A/N The first half of this chapter is very poorly written, in my opinion. However, the ending makes up for it, I think. Though I also believe that I went too fast in this chapter, but I didn't want to plot-pad since it has been forever since I've done anything with this story.

A few months later found Morty depressed and suicidal.

He had been found in the gym by Falkner just four days after the assault had happened. He had been in hospital for a few weeks, interviewed constantly by police, having to relive his story to more and more people every day. The other gym leaders from different towns and cities had taken turns spending time with Morty to take care of him, but it had done nothing for the young blond.

Morty had his head in the clouds more than usual, jumping at the slightest, unexpected noise, and he would pull away harshly from the gentlest touch. He was a wreck, and no one knew what to do. Should he be left to himself, or should he be forced to stay permanently with one of the other gym leaders until he recovered? What was the point of that? They all had their own gyms to attend to and would still be leaving him alone for hours each day anyway.

Morty might as well just stay in Ecruteak – and that was exactly what happened.

-XX-

"Ow…"

Morty let out a mutter as the needle pierced his skin. He pushed the syringe further into his arm. He winced at first, but once the now-familiar sensation of being high took over him, he smiled brightly, turning to the man who had handed him the syringe.

"There's a whole heap I can sell ya." Ecruteak's drug-dealer smirked. He took the syringe from Morty and held out his hand as the blond passed him money. "I can set you up with a whole heap of different kinds so you can try it all out."

Morty thought for a moment. Yes, he had never thought that he would ever do drugs – and yet, here he was, desperate to drug himself in order to numb his pain. "I'd like that. Have them delivered to the gym, but don't let anyone see."

Morty handed over more money without a second thought – he just wanted those drugs, and now. The addiction had taken over him once again.

-XX-

Morty stared at his Misdreavus as he tied the knot in the noose. The Pokémon seemed to understand what was happening – it kept crying out, circling around the man with wide, worried eyes. No matter what Morty did to get away from it, the Pokémon kept following him.

"What are you doing, Misdreavus…?" Morty whispered, having given up on ditching the Ghost Pokémon.

"Mis!" Misdreavus chimed. Morty could hear the distress in its voice. "Mis! Misdreavus!"

Morty frowned and reached out, petting the Pokémon. "I know… I love you, too… We've been through so much together… I know that you'll be better off without me… Everyone will…"

And with that said, Moty slipped the noose around his neck and stepped off the edge of the balcony.

Misdreavus let out a loud cry as it watched its master fall and hear the sickening crack.

-XX-

If Eusine had ever expected to find his best friend badly injured, it would not have been because of a suicide attempt. But here he was, sitting by Morty's hospital bed, holding the pale hand as he listened to the slow beeping of the heart monitor.

Eusine should have known that something was wrong the second that Misdreavus started whimpering to him, flying erratically. But no – he had to have been up himself and think that Morty was just being his usual air-headed self and had forgotten to feed his Pokémon again.

But when Eusine had found Morty hanging from the balcony with a rope around his neck, everything had stopped. All of a sudden, the reality that his best friend might have just killed himself had sunk in. Hell, everything had happened so fast he couldn't even remember getting Morty to the hospital.

Eusine wondered why he had been such a neglectful friend and ignored all of the warnings that the other Gym Leaders had given him about Morty's fraying state of mind.

Eusine couldn't sit here any longer. He needed to get some fresh air and clear his head. Hopefully, by the time he would return, Morty would be better again.

-XX-

Eusine was sure that a week had passed before Morty had woken up properly. The blonde looked around the room with bleary eyes, frowning at everything.

"Where am I…?" Morty slurred, blinking. He reached up and rubbed at his eyes. "…Why aren't I… Dead…?"

"Morty…"

The blonde turned slowly at his name. He stared at Eusine for a few seconds before tears welled up in his eyes. "…Why did you leave me…?"

Eusine swallowed the lump in his throat. "…I… I didn't realise…"

Morty just shrugged and rolled onto his side. "…Like you'd have cared, anyway…"

Eusine frowned. He reached out and placed a hand on Morty's shoulder. He bit his lip when the blonde flinched.

"Morty, you know I care…"

"No, you only care about Suicune," Morty whispered.

Eusine felt himself losing his temper. How dare Morty accuse him of not caring?! After all the stress and fretting about Morty, Eusine had lost so much sleep and had barely eaten – hell, he hadn't even thought about Suicune once while Morty was in the hospital, let alone chase after it!

"You had better listen here, Morty," Eusine growled, trying his best to control his temper. "I care. You have no idea what I've been through because you were the one who tried to kill yourself!"

Morty remained silent during this outburst.

"You know what the doctors told me, Morty?" Eusine continued on. "They told me that you've been on drugs, too! Why, Morty?! …Why?!"

"You… Wouldn't understand…"

"Like hell I wouldn't understand, Morty!" Eusine snapped. "What the fuck is wrong with you?!"

"You weren't raped…" Morty whispered. "You… weren't beaten… No, you weren't told how worthless and unloved you are before those things occurred! You could never understand me!"

Eusine studied Morty closely. It was clear that Morty was crying. Maybe Morty was right; maybe he couldn't understand the younger. But was that supposed to stop him from caring?

With a sigh, Eusine sat on the bed next to Morty. He didn't miss the way the blond pulled away.

"When I was young…" Eusine begun, trying to decide what he wanted to say. "…I dreamt of finding Suicune… Of having it for myself…"

"I know…" Morty grunted. "…I've known you my entire life…"

"Let me finish!" Eusine snapped before controlling himself. He sighed. "…People used to say that I was stupid for having such dreams… For believing that I really could do that… They told me I should give up before I even started, that I would never aspire to those dreams."

"So? That's nothing compared to what I went through."

"No, but the point is that people told me I couldn't do something. They tried their best to 'knock some sense' into me, but I never once let myself doubt my dreams. I knew that I was the only one standing in my way; it didn't matter what others thought. As long as I believed and dreamed, I had the power to change my life with those dreams. And I still have that power; I haven't given up on Suicune yet."

"Why are you telling me this…?" Morty groaned.

"I'm telling you this because even though it's two completely different scenarios, there is still a likeness in them. People told me things that were meant to break me – as you were told you weren't good enough. The problem for you is that you've allowed yourself to drink in those words and believe that the scumbag who said them to you is right. But he's far from being right, Morty. You are none of those things. And what he did to you… That wasn't your fault. You tried to stop him, but you had no control over the situation. Bad things happen, Morty, but you need to keep on living. You have to accept that bad things do happen and make room for whatever bad thing comes along. It's your mind or your life, Morty. Those thoughts can't hurt you."

"…" Morty couldn't control the tears any longer. They spilt down his cheeks in rivers as his body shook violently. He knew, deep down, that Eusine was right – but how could he allow himself to believe that the elder was right when it came to having not been his fault? What about that situation had not been his fault? He allowed that man inside, he couldn't stop himself from being mentally abused, he couldn't stop anything that happened to him. He was too weak to do anything. Everything was his fault.