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New Paths [One Shot, Sun/Moon spoilers]

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by Bay, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    This is based around the Sun/Moon game's ending, so if you don't want to be spoiled by some of the major plot points I highly recommend finishing or watch a playthrough the game's main storyline first. Much longer commentary after the story. Thanks to bobandbill for the great betaing!

    xxx

    Light snow fell over Mount Lanakila, cloaking the ground in white puffs. The chilly breeze cut through Kukui’s face and warm clothes, but he grinned. In front of him, his Lycanroc crouched down and growled at his opponent, an Absol. Both Pokémon panted and stared at one another, dirt and scratches all over their fur.

    “Alright Lycanroc, go for another Accelerock!”

    Lycanroc launched himself at Absol, his body smashing onto her. Absol howled and dropped on the ground, then picked herself up and shook the snow off her fur. Kukui pumped his fist in the air.

    “Yeah, that’s it! Let’s heat things up with Fire Fang, now!”

    Lycanroc’s teeth crackled with flames. He began rushing at her, and the scythe on Absol’s forehead glowed a crimson aura. She swung her scythe, only for Lycanroc to bite down on it. He let go, then crunched Absol’s leg and scorched it. Screaming in pain, Absol shook her leg to force Lycanroc to back away.

    Kukui ordered his Lycanroc to finish off the battle with Stone Edge, and Lycanroc slammed his paws on the ground. Sharp rock pillars appeared beneath Absol, stabbing her on the stomach. Once the rock pillars disappeared, Absol collapsed on the ground.

    “Excellent work there, Lycanroc!” Kukui said, offering his Pokémon a thumbs up. He grabbed a potion from his bag and sprayed it all over the wolf's fur, Lycanroc yelping in joy. Kukui’s gaze then shifted to the defeated Absol, and he smiled.

    His boots crunched on the snow as he approached Absol. He dropped on one knee and his fingers slid through the Pokémon’s soft fur. Like with Lycanroc, he took out a potion and sprayed it on her. He waited until she opened her eyes and released a low growl.

    “You put up a great fight against my Lycanroc there, friend!”

    Kukui took a few steps back to give Absol some space and watched her pick herself up with wobbled legs. The disaster Pokémon glared at him, then twirled around and marched off. He chuckled, his hands on his sides.

    “Well, I guess that Absol is upset about being defeated. Oh well.” He looked down at his Lycanroc, who barked at him.

    “Professor Kukui!” someone called out to him. Kukui turned around and spotted Jeff, one of the construction workers he had hired to build the Pokémon League, rushing at him. With deep breaths, Jeff reached him as his knees collapsed.

    “Is something the matter?” Kukui asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “I just got a call from Professor Burnet over at Aether Paradise and she says it’s urgent.”

    Kukui’s stomach dropped. Burnet had gone there over a week ago to check up on an incident that had happened there and she stayed in Aether Paradise ever since. He wanted to go, too, but she insisted he continue overlooking the construction of the Pokémon League. The next he had heard from her, she told him that Lillie was fine but that she and Moon were attempting to go to save Lillie’s mother. That then meant Burnet had some news to share. He nodded in acknowledgement.

    “I’ll head to the Pokémon Center right now.”

    Kukui took the outside elevator to the mountain’s highest peak and rushed to the Pokémon Center. When he stepped inside, the warm air from the heat blasted at him and Kukui let out a contented sigh. He glanced around to the see two trainers gathered around at the café and Nurse Joy at the reception area. She offered him a welcoming smile.

    “Hello, Professor Kukui! Another training session finished?”

    “Ah huh,” he said. “My Lycanroc had a great battle against an Absol, both of them dishing out their best moves.” Behind him, Lycanroc yelped and wagged his tail.

    “Well, don’t push your Lycanroc too hard,” Nurse Joy said, wiggling her finger. “Oh, I take it Jeff let you know your wife had just called.”

    Kukui’s grin faded. “He did. I’ll need to use one of the video phones.”

    Nurse Joy nodded and pointed to where the video phone booths are, next to the Pokémart shop. Kukui thanked her and headed to one of the booths. He sat down, punched one of Aether Foundation’s phone numbers, and the phone screen lit up.

    “Thank goodness you’re here, honey.” He was greeted with Burnet’s relieved face and Magnezone floating at her side. Behind her, Kukui could make out a white queen sized bed and silky curtains covering the windows. The room itself was painted in white walls and the chandeliers lit up, as if inside was shrouded in brilliant sunlight.

    “I’m glad to see Magnezone keeping you company,” he said, smiling in return.

    “Magnezone’s been lovely; thank you for letting me have it for a little while.” Burnet patted Magnezone’s steel body.

    “Glad to hear.” Kukui then said in a low voice, “Jeff told me you have something important to tell me.”

    “I do. Lillie and Lusamine have returned since last night.”

    “Oh?” Kukui’s heart jumped. “So Lillie and Moon’s journey through to the Ultra Space went fine?”

    “Both girls are safe.” Brunet then shifted her gaze from Kukui. “Lillie’s mother, however, she’s unconscious right now.”

    “Did something happen to her?”

    Burnet and Magnezone exchanged wary looks, and the magnet Pokémon let out whirling noises. His wife faced back to him, dragging in a deep breath.

    “I know you’re busy with your upcoming Pokémon League, but I think it’s best you see this for yourself.”

    Kukui hung his head down and scratched his chin. “Lillie’s still in Aether Paradise, yes?” he asked, and Burnet nodded. “Then I’ll be coming over, too.”

