A Heart-Shaped Tail
The morning came as many others before that one, with the sun shining through the window, light cutting through the thin fabric as the curtains barely did their work as they flopped around, letting the wind dance with it. With the coming of another day, life all around sprung to action, with chirps of birds feeding their young and dogs barking excitedly from the street. As time went by, the sounds of cars traveling through the asphalt increased, and the sound of businessmen talking on their phones covered the previously quiet peace as did their steps, walking to wherever they would go to acquire life savings and currency to survive. All around, everyone was going on with their lives, except for one person.
Leon, unlike everything he heard from outside, was still in bed at 10 AM. He didn’t wake up late, his eyes opened up around seven in the morning as the sun's rays hit his palpebra. He didn’t go deaf, he could hear the bustling of life and goals happening just outside his house. And his body wasn’t sick, health-wise, he was in the most pristine condition a nineteen-year-old boy could be. So what was the problem?
“Ghhhhn… Another morning… Great…” The blonde boy lifted his upper half, now standing at the bed frame. It was a complicated topic, one even Leon couldn’t quite pinpoint why he was feeling that way. Ever since he was a little kid, even with the absence of his parents, he had a normal and happy life with several friends he met. He was a rowdy one, playing and getting along with anyone from his age range he met, very outgoing and loved getting to know more and more people. He was at the time a social butterfly, getting along with anyone and everyone.
He got along with girls just as well as with boys, playing whichever game his friends preferred at the time, and having a good time with all of them. Some of these childhood friendships were kept throughout high school, with them going out, watching movies together, studying together, going out to different places to eat different types of food, you name it.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say high school was the happiest time of his life so far, with people from his friendship circle and classmates calling him “The Man” for always hanging out with everyone, but especially because he never backed down from a challenge, save for immoral ones, but those were very rare.
All was going well, although going towards the end of the year there was some melancholy among his friend group. All of them are going separate ways, each wanting to focus on a different aspect of their lives, and some having to even move out of town for that to happen. It was sad, but they knew it was for the best and it would make everyone happy. But that didn’t mean they weren’t going to go all out one last time.
On New Year’s Eve, the group celebrated one last time together, throwing a small party so they could remember that night forever. They did it all, drank some awesome sodas that they saved for, played lots of games and silly events to pass the time, and reminisced about several moments throughout middle school and high school.
At some point during the party, Jessica, one of his friends, who was hosting the party at her house that she managed to convince her parents to entrust to her, decided to play Truth or Dare among everyone. The game went as these usually would, with truths asking some spicy questions like if they had a crush on anyone or what was the most embarrassing thing they’ve ever done, while dares to consist of silly stuff like eating very spicy condiments or jumping into the house pool late at night.
During a spin of the bottle, it had once again landed on Leon, who proudly said “Dare!” to his friends. Jessica, who had spun the bottle, pondered for a moment when she came up with an idea. “I know! How about you dress in one of my mom’s dresses? I’m sure it’d look really cute on you!” She said genuinely to the now young adult. He blushed from such an embarrassing dare, never even thinking about doing such a thing, but with his reputation to uphold, he accepted it. “Leon The Man!” exclaimed one of his male friends, applauding his boldness.
Both Jessica and Leon rose the stairs towards her mother’s bedroom. “Hey, aren’t we going to get in trouble for this?” Leon asked.
“Nah, don’t worry. Mom is very chill with me borrowing some of her clothes, so she won’t mind you using them for a bit.” She reassured him as she rummaged through the closet. Eventually, she settled on a very frilly and long blue dress, her eyes sparkling as she imagined him wearing it.
Leon laughed nervously but he kept going, taking the one-piece attire with him to the bedroom’s changing room. After two minutes, he opened the door, with the dress covering his neck, and went down almost reaching his knees. He laughed nervously as he looked toward Jessica. “Haha, I must look ridiculous, right…?” He scratched his head anxiously.
But instead of laughing, Jessica’s face was blushing from what she saw. “Oh my god, you look dashing, Leon! Here, look!” She grabbed him hastily until they were both facing the mirror in the room, reflecting the entirety of them both.
And what was once nervousness for Leon, became serenity. When he looked into the mirror, he didn’t feel uncomfortable, he felt… good. He couldn’t explain why, but he just did. “Wow… I… Don’t look that bad, huh?” He spun a little to try and see himself from a different angle, making him smile more.
