Aaron meets an old friend in his dreams as he begins to adjust to his new body.
|Chapter 2: Rude Awakening
His mind sat silent for a while, slowly rebooting from the sheer trauma that he had endured over the last hour or so. But when conscious thoughts began to form, he didn't wake up. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
A landscape appeared in the infinite space of his mind, each and every detail being created by his own memory. As he sat in the center, a dense forest appeared around him, leaving a small clearing in the very center. A sea of clear blue fluid, almost as vibrant as the noon sky, surrounded the new landmass: an island, to be specific. The sky above filled in with blackness, being dotted with thousands of stars, but one area of the sky remained as white as his blank dreamscape.
And that's when he opened his big blue eyes. The first thing he saw was the huge sphere that hovered over his form. For a moment he just laid there, staring up at the majestic celestial object in the sky without a care in the world. But his eyes tracked a shadow that drifted out from behind the moon and it appeared to be getting larger.
"What is this? A Pokémon?" He suddenly heard in his mind. "No... No, this can't be!" The mysterious voice exclaimed. The shadow drifted until it was longer visible from his position on the ground. "Aaron, is that you?"
Aaron slowly rose off of the ground and got a look at the form before him. "Ah, Cresselia. How have you been? Still picking fights with Darkrai?" Aaron enquired, glad to see an old friend.
Cresselia's eyes widened in shock. "It really is you! What happened to your body? You look very much like a Zoroark…" She stated as she examined him thoroughly. Cresselia blushed as she gave Aaron’s chest a look over. "A female Zoroark." She says surprisedly.
Aaron looked down at himself and immediately started hyperventilating but he slapped his paws over his eyes until his breathing returned to normal. "Yeah, it seems like I am." He said drearily. Cresselia floated over to the human-Pokémon hybrid with a look full of concern.
"I take it this wasn't intentional." Cresselia ponders. At Aaron's nod, Cresselia continued to look him over, casting out a beam of light onto Aaron’s body. "Interesting,” she comments. “It appears that you have a mixed biology between human and Zoroark. You may have the fur and claws, but you still have a human body structure. Those certainly wouldn't be there if you were completely Zoroark in biology." Aaron's face turned Cheri Berry red when he felt an unseen force grab his breasts.
"Don't do that!" Aaron shrieked, cupping his breasts in his claws and turning away. Cresselia giggled at her genderbent comrade’s embarrassment.
"Well, if you're planning on restoring your previous form, you'll have to accept this new form as your own and be comfortable in it."
Aaron’s face was a brilliant red as he stared down at his… “equipment” for lack of better words. But instead of freaking out again, Aaron sighed with contempt.
“You’re right, Cresselia.” Aaron admitted. “I’m still gonna find a way to change back, but I can’t lose my mind over something I can’t change right now. First things first: I need to wake up and find out what my Pokémon are doing.” He looked up at Cresselia. “Do you have any ideas on how this happened to me?” Aaron questioned. Cresselia closed her eyes in contemplation.
“I can ask the Council when the next time comes, but I’m afraid I myself have no knowledge of anything like this ever happening. The world has changed a lot in the last few years however. This could be something completely new.” Cresselia looked sad for a moment and said, “I’m sorry that I can’t help you, Aaron.” Aaron smiled.
“Oh, come on Cressy... It’s silly to think I’d be mad at you,” he jokingly remarked. Aaron walked across the dreamscape and embraced Cresselia tightly. Cresselia giggled at the mention of her little pet name.
“You’re still as much as a softy as you’ve always been,” Cresselia snickered.
“And you’re still just as cute as ever,” Aaron said as they broke the hug. The dreamscape around them was now changing colors, a signal which both of them knew well.
“Looks like you are about to wake up.” Cresselia turned and began to float out into the distance. “Goodbye, Aaron! I will tell the Council about this!” Cresselia shouts at Aaron as he fades out. Aaron waved with his clawed hand as Cresselia left his dreamscape.
“See you again soon!” Aaron exclaims. The grass beneath Aaron’s feet began to fade as a white portal manifested at the center of the dreamscape. He heard various noises coming from portal.
“Well, here goes nothing,” he muttered. Aaron walked toward the portal, covering his eyes as the light emanating from the portal grew blinding. As he was enveloped by the light, he heard distant voices getting closer and closer until…
Aaron opened his eyes to the light of a setting sun. His Pokémon gasped at the sudden awakening, but Aaron had been expecting that. He sat up and waved groggily to the three Pokémon before him.
“Good morning, girls.” He took the time to get a glimpse of where he was. He was laying on some blankets under a patch of trees. He could see the edge of a cliff just a little walk away. When he looked back to his Pokémon, Aaron noted that Zoey wasn’t with them. Where had she gone?
