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Five Years Later [Platonic Contest]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TikTok13, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Oh, I have a title?

    Hello people! So, this was my entry for the Platonic Relationship Writing Contest. And, unexpectedly, I received third place! Woo! So if you want to read this to see what they saw (Beats me), then just give it a look over. It's a little thing about the friendship of the four protagonists of Generation Five. Enjoy, and don't forget to check out the other entries, especially Ambyssin and DeliriousAbsol's, who came first and second respectively.

    ---Five Years Later: A Pokémon FanFiction---
    * * * ​

    The most damaged people are the wisest.

    Black: Day 1

    It had been five years. Five whole years since Team Plasma had fallen. Five whole years since Ghetsis had vanished. 5 years since N had given Reshiram to the newest hero. Seven years since Black left Unova.

    It wasn't his fault. He'd travelled the world, alongside Zekrom. He thought he could never return. People would have… mixed opinions on his capture of the legendary dragon that so many revered as a deity. Now he knew that wasn't true. He'd been alone for seven years, save his Pokémon. All of them, holed up in an ancient ruin in a forgotten mountain, deep in the region of Sinnoh. Yes, he'd come across many travellers, but he reluctantly sent them away after a confuse ray from his Pokémon.

    The wide howled, and snow bellowed into the mouth of the cave. But never further in. Never far in enough to remind Black that the world was out there and waiting.

    7 years.

    Alone. In a cave. Clothes littered the cracked slate floor, and remnants of food were scattered here and there. An unidentifiable dusky scent filled the cave, which seemed to cling horribly to everything. A tent stood erect, the once vibrant blue now faded, whilst a campfire crackled nearby, casting a deep amber glow across the night filled cavern, sending shadows dancing across the walls. Black sat, jeans as dark as his name ripped at the knees, and a grey shirt, with an old cyan jacket, weathered and mud stained, pulled over. Clutched in his hand was his hat, the one that he had worn seven years ago. With this attire, and the shadow of a stubble upon his jaw, Black looked as though he had barely changed at all.
    Even after 7 years.

    But now, he was going to see people again. His friends. His Mum. Cheren. Bianca. White. Maybe even N.

    Why was he returning now?

    He was growing restless. Black missed everyone, everything. Skyla, Elesa, Cilan, Drayden. Everyone. Even old Clay. He felt like it was finally time. But was this really what the hero wanted - to return home, only to face a stream of questions and accusations? He could only imagine how Cheren would react. Honestly Black, you shocked us all. You're such a bother,. A smile grew upon Black's lips. Now he could imagine Cheren saying those exact words, Bianca by his side, a concerned look upon her face. And that silly green hat.

    Black realised just how much he missed them. Clinical as he was, Cheren was fiercely loyal, and always ready to help. And despite her ditzy personality, Bianca was always concerned for the well-being of others. Oh, how he missed them.

    Deep down, Black hoped that they still missed him.

    But the person he missed the most was White.

    It was her opinion that mattered most. She was, no is, his best friend. She always would be. Would she be happy to see him? Or would she feel something else?

    Jealousy?

    N chose Reshiram, the white dragon, and chose Black to take the dragon of his own name. N chose Black over White. Would she think that it could have been her, going on adventures and meeting new people?

    Black sighed. It hadn't been as fun as it sounded.

    A sudden blast of cold air filled Black's hideout, snapping him out of his glum reminiscence. Without warning, the freezing air was accompanied by a shivering Snorunt, tumbled in clumsily. Black watched as the small Pokémon rolled towards him on its side, clutching the little teepee cloak tighter. Black smiled, reaching out to stroke the small Ice-Type. It embraced his hand, hugging it tightly and sending frosty flakes across the young man's hand.

    "Hello there," Murmured Black, stroking the Snorunt's tip with great affection. "It's nice to have company sometimes." The Snorunt made a little squeaky noise and crawled up Black's arm, coming to a stop at the hollow in his neck, breathing its chilling breath upon his bare skin. "Do you have any friends? A family, perhaps?" The Snorunt wiggled.

    "Sno-Sno-Run-No-Runt!" It cried, pointing back to the mouth of the cave with a stubby little finger.

    "Wish I was N round about now…" The trainer sighed, rolling his eyes slightly. Nevertheless, he was still curious, and Black stood up, starting to walk. towards the cave's opening. The Snorunt clutched tightly to his neck, its breath sending a sharp chill through Black's whole body, but he didn't mind. It was actually quite soothing. He had to shield his eyes as he stepped into the blizzard, emerging from his cave and back into the world. The snow tore at his body like claws, and despite the thick jacket, he felt naked. He wasn't sure whether or not he imagined it, but he thought he saw someone in the snow. Idiot.

    Nonetheless, Snorunt seemed relentless in finding whatever it was in the snow, and Black felt as though he was obliged to aid the little Pokémon. It was his duty as a Champion and a trainer. He called out, cautious.

    "Anyone there?" The wind was the only answer. Snorunt continued to cry out, a tinge of panic crawling into its sharp cries.

    Then it jumped from Black's shoulder headfirst, straight into the snow below. Black could only see the tip of its head as it sped through the packed powder like a knife through butter. As it ran, Black followed its aimless wanderings.

    Then he found what they were looking for. He hadn't seen a person in the blizzard after all. He'd seen a Froslass. It now held Snorunt tightly in an (undoubtedly icy) embrace. Nodding at the Froslass, he turned and began making his way back to the cave, but he could have sworn he heard a cry of Fros!, which he could only assume meant thank you.

