Rating: PG-13, I guess?
Warnings: death, suicidal mention, angry bitter OS!Pikachu calling Mewtwo out on his bullshit, the works.
Notes: fic based off ommanyte 's horrid AU Art that posited the theory of Ash never reviving after being turned to stone in Movie 1 and Pikachu never forgetting. that's probably a warning all on its own. basically i noticed the plants growing to signify the passage of time in that art piece and then remembered that it was on an artificially made battlefield, so i reckon it musta taken a long time for the plants to take root and grow. then i figured about the possibilities of Mewtwo coming back before Pikachu could even stay there that long fro the plants to be around, so I decided to write their meetings and bitter soul-searching conversations. it hurt me. i hope it hurts you too.
Summary: The boy never revived. The Pikachu never forgot. The Mewtwo wasn't sure if he would ever understand.
Middle English (in the sense ‘become faint, feeble, or ill’): from Old French languiss-, lengthened stem of languir ‘languish,’ from a variant of Latin languere.
(of a person or other living thing) lose or lack vitality; grow weak or feeble.
pine with love or grief.
The first time Mewtwo returned to pay his respects to the trainer who had shattered his worldview and his reason for existence, he was surprised to see a small shock of yellow nestled next to the boy’s stone corpse. Coming closer revealed to it as the child’s Pikachu, his head resting mournfully on one of the outstretched hands, staring into the frozen eyes as if willing to bring his trainer back to life.
He should have sent the Pokémon back without another word. Just wipe the memories properly this time and let them leave this place without making the Pikachu any the wiser. It would have been simple. Instead, Mewtwo made the foolish mistake of coming closer and sending a telepathic demand to the Pokémon’s mind.
“What are you doing here?!”
The lax body became immediately alert, the small mouse leaping to his feet with a rapidity that Mewtwo hadn’t expected from such a slumped posture. Teeth bared at him and cheeks sparked in a display that would have been threatening to any Pokémon save Mewtwo himself.
“I should ask you that. What made you decide to come back here, murderer?”
The amount of venom in that voice was impressive, for such a small and pitiful-looking thing. It was enough to make even a Psychic-type like Mewtwo wince in apprehension, even if he refused to show it.
“I wasn’t the only one involved in that child’s death, you know.”
“Yeah, well Mew isn’t here.” Lucky him. “Besides, you’re the one who started that whole mess in the first place.”
Mewtwo said nothing in response, opting to instead glare down at the rat that had no troubles with returning the look. It was a tense few minutes before the Pikachu scoffed and settled back into his original position, facing away from Mewtwo.
“Whatever. Just leave us alone. You don’t need to be here.”
“Us.” Mewtwo stated incredulously. There wasn’t anyone else around. Just him, the Pikachu, and the frozen corpse. “This island is mine, remember? I have every right to be here as much as you do.”
“Don’t see your name on it,” was the mocking rejoinder. “Thought you gave this place up when you left with all your little clone subjugates. ‘It would be best if everyone forgot about this place,’ remember?”
“That includes you,” Mewtwo snapped back, his patience wearing thin. It had never been a strong point of his. “I wiped the memories of everyone that was present. The humans, their Pokémon, even my ‘subjugates,’ as you so mockingly called them. I gave them all a chance to move on without this tragedy on their minds. You should be with them, as well.”
“So you can mourn alone? I didn’t even think you had it in you to even consider regretting what you did.”
The Pikachu spat to the side, adding insult to injury by not even deigning to turn around.
“What makes you so special? Why do you get to be the only one to remember him? What makes you think that you even deserve to cry for him at all?” The Pikachu turned his head to finally look at Mewtwo again, hatred burning in his eyes. They were small, brown, and round, and for the life of him Mewtwo couldn’t understand why the vicious look made him feel a sense of utter wrongness.
“Go. Away. You’re not wanted here.”
“Neither are you,” Mewtwo replied, his patience finally gone, and with a flick of his fingers he deleted the entire past few weeks of memory from the Pikachu’s mind before sending the rat far, far away.
It was with shock and horror that Mewtwo found the same blot of yellow lying in the same exact position the next time he came to visit the boy that had become his own grave marker. The Pikachu didn’t even need prior warning to face him this time, already turning around with his teeth bared and cheeks sparking.
“So, you really thought the same trick would work on me twice? Stupid of you, considering it didn’t even work before. Then again, maybe you thought the first time was a fluke?”
Mewtwo had hoped for that, yes. Not that he would ever admit it.
“What are you still doing here?”
“Even asking the same question too, oooh. Aren’t you a smart one, Mr. Strongest Pokémon Trainer? Surely you remember the answer from last time!”
“If I recall correctly, you never gave me an answer.” The Pikachu shrugged and turned away.
“Not my problem. You should have figured it out by now anyway.”
It wasn’t hard to, no. Still, Mewtwo pressed on.
“Why do you keep returning here? You should be out there living without…”
“What, like you?” The scathing interruption seemed to be the last bit of any real fight the Pikachu had left in him, as his little body seemed to sag with weariness afterwards.
