"Morty!" Falkner called as he walked through the deserted hallways of the Ecruteak Gym several weeks later. "Morty, are you in?! I have to tell you something!"

Falkner frowned at the silence of the gym; not even the ghost Pokémon seemed to be around. He traversed the winding halls until he eventually wound up in the back of the gym that he knew were Morty's living quarters.

"Morty?" Falkner stopped by the blonde's bedroom door. He knocked on it before pushing it open. "Morty, are you in here?"

Falkner glanced around the room at the double bed that was against the wall in the middle of the small room. There was a large lump under the blankets.

"Morty, why are you still sleeping?" Falkner called as he stepped into the room and approached the bed. "It's past noon. You've got to get up."

Morty, who had just been lying in his bed staring at the wall opposite him, flinched when Falkner reached out to touch him. He pulled away, the blankets moving to cover him almost completely.

"Please…" Morty's voice was a broken whisper. "Please, leave me alone…"

Falkner's heart broke at these words. He knew what Eusine did to his lover, but what could have possibly happened to get Morty into this state?

"…Leave…" A single tear dripped from Morty's eye as he glanced away, almost as if he were ashamed – maybe even frightened – to be looking at him.

Falkner shook his head, refusing to leave the older man; not if there was something that he could do to help. "Not until you tell me what happened."

"I can't…"

"You can. You know that I'm here for you, Morty."

As Falkner reached out to touch the elder's arm, a scream of horror sent him flying backwards in shock. Morty's panic had been so unexpected that it was enough to send Falkner on edge himself.

Falkner didn't know what had happened to his boyfriend, and he sure as hell didn't know what he could do to help, but one thing he didn't do well was giving up. He knew that leaving Morty alone for a while was the best thing that he could do right now, but he had absolutely no intentions of allowing the blond to shrug him off so easily.

Falkner was going to help Morty, no matter what.


Days had passed. Though Falkner had returned every day, intent on getting just a bit of information out of his lover, nothing changed. Morty was still as depressed and unresponsive as ever. However, things were going to change today.

As Falkner let himself into the living quarters at the back of the gym, he heard voices coming from the direction of Morty's bedroom. He crept forwards silently, recognising the voice that was almost shouting as Eusine's.

"I knew it was him…!" Falkner snarled to himself. He crouched outside of the bedroom, determined to listen to everything that was being said.

"You fucking used whore…" Eusine shouted from inside the bedroom. A loud smack resonated, suggesting to Falkner that someone had been hit. He wasn't stupid enough to even consider that it could have been anyone but Morty. "Get up!"

Whatever Morty was whimpering back to Eusine was so quiet, Falkner couldn't catch it. He leant against the door, trying to hear what was being said, needing to know if he could do something – anything!

What the blue-haired boy wasn't expecting, however, was for the wooden door to swing open against his weight, his body sprawling out onto the ground before the arguing pair.

"What the fuck?" Eusine's eyes narrowed in a hateful glare as he stepped closer to Falkner, the urge to kick him strong. "The hell do you want?"

Falkner couldn't allow himself to be intimidated; that would be what the brunet wanted. Instead, he pushed himself to his feet, standing as tall as he could while he spoke calmly. "Trying to help Morty."

"He doesn't need any help." Eusine sneered before he moved back to the smaller man. He raised his leg and kicked the other in the head, laughing at the cry of pain Morty made. "What he needs is to die."

Falkner couldn't help but become angry at these words. He snarled as he moved closer but, before he could so much reach out to touch Morty, Eusine shoved him away.

The brunet raised a hand and slapped the Violet City Gym Leader across the face. "If you know what's best for you, you'll leave us be."

Falkner raised a hand and gingerly placed it against his injury. He bit his lip, knowing his temper was about to get the best of him, but he also knew if he did anything stupid, Morty would be the one to pay the price. As hard as it was, he had to leave now before his presence made things worse for the blond; Eusine wasn't the type of person to back down due to someone else being around and if he attacked, he wouldn't be able to fight him off.

With hesitation, Falkner lowered his head before he spoke, hoping that he was doing the right thing; was it really a good idea to leave Morty alone? Should he try harder to protect him? But there really was nothing he could do to help; he couldn't fight and if something happened, it would be on both of them – at least if he left now he could try and find someone else to help, right?

Seeing the heartbroken, terrified look in Morty's eyes as Falkner backed out of the room destroyed the bird Gym Leader; it made him feel like he was abandoning his boyfriend, like he was no better than Eusine...

Unable to apologise, Falkner left in silence, blocking out the scream of despair Morty made. He was doing the right thing. ...Right...? Somehow, he didn't feel like he was.

~~Time Skip~~

Unable to find anyone who could help him, Falkner returned back to his boyfriend's Gym, hoping that Eusine would be gone and he could do something to help. However, what awaited his return was something out of his worst nightmares.

Pushing open the door to Morty's bedroom, he came face-to-face with a pool of blood, a very still and pale body in the middle. Biting back a scream, Falkner ran to the blond, kneeling down and staining his jeans red. His clothing was the least of his problems as he carefully pulled the taller male into his arms, cradling him.

"Morty..." Falkner didn't know what to do; should he leave and get help? Stay with Morty? What if Eusine was still around? Or if Eusine hadn't done this, whoever had? This was his fault – if he hadn't left...! "...Shit... Morty... I... I'm so sorry..."

Morty's chest rose and fell slightly with each strangled breath he took, but it was life nonetheless. The blue-haired teen looked around, clutching the slighter male tightly. He bit his lip as he shifted the older man, carrying him in a tender bridal style position. Blond hair rested against his chest as Falkner rose to his feet, trying to leave the Gym as fast as he could to get to a hospital.

Falkner could only hope he wouldn't be too late to save his lover.