    Black stepped back into the dryness of his fire-heated cave for what he knew was the final time. After being in the cold and the wind and the snow, the familiarity of the cave an the unnatural warmth was unsettling. What had been his home now felt like a hell. It struck Black that he really was leaving. It seemed impossible, and Black truly believed that the cave had become his life. But it was time at last.
    He pulled out a black marker from his pocket and wrote on the wall: Not everything is Black and White; there is always some Grey in between. Sincerely-B. A message to anyone who needs to find a way in life, and discover who they truly are.

    That was what Black believed he had achieved. He knew who he was. Who he is.

    Patiently and quietly, he cleaned up, packing his tent, his sleeping bag, his clothes. He picked up his Pokeballs, pocketing all but one. A Masterball, the purple surface shimmering in the last slivers of flame. Frowning slightly as a wave of nostalgia hit, Black released Zekrom from his Pokeball, letting the goliath dragon stretch its wings out. Zekrom released a dull roar, and its skin glowed with unyielding electricity. The power in the air made Black's hair stand on end as he began climbing onto the black dragon's back. With a single command, they burst from the cave and into the night skies of Sinnoh.

    * * * ​

    The loneliest people are the kindest.

    Cheren: Day 2

    Five years. Cheren sighed. He couldn't believe that it had been five years since his first Gym Battle as the Leader of Aspertia City. Five years since Team Plasma officially disbanded, with Ghetsis' disappearance to accompany it. But it had been seven years since Cheren had last seen his best friend. Black.

    Seven whole years.

    It seemed decades ago, when they all set out on their journey together, eager fifteen-year olds, ready to discover their paths in life.

    Autumn had passed, and crisp snow laced the rooftops of Aspertia City. Cheren pulled his blazer closer around him, shivering as his breath clouded before him in a wisp of ethereal beauty, the tendrils of its grasp like the fingers of a ghostly wraith. His breath wasn't white, nor was it black. It was grey. A perfect blend of Black and White. He'd always been stuck between them, always trying to overcome his weakness but failing to grasp want it truly was. But now Cheren felt as though the barriers of his life had fallen; he had spent most of his time wanting to help others that he had forgotten many important aspects of life. Black had always been there to help him.

    Where was his friend now?

    Smiling, a rare occurrence for Cheren, he left Aspertia's famous outlook, his scarf fluttering behind him like the tail of a wild and wondrous Pokémon. As he stepped down the stairs, his shoes made a hollow clicking noise that echoed through the eerily silent town like gunshots.

    He wished it was louder. The monotonous silence became rather dull every now and then. What a bother. Bianca, she would have started a party, there and then, or made a mini-musical. White would have pushed him into a bush, calling him some ridiculous and illogical name referring to stiffness or visionary impediments. Black would be laughing hysterically. Oh, how he missed his friends.

    Cheren was surprised by how sarcastic even his thoughts were. But he did truly miss them; even White.

    Reaching the bottom of the slab stone stairs, his feet sending flakes of snow scattering, he paused, but he was unsure why. Glancing to his left, and then to his right, Cheren frowned. What was he doing? He didn't need to stop. Nobody was about - he couldn't have possibly heard someone. Could he?

    His only companion on this winter's night was the wind.

    Then a buzzing began to emanate from inside his jacket. He jumped at first, cursing Arceus, before quickly pulling out his X-Transceiver, which was flashing and buzzing like its life depended on it. Of course, the X-Transceiver had no life, and was therefore just buzzing and flashing normally. Eyebrows raised in curiosity, Cheren flicked it on. The person who had made the call had no image; their slot was taken up by a grey screen that read Audio Only, in large white text. The other two recipients of the call, however, Cheren knew well, from long, painful days on the road. One was a round faced, rosy cheeked girl with an enormous green hat and glasses, blonde hair cascading to her shoulders like liquid gold. The one and only Bianca.

    "HIYA CHEREN!" She chimed in her usual manner, making Cheren cringe as he frantically mashed the volume down button. "Do you know who's calling us? Hey, you started wearing glasses again!? Now we match! Isn't that cool?!" Cheren sighed and held up a finger, not even bothering to think about the interrogation Bianca was giving him.

    "Not now Bianca. Call me later."

    "Aww, that's so sweet. I forgot how nice you are," A voice mocked. Cheren scanned the screen to see another section of the X-Transceiver, occupied by a girl with a dark brown ponytail and a baseball cap on. White.

    "The same to you." Smiling sarcastically, but with a real grin underneath (somewhere), Cheren focused his attention on the grey box. Whoever was calling them better have a good reason. But he couldn't deny that he was happy to see his old friends after so long.

    "H-H-Hello? Hello? Hi! Is….is this thing on?" A voice crackled from the speaker, hindered by the sound of torrential rain and gail force wind, but even with the impediment, Cheren knew that voice. It was distinct and unforgettable. And from the looks on the faces of the others, they knew the speaker too. "Ah? Ummm...Okay! Hi guys, it's me." It was impossible to forget who that was. "I'm coming home."

    It was him.

    It was Black.

    Then he hung up, and everyone's screens plunged into darkness. Leaving each of them completely and utterly stumped. Cheren was speechless. After 7 years…Black was going to return? It didn't make any sense. Did it? It was all too confusing. Still trying to get to grips with this news, his X-Transceiver rang once more, vibrating angrily in his palm. He flicked it on again, the bright light enveloping his face. Bianca's screen showed a warm face smiling back at him. Reluctantly, he returned the expression.

    "So…" He started awkwardly. "5 years…Was that when we last saw each other?" Shaking her head, Bianca grinned, but barely.

    "2 years ago. When we went to visit the Striaton Trio. Remember? You were really stressed with work. You wanted a break." Cheren strained his mind for a while before nodding. He remembered. Barely. It was a few summers ago, and he and Bianca had met up after Cheren had a rough day. They went for a meal at Striaton's Restaurant. But any major details were lost to Cheren. "I missed you." The sweet voice shook Cheren out of his stupor. He focused on the X-Transceiver, adjusting his glasses, to see that Bianca looked sad, on the verge of tears, even.

