PG-13 for swearing, again. Censored when possible.
As they got closer to their prospective exit, the sound of the wind howling furiously outside became more and more audible. Flaym and Kabops were having great difficulty keeping the barrier up, with the former pushing very hard and using all of his strength so the latter could rest. <The storm is very severe. This will not hold much longer.>
Sonic growled a little. “Well that’s just dandy. Honestly, Shira…I think we’d be safer getting to a lower altitude but staying in the building. It provides some sort of windbreak and protection from shrapnel. There’s no way you can fly in that.” He stated urgently. “You have to reconsider. Shadow’s stable right now; waiting until this is dealt with is better than getting everyone killed.” The death Sonic thought of for himself was far worse, of course, although he decided against mentioning it as it was still a type of death.
She gave a nod in agreement, having been reconsidering her earlier escape plan even before he mentioned this. “We’ll have to go further down; we need to be careful not to jar his back too much when we head back down the stairs.”
“Well, at least he’s immortal. He won’t stay paralyzed for long…” He stated, shrugging. “You know, if Kabops used Water Gun and someone used an Ice Type technique, we could turn the stairs into a slide. It’d be faster and wouldn’t jerk his back around too much if done well. As much of a clown the Kabutops is,” Kabops saluted and smacked himself with his scythe, “he is still Shadow’s Pokémon. There’s no way he’d let him be poorly trained. And your Pokémon…They seem very strong, although the excessive shiny count is a little annoying.”
Shira raised an eyebrow. “What; you jealous?” She questioned; a teasing note to her voice.
The hedgehog snorted. “I’m lucky – for the most part – and even I’m not that lucky. Seriously, I’m willing to bet the other three Pokémon you most likely have are also shiny. The odds of one are really rare, and to have a full party of them…Geez, girl, who is your boyfriend?”
The cat flicked her tail, a mischievous look in her eyes. “I don’t have a boyfriend, but I’m willing to negotiate for one.” She stated slyly, giving Sonic a look he knew all too well.
flirting with me! In a time like this…When I look like a monster and steadily lose my mind to the poison…Yet she still wants to date me? I don’t know if I should be flattered or frightened.
“Um, appreciate the offer, but there are a few problems with that logic. I’m not easy to get, Amy will kill you, I’m a Shadow User, and…Really, you’re hitting on me now of all times?”
She snickered. “Admit it; you walked right into that one.”
“Maybe, but is now really the time? And besides…What makes you think I’d date you over all the other women – and risk getting slaughtered by a certain psychopathic pink hedgehog?” Sonic countered, although he was intrigued by her…Well, she certainly had guts, he had to give her that.
Before the other could deliver a reply, Touza cut in on their conversation. <I do believe we should get going soon.>
She stated, annoyed at how easygoing her trainer was with Sonic’s condition.
Sonic sighed. “You heard her. Guess I’ll have to wait for your response.” <Besides, I think Touza is just waiting to gut me like a fish. Call it a hunch…>
“So, about the ice slide idea to get down quickly…”
She nodded in agreement to his statement although she would have raised an eyebrow to his added telepathy if she could, and after the Pidgeot and Absol had been recalled to their Poké Balls, they began moving back towards the stairs they had come up before.
“Hey, Kabops, can you use Water Gun for a minute or so nonstop?” He received an affirmative. “All right. Touza, can you use Ice Beam? Otherwise we’re going to have to lug Shadow down the hard way.” He stated, although he didn’t actually look at the Floatzel. He didn’t feel like provoking a fight at the moment.
Touza snorted, stating she could. Kabops unleashed a Water Gun down the stairs, which was promptly frozen over by the Ice Beam, smooth as glass even at the bottom. Taking the hint, Shira sat down, pushing herself down the makeshift slide – and admittedly having some fun – to wait at the bottom while Sonic, holding the rear of the stretcher, came down second while carefully guiding Shadow along. While Kabops and Touza had no problem coming down after them, Flaym was more hesitant, slipping on the ice and tumbling.
This led to Sonic laughing very
hard. “Wow, you are no ice skater!” He ducked an Ember attack, snickering. “Heh, that put me in a better mood.” He glanced at the others. “Well, we just have to keep that up until the bottom. You up for it?”
