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They can help you get through a journey in hell.
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Friends.
Make sure you value them.
  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: Backseat of a Greyhound Bus
  • Watching: The Illusionist
  • Eating: Shish Kabob

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Fire-Star-Bird
Call Me "Ghost"
Artist | Hobbyist
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A teenage girl. Who is most definitely NOT NORMAL. :giggle:
Prefer to use the computer and write rather than draw ^^;
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Bright Eyes by Fire-Star-Bird


  Client: Dame Blissey, Pokémon Orphanage

  Job: Please take the baby Pokémon out trick-or-treating! I would take them myself, but I can’t, and I don’t want them going off by themselves, as it has been dangerous recently. They shouldn’t be too much trouble and they really love candy!

  Location: Chūshin Town, Southeastern Isles

  Reward: 15,000 Poké

~*~*~*~

     “Why are we doing this?” Eve asked as Team Bright Star made their way through a crowded square. There were Pokémon everywhere, laughing, shouting, and trying masks on from vendors in the area. There were games nearby, like bobbing for apples, and trying to eat fried pastries off strings. Young Pokémon wearing different costumes were wandering around, and some of the youngest Pokémon were dragging parents along behind them.

     “Because it'll be fun.” Justin argued stubbornly. He was aware of the Zorua's feelings. She was always hesitant to try something new or unknown.

     “We spent how long traveling here?” Riley tried to make a point as he squeezed between two Hitmontop. “And we were supposed to be teaming up with Team Patch to explore the tunnels under Treeshroud Forest. What about that? That was our first obligation!”

     “Chillax Riley, I sent a message to Fenbi. Besides,” Justin cast a look over his shoulder, “you guys need to experience Halloween at its best. This, “he gestured around them, “is Halloween. Costumes. Candy. Games. Fun.”

     “But what about ghosts?” Anna asked innocently.

     “No ghosts!” Justin suppressed the shiver that went through him. He knew the Vulpix was teasing him, added to the fact that she loved any type of ghost story.

     Being the only member of Team Bright Star who had real memories of Halloween, Justin had been happy to accept a job regarding one of his favorite holidays. The others weren’t, and the Eevee knew why.

     Riley had never had a reason to celebrate before meeting Anna (Justin gave a small chuckle). Eve had never even heard of Halloween before coming to the world of Akarui Tochi. And Anna...didn't remember anything from her life before...coming from the future. So the Eevee was taking the opportunity to help them experience Halloween the way he had as a youngster.

     “This way.” Justin led them to the edge of the crowd, and down one of the streets. Immediately, the light dimmed, and the street became less crowded. A group of giggling kids ran down the street toward the festival, bags of treats clutched in their mouths.

     Eve’s eyes followed them. It never ceased to amaze her how calm Pokémon in this world were in each other’s presence. Everything was based on trust. Their trust allowed them to wander dark streets with each other, with no fear of being backstabbed. It was never like that in the world she had come from. It was every Pokémon for him or herself.

     Eve also didn’t understand the concept of festivals and holidays. Why waste materials that can be used for better purposes? But she knew that was just her instincts talking. Instincts that remained from the world she had grown up in. Here...they can enjoy life...and not have to fight for it. And that is why... she looked at her teammates ahead of her, we have to fight to make sure everything is right.

     “Here we are!” Justin announced, looking at the building in front of them. It was modest, nothing fancy, but there were obvious signs of wear on the supporting beams and around it. A sign hung on the door.

     ‘WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS HOPE’ it said. Carved pumpkins surrounded the door, each with their own silly face. They were crude, done by inexperienced paws, but it made a small smile appear on Eve’s face. Justin knocked, then backed up to stand next to his teammates.

     “Yes?” Blissey opened the door, holding a bowl of candy in her arms, expecting more trick-or-treaters. Instead, four teenage Pokémon stood in front of her. An Eevee, Vulpix, Riolu, and Zorua. Then she blinked when she realized they didn’t like their individual species. Red eyes and fur. Blue eyes. Yellow fur and eyes. Green eyes. What the...?

     “We’re Team Bright Star. You’re Dame Blissey?” Riley stepped forward, taking charge. Their color-traits were unnatural, but all four of them were used to the confusion other experienced because they didn’t look like a normal Eevee, Riolu, Vulpix, or Zorua.

     “Are you the ones who accepted my request?” Blissey asked, relaxing.

     “Yep!” Justin grinned.

     “But you’re so young!” She exclaimed before she could stop herself. All four color-traited Pokémon gave small laughs.

     “We get that a lot.” Justin rolled his eyes, a grin on his face.

     “Here’s our badge.” Riley unclipped their exploration badge from his bag, but Blissey held up a paw.

     “It’s fine. I was just surprised. Please, come in.” She opened the door a little wider, allowing them to enter the orphanage.

     For an old building, it was surprisingly well kept and neat on the inside. Small, multicolored tapestries hung from the plain white wall, and baskets of berries were stacked against the wall. The dirt flooring was packed down, and a few threadbare mats were spread on the floor. Blissey set down her bowl of caramelized berries.

     “I’m glad to see you. I was worried that no one accepted my request. The children would have been so disappointed.”

     “Yep. That would’ve been shit.” Justin nodded, and Anna whacked him in the shoulder.

     ‘Language. There are children present.’ The Vulpix warned him.

     “I’m Riley.” The Riolu did introductions. “This is Anna,” he gestured to the Vulpix who stood faithfully at his left side, “Justin,” the Eevee grinned, “and Eve.” The Zorua gave a small nod.

     “And you already know who I am.” Blissey gave a small laugh. “And you know you’ll be taking three baby Pokémon trick-or-treating. They can be a handful, but they have good hearts.” She turned to a doorway that was covered by a sheet. “Pichu! Cleffa! Azurill! It’s time for you to go!”

     “CANDY!!!” Three blurs shot through the doorway, tackling Blissey.

     “Mama, mama!!” A Cleffa dressed in green and pink bounced up and down. “We’re ready, we’re ready!!”

     “We’ve been ready! For a long time!!” A Pichu wiggled excitedly and small sparks of electricity burst from the pouches on his cheeks.

     “Please, let us go!!” A small Azurill clad in blue and gold scampered around Blissey. “We want candy!”

     “CANDY!!” The other two took up the cry. Justin cracked up and his seniors couldn’t stop the smiles from reaching their faces. Only Eve remained hesitant. She had never seen children this energetic

     “Calm down!” Blissey said firmly, placing a paw of Cleffa and Azurill’s heads. When the three baby Pokémon had stopped moving so fast, she pointed in Team Bright Star’s direction. “These nice Pokémon are going to take you trick-or-treating. Now go say hello.”

     “Hey there!” Pichu scampered toward Riley and took a flying leapt into his arms. “I’m Shinx! ‘row!” Riley laughed as electric sparks rained from the overexcited electric type as he wiggled the blue ears attached to the real ones.

     “I’m Riley.”

     “Check out my tail!!!” Pichu reached behind him and showed Riley the yellow star attached to his tail, which was dyed blue.

     “Cool!"

     “Hello.” Cleffa had approached Anna, and was staring up into the Vulpix’s blue eyes. “I’m...” She shut her eyes and pretended to concentrate, “Kirlia!! Teleport!” She jumped onto Anna’s back. “Tah-dah!” She adjusted the horn on her forehead, and smoothed her silky skirt.

     “Incredible.” She laughed. “Soy Anna.”

     “Ah-nah.”

     “Ann-ah.” The Vulpix tried to clarify.

     “An-nah?”

     “Close enough.” ‘An-nah’ giggled.

     “You have a friend.” Justin grinned. Anna smiled, and pointed behind him.

     “You too.”

     “Hello.” Justin peeked under his tail to see Azuril staring up at him. “I am the mighty Empoleon!” He adjusted his fork-shaped headband, blushing. Justin scooped up the Polka Dot Pokémon and stuck him on his back.

     “Justin.”

     “Can I stay with you, Mister Justin?” Azuril asked innocently.

     “Sure.” He looked over at Eve, who looked slightly unsure. “Come on over Eve.”

     “I am good, thank you.” Eve shuffled nervously. They were so energetic, she wasn’t sure she could handle them.

     “Try to have them back by eight.” The Happiness Pokémon said with a smile on her face. “Bedtime is still eight-thirty.”

     “Aw mama.” Cleffa whined.

     “Come on, come on!!” Pichu leapt out of Riley’s arms and tugged the Emanation Pokémon toward the door. “We need to go, we need to go!!” The other two took the hint.

     “Candy!!”

     “CANDY!!”

     “Behave for Team Bright Star.” Blissey told them as they made their way to the door, tugging their respective guardians along. “No going crazy.”

     “Yes mama!” They promised. “Let’s go!!” They grabbed the bags and ran out the door. Eve slowly followed, wondering what she had gotten into.

~*~*~*~

     “Trick-or-treat!!” They yelled, bags outstretched.

     “Oh my!” The Gardevoir smiled, examining the little Pokémon before her. “Aren’t you so cute?!” Her eyes fell on Cleffa. “Oh, you look like my daughter, before she grew up!! Gallade, come look at this!” She called into the house, putting pawfuls of candy into their bags. “Look at her!”

