Kaith: I'm back! I'm trying to keep up my self-appointed deadlines and try and have something new up every Saturday or Sunday, and since I didn't finish one of my bigger stories, I'm throwing this up. So no one gets confused: Ruby, Sapphire, Both.

By Your Side

Your eyes still haunt my nightmares…

I see you die every night…

Those beautiful eyes that resemble sapphires are only filled with one thing. Fear. They fear who I am. They can only see me for who I really am on the inside. A monster. That's who I really am on the inside. A terrible, rampaging monster who only knows how to fight. Shaped by my father's hands, I don't know how to do anything else.

Your lifeless body lies beaten and mangled at my feet. Blood pools around my feet as it flows like a raging river from your head wound. The little boy that tried so hard to protect me, my best friend in the entire world…lies dead at my feet. And who am I? Some pathetic little girl who couldn't fight her way out of a paper bag.

I just…want to go back to when we first met.

You took my breath away by simply standing.

You had stolen my heart without a single word.

As something who only knew destruction, you were the first true beauty this world had ever revealed to me. I wanted to impress you. No…I needed to impress you. While we spent all those hours playing, I was secretly showing off. I tried to show you how I laughed at death, how strong my Pokémon were, but none of that mattered to you.

I was the weakling, a pathetic excuse for a human that couldn't even run a few feet without tiring. But you didn't seem to care about that. You were always by my side. You always wanted to play with me. Even when I fell to the ground, out of breath, you were instantly by my side, making sure that I was alright. You were my protector.

"I just wanna play w'th you!"

"I'll protect you no matter what!"

That handful of poorly pronounced words changed my view on the world. I realized, that just by playing with you, the rest of the world blurred out. The mountains could have exploded, and the seas could have disappeared, but neither of us would have noticed.

It was like you had become my knight in shining armor. I had become Cinderella, and you, had my prince that I would live happily with until the end of time. The land could have been swallowed by the sea, and we would have simply continued to play in the water.

But then, everything changed when the Salamance attacked.

Your body froze at the terrifying roar. I forgot all things I had learned from being with you. And then I launched myself at it. The whole battle is a complete haze to me. But I still remember one thing. Despite my dizziness, through the flowing blood, I saw your eyes. The usual carefree and ignorant sparkle they used to possess was gone. Replaced by only one thing…terror.

As the little weakling, I didn't know what to do. My mind went blank and I vaguely recalled seeing you jump at the Dragon. You were magnificent, fighting exactly in-sync with your two Pokémon, getting a blow in every now and then. As the beast lumbered off, you turned to me with a giant grin, but I froze. I realized, watching the blood flow, that my weakness had almost cost your life.

The adults found us shortly after, and we were separated. I told the doctors and my mother that I was fine. I lied about feeling better, when in actuality the raw skin on my head irritated me to no end. I asked to see you every day, but mother forbid it. She told me that it might trigger memories and possibly reopen my wound.

My momma scooped me up into her arms, calling for help. I was in shock, unable to speak or remove the images flowing into my mind. I didn't hear it at the time, but the doctor had recommended taking me back to Hoenn. Apparently being in a familiar place would help me get over the shock and back to whatever normal could be.

When I finally was freed, I snuck away. I just wanted to play with you again. But…you had already moved back. My father found me siting on the front steps of your temporary home, my arms crossed and my chin out. I was prepared to wait forever, if that was what it took.

It wasn't until we were already on the boat and halfway to Hoenn that I had realized what was going on. I yelled your name and ran to the railing of the ship. I had no idea where Johto was and I had no idea how to swim…but that didn't stop me as I threw myself into the ocean.

But he told me. He told me…that you would never come back. I didn't believe him of course, and sat there for the rest of the day, until I eventually fell asleep. The next morning, I woke up in my own room.

The water surged around me, filling my ears and drowning out the cries of my momma and papa. I tried kicking my way to the surface, but that large and frilly dress I wore only dragged me down farther.

For the next week, this was routine for me. I would head to your front step, stay there until I fell asleep, and then wake up in my own room again. Then, after that week that felt like years, I finally did give up. My spirit broke as I realized that the inseparable duo we had made up was now split.

I had blacked out, but awoke on the deck. The moment I was awake and my mind cleared, I charged for the railing again. But several other passengers stopped me, and in their arms, I cried your name. I shouted until my voice when horse, and cried until the tears stopped. I had lost my knight.

That's when the nightmares started.

Every night brought on a new terror. The worst…I had become some sort of savage. I was covered in blood, hideous scars covered my entire body, and a single word was whispered into my ear…monster. In your eyes, I was a monster that could never be human.

Every night brought a new way for you to die. I couldn't wake up, no matter how hard I pinched myself. You were there, only a few feet in front of my, but my legs refused to move. I was forced to sit through your deaths…all one hundred and thirty-four of them.

The next morning, I vowed to myself…In hopes of meeting you again, I vowed I would change who I was.

I would make myself into the perfect expression of beauty, so wonderful that I could never been seen as a threat…easier said than done. Those first few days were, a bit tragic. I tried on my mother's clothes, and even applied her make-up to myself and my Pokémon. It was quite a shock to my father when he walked in on me smearing lip-stick all over Nana's face.

I would turn myself into someone would could fight by your side, so that your life would never be at risk again, I wanted to become stronger. I started out by making scary faces in the mirror, running around the house, and trying to carry papa's large research books around. After spilling the pages everywhere though, I was banned from entering the lab again.

A few days later, she arrived in Goldenrod. I never caught her name, but she was my inspiration. She performed in the streets of the city, her Ninetales and Swellow performing wonderful tricks and using their attacks to create wonder and beauty rather than causing pain and destruction. After the show and all the spectators had thrown her their money, I remained glued to my spot in the street until her magma red eyes locked with mine.

A week passed, and I could already feel myself becoming stronger. I could run a whole mile without tiring, even if it did take me an hour to do, I saw it as improvement. Eventually, I took to the woods, making it my new home. Discarding the frilly dresses and taking Toro out to live with me, I made my new home in the woods. I climbed trees, swung on vines, and fought off wild Pokémon, day after day. Strengthening myself for you.

I asked, well I yelled at her, if she could teach me to do what she had done. The woman laughed, telling me that if I wanted to become like her, a coordinator, it would take months of training, of strengthen my bond with my Pokémon. But seeing the inspiration, she taught me the basics and started my on my quest of rebirth.

I lived off of berries, and reenacted scenes from those old kung-fu movies papa and I watched. I cut myself off, living in my secret base, only the wild Pokémon and Toro to keep my company. I fought, rain, and trained myself and Toro from dawn until dusk, working towards my goal, the goal of self-rebirth.

And now, years later…

You're here, in my life once again. I claim I have forgotten, but I could never forget. I only lie to conceal my own heart. I'm still terrified on the inside, afraid that if things ever go back to the way they were, I might one day hurt you…I never want to see you hurt ever again. You are the most precious person in my life, and if anything happened to you, I…don't think I could go on.

You claim to have forgotten all about Mirage Island, but I so desperately want to believe that it isn't true. That one night you'll be there, my knight in shining armor, to sweep me off my feet. But until that day, that day where I can muster up enough courage to relay my feelings, I will stand here, protecting you from the death I can see only in my dreams. My life would mean nothing without you.

For now, I shall hold my silence, and keep to the vow in my heart. And as I wait for the day that we can be together, I will always be by your side, and I will always protect you.