    A satisfied look washed over Burnet’s face. “I think she’ll love that.” She turned her face away from the screen for a brief moment. “I should be going now. It’s almost lunchtime. Can’t wait to see you, then.”

    “Me too, honey.” The screen blacked out, and Kukui put the phone back on the receiver. He sighed and leaned back on his seat, his head against his arms. “Looks like I’ll go to Aether Paradise, Lycanroc.”

    Lycanroc titled his head in confusion, then he barked. Biting his lip, Kukui hoped this upcoming trip would run smoothly.

    xxx

    After he packed up some things from the motel he was staying in near Tapu Village, Kukui used his Ride Pager to have Charizard fly him to Aether Paradise. He had used the Pokémon often when he needed to go someplace quickly, or to visit Burnet at the Dimensional Lab. Kukui held onto Charizard tight as the fire type rushed through the skies, and it was only around a few hours until they reached their destination. Kukui’s transport landed at the foundation’s entrance, and he jumped off from Charizard’s back.

    “Thanks, Charizard,” Kukui said, patting the Pokémon’s head. He watched as Charizard roared and launched himself back into the skies.

    Kukui turned around, his mouth opening in awe. The pristine building towered over him, the sunlight sparkling the windows. Its architecture was reminiscent of a corporation’s, with the foundation’s star symbol hung on top of the entrance. There were some Pokémon, employees in white suits, and trainers outside gathered around the campus. Some of the tourists were looking at the view of the calm ocean. Kukui moved passed them and headed to the building.

    Upon stepping inside, he was greeted with more employees, trainers, and Pokémon moving around. There were two reception desks on each side, and further up ahead was the elevator. Kukui was about to talk to one of the receptionists, but he stopped when he saw a woman approaching him.

    “Oh, glad you can make it, Professor Kukui,” she said when she reached him and pushed her glasses on the bridge of her nose. She wore a dress that hugged around her curves, and her hair was done in nice big curls.

    “You must be Wicke,” Kukui said with a small smile. “I take it my wife and Lillie are inside?”

    “They are. If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to them.”

    Kukui followed Wicke as they ignored the elevator and went outside. While they passed through a row of trees, she spoke again.

    “I want to let you know how much I appreciate Professor Burnet staying here. We’re able to get better analysis of the wormholes and track the Ultra Beast’s locations faster thanks to her and her colleagues back at the Dimensional Lab.”

    Kukui’s heart jumped at the mention of the Ultra Beasts, but he forced a chuckle. “That’s great to hear. She’s very good at alternate dimensions stuff.”

    “I should also mention that her visit helped Lillie out a lot. She hurried to hug the professor the moment she saw her, and the ladies have been getting along well.”

    “Lillie is very fond of her, yes,” he said, his face softening. “We’ve done our best to welcome her into our home.”

    They made it to another building that was similar to a manor. The lights on each side burned brightly, and the two doors were adorned with blue diamonds. The two headed inside, Kukui’s shoes echoing on the marble floor. There were stairs on both sides that were locked up at the moment, and in front of them was a room with two doors and a yellow diamond attached on top.

    They stepped inside, and Kukui froze at the sight before him. Interior wise, this room was similar to the one Burnet was in, but much bigger and with more silky curtains on the walls and ceiling. Two people gathered around the bed and their gazes dropped, Burnet rubbing Lillie’s shoulder for comfort.

    When Burnet heard Kukui approaching them, she lifted her head and her face lit up. She bounced off her seat and they embraced. Her perfume tickled Kukui’s nose and he breathed in the scent. After a moment, they let go.

    “Professor Kukui,” Lillie said when she approached them. A small smile formed on her lips. “It’s very nice of you to visit.”

    Returning the smile, Kukui fixed his gaze at Lillie. Her hair was tied like a braided hairband, and she wore a blouse and skirt that matched her new look well. He could sense an air of confidence surrounding her.

    “I’m glad that you’re safe, Lillie.” Kukui faced back at Burnet. “You mentioned something happened with Lusamine.”

    Burnet made a solemn nod and she led Kukui to the bed. He gazed down at Lusamine, who was sleeping. Low, ragged breaths escaped from her, and her face looked very pale. He swallowed hard.

    “How is she?” he asked.

    “Not well, but she’s alive at least,” Wicke said, lowering her head. She clasped her hands together. “She still has a lot of the toxins inside her system due to her combining with UB-01.”

    “Wait, what?” Kukui’s eyes flew wide. “How did that happen?”

    Lillie went on to explain everything, how she and Moon first found Guzma, then they confronted with Lusamine. They witnessed her merging with the Ultra Beast, then Moon defeated Lusamine in a Pokémon battle. Everyone had escaped thanks to Nebby. He and Burnet hung on to her every word.

    “Wait, so Nebby is actually the legendary Pokémon, Lunala?” Grinning, Kukui said, “Wow, that must be some Wild Charge discovery there!”

    “It is, and I couldn’t have been happier,” Lillie said in a reminiscent voice. “After Moon caught Lunala, we went our separate ways. I’m assuming she’s on her way to the League now.”

    “That’s good Moon and Nebby are fine, too. I had Nanu pick Moon up to take her there, I’ll give them a call soon.” Kukui sighed and took his glasses off. He then imagined Lusamine fusing with an Ultra Beast, and shuddered. “I’m sorry you had to go through all that, Lillie.”

    “It’s all right,” she said, smiling. “I’m actually glad I went through this journey as I’ve got to meet people like you, Professor Burnet, Hau, and Moon. And I’ve become a much braver person than before.”

