Wow, look, I'm not dead. I can't believe that it's been two years since the last update. It just blows me away. You have my sincerest apology. My life's been pretty crazy, but that's still no excuse. As an apology, this chapter is nearly twice the length of a normal chapter. My writing style has changed a little bit as you'll probably notice, since the first bit was written two years ago (though I did go through and edit most of it). I tried to catch all my errors (as I went back and read all my old chapters and realized I made a startling amount of mistake o.O), but if I haven't, feel free to point them out to me :D

Anyway, here's the chapter! I hope you enjoy it!

Deariville- Unknown Region

The battle didn't start off too well for Volkner. Luxray's electric and dark attacks didn't do much damage against the well fortified Tyranitar. But while Billy was gloating, Volkner switched to Lanturn and blasted the surprised ground-type. Now it was Billy's turn to be peeved.

"You know what? It's not polite to attack during gloating. Who does that? It's like attacking during a flashback, you just don't do it. It's social unacceptable." Billy wrinkled his nose at the blond.

"Attack during a flashback? Really? What is this, a kid's cartoon?" Volkner quirked an eyebrow.

"How should I know, alternate dimensions and all that crap. But haven't you watch TV shows? They have flashbacks, but no one attacks them while they do even though they take like fifteen minutes. So it's obviously an unwritten rule." Billy strummed a few notes on his guitar and ordered Tyranitar to use slash. Lanturn just spouted out a water gun in the face, once again startling it.

"Get it together Tyranitar, sheesh. It's, what, like a bucket of water? Come on, you can do it. Earthquake." The ground under Volkner's feet heaved and bucked as the Tyranitar slammed its foot down to create seismic activity.

"Lanturn Hydropump!"

"Intensify the quake and throw off its aim." Billy was coping well with the contortions of the earth, but Volkner couldn't keep his balance any longer and feel to the ground. Dirt and loose bricks started to shake from the dilapidated wall behind him.

"What are you two creeps doing?" The voice was eerie and venomous, but strangely childlike. Volkner swiveled his head around to see a small girl with dark blue eyes glimmering with a cruelty akin to a serial eviscerator. With the combination between her complexion and stature, it looked as if she had just crawled out of a horror movie. Her hair created a black hole effect with the light, standing slightly on end as if eletrified. At the moment she was dressed in an unoffending dark blue shirt and even darker blue-jeans. But her manner belied something more sinister. That was Volkner's cue to scrabble to his feet and hope to be unnoticed, brushing his pants of as he did so.

"Battling, duh. It's not that difficult to figure out." Billy, Volkner decided, clearly had none of the natural self-preservation mechanisms normal humans were equipped with.

"We can see that, thank you Captain Obvious." There was another girl on the other side of them that was almost identical, aside from the fact that instead of blue, her eyes were a dark purple with a matching purple shirt. A hazy dark spot floated just above her shoulder.

"Then why'd ya ask if you already knew the answer? That's not too intelligent." The two girls rolled their eyes simultaneously.

"You're lucky we know you're brother," the blue Grudge girl threatened.

~"Otherwise we might have to cure you of your insolence."~ As blue suddenly appeared next to her twin to speak in unison the temperature dropped at least ten degrees, and Volkner felt a chilling power sweep over him, causing him to shiver.

"Then again we still might." Purple added with a sweet voice that contrasted sharply against her sadistic grin and her head cocked to the side. They then turned to appraise Volkner.

"Oh, hello little challenger. I'm Curious. And my purple eyed sister is Enigma. Unless you chicken out like so many do, you'll be battling us."

~"We hope you come, it's been a while since we've had any fun."~ The two started laughing maniacally and disappeared in another chilling breeze.

"Talk about loco en la cabasa. Sheez, I think they just beat Garret in melodramatics. So where were we?" Billy asked, seemingly unfazed by their sudden disappearance.

"Err, flashbacks."

