A/n: thank you to (not in any particular order) everyone who followed, or favorited, or reviewed, or came stealthily and read this story, although after this chapter, you'll probably want to kill me... But well, in the notes before the first chapter, you have been warned :P.

I'll leave my observations about this chapter in the end notes so as not to spoil things. So, let's begin.


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 4: Crushed by Truth

There was a long moment of silence in the throne room. N was the one to break it.

"Touko, you won."

"But... But I didn't do anything!" She managed to say, but N ignored her.

"Call your pokemon out. Let me heal the ones that took part in the battle."

Touko reluctantly opened the poke balls. First, she called Takimaru and Junka, the two that entered the previous battle. Seeing N gently talking to them and giving them berries, she felt a bit more at ease and decided to call the others. She threw a poke ball, and from it came Monica, the Munna.

"... I-is it over?" Monica asked when she was out of her ball.

"Yes," N answered, and it came out a bit more serious than he had intended.

The Munna saw the other pokemon out of their balls. Then she saw N's serious expression and Touko's uncertain one, and screamed. "Munyaaaaaa! No, no, no!" She quickly hide behind Touko. "No! I don't want to be released!"

"Calm down." N tried to relax his expression a bit. "Don't worry, you won't be released."

"... Huh?"

"Touko won, actually," Takimaru said. "I could hear the end of the battle from inside the poke ball. Weren't you listening?"

"I tried, but... I only heard roars and explosions... I was worried... And scared, and..." She shuddered and closed her eyes tightly.

"It's okay now." Junka tried to comfort her.

Touko threw one more poke ball, from which came her Crustle nicknamed Hardy.

"What? Is it over already?" The Crustle said. "I wanted to battle! You two had all the fun!"

"We didn't need you," Junka said playfully. "Well, actually we didn't need to battle much with Reshiram around." She pointed in the direction of the unconscious white dragon.

"Munyaaaaa!" Monica looked in the pointed direction and was scared again. "T-t-t-that big d-dragon..."

"I didn't see her fighting, but I could hear her talking, and she seemed nice," Junka said.

"... Nice... ?" The Munna said in disbelief.

The Mienshao continued. "Too bad that she's unconscious right now. She won the battle for us, we still need to thank her."

Monica cringed at the thought of awaking the legendary.

"Well, I don't know what happened, but by the noises it was a lot of fun..." The Crustle said.

"H-how can you s-say something like that! ?" Monica raised her voice. "You only think about battles! It wasn't fun, it was dangerous, i-it was..."

"Hey! Stop, you two!" The Mienshao tried to stop the small fight.

N didn't say anything, just smiled seeing the pokemon interacting with each other.

Before Touko could call, the last poke ball opened on its own. Corona materialized from it and ran to N. The others stopped their small argument to look at the baby Larvesta.

"Is it true that Touko won?"

"Yes, it is," N answered.

"So, you two won't fight anymore? You're friends now, right?"

Theoretically, they still weren't. N managed an assuring smile, however a bit of sadness showed in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" Unfortunately, the Larvesta noticed.

"... Nothing."

"But..." The little pokemon insisted.

Junka noticed N's discomfort and decided to intervene. "He must be tired. All of us are, it was a rough day for everyone. We should go back to our poke balls and take a rest."

The others agreed.

"But I want to talk more!" Corona said stubbornly.

"We should rest, and let them rest as well. Takimaru said, motioning to the two humans.

Touko didn't understand the pokemon's part of the conversation. All she knew was that N seemed to accept that he had "lost", and now the pokemon were more at ease around him.

"Touko, you can call them back now."

She nodded in thanks and quickly called her pokemon back.

"Sorry, I ran out of berries..." N looked guiltily at the unconscious Reshiram and Zekrom.

Touko shivered thinking of the prospect of having the two dragons back to full power. Luckily, N began talking to her, making her shift her attention away from the fearsome legendaries.

"Touko, about our deal... I'll do my part. I'll stop trying to separate humans from pokemon."

"Huh? You... You will?"

It was hard to believe. N was so determined to prove her wrong some minutes ago, and now he simply gave up just like that?

