Quick note; some of the moves in this chapter have more than one way they're used in the anime. I use whichever is more suited to the situation.


Chapter 33: Unwanted Truths

The voice instantly sent chills down my spine, while Rio seemed to bristle with anger. The high-pitched laugh that I'd recognize anywhere rang out through the temple. Within moments, we were surrounded by Sableye that appeared out of the shadows.

The two of us jumped to the center, back-to-back. "Ha-ha-ha! Hoo-hoo-ha!" Dusknoir floated up the stairs, laughing triumphantly, and Meowth was two steps behind him. Rio growled and I said, "How did you get here?!"

"Humph… Quite simple, actually. I had Master Dialga warp us here directly. After all, I knew that you would inevitably come here. Waiting here spared us the bother of having to search for you. Hoo-hoo-ha! Unfortunately, you are coming back to the future with me. Sableye! Take them to the dimensional hole!"

The Sableye laughed and ferried us down the stairs on the other side of the temple. Sure enough a dimensional hole floated nearby.

"Sableye!" Dusknoir called, "Into the dimensional hole with them!" The Sableye laughed in response. I looked at Rio and I could tell that he wasn't going to go along easily.

"Rio…" I whispered.

"…I'm with you!" He whispered back, a scowl on his face. He used Wide Slash while I used two Leaf Blades to push the Sableye away. Then Rio readied Foresight and shined a blue energy everywhere solidifying the Sableye and Dusknoir. The Sableye tried to swarm us, but our attacks cut into their now-physical bodies, becoming much more effective. Dusknoir simply watched as we battled. Within a few minutes, we dropped the last Sableye.

Dusknoir clapped slowly, "Well, well… You display some feeble resistance, knowing that it's futile?" The Sableye got up slowly and cradled their various injuries.

I glared at him, "You expected anything less?"

"Humph. You leave me no choice." He waved the Sableye away and floated forward with Meowth beside him. "I'll simply defeat you here, then take you to the future. It makes no difference to me." He chuckled, "The odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you. How much resistance can you serve up? Show me!"

Rio immediately rushed towards Dusknoir.

-Rio's POV-

Dusknoir's still solidified, so I am going to give him SUCH a major Force Palm upside the head!

When I was a foot away, I jumped, but I felt something pull my tail and I fell back to the ground. I looked and Meowth had my tail in his paws, holding me back.

Dusknoir laughed, "Well done, Meowth. But he was no real threat. I'll dispatch Grovyle. You deal with Rio."

I growled and said, "Meowth, just let me go and I'll free you."

"…" Meowth wordlessly readied a set of claws. I used the dash of a Quick Attack to pull my tail free from his grasp as well as get some distance. I turned around and he had both sets of claws ready.

Darn it… I was hoping it wouldn't have to come to this. But I have no choice… I looked past him to Grovyle and Dusknoir fighting. I just need to get him out of the way, and then help Grovyle defeat Dusknoir.

"I'm sorry, Meowth. I'll make this hurt as little as possible; I just need to get to Dusknoir."

"…" Meowth charged forward on all fours and I ran up to meet him. He used Fury Swipes, but I dodged most of them, only getting hit once. I hit him with some basic punch attacks and tried running past him, but then something odd happened. Long shadows appeared on either side of me extending from behind and they reached up with claws to slash at me. I jumped but they cut one of my legs, slowing me down. I looked back and Meowth had his paws on the ground where the shadows were coming from.

I growled, "Dusknoir must have taught you that… That means that, if you can reach me anywhere, I need to knock you out." The shadow energy dissipated when Meowth lifted his hands. He readied his normal claws again and started trying to hit me with a Slash attack. I dodged some of them when an idea came to me. I waited until he was about to hit me, then activated Counter. He abruptly stopped his attack and leaped away. Great… Even hypnotized, he still knows all my tricks.

After my counter aura faded away, he rushed me again and I realized that I had to outmuscle him since I couldn't trick him and I couldn't get away. I tried a Quick Attack and dashed into him with a shoulder tackle. He skid backwards, but wasn't knocked over. He started to put his paws to the ground.

