A/N: Hello! I felt like writing for once instead of just reading, something that I don't normally do, but here I am regardless! First off, as the summary suggests, this is set in an AU in which Team Plasma has taken over Unova before the timeline of Black and White.
Also, pairings are CherenxBianca and ToukoxN, though this isn't going to be much of a romance fic as much as it is drama/adventure. Just thought I should clear that up in case you're looking solely looking for romance, though I can promise some later. Reviews are greatly appreciated, and thank you for reading~!
Chapter 1: Night
Another first year attempted escape.
It isn't surprising; after all, we've all tried it once. They'll eventually adjust in a few years' time.
They say that this society will one day be considered the norm, and sometimes I must admit, I believe it. As long as past memories are forgotten, we'll manage. There isn't any point in clinging to ideas that can no longer be reached, after all.
I can't admit it to them, but I've changed. Yet, I no longer view it as a bad thing.
We've been enrolled for 1,842 days.
Cheren glanced at the digital clock on his desk. 20:55. Only minutes before they would be thrown into the darkness which greeted them at night, the day proclaimed over by the academy staff. He could hear one walking past his room outside, patrolling for students who remained lingering in the hallways. Their sharp heels clicked noisily against the marble floors, until they receded into the distant background, far from Cheren's hearing.
Sighing, he closed the multiple notebooks on the desk, placing each in his bag before slinging it over the back of his chair. "You won't finish."
Cheren walked over to his bed, one of two stationed within the dorm room. His room mate, and also one of his best friends since childhood, had sprawled his books across the floor and sat cross-legged before them, digging his fingers into his brown hair in frustration.
"This is impossible anyways," the boy growled, giving up and shoving the already-battered books into his own bag. "That idiot doesn't know how to teach!"
"Maybe you'd learn if you paid more attention." Cheren removed his glasses and placed them on his bed stand, then tore the covers from the bed off and got in, purposely turning to his side in order to block out the other boy on the floor. "Instead of staring at the wall, that is," he added.
"Like I can help that! It's too hard to pay attention to him." Papers were crumpled, objects thumped against the floor. For a brief, wonderful moment, there was silence. Then, "Can I copy yours?"
"Come on! I can't keep copying Touko, she's already pissed at me!" Cheren could perfectly picture the boy glaring daggers into his back as he himself laid motionlessly, refusing to answer. "I thought we were best friends."
21:00. Lights off.
With one final groan, the brunette picked himself up off the floor and maneuvered his way through the darkened room, searching for his own bed. To ensure that all students went to sleep early (and also to prevent the possibility of night prowling, Cheren had realized), all lights were shut off at nine. If homework was not completed by then, you were pretty much screwed over until morning. Both of them knew it would happen, as it always had, yet only Cheren ever took advantage of the light before it was gone. His raging best friend, on the other hand, never seemed to learn from slacking off.
After 6 years, the boy still acted like a first year.
Cheren turned over and stared up at the pitch-black ceiling. Six years had been a long time, hadn't it? In the beginning, being confined into dorm rooms each night with no means of leaving seemed like a nightmare. His friend was there, sure, but somehow the thought of being swallowed by darkness would never leave his mind. Thankfully, that was soon overcame in a matter of days. In fact, Cheren had adjusted to the academy far faster than any of his three friends, all of whom still showed signs of longing for the outside. Students, after all, could never leave the school until eighteen years of age. They still had two years to go.
"Man..." the other boy whispered from across the room. He tossed angrily in his bed, then jabbed a fist into the air, punching an invisible enemy in his frustration. "This isn't right, Cheren. We have to do something about those bast-"
"Touya." Always the one to lose control.
"Ugh, this is what I mean!" The opposite bed's springs creaked as Touya pulled himself up in a sitting position. "Nothing can even be said here! We're monitored like terrorists!"
They had discovered the academy was bugged during their second year. Touko had been the one that had overheard the information, but Cheren had deducted that the hidden chips only picked up on certain words. "Escape", "opposition", and even phrases as harmless as "finding a way out" were all homed in on by the staff. Sometimes, students were never effected by saying such words, yet at other times, the case was the complete opposite. Detentions were common, especially with the first years who longed the most for freedom. Their actions were always irrational.
Touya had called this place incarceration. At one point, Cheren had agreed, but now...
"We need to get to the league," Touya finally said.
The league. Their codeword for escape. It was ironic to Cheren that they had chosen it in particular, but he had never objected to it. Years ago, before everything had occurred, they had dreamed the dream of traveling to a certain league. It no longer existed.
Cheren narrowed his eyes at the thought. He hadn't wanted to bring up the past again. It only messed with his mind and served no purpose other than to taunt him. "You should go to sleep. We have a test tomorrow."
The night went by silently, something which was rare even without Touya in the picture. A younger student could usually always be heard crying out for his or her parents. Sometimes, a whole chorus of cries would sound throughout the empty hallways at night, echoing through the each corridor until they blended into an eerie moaning noise. Another thing they had gotten use to over the years.
Well, almost. Frankly, it still creeped him out.
Touya's breathing eventually slowed to a peaceful rhythm. Unable to follow his own advice, Cheren laid wide awake in the dark. Memories continued to flicker into his mind. He immediately threw them out. The dream he and his friends had shared so long ago seemed now nothing more than an impossible fantasy. Receiving a trusted partner, going out into the world and collecting more, eventually- hopefully- gaining the title of greatest trainer, had all seemed so ideal at one time.
Touya had challenged him to a race. Who could collect all eight badges first?
It seemed stupid to Cheren at first, almost childish. But after Touko and Bianca had included themselves- much to Touya's displeasure- Cheren had decided that the challenge may not be such a bad idea. They would all be together, as they had always been. Beginning this journey was what all four had wished for since they were very young. Before things had turned out this way.
Before Team Plasma had taken over the Unova region.
Now they were here, at the Nacrene Academy of Pokemon Liberation. A place where children's lives were altered from a past society of Pokemon training to one of a new, supreme law. A dictatorship. A world where the only trainers left were apart of rebel groups, each targeted for arrest. Someplace the four of them had agreed to escape from when they had first arrived.
And yet, deep down, Cheren had accepted escape as impossible.