Affections Touching Across The Void

And I don't want the world to see me
Cuz I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am.
-Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

"This is going to suck," Ronzu thought as he looked at his best friend and partner. Ever since she had returned to a physical form after stopping the destruction of Temporal Tower, Meena had been moping and sulking. When he asked her why, she said it was only obvious. She had lost everything: her memories, her old human body and worst of all, a partner she couldn't even remember. She was in torment knowing there was someone she used to be very close with and she couldn't even remember him or their time together.

There was no way Ronzu could understand her pain. But he could certainly feel it. She hardly spoke and was having trouble eating. When she slept, she twitched and cried out. Ronzu had taken her to see Chansey, who was experienced in nursing as well as egg care. Chansey's response was she was physically pining and wasting away. She was depressed and nothing could change it.

But like always, Ronzu had an answer. When he went to the guild to lead Team Celestial into another stack of jobs, he had a chance to talk to some friends. Meena had taken the day off and they were all curious why. When Ronzu explained she was sick, Bidoof had an excellent idea: take her to see a wish granting pokemon and have him grant her a wish. He showed the Riolu a map that led to a place called Star Cave and told him that Jirachi was said to sleep there. Ronzu got excited. If Jirachi could grant wishes, Meena could get back what she's been missing: Grovyle AND her memories!

And that's where they were right now. The cave was lovely but long and Ronzu felt his goodwill slip into annoyance. But Meena was looking hopeful for the first time in months and Ronzu knew they had to make it to the end. Chansey had warned Ronzu that if she pined long enough, Meena would probably die and Ronzu couldn't stand losing her a second time. Especially since there was no way anyone could bring back someone who has physically died.

They battled through the enemy pokemon using combined Brick Break and Thunderbolt moves. Even though Meena hadn't been a Pikachu for long, she had mastery over her electric powers and knew how to use them right. It didn't take them too long to reach the Star Cave Pit and the duo had to stop and gaze around. It was very beautiful down there but where was Jirachi?

Ronzu had enough. "OI! JIRACHI! C'MERE!"

"Ronzu!" Meena admonished with a horrified look. "Not so loud!"

"Why not? If it'll wake that sleeping pokemon up, then our wishes will be granted faster!" Ronzu insisted. Meena shook her head warily and was about to scold him more when a sleepy sounding voice piped up.

"I'm right here...what do you want?"

A pokemon with a little white body and a star shaped head appeared yawning. He stretched and looked at the duo with tired eyes. "I was sleeping so soundly too..."

Meena bit her lower lip. "I'm sorry...but I had to come here. Are you really Jirachi? Can you really grant wishes?"

"Sure I can..." Jirachi said with another yawn.

"TOTALLY? SERIOUSLY? OBLIGIMATORMITABUBLUBLY?" Ronzu shouted in an excited voice. Meena and Jirachi stared at him oddly.

"That's not even a word."

"IT IS NOW!"

"Damn you, BE QUIET!" Jirachi snapped. "You're making too much noise and I JUST woke up after a hundred years of sleep! Don't make me force you out!"

"No, please!" Meena shrieked. "Please, Jirachi, hear me out. My name is Meena and I was once a human. But I was attacked by an evil pokemon and the attack caused me to turn into a Pikachu and lose my memory. I have no idea who I am or what I was like as a human. All I know is that I had a very close friend named Grovyle and it hurts me to not know what our relationship was like. Please, Jirachi, I need your help. I need to make a wish!"

"She sounds tormented...at least she has a real good reason for being here. That other one is a nut," Jirachi thought. He decided to take pity on Meena. "Alright. Both of you get just one wish each, under certain conditions. The first condition is you guys get out of here after I grant your wishes and let me go back to sleep. The other condition? Keep that one quiet," he said irritably.

"You can't do that! I'M A NOISE MAKER!" Ronzu yelled. Meena shot him a look that said SHUT UP and his ears fell. "...whispeeeeeeer..."

"Please, Ronzu. This is what we came here for," Meena reminded him. She turned back to Jirachi, looking startled. "Only one wish? But...I have two of them. I need both my memories and Grovyle back..."

