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Pokémon Eleventh Hour

Oneshot

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
  2. absol-mega
  3. silvally-psychic
  4. custom/ninetales-phantump
  5. cosmog
Content warning for death, non-gratuitous blood and general grimness. I think the best way to make this warning clear is to quote my beta reader: “This made me feel weak. And powerless. And bitter. So it did a great job.”

PMD based, but the only PMD knowledge that should be needed is Super Mystery Dungeon’s Awakening/Mega Evolution mechanic: After a certain amount of time with the Mega-inducing Awakening status, a teammate will go berserk and lash out at their allies before returning to normal.

Ultimately, I hope it makes you feel the same way I felt writing it, and the same way my beta felt reading it.




Eleventh Hour:

Our story was supposed to have a happy ending.

Ever since I was little rockruff, I had wanted to be a hero. I wanted to give my mother a reason to be proud of her daughter, to be proud of me. I wanted to meet a human, so that I could be a hero alongside them.

It came true.

Gwyn was indeed no less than a dream come true. Clever, sweet, and most importantly: human. She was a chosen hero, I was sure of it. Of all the people she could have bonded with, she chose me. The two of us grew together until we were people I would never have recognized.

I went from being a timid little girl whose adventurousness existed only in dreams, to a bold and stalwart dusk lycanroc. She went from a closed-off, somber youth whose horn had yet even to grow to full length, to a friendly, charming adult. Those people we were so long many years ago feel so distant now...

Shortly after we finished our apprenticeships and formalized our team, I became infatuated with her. Once I told her, she reciprocated. From that point on, when the two of us were alone together, she’d begin to softly show affection. I cherished those moments.

When we discovered her purpose, though, all seemed lost. To defeat Darkrai, a renegade god who needed to be reigned in. One who could trap us alone in our nightmares and break our minds. We grew desperate.

The other gods promised us a solution. A blessing of Awakening.

To defeat Darkrai, one needed to protect themselves from his dark void and the nightmares that consumed everyone who succumbed to it. The blessing was a natural choice. Gwyn had become an Absol, her Awakened form repulsed and reflected such things.

It was a simple enough promise. The gods would bless her with a permanent state of Awakening, one that would not be ended in a fit of madness. In return, she would fulfil her purpose, me at her side.

We accepted readily. The tuft of fur on her head grew longer, framing her face nicely between it and her horn. Two patches of fur on her back extended out until they were long enough to look like wings. It made her more beautiful than ever before. “Angelic,” she would describe herself.

With the blessing granting us the protection of Gwyn’s Awakened form, we were able to defeat the god of nightmares. Our friends threw celebrations in our honour. The gods thanked us for upholding our end of the deal. We prepared to settle down and live the remainder of our lives together in peace.

—​

The so-called blessing put an end to those hopes.

We were not lied to. We were promised that Gwyn would be granted permanent Awakening. She would not fall into a fit of madness that would return her to a normal state. It was what we were given, but as the full strength of it wore off, we came to understand that it was not what we had assumed, either. Her Awakening was permanent... Her fits could not put an end to it.

We were not lied to, but we were deceived.

It was several months before the first fit manifested. Long enough that there had been time for word of our happy ending to spread across the world, for history to be written. Those close enough to have witnessed it first-hand knew of the betrayal, but the story was not spread like the one of our victory was. People didn’t want to hear the bitter ending.

As time passed, the power preventing Gwyn’s fits grew ever weaker, and the episodes grew more frequent. Monthly. Then every couple of weeks. Then every week. Now, they were sometimes happening twice in a single week, with no signs of slowing.

The gods who gave the accursed blessing lay silent, no response to be had for her plight. We were to them as tools that had outlived their purpose, a thing to be tossed aside once it became inconvenient.

I doubt they could fix it, anyways. If their power was what they claimed, they wouldn’t have needed humans to play hero for them, we mortals fighting at their sides. If their power was as great as they boast, stories like ours wouldn’t need to exist. As a child, I had never questioned why they needed humans to do their work for them. Now I know.

Without powers of myth, they use mortals like Gwyn and I to suppress dissent instead. Afterwards, we are discarded, left to our own devices. They care about us for as long as we’re helping to keep them in power. After that, we mean nothing.

—​

The fight drains out of her eyes once again. Her episodes are daily now, today she’s had two of them. Her fur is stained red in spots. So is mine. I don’t like hurting her, but I can’t afford to hold back against her.

“D-Dusk?”

I nod. “It’s me.”

She huffs. “I know it’s you. It’s just… I’m asking... I think we need to find a more permanent solution to this.”

I nod. “I know... I know... I just... What can we do? Put you in a cell when you have an episode, maybe? That way we could wait out the episodes instead of knocking you out of them.”

“That wouldn’t fix anything. It just keeps getting worse, faster and faster. It won’t be long before I only have an hour or two of sanity a day. Then it’ll be minutes. You know as well as I how I’ll end up. If we wait long enough, my moments of sanity will be so short they may as well not happen at all. I’m asking for a permanent solution.”

“I know. We all want a permanent solution. It’s just... There isn’t one.”

She glowers at me. “Dusk. Stop acting obtuse. You know where this is going. I... My episodes are so frequent now that the next one starts before my old wounds can heal. I’m in constant pain. My waking moments are spent worrying about the next episode, about who I might hurt if I’m left unwatched in the wrong place at the wrong time. The episodes themselves... You know how they feel. I’ve told you before, I hate being stuck watching as my body does things I can’t control.”

She shudders. “I don’t want to live like that just so that I can be “alive” and everyone else can feel warm and fuzzy because I’m still breathing.”

I do see where this is going. I don’t want to go there, though.

“So. I think I have one more night left in me. I would like to spend it with you. Now, can I trust you to do what I need you to do?”

Tears well up in my eyes. “Yes.”

—​

The fight drains out of her eyes for the last time. This time, though, they don’t return to normal. They have a hollow expression. An unblinking stare.

The hill where we watched the stars come out together is now stained red with blood. It had been a beautiful place. In this moment, though, it is spoiled.

I hold her broken body close, weeping softly into her fur until exhaustion pulls me into sleep…

When I wake, only one of our bodies will be warm.
 
Last edited:

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
  5. custom/meowth-laura
  6. custom/delphox-jesse
Hi, Phan! This is the first time I've read your writing outside of BLC, and I wanted to check this out while it was fresh. Oneshots are always interesting!

Regarding your prose, the technical quality of the writing, the weight of the dialogue, and the poignancy of the narration are all excellent. However, what stood out overwhelmingly about this piece is that it's almost all a retrospective synopsis. It feels almost epistolary, in fact. Showing, rather than telling, the reader about all these events in full scenes of descriptive prose would inflate the wordcount, to be sure, but I was expecting more of the tail end of the story to be fleshed out in that way. I also note that you flipped tense in a way that actually feels justified, so well done there. Nevertheless, while I may have my stylistic preferences, I think you executed this method perfectly well. Nice work.

Regarding the story, it's a bit on the nose and not difficult to guess at the tragic conclusion, and I generally don't buy into relationships without some specific lived experiences to feel an attachment over. How I get invested in ships is more on the brush stroke level than the big picture, and this is all big picture stuff. Nevertheless, it's a sweet pairing, and a bitter end. I'm still kindof a sucker for this sort of trope, where a character takes on a Faustian bargain in order to achieve an obligation, only to suffer for it, and especially for one character to beg for a mercy kill from someone. The final line is just indirect enough to be really painful. This was delicious, and a well-deserved quag.
 
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