“Aaron!” Sparks cried as she leapt at Aaron with her arms wide. Aaron’s eyes widened, not because he could understand the Pokémon tongue perfectly, but because of the realization of what was about to happen. Aaron braced himself for the pain, but the horrible electric shocks never came.
“Don’t be an idiot, Sparks. We don’t want him to be knocked out again.” Blaze had grabbed Sparks just before she could give her shocking embrace.
“Awwww… I was just worried,” Sparks whined, making Rin giggle and Blaze roll her eyes.
“Look who’s calling who an idiot. Don’t forget that you were the one who knocked him out the first time,” Rin pointed out, making Blaze literally burst into flames.
"You guys are really starting to piss me off! Shut up or I'll make you shu-"
“Oh!” Blaze was cut off by the embrace of her trainer, who had snuck up on her.
"Come on, girls. You shouldn't be fighting. Come on and give me a hug.” He beckoned to Sparks. “And Sparks, you too." Blaze looked flustered as both Rin and Sparks happily joined in on the impromptu group hug. Eventually she sighed and put her full force into the hug too. Instead of being shocked by Sparks’ lightning, they all felt a soothing current flow through their bodies.
"See? It's like nothing changed at all,” Aaron said as the hug dissipated. Sparks nodded.
"Yeah! Except that you got turned into a human-Pokémon hybrid and genderswapped too!" Sparks reminded everyone in a joyous manner. As Aaron gawked at her, Rin sighed.
"Well, hate to say it but that kinda killed the mood."
"What? It's true."
Aaron followed his Pokémon as they walked to a surprisingly competent mountain base camp on the edge of the cliff. Aaron was glad to see that his Pokémon had made great use of the supplies. The pop up tents were set up, and there was already a fire burning with a whole stack of firewood set aside for later use. "Wow."
“As you can see,” Blaze started with a cocky grin. “I did a fantastic job setting up camp.”
“Zoey did everything,” Rin deadpanned, making Blaze growl under her breath. “But we all kept everything ready for when you woke up.” Suddenly, a low growl permeated from Aaron’s belly, making him blush profusely.
“Um, did you get some food ready?” Aaron asked nervously. All of the Pokémon stopped at the question and stared at each other wide eyed. They all made a horrible realization.
“Oh, crap-” said Blaze.
“-we forgot-” said Rin.
“-the food!” finished Sparks.
Rin, the tactician that she was, raised a claw in the air and started shouting orders. “Listen up. Our master needs food and fast. I’ll go get some fish. Blaze, you get ready with a flamethrower. You’ll know when to use it.” Rin orders the hot-headed bird. Blaze flashed a thumbs-up like gesture.
“Got it.” Rin nodded and continued.
“Sparks, grab the pan from the camping set. When it comes in for the landing, be there to grab it.” Sparks saluted, with a serious expression that just looked goofy given the situation.
“Right!” Rin spread her wings and flapped them hard, launching her into the air.
“Get ready. The fish will be coming your way in ten seconds tops!” Aaron couldn’t help but gawk at his Pokémon.
“Girls, really you don’t have to hurry so-” Before he could finish, Rin launched off towards the distant river and Blaze stood at the edge of the cliff while Sparks rummaged around in a backpack. Aaron sighed as he realized that he couldn’t stop them. He mosied over the fire and sat down, watching the show.
About five seconds later, Aaron saw four fish hurtling toward the camp at ludicrous speed. Blaze took that as her cue and jumped straight up, catching the fish in her talons before throwing them up. She opened her maw and fired a constant blast of scorching flame, roasting the fish as she fell.
Sparks finally found the frying pan, holding it over her head like a certain Hylian warrior, before running over to catch the fish just in time. Blaze hit the ground with a thud as Rin touched down next to her. The three Pokémon looked at each other and grinned confidently. They all turned their heads as they heard a muffled sound coming from the fire.
“You girls are freakin’ amazing, you know?” Aaron grinned as he awkwardly clapped with his blood red claws. "Wow, that sounds weird. Doesn't quite work without hands." The gathered Pokémon laughed and walked over to the fire to join their trainer.
"Let's eat!" Sparks cheered, setting down the pan and grabbing a fish. Blaze and Rin followed suit and took their own fish. They started to chow down, taking big bites of the perfectly cooked fish. After they finished a moment later, Blaze wiped her mouth and released a hearty belch.
"Aaaaaah, delicious. Magikarp's not my favorite, but I cooked those goooood," Blaze boasted. Sparks nodded, still chewing happily.
