Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 1

"AKIRA!" Pause. Footsteps. "KIRA!!!"

With a start, the navy blue haired recent collge graduate woke up, immediately blinded by the evil sunlight pouring in through her now open windows. Scowling, she glared at the blurry figure that stood infront of the window, curtains in hand. Her still sleepy mind made the connection that he was the one who had drawn the curtains, exposing her to the cursed bright light of the outdoors, and had yelled her name to wake her up. Rolling her still un-adjusted eyes, she let herself fall back into the bed and drew the covers over her head, slipping into the warmth and darkness of the slumber she had been rudely awakened from.

"Akira, we've been over this before. Get up and get dressed or you'll be late for your appointement with the professor!" The evil voice commanded, pulling the blabnkets off her and exposing her to the cold morning air.

"Go 'way." She growled, feebly trying to reclaim her sheets.

"No! Akira, you're ten years older than most people when they first get their pokemon.

"So? I don't want a pokemon." She mumbled, now curled up without her blanket, for trying to get it back took too much energy and required her to have her eyes open. However, her friend had other ideas, and she found herself abruptly on the hard floor of her bedroom. Now awake, she jumped up and looked at him, annoyed by the smirk on his face.

"Nice to see you up. I'll be waiting downstairs, so hurry uo and get dressed." Before she could lunge at him, he and his growlithe had swiftly departed her room.

Sighing, she dragged her feet over to her mirror, brushing her waist-length hair. She used to keep it short, but it grew so fast and she'd just given up on it. Hastily throwing it into a ponytail, she changed into a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt, then ran downstairs to meet up with her friend. "Jay, I think my floors developing a crack. You throw me out of bed too much."

He grinned, glad to see her back in good humour. "Maybe I'll try throwing you off the other side next time then, but right now, let's go. We're late!" He grabbed her hand and dragged her outside and into his car where she quickly fastened her seatbelt before he sped off through the town.

"So, got any idea what you want to get?" He asked, narrowly avoiding hitting a tennager who was crossing the road.

"No." She answered shortly, wincing inwardly at the hurt expression on his face. She liked him, really, but she just wasn't in the mood for human contact nowadays... Allowing herself to smile slightly, she watched the various expressions that played over his mischevious face as he sped through the town. His black hair was smoewhat spikey, and he tended to leave it however it was when he woke up so it often fell over his sparkly emerald eyes, which gave him an excuse to flip it back with a graceful flick of his hand every now and then. He was tall, and lithe, kinda like a persian in her opinion, and though he radiated joy and carefreeness, she knew from the expression on his face when he thought no one was watching him that he was dangerous in his own way, and not to be underestimated.

The car pulled to a screeching halt, and Jay leapt out of the car and ran around to Akira's side, opening the door and helping her out. With a twinkle in his eye, he grinned, but then put an apologetic expression on his face. "Am I forgiven, 'Kira??"

She laughed despite her previous bad mood, and hugged him for she couldn't help herself. He was so nice to her even though she didn't deserve it, didn't deserve him sticking by her side for all those days she'd been depresed and anti-social. "You're forgiven Jay." Then she looked up at him, playfully flicking back a strand of his hair. "You should've been an actor Jay, not a gym leader."

Shrugging, he picked up his growlithe, who Akira could have sworn rolled his eyes, but that was impossible, right? "Let's go inside, the Proffessors waiting."

They entered, and Akira blinked at the sheer size of the lab. For a small island like Reva, she would have expected a much smaller, and less advanced lab, but no, this was a big, technologically advanced lab, like one that you would expect to find on the famous 'Pokemon Island'.

Jay grinned again, having known that her reaction would be something like that. He grabbed her hand and tugged her away from her awed examination of the lab, and away from a small cage that contained an odd looking egg she'd never seen before in any pokemon books.

"This is the Prof." Jay said as they came to a halt infront of a man who was probably only a year or two older than Jay.

"Professor Wilson, or Kevin." The brown haired man corrected, rolling his brown eyes. "Welcomg to my lab. You're Akira, right?"

She nodded. "You can call me 'Kira if you want."

"Okay, 'Kira then. You're here to get your first pokemon, right?"

"Yes." She looked accusingly at Jay, who blinked innocently.

"So, any ideas what you want?" The professor continued.


"Great!" He exclaimed, grinning.