“I won’t forget. I will never forget. No matter how many times you send me away, I’ll keep coming back here.”
The resolve was admirable, at the very least.
“That isn’t going to stop me from sending you back. I will wipe that memory from your mind eventually.”
The Pikachu glared back at him, with those burning brown eyes that still looked wrong on the small yellow face.
He did so on the third time as well.
The seventh time went no differently.
By the time the tenth meeting rolled around, Mewtwo found his patience slipping.
“Why won’t you forget?!” Mewtwo asked at their fifteenth encounter, his tolerance well and truly pressed to its limits.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” the Pikachu countered bitterly. “I told you, I won’t forget. Not ever.”
“But why?!” Mewtwo would have strangled the tiny thing to death if that hadn’t run counter to his well-intentioned purposes. “Surely you don’t think your Trainer would have wanted you to waste away at his side like this-“
The death glare that cut him off was unlike any the mouse had given before, and Mewtwo belatedly realized why it looked so wrong on his small face. Maybe it was mentioning the Trainer that had let him finally make the connection, but the Pikachu’s eyes were exactly the same brown shade if one looked close enough. Even if Mewtwo hadn’t actually seen the color properly in months, he still remembered the Trainer’s brown eyes: narrowed in anger, widened in worry, flaring with determination…but never burning with hatred like the Pokémon that had been called his most precious partner. How strange it was, that he couldn’t see a human feeling hatred the same way a Pokémon did.
“Don’t you dare claim to understand him. You think because he died trying to stop you that you can suddenly understand his feelings now? That you know every feeling in the deepest depths of his heart? You don’t even know why he wanted to stop you in the first place. If you understood that kind of feeling, you would have never started that awful event to begin with. If you understood what kind of feeling humans and Pokémon could have for one another, you would never send me away time after time again. Don’t you even dare think you can speak for him now after all this time.”
The Pikachu hissed angrily, and for the first time, Mewtwo found himself recoiling enough to step back.
“You don’t have the right.”
The few moments of silence before Mewtwo raised his hand felt like an eternity.
“I still have the right to send you away from this place.”
And so he did.
Mewtwo had long ceased to feel any surprise or irritation by the time the twenty-first visit rolled around. Maybe that was what allowed him to ask the same question once again with only genuine curiosity behind it and little else.
“Why do you return?”
Maybe that was why the Pikachu finally gave a proper answer, slouching by his Trainer’s side with exhaustion taking over every bit of his little body.
“I don’t have anything left.”
Even after so many encounters, the mouse still managed to surprise him. That wasn’t the answer he expected.
“I don’t understand.”
“Ha.” The laugh was forced and empty. “Finally, you admit it.”
Mewtwo said nothing. Neither did the Pikachu, for some more minutes.
“Everyone else has something back to go to, you know. The other Trainers, they have their own hopes and dreams to pursue. Misty and Brock, they have their families and dreams still there. Someone else will give them reason and motive enough to pursue them. Even his other Pokémon have something. Pidgeotto probably has some flock or other back in the forest. Bulbasaur has that hidden village of his to look after abandoned Pokémon there. Squirtle has his gang to go back to, even if he won’t remember why they’re not a criminal group anymore. Charizard…he has his anger to guide him.”
“His anger? I noticed he was rather ill-tempered, but…” The mouse snorted.
“That’s underestimating it. You know that guy was abandoned by his first Trainer, right? Ash was the one who gave him a second chance.”
“If that was the case, then why does he not return? Theoretically, he should have nothing left, either. Then again, he never listened to that boy, either, so perhaps he never truly earned his loyalty…”
“Don’t talk about what you don’t understand.” The interruption lacked its usual bite. “He changed after he evolved, sure, but he never left, either. With his power, he could have easily left us behind, and Ash would have let him if he really wanted to leave. But he didn’t. Who knows why that Charizard would never listen, but something about that power changed him. Whatever it is, he has the power that his former trainer threw him away for lacking. Even if he doesn’t remember Ash’s love, he’ll remember that former trainer’s neglect, and he’ll have the strength to fuel any resentment he wouldn’t have let be voiced before. That anger will give him the drive to keep living whatever new life you’ve given him now, I’m sure.”
“It’s not a happy life you attribute to him living, you know…”
“But he’s living, right?” the Pikachu asked mockingly. “Just like you wanted.”
Mewtwo chose not to address that.
“So why do you not-“
“Don’t ask. Just know this. I didn’t have a life worth living before my Pokéball was given to him. Wiping him out of my life will leave me with nothing. That’s all there is to it.”
For the first time Pikachu looked up at Mewtwo with a completely open expression. The brown eyes welled up with tears, and Mewtwo wondered briefly if this was how the boy had looked on at all the pointless and exhaustive fighting before his untimely demise.
“Please. Don’t take this away from me again. Don’t send me back. Please.”
Mewtwo hesitated…and lifted up his hand.
“I hope you find a happier life, this time.”
The next meeting had Pikachu meet him with an expression of hurt and resignation. Mewtwo had braced himself for that, but it didn’t make seeing it any easier.
