A/n: before we start, a few things that some people may have a problem with:
* This story will contain a character death, then sort of a character rebirth and other crazy stuff.
* It'll be more focused on character development and will have lots of emotional parts.
* It'll have pokemon being reborn as humans. A reviewer reminded me that some readers have a problem with that. Actually, I might have too, if the fic only contains OCs (it's hard for me to connect with unknown characters), or if the "poke humans" in question are too powerful/nearly invincible, as is usually the case. So, in my story, they become powerless, normal humans for the most part, even if they were formerly legendaries.
* I have some visual limitations, so scene descriptions may be a bit lacking. Also, English isn't my primary language, and I'm sure that there'll be mistakes. If you find anything, please let me know.
Okay, on to the story!
Pokemon Black n' White: Soul Link
Written by Aiyumi
Disclaimer: Pocket Monsters/Pokemon, as well as any other trademark that may be referenced in this fan fiction, are properties of their respective owners. I am just a fan and I do not have any relations to said people/companies.
Chapter 1: Finding Resolve
Touko ran aimlessly, lost in the maze that was Team Plasma's Castle. Tired, she stopped in the middle of a corridor and began talking alone.
"Why? Why does it has to be me? I wanted to help stop Team Plasma, so I collected the eight badges and came to the Pokemon League, but it's too late. It's over. N defeated Mister Alder, the Champion. What a normal trainer like me is supposed to be able to do?"
"What're you talking about? You just defeated the Elite Four, didn't you? Didn't you?" someone said. "Yes, you did. Most 'normal' trainers don't come even close. Anyway, there should be something that only you can do."
But Touko didn't hear anything, nor knew that it wasn't the first time that it happened.
"I know that this is meaningless. Then why am I still here?"
"Because you want to know more. Why Team Plasma say they're giving their all to help pokemon, yet they try to separate pokemon from people that are obviously happy together. Why, despite understanding pokemon words, N fails to see that humans and pokemon can coexist peacefully. If this is Team Plasma's secret base, then something tells me that the answers for these questions are all in this castle. If you're still here, perhaps it's because you think the same. I know that you can't hear me, so, theoretically, talking alone here is 'meaningless' as well. But I won't give up, I'll insist until you notice something. You should do the same. Don't give up. Go talk to N, and insist until you get your words across to him. It looks like he considers you 'special', so maybe he would listen to you."
As expected, Touko heard nothing.
"From that day, if I knew that it would come to this, I wonder what I'd have done..."
She finally found a set of stairs, but instead of climbing, she sat on a step, lost in thought. Slowly she began recalling various events throughout her travels.
At fourteen years of age, Touko, together with her friends Cheren and Bel, got a starter pokemon from Professor Juniper and left their hometown of Nuvema. After arriving at Accumula Town and resting at the Pokemon Center there, the three were preparing to leave when there was a commotion outside, which turned out to be a speech from Ghetsis of team plasma, saying that his group wanted to help pokemon to live better. He said that everyone had to release their pokemon because trainers were unconsciously enslaving then and making them suffer. Just after it ended and everyone was processing what they had just heard, Touko met N. He said strange things, implying that he could understand pokemon, and she thought he was crazy. On another day, she saw him coming out of the Striaton City Gym, talking alone and saying that he wanted to see a new future for pokemon. She practically avoided getting near him that time. Her opinion about him only started to change when she saved a wild Munna that was being abused by members of Team Plasma (which contradicted themselves about being against pokemon abuse), and helped Professor Fennel with a research about Dream Mist, a substance produced by Munna and its evolution Musharna, and its influence on dreams. As thanks, the professor let Touko be part of the very small group allowed to test the results. Using some pillows containing Dream Mist and monitor chips specially made for the research, Touko dreamed about Takimaru, her Oshawott. They were sitting near some trees, quietly admiring the scenery. Suddenly...
"There's a bug on your hair."
"Aaaaaaaaaah!" she squealed and quickly ran her hand through her hair to shoo the bug (not a pokemon, a normal insect) away.
"I didn't think you were so scared of bugs..."
"Aaaah!" she widened her eyes and exclaimed in surprise. "No, that's not it... Y you... You... You spoke!"
"Huh? ... Ah!" The realization finally hit the Oshawott, who was taken aback for a moment. "Oh! You understood me! You heard my exact words!"
"Yeah, I did."
"Interesting. So it seems there aren't communication barriers in the dreams."