A puzzled expression immediately formed on the young woman's face as the professor and Jay exchanged looks of triumph. "What's going on-"

The professor cut her off. "How would you like-"

"A newborn, healthy-" Jay interrupted.

"Cuddly, cute-"

"Friendly, intelligent-"


"Free, though usually expensive, pokemon?" Jay finished, starting to push her over to the cages that were near the door. "See that egg? All yours!"

Akira had been right about to start demanding an explanation when she noticed the egg that was infront of her, the very same one she had been looking at right before Jay had taken her to Kevin. Being closer to it, she was now able to identify the kind of pokemon that layed those kind of eggs. There was only one pokemon species that could lay such beautiful eggs, navy blue with swirls of various lighter shades of blue that one could spend hours just staring at, and would take a very skilled artist to reciprocrate. The Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite family...

"You're giving my a dratini?" She asked, amazed. "Why?"

"You deserve it. You're old enough to be able to take care of a dratini. The usual starters wouldn't be... enough... for one as educated in the pokemon area as you ' Kira." Jay explained eloquently, so much so that she nearly completely believed him.

She gave him a skeptical look, but her attention was diverted as the egg started rocking, and she picked it up, surprised at how warm it was, and how sooft and smooth the shell was. Tiny cracks were appearing in the shell, and it suddenly broke open in her hands, revealing a moist, and rather small, baby dratini whose hide did not follow the usual colour pattern of baby dratini's, but was rather smilair to the swirls of the shell it was born in.

"Tini-dra?" It squeaked, looking up at Akira with a confused expression.

"I'm Akira."

"Tini-dra." It repeated, seeming to smile a little. "Dra-niti!" It exclaimed, followed by a peculiar giggling sound that many owners of dratini's had reported seemed exclusive to their species of pokemon.

"You want me to call you Arika?"


Akira smiled brightly, picking the dratini out of her lap and allowing it to curl onto her shoulders. "Jay, Kevin, thank you." They'd given her a reason to keep on living...


Kevin watched Jay and Akira walk out, a slight smile on his lips. While he wished he was allowed to tell them more about what they were getting into, he knew he couldn't, and wouldn't until it was the right time. Jay knew enough, and would be able to cope along with his growlithe.


Kevin turned, then picked up the persian that stood behind him. "No Nevik, it's not time for us to join them yet, but they'll be fine."

The persian purred, but still looked up worriedly at the professor.


Next Day

Solemn brown eyes surveyed the small town, or rather, island, called Reva. It appeared a peaceful, quiet place. Perfect for a little rest and relaxation, maybe a pokemon battle or two, but mostly just to enjoy his vacation.

Many people stopped and stared as he passed by, although they attempted to hide their surprised expressions. He noticed, but simply smoothed back his hair, and then stared back until they looked away. It was annoying although he had learnt how to cope with it, but he only wished the pokemon league didn't make it necessary for all pokemon masters to wear the silver wrist bangles. They were and three and a half inches long, but quite thing, and thankfully did not hamper the movements of his wrists. Expensive and quite well made they were, but they were too obvious and he hated being so easily identified. Unfortunately, he was in the Southern Hemisphere, so he couldn't use the long-sleeved shirt trick to hide his identity.

"Pika..." The electric mouse pokemon on his shoulder looked at his trainer, and best friend, a little anxiously. He'd been begging him to take a vacation from his job, and he'd finally agreed. Now he was just looking forward to them spending some quality time together.

"Sorry Pikachu, I was just thinking about my job..."


"Okay, I'll relax, I'll relax. Just don't shock me." He smiled slightly as turned to regard his little buddy. "You know, I read that-" The young man was cut off by the sudden appearance of a young woman, maybe just a little younger than him, exiting a store with an older man, maybe her older brother or something. They talked briefly, then parted, laughing at the same time, and she started to walk in his direction.

She was, in his opinion, stunning. Sparkling blue eyes that he could only describe as noble. Long, wavy hair that cascaded down her shoulders in silky, navy blue rivulets. She walked with a confident air few could match, and the smile on her face showed that she had a sense of humour. On her shoulders and around her neck was a tiny baby dratini, one that matched it's owner in beauty, for it had an extraordinary skin pattern of dark and light blue swirls.

