War of the Legends
Main Characters: Ash K., Brock H., Misty W., Gary O., May, Max, Drew, Dawn, Paul, Iris, Cilan, Tracey, All Legendary Pokemon excluding Unova
Secondary: Team Rocket/Magma/Aqua/Galactic, Gym Leaders, Pokemon League Elite Four and Champions, Professors
It turned out that Pidgeot's flock had been right in Pallet for the season, that the Fearow had been learning their lesson well, and that the flock would definitely survive a while without their fearless protector-mostly because they had all evolved to Pidgeottos under the Pidgeot's watch and were now strong, able-bodied fighters against danger to their newly borns and newcomer Pidgeys. All it had taken Ash was a high pitched, strong whistle and the yellow and red crested bird descended from the forest in a matter of seconds and flapping feathers.
Minutes was all it took to get Iris settled on Gary's Pidgeot with him and Cilan with Ash's and they were flying high and fast. The ground below became a blur of trees and rocks, with only blurry shades of colors to tell apart cities from the foliage. Other bird pokemon occasionally flew up from the lower currents and joined the two trainer owned Pidgeots in flight. They accompanied the trainers for a while before going low with the clouds and flying back to their homes, leaving the quartet alone in the air again.
Cilan gripping Ash's stomach hard, and after a few minutes Ash quickly deduced flying was not the pokemon connoisseur's forte when he shut his eyes closed and with his head buried into Ash's back occasionally whimpered. Kinda funny, but Ash thought nothing else of it. Iris, when Ash glanced over to the other Pidgeot, was tightly pressed against Gary's back, arms taught and hands gripping his front; however, her mouth was moving rapidly and Gary did not look amused with what she had to say.
Ash laughed, amused that there was indeed somebody who could get under his former rival's skin, if only because Gary proved to still get under Ash's occasionally. Lingering feelings of their rivalry, maybe?
Suddenly Gary's Pidgeot flew forward further, and his arm waved at Ash. He then dived down, and Ash followed him. Both bird pokemon divebombed through the air, and Ash was deafened by the combined force of the roaring wind and Cilan screaming in his ear. The ground was coming up fast-so fast he could barely see beyond the feather crest of his Pidgeot; all that could be told was the blur of the ground approaching, and the Pidgeot in front of him. Gary sharply pulled up, Ash copying, and they sailed through the open, roomy foliage of a lightly forested area with few trees to worry about. The duo easily maneuvered past them and gradually the two trainers came to a stop after several minutes of decelerating flight.
Dismounting and returning their pokemon to their pokeballs, the quartet continued their journey on foot, with Gary leading and Cilan in the back. The city came within sight, and a curtain of dread cast itself on the group when the billowing clouds of smoke coming from the city's insides greeted their eyes first, followed by destroyed, burning, or damaged skyscrapers and buildings.
Gary took the lead once they were within the city's limits, his status as Professor and that he was an Oak guaranteeing him and the trio entrance as they passed perimeter after perimeter of Cerulean and Pokemon League police and officers. All it took was a quick flash of his Professor license and they were tearing through perimeters like a Charizard slashing a caterpie's string shot.
"Be careful, Professor," warned one of the police officers, "the area ahead is dangerous to maneuver, and we still aren't sure if the battle truly is over."
Gary nodded to him, assuring the officer of his intention to be careful of their descent through the destroyed parts of Cerulean. Sirens were going off like crazy, people crying, screaming, and emitting all manner of noises and sounds, not to mention the constant crackle of flames and boom of collapsing structures.
The quartet managed to climb their way through the rubble with only a few scraped knees and elbows, and a bruise in the process of developing here and there. It took longer than Ash preferred but they managed to step foot into Central Cerulean, the large park-center in the heart of Cerulean where the Water Gym was built.
Ash almost threw up, just by looking at the scenery. Trees were singed either from lightning or fire, some still burning and most fallen over. Large chunks of earth had become uprooted and pipelines that were exposed spouted water like geysers. A few lifeless bodies were sprawled across the area, and the gym itself from their position at the edge of the park appeared to have the entire upper half of its dewgong-decored roof replaced with broken building, the flickering of fire, and a heavy pillar of smoke.