     “Cute.” The Gallade agreed. “You kids enjoying yourselves tonight?”

     “YEAH!!”

     “That’s wonderful!” Gardevoir spotted Team Bright Star behind them. “Oh, do you want candy too?” She offered.

     “We’re taking them trick-or-treating.” Riley explained. How many times are we going to have to say that tonight? Anna wondered as surprise flashed over Gardevoir and Gallade’s faces.

     “You’re so young, to take such a responsibility! Good job!” Gardevoir handed them each a piece of candied berry.

     “Gracias.” Anna ducked her head.

     “Yah, thank you.” Riley agreed, and the whole group chorused their thanks.

     “Let’s go An-nah!” Cleffa yelled, and they continued onto the next house.

     “Happy Halloween!” Justin called to Gardevoir and Gallade.

     “You too!!”

     Eve stuck the berry in her mouth. Pecha. She decided as the flavors exploded in her mouth, one after the other. The food had an unfamiliar texture and taste, different from how Chimecho used to make it, and how Anna or herself prepared it. But...it’s...so good.

~*~*~*~

     “Trick-or-treat!!”

     “Happy Halloween.” The Chimchar that opened the door grinned, eyes sparkling with excitement. “Here you go!” He handed each of them a small bag of Rare Candy, causing the baby Pokémon to squeal with delight.

     “Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!” They bounced up and down, carefully putting the candy bags in their goodie sack.

     “Having a good night?” Anna asked as Cleffa jumped onto her back, laughing.

     “Yep. You?”

     “Couldn’t be better!” Anna wiggled, causing Cleffa to giggle crazily.

     “To the next house!!” Azuril was having trouble with his bag of candy, so Justin placed it on his back.

     “Have a bueno noche!” Anna called out, and even though he didn’t understand it, the Chimchar nodded.

     It was something Eve had noticed. Everyone was in a good mood. There were no sad faces, no insult being traded. Someone wished the best for someone else, and vice-versa. It was a strange thing to do...but Eve liked it.

~*~*~*~

     “CANDY!!!” The little Pokémon rushed up to where a bowl of fried pastries sat.

     “HOLD IT!!” Riley ordered, stepping in their way. “One each,” he said firmly, looking each of them in the eye.

     “But-But-”

     “You can’t be greedy.” Riley said calmly. “Think about other Pokémon. They wouldn’t get anything. Is that fair?” There was a chorus of no’s as they looked down at their feet. “Good.” Riley removed three pastries and placed one in each bag. “Where to next?”

     “Over there!” Pichu pointed to a house that was surrounded by carved pumpkins. “Hurry, hurry!!”

     ‘It’s important to teach them manners.’ Anna explained to Eve, sending her thoughts telepathically. ‘If we don’t, it’ll only get worse.’

     I see... Eve nodded more to herself than to anyone else. If they are not taught any better, they will never know right from wrong. These Pokémon... she looked at the little Pokémon they were in charge of, don’t have parents. Their only adult is Dame Blissey, but she’s only one Pokémon. It’s up to us to help.

     ‘Exacto.’ Anna nodded, smiling.

     Eve watched the little Pokémon go up to the next house and strike their poses as one of them knocked. It looks so fun...and they’re little, so it’s more fun. But like any child, they need to be protected. It’s important. They...they’re young enough to be my niece and nephews...am I that old? She thought with a small laugh.

~*~*~*~

     “Stay close.” Riley warned as their group neared the center of town. The celebrating was still in full swing, and if anything, it had gotten more crowded.

     “Yes Mister Riley.” Azuril nodded from Justin’s back. Cleffa bobbed her head in agreement, and Pichu touched Riley’s tail. He tensed, then relaxed as the Tiny Mouse Pokémon stared up at him with complete trust.

     “In we go then.” Justin said, making his way into the crowd. The noise had escalated along with the number of Pokémon, but the smells were more vivid as well. Eve’s sensitive nose caught berries of every flavor and preparation, as well as...popcorn...? Her eyes widened and she licked her lips. Yum. And apples...crisp and sweet...the smell reached all the way to Eve’s stomach. That’s amazing! It smells so good...

     “Oh shoot.” Justin had frozen in his tracks. “Where’d they go?!” He spun around, eyes wide. All three Pokémon had vanished into thin air.

     “They were here just a second ago!” Anna’s eyes flashed around the crowded square, but their charges were nowhere to be seen. Oh no oh no oh no!! Eve’s heartbeat picked up, racing at a kilometer per second. Don’t let something happen to them. Please!!

     “Hold on...” Riley shut his eyes and concentrated, aura appendages vibrating.

     “There!!” Eve spotted a flash of pink and green in the crowd, and dashed forward. “Cleffa! Pichu! Azuril!!” A Hariyama stepped in her way, but Eve had thrown up one of her ‘illusions’ in less than a heartbeat, taking the form of a Wingull. Pumping her wings, she rose above the crowd and dove toward where she’d last seen the youngsters. “Stop!!” She transformed back, hitting the stone hard.

     “What...are...you...?” Eve was breathing heavily. But the baby Pokémon weren’t paying any attention to her. Their eyes were fixated on something else, and she followed their eyes.

     They were staring at a booth where Huge Apples covered in caramel were being sold. The caramel looked warm and so delicious it made Eve’s stomach rumbled.

     “You...want some...?” She slowly asked. They turned toward her, eyes round.

     “Please?” Pichu asked, making eyes like a Deerling. “Would you...buy us one?” The other two nodded, looking at her sadly.

     “Miss Eve...” Azuril looked up at her, eyes sad. “We’ve...We’ve never had one...and...all the other Pokémon would get them...but...”

     “Mama doesn’t have enough money.” Cleffa’s ears drooped. “So...could you please buy us one. To share? We promise to be good for the rest of the night.”

     “...” Eve stared at them. All they want...is one simple thing...they’re so young...and...they’re sort of like me. They didn’t ask to be orphaned. They only have each other, and Dame Blissey. It’s something so simple...

     “Sure.” Eve reached for the bag that hung from her neck, pulling out a pawful of Poké. “Let’s get seven.” She told the Grumpig who was in charge of the booth.

     When Justin, Riley, and Anna caught up with Eve, the Tricky Fox Pokémon simply handed each of them a candied apple, and led them over to where their charges were staring at their own apples as if they were the world’s most precious treasure.

~*~*~*~

     At eight-oh-one, Team Bright Star made their way back to the orphanage, bearing weary Pokémon on their backs along with their giant bags of candy. Each bag was filled to the top, with enough candy to last them a year, if allocated properly. Riley and Anna led them, Riley holding the bags of candy and Anna supporting Pichu on her back. Justin had a worn-out Azuril dozing off on his back, and Eve carefully carried Cleffa, whose eyes were fluttering in sleep.

     They’re so cute... Eve couldn’t help but smile. They’re hyperactive, overenthusiastic, and so, so... She couldn’t think of the right word. They know how to find something simple but so special in life.

     Justin gave a quiet chuckle. Mission successful. “Enjoy yourself tonight?” He softly asked the teammate to his right, but Riley and Anna heard him too.

     “Sì.” Anna whispered.

     “Yah.” Riley agreed.

     Eve just nodded, not trusting herself to speak, and possibly wake the little Pokémon on her back.

Something Fun
My first submission for :iconpokemon-md-club:!!!

Happy Halloween!!

I wrote this in three hours!! What is with me and writing holiday pieces on short notice!? I was rushing, and submitted it at the last minute (literally at the last minute! 11:58 PM, 10/31/14)

Shoutout to :iconkitsune137190: and Team Patch!

I used my characters:
Anna (Vulpix)-officially the team leader, but she and Riley co-lead.
Riley (Riolu)-Anna's original partner, he bears Unown-shaped scars on his tail. Team Bright Star
Justin (Eevee)-the youngest member of Team Bright Star. He's about thirteen in this piece. (Anna's about fifteen, Riley is about sixteen(ish?))  Team Bright Star Member~Justin
Eve (Zorua)-the oldest member of Team Bright Star in age (seventeen-eighteen), but youngest in experience. (Riley and Anna have the most experience, followed by Justin and then Eve).

For those of you unfamiliar with color-traiting (I mentioned it in this piece)...
Due to Spatial/Temporal distortions, many Pokemon experience coloration different from their ordinary species (THIS IS NOT SHINY!!) Anna (Vulpix) has blue eyes (Vulpix have brown eyes), Riley has green eyes (Riolu=red eyes), Justin has red fur on his tail and red eys (Eevee are brown fur and eyes), and Eve has yellow fur on her forehead and yellow eyes (red-purple fur on a Zorua's forehead and blue eyes). Even if a Pokemon is to transform (like Eve's Illusion, the color-traiting remains (so if Eve were to Illusion into an Eevee, she would have yellow-traited fur and yellow eyes)(this makes immitating color-traited Pokemon difficult))
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Part 3: Daku Keimusho
El Futuro

 

     “Incredible!” Chimecho was examining Riley, and she was staring at the cuts that covered his body. They were an angry pink color, and some were slightly swollen, but all of them were beginning to heal. The incision that went right over his hip bone was still open to the flesh, but it looked better than it did five days ago. “I’ve never seen anything like this! It’s completely unnatural!”

