Unforgotten Memories I
Red and menacing, the late afternoon sun and the hot wind encouraged the village to burn. Tall flames had engulfed each building like a foreboding preview of hell. Soot blew around in the air in choking black waves.
To the side, a tall muscular figure in a hooded brown cloak stood and oversaw as his men ransacked the settlement standing on what used to be Route Five. His brown eyes glowed darkly within the shadows of the cowl of his cloak. With folded arms, he watched the tall flames engulf each building one by one. The smoke given off by the fires stood out as a deep murky black against the cloudy sky and the frightened and pained screaming villagers were loud in the air as they were subdued or killed where they stood. While the men of the small settlement were of the latter, the women were rounded up in the center to be dealt with in a different and much more desirable way.
"Die, League scum!" a villager shouted. The villager was a young man with dark hair and dressed in forest-like clothing, as if he were trying to blend in with the surrounding trees and bushes. As he managed to elude two Fire Trainers and come at the cloaked figure with a short, wicked-looking dagger. The boy managed to come within several feet of him before the tall brown-cloaked male waved his hand once. The ground exploded beneath the villager's feet and he screamed in pain as he was thrown about a dozen feet into the air, legs horribly twisted and broken.
A flash of light caught the cloaked man's attention and he turned around. Behind him, the scream abruptly cut off as a loud thump announced the young villager's body meeting the ground.
The white-cloaked woman was still in the after-glow of a radiant light as she stood there in front of him, having just returned from wherever she had disappeared to earlier Her eyes glowed blue and even though he could not see the rest of her features hidden within the shadows of her hood, he knew she was smiling. At her feet, the small white Pikachu that was her chosen Pokemon also seemed to be smiling
"You seem to enjoy this don't you?" she asked in a faintly amused tone.
"Valdera," the brown-cloaked man said, ignoring her vibe. "You shouldn't disappear like that when you may be needed."
She looked around herself in scorn, noting the helpless people that had no chance against a force of this much League power. They could not even run away into the thick forest surrounding them before fire trainers directed their Pokemon to incinerate them down with their Flamethrower
attacks. "You needed my considerable power to overwhelm this sorry lot?" she asked in a disgusted tone.
"The rebels are quite strong, as I should know, and we might have gone up against some resistance. Thankfully it seems they are not present within this area. We are not to be bothered for the time is coming close at hand." He turned around to continue watching his men destroy the village. In particular he noted which villager women were nice enough for him to take to bed tonight. "Has Golemdor acquired some more supplies from the old Pallet area yet?"
Valdera seemed to frown slightly as she replied in an emotionless tone, "Golemdor is dead."
"What?" He shouted as he whipped back around. "How?"
Valdera smirked, her face hidden within the hood. "The question is not 'how'
. Devura is back and he should still be in the outskirts of the Viridian Forest where I left him."
"DEVAN." At the mention of the name all the memories of the old pain came back to him as vivid and real as before they had faded with time. "I thought he was dead," he whispered.
"You didn't really think that one with power of his magnitude could be killed that easily, did you?" Valdera question, somehow sounding pleased.
He narrowed his eyes at her. "You're happy about this I see. Just don't try to stop me when I go to kill him for good."
She sneered at him. "So you plan on facing him in the open this time, instead of working behind his back?"
The brown-cloaked man stood up to his full height of 6'7" and laughed confidently. "We will let him come to us. By the time he gets here, all he will have time for is to die." A disturbing thought then entered his membrane, his brows creasing. "But why would Devan resurface now? Why would he even get involved?"
"Believe it or not, there is actually a very simple and easy answer to that question," Valdera said as she knelt down to scratch her Pikachu on the head. "My sister, Ash and Gary are with him."
His brown eyes began to glow even darker. "MISTY!"
The small, hot spring was warm and pleasant as Ash stood within the stomach-height waters and scrubbed soap suds all over his naked body. Gary and I were doing the same. It had been a few days or so since any of us had taken a [I]real[/I bath and we were exceedingly happy to have one now. We were fortunate enough that Ash had remembered this old camping site near the outskirts of the Viridian Forest with this nearby bathing spot.