Touko chuckled. "You talk a little too... Formal for your size. I didn't think you were so serious. You kind of remind me of Cheren... But yeah, it's nice to understand exactly what you're saying, not just guess..." She stopped speaking abruptly and remained silent for a moment, suddenly lost in thought. "Takimaru?"
"Does... Does N really understand pokemon?"
"Yes. I had no problems communicating with him."
"Oh. So maybe that's why he's a little weird... I mean, it must be difficult for us who don't understand pokemon to follow his line of thought, because we only know one side of the conversation."
The Oshawott nodded.
"Ah... Ah... You're here..."
"Huh?" Touko heard a faint voice behind her.
"Touko, look. She's that Munna from before."
"Yes... Thank you for saving me! After that, Musharna called me to talk. She said that it would be good if I went with you. She wants you to train me and make me strong, so I can protect myself if something happens again... I... I hope nothing happens... But..." The pink pokemon shuddered remembering what had happened. "Anyway... I was looking for you but you weren't there anymore, so I tracked your dream and came here! I don't know if I can do anything useful... I'm really bad at fighting... But can I come with you?"
"Of course!" Touko answered. "But can you speak louder?"
"Even louder? She's nervous and speaking frantically. It's loud enough."
"Really? ..." Touko continued after thinking a little. "Hmm... Yeah, it looks like she's speaking loudly, but I only hear a very faint voice, like when listening to the TV and the volume's low."
"Strange..." The Oshawott tried to think about a logical explanation while Touko talked to their newest ally.
After they woke up, Touko talked to Takimaru, who nodded to her questions, confirming that he had the same dream and they could communicate in dreams. Before leaving the city, she went to the Dreamyard to pick the Munna, who she nicknamed Monica.
After that, Touko had various encounters with Team Plasma. In every one of them, they kept contradicting their own philosophy by stealing trainers' pokemon, showing that they weren't the "benefactors" that Ghetsis said they were. In Castelia City, They stole Bel's Munna. With help from the gym leader Burg and a girl named Iris (who much later would reveal that she was the eight gym leader), Touko tracked down one of Team Plasma's hideouts, a building that was actually near the gym. After some battles against Plasma grunts, Bel's Munna was gotten back. Touko was going to the Pokemon Center to rest, when she saw N. He was lost, desperately looking for the Pokemon Center, with a wounded pokemon in his arms. Touched by that, she helped him take the pokemon to be healed. They talked more this time, and she told him she believed that he could understand pokemon.
In Nimbasa city, they met once more. They rode on the amusement park's ferry's wheel. The view was great, the weather was nice and Touko thought nothing could ruin her day... Until N made the surprising revelation.
"Touko, I need to tell you something. I... I am the king of Team Plasma."
"Huh? What?" It came so suddenly that it took her some time for the information to register.
"Didn't you hear what I said? I am the king of Team Plasma," he repeated.
"... What... What did you just..." She was very confused. "... It... It's a joke, right?"
"No, it's true."
He kept telling her about the suffering pokemon that he saw, and how he agreed to lead Team Plasma.
"Ghetsis gathered many talented people to join forces and help pokemon. Isn't it wonderful?" He said with such enthusiasm, like a child showing a brand new toy, strengthening the idea that it was a joke.
But unfortunately, it wasn't. When they got out of the ferry's wheel, Plasma grunts appeared and addressed him as their "lord", them he forced her to battle him, buying time for the grunts' escape. Losing the battle, N said that he would change the world by befriending Zekrom, the legendary dragon pokemon of ideals, them winning the Pokemon League to become Champion. As everyone respected the Champion, he would have no problems making them follow his ideas and free all pokemon.
After that revelation, Touko didn't know what to think anymore. N was Plasma's king. But something inside her insisted that he wasn't a bad person. The more she thought about it, more she suspected that something was wrong about Team Plasma. While they said they wanted to help pokemon, their actions were the opposite of their words. Yet, N seemed really concerned about pokemon's well-being. Touko didn't tell Cheren nor Bel about the turmoil in her head, but she confided everything to her pokemon in her dreams.
Touko's number of badges increased, as did her pokemon team. The new members of her party also could talk to her in dreams... The pokemon small enough to use the pillows, anyway. The bigger ones had to relay messages through the others. Their voices were low at first, getting louder and clearer as the time passed. That lead them to the conclusion that the more Touko bonded with a pokemon, more clear its voice got in the dream.