    “That’s reassuring to hear.” Kukui put his glasses back on and smiled back. He still felt bad for Lillie and her family, but he knew that she would be fine.

    There was a brief silence, then the door opened. Kukui turned around and his stomach churned. Guzma stepped inside with a small paper bag in hand. He still wore the chain with the Team Skull logo on his neck and his dark baggy clothing.

    “Yo Vice Chief, I got more of the meds right here and…” He stopped when he noticed Kukui and shot him a closed-lip smile. “Huh, I didn’t expect you to be here, busy with your League and all.”

    “Burnet had called me earlier to let me know Lillie and her mother are back, so I decided to check up on them.”

    Guzma put both hands on his sides, his mouth twitching. “Well, as you can see the Prez is all tuckered out, likely for a long time. You got caught up on all the info, yeah?”

    “We told him everything, yes,” Burnet said, rubbing one of her eyes. She didn’t seem to be fazed by his appearance.

    “Good, I don’t need to repeat it to ya, then." Guzma then faced Wicke. “Should I set these aside on the counter?”

    “Of course.” With a furrowed eyebrow, Wicke nodded slowly.

    Guzma put the medicine down on the counter, stopping a moment to gaze down at Lusamine. He then grabbed a chair and flung his legs on the table. He leaned back on his seat, his arms over his head.

    During the lingering silence, Kukui glanced at Lillie to see her back on her chair. She folded her hands on her lap and her eyes flickered. He looked back at Guzma, and questions concerning his involvement in all this formed in his head.

    “If it’s alright with you, Guzma,” he said, “I would like to speak with you outside.”

    Guzma raised an eyebrow, then rose out from his seat and shrugged. “Sure, if ya want.”

    Wicke and Lillie threw funny looks at Kukui while Burnet frowned. He gave everyone a reassuring smile, then left the room with Guzma.

    The two men headed outside the manor. Guzma sat on the steps while Kukui stood up, his hands inside his lab coat’s pockets. A light breeze passed through, caressing his skin. He could hear the rustled leaves from the trees and the Pokémon’s cries.

    “Is it true you were involved with the Aether Foundation?” Kukui didn’t hesitate to ask.

    Guzma pursed his lips, and he bobbed his head. “I had a thing for the Prez because she took me seriously as a trainer. Well, I’ve been played this whole time. Lusamine got herself too attached to those Ultra Beast and gone cahoots, and those freaks of nature got me, too.”

    Upon hearing that, Kukui’s eyes grew wide. “Wait, so the Ultra Beasts did something to you?”

    “They were messin’ with my mind for a while, and that scared the heck out of me.” Guzma threw his head back, scratching his cheek. “That Vice Chief and the other scientists gave me some meds to calm my nerves, so I guess I’m alright for now.”

    Kukui frowned. His chest tightened and a chill ran down his spine. He still got goosebumps imagining Lusamine’s fusion with the Ultra Beast. Staring back at Guzma, Kukui realized something else.

    “You still care about her.” He took his cap off and slid his fingers through his hair. “I can tell by the way you looked at her after putting her medicine at the counter. And you’re still here by her side, right?”

    That caused Guzma to flinch, then he grunted and his shoulders slumped. “Ya got me there, but I know that it won’t work out.”

    An awkward silence followed. Kukui stared down on the ground until Guzma spoke again.

    “I have to hand it to you, your trainers aren’t half bad at kicking my butt several times.”

    “Oh, you mean Hau and Moon?” He couldn’t help but chuckle, and Kukui put his cap back on. “Yes, the both of them sure are something. Brings me back to our island challenge days.”

    Guzma snorted. “Don’t remind me. I still think this region’s traditions are whacked.”

    “You have to admit, some of the trials were fun. Remember when we had to face the second totem Pokémon?”

    “You mean the one with that Wishiwashi while outside in the pouring *** rain?” Guzma cackled and slapped his knee. “Your Magnemite and my bud Wimpod hated that, but they pulled through in the end. And the third totem? Who thought it’s a good idea to bring in a Salazzle?”

    Smirking, Kukui let out an “hmph” sound. “Back then, I thought you would be a good trial captain, maybe even a kahuna. As I mentioned at Malie City, however, you were too focused on which moves are the strongest instead of ones that work best with your Pokémon. I was too for a while.”

    “Yeah, you did preach about that mumbo jumbo.” Guzma shrugged. He then tilted his head, his eyes wide. “Hold up, ya think I can be a kahuna?” he asked, and Kukui nodded. Guzma howled in laughter. “That’s rich coming from you.”

    “I’m not lying when I said that. If you had overcome that one flaw, you could have reached that potential.”

    Guzma regarded him for a moment, then he waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “Nah, I would be terrible. Besides, kahunas are supposed to be like role model material, and I’m not that. What can I say, I live for destruction.”

    Another round of silence surrounded them. Kukui scratched the back of his neck and his feet shuffled on the ground.

    “What will you be doing from here on out?”

    “Why do you care?” Guzma asked, glaring at him.

    “I’m just curious, that’s all.”

    Kukui watched as Guzma squinted his face. He then stood up, took off his Team Skull pendant, and handed it to Kukui. The professor’s eyes flickered.

    “Huh, what’s this?” The pendant grew heavy in his hands.

    “There’s no purpose for Team Skull anymore. I’m gonna lay low for a while and figure that out.” A grin pulled on Guzma’s lips. “Don’t expect me to change, though. Your boy Guzma will still be his bad self and beat the living lights out of you.”

    Kukui blinked at first, then he laughed. “I wish you luck on whatever path you decide on next.”

