-insert disclaimer here-

Between Ruby's palms, the Pokeball burst open with a shining pulse of light.

Sapphire watched on, exhaustion finally claiming her. Everything that had happened…

diving down to the seafloor

(and there we sealed them, for we feared them)

being caught between the titans' struggle

(dare not claim those monsters, lest your soul be ruined)

training on Mirage Island

(even here where time runs strange, there is life)

watching Rayquaza force the trembling world to calm

(the Sky came down and parted Land and Sea)

had all ended here, was ending as she watched. Somewhere far away, Toro hissed in fear.

"S'okay," Sapphire heard herself murmuring to her frightened partner. "S'all over now." She laughed softly, despairingly, hopefully. The city that rose from the water was being claimed by the water – Hoenn, seared and broken, would heal, but it would take hundreds of years before it would be the same home she remembered.

Sootopolis shuddered, screamed, and Absol watched on with tired eyes, and Wallace cried for the friend who had died.

The world shattered around them, and as the darkness swallowed Sapphire, she saw Ruby fall.

Rune of Water

Chapter 1

A soft breeze tossed the treetops far above Sapphire, causing the patterns of shadows to shift and flicker across her face. The rustling sound of stirring branches reached her ears, and she twitched in her sleep.

The branches began to sway more insistently. Sapphire murmured sleepily, covering her face with a gloved hand.

With a loud snap!, a limb fell and crashed to the ground not three feet from where the girl lay. She instantly jumped up with an exclamation of shock, her mind whirling.

Norman dead

Sootopolis crumbling




She spun around, heart pounding. The earthy smell of forest, normally a comfort, was suddenly suffocating as she realized her surroundings – not Sootopolis, not where she should be, oddly familiar, but terrifying.

Panicking, she shot off through the woods, leaping blindly over logs and scrambling up trees and ledges. Her flight came to a sudden halt when, distracted by her bewildered thoughts, she tripped over a ledge, crashed heavily down a slope, and came to a jarring halt against a tree. Sapphire lay there, dazed and certain she had at least twisted something, for what seemed like minutes as her thoughts slowly collected themselves.

With a hiss of pain – yes, her ankle was definitely twisted – Sapphire rose unsteadily to her feet, leaning against the tree bark. The mossy scent only made her stomach churn, knowing that if there had been any trees in the crater city, there certainly weren't any now – so where could she be?

"Hah…hey…Ruby?" she called out hesitantly into the woods, hearing her voice echo faintly. "Where…what's going on…? Ruby?"

There was no reply.

She shivered. Something – no, everything – was very wrong. Crouching low to the ground, she began moving cautiously through the forest. She tried to keep her left foot off of the ground, but finding that this made for a noisy hopping gait, she gritted her teeth and forced the injured limb to work.

Minutes passed, and still the forest stretched on endlessly – what worried Sapphire most was the absence even of landmarks, of a boulder or funny-shaped tree. For one moment of cold dread, she felt that the forest could stretch on forever.

"RUBY!" she called out in fear. "WHERE ARE YOU?! ANYONE…ANYONE?!"

There was no answer. Sapphire herself was still and silent, not even daring to breathe, waiting for some noise to break the quiet.

Off somewhere to her side, there was a sudden crackling sound, like a footstep in the fallen leaves. She spun around, tensing.

"Hey! Someone's there!" she growled. "C'mon, I heard ya, get out here!"

In an instant, whatever it was seemed to hurtle through the woods as crashing footfalls took it away from Sapphire. The girl immediately took off in pursuit, slowed down somewhat by her sore ankle. Tearing through the foliage like a hunting Houndoom, she snarled, focused entirely on this mysterious running thing that may have been the only other creature here.

She was ripping through a tangle of vines and hanging moss when suddenly something large, brown, and furry launched itself at her. Sapphire recognized it in an instant as the thing she had been following – its scent was the same, something she couldn't put words to but familiar for some reason. Its jaws closed around her arm, crushingly, and she yelled in pain, lashing at its head with her free hand.

She flipped over to the side, flinging it off of her, and in a flash of teeth and claws, it bounded forward and attacked again. It snarled, loudly and savagely, trying to score its claws across her shoulder, but Sapphire leapt aside, dashing up into the branches of a tree before it could snap at her feet.

She peered cautiously down – the creature milled about furiously at the base of the tree, growling and snapping at nothing in particular. It smelled like Pokemon, too, now that she thought about it, and looked vaguely familiar – but the shadows cast by the trees made it difficult to pick out. The russet-furred beast was quadruped, for one, and seemed to have a matted coat of fur that hid most of its body. But before Sapphire could discern anything more than this, it lurched off into the undergrowth.

Letting out a strained breath, she slumped against the tree trunk. Her ankle had begun to throb again, and the creature's fangs had left a wound that, while it could have been worse, would certainly create a problem if it wasn't cleaned. She pulled off her bandana, wrapping it around the bite; then, with an effort, resumed her trek through the forest.

When finally the forest ended, Sapphire wanted to collapse in relief (not something she'd ever have thought before now). But the shimmer of reflected ahead indicated water, something she needed desperately right now for cleaning the bite wound.

Running forward, Sapphire kneeled down and tugged the knot from her bandana, removing it from her arm. It was spotted with blood.

Sapphire suddenly grinned, giggling. "Aw..Ruby'd kill me," she laughed quietly, not really knowing why it was so funny, but letting her imagination produce the boy's outraged reaction. Still chuckling, she washed out the cloth and dabbed at her arm with it, trying to clean out whatever might have gotten into the wound. As she did this, she offhandedly noticed her reflection in the water.

It was staring intently at her, and still wore a bandana.

Sapphire suddenly stopped, did a double-take, and jumped away from the water, eyes wide. Sputtering incomprehensibly, she retrieved the bandana from where she had dropped it and fell silent. She quietly crept forward, looking down into the clear water.

The reflection grinned up mischievously, chuckling silently to herself. Sapphire gaped, trying to form words, but the only thing she managed to say was "Wh-wh-wh-whaa-aaaa?"

The water suddenly exploded outward as though hit with something large and heavy, and Sapphire scrambled backwards with a shriek, dropping defensively onto all fours. When the water fell from the air, clearing her vision, her jaw dropped and refused to close as she stared stunned at…at…

"Hah, for such a tough kid, you scare easily, know that?"




-cough- Well, I'm figuring this won't be so hard to do, since I've roleplayed Sapphy before. This is sort of a character sketch, but...longer and in story form and with visual metaphors.