Disclaimer: If I owned Pokemon I would not be here. :) I had fun with this, so I hope you enjoy it too!

~o~

"Hey, Mommy, read me a story, read me a story!" a little girl begged, her violet eyes wide under short cropped, tangled black hair. "You promised!"

The house was dark, except for her daughters room, lit by a small lamp with a cheerful shade. Amber laughed quietly at the little girls enthusiasm. "Which one?" she asked indulgently, turning to a shelf of well thumbed picture books and stories. "One with Faerie Pokemon? Or maybe, 'The Courageous Bidoof'."

Her daughter stared at her as though she were ridiculous. "That book is for kids," she announced in a superior tone. "I'm four."

"Alright, then, not that one," Amber laughed, putting the little girls former favorite back on the shelf under her nightstand. "Maybe...a ghost story?"

Her brave little daughters face went a little paler. "N-no," she said, with dignity. "I'm too old for gh-ghost stories."

"Ohoho, you are are you?" Amber growled, tickling her daughters stomach. "Are you too old for me then? Tired of my Pokemon, huh?" The girl shrieked with delight, writhing to escape her fingers, giggling madly. The floorboards creaked, somewhere in the house, and Amber's hands froze. "Uh-oh, better not," she whispered conspiratorially. "Don't want to wake your father. So no ghost stories then. Which one will it be?"

The little girl thought about it, her forehead scrunched up with thought. "A princess story," she said firmly. "A new one!"

Amber sat back on the bed, thinking. "A new Princess story...haven't you read them all?" Her daughters grave eyes didn't so much as blink, waiting for her to start. Amber gave in, smiling a little as she leaned back. "Maybe I do know one...but you have to get under your covers first."

It was amazing to her how quickly children could act, with the promise of a new story. She lay down next to her young daughter, above the covers, closing her eyes as she recalled the story, that her mother had once told her. "Once upon a time, there was a kingdom in the land above Mount Moon. It was a beautiful place, filled with talented artists and powerful Pokemon. Many called it a blessed land, for it prospered in times of peace. The story I'm about to tell you is a true one, or so it is said. It's the story of a brave princess, whose name has long been forgotten. And the mystery that still surrounds her tale."

"Was she pretty?" the little girl asked immediately, her eyes huge. Amber grinned, tweaking her daughters nose.

"She was beautiful," she said, as though confiding a secret. Her daughter 'ooohhed' in appreciation.

"The Princess, whose kingdom was called Halladen, lived in a wonderful time of peace, nearly two decades after the last rebellion. And while she was beautiful, and well loved by her people, even she did not live a perfect life. The Princess was sick, and nobody could help her, though many tried. One day, a man appeared who claimed he could cure her, with an strange woman with no emotions at his side. Nobody knew his true name, at first. But, out of options, the King agreed to let him try."

"Is he the bad guy?"

"Oh yes," Amber said seriously. "He was called doctor camellia, and he was a very wicked man. His medicines could cure anything, but he could only make them from one ingredient. Pokemon Eggs! He cured the Princess with his medicine...but soon after, he was exposed. He tried to take over the kingdom, using an Entei to wreak havoc on the countryside."

"Did she fight him?" Amber's daughter asked in a small, hushed voice, her covers pulled up to her nose. Her mother nodded reassuringly.

"As a matter of fact, she did. She went alone, and fought his armored Fire Pokemon, in an effort to save her people. She almost did, too, before something went wrong. A boy appeared, who worked for the mad doctor, a boy the Princess loved dearly. He took over the battle in her place...but he lost. His hometown burned to the ground, and the boy disappeared. The Princess fled the battle, leaving the kingdom in the hands of the madman."

"What happened?" the little girl asked, her eyes riveted to Amber's face. "Did she die?"

"You see, that's the funny thing," she said. "The mystery of that story, is that it's a story with no end. Because less than a year later, the entire kingdom disappeared without a trace. To this day, no one knows what happened, or where the kingdom went. No one knows the fate of the Princess, or the boy who betrayed the country. It's one of the greatest mysteries, because evidence has been found that Halladen did exist, once upon a time. For all we know, the Princess may be fighting still, in a country suspended somewhere between time and space. Somewhere, or sometime."

Her daughter chewed that over. "So it was all because of a boy?" she demanded. Amber nodded her assent, gravely, and the little girl made a face. "Boy's are all stupid," she announced. "-and 'specially that one."

