A/N: Thanks for coming back. I hope you enjoyed part one, and that you'll enjoy part two. Don't forget to check out Pokémon: Darkness and Dreams by BatmanRules256. It's a great story.
Pokémon: Darkness and Dreams: Umbre Part 2
Umbre awoke with a groan, sitting up in her bed as she rubbed her eyes. She automatically reached over to the other side of the bed – and found it empty. Snapping awake completely, she closed her eyes and listened. She also sniffed the air, but there was . . . . nothing. She's still gone, the Umbreon thought, her ears drooping. It's been a few months now, and . . . nothing. Umbre Dharc was more than worried about her missing companion, but the absolute terror brought on by the thought of stepping outside the library let her rooted inside the alternate dimension. With a heavy sigh, Umbre slipped out of the bed and made her stumbling, half-naked way to the bathroom for a shower. She hated having that dream, hated having her bad memories played out like that.
When she was done, she didn't bother dressing in more than she'd slept in before going out into the kitchen for a lonely breakfast. At least today I feel up to more than just toast and marmalade, Umbre thought as she sat down to eat. She froze, though, with her fork halfway to her mouth as she caught sight of the plate across from her. She hadn't realized she had subconsciously made two plates of food. Again. Her appetite now gone, she set her fork down before moving all of the prepared food into storage containers and then tending to the dishes. With that out of the way, Umbre went to do as she had done for the last ten years (as she had been counting time, anyway; she had no idea how much time had passed outside the pocket of space-time she lived in): going through a section of the library to see if everything had been filed correctly, and to check to see if anything needed to be restored.
But such things were simply a distraction, nothing more, and Umbre knew it. But she really didn't know what else to do. She couldn't leave the library – she knew that, academically, she could, but her shyness and almost-crippling social anxiety prevented her – so she didn't have any other ways to occupy her time. Not without Kossumoggu around her. Umbre was also afraid to leave for another reason: Arceus, the legendary that had been attempting to gain entry into the library since she was a baby. The Dark type was utterly terrified of the woman, a state that had solidified on the day of her parents' funeral (which had also been the end of the life Kossu had known). Coming out of her thoughts, Umbre found herself browsing through a book on poetry and fairy tales that her friend (girlfriend/lover/whatever-they-were) often perused. Her breath hitched as she tried to choke back the sobs that were coming. Kossumoggu was the only person, other than her late parents and the younger girl's family, that she had an emotional connection to. One of the few people who had truly accepted the real her, even before her body and soul had found harmony. That hadn't been an easy accomplishment, had been nearly impossible, and it had come very close to killing her.
But Kossu had been there for her. The Psychic type had been unceasing in her efforts to draw the Dark type out of her unwillingly imposed shell. If it hadn't been for her, Umbre knew she probably would've become a recluse with an incurable inability to relate to others. Come to think of it, she thought wryly, I have become a recluse, but I only have a little trouble relating to others. As she continued tending the section she'd been working on, Umbre came across a book that was definitely not in the right section. The cover was the wrong material for one, and the color indicated it belonged in the recreational section. Umbre sighed. "Oh, Kossu," she grumbled good-naturedly. Pulling the book out, it only took her a second of seeing the cover before she was blushing furiously. 'Poké Sutra for the Advanced: Couples Edition for Women' was what was on the cover, and was more or less what was within the pages; Umbre knew, though, that was essentially a sensual exercise manual for use in 'private' situations. The blush faded for the most part, though, as thinking about the book's contents brought to mind, not all of the intimate moments they had shared, but their very first time and the events that led up to it…..
Six Years Ago
"Heya, Umbi!" came a shout from right beside her. With a shriek that could've been a sonic attack, Umbre shot into the air from where she was sitting. She came down with a thud, followed by a moan. "Damn it, Kossu," she groaned. "How many times have I told you to NOT teleport next to me and shout?"
"Today, or overall?" the Psychic type asked, prompting a groan from the older girl and a giggle from herself.
"What do you want this time?" Umbre inquired as she sat up while rubbing the back of her head.
"I…I, um, uh, heheh," Kossu stammered, immediately drawing her friend's full attention.
