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Lionhearted

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Posted: Tue, 06/02/2018 00:18 (3 Months ago)
LIONHEARTED



If We Shoot Them Down, We Can Make It Right

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[b]Backstory for MEL

There will be mentions of neglect and abandonment in this. Probably brief mentions, but mentions nonetheless. Please don't read on if you're uncomfortable with the subject. Enjoy!~


Acier // Riu - Riolu's Nickname (AUBREY/MEL)
Alloy - Scyther's Nickname (MIA)




It was peaceful.

Three in the afternoon, and Aubrey had managed to draw some sort of square-like shape. The three year old giggled and reached over to tap the Riolu sitting beside her, pointing to the paper and letting out squeaks and gurgles as she did so. Acier smiled and squeaked in response, gripping a blue marker, which he uncapped to draw a squiggly line on the corner of the girl's paper.

Aubrey giggled and held up the paper proudly before placing it down again and gesturing to it. She hefted the red marker in her hand and attempted to write her name in the corner. She failed, of course, but it didn't deter her. Acier mimicked her, the one-year-old Riolu attempting to write his own name down.

Maybe it wasn't the most amazing piece of art, but it was special. It was theirs. They made it together, and that was the important part.

Footsteps on soft grass making little shuffling noises was their only warning. With a laugh, Aubrey's mother knelt down to lift the girl off the ground, readjusting her arms so she could hold both the child and the Pokémon. She took the drawing as well and moved back into the house.

The drawing remained on the fridge, held up by magnets. Aubrey and Acier wandered back down the hallway, while Linda took a cup and took a sip, staring tiredly at the drawing.

~•~•~•~

Two years passed, and Aubrey was five. Acier was four.

And they were both all too aware of the situation they were in.

It started unusually; Linda would come home from work exhausted, and she'd snap and yell and cry. Aubrey would tear up as well and run out of the room to hide under her bed, where Acier would join her.

Her older sister, Amia, who was nine years old and terrified, would try and keep them safe. They hid in Amia's room, with Alloy moving things to barricade the door. And suddenly, Linda stopped coming home.

None of the kids knew where she went, but they didn't honestly want to know.

~•~•~•~

A year later, and Aubrey was six. Acier was five. And they lived alone.

Since Linda had stopped coming home, Amia had run off to challenge the gyms. She was 12 now. They never saw each other. Not since their mom vanished.

Honestly? Aubrey didn't care. She was fine with her mother's vanishing act. It's not like the woman had been there often anyway, she'd always been at work. Besides, who needed parents when you had friends and siblings? Acier was both to her.

And she was okay with that.

~•~•~•~

"Brick break!"

"Fire spin!"

Acier dodged around the fire spin as best he could, the flames licking his cobalt fur. He growled but used his own move anyway, slamming a direct hit onto the opposing Flareon. The fire-type was thrown back and hit the ground, no longer moving.

The opposing trainer recalled his Pokémon and ran off, and Acier began to glow.

Aubrey began to grin.

The glow spread until it surrounded the Riolu. When the light faded away, Acier was no longer a Riolu. He was a Lucario, standing tall and strong.

And Aubrey ran forward to congratulate him, slamming him into a hug that he returned with just as much affection.

At six years old, Aubrey knew she would have a long journey ahead of herself.

At five years old, Acier knew he would always be by her side.
Posted: Tue, 06/02/2018 03:17 (3 Months ago)
CH. 1.) THERE'S A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DARKNESS


Acier // Riu - Lucario's Nickname (AUBREY/MEL)




"You ready for a fun day?" Aubrey grinned mockingly around her bowl of cereal, stirring it around with a ferocious laugh. "I'm gonna wipe the floor with you." The eight-year-old promised.

Acier mocked a dramatic gasp around his own bowl of pokéfood. "Please, as if. I'm gonna annihilate you. You'll never beat me."

Aubrey grinned. "It's on, spikes. You're forgetting I'm the master of roller blading."