     “So will I be able to go out with Anna and Justin today?” Riley asked anxiously.

     “If you weren’t looking so energetic, or if your injuries were worse, I would say no. But you’re not...completely out of sorts, so yes, you can.”

     “Thanks!!” Riley grabbed his bag from next to his bed, and slung it onto his shoulder, but winced when the strap rubbed one of the gashes on his shoulder.

     “But I’m not releasing you completely.” Chimecho said threateningly, waving her tail in his face. “If you even feel a BIT dizzy or weak, you will come BACK IMMEDIATEDLY.”

     “Okay, okay! I understand!” Riley held up his paws in compliance. “I will!”

     “Excellent!” Chimecho’s expression brightened and she reached for the items behind her. “Escape Orbs,” she handed him three orbs, “extra bandages,” she held out a roll of pale blue bandages, “and Oran-Sitrus Juice,” she passed him a canteen covered in brown-green material. “A quick sip will take away pain, but not permanently, so if it gets too bad, come back to the guild if it’s too bad!”

     “Okay.” Riley nodded, slipping the items into his bag, then removed a familiar grey stone, looking at it. He turned his Relic Fragment over in his paws.

     “I didn’t think I’d be able to see it again.” He murmured, more to himself than to Chimecho.

     “Come on, it isn’t proper to keep a worried girl waiting.” Chimecho laughed, and Riley’s cheeks flushed.

     “Chimecho...”

     “Don’t worry about it. I understand your feelings.” She winked, and headed off to the central room. Ugh...I wonder if everyone else knows. Riley grimaced as he then followed her out.

     “Hey, hey! Riley!” Corphish yelled as the two emerged from the crew rooms. “Good to see you moving around!”

     “Hello Corphish.” Riley said, looking at Anna and Justin. The Eevee was grinning mischievously, and Anna was watching carefully, eyes filled with worry. He smiled, and watched as her face relaxed a little.

     “So are you coming today?!” Justin asked in a chipper voice.

     “Yah.” He nodded, but Anna glanced at Chimecho for confirmation.

     “But if he feels faint, come back at once.” Chimecho said firmly, and Riley grimaced. Thanks Chimecho...

     “Yes.” Anna nodded. “Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye on him.”

     “So are you feeling good?” Justin looked over Riley. “You look better.”

     “I feel better.” Riley agreed.

     “Are you-” Anna began, but Chatot cut her off.

     “Ahem!” Everyone’s attention shifted to Chatot, but Anna continued to watch Riley out of the corner of her eye. “About the attempt to capture Timpo...We have yet to receive word that he has been captured. I understand that you all are itching for something to happen, but consider this a test of patience!”

     “That’s too hard for Loudred. He has no patience.” Justin said seriously, and everyone snickered while Loudred glared at the Eevee.

     “You know what, you little twerp-” Then the emergency siren sounded. Everyone jumped.

     “Hey, what’s going on?!” Corphish looked around wildly.

     “Deputy Magnemite is here!!” Diglett called out from the sentry post.

     “ZZT!” Magnemite’s voice carried down the Sentry Hole. “We are extremely pleased to deliver the report that Tiempo Grovyle has been captured!! ZZT!”

     “HOORAY!!!”

     “By golly! They finally nabbed him!” Bidoof cheered.

     “Oh my gosh!! Yippee!” Sunflora grabbed Loudred’s paws and began to spin around with him.

     “Wow, that’s great!!” Justin was jumping up and down happily.

     “ZZT! There’s more!” Magnemite continued when the cheers died down. “The Great Dusknoir will be returning with Tiempo Grovyle to the future, so that he can face justice. ZZT!” Silence filled the guild, replacing the cheers that had been present moments before.

     “Dusknoir is...” Chimecho blinked.

     “Going back to the future?” Riley asked, head tilted. Anna and Justin had told him all about Dusknoir and Tiempo, and where they had come from. He found it amazing.

     “The Great Dusknoir is leaving us?” Chatot looked dazed. Anna let out the breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding in.

     “ZZT! I do not understand the process, but he called it a Dimensional Hole. ZZT! Dusknoir said that he wishes to say goodbye. Therefore, he hopes that you will all come to see him one last time at Treasure Town’s square. ZZT!”

     “Hey, hey, hey! What are we waiting for?!” Corphish was scampering to the ladder.

     “HURRY UP!!” Loudred yelled, charging after him.  Soon, the guild was empty except for Riley, Anna, and Justin.

     “Let’s go!!” Justin said excitedly. “We don’t want to be the last ones there!!”

~*~*~*~

     The square was filled with Pokémon, but mostly with the Treasure Town residents. Directly in front of everyone, there was a pulsing black and purple vortex that rippled with energy. Anna took one look at it, and began to shiver.

     “So THAT’S a Dimensional Hole?” Loudred, Bidoof, and Sunflora approached the Dimensional Hole.

     “Golly, so stepping inside it will take you to the future?” Bidoof stepped forward, but Officer Magnezone shot between him and the Dimensional Hole.

     “BZZZTT!! Watch out! The instant you touch it, you will be sent to the future! There is no way to come back! BZT!”

     “Oof!” Bidoof looked guilty, but backed away.

     “Riley.” Riley looked up to see Azelf floating toward him. “I haven’t gotten the chance to thank you properly for saving me at Crystal Lake.” He ducked his head in appreciation.

     “It’s nothing.”

     “No it’s not.” Azelf said seriously. “It nearly cost you your life, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to repay you for this.”

     “Oh...” Riley looked down at feet. “Thanks, I guess.”

     “No, the thanks is all mine.”

     Chica?” Mar approached Anna, who was still staring at the Dimensional Hole. He tapped her with his bone. “Are you unwell?” Anna’s eyes were beginning to cloud up, and she was shuddering violently.

     Fear was creeping into Anna’s heart. She didn’t know where it was coming from, but she couldn’t stop it. She was so scared. She couldn’t stand the hole that kept changing shape, that was pulling her in. She couldn’t get away. It was overwhelming her, growing bigger and bigger. A dark laugh filled her ears.

     Then it began to die away. The darkness melted into the light, which faded away to leave her in Treasure Town. Mesprit was floating above her, eyes shut and the gem on her forehead glowing a deep blue. Anna took a deep breath, and let it out. Mesprit’s eyes opened, and her jewel returned to normal.

     “Better?”

     “What...What happened?” Anna looked around. The Pokémon that surrounded her were watching nervously.

     “Your emotions were being amplified by a dark energy.” Mesprit told her. “For whatever reason, the emotions you were feeling, fear and anxiety, were taking over, causing you to potentially go into a coma.”

     “What...?”

     “Here comes the Great Dusknoir!” Someone yelled, and everyone turned to the east, where a group of Pokémon were approaching. Anna didn’t look up. Instead she ran a paw over her face, rubbing her eyes, then looking down. Her left paw...if Anna didn’t know any better, she would’ve said it was glowing a dark greyish-black color.

     “You okay?” Riley whispered to her, and the glow that surrounded her paw vanished.

     “......I am now.” Anna took a deep breath, and looked up. Dusknoir was leading a group of four Pokémon; there was Tiempo, and then there were three purple-humanoid Pokémon with grey-blue stones set where their eyes would be, and stones on their chest and back. Behind Team Bright Star, Mar gave a low growl.

     “Mar?” Riley looked behind him. The leader of the Marowak Dojo was glaring at the Pokémon that surrounded Tiempo with a deep hatred.

     “Those are Sableye.” He growled softly, so differently from his normally neutral tone. “Awful Pokémon.”

     “What do you mean?” Justin asked.

     “They travel in groups, attacking any Pokémon they think is weak enough for them to take out. Night or day, it doesn’t matter. Their vision is so good, it could be the dead of night, and they’d know exactly what is going on around them. Devilish imps.”

     Anna shifted her gaze to Tiempo. He was bound with heavy-duty ropes and muzzled, but his eyes were flashing in every direction, like he was searching for something. She didn’t know why, but as she gazed at him, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, despite everything he’d put her through. His eyes were full of pain, and deep gashes covered his body, rubbing against the ropes that bound him.

     “Everyone!!” Dusknoir stopped in front of the Dimensional Hole, and the Sableye stopped next to him, flanking Tiempo on either side. “It is with great honor that I can proclaim that Grovyle,” he pointed to the bound Tree Gecko Pokémon, “has been captured!!” Applause filled the square.

     “This was made possible by your selfless support and cooperation! You have my thanks!!” Everyone cheered. Except Anna. She was staring at Tiempo, who stared right back. He narrowed his eyes at her, but not in a malicious way. Anna tilted her head, trying to figure out what he was doing.

     ‘Espreo!!!’ A voice echoed through Anna’s head, and she recoiled, startled. ‘I know you can hear me!!’

     Is that Tiempo?! Anna stared in shock at the bound Grovyle.

     ‘Espero, listen!!’ His voice came in clearer. ‘You can let them take me away, but you can’t let them put the Time Gears back!’

     Què?!

     ‘Get them, and-’ One of the Sableye poked Tiempo sharply in the middle of his neck, causing him to double over, and Anna couldn’t hear his voice anymore. What...What just happened? She kept staring at Tiempo, but nothing else happened.