"Sorry. I only have the power to grant one wish per pokemon," Jirachi said. "Pick which one is more important to you and hurry up."

"Only one? Meanie," Ronzu said. Meena shot him another look and thought hard.

"My memories or my closest friend...which matter more? If I wish for my memories to come back, I'll remember who I was and I'll know what I had with Grovyle. But I won't have Grovyle and that can hurt. If I wish for Grovyle back, I won't have my memories to remember him or the time we spent together. But maybe Grovyle can remind me of it all...and I'll have him back as well. I think I know what I have to do."

"...okay...Jirachi!" Meena said with certainty. "My wish is...I wish I had Grovyle, my closest friend and partner, back!"

"Sure," Jirachi said. He whirled around and snapped his fingers. "Go to the place where you first began here. You'll find what you're looking for."

"The place where I first began?" Meena asked. "Where is that?"

"You should know," Jirachi replied. "You said you were attacked and changed into a pokemon. Where did you discover you were a pokemon?"

"Oh!" Meena finally understood. "The beach south of Wigglytuff's Guild!"

"That's it." Jirachi turned back to Ronzu. "Are you gonna make your wish or not?"

"But I dunno what to wish foooor!" Ronzu whined. "Apples, money, gummis, berries, ribbons..."

"A sun ribbon will help you evolve," Meena reminded him. "They're hard to come by and your IQ should be high enough."

Ronzu thought about it. "That's truuuuuue...a sun ribbon WOULD be helpful!"

"Okay, so one sun ribbon coming up then?" Jirachi asked. Meena managed a small smile and started for the stairs.

"I'll see you back at Sharpedo Bluff. My wish is granted...that's all I need."

"NOPE!"

Meena looked back with a shocked expression as Ronzu made his wish. "I'm going to use my wish for someone else. She came here hoping to get what she wanted and she only got half. She needed two wishes and only got one. What's the point of wishing for something I can get through a little hard work and she's lost something she can't get back any other way? That's why...I'm going to use my wish for her!" Ronzu said determinedly. "Jirachi, I wish for Meena's memories to come back!"

Both pokemon stared at Ronzu weirdly. Meena's lower lip started to tremble as she realized what Ronzu was wishing for.

"Ronzu...you could wish for anything for yourself. Anything at all! And you're using this on me?"

"You're weird, kid," Jirachi added. "Most pokemon I see want to use their wishes on themselves. You're the first I've seen who wastes their wish on someone else."

"It's not wasting!" Ronzu insisted. "I wanna see Meena happy again! That's my real wish. And for her to be happy, she needs both her memories and Grovyle back!"

"Alright, then..." Jirachi whirled around again and a light flashed off his body. "For both wishes to work, you need to go back to your beginning place. That's the root of everything for you. Only then will the wish work. By tomorrow, you'll have everything you need back. Both your memories and your friend will be restored."

Meena was too overjoyed. "Thank you! Thank you so much, Jirachi! And you too, Ronzu! Oh gosh, how can I ever thank you?"

"You can thank me by letting me get back to sleep. Now scram," Jirachi said with a yawn. Meena nodded wordlessly and she took Ronzu's paw and led him out using an Escape Orb. They reappeared outside the cave and started for home.

"Maaaaaan, that was a good expedition, wasn't it?" Ronzu asked. "You're getting exactly what you wanted! It was worth it."

"Yeah..." Meena looked happy for the first time in months. "Tomorrow...I'll find out everything, right? I'll know who I am and I'll have Grovyle back. But why did Jirachi tell me to go back to the beach?"

"Not sure. But maybe that's where you'll find Grovyle tomorrow."

As they walked back to the crossroads, Meena hesitated. "I don't know...I feel like I should go there now. Why...?" But before Ronzu could answer her, Meena dashed off for the beach.

"Meeeeeeeeeeena! Why you gotta go now?" Ronzu whined. "I'm tiiiiiiiired and today's expedition was looooooong!" But Meena was already gone and Ronzu shrugged. He charged after Meena, completely forgetting his fatigue. "Wait up!"

