This is once again part of a chapter that works well on its own, so it's another short chapter. There is a slight reference to religious philosophy about mid-way, but because Mewtwo always does that (in the Japanese version, anyway), it's somewhat normal.
Chapter Three: Losing Control
"When they all come crashing down—midflight
You know you're not the only one"
- "The Only One", Evanescence, "The Open Door"
Within the following couple of months of living under Mount Quena, Mew slowly learned to eat again and redevelop her abilities. The miraculous healing power of Clarity Lake brought back the color to her face and eyes, and her fur developed a sheen of a perfect well-being. Though now able to to reuse her powers, as expected, she procrastinated her training to play with the Bug larvae or visit the lake's inhabitants. There were days Mewtwo attempted to get her to strengthen her special abilities only to result in a cat-and-mouse chase that would last into the evening. Her excuse was that she trained and played at the same time (by fleeing from him, he amended to himself). The happier she became, she once explained, the healthier she would be—which he found hard to believe.
In truth, she refused to let her counterpart get within reach of her since the day they had arrived, she just kept the reason to herself. As the memory of his lips against hers remained fresh, she had resorted to playing in an effort to push it from her mind. At night, however, Mew could not escape the senses she had felt in those few moments, nor the ache left behind in her chest. She grew restless, even once staying up until dawn exploring her temporary home and forcibly memorizing every little detail. It pushed progress back a few days, much to her clone's disappointment, but if anything could distract her mind from it and keep her away from him, she would do it.
As a result of her uncooperative behavior, Mewtwo eventually gave up trying to get her in line about a month in. He trusted Mew enough to at least exercise her jaw for a few minutes a day, and let her be about her own business. While he generally ignored many of the inhabitants, he had soon found himself talking to the alpha, unable to forget the familiarity of its aura. After the first few days of their acquaintance, he had learned the Scyther was a direct descendant from the Scyther clone, whom he had not seen since their departure centuries ago. The physique of abnormal strength and valor was enough for him to figure it out without confronting the male, though the talks about one of his grandfathers outliving many generations until his death some ten years prior evaluated his suspicions.
"I still do not get it how it was possible he lived that whole time," the mantis had sighed, shaking his head. "It seemed so... unusual. We thought he was immortal."
Mewtwo thought over the possibilities for a while, even questioning Mew at one point about her species' lifespan (when she was close enough to ask). Shrugging, she had only said, "Even I'm a bit concerned about my lifespan. My mother passed away when I was a kitten, and that's still too young for a Mew."
It wasn't very much help, and he fretted over an answer, mainly a theory, for a proper explanation. He himself found it a bit baffling how he had managed to outlive even his own clones, but could only recall legends humans believed were the secrets to a Legendary's long lifespan. Curiously interesting legends they were, though not enough to satisfy and prove.
Still, the Scyther was persistent to know more about his ancestor, asking continuous inquiries about who he was, where he came from, and how Mewtwo knew him. He didn't mind answering them the best he could, but he was skeptical doing so. He wanted to make sure his past would remain a secret even when he wasn't haunted by it anymore; then again, this Scyther wanted answers. It was very unlikely he had traveled away from his home, let alone knew about the current and past events. It was better him than a common Pidgey.
By the time the second month of their stay arrived, the two were finding themselves friends, enjoying each other's company while Mew played with the Bug larvae. It became routine for Scyther to arrive after his daily patrol and share a chat with the psychic. Today was no different as he approached Mewtwo, who was resting underneath the basswood, watching Mew toss squealing larvae into a shallow area of the lake.
"I am not solely responsible for what Mew will do to those children," he cautiously stated without looking up, waving a hand nonchalantly. "I am but a lifeguard."
"Again? What, has this been the fifth time she made you a lifeguard?" Scyther scoffed, sitting cross-legged beside him. "She must not like you very much."
"Obviously. She wanted me as far away as possible, and I happily took that opportunity. I would leave her here, but I am forbidden to."
"Why is that?"
"She is still unstable, and Ho-oh entrusted her to me." He sneered at the memory from two months back. "To this day, I do not know why I even bothered."
