A/N: … I have absolutely no comment. I really thank my readers who gave me constant reviews into helping me into finishing up the next chapter. That is why your reward is a little something I call…"Let's speed things up a little, shall we?" ;) Enjoy!
And just as a quick reminder: I use Japanese names. [Edit (12/09/14): NOT ANYMORE! HAHA! TAKE THAT, ME!]
CH 18:Cobalt Orbs
How is this even possible? I grimly thought. A Pokémon can't speak human words… unless they use telepathy. But there's no way certain way a Luxray can have that ability! It's unheard of.
Was it a dream? Was it just a huge desire that suddenly sprung from inside before I thought I was going to die? I couldn't comprehend that event.
"KYAAA!" Touko shrieked. "Someone, help me!"
I immediately used the car to boost my jump. I sped through the air as fast as I can and grabbed Touko's shirt in my mouth. Even though I prepared to land on the ground… With this height, I knew that it was impossible to land softly like a cat would. I knew what the consequences were.
I was ready to accept it.
One jump was all it took. It sent us plunging down from such high ground. I wanted to make sure that Touko and Piplup would be safe and uninjured. Well… at least more safe than me anyways. I shut my eyes. But a sound caught my hearing.
"Roserade, Petal Dance!" someone cried out. A large wave of red petals quickly flowed through the air towards us. The person was trying to cushion us with the petals!
"Close your eyes, hurry!" The voice that I hadn't heard in such a long time had echoed heavily in my ears. Piplup, Touko, and I were shocked. "I…" I shut my eyes as we landed in the lake of rose petals.
Words… human words… had come out of my mouth.
I was able to talk.
It was the next day. Everyone had gotten their rest after all the chaos that's happened yesterday.
Touko and Bel stayed in our room for the night. Hikari and Bel comforted Touko until the dark brunette fell asleep. I did my share of comforting Hikari myself. She had been worried sick ever since the accident. I simply curled up at the foot of her bed, my mane touching her toes.
They managed to sleep well. Not me, however.
It wasn't until the late morning when I had to confirm my suspicions.
My lip quivered from the temptation to hear my voice again. I looked around and outside the room. No one was around except Piplup. He was standing beside me, trying to help me "cope" with this.
"It's now or never, Shinji," Piplup sternly stated. "If you keep staying silent like this, who knows what will happen next?"
I opened my mouth in attempt to say something. But my voice just refused to come out. I swallowed that uncomfortable lump in my throat, feeling uncertain about this matter. Piplup placed his flipper on my mane out of sympathy. I didn't make an effort to slap his flipper away.
"…" I groaned in uneasiness. "Ah…" This was nothing. Even a Pokémon would've been able to make a sound like that. "My… name…" I swore my heart was going to stop.
Piplup's eyes grew wide. "I knew it… You really did speak human language that time!" He fell on his bottom from the relief. He thought he went insane because he was frightened to death. "But why?"
"Maybe I'm just really close to becoming a human," I whispered. "I can't believe this." I stared out the window. I wanted the night sky to wash away my burdens, but even so, I knew it wasn't going to busy. "If Hikari hears me speak even once, she'll realize that it's me."
"Well, what do you think is gonna happen?" Piplup tapped his beak in thought. "I don't think she'll stay away from you though."
He decided to be optimistic. I decided to be real. "That's not going to happen!" I quietly snarled. "She'll become heartbroken at the fact that the person she loves was beside her all this time… and she didn't even notice it." I facepalmed myself. "If she does, how will I explain myself? Don't you think the truth will sound crazy?"
Piplup scratched the back of his head, unable to think of another solution. "But you should still try telling her. I have a feeling that it won't end well if you continue hiding it from her like this."
"Damn it." I hated to admit it, but that kid was right. But… "So you're telling me to tell her that I accidentally frightened a Natio, was turned into a Shinx, was actually traveling with her all this time, and only returned to my human form during a full moon?" I stared down Piplup with the most doubtful expression. "Can you expect her to believe me?"
"Okay, I'm just gonna go straight to the point." Piplup rubbed his head in frustration. "You've been very sensitive lately."