The quartet carefully siddled their way across to the heart of the park, avoiding the jagged edges of exposed pipelines, fountains, cement, and sharp tree limbs. An odd, choked roar caught all of their attention and the team hurried to the source. Once they had climbed over a ridiculously large mound of uprooted earth Ash froze, faintly hearing Iris or Cilan gasping next to him.
In the center was a giant Steelix, eyes closed and black, and a barely-conscious Gyarados, both curled up around something. The Gyarados hissed, trying to raise its body up and roaring as some part of its body ached. Something pink and fat was crying, hunched over the same something the Gyarados and Steelix were curled around like snakes.
Without a second's thought Ash tumbled down the mound, throat dry and screaming, "MISTY! BROCK!" His friends followed after him. His screaming caught the attention of the Gyarados, who was not at all pleased or trusting of a bunch of random humans coming near.
It hissed, angry, fangs bared to fight...until its obvious exhaustion forced the proud serpent back to the ground, a faint stream of air blowing from its maw. Ash came close and it growled at him, but so tired was it that it couldn't move at all. Electric sparks raced up and down its body for a moment as it tried to raise itself back up.
"Paralysis." Gary growled through clenched teeth.
Surrounded by the two iron and water snakes was a fat Chansey, crying as it lit its hands up with a healing light over two huddled human figures. One was a tall, toned and dark skinned male with dark hair and forest-themed clothes, singed and dirtied with something black but that shined red in the light. He was slumped over limp but seemingly protectively over the smaller, lighter-skinned female under him. Her hair was bright orange, darkened with red in a few strands and filth all over her white, blue, and yellow clothes.
The Chansey jumped once it noticed Ash and his company and prepared to charge something up before Ash jumped to the notion.
"Chansey wait, it's okay! I'm a friend! It's me, Ash! Remember?" he voiced. The Chansey stopped charging, but the light of whatever attack she was preparing did not fade away. "Your trainer Brock used to travel with me, back in Sinnoh, remember?"
"Pika-pi-kachu!" Pikachu piped up, jumping to Ash's shoulders and rapidly speaking to the Chansey.
"Chan...sey?" Unsure, the Chansey let its attack fade away unused and it approached Ash and Pikachu. Her dark eyes looked straight at them, examining them both. Then a light lit up and she danced on her toes, and hugged Ash with her stubby arms. "CHANSEY! Chansey chansey!"
"Pika." Pikachu sighed, relieved his friend had apparently recognized them.
Chansey stepped back, her joy replaced by worry, and she pointed at the two people. "Chansey-chansey! 'Sey!"
Ash approached the two unconscious people. It had been so long, it seemed since he had last seen either of them... he almost didn't recognize either of them, they looked so different, so grown up, even though their age was obviously still close to his own.
"Brock... Misty..." tears welled on the edges of his eyes.
"Pi...PIKACHU-PI!" Pikachu yelled, pointing. Ash followed and gasped. The woman was moving-she wasn't unconscious! Tears were flowing steadily from her eyes. Her eyes briefly opened, and the unfamiliarity he had disappeared once he could see just a sliver of the aquamarine irises that never changed.
"A-ash..." she croaked, voice hoarse. One of her arms untangled themselves from being pinned down by the still-unconscious Brock and she reached for him. He didn't hesitate to take her hand.
"Misty, it'll be alright! I promise! We'll get you and Brock out of here, straight to a hospital-they'll fix you both up! You'll see! I promise, everything'll-it'll be alright, okay?" he cried, tears falling down his cheeks. He couldn't handle this-seeing his two best friends, both covered in ash, blood, and sweat. He couldn't handle seeing the obvious curtain of pain covering Misty's eyes, distancing her from the world. He couldn't handle seeing the boy he had traveled with, the strong and indomitable Brock limp and lifeless, even if only he was unconscious, for now.
