("Why don't you believe in the dream?")
the lighthouse still shines with memories erected in your honor
Their battle was fierce, screams from both sides reverberated on stone walls. The brunet on the opposite side of their makeshift battleground gritted his teeth, and commanded his Samurott to attack the grey-eyed teen's legendary.
It was a stupid move, and Reshiram took flight. The dragon astounded the limited crowd with its brilliant eyes, and paper wings, Black looked at his options, and realized too late that he was done for.
He clenched his fists, and called back his partner pokemon. Miku let out a guttural roar, and ran back to her owner, jumping over castle ruins, and swiftly dodging attacks from the enemy side.
The gangly, too pale male simply stared. His gray gaze never wavered, he never flinched. He was a tower of calm, and stoicism, but Black didn't think it was intentional. N Harmonia moved with the elegancy of a three footed rabbit, he was awkward and robotic, and, and -
"Why don't you believe in the dream?"
His voice was that of a lonely man. He was quiet, calm. He talked faster than Bianca did, it took seconds to decipher his speech, and when Black did, he held back the urge to vomit.
"It's stupid. It's wrong! I am living proof, we're living proof. My team of pokemon, Braviary, Zebstrika, Musharna, Haxorus, and Miku! We've shared memories, hardships. We're proof that your god damn dream is all but a utopia."
The taller, older male pursed his lips, and with irritation, he crossed his arms over his chest. His bracelets clinked against each other, almost annoyingly, as his Reshiram circled above them.
"...but it's simple, Black. It's a simple dream, a dream filled with potential to change the world. You wouldn't understand, though." His words were gunshots, and Black dodged them with sarcastic laughter.
"Yeah, the world will be a lovely place. Absolutely. I can't wait for the day pokemon and people fight against each other. It's gonna be grand." He snarled, and his Samurott followed suit behind him. Miku nudged Black's side, and waited for permission to knock the ever living shit out of the green-haired prodigy. The brunet patted his partner pokemon's head, and shook his head.
He would wait, not because he was scared.
He wanted to throw some punches himself.
Her bare feet barely touched the forest ground, she was covered head to toe in nicks, and scratches. Her long hair was a rat's nest, leaves and stray branches tangoed with unruly locks. Hands at her sides, clenched, she stared straight ahead, without signs of looking back. She couldn't, not now, not ever. There was no time to reminisce, no time to dawdle, she needed to move forward, and towards the main gate.
The Entralink was a sprawling, Wonderland maze, but it wasn't impossible. White stopped only to catch her breath, and take in the newest location in her sad, shitty indie flick movie. Blue eyes memorized every detail, studied the landscape, and her mouth twisted into a grimace.
She was finally in the mouth of the monster, the Entree Forest. With a snort, the girl pushed her bangs out of her face, and looked for any sign of human disturbance. There had to be somebody, anybody. Someone had to be here, there just had to...
She turned her head to the side, catching a rustling bush. She focused in on the plant, and slowly tip toed towards the once-moving shrub.
There was somebody here.
She could feel it in her bones.
The brunette pushed forward, slapping tree boughs out of her way, snapping twigs under her bruised feet. Her black vest caught onto a low branch, and she let out an annoyed screech, and abandoned the article of clothing.
She would get another one when she escaped. It was a vow. Her eyes shined brighter than before, they were a typhoon of catastrophe and pain, she was moving up, and up. On adrenaline, on the hope for redemption?
"Oh. A visitor."
White immediately tensed, the flight or fight response took over her body completely, she crouched, and whipped around, to face the potential aggressor.
The permadark sky above them, the trees around them, and the dying grass below, the scene was finally set.
