Ah, nothing like the scent of fresh shipfiction in the morning! Here's one for my favourite pairing in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon of all time, Guildshipping! I'll keep the intro short and sweet, so enjoy the story and please leave a review with shipping suggestions or critiques!
Chatot shivered slightly and shifted his talons on the top rung of the ladder where he was perched. If he had to be perfectly honest, he hated sitting up there every night. No, he loathed it. Here he was, staring out the entrance of the guild, while all the apprentices were sound asleep in their warm beds far below. And ever since the gate was installed to cover the entrance, nobody went in or out at night. It was pointless for him to be sitting here, in fact. What the heck was he still doing there?
However, he only ever remembered how pointless it was once he had perched himself on the top rung, and by that time, it was too late to fly back down. He would look like an idiot, a fool! Chatot could not stand looking like a fool. So up there on the ladder he sat, like a fool.
He shivered again. Then the ladder trembled. Chatot looked down and noticed someone climbing up.
"Hey!" he snapped, absolutely thrilled that he could finally yell at someone for trying to sneak out. "Get back to your bed at once! Or I will have to inform the Guildmaster that you were trying to sneak out!"
"Who was trying to sneak out?" the Pokémon climbing the ladder asked in a cheerful voice. Chatot deflated a little.
"Guildmaster, what are you doing?" he sighed as Wigglytuff hopped out onto the ground next to him.
"I thought you might be lonely, so I decided to join you!" Wigglytuff explained, plopping himself down and beaming. Sulking, Chatot readjusted himself on the perch.
"You're wasting your time, Guildmaster," Chatot muttered, glaring straight ahead out the guild entrance. "I am far from lonely. Perhaps a bit tired and cold, but I'm used to it."
They were both silent for a while. Then Chatot heard the sound of Wigglytuff scooching over to sit nearer to the ladder.
"Sir, what – "
"Heya, Chatot, wanna play a game?"
"Sir, I would rather – "
"'Never have I ever?' Good choice! Okay, then! I'll go first!"
"Sir, please – "
"I have never sat up here before! Wow, you're already losing, Chatot! Better step up your game!"
"SIR!" Chatot flapped his wings furiously in agitation and Wigglytuff quickly silenced himself. "Honestly!" Taking a deep breath, Chatot began, "Look, Guildmaster, if you have come up here to bother me, then I'd prefer that you left. I'd rather not have a headache in the morning."
Wigglytuff stared at him with wide, disbelieving eyes, then he slowly got up, his ears drooping. Chatot moved to allow him to climb back down the ladder, then once he was gone, sat back down again.
Several minutes of silence passed and Chatot found himself dozing off. He was awoken by the sight of Wigglytuff's hurt face in his mind again. He shook himself and breathed deeply. He had been too hard on the Guildmaster. After all, Wigglytuff was his best friend. But he couldn't just leave his post to go down and apologize.
"I'm terrible," he murmured aloud. When there was no one to talk to, particularly during the nights of guarding the guild entrance, Chatot found it comforting to speak to himself just to hear someone's voice.
"I'm terrible to Wigglytuff and won't even go down to say sorry to him." He closed his eyes tightly, then made up his mind. "I'm going to go down there right now and beg for his forgiveness at being so rude!"
"No need," said a voice just to the right of him. "I forgive you!"
Chatot fell off the ladder in shock and looked up. There, sitting on the other side of the ladder, was an overly cheerful Wigglytuff.
"Wh-what are you doing here?! You went downstairs – "
"I came back up," Wigglytuff said, giggling. "I thought you might want to apologize, but I know that you're too proud to actually go back down."
Feeling slightly embarrassed, Chatot flew back onto the ladder. "Well, I suppose you can stay here now that you're here again," he mumbled.
Wigglytuff just smiled at him and moved closer to the ladder again.
"Wanna play 'never have I ever' again?"
"No way – !" Chatot stopped himself, then half-sighed, half-groaned. "Fiiiine."
"Yay! Okay, never have I ever seen you smile."
The sentence sounded so accusatory that Chatot actually jumped. "I beg to object! I have smiled, and I do smile on a daily basis!"
Wigglytuff pondered for a moment, then said, "Whoops! Guess I worded that one wrong! Never have I ever seen you smile for real."
"What are you talking about?! You can ask anyone in the guild, and they'll tell you how cheerful I am!"
There was another pause.
"Chatot...I know that." Wigglytuff's smile seemed to waver. "But can you tell me how cheerful you are?"
"I'm very – " Then, Chatot stopped. There was no denying that Wigglytuff was seeing through him. The more he lied, the more foolish he sounded. "I don't understand how you can tell, but...I suppose I haven't been too upbeat lately. Not really."
For the past few moons, it had been as if a weight was dragging Chatot down. He didn't know why, but suddenly, he had to force himself to look cheerful, at least for the guild members. Whatever it was, he was trying to ignore it – unsuccessfully, of course.
