Chapter 2, everybody! And wow, I wasn't expecting this much attention. Five reviews, nine favorites, and twenty follows on chapter 1, plus people following me. I shall strive to live up to expectations (and finish my other live stories, because that's extremely important too).

Pokeevee57, thanks for the review! Yes, yes he was—I watched a bunch of the original episodes for this story, and when I did, the one thing I kept repeating was "why did this become such a hit? None of the characters are being very likeable." Saying that, they grew out of it and became the lovable characters we know today. :D Ah, I think we all might have been idiots at five (I know I was—I don't think I was much improved at ten, either ^^;).

Bladetri, thanks for the review! I shall strive to continue to please! :D

Jakeroo123, thanks for the review! No we don't…and that's right, Volt Tackle only comes from special breeding….I doubt it—although in the tenth movie, he does make an effort at being wary about Darkrai (and then promptly decides he needs a friend—I think it's against his nature to view Pokémon in a negative light). That was one of my all-time favorite episodes—pity we never see anything come of that….

Rocki. D. Martinez (sorry for the spaces, FanFiction is being weird), thanks for the review! At least there's that. ^^

CandlitNights, thanks for the review, and can I just say wow. Wasn't expecting anyone to be fired up about this….Thank you, I'm glad you like it, and I hope to continue to please! I never followed the show strictly either (didn't get the channel it was on for the first several seasons, followed it during Hoenn, then sort of dropped off of it during Sinnoh), so it's probably going to be following the games for the most part. Me too—Darkrai is officially my favorite Legendary, so I really want to do him justice (and have his presence actually impact the story, so keep an eye on me). Nah—learned how to take them in college and after being on the Internet for so long, and I'm always open for improvement; after all, any writing is practicing my writing style. ^^ I definitely agree with your first two points—I generally struggle with adding descriptions, because I haven't hit that sweet spot of "just enough description" yet and I'm worried about being too descriptive. On the third point, part of the reason it jumps around is because originally it was two chapters, and I eventually made it into one because one by itself was too short. I'll definitely work on that, though. Glad you enjoy Darkrai here—and the goof known as Ash. :D I am too—I have a general idea of his backstory written up, so I should be able to integrate it properly….Well, the plan is to do the whole Indigo League/first game, so it should take a while. I know! Part of the reason I started this was because I wanted a new Darkrai story. Thanks again, and I hope to continue to please! :D

Pokémon © Game Freak; Nintendo


And now, for something completely different:

The Pokémon League would like to remind you to not leave your children unattended. Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by a trusted adult or Pokémon at all times. We do not want a repeat of the Pallet Town Spearow Incident of '97.

The happy prattle of children jolted Darkrai out of his morning reverie. Ugh, was he losing his touch or something? He was supposed to have spooked the whole town into a horrified nightmare, and there was someone having fun.

Only one someone, now that he was listening properly.

He quickly launched himself into the air, leveling out when he was high enough to be mistaken for a random bird Pokémon, squinting in the detestable light of the November morning—the weak watery autumn light hurt his eyes, but even at that, the kid was really way too easy to spot. And playing by himself in a field—did his mother want to get rid of him?

Of course, right now she was probably operating on very little sleep….Oh no, it was the kid.

"Halloween is over, kid," Darkrai declared, dropping in and looking the ratty Pikachu costume over.

"Oh hey, you came back!" the kid said, looking entirely too happy to see him. He seriously needed a better PR man.

"So what kind of Pokémon is a Darkrai?" the kid asked, ignoring his glare—obviously, he needed to practice it. "I asked my mom last night, and she didn't know."

"I'm a legendary Pokémon, not a Rattata," Darkrai snapped. "It's not like every trainer, coordinator, and professor has heard of me." A fact that still rankled—his goody-no-shoes pleasant-dreams-giver counterpart Cresselia had more airtime than he did. Of course, she didn't scare people witless—ah, idea. "Besides, men tremble to even think of my name, let alone speak it."

"Cool," the kid noised. Ugh. "So I've been thinking about making a career change to Darkrai instead of Pikachu—how do I start?"

"Kid, that ship sailed a long time ago—you have as much chance of that happening as a photo being taken of that so-called 'Missing-No.'"

"It's real?"

"Is that what I said? No, it was not. Now beat it kid—you never saw me."

"Yes I did!"

Ugh—double ugh: more kids were coming. He vamoosed to cover before the kid could even blink.

"Hey, look everybody! It's Ashy-boy!" some Weavile-looking kid declared, pointing the Pikachu-kid out to the others; now they were properly ragged-looking from a restless night's sleep, even if they did pick up the pace upon spotting Pikachu-kid. "Out here talking to your imaginary friend again?"

"Darkrai's real, Gary," the kid said earnestly.

"Whatever," the other kid said, waving him off.

Darkrai watched for a few more minutes, to the point that it became very clear to him that the Pikachu-kid was the odd man out, even with accounting for sleep-deprived grouchiness—the others were ganging up on him, and the stupid kid was just taking it. Oi, human reasoning—it made no sense. At least when Cresselia ran him out of Sinnoh, there had been a reason.

"Take off the dork costume!"

"No!"

"You're such a loser, Ash!"

"What a Quagsire!"

"What a Slowpoke!"

"No," the leader declared. "Ash is a Magikarp! A weak little Magikarp that isn't worth the time it'd take to catch it!"

"Oh, oh yeah?" Pikachu-kid asked—need new material, kid. "I'll show you! I'll be a Pokémon master and be way better than you! I'll even train a Magikarp! I'll train a whole team of Magikarp!"

"Boy, then you are an idiot!"

Which launched another round of inane insults and browbeating—Darkrai could practically count the brain cells that were dying just from listening to it. Time to scram. Now, while the kids were distracted and his sanity was intact.

So why wasn't he moving?

Darkrai sighed, then launched a Dark Void at the gaggle of gits. Anything to shut them up.

The Pikachu-kid stared at him as he stepped out—no need to let the nightmares they'd be experiencing go to waste.

"How'd you do that?" the kid asked. "Why did you do that?"

"Because," he said simply, floating over. Maybe his tone would shut the kid up.

No dice. "Are they all right?"

"They'll live." He turned his turquoise eye on the kid. "You, on the other hand—would it kill you to grow a backbone?"

"They're bigger than me," the kid muttered. "And there's a lot more of them than there are of me."

"Excuses."

"Well…you can help, right? If you're a Legendary, then you have to help people!"

"You've been reading too many fairy tales."

"So…you can't help, is that it?"

"More like I don't want to."

The kid nodded. "Okay, I can get that."

Darkrai blinked. "That was too easy—what are you playing at?"

"I'm used to people not wanting to be around me—it's a thing."

"Maybe if you bathed more."

"I think they just think I'm weird. Anyway, I understand if you don't want me around. Bye, and thanks," he said, waving and walking off.

Darkrai blinked—okay, that was low. Even if the kid didn't realize it, that was low.

Mostly because he knew where the kid was coming from.

Mostly because he knew what it was like to be the odd 'mon out.

Mostly because he knew what it meant for even one person to tolerate your existence.

He drifted beside him in silence until the kid took notice—which didn't take very long. "Don't make it a thing," he told the kid. "I just don't have anywhere better to be at the moment."

The kid grinned. "So what's the first thing I need to know? So I can see about being a Darkrai when I grow up."

He finally hit upon a way to turn this in his favor. "The first rule about Darkrai is: Do not bother other Darkrai."

"And what does—"

"You're bothering me."

"Oh….Hey, wait a minute! That's not fair!"