    "I missed you too," Said Cheren.

    He meant it.

    He needed to change subject quickly; he could swear he was blushing.

    "He's really coming back." Bianca's eyes lit up and she nodded vigorously, her hat bouncing on her head.

    "I know! Isn't it exciting!?" Clasping her hands in front of her, she did her odd little bob movement, making the video feed shake. Unconsciously gripping the Pokeball in his pocket, Cheren nodded.

    "Yes, I guess it is." Suddenly Bianca gasped, and Cheren's eyebrows raised in an expression that was half-surprise, half-amusement. What happened now?

    "We need to get a welcome home party sorted! Do you think you can get a hold of the Gym Leaders and gather 'em up? We need all the help we can get!" At this idea, Cheren visibly perked up. Everyone together? Fantastic! He smiled, a full, toothy smile.

    "No problem. I don't think the leaders have gathered in years, maybe not since Team Plasma. I'm on it!" Bianca almost shrieked with glee.

    "OKAY! THANKS SO MUCH CHEREN!" He was about to reply when she waved at him quickly and said: "OKAY BYEEEEEEE!" before hanging up.

    Starting idly at the blank screen of his X-Transceiver, he murmured sadly.

    "Be seeing you…Bianca."

    * * * ​

    The happiest people are really the saddest.

    Bianca: Day 3

    Nuvema Town had erupted in chaos. After the call to Cheren, Bianca rushed home, only to find that Mr. Serious himself was already there, notebook under his arm and all 12 leaders by his side. White soon arrived after, with Iris, Alder and the members of the E4. Now they were all rushing back and forth, trying to set up a fantastic party for the return of the great hero.

    Burgh had his Leavanny sew a large gazebo, which was atop a dark wooden pavilion, built by Marshal, Clay, and their Pokemon. Now Skyla, Elesa and Caitlin were creating the decorations and lights. Bianca watched in awe as they all did their bit to help. Grimsley looking as bored as ever, and Brycen practicing for the human statue competition. Every little helps.

    Now she was stood, looking out of the window of Black's old bedroom, alongside Cheren and White. As the three that knew him the best, they were in charge. The room had been untouched since Black's departure. 7 years ago. The bed was ice-cold, the blanket folded pristinely. A thin layer of dust covered the room, and the once white Wii on the floor was now a dull grey. Even the present that once contained the starter Pokémon laid open on Black's desk.

    "What do you think?" Asked Cheren, pointing at a plan on his notebook. It was filled with designs and layouts that looked amazing to Bianca. There was the pavilion, and lanterns and bunting hug from the gazebo and to rooftops of every house. Shauntal had agreed to bring her Litwick, which would light the sides of the paths. A buffet table would be laid out, and, by request of White, a sign would be beside it stating, "Woah! Buffet!" With the picture of a Wobuffet. There were other minor touches - The Striaton Trio's handmade food, Elesa's amazing theatrics and effects, etcetera, etcetera, - Cheren wanted everything to be meticulous. Bianca grinned at him.

    "Fantastic! Black's gonna love this!" She seemed to shake with suppressed glee.

    Suddenly, Burgh's dream-like voice came through the window, followed by Clay's harsh voice.

    "NO! NO! That goes here, not there! Embrace the art!"

    "I'm gonna embrace somethin' alright…" Rolling his eyes and sighing, Cheren left the room and travelled downstairs, his footsteps cut off by the sound of the main door opening and closing.

    The two girls looked at each other knowingly, and waited for Cheren to return before setting any plans in stone. They pored over Cheren's plans before discussing their lives.

    "What did you end up doing then?" Asked Bianca jovially. Without hesitation, White replied, an almost bored look on her face.

    "I'm the newest Subway Boss, down in Nimbasa. I live in an old house near Lostlorn. It's quiet but I like it, and I can always embrace the rush of the subway trains, eh?" Grinning, White turned to Bianca. "What 'bout you?"

    "I'm a professor in training. I still live here, in Nuvema," She said, almost sadly. Compared with Black's life of rogue Champion, Cheren's life of Gym Leader, and White's life as an expert battler, her own felt dull and pointless, hardly worth mentioning.

    White opened her mouth to speak, when Cheren's cries of Honestly!, followed by the roar of a Haxorus, cut her off.

    Bianca looked out of the window to see Burgh and Clay walking away from each other in opposite directions, but Cheren was nowhere to be seen. For a moment, fear gripped Bianca's heart; she wondered if Cheren had got frustrated enough that he had run off. It wouldn't be the first time. But all fear was washed away as she heard footsteps against the wood of Black's stairs. Cheren emerged from the stairs, looking distinctly ruffled, his shirt half-tucked and glasses askew. Despite her conscience telling her not to, Bianca ran straight towards Cheren and embraced him, wrapped her arms under his. She heard the sharp intake of breath, felt his chest contract against hers. Then the unexpected happened. He wrapped his arms around her. Bianca couldn't see his face, nor could he see hers, as she had settled her head in the hollow of his neck.

    She was glad for it.

    Her face was redder than the backside of a Charmander.

    They were interrupted by White s******ing.

    "I hate to interrupt…" She paused. "That… lovely mess. But we've got a job to do." When they didn't react, Bianca felt a hand on her shoulder, followed by a sharp tug. White was pulling them apart, grunting and huffing as she did so. Tripping on the carpet suddenly, she fell over, Bianca tumbling down on top of her. The two collided with a squeal. Meanwhile, Cheren stood, looking shocked and bashful, but keeping his eyes locked on the mess of limbs before him. Bianca felt her face enter the crimson zone, but Cheren's wrinkled in laughter, dimples appearing in his cheeks. Bianca hadn't seen him laugh in a long time. Maybe 5 years. She had forgotten how melodious it was. Forgotten just how much it made the world feel better. How could she have forgotten?