"Not for much longer." Acier snarked back with a snicker, launching himself to his paws. "Let's go, let's go!" The Lucario urged, grabbing her arm and tugging at it.

Aubrey laughed and allowed herself to be dragged along. "Fine, fine. Let's go." She agreed with a giggle. The door swung open and Acier pulled them both out, and Aubrey locked the door behind them with a yawn.

The sun beat down in an endless sort of way, the brightness somewhat overwhelming at first. It beat down hard on Shalour City, never ending rays burning into the road. Aubrey paused to clip her roller blades onto her boots with a grin.

"You really wanna skate?" She checked, twirling around to face Acier, who nodded in a determined sort of way. "Great. You're gonna need some kind of shoes." She grinned.

Acier groaned but nodded in agreement, sitting down in the grass. "Fine, fine, as long as I can beat your record."

"You'll never beat it, gremlin." Aubrey retorted immediately, crouching down in front of the Lucario. She reached into her backpack, just as a scream split the peaceful atmosphere.

Both girl and boy froze and exchanged a nervous look, pushing themselves to their feet to race toward the screams.

People raced in different directions. Aubrey pushed her way through the smoke and coughed, waving her hand in front of herself. Acier hurried after her nervously.

The Pokémon Center was in fire. Flames licked the windows as the building began to collapse.

Her HOLO started up on its own, the image of a man showing up.

"Good evening, Kalos. As I'm sure you're all aware, the Pokémon center in Shalour City is burning to the ground. This is your first warning. I wish to obtain any and all summon items as soon as possible, if you please. The next time, it won't just be a Pokémon center."

The HOLO shut down.

Apart from the sound of crackling flames, there was no noise. Everyone was hushed, staring at their own HOLOs.

In the dim light of the smoke, a lone Pyroar sat, staring at the people in silence. It stood and vanished back into the smoke, disappearing. The only proof it was ever there, was a small clump of fur later found snagged on the side of the building.

Like a ghost, it vanished.
Posted: Tue, 13/02/2018 00:50 (3 Months ago)
CH. 2.) Someone Will Come Running

Acier // Riu - Lucario's Nickname (AUBREY/SAM)
Fae - Mienshao's Nickname (SAM)




"What was that?"

"Who even was that?"

"Haven't you heard? That's Diantha. Wonder what she's up to?"

"Clearly nothing good."

Aubrey sighed and tipped her head back to look up. She lifted one hand to shield her eyes from the sun. "Any luck?" She called up.

"No." Acier called back, sticking his head over the top of the Pokémon center with a sigh. "We're missing a screw."

"Missing a screw!" Aubrey shouted to the others. They nodded and set out to find the proper size.

A day after the incident, and the people had rallied together to rebuild the Pokémon center. So far, it had gone surprisingly well. The Pokémon and several people were in the roof working, while others stood by and held up ladders, or parts of the building. Certainly one way to bring a community together, she supposed. Quick and efficient too.

One of the adults sprinted over, tossing a screw up. The screw went a bit too far, nearly flying out of reach. A Hawlucha leapt after it, catching it and gliding back to set back to work.

Hours floated by. Aubrey had ended up on a ladder, standing at the very top as she scrambled onto the roof of the Pokémon center.

A breeze rifled by.

She could see everything. She could see all of Shalour City. The houses, the gym, the tower..

This was her home. And she loved it.

From below, Sam raised one hand in greeting, and she smiled.

~•~•~•~

It took three days to finish reconstructing the Pokémon center, and another three days to successfully decorate and build the interior, but it looked fantastic. Better than before, even.

At Korrina's insistence, they even agreed to build in a café. After all, a drink was always nice. Especially after all the hard work everyone did.

They were all hanging out around the Pokémon center when a traveler arrived.

The doors swung open and the man walked inside. The chattering died down. Everything seemed hushed.

"Hello! Welcome to Shalour City!" Nurse Joy greeted in her usual pleasant tone. "Can I help you?"