"Oh ya. You just don't attack in one of those," Billy seemed to notice something above Volkner's head and widened his eyes. "Erm, dude, you may want to…brush off your head." Volkner reached up and was about to ask why, when he felt something brush against his hand. With a startled yelp, he smacked it only to have a rather large, and angry, spider land in front of him. Instincts kicked in, and Volkner sent the thing flying.

"Dude, how many pokemon are you going to kick while you're here?"

Unknown Area- Johto

The people of the regions were really quite stupid. Maybe not so much here, but definitely in Sinnoh. New Will couldn't count all the idiotic people that inhabited that region. It was especially bad when that many inexperienced people managed to work their way into the league. The child Roark had a narrow vision on the world that consisted solely of rocks. Gardenia was morbidly frightened of the dark and ghosts, which contrasted against her love of forests. The other child Maylene had training in martial arts, but was naïve to how cruel the world really was. 'Crasher Wake' was more obsessed with his deluded dreams of being a wrestling star that the dark world around him was slowly destroying his city. The woman Fatina could barely speak the language, and was a classic narcissist. Byron was fairly intelligent, but because of this, refused to leave his city, instead pretending that it was a separate world. The girl Candice was far too obsessed in her 'schooling' to embrace through experience and discover what it truly was. A nightmare. And finally the replacement gym leader Maybelene was an ignoramus hardly having more than two brain cells.

The 'terrifying' criminal organization of the area was a joke. They're goal of a 'new world' was not only misguided, but completely misinformed (perhaps they were never informed to begin with. After all, who's to say what we're told that true and untrue?).

And finally the Elite Four of the region were overrated. The members were so ridiculously…easy (what kind of word is that? It's a perspective yes, but it effects the way a person views everything), that anywhere else, they wouldn't even have made gym trainee. Bug boy Aaron was obsessed with his image and living in a false world. The old woman Bertha had nothing in her line-up that could even make an impression on anyone. The so called psychic Lucian was nothing but a quack and so obsessed with his precious books that he had no time to think for himself. Cynthia was conceited, useless. Even worse was that red-headed afro…freak. (Freak, what a delightful word. Old Will never would even have had it in his repertoire. Old Will was a useless pushover, a doormat for his fellow Elites to toss under the bus. Now New Will was a force to reckon with!)

It may have been an overly cynical view, but this alternate personality of Will was overly cynical. He was also prone to going off mentally on random tangents.

New Will looked at Karen through his mind's eye. He had left her at the league while he went off to muse. It would look too suspicious if he were to start going everywhere with Karen. And he wasn't ready to handle Lance knowing about him yet. He had the Power, but Lance had the Will. And associates that would notice the slightest mental disturbance in him. He had yet to devise a way to hide his presence, but he would. Oh he would. Perhaps he could practice on Koga?

Old Will started screaming and pleading in his little cage in the back of their shared conscience. Apparently he didn't like it when his friends were threatened. New Will had nearly lost the reins when had completely pulled Karen into his thrall. The fool loved (Love, what a silly idea. Dependence on others was foolish. But this was loved, past tense of love. Of course, with Old Will forever in the backseat, that wouldn't even pose a problem) her, and threw a fit so loud it gave New Will a headache. The threats subsided into pleas after Karen was made to stand precariously atop the balcony overlooking the cliff.

Dreariville – Unknown Region

For the next two weeks Volkner set a rigorous training schedule. Though at first, Billy had and the surrounding wild pokemon had completely trounced him in battle (Volkner had eventually just resigned himself to being covered in muck), the blond was finally on equal footing. All of his pokemon had grown exponentially, and he'd even managed to catch a little electric-type. The little guy (or girl as Billy had seen fit to inform him a few days afterwards) was an electric yellow chick and still had its down feathers. The jokster had asked him if he caught it just to kick when he was feeling frustrated.

"I can't remember a time when I've ever trained this hard." Volkner said as he sat down with a sigh. His pokemon were far too tired to go on without a rest, and in truth, he was too.

"Ya, I can't imagine so. But this should be perfect for you since you're the weirdo that always wants to lose."

"I do not!" At this Luxray snorted and Volkner shot her a glare as Billy grinned triumphantly.