     “As you can see,” Dusknoir was saying, “Grovyle is a vicious and wicked Pokémon. His capture should result in a lasting peace for this world.” Tiempo’s eyes widened, and he shook his head viciously in Anna’s direction.

     “Mmmff!! Mmmmmf!”

     “He’s been gagged...” Justin observed. “Huh...?”

     “I also must deliver another sad piece of news. The time has come for me to return to the future. I must now bid you farewell.”

     “Golly...I’m feelin’ the blues...” Bidoof wiped a tear away.

     “Oh my gosh...I guess it’s true...” Sunflora said in a dejected voice.

     “Uxie...Mesprit...Azelf...” Dusknoir looked to the lake trio at his right. “I entrust to you what must be done.”

     “Yep.” Azelf nodded.

     “We know.” Uxie said. “We will make certain that the Time Gears are returned to their rightful places.”

     “MrMrMrf!” Tiempo tried yelling, but the muzzle around his mouth kept it clamped firmly shut.

     “BZZT! Thank you very much! You have literally saved us all! BZZT!” Magnezone bobbed up and down. Dusknoir turned to look at Tiempo, and then at the Sableye.

     “It’s time.” His voice is off. Riley noted, looking carefully. There was something in his eye...but Riley couldn’t put his paw on what it was.

     Two of the Sableye grabbed Tiempo under his arms, dragged him to the Dimensional Hole, and the third Sableye delivered a swift kick to his back, propelling him in. All three Sableye bowed to Dusknoir, then they jumped in.

     “I’m afraid the time has come for me to leave...” Dusknoir cast his eye around the square, then slowly approached the Dimensional Hole.

     “Oooh...I hate sad goodbyes!” Sunflora’s leaves were wilting slightly.

     “Waahh!!!” Chatot was crying into Wigglytuff’s shoulder. “Dusknoir...sir...waaaah!!!”

     “Ah, yes. I almost forgot.” Dusknoir stopped inches from the Dimensional Hole and turned. “I wish to see two Pokémon. Riley! And Anna!” Everyone’s attention swiveled to the two of them.

     “Let’s go up there.” Riley said, and Anna followed behind him. But something was wrong. It felt like every nerve in her body was screaming a warning. Like something was pulling her back. Like something wasn’t right. She eyed the warping Dimensional Hole that floated inches behind Dusknoir. It pulsed darkly, making her shudder.

     “Dusknoir...thank you for everything.” Riley said, the beginning of a tear forming in the corner of his eye. “Thank you for capturing Tiempo, for saving us-no. For saving everyone.”

     “Yes...” Dusknoir shut his eye.

     “...” Anna was watching his every movement. Every nerve was on alert.

     “So I guess...this is good-bye.”

     “I suppose...” He opened his eye, and leered at the two of them. “Or is it?”

     “Excuse me?” Riley asked as Anna sprung back, hackles raised. Dusknoir flung down an orb, and there was a blast of smoke that covered the whole square.

     “It’s too soon for farewells!” Dusknoir yelled, reaching out, grabbing Riley by his torso and Anna by her neck.

     “What the heck?!!” Riley bellowed, the smoke making his eyes water uncontrollably.

     “AAAHH!!” Anna desperately clawed at Dusknoir’s arm, but with no luck.

     “You two are coming with me!!”

     Dusknoir leaned back and slid into the Dimensional Hole, slamming Anna and Riley’s heads together as he went. The two color-traited Pokémon fell into darkness as the Dimensional Hole closed, sealing them off from their world.

~*~*~*~

     The smoke faded just in time for the entirety of Treasure Town to see Riley and Anna’s tails vanish through the Dimensional Hole.

     Justin was the first to respond.

     “ANNA!! RILEY!!!” He charged toward the hole.

     “OH MY GOSH!!” Sunflora shrieked.

     “Riley! Anna! No!” Chimecho exclaimed.

     “We need to go after them!” Tediursa cried. Justin was about to reach the Dimensional Hole when a brown and white blur shot overhead. Mar landed on the ground between Justin and the Dimensional Hole, blocking the Eevee’s path.

     “No niño! It’s too dangerous!!”

     “NO!” Justin screamed as Mar’s bone kept maneuvering to keep him from reaching the portal. “Anna! Riley!”

     Without warning, there was a loud crackle, and the portal snapped shut, leaving behind a stunned and horrified Treasure Town.

Team Bright Star~Ch25~FUTURE
DUN DUN DUN!!! What the heck just happened?!
Dusknoir was going to use a Luminous Orb, but that seemed like too much like Tiempo's style. So I gave him a Smoke Orb. (Smoke and light, someone see opposites?) And Anna really hates Dimensional Holes. It's part of her past, so of course I won't reveal anything!!
I won't be posting for a while. I want to get Chapters 26-29 done before posting any. Do-do.

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Part 3: Daku Keimusho
When Paths Cross

 

     Riley was drifting in the ocean, eyes shut. He had gone swimming only a few times before in the ocean, but he recognized the feeling of bobbing up and down with the waves. The current was pulling him farther into the sea, making it more like a river, but he didn’t mind. Every part of his body hurt, from his ears to his tail, and any movement caused his head to spin. So he let the current slowly pull him in, farther from the shore.

     “You’re...leaving?” A child’s voice asked. They were curious, but in a way, disappointed. He couldn’t speak, so all he did was nod. And even that movement caused his body to groan in pain. “Why? That’s mean.”

     What are you talking about? Riley thought. What’s mean?

     “You’ll make her cry.”

     Her? But even as he thought it, a face appeared in his mind. Anna’s. Wait. What do you mean?

     “Look around you.” Riley forced his eyes open.

     What he had thought was the ocean was actually a sea of swirling white liquid, which was carrying him towards a place where the water dropped out of sight. Is that a waterfall?! His thoughts spun in a panic.

     “It’s death.” The child sounded close to crying. “Please, don’t give up. There are Pokémon who love you. Don’t give up!!” They called, but their voice was getting farther and farther away. Riley tried lifting an arm, but the liquid kept trying to pull him down, like strings attached to his limbs.

     ‘Give up.’ It seemed to whisper seductively in his ear. ‘It’s such a pain...to live. You don’t have to suffer.’

     No...I can’t...I need to...go back. But the water kept rushing, growing faster and more powerful.

     ‘You don’t need to suffer. You don’t have to continue down the road that leads only to pain.’ The voice blurred with the roaring water that was cresting around him. ‘You don’t need to suffer...’ Riley squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stay afloat. ‘...don’t need to suffer...don’t need to suffer...’

     ‘Riley...’ A voice whispered on the wind, over the roar of the water. Anna? His eyes snapped open.

     ‘Please...don’t die.’ Her voice was so sad and broken, it made his heart break.

     ‘Don’t leave me.’ He blinked, shocked at her words.

     ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry...Please, come back...’ He blinked again, then gritted his teeth, and, ignoring the pain, lifted one arm, then the other, trying to paddle away from the waterfall.

     ‘No. Stay. It’s too much trouble to turn back. Stay.’

     “Ca...Can’t.” He squeezed his eyes shut, forcing every ounce of energy into getting away. A wave rose over him, forcing him under the liquid. Images filled his head; a boy frozen in ice, a leering Wevile, the inside of cold and dark mountain, a group of Pokémon that were laughing at him, a bloody paw pressed against his side, with blood spreading over his fur, the cold floor rushing to meet him as his strength faded.

     ‘Don’t you see?! Life is full of pain! There’s nothing good in it!’ The voice was screaming in his ears.

     Wr...Wrong... Riley choked, unable to breath. It was almost impossible, but he forced himself to remember other things. The laughter of a long-lost friend. Surprise at finding a world of sanctuary. His friends at the guild. And Anna. His best friend and...the Pokémon he cared most about.

     “Hold on!!” A voice cried, and Riley felt himself be ripped from the water with a tremendous amount of force. He landed on something hard and his body screamed in agony. Coughing violently, with spots splattered across his vision, Riley looked around, but saw no one.

     Who...are you...

     “...you won’t die...” It was the voice of the child. “I’ll help you get back to where you need to go. You don’t belong here...” Riley’s head flopped against what he was laying on, and he passed out.

~*~*~*~

     Tiempo’s feet were pounding against the dirt. His body was screaming, and his chest was burning. He had been running for a long time, but he didn’t want to get caught. Not now. Not ever.

     He was swearing curses against Dusknoir, Sableye, and every other Pokémon he hated. He had gathered five Times Gears, almost all without any kind of trouble. Then, the last one-he couldn’t get!! It was the last one he needed!

     After all I’ve been through, why now?! Don’t fail now!!

     His legs started to give out on him, but Tiempo forced them to keep moving over the peak of Mount Bristle. He thought about Dusknoir, and his hatred of the Ghost-type kept him moving forward. Dawn was coming, and that meant it would be easier to get caught. He had to find cover.

     He tripped, rolling down an especially steep and rocky hill, the sharp stones created new punctures, but forced himself to rise and keep going. Dusknoir might be right behind him, and Tiempo had no strength to fight him off. He could only run.