Down on the beach, the atmosphere had changed into a sleepy air. The whole scenery was enveloped in an orange glow from the sunset. Bubbles floated in the air from being blown by the Krabby and Ronzu was reminded of the day he found Meena collapsed on the sand. Now she was conscious and staring at the spot she had woken up from. It seemed so long ago.

"It was here I had crashed after Darkrai attacked me. He took so much from me...my memories, my body and Grovyle. This was where I began in this world. But that attack...if I hadn't shielded Grovyle, what would have happened?" Meena mumbled.

Ronzu wandered up to her, sounding confused from her mumbling. "What attack? Why are we here, Meena? There's nothing here but sea...and sand...and...OOH, BUBBLES!" He ran around trying to catch them. "PRETTY!"

Meena smiled at his carefree attitude. He was known for being an idiot sometimes but he really did have a good heart and his devil-may-care ways always lightened her mood. Even so, she still felt a bit troubled. "Ronzu, do you remember what Darkrai said when we faced him in Dark Crater with Cresselia? He had tried to stop me and Grovyle from changing history and he attacked Grovyle. But I had shielded him from the attack and the cost was...this," she said, indicating her Pikachu body. She looked over at the sunset and smiled, thinking of Grovyle. "It's so beautiful here. I'm so glad we stopped the destruction of time. I just hope Grovyle can share this view soon, too."

Ronzu was still catching bubbles. "Well he will soon, right? Y'gettin' him back tomorrow. He'll be here tomorrow and the two of you can be awesome again and go on really cool adventures and, y'know... I won't mind. I'll let you two be together and have fun, I'll let you go on explorations, I'll even not mind if you want some alone time so the two of you can smooch or something." He stopped chasing bubbles and grinned at Meena. "'Cos I know you like him."

"Ronzu!" Meena shrieked. "I told you I don't think it was like that! I...it's not like I know!"

"Exactly! So it could be, but it couldn't be!" Ronzu's grin widened even more and he popped a bubble. "Anyway, ready to go home? Jirachi said you'll remember everything tomorrow. And if he said it, it's gotta be right!"

"Maybe," Meena admitted. "Alright, let's go home and get some food. And then some sleep. Tomorrow I'll wake with my memories...I hope. And Grovyle."

"Yep. C'mon!" Ronzu grabbed her paw and ran back to Sharpedo Bluff, dragging Meena along the way. She didn't put up any argument this time, not with her mind on today's events.

Back at the Bluff, they each ate their own Perfect Apple and favourite coloured gummi for dinner. By the time they finished, the sun had set and the moon was climbing into the sky. Ronzu was out like a light after a loud burp but Meena's heart was beating fast and she couldn't fall asleep. She stared out at the moon with a longing expression, thinking about what tomorrow would bring. Soon her eyelids grew heavy and she fell asleep. A glowing light crept into the mouth of the bluff and surrounded her, putting her into a dream.

"Where...am I?" Meena thought. The dream took her through a flash of light. When it faded, she found herself standing on the beach again with something being very different. She felt much bigger and taller and she could no longer move her tail. When she looked down at herself, she nearly screamed.

"I-I'm...human again! How did this happen?"

A groan in the distance shook her out of her thoughts. For a dream, this all felt very real. Meena started for the person groaning when a sudden flash went through her head.

Freak!

Witch!

You think you're someone special because you can see the past or the future? You're not! You're a nutbar!

Get out of our playground, weirdo!

Meena felt pained. These had to be her memories returning to her. She could hear the voices of people taunting and teasing her when she tried to tell them about her Dimensional Scream ability. It made her an automatic outcast everywhere, even in her own home. Her parents and older brother considered her as strange as the other villagers thought she was.

No wonder she preferred the life of a pokemon.

You're grounded! How dare you talk about powers like that!

You probably saw your brother steal this, didn't you? Why didn't you tell us right away! Now you must be punished!

But I didn't! I just saw it now when I touched this crystal!

SMACK!

Her memories stung her. These were the kind of memories that were better left forgotten.

"Ugh..."

The person groaned again. Meena rushed over to them, worried that they were seriously hurt. She was surprised to see that it was a young man about as old, if not older, than she was. He had long green hair that reached down his back in a mohawk style...a style that vaguely reminded her of a certain pokemon.