    After 5 years!?

    It was so infectious that the two girls couldn't help but join in. They laughed and laughed and laughed, but were interrupted by a rough voice.

    "Hate ter int'rupt, but yeh migh' wanna get up." It was Clay, the cowboy hat atop his bushy hair casting nightmarish shadows across his face. "We gotta problem."

    Nuvema Town had become a bomb site. Scraps of paper, dots of paint and millions of pieces of litter were covering the small town. Literally nothing had been built save the pavilion, which had Burgh's work on the floor. But nothing had been set up. Cheren sighed, head in hands, and White frowned. Both were frustrated, the former more so. But Bianca refused to give up.

    "Come on!" She exclaimed, hands on hips. "We've gotta get this sorted for Black! He's a hero, doesn't he deserve a hero's welcome!? This isn't just for Black; this is for us. We have all got back together again for this, and I'm not gonna let it come to nothing!" Gasping for breath, Bianca glanced around. Everyone was watching her. Cheren's mouth was open in shock, and White looked dumbfounded.

    "Well said, missy," Clay grunted, a proud look on his face. Even Shauntal, who had a way with words, seemed to revel at the small speech that Bianca just gave.

    She felt a little boost. Holding up one hand, she set her face in a determined grin and yelled.

    "LET'S DO THIS SHUCKLING THING!"
    * * * ​

    The most terrified people become the bravest.

    White: Day 4

    Five whole years since she became Subway Boss. 5 years since she last saw Cheren. And Bianca. Five years.

    7 whole years. The last time she saw Black was 7 years ago. She couldn't believe it.

    White had led a pretty conventional life since Black's departure, making a name for herself in the Subway, defeating both Ingo and Emmet in a 1 on 2 battle and claiming the Subway throne for herself. Now she was a force to be reckoned with. Cheren had become a leader, and was well on his way to becoming Champion. Bianca was almost a Professor, and she would inspire a new age of trainers. Black was a hero. White was happy with where she stood.

    Sighing heavily and flicking her hair, she admired the setting around her. Clay and Burgh had (finally) come to an agreement, and the other leaders had pitched in. The sun was setting, and rainbow coloured lights hung from the rooftops of each house. The Woah-Buffet table was set up beside Juniper's Laboratory, just as White had requested. She s******ed. Despite the time it took, the town looked ready for Black's arrival. Unfortunately, he hadn't arrived yet.

    White began to walk up and down the paths, casting looks at everyone she passed. Elesa smiled back at her, Alder waved and yelled, sloshing beer down himself. Trust Alder to get drunk before a party. Even some foreigners had appeared, invited by other Unova Leaders. A tough-looking man with spiked blonde hair and a taller man with a red afro stood beside Roxie, examining her Whirlipede-Guitar. Beside Cheren was a man in a miner's jumpsuit, open to show a smart shirt underneath, ready for a quick change, a man with a violet scarf and sable jacket, and a woman with a long white dress and brown hair. Overwhelmed by the diversity, White couldn't help smiling back at the strangers, including a young girl with green pigtails and overalls, and a man with a sapphire suit and a Lucario by his side.

    This was what White loved about life - there were so many people to meet and to know, so many experiences to be had. It was overwhelming. Bianca, who had oddly taken charge, was now rushing back and forth, her glasses askew as she yelled commands at those unfortunate enough to still be working. It was difficult, but the party would be worth it. Hopefully. The cold wind biting at her legs, she came to a halt at the white fence that overlooked the coast.

    The sapphire water waved before her serenely, bubbles of snow white froth curling upwards with each fresh wave. The fresh scent of the sea assailed White's nostrils, and a smile played upon her lips as she heard the cry of Wingull catching on the wind. Looking down into the water, she could see Magikarp and Frillish floating gracefully, side by side, in an unexplored world of their own. Smiling even wider, White reluctantly pulled herself from the fence, yanking her jacket tighter over her body. It was cold by the sea. She returned to the center of the town, admiring the well-disciplined Litwick that stood by the side of every path in equal intervals, their flames shifting colours.

    Black still wasn't here.

    White was growing restless. She wanted to see him again; wanted the party to start. Everyone was just milling about, no action, no entertainment. It was dull and drab. Suddenly, a dark-skinned man popped out of absolutely nowhere, scaring the Muk out of White, grinning with tousled dark blue hair and a white vest on, with baggy blue trousers. Marlon.

    "Hey girl," He beamed, his smile a white flash in his face. "How's it hanging?" White shook her head, but beamed back nonetheless. It was good to have company.

    "Pretty decent, Marlon. What 'bout you? And don't use a swimming metaphor." She said, glaring at Marlon with mock seriousness. The Leader pushed her arm playfully, grinning all the while.

    "Ay, girl, you know me! Always taking a stab at something new, y'know? Gotta make some ripples in a still pool, eh?" White rolled her eyes at the metaphor. Marlon winked. He shrugged and swiped White's hat from her head, before rushing off, swinging it wildly in his hands.

    Wrinkles appeared in White's cheeks as she started laughing. She almost doubled over, but calmed down quickly. Marlon would get bored soon enough, and White didn't really care; she needed to change soon anyways. She still wore her ripped shorts, the pockets showing from underneath the jagged edges.

    Suddenly, a powerful breeze hit White, making her hair stand on end and goosebumps to appear on her arms. She looked up, and saw pitch-black storm clouds curling in from the horizon. They pulsed with blue electricity, and thunder rolled. For a moment, White feared that Thundurus, Tornadus and Landorus were causing havoc once more. The party would be ruined!

