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Old 01-30-2018, 08:03 PM
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Umbramatic Umbramatic is offline
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Default Heroes After All

This... This is a fic I've been meaning to write for far too long. In developing it there was a lot of blood and sweat and tears before I finally decided to stop making excuses and, as the meme goes, just do it.

Because from deep within the bottom of my heart this is a story very personally important to me.

(Banner by Sworn Metalhead)



Heroes After All

Prologue

This is one of the greatest love stories our world has ever known.

Now hold up there for a minute! I saw that look in your eyes. You think this is one of those over-lovey-dovey romance stories no one can stand. Open your mind a little! Love is a spectrum, one that kind of thing is a bastardization of an itty-bitty bit of! No, this is a different breed of love story than that. What kind of breed? The breed you'll have to sit and stay for me to tell you what properly!

As I'm doing so, you'll probably be a wise guy and mention you've seen this all before with a bunch of kids and a few adults and their Meowth and Pikachu getting roped into the mess. That'll give you some context at least, but even that tale told only part of one world's version of this story - and plot twist, this is another world's version, and I'm gonna be generous and tell you the whole damn thing. Some things will change, some things will stay the same, many things will go deeper into this whole tale than you've likely seen before, but I'm not telling which you'll get until I get to it.

Though, enough of that. Since the version you've likely seen before told you pretty quick how those kids and their Pikachu got into their world's version of this story, I'll be straight up telling how I got roped into mine's...


Chapter 1: Introductions

Somewhere in Johto, around 2005 After Skybreak (around 1000 years before the present)

Sticks. Rocks. Dirt. All of them battered and bruised the boy's body as he tried to shield himself from the blows.

Eventually he tried to run, but the other children just followed after, yelling "freak" all the while.

They managed to corner him, and their assault with words and objects only intensified. The boy cowered and curled up in a ball, just waiting for it to stop.

But the pain and fear caused a strange power to build in his lungs and throat, enough for a distinct blue-green glow to emanate from his mouth. The power intensified rapidly until it came out as an unnaturally powerful scream, a scream that knocked the other children back and echoed throughout the village.

The other children staggered to their feet.

"H-He really is a monster..."

"Let's get out of here!"

"We'll get you someday, freak!"

They all ran off, leaving the blue-haired, blue-eyed boy dressed in rags panting in exhaustion until he collapsed on his back.

He lay there a while, waiting for one of the village's adults to find him, when he heard a strange noise.

He weakly turned his head and saw a yellow Pokemon with small wings and a drill-like tail staring intently at him.

"H-Hello?" the boy said softly.

The Dunsparce hissed and used its tail to bury itself underground in reply.

The boy sighed and slowly started to get to his feet when he noticed a young woman approaching his location.

The woman was blonde with green eyes and was wearing strange clothing unfamiliar to the boy, a uniform with what seemed to be a two-part coat and a wide-brimmed hat with a spiky end and decorated with a symbol resembling three claw marks arranged in a triangular fashion. Upon further notice she also carried a staff of some sort in her left hand, both hands being gloved.

The boy backed away from her quickly.

"Y-you aren't from the village, miss..."

The woman blinked, then sighed and put a hand to her forehead.

"Kid, look, I'm not here to hurt you. Those other kids who were hurting you? A bunch of jerks. The kind of jerks who you shouldn't let boss you around."

The boy stood and stared at her before tilting his head.

"How do you know about the bullies?"

He yelped as the Dunsparce from earlier slithered up from behind him and up to rest at the woman's feet.

"My Dunsparce told me. Don't worry, she's friendly... If a bit odd."

The Dunsparce nodded in affirmation to both statements.

"She... did?" said the boy.

He looked up at the woman in wonder. "You can talk to Pokemon?"

~Yep. Like this.~

The boy jumped, looked at the woman in bewilderment, then looked around wildly. That was her voice, but her mouth hadn't moved at all, where-

~Kid, it's me. I'm talking to you with my head, it's called telepathy.~

The boy looked up at her again, eyes widening. "You.. You..."

The woman gave a small smile. "Kid, you aren't the only one out there with 'magic powers'."

The boy grinned, and bounced up and down excitedly. "You have powers like I do! And you're big and strong and that means I'm not a freak! Like, I can do the talaplethy thing too!"

