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And an Adieu to You [One Shot]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bay, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Author’s Note: Wrote this for Serebii's Yuletide exchange (for JX Valentine!), and one of the suggested prompts was that Lysandre’s still alive after one incident from near the game’s end, so some spoilers if you haven't finished the X/Y games yet. Thanks to diamondpearl476 for her great help in this!

    If going for rating, let's go PG to be on the safeside.

    xxx

    When nighttime came, Diantha made a call to Augustine through the Holo Caster while he was in his office. It had been some weeks since they last talked, so this was a delightful surprise for him. During their conversation, she mentioned about the battle she had with Serena a few hours ago.

    "Oh, so Serena had just beaten you?" Augustine asked her.

    "Yes. The way she and her Pokémon worked so well together truly inspired me to become a better trainer and actress."

    "No doubt you felt that way," he said with a chuckle. "I take it you'll be bringing her to Lumiose City?"

    Diantha nodded. "We'll be leaving first thing tomorrow morning and should arrive within a few days. Are all the preparations ready?"

    "I still have some last minute stuff that needs to be done, but I'm confident everything will be set by then!"

    "Wonderful. I must be going, now, so you have a good night, Augustine!"

    "You do the same, Diantha," Augustine said, and the hologram disappeared. He leaned back on his chair, stretching his arms out wide. The last few days had been busy for him as he was planning a parade for Serena and her friends once they arrived in Lumiose City. It was a huge accomplishment that they had stopped Team Flare, so they deserved something nice for their troubles.

    Team Flare. He frowned, feeling like his heart had been tied in a knot.

    When Lysandre had announced to the world that he was the leader of that organization, Augustine was speechless. Augustine was aware of his frustration with the world's resources being used up, but he didn't think Lysandre would go extreme lengths to want to wipe out almost all of humanity. He blamed himself for being too caught up with his friend's passion for wanting a better world. There was then the news of Lysandre's body not found in the rubble that occurred in Geosenge Town, which caused him to believe that he was either dead or missing.

    Several days later, he had told Serena of his disappointment when he met her at Couriway Town. While Augustine admitted he turned cheerful too fast right after when wanting to challenge her to a battle, that was his way of coping his mixed feelings over Lysandre's actions. If only he had talked to him sooner...

    A loud knock on the door interrupted Augustine's thoughts. After he straightened himself up, he called out for the person to come in. Augustine waited until one of his scientists stepped inside his office.

    "Oh, Dr. Helms!" he greeted with a smile. "Is there something you want you to talk to me about?" The scientist mentioned there was someone that wanted to see him and Augustine cocked his eyebrow. It was getting late now, and he didn't expect anyone to drop by his lab tonight. Nonetheless, he was curious over the person's reason for the surprise visit. "All right, send them in."

    Dr. Helms made a single nod and left the office. A minute later, someone else stepped inside. He wore a blue overcoat along with a scarf around his neck and a hat over his head. The man also carried a leather bag. For some reason his blue eyes and clean shaven face caught Augustine's interest, as if he had recognized him from somewhere, but he brushed that suspicion off.

    "Hello, I'm Professor Sycamore!" Augustine greeted and grinned. "Please make yourself comfortable." He gestured his hand towards the chair across from him and watched as his visitor took the seat. "Now then, what can I help you with?"

    "You're still as cheerful as ever, Augustine," the man said with a smirk, which caused him to flinch. Not only did he know his name, but his voice sounded familiar, too. Before Augustine could finish putting everything together, the visitor took off his hat to show off his now much shorter orange hair.

    "Lysandre?" he said, his eyes wide in shock. This must be a dream, right?

    Lysandre chuckled. "Surprised to see me, huh?"

    Surprised was an understatement. That was definitely his closest friend, without the beard and wild hairstyle, in front of him. Augustine’s hands began to shake.

    "The explosion in Geosenge Town..." he managed to stutter. "I thought you were dead for sure!"

    "My Pokémon actually saved me the last minute and I managed to escape before being buried in the rumble. I then decided to fake my death and alter my appearance so that I don't get caught by the international police."

