This chapter is a bit short, which is why I decided to update this now, haha. Thank you all for the faves and follows! It means a lot! :D
Chapter 2 - A Brand New Reality, Part II
A day before.
Sapphire felt like a hammer was being slammed into her head, as if it was trying to pound her brain into mush. She tried massaging her head with her fingers, but she could still feel the throbs and it hurt. Gritting her teeth, she took a sharp breath, before blinking her eyes open. Her vision slowly became less blurry and she finally saw what was in front of her.
She could already recognize that she was in Fortree City, but there was something horribly different; this wasn't the city she used to know. Every tree and house was either burned, burning, or demolished. The weather surrounding the city was unusually hot.
As she looked around, she could see haze forming in the air. She thought she was hallucinating, but after shaking her head for a few moments, she realized that she wasn't.
She scanned her surroundings, looking for someone, anyone—anything alive or surviving in this blistering state of calamity; however, in a distance, Sapphire recognized a familiar figure that brought upon a nightmarish sight into her eyes.
He was standing over Wallace, whose dead body was lying on the ground. Blood was splattered on the dry soil and onto his clothes, while Maxie was cackling and stomping his filthy shoe on Wallace's face. He continued laughing triumphantly as he moved his foot, kicking Wallace's body and it rolled sideways onto the ground.
Behind the tall grass, the Hoenn Champion watched in horror, as shivers ran through her spine. She felt tears well up in her eyes with her breath clogging in her throat. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. She prompted to close her eyes tightly this time, just to wake herself from this terrible nightmare, then tried shaking her head, biting her lip, pinching herself, and punching her shoulder but it didn't work; the pain only added up.
Dammit! she hissed, punching the ground in frustration. She couldn't believe that this was really happening. What happened while she was unconscious?
"You were a marvelous trainer, Wallace," Maxie kicked Wallace's dead body and dug his hands in his pockets. "I can't believe you would come up with a ridiculous theory about my father's death."
Sapphire felt her entire body tremble. She tried forcing herself to move but she couldn't; her legs were too weak and frozen to respond. Darn it! She shook her head and struggled to move her arm this time, hoping to get a Poke Ball from her fanny pack, but she couldn't feel any round device hanging on it. She bit her lip. How could she possibly help now? She was too frightened to move and her Poke Balls were suddenly nowhere to be found.
"Stop it, Maxie!" Winona jumped between Maxie and Wallace, with her injured Swellow beside her. She threw her arms in a protective stance.
Maxie greeted her with a glare. He ordered all five of his Houndoom to surround her. "You do realize that once you defended Wallace, your fate was sealed."
Winona bit her lip and panted. The corners of her eyes crinkled and she scowled at Maxie. "Then so be it."
Fear shrouded Sapphire's eyes, as she helplessly watched her master and the Swellow meet their demise by the Houndoom; one pierced its sharp claws in her chest, while the other bit her leg. Blood spewed out of her skin and her dead body collapsed to the ground.
The Houndoom backed off once they killed Winona and used Flamethrower to incinerate her, Wallace's, and Swellow's lifeless bodies.
Something inside Sapphire broke, and then, she attempted to stand up. "NO, MASTER!"
The Houndoom immediately stopped burning the bodies and glared at the tall grass in front of them. Maxie's stitched his eyebrows together, as he turned to stare at the patch of grass as well.
"Whoever it is, kill them."
The Houndoom howled and barked. Their legs stomped the ground and ran towards the tall grass.
Sapphire felt the adrenaline rush in her and ran away from the Houndoom. The tears in her eyes spilled and they joined the wind rushing at her face. Even so, she could still hear the Houndoom, making her pick up her pace, her heartbeat racing along with it. The only thing in her mind at the moment was escaping. She needed to get out of here as fast as she could. She had to hurry, too, before the Houndoom could manage to get her scent.
Her breath hitched in her throat at the thought, but she didn't care. The only thing she would mind was to run and escape. Run and escape. Run and escape.
She didn't know how long she was sprinting; it felt like hours and she only stopped when she reached Route 118.
She opened her mouth to gasp for breath while placing her hands on her knees. She closed her eyes so she could stay focused on listening to her surroundings. Thankfully, she heard no Houndoom cries nor howls. She exhaled and dropped to the ground, her fist punching it again.
She didn't understand why she ran away; it wasn't like her to do such a thing! Yet, something in her knew she couldn't face Maxie in her condition. But...what was Maxie doing there? She thought he disappeared along with Archie last year. Did she miss something? She felt her heart thumping wildly in her chest.
Was she...was she left out from an important mission again?
She vigorously shook her head and tried to concentrate; she could always deal with her personal matters later.
