Her body snapped forward, her mouth open in a silent scream. She clamped it shut, shuddering as she snapped her head left and right, dazed as to where she actually was.
It took Jade several moments to realize that she was…in her nest, the darkness of night looming over her and with the bright full moon that sent gentle rays down into the holes of the cave. Her scales were coated with a sheen of sweat, making any breeze that blew into her slightly underground nest colder and her shudder in fear and chilliness. She hiccuped, coiling herself into a ball.
She wasn’t gonna sleep the rest of the night.
That next morning, Jade slowly pulled herself out of the lake, shaking off the cold water from her scales. She felt cold; all the time. It was unnerving. She never went to Nootau anymore. She didn’t want to make the poor boy fear for her anytime soon.
These dreams…no…nightmares…were becoming stronger. She kept waking up almost every night now, each time feeling pain course through her body, like she wanted to burst out of her body. Her scales were tight, drying out, and dulling from her initial beauty green.
The dreams always started out with her being by a lakeside. When they first started, they were all innocent. She would wake up beside the lake, crawl over to it, and look down. Jade recalled so vividly how she used to be confused as to why only her body appeared…
But no face.
There was no smile. No laughing or talking if she tried to. Just…an empty slot of her face.
Her heart sank, but she couldn’t help but bring herself to look away from the lake’s clear water. Always feeling like she was a nothing, even after all the kindness, and selfless actions she did for others. No one wanted to talk to her. No one wanted to be her friend.
No one she felt a connection with wanted something more.
Kievr was a gentleman. She loved him for that. But she saw him as a brother, a long time friend that was always there for her. She didn’t feel a spark. She hated herself for telling him that she thought they would be great as friends. But she didn’t want to destroy him.
Tetris…she didn’t even know. He had a thing, a BIG thing for Dawn. She had managed to see the cuteness between the two. It made her happy, so she let him go.
Zack was a great friend, but too much of a reminder of the one who left her and died. She didn’t want him to feel like he was a tool.
She blushed and felt shame build more in her heart. He hated her. She felt her heart race for him. He felt nothing but disgust and annoyance for her being kind to him after their misconceptions and interpretations. She tried to show him, for a while, she was nice and that she wasn’t trying to arrest him. Like she cared about that now. But even then, nothing would work. It wasn’t meant to be.
She fumbled over others, but it was hopeless. She was alone. And even Nootau, the one man in her life that has stuck his neck out for her so many times in repayment for her selfless actions to him, the one ‘mon that tried to make her happy, couldn’t even help her from being this sad. This alone.
Jade then remembered curling up and crying, but her tears weren’t tears.
They were blood.
Scared and confused, she felt as if someone was watching her. Over the course of more dreams, they slowly turned for the worse. They were scaring her, hurting her, killing her slowly.
She had to do something. Fast.
Making sure that Nootau was still out and not around for him to hear her, Jade moved out of the cave. She winced when a wave of pain coursed through her body. “This has to stop.” She mumbled to herself, weaving through the forest slowly, feeling her chest pain constrict the most with pain.
When she got into town, she walked around, looking for anything that could help her potentially. Even if it was a little, it was far more than what she could think of at this point.
She bowed her head when she saw several couples walking the streets, laughing happily or giving conversation. Her heart filled with aching pain of her lost boyfriend.
Jade instantly reacted with a dry sob, rubbing her eyes of any tears that could’ve been building up. She hated how strongly she reacted negatively to thinking even just about his name. But then…that’s what happens when you are in love like she was.
The Larvitar recalled hearing about them disappearing, never coming back. He never said goodbye. Just…upped and left her.
She felt broken, destroy further when many guessed that they had died after hearing about a rock slide farther from town and the forest. She sobbed, filled with so much guilt and anger and sadness all at once.
From then on, her life never felt whole again. She didn’t feel so brave anymore.
Jade didn’t realize that her feet had ventured her deep into the darker parts of the town until she looked up and around. She squeaked, gulping as she stumbled backwards.