"Ha see. Normal people don't get depressed when they win, they get cocky. You on the other hand go sulk. I saw it when I vacationed in Sunyshore. Just accept the fact that you're an angsty teenager." The blond just flipped him the bird and layed down pretending to sleep.

"And you tell me I'm not classy."

Elite Four Headquarters- Sinnoh Region

Flint had lost every battle for the past two weeks, and Lucian had finally maxed out his patience. The redhead was in his room nursing a beer and pondering if the tweleve over the counter pain killers that he had taken for his headache would kill him. Just as he was making the effort to haul himself off the couch to ask the internet, something very heavy and very solid collided with his head, thankfully softened by his afro.

"Ow… What the?! Who the heck just threw this... whatever it is at my head?" He'd rubbed his head, thinking he could feel a dent in his afro.

"That's a book you fool! Now I'm sick and tired of your moping. Get on with your life and go do something productive! I've had it up to here with facing hordes of unskilled trainers because you can't get your act together." Lucian's face had turned a rather unseemly shade of burgundy while he was ranting, and Flint had to wonder if he had gotten enough oxygen.

"Well you know, if they got past Aaron and Bertha, they obviously aren't all that bad…" Flint ducked just in time to avoid the lamp that Lucian had thrown at his head.

"Get. Your Act. Together." And with that, the psychic trainer turned heel and stormed out.

'Aie, aie, aie. That man should have been a fire-type trainer.' Then again, Flint was glad he wasn't, because then he'd be out of a job. Not that it really mattered much anymore. Bending over with a sigh, Flint saw that title to the book that his head had been introduced to was

Friendships Gone Wrong and How to Pick up the Pieces, by a Dr. C. Nile.

"Hehe, C. Nile, Senile, I see what he's done there." Flint drunkenly stumbled over the couch and dropped the book, which fell open to a chapter titled: Mending Broken Bromances. After looking at the book as if it had suddenly come from the world of Harry Potter and was moving of its own volition, Flint glared at the door. Lucian had to have been behind this somehow. Nevertheless, Flint plopped down on the floor and proceeded to read the chapter, then flipped to the front page of the book and started from there.

Elite Four Headquarters – Johto

Will cringed as the thing that was masquerading as him spoke with Lance. The empath wasn't sure if he wanted Lance to figure out it wasn't him or not. On one hand, he may be able to get him help. On the other, he didn't know whether or not Lance's mind would be able to hold back that overwhelming psychic power this…other him possessed. He could only assume that this alternate personality had developed when he was in the care of the Mask of Ice. He still didn't know most of what happened when the Mask would render him unconscious.

Still, he held onto a shred of hope that he could figure a way out himself. Sometimes at night he was able to take back control of his body for short periods of time. During this period he would often check on Karen who didn't seem to receive a respite, even in sleep. This only fueled Will's ambition, but he had to be careful about showing it. It wouldn't do for the Other to find out that he still had power enough to slip through its control. But in that same sense, if this entity had to wait until he was nearly dead to take over, then perhaps Will could overpower it with similar conditions. But of course this was the time when Koga decided to lay off…

'Speaking, well thinking, of Koga, he's had to of noticed by now.' The Other paused shortly in his conversation, and Will shrunk back in his psychic cage relaxing only when It returned to the conversation. Luckily for Will, most of his thoughts were shielded from the other's prying gaze, but he still had to think quietly. Moving back to his ponderings, Will decided that Koga had in fact noticed, the only question was had he not done anything because: A) he wasn't sure the course of action to take or B) because he preferred the new, more volatile Will? Dejected, Will could only determine that is was option B given Koga's previous track record. He really had gotten Koga to accept him more of late though. Much better than it had been before…

Koga had been standing in Will's room when the psychic had first entered. The man continued to stare out the window as Will shifted nervously from foot to foot.

"Um, my name's Wi—"

"I know what your name is." The ninja didn't even twitch.

"Ur, um. Okay. Well it's nice to meet you—" Once again Will was cut off, but this time, his feet were suddenly dangling nearly a foot of the ground and oxygen was having trouble reaching his panicked mind as Koga gripped him by the throat.