"... Yes. Actually, during my journey, I met many pokemon and trainers that lived happily with each other. I thought that wasn't possible, but I kept meeting more and more of them. I recruited Zekrom to help spread my ideals, but I also wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know if those pokemon were just a few, or if the suffering ones that I saw were actually the exceptions. I thought the only way I could find out was by recreating the legend of the Unova heroes. A fight to see which of the beliefs was stronger, hero to hero. I needed that more than anything. But I thought it wouldn't happen, that the other hero wouldn't appear. Then you came and showed me the answer that I was looking for. Touko, thank you."

"B-but... I'm not... I'm not a hero. I just..."

"You brought Reshiram with you, and she was..." He would say that the white dragon was counting on her, that Reshiram had faith in her, but Touko cut in.

"I got the Light Stone from accident, I'm not a hero."

N would argue, but someone entered through the still open door and interrupted him.

"Right. You are not a hero. In fact, neither of you are. As for you, N, you are a failure!"

"G-Ghetsis? What... Aaaaaaah!" N was held by Ghetsis and violently punched in the face.

Horrified, Touko closed her eyes and covered her mouth.

"Ghetsis... F-Father..."

Touko was even more horrified to discover that N was Ghetsis' son.

"Hmph. Father?" The man spat the word back with disdain. "Do you still think that you deserve to share the name Harmonia with me?" He looked N in the eye and shouted in anger. "I knew that I couldn't get close to the dragon of ideals. Then I found you, a boy that could understand pokemon, lost in the forest. Pure, innocent, perfect for my plan. I adopted you. I raised you, training you to be Team Plasma's 'king'. I only showed you suffering pokemon to strengthen your ideals so you could get close to Zekrom, then conquer the League and make everyone in Unova release their pokemon, so that I would be the only one that could use pokemon and rule the region. But no, you had to lose to an ordinary trainer!"

Touko listened helplessly. So that was what happened, and what was wrong with Team Plasma. The problem was Ghetsis. Adopted or not, N didn't deserve to be that man's son.

The shouting continued. "You couldn't get anything right and fulfill the only purpose you had! You are useless! A failure! And you aren't worth enough to have these." Ghetsis snatched the poke balls from N. "Their full potential cannot be unleashed by a failure like you."

"No... My friends..." N said weakly.

Without another word, Ghetsis dragged the teenager and threw him to the other side of the room.

N fell in a sitting position on the ground, and made no effort to stand up. "My... Purpose..." His voice came almost inaudible. The truth that he wanted... It was right there. He thought his purpose was to work for the benefit of pokemon. He had spent all of his life preparing a plan, thinking that he would help to improve pokemon's lives, but everything was an illusion. His whole life was an illusion. He was just a tool, a puppet manipulated by Ghetsis. Was that really his only purpose?

"N! N! N, are you okay?" Touko ran to him. "N, N..." She crouched in front of him and looked at his face. It was devoid of any emotion. The smile from when he talked to pokemon, the glint in his eyes from when he told her something he was enthusiastic about, the determination that he showed before their battle, the calm expression that he had when talking to her after accepting defeat... Everything was gone. Not even a trace of anything. His face was pale, devoid of hope, almost devoid of life. "No! N! N, say something. Please talk to me! Please! Please..."

Ghetsis was starting to recover from his fit of rage, only then remembering that Touko was there. In his outburst, he had revealed all of his plans in front of her! He looked in the direction where the girl in question was. "Hmph! Do you really think that you can get through to him? He is nothing more than a warped, defective boy, who knows nothing but pokemon! He is like a pokemon trapped in a human body, a freak without a human heart!"

"Ghetsis! What... What did you do to him! ? You're a monster! Y-you're the one without a heart!" Touko stood up shakily. Her anger and her fear were mixing up and she didn't know what she was feeling anymore. She wanted to do something, but she also wanted to run. "Aaaaaaah!" She screamed in despair, deciding to do what seemed easier. She tried to run for the door, but Ghetsis interrupted her.

"Where do you think you are going?"

Touko saw that he was looking her on the eye and flinched, stopping on her tracks.

Ghetsis spoke in a menacing tone. "Now you know the truth. You don't think that I would allow you to run around and spread it to everyone, do you?"

Touko was frozen in fear, unable to hold Ghetsis' gaze.

