disclaimer: Emerald Twin Blade does not own Pokémon; although, she does own copies of the games.
Got into reading the manga lately and heard about Original/MangaPalletshipping, but I got a little bit too attached to Game-verse.
Hope you enjoy the fic as much as I enjoy writing it.
Fragment No.00 : Sayonara, Solid Reality
The gym was dimly lit… However, ceiling or skylights were unneeded there, thanks to the neon glow of the moving floor tiles. Really, it had been an ingenious idea to make the challengers have to think and navigate through the maze in order to reach the Gym Leader. Although this idea, in the leader's mind, was outstanding, there were certain things that made a few more challengers than he expected capable of reaching him. Of course, these things were the near-useless Ace Trainers he had employed as his underlings.
An auburn eyebrow twitched as a familiar cry of "No! My Spinda!" reached his ears. Eyes that had been shut simply tightened as he picked up his right arm and leaned his cheek in the palm of his hand. His elbow sat on the armrest of the black leather chair he sat in atop a raised stage of sorts. A scowl formed over his lip as he heard footsteps become louder from hopping up the several stairway steps leading up to him.
A red-haired girl, probably around 11 or 12 years in age, called over to him from several yards away, "Gym Leader Green! I, Sandra from Cerulean City, challenge you for the Earth Ba—!"
"No. You don't." came the Gym Leader's immediate reply.
The trainer was taken by surprise upon being interrupted, but regained her confidence not long after as she held her pokéball at the ready, eyes watching him expectantly.
Green, however, took his time. He opened one deep green eye to glare at her icily, receiving a shiver from her before speaking again, "You won't win." His blunt tone was absolute, his voice bouncing off of the dark metal walls of the Viridian Gym and echoing eerily.
"You're not the one to make that call!" the girl barked back confidently, "Now call out your Pokémon before I attack you first!"
She swung the blue Great Ball out into the space between them, a bright white glow soon revealing the Bubble Jet Pokémon. The Vaporeon spun in a full circle before landing on the solid black floor, its mermaid-esque tail fluttering.
The teenage boy closed his eye again, scoffing as he crossed his left leg over his right and tossed a pokéball out in front of him. When it popped open, a huge fire dog materialized from the light, howling shortly before sitting up and watching the Vaporeon.
"What? Are you kidding me? You're not seriously going to fight my water Pokémon with an Arcanine, are you?" Sandra stared in disbelief. Her surprise faded away not long after as anger began to smolder within her like an unwholesome fire; all that Gym Leader had done was smirk at her reaction to his choice of Pokémon. He was mocking her! "If you're going to be like that, then you've made this way too easy for us! Vaporeon, use Water Gun!"
"Pooor!" the water-type Eeveelution wailed, a rush of water shooting out of its mouth and straight for its opponent.
"Arcanine," Green commanded, grinning with firm confidence and less than a little bit of interest, "Use Overheat."
The large canine Pokémon quickly hopped up high into the air, completely pushing itself out of the oncoming water attack's way. From there, it opened its mouth, a powerful orange glow springing to life at the back of its throat before the literal line of fire flew down on the Eeveelution. Vaporeon attempted to protect itself by redirecting its previous Water Gun to clash with the move going its way, but the water instantly turned to steam from the hot temperature of the flames. Unable to move swiftly enough, it took the fire-type attack head-on, crying aloud in pain.
Although the type of move itself normally would not have been very effective, the difference in levels and the ability behind Overheat was enough to make the Vaporeon's HP reach 0 and for it to faint. Arcanine landed back down on its original spot, sitting tamely and watching the challenger with an expectant look.
"V-Vaporeon!" Sandra stuttered as she hurried to her Pokémon's side and pulled it into her lap. Noting its terrible condition, all she could conclude was that it was down for the count, even under such an unlikely circumstance. The redhead raised her eyes to look at the Gym Leader; although, she immediately wished that she had not.
"What did I tell you?" Green asked slowly and matter-of-factly, shifting his hand so that his cheek leaned against his knuckles rather than in his palm, "Judging from your outward manner and the fact that you haven't recalled your Pokémon for another one… I'd say that this one was your ace and highest in level." He grinned as she shook with anger, continuing aloud, "Since I took your Vaporeon out in one move, you don't want to chance the rest of your pitiful team; am I right?"
"Just stop." He interrupted her, the grin dropping from his face as he stared at her in complete seriousness and a menacing look in his eyes, "There's a reason that I hold the eighth and final badge of Kanto. I'm better than the other Gym Leaders; the best of them all. If you don't balance your team out and get stronger… then you'll never beat me."
The girl sniffled, seemingly about to cry. She recalled her Vaporeon to its Great Ball and turned around, going wherever the moving tiles on the floor took her, just as long as it was away from the cruel Gym Leader.