The man had dark hair, and was wearing an pink-ish suit with a purple charm pin in the corner.

"I am here to speak with Korrina."

Now, Shalour City was a small town to begin with, alright? Thirty people lived in the town at most. They all knew each other, they all got along. And Korrina was the gym leader. They all knew her, and she knew all of them.

"I'm sorry sir, but she's not here today. She's out of town." Nurse Joy said carefully. A lie, and the town knew it. Korrina was in the Tower of Mastery with her grandfather. Today was their usual training day.

"It was not a question." The man said firmly. "I am here to speak with Korrina."

"She's not here today, sir." Joy apologized. "I can leave her a message if you'd like, but she isn't in town. I'm very sorry."

"I must insist that I speak with her immediately. It is--"

"She's not here!" Aubrey snapped, whirling around on the stool she was sitting on. "I'm sorry that you're annoyed, but she's not here. Try again later."

The man looked surprised, glancing over at her disdainfully. "And who do you think you are?"

"A resident in Shalour City who's annoyed that you're pestering Joy about someone who's not even here." Aubrey snarked back.

On the floor in front of her, Acier grinned widely.

The man gaped at her, fingers flying to the belt around his waist. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me."

Next to her, Sam offered her a thumbs-up.

"I must insist--"

"Save your breath."

Acier covered his muzzle to avoid snorting.

The man floundered for words before letting out an annoyed growl, whipping around and storming out.

Sam grinned and turned to face her. "Not bad, for a girl." He teased, poking her in a friendly sort of way.

Aubrey grinned at him. "Thanks, boy." She snickered, taking a sip of her coffee. "Somebody had to say it."

"It sucks that you had to, though." Sam said with a frown, voice oozing with annoyance. "Somebody else should've said something."

Aubrey snorted. "It was a creepy guy with a bright pink suit. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to talk." She remarked.

Sam shrugged and sipped his soda. He placed the cup down and grinned. "Hey, heyhey, listen, we should totally have a race." He grinned excitedly, hopping to his feet. "I can totally whoop you in rollerblading."

"Really now?" Aubrey's eyes brightened. "Try me, loser!" She laughed, leaping to her feet as well. "Last one to the end of the road is a rotten Trubbish!" She called back, sprinting out the door.

"Hey! Brie! You got a head start!" Sam yelled, scandalized. He sprinted after her with another yell.

Acier sighed and shook his head in amusement, glancing at Fae, who simply snickered. Both fighting types stood and trailed after their trainers, Acier snatching the cup of coffee as he did so.
Posted: Sun, 25/02/2018 02:32 (2 Months ago)
Ch. 3) The Last of a Dying Breed

Acier // Riu - Lucario's Nickname (MEL/BRIE/AUBREY)
Fae - Mienshao's Nickname (SAM)




"Hey, Brie,"

"What's up?"

"If you learned something awful happened to me, would you come after me?"

"'Course I would, what do you take me for? You're my best friend, other than Riu. I'd go through hell to get you back."

".. Thanks."

"No problem."

----

The day started normally. Shalour City was warm and friendly as usual, atmosphere clean and proud.

"Hey, Aci," Aubrey said, turning to look at the Lucario. "I wanna visit Sam later. I promised I'd see his mom again, she's so nice." She smiled, tilting her head back to look at the sky. The clouds were fluffy, floating around above.

Acier nodded thoughtfully. "Sure. Sounds like fun." He grinned, nodding in agreement with her. "I'll stick with you." He added cheerfully.

Approaching Sam's house and knocking on the door, Aubrey stuffed her hands into her pockets with a yawn.

Her HOLO buzzed.

She frowned and reached for it, pulling it out of her pocket.

Diantha..

Sam burst out of the house, brandishing his own HOLO. "Brie! Are you getting this?" He exclaimed, holding it up.

Aubrey blinked and looked back at her own. Acier growled.

"Greetings, Kalos. As you're probably aware, my name is Diantha. And I'm here to fix this world."