"But you have come this far," he continued. "I will give you one more chance. Let us have a battle. If I win, you will have to stay in this castle for the rest of your life, working for Team Plasma, as my servant."

"I... I would never work for you!"

"You should. My plans have not changed. I will still have N be the king of Team Plasma and manipulate the hearts of the people who know nothing. All pokemon will be separated from their trainers, I will be the only one able to use pokemon, and then I will rule Unova. What a better person to work for than the region's ruler? If you go against that, you will be against me. Opposing the region's ruler won't take you very far, I assure you. If you do that, things will probably end badly for you, sooner than you expect."

"And if I win..."

"If, and only if you win, you will be allowed to go. But you must keep your mouth shut, because you will be constantly watched, and if I discover that you told anything to anyone... It won't be pretty. Do you understand?"

Touko didn't answer.

"So, are you going to fight or not? It is the only chance that you have. If you win, you will have the closest to freedom that you can get. You aren't going to waste this opportunity, are you? Remember, if you don't fight, it will count as your defeat." He didn't wait for an answer and threw a poke ball. "Then, let us start our battle. Go, Seismitoad!"

Ghetsis' pokemon appeared on the battlefield, but Touko was still paralyzed. She didn't know what to think. She was scared because of the previous battle, scared of Ghetsis, and also enraged after discovering what that man put N through. She had to do something, she had to reach for a poke ball of her own, but her hands didn't move.

"So you aren't even able to throw a simple poke ball? How pathetic. To think N would lose to you, that useless brat..." Ghetsis said as though N wasn't there.

Touko opened her mouth, but was unable to say anything. Unexpectedly, one of her poke balls opened on its own.

"... Mo... Monica?" Touko was really surprised. Monica got scared easily, always hiding behind her, or going back to the poke ball whenever entering a battle or being introduced to someone. Touko didn't expect the Munna to be the one standing up for her. And if Monica was able to surpass her fear at that time, Touko also should be. With that thought, the girl finally gathered the courage to issue commands. "O-Okay... Monica, let's do this."

The Munna stepped forward, but when she took a closer look at her opponent, her courage disappeared. She screamed and started running in circles desperately.

"Hmph." Ghetsis snickered. Nor the trainer nor the pokemon were in condition to fight. That battle would be a piece of cake, He was sure of that.

"Ah! Monica! ... Concentrate, and use Calm Mind!"

Monica did as said and finally calmed down.

"Sludge Wave." Ghetsis ordered.

Monica was hit by the attack, and luckily she didn't get poisoned.

"Great! Now use Energy Ball!"

A green ball appeared in front of Monica and was shot towards the Seismitoad. The attack was super effective and the toad pokemon fainted.

Ghetsis widened his eyes in disbelief. Seeing the two's scared state, it was hard to believe that the girl and that Munna could defeat one of his pokemon. But it was just the beginning, and Ghetsis had the perfect pokemon to deal with that Munna. "Go, Cofagrigus!"

Touko flinched once more, seeing the menacing sarcophagus like pokemon that came out of Ghetsis' poke ball. Her pokemon's reaction was very similar.

"Mean Look." Ghetsis said.

Monica wanted to run back to her poke ball as she usually did, but the look that the Cofagrigus gave her left her paralyzed in fear.

"Shadow Ball."

"Monica, move!"

Monica had the Forewarn ability, so she knew that the Shadow Ball was coming, and even when it would hit, but she was unable to move and received the attack fully. She screamed in agony, fainting afterwards.

"No! Monica!" Touko shakily pressed the poke ball's button to call her Munna back, then she sent out Takimaru.

The Dewott came from the ball and glared at Ghetsis. Then, he looked at Touko reassuringly and nodded to her.

"Right... Takimaru, Water Pulse!"

"Cofagrigus, use Toxic."

Takimaru moved first and hit the opponent with a strong pulse of water. The sarcophagus pokemon was violently thrown diagonally, collided with a wall, spun on the air and finally fell to the ground. He shakily stood up, dizzy and confused, unable to tell left from right. He tried to execute his trainer's order and use Toxic, only to release the attack on himself and get badly poisoned.

"What! You useless pokemon!" Ghetsis shouted in rage, then breathed deeply and tried to regain his composure. "Change of tactics. Use Shadow Ball, now!"

