Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 20

She was underground, there was no other way to explain the strange aura of the tunnel she stumbled her way through. Darkness surrounded her and she could only make out her surroundings via the help of a tiny ball of white light that she had conjured up.

The sound of some sort of crash exploded through the tunnel, temporarily deafening the girl and cause her to fall onto the rocky ground, scraping her skin raw in places and dirtying the white dress she wore. Frightened yet determined, she lay there for a little while, shivering from a mixture of fear and cold. Gathering up enough courage to continue, she picked herself up, pouring more energy into her little ball of light, and then running through the tunnel.

She had to be there on time. If she was even one second off the world could be destroyed. Catalyst could not be allowed to win, that option could not even be considered. Sharp rocks dug into the soles of her bare feet, yet she continued to run, and stumble her way, fearing for the worst. Takith could only hold on alone for a little while longer; she could feel him getting weaker by the second.

For a moment she nearly fell again, but managed to break her fall by thrusting her arms out to spare herself the complete impact of hitting the ground. A mass of pure pain throbbed in her head, and she dimly realized that she was experiencing Takith's whiplash from a spell that had been thrown back at him. She sat up, clutching her head in her hands and rocking back and forth.

It hurt.

It hurt so much.

She just wanted it to stop.

It hurt like nothing she had ever felt before.

She never knew such pain existed.

She wanted to die.

Michi's eyes opened slowly. For a moment, she could still feel the sheer pain from her dream, yet it faded as soon as her mind came to terms with that fact that she was now awake. Her visions had never been that vivid before...

The end was near.

Jessie, James and Persian still slept so soundly that she did not feel it would be right to wake them up. Instead, she placed a hand on Takith's shoulder, and he looked up at her, his black eyes questioning.

Somehow, he found his answer within her violet eyes, and he stood from where he had fallen asleep, curled up on the floor by the bed that Michi had shared with Jessie. James had taken the couch, and Persian curled up on a pillow.

One would have thought that with his hooves, Takith would be an unlikely choice to take somewhere if one needed to be quiet. Yet he had a way of silencing his body, right down to controlling his breathing and his heartbeats.

Michi and Takith slipped out of the hotel, not needing to say anything. They worked as one, their movements synchronized, their thoughts melded together. It was chilly outside, yet the two of them ignored the cold bite to the air. Neither of them had taken any steps to hide their odd appearances, but it seemed as though no one could see them, for no one stopped to stare at the tall youth with large white wings sprouting from his back.

They walked into an alley, heading straight for their target and stopping in front of her. Michi smiled down at the young woman, her purple eyes soft with love, and a radiant smile lighting up her face. Takith, however, was the perfect picture of indifference. His eyes were blank holes through which he gazed down at her, and no expression rested on his face.

To Firais, they both seemed like a gift from a god, saviors sent down to rescue her. She returned the little girl's smile, then stood and dusted herself off a little. "I don't know who you two are, but you're not with Calisin, and that's good enough for me."


Chiata sighed as she sunk into the soft cushion of her seat, savoring the last moments of peace that she would be able to enjoy for a long, long time. The vulpix on her lap was a comforting, warm familiar weight, and Chiata could not help but feel grateful for her partner. The pokemon added some sort of constant to her life.

Chiata managed to keep her mind off her duties, right up until Calisin dropped his book. She started a little, and looked at him, immediately narrowing her eyes. He had to have done that on purpose... He simply bent over to pick up his book and flip right back to where he had been reading, not even bothering to glance at her.

Chiata snorted softly then took that moment to look over at the newest three members of her group. Nate, the Father of all Poison Types, was rather quiet, and had this sinister air to him. His voice was soft, yet while there was no lisp, one would not have been surprised to know that his tongue was slightly forked. His sickly yellow eyes regarded everything around him cautiously. Spiky red and black hair stood on his scalp, completing the eerie image he presented.

Spectra, the Mother of all Ghost Types, presented an equally creepy picture. From a distance, one was greeted with a lovely image; Platinum blonde hair that reached her ears and curled inwards a little at the ends, green eyes that seemed to capture the light, a frail, yet feminine figure. But once you approached her, you would notice that her alabaster skin seemed to lack the shine of a normal human's, and her eyes did not capture light, rather, light passed right through them. This was Spectra's solid form, and she still looked as though a gust of wind could break her into the separate atoms she was made of.

Rin, like Zoey, did not seem to pose much of a threat to Chiata. He was a rather simple man, very in tune with nature, being the Father of all Ground Types. His skin was a medium dark brown, and his eyes and hair were both of such dark shades of brown they appeared to be black. He did not have much hair though, for he had it cropped almost all the way down to his scalp. Chiata decided that he was a sensible being, and was unlikely to be as brash as Sian or Calisin. For a second, she glanced at Serai and rolled her eyes. The Father of All Flying Types was a walking bundle of testosterone.

Chiata had take it upon herself to keep her eyes on Calisin. Right from the start she had been suspicious of the Father of All Dragons, and that suspicion had remained. He went through rapid mood swings that frightened Chiata for she knew that it was not his natural nature to be so hasty at times, yet something was stopping her from thinking deeply about the matter. Maybe it was because he had managed to let Firais escape? Or because Silac, his son, was now a dragonair? Chiata knew that these were not the real reasons, but she felt better having even remote possibilities as reasons.

/How much longer is the flight, Chia?/ Chisa asked Chiata, getting ready to fall deep into sleep on her partner's lap.

