Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 12

"Akira? Where are you? Akira!"

She could hear someone calling her, calling her desperately. But where, where was the voice coming from? She looked around desperately, trying to see through the blackness of wherever she was. "Hello? Is someone there?"

"Akira, I need your help..." The voice said again, almost as if pleading with her.

"I'd help you if I knew where you were!" She snapped, taking a few steps forward. She could not tell where she was, she could not even see her own hands or feet. "Arika?" She asked tentatively. No response. The dratini wasn't there. Was this a dream by any chance? She remembered feeling hot, and then falling, being caught by... was it Ash? Had to have been. But after that, her mind was blan to... her? And beside the spiky haired man, was a girl who looked exactly like her, but with light blue hair.

"That is me, Sian, Calisin and you."

"You're my identical twin?"

"Yes, it's too bad you don't remember, but you will, someday."

"And those two are also identical?" She peered closely at the vision. "Yes, they are. But with the hairstyles, they look so different!"

"For identical twins they were always very different, suited us perfectly though."

"Calisin was my husband?"

"Yes." The voice seemed to find it slightly amusing that Akira didn't remember. "You loved each other very much."

"Calisin..." Akira whispered to herself, staring at him. He was handsome, that she could not deny. With his navy blue hair and dark blue eyes like her, and that something noble about him. Somehow, she felt she remembered him. It was coming to her...

"You're remembering now?" The voice, her sister, was delighted.

"Yes, I'm remembering..." Memories slowly floated back to her, dangling just beyond her grasp like carrots in front of a ponyta. But then they drifted away. "No." She whispered. "No!" She wanted to remember, she wanted to remember so badly, to remember her real family.

"Sister, where are you going? I need you!"

"Going?" It was then that Akira realized she seemed to be drifting further away from the other presence, further, and further, and further...


Her eyes flew open. She was back in her bed, and she had one hell of a headache. Sitting up, she realised Rika was sleeping on her pillow. She noticed she had somehow made it to her bed, and Ash was sleeping on the floor with Pikachu and Sorrow. Poor him. He was probably going to have a killer ache in his neck when he woke up.

She stepped out of bed carefully, holding her head to try and stop her movement from triggering the pain in her head. "I feel like a psyduck..." She mumbled to herself, walking stiffly out of her room and down the stairs. It was in the middle of a yawn that she could have sworn she had seen an Onix's tail coming out of her spare bed room. She walked back upstairs, and sure enough, there was Taie curled up in one corner on the bed, with Kevin lying on the other half. Rosc's onix, Roan, was lying down the middle, the rest of her massive body trailing out of the room. Rosc himself was sleeping on the couch. The poor guy barely fit on the thing.

Smiling despite her headache, she walked downstairs, and discovered Jay sleeping sitting up on the couch, and Sajoya taking up the other half, her head resting on his thigh, using it as a pillow. One of his arms was draped around her shoulders. Now Akira grinned, for she wondered what their reaction would be when they woke up and found themselves in such a close position. They'd probably fallen asleep while discussing something and somehow ended up like that.

Yawning again, she fumbled through the cabinets in her tiny kitchen and found some aspirin. She grabbed a glass, filled it with water from the fridge, and took the aspirin. "Can't wait for it to kick in..." She muttered, sitting the glass down in the sink and not washing it. Then, yet again, she realized something long after the fact. She opened her fridge and found it empty... They'd all probably come in hungry last night. Akira looked out. It was nice and sunny. Wouldn't hurt to sneak out and go buy some supplies. She trudged back upstairs and took a quick shower, then put on a pair of dark green shorts and a light blue T-shirt. She slipped on a pair of sandals and headed outside, not bothering to wake Arika, but leaving a note that she'd gone to buy some food. Then she realised she didn't have enough money to buy food for the whole group, so she slipped back inside and borrowed Jay's wallet.

She walked down the path quietly humming to herself for no particular reason, and found her mind wandering to her dream the night before. Was it real? She kinda liked the thought that she might have a sister, an identical twin sister at that. But what was her name? And if the dream was somehow real, then her sister was in trouble, and somehow had accidentally caused that storm. But what kind of trouble was the other girl in? And what could Akira do?

Sighing, she kicked a stone down the path. She'd been so close to remembering... She wanted to remember so badly. Maybe her sister could help her out if she found her? Yeah! That might be the key! Find her sister, remember her past, help her sister. Maybe not necessarily in that order though.

