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Old 11-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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And you'll never be like me.

Levin woke up panting, in a cold sweat, his heart racing. For the third night in a row... That dream again.

He got up; maybe some water would calm him down. He looked over at his Pokemon, his chosen sixteen. All of them were sleeping - good, at least someone was resting up.

He leaned over the kitchen sink, turned on the faucet, cupped his hands and took a couple of sips. Then he washed his face and his hair; there was no way he going back to sleep, anyway. He looked at the clock on the wall; 4 a.m.

He crossed the hall to the other side of the house and sat down on the couch, head between his hands. What was the meaning of these dreams, if any? He used to shun the paranormal, dismiss all that spiritual bullshit that some people make a living off of. But that journey to Phantom Isle had changed him, and he became a bit more tolerant of the idea that not everything can or needs to be rationally explained. This was one such case.

For three nights in a row now, he'd had the same dream. Standing at the very top of Cortoza's Mt. Infernus - a climb he'd indeed made at one point in his life -, he overlooked the entire archipelago on a rainy night. Suddenly, someone would touch his shoulder; turning around, he'd come face to face with a man he hadn't seen since he was a child: Ivan Sanders, his older brother. And no matter what he told him, what he asked him (and he'd ask him something different in every dream), Ivan's answer was always the same: "You haven't forgotten me, you never will. And you'll never be like me."

Why?! He'd gotten over it, it'd been years since he gave it any thought at all... so why now?

- Rio? Riolu?

Levin looked back up. In front of him, looking more curious than concerned, was Mazo. That's right... he can read me.
He invited him to sit next to him on the couch. The Riolu wasn't the most likeable company he could've asked for, so aloof was he, but it could be worse; at least it wasn't Magnus.

- Sorry if I woke you up. I've been... having some weird dreams lately. But you already know that, don't you?

Mazo nodded. For all his detachment and cold demeanour, he was still wise beyond his age and someone Levin could trust completely - even if the Riolu wasn't all that good at comforting people.

- It's about my brother. He... he left home on his journey when I was just a kid. Man, he was something. A complete prick, always full of himself, but the bastard always backed it up and it pissed me off.

Mazo raised his eyebrow at the remark, but said nothing.

- Heard he took the Kanto region by storm, with his team of then-unclassified Steel-Types. He generated quite the buzz back then, and a lot of people credit him with being the one responsible for introducing the Steel Type to the mainstream public... but we never heard from him again after he sent us a letter saying he was gonna cross Victory Road to reach the Indigo Plateau. And we never got word from a new Champion either... so he either got his ass handed to him and disappeared out of embarrassment, or...

The Riolu put his hand on Levin's shoulder and shook his head with conviction.

- I don't know what happened. Mom and Dad fell into a depression and sheltered me even more. Why do you think I only managed to go on my own journey when I was twenty? It broke their hearts, seeing me leave with no guarantees of ever coming back. They'd lost one son already, I was the only one they had. But we keep in touch. I won't abandon them, I can't do that to them. I'll never be like him.

At the utterance of those last words, he stopped abruptly, startled. His every dream had been ending with that same sentence.
Mazo, again, could read him like an open book. He knew what troubled Levin perhaps better than himself, but what could he do?

- I'd put the past behind me, the memory of my brother and the trouble he caused for us. I promised myself I'd be better than him; every bit as good a Trainer and more; vowed I'd achieve success where he found none... Vowed that I'd find out if... if he's still...

He got up. Talking about it wouldn't change anything; he would continue to do things like he'd always done, regardless of his legacy, expectations, memories. He was his own man now, and he'd be a better man than Ivan ever was. Now if only the conceited asshole would stop haunting his dreams!

- Thanks for listening, Mazo. Go back to sleep, it's still early, and you have a long day of training ahead.

He patted him on the head - something Mazo loathed, but now wasn't the best time to argue - and went to bed as well. Maybe the rest of the night would be calmer now that he'd let off some steam...

The Riolu went back to his corner, but didn't fall back asleep. There was one way to confirm what happened to his Trainer's brother, and one Pokemon in particular who could help. Now if only Levin would allow himself to be helped...

Last edited by MarbleZone; 02-03-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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