"Excuse me?" I replied in surprise. "Lovesick?"
"You heard me," Piplup sighed, "You're so in love with Hikari-chan that you're afraid of her reaction to your explanation.That's what part of being lovesick is." He shrugged. "But then again… Hikari only left it at that, so I don't know much about being lovesick." He proudly pounded his chest. "But let me tell you that I've been in love before, so I know a lot."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, and I'm quite sure you've been heartbroken those times too."
I accidentally choked on my breath and started coughing. Piplup jumped from surprise and started to panic. I slammed my paw down on him to calm him down. I saw through the door only to see Touko alone. I pretended to growl as best as I can. She flinched at my voice and nervously opened the door.
She poked her head in the room, seeing only me and Piplup. "Oh phew. I thought Jun-san was going to be in here." Touko closed the door, turned the lock, and slowly approached us. "I want to thank you for saving me before. And… um… Okay, just so I know that I wasn't dreaming…"
I'd rather lock myself up than reveal it to you. Sorry about that, I thought in my head. I cocked my head to the side, as if I didn't know what she was talking about.
Touko blinked at me. "Uh… So are you a Pokémon with Telepathy, by any chance?" I shook my head. "Yeah, it doesn't seem like a Luxray would have such ability…" She bit her thumbnail, looking very uncertain. "Did you… did you really speak human language when we were falling?"
Yes, I did. But I pretended to act as if she was crazy and shook my head. I was turned into a Shinx by a Natio, and the only way to reverse this is to evolve until I'm a human. I'm at the last stage. I rolled onto my back and leaned my head against the cool carpet. The fact that I'm talking right now must mean that I'm near the end. I couldn't talk. I had no desire to show that girl that I can really talk.
I was surprised that she was still there. I expected her to go away when she realized I couldn't talk human language.
We stayed silent for a few moments before engaging into conversation again. I averted my eyes to hers, using the most firm stare I can manage. Listen, I don't want you to go around telling people that you thought you heard me speak. That was my message to her.
As if Touko understood me, she nodded. "Don't worry about that," she reassured. "I haven't even told my twin, so you don't need to say anything further." She then looked at me with scrutinizing eyes. "Hm… Maybe I just went a little crazy because I was going to die."
"Who wouldn't have?" Piplup asked. "I mean, even I thought I went insane. I didn't really think that he'd be able to talk like a human."
"Translation, please?" Touko requested me.
I pursed my lips, trying to find the best way I can summarize that into gestures. I first pointed at him, then at Touko, and then to my head in a spiral motion. Yes, I was telling her that Piplup said she was crazy. I stared at the ceiling. I felt dead all of a sudden. This felt like the worst week ever.
The dark brunette laughed nervously. "Yeah, I figured. I guess near-death experiences make you go crazy sometimes. Oh, and I kinda asked Hikari-san where her room was so I can thank you." She didn't seem as energetic as the first time we've met her. "Uh, Luxray, have you by any chance found anything suspicious when you arrived to our car?" I cocked a brow in confusion. "Oh, forget what I said then. I'll explain later tomorrow morning."
She then stood up and dusted herself off. She started walking towards the door, her head slightly hanging low.
"You should get some rest. You must've developed some trauma because of that moss," I inaudibly muttered in acrimony. I hid my head under my paws, trying to remember if there was anything out of the ordinary like Touko had said.
Touko turned and smiled at me. "You deserve some rest, Luxray. You saved us after all. Thanks." She then went out the door, but she then crashed into Jun. "Ow! Jun-san, watch where you're going!"
"It doesn't matter!" Jun exclaimed. "You didn't die, right?!" (I wanted to laugh at how blunt he was. Typical Jun.) He suddenly shook me and Piplup frantically. "Dudes, you've gotta go to Hikari NOW. She's crying her eyes out right now!" Piplup and I gave each other a deadpanned look. "I'm not kidding. I'm totally serious, you two. She just sat down and started crying an ocean!"
"O-!" I instinctively shut my mouth and nodded in a succumbing manner. What is she crying about now? I'm alive, aren't I? I quickly followed Jun – with Piplup riding on my back – to where Hikari was. She was sitting on the sofa with that other brunette. I took a deep breath, ready to accept whatever she was going to bombard us with.
