I ended up updating earlier than expected, but oh well, haha. I'm too lazy to grind in Pokemon Masters. sjfksd
Chapter 3 - The Reason
Ruby pursed his lips, as he held Sapphire tightly in his arms; one hand continued caressing her hair, while the other continued pressing their bodies together. He took a deep breath, as he heard another whimper from her. "It's okay, I'm here," He kissed her cheek, hoping it would at least calm her.
He had never seen Sapphire cry so much. The last time he'd seen her like this was when... No...no, this can't be. He held Sapphire's head and hugged her tighter, yet at the same time, giving her some space to breathe properly.
She had never cried these much tears since the Salamence attacked them. And the worst part? He was the one responsible for this. He hated himself for causing such a thing. He deserved more than a slap on the cheek. "You're gonna be okay..." he whispered, his tone sounded comforting and sad simultaneously.
Minutes felt like an eternity. The forest of Route 101 was quiet; not a single noise from Pokemon playing or running around could be heard. It was different from the ones they got used to throughout the years.
A hand was placed on Ruby's soaked chest. Ruby blinked and looked at it, only to see Sapphire pushing him away from her. "Sapphire," he mumbled her name ever so gently, but it was countered with another strong push. "Hey, Sapph, it's okay. I won't hurt you, please, calm down!"
"Remove your arms around me or I'll punch you in the face," she quipped bitterly.
Ruby felt shivers run through his spine. His eyes wandered around her beautiful face, and all he saw was frustration and pain lingering in it. Her eyes were soggy and bloodshot red from the tears she spilled; it almost matched the color of his own eyes and he hated it.
She shouldn't cry, and if she were to cry, he would prefer tears of joy and not like this.
"Let go of me now!" Sapphire shoved him away, causing his bottom to land on the ground with a thud. His eyes went round like a plate.
"Sapphire, what's going on?" He stood up from the fall, with Kiruru assisting him. He looked and nodded at the Gallade before taking a step closer to Sapphire, but she spat another warning before his shoe could touch the ground.
"Didn't ya hear what I just said?!" Sapphire stood up with her clenched fists while Ruru stood beside her, glaring at Ruby. "If ya came closer then I'll punch ya this time! I don't care if I manage to break a bone in your body!"
Ruby took a step back and gulped. He didn't have a choice now, did he? "Sapph, please..."
"How come ya don't remember whatcha did?!" she yelled, her angry tone echoed around the cavern. It was enough to scare everyone around her, even Ruru.
"I-I don't know," Ruby tried to take another step closer out of impulse, but Kiruru placed a hand on his shoulder and pulled him away. "All I remember is waking up seeing Littleroot all chaotic and messed up! I was worried where you'd gone, though. I-I searched everywhere for you, and when I thought you collapsed with this cave—" He gasped for breath as Kiruru's hold around him tightened. "I'm sorry. Whatever I did, I...I'm sorry..."
Sapphire's face darkened. She grabbed a rock from the ground and crushed it with her bare hands. It did nothing but to surprise Kiruru and Ruru even further.
Kiruru slowly pulled Ruby away again while Ruru tried patting Sapphire's shoulder.
"I wish your apology can fix this," she mumbled and grabbed another rock. This time, it was larger than the one she shattered. Ruru tried to stop Sapphire, but Sapphire raised a hand. The Gardevoir just sighed and backed off. "...but it can't."
Sapphire punched the rock, and it broke into pieces. Kiruru watched in horror, wondering how this girl could destroy stones like it was nothing. "Why did you do it? Why did ya use Celebi to go back in time? What did ya change?!"
Ruby's breathing stopped. His heartbeat became fast as memories started immersing in his head.
He remembered now.
Once Ruby made it to Littleroot Town, he immediately went to Professor Birch's Laboratory. He was surprised to see the scientist on his desk, doing some research on his computer, yet, at the same time, he was thankful that the professor was around.
Ruby came here for a reason. He recalled how Professor Birch approached him days ago about a certain Pokemon called Celebi. The Charmer only told him that he caught the Pokemon when he was younger then released it five years ago. He didn't know that he would go to the professor this time and ask him the same question.
With a held breath, Ruby went closer to the professor and stood behind him. "Professor, do you know where Celebi is?"
Professor Birch stopped typing and turned the rolling chair around to look at Ruby. "Why the sudden curiosity, son?"