Causing her to bump into a cart.
“Watch it brat.” Came the cold snap. She whirled around, gasping when she saw an annoyed Slowpoke glaring at her.
“I’m-I’m sorry! I didn’t realize you were there.” She said, moving backwards when she suddenly felt something wet and sticky squish underneath her foot. Looking down, the Larvitar blinked in dumbfound as a Sitrus berry laid where her foot was. Lifting it up, she gulping again, this time in fear.
“Well? You gonna pay for that, brat? I was trying to sell this shit until you came along.” The Slowpoke growled.
She glared at him and wiped off her foot. “I’m sorry, okay?! Here!” She threw a few coins at his face, feeling her cheeks turn red when he caught them effortlessly. Not waiting for him to yell at her again, Jade began to walk off.
“Why are you filled with so much darkness?”
She stopped cold.
Turning back around, she looked at him. “H-How—”
“I wouldn’t have asked if I couldn’t sense anything, child. And when I ask something, I expect an answer.”
Jade glared at him. “Why the fuck should I tell you, a jackass of a stranger, anything!? Regardless if I am sick or not!” She snarled. Then she reeled back, shocked with her unexpected behavior. A wave of nausea flashed over her, making the Larvitar sway slightly, her stomach unexpectedly gone, causing her to heave up nothing but fluids right there in front of him.
She emptied out everything that was in her stomach, which had been nothing in the first place except her natural acids. She coughed, wheezing as a flash of pain her start to fall forward. But she blinked weakly when her body suddenly was saved from the landing into her vomit. Looking up at the Slowpoke, she saw that his deep red eyes were glowing a hue of blue now.
Arms crossed, his face rendered any emotions except that of serious disgust. “You’re a stupid ‘mon for have gone this long without seeking help.”
“What…what’s happening to me…” She gagged, feeling another oncoming wave of nausea. He was silent as she threw up several more times, her body racking of shudders and ill-filled coughing.
When Jade finished, he lifted her up, causing her to gasp and try to flail out of his psychic hold. However, the poor Larvitar stopped when he turned his head to her, showing a calm concern etched into his features. She blushed, unknown to her own actions, and looked down, away from his stare as he brought her in to a battered up building. The flap on the door fluttered with the cold wind, however was nailed down so that not too much could get inside.
“W-Who are you?” She hiccupped. “Have…have we met before?” She asked, tilting her head. He did look a little familiar.“No.” He stated, setting her down on the long flat bedding. “I’ve never seen nor recognize your face, Larvitar.”
She glared at him. “I have a name you know.”
“I don’t care for your name.”
“Well you’re getting it anyways. The name’s Jade. What’s yours?”
“Does it matter.” he stared at her, clearly unamused. She felt a blush of anger build on her face.
“I’m just trying to be nice.” She said angrily, looking away. Why did she always get slammed down with those who didn’t even like her or her kindness. It always happened. Like she was an annoying tick and they were gonna squish all of that happiness from her body.
That’s all she felt now. A worthless, pathetic, not supposed to be living t—
She snapped her head back to him in surprised. “I’m sorry?”
He glared at her coldly, making her wishing that his powers weren’t holding her down from curling away in fear. “O-Oh…n-nice name.”
He snorted in disgust. “Whatever.” He said, bringing some water over to her. He placed it at her lips, but said nothing.
She wanted to ask him what he was doing until she felt the cold water on her lips. She got the hidden message and allowed him to slowly give her the water. She tilted her head back as she swallowed down more and more of it, sighing softly as it felt so cleansing to her system, like it was washing away the badness.
“T-Thank you.” She coughed briefly when it went down the wrong pipe. She watched him move away, going over to a sink and cleaned the glass off before drying it. Jade quietly realized that he was walking on his hind legs; a rare trait for any Slowpoke to be doing, she knew. He walked with an odd ease to it, as if it didn’t bring him pain, as if it was normal.