The mantis nodded, his attention to the childish scene. Mew picked up a young Wurmple and gently hurled it behind her head, forming a small rosy bubble and shooting it back without taking a glance. The young caterpillar bounced off it into the shallow water with a laugh, gaining some cheers from its friends. Even she gave a compliment, guiding it back to the shore before reaching for a Weedle.
Scyther blinked. "She looks fine. I'd say she's healthier now."
"But not pleasing enough," Mewtwo snorted, rolling his eyes. "She still has her sleeping habits to work out, and I have to make sure she can eat solids without choking. I just wonder if she will let me get near her by the time that happens."
"All females are like that, it's normal," the alpha male waved off, chuckling to himself. "Even I have trouble going near my mate whenever she is in one of her moods."
Mewtwo could beg to differ. As far as he knew, only Pikatwo and Meowtwo's mates were never seen apart from them, so it was not surprising they had many offspring. The female clones were very friendly and had self-control of their attitudes, possibly one reason why a few had found mates within the group. Overall, the clones he had ended up running into over the years all had loyal mates, even those few with some rage and hormonal issues. It was a rather curious practice, almost similar to what humans called marriage in their customs. Then again, those faithful females, both human and Pokémon, were different. They weren't raised in the wild to live by "survival of the fittest". It was like each one of them, as few as they were, knew their place without question or rebellion. Sibling-rivalry was an exception, it always had been (likewise with Suicune's case, he pitied her).
But what did he know? He never found a mate (nor planned to anytime soon), and hung out with so few proper females it was fairly baffling to stereotype the opposite sex. So Mewtwo kept quiet, catching the sight of Mew throwing a few larvae at one time to the bubble. A Caterpie ended up sticking his pads to the surface, rolling it forward with its burden. The children laughed hopping in place, a few wanting a try. When Mew rescued the worm, the bubble popped upon removal, the remains stuck on the feet.
She giggled as the Caterpie started eating it, taking the membrane away and scolding him gently with a smile. "You are not supposed to eat bubbles, silly."
"I just wanted to taste it," was the innocent reply, the caterpillar hanging his head in shame. "It was plain anyway."
And she laughed once more, twirling him around. Mewtwo frowned at her tone. It had been a long time since he last heard her laugh, but it wasn't hers. The laugh he knew was more bubbly, carefree, and liable to get stuck in one's head for a while and drive to insanity. Here, it articulated as short-lived and controlled. It was as though she forgot how to express joy and was afraid to bring attention to herself. She didn't sound like a child anymore...
"You want her, don't you?"
The clone whipped his head around to face the unflinching mantis, eyes wide but leery. "What was that?" he snapped.
Scyther shrugged, his head tilted in speculation and brows raised. "I've seen that look before. You seek after her, but are either afraid or unable to."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Mewtwo growled, irises flashing almost menacingly.
Unaffected by the intimidation, Scyther continued noting, "I take it this is your first time. Don't try to deny it, I've seen how you act around her. It's not much, but there's enough evidence to know you are showing some feelings toward her."
"I have no such thing!"
"I'm telling you to not deny it, Mewtwo, because it's apparent there's some chemistry going on. The way you never let her out of your sight, the far-away look in your eyes a minute ago, anxiety, intimate closeness, there's many other signs."
Mewtwo's eyes narrowed. "Intimate closeness, you say? I tell you now that we have done nothing of the sort."
Holding up his scythes, the alpha quickly added, "It's not limited to just mates, it also goes for friendships and familial love. Though I was hinting at what happened when you were helping her eat. I have never seen such a thing before even among family members. It made me wonder if you two are very close friends for her to allow that."
Inwardly, he flinched at the mention of his chewing for her. He was vaguely aware there were others watching, but they all had left shortly afterward as far as he knew. He remembered the Kakuna and wondered if they had witnessed the whole event. "There was no other way to give her the nutrition needed," he admittedly said, scowling. "It was not an option I wanted to do, but it was my duty."
"But there was one other incident, wasn't there?" Scyther pointed out, a bladed forearm placed underneath his chin in thought. "Something happened between you two that caused this separation, right? I didn't see it, but from what I heard, it was a very unusual gesture, even for Pokémon."
Damn Kakuna. "'Unusual'."
