As I scoured the halls, not a thought ran through my mind until I finally found Dialga. He was in a dimly-lit hallway all by himself, lonely, his head down looking at his steel-studded feet as he walked slowly. He could feel my presence and looked up, almost shocked to see me. I drifted towards him.
"Giratina?" he said. "I haven't seen you in ages…truly, ages."
I smirked, for what he had said was true. I had not left my tower in eons. However, I recomposed myself, and looked down at the tiled floor, bashful. "I know. I apologize for my long absence."
"Walk with me?" he asked. I looked up, completely dumbfounded, unable to really believe the message my ears were telling me. Unfortunately, I think he took my flabbergasted look as a practical joke, and corrected himself with a smirk. "Or, float, rather."
I laughed lightly, feeling comfortable with him, as if hundreds of years did not span the space and time between our last meeting and this one. I turned myself around to be next to him, and he continued to walk his initial path, this time his head up and eyes focused in on me.
"So…what have you been doing all this time?" he inquired.
"Just my responsibilities," I answered. "I know it sounds extreme, but all throughout my absence, I was simply doing my work."
Though this was the truth for the most part, Dialga inquired further. "Was there an unusually high rate of star death? Was Palkia slacking?"
He was right to ask these questions. After all, it was at this point that I felt alone in my yearning for Dialga. I had never even heard of this feeling; I did not even know if it was supposed to exist! Both Mew and Arceus were the grand creators of all tangible things and even all thoughts. Anything one can imagine, it was their doing, one way or another. Though I had never been told about the other feelings I had experienced up until this point – friendship, jealousy, animosity, confusion, happiness – love was truly all its own entity. So strong was it that it pulled in other emotions that, at that point in my inexperience, did not seem to fit well together, like happiness, sadness, and pain. I would have thought we would have been informed about this powerful emotion.
How was I supposed to explain this to Dialga, though? What if I were the only one that felt this way? As one can imagine, love is a terribly difficult thing to describe when the notion of emotions was merely creation's residue.
"No," I answered finally after a second of thought. "I just…did not want to come out."
"Why?" he pressured. "I know that when you went away the Universe was still dark, but you missed seeing it evolve into what it is now. It was actually pretty marvelous."
"I'm sure it was," I said softly, lingering in the thought. "I was content with myself for a long while, that's all."
I wanted to explain it to him so badly, for no more reason than to quell his curiosity. We had stopped walking, and he stared at me earnestly, knowing I held a secret deep in my heart. I felt, at that moment, that he would understand if I tried to construe what I actually did all that time away.
"Do you ever dream awake? Sleep, almost, though you are more aware of your surroundings as you go about a routine?" I asked him, trying my utmost hardest to make this clear.
He smiled at me. "All the time. My mind is light-years away from my body when I walk these endless halls."
In my mind, I was relieved, but on the outside, I did not let this show. Thinking back to those years I lay on the floor of my room, dreaming up amorous encounters with the dragon that stood before me, twisting my body in excitement, and reveling in my happiness, I felt sadness, knowing that these feelings would probably not be mutual. I just hovered where I was, unable to look him in the face.
"Well, that's what I was doing after my work was complete," I admitted. "I just did not want to be disturbed."
I felt so selfish for saying it, but Dialga seemed to be pleased he heard the truth.
"Sounds like a good idea," Dialga spoke, shattering my self-consciousness.
"Oh, perhaps not," I said in response, trying to be less serious. "All those years, I did not get as much exercise as you did."
He laughed whole-heartedly, stomping his foot in amusement. "I suppose you are right."
He finished laughing and smiled at me, I guessed, then, seeing a friend in me. He looked away thinking for a moment and then turned his head again toward me.
"You know, we should probably spend more time together," he offered. "We were created at the beginning of it all, but I barely know you. And I have nothing to do, no business anywhere. I'd like to have a friend like you do with Mew, with you."
I was surprised to hear this. Though I'm sure Mew introduced him to the other legendaries as they appeared, like me, he was a loner in his own thoughts, and drifted among the hallways alone. I blushed at the offer, ecstatic that all of my imaginary encounters with him might actually come true. However, I decided to give him what he wanted – a friend.
"Well, that's…very formal," I poked fun at him.
He smirked in embarrassment. "It could explain why you'd be my first real friend."