After she got her seventh badge, to her dismay, she actually saw when N awakened Zekrom at the top of Dragonspiral Tower (near the city with the seventh gym). He said that he was one step closer to freeing all pokemon, and the only thing capable of stopping him and Zekrom was Reshiram, the legendary dragon pokemon of truth. Then, he climbed onto Zekrom's back and flew away. Touko was terrified seeing the big black dragon. Alder, the League Champion, who was there investigating Plasma activities, told her that he saw N with the Dark Stone (the hibernating form of Zekrom), but couldn't do anything as the stone emitted a bright light and turned into the dragon. He also said that there was another stone similar to the one that N had: the Light Stone, which was supposed to be the hibernating form of Reshiram, the other dragon pokemon. To ensure that Team Plasma wouldn't get it so that N had no opposition, they had to find it first. They did, and for some reason that Touko didn't quite remember, it ended up in her hands. Or rather, in her bag.
She got her eight badge, crossed Victory Road and defeated the Pokemon League's Elite Four, only to discover that N had defeated Champion Alder! Suddenly, a castle rose up from underground and destroyed various parts of the place where the Pokemon League was happening. That was the (until then) secret hideout of Team Plasma: N's Castle. Touko, Cheren and Alder entered, deciding that someone had to stop N. Many Plasma members appeared, including most of the higher-ups, the Seven Sages. Being told by Bel that Plasma's king had a legendary pokemon and would challenge Alder, various cities' gym leaders came to see what was happening at the League. They got to the castle and were helping Alder and Cheren to take on the Plasma members, and suddenly Touko was the only one not doing anything. She heard some words of encouragement, and when she noticed, her legs were carrying her on their own. She didn't know why, but she kept running. She ran past some Plasma grunts, entered various similar rooms, and got lost searching for a door, or stairs, or any other place that hopefully would take her ahead. After walking for some time, she finally got to a set of stairs, which was where she was right now.
Touko was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice what was going on. Corona, a female Larvesta that hatched from an egg she got on Route 18, escaped the poke ball and was playing with the zipper of her bag. The baby pokemon opened the zipper all the way through and stopped for a few seconds, then something inside caught her attention. It was a beautiful white stone, and there was something warm emanating from it.
"Hi!" Corona said in pokemon language. "You a friend?"
"Yes." Came the voice from the stone.
"Woohoo! Friend! Friend!" Corona jumped excitedly for a bit, then stopped, listening intently.
"You can hear me?"
"Hum!" the Larvesta said, jumping once again in response.
"Interesting, because most others can't."
"I'm Corona! I'm a Larvesta, but everyone call's me Corona. You?"
"Touko gave you a name?"
"No, not yet." Reshiram noted the baby pokemon's incorrect speech, but decided to let it pass.
"Re... Shi... Reshi... ..." After having trouble trying to say the name, she eventually gave up. "Can I call you Shira?"
Reshiram chuckled at the little pokemon, then answered. "Yes, I don't mind."
"Corona, what're you doing! ?" Touko finally noticed Corona's cries. To her dismay, she saw the little Larvesta playing with the Light Stone, out of all things. "Aaaaaaaaaah! Stop!" She practically yanked the pokemon away from her bag. Recovering from the shock, she breathed deeply before speaking. "Corona, listen. This is Team Plasma's place. It's dangerous. I want you to go back to your poke ball, so you'll be safe."
Corona gave Touko a worried look, then turned to the direction of the Light Stone again. "Shira... You'll protect Touko, right?"
Reassured, without another word, Corona willingly went back to her poke ball. It usually wasn't so easy. Touko found it strange, but decided not to think about it. She was relieved that no damage was done to the stone and the other things in her bag. Corona was very young, but just a little more time and she would start learning fire attacks... Then who knew what could happen.
Touko adjusted the Light Stone in its usual place, closed the bag, stood up and would start walking, only to collide with someone, causing her hat to fall.
"Aaah, I am sorry. Here." The woman that collided with her gave her hat back. "Are you Alright?"
"Huh? Yeah..." She looked at the person, who was accompanied by another woman.
"You are Touko, right?" It was obvious, but the woman, the same one from before, decided to ask.
"Right. I am. And... You are?" Touko asked warily.
"My name is Anthea."
"And I am Concordia," the other one said. "We would like to talk with you."
