Pokemon Fan Fiction ❯ There for You ❯ Growing Up ( Chapter 5 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Blurred vision. Heavy breathing. Numb limbs. The broken pieces of her heart pounding hard…

There were voices. Distant voices. They seemed to be calling her name, but they only sounded like faded echoes.

Suddenly she felt a hand on her back. This shocked her and her head suddenly shot up.

"Chikorita? Sweetie?"

Audino and Chansey were finally back.

"Are you okay, hon?" Chansey asked. "How's he doing?"

Why can't I wake up from this nightmare?!

"He's… he's…" she couldn't stop herself from blubbering.

A wave of fear came across Audino's face. But it only lasted for a brief moment, and then she smiled gently.

"Let me see if I can find a heartbeat."

"But… he stopped breathing ages ago…"

"Honey, I think you forget: I have good ears. It's how I could tell you were still alive after that fire, after all."

She leaned down and listened for a few moments.

"You know what…" she began.

"What? Can you hear anything?!"

"…I think I can." She smiled cheerfully. "It's very, very faint, but he's still breathing. He's still in there."

"HE IS?!" Chikorita shot up. "What do we do then? Do you have that medicine?"

"It took us a while to find, but we have it!" Chansey pulled out a vial from the bag.

"What is that?"

"It was left here generations ago," Audino began. "It's said to be from the human world. It's called Max Revive. We don't know exactly how it got here, but we always kept it stored away in case of emergencies. It's believed to be far more powerful than reviver seeds."

"And you think it can bring him back?"

"I have a good feeling. But I'm going to need your help, Chikorita. Okay?"

"Of course. I'll do anything."

Audino poured the medicine into a new syringe and injected it. They waited for a few moments, but there was still nothing happening.

"Okay Chikorita, I need you to start talking now."

"Talking?"

"Yes. Talk to him. I'm convinced that if there's anything in this world that'll get him to wake up, it's the sound of your voice."

Her heart started pounding fast. She walked up to his bedside again and tried to form words.

"…Papa? Nuzleaf? It's me… Chikorita. Your kiddo. Can you hear me?"

She looked back at the nurses.

"That's good! Keep going!"

"…I, um… I really want you to be okay. I want to talk to you again. I want to keep sharing stories with you, and joking around with you, and going on adventures, and…" she started to tear up again. "…I just really want to see you again. Please wake up… for me?"

There was still no reaction. She was starting to lose hope.

When…

"AIIEEEH!"

She screamed in shock as she was suddenly grabbed from behind. She couldn't even tell who is was, but she was being dragged backwards and couldn't break free.

"Let go of me! What are you doing! Someone, help!"

Their grip became tighter.

"Ouch! What are you guys doing? Help!"

Audino and Chansey simply stood there and watched.

"LET GO! I CAN'T BREATHE! SOMEONE HELP ME!"

"CHIKORITA!"

Nuzleaf suddenly sat up within the span of a half-second.

"Chikorita, are you o-"

She was released from their grip and put back on the ground. She stood there frozen for a moment, eyes filling up again.

"P-PAPA!"

She raced over and hugged the life out of him, causing him to fall backwards again.

"Hey there, kiddo…"

He held her tightly in their embrace for several moments; both of them weeping with joy.

"I thought you were…" she managed through her quick, sobbing breaths, "and I was so…"

"I know, kid. I know. It's all right now."

"Well, if this isn't the sweetest thing I've ever seen…" Audino started to tear up a little too.

They sat back up to face her, and then turned and saw that it was Carracosta who had attacked Chikorita.

"…Carracosta?" she tilted her head. "That was you?"

"Indeed. We planned this entire thing out."

They looked back at the nurses.

"It's true," Audino smiled. "We knew this reviver medicine would be enough to keep Mr. Nuzleaf alive, but we needed to find a way to really snap him back, since he was almost gone at that point. And I know that he would do anything in the world for you, Chikorita. Anything to keep you safe. And so we went and talked to Mr. Carracosta there, and had him pretend to attack you. We couldn't tell you because your reaction had to be convincing…" she winked.

"Well… ain't that somethin'…" Nuzleaf started to wind down and breathe easier.

"Thank you… all of you," Chikorita started wiping her tears. "So, will he be okay now, Audino?"