"Hi!" She greeted him, walking up and putting out her hand to shake his. Completely bewildered as to why she was saying hi to him, he looked around for a moment to be sure that it was indeed him she was speaking to, before responding (thankfully without stuttering) and shaking her hand back. "You're new here, right? So am I. Just moved here.... A few weeks ago?"

He nodded, unsure of what to say, but his pikachu nudged him on the neck, urging him to say something. "I... I'm just here to rest. And maybe challenge the gym leader, but I only have my Pikachu with me."

"He's so cute!" She scratched him gently behind one ear, and the pokemon leaned eagerly into the gentle touch. "I always wanted a pikachu..."

"Tini!" Her own pokemon protested.

"But now I'm glad I got 'Rika." She gently unhooked the dratini from around her neck and then hugged it.

"She's very pretty, I've never seen a dratini like her before." He reached out to pet her, before withdrawing his hand and asking permission.

"Go ahead, she loves attention. I just got her yesterday, but she's been taking command of things rather fast." Her eyes twinkled happily again, but he saw sadness hidden under them...

He petted the little dratini, grinning when it 'purred'. "I haven't heard many dratinis purr before... Thanks for the opportunity."

"You're welcome..." She broke off, rolling her eyes. "God, how rude of me! What's your name? There aren't many pokemon masters so I should know, but I'm not sure. I'm Akira, you can call me 'Kira though."

"My name's Ash."

"Ash Ketchum?"

He waited for the usual bombardment of questions, but it never arrived.

"Well, Mr. Ketchum, it's nice to meet you."

"Same here..."

"Pikachu, pika." The pokemon whispered in his ear.

"Oh! Would you like to go to dinner tomorrow?"

"Sorry, I'm going touring with Jay..."

/Jay? Who's Jay...?/ "Lunch then?" He asked hopefully.

"Sure! I'll meet you here at twelve-thirty! I gotta run now though!" She flashed him a smile and then ran off, replacing her dratini on her neck as she ran, Ash watching with a smile of his own fixed on his face. He felt a strange attachment to her... One he couldn't quite describe, and one he'd never felt before, but he had a feeling he'd be seeing a lot of her for a while.

If only he knew the half of it.

Next day

"Dratinis... Dratinis... Ah, there we go." Kira flipped hurriedly through the heavy pokemon book, trying to find some information on dratinis and their evolutions. Although she had majored in pokemon research, her classes had not extensively covered dragon pokemon, so she knew next to nothing about them. "Let's see, it says here that you guys are extremely rare, eat a wide variety of food and are omnivorous..." She scanned through, picking out important facts. "And you guys are a dying race... Not many pictures of your species are owned, and few people can afford to own one of you guys..."

"Dratini..." The little baby dragon pokemon looked sadly at the foggy picture of a dragonite.

"I'm sorry 'Rika... But they say they're working hard to re-establish your species, so don't worry! This book's a little old." She hefted it off her lap and put it back on the shelf. As she stood up to leave the library, a flash a gold caught her eye and she looked back, her eyes drawn to a navy blue book with it's title written in gold. "It's not in english..." She muttered to herself, and now curious, picked up the book, which was even heavier than than the pokemon one, and settled down in a chair with her dratini. Opening it to a random page, she realised that although the title was in a strange old language, the actual text was in English.

"Tini!" Squeaking suddenly, the dratini surprised her new trainer, who looked at her, but returned to reading the book.

"Life has paths that fork, paths that bend and cross. Destiny and fate help one to decide which to take, but the twisted path a soul leads during it's life is ultimately up to itself, and each life has a different end, never the same, though often similar. Often, a soul gets a second chance, but the past is forgotten, and choosing the same twisted path that led to the soul's end often happens." She closed the book. "Weird..."


She jumped in her seat, and nearly dropped the book. "Ash!" Her eyes immediately looked up at the clock, and she clasped her hand over her mouth. "Oh God, I forgot!" She put the book back on the shelf and looked apologetically at Ash. "I'm so sorry... I have this habit of getting sidetracked..."

"Doesn't matter, this is the first place I came to look for you. Guess I got lucky." He shrugged.

Akira had to admit, she felt really bad for standing him up. "I'm gonna have to make up for this..."

"Don't worry about it 'Kira!" He smiled, and she relaxed a little. "Anyway, on my way here, I saw a really nice little cafe..."


Finishing off her last bite, Akira looked curiously at Ash's pikachu, a slightly worried frown on her face. "So much ketchup can't be good for him..."