"Your name is White Kuro. You are sixteen years old, but feel like you're seventy-nine. You hate your life." Like a lullaby, a whispered prayer, White chanted her creed, as she slowly approached the figure behind the final trees, the White Rabbit to her Alice. She took shallow breaths, each little puff brought her closer to her pray, and she continued - "You are in love with a boy with eyes like adobe, and hair like chocolate. He is beautiful, absolutely beautiful." Ten more steps, maybe twelve, she jumped over a large root, and tripped. Landing face first on the dirt, she shakily returned to her feet, wiping her hands on her soiled white tube top. "You were a goddess in your past life, but now you're a warrior. A fucking soldier." She bit her tongue, when she stepped on a thorn, the obstacle sunk into the sole of her left foot, the bloodied print made a makeshift trail, as she kept walking. "But now, now..."
Now, she attacked. Her target was three or so feet away. She could see him, he was tall, gangly. Wore a hat on his stupid head. She crouched, muscles tightened, as she closed her eyes and whispered another incantation.
"Blessed be the damned."
N Harmonia grew up, physically. He never understood the importance of emotions, or their necessity in reality. He fell in love with curves, and with equations, and wasn't interested in human beings. Humans were scary, they hurt themselves with their egoistic desires, and selfish wishes - they were monsters.
Not N, though. He believed he was better than that. He believed he had purpose, and with purpose, he had responsibility. His handmaids told him otherwise, though. They said yes, he would become a great king, but he had to grow up first, he had to wake up first.
They were saccharine sweet, his servants. One with candy floss hair, and the other with ocean eyes. He felt compassionate toward them, and prayed daily for their safety after their disappearance.
Sometimes he wondered if they were real. They seemed too ethereal, too celestial to be mere mortals, to be his caretakers. They were stardust, they were bright and beautiful, and kind.
Yes, that's what they were. N smiled at the memory of Anthea healing his partner pokemon, a zorua. Runt of its litter. Concordia would tell them bedtime stories, every night. Anthea would sing, and Concordia would dance, and it was all very lovely.
It was lovely.
"Get out of your dream world, N."
The spell broke.
He woke up.
Eyes open, N Harmonia was flung onto his back, feet in the air, hands covering his eyes, as his Reshiram screeched. Black stood above him, menacing, and cold, as a dragon hovered closed behind.
The pale boy no longer had the advantage. Not after the second legend, the deep black, eclipsed his new horizon.
Zekrom took its place on the stage, and the battle was renewed.
"I'm still not sorry." White muttered, as she rubbed her left forearm guiltily. An elderly man, with a forming black eye under his right eye simply let out a grunt, and attempted to pick himself up off the floor without major commotion.
"I wasn't expecting an apology laced with flowers, lassie." The man grumbled, as he brushed off the dirt from his light blue cloak. Now that White had a good look at him, he didn't seem menacing at all. He was shorter than she was, by a couple of inches, maximum, and had graying hair. His beard was long, and white, but besides that, he looked like every average elderly citizen that graced the planet earth.
Whoop ti do. Hurrah. Detective White did it again! She discovered that he wasn't a creep in the dark, and that she was a complete asshole for knocking the living daylights out of him.
"Well, good, because you ain't gettin' one." It was nice being able to talk to someone, despite them being thrice your age. It was nicer being able to snark at them. Oh, yes. White allowed herself a smile, the first one in what could be months, or years. She missed smiling.
She missed everything.
"However, I can promise another black eye if you don't tell me who you are." Acid and concrete, she missed this feeling of power. Yes, yes. White's smile turned into a smirk, and the old man laughed in response, clutching at his sides, causing White to frown.
"What's so funny? I wouldn't be laughing, if I were you!" Her threats were not menacing. She was a shitty threat giver. The man wiped a tear (fake, probably) and rolled his eyes.
"Miss Kuro, I do not think you're in the position to be threatening anybody. You're a sixteen year old girl who's been locked up here for years, maybe more! Space and time don't cooperate well here. My name is Alexander."
"You know my last name." She spat, pinpricks and hurricanes, she was on edge. "How?"
Alexander quirked his brows, and let out another short chuckle. "That's none of your concern. You're here for something, right?" As if assuming another character, another role, the man pulled himself upright, and rolled his shoulders back. He turned away from the girl, and towards the massive tree in the middle of the Entree Forest. The tree was a behemoth, its leaves brushed against the night, its trunk was frostbitten, and burnt, carved upon it words of wisdom, and of hurt.