"Yes, they're all safe, thanks to you and Brock!" he sniffed, "But don't worry, we'll get you two to a hospital and everything'll be better!" she smiled at that, weakly but happy to hear her and Brock's efforts had done some good, even though none of them truly knew how much.
"Ash..." she smiled to him ,"Th-thank...y-you..." a letter for another word stuck in her throat, and then her eyeballs rolled up closed and she slumped back into unconsciousness.
Ash could only stare at her, for a long time, fluid flooding down his eyes in rivers but no sound leaving his throat and not a single twitch of his hands as they stayed clamped to Misty's limp one.
Gary came up and put a hand on him, snapping him away from his trance. Ash was about to snap but the look in Gary's eyes sent him silent.
"We'll get them to the nearest hospital; they'll be fine, Ash." His former rival didn't bother with his pet name. Now was not the time. "I promise it."
And he believed him.
Ash couldn't remember a single moment where a couple of hours could be so excruciatingly long it seemed every minute spanned over a century. If he wasn't careful, he'd be convinced he'd age into a wrinkly, bone-y old man with a beard that touched the floor and knobby limbs and wobbly knees before the doctors would come back. Beside him was Cilan, twiddling his thumbs and every once in a while glancing up to view their surroundings of men and women in pristine white coats, surgeon robes, or nurse outfits scrambling everywhere and anywhere, stretches back and forth every once in a while.
Not to mention the dirtied faces of the normal people, some with blood on their faces, some with dirt all over their clothes, some with burns, cuts, limbs torn into shredded meat and gore... And many of them were still waiting attention! The hospital was so full there were rooms being shared in surgery for up to four or five patients! Rooms were so packed full it looked like it would be a chore to get in and out in one piece.
Iris was pacing around impatient, Axew and Pikachu in a perfect line behind her as they passed back and forth. Gary had disappeared, mentioning a videophone so Ash could only assume he was meaning to talk to his grandfather. The tensity in the air was almost tangible, and the sounds of wailing, weeping, and painful screamings did not at all aid to relieving them.
Patient, be patient, is what Ash wished he could tell himself but he couldn't. Behind closed doors he had no idea what was going on- had no idea of the severity of his two best friends' conditions. Were they perfectly okay? Were they dying? Were they two steps away from death's door? In surgery? Having a limb amputated? Having burns taken off, burns so deep it penetrated bone? If the news the doctor had to say didn't kill him, then this intense, electric waiting would.
"Mr. Ketchum?" He looked up and noticed the white-uniform of a nurse standing before him, a clipboard perched between the fold of her arm and elbow, the accompanying pen held by short-nail fingers. Her presence snapped him out of his trance, caught Cilan's attention away from their surroundings, and successfully caught Iris mid-step in her pace. Pikachu and Axew were staring at the nurse too.
Ash jumped out of his seat, bombarding the delicate framed, but steel eyed nurse in front of him, "What's going on? Are they okay? Is Misty hurt? Is Brock alive? Is he awake? Is it bad? Are they okay?"
"Easy, Mr. Ketchum, calm down!" The nurse urged. Her grey eyes didn't seem surprised by his outburst; perhaps she had been getting some similar treatment all day? "Everything's all right!"
"How are they? Will they be okay?"
"They are just fine." she assured, "Doctor Steire successfully extracted shrapnel that was embedded in Mr. Harrison's torso, and we've gotten all their burns cleaned and bandaged."
"It's okay; a few managed to pierce past his skin and into his abdominal muscle tissue underneath, but none of his vitals were in immediate danger. There were a few burns on his upper arms, and one extending across his back, but rest assured the burns have been scraped, cleaned and bandaged. For now, all he needs is clean bandages and antiseptic to prevent infection, and plenty of rest and he'll be able to safely be discharged and sent home in a week or so."
"And Misty? What about Misty?"
"Ms. Waterflower's been treated. A moderate strained ligament in her right knee, a few minor burns, and Doctor Steire's treated the rib broken in her left ribcage. A couple days should be all it'll take before she can leave the hospital with some painkillers, and a good durable pair of crutches."
A hundred metric tons gone, in the blink of an eye, right off of his shoulders. They were gonna be okay, they were gonna be okay! His best friends, who had faithfully stood by his side for years, were gonna be okay...!