    While letting what Lysandre said sink in, Augustine climbed out of his seat and faced the window on his left. So he was running away from his mistakes. He was sure if he tried to turn him into the international police, Lysandre wouldn’t hesitate using his Pokémon against him. Looking outside, he could see the Prism Tower lit up brightly from a far distance.

    "Why are you here?" he asked when he twirled back to glare at Lysandre.

    "There are a few things I want to get off my chest. First off, I want to apologize for my involvement as Team Flare's boss, and for causing so much trouble."

    "You almost destroyed all of Kalos!" Augustine screamed and raised his arms, all of the overwhelming emotions that boiled inside him the past month finally released. "If I had known of your plans way sooner, we could've talked about this!" He then hung his head down and said in a low voice, "I did believe in your vision of a beautiful world."

    Lysandre let out a shaky breath. "I know, and I deserved to not be forgiven. Being in hiding for a month, though, made me realize the full extent of my actions."

    Still frustrated with him, Augustine turned away to stare outside his window again. How could Lysandre casually apologized like that? As he clenched his fist, Augustine actually wanted to throw several papers at him, but he didn’t want to make a scene.

    “So, you’re planning a parade?” Lysandre asked and that brought back his attention. He saw him holding one of the flyers stacked on the desk. Augustine had “Huge parade in Lumiose City!” printed in colorful letters and the Prism Tower showered with confetti in the background. His assistants had thought the flyers were cute.

    “Yes,” he said and coughed. “It’s for that group of trainers that had stopped you and Team Flare.” Augustine crossed his arms, his eyes shifting away from Lysandre briefly. It was awkward telling him that.

    "I see. I’m sure everyone in Lumiose City will love it.” When Lysandre grew quiet for a moment, his face fell. “There's also another reason for my visit. I'm leaving Kalos because of the atrocities I had caused here. I haven't decided where I'll go, but I know I can't stay in this region any longer."

    "Oh." His stomach jumped. It shouldn’t be a surprise to him, the former Team Flare boss wanting to run away and all, and yet he was stunned to hear that.

    "That's not all. Before my departure, I want to leave you a few things of mine."

    Lysandre immediately pulled out from his bag four Pokéballs, a small box, and a ring with a colorful stone, setting them aside. Curious, Augustine went back to his desk and sunk into his chair to have a closer look at the items. He picked up the ring and gasped, realizing that—

    "Are you entrusting me with your Mega Ring? And your Pokémon?"

    "My Pokémon, including Pyroar who has been with me the longest, deserve someone better to watch over them. That Mega Stone is for Gyarados."

    Lysandre's finger pointed at the box and Augustine didn't hesitate in opening it. Inside was a large orange stone with blue and red swirls—indeed this was the Gyaradosite. He couldn't help but make a sad chuckle.

    "You forgot that I'm not that good with Mega Evolution," he said as he closed the box.

    "It doesn't matter. I know for certain my Pokémon will be happy with you."

    As he pondered over the offer, his mouth twitched. Not only is he leaving me his Pokémon, but also his other belongings. That thought still stunned him. Lysandre did sound genuine and seem to put some serious thought into this. Augustine couldn't bring himself to forgive him, but it would be rude to leave the Pokémon behind. He was a professor, after all. Was it wrong of him to accept the favor? Perhaps. And yet, it was also the right thing to do. Augustine inhaled and looked straight back at Lysandre.

    "Okay, I'll watch over them, but only because it feels wrong if I decline. And I'll keep your Mega Ring and the Gyradosite safe."

    "I do truly appreciate you doing this for me." Lysandre smiled, and Augustine could tell it was a genuine one. Another silence between them followed, and lingered.

    "So, I guess this is goodbye," he said, knowing that would be the case. Augustine’s eyes dropped on the floor.

    "I'm sorry we’re not able to work this out in the end, but I do value our friendship very much."

    "Me too." In spite of himself, he smiled a little. After talking with him some more, he was much calmer than a moment ago.

    The two men got up at the same time and Augustine let out his hand to Lysandre. Instead of shaking it, though, his friend's soft lips pressed on his skin and that caused him to flush. This was the first time Lysandre was being affectionate towards him. His body grew warm from that gesture.