The Contest Master shrugged and folded his arms across his chest, trying to play it casually. If the professor found out that he planned on doing something crucial with the Pokemon, he might stop him and he didn't want that. He was doing this for Sapphire, after all. "I just...wanna know where to find it. Plus, you've been busy lately."
"Ah," Professor Birch scratched his head while chuckling happily. "Did Sapphire tell you that I'm having trouble finding Celebi? I hope she's not—you know—beating herself up. She still has her job as the champion; she didn't need to help find Celebi for me."
"She's alright, Professor," Ruby smiled, yet somehow in him, his heart sank. She may seem alright physically, but emotionally, she wasn't doing well. "She defeated another challenger."
Professor Birch laughed, louder this time. "That's my daughter! She's really serious about becoming a long-time Champion like your senior Red!" He placed a hand on his belly and grabbed a file on his desk. He gave it to Ruby. "Since you provided some info about Celebi, here's the file, if you're interested. Tell Sapphire that I won't be busy soon. I promise."
Ruby bobbed his head and looked at the files. It seemed complicated. He needed someone's help with this since Professor Birch is busy, but who could it be?
"Oh, and Ruby," Ruby went out of his trance and looked at the Professor. He saw the professor smiling at him, and it somehow made him feel slightly better. "Thanks for taking care of Sapphire for me. Now, I know you're her boyfriend, and I approve of your relationship, but please, don't hide anything from her. She's empathetic and will always try her best to understand you."
Ruby bit his lip and nodded. Was the professor trying to tell him something? "I-I will," He bowed and clenched his left fist. "I promise, professor."
Ruby was lucky enough that Crystal was in Hoenn. She was able to help him with his quest to find Celebi. Of course, being the responsible person she was, Crystal asked Ruby for his reasoning for the search, but Ruby only said that he wanted to thank it for reversing time and saving everyone in Hoenn when Archie and Maxie summoned Kyogre and Groudon respectively.
Crystal didn't quite understand it, but she decided to help him, nonetheless. It was an exclusive research task from Professor Birch, and she didn't want to miss her chance.
It took them a week, with Ruby convincing Crystal to talk to Silver and the museum manager so he can have both feathers, but they managed to find Celebi. It was wandering around Route 119 in Hoenn, and the reason was unknown. Crystal wasn't there to witness the event since she had to tell Silver why Ruby wanted the feather.
"Ruby, before I go, why are you so desperate to find Celebi?" Crystal asked.
Ruby took a deep breath and clenched his fists. Should he tell her the truth?
"Ruby," Crystal called his name again, but in a much stricter tone. "Tell me. I helped you find Celebi and my last request is to know why you want to find it."
Ruby sighed and turned around, smiling. It was his fake smile and he hoped Crystal wouldn't notice it. He held his hat. "I wanna thank it for helping me all those years ago."
Crystal bit her lip and fell into deep thought until her Pokegear's ringtone snapped her out of it. She sighed and picked it up. "Hello? Silver?"
Ruby's smile faded. He took this chance and left Crystal alone to deal with Silver on the phone.
Celebi immediately approached Ruby upon recognizing him, and he tried to convince Celebi to open a time portal to a certain event he wanted to change. Celebi couldn't understand why he wanted to do such a thing, yet it followed its former master's request.
Ruby went inside the time portal, shoving the feathers in his left pocket, before hopping in to change an event that happened in the past.
"I went back in time..." Ruby said, his legs started to become wobbly, as Kiruru held his trainer tightly. "I...I made it to where...t-to where that certain event didn't happen, and..." He gulped and looked into Sapphire's eyes. He could see how surprised and disappointed she is. "I didn't mean for things to turn out like this. I just changed one thing in the past."
Silence fell beneath them, making Ruby uncomfortable. He was expecting to receive another punch, but Sapphire just stood frozen on the ground.
"Do ya remember what my mother told me when I was little?" Sapphire asked after a moment of silence. Her head was still lowered, looking at the pile of stones she'd crumbled, as her fists continued trembling.
Ruby inhaled deeply and nodded. "I do," He paused, biting his lip. Why did he have to be reminded of that statement again? It's not that he hates it, but why must he recall it now that everything was too late? "It's..." He stopped and crouched down, his left hand gripping the dry soil on the ground.
Kiruru bent his legs and placed a hand on Ruby's shoulder. He didn't understand the entire going back in time concept, but his trainer did it with good intentions! He had to have a good heart to do it, right?