"Water Pulse again!" Touko commanded.

"Dodge it!"

Another Water Pulse came. The ghost type pokemon tried to dodge, but still confused, he stumbled and fell. He was hit squarely by the attack and was out of combat.

"Useless pokemon." Ghetsis recalled the Cofagrigus back and threw another ball, from which came a Bouffalant. "Head Charge."

"Takimaru, dodge!"

The Dewott tried to sidestep the attack, but was unable to move away in time.

"Takimaru!" Touko called worriedly, seeing her pokemon trying to stand.

The attack was powerful, but Takimaru wouldn't give up. He stood up and gave Touko another determined look, signaling that he was fine. Then, by the opponent's typing and the current situation, he already knew what she would say.

"Revenge!"

Takimaru ran at a high speed, furiously striking the opponent with his shells. The Bouffalant wasn't fast enough to avoid the Dewott's relentless attack. At the end of it, the buffalo pokemon roared in pain and fell to the ground, in no condition to continue fighting.

"I don't believe it..." Ghetsis muttered to himself while he called his pokemon back. The Bouffalant knew Wild Charge, an electric type attack that could have dealt with the water pokemon easily, but Ghetsis underestimated Touko and her pokemon, and thought that Head Charge would suffice. He regretted not using an electric attack, and he would remedy that then. "Go, Eelektross!"

"Takimaru, Water Pulse!"

"Thunder Wave."

The Water Pulse hit, but it wasn't enough to defeat the Eelektross, who released the Thunder Wave and left Takimaru paralyzed.

"Wild Charge."

Sparks enveloped the Eelektross, who slammed with full force into Takimaru. The Dewott couldn't endure the attack and fell. The electric type also received a bit of recoil damage.

"Takimaru!" Touko called in vain as her pokemon was already unconscious. She returned him to his ball and sent another pokemon. "Hardy, help!"

The Crustle appeared from the poke ball, eager for a battle.

"Wild Charge." Ghetsis ordered again.

The Crustle made his best to endure it by protecting himself with his shell, and the Eelektross received yet more recoil damage.

"Bulldoze!"

Hardy stomped on the ground and made it shake, but the opponent was floating and the attack had no effect.

"How foolish! It won't work. Eelektross has the Levitate ability! I can't believe that someone who doesn't even know such a simple fact was able to defeat the Elite Four." Ghetsis mocked her.

Touko gritted her teeth. "Then, Smack Down!"

Her pokemon retrieved a rock that he kept inside his shell and threw it at the Eelektross, who fell to the ground.

"Now use Bulldoze!"

This time, the attack worked. It was super effective, the damage added to Takimaru's Water Pulse and the recoils from Wild Charge, and Ghetsis had one more pokemon down. "Grrrr! Go, Bisharp. Iron Head."

"... Hardy... ..." Touko was unable to think of a strategy in time. Her pokemon was hit by a powerful headbut from Ghetsis' Bisharp and fell unconscious. Touko started to panic. She only had one pokemon left (actually two, but Corona was too young and still couldn't fight). Considering type advantages, she would have to count on Junka. She called Hardy back and threw Junka's poke ball. "Brick Break!"

Junka performed the move swiftly and precisely. The Bisharp couldn't avoid the attack and was taken down in an instant.

Ghetsis bit his lip. He made the mistake of underestimating his opponent, and that cost him three pokemon. By his fourth one, he began fighting seriously, but it wasn't enough. Just a few instants later, he had only one pokemon left. Very few people faced him in battle, and even fewer posed a challenge. He just didn't expect that such a frail and insecure girl would be one of them. If his last pokemon didn't manage it, the battle would be over. He would lose, but the result of the fight didn't matter. When someone battled him, it usually involved a deal. He always won, and most times, it was not due to his battle skills. Deceiving and manipulating people was what he did best. On the other hand, manipulating pokemon and making them produce exactly the results that he wanted, wasn't so easy. The truth, which not many knew, was that he wasn't so strong of a trainer. But he was aware of the limits. He knew that his team wasn't strong enough to fulfill his ambitions. That was why he wanted to be the only one able to use pokemon. And while that didn't happen, he would do what he always did when someone proved to be stronger than him in battle. Even if he lost, he would break his part of the deal. "Go, Hydreigon."