    "Adieu, Augustine," he said, putting his hat back on.

    As Augustine watched him leave the office, his finger rubbed at the spot where Lysandre had just kissed. In the end he was glad his friend had dropped by to say his last goodbye. Shortly after, Dr. Helms returned to his office and he snapped back to reality.

    “Is everything all right, Professor Sycamore?” The scientist had a concerned expression on his face.

    “Nothing to worry about, Dr. Helms!” he said, beaming. “My visitor just came by to drop a few things for me.”

    “Ah, I see. Well, I’ll be heading home now. You have a good night!”

    Augustine told him to have a safe trip back and Dr. Helms left him alone. He picked Lysandre’s Mega Ring up once more and twirled it around, admiring the helix sigil on the stone. The professor was reminded back when he and Diantha had discussed Mega Evolution with Serena. He may not be able to use the Gyaradosite to its full potential, but he would continue to keep researching that concept. Lysandre would want him to do that.

    "And an adieu to you, Lysandre," he whispered, still fixing his gaze at the ring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  2. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    Neat to see you do a Pokemon fic, Bay! And gotta say, I can see why Jax liked it a lot, haha. I feel you nailed Sycamore's character there, what with this line in particular:
    It was a neat exchange between him and Lysandre as well, and even though I wasn't very fond of his fanboying of Flare's leader in the game itself, I rather liked this take here. The ending tied well to the title as well, on that note!

    I'd put in a comma before the 'and' here.
    Likewise here, if partly because it sound smore 'natural' for there to be a pause in his dialogue there to me.
    And this immediately following the above line made me laugh. He does kinda have a point there, Lysandre...
    I feel this reads better with two words swapped and apologize [like an American ;p) rather than its past tense form (How could Lysandre causally apologize like that?).
    Gyarados.

    Nice read. Do more Pokemon stuff please. ;p
     
  3. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Hey, glad to hear you enjoyed it bobandbill! Yes it's been a while since I did Pokemon fic heh. Glad to hear you thought I did Sycamore's characterization well. I didn't mind his fanboying too much but I can understand why you're not fond of it. Thanks for those corrections too, I'll make those changes in a bit. Really appreciate your review there!
     
  4. It's been literal years since I reviewed one of your fics, Bay, so I'm not gonna let 2016 come around without changing that!

    That was a really sweet fic. While I'm not familiar with shipping, I do have to say that how Augustine and Lysandre's friendship was presented in XY seemed like Game Freak wants us to see them as more than friends. And you really capture that friendship-but-maybe-something-more mood here. I particularly liked how you played with the image of the Mega Ring and how Augustine was reacting to it. Very clever way to play with the reader. ;)

    At first I was a bit thrown off by how wildly Augustine was jumping through emotions - like he's shocked then angry then sad in a very short amount of time - but reading it again, it seems like it's true to how Augustine would react given the situation. It really shows how Augustine was dealing with a whole slew of emotions in the past month that he's been repressing, and with this being his first (and possibly only) opportunity to properly express it, it makes sense for him to jump through each emotion he's feeling at that moment - and there are a lot of them.

    One small nitpick on a certain passage, though:

    I think this could be presented better? It feels pretty straightforward of an explanation for something Augustine can't fully grasp yet at that point. Maybe some more description of how abrupt his actions were when he was talking to Serena?

    But that's pretty minor, and it doesn't take away from this simple but very emotional one-shot. Awesome job with it! :)
     
  5. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    I don't read nearly enough Kalos fics, and this just reminded me of that. The characters of Gen 6 are so unique, and I think you did a great job with them here. Lysandre's more grounded dramatics matched against Professor Sycamore's lighthearted personality was a treat.

    I do wish there had been some more detail added in, if only because both characters are so expressive that seeing how they behave is just as interesting, if not more so, than what they're actually saying. Right now the one-shot reads a little quickly, and some action descriptions to accompany the dialogue could be a nice chance to both flesh out the emotional impact of two friends meeting before saying goodbye and really beef up the characterization.