Shira nodded. “Yeah. We need to move quickly though; I can sense something happening outside.”
While Kabops and Touza froze the stairs, he nodded. “Quick? You’re talking to Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s what I do best. Now,” he did a bow, grinning, “ladies first.” He had extended his hand to help her and further the gentleman vibe he had going on at the moment, although it was all in good humor. The glare he received from the Floatzel did not go unnoticed, but he ignored it as was his custom.
Upon reaching the bottom floor which was, thankfully, not flooded, the hedgehog grabbed a chair that had been knocked over and sat on it, although he made sure there was another chair for Shira to sit on if she wanted. At that point, his shadow shifted as he used Shadow Sneak, and it came up to his arms. As the cat watched, it formed into an oval that was dented in the middle and hollow with a long neck, complete with strings. The guitar was still connected to the ground, as it was a variation of Shadow Sneak and thus required a shadow to remain in use. The hedgehog began to tune it, although he was grinning inwardly at Shira’s amazed expression.
After a few minutes, however, she raised an eyebrow. “You sure doing that won’t cause your condition to take over more easily?”
“Well,” Sonic stated, strumming the instrument which produced a light note despite its dark creation, “it does. I think. Maybe? I don’t really know.” He grinned sheepishly. “Using the aggression well and getting used to using the attacks does also. But I’m not necessarily using it attack, more like a harmless pastime. When the pain is too much and I can’t run as long as I want to, I do this instead. It helps me keep my sanity in that regard. Sui doesn’t know about it – I was saving it for a surprise. Flaym was the only one who knew…Although now you do as well.” He struck a few notes, seemingly pleased with the result. “Finally tuned this thing. That’s the worst with any guitar, and I create this one from scratch every single time.”
“I don’t know if you should do that if it’s possible that it’ll speed up your corruption, though. From what you’ve mentioned about Raikou, you seem to have gone berserk at least once already.” She said before glancing outside the broken windows at the storm raging just beyond their shelter.
“It doesn’t speed it up, that much I know. I think it’s the fact you get used to it, and when you are used to something it’s easier to slip by and take control.” Sonic stated before growling a little. “Raikou attacked me first. He broke my neck! Then he outran me,” there was a noticeable tone of bitterness, “and pinned me down. I bit him because it was the only thing I could do and I didn’t want to die. Tasted blood, and…Well, everything was history. I still saved Sui, though, although I promptly got cleaved in half by the jerk.” He stated, snorting.
Shira sighed before making her reply. “Looks like there are many benefits to being a Shadow User if you’re still alive after that. The price wouldn’t be worth it though.” She finished with a shake of her head.
“Near instant healing, really hard to kill, and the ability to make guitars out of shadows are good benefits. The constant pain, soul collapse, the fact I no longer bleed, and the berserk factor aren’t.” Sonic stated, striking a little tune. “When you can’t even control yourself…That’s a real problem, and I’ll admit it scares me.”
She was thoughtful for a few moments. “...It’s been proven that Pokémon aren’t exempt from the mood-altering effects of the poison as evidenced by Kyogre and Groudon’s rampage right now. I have to wonder if Raikou would have tried to kill you under normal circumstances.” She was silent before continuing. “What did it feel like to go berserk like that?”
“Maybe…” Sonic stated, before thinking on her question as he stopped his light-hearted music playing. “What did it feel like…? Absolute hell. My memory is still a bit fragmented, but I recall watching as my body did all these acts that I had no desire, yet every desire, to do. It was like seeing the world in red – wanting to kill and finding it to be enjoyable at the same time with a fire raging inside your body. And blood…It is like a drug to a Shadow Pokémon or Shadow User. I guess you could say it makes them high, more empowered…” He zoned off, thinking. “The basic instinct is to kill, like I said. But when you are in pain like I am or those two big brutes outside, it is undermined a little bit by the desire to get rid of the pain. Still dangerous, but not nearly as much as one that’s soul has completely collapsed…Because without that, there is no pain so thinking and plotting comes more clearly.” He stated slowly, allowing his words to sink in.
Shira nodded. “I met Iyoku and Nazo in the Sevii Islands a month or two ago; Iyoku had said that was how the Shadow Pokémon from his time period acted. Their souls were collapsed so there was nothing but bloodlust left.”