    But then a rumble filled the air, louder than any before it. The clouds pulsed again, and bright, white-hot electricity burst from the clouds. The rumble filled the air. Again and again and again. A rhythmic roar.

    It sounded familiar. Very familiar.

    Again the electricity filled the sky and the roar sounded.

    The roar. It had been 7 years. The roar once more. She remembered that growl. It was unique, and belonged to one person only. One Pokémon only. That growl came from Zekrom. And it was as dark as the name of its owner. Black. He was coming.

    * * * ​

    Pain is a relative term; everyone has a different weakness.

    Black: Day 5

    Even after 7 years, from this distance, Black could see just how much Nuvema had changed. New antennae stuck out from the roof of Juniper's lab, and eerie flickering lights dotted the paths, miniscule pinpricks from his perch in the sky.

    With another almighty roar, Zekrom started to lower itself down, its muscular sable wings beating the sky. Black's hair stood on end, and the wind was cold as it tore at his vulnerable skin, but he didn't mind. He was finally going home, once and for all.

    It seemed as though mere seconds passed in the time it took for Zekrom to land, although Black knew it was much longer. By the time he had landed, a massive crowd of people had gathered around, a babbling bunch of colours and smells that Black had missed in his years alone. Cheers filled his ears and he could spot people crying. Crying.

    Did people really miss him that much?

    Black slid from Zekrom's rough back, patting the dark Pokémon's knee before returning it to the Masterball. He was immediately gripped by a tsunami of arms and hands, everyone desperate to get a feel of him, as if to assure themselves he was real. As Black parted the crowd, he came across a figure who he never thought he'd see again.

    "Mum!" A woman, about a head shorter than Black, ran up to him. Tears cascaded from her eyes, and her face was red. The wonder and happiness Black felt was evident as his mother jumped into his arms. He swung her about, her head nestled between his neck and shoulder.

    "Oh my little Black! My son! You're home… You're home…" She continued to sob, her tears staining Black's jacket. A sad smile on his face, Black patted her back reassuringly, whispering to her all the time.

    "It's okay, it's okay Mum. I'm back. I'm not going anywhere…" They continued to hug like that for some time, amongst the crowd, but Black didn't care. He's forgotten just how much she meant to him, just how much he missed her. Black suddenly dreaded facing his friends, afraid he'd break down, but feeling his Mother cry tears of joy against him, he felt a surge of confidence and pride. "Hey," He whispered, moving his hand beneath his Mother's chin, lifting her head gently. "I'm so happy to see you. I need to go see everyone else, too, Mum. We'll have a lot of catching up to do after, I promise." And with that, he hugged her once more and pulled away, the eager arms of bystanders latching on to him.

    The next few hours were a blur for Black. He was introduced to so many people, scientist friends of Juniper, Champions of the other regions, Gym Leaders, all sorts. Black had to put up with their eagerness at meeting him, the hero who defeated Team Plasma. Or so he thought. Meeting all these people meant that he was blessed with a stream of brand-new news. Five years ago, N returned to Unova and Ghetsis resumed his plot. Five years ago, Ghetsis and his cronies enslaved Kyurem, the dragon of ice, and fused it with Reshiram. And five years ago, Team Plasma was stopped once more by a kid, and Ghetsis hasn't been seen since. Neither had N.

    Black was amazed by this news, and asked the diverse crowd for more details, intrigued by the events, and secretly loving the attention he was getting. Oh, how he had craved any kind of human interaction in those long, cold years atop the peaks of Sinnoh.

    So many people, so many friends, congratulating him on his return.

    "Mister Black! Pleasure to see you again!" Cilan.

    "Well I'll be, if it isn't Black!" This from Lenora.

    "Is it really him?"

    "You'd think so, wouldn't you Burgh?"

    "Oh, be nice to him Skyla, it's not his fault all the paint's gone to his head."

    "Hmph, good to see yer not dead."
    Burgh, Skyla, Elesa and even old Clay. All here to see him. A slight nod from Brycen, and a bellowing laugh from Drayden to complete the set, accompanied by a hug from Shauntal, a man-hug from Marshal, a kiss on the cheek from Caitlin, and a handshake from Grimsley, followed by a jump scare. The old gang, together again. Familiar faces, and some new ones, but each and every one of them were here for him. Black felt a sudden swell of pride, embracing the crowd one by one with sincere affection.

    Eventually, the Champion pulled away from an old woman who kept coming back to shake his hand. He just had a quick breather when he heard a shriek, and then saw a woman charging towards him. He didn't recognise her at first, but he couldn't forget that enormous, bright green hat.
    "Bianca?!" Called Black, a grin on his face.

    "Hiiiiiiiiii!" She jumped into his arms and gripped him in a tight (and slightly painful) embrace. "Oh my Arceus!" Bianca gasped, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I've missed you so much. You've - been - gone f-f-for… 7 Y-Y-YEARS!" She spoke loudly, gasping for breath between sobs. Black patted her gently on the back, unsure of what to do.

    "Hey, I'm back aren't I? It's great to see you again." This cheered Bianca up, but then Black was faced with another challenge.

    "Well well, if it isn't the Champion himself, huh?" The young man turned to see White and Cheren stood examining him, a mixture of wonder and curiosity plastered on their faces. White grabbed Black quickly and hugged him, ruffling his thick hair as she did so with her knuckles. "Good to see you back in the world of the living," She teased as she pulled away, a playful look sparking in her eyes. Nodding slowly, Black turned to face his friend of seven years.