And that Calisin...What was he like? He'd seemed quite, well, cold when she had seen him at the cafe, but that image of him in her dream seemed so kind, so gentle, so loving... She found it hard to believe that they were the same person. She wanted to meet the one from her dream, she wanted to see him in person... Had he changed in this current life? Was he now longer the one from the past?

Akira stopped walking, realizing that she was now in town. She hurried to a small grocery store and picked out enough food to last them for a while. She had a feeling they'd be there for some time. While she was there, she noted that they carried things like sleeping bags and other overnight things. However, right now, she could only carry the food, and things like soap and toothbrushes.

She walked back home, again thinking about the dream. Calisin, Sian... Names from her past. Who were these twins that now filled her every thought? This just wasn't like her, to fantasize about a man she'd never met. Well, technically, she knew him very well in the past, and she had meant him briefly in this life, but she didn't really know him at that moment. So why? What could explain this new obsession? She sighed, and started humming a song again. She couldn't remember where she had learnt the song, or what it was called, but she liked the tune, and now it was stuck in her head.

Still humming, she made it back home and opened the door, hurrying to the kitchen so she could put the bags down and rest her arms. She sat down for a moment to give her poor body some time to rest. That was when she realized her headache had gone. Now how had it slipped away without her realizing it?

"Good morning. Are you okay?" Ash walked into the kitchen, sleepily rubbing his eyes. Around his neck was Arika, and behind him Pikachu and Sorrow were all but sleep-walking.

"I'm fine. Mind un-packing these things for me and sorting them out? I'll go wake the others."

He seemed to study her for a moment, checking to see if she was really okay or if she was just hiding something. But she appeared okay. "Sure thing." He replied, shuffling over to the table and curiously looking through the bags.

Akira first tip-toed over to Jay and Sajoya. She giggled, then shook Jay gently. "Wake up sleepyhead." She said.

His eyes opened, squinting in the light. "Wha...?"

Akira grinned. He looked so funny when he'd just woken up. His hair was all messed up and his eyes were blood-shot. And the expression when he realized Sajoya was using one of his thighs for a pillow, and he had one arm draped around her shoulder, was priceless!

Sajoya woke up at that moment, sitting up and looking around, confused for one moment. Then she looked at Jay and rubbed her head. "You don't make a very good pillow..." She mumbled, running one hand threw her now tangled blonde hair.

He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well I've lost the feeling in my leg; I think you blocked the blood-flow."

"Stop being such a baby, Jay. Just get up a walk around a bit."

"How can I walk if I can't feel my leg?" He retorted.

She stuck her tongue out at him, then got up and looked at the shorter, blue-haired girl. "Do you have a comb?"

Akira nodded. "I just bought a new one, hold on." She went and got the comb for Sajoya, and since she was going upstairs, grabbed the over bathroom stuff she'd bought. Putting everything away neatly in her bathroom, she then crept into the guest bedroom. First, she woke up Rosc. She'd thought he'd be hard to wake up, but it was surprisingly easily to get him up.

Then she walked up to Kevin and tapped him gently on the shoulder. "Kevin?"

He stirred gently, but just rolled over.

Akira frowned, then she shook him hard. "Wake up Kevin!"

He woke up, and the first thing he saw was the Onix lying in the middle of the bed. He somehow managed to end up on the floor mid-scream. "Ow..." He said, getting up and rubbing his back. "Rosc! Why is there an Onix in the bed?" He demanded. "Oh, good morning Akira."

"Good Morning Kevin!" She said cheerfully, going over to Taie. "Taie, wake up." She shook Taie's shoulders.

"Go 'way, trying to sleep." Taie replied, rolling over.

"Taie! Get up right now or I'll make sure Rosc goes with you and Kevin everywhere!"

Taie sat up. "I'm up, I'm up." She rubbed her eyes. "Must you be so cruel?" She asked with a fake pout.

"I'm not cruel, I just want you all up. I'm going to go make breakfast, so you go take a shower or something. There's only one bathroom though, so you'll have to make a mad dash for it if you want any hot water." And with that, Akira went off to make breakfast. She found herself happy for some strange reason. Though it was slightly depressing to know that her 'twin sister' was possible in trouble, and she could do nothing about it, she found it uplifting to know that she had gotten so close to remembering her past, and that she had a living relative, albeit a relative from the past.


"Don't worry, Saris. Everything will be okay..." A young man dabbed a wet face towel on her forehead, trying to lower the girl's temperature. She wasn't doing well, and all he could hope was that the others would get there soon.