"Can I see them?"
"I'm afraid Mr. Harrison is resting, and only family may see him for today. Ms. Waterflower, on the other hand, is open for visiting. I must insist that only two may go in at a time. Hospital policy, I apologize." she smiled. It didn't reach her eyes, the nurse must have a lot more on her plate than just a banged up PokeDoctor and a bruised Gym Leader.
"Ms. Waterflower's is 218, your first left turn down this hallway, " the nurse gestured, "Mr. Harrison's should be 217, adjacent to Ms. Waterflower's. Would you like me to lead the-WAY?"
Right in the middle of her sentence Ash dashed down the hallway she had gestured to. Pikachu caught up and jumped onto his shoulder, Iris and Cilan behind them a few paces. Ash could faintly register his two friends' calling his name, but right then he didn't care-couldn't care. Despite what the nurse had said, Ash had to see for himself that his best friends were all right.
He could, and didn't want to, imagine them both lying motionless, sleeping away without a thought or care in world in white hospital beds, with various tubes and machines hooked to them and disappearing into their flesh. Ash needed to hear them, see them, talk back to them, make sure they were really alive.
So imagine his surprise as he turned corner, prepared to find 218 and bust the door open with a flying kick and was met with the sight of a certain carrot-topped girl struggling with opening the door to a patient room while trying to stand upright with the wobbly assistance of a pair of steely grey crutches.
The gym leader screamed and nearly jumped three feet in the air, almost falling flat on her butt if she hadn't luckily gotten a fantastically strong grip on the handle to the door. She frantically turned her head this way and that, eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights. Then, once she spotted Ash, the tension disappeared and relief, surprise, and joy all rolled together and burst into her entire body like a firework.
Repaired rib or not Ash couldn't stop himself from fiercely hugging Misty. She was grinning and grimacing, pleasantly surprised by the tight embrace and trying so hard not to cry from the pain that flared from her ribcage. She even tried to return Pikachu's nuzzling of her face with her own.
"A-ash-rib-can't-pain!" she gasped after his arms had tightened around her.
He backed off immediately, sputtering apologies. "I'm just...I'm just so happy to see you're okay, Mist! You wouldn't believe how nerve wracking it is waiting around in this place for any word on you and Brock!"
Her smile faltered, eyes glancing toward the door she was headed to. Ash noticed it was labeled 217. Wasn't that the number the nurse had said was to Brock's room?
She snapped back to him, softened her smile, and hugged him again, "We've missed you Ash. You've no idea how happy we both were to hear you were coming home for a while."
He looked away. They knew. They knew he was coming. And then the attack happened-which reminded him. "Misty?" he began, and the orange-haired girl recognized the severity in his tone and back away, using her crutches and the door handle as a support. " What happened?"
Her aqua eyes clouded over and became distant, piercing past him and onto the huffing faces of Cilan and Iris who had just caught up. She glanced between all five of them, Cilan, Iris, Axew, Pikachu, and Ash, and then turned the handle to Brock's room and motioned for them to follow.
"Miss Waterflower, the nurse said no one but his family can see him!" Cilan mentioned as the door was slowly swung open.
The gym leader fixated him with an aqua-flaming glare, "The nurse can suck one for all I care." and without another word to him she hobbled her way inside the room with her crutches perched and held under her arms. Cilan was too intimidated to ask what exactly the nurse could suck. Ash noticed her right knee was half-bent upward and away from the floor, bandaged up by a thin dark green cast. The one with the strained ligament.
The room was dimly lit, and a few plush chairs were situated in a line right beside the wall, right next to the white sheeted bed that was occupied. Brock was still, only the steady rise and fall of his slightly propped up chest and the steady beep of the heart monitor was proof he was alive. His breathing was even, and eased, and the expression of his face... it wasn't happy or sad just... at rest, in content peace.
Ash could now tell himself, after seeing them both alright (even IF Brock was, well, not exactly going to be available for conversation) he would definitely sleep better tonight.