The girl noticed familiar initials near the roots.
WK & BV
Sobered, she raised another question.
"Where am I?" Quietly, softly. The girl wearing rags hugged herself, feeling winter's chill, autumn's grace, and summer's warmth. Spring showed its face, cherry blossoms danced with the wind, a tempo unrecognized by human ear.
She felt tears on her cheeks, she felt tears she was unaware she shed. She quickly wiped them away, and the drops she didn't catch fell on the floor. Flowers sprouted from the dead earth, lilacs bloomed in colors unimaginable, breathtaking blues, and greens, and yellows. White let out a gasp, and turned to find the man who brought her here, but saw she was alone, again.
"Welcome the Entralink, Miss White."
Startled, White turned to find a girl. Maybe fourteen, maybe forty. She had an immortal face, porcelain pretty. A light brunette, she wore a white dress that hit her knees, and no shoes. It must be a trend.
"Who are you? It seems like the moment I ask that, they fucking disappear." Bitter, and broken, the charm of the Entree's Tree lost, White crossed her arms, and waited for an answer. The girl's perfect features transformed into a scowl, and she shook her head.
"I send my apologies for Alexander's absence. He tends to do that." The girl clicked her tongue, and patted down her dress. "My name is Malana. I am the gate keeper. And you, Miss White, are special."
"Gee wilikers, that's the case? I would've never guessed! Maybe being dragged away from everything I love is the best way to show that, huh?"
"Your acidity does not phase me. Do you honestly believe you're the only one who's suffered?"
White let out another sigh, and ran a hand through her dirty, dry hair. "I'm sorry. I've been through a lot."
Malana smiled. "It's fine. No harm done, now come with me." The petite girl offered White her hand. She took it, and Malana led them down an unfamiliar path, lined with flat pebbles, and golden poppies. They walked for what seemed eternities, until they arrived to a small lake. The area was sectioned off by long grass, and evergreens, and the scent of home - the scent of her old life, White bit her lower lip, trying not to shake. She was done shaking, she was done losing her courage.
She needed to go back home.
"Go into the lake. You'll fine your answer there. Good luck." Malana pushed her forward, and White took measured steps to the mirror-like water. Dipping her foot in, she felt her entire being shake, and just like that, she was in the water. It was deeper than she had assumed, and she fell fell fell, down to the earth below.
She kept her eyes open, and saw the transformation ensue.
She was a goddess, once-more.
Their dragons circled, and screeched, but never attacked. Neither party was sure exactly why, but when Black commanded his newest ally to use Fusion Bolt against the enemy side, it complied only after scorching the ruins with thunderbolts. Reshiram took the hit with elegance, and returned the attack with Fusion Flare, lighting up the arena with flames and sparks.
Black covered his eyes, and let out a growl. Zekrom lost its position in the sky, and fell to the ground. N laughed, almost maniacally, and commanded Reshiram to repeat the previous move.
The brunet let out a groan, and cursed the gods above. His Xtransceiver had been ringing throughout the battle, and in between hiding from Reshiram's bursts of fire, and making sure his pokemon were safe from harm, he hadn't been able to check it.
Not until now. Black took out a pokeball from his pocket, and threw it skyward, and out came his trusty Samurott.
"Miku, help Zekrom! Cover its blind spots." Black patted her head, and the samurai pokemon gave a nod. "I believe in you, all right? Go get 'em, girl."
The pokemon let out a roar, and went chasing after the other legendary dragon. Zekrom seemed thankful for the help, and the two of them countered Reshiram's attacks.