~*~*~*~

     Tiempo reached the forest orchards of Oran Forest and Apple Woods when the sun was high in the sky. The crisp air boosted his nearly depleted energy, helping him dash to the right and become immersed in the blue-speckled trees of Oran Forest. He rushed through four floors, meeting no one. Finally, he slowed, allowing himself to be able to catch his breath. But it wasn’t safe to remain in the open, so he gathered the last of his strength and scrambled up a tree, settling on a branch that would camouflage him from anyone below. He could only hope that a Flying-type Pokémon wouldn’t decide to roost in the tree. His head lolled against the trunk, and Tiempo fell into a dreamless sleep.

~*~*~*~

     Tiempo flinched as his open flesh rubbed against the bark of the tree he was perched in. His burns were still raw, even after almost a whole day of sleeping and six hours of resting and applying medicine to his injuries. He was almost out of Rawst Berries, and while there were plenty of Oran Berries, he knew deep inside that he deserved every single burn.

     Espero. I’m...sorry. I’m so sorry. I...You knew. When we first met...you knew what I had done, even before “I” did. Everything I’ve done to you...in the past and future...no wonder you acted like you did. I’m so sorry. I lost control...and I could’ve killed you and your partner...again. He shut his eyes. I guess I haven’t broken completely free of Dusknoir, if I acted like that. Like the killer...I was trained to be.

     I need to rest, so I can recover and go back to Crystal Crossing...even though Dusknoir knows I need to go there. Or maybe I should just wait until this dies down somewhat...but who knows when that’ll happen. Tiempo groaned, and looked past the branches toward the setting sun. He had chosen a perch that faced the west, and he could see the sunset. It was tinted with small amounts of pink and orange, and the view reminded him why he had to keep fighting.

     Esperanza... Tiempo reached down, and clutched the Sableye stone that hung around his neck. There had been a time when he had been repulsed to touch it, much less wear it, but that was in the past, as some might say...or more honestly, the future. I can’t believe you’ve been captured...I know you’re out there. Give me a sign. Anything. Please. There was nothing, so Tiempo sighed softly and returned to watching the sunset.

~*~*~*~

     Tiempo reached into his knapsack and pulled out his last Rawst Berry, then plucked an Oran Berry from the tree he was perched it, eating them both. “Ugh...” He moaned, slowly leaning back as the burns continued to heal. But it wasn’t fast; they had been pretty severe. Still were. He shut his eyes, and listened to the wind whisper through the leaves around him. Being a Grass-type, he could appreciate the sounds and the smells of the forest around him. Just another reason to keep fighting to-

     “Hey! Wait up Justin!” A female voice called through the forest. Tiempo opened his eyes, and saw an Eevee standing in the clearing his tree bordered on. He wore a black scarf, and had red color-traits on his tail and in his eyes. From the other edge of the clearing came a Treecko, Aron, and two Duskull, one of whom had a purple eye.

     Hm. Tiempo watched at the group joined the Eevee, Justin. Two color-traited Pokémon. Interesting... The Treecko looked over her shoulder.

     “Come on!” She called, motioning. Tiempo glanced over to where she was looking and nearly fell out of the tree. Coming out of the forest was a Vulpix with blue eyes, a scarf, and a star earring. Espero!!! The color-traited Vulpix dully made her way to where the other Pokémon were. She looked dead on her paws, with her ears laid back and eyes cast downward. Tiempo could only stare. She had bandages wrapped around her midsection, and a splint secured to her back left leg, but what was most noticeable was the scar that ran over her right eye. It looked fresh.

     I did all that. Tiempo blanched, horrified at himself, feeling nausea rolling up in him for the first time in a long while.

     “Let’s rest here.” The Aron said, settling in the grass. “We’ve almost cleared the dungeon.” He spoke with a heavy accent that Tiempo knew he’d heard before.

     “Okay!” The Treecko nodded enthusiastically. The group settled in the shade of the tree Tiempo was in. He groaned internally, cursing his bad luck, then let out a low growl when his burns rubbed against the tree trunk. Justin’s eyes shifted upward, then after a moment, he shook his head.

     “Look at what Aron got me,” Treecko was saying, showing the purple-traited Duskull and Espero a pink scarf that was wrapped around her neck, “it’s a Pecha Scarf.”

     “It’s nothin’,” Aron turned as pink as the Pecha Scarf, “Tree’ wanted it, so I got it for her.”

     “It’s pretty.” The purple-traited Duskull touched the scarf. “Maybe if we find a scarf like this on an exploration, I can keep it.”

     “Perhaps we’ll find one in the market.” The male Duskull suggested, watching his female counterpart.

     “But finding one in a dungeon is more exciting.” The color-traited Duskull argued.

     “Yep! Dusk is right!” Treecko nodded in agreement. Dusk? Tiempo leaned forward, trying to place the name.

     “But more dangerous.” Aron argued. “Tree’, ‘member that time we got knocked out at Landslide Cave?”

     “Can’t argue with that.” Duskull agreed.

     “But...but the danger is part of the excitement!” Justin claimed stubbornly. “As explorers, we need to accept the danger to achieve our goals! It’s the only way to find treasure, or discover new places!!” All seven Pokémon were silent, Tiempo included. He will be...a great warrior one day. Tiempo watched the fire in the Eevee’s red eyes. Or a leader...wait a second...

     “I...I guess you’re right.” Aron nodded solemnly. The group began to talk about something else, but Tiempo didn’t concentrate on the words. His head was spinning, like he was trying to connect the dots of some unknown puzzle. He looked down at the group of explorers, focusing first on the two Duskull, then the Aron and Treecko, and finally Espero and Justin. Two Duskull...one color-traited...Dusk...a Treecko with a Pecha Scarf...Espero...a color-traited Riolu and Eevee...an Aron...with an accent......!!!!! His jaw dropped. Impossible! That’s impossible!! He stared down at the group, unable to believe what he was seeing. The group of Pokémon were at ease in each other’s presence, not worried about the future or any type of danger. Treecko laughed at something Duskull said, and Justin was talking animatedly to Dusk, the color-traited Duskull. Aron grinned at Treecko, then said something to Duskull, who bobbed up and down in an agreeing sort-of way. How...what...what made them...turn...how... Tiempo was utterly lost for words. They look like...they’re friends...what made them...drift apart to the point where...they were on opposites sides of the battle...and to the point where at least three, no, five of them...ended up dead?

     “Okay, I have a question.” Treecko raised her paw. “I keep on wondering where Riley is.” Espero looked even more depressed, if that was possible, Justin fell silent, and the two Duskull shared a look. “What?” Treecko and Aron looked at each other, then at the other Pokémon in the group.

     “Have you not heard?” Dusk asked softly. “It’s all over Treasure Town. When she and Riley went to Crystal Cave, they stopped Tiempo from stealing the Time Gear, but...Tiempo...he...” She couldn’t go on.

     “HE KILLED RILEY?!” Aron growled, and Tiempo froze, horrified. I...killed him? No! That’s impossible! In the future, he was alive! Before-Before...

     “Almost.” Justin whispered. “We...don’t know if he’s going to make it. Chimecho’s trying her best, but......”

     “Arceus.” Treecko was covering her mouth, eyes wide. “Oh Arceus...why...?”

     “That’s why we’re here.” Justin looked at Espero. “Riley’s been in a coma for three days, and she’s been at his side. Chimecho told her she needed fresh air.”

     “...” Tiempo heard Espero give a low sigh, then she spoke in a soft voice. “I can’t believe it.” The Treecko said something inaudible and leaned closer to Espero.

     “What was that?” Dusk asked softly.

     “I...I can’t believe Tiem...po. What he’s doing.” Espero’s eyes were watering. “Why steal Time Gears? What is there to gain from that? Peop-Pokémon suffer, and...and how can anyone be so cold-hearted to do that?!”

     That’s right. Tiempo thought grimly. No one remembers. No one knows...the truth.

     “I...When I went to Treeshroud Forest...I couldn’t believe it had been done on purpose...I told myself it had to be an accident. And then, when I saw Tiempo’s picture, I thought, ‘he has such sad eyes. He’s gone through so much pain. Why would someone like that do something like this? Why can’t they feel the pain of what they’re doing?’” Espero choked back a sob. “But I didn’t know...Tiempo...has no heart to feel emotions. That’s why...that’s why...” Tears were rolling down her cheeks. “That’s why he almost killed us!”

     “Shhh...” Treecko pulled Espero into a hug, wrapping her arms around the Vulpix’s neck. “It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay.” Espero shut her blue eyes, crying softly.

     “I can’t stand this...” She croaked. “...I can’t...I...can’t...I-I don’t want Riley to...d...die...”

     “Hush...” Treecko whispered softly, rocking Espero back and forth, like a child. “It’s okay...It’s okay...We’re here for you...” The Vulpix cried into the Wood Gecko’s shoulder for a few minutes, until her sobs died down.

     “Riley will live.” Duskull said firmly. “He will live, and the Great Dusknoir will catch Tiempo Grovyle, returning everything to the way it was before.”

     “But how?” Aron asked quietly. “No one knows where that damn Grovyle is. And he has all those Time Gears...we can’t let ‘em get away.”

     “He doesn’t have all of them.” Duskull said proudly. “He didn’t get the Crystal Cave Time Gear. And the lake trio has gone to seal the Time Gear away permanently.”