"Are you okay?"Meena asked. She put a hand on the man's forehead and his eyes sprung open.

"Meena?"

"That voice! I know that voice!"

"Grovyle, is it you?" Meena asked in disbelief. The man sat up, still staring at Meena in just as much disbelief as she was in. His eyes were sharp looking and yellow and he wore green clothing with strands of cloth that resembled the leaves on his pokemon form's arms. It was definitely Grovyle, but why was he in a human body?

"Yeah, it's me...where am I? And how did you become a human again, Meena?" Grovyle asked.

"On the beach. And I'm not sure why I became a human again...or how you became human." Meena left out that this was really all a dream. Even if this was all false, she wanted to savour the moment.

What's wrong?

Everyone hates me because I'm different. I'm a human that can see visions of the past or the future and can talk to pokemon. Not even my own family loves me.

Jeez, and I thought I had problems.

Do pokemon have problems too? I always thought your kind was so happy and without any problems like humans have.

Hey kid, we're not so different. My kind don't really like me that much because I don't want to evolve all the way. I like this form. I'm way past the level I can evolve at my final form but I just don't want to.

What's wrong with that?

They think I'm just lazy and immature. I'm actually the strongest of my kind, even though I'm not fully evolved.

That's amazing.

So I decided to run away. I can find a better life without them.

I wish I could do that. I just don't know where I could run to.

Hey, maybe I can come with you. You know, kid, you seem to be a good girl. You need a friend and I do, too. Plus I can understand you and you can understand me. This could work.

I'd like that. You're the first person who was ever nice to me. My name is Meena.

I'm Grovyle. Don't even think about sticking me with a nickname.

I won't. It's nice to meet you, Grovyle.

Likewise.

Those had to be her memories of when she first met Grovyle. Meena smiled, knowing it was the happiest day of her life. It was the day she met her first real friend who accepted her for who she was, even with her ability. She had brought Grovyle home with her and their friendship took off, growing closer and more warm with every passing day.

"How did I get here? The last thing I remember was watching the sun come up in the future with Celebi, Dialga and Dusknoir. And now I'm back here...Meena, did you do this?" Grovyle asked.

"Yeah..." Meena confessed. She told Grovyle how lonely and tormented she was and how Ronzu took her to meet Jirachi to have her wishes granted. "For some reason I don't understand yet is when I'm without you, I feel empty inside. Like there's just a big gaping hole in my chest. All I knew was I needed you back. I'm sure there was something big between us, Grovyle. My memories are slowly coming back to me, but I still haven't gotten that far yet. I know we were best friends...but I have to know. Was there maybe...more between us?"

Grovyle hesitated. The truth was something she might not accept right off the bat, but since her memories were coming back (thank you, Ronzu) ...she might be able to accept it.

"Yes, Meena, there was. In the future, you, me, Celebi and Dusknoir...we were all actually a family. It was just you and me, at first. But after we were chased out of your village, we met Celebi and you and her became good friends. You also had opened up Dusknoir, who used to be cold and uncaring. You had shown him that someone could care about him. The four of us had forged a bond as tight as a family could have. But you and I, Meena...we were not just close friends or nonfamily members. You and I were in love...a human and a pokemon. That's why we were chased out of the village your old family lived in. They were disgusted and felt that they had put up enough with you because they thought you were strange. But that was a good turning point for us, Meena," Grovyle added, seeing the look of shock in Meena's eyes. "Once we were out on our own without the humans, both of us grew happier. You weren't afraid anymore. You were actually happy."

"We were...in love?" Meena managed to ask.

"Very much. I couldn't tell you before because I was worried how you would take it in your state of amnesia. And I had to put the mission before my own feelings. But Meena..." Grovyle's rough tone softened. "It really killed me to have to hide that from you. And then to leave you when I dragged Dusknoir back to the future. I'm so sorry. I thought it would have been better that way. If you hadn't known what went on between us, you wouldn't have been so upset about disappearing. It would have been too shocking for you. It was bad enough you couldn't remember your original resolve and had to find out a second time you had to disappear. I wanted to spare you the additional shock."

Oh man...what will I do...

What's wrong, Meena?