His visible eye caught hers, and she stumbled, looking away. “S-sorry.”
“For what.” Again, his voice didn’t exactly ask. More like silently ordered.
“You could be doing worse.” He stated bluntly. Jade huffed.
“Why did you bring me in here?”
“Because you’re my new patient.”
“Last time I checked, I didn’t set up an appointment, nor agreed to this.”
“Does it look like I care about your point in this, brat?”
“Does it take a lot for you to not be angry?” She countered in a snippy tone.
“Do you feel that worthless that you feel it’s right to suddenly be rude to a ‘mon who’s gonna help you for nothing?”
That stopped her. Turning to look at him, she saw that he had some sort of lotion. He didn’t speak again as he lathered some on his paws and pressed it to her body. She gasped, feeling warmth envelop where he was touching her. She scooted away.
“What the hell is that?!”
“A cream that will bring color back into your almost corpse-like form. Plus, the scent will make you feel calmer.” He said, grabbing her leg and pulling her closer. She was still partially immobilized by his powers. She pursed her lips as he rubbed in gentle, slow circles on her legs, hips, and chest plate.
“How are you able to do that?”
“Know everything. Know what to say, even if it hurts…and how the hell are you still able to use your powers on me?! Shouldn’t you be getting a headache by now from holding me down?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m stronger and smarter than most Slowpoke. I’m surprised a little that you don’t see that already.” He said in a bored tone. “And I’m a dream shaman. My words don’t have to be sugar-coated like some would think. I see the scary shit of life more than the good things. I shouldn’t have to hide anything from my patients who are in pain and demand honesty.”
She was surprised by how…relaxed and truthful he was on that. “O-Oh.” Was all Jade could managed.
He moved away. “I felt your sickness, this…darkness that looms inside of you since you came into the alleyway of where my store is located in.” Gallan said, screwing the cap on the lotion cream. “Clearly, something’s not right, especially if I can feel it from that far away.” He said, looking at her. “How long has this been going on?” Now she knew she had his full attention.
“Well…” She tried to remember, which only caused her to feel sick in fear. “…about a year now.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Great thanks for that diagnosis, doc. Now let me go.”
“You didn’t let me finish. You’re an idiot for not tending to yourself, Jade.” He said her name, catching her off guard again. “You smell and sense of an Herbal Shaman, yet I don’t sense any kind of spiritual spells or charms to rid this darkness from you, inside of you. Even you matter.” He said sternly.
She frowned, her eyes casting downwards to the floor, where his feet were. “I don’t matter. Not anymore.”
“Why do you think that.” It was an order. Again.
“Because … because…” She felt sickness in her stomach, though it was small. “Because I…I don’t know.”
“That’s not an answer—”
“I DON’T KNOW OKAY?!” She screeched angrily at him. But he didn’t jump back or even flinch at her yelling. She felt the tears build in her eyes. “I don’t…I don’t matter because no matter what I did for others, my kindness slowly was pushed to the side. As if it didn’t help them cheer up. It didn’t let them realize that I was here to help. And in turn, no one came to help me.”
“No one?” Now it was his turn to raise his eyebrow.
“…I’ve had to depend on Nootau more times than I should. He’s my adopted brother.” She quickly realized that she was spilling everything to this stranger. She didn’t know him. She didn’t like him that much cause of his attitude. But… at the same time, he was a source to let out everything.
When she got done speaking everything that she felt, from what happened to her boyfriend, to Notoau’s curse, to all the way back to when she started feeling this way back in the tribe, to up till the nightmares and her actions for some ‘mon, Jade felt like she was naked. Barer than any other point to him.
As if she exposed everything that was now her. What she felt was left of her.
Gallan just sat there, at one point grabbed more water for her when she felt lightheaded from crying so much and so hard. He was a quiet gentleman at that point, giving a nod or a ‘go on’ motion with his tail.
When she sighed out the last of her speech, he narrowed his eyes and stood up. “Interesting.” He mumbled.