"What is it, Kos? If you…..well, ruined another book because you were reading while eating again, it's okay. I can fix it," she reassured her.
"I-It's n-not that," Kossumoggu replied, looking down at her feet and clasping her hands shyly in front of her. The seventeen-year-old looked at her in confusion, making the younger girl sigh in confusion when she glanced up after a too long silence. "Umbre, I…I like you, okay?"
"I like you, too, Kossu." It was obvious that the Umbreon still didn't get it.
"You don't get it," Kos replied, tears starting to gather in her eyes. "I find you attractive, as in 'I want to be with you like a couple' attractive. Like….like how your mom and dad were." Umbre didn't speak, too shocked for words, so Kossu continued. "I guess I always did, from that first time I saw you. We were both too young back then for me to know what I was feeling, but now I do. I know it's hard for you to relate to people emotionally because of how everyone else treated you, but I-"
Kossu found herself interrupted, and her eyes widened in shock the instant she realized how she had been interrupted: Umbre had grasped her face in both hands and pulled into a clumsy, yet emotionally-charged kiss. It seemed as though time stood still for the two of them, an eternity passing in the space of a few heartbeats. Finally, after what seemed like forever but really was only a few seconds, Umbre broke off the kiss and pulled back. Kossu blinked her eyes open, her eyes locking onto those of her best friend. The two of them stared into each other's eyes, their gazes seeming to pierce right into their souls.
"So…" Kossu started off.
"That was a thing," Umbre finished. The two of them wore matching blushes, though Umbre was more dazed than Kossu. After all, she really hadn't had much practice in expressing herself, and was definitely clueless when it came to romance. As she looked into her best friend's eyes, she resolved to study more on the subject. "So, um, what does this make us now?" the Dark type asked.
"It makes us…us," Kossu replied. "We don't need a label."
Two Weeks After 'The Kiss'
Kossu had frequently come across Umbre in various parts of the library, reading book after scroll after tablet. It didn't take the Psychic type long to figure out that her special someone was reading up on love and romance and relationships. Rather than bothering or irritating her, Umbre's activities only deepened Kos's feelings for her. Seeking knowledge was simply part of who Umbre Dharc was. She decided, though, that two weeks was long enough and put a plan into motion. It wasn't hard, really, to keep the Umbreon occupied; her 'studies' did that well enough (though Kos could not figure out how an action-packed, intimacy-filled series called PokéNinjas of Love was a 'study in romance').
So Umbre was definitely surprised when she found a beautiful black gown with a blue hem on her bed, along with a pair of low wedge-heeled shoes that were black with blue accents. On them was a note:
#Put these on. No arguments. We're having a date night.
With a shrug, Umbre slipped out of the clothes she'd been wearing and into her date clothes. After she was ready, she made her way to the dining room – where she got her breath taken away. Kossu had really gone all out; there were candles evenly spaced about the room, along with a candle-filled chandelier above the center of the table, which had a small bouquet of flowers in the middle of it. There was a small but varied spread of food on the table, but what really took Umbre's breath away was Kossu herself. The Psychic type was dressed in a knee length strapless gown that shimmered between black, midnight blue, and a deep purple.
"Kossu," she breathed, unable to say much else at the moment.
"You were taking too long, Umbi," she replied with a sheepish shrug. "I know you like learning all you can about something, but love and romance can't really be found in books. I mean, books can only tell you so much; this is something you actually need to experience to learn."
"You did all of this," Umbre said, gesturing around, "for me?"
"I, uh, kinda ran out of time to do more," Kossu answered with a giggle, making the blue-marked Umbreon's pale skin flush pink. Kos led her love interest to the table and seated her before taking her own seat. The meal was a comfortably silent affair, filled with snatched glances and much blushing. After eating, and a promise that the dishes would be tended to later, Kossu lead Umbre to a sitting room she'd cleared out into an impromptu ballroom. A small surge of psychic energy, and soft, orchestral music filled the room. With a gentle smile, Kossumoggu drew her date into a slow dance. After a while, though, Kos leaned even closer to Umbre and whispered into her ear, "Now, let's go to your room and try out chapter seven of PokéNinjas of Love book two," which caused Umbre to turn almost red from the intensity of her blush.