"Tch… That was a waste of time." The brunette grumbled, pushing himself up from his seat and recalling Arcanine to the pokéball in his hand. He dusted himself off a little, glancing at his wristwatch, "It's a bit early, but there's no use keeping the gym open; I'm tired of facing weaklings already."
"That's not very nice, you know." A voice pointed out.
Green turned his head to his right, seeing someone in a jet black hoodie, hood-up, sitting on the topmost step of the stairs leading to him. He sighed in exasperation as he slid his left hand into the pocket of his khaki pants.
"You're not here to battle, too, are you?"
"After that display of strength and pride…" the person began, their hands on their knees shoving them up to their feet, "I wouldn't dream of it."
Green chuckled at the idea of having frightened the other out of challenging him, "What can I say? I'm not the best for nothing."
"Heh… It looks like it's visible now…"
"Huh? What're you ta—" The Gym Leader was taken by surprise when the hooded character suddenly appeared in front of him.
"The mark." The boy explained simply, his eyes hidden by dark brown bangs and his low hood. A sad smile was on his face as he lifted his right hand and placed it over Green's heart, his dark jacket and the shirt the brunette wore beneath it vanishing to expose his chest.
"Wh-what're you doing?" the older teen panicked, blushing in embarrassment and slapping the hand away. Looking down, his green eyes went wide at what they saw.
A large red P had somehow materialized on his chest, appearing as though he had been branded or scarred recently. The skin around the mark was pinched red and inflamed uncomfortably.
Green was confused when his clothing covered his form again, like they had never vanished. He quickly looked to the boy and grabbed him by the collar, picking him up off his feet and glaring straight at the area his eyes should have been in panic, "What did you do to me! What's the mark on my chest mean?"
"Oh, no, Green… I didn't do anything; you did that to yourself." Was the reply he received.
He was about to question the mysterious boy further, but he was suddenly not there anymore. The hand that had held him off the ground was empty and he was no longer in sight. The brunette spun around, trying to locate the stranger, only to stop when he found him standing with his hands behind his back at the foot of the stairs.
He gave him the most innocent of smiles before he spoke, "You're going to Hell, y'know…"
Green raised an eyebrow for a moment before deciding to just ignore all the hocus-pocus. He scoffed as he turned his back on the boy, "Tch… Like I haven't heard that one before."
When he looked over his shoulder to ask the boy what the mark meant again, he was nowhere to be found.
The digital wall clock read 11:58 PM when Green Oak had finally finished up all of the paperwork and reports that he was required to do on a weekly basis as a Gym Leader. It was nearly Saturday, the day of the week when he decided to climb up to a danger climate with subzero temperatures in order to visit a person he could hardly call a friend anymore.
He tossed a glance to his left out the window, gazing up at Mount Silver from his bedroom. Without really thinking about it, he walked up to the windowsill and stared at the peak of the mountain, a soft smile curling the edges of his lips upward.
"I wonder what he's doing right now…" he wondered aloud, shaking his head when he answered his own question, "Probably sitting in the little cave he calls a home with his pet Pikachu… Probably not wearing any of the warm clothes I take to him, either."
How the Hell the Champion could stand wearing a T-shirt at that altitude in the snow, Green was sure that he never wanted to know. He turned around and got into bed, fully intending to get some rest before awakening to trek up the mountain in 7 hours from then.
"That creepy bastard better be happy to see me…" He found himself mumbling, a light blush dusting his cheeks in the dark at the thought of a 'welcome kiss' from his long-time rival and friend.
He cleared his throat in an attempt to rid himself of such thoughts, turning on his side to get comfortable. A sudden prick of pain shot through his chest, however, getting his attention. He pulled his shirt out a bit to look down, vaguely glimpsing the abnormal scar that he had discovered earlier that day.
"What the hell is that?"
Green did not dwell on it; he was much too tired to think about it. He let his mind wander until everything went blank and he was taken to the Dream World…
Or, at least, that was what he had assumed before.
… Something was wrong.
There were not any soft blankets or a fluffy feather pillow beneath his head anymore. Also, he was pretty sure that his bed was a lot softer than whatever wood surface he knew he was currently sitting on.
Green eyes snapped open, hands gripping the edges of the boat on either side of him. He looked around in confusion; this was definitely not his room! He could not see anything for miles… It was nothing by black space in every direction he tried to look in. When he looked beneath the boat he sat in, he even noticed that he appeared to be sailing through the air, since there was no water to be found.
"Oh, you're awake."
Green jumped, thoroughly freaked out when he realized that he was not alone. Blinking to adjust his vision, he quickly recognized the other being to be the same boy who had messed with his head at the gym. "You! Just who are you?" He demanded.
"Me? I'm your personal tour guide through here… Call me Spirit." He grinned visibly, adjusting the hood over his eyes a little more before he motioned to the creepy black space around them with both of his hands.
"Welcome to Hell."