It was strange. If they were there, they were Plasma members, weren't they? During her travels, Touko was forced to fight many Plasma grunts to get back stolen pokemon and such. She messed with them enough that she was noticeably being regarded as their enemy for some time now. Why would these two want to talk to her? And they seemed very friendly. It could be a trap...
"This way." Anthea began climbing the steps and gestured for Touko to follow.
She followed, with Concordia walking beside her. On the next floor, they entered a room and Concordia closed the door.
"Please, take a seat." Anthea pulled a chair for their guest.
"... So, what did you want to talk to me about?" Touko spoke after she sat down.
"It's about N," Concordia said, in a serious but gentle tone at the same time. she chose not to refer to him as "Lord N", noticing the wary look from the girl before her.
"N?" Touko expected to hear about how he was the king of Team Plasma and would change the world, blah blah blah, the same thing repeated by all Plasma members that she met after Dragonspiral Tower, but it wasn't exactly what came next.
"He was found as a child, living alongside pokemon." Concordia continued. "After bringing him here and confirming that he really could talk to pokemon, Ghetsis brought many of them for him to see... But he only let N see pokemon that were mistreated and abused by their previous trainers. Because of this, N started believing that all trainers abused pokemon and the only way to save those poor creatures was to set them free."
Touko was sympathizing with N, more than she was before, but she was still wary and an insistent voice in her mind said "Touko, don't let your guard down. She's saying this to convince you that N's right, that the only way for pokemon to be at peace is to free them. She's a Plasma member and she only wants you to release your pokemon!"
"We tried to change his mind, but he wouldn't listen." The woman kept talking, snapping Touko back to attention. "His heart is pure and innocent, and his determination is too great. It's a dangerous combination. These attributes allowed him to get close to the legendary pokemon, and now he's almost unstoppable. But we were thinking... Maybe there is something that can be done."
"On various occasions, he talked to us about you," Anthea said.
"... About me?" Touko was surprised to hear that.
"Yes," Anthea continued, "and by the way he talks about you, it seems he has really taken a liking to you. He said that you are different, that you are kind to people and pokemon alike. He also said that he wished you could be friends."
Hearing that was even more surprising, and Touko couldn't suppress a smile.
"Maybe you could change his mind." Concordia added. "So, we ask you this: please, save N."
"I... I'll do what I can," she managed to say.
"Yes! Finally! See? That was what I was trying to tell you!" It was Reshiram again, though of course Touko didn't hear her.
Touko stood up and Concordia opened the door for her.
"Wait. One more thing before you leave." Anthea stopped her. "N's Room is on the fourth floor. It is where he spent nearly all his childhood. If you want to know more about him, you should take a look."
Minutes later, Touko found N's room. She was surprised to see a child's playroom with books and toys scattered all over the place. It was clearly set up to keep its occupant distracted, creating a small world of pure fantasies, to hide him from the outside world and the world from him. That made her sympathize even more with N. By what she could gather, he had spent his childhood in that castle, in that room, and only allowed to see suffering pokemon. Suddenly, she had a strong desire of helping to set him in the right path. She wanted to show him new things. She wished that they could live alongside pokemon with no problems. She wished that they could be friends... But for all of that to happen, first, she needed to stop him. She didn't know how, but she would try. Touko left the room with determination showing in her eyes, and hurried to find the next set of stairs up.
A/n: there goes the first chapter. Sorry for it being a bit rushed and the lack of dialogue. I mostly wanted to get the whole journey out of the way, while pointing out some things that are different from the games. For example, in the games, N appears in Nacrene City, not Striaton. Much later, the protagonist takes the opposite stone, already planning to awaken the legendary pokemon and become a hero, as that's supposed to be the only thing capable of stopping N. In this story, Touko only takes it so it doesn't fall on Plasma's hands. Awakening the legendary pokemon doesn't even cross her mind. Other differences are to come, like pokemon using more than four moves, and attacks that they can learn but are not available at that point in the game, etc..
I usually don't name my pokemon ingame, but I decided to do so in this story in order to develop them better as characters.
* Takimaru (the Oshawott): from "Mijumaru" ("ミジュマル"), the Japanese name for Oshawott, and "taki" ("滝"), "waterfall".
* Monica (the Munna): can mean "unique".
* Corona (the Larvesta): "corona" can refer to the Sun's outer atmosphere that can only be seen during solar eclipses, can also mean "crown", and may be one of the words that originate the name for Volcarona (Larvesta's evolved form).