amy nodded, smiling and turned back towards the group before her. She blushed slightly when everyone gave her looks of shock, knowing it was from her outburst.
"I'm sorry, everyone. I just… lost control of myself for a moment there," Amy hesitated, not knowing what to exactly to call her outburst.
The others seated around the table relaxed, sensing that the hostile atmosphere had dissipated. The air was still heavy with tension between Mew and Amy but the edge had been taken off, slightly relaxing the other people in the room. But there was one thing that still had to be sorted out.
Mew's past actions against Ash as well as her clone's.
Suddenly, Mewtwo flashed into the room using his teleportation ability. He stood with his arms crossed over his chest and his face impassive. Mewtwo had sensed that the hostile atmosphere had gone and so he teleported into the room to face Amy, knowing she would have questions that he would need to answer.
Brock, May, Max and Misty jumped at the sudden appearance of Mewtwo while Lady Irene and Amy gasped. Ash just smiled at Mewtwo like he was an old friend. He walked over to Mewtwo, looking up at him ad he looked down warily, wondering what Ash was up to. It came as a shock when Ash suddenly embraced him. He stood stiff for a few moments, sure that this wasn't really happening. Once it sunk in that Ash was hugging him, Sir Aaron's only son and the boy who he had almost seriously hurt, he loosely wrapped his arms around him. Mewtwo made sure to keep his grip loose in case Ash decided to pull away from him.
Mewtwo wasn't surprised when Ash pulled back but he, and everyone else, was surprised when Ash began to speak softly to him, "I don't blame either of you or what happened. It was an accident and I know you wouldn't harm me, either of you."
Ash turned towards Mew, the tears slowly drying on her face. He stood beside the table and beckoned Mew closer, waiting patiently as Mew stared at him in confusion. Slowly, almost reluctantly, she hovered closer. A part of her was afraid that Ash would draw her closer just so he could take his own anger out on her, just as his sister had done.
What he did do surprised not only her but everyone else as well.
He hugged her. Reached out with his long arms and pulled her into a hug against his chest. Mew's eyes bulged in shock and froze.
Ash sighed at feeling Mew freeze. He wasn't angry with her but she still thought he was, after all of this time. He never blamed her or Mewtwo but Mew saw their attack on Ash as something he would no doubt be angry over. He half wondered if she would feel better if he did get angry with her, if he yelled at her and blamed her for something that wasn't her fault. In his opinion anyway.
Despite being locked in his thoughts earlier, what had brought him out was the anguish in Amy's voice. He listened to her words and realised that Mew's and Mewtwo's actions hit her hard and the consequences of their actions if it had been permanent.
But he needed Amy to know that he didn't and had never blamed them for what had happened to him. For that matter, Mew and Mewtwo needed to know that as well and understand why he never blamed them.
Untangling his arms from Mew enough to pull back so he could look her in the face, Ash began to speak. "Mew, I never blamed you, or Mewtwo. You didn't intend for me to get hurt and I know that it was a dark time for the both of you." Ash looked around the room towards Mewtwo, Amy, then May, Max, Brock and lastly, Lady Irene and Celebi. "Both Mew and Mewtwo never wanted to harm me and I know that both feel terrible. Mewtwo even tried to erase my memory of that time so I wouldn't remember and feel the anger toward them that they expect I feel."
Gasps sounded around the room when Ash revealed that Mewtwo had tried to erase his memory.
"I remembered what happened back then and even when I did remember, I never felt any anger towards them. I never blamed them for what happened because they didn't have any control over any of it. Team Rocket and their leader caused all of this. It's them that should be blamed. And I do blame them because their actions not only led to what happened to me but they hurt two innocent Pokemon along the way."
Mewtwo looked at Ash in a mixture of confusion and a little awe. "Two innocent Pokemon?" He questioned telepathically. If anyone of them was innocent back then, it was Ash. Not him or Mew.
Ash turned towards Mewtwo and looked at him with a sparkle in his eyes. He smiled. "Yes, Mewtwo. Two innocent Pokemon. You were just as innocent in that situation as Mew was. It was the circumstances that Team Rocket made that caused what happened to happen."
Mewtwo suddenly couldn't control himself. He launched at Ash, tears in his eyes, and hugged him fiercely to himself. May gasped and was about to call forth one of her Pokemon to protect her new boyfriend (and just calling him her boyfriend felt both weird and exciting to May) but when she saw that the only thing Mewtwo had don't was wrap his arms tightly around her love, drawing him in for an embrace of friendship, May relaxed. A slightly shaken smile crossed her lips at the sight.
The other occupants of the room barely had the time to gasp and instead, stared on in amazement that one of the most powerful Pokemon in the world was crying into their friend's shoulder.
For Mewtwo, this embrace was calming for him as well as relieving. No-one had ever told him that he was innocent in all of what happened with Team Rocket and their scientists. He'd been wracked with guilt over it all for years and now, it seemed like he could finally let it all go.
And now he had a new friend in Ash, maybe he really could.