     WHAT?!! Tiempo almost yelled, but instead, he stuffed his fist in his mouth.

     “Really?!” Treecko managed to grin. “That’s great!!”

     No, it’s NOT!!! Tiempo was yelling in his head.

     “Yes, that way it can never be stolen.” There was a touch of pride in the Dusk’s voice. “It’s wonderful. The Great Dusknoir came up with the plan!”

     AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGG!!!! Tiempo wanted to scream in frustration.

     “I believe we’ve rested long enough.” Duskull rose a bit higher. “We should clear the dungeon, so we can return to Treasure Town. It’s getting dark.”

     “Good idea.” Aron stood up, and stretched. “It’s even more dangerous to be out than in the past. With all that’s been going on, there have been more panicked Pokémon around.”

     “We might even encounter Tiempo Grovyle,” Dusk shivered at the thought, “if we are unlucky enough!”

     “He might even be in the trees above us.” Justin grinned nervously, even though his legs were shaking.

     “Oh shut up!!” Treecko shrieked as the group walked away. “That’s not funny! He’s ruining my species’ reputation, even if he is from the future...” The six Pokémon moved deeper into the forest, out of Tiempo’s range of hearing.

     He was sitting shock-still. They’re going to seal the Time Gear away?! No! That...It has to be a trap! A trap! Still, what if it’s the truth? I can’t risk the Time Gear-even if it is a trap!! I’ve come too far to give up now! After a few minutes, he slowly descended the tree, and took off, heading north, back to Crystal Cave.

~*~*~*~

     Anna and Justin returned to the guild as the sun was vanishing beyond the ocean, casting ominous purples into the sky.

     “Pokémon Detected! Pokémon Detected!” Diglett’s voice called from under the grate when Justin stepped forward for them to be let in.

     “WHO’S FOOTPRINT? WHO’S FOOTPRINT?”

     “The footprint is...Eevee’s! Hey Justin, is that you?!”

     “Yes!” Justin looked down into the darkness where he knew Diglett was.

     “Is Anna with you?!” Diglett’s voice wavered slightly at the end. Justin tilted his head, and Anna blinked, focusing at the grate.

     “Yes...why?” There was a murmur of voices below from the main room that both Anna and Justin caught, but neither could distinguish any words.

     “You two need to come down to the third floor immediately! It’s important!!” The grate rose, and the two explorers entered the guild.

     The second floor was void of Pokémon, but all the members of the guild were assembled in the main room, watching the two youngest members of the guild. Anna’s eyes widened when she saw Chimecho in the group. The Wind Chime Pokémon’s face didn’t show any emotions, and no one said anything. It was dead silent. Then Chimecho spoke.

     “Anna...” She said gently. The Vulpix didn’t say anything, she just shook her head.

     “No...”

     “You should come with me.” Chimecho reached out, and placed a paw on Anna’s shoulders, steering her toward the crew rooms. Anna’s eyes were wide, and she didn’t notice anything around her. Like how the members of the guild snapping Justin out of his stupor, bring him along with them behind Chimecho and Anna. Or how Wigglytuff was peeking out from his room.

     The hallway seemed to stretch into forever. Every step took every ounce of energy Anna had to keep moving. Past Chimecho and Sunflora’s room. Past Loudred, Bidoof, and Corphish’s room. And then Anna’s breath caught in her throat.

     Riley was still wrapped in bandages, but he was sitting up in his bed, green eyes open. His blue-and-black fur was stained purple in some spots, and a bruise on his chest was turning deep purple, but a small grin broke across his face when he spotted his teammate.

     “Anna?”

     “...” Anna opened her mouth, but no words came out. She could only stare.

     “Anna?” A worried look passed over Riley’s face as he surveyed his teammate’s face. “Are you okay?” Anna took a step toward Riley, then another.

     ‘Ri...ley?’ She blinked, slowly walking toward him.

     “Yah?” He asked. Anna shuddered, drawing a sharp breath.

     “I...” She squeezed her eyes shut, tears slowly trickling down her face. “...You...” She broke down.

     “Hey, hey! Are you alright?!” Corphish asked somewhere in the distance, but he was ignored. Tears were flowing from Anna’s eyes, and she was sobbing. Riley reached out, and pulled her into an embrace. She cried into his shoulder, but not because she was sad.

     “It’s okay...” Riley said gently, “it’s okay...”

     “You idiotic Riolu.” She said in a muffled voice. “Don’t ever do something like that again.” He managed to smile.

     “Okay. I promise.” He gently kissed her forehead.

~*~*~*~

     Tiempo reached the entrance to Crystal Cave around midnight, the same time he’d arrived four days ago. The forest behind him was deadly silent, and the prickling on his neck told him he was being watched. By someone. Or someones. But no one came out to challenge him.

     He could also feel that something else was wrong. He couldn’t put a paw on it, but it was making his skin crawl. His mind also felt like it was being tugged toward the west, like Esperanza had left him something. But there was nothing.

     My supplies are running low, and I’m injured. I need to be extremely careful. Tiempo took a step toward the entrance.

     ‘Tiempo Grovyle. What the hell are you doing?’ Tiempo could almost hear Esperanza’s voice, and he looked around. But no one was around, and he couldn’t feel her presence. Whatever it was had come and gone.

     “I need to go get the Time Gear.” He muttered, then realized he’d spoken to himself. Great. Am I finally losing my sanity? Maybe...it’s a sign I really shouldn’t be here. No. I need to go in, get the Time Gear, and run like hell. Then I can start worrying about Esperanza. After debating for a few minutes, Tiempo decided to keep going.

     Later, he would say it was a HUGE mistake.

Team Bright Star~Ch24~When Paths Cross
Yay! Riley's awake! :D (Happy dance!)
Oh Justin, you have no idea how close you were to the truth... ('He might even be in the trees above us') He'd have probably fainted if Tiempo just dropped to the ground... :giggle:
This was mostly done from Tiempo's POV.
And what's he talking about? Why's he so shocked about Dusk, Duskull, Team Bright Star, and Team Torakka? Welll...
I'M NOT TELLING YOU!! IT WOULD COMPLETELY RUIN WHAT I'M PLANNING! You'll just have to deal with it!! (I really should give Dusk and Duskull a team name...naah...not worth it? IDK. Opinion?)

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Part 3: Daku Keimusho
The Only Option

 

     ‘ZZT! Can you hear me? ZZT!’ Magnemite, a member of the Magnezone Squad called down the sentry hole to the assembled guild. ‘This is an important announcement from Officer Magnezone! ZZT! Everyone, please gather in the main square of Treasure Town. Zzt! An important meeting will be taking place! ZZT! All Pokémon who are in the area have been called to this meeting! ZZT! We hope to have your full cooperation! Thank you. ZZT!’ The members of the guild began to murmur excitedly.

     ‘Hey, hey. It must be pretty important...’

     ‘Oh my gosh, we have to go!’

     ‘An important meeting? It must be about what’s been happening with the Time Gears.’

     ‘AHEM!!’ Chatot cleared his throat, bringing everyone’s gazes to the front, where he and Wigglytuff stood. ‘Everyone who is in good health will proceed to this meeting at once!’

~*~*~*~

     Justin glanced at his teammate out of the corner of his eye as they left the guild building. It had been over a day since Anna and Riley had left to Crystal Cave, and they hadn’t come back in the best condition. Riley was lying on his bed, hanging somewhere between life and death, and Anna was...Justin didn’t know how to describe it. Each step seemed to take longer. Her ears were lying flat against her head. The gleam that had always been in her eye since he’d met her was gone.

     When Anna had fainted, it was lucky Sunflora and Bidoof had been supporting her, or she would’ve reinjured herself. Even now, she looked bad. Her broken leg was secured to a splint, giving her a limp, and bandages were wrapped around her whole body. But the ones that were most notable were the ones that wrapped around torso to her waist and the ones that went right over her right eye.

     Still, Riley...no one knew if he would survive. Chimecho wasn’t with the group because she was tending him, it was that bad. Justin didn’t understand medical terms, but from what he could understand, Tiempo Grovyle had used a Leaf Blade so powerful that he’d chipped Riley’s hip bone and hit his lungs with a punch of some kind. No one knew how bad it really was. But the one thing Justin did know that if Riley died, Anna would never be the same.

     “Azelf!” Two voices called out as they reached Treasure Town’s main square. The Willpower Pokémon looked into the crowd of gathered Pokémon, and grinned when he saw Uxie and Mesprit waiting for him. He had recovered more easily than Anna, since his injuries hadn’t been as bad.

     “Mesprit! Uxie!” He broke off from the guild, and joined his siblings.

     “Are you alright?” Mesprit asked in concern, touching the bandages that wrapped around his left arm and chest.

     “I will be. It’s just a scratch.” In synchronization, the lake trio’s eyes glazed over, and Justin felt that a telepathic conversation was taking place. Then, in unison, the three lake Pokémon turned to look at Anna, who gazed back in a lifeless way.

     “Oh...” Mesprit whispered softly.

     “I see.” Uxie said grimly.

     “Justin?” A deep voice asked, and the Eevee looked up to see a familiar face.