The hedgehog nodded. “Yeah, that sounds about right. If the collapse isn’t stopped…I’ll turn out just like that.” He added ominously, before grinning. “But let’s not worry about that until it actually happens. Any song requests?” He strummed a little, winking. “I can try to recreate it if I’ve heard it.”
The cat glanced away, feeling a small amount of warmth flood her cheeks. “No, not really.”
Sonic shrugged, not noticing – or pretending not to notice – her slight blush. “Well then, I’ll just strum along whatever I can think of. We need to pass the time somehow, and maybe hearing music will wake up Mr. Grumpy over there.” He mused, flicking an ear in Shadow’s direction before he began to play. He didn’t play a hard melody like he often did; instead he opted for a softer, slower tune that would help put the others at ease despite the howling wind outside.
However, after noticing her trainer’s slight blush, Touza gave a glare at the blue hedgehog, although this time it was followed up by a telepathic remark. <I suggest you stop acting that way towards her unless you want an Ice Beam to the face.>
Sonic blinked, but kept his focus. <Acting what way? I’m acting the way I always do. I can’t stop how she interprets it. You’ve had a problem with me since I arrived…This is just your excuse to yell at me.>
He strummed along, noticing Shira – and many of the others – had closed their eyes to listen fully. <Besides…You try to attack me, I can guarantee a reprimand from your trainer. Not to mention it’s a bit harder to hit me than you think. Good luck, pal, ‘cause you’re going to need it.>
She gave a mental snort. <I wouldn’t be talking, seeing as how you’ve been putting everyone in worse danger by using your abilities carelessly.>
The Floatzel retorted bitterly.
The hedgehog missed a key, but the others didn’t seem to notice. <Oh yeah, using one ability to help take my attention away from the
maddening pain is careless. Not to mention I’m the hero, AND I’ve lasted so long with a sane mind. You have no idea how hard that is, and I’m tempted to let the pain come through the link so you can feel just how bad it is.>
He shot back, a tint of anger in his voice.
<You didn’t keep your sanity if you went berserk when you fought Raikou.>
Another note missed. <You try keeping your sanity when you have a five hundred pound electric tiger killing you and see how well you do, you overgrown weasel.>
He shot back, clearly annoyed as he attempted to stay to the beat he had created. The others were blissfully unaware of the mental tug-o-war that was going on between the two; that changed when she launched an Ice Beam at the blue hedgehog, who reacted by throwing up his guitar which absorbed the attack before shattering.
“That is IT
! I’ve had it up to HERE
with you, Touza!” Sonic spat, having knocked his chair back and startling the others. “I’ll tell you what, princess
, if you can last five minutes in a battle with me, I’ll leave without complaint. But if I win, you’ll leave me alone. Got it?” He hissed, folding his arms as he watched through narrowed eyes.
The Floatzel growled in reply as Sonic made his way to the blown out doors. Although, once they were both outside, she gave him little to no warning before shooting off another Ice Beam. The hedgehog stepped to the side, allowing the attack to pass by and freeze a section of building behind him. Rolling his eyes at her lack of subtlety, he launched a Focus Blast in her direction to which she dodged with an Aqua Jet, pulling around to ram him. To her surprise, his form shifted as it disappeared into darkness.
In the next instant not only did she get rammed by the Faint Attack, but a barrage of lightning fast punches smashed into her body from a well-timed Comet Punch. A Double Kick sent her falling to the ground as he landed nearby, his aura becoming stronger as he made use of Bulk Up. “Come on! At least make this a challenge. We aren’t even at one minute yet!”
This time using Agility as well as Quick Attack and Aqua Jet, Touza was able to charge at her opponent before feinting to the side to dodge an Air Slash; as that happened, she sank her jaws into one of his arms as they glinted with the tell-tale sheen of Ice Fang.
Thanks to the boost provided from Bulk Up, Sonic barely felt the attack. “…That’s it?” He stated with a bored tone, much to Touza’s surprise. The hedgehog’s fist lit up with a soft blue to white color before he slammed the Focus Punch into her cheek, dislodging her grip as his wounds quickly healed. Making use of his own Agility, the Floatzel received another attack to the head. This time, it was the slightly weaker Dynamic Punch attack that he hit her with, although there was a reason he chose the technique.