Touko flinched. She thought she had enough of dragons already. And to top it off, this one had three heads, each one more menacing than the other, essentially being three dragons in one. "Junka, d-do you think y-you can do it?"

The Mienshao nodded.

"Then, Brick Break!"

The opponent was fast for a pokemon of that size, but Junka managed to score a hit. Hope returned to Touko's eyes as Ghetsis' pokemon took considerable damage and recoiled in pain. Hydreigon was dragon and dark typed, being weak to fighting type attacks. After that super effective Brick Break, she knew that the pokemon wouldn't last much.

"Dragon Pulse."

"Junka, hold on!"

In the rage of the battle, no one noticed what was happening at the other side of the room. No one saw the black legendary dragon regaining consciousness. Zekrom never felt so enraged before. His fights against Reshiram, ideals against truth, happened for many generations, but it always ended in a draw. He wanted to finally settle the score this time. At that moment, he felt that Ghetsis was more compatible with his ideals than the hero that he had to work with. N was useless. The boy understood pokemon and was much closer to them than most other heroes that came before him. Zekrom had thought that it could be an advantage. By contrast, the girl, the other hero, was so frightened that she couldn't even give instructions to her pokemon. And yet, the unthinkable happened. He lost to Reshiram. He was still tired from the battle, but his movements were slowly coming back. Suddenly, in a fit of rage, he decided. He would kill the Hero of Truth.

No one was expecting the powerful Fusion Bolt that came from a corner of the room. The sudden energy buildup made Reshiram wake up on high alert. She was still very tired and weakened. She tried to enter the attack's range to intercept it, but it was too late. Fortunately, the attack missed its intended target, but half of a wall behind the trainers exploded into pieces, causing the place to shake and concrete fragments of various sizes to fall. Only one person noticed as a big piece of the wall was about to hit Touko. In a desperate effort, N quickly jumped to his feet and dashed towards her. Everything was moving very fast, only for him it seemed to be in slow motion.

"I may not have a purpose... But I know that you do!" He thought while running. "You can't end here... Touko! Once, you said that you have a dream. Then make it come true! You can do it! And for that... You must live!" N shoved the girl out of the way. "I wished that things could be different... That we could finally become friends..." No one saw it, but N gave his last smile before he was hit and lost under a mass of concrete twice his size.

It was so fast. Touko didn't know what had happened. One moment, she was instructing her pokemon. The next, there was an explosion and shrapnel flying everywhere, then she was hit by something and fell to the floor. She sat up and looked around, trying to understand what was going on. Part of the wall behind her didn't exist anymore, and various huge pieces of concrete littered the floor. There was a very big one just some feet away from her. Then it dawned on her that she had narrowly avoided it.

"No..." Her voice came out in a whisper, as she inspected the concrete more closely and saw some green hair appearing from under it. "N... N! N!"

She asked Junka to take the concrete out... And screamed. N lay on the floor, in a pool of his own blood. He had been completely crushed. His face was warped beyond recognition and his body had many parts broken. There was no way that he could still be alive.

"Hmph. Really useless. His life was worth nothing." It was Ghetsis who spoke.

Touko was about to faint, but she completely regained her senses when she heard that voice. She knew that she shouldn't wish for the death of anyone, but the first thought she had was that it was not fair. Why did it have to be N, the pure, kind and innocent N, the one to die? Why Ghetsis, that despicable man that abused pokemon and people alike, was still standing?

"Shut up! You... You...!"

"How dare you tell me to shut up?!" Ghetsis snapped. "I can't stand you anymore, kid. Hydreigon! Use Dragon Tail."

Junka was unable to dodge and the attack forced her back to her poke ball.

Ghetsis gave an evil smile. With the girl's pokemon out of the way, there was no one else to protect her. "Hydreigon, kill her."

Ghetsis gave that order like it was the most normal of tasks, and by the bloodlust showing in the pokemon's eyes, one could tell that it wasn't the first time that he took someone's life.

Touko was frozen to the spot once again. Ghetsis broke all the rules. That wasn't a pokemon battle anymore. That day, Touko was sure that she would be killed by a dragon type pokemon. She closed her eyes and waited for the end.


Half of a minute before, at the other side of the room...