Ruby chewed his lower lip and patted Kiruru's hand. "Your mom told you that...that we have to accept the things we cannot change...have the courage to change the things we can and..." He gulped. "Have the wisdom to know the difference."
"At least ya remember that," Sapphire muttered, a tad happy that he recalled one of the most important things she told him, and folded her arms across her chest. "We can't change the past, Ruby, that's what I learned from my mother's words. We just have to move on from it," she paused to breathe deeply. "But why did ya go back in time? What did ya change? I should've...I should've arrived early when ya told me to. I could've stopped ya." She grumbled and drew her lower lip between her teeth.
Ruby was able to send her a text message in her Pokegear on the day he went back in time with Celebi. Sapphire was able to follow him in the time portal; however, she was too late.
When she reached Ruby, he managed to change something in the past. She wasn't able to see it but she saw a glimpse of their young selves playing and having fun like they were supposed to on that certain day. She had a hunch on what he specifically changed but opted to not jump into conclusions.
"It's not your fault, Sapphire," Ruby stood up and approached her.
Kiruru was alarmed and stopped Ruby, but the young man didn't listen; he continued approaching Sapphire and stopped when they were inches away from each other.
Ruru glared at Ruby, while Kiruru placed a hand in front of Ruru to stop those piercing eyes at his trainer.
"Don't blame yourself; it's my fault." He grabbed her hand, but Sapphire slapped it away. He frowned and ran a hand through his hat. His eyes widened when he felt no rough patches on his forehead. Frightened, he quickly removed his hat and ran his hand on a certain spot on his head. Why was he so dumbstruck now that his scars were gone? Shouldn't he have expected it? "My scars...they're...they're gone..."
Sapphire gritted her teeth and took his hat away from him. She finally looked at him and was shocked to see no scars on his head. Her breathing became faster at that along with her heartbeat. She was at least grateful that those terrible scars were gone; however, she was tormented from the fact that the present had to change for the worst in order for those scars to become nonexistent. "You stopped the Salamence from attacking us."
Ruby swallowed hard and nodded. "I did..."
"I didn't want you to be traumatized any longer," Ruby replied and took a deep breath. "The Salamence is the reason why you developed your self-doubt and insecurities. It's the reason why you almost lost that battle to Zinnia last year. It's been holding you back and I can't bear to see you like that. You deserve to live a happy and trauma-free life! I—" he stopped once he felt Sapphire's fist on his cheek. He backed off and held it with Kiruru supporting his shoulders. Kiruru shot a glare at Sapphire while Ruru returned it.
"Zinnia is helping me heal from that, did ya forget?!" Sapphire looked at her trembling right fist and then the spot where she punched Ruby's cheek. She couldn't believe he let his fear cloud his judgment again. If he didn't trust Zinnia, then she could accept that, but why did he make her feel like he didn't trust her? Why did he have to decide things out of fear again? "I'm trying my hardest to heal from that traumatic experience! I challenge Zinnia's Salamence for a Pokemon battle every other week. She let me borrow it so I can spend my time with it and...don't ya...don't you trust me?! Why did ya think that going back in time will fix everythin'?!"
Tears spilled from her eyes, as she placed her palms on it to stop them from flowing. Ruru was alarmed by this and patted her trainer's shoulder gently. "Even if I'm still healing from it, did you even consider how happy I am?! I'm happy to be your girlfriend and best friend! I'm happy that you're trying your best to be vulnerable around me! I'm happy to be the current Hoenn Champion and a Dexholder at the same time! I'm happy, even if my mother isn't around anymore! I'm happy, despite how busy my father is with his work! Did you even consider how would I feel or react when you decided to go back in time?!"
Her last words struck Ruby like lightning. His heart thumped loudly as he lowered his head, looking at the ground. He closed his eyes. Tears soon spilled out. "I didn't..." he spoke quietly and gritted his teeth. He made it look like he didn't trust her and that wasn't his intention; it never was nor would be. Sapphire is the only person he trusted; she was the only one who makes him feel comfortable about himself, despite the circumstances.
He hated that he managed to hurt her trust in him again. He wished Kiruru would just punch him like what Sapphire did to him. He deserved it, after all. "I'm sorry... I...I thought things would be better than before if I stopped that Salamence from attacking us."