Sam frowned.

"Tonight, you will have two options; Stay and fight, or join us. Tonight at midnight, we will receive your answers. We will eliminate any who stand in our way. Choose carefully."

The HOLOs shut off.

Doors were thrown open, people sprinting out, brandishing their own HOLOs.

The gym doors burst open as well, and Korrina flew out, landing on her feet with a thud. She clapped her hands together, and the whispering stopped.

"Kalos,-" She started, coughing and shaking her head. "No. Shalour. You heard the woman. Two options. What do we want?"

----

Tugging the flaming red suit on, Aubrey grumbled under her breath. The suit was uncomfortable and itchy, but hey, she looked pretty cool.

Acier sat outside the room, legs crossed as he waited for her. Receptors up higher than usual as he took in his surroundings.

The door opened and Aubrey stepped out, pushing her hair behind her ears. "Well? How do I look?"

Acier snorted. "Like you're ready to murder someone with a flamethrower."

"Thank you, that's the look they're going for." Aubrey grinned, nudging the Lucario playfully.

He grumbled as he stood, shaking himself off. "Right then. Where to now?"

"Briefing, I think." The brunette shrugged. "Probably, right? What else would it be? We're here to work."

Acier shrugged and stood, trailing after her as she made her way down the halls.

The walls were pristine, white and patterned. Aubrey ran her hand along the wall before pulling back to continue down the halls.

----

Her first mission was a simple mission; abusive Pokémon trainer. Find him and free his Pokémon. Aubrey accepted and went on her way.
Posted: Sun, 04/03/2018 03:03 (2 Months ago)
Ch. 4) Been a Million Before Me

Acier // Cer // Riu - Lucario's Nickname
Lexi - Buneary's Nickname

Cer - Pronounced (S-air)





"Brie," Sam sighed and dragged his palm down his face. "I don't want to say this, but you're weak, okay? You need more pokemon on your team if you're going to be helpful."

Aubrey bristled. "Is that a challenge?" She asked shortly, blue eyes flashing.

"It's a fact," Sam retorted, placing his hands on his hips. "Look. I'll admit you're a top grunt, okay? But if you want to move up to admin, you need better Pokémon. That Lucario won't cut it. You need to prove yourself."

Acier growled, receptors rising slowly. Sam flinched and took a large step back.

Aubrey sighed and nudged Acier; he relaxed his stance quickly. "Look, Sam. I'll go find another Pokémon. The first Pokémon I run into is the one I'll catch. Okay?"

The admin's eyes brightened. "Yep! Now, shoo. These are direct orders from one of the top admins!" He grinned, pushing her out of the room. The door shut behind her.

----

"Nice promise. Now you're gonna be stuck with, like, a Fletchling or something." Acier complained.

Aubrey rolled her eyes. "Whatever. And a Fletchling would be cute. Besides, it's not like I actually have to use it in battle. I just have to have it in my party." She pointed out.

Wandering aimlessly along route four, Aubrey had her dex out, scanning the area for Pokémon to catch.

Acier tugged on her sleeve. "Over there," He whispered. "It's not a Fletchling. I can tell."

Aubrey nodded to him and crept into the tall grass.

The grass parted to reveal a small, fluffy Pokémon. It chirped in surprise and glared at her.

She held up her dex, and it narrowed in on the Pokémon.

Buneary.

"Okay, Cer!"

The Lucario barked and leapt forward to stand in front of his trainer, staring down at the Buneary.

"Metal claw!"

Acier held up both paws. With a bright flash, three sharp, glowing claws appeared and he leapt forward to use the attack.

It hit the Buneary, who was thrown back. It scrambled back up with an angry chitter and pushed off the ground to use pound. The attack made contact.

"Ack. Quick attack!" Aubrey called.

With a bark of agreement Acier raised his receptors. He began to glow and he leapt forward, slamming against the Buneary. It hit the ground with an exhausted yet furious chirp.