Ash looked at the pikachu who was currently, munching way at his fries with ketchup, or rather, ketchup with fries, for they were drowning in the tomato sauce. "He'll be fine, I don't let him have it all that often, and it's his favorite food."

"Pika!" The little pokemon exclaimed after swallowing his previous mouthful.

"He's your pokemon..." She said under her breath to herself. "So, we've talked about my college, a little bit about your past, let's move onto some interesting things. Got a girlfriend?"

"Talk about sudden! Where'd that come from?" A shocked look was on his face, but he regarded the college graduate curiously.

"Well, I just want to know, now do you?" Dark blue eyes twinkled mischievously as they regarded the young pokemon master.

He nervously began to play with his watch, not looking up. "Not really..."

"Not really?" If Akira had been a growlithe, her ears would have been up and alert. "What's that mean?"

"We're not really going out anymore, we're just friends now." He still didn't look up.

"What's her name? No, wait! I know who it is!" She grinned and raised her eyebrows. "Misty Waterflower, right? You two made such a cute couple!"

A dark look crossed his face and he smiled grimly. "Read Pokemon Enquirer much?"

"Unfortunately, yes." The grin fade to a slight smile. "Don't want to talk about it?"

"I'd rather not..."

"Kachu." The pokemon agreed.

"So, do you have a boyfriend?"

Now it was her turn to squirm, and she turned bright red.

"Oh? You're blushing now? Well, how the mighty have fallen!"

She stuck her tongue out at him, but the blush remained, and she mumbled something.

"What was that? I didn't hear you?"

"I've never had one... I just haven't found the right guy."

This was not the answer Ash had been expecting. "Never? Have you at least had a crush on anyone?"

She shook her head.

"Well, there's nothing wrong with saving yourself for the right guy."

She nodded, and opened her mouth to say something, but Arika started tightening up on her neck, and she had to pry the dratini off before she choked her. "'Rika? What's wrong?"

"DRATINI!" For such a small, and young pokemon, 'Rika had a loud scream... Confused, Akira looked around to see what was bothering her, and her eyes fell upon a young man, dressed all in black and about her age, standing in the middle of the street, just watching her. His eyes were a beautiful liquid gold, and she wondered if they were contacts, except they seemed so real... Short and somewhat spiky black hair covered his head, and some fell over his face. Without taking his eyes off her, he raised one of his hands to brush the fallen hair away gracefully.

Akira had never felt so drawn to someone, and her sudden attraction to this mysterious stranger bothered, yet somehow pleased her. She didn't know him, and it was rude of him to be watching her like that, but it was... 'exciting' in a way, to have a secret admirer. However, she had no chance to get up and go scold him for staring, for she began to feel a bit dizzy, and her eyes rolled back before closing, and the world seemed to fade away.


Bright light... blurry colors moving...

Akira opened her eyes slowly, then blinked several times, trying to adjust her eyes to the light. "What...happened?" She asked, but right as the word left her mouth, she remembered. /He had such intense gold eyes.../ She thought to herself, sighing in frustration as this longing for another human being was strange and unknown to her, and she had no idea what to do.

"You passed out at the cafe." Ash answered, smiling out of relief as she sat up somewhat groggily.

She looked around, and was surprised to find herself back home. "How'd you know where I live?"

"Someone at the cafe directed me here. He was really nice, a pokemon professor." What he left out was what the older man had hinted at, that something traumatic had happened to her, which was why she'd moved onto this peaceful, in the middle of nowhere island.

/Must have been Kevin.../ After smoothing back her hair, she rubbed her eyes and then looked around for 'Rika, finding the little dratini and assuring it that she was all right. "Did you happen to see a young man about my age, dressed in black?" She asked hopefully.

He shook his head. "No." Again, he left out something, the fact that while he had carried her back, he had felt a presence watching him, daring him to try something. He'd decided it was just a pokemon, but somehow, he wasn't sure anymore...

"Oh..." She seemed disappointed, and Ash wondered why.

"Pikachu. Pika?" The electric mouse, who had been silent up till then, tugged on his trainer's hat.

"Oh shoot! I forgot! I'm supposed to make an appearance at the local school. See you tomorrow?"

She nodded.

"Great! Bye!" He grinned, then ran out.