She bit her lip as hard as she could. Blood flowed out of it, but she didn't care. She took a deep breath. She needed to make sure that Ruby and her father were safe. But how would she even get to Littleroot? If she called her Tropius, the Houndoom could find her and proceed to chase her down. She needed to stay hidden and find another way to get to Littleroot quickly.
She breathed again to calm herself. She could do this; she had to. It is her job as the Hoenn Champion and as a Pokedex Holder to protect the region! Her hands traveled behind her fanny pack and tried to find a Poke Ball.
But just like earlier, there wasn't any.
She then went to open its zipper. She dug her hand in it and stopped when she found one. A surprised look was written all over her face when she saw who was inside of it.
Ruru the Gardevoir looked at Sapphire through the ball with a relieved smile on her face. Though seeing the blood on Sapphire's lower lip worried her.
Sapphire gritted her teeth and sent the Psychic-Fairy type out of the device. "Ruru?"
Ruru tilted her head and waited for her trainer's orders.
Sapphire had a lot of questions in her mind, but tried to remind herself about what she needed to do first. She could ask Ruru later. Right now, she needed to focus. She took in another breath and looked at Ruru with determined eyes, though Ruru could still see the fear, anxiety, and pain lingering in it. "Ruru, teleport me to Littleroot Town, please."
Ruru didn't hesitate; she activated her psychic powers and teleported Sapphire and herself to Littleroot Town.
Sapphire felt her heart rate increase again, like a drum banging a thousand times per second. She gulped, terror shrouding her aura, as more of her energy was being drained when she laid her eyes on Littleroot.
Everything was either burned or dismantled, just like the sight in Fortree, and that alone made her worried. This was her home; she grew up in this town...but what happened to it? Littleroot Town looked like a former war zone. "Ru...Ruru, what..." She took a deep breath, calming herself. "What happened?" she asked, her voice trembling in agony.
Ruru tilted her head, confused why the young trainer was unaware.
"What happened?" Sapphire's voice cracked and held Ruru's hand, begging her to say something, despite how impossible it was. "W-Why is Littleroot like this? Why is Hoenn like this? What happened?!"
Ruru's eyes widened. She scanned her surroundings to find a person who could explain Hoenn's current situation, but couldn't find any. She was left with no other choice. Taking a deep breath, she pointed at Sapphire's fanny pack.
This confused Sapphire. Her eyebrows furrowed and looked at her bag. "M-My bag?" She grabbed it and gave it to Ruru. "Why do ya want it?"
The Gardevoir didn't respond; she lifted her arms, using her psychic powers to find a certain item, whilst Sapphire just watched curiously. After a few moments, Ruru took out the thing she was searching for.
Sapphire's eyes flickered with surprise. "Team Magma's memory lighter? W-Why do I have that?"
Ruru looked more concerned than before, but brushed it off and concentrated on the task at hand. She opened it and let Sapphire watch the memories they had shared throughout the years.
Sapphire's eyes squinted as her mouth fell open; she couldn't believe what she was seeing.
The memories showed herself growing up with the same fancy dress she once wore as a child. Her mother was alive, and she didn't know why. Her father, on the other hand, wasn't the busy man he once was. And what shocked her most was the fact that she's performing in Pokemon Contests without Ruby. Instead of having Kiruru beside her, Ruru replaced the Gallade.
She held her breath, as more memories were shown in the memory lighter. Her catching a Ralts with her father, her mother baking her a birthday cake, her encounter with Wally on her journey instead of Ruby, and—
"Ahh!" Sapphire screamed and wrapped her trembling fingers around her head. It later started quivering as memories jumbled within, clashing with one another. It was too much for her mind to bear, which began to weaken her legs again, making her knees slowly drop onto the floor. The memories kept on clanging in her head and caused her to fall to the ground, her consciousness caving in.
"Ruby!" Sapphire jolted up from her makeshift bed and panted. Distress was still present in her eyes.
She dreamt about Ruby, but she couldn't remember anything else. All she knew was that he was calling her name. He looked scared and worried. She tried to holler his name, but she lost her voice and couldn't speak. She released another breath and threw her head back. She blinked and realized where she was. "Ruru!" She removed the blanket from her legs and stood up.
Ruru looked at her and dropped the berries she was holding. The Gardevoir immediately approached Sapphire and placed a hand on her shoulder, calming the young lady.
Sapphire breathed and smiled weakly. Her hand squeezed the Gardevoir's arm. "I'm fine, Ruru," She paused then bit her lip, looking down. "Or are ya really called Ruru?"
Ruru bobbed her head and Sapphire let out a sigh.
"I have to find Ruby."
Ruru blinked. She had no idea who this Ruby person was, but if it meant she could help her trainer, then she would do what she can. Her loyalty to Sapphire would never waver, despite how differently she was acting recently.
