The sun had risen, the dark had gone, and the time had come for the gang to move out. Today they would continue on their way to Veilstone. Nathan had been awake for a couple of hours now and watched over the camp from a tree. Tyler was quietly tip-toeing throughout the camp, carefully weaving his way around the scattered Pokemon on site, it almost seemed as if he was dancing. He did not want to have to wake them up until it was necessary because they would need all their energy for the hike up the cliffs. It was this time that Tyler looked up and saw Nathan in the tree and motioned for him to come over to him. Nathan simply rolled his eyes as he jumped down from the tree, doing a flip for style in the process.
"Nathan, would you mind going down to the nearest river and filling these canteens with water before we go?", asked Tyler.
Upon Tyler's request, Nathan stuck his paw at his ear and acted like he was digging for ear-wax. Tyler knew Nathan did not have much confidence in him yet, so he took the gesture as sign of pseudo-listening.
"Just do it!", commanded Tyler, a bit annoyed.
Nathan took the canteens from his trainer's hands and walked down to the river, and as he got on his knee to fill the containers he could see the distorted images of a few Finneon, Magikarp, and a Squirtle swim by. As he watched them, the Squirtle took notice of the Buizel and popped his head out of the water. As the turtle broke the surface he playfully shot some water in Nathan's face, meaning no harm at all. However, Nathan did not take it as a gesture of play, but more of a challenge.
"Why you little
", Nathan cursed as he jumped in the water to attack the Squirtle.
As Tyler walked around camp he noticed Nathan walking back steeped in water.
"Nathan. Did you take a bath this morning?", asked a confused Tyler, as he had bathed all his Pokemon before they left on their hike.
Nathan merely grumbled as he walked past him to dry himself off with Tyler's sleeping-bag.
"Hey! I have to sleep in that! Use a towel!", shouted Tyler in surprise.
Nathan looked around to see his various team-mates waking up from their slumber. Chaze and Rikka were rubbing their eyes, Sugar was running around camp in a gleeful manner with Corey chasing her. Kiba was arching his back to stretch, Kentz was helping pack, and Loke was trying to pull Daichi out of his "sleep-hole" he dug every night to sleep in. It was like any other boring morning and Nathan was itching to get moving.
"Hey Nathan! Could you go wake up Matt? He's still in the tent sleeping!", yelled Tyler to Nathan across the campsite, as he was helping Loke pull Daichi out. Someway or another, he had gotten stuck.
Rolling his eyes at the stupidity of the situation, Nathan proceeded to the tent to wake up Matt. Unzipping the tent he stepped inside and started his wake up call.
"Hey, Fuzz-ball! Time to wake
", Nathan stopped as he examined the creature on the floor.
Matt was panting in sharp-raspy breaths and was gripping the cover of Tyler's sleeping bag tightly. Apparently Tyler had been worried about the chu, because he had allowed him to sleep in his sleeping bag with him. By the way Tyler was acting this morning, Nathan assumed that these symptoms had just arisen. As Nathan approached Matt, kneeling on one knee, he felt the brow of the chu and found he was drenched in a cold sweat. Matt was writhing and groaning in a way that would indicate that he may be in pain. Worried that he could be relapsing, Nathan began to exit the tent to go get Tyler. But as he left he heard Matt begin to talk in his sleep.
..", pleaded an unconscious Matt.
For a second, Nathan wondered if Matt was talking about him, but then he remembered that he was asleep. He continued to listen to what Matt had to say and leaned into his face to hear him better.
", begged Matt, "
Nathan was listening intently, trying to put together what Matt was mumbling, but then Matt suddenly stopped. Nathan was frustrated, he knew he shouldn't be eavesdropping, but he was so anxious to find out what Matt was talking about. He needed to know more, he needed to find out who this "Watt" person was, so he leaned in even closer to see if he could even hear a slight whisper, anything that would give him juicy relief to the confusion he was in. As he leaned over, Matt eyes shot open and he jerked up, crashing his forehead into Nathan's.
"Ow!", he shouted as his skull smashed into Nathan's.
"Dammit that hurt!!", Nathan cursed as he held his aching head.
"What is wrong with you?! Who wakes up like that!?", shouted Nathan clenching his fists.
"What's wrong with me?! What were you doing hovering over me while I was sleeping?!", rebutted Matt.
"Bui, what are you doing in here? Where is Tyler?", Matt asked almost frightened that his friend had left his side.