"Men..." She rolled her eyes and then looked at Rika. "You okay 'Rika? You seemed a little freaked out back there."

"Tini-ti." If the little baby pokemon had shoulders, she would have shrugged.

"Well, I'm exhausted Rika. I'm going to go back to sleep now, kay?"



Ash wandered out of his hotel room, placing his cap back on, a new one, not the old one he'd traveled with one he was a mere eleven years old. This one was black and navy blue, with a lightning bolt in the front. Like his old one, he wore it everywhere.

Walking around aimlessly, he eventually found himself in front of the local gym, and curious as always, he peeked in, wanting to meet the gym leader. Although Reva was a relatively tiny and unknown island, their gym leader was pretty well known in that region. It was said that although he owned a single un-evolved pokemon, he could easily beat any league. Of course, Ash decided that was just the exaggeration of the trainers who had been beaten to try and make up for the fact that they'd lost...

"Hello?" He called. The place seemed... empty.

"Come in."

Nearly jumping out of his skin, Ash realized that the place [i]wasn't[/i] empty, and that in fact, the gym leader was sitting at a desk with a pair of reading glasses on and pouring over some very old looking notes.

"Uh, hi. My name's Ash-"

"Pokemon Master, originally from Pallet Town, used to go out with Misty Waterflower but their current status is 'Just Friends'. Last seen at the 'Seadra's Fin Cafe' with the young college graduation Akira, who fainted, and was escorted back to her house by Kevin, a pokemon professor." The gym leader spoke in a drawling monotone, but when he was done, he looked up from his work and grinned at the surprised trainer. "I know everything that goes on in this town."

"So it seems..." Now that Ash could see the gym leader from the front, he realized that he'd seen him before... "You're Jay, right? I saw you with Akira once."

"The one and only. Are you here to battle?"

"No, my pikachu's resting-"

"Good, my growlithe's not in the mood to battle. We had a disagreement earlier today, and he hasn't spoken to me since. Growlithe's can be very moody sometimes." The young man shrugged nonchalantly, turning back to his work.

"I've noticed that actually..." Ash said, recalling a particular incident with an Officer Jenny's growlithe squad.

"Say, do you know how to use a sword?"

"A what?" He blinked. The gym leader seemed to say the most random things...

"A sword. Long big sharp knife thingy that people used to fight with in the olden days?"

"Uh, yeah... I took lessons a while back."

Getting up from his desk, the older man removed his glasses and ran a quick hand through his ebony black hair, which didn't really do much as all the strands fell right back to where they'd previously been. "Follow me." He jerked his head towards one of the doors, then started walking to it. "This is my private collection." He said as he opened the door, and revealed a room full of more ancient swords than Ash had ever seen in one place.

"This must be worth a fortune!" That was the first thing that crossed his mind... At least, until he saw this one sword that happened to catch his eyes.

It was the perfect size for Ash, as he discovered when he walked over to it and picked it up gently. The sword was old, judging by the intricate lighting designs on both the blade and the handle. But although it was old, that did not mean it was not well made, for it was, and was much better than many of the modern imitation swords people were into nowadays. This was a beautiful piece of art, and Ash couldn't help but find it familiar for some reason, as if he should know it, or had known it at one point in his life.

"It's yours if you want it." Jay spoke from the doorway, watching Ash with a certain gleam in his eyes.

"M...Mine?" Ash stuttered, glancing down at the sword. Somehow, it seemed right that he should have it, but it didn't seem right to take such a beautiful thing away from Jay. "I can't accept it."

"Go ahead and take it. I'm not using it for anything, and it really wasn't all that expensive."

Still not thoroughly convinced, the pokemon master nodded. "Th... Thanks!"

"Don't mention it..."

"Well, I should be returning to my pikachu now, so I might stop by tomorrow to battle you."

"Go ahead, but believe me," And here, the smile that seemed permanently fixed to his face faded a little, "I'm not that easy to beat, so come prepared."

"I'll try and remember that." Ash nodded again, and then bolted out the door. He didn't know why, but he seemed a little intimidated by the gym leader... The guy was nice, really nice, and extremely friendly, but something about him seemed just... different!


Rolling his eyes after the pokemon master had left, Jay removed the single pokeball that was on his belt and dropped it non-chalantly on the floor, where it cracked open and a beam of light formed, revealing a very 'p'oed' growlithe.