Satisfied with the result, both went down the stairs to show the result of the dare, but instead of sparkling eyes like just before, instead what ensued was laughter. The remaining friends pointed and laughed at Leon’s outfit. “Hahaha… oh man, you look so weird like that, dude. But you had the balls to wear it anyway. You’re truly the man!”
And ever since that party, around two months ago, Leon hadn’t talked to anyone, save for delivery men bringing groceries and sometimes meals when he wasn’t feeling like cooking for himself. He didn’t understand why, but ever since that night, he just… felt like something was amiss. He didn’t feel like himself anymore for some reason. He felt… wrong.
He could feel something was afflicting him, but he had no idea what it could be. The slight thought of trying to converse with anyone else was enough to make his stomach ache and his head swirl with bad thoughts.
Leon just shook his head and closed his eyes. With nothing better to do, maybe going back to sleep was his best option. All that thinking already helped in making him drained, so it didn’t take long for him to drift back into sleep. But right before losing consciousness and starting to rest, he subconsciously whispered one final thing to himself. “I just wish… I could know who I am… The true me…” And with that, he went to sleep.
In the human world, whispers like that would be lost to the wind, for no one to hear. But a god of space from another world was a completely different story. Palkia, one of Arceus’ most trusted children and supreme ruler of all of space, had been observing the young Leon for weeks now.
“To lose oneself is the saddest destiny that could befall any individual. Even more so a Human child.” The eon lived being mused to himself, observing the resting boy through a tear in space between the two worlds. After events that happened with his sister, Dialga, that caused distraughtly and chaos for the inhabitants of their world some time ago, she decided she needed time to rest and think about what she’d done, and so she left most of her responsibilities to her brother, which took upon himself to let her rest and come back with more wisdom and insight.
Palkia had spent the last century doing just so, diligently doing all that he and his sister did without complaining, and as a reward, he’d get to see the world heal. But with so much peace and almost no conflict among Pokémon, his ears and senses got more sensitive to outside pleas for help, and that was how his attention was grabbed by Leon.
The human seemed to be lost to himself, swimming against the current in his head, and at that point, the god feared that he’d eventually drown. He had an idea of how to help him, but it was something that very seldom happened in this world. There were very few Legendaries that could feasibly summon a human to the Pokémon world, even amongst the gods, but he could do that. He could easily tear open a hole through space and bring him there, but the tricky part would be to “adapt” his body so he wouldn’t be feared or shunned by the inhabitants of this world.
In fear of royally messing up, the long-aged Pokémon decided to train on smaller and less consequential beings of the human world, in this case, berries, or fruit as the humans called it.
Fruits in the Human world were different from their berries, although still fairly similar in regards to appearance and effects, although that didn’t make it any less difficult to train and hope they didn’t become distorted, which most did in the first trials of that ability.
It took him over two weeks, but Palkia had finally managed to turn a “peach” into a Pecha berry as he transported it back to their world. After a few more days of training by transforming them in bulk and quicker, that didn’t eliminate the risk when doing that to a human being, but right now it was his best shot.
Palkia hadn’t done anything up until that point in fear of an accident or something bad happening to the human boy, but seeing Leon slowly getting more and more closed off, he feared what could happen. He got as much training as he could within the time frame, so he had to do it now. Palkia closed his eyes and slowly circled his paws around one another, both starting to glow as the motion intensified.
As the Legendary did so, Leon’s body began to shine, illuminating the dim-lighted room with that spark, as more and more of the young adult’s body began to get transparent, light managing to cross directly through him. His body began to levitate from the bed, still asleep, as he got harder and hard to see through the naked eye.
After becoming more see-through with each second, even the blanket covering him phased through his body, as if it didn’t exist at all, but as worry began to settle within Palkia, the shine intensified into a blinding light covering his entire body, which was gone in less than a second after.
Just like that, just as fast as those occurrences happened to him, he was gone, his bedroom now empty, with its inhabitant making for his new life.
The god of space sighed in relief before looking away from the space tear, panting from the exertion of using such a complicated skill. He looked back one last time and said out loud. “Good luck, Leon. I hope you find yourself.”
It wasn’t a guarantee that Leon would find his answer in this world, but he had a better chance to try out new things here compared to where he lived. Palkia reinforced those thoughts and nodded to himself before he walked away, getting back to his regular duties, hoping that the non-longer human boy would fare better now, and experience new events so he could truly find his true self, however that may be.