She didn't bother denying it, leaning in to kiss her daughter's forehead instead. "Every single one of them," she agreed solemnly, cupping the girls cheeks. "Get some sleep, little one. Tomorrow, we can make poffins for Gengar, okay? No eating them yourself."

"Kay!" her daughter said, yawning hugely. She settled into her light blue comforter, stretching with tiny arms. Amber smiled, and the bed creaked as she slid off the other end.

She had wondered many times, as a child, what had really happened that night. She felt as though she were missing out on the true story, and skipping ahead to the end. But then, wasn't that the best part? Not knowing, not for sure?

There wasn't anyone who could tell that story as it really happened, anyways. Not the Princess, not the mad doctor, and not the boy. It had been over three hundred years since the kingdoms disappearance, after all.

But sometimes, she wondered. Not that it would do her any good.

"Sleep tight," she murmured, and flipped the switch for the lamp, plunging the room into darkness, broken only by the small nightlight plugged into the wall.

~o~

~o~

The skies burned with flames.

He thought of all the things he had done wrong, and despaired. Could a monster really redeem himself? Could he fight evil, when he was so stained himself? Was there even a difference between him and his enemy now? He had thought he was fighting for right. For truth, and justice, but he had been wrong.

He'd been fighting for a monster this entire time, and just hadn't seen it.

In a burst of clarity, Indigo despaired. He wished that she hadn't been the princess, that neither of them had been caught up in this mess. They could have lived a simple, happy, uncomplicated life, far from death and war and curses. They could have lived in a country cottage, surrounded by flowers and soft breezes. He could have been Indigo, and she could have been Riza. The Nightwalker and the Princess would have been nothing more than a bad dream.

Just the two of them. That was what he had really been fighting for. Not kingdoms, and good, or even power. All he had been fighting for was her.

And now he might have lost her forever.

"Indigo?" he turned so quickly he was barely aware of the motion, and saw her. She was panting, her dress torn in several places, and covered with soot and dirt. There was blood in her hair, and dirt coating his legs. Her fiery violet eyes were flashing.

She looked beautiful.

"Riza," he gasped, hugging her close like he would never let go as the city burned around them. "Oh, Riza. I thought…"

"Don't worry about that," she demanded, her voice a little off as she panted for breath. "Indigo, we have to get out of here."

He nodded in agreement, and took her hand, and it was as though the world around them did not matter.

And then pain exploded in his side, and Indigo's world stopped. He looked uncomprehendingly at the blood streaming from his stomach, and the glint of silver. It was only after he turned, stunned, to meet her violet eyes that he realized what had happened.

The girl who was impersonating Riza twisted the blade, her disguise nearly perfect. Lights flashed in front of his eyes, and he fell, the pain in his heart overwhelming him.

He saw a boot rest in front of his face, and struggled to look up, even though he knew what he would see. Black and black, the mans eyes and hair matched perfectly, a shocking contrast to his skin. The face of the man who had started it all. A cruel smirk played on his lips.

"Who are you?" Indigo demanded as the strength ebbed from his body. He clutched at his wound, trying to stop the bleeding. But he had to know the truth. He deserved it, after everything.

"Save your words," the man advised, his black eyes soft. "You don't have much time." He looked at the burning city lovingly, as though the sight filled him with happiness. "Everything has gone according to plan. I win, Indigo."

"No!" Indigo shouted, despairing as he realized the extent of his plan. "You can't do this! What about the people? Do they deserve a monster for a king?!"

Doctor Camellia looked at him with surprise. And then he laughed. "You're an idiot," he chastised. "They already do. Now I suppose I should save you. You have been very useful after all. I wouldn't have been able to do this without your help, Indigo."

"Did," Indigo whispered, shame and remembered horror filling his heart. "They did have a monster for a king."

Doctor Camellia's smile faded. "What are you talking about?"

"The king is dead. Queen Analynn as well."

"What?" Doctor Camellia hissed, his black eyes somehow going darker. "But how…" he trailed off, and his flat gaze fell on Indigo, sending a shiver of fear down his spine. "You. You did this."

Indigo smiled half heartedly. "I'm afraid so."

With a snarl of frustration man struck his side, directly over the knife wound. Indigo cried out involuntarily.

"Do you know what you've done? Foolish boy, you've ruined everything!" he shouted, drawing back his hand as though to hit him. The hand glowed with firelight.

Slowly, the rage in the mans eyes dimmed. He dropped his hand, and his features settled into an impassive mask once again. "I suppose it doesn't matter. You won't survive that wound without my help…not even Kaya could save your life. The country will hate you for your crimes. You will die, an unloved monster. Killing you quickly would be a mercy. And Indigo? I must thank you for bringing me Entei. It will be valuable."