Rina had fallen sick, but they had heard that the others, and Akira, were on their way to Reva, so they had hoped to catch up with them. However, Sarina's sickness had caused her to loose control of her powers, and she had caused a storm which lead to their boat sinking. They had been lucky that Rina's Seel was able to tow her to a small island, one of the uncharted ones near Reva. She had swam on her own, sticking by Rina's side.

Now, ever since they had landed there, he'd been taking care of her on his own. Saris, her seel, had been great help. She'd fished for him, and even retrieved their bags. His eevee, Errol, had been of much less help. The clothes had gotten wet, but there was a fresh water stream nearby and he simply rinsed them, then hung them out to dry. There was even an emergency kit with some food. Every now and then, Rina would wake up and he'd do his best to get her to eat and drink something before she went back to her feverish dreams.

She talked in her sleep, and many times, it seemed like she really was talking to someone else. He wondered, was it possible to travel into another's mind while sleeping? That could be both good and bad. On one hand, she could get some help, on the other hand, someone could enter her mind and control her.

/We will not let that happen./ Saris told him, coming up on the shore.

"Then who was she talking to?"

/Her sister. She was talking to her sister./ The seel answered. /You need some rest too. You may be her guardian, but how can you guard her while you're exhausted? Sleep now, you need the rest./

He ran a tired hand through his spikey dark brown hair. "Fine." He replied simply, curling up on one of the now dry sleeping bags Saris had towed in from the wreck the day before. "But if she shows any signs of causing another storm, wake me up!" And as soon as he closed his eyes, he fell asleep.


"Akira, you're not a bad cook." Jay complimented.

"Yeah. And here I was thinking not only would we be stuck here, but we'd have indigestion too." Ash added, earning a whack on the head from Kira.

"Just because you're a wonderful chef doesn't give you the right to automatically think everyone else is a terrible cook!" She scolded. "Now finish your food." She added.

"So, Akira, what happened last night? Jay's eyes were worried, and Akira could tell he had probably been up all night talking to Sajoya about her. The last thing he needed was to lose another friend.

"I... don't know what happened. I felt dizzy, and then I began to feel hot, and then I fell, and Ash caught me. That's all I remember."

Ash nodded. "Arika told me to catch Akira, and I got up and caught her right as she fainted." He looked gratefully at the dratini. "I carried her upstairs and laid her down on her bed, and I guess I ended up falling asleep watching her."

Sajoya frowned, then looked at Akira. "Did you have any strange dreams?" She asked.

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I did."

"What was it about?"

"It was dark... And there was a voice calling me. She wanted my help." Akira put her fork down and looked out the window for a little while. "She said she was my twin sister, and she showed me an image of myself, and a girl who I assume was her, especially since we're...identical twins."

Ash nearly choked on his food and Jay thumped him hard on the back.

"I'm...okay..." He coughed several times and took a sip of water.

"So she showed me an image of me, her and two men called Calisin and Sian. She said they were our husbands in the past..." Akira paused again, her eyes acquiring a faraway expression, but then she looked sad. "I, I almost remembered! My memories were coming back... But then, it seemed like the connection was cut, and we drifted further... That was when I woke up."

Sajoya looked at Jay. "So, that explains the storm... Something happened to her that caused her to loose control of her power, thus creating the storm. I hope her guardian is with her..."

"There's another guardian?" Ash asked, puzzled.

"Yes, there's another. Originally there was one, but he had two sons. "


Sajoya sighed, looking absently at her plate. "She must be nearby though. Today, we will have to travel around. I don't think she's in Reva, or at the sea-port. She must be at one of the small islands."

Jay nodded. "If only we had the complete prophecy about this event..."

"Is everyone done eating?" Rosc asked, and they all nodded. "I'll do the dishes then." And he cleared the table.

Sajoya dragged Jay off to go study the collection of prophecies he had made with Jyp, leaving everyone to do as they pleased until they decided it was a good time to leave.


/How long has it been since I've been here, wherever this is? It feels like it's been forever. So...tired... Want to sleep... But here... What is sleep? Have I rested my mind ever since this happened to me? This must be one of those things people are thinking of when they say 'there are worse things than death'. And they're right. I'd rather not exist than exist in this place.

One ironic thing though, is how prophecies have started to flow freely into my mind now, much clearer than before. I even have time to make them seem well written and all, some of them even rhyme now.