"Luxray and Piplup would've died if you two didn't come along!" she cried. "Thanks so much, Haruka!" Tears were welling up in her eyes as she tried her best to hold them back. "If they didn't make it, I… I…"
Haruka smiled sympathetically as she gently patted Hikari's head. "There, there…" She glanced at me and urged me to come over. "Come on, those two are alive, so don't cry." She gave Hikari a reassuring hug. "I don't think you should be showing those tears to them. They're right in front of you."
Hikari's head perked up and stared long and hard at us. Her face turned extremely red, and she wiped her tears away. "Oh Arceus, I didn't want you to see me! Did Jun lead you here?!" We nodded silently. "That hard-headed…!"
Worried to the point of crying, huh? Although I am certain that those tears are mostly for Piplup… I lowered my head for a moment to think. I approached Hikari and nuzzled my head below her hand. I wanted to show her that crying wouldn't help… but that I'd still be there for her. I leaned my whole head against her leg, my eyes closed.
"…" Hikari combed my mane with her warm, slender fingers. I heard her softly giggle when I looked up at her. That brunette, Haruka, smiled at us.
"Aw, that's cute!" she commented. "If Luxray was a human, you two would be a really adorable couple!"
Hikari and I blushed a deep red.
Piplup hopped onto Hikari's lap and pointed at me. "That's so not fair!" he exclaimed. "I'm Hikari-chan's partner, so I should comfort her!" I stared at him with deadpanned eyes. "Hmph! You're not gonna get to me!" He then hugged Hikari. "It's okay, Hikari-chan. Don't cry."
Hikari turned her attention to her partner. She lifted him up. "I'm so glad you're not hurt, Piplup!" Once again, tears threatened to resurface. "I wouldn't have known what to do if you were gone!"
"There you go again!" Piplup sighed. He put his arms out. "You know you need it." She gave in and hugged Piplup tightly. A tear slipped out and rolled down her cheek. I was certain of it now, but it was obvious. Piplup has been with her the longest, so it was inevitable that her tears were for him. Oddly, I didn't feel too happy about it.
Hmmm… actually, strike that. What was that word…? It felt like an urge to just take Piplup off of her arms. I definitely wouldn't say that I didn't like those two hugging, but I just felt slightly isolated. Oh well, there was no use over-thinking about it. It was better to see Hikari relieved and happy.
That's when I started to wonder…
How would she react if I really did explain my situation to her? Would she really become heartbroken? Would she accept the truth? No, that was impossible. At the most, she would need some time to think. The worst case scenario that I could think of was that she refused to ever talk to me again. I didn't want that to happen.
But I knew I had to tell her the truth at some point.
"How is she?" The green-haired boy approached us. The question was directed at Haruka. He glanced at Hikari, who fell asleep (along with the penguin) holding Piplup in her arms. I just lent her my body as a pillow. I curled my body around her, my head placed on my paws. This sofa was rather large for humans to sit on. I figured this was actually built for Pokémon like my appearance.
"She's finally calmed down," Haruka replied. She patted Hikari's head as she smiled. "It must've been hard for her to go through yesterday." She then looked at that boy. "Shuu, did you see that guy on the ferriswheel that afternoon? I think he pushed that girl, Touko, out."
Shuu seemed to be contemplating about yesterday's incident. "I don't think he did it on accident, and I don't think he did it with evil intentions either. If it was with such intentions, he would've thrown her out the car." He then looked at me, who stared back at him. "That guy would've tried to make it useless for Luxray to save her."
Haruka scratched her head. "I don't get it. Was there a reason to push her like that?"
"There might've been," Touko answered. We turned our heads to see her behind us. She had all the others behind her too: Touya, Jun, Satoshi, Kasumi, Iris, Dent, Cheren, and Bel. "There's something I need to tell all of you."
"…" I sighed. I rubbed my head against Hikari's to wake her up. Her eyes fluttered open. She gave me a little pat and sat up to rub her eyes. She noticed Touko standing still behind sofa. She had her head hung low, biting her lower lip.