And then he started to walk away. After everything that had happened, he was just going to walk away. Indigo gritted his teeth, and grabbed for the hem of the mans cloak. "Your…name…" he demanded hotly. "Tell me." He could feel the life ebbing out of him, but he almost didn't care. He deserved it.

"My name is Tero," the raven haired man said simply, watching Indigo's reaction. His heart thudded erratically as he realized what that name meant. His mind shut down blankly, and he continued. "Tero of the Burning Shadows. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Indigo. Now you can die in peace. Cyndaquil!"

A small form darted from the embers of the old town hall and shot a burst of flame at Indigo's outstretched hand. He pulled back sharply and let go of Tero's cloak, barely avoiding the red fire. The movement pulled sharply at his side. He grabbed his wound with a cry, wincing at the pain. His scarlet coated hand started to blur as his vision faded.

"Oh Riza," he whispered brokenly. "I didn't mean it. It wasn't supposed to end like this. I'm…so sorry…"

In his dying moments he saw the one thing he most wanted to see. It was her, with her brilliant golden hair waving behind her back as she ran towards him. And despite the knowledge that it couldn't be real, he clung to it until his failing vision faded to black

~o~

"Grandma?" a young boy whispered, "Grandma, why are the Pokemon making fires?"

"Hush child!" Kaya whispered fiercely. "Just sit still and be quiet!"

"But Grandma! Somebody has to stop them! If they don't stop then Mommy will…Mommy will…" the boy started sobbing, tears running down his chubby, soot stained face.

"Your mother will be just fine William," the old woman sighed. Her face was lined beyond her years, her pink hair faded and worn. Her daughter would be fine, thanks to the monster. Now they had only to survive the fire.

"Charizard, Blast Burn!" In a heartbeat the city went dead silent.

"William get down NOW!" Kaya shouted, shoving the boys head into the ground. A huge flash of light flooded the room and a massive explosion tore through a home across the street leaving nothing behind. Items fell from the rafters as the ground shook from the attack.

"He's taking revenge on the whole city!" Kaya whispered, almost to herself. He was the rightful king, and he was revenging himself on the people who rejected him as a child. The people who had caused the death of his sister.

"Please, open the door Kaya!" a voice shouted amidst the chaos, surprising her. She had thought everyone would have fled by now. "I need help!"

But that voice. It could not be so. The old woman struggled to her feet and practically fell against the door. "Princess! Why are you here you fool, get to safety!"

"I can't." Riza whispered, her voice barely discernible over the sounds of the burning town. "I can't just leave him. Kaya, you have to help me."

Several latches began clicking open until the old woman was able to throw open the door. She stared at the boy held in the Princesses deceptively fragile arms.

"Kaya, please," Riza begged, her violet eyes filled with tears.

"Get him inside. I'll see what I can do for the traitor!" she snapped, taking in the situation with a single glance. "William, open the cot."

William wiped the tears from his face with his small fist, recognizing his grandmothers tone. "Yes Grandma!"

"Now your highness, lay the boy right there. And be careful about it, or he'll lose even more blood. William, go wait in your room for a while."

"Y-yes. Of course" Riza lay Indigo down gently on the stained cot. She brushed some dirt from his cheek, her gaze agonized. He was so pale.

Kaya looked at him too. Lean, not overly muscled, with dark blue hair. He had a striking resemblance to his father. He could have been Devin's clone if it weren't for those eyes. Her eyes. They eyes of an infamous traitor, a girl who once destroyed the kingdom.

She was one of the last who remembered Indigo's birthright. He was the son of the most infamous traitor in Halladen. It seemed he had lived up to his mothers legacy.

Kaya sighed, her faded pink hair falling around her face. She was getting far too old for this. "He can't be saved. He's already lost too much blood. It would take a miracle to save his life now."

Riza's went as pale as death. "No," she denied softly. "No, that can't be…you can still save him, he isn't that badly hurt!"

"He's lost too much blood. It's a miracle he's still breathing," Kaya snapped, her patience going. "And even if he could be saved, he's a traitor! He did this, he's at fault for everything!"

"Indigo never meant for this," Riza defended, deadly calm. "I don't care what you have to do. Just save him. I have to know what happened. If he really…if he really had something to do with my parents deaths. He isn't a monster."