Fumbling around for a moment, Aubrey pulled out a pokeball and clicked the middle button so it grew to full size. Taking a deep breath, she threw it forward.

It hit the Buneary, who was enveloped in a red light and vanished into the ball. It landed on the ground and shook three times before falling still.

"Yes!" Aubrey gasped, dashing forward to scoop the ball off the ground. She turned to face Acier, grinning widely. "We did it! That's our first official catch together!"

The Lucario was beaming so brightly, Aubrey was surprised he wasn't outshining the sun.

----

"Okay. Uhh.. Lexi."

"What?"

"Lexi. That's what I'm calling her." Aubrey explained, staring at the Buneary.

Acier tilted his head slightly. "Lexi, huh?" He mused, looking down at the Buneary as well.

Lexi blinked and struck a dramatic pose, flicking her ears with a friendly chirp.

"Lexi it is, then." Aubrey remarked, reaching for the Buneary's pokeball. She pulled it out and held it up. "Okay. Return, please."

With an annoyed huff, Lexi turned her nose up at the pokeball.

Aubrey snorted. "No pokeball? Fine," She laughed, shoving it back into her backpack. Riu nodded in agreement. "You can chill on my shoulder."

Lexi nodded, satisfied, as she made her way up Aubrey's back and onto her shoulder.

"Perfect. Look at that, we're already great friends!" Aubrey grinned, reaching up to pat the Buneary, who let out a small cooing noise.

Acier grinned.

----

"Okay. Brie. You gotta prove yourself as a grunt. You're part of Team Flare. Prove it to us." Sam said firmly from where he sat behind his desk.

Aubrey groaned. "What do you expect me to do? Burn a building? Murder? I'm not doing either of those." She spat.

Sam snorted. "Neither of those. We heard professor Sycamore received a package containing Unovan starters. We need you to snatch one for yourself. That'll prove you. Okay?"

"Fine, fine, whatever. I better be moving up the ranks, then, yeah?"

"Deal."

Acier groaned.

----

"We shouldn't be doing this. Do you know how dangerous this is?" Acier griped, watching as Aubrey successfully scaled the lab's wall. "Seriously! Think this through!"

"Shh!" Aubrey hissed back, landing on the windowsill. The lab was dark and silent. "Okay. C'mon!"

Acier sighed and shook his head before reaching up for the rope, grabbing it and hauling himself up beside her. "This is by far your worst idea ever."

Aubrey shushed him again, reaching forward to press her hands against the top of the window. It popped open and she grinned, pushing the window all the way up to drop into the lab, Acier following in suit.

Approaching the desk at the end of the room, Aubrey pulled open as many drawers as she could in a desperate hurry to get out of there. Acier tapped her shoulder and gestured to the bottom drawer.

A row of pokeballs sat gleaming in the drawer, reddish-orange and ready to be taken.

Tepig, Oshawott and Snivy.

She wanted the one people hated the most.

Selecting the water-type, Aubrey pocketed Oshawott's pokeball and made her way back toward the window, Acier on her heels. She slid out and hit the ground, sprinting off into the night.
Posted: Fri, 09/03/2018 14:02 (2 Months ago)
Ch. 5) Our Will to Fight

Acier // Cer // Riu - Lucario's Nickname
Lexi - Lopunny's Nickname
Bubble - Oshawott's Nickname
Karou - Cottonee's Nickname




Tick, tick, tick, tick,--

Aubrey tapped her foot against the ground impatiently, staring at her watch. The little hands moved impossibly slow, she was fully prepared to step on the watch.

Noticing her crisis, Acier sighed and shook his head, though he didn't say anything in response.

There were several other grunts outside the room as well, equally grumpy and bored as Aubrey.

It took almost an hour, but the door eventually slid open. Aubrey pushed off the wall to enter, sprinting to snag her usual chair near the middle of the table. Acier leaned against the wall behind her, half asleep as the others began to pile in for their daily activities.