The alpha Bug nodded. "Indeed. Each Pokémon species have a rather unique way of showing affection. Pidgey groom each other, Arbok perform a kind of hypnotic dance, Volbeat and Illumise create light shows, to name a few. You and Mew, however..." He paused, staring at Mewtwo with a look of uncertainty. "What does your species do, Mewtwo?"
He had feared this question before it was ever fabricated. Many times, he tried hard not to dwell on the fact he was one-of-a-kind, the first and last of his own species. But not even he, the world's strongest Pokémon, could escape the cruel fate of loneliness. Mewtwo looked back at Mew, who had by now given each larva their own bubble to bounce and crawl on. She flew about each and every one to help keep them balanced, applauding at every successful trick they may have performed.
"I will be honest with you, Scyther, that even I am unaware how I, my own species, show affection."
The mantis raised a brow disconcertingly at his grim tone. "You're your own species?"
A slow, hesitant nod. "I am the result of man's attempt to play God on orders. I am half-Mew, but the other I am ashamed to say is human."
"Human? So wait... you're saying—"
"When you are the only member of your kind, you tend to grow lonely," the feline resumed his musing, vision unfaltering from his counterpart's direction."You capture other Pokémon just to clone them out of selfishness, giving life to something that was already living. As time goes on, you realize how difficult it is to be a free spirit when the decisions you make are not your own. Even after you discover who you are, questions still remain, questions that may never be answered in this life. Then again, you wonder if a man-made creature such as yourself has other lives than just the present. You fear the end even though you look forward to it, just as you fear the beginning."
Mewtwo tore his eyes away toward the mantis' direction. "This lake may have given me life, Scyther, but there are certain blessings given to God's creatures that I know I am forbidden to receive because I am Man's creature, and Man is opposite of God. I may feel this affection you say I have, but I may never receive it."
Scyther shook his head. "But you are able to. If my grandfather is a clone like you said, then what he was blessed with will be given to you."
"Your grandfather had no serious sin upon his shoulders, no shadow of regret in the back of his conscious. Everything he ever did was of my own doing, my will over-powering his." He turned back his attention to Mew, who was holding onto the Caterpie's front suctions to help him hop. "I killed and controlled life by my own agency. I bring nothing but destruction in my wake. Were I to have a mate, even a child, neither of them would last very long by my hands. I am a cursed being doomed to desire but not receive. What I did to Mew was as such. My desire was not returned, at least not in the way I had hoped it would. That, my friend, is my human side..."
Mewtwo closed his eyes, thinking back to the first day. He once again felt the soft flesh of Mew's lips against his, her breath mingling with his life, welcoming it into her lungs. She was untouched, leaving her taste pure as fresh rain and her fur delicate as the cloud. Her eyes were richly illuminated by the sunlight, reflecting a brilliant shade of blue he had never before seen. Inside the depths was what remained of her innocent spirit, reaching out for help, for another chance at life. Her first deep breath carrying his life was the spirit's start of its first breath of life: it was her kiss.
But just as quickly as it started, the resuscitation came to a sudden halt. Mew became dismayed and pulled free of the transfer, starting the rift between them. And yet, he could never forget the dying spirit of innocence that relied on him for a starting breath.
"I forced her to be that part of me, if only just for a moment. A normal Pokémon would never dare overpower another's will. Only man has ever done that." Mew's laughter brought him out of his thoughts, bringing his vision back to her play. Somehow, the Caterpie had bounced so hard his bubble snapped in half. She hoisted him onto her back to allow him to ride while she flew around, making the other children jealous and wanting to fly as well.
He blinked when Scyther gently laid the blunt side of his scythe on his shoulder in a comforting manner. It was a silent, simple sentence in a gesture: "I understand."
The clone took a side-ways glance at it, feeling a light burden dissipate. "Thank you for listening. I am sorry if I was becoming a bore."
The alpha only smiled. "Actually, it was very interesting. It explained a lot about yourself, about why you are so different from other Pokémon. I can honestly say I have seen and heard it all, though I don't think many will believe me."
Mewtwo quietly chuckled. "I suppose not."
There suddenly came a shout of surprise as one of the children cried out "There's something in the lake!", startling the others.