"It's way worse than ya thought," Sapphire said through gritted teeth, while Ruby looked at her with curiosity piquing in his teary eyes. What else did his actions change? "I saw my master die in front of me. Fortree is a mess, just like Littleroot! And Maxie...he's alive. He's the one who killed my master, while I watched there helplessly. He...He also killed yer master."
Ruby's eyes widened in horror. Maxie did...what? No...it couldn't be. His master was a strong trainer! There was no way he would lose to Maxie!
"My Pokemon aren't here either," the brunette continued. "I only have Ruru with me like ya have Kiruru with you. You changin' the past changed everythin' in the present, Ruby, and it changed it for the worse!"
She took a deep breath and grabbed his shirt collar, pulling him off from the ground. Kiruru tried to attack her (with Ruru placing her hands together, preparing to attack as well), but Ruby placed his hand on Kiruru's to stop him.
"Kiruru, don't. Don't hurt her, please."
Kiruru looked at Ruby then at Sapphire. His arms trembled as he dropped it, giving up. If that's what his trainer wanted, then he would do it.
Ruby gulped then sighed in relief when Kiruru yielded. He looked at Sapphire and placed his hands on top of hers. If she's going to punch him again, then he deserved it. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to. I thought I was doing the right thing. I only wanted to give you the happy life you deserve."
Sapphire grumbled and gently placed him on the ground. She buried her head in his chest and cried. Ruby didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around her. "You have good intentions, Ruby, but changin' a certain event in the past isn't the answer. It will never be..." she said while sobbing.
Ruby held her close as they both cried. Ruru and Kiruru just stood helplessly as they watched their trainers embracing each other. They didn't quite understand what kind of relationship they had (despite Sapphire mentioning that she is Ruby's girlfriend), but the look on Ruby's eyes confirmed that he cares about Sapphire more than anything else. And if he did care about her, why would he do such a thing?
"We have to find Celebi," she choked after a few moments while gripping his shirt. "We have to stop yourself from changing the past." She sobbed and removed herself from Ruby. She took a deep breath as she wiped her tears. "This is not our Hoenn."
Ruby breathed and stood up. He looked into her eyes; determination and agony lingered in them. It was enough to make his mouth curve into a frown. This is all his fault. He may have changed the past, but he made the present into a living hell. He has to find Celebi and bring everything back the way it should be.
A day before.
Maxie looked at the dead bodies in front of him and scanned them from head to toe. He thought how pathetic it was that Hoenn lost another pair of strong trainers.
And it all happened because they accused him of killing the head of the Pokemon Association. He broke his gaze on the burned bodies once he heard barks and cries coming towards him. He sighed. "You didn't find that person, did you?"
The Houndoom trembled and howled. They didn't even get that person's scent; they ran too fast for them, despite being a human.
"I see," Maxie placed a hand on his chin and stomped his foot on the ground. The Houndoom backed off and cried. Their master is already scary when he's mad. "Whoever that person is, you will kill them next time, alright?" The Houndoom bobbed their heads. "Good," He took a deep breath and turned around. "Dispose of their bodies. I don't like seeing their filthy faces."
The five fire-dark types howled. They all dug a hole, large enough for the three lifeless bodies to fit, before dumping them in it. They buried them afterwards and followed their master, as soon as they finished their job.
Maxie slammed the door open in his office and caused it to hit the wall. The Houndoom then dashed into the room and went to their food bowls, hoping their master would feed them. But as they observed Maxie, he ignored them and sat on his chair. They all tried to get their master's attention, but he glared at them. They all cowered in fear, as their fur raised from the back of their necks and their tails tucked between their hind legs. "Since you let that person get away, you won't have any food unless I say so."
"Maxie!" A woman in her mid-sixties went into his office. She had a mix of white and red hair, the same colors as Maxie's, and a terrifying expression on her face. She was wearing a baggy shirt and pants, fit for an old lady like herself.
Maxie placed his hands on the desk and stood up, watching the old woman approach him. "What is it, mother? I'm busy."
"Busy?" the woman cried, as tears welled up in her eyes. "Hoenn is experiencing droughts, just like what happened when Groudon controlled you! What's going on? I thought things would be better when you took over as head of the Pokemon Association."
"I'm figuring it out, mother. I'm doing what I can," Maxie replied and held his mother's hand, squeezing it gently. His eyes were converted from anger to sympathy.