"Absolutely. That bite mark will probably be a little sore for a while, but that'll be the extent of your worries!"

"Oh, and we figured out what caused that poison fang to be so deadly," Chansey said. "That Crobat somehow came into contact with some medicine that was also from the human world. It was a failed experiment, but the medicine was supposed to make humans immune to poison. But if it's given to a Pokemon, it makes their poison attacks more powerful and they start seeing red. But luckily that wears off after some time! So Crobat should be fine as well."

"Well… I don't reckon I could ever express enough gratitude to y'all," Nuzleaf said, slowly standing up.

"PSSSST!"

Totodile poked his head in the doorway, believing he was a lot more hidden than he actually was.

"Pops?" he whispered. "Is it over? Did it work?"

"It's all finished, son. You can come in now."

"It worked? YAY!" he excitedly hopped inside. "Mr. Nuzleaf, you're okay! And Chikorita! Did my Pops do a good job?"

"Oh, he was very convincing," she laughed.

"He sure knows how to be scary when he wants to be!"

"Um… thanks, son?"

"So, you're okay! We're all okay! Hooray! Let's all just plan to not fight any more Crobats for a while…"

"DEAL!"

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"Hello, Chikorita. Welcome to the Tree of Life."

"Hi, Xerneas. I'm here to evolve."

"Just you?"

"I'm just here for support," Nuzleaf said.

"All right. So, Chikorita… are you sure you're ready for this? Once you evolve, you can't turn back. Can you accept this?"

"Yes."

"Very well. When you're ready, follow me back to the Tree of Life."

She turned to Nuzleaf. "Well, this is it."

"Go for it, kiddo."

"You know that this will be the last time you'll ever see me like this…" she teased.

"I know. But I do believe you'll come outta there lookin' better than ever."

"Chikorita?" Xerneas called out. "Are you coming?"

"Okay… here goes…"

She followed Xerneas to the back of the meadow where the Tree of Life was. She was out of Nuzleaf's sight for a few moments. But in due time…

…Out came Bayleef.

She was practically glowing.

"Well? How do I look?" she asked Nuzleaf.

"You look great, kid." He shed a couple tears. "I… I reckon you're growin' up real good. I'm real proud of you."

She hugged her Papa, and during the process realized they were a lot closer in size and height now.

"Are you sure you don't want to become a Shiftry?" Xerneas asked Nuzleaf.

"Oh, nah, I'm all right, heh…" Nuzleaf respectfully declined. "I've encountered my fair share of 'em over the years, and well… let's just say I don't wanna become that. They're a bit off their rockers, if ya know what I mean."

"That's perfectly fine. I just thought I would ask."

Xerneas couldn't help but notice that Nuzleaf wouldn't make direct eye contact.

"…Is there anything else you would like to discuss?" Xerneas stepped closer.

Nuzleaf kept looking away. "Nope. Nothin' else. We did what we came here for, so I reckon we should be headin' back…"

"You still have yourself in chains."

That caught him off guard.

"Erm… what's that now?"

"You still feel guilty about what you did under Dark Matter's control. And you feel especially guilty around me, since I'm the Tree of Life incarnate and the one who you were destroying. Is this correct?"

Nuzleaf's heart started pounding hard and he fixed his gaze on the ground again. "I uhh…"

"Don't worry. In case it helps to hear it from me personally, I forgive you."

"You don't… have to do that." He almost wanted to hide his face, but remained composed.

"I'm well aware that I don't have to. I'm choosing to. In fact, it's a done deal. It has been for a long time. We all know that your actions were of Dark Matter and not your own."

He finally made eye contact. "Well… I'm surely indebted to you. If there's ever anythin' at all I can do to repay you-"

"You're not required to repay me. Forgiveness is free. I'm giving it to you."

He got a little teary-eyed. "Well… that sure is somethin', ain't it? I... rightly do thank you, Xerneas."

The two leaf heads headed back to Lapras to start making their journey back home.

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"Whoa! Chikorita, is that you?!" Lombre exclaimed as the two entered the plaza.

"Yep. It's me."

"Wow… I guess you're not such a little kid anymore, huh?"

"I suppose we all have to grow up sometime, don't we?"