“Fine. I get it. You have the right to do what you want. Just do it and be done with it.”
Mewtwo did nothing, and Pikachu turned away, resting his head on the boy’s hand once more.
“In a way, you’re kind of lucky, you know. Not having any meaning in your life, I mean.”
Mewtwo bristled. How could he say such things? It was only the mournful tone that kept him from lashing out, instead waiting for Pikachu to continue. He didn’t have to wait long.
“It means you didn’t have to lose it,” Pikachu finally replied to the unspoken question. “Have it torn away from you in front of your very eyes and be left with nothing to live for all over again.”
“I-“Mewtwo began, and Pikachu cut him off without even looking at him.
“Revenge isn’t something to live for. It’s something to die for. You would have been left with nothing in the end anyway, whether his intervention took that purpose from you or not.”
That was something Mewtwo had come to learn on his own, this past year. Even so, there was so much more to observe on Earth…and still no place where he truly belonged. He wondered if he would ever find it.
If he ever did find it, would he end up like Pikachu, one day? Mourning without end, unable to move on no matter what? It was a terrifying thought.
Even so, he wanted to seek it out. He wanted to use this second life the boy had given him in exchange for his own. He felt he needed to do that much, for the boy’s sake. Why did Pikachu refuse to do the same?
“This was my second life.”
He hadn’t even voiced that thought out loud.
“I can’t bear to try for a third one.”
How had Pikachu known what he was thinking? The possibilities frightened Mewtwo to even imagine. Instead, he did the easy thing and raised his hand.
“I hope you can find the strength to try once again.”
Mewtwo wished he could have even felt the smallest bit of surprise at seeing Pikachu there again. The yellow fur was dulled and matted from too many long journeys, too many return trips across the sea, too many months of pining and waiting; but it was still the same Pikachu as ever.
Still, it was the first time Mewtwo could recall seeing him look visibly unhealthy. It was that more than anything that really made him actively consider the possibility of Pikachu finally failing to return to his Trainer’s side.
The thought sent chills down his spine despite himself.
“Do you even eat when you come here?”
The raised eyebrow actually made Mewtwo feel chagrined. Small sprouts had been starting to crack open the arena floor, but nothing edible had yet to take root. A small traitorous voice in his mind (that suspiciously sounded like Pikachu himself) pointed out that even if there was something to eat here, Pikachu wouldn’t even think about touching it. It was likely he only ate just enough to be able to make the harrowing journey there.
That didn’t stop Mewtwo from bringing in some berries, colorful fruits from a faraway land, grown in a village where Pokémon who wanted to hide away from humans and who had no place of their own could live undisturbed.
He left Pikachu well enough alone, this time.
Mewtwo checked back a few days later to find the berries uneaten and starting to rot.
He sent Pikachu away then.
Meeting twenty-five started the same as ever, with Mewtwo finding Pikachu resting his head on the Trainer’s cold hand. Even sending him to that very same village far across the sea wasn’t enough. That was a shame. Mewtwo himself had found the place somewhat peaceful, but he had avoided it for the sake of trying to give Pikachu the chance to build something there. He had a feeling it was going to be a wasted effort, but in the end he couldn’t help but try.
It was strange, however, that Pikachu wouldn’t lift his head to meet him. Usually, he would sense Mewtwo’s presence without having to turn around, ready to confront him. It was only upon coming closer that Mewtwo realized that Pikachu couldn’t raise his head in a greeting, vitriolic or otherwise.
His breathing was labored, and his eyes barely cracked open when Mewtwo leaned over him.
“Heh. So that’s how it is, huh? Can’t leave me in peace for even just this…”
Mewtwo said nothing, at first.
Pikachu let out a weak laugh, but said nothing in response. There wasn’t much else to say about that.
Instead, Mewtwo asked a question.
“Do you think...he would have forgiven me?”
Pikachu couldn’t say anything, but the wan smile on his face conveyed it all.
“If I can forgive you, he definitely would.”
Mewtwo would never know for sure, but he found the unspoken answer heartening.
The next time Mewtwo came to visit, he buried them both.
[a/n]: ha. aha. oh my god. i'm aching inside. but maybe now that i've gotten this out of my system i can return to my happy fluffy pokeani fic now.
Initially when I wrote this, I had plans for small snippets of Ash's ghost communicating with Mewtwo in between, and possibly ending the fic with a short vague epilogue of Mewtwo returning to find a Pichu egg and an unidentified Ghost-type egg where he'd buried them, but in the end I felt the uncertainty and doubt surrounding the future and present really suited the melancholy feel of the fic more, and hopefully conveyed the whole wrong-footedness of Mewtwo's POV better than that. It's meant to be a standalone fic after all, so I didn't really want to leave room for any sequel hooks or anything...although you all are welcome to speculate! this is really just self-indulgent garbage, anyway. I hope you all enjoyed, though! Or well, as much as you can enjoy gut-wrenching AUs like this one. Thanks for bringing it about, ommanyte!