It took a while, but eventually everybody settled down and turned their attention to the front of the room.

Lysandre turned his seat around to face them, and the room fell silent. Riu's ears perked up slightly.

"Good. I assume you're all prepared for today's briefing?"

Continuous nodding.

"Perfect. Now,-" The flaming hair turned slightly as Lysandre turned again to turn the board on. It flickered on, to a map of Kalos. Aubrey leaned forward onto the table slightly.

"As you're all aware, Diantha is likely planning another attack."

More nods of confirmation.

"We plan on being there to stop her. But to do so, we must find out where she will attack next. So far, her team of no-good-losers have been attacking towns. Shalour, Anistar, Lumiose.. So. Who's next, you might ask? Well. We ready know the answer," Lysandre stood to rap his fist against a spot on the board. "Snowbelle City. We intercepted a message between Diantha and Sycamore. Teams of three. You're able to choose your teams, so choose wisely. We'll go tomorrow. Remember; Team Flare is protecting Kalos- Diantha wants it gone."

----

Crouched behind a giant block of ice, Aubrey reflected on the awful decisions she'd made within the past day.

One: She'd agreed to work with Gio (the hottest girl on Flare, of course), who'd spent the entire time flirting with Sam.

Two: It was frigid out. She and Riu were huddled together to preserve body heat. (Fun Fact! It wasn't working.)

Three: She'd rejected a phone call from Mia, since it could've jeopardized the mission.

Four: She got exactly three hours of sleep the previous night.

So excuse her for being a little pissy today.

From beside her, Gio was starting up the flirting again, with Sam staring at her with an exhausted look in his eyes. Aubrey bit back a laugh as she returned to doodling in the snow with a stick. Acier was watching her with bright red eyes, narrowed to keep the snow out.

There was a sickening thud and a scream, and Acier's ears shot up.

Gio paused her flirting to peer over the ice, slipping back down to turn towards them again. "Plan is a go, move out!" She whispered, pushing Aubrey out.

The brunette stumbled and caught herself in time to dive out of the way of a rogue flamethrower.

With an angry howl and a bright red flash, Acier leapt out after her, throwing a glowing red bone in the direction the flamethrower had come from.

It made contact and there was a whine and a growl, as the Pokémon stepped out of the shadows.

Houndoom.

Several people followed the Houndoom out of the shadows, each holding a pokeball.

Gio and Sam slid in to join her, releasing their own Pokémon (Infernape and Mienshao respectively) with more flashes.

As each of the opposing trainers tossed up their pokeballs, Aubrey touched her forehead dizzily.

Acier leapt forward to meet the Houndoom, and all hell broke loose.

----

Dizzy. Spiraling. Falling, falling, red, yellow, red.

Red.

R

E

D

.


"Flamethrower!"

"BRIE!"

She couldn't move in time.

The move made contact with her, and she was thrown backward, hitting the side of the gym and sliding down. Red mixed with the snow.

"Brick break!"

The same Pokémon that had used the flamethrower leapt for her again and raised one paw, glowing with a dangerous aura. It brought its paw down hard, and there was a sickening crack.

And Acier fell with a scream.

----

Up.

Up?

Wake..

Wake up.

You need to wake up.

Where are you?

...

Where are you, Amelia?


----

She coughed.

Blinking her eyes back open, Aubrey pushed herself off her stomach and onto her knees, hacking violently. Dirt and dust flew through the air as she moved.

A few feet away, Acier was out cold.

Her hands.

They were covered in red.

She looked down at her stomach and bit back a scream.

Red.

Red.

She was unconscious before she hit the ground.
Posted: Fri, 09/03/2018 15:05 (2 Months ago)
Ch. 6) So Promise Me That They'll Fall

Acier // Cer // Riu - Lucario's Nickname
Lexi - Lopunny's Nickname
Bubble - Oshawott's Nickname
Karou - Cottonee's Nickname




She woke up with a scream.