He closed his eyes and scrunched his face in. ~Se... wh... mea...~

He stopped, opened his eyes, panted profusely, then looked up at the woman with a nervous chuckle and grin. "I-I'm still working on it, miss..."

The woman raised an eyebrow. "...I can tell."

The Dunsparce gave a "sparce" and a snicker-like hiss before the woman nudged her with her boot.

"But wait, you've got better powers than I do," said the boy, "and you've got that really nice outfit..."

His eyes lit up. "You're a wizard!"

The woman blinked. "I'm a what?"

She blinked and sighed with a hand to her head again as what the boy said more fully clicked. "Kid, no no no, not really, I'm an Aura Guardian. A group of people with powers like us. This outfit - the hat, the coat, the boots the staff the cape - that's our uniform.

She gestured to her "coat".

"...Well on my end, I had to convince them to make the cape an extension of my coat since it suited my fighting style better..."

"You fight evildoers?!" said the boy, jumping up and down in excitement.

"Wha-"

The woman shook her head. "When we need to yes, whenever they threaten the peace of civilians or those on the Auri-"

She threw her hands up in the air and groaned.

"Kid, I'd already been on patrol duty long enough both time and distance-wise before I found you. I can answer all your little questions later. Right now I've got a question for you - where the hell are your parents?"

The boy blinked, then shuffled a bit. "Me and my mom live further in the village. I used to have a dad but..."

He shook his head. "You can still see my mom, though! Follow me!"

He started running off. The woman headed after, her Dunsparce slithering and fluttering after.

------

A different woman with blue hair and blue eyes like the boy's was tending to her house when she heard a knocking at her door.

She opened it to see said boy and the blonde woman standing before her.

"Ma'am?" said the latter, clenching her right fist and crossing it over her chest. "Poly Pteryx of the Genesis Mountain Aura Guardians. I'm here about your son's... condition."

The boy's mother gave a small gasp but moved to let Polly and her own son in, giving a small yelp as the Dunsparce slithered in after then rushing over to her son and fondling him.

"Dear, are you OK?! Did something happen?!"

"Yeah Mom, the bullies went after me again, but I scared them off and then this lady and her Dunsparce came to help!"

"Oh, ma'am, I can't thank you enough!"

Polly nodded. "You're welcome. But your son's power is still something to be discussed."

"...Go on?"

"Well, let him have a say first. Kid, how'd you scare those bullies off?"

The boy thought for a second. "Well, they were chasing me and throwing things at me and yelling mean names, but I got scared and something in my chest started moving and I screamed so loud it exploded and it scared them away!"

The boy's mother blinked. Polly nodded.

"That sounds about what my Dunsparce told me probably happened. She can pick up a lot by scent and vibrations."

Her Dunsparce gave a hiss and "Dun!" of gratitude.

Polly turned to the boy's mother. "Your boy has one hell of an Auric Scream."

His mother blinked. "Auric what?"

Polly sighed. "Your son has power over the force known as Aura that flows through every living thing. All Pokemon can tap into it to some extent, but only a rare few humans, like your son..."

She rolled up her sleeve to let a pink, scythelike blade of energy extend from a slit in the middle of her glove around her ulna.

"...And me."

The boy, enraptured, moved a bit closer to the blade. Polly quickly noticed and dissipated it.

"Careful, kid, that thing's sharp. I'm on the quadrant with powers closest to a Psychic-type Pokemon, that thing's basically my equivalent of a Psycho Cut."

The boy shifted again. "Sorry, ma'am..."

He immediately perked up. "Wait, what does that mean I have? Dragon type powers? Steel type powers?"

Polly frowned slightly. "Sorry kid, they sadly aren't quite that varied in us humans. Tell you what, if you want to find out, why don't you try making something with your powers like I did?"

The boy beamed, and cupped his hands, only to notice all three of his mother, Polly, and Polly's Dunsparce moving back noticeably.

"...Why are you all doing that?"

"I-It's so we have a good view, sweetie!" said his mother.

~Nice save,~ said Polly to her telepathically.

D-Don't get in my head like that!

~You're welcome.~

The boy concentrated, grit his teeth as a ball of blue-green energy formed between his hands and grew larger and larger until-

It exploded. The house rattled, the mother flinched and yelped as a pot fell off a table and shattered right next to her. The boy was blown back, knocked to the floor and lay there breathing heavily a while before muttering:

"...I'm OK..."