"Okay! Your turn!"
Chatot blinked at him. "I beg your pardon?"
"I just went, so now it's your turn!" At the blank stare Chatot gave him, Wigglytuff added, "The game, remember?"
It bewildered Chatot that they were somehow still playing this stupid game, but he gave in and said, "Never have I ever...er...saved the world." He just wanted to ask stupid questions until Wigglytuff got tired of playing.
"Ooh, darn! You're good! I'll have to come up with an extra-good question!" Wigglytuff crossed his arms, looking like he was deep in thought. Chatot rolled his eyes at him.
"Sir, please. I'm not so stupid that I'm actually going to believe that – "
"Just yesterday," Wigglytuff interrupted. "You weren't there when it happened, but I had to fight off a horde of Deoxys who wanted to destroy the world." He sounded so sincere that suddenly, Chatot was entirely uncertain of what the heck Wigglytuff was doing yesterday.
"I have an uber-good question!" Wigglytuff exclaimed. "Okay! Never have I ever been NOT lonely at night!"
What game is he playing here? Chatot wondered, narrowing his eyes. What kind of questions are these?
"I – I suppose you don't get a point for that one," he admitted, quickly moving on from that question. "Now, it's my turn. Never have I ever...played an instrument."
"Then you have to try this flute I found!" Wigglytuff said. "It put me to sleep, but it sounds very nice nevertheless!"
"Never have I ever had a mate!"
That one actually surprised Chatot. "Not Lopunny?" he asked incredulously. He had always assumed that Wigglytuff was with Lopunny of Team Charm, after he had seen how flirtatious she always acted around him. But Wigglytuff was giving him a blank stare.
"Erm, never mind." Chatot frowned at him then said, "Well, I suppose you lose that one as well."
"Aw! I'm really not good at this game!"
Sure you aren't, Chatot thought. But if we're going to play it this way, I suppose we'll be playing it this way.
"Never have I ever been in love." When Chatot said that, Wigglytuff's expression changed marginally before he replied in a cheerful tone.
"Whoops! Looks like you win that one again! You have three points now, right?"
Chatot had been dreading this, and it seemed like his fears may be coming true. He nodded in response to Wigglytuff but didn't look at him. Why wasn't the sun coming up yet?
"Never have I ever enjoyed anyone's company more than that of the one sitting next to me." Wigglytuff gave Chatot, who was still avoiding his gaze, a hopeful look.
Although Chatot wanted to tell him triumphantly that he had gotten a point, he couldn't. Instead, he just meekly nodded. He felt like he was being torn apart on the inside and it hurt. Was this what was dragging him down all these moons?
"Never have I ever let my emotions get in the way of my work," Chatot whispered, shivering against a cold breeze that blew in. Suddenly, he felt warmth surrounding him and looked up to see Wigglytuff hugging him gently.
"Never have I ever cared about that," Wigglytuff murmured back, squeezing him tighter.
"Wigglytuff, this is never going to work." Shaking himself free of Wigglytuff's hold on him, Chatot hopped off the ladder and turned to face him. "I will remain here to guard the entrance every night, no matter what. I can't let what I feel for you get in the way of my duties."
Another long moment passed. They both stared into each other's eyes until Wigglytuff broke the gaze to look down.
"And what do you feel for me?" he asked softly. The look of pain in Wigglytuff's eyes was almost too much for Chatot to bear.
"I...love you." It was out. It felt like just saying those three words opened the floodgates of Chatot's mind and he suddenly burst into tears. "But we can't be together. It will never work. We're always too busy. We'll never have the time for each other."
Wigglytuff was on the verge of tears as well, but the corners of his mouth turned up slightly. "We'll find the time. And if we can't, we'll make the time. So...?" He held out a paw to Chatot hopefully.
I fell in love with him, Chatot realized. That's what was making me so depressed. Because I knew that this would never work.
But maybe Wigglytuff is right. Perhaps we'll be able to find a way somehow.
"What about the apprentices?" Chatot asked. "What if they find out? They would tease us terribly."
"We already tease and make fun of them all the time," Wigglytuff reminded. "It would be like our comeuppance. So?" He waved his outstretched paw like a fluttering leaf. Unable to hold back a smile, Chatot reached out his wing for Wigglytuff to grasp. The moment he did, Chatot flung himself at him and hugged him warmly.
Wigglytuff hugged him back, then lifted him up to kiss him on the beak. That caused Chatot's face to turn bright red. Outside, the first rays of the sun painted the puffy clouds light pink and blue and birds flew by, chirping to each other.
"It will be almost time to do the morning address." Chatot let go of Wigglytuff and hopped over onto the ladder. "Shall we get going now, Wigglytuff?"
Beaming, Wigglytuff nodded and followed him down.