    They shook hands, then Kukui watched as Guzma took his leave. He made several steps, but he then stopped to face back at Kukui.

    “Before I go, tell the Vice Chief I said thanks for letting me crash here for a while. And that I hope Lusamine feels better soon.”

    “I will,” Kukui said.

    Guzma grinned once more, then he continued to head off. Once Kukui couldn’t see him anymore, he looked down at the gift Guzma had handed to him. He chuckled, put the it inside his pocket, then went back inside.

    By the time he was in the room, Lillie, Wicke, and Burnet gathered around the table drinking tea. The scent of honey lingered around. Lusamine, meanwhile, was still sleeping. Everyone else noticed him stepping in.

    “Where’s Guzma?” Wicke asked, pouring a cup for Lillie.

    “He needed to leave, but before he did Guzma mention he may be disbanding Team Skull.”

    “Is that true?” Burnet asked, tilting her head.

    “Yes. We won’t be bothered by them anymore.”

    Lillie sighed in relief. “That’s good to hear.” Her gaze then fell on her cup. “I have to admit, after being in the Ultra Wormhole I did feel bad for Mr. Guzma. He didn’t deserve to be treated by my mother like that."

    Kukui offered her a small smile, then he faced Wicke. “Oh, Wicke, Guzma wants you to know that he appreciates you letting him stay here and hopes that Lusamine gets better soon.”

    “Not a problem at all.” Wicke smiled, and she sipped more of her tea. “If you want Professor Kukui, you can stay here for the night and I’ll give you a tour here a little later.”

    Kukui pondered Wicke’s offer a minute, then a wide grin stretched across his face. “Sure, I’ll hang around here for the night.”

    “Excellent!” Wicke clapped her hands. “I’ll tell one of the cooks to make us a special dinner tonight.”

    At that moment, Kukui’s stomach growled and he laughed. “Dinner sounds great about now.”

    Burnet and Wicke giggled while Lillie smiled in amusement. He smiled back, looking forward to the tour and dinner.

    xxx

    When it was time for everyone to sleep later that night, he and Burnet retired in the guest room his wife had been staying, and they shared the bed together. While Burnet sounded asleep, Kukui stared at the ceiling with his head on his arms.

    He rose out of his bed and reached to his lab coat that he left on the chair, putting it on. His gaze then turned towards the bright moon. He stole a glance at Burnet, who was still sleeping, then he left the room.

    Kukui departed from the manor and went inside the facilities. The entrance was mostly empty saved for a few employees watching over the Pokémon. He headed to the elevator and pushed the button to take him to the conservation area.

    Once he made it to the next floor, he strolled around to see the Pokémon settling on the trees, boulders, and pounds. Their content noises vibrated through his bones. His gaze then moved upwards, the moonlight piercing through the glass ceiling. Earlier Wicke had given him the tour of this floor, and he was amazed at the variety of the Pokémon staying here. He eventually stopped near a rushing waterfall, gazing at the Starmie and Corsola splashing the waters.

    Kukui pulled out Guzma’s pendant from his lab coat’s pocket and let it dangle in front of his face. He glanced down, seeing his reflection through the running water.

    “Unable to sleep?” Burnet’s voice distracted him, and Kukui turned around to see her looking at him.

    “Can’t stop thinking about the recent events. I was super excited when Hau and Moon told me about the Ultra Beast and wormhole that appeared in this very floor. To think, Lusamine would go to great lengths to get them and Guzma helping her out.”

    Burnet frowned. She joined him at the waterfall, her arms on the railings.

    “That came as a surprise myself. No wonder Lillie was timid when we first brought her to our home. I hope she and Lusamine will have a better relationship from now on.”

    Kukui dragged in a sigh, only to then smile a little. “Lillie has become a braver person, and it’s all thanks to Moon and Nebby. I also agree Guzma deserves better, even if he was Team Skull’s boss.”

    Burnet nodded. Her eyes then caught the pendant Kukui was holding. “Speaking of him, isn’t that pendant his?”

    “You mean this?” Kukui held the item out in front of her. “It is. He gave it to me before leaving. I’m not sure why he did that.”

    “You’re going to keep it?” she asked.

    “Probably. It could make for a nice souvenir.” Kukui puts it back inside his lab coat.

    “You mentioned being friends with Guzma a while back. Did you two have a fall out?”

    “More or less. I left the island challenge on my own accord while he got frustrated over its traditions.” Kukui stared back at the waters with his shoulders slumped. “I haven’t heard from him until recently, and he’s changed a lot since then.”

    “It’s natural for friends to go through different paths. Guzma’s may not be a favorable one, but him disbanding Team Skull shows he’s willing to better himself.”

    Burnet squeezed Kukui’s hand and their fingers intertwined. He smiled over the warmth of her skin against his, comforting like home.

    “Yeah, you’re right. I’m glad that you’re with me now.” Kukui tore his gaze away from the water, cupped his other hand on Burnet’s cheek, and pressed his lips onto hers for a deep kiss. As his breathing quickened, he could taste the honey tea still on her mouth.

    “We should go to bed,” Burnet said after their lips parted. “You’ll need to head back to Mount Lanakila tomorrow.”

    Their hands still clasping together, they headed toward the elevator together and exited the conservatory.

    xxx

    Wicke had insisted in seeing Kukui off, so the next morning everyone headed out to Aether Paradise’s campus. The people and Pokémon that lingered outside weren’t paying attention to them. Lillie, Wicke, and Burnet gathered around the professor. Above them, the sun started to rise.