Umbre shook her head as the memory faded from her conscious mind, a pleasant warmth filling her at its remembrance. That night had definitely been filled with things she would never forget. It was definitely something we never told her mom about, Umbre thought with a chuckle, though I'm pretty sure she knew what had happened. Thinking of Lunala, the second friend she'd ever made, brought a different kind of pain to her soul. She and Kossu had had no idea what had happened to the legendary level Psychic type, nor her twin daughters (Kos's little sisters), until Lunala had stepped out of a special, ancient mirror on what turned out to be the second eclipse of a blue moon. Lunala had explained the events that had occurred after Kos had Teleported after Umbre. While the retelling had only cemented further Umbre's fear of Arceus, it had also given her a powerful drive to help the woman who had been like a second mother (or perhaps an aunt) to her as well as a great friend.
"I still haven't found a way to free her," Umbre muttered to herself as she subconsciously navigated the library to reshelve Kos's book. "I've found several other texts that would be useful in somewhat similar yet vastly different circumstances, but nothing directly relating to Lunala's situation. Not yet." She really felt indebted to her lover's mother, since it had been her advice ad guidance that had led Umbre to funding the ritual that had harmonized her body to her soul.
Back when she was still a child, after she'd become friends with her, Lunala had proven to be a great encouragement to her. She had helped the ostracized child open up more, and even assisted Espa (Umbre's mom) in locating lost and/or rare texts for the library that had been entrusted to the care of the Dharc bloodline. That had stopped when she'd been banished, since it was impossible to gather tomes from another dimension that she could not yet leave. That had been Umbre's main focus for nearly a decade, but she had not had any luck to date. She had discovered several other things, though, that had led to further research. She'd learned of Mega Evolution, although a good bit of the power from that was used to transform an individual to handle the power. She had also learned of another technique for unlocking power, one that was not only permanent but also continually growing. Ancient tomes referred to it as 'Break Evolution,' while the newest text she had also called it 'Inner 'Mon.'
All of her research, at least what she believed to be relevant, she was compiling into a single source to give to Lunala. Her interactions with the few people she had let into her life, as well as what she had read, had shown her that there was truly no such things as true good and true evil. After all, those who are often seen as evil by many in the world don't see themselves as villains. There are those who claim to serve the cause of good that commit acts that can be seen as unspeakable, while some who are regarded as evil can perform acts of selfless altruism. Umbre knew Lunala hadn't been pure when they'd first met, as far as the willfully ignorant saw things, and being banished certainly didn't help that any. No feeling of indebtedness nor friendship would keep Umbre helping Lunala if her heart didn't agree with it. That had been Lunala's first lesson to her; to listen the silent voice of her heart, regardless of what others say.
"I wish I could speak to her now," Umbre said quietly to herself. During her remembrance, she had subconsciously navigated herself into the room where she kept the mirror. It was an artifact that had been collected long ago by one of her ancestors, its name lost to history, as was its purpose. The records she had of it, those that mentioned it anyway, said that it had been kissed by the moon when it died. Regardless, it somehow (under specific circumstances) allowed Lunala to briefly return, though the time was never long enough…
Five and a Half Years Ago
"Hey, Umbi!" Kossu shouted after she had Teleported to her girlfriend's side. She watched in amusement, and with a little giggle, as the older girl shrieked and sprang into the air, only to drop back down onto her ass and topple to the floor.
"Must you do that EVERY time?" the raven-haired girl groaned in annoyance as she sat up. Kossu giggled and helped her lover to her feet.
"I wouldn't if you didn't make it so fun," she answered with another giggle. Her expression fell a bit, though, and Umbre knew why; she was thinking of her family again. It had been four and a half years (inside the library, anyway) since her mom and sisters had vanished after she'd followed Umbre. Kossu often went out, at least once a day, to search for signs of them but she never had any luck. And she never told her girlfriend how much time was passing in the outside world.