"Analynn is dead?" Kaya said softly, pain coloring her aged voice. Riza was silent, letting her tears speak for themselves. Kaya sighed once more, and pulled a ball with a knob out from her pocket. She began unscrewing the top methodically.

"What is that?" Riza asked quietly, her forehead scrunching up. "That can't…you can't be serious, Kaya!"

"I'm serious," Kaya deadpanned, steeling herself. "This is the Ninetales that cursed your family. And the demon who nearly tore apart the kingdom, all those years ago."

"But…" Riza gaped, struggling for words. It was a drastic move, even she had to admit it. "The last time that Pokemon was free, it destroyed an army."

"What it did was long in the past. If it were not for this Pokemon, many more people would have died that day. Now tell me princess, do you really want him to live? No matter what?"

Uncertainty battled in the girls eyes. She took a deep breath, and looked the old woman squarely. "Do it then. Curse Indigo. But please just promise me that he'll be alright?"

Kaya was silent for a long moment. "You truly care for the boy. Even after what he's done," she said. It was not a question.

Riza's golden hair fell around her face as she slumped. "Yes," she whispered, as though it was an admission of guilt. The old woman's eyes softened for a moment and she smiled.

"Then there's no help for it. Ninetales, enter!"

A flash of light burst from the ancient poke ball. When it faded, a new presence was in the room. Creamy tails whipped through the air, and the fox raised her head. Her eyes were cold and red, with no pupils. She regarded the old woman, taking in her new appearance.

"Its been quite a while hasn't it Ninetales? Nearly twenty years now." Kaya was silent for a moment, remembering. She took a deep breath, and pointed an accusing finger at the boy on the cot. "This boy forged a pact with a Legendary, and used it to destroy half the kingdom. He is accused of murdering the king and queen. He abandoned his partners, and brought destruction to this town, that loved and accepted him when no one else would. He is a monster. I ask that you preserve his life."

"These are quite heavy charges," an echoing feminine voice mused. The Ninetails mouth never moved, her telepathy conveying her words. She turned her glowing eyes to Indigo and barked a cruel laugh. "You want me to save him? How laughable. This boy abandoned his Pokemon you say…his beloved partners. He deserves nothing but death!" Her tails whipped in a frenzy as the fox snarled with fury.

"Ninetales!" The old woman wrapped restraining arms around her partner. "You'll just injure him further!" She began coughing heavily and staggered backwards, wheezing for breath in the hazy air.

Her Pokemon stopped, looking disdainfully at her aging master. "Humans are such fragile creatures. If you truly want me to save him….. he will have to become something else. He can't live any longer in this form."

" No! You can't!" Riza shouted, real panic in her eyes. "How will he atone for his crimes if he's not even human anymore! I won't be able to seem again, and I-"

Ninetails laughed. "You truly think it to be a horrible fate, to not be human? I would have thought you would be used to the idea." Riza flinched, staring down with a haunted expression. The Ninetales regarded her with deep crimson eyes.

"The boy will atone for his crimes. Death would be too merciful…he will live, but not here. I will send him far away…perhaps to another time. He will live until he understands what caring means, and until he can understand true strength. That will be the boys curse. Until he discovers these things, he can never return. What form he takes will depend on his own soul, for everyone's soul is unique."

"Another time even…Ninetales, can you really pull something like that off?" Kaya whispered.

The beautiful fox sighed. "I am very old my friend. Older than this land even. My kind only get stronger with age. It is well within my abilities to do this."

She reared up on her hind legs, and her crimson eyes glowed like stars. "Now go, human! You will not be able to return to this time and set things right until you learn the meaning of caring and true strength! Fail in this and you will be cursed forever!"

Indigo's form began to glow and he cried out once before vanishing. The Ninetales fell down to all fours, her tails waving slightly in the smoky air.

"The boy is kind, but his journey will be long. Who can say if he will be able to return to set things right? Certainly not me."

~o~

A/N I never meant to write this. Honestly. It just happened. And I have no idea where I'm going from here. =_= I guess I'll find out later. Until then, bear with me, cause this is gonna be rough. Also, I apologize for the inverted premise. ;^^

I did write the first section after this chapter was already up, to help with explaining the beginning. Just so you know. So that section will flow a little better, and have similar writing quality to some of the later chapters. I hope it doesn't stand out too much, and helps with the flow of the first chapter. Thanks for reading, and bear with me!

Loved it, hated it, barely got through it, please let me know. I would appreciate any and all feedback, and I promise to make this story a decent one. Drop me a review and we'll both find out where this is going!