    “I need to go back to the Dimensional Lab soon myself,” Burnet said to Wicke. “I appreciate the hospitality you’ve been giving us.”

    “Burnet and I will be sure to come again soon,” Kukui said.

    “That’s unfortunate you guys can’t stay here longer. But yes, the both of you are welcome here anytime.” Wicke beamed, and next to her Lillie nodded.

    “Before you leave, I should give you Magnezone back.” Burnet handed Kukui his Magnezone’s pokéball, then he put it in his bag.

    “Thank you. I’ll need it for the League.”

    “I’m sure you will. Have a safe trip back.” Burnet planted a quick kiss on Kukui’s cheek.

    “Same to you, honey.” The couple embraced for a second, then they gazed at one another when they let go.

    “You make sure to take care of you mother, all right?” Kukui told Lillie, looking down at her.

    “I will, don’t worry,” Lillie said with a smile. “And I’ll also cheer Moon on as she goes through the Pokémon League.”

    “Awesome!” He flashed her a grin and gave her a thumbs up, then he glanced at the morning sun.

    He pulled out his Rider Page to push a button, and Kukui waited a few moments until he heard wings flapping. An orange blur passed by, and Charizard landed with a thud, the ground shaking a little. Kukui hopped onto his back.

    “You all take care!” he said while waving everyone goodbye. Lillie, Wicke, and Burnet said their goodbyes, too, and waved back at him. Kukui kicked at Charizard’s hip, and they launched toward the skies.

    As they flew, Kukui glanced down to see Aether Paradise farther away from his sight. With a large grin he turned back to face Charizard’s neck, the air rushing through his hair. He mused over how it may take some time for things to return to normal, but Kukui was still optimistic over the future. And in the end, Lillie, Guzma, Hau, Moon, and everyone else would be content just like him with their new paths they decided on.

    xxx

    Author’s Notes 2:

    So, after I had beaten Sun/Moon's main storyline I got hit with this plotbunny. One thing that kinda bothered me is I don't think we've gotten any reactions from Kukui and Burnet the chaos going on in Aether Paradise (except when Nanu says Kukui wants him to pick up the protagonist), so I gave this a try. I wrote this for Livejournal's fan_flashworks community for the prompt, "Villian", but it's only vaguely related to it haha.

    If any of you read another fic of mine, And an Adieu to You, this maybe seem similar. The professor and team leader talk things out, team leader gives professor an object, they then say their goodbyes. The way I did Guzma and Kukui's interactions isn't as emotional as Lysandre and Sycamore's interactions. Well, with Sycamore and Lysandre, Sycamore is all starry eyed over Lysandre's ideals and I'm sure Lysandre has some feelings for Sycamore, too. Guzma and Kukui's interaction in the games though went differently, with Kukui going to Guzma, "My trainer can beat you." I can see Kukui being taken aback Guzma working with Lusamine and still wonder about their implied childhood friendship, however. So yeah, for this story I have them moreso like long lost buddies reminiscing.

    This is something I didn't get a chance to mention in the narrative, but reason Burnet has Kukui's Magnezone is he wants her to have a Pokémon with her just incase. Kukui needs to wear warmer clothing if he's gonna be up at Mount Lanakila, though, haha.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  2. Hi Bay! This is the first fic I've read that deals with Sun and Moon's story, and I enjoyed it! The description of the battle at the start was very engaging, and the way you handled the interactions were very fun to read.

    I definitely got the "And an Adieu to You" vibes reading this (although I'm not shipping Kukui and Guzma...yet...), and the same strength in character really shone here as well. I love Kukui's and Guzma's dialogue, both separately and together. I think you captured their personalities in the games very well, especially Guzma's.

    If anything, I was a bit surprised that the story turned out to focus on the Kukui-Guzma dynamic, since the first few scenes felt like it was going to focus on Lusamine's condition instead. Granted, those two are vaguely related, and the way you weaved the narrative was clear, but I felt like pointing it out because it did left me wondering why the central plot, the Kukui-Guzma dynamic, was framed that way.

    But that's just a minor quirk, and I still liked the piece. It definitely filled in a blank in the already-good Sun and Moon plot and made it better. Awesome job with it!
     
  3. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Thank you! Haha I don't have anything against KukuixGuzma, but as I said in the notes their interactions are different from Lysandre and Sycamore, so yeah. Glad you thought Kukui and Guzma are done fine, though.

    Yeah, I've been mulling over how I handled Lusamine's condition here. Reason I framed this way was to get a reason for Kukui to rush to Aether Paradise, since Gladion near the end of the game did mention Lillie watching over her mom there. One of my other friends in another forum mentioned how I should add more tension concerning her condition, which I think I agree. On the other hand, I believe Kukui doesn't know Lusamine all that much, so it's harder for me to figure out his emotions over her compare to him seeing Guzma again.
     
  4. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Maybe it's because I've been away a little while, but like Dramatic Melody (or at least the Dramatic Melody of several months ago), this is the first Sun Moon fanfic I've read! The games took such a more outwardly emotional route with their storytelling, and I think you excellently capitalized on it here. I haven't read a ton of your stuff, but it seems like you enjoy and are good at writing stories based more in the characters, and it really showed that you were playing to your strengths here.

    I have two criticisms. The first is that sometimes the dialogue is a little on the nose. Lillie and Guzma in particular seem to just verbalize their character arcs, which were already pretty verbalized in the games. We know Lillie is growing stronger and Guzma has had a change of heart but not too much, so it feels unnecessary to restate all of that. Which leads to my second criticism.