    The plot was really nice, though. Very simple but still very interesting, so I guess I have you and JX to commend for that. Their friendship (I'm assuming, since I wasn't sure if the kiss at the end was romantic or just French) was the weirdest, most entertaining part of XY for me, and the way you fleshed it out a little was really cool. Great job!
     
  6. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Dramatic Melody: Howdy! Indeed it's been a while, haha. I also noticed you've been posting a few fics, so I should check them out soon!

    Yeah I was worried about if I had the emotions switched around a lot, so I'm glad to hear it worked out in the end!

    Hm, I'll see about changing that!

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]: Yo! Glad to see another reviewer here!

    You're right some parts could use more detail here and there. On another forum, actually, someone pointed out certain parts that needed more body language along with getting rid of some extra baggage, so I'll see about doing that hopefully soon.

    Concerning the hand kiss as romantic or French, I'll leave up to the reader's imagination haha.

    Again, thanks to the both of you for your comments! I might actually get to polishing some parts based on another reviewer's comments, though that'll depend when I get a chance as I'll be focusing on a few other projects and other real life stuff. If I do get a chance to do that, I'll make a note on the first post!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  7. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    (Sorry for the wait! Fiiinally getting caught up on reviews~!)

    Aww man, before I say anything else, I’d just like to thank you again for the awesome Yuletide gift. :D As a disclaimer, the rest of this review is 100% unbiased, but I just want to say again that your fluff always gives me the warm-and-fuzzies. You just have this knack for very chill fics—like, they’re not super actiony, nor are they super-dramatic or angsty. Instead, it’s very subdued and almost contemplative, with the plot being driven forward by real interactions between people.

    With that said, that’s one thing I wanted to talk about. Your strongest suit is no doubt your characterization. You’ve always been careful with that, which is something I like to look for when I read your work. Even if I have absolutely no idea what the canon you’re writing for is like (like with Bravely Default or even Fullmetal Alchemist), you’ve got a knack for getting down the characters in a limited amount of space.

    Take this fic, for example. First, you have Diantha, who’s to-the-point yet somehow elegant with the way she talks. You can tell this by checking out how organized she is. Limited body language with her dialogue indicates a sort of stiffness, like she considers this simultaneously a social and a business call, and what she asks makes her sound like a bit of a lady. (“Are the preparations ready?” instead of “Are you ready,” for example—if that makes sense.)

    Then you have Sycamore. The main reason why I said Sycamore’s spot-on is because of how he acts here. It’s actually quite interesting to see him offset the other characters. He shakes. He twirls. He glares. He screams. He’s clearly this bundle of incredible emotional energy, and the conversation is clearly this emotional rollercoaster for him. And sure, the narration has a tendency to talk about his emotions rather than let him react at first (like, for example, on the “surprised was an understatement” part—kinda wanted to see Sycamore’s actual, visceral reaction there), but once you find your footing right after Lysandre’s explanation for how he survived, Sycamore’s emotions start to shine through.

    All of that is juxtaposed, of course, by Lysandre’s emotions … or lack thereof, anyway. That’s not a bad thing, either. In fact, while Lysandre is canonically a little broody and dramatic, he’s also not emotional—not as much as Sycamore, anyway. And that comes through here. He’s very calm in his explanations, and his movements are very little. The most we see him do is smile and go quiet. Other than that, you’re notably reserved when it comes to describing his expressions, and everything he says is straightforward. While body language is good, a notable lack of body language also can be handy in conveying stoicism (or stiffness, in Diantha’s case), and this, I think, is one of those times when you get that across, especially because it’s paired with Sycamore’s over-the-top action. And that I think I really liked most of all: that sense that Sycamore and Lysandre are friends and companions but also opposites of one another. Putting these two portrayals right next to each other only serves to balance and boost: Sycamore seems more emotional because Lysandre isn’t, whereas Lysandre seems intensely calm because Sycamore isn’t.