"I heard the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four are attacking you as well. I don't know what to believe anymore. Ever since your father went missing, I—"
"Don't mention that man under my presence!" Maxie spat and squeezed his mother's hand so tight that it hurt her. He noticed this and removed his hand on hers. He then looked at his shaking hands. "I...I'm sorry, mother," he muttered and panted.
"Maxie," His mother held his hands again, but he shoved her hands away. His mother persisted though, held his hands, and patted them, hoping her son would calm down. "Please, tell me what's going on. Where is your father? Where did he go? Why is Hoenn like this? Littleroot and Fortree are suffering. Please," She placed her hand on his chin, making him look at her. "Tell me the truth."
Maxie sighed and removed his mother's hands on him. He turned around and dug his hands in his pockets. He took a deep breath. "He's gone."
His mother furrowed her eyebrows, as her mouth opened widely. "What?"
"He's dead, as he should be." Maxie spun around and saw how terrified his mother was. He bit his lip. "Why aren't you happy?"
"Maxie, he's your father. He's my husband. Why would I—"
"He abused you!" Maxie spat coldly and clenched his fists. "I don't understand why you are willing to let that man abuse you, let alone staying in the same house with him!" His fist met the desk, causing the Houndoom to run out of the office. His mother continued quivering. Tears fell from her eyes. "He got what he deserved."
"How long has your father been dead? How did he die? I demand to know! Does the Pokemon Association Community even know about this?"
Maxie shrugged. "He's better off forgotten, and I suggest you do the same."
"You didn't answer my question!"
"That doesn't matter!" Maxie slammed his hand on the desk again. "He's been mistreating you all his life! He's been forcing me to follow his footsteps and I had enough of it! He and his ridiculous legacy must die!"
"Then why did you take his position as the head of the Pokemon Association?" His mother placed his hand on his chest, gripping his shirt. "Please, son, you're not like this."
Maxie bit his lip and removed her hands from his. "Mother, he turned me into this. Hoenn is in chaos because of him, and I'm trying to fix it."
"Don't lie to me, son, please, I—"
"Mother, I have to work. Let's discuss this after dinner." Maxie grabbed her hand and called his assistant. A man in his thirties approached Maxie and bowed at his boss.
"Blaise, take my mom to our house safely. Oh, and tell Courtney to meet me here in thirty minutes."
Blaise nodded. "Sure thing, boss," He placed a hand on Maxie's mother. "Come on, ma'am."
Maxie's mother looked at her son before sighing. She nodded and followed Blaise outside.
Maxie used his hands to shut the door loudly. He groaned and punched the wall. He didn't understand why his mother wasn't happy. He killed his own father because he had enough of his treatment. He had tried to let his father's legacy die, since he brought nothing but shame to Hoenn. Now he was even trying to fix Hoenn using his father's position, because of the unfair rules the Pokemon Association made.
Unfortunately, people like Winona and Wallace were against him and tried to change his views. When they found out that he killed his own father, they tried to arrest him. How dare they do such a thing?! He was saving them from an abusive leader! They should thank him!
He took a deep breath and fixed his clothes. He then turned to his laptop.
Memories of how his father physically abusing his mother flashed in his mind.
He remembered how he couldn't help but watch in horror. He tried to stand up just so he could protect his mother, but his father punched him in the gut, making him lose his consciousness.
He remembered waking up on that same day. There were wounds on his mother's face, but she didn't wipe the sweat and blood on her skin; she cared more about waiting for him to wake up, just to know if he's alright.
The only people who were nice to him were his mother and his best friend, Archie. His father may be a good man in an outsider's perspective, but he had seen and experienced something much worse.
He shook his head at that, biting his lip. He couldn't understand why his mother couldn't be happy; he got rid of her abuser. If he told her about the emergency phase of his plan, he knew she would decline. But he didn't have any options left; it would be risky, but he was willing to do whatever it takes to save his mother.
Whatever it takes.
"Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference." So yay the original line from the Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox movie made it here, haha. I own nothing. That line is beautiful. ;w;
"Whatever it takes." - yes an Avengers: Endgame reference. ;v;
MCU Thanos was the biggest inspiration in creating Alternate Maxie. I want Maxie to be the type of villain who thinks he's doing what's best/right for his mother and for Hoenn. Hopefully, I will do well with this 'cause writing villains is always the hard part for me.
Not sure when the next chapter will be but it's definitely one of my faves and I had a lot of fun writing it. My favorite alternate version of one character will be there too, so :3c
There's also a franticshipping discord server! Feel free to DM me for the invite link!