    While you do fill in a gap left by the games, a lot of this story feels like what you would expect to happen if it had been covered by the games. There's really nothing surprising here, which is good in that it feels true to the source material, but as a reader I was expecting a little more, I guess.

    But like I said, this come across as more of a character piece than a plot-driven one, and on that front I think you did a great job. I adored the sweet Kukui/Burnet parts, and stuff with Guzma (especially the bittersweet reminiscing) is something I wish the games had more of, so I was of course thrilled to see that here. Plus, I'm a sucker for anything involving Lillie, so overall the characters here were great. :) And it was weirdly immersive. I felt as if I would continue to follow Kukui to the League and watch him lose to Moon and then say goodbye to Lillie and everything else, and it came as kind of a shock when it was over haha. I think it was the easy, slow pace that did it. It just really helped you focus on the characters, to the point where I just planned on continuing to follow them around ^^; So yes, I very much enjoyed this, and I look forward to reading more of your work!
     
  5. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    I remember wanting to read this when you first posted it, but I hadn't quite finished Sun at the time. So now I'm finally stopping by! ;)

    I like how he takes the time to heal the wild Absol after their battle.
    Seeing as "a few" is already a vague estimation, I don't think you need to add "around" to make it doubly vague.
    Past
    I think you kind of overuse "there were" and "was" when describing settings. It's admittedly pretty hard to avoid, but paring it down to only one per paragraph helps make descriptions feel a bit less stale.
    Oh Kukui, you and your attack puns.
    This is a bit confusing. I feel like a word might be missing, or maybe a comma or something. Maybe: "He needed to leave, but before he did, Guzma mentioned he may be disbanding Team Skull."

    The interactions between Kukui and Burnet were sweet. :3 And it was nice getting to see Kukui and Guzma reminiscing. I think I'd have liked to see them bring up something from their past friendship that wasn't covered by the games, though.

    All in all, a cute little character piece. I think you did a good job getting in the mindset of the characters, I'm just with Clockwork in that I'd have liked to see the dialogue go a bit further into details that we don't already know.

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  6. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Yo, want to thank both Clockwork and Chibi Pika for the feedback! Concerning the grammar stuff Chibi Pika, I'll get to fixing those errors soon when I have some time/not distracted (crossposted this story in like five place haha). You're right over the overused of "there was" and "was" setting descriptions there. I'm usually good at catching that when looking at someone else's work but with my own those tend to slip lol.

    Both of you guys mentioned about some of the dialogue a bit repetitive that mentioned stuff already from the games. I wrote this in the perspective of Kukui, and initially I thought about how while us readers already aware of everything, Kukui probably isn't in the know of some stuff. But yeah, that's something I'll try to be aware of next time. Again, thanks you guys!
     
  7. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    Yeah, no, Guzma definitely stole the show here.

    To be honest, I've always been fascinated with Guzma, and it's 100% because of something Kukui brought up in your fic. (And, by extension, I guess it's something you and I agree on, lol.) Namely, there's a sense of potential about him—as if, had he applied himself a certain way, maybe he could have been something better than the leader of a street gang. But he's also tragic in a sense, not only because it's clear in canon that he doesn't see that in himself, but also because he let himself be used by Lusamine.

    In short, your Guzma is spot-on. Superficially, he's spot-on because all of the verbal patterns are there. I mean, barring the slightly out-of-place swear when referencing the totem wishiwashi (and even then, I feel like it's because that's the only time he swears—as if doing it either more often or not at all would've been better and more fitting to his character), everything sounds like him: the slang, the rough tone, even the underlying bitterness. But deeper than that, you have the exact core of his character: that sense of unrealized potential combined with a defeated personality. He's more lucid than he was in canon (either because of the meds or the conclusion of his arc—can't really say), but that just makes things a little sadder because now he can articulate the whole slew of things that are just out of his reach, whether that's power (when he describes why he can't be a kahuna) or Lusamine (when he talks about why his relationship didn't work and why he fell for her in the first place).

    I admit that by contrast, a lot of the fic seems a little less lively. Take Kukui, for example. I couldn't quite get a bead on his personality because a lot of the time, it felt like he was reflecting off of Guzma or anyone else he was talking to. Sure, there were glimpses of his much more fiery self here and there (like when he committed one heck of a move pun) as well as flashes of a more contemplative side (particularly when he's talking to Burnet at the end), but for his conversation with Guzma, for an example-within-an-example, it just seemed like his dialogue was somehow restricted—like he was just making casual statements in order to drive the conversation forward. I suppose in a way that might actually be the point, but on the other hand, it also feels a little like Kukui's character flattens a little when Guzma is on screen, you know?

    On the other hand, maybe it's just Guzma, and maybe it's, in a way, highly appropriate for characters from games called Sun and Moon. Like ... Guzma is this huge af sun: extremely hot(-headed), lively, bright, and prone to outshining the others. And then you have Kukui, who, when interacting with Guzma, only really serves to highlight him—to reflect some of that light back to an audience so we can see what's going on, so to speak. But then again, once Guzma leaves the stage, the other characters seem to be the moon to Kukui's sun (again, if that makes sense). That is, while Kukui's personality starts to come out again, the characters he's conversing with don't seem to have much going on with them and only seem to speak to drive the conversation forward.

    I don't know if I'm even making sense here, but I think the short of it is ... I feel like you might be focusing on only one character in a two-person dialogue. And that's all right because first off, that one character usually comes out pretty awesome, and second off, it's pretty hard to find a way to balance two characters perfectly so their personalities interact with each other. Even now, just about the only advice I can offer is "keep practicing" because, well, that's about all I think it takes. Lots o' practice.