The brunet finally allowed himself the privilege to check the device on his wrist, and with his free hand, he flipped it open, and everything went -
Letters, and phrases, and combinations, and oh dear god no, none of the fights, none of the battles, every moral lesson learned within the past year when out the window, he was shaking, and cold, and suddenly everything was static, and noise, it was music, and prose, and, and,
It was the whisper of "I'm sorry, please forgive me" it was the taste of White Kuro in his mouth, it's the feel of her skin, and he's destroyed within those two-seconds, those two-seconds send him on the floor, he laid on his back, eyes toward the sky, as his Samurott wailed, and tried to run back to him, tried to protect him.
He can't move a single muscle, all he sees are stars and constellations, and the bright supernova of White Fucking Kuro -
Black does not cry.
He makes an exception then, as Reshiram stumbled out of the air, for the last time. He can hear N's shouts, but none of that matters.
"You look lovely, Miss Kuro."
She doesn't feel lovely, she felt like the queen of the monster ball, in her decadent white gown. A strapless ordeal, with a puffy lower skirt, she looked like a fairy come alive. Her hair is brushed back into its ponytail, shining like the mahogany of her mother's favorite coffee table. There's a flower in her hair, a bloody rose, and the outfit is complete.
Malana even gave her shoes. Bless her soul.
"But, there's no time to waste. It's time for you to go home." White nodded, and carefully grabbed the skirts of her dress, and picked them up, making it easier for her to run to the gate.
She would never understand why she was forced into captivity, into this maze, but she was glad the nightmare was over. Malana prepared the exit, and murmured to herself, as a shimmery wall made itself visible. A looking glass to the outside world, White let out a silent scream, face locked in horror, when she saw the war raging outside. Sending a frantic look to the keeper, White ran towards the gate.
"Wait, Miss White! You can't go yet, it's not time -"
The reckless, the wild, the beautiful White Kuro broke the wall, arms up, shards of glass raining down on the forest floor. Suspended in time, the girl disappeared in a flash of light.
"What is this?"
He swore he was just fighting for the fate of the universe minutes ago. Black rubbed his eyes, and felt a sharp pain in his chest. With a groan, he shakily attempted to get up, but to no avail. He stayed on the floor, and immediately he thought of his pokemon - were they all right?
They were brave. They would be safe, at the very least, that's what Black hoped. He needed to get up, he needed to see if everything was going to be okay. Cheren and Bianca were still at the foot of N's Castle, probably waiting for him, waiting for him to be okay, and...
There was only one voice in the entire universe that sounded like that. Smoky, timid, courageous, and broken. The lilt of a fallen angel, the voice that haunted his subconscious ever since he started his journey, all the way in Nuvema Town, that voice, the owner of that voice should be dead.
"Black, I'm so sorry."
He doesn't let her finish. She waltzed out of the shadows, decked out in a white dress that looked like N Harmonia's dragon. The marble pillars around them, six to his left, six to his right, encased them inside a road of cobblestone and plaster, and beyond those makeshift walls, was the entirety of the universe. Stars, the moon, the sun, they danced in perfect harmony above dew-kissed, ultra-green herbage.
He didn't see any of that, he saw the girl who left him for dead, he saw the girl he loved with the intensity of ten million Ho-Ohs, or whatever, he really wasn't in the mood to write her love sonnets, and cliched songs.
"White. Where the hell have you been?"
Underneath the sky, she looked apologetic, her eyes glassy, but he's just so tired.
He was sorry, too.
He was sorry they couldn't kiss, and makeup, because he was just her knight in shining armor, and White was the princess he failed to save.
Was, was, was.
All past-tense, nothing present. There was no hope for their future, not now.
She approached him, cautiously, and warily, and offered her hand. He thought about rejecting, it, and just glaring, but the heart in him wins out his bitter head. He gingerly took her hand, and she helps him up.
"I've been places." Still the same voice, but out of this White, it doesn't sound the same. This White is haggard, and crushed.
He realized in that moment, the moment their fingers brushed against each others, and she placed a warm hand against his cold cheek, that...he wasn't the same Black, either. Not the optimistic, naive Black from the year past.