     “Dusknoir.” He surveyed the Gripper Pokémon carefully, then grinned slightly. He didn’t always feel safe around the explorer. Sometimes, Justin felt safe in his presence, and sometimes, it was like he was the target of evil thoughts. But right now, everything seemed normal. “Hello.”

     “How are you?”

     “I’m...okay, thanks.” He answered, then glanced at Anna, who was dolefully watching Pokémon from the surrounding areas enter the square. Dusknoir followed his gaze, and drew a sharp breath.

     “What happened to her?”

     “Tiempo.” Justin was surprised at the hate in his voice. Dusknoir’s fist curled slightly, then he sighed.

     “And...Riley?” Dusknoir cautiously asked, then winced at the Eevee’s expression. “Oh...no.” There was an uncomfortable silence between the two explorers.

     “Um, Dusknoir, sir?” Justin began, “can I ask you a question?”

     “Of course.”

     “Do you, um...know Tiempo?” Dusknoir’s expression was unreadable. Instead of answering, he reached down and rubbed Justin’s head. It was the same gesture Riley had done before going off to Crystal Cave.

     “BZZZT!” Officer Magnezone appeared behind Dusknoir. “That will be one of the subjects addressed at this meeting! BZZT!”

     “Oh. Okay.”

     “Now go to Anna. She needs you.” Dusknoir turned to talk to the trio of Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie, but Corphish came up to him to ask a question.

     “Hey, hey! What happened to Tiempo?”

     “I gave chase when he fled, but he got away.” Justin walked over to where Anna was standing silently. His tail swished nervously, and he looked up at Anna. She was staring at the ground, noticing nothing that was going on around her.

     “Anna?” He timidly asked. The Vulpix’s gaze turned toward him, and something about it made it seem like she wasn’t looking at him. He turned, and saw her gaze was aimed right at the guild building, which rose above Treasure Town. He immediately knew what was going on in her head, but he didn’t know what he could do say to comfort her. He just gave her a gentle head-butt, and leaned his head on her shoulder.

~*~*~*~

     “BZZZT! So let this meeting be started!” Magnezone released a few sparks from the magnet-like objects that clung to it’s body, capturing everyone’s attention. The square was filled not just with the residents of Treasure Town and the guild, but also with various species of Pokémon that lived in the area: Gastrodon, Lopunny, and Lombre, just to name a few. “Our topic? BZZT! The rash of Time Gear thefts!” Murmurs filled the square; the ordinary Pokémon hadn’t been fully aware of the intensity of the thefts until a few days before. “BZZZT! Several Time Gears have been stolen! By the Pokémon with blue eyes, Grovyle, who goes by the name of Tiempo.” In the crowd, Mar stiffened, recognizing the Spanish.

     “BZZZT! Yesterday, Tiempo tried to steal a Time Gear!! But failed! It was guarded be the mighty Azelf!” Whoops filled the square as Azelf grinned modestly. “The team that fought to protect the Time Gear would be Team Bright Star!” More cheers, but Anna didn’t respond. She continued to stare blankly at Dusknoir and Magnezone. “And finally, the Pokémon who chased off Tiempo and saved the day! BZZT! The Great Dusknoir!” The applause was almost deafening.

     “That’s astounding!”

     “Wow! No wonder he’s such a famous explorer!”

     “Incredible!!”

     Dusknoir floated forward, and held up both hands. The square fell respectfully silent.

     “Everyone! While we can celebrate that Tiempo Grovyle was deterred this time, we can’t let our guard down! He will definitely try to steal the Time Gear again! He must be stopped!!”

     “Hear hear!!” A Nuzleaf yelled, and murmurs of agreement went through the crowd.

     “And there’s something else that must be discussed...I have been asked if I knew Tiempo Grovyle from before all this began.” Dusknoir looked in Justin’s direction. Chatot appeared scandalized at the thought of guild trainee had asked such a foolish question. “And the answer is...yes.”

     “WHAT?!” The yell filled the square.

     “And...” Dusknoir shut his eye, “the truth may seem impossible. It may be beyond your beliefs. But I assure you, it’s the truth. But you must believe the two things that I tell you. The first is that Tiempo Grovyle is...a Pokémon from the future.” Utter silence filled the square as everyone tried to process what this meant.

     “Dad? What does he mean? ‘From the future’?” Diglett asked a baffled Dugtrio.

     “I think he means...a place where things are yet to happen...”

     “...the future?” Justin timidly asked. “...OUR future?”

     “Yes.” Dusknoir opened his eye. “In the future, Tiempo Grovyle will be a dangerous Pokémon with a large bounty on his head. He will be pursued until he finds a way to escape to the past...this world. And when he arrived here, Tiempo Grovyle must have given much thought on...the planet’s paralysis.”

     “The planet’s paralysis?”

     “...Indeed.” Dusknoir seemed to have trouble forming words. “...Imagine...a world of utter darkness...” An image began to form in Anna’s mind: the entrance to Crystal Cave, in the depths of night, shadows looming over the whole forest. “Eternal night, with no movement, color, or life.” The image in her mind shifted to Treeshroud Forest, but the shadows were greater than when she had visited it. “Fear and darkness rule. No one is ever truly safe, and there is no hope. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the ruin of the world.” Dusknoir surveyed the square, looking at the Pokémon who were hanging onto his every word. “THIS is what drove Tiempo Grovyle to steal Time Gears.”

     “So when a Time Gear is stolen...” Teddiursa hesitantly began, and Dusknoir nodded.

     “Time is slowed in the region where it was located. And gradually, as more and more Time Gears are removed, time goes even slower, and the distortion spreads. And then, when there’s no way it can be stopped, the planet’s paralysis occurs.”

     “So Tiempo’s trying to paralyze the planet?” A particularly dim-witted Wingull who was perched on the roof of Electivire’s Link Shop chirped. Dusknoir nodded mutely.

     “That’s...horrible.” A Gastrodon whispered.

     “We’ve got to do something!” A Pidgey chirped loudly.

     “Hey, hey!” Corphish yelled. “I have another question!”

     “Yes?” Dusknoir asked as everyone’s attention turned to Corphish.

     “Ulp!” He shriveled a little from the attention. “Hey, I understand that we’ve got a big problem on our paws...but...what I don’t understand is...how do you know so much about Tiempo?”

     “Excuse me?”

     “I mean, the great Dusknoir is knowledgeable and all, but...how can a Pokémon know about the future, no matter how knowledgeable they are?”

     “It makes sense when you think about it...”

     “That’s true...”

     “Your confusion is understandable.” Everyone’s attention shot to Dusknoir. “And the second thing I must tell you is...I am also a Pokémon from the future.”

     “Seriously?” Justin asked. “You’re a Pokémon from the future? Like Tiempo?”

     “Yes. I was sent to your world in pursuit of Tiempo Grovyle, to bring him back to the future. You say I am knowledgeable, but that is only because I studied so much before my travels, to gain the knowledge of this world.”

     “Why didn’t you say anything before?” Ursaring asked. Dusknoir winced.

     “...I’m sorry. But...what if I had been open about my identity from the beginning? What if I had told you the truth? That I was from the future? Who would have taken me seriously?”

     “No one.” Justin said, and received withering gazes from many of the older Pokémon. But a good number of the other Pokémon in the square looked guilty. Dusknoir nodded in understanding.

     “You see? I also needed to keep my presence a secret, to avoid alerting Tiempo Grovyle. I’m sorry that it’s been kept a secret from you.”

     “It’s okay!” Pur called out from next to his brother. “We understand!”

     “Indeed we do!” Gree nodded. “The great Dusknoir had to have a reason, and this is perfectly understandable! What a wise decision!”

     “ZZZT! I concur!” Magnezone bobbed up and down in agreement. “Dusknoir has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law! ZZZT! We must focus our energy on capturing the thief, Tiempo! ZZZT!”

     “Yeah! We’re in DEEP TROUBLE if he gets away!” Loudred bellowed, making everyone around him wince.

     “The lake trio and I already have a plan.” Dusknoir didn’t yell, but he immediately captured everyone’s attention. “Everyone, we want you to spread a rumor, far and wide. Spread the word that Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit are going to seal the Time Gear away permanently, so that it can never be stolen.”

     “Ah! You want this to reach Timpo’s ears.” Chatot’s light bulb went off. “And this rumor will cause him to panic, and go to the lake, to see if this rumor is true.”

      “Correct. But...the catch is that the lake trio must actually go to the lake, so that Tiempo Grovyle doesn’t suspect the trap, and they have already agreed to do so. Tiempo Grovyle is...a very cautious Pokémon. Especially now...”

     “Indeed,” Chatot was nodding, “he was severally injured, so he would be even more cautious when going back.”

     “In a way, yes.”

     “Oh my gosh! Let us help with the capture!!” Sunflora hopped up and down in excitement.

     “Me too!” An overly excited Lombre yelled, and the square began to fill with offers to help.

     “Thank you, everyone.” Dusknoir said politely. “But, I’m afraid that I must ask no one else to assist with this.” The excitement died instantly.

     “What?”

     “Why?”

     “How come?”

     “Even if Tiempo Grovyle were to go to Crystal Cave...he would notice if there were Pokémon that weren’t natural residents of the cave, or if there was an unusual number of Pokémon there. And that would defeat the purpose of the plan. So I’m sorry.”