“That’s it? That’s all you can say is ‘interesting’?” She felt a little betrayed.
“Yes.” He said bluntly. She rolled her yes and leaned her head back more on the pillow. “We’ll have to get into that thick head of yours again.”
The fear came back tenfold, causing her to stiffen up. “Y-You mean I have to go… asleep?”
“But I can’t!” She yelled, her eyes wide with terror.
“Scared of the dark?”
“At this point, pretty much! I don’t know what’s going on with my mind and I don’t trust it anymore. I don’t trust myself!” She yelled, clenching at the bed.
“And yet you trusted me enough to spill everything about your life into my hands. Are you saying you don’t trust I can help you, brat?”
She paused, biting her lip in thought. “I…I don’t know.” She sagged her shoulders heavily. “I don’t know anymore. I don’t know who I am anymore…I don’t know if I mean anything anymore.”
“But you do matter.”
The Larvitar scoffed bitterly. “Yeah? By who?”
“By Nootau. By your adopted parents. By your friends. By me.”
Oh. Well. That was a surprise.
“You’re shitting me.”
“Think what you like.”
“Are you always this much of an ass?”
“To those who think that way, yes.”
She didn’t know why, but that caused a smile to lift into her lips. “Okay…so what are you gonna do to me.”
“I’m gonna make you fall asleep. I need to get you deep into your sleep so that this darkness comes up. I’ll be there every step of the way.”
“At least say it like you mean it, jerkface.”
“I mean it, Jade.” Somehow, him saying her name simply made her trust him more and know he was meaning it.
Taking in a shaky breath. “Okay…do what you need to.”
He got up from his chair, pressing on her neck pressure points, and within a few seconds, Jade was out
She groaned, slowly opening her eyes. The sky was a beautiful sunset color. Odd, how her mind could perfectly pick out a breath-taking view, but at the same time make her be afraid of it nonetheless.
Slowly sitting upright, Jade, rubbed her head, feeling as if a headache was coming on. “Jeez did I hit it on something?” She mumbled to herself.
But when she pulled her paw away from her head, she saw a thick wad of black goo follow with her.
Screaming in shock, she looked around, only to pale in terror.
It had already begun.
“N-No! NO STAY A—” She wasn’t allowed to finish as she looked down to see that a bloody and black splotched puddle had strapped her to the ground. Several large tentacles sprouted out, growling as they constricted around her body tightly. She tried to scream out, struggling uselessly in the tight hold, but a few more grabbed her by the neck, cutting off her attempts. She felt them tighten, causing her to choke up blood as she felt her windpipe start to crush.
‘N-No!!! OH ARCEUS H-HELP ME!!!!’ Her mind screamed, but only a choked gurgle came out of her mouth.
Her eyes widened in horror as another tentacle wrapped around her mouth, while more swayed in front of her. They were gross, ugly tendrils that dribbled with blood, rubbed against her face. She wished she could move away, but she couldn’t. Jade felt tears of terror roll down her cheeks.
‘That’s it cry.’ A voice entered her mind. It was so dark, so sinisterly twisted. ‘Die while crying. You die with fear. You die because you are nothing. You die because nothing cares about you.’ It chanted, causing her scales to constrict and prickle with petrified instincts.
But the tentacles didn’t snap her neck. They gripped her harder, before pulling her into the blood. She screamed, though it was muffled, and no one was around to see it.
All she saw before darkness enveloped her was the bleeding sunset, as if it, too, could feel her pain, her terror.
Jade gasped as she launched forward, clutching at her throat. She could feel the tentacles on her. But nothing was there. She clawed at it, screaming and sobbing hysterically as she scampered away from where she had become conscious in.
Looking around, she saw that the whole area was dark slightly. The air held a reddish tint to it, making her quiver in fear. “W-What’s happening to me…” She wept.
“J….J-….Jade…” A wheezed voice came out.
A voice she knew.