I smirked. He was awkward with this, as if he had never spoken to anyone until this very moment, though it just seemed to be in his nature. As much as I found him to be smooth and admirable, he was just as clumsy as I was in this situation. "Well, I thought we were already friends."
We joked like this for a bit more. After we were through poking fun at ourselves, we spoke about the other deities. As I suspected, Dialga had met them all individually already. He had even met Kyogre and Groudon before they went to sleep.
"They'll wake up again for the Meet and Greet and then go right back, probably," Dialga said, his shoulders quivered under his giggling about the ordeal.
He had also met Rayquaza more in depth than I had.
"He seems to admire your strength very much. I bet you could make a friend out of him very quickly. Maybe one day we can all spend time together," Dialga went on. "Just because he lives in Earth's ozone layer, doesn't mean he isn't a "down-to-Earth" guy."
However, it became apparent, as he spoke about the other legendaries he met (and sort of introduced their personalities to me) that he had not yet met Ho-oh.
"No, I've actually never spoken to her," Dialga answered my inquiry about the bird.
"Well, maybe you're better off," I huffed, remembering my encounter with her not too long ago. I grit my teeth just thinking about the audacity she had to speak to me the way she did. I am humble at my core, even now, but the disrespect was simply uncalled for.
"And why is that?"
"She's just…rude!" I said, finally finding a word that was appropriate. "And a bit annoying, spoiled, selfish…"
"I'm sure she has some good qualities," Dialga reassured me.
"Well, she sure didn't show them to me."
"You two probably got off on the wrong foot. I bet if you start over, you'll be okay."
I looked up to him, my smile hidden behind my gold plates. One of the most admirable things I learned about Dialga that day was that he saw the good in everyone, with time. With his encouragement, I decided to be the bigger girl, and "start over" with Ho-oh, as Dialga suggested. It would have made Mew happy, at the very least, and gotten an enemy off my back.
I began to venture the halls again, meeting up with other deities as they went about their business. There eventually came a time when I choked up enough courage to talk to Ho-oh again. She always looked so angry, but I decided it was just the shape of her eyes. She was always so nice to Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, that I figured perhaps she had gotten over the fact she did her work alone or maybe she realized she was just one bird in the Weather Flock, as Dialga and I began referring to the group comprised of Lugia, his trio of hens, and Ho-oh.
I approached her once in the Fountain room as she chirped about some unimportant matter I forget now to Articuno. She stopped when she realized the ice bird was staring at me and turned around, her happy expression turning sour.
"And what do you want?" she asked bitterly. I could already see this was not going to end well, but I went through with it anyway, for the sake of us all.
I tried to be as abrupt and confident as possible. "Look, Ho-oh, I know we've had our differences, and probably got off on the wrong foot. If you'd like, I'd like to start over. I think we could be friends."
"Well, I don't think that," Ho-oh stated quickly, turning away from me, dismissing the conversation completely.
Before she could resume her chat with Articuno, who was increasingly looking as if she'd fly away and moment from this disaster waiting to happen, I asked, "Well, why?"
"You said it yourself. We started off on the wrong foot, and that's the way we're walking now," she said a matter-of-factly. It was so irritating, but I kept my composure. "Besides, why would I want to be friends with a little dragon girl, for?"
"Why not?" I asked, truly wanting to hear her miraculous reasoning in having an enemy rather than a friend.
"Because you're rude and useless, as far as I can see," she spat. "We're all supposed to have jobs in the natural world, and you don't. I'd say 'oh! I'm friends with Giratina!' and not only would the poor sap not even know who I was talking about but then they'd ask 'oh, what does she do?' and I'd have to answer 'nothing at all important. She just spends eons up in her tower'."
It was at that moment that I aborted all attempts of being friendly with her. I knew from then on that if we ever crossed paths, there would be tension.
"Oh, you're right. I suppose if that's true, we'd have even more in common," I quipped, hitting her right where it hurt.
I turned and left, having said what I had to say. Ho-oh, on the other hand, was not finished, and called after me, "Like I said! You're rude! Go spend another eternity in your tower so that it will be easier to forget you."
I later on spoke with Dialga about my encounter with Ho-oh, and he sighed.