     “Oh...” The Pokémon who had been excited about being able to help capture Tiempo were disappointed, especially the members of the guild.

     “I realize I am asking a huge favor. But it’s the only option for success. All I ask is that you please do your part in our plan.” He bowed slightly, and the Pokémon who were assembled took that to mean the meeting was over, and began to talk excitedly amongst themselves.

     “So that’s how it stands!” Chatot addressed the members of the guild, who were standing together in the east corner of the square. “We will do our part by staying out of this, and only provide support as needed! Yoom...tah!” He tried pulling off a Wigglytuff, but the members of the guild looked unmotivated.

     “Well, hey, hey...”

     “We have no choice...?” Sunflora asked softly.

     “Is that an acceptable plan? Guildmaster?” Chatot looked to Wigglytuff for support, praying the Guildmaster hadn’t fallen asleep.

     “Yep! Sounds good to me!” Wigglytuff grinned, and Chatot breathed a sigh of relief.

     “Okay everyone! That’s the plan! Everyone should go back to work, but remember to spread the rumor! But try to be natural! We don’t want Timpo to suspect anything! Let’s have another day of work!”

     “HOORAY!” The members of the guild cheered, and began to mingle in with the crowd, to look for job requests, or heading off to wherever they normally went. Anna remained where she was standing, without giving any sign that she’d heard Chatot at all. Concerned, Justin put a paw on her shoulder, and she focused on him for the first time since she found out about Riley.

     “Anna?” He asked, then blinked when he realized he wasn’t the only Pokémon who’d said her name. He turned, and saw a pair of Duskull approaching them. One of them had a purple eye, and both Duskull were surprised to see another color-traited Pokémon.

     “...Greetings.” The male Duskull said, looking over Justin. “Who are you?”

     “Justin. I’m a member of Team Bright Star.” He said proudly.

     “So you’re Anna and Riley’s teammate?” The female Duskull floated forward. “Oh, my apologies. I’m Dusk, and this is my boyfriend, Duskull. We’re explorers.”

     “Hello.” Justin nodded, grinning.

     “...hola.” Anna said in barely a whisper.

     “We arrived at the end of the meeting. Who would have thought? Pokémon coming from the future?!” Duskull was bobbing up and down in mid-air. “Incredible!”

     “So...where is Riley today?” Dusk asked, observing the absence of the Riolu. Anna flinched noticeably, and the movement didn’t escape the two explorers-in-training.

     “Anna?” Dusk gasped, noticing the bandages. “Oh Arceus, what happened to you?!” She reached out, and touched the strips of cloth. Anna didn’t respond, so it was up to Justin to explain what had happened. When he was done, Dusk could only stare in shock, and Duskull was furious.

     “That DAMN Tree Gecko Pokémon.” He said in a furious voice, and Justin was shocked at the language.

     “Duskull!” Dusk scolded him gently.

     “Sorry, sorry! My apologies.” He shook his head, then sighed deeply.

     “Oh! Dusknoir, sir!” Justin called as the Gripper Pokémon floated near them. Dusknoir turned at the sound of the Eevee’s voice, and spotted the two Duskull along with the two members of Team Bright Star. “That was incredible, what you told us!!”

     “.........” Dusknoir was staring. In shock? In amazement? Horror?

     “You’re the Great Dusknoir?” Duskull went over to Dusknoir, who towered over him by at least four-and-a-half feet. “Incredible! You’re such an extraordinary explorer!”

     “.........thank...you.” Dusknoir nodded, but both the movement and the words seemed forced.

     “No. Thank you, sir.” Dusk bowed. “As a noble Pokémon who works to capture dangerous fugitives, you bring honor to our species.” Dusknoir could only blink and stare at Dusk.

     “One day, I hope to be as good an explorer as you are!” Duskull added. Dusknoir’s face paled, then smoothed out into a calm expression.

     “No...Duskull. Be an explorer Dusk would be proud of.” The Duskull being spoke of flushed a slight pink.

     “...” Duskull blinked, startled, then nodded vigorously. “I will!”

     “And you...” Dusknoir looked at Dusk. “...I don’t bring honor to your species. I’m sorry. But you...bring honor to your species.” He rested a hand on her head, gently, as if he was afraid she would be hurt. He looked at Justin and Anna, nodding at them. “I hope Riley recovers.” With that, he turned, and joined the lake trio and Magnezone, leaving the four explorers alone.

     “Wow. He was so respectful.” Dusk stared at Dusknoir’s turned back.

     “...He was slightly confusing though.” Duskull noted.

     “...how’d he know your name?” Justin asked Dusk. “Have you met him before?”

     “No.” Dusk blinked. “But that’s incredible! Wow!” She squealed.

     “...Justin.” The Eevee turned at his name. Anna was looking at him. “I...I’m going up to the guild.” To be with Riley. Her eyes said, and Justin found himself nodding. “Duskull?” The Requiem Pokémon turned. “Could you...take Justin with you? To explore or train with? Please?” Duskull also understood what was going through her head.

     “Of course. We’ll have him back to the guild before nightfall.”

     “Thank you...” She turned, and made her way from the square and the mass of chatting Pokémon.

~*~*~*~

     Anna lay on her bed in the guild. She’d told Chatot and Wigglytuff that she wanted to recover more, which was partially true. Every step she took was agony, thanks to her broken leg. Oh, the joy of having to walk on four legs... But the real reason she was in the guild was obvious. Riley was here, still unconscious from the beating he had received. He lay on his back, not moving at all. The bandages, even though they were replaced at regular intervals, bloodying easily. Every hour or so, Chimecho would hesitantly peek in, ask Anna how she was feeling, and give both Anna and Riley a mixture that she said would ‘help the healing.’ Then she would return to her booth on the second floor, glancing over her shoulder at them as she went.

     The room was silent except for the rustling of leaves outside the window, and the sound of Anna’s breathing.

     Riley... Anna thought as she watched her partner’s chest rise and fall almost undetectably. At Crystal Crossing...you fought to protect me, didn’t you? Because I was unconscious, and couldn’t defend myself? That’s why you fought Tiempo...and lost. It was for me...and...look where you are right now. I’m sorry...I’m so sorry. If I were a stronger...Pokémon, I wouldn’t have been knocked out so easily. This wouldn’t have happened to you... A tear ran down her cheek. Riley...please...don’t die. Don’t leave me. She reached out, and rested her paw next to his. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry...Please, come back... She shut her eyes, and drifted off to sleep.

~*~*~*~

     Anna opened her eyes wearily. She’d been dreaming. Of a white-colored river that ended with a waterfall, and a round, yellow and blue-green ball that floated above the water. It was night, and the light of an almost-full moon came in through the window, accompanied by the gentle smell of the ocean. Justin was asleep, curled up under the window in his blanket. It was so peaceful, Anna couldn’t tell if she was still dreaming.

     When Anna checked her body, she gave a small sigh when her muscles felt less worn and her body less damaged. But one of her paws felt warmer than the rest of her. She looked up blearily, and saw Riley’s paw curled around hers. Her cheeks flushed a slight pink, and then she sighed. She HAD to be dreaming.

     Riley looked the same as he had been earlier, but with the lower light, it was hard to tell. Still, his face appeared more peaceful, and his breathing seemed less ragged. Anna felt her eyelids being pulled down, and she curled into a ball, but left her paw in Riley’s grasp. If it was a dream, she didn’t want to ruin it. She didn’t know how much time there was left.

Team Bright Star~Ch23~The Only Option
Whop-de-do! Another chapter!
My appologies for not submitting anything recently. I can describe it in five words. Hermanos estupidos y no programa.
For those of you who don't speak Spanish, 'Stupid siblings and no program' (image editing program). BUT, now that school is back, I can barrow their Photoshop to do my work!!
I was debating how to end this chapter, and finished with this.

Previous Chapter: fire-star-bird.deviantart.com/…
Next Chapter: fire-star-bird.deviantart.com/…
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:iconiamtherealmjumper:
IamtheRealmJumper Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the watch. May I ask what drew you to my page?
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist
..........I was at the library, and the computer remembered your login username. So I got curious, and looked you up......
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:iconeeveelutionist:
Eeveelutionist Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey there. Ci wanted to say thanks for the birthday wishes~. I'm so Srry it took me forever to reply I have just been so busy
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist
Ah, thanks!! ^^ It's no problem! I get that people are busy! Heck, I'm busy! :D
Good luck with your artwork!
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:iconeeveelutionist:
Eeveelutionist Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Howdy~ :3
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist
Hey! ^^
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:iconeeveelutionist:
Eeveelutionist Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How are you? :3
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist
Not bad. ^^ No homework & I got stuff submitted.
You?
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:iconhoneybuun1018:
Honeybuun1018 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Student Artist
here you go



[link]
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner May 11, 2013  Hobbyist
Thanks
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:iconkitsune-viu:
Kitsune-Viu Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
BUON COMPLEANNO!
:iconsobeautifulplz:
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist
Es tarde, pero qué diablos? ¡Muchas gracias!
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:iconkitsune-viu:
Kitsune-Viu Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
Esto es italiano,^^
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:iconfire-star-bird:
Fire-Star-Bird Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist
Yes, I know.
Questo è italiano
Y este es el español
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