"Touko-chan?" she called. "What's wrong?"
Touko took a deep breath and nodded with some confidence. "There's something I should've told everyone earlier, but I wasn't too certain of it until now." She stood upright, her arms placed firmly to her side, and her expression changing by the second. "I believe that N pushed me out of the ferriswheel cart to protect me," she declared.
Silence filled the room as everyone processed her words.
"To protect you?" Hikari repeated. Even she seemed unable to believe it. I was even more so.
"Tch," I clicked my tongue. Are you kidding me? It seemed too incredible. There was no way N was trying to protect her. Right?
Shuu and Haruka gave it a thought, exchanging glances before speaking. "I don't think this is a good place to talk. We need to talk in a private room…" With such an incident, it wouldn't have been a surprise if police officers and the press burst in through the doors to talk to us. "Why don't we go to our room? It's the farthest room from here."
Shuu nodded understandingly and stood up. "Come on, let's go." He flicked his green hair to Haruka before continuing his way.
Touko gave Shuu a last look before turning her attention to Haruka. "Rather flamboyant guy, isn't he?" I was glad about one thing: Touko was still able to smile after such a traumatic incident. Perhaps it was her belief that kept her smiling.
We went on our way to Haruka and Shuu's room. Their room was rather large; it was enough fit all of us. We all sat wherever we could and listened in on Touko's story.
"So why do you think he was trying to protect you?" Hikari asked.
"What you thought happened in the ferriswheel car isn't what it seems," Touko started, "I talked to N about what would happen if his own Pokémon was taken away like how he's done to others." She looked down, as if contemplating on the event. "He suddenly started muttering words after I was done speaking. That's when he screamed, "NO!" and opened the car door."
Whispers began to go around us, who were wondering what would've made N react like that.
I swallowed, a small thought bubbling up to my mind. I remembered seeing a flash of green, which brushed past my peripheral vision and disappeared before I was able to fully register the moment. All I was able to register was that that piece of green was not an average passerby or Pokémon; it was deadly, a deadly being. With this thought lingering, I managed to get a vague overview of the incident.
Fuck this! I cursed in my head. Why hadn't I realized it before?!
My head perked up in surprise when I felt a hand brush my mane. It was Hikari's hand, softly reassuring me that everything will be fine. Our eyes locked for a moment before I sent her a message through this one contact.
I think I know what happened.
Hikari's eyes widened when she received my message. "Guys…" Everyone turned their heads to her. They were glad that someone finally spoke up after such an awkward silence filled with whispers. "I think… Luxray got something."
Now all eyes were on me. I suddenly felt claustrophobic with all this pressure. Did they expect me to talk like a human would? Of course not… Although it would be very convenient… I shook away the voice in my head, screaming at me to talk. I sighed, paws under my muzzle; I wondered how the hell I was going to tell them about my idea.
Piplup patted my sides, averting my attention to him. "Shinji, are you really going to talk?" I gave him a good blank stare before shaking my head. "Then tell me. I'm willing to explain it somehow." His offer surprised me. I didn't think he would actually offer embarrassing himself by trying to explain my view. I fought back a smirk at the thought of it.
He tugged on my paw, motioning me to follow him outside so I can talk more freely. I hesitantly got up and followed Piplup out, leaving behind many confused witnesses. I shot a reassuring look to Hikari, letting her know that I'll be back.
"Alright, talk to me." Piplup stood firmly, his flippers across his chest.
"You sure about this?" I softly whispered. I looked beyond the door. Everyone stayed still, talking to Touko about the incident. Good, no one was coming near us.
Piplup gave me a confident nod.
I sighed, hesitant about whether I really should give my opinion on this. It's not as if they'd be able to completely understand Piplup. But this little penguin was my best bet for now. I couldn't risk showing my new… ability.
"When everyone was discussing the incident, I felt something. I saw something in the corner of my eye." I paused to look at Piplup, who seemed to take a note of it. "I saw something light green brush past us in the corner of my eye. I couldn't really make out what it was. But all I know is that it wasn't just another person or Pokémon. It was something… ominous."