Misty situated herself right beside Brock's bed, and sighed at his condition, a small smile working its way up to her eyes. One of her slim hands left the grasp of her crutch and grasped Brock's warm, and still one. She clenched it a few times, satisfied that she could feel the steady, easy heartbeat in the vein of his wrist and slowly took her hand back.
"You two must be... Cilan and Iris, right?" Misty rested eyes on the Unovan duo.
"Axew!" complained the little dragon pokemon from inside Iris's violet hair.
"And Axew." Iris laughed.
Misty's head fell to the side, staring at the dinosaur like pokemon, in awe of the Unovan dragon. "Axew...ground type?" she tried nervous.
"Axe!" he yelled.
Misty blushed, "Sorry. Not up to date on Unova pokemon, what can I say?"
Iris smiled, "It's fine, I suppose he could look like a ground type, from a foreigner's perspective."
"So, Misty..." began Ash, but he found himself losing his voice. How could he word it? Would she get mad that he dared to ask, so soon after it happened? Would she start crying? Smash his head in with her hammer?
"You want to know what happened." It wasn't a question. She knew, Iris and Cilan knew, Pikachu too. But it wasn't just Ash- by default of being good people Cilan and Iris too wanted to know of the horror that had destroyed the city.
Ash nodded, solemnly.
The ginger inhaled and exhaled in one slow, smooth motion and locked eyes with him. "It was bad, Ash, real bad. I'm surprised Brock and I even got out with our limbs intact!"
"We're gonna be here for a while, aren't we?" Ash half-joked.
Misty humphed, "Probably. Get comfy in your seats."
So, one, reviews. Answers to a couple particular reviews that caught my attention, or had questions I can answer!
_Reviews to answer_
Yunagirlamy: Thank you for your honesty; I really appreciate it. And rest assured, I want, and love, writing stories- I just have horrible luck with running right smack into a writer's wall, and often reviews help with inspiration. -_-; I intend on editing and taking out that nasty note thing anyway- wasn't entirely pleased with myself on that, believe me. An hour after posting it I was mentally kicking myself. Again, thanks for the honesty and the advice. It has been taken into heart and mind. :)
lightningblade49: Without giving too much away... kind of. There'll be moments they are together, and times they're totally separated.
PrincessOfDestiny14: Typos are evil- Axew has suffered the first wave of them, unfortunately. -_-; Gosh, the interaction I make with those two- I just can't resist! It offers too many opportunities!
Phillip Clark: Well, it's partly because I'm not entirely familiar with Unova, Black and White, Team Plasma, or its Legendaries. I know em, their names, a couple of their types, but not enough that I feel I could properly do justice to them in a fic like this. Also, I don't own Black or White, and when I borrowed White from a friend I didn't get far before she had to have it back and I hadn't even beaten the third gym. Also also, I gave up watching the anime after Johto Journeys and just prefer to keep myself up to date with the movies, or at least who has what pokemon. Partly cause at that point I had grown out of the anime and into the games more, and partly cause I was horrible biased toward Misty leaving. Not a happy day, that day. However, due to their involvement and they just came from Unova, I can at least let you have the involvement of some of Ash/Cilan/Iris's Unova team pokemon as something to look forward to. In the case of Ritchie and them, don't worry. Not too sure about Casey and Joey, and still a bit iffy toward Barry, but I do intend on a cameo with Ritchie. Always loved him, Sparky, and Zippo. Ah, good times. And for the Rocket Trio- of course! It just wouldn't be a proper pokemon fic without those lovable villains. :) It'll just end up being quite a while before they do their appearance (with beloved proper motto in hand)
And does anybody have any medical experience or med-smarts? And can tell me if the whole burns and knee ligament diagnosis and recovery time is correct? Not exactly savvy with that sort of stuff, we just now got to the skeletal system in my anatomy class. I looked it up to see if I got it right, but who knows.
Anyway, hope you liked the chapter, and don't worry if you're missing the action already- the next chapter's got so much action HOMEHGYAD and it is looking to be SO LONG -sigh- anyway hope you liked reading it and look forward to next chapter.