"Dude. It's morning. He told me to come get you because it is time to go!", explained Nathan.
"Ahh! Morning already?! Dang!", said Matt leaping up to exit the tent.
As Matt began to exit, Nathan grabbed him by his shoulder to stop him.
"Bui?", asked Matt.
feeling well? Today's going to be all up-hill.", asked Nathan, still thinking about the state he found Matt in.
"Of course! Something wrong?", asked Matt.
It just seemed that you were a little uneasy in your sleep.", Nathan said a little concerned.
"No. I'm okay. Let's just go!", said Matt with a fake smile on his face.
Nathan knew something was on his mind, but he didn't want to talk about it. He would let the feeling pass for now.
"Alright everyone!", Tyler said clapping to get everyone's attention.
"Today is going to be the tough part. We have to make it all the way up to that clearing!", he said pointing to a plateau that looked like a dot on the horizon.
"It is a bit windy today, and because we are going to be working with cliffs, I want all of you to partner up.", Tyler commanded.
"Kiba and Daichi, Kentz and Loke, Sugar and Matt, Corey and Nathan, and Rikka and Chaze.", Tyler instructed.
"These are your pairings, your partners. You can't let your partner out of your sight for a minute! To make it safely to the next checkpoint we have to work together and walk in a straight line. Also, keep your footing! It's pretty windy out here today. Now let's move out gang!", Tyler shouted as he thrust his fist in the air with confidence.
Tyler was right, the terrain was tough and the wind was harsh. The team could feel it smacking them in the face as they ascended the slanted terrain. As they climbed higher and higher, it became even more difficult to even keep your feet on the ground. Looking back, Matt could see Corey having some trouble. He was yawning like crazy and walking a bit slower than everyone.
"What's with you Matches?", Nathan asked a bit annoyed that the Chimchar was slowing him down.
"I'm sorry. I didn't get much sleep last night because of the storm. The lightning scared me.", Corey said a little despondently.
"So he came and slept next to me.", Kentz spoke up.
Nathan looked back and saw the chimp Pokemon struggling and then did something that shocked Tyler. Nathan stepped in front of Corey, towering over him. Corey became a little scared that he had inadvertently made him mad, but then he saw Nathan turn around. Nathan turned around and crouched, cupping his arms behind him to make a carriage. Corey was confused as to why Nathan was doing this, that he wanted to trick him.
"Well?! GET ON!", Nathan commanded.
Corey giggled cutely then jumped on the back of Nathan, wrapping his arms around his neck.
"YAY!! Giddy-up!", Corey cheered as he bucked Nathan.
"Don't push your luck kid.", Nathan cursed, as they continued up the incline.
About an hour into the hike the gang looked about half-way to their checkpoint. On the way, Corey had fallen asleep and nuzzled into the soft fur of Nathan's back. In front the could hear Matt talking and laughing amongst various members of the group.
and then Ty's pants fell down right in front of her!", Matt said bursting out laughing, while the others joined in.
Nathan was still contemplating on what Matt had confessed in his sleep. He kept repeating what he heard from him over and over in his head.
"Something's bothering him. He doesn't want to show it, but somehow I can tell.", thought Nathan, "Who is Watt and what does this person have to do with his nightmares."
Loke looked back and saw Nathan's face bunched up in frustration.
"Something up Nathan?", asked Loke.
"Don't concern yourself.", scoffed Nathan.
Loke just rolled his eyes, knowing that Nathan would be "Nathan" . Suddenly the wind picked up in an billowing gale. As Nathan shielded his eyes, he reopened them to see that Loke was no longer in front of him, but up in the air being swept away by the updraft.
"LOKE!", shouted Tyler in fear.
"I got em'! Quick Attack!", exclaimed Matt as he dashed off after Loke.
"Let's shift it up a gear guys!", Tyler said to the group as they nodded in response, before chasing after Matt.
Loke was getting higher and higher as the current carried him away. Matt looked up at him and tried to talk him down.
"HELP ME!!", yelled Loke.
"Close your wings!", shouted Matt as he followed in pursuit.
Loke followed Matt's order, but it did not help. He was too far up and the wind itself was keeping him up!
"It's not working!", Loke screamed as he began to tear up in fear.
"Oh-no.", thought Matt as he looked in front of him.