    Then again (again), it might also have something to do with something that Imaginative brought up that I think is very true: that sometimes, some character dialogue feels as if it's informing the readers what different characters' arcs (or actions, in some cases) are. I won't restate his examples (although I will throw in Kukui as another, as at some points, I feel like he's summarizing their arcs too), but I will say that it's often a dangerous thing to let the characters perform exposition duty. It might help to draft a script, sans narration, before starting in on dialogue-heavy fics, as this will allow you to see the conversation as a conversation, rather than as the story in itself.

    Don't get me wrong about all of this, of course! Otherwise, I do think it's a cute fic that does excellent things with Guzma. Heck, it does excellent things with Burnet and Kukui too. I mean, that entire conversation at the end, where Burnet comes out totally because she's concerned that her husband can't sleep ... you can tell she cares about him, and it's adorable to see those two have a moment. (Especially since it's not that often that someone actually does something cute with a husband and wife duo instead of splitting them apart solely for the shipping. /rant) And speaking of straight pairings actually done interestingly, I also thought what Guzma had to say about Lusamine was both heartbreaking and intriguing, and ngl, I kinda want to read fic that explores this and Guzma's recovery from it.

    All in all, this is an adorable fic all around. It just needs a bit of polishing with its dialogue, but it's extremely (and painfully, in a way) clear that you know what you're doing with characters on their own. Or at least you've done wondrous things with Guzma, and now I have to read more fic of him. *fistshake*
     
  8. So I decided I might as well read this fic since it seemed kinda cool.

    Well, I just wanna point out the shining light of this fic right now. Guzma! Guzma felt so in character! It was great to see Ya Boi with such an accurate portrayal - his speech patterns felt natural, the things he referenced fitted the canon well, and I feel like after having a few men's and realising what a bad person he's been, Guzma would definitely talk about things like how he'd never become a kahuna. Kudos to you on that one.

    However, I did find that Kukui felt a little flat at some points. I like the cute parts with his relationship with Burnet, and his conversation with Guzma was awesome for my platonic shipping heart, but when these times aren't there he seems a lot more like he's just drifting through a scenario, rather than being actually involved with it. Something I'd personally think could improve that is if we saw more into Kukui's mind at certain points, rather than simply explaining his actions.

    I also kinda felt that Lillie really wasn't doing all too much, but then again she is one of the characters who is focused on the least here so I guess that was the intention.

    Overall, this one shot was rather cute and I enjoyed reading it, but could've done with a little more tweaking. Good luck with your future projects!
     
  9. PhalanxSigil

    PhalanxSigil BONK!

    I've been meaning to get to this one for a while now. I'd started it before, but gotten a little distracted from finishing the story, and I felt kinda bad about not finishing it, so here I am. Overall, I gotta say, this is a pretty nice story. Because we were only able to see the end of Sun and Moon from the player's perspective, it was nice to see the endgame sort of play out through another character's eyes. And Kukui, though not exactly a difficult choice, was nonetheless effective, as we get to see more of his personality than the well-known "laid-back move-obsessed" guy. He feels a little more human than he did in the games, which was nice. I'm also very happy that you took the time to mention his marriage to Professor Burnet more than merely in passing. I feel like that was a real lost opportunity in the games, so I'm glad to see it here.

    However, the story's not perfect, and I feel a big part of that stems from how the characters speak. It never felt completely natural, and I think it was for two main reasons. The first is that sometimes I felt that the actual sentences coming out of the characters mouths seemed forced. I'll give a quick example:

    It's a quick little line, but I feel that it's emblematic of a more prevalent problem, albeit one that doesn't necessarily ruin the fic as a whole. This line gives a little too much information based on the scene already set up, because we know that it's Kukui and Burnet. Also, why would Kukui call her Burnet if they're married? I dunno, it just seems a little forced. It might be more effective if it was shortened to something like, "We'll be sure to come again soon." (Also, don't be afraid of contractions. They help with flow.)

    On that note, that's the other thing I had a bit of an issue with. Sometimes it felt like any emotions that the characters were feeling didn't stay with them for long enough. It felt a little odd that Kukui was so concerned over the call he got from his wife, only to be super cordial right away and not have any real sense of urgency until a little ways into the conversation.

    For these points, I think a good suggestion would be to speak the lines you have the characters say aloud. I know this sounds a little cliché, but believe me, it helps suss out what sounds natural and what doesn't in your mind when you can hear it.

    This is a good story that helps give some context to the S/M plot, don't get me wrong. However, it can be improved, and I don't think it should necessarily be too hard. Honestly, I think that the other reviewers who've taken a look at this story have said similar things, so I hope that my additions to the critique are helpful. I liked the fic, and I hope that you continue to do your thing.

    -Phalanx, out.
     
  10. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    This was a nice little exploration of how various characters reacted to everything that happened after Moon and Lillie returned from the Ultra Wormhole. I thought that it was particularly neat that a fair amount of it centered on Burnet, since she's pretty cool and unfortunately you don't see a ton of her in fanfic.

    And of course, there's Guzma, who as has been said is the highlight of this story. I love how he bounced off of Kukui--I think their shared history comes through well here, and indeed the part where Guzma and Kukui were talking about their Island Challenge was my favorite. They really seemed to get animated there, which makes sense; for two people who care so much about pokémon, it's no wonder they have such strong attachments to their journey, and by extension to each other.