Thinking back on it, my mouth suddenly felt try and a chill went down my spine. Whoever or whatever it was, it wanted us gone.
"The worse thing is…" I hesitated, but I had to continue anyways, "… It wasn't N."
Piplup's eyes slightly widened at my claim. "You're sure about that?"
"It's possible it could've been him. But the stranger thing is that N didn't give off such a deadly vibe. He seemed less dangerous and innocent, surprisingly." I took another look at the door. Still, no one bothered to check on us. I did, however, see Hikari giving the door a worried look.
"It's all I got from this, Piplup." I sat on my hind legs, staring at the ceiling. "I'm getting the feeling that that thing was why N had to push her out."
"Alright. Thanks, buddy." He gave me a pat on my front leg and proceeded to open the door. "Let's go back in. I think I know how to explain this, somehow."
"Since when did you start calling me 'buddy'?" I chuckled before I entered the room.
While Piplup quickly tried to explain what I thought of, everyone seemed to understand him. I was almost impressed. To think that they would understand a Pokémon's language… even if they were just simple gestures.
I then wondered…
Were there times when my own Pokémon had something they desperately wanted to tell me? I couldn't remember.
"So Luxray sensed someone else nearby, huh?" Shuu commented. "But who could that have been?" He crossed arms and leaned back in a comfortable position, contemplating the situation.
"Well, thinking about… Piplup's words," Cheren started, "I can only deduce that that person was N, but if you say that it wasn't, I don't have any more ideas of who it can be."
"It could've been a passerby, but I don't think Luxray would've sensed such ominous airs from them if it was so."
Everyone was stuck. Even Touko didn't seem to have any clue of who it must've been.
"But all I know is that N was trying to protect me," Touko firmly continued. "See, right when Luxray crashed into our car, an attack hit the car. I don't think Luxray noticed because he happened to enter at the same time. That's when N pushed me and sent Luxray diving after me." She turned to Hikari with a slightly shaky voice, "Um, I still apologize for making Luxray go through such lengths to save me." She slightly bowed her head to Hikari and me.
"N-no no no, don't even think about it," Hikari reassured. "As long as you guys are safe, you don't have to apologize to me." She placed a hand on Touko's shoulder and patted it. "You were really scared at that time, weren't you?"
Bel hugged Touko tight, patting her head. "You went through something so tough…"
I looked up, finding shining tears flowing down Touko's cheek. It seemed as if she's been holding back for a long time. She sniffed, holding her hands up to cup her face. "I… I thought I was going to die…" We spent the remaining time we had left comforting Touko while trying to figure out the culprit.
Comforting Touko was a success.
Finding out the culprit… Not so much.
Cheren and Bel decided to leave for the day and moved on to the next city. Soon enough, Kasumi, Haruka, and Shuu had to depart to their homes too.
While Hikari and I approached Haruka and Shuu to say our farewells, I couldn't help but look towards the port. It felt like I was reading a storybook. Satoshi and Kasumi were standing on the wooden port to go to Kanto, the sea glowing a gradient of orange to red. The lights reflected on their profiles, making the atmosphere feel a lot more comfortable.
I thought it was a well-matched scenery for them.
They must've been feeling emotional after seeing each other for a day. But now that they have to be apart again, I was sure that it wouldn't go easy. Yet I felt as if they've gone through this before. Most likely, considering their relationship. I had to admit, there were things even I didn't know anything about Satoshi.
It took me a few minutes to realize that I was staring and tore my eyes away from them to give them privacy.
"By the way, Hikari…" Haruka leaned towards Hikari's ear to whisper something. I raised a brow at Shuu, questioning the action. He smirked and shrugged. He knew something… "I've been going out with Shuu for a while."
Hikari gaped at the sudden declaration. "You… you… Wha-?" Haruka giggled at her reaction. "Uh, w-when did this happen?"
"Oh, it happened after the Sinnoh Wallace Cup." Haruka blushed, lightly scratching her cheek. "He asked me out after I came back home. You had no idea how shocked I was…"
Shuu flicked his hair to the side. "Well, I was going to ask you out whether you won or not." He brushed some of Haruka's hair strands away. "I'm sure it made your day, huh?"