All eyes looked toward the middle where a shadow was forming. Mew positioned herself in the front to defend the larvae, quickly waving them back to shore. Mewtwo immediately stood up with Scyther, eyes narrowing. A long, almost mournful cry sounded, and a large waterspout crashed through the surface in a flurry of white. The cause of it revealed itself as Lugia when he stretched his wings in a flap, the sparkling water flying off in all directions. It was an attention-grabber, every inhabitant turning to the stranger only to give out cries of respect upon recognition.
Though taken aback by the welcome, the water dragon drifted up to the small Legendary, perching in front of her, feet partially submerged. "Mew, thank goodness you're okay!" he greeted.
She grinned. "Lugia! How'd you find us?"
"Underwater cavern. A very tight space it was, but never mind that. Ho-oh sent me to find you and Mewtwo. Speaking of which, where is he?"
Mew glimpsed behind her shoulder when he launched to her side, staring up at Lugia. "Something happened, did it not?" he queried, though it was more of a suspicion than a question. His counterpart side-stepped, returning her attention to the Sea Guardian.
"You're smart enough, Mewtwo, figure it out," the newcomer immediately retorted, glaring down at him. "What is really the only other reason I would be here?"
As rude as Lugia was, he ignored the irritated tone. "War has begun."
Scyther appeared by the children, awed at the majesty of the dragon. When he heard the statement, he exclaimed, "War! A human war?"
Acknowledging the alpha, the beast nodded. "It's been declared sometime last month, and since then there have been tons of casualties. But what's even worse is that everyone is being involved in this."
"Everyone?" Mew gasped. "How did this happen?"
Lugia craned his head. "Oh, you weren't... 'really there' when it happened," he said, using his wings as air-quotes.
She raised a brow giving him a warning look, folding her arms.
He rolled his eyes. "Oh, whatever. When Sinnoh was bombed by Orre a couple of months ago, just about every single region went at war with Orre within a week's time." A snort escaped his beak. "It seems they all want a piece of them, I suppose."
"Wait, you said Sinnoh was bombed?!"
Mewtwo stepped in before Lugia could speak again. "I would stop if I were you," he warned. "You are not here to stir anyone up. Ho-oh is calling for an immediate gathering, and there is no time to slack off."
"Okay, smart-ass, next time I'll take care of Mew and you can be the messenger since you know everything," the dragon remarked snappily, pointing at himself then to the feline. "Had that been the case, I wouldn't have wasted my time tracking you down. Why the hell did you have to choose such a secluded area to live in? Don't you know how long it took me to find a way here?"
A glare sparked a harsh glow to life in the clone's eyes. "If you knew what was the best way for a full recovery, you would go through the same extremes to make it possible. The difficult, the better."
Lugia flinched, sneering slightly. "Sheesh, I'm sorry, okay? I've been through a lot the past two months, haven't you? Oh wait, let me guess." He mockingly pinched his brows and touched his temple, scrunching his eyes shut. "You've been living the secluded, simple, happy life without a care in the world. And at one point you and Mew messed around with each other in a secluded, simple, happy place, naughty naughty." He stole a peek at the two, smirking at the infuriated expression frozen on Mewtwo's face and the shiver running through Mew's body. Scyther only blinked while the larvae stared up in puzzlement at the giant Legendary. "Ha, I'm good."
"Lugia, that isn't funny!" she shouted, a faint flush on her face. She spun around behind the younglings and gathered them around her. "There are children here, you should know better!"
"I don't get the joke," the Caterpie squeaked. Mew laid a hand on his antennae, silently praising his innocence.
He scoffed, throwing up his wings. "I was just teasing! Come on, lighten up, it's been a hard couple of months!"
"There are more serious matters out there than an idiotic joke," Mewtwo remarked, his tail whipping in annoyance. "Let us get going and meet the others. Time is crucial." He turned back to face the Scyther, bowing politely in place. "Thank you for letting us stay here. Had it not been for your kindness, Mew would not have healed as nicely."
The alpha bestowed the thanks kneeling before him. "And I thank you for saving our goddess and showing us your kindness. You have been a good friend. May we meet again."