"Not this time!" I shouted. I dashed forward and grabbed his paws, preventing them from touching down. The instant I did, however, the shadow energy formed around his paws, burning my hand off. While I was stunned he slashed me with Shadow Claw. It burned terribly, like it was cutting out my very life energy itself. I dodged back and he kept after me with the energy around his paws.

I can't take much more…! Endure…! Nothing happened. Damn it! What a time for it to fail! Only one option left! Meowth was almost upon me. Copycat!

Dark purple aura energy gathered around me and formed around my hands, just in time for me to catch Meowth's Shadow Claws with my own. The energy buzzed and crackled as the two moves were pressed against each other. Neither of us flinching, the stalemate continued until I started pushing his paws back. I pushed them back until they were right up against his head. I started charging up my own energy while maintaining my pseudo-Shadow Claws.

"I'm sorry, Meowth. You'll thank me when you wake up!"

I used Force Palm with both of my hands directly on his head.

Both his paws and his head were blown away and then his body disappeared.

Wh-what?! A fake?! Then whe-

*SLASH!*

I felt myself fall forward as claws raked across my back. Damn it! He must have learned Substitute too! I- I've failed.

I looked and Grovyle fell to the ground next to me, knocked down by Dusknoir's Shadow Punch.

Dusknoir looked down at us, "Humph. I told you resistance would be futile. But I'm sick of you two constantly escaping my grasp after I've caught you, so I'm going to finish you here and now. Whether I bring you back to be executed or bring your corpses won't make a difference to Master Dialga." The mouth on his stomach opened and he said, "Meowth. Get behind me. I don't want you caught in the crosshairs." Meowth silently walked over and stood behind Dusknoir.

Dusknoir started gathering energy in the cavity while he continued talking, "You've done admirably well for those as pitiful as you… But it's all over now. This is the end!" He laughed maniacally as he continued gathering energy.

This is it… We've failed… The planet will be paralyzed… I couldn't save Meowth… I closed my eyes in resignation.

Then I heard a piercing sound along with a gasp.

I opened my eyes and two Shadow Claws had looped around from behind Dusknoir and stabbed into the cavity. Behind Dusknoir, Meowth had his paws on the ground.

His face slowly twitched and he spoke brokenly, "Y-you-won't-t-hurt-my-f-f-riends…"

Meowth pulled up his paws and charged up Shadow Claws around them. He ran towards Dusknoir and started slashing at him. Dusknoir appeared shocked and he ordered Meowth to stop, but he didn't. And Dusknoir was in no shape to defend himself. Every time he tried to dodge, he clutched his stomach and was stunned. Grovyle managed to get up and started hitting Dusknoir with Leaf Blades as well. I slipped an Oran Berry out of the Treasure Bag and ate it to get back some energy before I ran in and started helping.

Before too long Dusknoir was hunched over, clutching his stomach and he growled before falling over.

"We… did it." I said.

"Dusknoir is… down. We've finally beaten Dusknoir." Grovyle said.

-Grovyle's POV-

All of the Sableye gasped and spoke shocked about Meowth's betrayal and how Dusknoir was defeated. Then they all screamed and ran away through the dimensional hole.

We walked up to Dusknoir and I said, "Humph. Your right-hand man betrayed you. Your Sableye ran off. You just have no luck attracting reliable allies."

Dusknoir growled and glared at Meowth, "How… How could you have broken free?! The hypnotists should have decimated your very identity!"

Meowth just stuck out his tongue, "Nyah~ I was never under your control, bozo! I was fakin'! And it made me wanna puke ev'ry time I called ya 'master'."

"Wait, what?" Rio said.

Meowth turned to him and smiled, "Yeah, after a very embarrassing incident involving some Exeggutor*, one o' my partners bought a book on resisting hypnosis. I read through it and was able to resist bein' hypnotized by Dusknoir's cronies!"

*Episode 43: March of the Exeggutor Squad

I glanced down at Rio, who had gone unusually stiff.