    "Well?" Cheren asked quietly. "Where've you been all these years? I have my suspicions, but so many stories have been told, and the same ones have been embroidered in so many places that it's tasking to tell fact from fiction." The Gym Leader's voice was cold and crisp, like a short breath of icy wind was escaping his lungs as he spoke. There was something else mingled there too that Black couldn't pinpoint. Was it sadness?

    "I was in Sinnoh," Said Black, clearly and loudly, after a short pause. "Atop an icy mountain, away from people. I survived on berries, but I sometimes sent my Pokémon to find some food down from the town. It was enough for me to not get hungry, at least." Arms folded and frown on his face, Cheren seemed skeptical. "It's not like I wanted to go into hiding, is it? I was looking for N. I needed a purpose. The dragon had chose me, and I knew people would have mixed opinions about the captures of both Reshiram and Zekrom. So I left, looking desperately for the one person I knew would have answers."

    "But why didn't you tell us?" Cheren asked accusingly. "Aren't we your friends? You left without warning. No note, no… anything. Just gone. We were always there for you…" Looking sadly at Black, Cheren's eyes were dark blue pits, laced with the beginnings of tears.

    "There wasn't a day that went by where I didn't regret leaving. I think about all of you every single day and I'm happy to see how much you've all grown. I missed all of you. You're my friends, and you mean a lot to me. I didn't think, and I was young, and stupid, and I'm sorry," Replied Black, on the verge of tears himself. Cheren started to step towards Black, and for a moment, Bianca and White were afraid he would lash out. He stopped directly in front of the Champion and looked him in the eyes. Then, with one swift movement, he embraced Black like a brother.

    "I forgive you. But we're not friends," Cheren added, thumping Black on the back. "We're family now."

    * * * ​

    Cheren: Day 5

    To forgive others, we must first learn to forgive ourselves.

    Awkwardly, Cheren pulled away from the hug, an odd expression plastered on Black's face which could only be described as uncomfortableness.

    "Family, huh?" The Champion asked with a dark laugh, his eyes darting to the side.

    "Well, I know you well enough." Cheren looked at Bianca and White, who stood smiling on the sidelines. "All of you. We started it together, remember? We might as well stay together." Adjusting his glasses, Cheren patted Black on the shoulder before taking a few steps back, an thin smile on his face. A silence crept between them, and Cheren shuffled awkwardly.

    "Arceus, I've seen better relationships in rocks," Smirked White, rolling her eyes and smoothing her shirt down. "But it's sweet. What you two have. Nice to see you two make up." Unsure if she was being insulting, Cheren patted her on the back, a wobbly grin on his face.

    "Uh, thanks, White," He muttered, giving her an approving nod. As a return gift, she socked him in both arms. "Again, thanks."

    "No problem," She replied, impatience crawling its way into her voice. She was bored, that much was obvious. This sappy friendship was getting in the way of the party. "C'mon!" Grabbing Black by the arm, she dragged him through Nuvema Town, swinging him back and forth, the two bumping into people. Bianca ran swiftly after them, her little hat bobbing. With a grin, the Gym Leader made his way to join them, before he was stopped by a tall figure.

    Willowy, with dark shadows under his eyes and a pale scarf hung over his shoulder, the familiar face smiled down at Cheren, but it looked more like a grimace.

    "Hey there Cheren," He wheezed, shaking the young man's hand firmly. His voice was drawling, as if he were slightly disinterested, but his sparkling sapphire eyes betrayed his excitement.

    "Grimsley!" Beamed Cheren, straightening his tie quickly and brushing his hair out of his eyes. "What's up?" Despite trying his best to sound what White would call breezy, he just came across as slightly awkward. And in the face of a member of the Elite Four, Cheren did not want to make a fool of himself.

    "Man oh man, loosen up kid," Grimsley rolled his eyes, weary, but he had the same teasing voice that White adopted so often. "You're as stiff as an Arceus-damned board." He chuckled, but when Cheren didn't react, he continued, clearing his throat. "What did I want again? Oh… Ummm…" He paused, staring into space, apparently preoccupied.

    "That was it!" He cried, making Cheren jump. "Sorry. But, uh," Muttering, he turned around, looking towards the pavilion that Burgh had built. White was dancing with Black, who had an entire posse of admirers, still amazed at his return. "Yeah, you can't just sit back all the time." Grimsley looked at Cheren with a light smirk, as if he had just solved all of the world's problems.

    "I'm sorry, what?" Asked Cheren, dumbfounded. Sometimes Grimsley was difficult to understand; the gambler within always seemed to want to speak in riddles. Apparently irritated by Cheren's confusion, the Dark-Type specialist ran his fingers through his greying hair.

    "Look, all I'm saying is that Black's just got back, and yeah, you made up and all that Muk, but it doesn't mean bloody squat if you don't put the effort in." Eyes flashing, Grimsley seemed to have made his point clear, receiving a pensive stare from Cheren in return."Just… Don't make any mistakes, talk to him, spend time with him, do whatever seems right," He added, and, with a reassuring squeeze on Cheren's shoulder, he was gone, sashaying away like a professional cool guy.

    Grimsley's absence gave Cheren the time to reflect on what the veteran had said. He realised he had to try more, be the best friend he could possibly be. Steeling himself, Cheren adjusted his glasses and made his way towards the pavilion, grabbing a drink and downing it, as though to oil his stiff joints. Time to have some fun. Like the good old days. Like seven years ago.

    * * * ​

    Black: Day 6

    Some things you don't need until they leave you; they're the things that you miss.

    The first thing that Black thought about was the unceasing pain in his head. It was like… He didn't even know what it was like. He hadn't had a party like that - hadn't been to a party at all - for seven years. And as a result, he hadn't drank like that in seven years. Of course, it was hardly enough to give him a hangover, but he would definitely feel tired for the majority of the morning.