    Kukui I felt lacked a bit of his energy from the games, though. He's generally a very upbeat, cheerful guy, and it seems like he spends at least half his time clowning around. Now, he spends a lot of his time in this one-shot stressed and worried, so it makes sense that he'd be a bit more somber than usual. On the other hand, I thought a lot of his dialogue was a bit clinical and restrained for him, especially when he's chatting with Guzma--surely he'd open up a bit more with his old friend, the same way Guzma's doing with him? Lines like "'If it’s alright with you, Guzma,' he said, 'I would like to speak with you outside.'" and "I’m not lying when I said that. If you had overcome that one flaw, you could have reached that potential." sound too formal for him to me.

    I did like the bit with Kukui in the conservation area where he was looking at Guzma's pendant. It was a nice quiet, introspective moment, and how fitting that Kukui would have gone off to the pokémon area to think--of course that's where he would feel most at home.

    One thing I'd watch out for is your prose. There are a number of errors here, but not of the basic "I don't know how to proofread sort." It's usually more subtle word usage or syntax issues, where things aren't so much blatantly wrong as subtly off. For example:

    This is just a funky sentence overall. I think leaving "walls" in there is just a typo and it should be "painted in white," in which case it should be "with" chandeliers lit up. You also need an article before "inside," like so:

    Slightly wonky tenses are one of the major issues that shows up a lot in this piece, and this is one example. Here, I think the intention is that Kukui comes into the room and finds Burnet and Lillie looking down at Lusamine. How it's written now, Kukui comes into the room and then these two show up in this sentence. If you wanted them to already be there, you'd say, "Two people had gathered around the bed with downcast gazes..."

    The "with downcast" part is just because you'd need to put something besides "their gazes dropped," which wouldn't make sense anymore with "had gathered."

    You usually just confront someone, not confront with someone.

    You furrow your brow (forehead), not your eyebrows.

    Her eyes... flickered? You have Kukui's eyes do this too, later, and I'm not sure what you mean by it.

    I think that'd be railing, singular.

    There are a lot of little things like that littered about in the story, and it can make it difficult to tell what you're getting at from time to time. Unfortunately it can be hard to train yourself to see these kinds of things and pretty much all you can do is practice on it, but do know that these issues exist.

    Overall I think you did a nice job capturing Guzma in particular, and this one-shot presents an interesting side of the SuMo story that isn't often considered: how the adults reacted to some of the crazy **** the kids got up to. There's a lot to explore there, and this was a neat look into how everything might have shaken out.
     
  11. Bay

    Bay YEAHHHHHHH

    Hey everyone, so before I jump to indvidual replies I want to bring up the "Kukui's voice didn't come through as strong as Guzma" comments the majority of you mentioned. I admit, a part of me did kinda wonder if I had Kukui a little too subtle after rereading some of his parts. I wanted to try to have Kukui worried about what's been going on in relations to the games' events come across, hence why his personality got unintentionally toned down a bit. Those that mentioned some of his lines were a bit informal I can see why that's the case. I think also Guzma came for me easily because I have friends that speak similar to Guzma haha.

    Besides Guzma, you guys like the stuff with Kukui and Burnet, which I'm glad! Yeah I wanted more stuff concerning those two, no regrets here. = P Concerning what Jax said in her review, I heard how Burnet isn't treated well with the Kukui/Guzma shippers orz. A couple folks from ao3 are actually interested with more Kukui/Burnet from me, so who knows I might if I'm inspired enough!

    Ok, to the more individual replies.

    Jax: Glad you thought I got his unrealized potential combined with a defeated personality well. I admit, a lot of it comes from lots of Guzma gushing over at Tumblr and headcanons over how he could be a kahuna. But yeah, checking some scenes with him and also what others said of him made me think of him in that light.

    Your sun/moon metaphor concerning Kukui/Guzma and how I portrayed the interactions makes sense. Yeah I think I had a bit too much fun with Guzma lol. I can see what you and the others said concerning certain characters only there performing exposition duty, and I hope to fix that problem with Foul Play.

    NerdyMcNerdface: You mentioned getting more into Kukui's mind instead of just explaining his actions. To be honest, reason for that is I had someone who commented in another story how I described the thoughts a little too much, haha. So yeah, what I've been trying to do is kinda "action speaks louder than words" thing I guess. Perhaps I should find a balance between action and thoughts.

    PhalanxSigil: I already brought up the concerns with Kukui being a bit formal in his dialogue, although I will mention I did use contractions heh. I tend to read my stuff aloud but I still have trouble sometimes picking up on my own if a certain mention I want comes across. I'll still keep your feedback on mind, though.

    Negrek: Oh, the part with the flickered eyes, I try to describe Lillie's and then Kukui's eyes blinking but with a bit more emotion. I guess that didn't come across well. And huh, guess when using the word furrow brow and eyebrows don't mean the same thing oops.

    Thanks for pinpointing out the subtle syntax and tense problems there. Yeah, I'm aware some stuff like the more tricky tenses and word usage I have problems with, so I would always have at least someone else help me with those. I guess bobandbill missed some of those on his first read through. Funny enough I have one friend in another fandom that told me how she notices I worry too much about grammar and why my sentences grew stiff. I still try to fix any mistakes and awkwardness to the best of my ability, but at the same time I don't want to be hung over with grammar too much. This is why professional writers have editors.

    I think that's everyone. Thanks everyone for taking the time to give feedback here! Before I go, something I want to mention. I'm actually going to have Kukui make a couple appearances in Foul Play, so hopefully I'll bring in his energy better (and also hope I write Grimsley and Nanu's personalities well too) in that piece.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

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