Bayleef and Nuzleaf continued through the plaza and made their way home. Totodile came sprinting out of his house as soon as he saw them out of his window.

"Oh my gosh! You look so cool, Chikor- erm, I mean, Bayleef!"

"Thanks, Totodile."

She laughed along with him while he freaked out with excitement.

"I wanna evolve too! Hey, Pops?!"

Carracosta stepped out of the house at the sound of his call.

"Can I go evolve like Bayleef did? Can I?!"

"You're free to make that decision for yourself, son. I have nothing against it if that's what you wish to do."

"Woohoo! I'm gonna go right now! I'll see you later, Bayleef! We've gotta stay on the same level, after all!"

And without a second thought, he took off running towards the village's exit, leaving a small trail of dust behind him.

The leaf heads went inside.

Nuzleaf couldn't help but notice that Totodile left without asking his father to go with him…

"You know somethin'?" he asked.

"What's that?"

"You askin' me to go with you today… it really did mean a lot. I'm glad I could be there for ya."

"I'm glad too!"

*Flap* *flap*

"DELIVERY!"

They stepped back outside and found Pelipper there holding an envelope.

Nuzleaf took it, and noticed the date.

"This is… that lost letter I sent six months ago. I'll be darned…"

"I'm sorry about that…" Pelipper said, scratching his head. "It was my first week on the job. I took it to the Air Continent by mistake, and so they just held it there for a while."

"Better late than never?" Bayleef said.

"True, true. Well, have a lovely rest of your day, you two."

*Flap* *flap*

"Well…" Nuzleaf handed Bayleef the envelope as they went back inside. "I do believe this belongs to you."

"Aw… is this that heart-felt letter you were telling me about all those months ago? The first one you ever sent?"

She was playfully teasing, but sincere all the same.

"I'm certain of it."

She opened it up and started reading.

Dear Chikorita,

I'm real glad to hear that all is goin' well for you two over in the Mist Continent. It sounds like both of y'all are doing some real good service to them Pokemon in need. That's a real admirable thing. Even after all this time, you're still savin' the world, one Pokemon at a time.

We sure do miss you two back here in the village. Hopin' to see you sometime in this near future, if you can ever spare some time away from your missions. Though I do understand that y'all are busy, and that the work you're doin' over there takes priority. But all the same, I just ask that you don't ever be a stranger. The door to this house is always open to you. I'll always be happy to have you over if you ever wanted to come home, no matter how long.

If ya ever need anything at all, just holler at me. I do hope you're bein' careful out there. I've gotta be honest… I think about you every day. And I can't help but worry sometimes, though I know I don't need to. There's a lot of stuff I know y'all are capable of, but just promise me you'll be safe out there. Ya hear?

Well, take care… and I reckon I'll see ya around.

-N

Bayleef looked up from the paper and smiled at him.

"It's… a little outta date by now, I reckon…"

"Thank you, Papa."

"But I do still stand by everythin' I said."

"I know."

She set it on the table, and turned back and smiled at him.

"Hey, do you know what I'd really like to do?"

"What's that now?"

"Go on adventure. Just the two of us."

"I'd surely enjoy that as well."

"How about now? It might be our last chance before Totodile and I go back to the Grass Continent."

"I reckon we could do it in honor of your new evolution."

"Yeah! Let's do it!"

"Where do ya wanna go?"

"Just… anywhere that doesn't have Crobats."

Nuzleaf smiled. "That'd be mighty fine with me."

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Laughter. New horizons. And the gentle snowflakes falling down again.

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A/N: That concludes this very long sequel.

Gosh. This fic turned into a novel :L definitely didn't plan it that way lol. I'm seriously just way too attached to these characters.

So, this took me a long time to notice, but EVEN NUZLEAF'S HOUSE has a giant leaf on the roof. THEY WERE MEANT TO BE A FAMILY.

Also, just for the record, I don't have the heart to actually evolve myself on the game. It just wouldn't be the same ;.;

So yes, I know… there was lots of cheesiness and fluff and all that fun stuff. But I guess that's just how my headcanons work.

Like always, I welcome constructive feedback, as well as anyone who wants to fangirl out with me (since I'm incredibly late to the PSMD party and just got the game a month ago).

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon, this game, quotes from the game, etc. Just a crazed fangirl who's STILL way too obsessed.