"But I pretended ta be hypnotized ta get near Dusknoir, and gave 'im dat plan he used, so he didn't just execute you guys outright. And sticking wit' him let me fish for information, and boy did he sing like a canary when he thought I was on his side. He didn't notice that I had da Relic Fragment, so I slipped it into the Treasure Bag while you were snoozing and took a different rock."

I gingerly took a step away from Rio, who was starting to shake.

"And it was a major bonus ta get da chance ta backstab 'im. 'Cuz, like I said, nobody pulls da wool over Meowth's eyes and gets away with it!"

Rio casually walked over to Meowth and patted him on the shoulder. "It's good to have you back, Meowth," he said with a smile.

Meowth grinned, "Gee, Rio. You're takin' this better than I th-"

Rio abruptly twisted Meowth around and put him into a headlock, still smiling. "Taking what better? That you made me worry so much? Made me fight against you, even though I didn't want to? What were you afraid of?"

Meowth started sweating, "Uh, hey, Grovyle, could ya back me up here? Say something!"

Rio looked at me and I just said, "One reaps what one sows."

"Anyfin' but dat!" Then Rio started grinding his fist into the top of Meowth's head, moving it back and forth rapidly. "OWOWOWOWOWOW! RIO! PLEASE! I'm sorry! I'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry!"

After half a minute, Rio let Meowth go and just crossed his arms waiting while Meowth recovered. He rubbed the top of his head and said, "Seriously though, Rio. I'm sorry that I had ta lie ta you. Dusknoir wouldn't have let ya get away 'less he thought he had the upper hand."

Rio uncrossed his arms, "It's fine. Just warn me next time you're going to pull something like that. Or else, next time, I'll let Savage give you your punishment."

Rio untied the Relic Fragment and gave it back to Meowth, saying, "Well, Meowth, it's your show now. You'll find out where the Relic Fragment goes."

I nodded, "Yes. You should check if the Rainbow Stoneship actually works. Meanwhile, Rio and I will keep an eye on Dusknoir here."

"You got it." Meowth nodded and left up the stairs.

"If the Rainbow Stoneship works, we can go to Temporal Tower. I hope it activates…"

Dusknoir groaned and I readied a Leaf Blade, "Don't move!"

He groaned again before saying, "Grovyle… Rio… Is this really… Is this what you really want? If history is changed… We Pokémon of the future will disappear…"

My eyes widened, because this is what I've been trying to keep quiet since I met Rio again.

Dusknoir continued, "It won't just be me. Both of you… Grovyle and Rio alike… Since you come from a future that will cease to exist, you will both disappear too… Is that what you really want?"

Rio was in shock, "If we change history, we'll disappear too?!" He turned to me, "Is Dusknoir telling the truth?"

Deciding to not mince words, I said, "…It's true, Rio. If we change history… we will disappear."

He gasped, but I continued, "But… that doesn't matter… If it means restoring time… And bringing peace to the world! It's what I came to the past to do… Celebi too… She helped us, knowing that she will disappear if we succeed."

I heard Rio whisper, "So when she said she'd devote her life, she meant it…"

"And, Rio… You came with that same resolve. We came from the future fully accepting what would happen to us. But… the way you are now, you don't remember that resolve. I know this is coming as a great shock to you. But… we have no choice in the matter either way. If we don't act, time will be destroyed. The planet's paralysis will begin. To bring peace to this world… we have to disappear. Try to understand, Rio."

He turned around and mumbled, "So that's how it was… I came to this world… with such a resolve… Knowing that if we succeeded… we would disappear… But…" He turned around, standing up straighter, "If we don't act, the destruction of time can't be stopped. That means… we have to. Even if it means I must disappear!"

I looked at Rio sadly, "But… there's just one thing… One thing changed for us by coming to this world. It's true that we had the resolve to complete our mission. That was true when we first came back to this world… But we had absolutely nothing to lose. And nothing to go back to. But, Rio… this changed for you when you became a Pokémon… You found a friend and partner in Meowth. The two of you are very close. If he found out that you might disappear… I'm sure Meowth would be crushed. Meowth has a good spirit. But… If the future is altered and you disappear… Your partner will… Meowth will be… left all alone."