"Zekrom... Do you have any idea of what you did? You... You killed your own charge!"

"Hmph. I Actually wanted to kill yours, but it doesn't matter. He was useless anyway." Zekrom had so much hatred in his eyes, and spoke in a tone so disdainful that it was hard to believe that he and Reshiram once were one being.

"Lord Arceus won't like it, not even a little." She warned. "Do you want to end up like Kyurem! ?"

"Kyurem? How dare you! That thing that cannot even speak, nor feel, nor think for that matter... That has no truth nor ideals, and is a being with only instincts and pure destruction! Don't compare me to that insignificant piece of nothing!"

Zekrom was ready to throw a Dragon Claw at Reshiram's face. She saw it coming. Both were still tired, their movements were much slower compared to before, but they were as ready as they could be. The battle between the two dragons was about to start again when both heard Ghetsis' order.

"Hydreigon, kill her."

"Grrr! No, you won't! I will be the one to kill her!" Zekrom turned away from Reshiram and aimed his claws at Hydreigon.

"No! I won't let any of you touch her!" Reshiram positioned herself in a way that she could aim at both Hydreigon and Zekrom at the same time, then released a Dragon Pulse with all her might.

Before Hydreigon could get to his target, he was caught by surprise by Zekrom, who was Still set in killing his rival's hero. The black legendary came in a flash from the other side of the room, hitting Hydreigon with a Dragon Claw. Before Zekrom could release the next attack in Touko's direction, he was hit by a Dragon Pulse from Reshiram. Zekrom was violently dragged by it, and along with a portion of the attack, slammed into Hydreigon. Both crashed into one of the still standing walls and ruined the throne room even more. It didn't do as much damage as the Fusion Bolt from before, but pieces of concrete fell once again, and this time, one of them hit Ghetsis.

Soon after expending all her strength on that attack, Reshiram passed out from exhaustion. Before unconsciousness took hold of her, the only thing she could do was wish for Touko to be safe.

Suddenly, all was silent. Touko didn't dare to open her eyes. She had no idea of what could have happened. By the sounds of destruction, surely things got uglier. Someone else could have died. Maybe a pokemon. Or maybe even Ghetsis... Even after thinking he should have died instead of N, the thought of someone dying, even if it was a heartless person like Ghetsis, did not appeal to her even a little. Inadvertently, the image of N's deformed body flashed in her mind, then she couldn't take it anymore and fainted.


A/n: this chapter took so, so much time, and was very hard to write, mainly because I wasn't sure of what to do about the battle against Ghetsis.

And here is it. THE character death that I warned you about in the notes before Chapter 1 (it's also mentioned in the summary, by the way). But remember that I also said there would be a character rebirth of sorts? (it's also in the summary) Yes, N will be back, although in slightly different circumstances (and no, he won't be reborn as a pokemon). There'll be a few chapters before that, but he will come back.

Some differences from the games:

* I couldn't come up with an explanation for N's special ability to heal pokemon, so I had to do it in another (more "normal") way (berries).

* In the games, the Forewarn ability can't predict which attack is coming nor when it will hit. It only reveals the opponent's strongest moves.

* In the games, it isn't possible for a confused pokemon to poison itself with Toxic, but I thought it would be a funny twist to that dark and serious moment :P.

Moves:

* Munna learns Energy Ball via TM.

* Ghetsis' Eelektross doesn't have it, but Eelektross learns Thunder Wave via TM.

* Ghetsis' Bisharp doesn't have it, but Bisharp learns Iron Head at level 57.

Update (2013/06/07): I turned N and Touko's last conversation into an audio drama, but in Japanese! Those who like watching anime with Japanese audio (subtitled or otherwise), may find it interesting (or not XD). You can listen to it at the following link (remove spaces):

gobblin . se / u / aiyumi / m / psl-ch004-true-plans

It begins with N talking to Touko after the battle, then Ghetsis appears and reveals his true plans, snatches N's pokemon and throws him aside. There are no subtitles, but the dialogue is basically the same as in this story (or at least it's the closest that I managed to translate...). The difference is that there isn't a narrator, so one of the characters must describe the happenings in his/her thoughts so the listener isn't left in the dark... And that's about it. I think it turned out pretty good, and I hope to make more of these in the future!