With a kiss, they seal their fate. She kissed him with the desperation of a dying girl, and he kissed her back with the sadness of a forgotten violinist, they melt into each other, they sob, and choke on each others pain, and hurt. He held her close, pressed her against his wiry frame, and she nestles in the crook between his neck and shoulder, and wonders when he got so tall, because she's not used to feeling his skin under hers, not anymore.
It's all foreign territory, and they're starting over.
She drops her phone in the process, the glass screen turns into dust. His Xtransceiver stopped working, it's dead weight on his wrist.
The light blinds them both.
N stared at his broken castle, his wrecked kingdom. From above, he can see everything, each groove and nick in the remaining brick wall. There's only one left, and he's grateful one still stands.
That could be a sign of hope, of good change. He leaned into his Reshiram's neck, and they sailed towards the sun.
He would come back to Unova, to set things right.
In the rubble, Miku howled, looking for signs of her master. Zekrom looked from afar, cyan eyes concentrated on the spot where the brunet male was last seen. Black's Braviary searched the sky, and his Zebstrika rolled away the largest pieces of concrete.
Their owner, no, their friend was no where to be found. Cheren had arrived minutes earlier, and was helping the search party. Bianca was tending to Black's pokemon, making sure they were healed, and safe, before allowing them to look for their charge. With a sullen gaze, the bespectacled male grimaced.
The blonde put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, and the black-haired teen let himself be held, and put no protest when Bianca wrapped her arms around him. He choked out a sob, and the green-eyed girl simply sighed, and whispered into his ears, to not worry, because their best friend was getting out of this mess all right. There was no need to cry.
Bianca knew her words held little value, though. They had already lost White.
To lose Black, would be to lose everything.
She broke away from the hug, and took his hands in hers, and laced their fingers together. "It's going to be okay, I promise."
Cheren used his free hand to take off his glasses, and blink back stray tears. "When'd you get so grown up?"
The girl smiled. "I had help with that, no thanks to you, big doofus. Shh, now."
They didn't notice the second flash of light coming from what was left of N's moat, the sapphire water hid two oxygen-deprived teens, each gasping for air, grasping for whatever land available.
She would tell her story to an audience of three. They would react as assumed, with shock, and horror, that the land of make believe and pixie dust had held her prisoner for so long, and even Cheren couldn't make a caustic comment. Bianca held the brunette in her arms for what seemed like a millennia, sobbing and laughing all at the same time.
There were no inquiries after that. No books written, no interview demanded. The quad, the group of friends held each other in an embrace, as the Champion of Unova cleaned up the mess Team Plasma's leader, Ghetsis made. They ignored the onslaught of talk, the gossip, the rumors, and held their heads high, as they made the journey back home.
Beyond the wreckage, there was a new world to explore, and a promise of fixing the remains of the old.
Author's Notes: I actually have a letter written up for all of you. However, after 4k words of this tale, I'm kind of tired.
First, I want to thank all of you. Without the eager readers back in part one, we would've never gotten here, and I would've never finished this story. I like to consider this my magnum opus - maybe it's because this story has broken my heart several times, with my inability to write it well enough. I was terrified of part three, I've avoided it like the plague, because of my insecurities as a writer.
Now we are here. That doesn't mean I'm any more secure with my writing than I was last year, but now, I'm content. I'm happy with what I've produced.
So, thank you, very much for that.
Second, I'm sure there are more questions that one might have. Maybe you're curious as to how this story came to life, or other attributes of my Entralink. Fear no more! I have created an unanswered calls tumblr, located unanswered-calls! This sounds incredibly narcissistic, but the main reason I posted it up there, is mostly because I like the format tumblr does questions, and it's easier to answer and communicate with readers there, than here.
Plus, I'm not digging FF's new format. It's kind of irritating, but enough of that!
Third, if you're looking for something to do while BW2 gets localized in your country, you should check out Ruthie (BabyRuRu, author of fantastic stories like Evanesce, and The Distance Between Us.) and my Pokemon Black/White 1+2 headcanon blog southern-bel! :)
Finally, a round of applause to all of you who have come this far with me. I love all of you.