I have too much time on my paws...

But there's nothing else to do but prophecies events I won't see, and try and decipher them, then re-write them so they seem more 'prophetic'. Well, I must admit the new one is my best so far... Am I really going to go insane? This must be a 'Purgatory Coma'. To revive me, one must die, but I shall not allow anyone to die for my pitiful self to live again. I could not save myself. Its my fault that this has happened to me. I can only be thankful Jay knows nothing about how to reverse the effects of this 'coma'. I don't want him dying for me; he's a good human, and from me, that's saying a lot.

But it's so lonely... So cold, and dark, and lonely... If I only I could touch Jay's mind just once... I have a feeling, this nagging feeling that my newest work of art might be of some help to him. But no matter how far I reach, I can't find his mind. I've been trying for so long. I'm a failure, aren't I? A fucking failure. Can't even save my own life... Maybe it's good that I'm out of the game. I deserve to be taken out. I deserve to be in this coma...

Wait! What was that? For a moment, I thought I felt Jay... I saw light, a bright light... No, just my imagination. I probably *am* going insane. It's only a matter of time now. But I could have sworn I felt him. I really could have.../


While talking to Sajoya, Jay had this sudden feeling... For one second, he could have sworn on his mother's grave - if only he had one - that he had felt his partner's mind, but no, that was impossible.

"What's wrong Jay?" The blonde haired girl asked.

"I thought I felt Jyp's mind... But I guess it's just that I miss him so much... Just my imagination." He sighed. "Let's get back to work."

"No, wait!" She commanded. "Face me." She instructed him, and when he did so, she put her hands on his temples. "Close your eyes, and concentrate on trying to reach Jyp."

"Why? Is it possible to break through the coma, maybe bring him back?" He asked hopefully.

She shook her head sadly. "Bringing him back to his body would take a miracle. However, I dont believe that speaking to him is impossible, just extremely hard. The bond between you two is amazing, the strongest bond between human and pokemon I have ever known. I believe I may be able to bring back the link... Pausing, she wondered if maybe she was only raising his hopes too high. See, purgatory comas are basically the isolation of someone's mind from their body. The mind is taken to a faraway place, and eventually goes insane, and dies a lonely, and horrible death, but if I can re-establish the link, then we can save Jyp. He'll have to be content with seeing through your eyes, and being able to only directly communicate with you, and even then, only rarely, but it will be enough until-" She caught herself again. She had almost said 'until I can figure out how to save him'. "-until your mistress figures out how to save him.

"Go for it." Jay said, closing his eyes.

"Good, now reach for Jyp. You know what his mind feels like. Keep remembering that feeling, and sort of 'reach' out for him, like trying to reach for that apple in the tree that you can see, you know it's there, but its just too high. Something like that." She gave him instructions, leading him through various mind exercises.

"I feel him..." Jay whispered after fifteen minutes. "I can feel him!" A true smile spread across his face, but did not open his eyes.

"Yes!" She was amazed, and excited. Although she knew re-establishing the link was possible, she had not been sure it would work... "Jay, I know you can do this! I know you can 'catch' his mind. Pluck the apple from the tree that's holding it captive."

"You come up with very strange comparisons..." He muttered.

"Concentrate!" She snapped.

He didn't answer, but stuck his tongue out at her.

She rolled her eyes, but then closed them, helping him to latch onto Jyp's mind.

"I got him!" Jay exclaimed, opening his eyes and grinning. Suddenly, he hugged Sajoya, taking her by surprise. "Thank you..." He said. "I don't know how I can repay you for this..."

She hugged him back. "Don't worry about it, it's all I could do for you. You don't need to repay me." /I'm the one who owes you... I kept you from leading a perfectly normal life, took away the girl you loved, and then you lost your only real friend. What more could I do? I only wish I could fully restore Jyp.../

He finally broke off the embrace and wiped one of his green eyes dry. /Jyp? Jyp, you there?/


/Am I going insane, or is that...Jay? Is that really Jay? No, I must be seeing things... But, I can feel him so strongly! It cant be anyone else! It *must* be Jay, it *has* to be Jay! He's coming for me... He's actually here! But why? Why is he using up so much energy just to get me back?

The link. I can feel the link again.

Jay, how can I every repay you?/


/Am I here? Where the h*ll do you think I am?/

Jay grinned. "He's definitely there..."

/Where am I now? Anyone?/ The growlithe sounded a bit confused.