/Four hours./ Chiata replied, wishing she could relax as much as Chisa had.

/Good, I need rest./ The vulpix shut her brown eyes and slept.


Misty rubbed her eyes and then yawned. Another late night as bill season meant no rest for her. Lily, Violet and Daisy refused to help, saying that since Misty knew more about the gym, she would find handling the bills easier. /Sleep... I should sleep./ Misty's body rejoiced as she stood and headed for her room.

The doorbell rang.

The red haired gym leader groaned, her body protesting as she made her way downstairs and to the front door. Who would be stopping by at such a late time?

"Hi Misty!"

"Ash...?" Her exhaustion, combined with a dash of shock, resulted in Misty's next course of action. She fainted.


"How's she doing?" Gary poked his head into Misty's room, noting the horsea print bed covers.

Ash smiled, then replied softly so as not to wake her. "I think she'll be okay. Good thing I caught her before she hit the ground though."

Gary grinned, remembering the care Ash had taken in carrying Misty up to her room. It had been an hour since she had fainted, and he still sat by her side. "Come on Ash, let her sleep and stop watching her like the pervert we all know you are."

Ash blushed, but narrowed his eyes and threw a small pillow at Gary, hitting him squarely on the chest. Gary simply laughed and left the room. He found it extremely amusing that getting a rise out of Ash was so easy.

The Pokemon Master looked at Misty one last time, noting with a frown that there were dark circles under her eyes. She had not been taking care of herself as usual... He got up quietly and left the room, walking down the stairs and hoping that Misty would not mind waking up and finding a whole group of strangers occupying her house. Kevin and Taie were snuggled together in a corner, not a surprising sight, while Garis and Rosc seemed to have monopolized the area in front of the TV.

Ash looked around, trying to figure out where Akira had gotten to. He could not let her out of his sight for too long. Ah, there she was. In the kitchen with Sarina and Gary. The pokemon had all sought out areas where they would not be in the way and had curled up to sleep, except Roan of course, the Onix was far too big to curl up in a corner in Misty's house and not be in the way.

Ash looked down at his stomach, which, as if answering his silent question, rumbled. A slight smile on his face, Ash headed for the kitchen. Misty was doing fine, except that she was a tad stressed, so he could relax for now, and then get yelled at by her in the morning.

Food was far from being a concern in Jay's mind. He worried about Jyp, for he knew that the current arrangement proved to be at times rather uncomfortable for them, and Jyp desperately wanted his own body...

Jay had been attempting to distract his thoughts by watching TV with some of the Firsts, but the Jyp matter kept popping up, and he could not concentrate. Looking around, he spotted Sajoya on a couch, brushing the comatose Sorrow's hair.

"Sajoya, I need to ask you something." He sat down next to her, looking at the floor instead of directly at her. Sajoya noticed that, and she also noticed the way every muscle in his body seemed to be tense. Something was eating away at Jay, and she knew what it was. And she knew he would not like the answer.

"Yes Jay?" She continued to brush the little black pokemon's fur, pretending that she had no idea that Jay felt disturbed about something.

"Um, how's Sorrow doing?"

/Avoiding the real issue.../ Sajoya allowed herself to smile a little. "Sorrow is getting better. She should be up and about again pretty soon."

"Ah, that's good." Jay leaned against the back of the couch and tilted his head back, staring at the white ceiling. "Will Jyp ever get his body back?" Jay finally asked, afraid to look at Sajoya.

She stopped brushing Sorrow's fur, and then put the unconscious pokemon back into the basket they carried her around in. "Jay, look at me."

Reluctantly, he obeyed, looking at her with those beautiful green eyes. Stubborn as he was, his emotions were still locked tightly within him. To Sajoya, the wall hiding his emotions seemed like a glass barrier. She could see what he felt, yet she could not reach those feelings to help him.

"I'm sorry Jay, and I don't want to have to tell you this, but it is unlikely that Jyp will ever get his body back."

Any hope that Jay held on to immediately disappeared, and Sajoya felt like a complete bitch for having to tell him that, to have to squash his hopes in one sentence. First she stomped out the flame of his love for Akira, and now this...

"Look, Jay, there's always a chance tha-"

"But it's only a chance." Jay interrupted, turning his eyes away from her. "It's not fair... Why'd it have to happen to Jyp? Jyp loves life." And I don't, was the part Jay left unspoken.

Sajoya watched as Jay's emotional barriers shattered, his face transforming from that of a calm, rather friendly and cheerful young man to that of a troubled boy who had just learnt that his best friend, no, his brother, would likely never have a real life again. His chest started to tighten and breathing became harder. His green eyes lost their cheery light and filled with grief. Yet he refused to cry. Jay hated to show weakness, and his current breakdown was enough of a pitiful display. So he held the tears back, he held them back even though it hurt.

And it hurt her to see him like that. She did not even stop to think before she moved closer to him. She wrapped her arms around him, allowing him to forget about being strong and to just let go for a little while, to let her share some of the emotional weight that he carried on his shoulders. She created him, she had brought him into this world. He never asked to be born, he never asked to be a Guide. Without much concern for him, she dumped all the responsibilities and problems of living life and of trying to herd a group of Firsts down the right path. The least she could do was comfort him...

Somewhere in the corner of Jay's mind, the soul of a growlithe settled down peacefully, giving off the aura of a satisfied smirk. Jay was opening up, finally.


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