Mew solemnly listened to their farewells between hugging each of the larvae. The way the Scyther addressed her as such hit a nerve, remembering the inhabitants of the Tree and at how they used to honor her as such. She truly was going to miss the underground lake and its loving atmosphere. "Farewell, children," she whispered, squeezing the last child.
"Good-bye, Mew!" they chanted in unison. "We'll miss you!"
She smiled, poking the Weedle's nose. "Remember, there's no such thing as 'good-bye', only 'see you later'."
"Oh, okay!" They then took a deep breath and shouted, "See you later!" a couple jumping in place.
Laughing, the Legendary once again hugged them before flying back to Lugia who was scanning the cavern. She looked toward Scyther, giving him a bow as well. He returned it, eyes welling up. "It's been an honor having you here," he told her humbly. "Our home has never been happier, and the children love you. We will never forget what you have done for us."
"Okay, why wasn't I notified that there was a freakin' opening?" the beast blurted out suddenly, glaring up at the hole above them. "I squeezed through a narrow tunnel for nothing?"
"Do not even bother," Mewtwo muttered, shaking his head. "You are larger than the opening by twice its size. You would get stuck headfirst attempting it." Finding himself without any other options, Lugia darkly cursed himself for his large stature and Mewtwo's "purposeful choice" hiding underground. He glanced over at Mew, cocking an eyebrow as though to prove his point. She only frowned, averting his look. "So, Mew, are you capable of Teleporting, or are you not that confident yet?"
She just shrugged. "I can Teleport."
"Let me rephrase that: are you capable of Teleporting to outside of the area?"
"Um..." She did a nervous double-take, biting her lip.
Her answer was as expected, displeasing her clone even further. "Well, had you been doing as told, you would be more confident performing such a task."
"I have so!" she defended, snapping her eyes toward him. "You've seen me with the children!"
"That was child's play. The world is not merciful to its protectors, Mew, and you know it."
"And why would it matter to you? What have you done to protect the world?"
"I rescued the most important protector from herself!" he lashed out, getting into her face, motivating her to back up. "The very protector who is the hope, the source of reason of this world living another day. But how does she thank me, this selfless, loving guardian? By fooling around, and rejecting the very existence of him who SAVED HER LIFE!"
The water dragon abruptly smacked him across the head with a wing. One of the children gasped, Mew shot her hands to her mouth with wide eyes, and shocked murmurs spread through the watching crowd. "Don't be a jackass, Mewtwo! She's just getting her bearings!" he shouted.
A growl rumbled in Mewtwo's throat, fists clenching tightly as he slowly faced Lugia. His optics were veiled over with a fiery blue, face darkened and teeth bared. The sight of his increasing rage made the beast back away, regretting his action.
Slowly, but harshly, the clone spoke. "I am doing my duty in returning her to the realities of the world. I want her back to who she was before her depression." His voice was lenient but very deadly, on the edge of snapping. He stepped forward, causing his peers to recoil. "You and I know damn well that she is still unstable. We all have the world closing in on us, you can feel it as much as Mew." Another approach and his foot touched the lake's edge, angry vibes rolling off him and rippling through the water.
Mew started to quake, tensing when his negative energy stung through her. She reached out a shaky hand only to have it repelled by an invisible psychogenic field. "M-Mewtwo... please," she gasped. "He didn't mean it."
He only continued his advances, the waves growing more powerful and widespread. "If you are so concerned about Mew as you say, why did you not take responsibility and see to it that she would recover the proper way?"
"Mewtwo, think about what you're doing," Lugia nervously said, imploringly glancing up at Mew as he inched backward, nearly avoiding stumbling over his tail. "Remember where you are and who's watching. There are children here. D-Don't want to give them a wrong message, right?" He pitifully grinned, attempting to lighten up the mood.
Mewtwo remained unchanged, though his fists were radiant with azure flames and his voice was growing more bitter. "Does my choice of location disappoint you, Lugia? What were you hoping for, Mount Silver?" Stronger shock waves expanded at his next step, then were more powerful as he quickened his pace. "How about the Orange Archipelago, no? Or Lake of Rage? It is beautiful this time of year. What about the Whirl Islands? Tohjo Falls? New Island?!" A psychic blast burst from the rage, knocking the dragon off his feet and careening into deeper water. Behind him the children were crying, their parents swarming in to carry them off to shelter. Scyther led others away from the area, ready to signal evacuation at a moment's notice.