/I think you're in my head.../

/No wonder. It's so empty!/


/Just kidding Jay! Yeehaw! Now I have access to your most private memories!/


/I love you too!/

But then unlike the normal sarcastic way they usually said that, this came with a sudden feeling of love, pure love, and Jay felt his eyes tear up. /Love ya too, fire-mutt. Friends forever?/

/Friends forever./ There was a silent pause. /Hey, I nearly forgot! I got a new prophecy!/

/Really? Does it actually make sense this time?/

/Not to me, but you may be able to piece it together:

Weather gone wild which must be righted Sisters lost must be reunited Guardians and masters newly confirmed About thy mistresses should be concerned Rivals for three years and ten Must become good friends again To save thy loved ones thou must fight Through the darkness of the night Two dragons, one golden and one blue Will now be born again, anew But beware the one of dark and sorrow Or thou shall wake not tomorrow On an island small and hidden Is where thy group of eight is bidden

Like it? I put a lot of work into getting it to rhyme and all./

/It kinda sucks... But its exactly what we need. I need to tell Sajoya./


/Sajoya, a blonde woman who's joined up with us. Pretty, but annoying./

/I don't remember anything about her in the prophecies.../ Jyp wondered, who was this Sajoya person? And why did the name sound familiar?

Jay, however, wasn't paying attention to Jyp's wondering. He was informing Sajoya about the prophecy.


"What do you mean Jyp's in your head?" Akira put her hand on Jay's forehead. "You don't feel ill, or look ill for that matter..." She peered closely at him. "Are you sure you're okay Jay? Maybe you should rest?"

Jay scowled at her and then looked at Sajoya. "Explain it to her."

"Actually, Jyp is, in a sense, inside Jay's head. We re-established the firm bond the two have between them. If it weren't for the fact that they care for each other so much, it would not have worked..."

"Well, it did." Jay said firmly, not wanting to think of what might have been.

"Well, that's good then." Akira couldn't help eyeing the two a little strangely and wondering if they hadn't got hit on the head or something. "So you say we have to go to one of the small islands around here? Which one?"

"I'll know, and you should be able to know too." Jay go up. "Are you ready to go?"

"What, just like this? No packing or anything...?" Ash asked.

"Well, the weather is nice and-"

Thunder crashed.

"You were saying?" Taie asked, walking in on their conversation with an 'innocent' little smile.

Jay sighed and sat back down on the couch. "I guess we'll have to wait till the weather clears up..."

"Well, it's currently 12:30..." Sajoya looked out the window. "And by the looks of things, I don't think we'll be able to leave till sometime tonight."

/The prophecy did say at night Jay, so I guess this was supposed to happen. It might be a good idea to give Ash some training tips, sounds like he's going to have to fight tonight./

/I never did get to duel with him like I wanted to in the beginning anyway.../ Jay looked towards Ash. "We have some work to do. " He told the pokemon master. "You owe me a duel anyway."


"You know, with swords? You do have your sword, don't you?"

"Yes, but... Now?"

"You're going to be fighting tonight, the prophecy says so." Jay grabbed Ash by his sleeve and dragged him upstairs to the guest room.

"Guys, make sure to move everything out of the room! I don't want anything getting damaged!" Akira called after them.

That night, 8:30pm

"Hey, hear that?" Rosc asked.

"Hear what?" Kevin replied, confused.

"Exactly! The rain's stopped! We better leave while we can." Rosc got up and stretched. "Oh, I won." He put down his cards on the table.

"No fair! Did you cheat?" Taie asked suspiciously. "This is your fifth win!"

Sajoya too looked at his cards. "I can't believe I lost five times in a row..." She muttered to herself.

"Well, you did win six times in a row in the beginning." Akira pointed out, looking at her cars sadly, for she had not won *any* of the games.

"Yes, but still, I've been beaten five times. I never lose at cards." Sajoya continued to examine the cards, muttering to herself about cheating humans.

Jay and Ash finally re-emerged from up-stairs. "You guys ready? If so, we better go find a boat. I suggest that you guys pack some emergency stuff incase we get stuck there overnight."

Half an hour later

"I'm going to ask you this one last time Jay, are you sure you're going the right way?" Sajoya nervously held onto the rail, peering over the edge with wary eyes.

"Yes. Akira says she can feel a very familiar presence." Jay replied, looking at Sajoya with an annoyed expression on his face. "Why don't you go over to the others or something?"

"I'm fine where I am." She answered, grinding her teeth together.