"I actually met her today," he told me as we walked one of the dark halls. "She didn't seem like that at all. In fact, she was a bit too nice."
I would later find out exactly how Ho-oh acted when she did not think I was around. Her flirty personality only disgusted me more, and the more I witnessed her actions around other deities, the more I realized she favored the males. When I eventually met Regice, I found a friend I could really rant and rave about how much I disliked Ho-oh, and Regice would comeback with her own experiences with the prissy rainbow bird. Luckily for Regice, though, she had her brothers, Registeel and Regirock, to help her when Ho-oh felt like belittling someone who wouldn't fight back like I would. Someone who did not see right through her, like I did.
I chalked her up to be a strong-willed, yet pathetic deity. Her want for her independence from Lugia was troubling and straining Mew, who could not find a use for three more deities under Ho-oh's wing. For this, she probably felt very alone, not making the connection that she belonged in Lugia's flock, not apart from it. And for that, I felt sorry for her, but I would never have gone up to her and made her realize it, for she was, for all intents and purposes, a bully. She put herself on a pedestal by belittling other females of their roles in the world and universe, or cracking down on their character flaws when she possessed so many. When I brought this up to Mew, she shrugged.
The pink feline was tired of the complicated relations we had all made and had more important things to do.
"I would just ignore her, then," was Mew's best advice.
"Why do you think I spend almost all of my time in this tower?" I asked, laying on the floor, defeated.
"Well, you can't do that either. It just gives her something to embarrass you about," she said. "But I am really, really busy coming up with forms to fill all of the complex niches of Earth. You all will have to sort out your problems on your own. I'm sorry, Gira."
"It's all right. I just wanted you to know what's happening so you don't get too upset."
I was floating along through the halls one day afterward, when I heard Dialga's voice, and sped up to catch up to him. Dialga was so friendly and upon passing Ho-oh in the hall, he greeted her, as he always did, but when I saw how she acted around him, my blood boiled. She curled up to him, her eyes drooping suggestively.
"Well, hey there, strong dragon boy," she greeted.
Though I was relieved he backed away somewhat from her advances, seemingly regretting even saying anything to her, I could not help feeling jealous. Why couldn't I be that confident? Why couldn't I tell him that I thought he was strong and kind? That I had indescribable feelings for him? Why?
I hid in the shadows as she continued to bother him, stopping myself from getting between them and saving him. I would have loved to tell her to go away, but the thought of her belittling me in front of Dialga stopped me.
"Oh, I've seen you hanging around with that gray dragon girl…oh, what's her name?" she pretended to forget me like an insignificant speck of dust, though I'm sure of every deity at the time, she knew my name best.
Dialga, oblivious to her antics, filled in for her, "Giratina?"
"Ah, yes, Giratina! I've seen you hanging out with her a lot," she mentioned. "Why would you associate yourself with such a rude and abrasive girl?"
"I never found her to have any of those qualities," Dialga said quietly, confused as to what Ho-oh was getting at.
"Oh? You don't see her come and berate me over my duties? She tortures poor Regice with her boring stories, and Mew can't stand her!" Ho-oh lied.
I just stared from the shadows. Why was she doing this? She hadn't actually come up to me in a long time, so I supposed she had had enough of me being able to stick up for myself, so she simply did it behind my back. I wondered if she did this with everyone, or if she was specifically targeting Dialga.
"Ho-oh," Dialga said, his voice becoming stern. "None of that is true. If you know I spend ample time with Giratina, then you should know I probably know her and understand her more than you could even hope to. Do not spread careless rumors about her, or you and I may not get along, either."
I could have cried at that moment with happiness, feeling my heart overflow with bliss. Dialga was my hero, among other proud titles. With his statement said, he turned away from the rainbow bird, and continued down the hall. I smiled, and dissolved further into the shadows, not wanting to let either know I had been spying.
As I continued down the hall the other way, a new enemy presented himself as he blocked the way further down.
"What are you doing mindlessly floating the halls? Shouldn't you be up in the tower taking care of your duties?" Palkia was there, attempting to berate me.
I would not take this, not with the certain confidence boost dear Dialga had afforded me, though unknowingly.
"I have spent eons up in that tower," I informed him, "And I can assure you, as random as star death appears to others, I feel as though there's a pattern, and I-"
"I don't want to hear about that, as long as it gets done," he bellowed.