She turned around, only to feel a wave of nausea and full out horror fill her body. This caused the Larvitar to fall backwards.
“N-No…Meidou…” She gasped.
Indeed, the Zoura was hanging over what seemed like a pile of rocks, a sharp piece of what looks like a Stalactite pierced through his chest. Blood dribbled off of it in a slow yet steady flow.
He looked at her, his eyes filled with shame. “J-Jade….”
“…No…NO!!!” She screamed, but felt herself unable to move as she watched him sag, his eyes slowly glazing over. It was only then that she felt whatever was holding her down let go. Racing over, she sobbed and screamed incoherently at him, trying to get the stone out of him. But it was no use. He was dead.
Her beloved was dead.
She sunk to the ground, bawling and yelling out her now anger. She punched the ground, hunkering over as the Larvitar was consumed by her dark emotions.
“Oh…such a pity.”
Jade stopped, shakily looking behind her. Where she seemingly had been before was now a marsh puddle of blood and dark splotches bubbling up, as if it was a boiling pool.
And in it, she saw an apparent bulge in it. Her stomach heaved and twisted in disgust.
The glob morphed into another Larvitar, its own scales caked in blood, in falling pieces of meat. White eyes slowly were consumed by dark spider webs as it walked out of the pool.
“W….W-W-Who are you…” She gulped, scooting backwards.
The creature gave a small tilt of its head. “What do you mean? I am you. You are me.”
Jade blinked in confusion. “I don’t understand….”
The Larvitar smiled sickly, large, abnormal fangs curled. “We are you. We are me. We are each other.”
“No…no no I’m not you.” Jade shook her head, standing up. “I’m not a monster!” She snarled.
“Oh no? Not a monster? But then what are you? For you are no longer your kind self. You are not Jade. You are me. And I am you.” It giggled.
“This is all in my head. I am not you!”
“If it is all in your head” The creature was suddenly in front of her face, a psychotic expression on its face. “Then why can we feel this pain. This darkness. Why are you fighting? If no one is gonna save you?”
“Because I can fight for myself.”
“heheheh oh Jade~ That isn’t the case.” It laughed manically. Jade was scared out of her mind now. “Why do you fight? Why? Why? Why? Why fight for yourself? If no one even cares about you? When was the last time anyone stood up for the love you have?”
“Nootau is my protector!”
“He is nothing. Just like you. But yet he matters. Yet you don’t. Why would you, a nothing, matter?” It said icily.
Jade shrunk back unconsciously. “I…I…”
“That’s right. No male has stuck up for you after our Beloved left.”
“HES NOT YOURS!”
“But he is~! Don’t you see?! I am you! You are ME! And I am all you, and you shall become all of me!” It laughed, it’s body slowly melting into greenish red scales. Jade’s eyes widened.
Now the creature was smirking darkly. “I am you. You are me. We are one. And I shall be you forever. You shall not escape me prey. Together, we shall become me. And you shall be nothing. Just like you’ve always dreamed.”
Jade shook her head, feeling it becoming heavy. “No! I’m not you! I’m Jade!”
“But I am Jade too~! I am the new Jade. The Jade that shall become beloved by all. And you.” It grabbed her throat tightly, causing Jade to choke. “Shall become nothing. Like I once was. You shall die, and I shall live. Just like you’ve always wanted”
It hurled her away several yards, the force causing her to impact the ground hard and tumble. Jade groaned, shakily trying to get up, but the monster was in front of her again.
“Let me become you. And it will all be better. This pain shall go away. We will be stronger. We shall not need love. We shall be loved!” It whispered in her earhole.
Jade moaned in pain as her body heaved and vomit sat at the back of her throat.
“I am the better Jade. The Jade that everyone will love. That will no longer be a nothing.”
She looked up at the monster, watching it become more of her. Jade herself could feel her body starting to melt away, starting to become truly nothing.
The Larvitar that looked like her grinned sickly. “Die”
Spikes erupted from the ground, impaling Jade’s body repeatedly.