"Yeah, well, it did in many ways." Haruka averted her attention to Hikari and smiled. "By the way, I wish you luck with that Shinji guy." She winked when Hikari blushed. "Don't forget that little girl talk we had earlier, okay?"
"S-stop it, Haruka, not in front of Luxray…" She looked down at me in embarrassment, mouthing a 'sorry' to me. It's not like I hated it. I felt light from the brunette's words. The brunette only laughed, hugging Hikari tight.
"Let's go, Haruka. It's getting late." Shuu called. He got out his Flygon, telling her to hop on.
"You guys arrived with a Flygon?" Hikari asked. "Wow, it must've taken a lot of time to get here then."
Haruka shook her head. "Nah, we're only going to Sinnoh on Flygon. That's where our boat to Hoenn will be." She hopped onto Flygon's back, gripping onto Shuu's waist. "We'll see you next time, Hikari!" With that, they took flight and glided across the sky.
I looked at the ports just in time to see Satoshi waving good-bye to Kasumi. They both had smiles on their faces. But Kasumi seemed to be crying at the same time.
I looked back to see Touya and Jun comforting Touko about earlier today. As soon as Shuu and Haruka were like ants in the sky, Hikari and I walked back to those three.
"Hikari-san, thank you so much for yesterday and today." Touko smiled widely. "I probably wouldn't have felt better if it wasn't for all of you." She looked at the ocean and looked back to her. "You have a lot of great friends, Hikari-san."
Hikari blushed, rubbing her head in embarrassment. "Y-yeah, I do…" She looked up at Touko and Touya and grasped their hands. "You guys have great friends too, you guys. Cheren and Bel… They're good people. Hang onto them."
Touya gave Touko a soft pat on the back. "She'll be fine. She may seem like a crybaby, but she's pretty strong.
"T-Touya…!" Touko elbowed her twin brother in the ribs, pouting at his remark. "I'm not a crybaby!" Touya only chuckled at her retort. "Anyways, I'm sorry about making you, Luxray, and Piplup going through all the trouble." She gave us a small bow, almost flustering Hikari.
"A-ah, n-no need to do that!" She shook her hands frantically. "I'm just relieved you're okay, you know?" Hikari smiled back. "So will you be moving on to the next city or will you be staying here for a while?"
"I'll have to stay here for a bit. I still need to manage the Pokémon Musical after all." Touko shrugged. "Touya's most likely going to go follow Cheren and Bel to defeat the other gyms. Don't worry about me though. I'll be fine."
"If you say so…" Hikari hesitantly replied.
"Well, if you'll excuse me…"
We forgot about Jun…
"I need to have a little talk with Hikari. Feel better, Touko." Jun grabbed Hikari by the wrist and quickly led her a few feet away from them. I followed behind. "So how long will we be staying here?" he whispered to her. "Because there are battle places I wanna check out, if ya don't mind."
"I don't mind at all, Jun. But make sure you don't get into any serious fights, okay?" She sighed as she crossed her arms. "I know how hot-blooded you can get when you're… you know… all fired up with battles and all."
"I'm not that hot-blooded!" Jun retorted. "And I'm not gonna get into any fights at all, either!" He puffed out his cheeks and stomped away to the Pokémon Center."
We both rolled our eyes and bid our farewells to the twins, and then headed back to the Pokémon Center also. I'm sure Satoshi, Iris, and Dent were there too. The center felt quite empty. Without all those people to occupy the space here, it didn't feel like today's discussion happened at all.
The three were sitting around the couches, calling us over.
"Haha, it suddenly feels a bit lonely here, doesn't it?" Hikari dryly laughed. "Gee, I'm so tired…" She took a deep breath and flopped down onto the couch next to Iris.
"Busy day today, wasn't it?" Iris grinned. "Well, it's great that we've managed to help Touko feel better. But I wish we could've got some clues with that N person…" She suddenly slapped her mouth shut. "… Oh no…"
"Did you just say 'clues'?" Dent curiously asked. "Well then, if it's clues, leave that up to-!"