Rio looked down to the ground and thought on it before looking where Meowth had just gone. While he was looking, the top of the temple lit up with a blue glow and a shimmering noise reached our ears.

I moved forward, "Meowth's done it! That noise… It has to be the sound of the sound of the Rainbow Stoneship activating!"

Dusknoir suddenly growled and reared up. He hit Rio with Shadow Punch and said, "I won't… You'll never change history!" I ran forward as he shot another Shadow Punch. I took it to protect Rio and was knocked to the ground.

I heard Rio cry out, "Grovyle!"

Dusknoir snarled, "So you shielded Rio, Grovyle?! That's taken a heavy toll on you! Very well! You're going down first!"

I planted one arm down and pushed myself up before planting the other one and climbing to my feet. I had almost nothing left in me. I can't protect them any longer… There's only… one thing I can do!

Summoning the last of my strength, with a fierce roar, I lunged forward and grappled Dusknoir, pushing him toward the dimensional hole.

Dusknoir tried to struggle free, "Wh-what are you doing?!"

Strained with effort, I said, "Dusknoir! I'm… I'm taking you with me… We're going back to the future!"

"What?!" Dusknoir shouted.

I turned my head back, "Rio! It's up to you now!" Twisting my arm, I extended a Leaf Blade to cut the string holding the bag on my shoulder and kicked it back. The contents spilled out and Dusknoir said, "Gah! Those are…!"

"The Time Gears?! But Grovyle-!"

I heard Meowth call out, "Alright, team! The Rainbow Stoneship is a-go!" He walked up and gasped. "Wh- What da heck's goin' on?!"

I turned to him, "Meowth! This is it for me! I'm taking Dusknoir… back to the future! I can never come back here again. Watch Rio's back… Promise me!"

He nodded, "I-I promise, but… Grovyle! I could never take your place!"

"You must and you will. Because you can, Meowth. You two are… the greatest of combinations."

Dusknoir started struggling harder, "Unhand me! Release me!"

I glared at him, "We're almost there! Quiet!"

I looked back at Rio, "Rio! Take care, Rio. I was lucky to have known you. Though the parting hurts… The rest is in your hands!"

"Grovyle!"

I looked back at Dusknoir, "Sorry for the holdup, Dusknoir!" Channeling the last of my strength into my legs, I pushed us into the dimensional hole.

-Rio's POV-

Nothing. I couldn't do anything but reach feebly as the portal disappeared.

"Grovyle…"

Suddenly, the sound of the Rainbow Stoneship was getting louder. Meowth solemnly walked over and picked up the bag, putting the Time Gears inside. His arm quivered as he did so, but he said, "Rio…"

"I know… if we don't hurry, the Rainbow Stoneship might leave without us…"

He picked up the last Time Gear, "We hafta keep goin' or Grovyle's sacrifice'd mean nothing… But no matter what… We'll make a better tomorrow! Where everyone will be happy! If it's the last thing I do!"

But… What Dusknoir said… If the future is changed, Grovyle and I… everyone from the future will disappear.

"Hey, Rio. The last thing Grovyle said. 'parting hurts'… I know a thing or two about it. I mean, First there's me leaving my team, it hurt like hell. But now you're going through this. I'm real sorry, Rio."

…That may be what he meant… But no, that isn't it… Grovyle's last words… They weren't about me and Grovyle. He meant me and Meowth. Grovyle said what he did… because he knew that I would have to leave Meowth eventually. When history is changed… I will disappear. My time together with Meowth is ending… This is our last adventure.

"Alright, Rio! Let's do this! We'll make it to Temporal Tower and fix it!"

We ran up the stairs and the noise from the Rainbow Stoneship was almost ear-piercing now. We quickly got onto the stone symbol and it lifted off the ground. It flew through the air leaving a rainbow in its wake.

"We're at the starting line of the final sprint, Rio!" We flew through the air to Temporal Tower.


I'm not gonna lie; I actually shed some tears writing this chapter… It wound up being very long because I just didn't wanna stop at any point within this sequence. Special midnight posting for those still awake!