I've done something really stupid, Grovyle. Something that will make my parents hate me even more.

Huh?

Um...actually, never mind.

Oh c'mon. It's not like you to hide secrets from me.

I know, but...I'm sorry. I just can't tell you.

Meena, you're acting strange. What's wrong? You've been avoiding me for a few days now. Did I do something?

No...

Then...?

Grovyle, please! It's too crazy!

Nothing can be crazier than us. A human and a pokemon as best friends. The human can understand the language of pokemon and see the past and future. The pokemon is not fully evolved and refuses to go any further. How's that not crazy?

...what if a human and pokemon fell in love? What then, Grovyle? Isn't that crazier?

Uh...well, maybe. Why?

Because...because! Because I've fallen in love with a pokemon!

What?

I'm sorry!

Hey, wait! Don't run off! Meena...Meena, stop!

Grovyle!

Meena, listen. Humans think it's wrong. But they also think that you're wrong. Are they right?

No...

Well then?

...fine. You probably know who it is I love, Grovyle. You're the only one I've ever talked to. And you've been the one with me for so many years. How can it not have happened? I'm in love with you, Grovyle. You're the only one who actually cares about me.

...

I probably shouldn't have told you. I'm sorry, Grovyle. Just...forget everything I said, okay?

No. I won't. Meena, you're my human, you know that?

I know that. You've been calling me that for a long time.

What I mean is you're mine forever, Meena. I've claimed you and I won't let anyone else take you. I love you more than anything.

Grovyle...

There was no mistake about it. Her revealed memories were telling the truth about Grovyle's words. She now understood why her body practically revolted when Grovyle had sacrificed himself. Even though her memory was gone at that point, her heart and body still remembered him.

"And Meena...nothing has changed. You're still beautiful, even as a Pikachu. I still love you all the same."

Grovyle's words brought her back to reality. Meena looked up at him, feeling like she was really seeing him for the first time. "Grovyle, I remember now...the day I told you of my feelings and how you felt for me. I understand why I was so torn at your sacrifice." Tears filled her eyes as she recalled the moment when Grovyle had grabbed Dusknoir and dragged him through the Dimension Hole. "I understand everything now...Grovyle!" Meena suddenly sobbed and flung herself at Grovyle, holding him tightly. "Please, don't ever leave me again! I can't lose you a third time!"

Strong arms wrapped around her, securing her in Grovyle's embrace. It had been so long since she felt this safe. "I won't ever leave you again. That's a real promise."

"Yes...soon you'll really be with me, Grovyle. And nothing will come between us again."

Back in the real world, the sun was beginning to rise. Ronzu twitched and stirred but Meena remained locked in her dream. Her dream was beginning to fall apart just as Grovyle kissed her. He started to fade and Meena panicked.

"Don't worry. I'll see you soon. You made your wish, remember?"

"Grovyle...I promise I'll come find you! As the leader of Team Celestial, I swear it!" Meena cried. The dream ended with an echoed "I know you will!" but Meena kept calling his name until Ronzu shook her awake.

"Meeeeeeeena. Are you awaaaaaake yet?"

"AH!" Meena bolted up from her bed, her eyes wide and her heart pounding. "It worked! The wishes worked! I saw everything in my dreams last night, Ronzu!" she said excitedly.

"I know!"

"Huh?" Meena gave Ronzu a confused look and he just laughed.

"I woke up before you and I saw you rolling over and calling Grovyle's name out loud. So I bet stuff happened, right? So so so did you find out what kind of relationship you and Grovyle had together? Were you friends or something mooooore?" Ronzu said with a silly grin.

Meena was breathing heavily and her cheeks were flushed with excitement at the new revelations. She nodded eagerly. "You were right, Ronzu. Grovyle and I were more than friends and partners...we were in love. Even though I was a human and he was a pokemon. That's why my village drove me out of my home. They hated me! But it didn't matter because I had Grovyle and I was happy with him! I've got to find him!"

"I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I-" Ronzu broke off abruptly as he realized Meena had bolted out the door. "HEY, WAIT UP!" But Meena was already running through Treasure Town as if she had a rocket on her tail. Ronzu could easily guess where her destination was: the beach. He hurried after her and caught up with her at the crossroads. "Slow down!"