"Well," said Polly. "There we have it."

She turned to the boy's mother again.

"Your son has the most potential with the brand of Aura closest to that of Fighting types I've ever seen in someone his age; that would've been a damn good approximation of a Focus Blast if he'd managed to fully charge it."

She looked back to the boy and furrowed her brow.

"...The bad news is he also has the least refined powers of anyone on that part of the power spectrum I've ever seen."

The boy's mother blinked. "And that means...?"

"We can train him."

"...What?"

"The Aura Guardians seek to hone the potential of everyone with the power of the Wave to live their lives to the fullest. That includes your son."

"I..."

The boy's mother paused. "I... I'm not sure what to do... After we lost Issac..."

"Mom... I... I want to."

The boy's mother turned to see him getting to his feet.

"If they're gonna accept my powers... Make me stronger... I want them to help me.

His mother stared, then nodded and smiled.

Polly smiled as well. "Good; we'll get you up to the monastery in a few months."

Her brow furrowed again.

"Though... Geez, sorry it slipped my mind until now, but what's your name, kid?"

The boy smiled softly.

"It's Aaron!"

------------

The forest was dim at sunset; the Pidgey and Starly were retreating to their roosts as the Hoothoot and Murkrow were emerging from theirs. Amid it all, however, in a small clearing, one avian Pokemon stayed groundbound and vigilant - A Blaziken with an X-shaped scar on his forehead watching over a small, blue-and-black egg nestled in a shallow burrow.

The Blaziken raised his haunches as he sensed something approaching, but relaxed upon his sharp eyes seeing it was a familiar female Lucario and gave a beaky smile.

"...Hey honey. It's not your turn yet."

"I know, Ginji," said the female Lucario, "I just wanted to check in."

"Well, I think it's doing all right... I don't have Flame Body or Magma Armor or anything, but I'm keeping it warm."

He stood up and looked at her, rubbing the back of his head.

"Though, could you use those Aura powers of yours to check? Mine are only good for ol' punches and kicks and such..."

She nodded, her eyes closing and the feelers on the back of her head raising as she focused on the egg. She suddenly opened her eyes and gasped.

"It's close! Very close! It could hatch any-"

"Hey!" said a third voice, "Sis, you're supposed to be on hunting du-"

The source of the voice, a second, male Lucario, entered the clearing and sneered at Ginji.

"Why are you with him right now?"

She scowled back. "He's my mate. Our egg is about to hatch."

The male Lucario rolled his eyes. "Right. Tell that hybrid thing when it hatches it's no more a real part of our pack than his wingless chicken-eagle of a fa-"

He was cut off mid sentence by said chicken-eagle standing right in front of him, looming over him and giving his own scowl.

"Okay, listen, buddy," said Ginji. "You nepotist canines can literally dogshit on me anytime you want normally, but me and my mate are having an important moment here. So fuck off, unless you want all that Taurosshit about me being a threat to the pack to not be such Taurosshit for you specifically."

The second Lucario backed away, stooped with raised haunches, and gave a defiant snarl before dashing off.

"G-Ginji..." said the female. "He's going to tell the others about this..."

"Eh, they always come up with something, this makes zilch difference," he said. "Let's just focus on-"

Suddenly, they heard a loud cracking. The two rushed over just in time for the egg to fall apart and reveal a small, undeveloped and yipping Riolu pup, its eyes closed.

"They made it!" said the female Lucario. "We did it!"

"Heh, we did! Now let's check on the little fella more closely..."

He scooped up the yipping pup in his foretalons and held him up to inspect his hindquarters.

"It looks like a male. We might find out otherwise later, but for now he's our little boy."

The female Lucario smiled and looked up to Ginji. "Will he have a human name like yours?"

"I'm debating it. Might be a good idea, might not be."

The Riolu pup snuggled up to Ginji's chest as he gave another beaky smile.

"For now, I don't care what the rest of this pack says. This little guy's going places."

***

And there we have it, a story I am very glad to finally get out there. For now updates are gonna be... monthly to bimonthly-ish, alternating with Rude Awakening until that's completed, allowing me to devote to this story completely on the chapterfic front.

...

This feels so hecking good.
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