Fifteen minutes later

"Jay, are you absolutely posi-"

"I've told you twenty-eight times already!"

"Actually, it's twenty-six times." Rosc corrected, earning a frustrated glare from Jay.

"We're there." Akira suddenly announced.

"I don't see any...Wait, there it is!" Kevin pointed ahead, and soon the others were able to see a small island. "If you go a little to the right, we'll be able to pull the boat up." He suggested to Jay.

Jay followed his instructions, and ten minutes later, they were all safely off the boat and on the island.

"Nice little place, isn't it?" Taie commented. "But I have this feeling..."

"Like we're being watched?" Rosc asked.

"That and more..." She replied, looking around nervously then latching herself onto Kevin's arm.

Akira, however, simply looked around, frowned slightly, then walked off hurriedly in one direction, Ash right behind her.

"Where's she going?" Taie asked Jay.

"To find her sister. I have a feeling we're not supposed to do any interfering. It's all up to her and Ash..."

Thunder crashed again.

"We better hurry and catch up before we lose them. It'll be storming again soon.


"Sarina..." Her guardian shook her lightly, trying to wake her. "Sarina? Wake up." He could see movement beneath her eye-lids, and then they opened, and she looked around, startled.

"Where... are we?"

"We got stranded on an island. You've been asleep." He replied, glad to see her finally awake.

"I, I remember talking to," She blinked, "Akira?"

"Your seel says that you can talk to each other through your dreams. I don't understand how, but..." He shrugged.

"She's here." Sarina said, sitting up abruptly and looking around. "She's on this island."

"She's on the island? How would you know?"

"I can feel her." She stood up somewhat shakily and he hurriedly supported her. "Get your sword." She ordered.

He picked up his sword, one very similar to Ash's, but...different. More plain."What do I need it for?"

"You'll see..." She rubbed her eyes, ran one hand through her tangled blue hair, and attempted to smooth her clothes. "They're nearly here. Be ready."

He heeded her advice, but he was not prepared for who would be accompanying Sarina's sister. His rival for God knows how many years; Ash Ketchum. "Ash!" He exclaimed, holding his sword firmly by the hilt.


Ash had followed Akira, hoping she knew exactly where she was going. She stopped abruptly, and he realized they had come to a clearing. That was when he spotted Akira's sister, her twin sister, and... her guardian? No! It couldn't be? Sure he had listened to the prophecy Jay had told him, including the rival bit, but he really hadn't thought...

"Ash!" The other guardian exclaimed.

"Gary!" Ash narrowed his eyes, also holding his sword tightly.

"Who would have thought you were the other guardian. I never would have thought you were worthy of the job." Gary scoffed.

"Ha! I can only say the same. How can you be trusted with guarding someone else when all you think about is yourself!"

"People change Ash." Gary replied, slightly hurt.

"Well, I've changed too. I'm no longer the little kid I was Gary."

"Well, you still carry around that pikachu. Haven't evolved it yet, huh? Too attached to it?"

"We're friends." Ash said firmly, petting the pikachu that stood on his shoulder. "Surely you've learned by now that the best way to train pokemon is to become their friend, otherwise you'd never have been made a pokemon master! And besides, what about your eevee?"

"Of course I know! I'm just surprised that you haven't evolved your pikachu yet. And leave Errol out of this!"

Another crash of thunder broke off their quarrel, and they noticed that dark clouds forming in the sky.

"What's going on?" Ash asked.

"When Sarina loses control of her power it causes a storm!" Gary yelled back, turning to look at his mistress. She was standing in front of her twin sister, and they had their palms together. Their hair was blowing wildly, and a gale of wind seemed to swirl around them. Akira started to glow with a gold light, and Sarina with a light blue one. All of a sudden, Sorrow let out and anguished yelp and the lights faded.

"Sorrow?" Ash turned to look at the black pokemon. She was lying on the ground, not moving, but as soon as he laid a hand on her she got up, howling louder than one would have thought a pokemon her size could howl. The lightning bolt charm on her forehead started glowing, first with a bright light, but then the light turned black, and her red eyes started glowing too, like embers in a fire.

She stood up shakily, then threw her head back and howled a second time. From the black light that came from her charm, dark, ghost-like apparitions started to appear, and they drifted from the air and to the ground, where they grew bigger, and took human like forms. They were all hooded, and completely black, except for their red eyes. Swords appeared in their hands, and they headed for Akira and Sarina.