Shooting to her feet, Aubrey slid into a defensive pose and held her hands out in front of her, fully prepared to box something or someone if need be.

Acier caught her wrists and growled, shaking his head. Blood scattered as he did so, red droplets hitting the ground. Aubrey stared.

From behind her, there was a rumbling noise and she whipped around, blue eyes widening slightly.

Red.

Giratina.

"You are far from home, young one."

Aubrey stared, stumbling to find an answer to the legendary. "I.. I don't know where I am."

Giratina huffed. "There we go. Welcome to hell. This is the Distortion World. Y'know, backwardia."

"You.. What?"

"Yeah, Pokémon hell, y'know? I'm clearly Giratina. Sorry about the state of this place, I know, it's a mess. I'll clean it at some point. Probably."

"W.. What?"

Giratina groaned and smacked his head with one of the odd arm-like things produced from his side. "Duh. Sorry, you're probably wondering why you're here, huh?"

"I.. Yeah. Yeah, knowing that would be nice." Aubrey mused, taking a step back towards Riu, who's receptors were up.

"I suppose so, huh? Alright. Congratulations, you majorly screwed up. You've been murdered."

Aubrey paled.

Giratina blanched. "No, nonono, wait, sorry, that wasn't right. Technically you're not 'dead', but you're pretty close to it."

"You're not making me feel any better."

"HA! I like you, kid. Enough so that I'll offer you the deal of a lifetime. Or deathtime. Whatever. How would you feel about living again?" The renegade pokemon lowered himself to stare at her.

Frowning thoughtfully, Aubrey nodded slowly. "I'd love to live. Again. That would be nice. Why? What are you gonna do about it? I'm dead, aren't I?"

Chuckling, Giratina extended one of his arm-like appendages. With an orange glow, a child appeared.

"But.. That's me."

She was right. The child was indeed her. The same age, same haircut, same freckles, same outfit, same everything.

Except for the medical eyepatch over the other Aubrey's left eye.

"Right again!" Giratina beamed. "I knew I liked you for a reason. Meet Amelia. She's just like you, but not, y'know, dead. Of course, that could change, but, for now, she's very much alive."

".. What's your offer?"

Giratina seemed to grin. "I'll break a few laws and join the two of you together. You'll be one person, sharing memories." He explained carefully.

".. You're serious?"

"Dead serious. Ha, getit? Dead serious? Since you're kinda dead right now? I crack myself up."

"What do you want in return?" Aubrey checked slowly.

Giratina blinked. "In.. Oh. I want you to take my summon item. I like you, kiddo. And it'll finally give me an excuse to leave this place without father Arceus throwing a fit and banishing me again."

Aubrey snorted. "Uh-huh. Fine. Deal." She held out her right hand.

Seemingly grinning, Giratina lowered his head. Aubrey reached up to pat his head gently, and he purred in satisfaction, reaching out to pat her as well. Acier was snickering from behind them.

The renegade pokemon drew back. "One more thing; It's an alternate universe. So everything will likely be different. Diantha will be a good guy. Sycamore too. Lysandre's the baddie now."

"Wait. What about Acier?"

Acier tipped his head to the side.

"Amelia has a Lucario as well, but he's.. Very, very different. I can do the same thing with this Acier as I'm doing for you. I'll do the same for the rest of your Pokémon as well. They'll remember everything."

"What about the place I just came from? My home? Am I..?"

"You don't exist there anymore. You're dead, Aubrey."

She nodded. His answer hadn't surprised her, but she couldn't help but feel somewhat disappointed. She hoped Mia was okay.

"You'll need a new name. If anybody were to figure out what happened to you.."

Aubrey grinned. "Don't worry; Everything's under control!"

Giratina nodded, satisfied. With a bright flash, an item appeared and dropped into her hands. "There. The griseous orb. Careful with it, my child. Are you ready?"

"Never could've been more ready. Readier? Is that even a word? Whatever. I'm ready!"