"How do you expect to survive in the field?"

For Will's first few weeks as a member of the Elite Four, he knew he and Karen were being appraised, assessed, and filed under different categories by the older man. He tried, he really did, but he still couldn't sway Koga from his initial opinion. When Lance and Karen were around, the abuse was minimal and only when the ninja thought it was safe. Otherwise, both times that Koga's injuries were serious enough to put him in the hospital, were blamed on Team Rocket.

Yes, there would be no help from Koga or Karen, so Will shrunk back dejected and decided that for now he would watch and wait.

Elite Four Headquarters – Sinnoh Region

"What?!" Cynthia's jaw was skimming her desk it had dropped so far, something Flint found rather unattractive. He had burst into her office earlier ranting and raving about some sort of book by a senile doctor that had spoken to him about Bromance that had all culminated into this.

"Yup, I'm using all my vacation days, which is about four months."

"You can't just leave! We'll have to close down! What about the challengers waiting for you?"

"Done. Beat them all today." Flint grinned. It was amazing what he could do when he set his mind to it. Beating them all had been a thank you to Lucian for triggering his epiphany.

"And so your idea is what? Run off into the sunset after an ex-best friend who's already made it perfectly clear that he wants nothing to do with you?" By now Cynthia had pulled out her business voice and was now trying to hit all the areas where it hurt the worst. Much to Flint's credit, he didn't so much as flinch.

"That's exactly what I'm saying. Well, maybe not the sunset, I think the region east of here, and the sun sets in the west and all, but I need to show Volkner that our friendship means something!"

"Any idea how much trouble I went through to get you them to let you stay in the league? We're just lucky that Lucian didn't have any cameras in his bedroom, otherwise Koga's accusations would have actually stuck." Trump card. Flint winced internally. He still hadn't got Will an apology gift yet… After Volkner though. One thing at a time.

"Ya, but you wouldn't want to go up to them now and tell them that you'd lied to them. And legally, as a league member you can't deny me a vacation. It'd be a nice excuse for the rest of you too!" Cynthia clenched her jaw, mind going into overdrive. Flint danced from foot to foot while he waited. He was both anxious and nervous for not only her answer, but the trip to come. Either way, he was leaving.

"Fine. But in exactly four months from tomorrow, you had better be back and ready to go at full speed." Flint was out the door a moment later.

Haunted Forest, Dreariville – Unknown Region

"Alright Blondie, time for the last step. You have to be just as ready as your pokemon!" And with that, Billy swiped Volkner's belt. The blond's swipe was a little too late to reclaim his stolen possession.

"Hey! What're you doing?" Volkner tensed, extremely uneasy without his pokemon. Luxray, the only one out of the pokeball growled. She'd grown enormously from all the training, but Volkner still doubted that she be able to completely overpower Billy. He did have other pokemon up his sleeves.

"Your pokemon may, and the key word here is may, be ready, but that doesn't mean you are. We're going to find a pokemon that doesn't spew flames or acid, and you're going to beat it. Hands only." Volkner fixed Billy with his signature deadpan.

"I thought you said your canteen didn't have alcohol in it." Billy rolled his eyes, flipped a switch on his guitar, and strummed a few chords. Soon enough there was a low rumble from the undergrowth and a Mightyena materialized from the undergrowth. Snarling at Volkner it crouched down low, hackles raised, and let out a snarl. Volkner reflexively reach for a pokeball, but to no avail. Luxray howled as Tyranitar held it back from helping her master. One final snarl and the dark type pounced, teeth aimed right for Volkner's jugular.

Elite Four Headquarters – Johto

New Will reached out his senses, turning his mind's eye to Old Will, who was currently trying to keep his thoughts together (how amusing. There was no gether singularly, but with a form of two, the word could make sense. Except how then could you hold more than two things gether?) after New Will sent a wave of power towards his section of their shared conscious thoughts. Lance was sharp and had spent the rest of the conversation carefully scrutinizing him. He couldn't afford to be interrupted again. Not before he was ready. Not before his plan was in motion. With that thought in mind, N. Will reached out his powers to pester the afro-ed freak. It was so fun to watch him squirm. He got to his area and…


The fire type trainer was out of reach, probably on a boat judging by his psychic trail.