    That thought perked him up. Where actually was he? Black was laid in a comfortable bed, the sheets cold to the touch and flawlessly clean, as if they'd been in deep freeze before he occupied them. His head was propped up on a fluffy pillow, and all around his were familiar sights. His T.V, his laptop, his desk, his floor. This was Black's room, exactly as he had left it all those years ago. Black rolled out of bed and looked around, still wearing his jacket and jeans. It was as if he's stepped back in time.

    Pictures of fifteen-year-old Black stood beside three other teens hung up on his wall, shoes many sizes too small beside his bed. Even the jade present, the crimson bow thrown hastily aside, still sat on his desk. Black remembered the day with a feeling of longing and joy in his chest, remembering getting first pick, and the emotion that surged through him as Oshawott jumped into his arms, Bianca clutching Tepig and both Cheren and White holding Snivy.

    The only thing that seemed to have changed in his room was the neatly laid out sleeping bag in the middle of his floor, a pile of pajamas folded tidily beside it. It took Black a few seconds to realise that Cheren must have slept there last night. He smiled, admiring the systematic and considerate way in which his friend had tidied up.

    He was distracted by a sudden smell, drifting from downstairs. It smelt smoky, but in a good way, and it made Black's mouth water. After going to the bathroom and cleaning himself up, Black half-jumped, half-ran downstairs. He was surprised by what he saw.

    Bianca was stood by the oven, flipping pancake with expertise and bobbing to silent music as she did so, with Black's Mum overseeing her with a watchful eye. When Black came in, Bianca gave him a quick wave and reached over to him for a high-five, before returning to her work, and his Mum smiled at him, obviously restraining herself. Meanwhile, Cheren was sat, looking particularly weary, at the kitchen table, picking at his pancakes and sipping coffee. Maybe he was just full. And White was sat on the sofa, huddled up under a blanket and watching some program about a Watchog.

    "Morning all," Chirped Black, feeling considerably cheery all of a sudden. In his opinion, these were the times when their friendship was strongest; when they were all being normal.

    "Good morning Black!" Beamed Bianca, turning quickly to him. "Want some pancakes?" Without waiting for denial or approval, she just went straight ahead and jammed a plate at him, with five pancakes stacked in a tower and positively drowning in syrup. Looking at his pancakes with an odd expression, Black went and sat across from Cheren, who mumbled a greeting and continued to drink his coffee, the hot steam fogging up his glasses.

    "I had the weirdest thought upstairs," Black began, trying his best to make conversation. "I can remember when we all got our first Pokémon. How strange would it be if we took a trip down memory lane?" Everyone turned to look at him, their expressions varying. Cheren seemed to finally wake up, running his fingers through his housed hair with a shadow of a grin. Bianca released a little squeal and started to rapidly do the washing up, and White fell off the sofa, grunting in pain. Frowning as if he's said something wrong, Black asked them all with a slight bit of panic in his voice. "What?"

    Before he knew it, he was outside, stood four abreast with his friends, all dressed and clean. The aftermath of the party was still evident; the Litwick had gone at last; the buffet table was empty, with an indupitably drunk Alder laid atop it. A few stragglers were wandering about; some people had stayed the night, tents and sleeping bags dotting Nuvema.

    Grimsley sat beside Shauntal by the ocean, and Clay was a part of the responsible clean-up crew.

    "I still can't believe how many people showed up," Muttered Black, a look of awe on his face as Steven Stone and Cynthia strolled past him with a wave.

    "You're important, you own a Legendary Pokémon, and I invited them, of course they're going to show up," Replied Cheren, holding up a finger in a very educational gesture.

    "Blah, blah, blah," Groaned White, tugging at the sleeves of the two men. "Let's get going!" Grinning beside her, Bianca was already slyly trotting ahead. Pushing White away playfully, Black started to run through the almost desolate streets of Nuvema. He was quickly intercepted by White and Cheren, and Bianca then overtook the three of them. It was a desperate bid for victory, a vague remnant of their childhood that they doubted would ever leave.

    The four came room a stop by the border of Nuvema Town,

    "Route 1," Cheren said. There was a distance to his voice, as if he were speaking through a window. He was undoubtedly remembering that they did the exact same thing seven years ago. They all were.

    "Came full circle, huh guys?" This from White, hands on hips and a roguish smile room accompany them.

    "I can't believe we back together again!" Cheered Bianca, jumping up and down with (badly) contained excitement. In reply to all three of them, Black just nodded, emptying six small spheres from his pocket and dropping them on the floor. They were enveloped in light, revealing Black's partners of seven years.

    Samurott. Cofagrigus. Lilligant. Cryogonal. Golurk. Zekrom. Each held a special place in his heart, and each had come in handy at least once. The six were soon accompanied by Cheren, Bianca, and White's teams.

    "Are we ready then?" Black asked his friends, turning to them with a smile.

    "Indupitably."

    "Do you even need to ask?"

    "Oh! Isn't it exciting!?"

    "Bianca says that if we're starting a journey, she wants us all to take the first step together."

    Bianca smiled at Cheren, grabbing his hand and squeezing it tightly. Cheren did likewise to Black, who clasped White's hand.

    Together they took their first step. A new journey, seven years in the making.

    THE END
     
  2. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Winter can't come soon enough

    I seem to recall in the topic proper you were really psyched about having written this. So, naturally, I've got to read it. Because I'm crazy like that. :V

    Right off the bat, I'm echoing Chibi's thoughts that the beginning felt so very "Red atop Mt. Silver." The Pokémon player in me was a bit confused b/c B2W2 gave me the impression that the main character had gone off to find N and would've moved around a lot. But, when you think about it, Black himself takes way too many cues from Red in the design department (right up to lifting his hat in his battle sprite), so it definitely works. That said, Black's bit in the beginning felt a bit empty. His kindness was on full display, but it essentially felt like a bit of filler to try and balance the size out with the other parts. I was much more interested in, say, the fact that White also factored into this, and would have preferred that expanded on.