Mew was hardly aware of it, attention transfixed on the terror unfolding before her. She had found herself more afraid of Mewtwo, frozen in place while the waves of his anger pierced her core. It was after the brutal attack did she finally take action. "Mewtwo, stop it!" she screamed, flying to the middle of the two and spreading out her arms, facing her counterpart. "No more, please! Let us just go!"
He paused, standing feet away from her position. She dreadfully stared back into his blazing eyes, visibly trembling in fear. From behind, she heard Lugia struggling to pick himself up, sensing his gaze. Mewtwo kept his dark look upon her, taking in her unsteady posture. When he spoke, his tone of voice had softened, though the ire was still audible. "Step aside. This does not concern you."
She shook her head. "Prove it, then," she challenged. "Prove to me that I should not be concerned about this."
He barked a long, cold laugh as he stepped forward. "So. Using one of my own methods against me, are you?"
"It works, that's all I care about!"
The laughter resumed, steadily becoming crueler the nearer he progressed, fists unclenched enough the flames died out. Mew stood her ground, using her willpower to control her wavering. It was tempting to back away, to keep him as far away as possible, her mind and even the children hollering at her to run. She still chose to stare her prosecutor down, telling herself she was strong enough now to hold him back to at least give Lugia time to recover, or even go for help. She honestly wouldn't blame him if he did.
Mewtwo's laugh quieted to a faint chuckle when he reached her in knee-deep water, bodies a hair's breadth from the slightest touch. The smaller Legendary glowered back, slowly dropping her arms to show her neutrality. A crooked smile then spread and his eyes flashed alive with malice, startling her. His hand snatched her by the throat, cutting off any attempt to gasp or scream, and pulled her up to his eye-level. Mew grasped his fingers with both hands, straining to loosen them as she struggled in his grip.
"How foolish of you to think that," he cackled, giving her a slight shake. "It only worked because you are too naïve, too pitiful to think for yourself. Had you been less stubborn and allowed me to care for you, you would have been healed a long time ago."
Mew weakly whimpered when he squeezed harder, vision blurring upon staring into his blue-filmed eyes. There was an unfamiliar presence lingering behind the translucent veil, the dark look not naturally Mewtwo's. A shiver ran up her spine at the sight, spotting the snake-like pupils. She had seen him in a rage a few times in the past, but never was he this uncontrollable, so full of hatred. He looked possessed like he was an object. It seemed inhumane, even devilish. She glanced away, trying to take a breath while resuming her effort to break free.
Mewtwo scoffed, shaking his head at the distressing attempt. He raised a lone finger to graze slowly down her jawline. "I honestly cannot say what I saw in you, Mew," he murmured, savoringly watching her squirm, "at what motivated me to save you." He leaned further in to take up more of her sight, his lips curled wickedly as he nipped her bottom lip for a choked gasp. "But you and I have all the time in the world to get... reacquainted."
Her eyes scrunched shut, releasing a tear to cascade quickly down her face. Bending his neck, the clone licked it up, callously following the salty trail it left behind. Mew managed a small, helpless cry until he roughly discarded her to the side. Lugia shouted her name, spreading his wings and triggering a strong gust. Mewtwo launched himself from the water and sped for his target, hands flaring up again. The beast braced himself, straightening out his tail and eying the aggressor. Raising his arm, the feline powered up an assault, aiming for the ribs while the water dragon swung superbly—
—just as a pair of arms threw themselves around Mewtwo's neck from behind.
Their attacks made contact the moment a flash of light illuminated them, blinding the awing on-lookers. It dissipated as speedily as it came, and the Bugs saw to their disbelief the Legendaries vanished. Buzzing murmurs and gasps of concern spread through the inhabitants. Scyther himself couldn't believe what had happened, at what was dangerously close to being their doom. The bravery of a tiny Legendary, their goddess, prevented destruction with little power to start with.
Silently, he prayed for their safety, and for the removal of madness in Mewtwo's heart.