"Hey, don't worry, Kos," Umbre told her, drawing the younger girl into a hug. "You'll find them. I…I wish I could help."
"It's okay, Umbi," she replied. "I know why you ca-" She stopped abruptly, not finishing what she was saying.
"Kossu?" Umbre based in concern, pulling away enough to look at her lover. Her eyes had a distant, somewhat unfocused glaze to them. "What's wrong?"
"You don't sense that?" the Psychic type asked. Umbre paused a moment, and that's when she felt it. It was a surge of power, more than quite a bit of it. Without a word, Kossu Teleported them to where the source of it was… only for them to find themselves in a room with a very old-looking mirror.
One that also happened to be glowing with purple-black energy and crackling with purple-pink discharges.
"What…is it doing?" Kossu asked.
"I'll go look it up," Umbre replied, actually turning to go do that. Or, rather, she started to; a hand grasping her shirt collar put a stop to that.
"You've read enough today," was the dryly uttered response. Before anything else could be uttered, a bright pulse of light flashed from the mirror. They had only a moment to glance over at it before a much bigger pulse exploded from it and knocked them onto their asses. Groaning, the two teens rubbed their heads as they sat back up before looking towards the mirror. Or, rather, where it had been as there was now a portal or rift similar yet vastly different to the teleportation ability some Dark types had. But what really arrested their attention, and caused their jaws to drop, was the appearance of someone they hadn't seen in a few years. The person picked themself up off the floor, though they did stagger a bit. They were different than either girl remembered, yet still infinitely familiar. The person smiled at them both warmly.
"It's nice to finally see you two again after so long," she told them.
"Mom?" Kossu whispered in shock at the same time Umbre whispered, "Lunala?"
The next day went pretty much the same for Umbre as it had every day since Kossu had disappeared. Or, rather, had not returned. She knew her girlfriend wouldn't willingly stay away this long, as she was firmly devoted to the idea of getting the reclusive Umbreon out of the pocket dimension. Umbre knew the other girl needed a break from her every now and then, and she didn't have a problem with it; she often suspected that she was either too emotionally damaged or stunted and had become very clingy as a result, or perhaps she was still emotionally damaged but in such a way as to give her too much love for just one person to handle. She was actually hard to anger, but was easily hurt and fragile (emotionally speaking).
She didn't know that today her current routine would be broken.
After eating and readying herself (she didn't bother putting on more than a camisole and a pair of shorts), Umbre made her way to her favorite sitting room with a novel from her favorite fiction series, PokéNinjas of Love. The series was, according to Kossu, a hit outside the library and had even gone through a relaunch as a series about a new generation of characters. This new series do have the same feel as its predecessor, but was also a new dynamic in its own right. She was just getting to the part of the novel where the antagonist finally admits to herself that she is in love with the protagonist when she heard heavy thuds behind her. Before she could do anything she heard from right by her ear, "Umbi!"
With a shriek that could almost have doubled as a sonic attack, Umbre shot into the air from her backless seat and got some good height before falling back down and landing on her back. "Ow," she deadpanned before shouting, "Damn it, Nebula Borealis Kossumoggu! I've told you to stop doing that!" Then her eyes widened as her automatic response caught up to her conscious mind. "Kossu!" she shrieked, springing to her feet and whirling around to pull her girlfriend/lover/best friend into a tight hug. Tears were running down her cheeks because of the overwhelming joy she was feeling. "I tried," she sobbed. "I tried, I tried. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
"Shhh," Kos said soothingly, rubbing her girlfriend's back to help calm her down. The older girl pulled back, still crying, then pulled the younger into a kiss that blew her mind and seared her soul. The kiss was interrupted when Umbre was startled by an upbeat, energetic voice saying, "How come you don't kiss me like that, Darky?"
E/N: Ba-ba-ba-buuuuummm! Thus ends the two-shot about Umbre Dharc. If y'all want to see more of her and Kossu, check out the next chapter of BatmanRules256's story 'Pokémon: Darkness and Dreams!' And also keep an eye out for my own Pokémon gijinka story, using an alternate version of Umbre as well as alternate versions of Darky and Blaze (used with permission)!