Iris slapped some tape onto Dent's lips and muttered, "Dent, let's not get so worked up again like last time…" Her eye slightly twitched as if she was reminiscing about a certain event. "It's late and I don't want to go through your detective play again." That gave a harsh blow to Dent. He bent over like he was shot with a bazooka.
Satoshi laughed at their little exchange. "They're always like that, so don't fret." He took his hat off and exhaled deeply. "Geez, today was such a long day. I think we should all turn in soon, don't you think?"
Coming from him, it was a surprise. Normally he'd train until the night… right?
"As shocking as it seems coming from your mouth, Satoshi, you're right. We should rest," Hikari murmured in agreement. She then looked at Jun, who was checking out his Pokémons' conditions. "I'm not sure about him though. He's still fired up like always."
"Hey, even I have those days…!" Satoshi whined. "It's not like I have infinite energy!"
I thought you did with all those remarks you shot at me back then, I thought. Thinking back, it was amusing and annoying at the same time… watching him make such friendly greetings and talking to me about Pokémon as friends. "Hn." I softly chuckled to myself at the memories. It only felt like yesterday when Satoshi first yelled at me about my way of treating Pokémon. I can't forget about that time when Hikari…
I. Need. To. Stop.
Shaking my head, I sighed. This wasn't going to work. I had to tell her.
I then noticed Pikachu staring at me. I cocked a brow at him, shooting him a questioning look. What are you staring at me for?
Pikachu looked at Satoshi before jumping out towards me. "Hey, Shinji, how's everything going for you?" I opened my mouth to speak, but closed it shut. I turned my head to the side. I motioned at him to follow me as I walked towards the dorm corridors. Pikachu tilted his head to the side in curiosity but followed me anyways. "Is something wrong?"
"I can talk."
His eyes widened like he's seen a ghost. "What the-?" He frantically looked around. "Doesn't that mean you're really close to turning human?" He looked slightly disappointed when I nodded. "I see… Do you know when you will?"
"No… And I don't have a plan to cover this up either." I pursed my lips. "Hikari will end up knowing eventually. But, I don't want her to know."
"What if she doesn't want to talk with me anymore?"
Pikachu gave me a sympathetic look. "She won't. She loves you. You love her. I'm sure she'll understand." He placed a paw on mine and patted it lightly. "You're afraid of hurting her, I know. But if it's the only way for her to accept it now and treat it well later, then it's better to tell her now. If you suddenly turn back while she's on her usual routine, I can't say for sure if she'll take it well."
I groaned in frustration. "Again, what if she doesn't accept it well if I tell her now? You need to think of other possibilities!" I was becoming irritated. I didn't know why this mouse couldn't see other possible scenarios that I was having!
"Because I know her enough to know that she will accept it. It may take her a while to process, but she will accept your condition." Pikachu locked eyes with me and shot me a firm look. "And considering how you were with her 24/7 until now, you should know by now too."
I covered my head with my paws. "Ugh, I'm getting a headache…" The sudden realization that I haven't talked with Torterra ever since we started moving to Nimbasa City even worsened my headache. "You know what, never mind… I'll try to figure this out myself."
"I'm willing to give you privacy. But I still insist that she'll accept you even in this condition." Pikachu looked back at the rest. "Do you want me to get Torterra's PokéBall? I'm sure you'll have a nice conversation after such a long time."
"Would you…?" I peeked to find a beaming Pikachu.
"Hey, you changed a lot since you became a Shinx, didn't ya?" He grinned, elbowing my forelegs. "It's like we're buddies now, asking me for advice and stuff."
I dryly chuckled. "First Piplup, now you. What's with you guys calling me 'buddy' today?"
Pikachu only laughed and went back to get Torterra's PokéBall. Once he did, I took the PokéBall and went outside alone. I clicked the button to let Torterra out. If he was angry with me, I was ready to receive anything that would come from Torterra's heart. It was the least I could do after all those years of neglecting my Pokémon, particularly my very first.
The giant silhouette of Torterra appeared before me. I sat on my hind legs, preparing myself.
He finally materialized, looking at his surroundings. He then looked at me, fell silent for a moment, and smiled. "It's been a while, Shinji."