    With the Cheren's scene, I liked how narratively speaking it followed the same pattern as Black's scene. The start highlighting the timing, then some descriptors of the setting, and then some memories of his friends' personalities. This was better, though, because of the X-transceiver conversations. Bianca's energy plays well off of Cheren's lack of energy. Though the caps may have been overdoing a bit. I never had the impression Bianca had a voice control problem, just that she's a bit ditzy.

    And then the reunion stuff starts, first with everyone but Black. I had a feeling White would tie into the Battle Subway, and was proven right in that regard. This particular scene's cute, in the sense that it's like everyone falls back in-step with their old personalities upon seeing each other again. And, really, don't we tend to do that with friends we haven't scene in awhile? I'd like to think so.

    Onto White's scene. I'm kind of confused about the cameos. I think I spotted me the stat trainers from the Sinnoh games (Riley's easily recognizable). But, was there any point to them being there? Because it felt pretty shoehorned in for me.

    Oy. And now I'm reminded why Marlon is my least-favorite gym leader. :V

    But, yeah, in general, White's bit here felt really superfluous. Especially since the previous scene had her reconnecting with Cheren and Bianca. I know this is meant to be a big reunion of the whole BW cast (and then some), but by now it feels like the focus is on this main quartet, so having them use entire scenes to interact with different characters entirely sucks me a bit out of things. I probably wouldn't have said that if, say, the conversations had been about Black's return, and what the different characters though. That would've been nice follow up, considering the very first scene mentions Black being fearful of how he'd be received upon returning to Unova with Zekrom.

    Onto the reunion proper and the feels are here. Let me say that aside from his mom being beside herself (which you did well), you managed to shove the various Gym Leaders' personalities into their brief, one-line interactions with Black. And that can be difficult to pull off, so kudos. Naturally, Cheren's the one to call him out on his isolationist tactics. It's very sweet, though I'm not entirely sure I'm fond of Grimsley speaking in riddles there. He seems like the direct type, but I didn't really get what his "advice" to Cheren was. Also, the way you described him made me think of AZ, for some reason. XP

    I like the book ending to finish things off, with the call back to the original Route 1. A Nuzlocke comic that I'm a huge fan of did a similar stunt. It worked well there, and it works well for you too. Especially since everyone has something to say, and having them let out their Pokémon gives it a very "family" feel.

    If there's one thing I'm going to disagree with some of the judges on, it's the bittersweet aspect of this. There was some melancholy feelings to the start. But on the whole, I found this is a very sweet, uplifting piece. One showing the lengths that a group of friends, whose life circumstances drove the in different directions, will go to to reunite. On the whole, you did a great job with this. You clearly put a lot of thought into this. Congrats on the contest, once again.
     
  3. When I browsed through all the reviews in the Platonic contest, this was the one that caught my eye first because of the content, which is mostly because I have always been fascinated by the B/W protagonists since they’ve had the most interesting character development out of everyone IMO.

    And it was a very sweet take on the characters. I thought matching the enormity of Black coming back with a huge party was a good take on it, and I think your characters were very enjoyable to read. I really liked Cheren in particular, as I thought he was the most fleshed out of the four.

    But I agree with Dragonfree that I thought you could’ve worked with that situation so much more, especially in the reunion aspect of it. Black coming back is a big deal and should be celebrated, but as Cheren himself points out, there are a lot of unaddressed issues between them that has cooled down the friendship, and I thought with the way you were building it up in Cheren’s sections that this was going to be a big part of the story. In the end, though, that conflict was pushed back by the characters preparing for the party and was ultimately brushed aside when Cheren said “I forgive you”. I thought you could’ve expounded on that much more, as even Cheren admits in the section after that statement that he still isn’t 100% about the whole situation. But that again is brushed aside by a (pretty random) pep talk from Grimsley, and again the party (and its aftermath) takes over.

    I point this out because improving this aspect of the story would’ve made the ending much more satisfying IMO. There’d be something really poignant about them retaking the first steps of their journeys together after they’ve come to an understanding that their friendship is still meaningful, and even years being apart wouldn’t break it. (Plus, it would’ve made for a stronger adherence to the theme.) As it is, though, the ending seems a bit unearned, in that I feel like the story didn’t take all the steps it could’ve getting to that point.

    I also thought that you could improve how you handled the main characters, which I know is hard considering you chose to write in four voices. When I mentioned how I liked Cheren, it was mostly because I thought you took your time with building up his character, and it paid off with how relatable and multi-faceted he became. The other three had their moments, but I thought they weren’t up to par with that, and I definitely think you can improve this by making them internalize just what Black coming back meant to each of them. Bianca stepping up and taking over the party was a good way to show how Black coming back meant to her, and I hoped White had something similar in her arc, especially since Black called her his best friend in the first part.

    Also, there were quite a few grammatical bumps that I observed, but there was one that I wanted to point out since it was pretty consistent:

    Dialogue tags should start with a small letter, since they don’t function as complete sentences without the dialogue. I have a hard time with this too so it takes a bit of practice. Don’t worry. ;)

    Overall I really like the premise, and I thought it had very effective moments, but I believe you can really take it up a notch by exploring more sides of that premise and bringing out the reactions with each of these characters. Their friendship is far from being ideal at this point, so it would’ve been great to see what those little bumps were and how, ultimately, they still stick with each other in the end.

    I hope that was useful, and congrats on placing third in the contest! :)
     

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