A wave of angry power ripped through the room, upending all the furniture in a chaotic upheaval. The sound was muffled by the psychic's power, but Koga still witnessed everything from his hiding place. With a sad shake of his head, he disappeared to find out just what had enraged the psychic so much.

Haunted Forest, Dreariville – Unknown Region

Volkner was thrown to the ground from the force of the leap, but kept the Mightyena's mouth from closing in on his throat by reflexively nailing it in the jaw with his elbow. Its teeth snapped closed about an inch from his throat. The blond's jacket held back the worst of the claws, but the wolf pokemon was close to 100 pounds, twenty over its normal weight class. Volkner pushed his forearm into the wolf's throat, forcing it to ease up or have its air supply cut off. Using the backwards momentum to his advantage, Volkner brought his legs up under its chest and threw it off. The two rolled to their feet, judging the other's movements. Seemingly decided on its next course of action, the dark type pounced again, but this time, Volkner dodged out of the way. He maneuvered around the pokemon, jumping himself, so that its back was resting on his chest and his arms had the beast in a headlock, pulling it to the ground in the process. The dark wolf attempted to roll, but the electric user rolled with it, refusing to be shaken off.

Tightening up his hold, Volkner managed to choke Mightyena into unconsciousness, but not before catching a stray shot from one of its paws across the side of the head. After he was sure the pokemon wouldn't be getting up anytime soon, Volkner climbed off the wolf, his breathing heavy and his skin torn from the claws. Billy was looking at him with a dumbfound expression.

"Well I see that Lt. Surge taught you well. That was a little… unexpected. I didn't think anyone from Sinnoh knew how to fight." Volkner narrowed his eyes at the mention of his dad.

"Ya, sure. How did you summon that Mightyena with just your guitar?" If even instruments from this reason could beckon beast from the bush (Flint would have laughed at that one) then he probably needed to know.

"Oh that? Um, we used to pester the Pokemon Rangers in another region, so Garret equipped me and my sibling's instruments with capture stylers. Together we make the Go-Rock Quads," Billy grinned like an idiot. "Anyways, let's get you back to the pokemon center and cleaned up. You're a mess." Volkner snorted, and started to move. Luxray finally released from the Tyranitar's grip, ran up to her master to rub against his leg before delivering a parting shock to the defeated Mightyena, before turning the electricity on Billy. Tyranitar sheepishly scratch the back of its head as Billy gave him an accusatory glare.


Volkner was in his room washing up, while Billy waited in the lobby in one of the chairs. It was only a few minutes before someone sat down next to him.

"Do you think he's really ready?" Billy glanced over at Garret and saw a touch of anxiety in his expressive eyes.

"Don't worry a bit little bro. I don't think he'll get himself killed too badly."

"Billy you do realize that most deaths are pretty bad right?" Billy snorted.

"Shut up, Garret. Plus if you're that worried, just go supervise the match."

"Love you too, Billy, and I might just do that. Thanks." And with that he was gone.

Elite Headquarters – Johto

The Other was finally asleep. He'd vented a vast majority of his psychic energy tearing apart the room and then putting it back together repeatedly. Will reached out tentatively, making sure that his unwanted guest was still asleep. As was his nightly ritual, he attempted to summon the same destructive energy that the Other seemed to be able to wield freely, but to no avail. With a shake of his head, Will slipped quietly out of bed to make his way down the hall towards Karen's room. Luckily, the Other hadn't had much contact with her today, and the less contact the two had, the better chance the Karen had of surviving this ordeal untouched.

The empath was about two thirds of the way there when he felt someone projecting, strongly. Worry. Unrest. Confusion. Hurt. Fear. And… Caring. Perhaps it was pokemon knew that this was a wing close to Koga's, so it was this was a possible solution. Koga would almost never project, except for anger, but when he did show other emotions, it was almost always in regard to his pokemon or his daughter, Janine.