Jay, Taie, Kevin, Sajoya and Rosc, along with Arika who was riding on Jay's shoulders, caught up at that moment, and stopped, taking in the sight before them.

/Ash! You must protect Akira!/ Rika yelled at Ash, at the same time that Saris said something similar to Gary. The two rushed at the apparitions with their swords, fighting to protect their mistresses.

"Guys, this way!" Jay commanded the others, leading them over to where Akira and Sarina were.

"Form a loose circle around them. We must do what we can to protect keep them covered." Sajoya commanded, closing her eyes and putting her hands together, as if in prayer. A bright blue light formed and then expanded, covering the whole group. "It's a barrier!" She explained. "A weak one, but a barrier nonetheless." She would have done more, but she was too weak from re-establishing the link between Jyp and Jay.

Taie created whirlwinds, doing her best to blow away those of the dark ones that came near. Her white pidgey, Tilae, who had somehow escaped from his pokeball, was doing his best to fight off some of them, using some attacks the others had never seen a pidgey use before. Rosc and his onix, Roan, were using rock attacks, but because it was raining, their attacks were weak. Kevin used normal attacks not too dissimilar than the ones Reika used when she fought Chisa a little over a week ago. His persian was also attacking, but more on a defensive scale as it was trying to stay moderately dry by hiding under it's father.

Jay was using every trick he knew. His sword was now in his hands, and he used that, combined with his new ability to use fire attacks, since he and Jyp now 'shared a body', to fight off those of the dark ones nearby. While Jay could ward them off, and somewhat injure them, Ash and the other guardian seemed to be the only ones who could kill them. Pikachu stayed back with the others in the circle, along with the eevee, Errol, for he dared not use his electric attacks in the rain that pelted down on them.

The two twin sisters were oblivious to what was going on. They did not seem to notice the storm that raged around them, or even the fight. Lost in their own dream world, they were fighting off a dark presence of their own, one that had invaded Sarina's mind and caused her to fall ill, and lose control of her water abilities. This being seemed bent on destroying their minds and taking over their bodies, and thus, their abilities, but they were not going to let that happen. Concentrating with all their might, they pushed back the darkness.

Ash and Gary were down to the last ten or so of the apparitions. Using the little they had already known about sword-fighting, and the knowledge and skills they had inherited from their ancestors, they struck down the dark figures relentlessly, not pausing once to catch their breath. They seemed to meld with their blades, becoming one with the swords. The attacks flowed from them smoothly. Once or twice, they came close to accidentally attacking each other, but somehow they always stopped their blades in time and returned to the battle as if nothing had happened.

When the last one was struck down, Sorrow let out an anguished howl and collapsed, the black light from her charm fading, and becoming bright once more before disappearing completely. Ash was about to go check on her, when a strict command from Rika sent him over to where Akira and Sarina were standing, surrounded by his exhausted companions.

By some instinct, Gary and Ash faced each other, knowing that the rivalry of theirs that had lasted for years must cease. Their eyes met, and they stood there, staring at each other. Without breaking eye contact, they lifted their swords, touching them together so that they crossed. A lightning bolt struck from the sky and hit the blades, but the lightning did not have a negative effect on them, rather, a positive one. In the split second that the bolt had taken to come and go, it had changed the two. No longer were they the two rival pokemon masters, but the true guardians and masters. They lowered their swords and then dropped them, and shook hands.

As if that gesture was a sort of signal, the gold and blue lights that had first formed around Akira and Sajoya returned, and this time, glowed with more strength than before. The lights spread, covering the whole group, and Sorrow let out one last sorrowful howl as a last dark spirit left her body. As the light faded, Akira and Sarina were no longer there. Instead, there were two large dragons in the air, one golden, one blue. Beside the blue one floated a young girl with very light blue, nearly white hair, and a playful smile. Next to the gold was an elegant teenager with long dark blue hair with blue streaks. The two dragons looked at each other for some time, then threw their heads back and roared a triumphant roar. Again, the gold and blue lights flashed, and Akira, Sarina, Saris, and Rika were then found lying together, all unconscious.

