*blinks* Well... its been a lot longer than I promised for updates. Not sure if anyone still reads this. But, here's the new chapter. Seriously, next one is NOT gonna take that long. I promise it won't. Swear it won't. I-
Tsunako: Thats what you said about ours. And yet, Dark Side of the Moon remains without a new chapter.
Oto: *waves arms frantically* I have everything under control! It's coming out really soon! Its most of the way done! For now, just enjoy this, okay?
Please read and review
"You have GOT to be kidding me..." Chris said, staring at the TV. He was lying in his hospital bed with Amber curled up asleep in his lap.
"... and in the latest update, US Marines report the latest of a series of suicide bombings by Al Qaeda. Earlier today, a Afghan youth walked into the US embassy with a series of white and red objects strapped to his chest. The resulting explosion killed fifteen civilians and four US Marines, leaving dozens wounded. Reports have confirmed that these objects were "Voltorbs", a type of creature produced by the Japanese research organization, Yakuza. Yakuza officials refuse commentary on how Al-Qaeda came into possession of these dangerous poke-"
The TV suddenly shut off, and Chris blinked in surprise. He looked over to the door where Will was standing, with the remote in his hand.
"You shouldn't be watching this. You should be resting right now..." Will said.
"I'm lying in bed aren't I?" Chris asked quietly with a smile. He didn't want to wake Amber. He gestured towards the TV. "Besides, it's necessary I stay informed of the latest events."
Will frowned, and placed the remote on the bed stand next to his brother's bed.
"Seriously! I'm fine! Good as new. Nothing can keep me down..." Chris said, with a few mock jabs like he was boxing.
"Chris, you almost drowned..."
"You have GOT to be kidding me..." Chris said, staring down at his food. He really wasn't sure if he should eat it. "I know eating Magikarp was used as a running joke in the series, but I didn't actually think they could be eaten..." he said, looking down at the fried fish in front of him. The Magikarp seemed to stare back at him. He looked uncertainly at Will, who was digging into his fish happily.
"Its delicious!" Will urged him between mouthfuls. Chris poked it, uncertainly. It had been about two months since the start of their journey, and they had covered a few thousand miles. However, they hadn't seen any wild Pokémon yet, so their teams remained the same. For once, they were eating at an actual restaurant.
"I think its staring at me..." Chris said, squeezing lemon over it. If he could just drown it in lemon juice, maybe the actual taste wouldn't remind him that it was a Pokémon. He prepared to cut into it, then hesitated.
"Tell me, what does it taste like?" Chris asked, uncertainly.
"Like chicken? I dunno. Its fish." Will replied. Chris was about to respond, when Amber leaped onto the table, took Chris's fish in her teeth, and leaped off. Chris blinked at his empty plate.
"What the... Did my Pokémon just steal my food?" Chris asked, doing a double take. He lifted the table cloth and looked under the table, where he saw Amber nibbling on the Magikarp happily.
"Eevee!" she said happily, digging in. Chris sweat dropped, and left her to her meal.
"Check please..." he asked the waiter, as he passed by. "Can I also get an order of rolls to go?"
"I can't believe you ate my dinner..." Chris said mournfully to Amber, as he snacked hungrily on a roll. Not only was he now hungry, it had literally begun to pour, and Chris was soaked to the bone waiting for his brother outside the restaurant. Not even the rolls were enough to fill him up. Amber rubbed against the button of his chin and Chris sighed, it was hard to stay mad at her. She was buttoned up in his jacket, with her head poking out of his neckline and coming up right below his chin. Her furry body was pressed against his chest, as Chris was trying very hard to keep her dry.
"Where on Earth have YOU been?" Chris growled to his brother, flipping his wet hair back. His stomach growled, and he sighed. Being wet, cold, hungry, and tired would make anyone snap at someone. Will blushed and rubbed the back of his head as he stepped out into the rain. The grey clouds over head churched and continued to rain down on the houses bellow.
"I er... had to take care of something..." Will said, sheepishly. He began to walk down the road. Chris side stepped a puddle, following him through the sheet of rain.
"I have been standing here for the past half an hour in the rain while you 'took care of something'! What is it?" Chris shouted after him. Will looked back.
"It was nothing!" he said, weakly.
"Like hell it wasn't! Why were you in there so long?" Chris asked. Something caught his eye. In his brother's pocket was a bulge. Normally, Chris knew this was Flint's ball. But then why was Flint's ball on his brother's belt?
"You didn't..." Chris asked in disbelief, breaking into a smile. "You did! You caught another one!"
Will didn't say anything. Chris slapped him on the back, laughing.
"I can't believe! We haven't seen any wild ones for weeks, and you've already found one! Was it out back? Come-on, you gotta tell me!" Chris asked, looking down proudly at his little brother. "Its a Pidgey, right? Or a Spearow? Or a Rattata?" Or-"
"I bought a Magikarp..." Will said, quietly. Chris's smile froze on his face and an eye began to twitch.
"YOU WHAT?!" Chris shouted, glaring down at his little brother. "You bought, not caught, but BOUGHT a useless fish! How much was it?" Chris seethed. He had waited all that time in the rain while his brother was once again spending money on something useless!