I became cross. "You're not my boss, Palkia, we are merely co-workers. What? Are you bored?"
He grit his teeth at me, and I knew then that was one of the problems he had with me. "I should be responsible for taking care of all matter, even anti-matter. Why the heck were you even created?"
Now he was hitting my weak point, and through my hurt, I had to wonder why he was only complaining again about this so much time after we were born. So I inquired.
"I deserve to have that position!" he roared.
"Then you should probably talk to Arceus about it, not find me and yell at me about it, because I could care less," I argued. "Oh, but that's right. Arceus already made his decision millennia ago, so I suppose I'm here to stay."
I supposed Ho-oh's attitude was rubbing off on me. He balled his claws up into fists, and grit his teeth at me even more, "Then get up there and do that job."
This wasn't getting anywhere and I was starting to wonder about his intentions as he attempted to get past me.
"Why do you not want me around?" I asked. "Has it…"
I started to dig in my memory. Palkia and I had not really spoken since the Universe was created and of course, for all the eons I was gone, we never saw each other, but, for the times we did, he always seemed unpleasant towards me.
"Has it anything to do with Dialga?" I asked.
Palkia ignored my question and simply walked past me, grumbling to himself, but I knew I had hit another sensitive spot. I could only imagine the quality time the Dragon duo spent while I was away. However, now that I was back, Dialga spent a lot of time with me. I'm sure that rubbed Palkia the wrong way, but I was too selfish to care at that moment. I really did want Dialga all to myself.
However, following these events, the torture only continued, and it didn't take long for the berating from both Ho-oh and Palkia to break me. Following Mew's advice, I avoided Ho-oh, but that also meant that the Fountain Room became a place off limits to me. The halls were a stressful place to be, for Palkia could have been lurking in any one, ready to remind me about my duties, even if I had already spent years stabilizing one or more star deaths. There came a group of years where I simply stayed put in my tower, too exhausted to deal with either one of them for some time.
But I wouldn't let them bring me down, and eventually, after a much shorter time, I came out of hiding and confidently roamed the halls once again. I visited the Fountain room, despite the mocking I heard from Ho-oh about my dirty gold plates and scales. However, as I ignored them, their comments wore me down.
"I can't wait for the Meet and Greet. It's coming up, Mew told me," Dialga told me at some point during this cruel time period. He had been my protector all a while, but he could not always be there and I actually preferred to stick up for myself. I did not want it to get into their heads that I was a weakling that needed supervision.
"Oh, so it is," I said quietly, not really wanting to talk about it. I stared out into the black, starry expanse beyond the castle's window whose sill I rested my head lazily. Dialga was only a few feet from me by the next window to my left.
"Why so glum?" he asked, picking up on my tired tone of voice.
I answered nonchalantly, "I'm not going to that."
Dialga was taken aback, twisting his neck so as to look at me squarely. I felt his eyes burning with confusion, and I looked at him sullenly.
"Because I don't want to be there to remind Ho-oh and Palkia to tell all the mortal Pokemon that I'm an evil thing never to be approached."
"You think they would do such a thing?"
"I am positive."
Dialga looked down at his window sill, knowing that I had good reason for thinking this. All Palkia wanted was for me to disappear for selfish reasons, and Ho-oh wanted me around to make it seem like she was actually more important than one of Arceus' children. It was maddening. I would have rathered give Palkia what he wanted if it meant taking away from Ho-oh.
"I would like it very much if you came anyway," Dialga told me, his voice sad and almost pleading. "Though I am acquainted with everyone, and I consider Lugia and Rayquaza very good friends, I…actually consider you, somewhat of a…best friend."
He seemed to settle begrudgingly on that phrase, as if he saw me as more than even that. But like me, I supposed long after the fact, he just didn't know the word. It didn't yet exist.
I sighed, and seeing that his small pep talk did not really help his case, he pressured me further, "What if I promised to stay by your side the whole time?"
I looked up at him.
"I'll make sure they don't bother you," he vowed.
I smiled shyly. Having him near for the duration of the party would have certainly lifted my spirits, no matter how much Ho-oh and Palkia tried to badger me. I accepted these terms, staring into his ruby eyes adoringly. I did not even realize he had been staring back.