"Two of the dragons have been re-born..." Sajoya said in a mysterious voice, staring up at the sky where the two dragons had been. Then she shook her head, as if now remembering where she was. "Well, we better get these two back to Reva, and get them dry." It seemed that she only then seemed to remember that she too was wet, and that her blonde hair was plastered to her face and her back. "We all need to get dry, before we catch a cold." She turned to the Guardians. "Ash, Gary, take your mistresses. Jay, take Arika, Rosc, take Saris, the seel. Recall all your pokemon, they're exhausted. We might as well stop by a pokemon center and drop them off." After giving out her orders, she walked over to Sorrow and picked up the unconscious and wet pokemon. "Poor thing, used as a tool by such a dark force..." She cradled her in her arms. "You'll be fine now."

They arrived back at Reva in no time, for the storm had cleared as suddenly as it had come, and the waters were calm and clear again. When they got back, they immediately dried themselves off, and Sajoya and Taie tended to Sarina and Akira. They shooed the concerned Gary and Ash out of the room, and then decided to let them take the pokemon the pokemon center.


At first they walked silently, thinking about what had just happened, both very confused. Ash held Arika, and Gary had Saris. Both of them carried the pokeballs of the other pokemon that had fought, and Pikachu rode on Ash's shoulders while Errol trotted by Garys side.

"So, what have you been up to?" Ash finally asked Gary, wanting to take his mind off the events that had passed that night.

"Pokemon Master stuff." Gary replied. "I've been going around, beating gyms, talking to starting out trainers, like you. Also, trying to perfect my pokemon collection."

Nodding, Ash sighed as he looked down at his own pokeballs."You still have just about all of them?"

"Yeah. But I don't really use them all."


They walked on in silence again.

"How did you meet Akira?" Gary asked as they entered the town.

"I met her here..." Ash smiled at the memory. "I'd just arrived to challenge the gym leader when I saw her." He scratched the back of his head. "I kinda asked her out to lunch, and things went from there. I met this kid name Jizo, he spent the night in my hotel room, but next thing I know there's a fight going on in my hotel room, and then suddenly, something triggers in my mind..."

"Like a door being opened to a room in your head that you never knew existed?"

"Yeah, exactly. How'd you meet Sarina?"

"I met her at what's left of a town called Datil. She was standing by the ruins of a house, and was crying. I walked up to her, and she turned to look at me, and this look passed through her eyes, almost like... recognition. She told me she was looking for her sister who used to live at that house, and that she hoped her sister had survived. She said she had sent 'one of her own' to watch over her sister some time ago, but that she was not sure if the vaporeon had been able to save her. Like with you, things went from there... I too had the sudden 'opening on the door' in my head not too long after I met her, and we traveled together, trying to find you guys I guess." Gary sighed. "She's not like other girls..."

"Neither is Akira..." Then Ash suddenly laughed.

"What's so funny?" Gary demanded.

"It's just, look at us! Rivals for who knows how long, and here we are talking like long lost friends." He sobered down a little. "When was the last time we had a civilized conversation?"

Gary frowned in though, then grinned. "I see your point, brat."

Ash rolled his eyes, and then playfully elbowed Gary. He would have punched him lightly in the shoulder but his hands were full.

"I think that's the pokemon center." Gary said. "Hope it's open."

It was, and they were lucky to have gotten there when they had, for they were about to close. The Nurse Joy took all the pokemon, and noticed the concern in their eyes as they handed over the pokemon.

"Be careful with these guys. They're not ours, they belong to friends of ours." Ash said.

"Not only will we be dead if anything happens to them, but you'll be in trouble too." Gary added.

The Nurse smiled slightly, holding back a grin. "Don't worry, they're in safe hands." She said. Now scat, were closing!

They left the pokemon center, glancing over their shoulders at the building.

"Is it just me, or have women been 'shooing' us a lot lately?" Gary remarked dryly, sticking his hands in his pockets.

"I see your point." Ash replied. "Should we head straight back, or do you want to go for a drink first?"

"Pika!" The pikachu agreed enthusiastically from Ash's shoulder. He liked the taste of alcohol, but Ash rarely allowed him to drink little more than a few sips. However, that was worth it to the electric mouse.

Vee! The eevee wove its way in-between Garys legs as he walked. While the eevee had never drunk, it really didnt want to go back to the house just yet.

Gary stopped walking for a moment, then grinned. "As long as you're paying loser!"

"I'll pay, so long as you stop calling me loser."

"Fine, squirt." Gary ducked the half-hearted punch Ash swung at him.

And so they spent a little while at a bar, drinking lightly and talking about what they'd been doing. They returned to Akira's house to find everyone asleep, and so they had to make themselves comfortable in the living room, which was fine with them. They were too exhausted to care where they slept.


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