"About... three hundred dollars... I wanted to train it..." Will murmured, avoiding his brother's stare.
"TRAIN IT?! Will, its a freaking Magikarp! You can't train it! Its completely useless! The only technique it knows is Splash! You spent three hundred dollars on a fish! That we just ate!" Chris practically screamed at his little brother. He felt like he was going to have a heart attack.
"Y-yeah, but if it levels up, it'll become a Gyrados... and t-then..." Will said, his throat tightening. Why was his brother yelling at him? He understood that he made a mistake, but Chris didn't have to keep rubbing it in.
"A Gyrados? Gyrados!? What's it gonna fight with! Is it gonna splash water? Couldn't be that strong if they managed to catch and cook the damn thing!" Chris shouted. This was the final straw. He really couldn't take it anymore. He slung his pack over his shoulder, marching off angrily. "The hell with you! You're on your own."
"Chris, wait! Please, I'll return it! Don't go!" Will shouted, racing after his brother. Chris gritted his teeth, and out of sheer spite, ran to get as far away from his brother as he possibly could. Amber whimpered, curling up against Chris's chest. Chris held her close. He knew he was scaring her. Chris ran through the town, his sneakers pounding against the wet pavement. He just had to get away. From the very beginning, all Will did was cause problems for him. It was unfair! He wasn't going to baby-sit his brother for the rest of his life!
He had ran all the way out of the town, running along side of the river that flowed next to town. The water was high and the current was swift due to the storm, the water almost lapping at Chris's feet.
"That stupid little kid. I can't believe him!" Chris said angrily to himself. He looked behind, to see Will running after him. His little brother was getting father and father away. Suddenly, Chris felt his foot slip on something. He felt gravity pulling his body forward, and he instinctively turned his body so he wouldn't land face first, or more importantly, land on Amber. His body met the river with a loud splash. He gave a cry, which soon gave to a burst of bubbles as water filled his lungs.
Chris tried to kick up against the water, but he couldn't swim with Amber in his arms. And he was never going to let go of her. Chris knew that Amber couldn't swim. Maybe a few laps in the bathtub, but in a storm like this? He wasn't going to let her drown.
"If you keep holding her, you'll both drown" he told himself. It would be so much easier to just let her go and save himself. She was just a Pokémon.
No! She was more than that! So much more! He didn't know how to describe what she was to him. But he knew he'd never get over her if she died. He didn't want to live without her.
His backpack kept weighing him down, forcing him to sink deeper and deeper into the water. Any icy current swam around him as he struggled to get his backpack off. But the water had made the straps swell, and he couldn't remove it in his position. Panic gripped Chris as he saw a stream of bubbles come from Amber's mouth as she went still in his arms.
"This is absurd. It can't end this way". Chris thought to himself. The burning sensation in his chest was to much now. His mind screamed in protests but his body opened its mouth to try and inhale the air that just wasn't there.
Drowning wasn't as bad as he had thought. It was like a soft, cool pillow was just placed over his face, inviting him to sleep. To sleep and never wake up. To never be bothered by the kids at school, to never be rejected by any girl he met, to never be mocked or teased. To never have to deal with his parents bothering him, with their controlling hold on him. To never have to look out for and baby Will again. The boy would finally have to learn to fend for himself.
Chris almost wondered why people feared this sensation, as he felt his lungs fill up. If this was what death felt like, this invitation to sleep, then he was okay with it. Not really, but it beat dying in pain.
But I don't want to die..." Chris thought numbly to himself. He ceased struggling though. There wasn't anything more he could do. Chris had one last passing thought before his mind slipped into the black abyss.
"So this is how my world ends... not with a bang, but with a whimper..."
Within the icy cold confines of the river, something stirred in the dark water. Like an ancient creature of Revelation, it seemed to belong to this murky realm, even though it was new to this world. Even though it was new to the powers it now suddenly possessed, it seemed to belong. And while unbeknownst to it there were beings far more wondrous that took this realm of cold and water as their homes, for now, nothing could compare to its beauty. This leviathan took hold of the dying boy in its jaws, and out of compassion for his master, swam to the surface.
Will stood in front of the pink Pokémon, practically grinding his teeth, as it kept pushing a form towards him to fill-out.
"No, I'm looking for my brother! Nothing is wrong with me! My brother! Here! Sick!" Will said, pointing downwards for emphasis.
"Chansey!" the Pokémon behind the reception counter said, waving to another Chansey in a nurse's outfit. It nodded, running down the corridor.
Will sighed with a smile, practically slumping down on the counter.
"Finally! Thank-you so much. I'm just- I DON"T NEED A WHEEL CHAIR!" Will shouted annoyed as the same Chansey came back with a wheelchair. The Chansey gave him an annoyed look as it pushed the chair past him and instead helped an elderly man into it. "Oh... sorry..." Will said meekly.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" came a man's voice. Will turned to see a surgeon coming out of a nearby room.
"What? No pink hair?" Will asked before he could stop himself. The surgeon rolled his eyes.
"Yes, very funny. Har har. As if you're the first person to ask that." the surgeon muttered annoyed.