    (As a side note, I’d also like to say I love how straightforward Lysandre is when it comes to explaining how he escaped Geosenge and why he faked his death. At first, I thought it was a flaw because, wow, that was straightforward, but the more I read it, the more I think it’s hilarious and simultaneously stoic and dramatic ... and also probably exactly how Lysandre would phrase that.)

    That isn’t to discount the advice you got elsewhere, of course. I haven’t read the review, admittedly, but I can see what they’re getting at. Like I said a moment ago, there were times in this fic when you fell back on telling us how characters felt, rather than showing us. (The above example about Sycamore being surprised is one. The part where the scientist/Sycamore’s assistant has a concerned expression on his face is another.) While there are definitely times and places to be minimalist, you can definitely say that this fic relies a lot on its emotional impact, which means it’s a case where the more gestures in place of actually naming emotions, the better. Still, you have the groundwork here—a strong groundwork, no less.

    As for the plot, haha, what can I say? I love fix fics involving these two. I always thought that it was odd that Sycamore seemed all right at the end of X and Y, knowing what happened in Geosenge and all. That and, well, Lysandre’s last canon moments seemed so ambiguous it’s hard not to imagine that there’s a story there. Reading this fic scratched that itch I had perfectly. You get from the beginning that this is a conversation that needs to happen, not because of the plot but instead because Lysandre realizes this is a conversation that needs to happen. (Hence, he gets riiiiight to the point!) And it’s good on Sycamore’s end because you sense that his outburst comes from bottling up all of the shock and anger from Lysandre’s betrayal (by being involved with Team Flare, by faking his death, by putting Kalos in danger). You’re even careful about not letting Sycamore’s forgiveness come quick. It’s awkward after that outburst—deliberately so—but Lysandre slowly works his way towards regaining Sycamore’s respect with his final gift.

    And that part. That felt cathartic to read, if only because it represented the idea that everything was going to turn out all right. Lysandre is alive. He’s apologized and reached out to Sycamore. He even entrusted the last good friend he’s got with his most valuable possessions. You’re also careful not to hint at what’s going to happen to Lysandre after this part, but it feels very much like this chapter of his story is coming to a proper close.

    In short, that’s … actually a good way to put it. It was cathartic to read this, and it still kinda is. You did a great job wrapping things up for Lysandre and Sycamore by giving them both some kind of hopeful future, but more than that, there were all these emotions rolling in on top of each other that it was hella fun to read.

    Buuuut as for crit, I suppose there are really three things (besides the aforementioned note about emotions) that I can point out.

    I kinda think the opening could be made longer. It does a great job of setting up a timeframe for this story, but I feel like it leads a little abruptly into Diantha’s call. Perhaps showing Sycamore hanging around the lab and quietly thinking about the news he’d received concerning Geosenge (or the parade he’s planning) before having him receive the call might help to soften the transition a little. (You can still keep the summarization of the majority of Diantha’s call. It’s just … something feels a little missing at the beginning.)

    The transition out of the call to Diantha could also be smoothed out a bit. While I do like how stately and to-the-point Diantha is, I also feel like she wraps the conversation up a little bit too quickly. This could probably be remedied by revealing more of the conversation at the beginning, oddly enough—as in, by giving the reader some kind of impression as to why Diantha’s calling. It seems like she’s making arrangements to bring Serena to Lumiose, so establishing that this is totally a business call by having them talk a little more about the parade prep could work. Alternatively, if this is more of a social call, you could have Diantha talk about her battle with Serena or Serena herself. Throwing in a little something in Diantha’s last line about why she needs to get off in a hurry couldn’t hurt, either.

    Admittedly, I’m not really focusing too much on grammar because I’m trying to train myself not to write grammatical reviews because reasons, but:
    Rubble. :D (I figured at least, for Lysandre’s explanation, it’s a thing that’d be important. I mean, not so much getting the wording down as it is avoiding making a reader do a double-take. If that makes sense.)

    Other than that! I really do think this is an adorable fic, and I’d like to thank you again for tackling this prompt and for doing it justice. Thank you for bringing these characters to life and for giving their stories the satisfying conclusion I really, really wanted to see this Christmas.

    And finally:

    Yes, please.
     

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