"I'm not speaking to you." It said, turning it's back on the gym leader.

"Oh come on, I apologised!"

"So? And you dropped my pokeball again." It turned around to stick it's tongue out.

Jay sighed. Why'd Jyp have to be so difficult? Oh wait, he was was a growlithe... "But I'm sorry Jyp! I'll buy you a new set of manga!"

"Those are a very hard to find series Jay, and expensive too! They're imported."

"I'll look extra hard."

"You'll just end up donating them to the library again." Here, the growlithe turned around to face his 'friend'. "Those aren't just any comics Jay! Those are manga, and from Pokemon Island no less! They cost me a fortune, and you keep me on a limited allowance too."

"Oh fine!" The gym leader dug into his pocket and withdrew his wallet, but as he was about to take out some cash, the pokemon leapt up and grabbed the wallet from his hand and placed it firmly under his paw.

"I'll be holding onto this until I find replacements." Inwardly, the pokemon smirked at the astounded look on his 'trainer's face. /And that's one for Jyp!/

"Oh shut up..." Jay retorted, having picked up that thought. "I found the guardian by the way. His name's Ash, he's a pokemon master, and he's met Akira already."

Rolling his eyes, the pokemon sat down with a huff. "Like, I've noticed already! You should, like, remember that I can, like, read your mind."

"Oh yeah... And stop with the Waterflower nonsense." Jay grimaced slightly before sitting down with a sigh. "Anyway, I guess that means you know he has his sword."

"And that he, like finds Akira attractive, and that you're, like feeling, like jealous this very moment." The growlithe turned around and walked over to Jay, standing on his hind legs and placing his head on the man's lap. "Jay, I tell you everyday, you [i]must[/i] not fall in love with her! Her heart belongs to another, even if she doesn't know it!"

"I know, I know, it's just..."

"It's just nothing." The pokemon retracted his head and then leapt onto his friend's lap. "Anyway, I believe we should drop this subject, I sense a certain young female coming."

"Huh?" And right as the pokemon slipped back into his pokeball along with Jay's wallet, a bright blue light filled the room, blinding the gym leader momentarily.

"Jay!" Before he even opened his eyes, he was knocked out of his chair by a bundle of blonde hair, sky blue eyes and flowers.

"Happy to see me?" He asked, attempting to sit up with the 'six year old' in his lap. "What happened to being formal?"

She threw her tiny arms around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder. "Were we ever formal with each other Jay?" With a sly smile on her face, she plucked a single flower from her all natural outfit and placed it behind one of his ears. "There."

"So, how come you're here?"

"How come I'm here?" She frowned and looked sternly at him. "Can't I just be here because I want to?"

"You can, but you wouldn't."

She stuck her tongue out at him, but didn't move from where she sat. "You're getting too tense you know."

"What's that got to do with anything?"

"Everything. I can't have you being tense you know. You need to relax more." Suddenly, she stopped and peered into his eyes. "Oh h*ll," She muttered in disgust. "You still have a soft spot for Akira don't you?"

"What is this? Gang up on Jay day?" He suddenly stood up, dumping her on the floor. "First Jyp, now you! I trust you two the most in this world, can't you just leave me be?"

"No. I can't." She too stood, and then hovered in the air so she was at eye level with him. "Not when the whole world is at stake!"

He did not reply, but glared at her, and then turned his back on her. "Please leave." He said coldly.

Blinking in shock, she stared at his back, but then quickly regained her composure and replied coolly, "Fine, I'll go." And she disappeared with another flash of bright blue light.

Employing his uncanny sense of timing, the growlithe emerged from his pokeball again, looking curiously at his partner, his best friend. "What happened?" He asked, genuinely concerned about Jay. Gently, he probed at the human's mind, but found himself locked out.

"Not now Jyp, go away."

"Go away? I'm sorry, but I'm not letting you order me around. What happened?" With his superior hearing, Jyp could have sworn he heard Jay sniff slightly. Was he crying? But... Jay didn't cry...! He hadn't for the longest time.

"We just had a little run in... I got a little mad at her, and she's probably mad at me." The gym leader turned around, and the growlithe noticed that his eyes were slightly red. "Why can't I get rid of this love I feel for Akira? I've never fallen in love before, so why now, why her?"