Darkness consumed her mind, but pain wracked her body, and screams of no other kind shrilled into the air and into her.
She felt her body slowly falling away.
Maybe this was the better. For her to become nothing. No one cared. No one loved her anymore.
She felt at peace. Through the pain, she felt as if this was who she was supposed to be.
Wait…something was calling her.
No…someone. Someone was calling her.
It was getting louder. The pain doubled, and she felt her conscious mind struggling to reach towards the open light.
“GOD DAMNIT JADE!!! WAKE UP!!!”
Her mouth had been opened when she finally came too. Her body was shuddering in agonized pain, some sort of mucus liquid being pulled out of her body. She could feel it all. Her eyes slowly came down from being rolled back so far into her head.
Jade gagged, throwing up the last of the almost completely black goo, before throwing up more to the side. The goo landed in a huge glass bowl in a sick noise. Gallan raced over to her, pressing his paw over her chest as she wracked up more of her stomach fluids;
“STOP IT JADE!” He yelled. She coughed, feeling another wave come over her, but her head was pulled up. She struggled, screaming and sobbing hysterically.
“Look at me, Jade! Look at me NOW!” He commanded, his eyes turning a deep blue.
She slowly stopped struggling, her eyes wide with undeniable madness, but that also started to fade from her.
“Sweet Arceus. You didn’t even know I was there, trying to help you.” He sighed, pulling her close. Into a hug. A hug of real life. She could hear his beating heart, whereas hers felt hollow and empty before.
Jade was speechless, but the emotions of relief, happiness, and sadness all crashed into her as she clutched onto his body, resuming her antics of crying. Gallan said nothing, just pulling her closer and whispering sweet nothings into her ears.
“Jade.” He tilted her head up to look at him. “Take deep, slow breaths in. You’re gonna hyperventilate back into shock.”
She nodded weakly and tried to do as he ordered. It took her several attempts to even breathe without hiccupping. But he just kept telling her the same order softly, till she finally did it.
After several more minutes, the Larvitar pressed her forehead to his chest. “Y-You were here..You were there…yet I was so filled with darkness…I thought…I thought I was alone. I thought I was gonna be nothing. I thought…”
Again, she looked up at him.
“There’s something terribly wrong with you. I need you to come in immediately a week from today.” He said slowly
“What’s…what’s wrong with me Gallan.” For the first time since they arrived, he didn’t answer right away. “Gallan.” She said in a scratchy, but stern demand.
“You’re possessed by a bad spirit. A very, very bad spirit. It’s slowly killing you.”
She blinked several times, looking at his chest and gripped unconsciously. He didn’t yelp or mention that she was hurting her. “Why do you care…why? Only because I asked you?”
“I’m not. I care because I have a god damn choice. And so do you, brat.” He snorted.
“But..what if I don’t make it?”
“Then you come in earlier. Bring Nootau with. He’ll need to be here when it happens.”
“When what happens?”
“When you stand on the string of life and death.”
“Fun.” She sighed wearily as she pulled away, but instantly missed his warmth. She hugged herself. “I…best be going now.”
“You’re not going anywhere. You’ll fall if you try to get off this bed.”
“Then at least take me home.” She snapped sadly, watching him cleanse the black liquid into a beautiful baby blue white color. He sighed.
“Fine.” He said, picking her up. She yelped and clutched onto him.
“You’re an asshole.”
“For someone who just had a partial exorcism done on her, you still have an annoying mouth.”
She hit him on the head, making him grunt. However, she then placed her head on his chest, lulled by the rhythmic thumping of his heart.
“Can you promise that…you’ll wait for me?”
“I just want someone there to evolve for.” She muttered softly. He was silent for a portion of the way as she instructed to the forest.
It wasn’t until 20 minutes into the forest walking did he finally speak.
“Fine. I’ll wait for you, brat.”
She smiled, unconsciously leaning into him more as a thanks.