"Sorry. Its just-"
"The Chansies. I know." the surgeon said, taking a clip-board from the receptionist Chansey. "I guess you expected a whole bunch of Nurse Joys or something. Can hardly blame you. Although, these guys are invaluable once they know what they're doing. The hospital started working at four-hundred and fifty percent efficiency once they arrived." the surgeon said, looking over the notes. "Chris Ashford, yes? Was admitted with an Eevee?" the surgeon asked. Will nodded eagerly.
"That's him." Will said. "Is he alright?"
"He's in recovery right now." the surgeon said. "If you follow me, I'll take you to him."
"Thank-you..." Will said, with relief. He followed the surgeon down the hospital corridors closely. Almost everywhere he looked, he saw Chansies working on patients and doing jobs humans would normally do in a hospital.
"Four-hundred and fifty percent, huh?" Will asked the surgeon.
"They're practically miracle workers in the ER. At first, we were apprehensive about letting them work on patients. For obvious reasons of course. I see you're a trainer." the surgeon said. Will nodded, and the surgeon continued. "That's where the trouble started. People started getting hurt by Pokémon, Pokémon hurting other Pokémon, and humans hurting Pokémon. I mean, how are you suppose to successfully treat someone with third degree burns over his body. How are you suppose to treat a Butterfree if you don't know anything about its anatomy. We were just so undertrained and just not ready for any of this." the surgeon said, shaking his head in bewilderment.
"Is that why there's only a few humans here?" Will asked. The surgeon nodded.
"Yeah. They just couldn't take it and upped a left. Those Chansies though... they do things I would have never thought of doing. Experimental procedures, high-risk operations, you name it." the surgeon said. Will gave a low whistle in awe.
"That is so cool... have they messed up yet?" Will asked.
"Not yet..." the surgeon said. He stopped in front of a door. "Here we are. Just be sure not to overexcite him and-"
"CHRIS!" Will shouted bursting into the room. He saw his brother laying in bed, talking to Amber softly in his arms. Chris gave a small 'oompf' as Will practically tackled him, hugging him tightly.
"I was so worried. I... I..." Will said, trailing off. He wasn't sure what to say. He was a complete loss. Chris then did something completely unexpected. Chris wrapped his big arms around his little brother and hugged him tightly. And then he began to cry.
Chris never cried. Will had seen him shed a few tears during their grandfather's funeral, but Chris was the strong one. The worst Will had ever seen him was go stony silent and down-casted for a few moment before handling a situation with same drive and determination he always did.
"Thank-you Will..." Chris whispered, hugging his brother tightly. "Thank-you..."
Tears began to well up in Will's eyes as the events of the past day finally washed over him. He had kept them at bay for this long, so he could handle the situation the same way he thought Chris would. And now everything, his fear, his anger, everything, came flooding out. He hugged Chris back, trying to blink the tears away.
"I-I thought I lost you..." he whispered.
"I-I saw you fall in... I d-didn't think I was going to get you here in time..." Will said, shaking. "I-I t-thought you w-w-were dead."
"I'm so sorry... I'm so so sorry, Will." Chris said, giving his brother another tight squeeze. "I'm so sorry... I didn't mean any of those things. I wasn't thinking right..." Chris whispered. A tremor racked through his body as he fought back a sob. He finally held Will at arm's length, smiling even though his eyes were soaked.
"You are an amazing little brother. And no matter what, I am never leaving you. You got that?" Chris said. He brushed away the lone tear that slid down Will's face with his thumb.
"You might drive me nuts, you might be an occasional pain, but you are amazing. And don't let anyone tell you different..." Chris said, kissing Will's forehead. Will felt tiny paws on his arm as Amber climbed onto him and nuzzled against his cheek.
"Vee! Eevee!" she said, closing her eyes. Will could've sworn that she was smiling. Chris chuckled and rubbed his Pokémon between her ears.
"She saying Thank-you." Chris said. He then gave a huge grin at Will. "I guess I owe you big time now, huh?" he said. Will was smiling now as he pet Amber.
"I won't hold you to it... that much..." Will said. Amber suddenly gave a little jump off of him, landing on the hospital bed and settling down on Chris's lap. Chris smiled and leaned back on his pillow, closing his eyes.
"So tell me... how did you do it..." Chris asked.
"Do what?" Will replied.
"Save my life..." Chris said quietly. Will was about to answer when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Excuse me. But I think you've tired your brother and his Pokémon out for one day." the surgeon said. Sure enough, Chris's chest rose and fell steadily with sleep. Amber seemed to have fallen asleep as soon as she had curled up in his lap.
Will gave a small smile towards his brother as the surgeon led him out of the room, and gently tapped the pokeballs in his pocket.
"Thanks…" Will whispered, "from both of us…"
They say you don't know what you have until its gone. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I found out what I had before he left. My brother has been by my side, watching my back for me as long as I could remember. I guess that's what brothers are for.
I just hope he doesn't get mad at the hospital bill… yikes…
See? That wasn't so bad, was it? Now... *waves pompoms* Lets go!
Whats does that spell? Why, your opinion of course! I wanna hear it. ^^