Sapphire stood up straight and cracked her knuckles. "Come on," She returned Ruru back to her Poke Ball before dashing off to find Ruby. She looked everywhere around Littleroot, but she couldn't find him. She was left with one choice: their secret base.
Ruru tapped the Poke Ball to check on the young lady. Her eyes were filled with worry. She had never seen her trainer this frantic before. Sapphire was usually calm and poised, despite the circumstances of the situation, and was usually not agitated like this.
Sapphire heard it and took Ruru's Poke Ball out with a weak smile on her face. "We'll see Ruby soon, Ruru, don't worry."
Ruru tapped the Poke Ball again. Ruby was the least of her concern; she was more anxious about Sapphire at this point.
Sapphire ran towards Route 101 and stopped when she reached a certain cavern. She was surprised to see it destroyed. Did this mean that someone wrecked this place? But why? Who would do such a thing? She grumbled, shaking her head in the process.
She gritted her teeth and continued inspecting the place until she heard a quiet sniffle inside the cave. "Ruby?!" she called and immediately went inside the cave, sending out Ruru along the way. "Ruby! Are ya there?!"
Ruby stopped sobbing once he heard his name. He stood up, due to the excitement and relief he felt surging in his body and turned around. He wiped the tears off his eyes. He felt more relieved when he saw Sapphire and Ruru running towards him. His breathing became uneasy as the corners of his mouth turned into a smile. He couldn't believe it; Sapphire is alive!
"Sa—" Before Ruby could finish saying her name, he felt Sapphire's hand slapping his cheek; it was unforeseen, stupefying, and painful.
Ruby backed off and almost tripped if it weren't for Kiruru placing his hands on his trainer's shoulder. He held his aching cheek and looked at her, scanning her from head to toe. He sighed in relief. At least she's alright, but why did she hit him? "Sapphire, why did—"
"Do ya realize whatcha did?!" Sapphire spat, her tone was cold and bitter. Her eyes were burning with anger.
Ruby was confused, however. What did he do? "W-What do you mean? I haven't done anything!"
Sapphire clenched her teeth and fists. "This is no time to say that ya forget things, idiot! Don't ya even try to pretend that ya forget it!"
"Sapph..." Ruby took a step closer, hoping he could hug her. Whatever just happened, he didn't know what it was, and if it was indeed his responsibility, then he deserved that slap on the cheek.
"Don't ya dare take a step closer to me or else I'll punch your pretty face this time!"
The Gardevoir glared at Ruby upon hearing this and stepped in between the couple.
Ruby stopped in his tracks and gulped. Did she just call his face pretty? And...why is Ruru prepared to attack him? He gritted his teeth and shook his head. No, focus, Ruby. He took a deep breath and straightened his posture. He then looked into Sapphire's eyes. "Sapph...I really have no idea what's going on. I don't know why Littleroot is destroyed. I don't know why I have Kiruru with me. I don't even know why our secret base is destroyed. I wish everything that happened today was nothing.—" He gulped. "—was nothing but a bad dream..."
"I hoped so too..." Sapphire mumbled and looked into Ruby's eyes. She could tell that he was really telling the truth. Ruby usually avoided her gaze whenever he was lying, and him looking straight into her eyes was enough proof that he was telling the truth. She took a deep breath and lowered her head. "...but it's not!"
Tears spilled from her eyes as she sobbed. Ruby and Ruru tried to calm her down. Ruru placed a hand on Sapphire's shoulder while Ruby immediately approached her and wrapped his arms around her for an embrace.
"Sapphire, it's okay," Ruby whispered in her ear and pulled her closer, letting her cry in his chest. He noticed Ruru kept on glaring at him, as Sapphire's tears soaked his shirt, but he didn't care. All he cares about now is to help Sapphire calm down and release her pent-up emotions. "I'm here now. You'll be okay, love. You're gonna be okay," He kissed her right temple, as one hand stroked her soft brown hair. He felt his lips curve into a frown.
He felt like he did something terrible again that disappointed her, but he had no idea how he would undo his huge mistake.
I know we can have like 14,000,605 versions of this fic but out of all of the 14,000,605, I see one good fic that'll satisfy me. Hopefully, you'll like this as well. I really wanna highlight Ruby and Sapphire's relationship in this fic which explains why the canon versions are both present.
For the reference of this fic, the 1st sentence is actually an Iron-Man reference. The hammer part. You know, when Tony built his first suit in a cave. Yeah...
Also, Ruby, it's not okay! Everyone's dead! D:
Another thing: I commissioned some art for this fic. One of them is this fic's cover photo while the other one was drawn by leyonnaise from twitter. Do give Coco and Ley a follow on twitter! Their art is great! :D
There's also a franticshipping discord server! DM me if you wanna join! ^^