My chest was sore from the various fights I had fought recently, not to mention my arms. But the warm water was soothing. Coupled with my high healing rate, I could almost imagine that I felt myself getting better with each passing second.
I sensed someone behind me and my guard rose up. However, I did not turn around. It was only Misty. I continued to wash myself as I heard clothing fall to the rocky grounds surrounding the spring. She seemed to be undressing.
"I thought that we agreed that we would take turns and that us guys would be first seeing as how I was injured and we all needed to save time," I said flatly, still not acknowledging her with a look.
There was no answer for a while except for the sound and feel of the water behind me parting to accommodate another body. "I couldn't wait that long," she said in a faint tone. "Besides, I thought that we could use this time to talk seeing as how all of us will be far too busy later. Plus, this will save even more of our precious time."
"You want to talk about your sister?" I questioned her. "Yes, you never did tell us you had one. A twin sister at that. Why is that? I thought we told each other everything."
"To put it frankly, it is still painful to talk about her," Misty said softly. "At that time we thought she was dead. She and I were very close. Sometimes people don't understand just how twins feel about one another." There was a quick pause after that because her tone went flat. "Later after you and I went our separate ways and you disappeared, even fro the League, I learned she was alive and well. As a Pokemon Master. A League Pokemon Master. Just as you were."
I thought about it. "She never did tell me where she came from."
"So it's true that you were seeing each other when you were both in the League then," Misty said. It was not a question but more of disappointing statement.
I shrugged. I reached around to do my back then winced in pain as a muscle in my shoulder tightened.
"Here let me do that," Misty said as he felt her come up behind him. I was about to move away and protest when I felt her soft hands touch me. All at once memories of the past assailed me, days just like this one where we bathed each other and I just could not move.
She kneaded the soap softly into my shoulders and back and squeezed the tight knots in my muscles and smoothed them to nothingness. Unknowingly I sighed and leaned back against her as she worked her magic over me. The magic she had not lost in over five years. The magic that made me clay to be molded by her hands. I closed my eyes and remembered...
It seemed all I could hear was the cheering of the crowds surrounding the ring. The Pokemon League Stadium building was packed to its maximum capacity. Streamers and confetti showered all around me and banners were opened hailing the new Pokemon League Champion.
"Yep, Misty!" I shouted as I turned around to my long-time companion and friend who had front seat in the sidelines although sometime we had seemed more like enemies. "You're now looking at a true Pokemon Master!" Exceedingly happy with me, my brother Ash turned his trusty old red baseball cap around backwards and struck a pose. "Not only that, but champion of the Pokemon League!"
Neo, tired, but still conscious from the long drawn-out battle jumped on my left shoulder and let out a victory cry. He had been the one Pokemon I had left that could defeat Lance's Dragonite in one of the most exciting final series match ups in the world. "Pika! Pika!"
Misty laughed and ran towards us before engulfing me in a giant hug. I wrapped my arms around her, returning the warm hug she had given me. Neo was squashed within the tight embrace. "I knew you could do it, Devan!" She said with tears in her eyes. I swung her around in my arms, which wasn't as hard now that I had grown a bit during the years that we traveled with one another. I must admit that she was a bit taller than I was back then and that had been a small but constant source of embarrassment.
As we hugged each other, I became aware of another feeling. The feeling that this was all worthwhile because Misty was here. Ash and Gary were there too. They had always been here, right by my side. My whole journey to become a Master was second-best to having the greatest younger brother someone could ask for, meeting this sometimes strange but cute red-haired girl, and knowing another boy who was like my cousin. Ironically, perhaps Ash wrecking her bike was the best thing he could have ever done for me.
Behind Misty and I, Gary was talking to Lance who sat down dejectedly on the ring's floor with his Pokeballs scattered all around him. He had not been champion for long before I had won the title from him. Lance's cheering squad and the Elite Four were all silent.
Brock who had come to watch me win the finals with Ash and the others looked on with a strange expression on his face.
"So what are you going to do now?" Misty asked hesitantly.
I nodded and then looked to Professor Oak who was like a grandfather to me. "Well, I've been talking to the other Professors and it seems that the Pokedex still hasn't recorded all of the different types of Pokemon... so I am going to travel the world again and fill this thing up completely!"