He stopped to scan the shadows in the direction of the projections, and saw what could very well be Koga's spiky hair. Will backed up, genuinely frightened. If Koga decided this was the night to instruct him on the brutality of Team Rocket, then the Other would know. He'd kill Koga and then there would no more nightly escapades for Will.

Koga's emotions switch strongly to confusion and worry as he stepped out of the shadows.

"Will?" His voice was strangely tentative, as if not sure quite sure who he was speaking to. So he did know! Yet as of yet he'd done nothing! At least for Karen's sake… Koga must have sensed his frustrations, because his emotions quickly shifted to suspicion and his gaze hardened as he advanced towards the purple haired psychic. Much to his dismay, he let out a small squeak, and turned heel the other way as fast as possible. Ninjas are fast, but Koga was the Chuck Norris of ninjas, appearing in front of him in a breeze.

"Where are you going?" Will's eyes widened behind his mask in fear of what was to come. As his breathing quickened, his previously broken ribs cried out in protest, and he shank to his knees, with Koga slowing his decent. Emotions shifted strongly to concern. Almost so much that it was unbearable. This must be some act to make him drop his defenses; there no way Koga could ever be worried about him.

"Will? Are you alright? Is it really…you?" Uncertainty didn't suit Koga, yet at the same time it was…nice.

"Yes. Yes to both." Will whispered, still gasping for breath. The ninja seemed to visibly relax, and now Will could see just how tired he looked, with dark circles under his eyes.

"What in Lugia's name is going on in that head of yours?" Koga had by then stopped projecting and had summoned a hard edge back into his voice.

"It's a long story and I don't have all the pieces myself, but what I do know is that you have to lay low and not let on that you know. The Other…well me I guess, but it's not me. Alternate personality I guess, well he…took control. Karen fell under his thrall already, and there's nothing I can do to help her. There has to be some way for me to regain control, but…I'm just not strong enough." As Will gave Koga a run down on what was happening, he tried to gauge his thoughts. Honestly, projecting Koga was preferable to neutral Koga. Will was sure that his weakness was being harshly judged, but now, he just needed someone, anyone, to talk to.

"I can take control sometimes at night though, when it's completely out like now. He expended a vast amount of power because Flint is too far away to torment…" Will sighed, looking away. Koga still wasn't showing any reaction. Perhaps it would have been better not talking with the man. So with a shiver and a fast goodbye, Will ghosted back to bed, claiming that the Other could wake up at any moment.

The poison type user sat crouched on the floor for the next while, too shocked to move. All the while, Koga still wasn't quite sure what to think of the situation. Will was obviously in pain, from the injuries and from whatever this alternate personality was doing to him. On the other hand, to act would make them both good as dead. With a sigh, Koga ran a hand threw his hair and stood up, walking to his bedroom. He felt so…useless. A feeling completely foreign to him, along with this new feeling of self blame. Granted, he was the one that got Will to the hospital, but did that excuse the years of abuse? No. Not at all. With another long suffering sigh, Koga flopped onto his bed. Perhaps sleep would bring the answers.

Haunted Forest, Deariville - Unknown Region

Billy threw a stick at Volkner's head.

"Ow, what the heck was that for?"

"If you can dodge a stick you can dodge a shadow ball. Five D's of Dodging: Dip, Duck, Dodge, Dive, and Dodge." Volkner deadpanned and rolled his eyes, walking off.

"It'll come in handy! Luck of the Irish and all!" Volkner flipped him the bird over his back.

Just to let you know, I genuinely went online to look up how to wrestle a wolf. It seemed difficult.

In other news, I now have most of the stuff about Will over with for now, so I'll finally be able to shift a majority of the attention back over to Volkner and Flint. I'm super excited to write their scene. Which brings me to this, I know it's been awhile since I've written anything, and I probably understand that a majority of my previous readers have probably left, but if even one person says they're still reading this, then I'll keep writing. Hopefully faster.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to (please) drop a review or a PM, and I will be happy to answer your questions! Thank you so much!