Nodding again, the renegade pokemon closed his eyes. Everything seemed to glow, and Aubrey's eyes slid shut.

----

Blinking awake, Aubrey shot out of her bed. Her feet hit the floor as she stretched, turning to look in the mirror.

She was alive. She reached down and lifted her hands again. They weren't red. She wasn't dead.

"Brie! Brie, we're okay!"

She whipped around.

Acier was on his paws, red eyes bright with excitement. "And look!" He held up his right arm. "Alternate universe me has a megastone! Oh, you have a keystone! How cool is that?!"

Aubrey grinned and touched the keystone. It hung from a necklace around her neck. It was giving off a comforting energy. She was happy.

On the desk in the corner of her room, the griseous orb sat glowing softly. She couldn't help but cross the room and lift it with a smile.

"Thanks, Red."

It gave off a gentle glow before the glow dulled and it was just a normal orb.

There was a thud from downstairs, and a voice that floated up. "Aubrey! Your uncle and I are leaving now! We'll see you sometime next week, okay, hun?"

Amelia surged forward. "Alright! Bye, auntie!" She called, peeking out of her room to wave as her aunt and uncle waved back and exited the house. The front door shut behind them.

Aubrey allowed herself to laugh. Acier let out a whoop and leapt off the bed.

----

Holding Acier's pokeball in her hand, Aubrey rolled it around in her palm. Checking with her Pokémon, they'd all agreed it would be safest to keep Acier and Lexi out of her party for a bit while she adjusted to the new universe.

She wasn't even in Kalos anymore. In this universe, Amelia currently resided in Alola, even if she'd been born in Kalos.

Entering the Pokémon Center, Aubrey made her way to the PC and logged herself in. Placing Riu, Lexi and Bubble's pokeballs on the transporter, she watched as they flashed into the pc. She could practically feel Acier's anxiety creeping out, but he pushed it down bravely. And she was proud of him.

The only Pokémon left in her party was a Cottonee she'd caught a few days prior to the incident in her old universe. She'd never given the grass-type an official name, but today, she had

Karou.

Hope.

The Cottonee floated up to her shoulder and nudged her sympathetically with a small cry. Aubrey allowed herself to smile. Now the only thing left to do was change her name.

----

Exiting the Pokémon Center, she approached the mountains in the distance. They were pretty, snowcapped too. Trainers passed by her without a second glance.

Taking a seat on a bench, Aubrey pulled her legs up and sat criss-cross, looking at her hands thoughtfully.

With a playfully confident squeak, Karou leapt off her shoulder, floating towards a group of kids that were looking at the mountains too.

"Cottonee! Wait!--" Aubrey cried, leaping to her feet to chase after her temporary partner.

One of the other kid's Pokémon, a Cyndaquil, looked over and approached the grass-type. He seemed to speak to her, as Karou quickly relaxed and chirped happily.

"Cottonee!" Aubrey exclaimed, crouching down beside her Pokémon. "Don't run off like that!" Karou called out an apology and Aubrey stood up, looking at the Cyndaquil. "You don't look wild." She decided. She looked towards where the other trainers were. "I'm guessing one of them?" She asked, as Karou leapt into her arms. She watched as one began to approach and tensed slightly. "Hi," she said nervously. "Sorry about Cottonee."

"He's Tiger's. Hi!" The girl with brown hair longer than Aubrey's greeted cheerfully, offering her a wave.

"Yeah Cyndaquil is my Pokemon. It's fine about your Cottonee, it didn't hurt anyone, and Cyndaquil here like to run off too," The boy said in a kind tone, and picked up his Pokemon. The small mouse Pokemon then climbed onto his trainer's shoulder, and looked around. "As Mira said, I'm Tiger, and this is my pal Cyndaquil." The young trainer said cheerfully. "Nice to meet you, and your Cottonee."

Aubrey allowed herself to grin. "Thanks," She said with a laugh. "I'm Mel."

~ E N D ~

They broke the walls we guarded,

But we don't care about it