Matt was running out of land. Below was a sheer drop to raging rapids below. If Loke fell in there, even with his wing gliders, he would not be able to pull up in time.
"Shit! Only one chance!", Matt thought critically.
Matt then ricocheted his body of a few rocks to build momentum, then leaped off the cliff to catch Loke. Once he reached him, he pivoted in mid-air and chucked Loke safely back onto the cliff's edge. However, in doing so he sealed his own fate and was falling to his doom. Everything seemed to slow down with the severity of the situation, and countless things ran through his head.
"Wow. I really jumped the gun and pulled a "Ty-move" this time. Looks like I won't be getting myself out of this one, but I think I'm okay. I met some really close friends along the way
I wonder if I'll be remembered? Thanks Ty. Thanks for saving me, for teaching me, for loving me. You showed me kindness that I never thought could exist. I only wish I could have had a bit longer to share that kindness with the others. I guess I won't be able to keep our promise Watt, but at least I'll get to see "her" again. This is it
everyone.", thought Matt quietly.
Just as Matt was about to pass out, something grabbed his paw and stopped him from falling.
"Always got to be the hero, huh?", Nathan said as he held tight to Matt.
"B-Bui?!", said surprised to the point of awe.
"Hold on! We'll pull you up!", responded Nathan.
"Alright everyone! HEAVE!", shouted Nathan.
"HO!", shouted everyone in response.
The whole gang had lined up behind each other, using their bodies as a rope and Tyler as an anchor, to catch and hold Matt. On Nathan's signal, they all reared back and slowly pulled each other back up the cliff, one after the other. With one final burst of energy, the group pulled Matt and Nathan back over, both gasping for air. As they all lay there exhausted, Matt began to giggle and then that giggle transformed into a full-blown laugh.
"You almost died, and you're laughing?!", Nathan asked a bit peeved.
"Oh! I'm sorry! It's just that this was the first time you all worked together as a team!", Matt said aloud as he continued to laugh. Tyler ran over hastily and picked up Loke and Matt and gripped them in a big hug.
"You need to be more careful, okay! I almost lost you guys!", Tyler yelled starting to break down a bit.
", both Loke and Matt said simultaneously, as they embraced their master.
Sugar didn't fail to race over and squeeze the remaining life out of Matt once Tyler put them down. She spouted things like she was worried, she thought they would never be able to be together, and that she would have to raise the kids on her own, which frightened Matt a bit. As the group walked back over to the wider part of the cliff, Corey turned around a called to Matt and Nathan who were still over at the edge.
"Come on guys!", Corey called.
"Coming!", Matt responded before looking back at Nathan.
"You gave us quite a scare.", Nathan complained.
"I just acted a little carelessly, but I'm okay!", Matt said scratching his head in embarrassment for doing something so stupid.
"Is everything okay?", Nathan pushed.
"Yeah. I just wasn't thinking, and all I could worry about was saving Loke.", responded Matt.
"That's just it! You would have normally found a way to save him without endangering yourself! You haven't been yourself lately.", Nathan stated.
Matt looked down at his feet and clenched his fists. He had changed to a more sad tone and Nathan could see it in his eyes as he looked back up at him.
"Acting serious and troubled all the time doesn't suit you. Bring back the Matt that makes everyone laugh, that is always bounding of confidence, that makes me feel safe
", Nathan said, letting the last part be barely heard.
"What did you say?", asked Matt, not being able to hear the last part.
"That keeps me in check!", Nathan quickly corrected.
"Oh.", responded Matt.
"You always listen to what I have say. Now let me return the favor.", said Nathan as he extended his paw for Matt to take.
There was a long pause before Matt built up the courage to speak.
", Matt started.
Suddenly, before Matt could even finish his sentence, the cracks under Matt's feet gave way and the portion of land that Matt was standing on broke off, sending Matt hurdling backwards off the cliff. Things proceeded in slow motion again as a stunned Matt could not even move as he fell. Everything went silent, except for the beat of Matt's heart as Nathan desperately reached for Matt. Nathan and Matt grabbed for each other, missing by only centimeters. Nathan watched in horror as Matt plummeted to the rapids below, making a violent splash as he crashed into the rapids. Nathan continued to stare with empty eyes, still reaching for someone who is was longer there, in disbelief. Taking a minute, the situation finally registered in his head and he lost it.
Matt? Matt! MAAAAAAATT!!!", Nathan screamed as he dove off the cliff without hesitation.