"Yes, yes..." Professor Oak agreed in his familiar sage tone. "There are still many Pokemon out there waiting to be discovered."
"And besides, you all know me. I've done the same thing in the Johto League, Sinnoh League, Hoenn Championships, Orange Islands, Battle Frontier Challenge, and Indigo Plateau... I am pretty much the world's youngest Pokemon Master and I can't stick around in one place trying to act all important-like to be the Orre Region Pokemon League Champion! So I have decided to give the title of Orre's Champ back where it belongs... with Lance."
"WHAT!" Everyone who was listening shouted. Lance seemed to come back to life as he stood up. "You mean that, Devan?" He asked with wide open eyes.
Even the Professor was shocked. "But I didn't think you were going to give up your title, AGAIN! You could have been the League Champion of every region, Frontier Brain, and gone on this assignment."
"And you worked so hard for this moment! You never gave up!" Misty added. "All this time, you've never given up." Her voice also held a sad tone. "Besides if you leave, we might not see you as much anymore..."
I held up my hand as I looked around at everyone's face. "No, no! I've made my decision. If I stayed as the League Champion, I would've had to come back every tournament to uphold my title. And quite frankly, I think I have discovered what I want most in my life and surprisingly it isn't to be the Champ... It is something else." I looked directly at Misty after that. "I know we haven't exactly been the perfect couple, you and I. Always fighting and crap, but we were a couple a nonetheless and it just wouldn't be the same without you... so would you like to go with me?"
Misty's eyes watered. "You really mean it? Of course I'll go with you!" She ran over to me and we hugged again, laughing and spinning each other around. Everyone sighed tiredly. They all knew the couple were inseparable and that no matter what I decided to do, Misty was no doubt part of my future.
"Hey Ash, don't think just because I am going to be leaving, you're getting away with paying me for my bike either!" Misty said to him.
"Aw, you're still going on about that?" Ash said, rolling his light-brown eyes. "It was a crummy bike anyway! Broke after one fall!"
Misty's eyes flashed. "Excuse me? That bike was the most, most! I assembled it myself!"
"Maybe that was why the Spearows almost got us then..." He mumbled under his breath.
Soon, the hugging stopped and Misty hugged Ash, but it was a different sort of hugging. One that had more to do with various wrestling maneuvers than a show of affection.
Ash's Pikachu at their feet, sighed. "Pi-ka-chuuu."
Everyone, including me shook their heads. "You can say that again," we echoed.
The only one who wasn't paying attention was Lance who was laughing as he put on his League Championship badge and struck poses in the mirror.
However, as Ash and Misty struggled and rolled along the ground, wrapped in a tight embrace, they each heard the other say softly, at the same time, "I love you and will never forget a friend as great as you." Then they laughed and continued the wrestling.
My eyes snapped open and I abruptly stepped out of the water and on to the bank where my clothes were draped over a long, drying my skin with Shiny energy as I did so. I looked at my pile of clothes and boots and concentrated, enveloping them in a bright white light. The clothes then floated on my body before I solidified them back into place. Then I summoned my black cloak back over them.
"You shouldn't do that," I said dangerously, still not facing her. I did not want to see her nakedness, I didn't know what would happen then. Whatever, it would only have led to hurt in the end.
Her voice came softly to me along a passing breeze. "You were tense and it isn't like we haven't done this before."
"And not likely to ever happen again either," I said. "I'll admit I'm pretty much your slave for the meantime, but I will not also be your toy to play with as you wish, then abandon. I refuse to let that happen." And then I stalked off back to the campsite where Neo was waiting and staying on guard. The leaves and foliage crackled loudly underfoot.
Unseen, Misty wiped a tear from her eye and leaned over the stony bank of the spring, covering her face with her arms. "It was your fault too." She then peaked through her fingers to see Gary and Ash staring at her and jumped up out of the water in rage as she dried herself off with a cerulean blue towel and put her clothes back on. "PERVERTS!"
As she stormed off, Gary and Ash smirked at each other and transacted high-fives. "Awesome!"