"It is very good, but I agree. Rin, you should have went for some Feebas." Rin rolled her eyes and face palmed.
"How I put up with you two, I have no clue." Sparks swallowed her fish and rubbed her belly.
"Mm. Are there any extra?" Sparks looked over to the pan and perked up as she saw another fish in it. She reached to grab it but then something occurred to her. "Wait a minute." The three Pokémon looked to see their trainer staring at his paws with a look of sadness and fear. Tears welled up in his eyes as he continued to look at himself.
“Girls,” Aaron started, a teardrop already dripping onto his black furred chest. “What the hell am I gonna do?! I can’t let anyone see me like this. I mean, look at me! I shouldn't even be able to understand you!" He clenched his paws into a shape resembling a fist. “I thought I could deal with this.”
Aaron put his paws over his eyes and openly wept. “But I can’t! I’m a freak. But that wasn’t enough. It had to take my gender too!” She sobbed into his paws, covering his fur with tears. Suddenly he felt a big paw wrap around his back, making his crying stop. He looked up to see Rin, who looked back at him with strong, solemn eyes.
"Aaron. I know you are going through a lot, but just know that you aren't alone. We have always had your back in the past and this doesn't change that." Aaron stared into her eyes and knew that Rin meant what she said. Sparks stood up and bounced over to Aaron, embracing him tightly.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like. Like you said yourself, nothing has changed at all. You’re still you!” Blaze stood as well and put a talon on Aaron’s shoulder, flashing a smile.
“But you gotta be strong. You can’t be sad about something you can’t change.” Aaron looked at each of his Pokémon and shed a tear, not one of sadness but of happiness.
“What did I do to deserve you girls? I have to be the luckiest person in the world.” For several minutes the human-Pokémon hybrid and his Pokémon enjoyed the embrace, soaking up each other's love. Sparks then poked Aaron, who turned to her with a questioning look.
“What is it, Sparks?” Sparks blushed and scratched the back of her head.
“Are you still gonna eat that fish?”
As the moon was starting to rise, the next five minutes were spent trying to teach Aaron how to eat fish with his new body. His paws were surprisingly dexterous, able to be maneuvered very similarly to his old hands. He was initially freaked out when he realized that he had lost a finger in his transformation, but it didn’t make as much as a difference as he thought.
His new super sharp teeth easily tore through the fish, which slightly disturbed him. Before he could even ask the question Rin was quick to say that he was still omnivorous, as all Pokémon are, so that came to some relief. Of course the fish was delicious, so Aaron was able to focus on that for the moment. Eventually Aaron finished his fish and looked to his Pokémon, who had been sitting quietly waiting for him to finish.
“I trust that it tastes good?” Rin asked, making Aaron smile back.
“Of course! Everything is just really weird right now, but this makes me feel a little bit better.” Aaron’s ears drooped unconsciously as he scratched his mane nervously. “Although, next time could you please try to find Feebas next time?” Rin gasped in shock as Blaze and Sparks burst into laughter. Rin huffed and started ranting loudly.
“Oh, not you too! You know how I feel about Feebas! They’re so… nasty looking! And they probably have all kinds of germs on them and…” Rin saw that Aaron was giggling quietly. Rin sighed. “Very funny.”
“Good one, Aaron,” Blaze said as she raised a talon which Aaron high fived (or foured I suppose). “I mean, who knows? Maybe Zoey will bring back some Feebas.” Aaron immediately perked up at the mention of her name.
“Zoey? Where is she?” Sparks scratched her chin.
“Oh, I remember! She went back into the woods about an hour before you woke up. She didn’t tell us why though.” Aaron stood up with a look of absolute determination in his eyes.
“I’m going to look for her.” His Pokémon looked at him aghast, Rin standing herself and looking Aaron in the eyes.
“No. You are in no condition to leave. You said it yourself, you don’t know how your body works yet. It’s far too dangerous.” Blaze stood as well.
“You don’t even know how well you can fight! We don’t want you to get yourself killed.”
“And given this past day, you haven’t had that much luck with avoiding danger,” Sparks said joining the others in standing. Aaron looked down, considering what they had to say. They were correct in that he didn’t know what his new body was capable of, and that scared him a bit. Aaron sighed in defeat.
“OK… I see what you are saying. She should be able to handle herself. I just hope that she will get back sa-”
Suddenly a cry rang out from the forest in the distance, a cry that Aaron’s sensitive ears recognized. His eyes hardened, letting out a low growl as he dropped into a crouching stance. His Pokémon gasped as Aaron dashed off into the woods at incredible speed. He didn't care what his Pokémon said now. Zoey was in trouble. And that’s all that mattered to him.