"Sorry, Ronzu...I just have to find him. I promised I would!" Meena said before hurrying to the beach. As soon as she felt the sand under her feet, she stopped and looked around. Where was Grovyle?

"Ugh..."

"Hey Meena! Over there!" Ronzu said, catching up to her and pointing to the spot where he had found her passed out. There was someone lying there and groaning. Meena's heart began to beat faster and she drew closer. There was no mistaking it - it was definitely Grovyle. She had found him!

"So this is what Jirachi meant when he told me to return to the place where I began..." she thought. But as she came up beside him, she grew worried. How did Grovyle end up here, passed out?

"HEY GROVYLE!" Ronzu yelled. Meena was about to turn around and yell at him when Grovyle stirred.

"Ow my head...feels like someone turned up the volume and hit me with it full blast..." he muttered.

"Grovyle, you're back!" Meena cried. Her worry vanished and she hugged the wood gecko as he stood up. "The wish came true! You're really back!"

"Meena..." Grovyle's tone softened. "That dream wasn't a lie after all. I knew you would come for me. Thank you so much for wishing me back into this world."

"I can't take all the credit, Grovyle. Ronzu helped me find Jirachi," Meena said. Still holding onto him, Meena turned to Ronzu and smiled happily. "Ronzu, thank you so much. You literally made my dream come true!"

"Hey, I had to do something! You're my bestest friend ever and you were suffering and I couldn't let that happen! If I did, you would be all BOOBLYBOOBLYGONE and I would be sad," Ronzu informed them.

"And I thank you too," Grovyle added. "Now I can live out my life with Meena...it's something I've always wanted to do," he said, looking at Meena and causing her to blush under her fur.

"Now we really have everything...after all we went through for the world, the world owes us something back. This is what I need...all I need," Meena said happily. "Now you can really make me your mate, Grovyle. And I'll make you a member of Team Celestial! We can finally have a good life together!"

"I agree..." Grovyle murmured behind her, pulling her in for a kiss.

"How I've missed doing this to you..."

"ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY!" Ronzu's shout broke Grovyle's thoughts and the hyper Riolu tackled the couple down to the ground. Grovyle groaned and Meena spat out a mouthful of sand.

"Yuck, I hate sand! Ronzu, don't do that!"

"HAHA! LET'S GO TELL EVERYONE AT THE GUILD THAT GROVYLE IS A PART OF TEAM CELESTIAL!" Ronzu shouted and ran off towards the crossroads. Grovyle shook his head in wonder and Meena sighed.

"Nutbar."

"He may be one, but his heart's in the right place," Grovyle said, taking Meena's paw. "And so is mine. Right with you, where it belongs."

Meena cheered up. Grovyle was really back this time and she wasn't letting him leave her again. "Mine too. My heart is finally full again." She nuzzled Grovyle as they started to walk up to the guild. "Welcome back. We finally found what we were looking for, Grovyle. We found a home where we belong. It took a long time and traversing across time to find it...but it was worth it."

"Definitely," Grovyle said and he kissed her again.


JESUS CHRIST, THIS TOOK ME FOREVER. Too many distractions, not the least of them being my uptight boss and my internet son, who kept bugging me.

I. LOVE. THIS. PAIRING. It is probably one of the most heartbreaking pairings ever. Seriously, the hero(ine) and Grovyle risk their necks to save the planet and in return, they are told they disappear.

(Yes I know that the episode in Sky reveals that Arceus prevents their asses from disappearing, BUT STILL. They are all under the impression they have to die to save the planet. THAT FATE KINDA SUCKS.)

As for an insight into my Pikachu's past and the 'family' Grovyle mentioned, it's going on my DA account. It's called Whispered Memories, so check it out if you're interested.

By the way, the song Iris is SO befitting for this pairing. I was listening to it while writing this and I kept imagining Grovyle and my heroine together in all their adventures before getting separated. Makes me wanna write a full length story about them, but SADLY I still have Secrets of Harmonia to finish first.

Co-written with Regii the Lunar Wolf again. Thanks for your help, love!