This is my first outing in fan fiction writing in a number of years. For what it is, I feel satisfied with it, though I'm not sure if I should continue. I had a very different ending planned, but this idea seemed to worm its way into my head as I wrote this. I rather like it, but am torn as to whether or not I should go all the way through with it. Thus, feedback is appreciated.

Please enjoy.

Edit: 5/25/11

No longer happy with this. Under revision.
Maybe I'm too fickle, but this whole chapter now seems to me entirely out of place given the remainder of the story. Not that it was particularly good to begin with.
Now combed for grammatical errors and redundancy, it is much improved. Greater formatting and overall content renovations will come when I have the time.

Things get better from here, I swear.

It was dark.
The air was frigid, and the heavy rain pouring down complemented the icy temperature with bone-chilling results. The now thoroughly soaked forest floor made travel all the more difficult for the equally saturated trainer currently seeking shelter from the harsh weather.

What was meant to be an hour-long walk through Eterna Forest had turned into an all-day fiasco.
Any sense of time he may have had lost hours ago, the last day was little more than a blur in his mind.

Getting lost was not on this young man's itinerary: he was completely unprepared for a night in the forest, even if it weren't currently the set of one of the worst storms nature had chosen to stage of his recent memory... yet, here they were.

"They" and not "he", as following closely behind the young trainer was a single Pokemon. Humanoid in appearance, with moss-green hair and a flowing white dress: a pokemon easily identifiable as a gardevoir.

Using its psychic ability to levitate, maneuvering the forest was a much less taxing activity for the pokemon than for the trainer. The weather, however, had taken a much more noticeable toll on its willowy body, the cold quite literally encompassing the poor creature's very core.

An involuntary shiver ran through its figure as the gardevoir floated toward its now still trainer.

"Something wrong, Master?"

The young man turned his head slightly towards the voice, but his gaze remained ahead of the two.
A rather pregnant pause passed before the trainer was finally able to breathe out the single word he did,


Trying to match his gaze, the gardevoir looked ahead.
Indeed, small and flickering pinpricks of light were just barely visible through the rain and thick forestation.

A wave of relief now hit the two, a small flame of hope warming them both.

Legs like lead after trudging all day through the mud that still remained resolutely pulling at the soles of his shoes, the trainer now found it in himself to press on.

As they approached what the two now recognized to be a small clearing, their newly found relief left them in an instant.

A few feet above the pair's heads, small orbs of light idly buzzed between the branches of the many trees surrounding them.
Illumise and volbeat. Firefly pokemon.

The young man's legs finally giving in to his exhaustion, he fell to his knees, his eyes not leaving the display above them. The beauty of the sight was lost on him.

The gardevoir knelt next to him.


He didn't react. The trainer's now glassy eyes seemingly glued to the taunting dance of the insects above them, his body remained still.

As the pokemon looked at its master's face, a deep pang of sadness rung through its body. He had never seemed so thoroughly depressed by something in the years the gardevoir had known him, which was nearly the whole of their lives.
In this expression it saw an abyss.

It raised a trembling hand to the trainer's face, cupping his cheek.
The pokemon's voice beginning to tremble, it repeated itself, pulling the trainer's face toward itself.

After a moment so painfully silent, he partially regained his composure.

"What do we do?"
There was genuine fear in his voice as he said this, his former resolve in shambles after hours of wandering. His eyes focused on the Pokemon next to him.
"What can we do?"

The gardevoir, a warm lump now stubbornly lodged in its throat, considered this for a moment, rendered near speechless by the pathetic sight before it.
There really was no verbal response to voice its feelings. No comfort it could provide through words, even if it felt like it could speak at that moment.
All the gardevoir could do was pull its trainer closer to it. Its hand on the back of his head, the Pokemon held him to its chest, cradling him with the other arm.
Then the tears began to fall.

The trainer slowly welcomed the comfort, and reciprocated, wrapping his arms around his friend.

They sat there for what could have been a moment or an eternity, sharing what little warmth they had between them, comforting each with the other's very presence: the strength of their feelings of being pathetic and hopeless ebbed away as they did.

Their problems were many. Still physically exhausted, the trainer could walk no further; no amount of shelter from the rain seemed to even exist in this forest, even if he could; neither of them had any sense of how near or far they were from civilization; the freezing temperature would inevitably lead to hypothermia, and, perhaps, it already had.

Even with all that stacked on them, they felt convicted in the sense of warmth and safety they felt in each other's arms.

And as the trainer slipped away from consciousness, he couldn't picture a better way to die.