Trotting up on his short legs, Jyp placed a consoling paw on Jay's leg. "Pal, if I knew what it meant to 'fall in love', I might be able to answer you... But as you can see, I'm a pokemon... We don't love the way humans do." "I know, I know..." He wiped his eyes with his shirtsleeve and forced a small smile onto his face. "I'm being an idiot, aren't I?"

"No, you're just being yourself, which, actually, is about the same thing..." The growlithe mused.

The bright sparkle that inhabited Jay's eyes returned, and he picked up the growlithe, ruffling its white mohawk playfully. "Shut up Jyp, or do you want me to list all your faults?"

"I'd like to see if you could come up with anything." He replied in a haughty tone.

"Oh, well firstly, you're extremely cynical sometimes-"



"Late!" Akira exclaimed, sitting up in her bed and looking at the time. Would it ever be possible for her to be on time to anything? She hurriedly threw off her clothes and picked out a light green dress from her wardrobe, slipping into it as she tried to brush her hair. Narrowly avoiding tripping over a chair, she put on her shoes as she ran down the stairs, running back up to get Arika, and finally zooming out the door to meet Jay at the donut shop, which was most likely closed by then unfortunately. "Hi Jay!" She called out as he came into view.

"Hey 'Kira!" He smiled when he saw her, and walked up to meet her. "Wait, don't tell me. You overslept?"

"How'd you-"

"You were running, you never run unless you're in a hurry." He pointed out. "Anyway, lets get on with the tour before everything's closed."

He showed her the basics of the town, taking her a little deeper in than she'd been since she had been there. Contrary to her former beliefs, Reva actually did have some 'fun' places to go to, the 'popular' spots where people her age hung out. After the quick, two-hour tour, they finally settled down at a small diner.

Finally noticing the slightly uneasy air Jay was giving off, Akira decided it was time for some answers. "Jay?"

"Hmm?" He answered absently, setting his coke down.

"What's going on?"

"What do you mean?"

She rolled her eyes. "Stop playing dumb with me. You keep acting as if you expect the world to suddenly explode or something. Or that you know the biggest secret in the whole wide world and are dying to tell someone, but you can't or something bad might happen."

Blinking, he looked at her somewhat blankly. "You kinda hit the nail on the head."

Her turn to blink. "Wha... What do you mean?" She frowned, for she had only been joking when she'd spoken previously.

"I'm not expecting the world to explode, but what I am expecting is close enough. And I do know a very big secret, several actually, and if I tell, something very bad, like, the world being destroyed, might happen." He spoke quite calmly, and even the growlithe the sat on his lap seemed a little surprised.

The young woman leaned across the table and looked into Jay's eyes. "Excuse me for asking, but what are you smoking?"

"Nothing. Go ahead, ask 'Rika if what I said is true."

Deciding to humor him, she looked at the dratini. "Is it true?"

A sudden voice intruded her mind, a light, and young voice that sounded wise although it seemed to belong to a young child. /Yes, it is. You are my mother, Akira. You are the Mother of All Dragons, and I am your firstborn. You died many millennia ago, and now you are back to right what has gone wrong in the world since then./

"Okay... I would like to re-word my last question to you Jay. What am I smoking?"

"Nothing, it's simply the truth. We're kinda out on a quest to save the world to put in bluntly..." The older man shrugged, scratching the back of his head. "Look, you've got to believe me. You're Akira, Mother of All Dragons. You may have forgotten that, but it doesn't change who you are. Your trusting me is a key factor to this world surviving."

She had to admit, it sounded very real, and when she thought about all the strange things that had happened recently... No! What was she thinking? "I'm sorry Jay, but I don't know what kind of game you're playing." Getting up she turned abruptly and started to leave.

"Do something!" The growlithe hissed.

Jay placed his partner on the table and ran after Akira. Without thinking, he grabbed her shoulders and turned her so she was facing him, and after staring into her eyes for three wild seconds, he kissed her. But the moment their lips touched, he drew back in shock, looking at her with fear in his eyes. "I'm sorry... 'Kira..." He whispered, genuine apology in his voice. Franticly, he looked at the growlithe, and then ran out, the pokemon now a few feet behind him.

"Jay!" She called after him, but he had disappeared into the night, and her only option was to return home extremely puzzled about what had happened in the last fifteen minutes. And the last thing she remembered was the complete devotion and adoration in Jay's eyes right before he'd kissed her...


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