The result became apparent when, as Touza struggled to her feet, she swayed around disorientedly, her eyes glazed over slightly from the confusion that had resulted thanks to the attack the corrupted blue hedgehog had used. However, she was still somehow able to fire off a Water Pulse without damaging herself in the process.
It was poorly aimed, missing the hedgehog by several feet. “Tsk tsk. At the one minute mark, and already weak. This wasn’t a challenge at all.” Sonic stated, forming a Focus Blast and launching it at the Floatzel, knocking her over once more. “Can you at least try, Touza? This is really boring.” To emphasis, he yawned, although his eyes never left his quarry.
The Fighting Type move – and perhaps his remark – seemed to bring the Water Type back to her senses quite quickly. After scattering by using Double Team, she opened her jaws as a torrent of boiling hot water shot forth in the form of a Scald attack.
Throwing his arms up, he summoned a powerful Air Cutter which redirected the attack back at her, which was dodged easily by the Floatzel. From her mouth she spat poisonous fluid which forced the hedgehog to dodge to the side as the wind suddenly shifted and filled with energy. The Ominous Wind, strengthened from the current environment, howled down and sped up between the buildings before smashing into Touza and sending her backwards. It was risky for him to use, but the payoff was worth it, especially when he didn’t get the boost of energy. There was no way for him to work it off anymore, after all.
Despite the fact that she had been winded by the attack, the shiny Floatzel was able to get back to her feet rather quickly thanks to her Swift Swim ability, although it was clear that the attacks launched upon her were beginning to take their toll. Of course, the Ominous Wind also having sent her into one of the ruined buildings didn’t help either. Dust was still roiling about the area she had careened into, and she knew she had to move quickly as the smokescreen wouldn’t last long in the rain.
Watching the dust cloud carefully, Sonic’s senses warned him that something was amiss, and as his eyes caught movement of the Water Type’s pelt, he dodged to the side while she lunged at him with an Aqua Jet. However, she wasn’t deterred easily and circled around quickly in an attempt to hit him again. Her speed was no match for his though, and he launched another Comet Punch in her direction – only to have his opponent’s body vanish in a haze of purple smoke. Turning around, he saw the real Floatzel hurtling towards him; her body alight in purple light with orange highlights.
He had no time to dodge the Giga Impact which slammed into him full force, knocking air from his lungs and pushing him into a building in a similar manner he had just done to Touza. As she stalled from the attack, she grinned as there was no movement and thought she had won. The smile quickly disappeared when the hedgehog emerged from the building, the wounds he had received knitting together even as she watched.
“You went full power? Now it’s my turn.” The hedgehog disappeared as he used Faint Attack once more, smashing into Touza and making her stumble backwards where his fist connected with her jaw in a Sky Uppercut. Following her, he threw a kick from the knee, the Hi Jump Kick connecting and sending her to the earth. Before she could get up he hit her with a Rollout, grinding her into the cracked cement before he uncurled and struck her with multiple Comet Punches.
As the last blow, his body sheathed itself in brown as Touza, to her horror, realized what he was going to use. “Four minutes, twenty-six seconds. You didn’t make it to the five minute mark, which means I get to stay.” He smashed his fists into her chest as the Superpower, which like the previous attacks was still powered up from the Bulk Up, fully formed and coursed through her body, making the Floatzel utter a shrill shriek and sending up debris.
When the smoke cleared, she was barely conscious as he walked back towards the building.
It was completely silent for a few seconds before Shira swiftly ran out of the blown out doors towards the downed Pokémon, although as she passed by Sonic, she gave him a glare that would have killed him if the saying was true. Upon reaching the Water Type, her hands took on a teal glow as she briefly healed what injuries she could before returning Touza to her Poké Ball, intent on getting to a Pokémon Center to treat the remaining injuries.
Sonic ignored the look, instead focusing his attention on Shadow as he approached. Squatting down to be closer, he carefully examined the hedgehog. His wounds seemed to have finally stopped bleeding, and his breathing remained stable. Pressing a finger against his neck, he once more checked his pulse, noting that it had strengthened slightly since he last did so. So two good things have happened...I got an annoying rat out of my fur,
yet he felt a stab of guilt, and Shadow’s getting a little stronger. Not bad...