I was taken aback. I didn't think he'd smile and greet me with such a friendly air. "Torterra… I can talk like a human can… It happened yesterday." He also looked frightened at my sudden change. "And… now that I can, I want to say that I'm sorry…" I paused to look up at him. "… for neglecting you and the others before."
Torterra nodded in comprehension. "It's okay, Shinji. You never neglected us. You only wanted us to become stronger, right?" He tilted his head while smiling warmly at me. "It was you, after all. Everyone has their own way of caring for their Pokémon."
"No buts. Even if you don't need to apologize, I accept it. I accept you for who you are." He nuzzled his head with mine. "To think I would hear such words once I'm out… It's a bit shocking, but I kinda like it."
I closed my eyes, letting Torterra show me the affection he's always wanted to display.
Later during the night…
Everyone was asleep in their designated rooms: girls in one room and boys in the other. Dent had his hands full, didn't he?
One loophole about being a Pokémon was that they can choose where to sleep in.
I don't need to say anything about this, yes?
I curled up beside Hikari's bed. However, I couldn't sleep. Telling her the truth has been weighing down on my mind this whole day. I sighed softly, looking outside the window. It was half open and a nice breeze was flowing in. My head looked up from my paws.
Should I really tell her? Today? I wondered. Looking back at Hikari's sleeping face, I knew that my best bet was that she'll think it was a dream. This time, I groaned. Luck just isn't on my side tonight. My eyes wandered over to some of the Pokémon sleeping on the floor. None of them looked like they were going to wake up any time soon.
I stood up and moved closer to Hikari's bed. I looked at her peaceful, sleeping face. I didn't want to hurt her. I didn't want such a person like her to show me a hurt expression.
I've already thought about what to say, but how? I think that's the problem here… I looked over to Iris, who was in deep sleep. There was no way she can wake up from hearing whispers, right? Besides, it'll be like a Pokémon was sleep talking. In human language, I thought dryly. I suppose I can tell her like this to ease myself when I tell her next time…
My eyes looked at Hikari again. I took a deep breath as I laid my front paws out next to Hikari's head. I leaned my head on my paws, observing her for a second.
"Hikari, it's me… Shinji." I looked for any signs of waking up. She didn't stir or change her breathing. "I've… been meaning to tell you something that I was hiding from you. That same Shinx you met that day and evolved into a Luxray… It was me. I'm sorry I was hiding it from you, but I didn't want to see you hurt." I paused, sighing. "But…"
Iris turned in her sleep and sent me into panic. I ducked under the bed, almost hitting my head on the mattress frame. After I felt the coast was clear, I climbed up the bed and curled up next to her arms. "I'm not sure how you're going to react when I really tell you." I shook my head. "If you can't forgive for it, I understand. I'll even disappear somewhere if you want me to."
I nuzzled her hand, placing my head close to it. "That's… how much I've come to love you. I'm willing to do anything to keep you safe and happy." Thinking back on everything, I almost thought it made sense. But why her? Before I knew it, I already began to like everything about her. I found it all comforting and warm, something I've never let my own Pokémon or the people around me feel.
"I'll tell you tomorrow, Hikari…" I muttered. "I will give you a full explanation too, if you want. But that'll come after your decision about me." I leaned in and lightly kissed her on the cheek. "I'm sorry."
I fully curled up, hiding my face in my fur. My Arceus, that was embarrassing! Why did I do that?!
Spur of the moment. Ugh.
I fell asleep quickly, keeping my words in mind. I was going to tell her the truth tomorrow. Just her. No one else.
But why couldn't I notice those shining, blue cobalt orbs, those eyes that opened after I fell asleep, that were silently crying throughout the night?
A/N: … Shinji's in trouble… (._.) I'M FINALLY DONE WITH THIS UPDATE! *FLIPS TABLE* God, I am a horrible author for making you guys wait for so long… QAQ Sorry, everyone! But trust me, our stories have NOT been abandoned in ANY way. We will continue them as soon as we have the chance. Thanks so much for the reviews!
Please review this chapter and tell me what you think!