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Gareth dove into the water, the place he needed to get to memorized so thoroughly he could have made the swim with his eyes shut.  He sped as FAST as he could to the place, hating himself for ever taking Kyle out of his home.  When he got to the spot, he dove DOWN, intending to find the phione FAST.

He went down as fast as he could go, reaching the seabed very quickly.  Gareth heaved a sigh of relief when he finally saw the phione he was looking for.  He gently touched down on the ground and waved at the large group.  They all laughed and waved back at him, some even starting to swim toward him.  A tremendous current suddenly pushed at them, and a large gyarados rushed them, grinning, "FINALLY!"  He roared out toward them, "I've FINALLY found you!  That cure-all of yours officially belongs to ME!  I'm going to keep the lot of you under lock and key and charge ANYONE who's searching for the dew.  I—"

"My FOOT you are!"  Gareth shouted, swimming toward the large dragon, "Don't you DARE go near those phione!"  He crashed into the gyarados, skull to skull, snarling angrily at the large creature, "I've got someone who might be DYING because of me, and I will NOT let an idiot like YOU get in the way of seeing that little manaphy BETTER!"

The phione all blinked, wide-eyed at Gareth's remark, but none of them made a move to help him.  They were all too frightened by the large dragon's SIZE.  The gyarados sneered at Gareth, "What's a puny little thing like YOU gonna do to me?"

Gareth growled, "You hear of Team Dragon?  They saved all of TIME."

"What about them?"

"I'm Gareth.  I'm part of that team.  Either LEAVE and never come back here, or get beaten DOWN."

The gyarados laughed at him, "Yeah right.  At YOUR size?  You'd barely be able to take on a dratini, and you think you can face m—!!!"

Gareth scowled and stopped the flow of water he'd been shoving down the gyarados' throat, "Last chance.  Go away, or get beaten down."

The gyarados scowled at him, "You're gonna PAY for that."  He rushed Gareth, but Gareth shot to the side and rammed into the gyarados again, shoving him HARD against a large rock.  The two of them duked it out for a few long minutes before Gareth finally landed a hard, solid slash across the gyarados' side.  He cried out, looked at Gareth, and FLED.

Gareth sighed, "…done."  He looked back at the phione, "I'm sorry I couldn't do more.  You'll have to move before he comes back."

ALL of the phione gathered around Gareth, laughing in a way that was almost SILLY.

One of them came up to him, "We're used to moving.  He's been chasing us ever since he first found out about us!"

"Are all of you okay, at least?"

"Yeah."  The little phione came up to him, "We heard you talk about the manaphy you're trying to help.  This is a thanks from us for keeping that gyarados away."

Gareth's eyes were wide, "This…this is the dew…"

"It is.  Your little friend should be fine in about a week after having that."

"R…really?  Thank you so much!"

The phione nodded and smiled at him, waving as he started to swim up.  He rushed for the surface, clutching the medicine CLOSE.  He smiled wider as he broke the surface of the water and started heading back for the sho—"UGH!!!  HEY,  WATCH IT!!!"  Gareth snarled at the pokemon that had hit him.  He had a firm enough grip on the dew, but that slam had been hard enough that he was worried.  His eyes grew WIDE when he noticed the pokemon, "…KAYLI?!  KAYLI, WAIT!!!  IT'S ME!  IT'S GARETH!!!!"

Kayli swerved around, glaring at him and not saying a word.  Gareth gasped when he saw her eyes.  They were glowing…a blackened version of the same red glow that had been coming from Telrick during their fight.  She roared out and shot a chilling beam at him, making him cry and duck back under the waves to try and evade her attack.  He DID, but only just.  Her attack solidified into a long beam of ice that he used for partial cover as he SHOT back for shore.

…for whatever reason, she didn't follow him, only roared and went back on her way.  Gareth swam for all he was worth.  He had to tell Grathiam about this!  Something was WRONG with Kayli.  Something BAD.



"And…she…she attacked you?"

Gareth nodded as he finished putting the dew into Kyle's mouth, "Her eyes were glowing BLACK.  Like how Telrick was when we first saw him…he wasn't himself, remember?"

Grathiam winced, nodding, "And the only way we can ASK Telrick about this is by going to him in the Hidden Land…and Kalyi was our only ticket there.  How do we help her if we can't get to the person who can HELP?"

"I don't know…"

Frederick sighed, "Either way…leave Kyle at the guild.  I'll make sure he's cared for and you'll see him the MOMENT he wakes up…but Gareth…"

Gareth nodded sadly, "It's my fault he's sick like this.  He needs the sea to grow strong and healthy…and I've been selfish.  A…as soon as he…as he's well, he needs to go to the sea to live…"  Gareth shuddered, "And…I can't go with him."  He sniffed hard, "I…it'd be too hard being near him…I caused him so much pain because of my stupidity.  If I stay with him, I could just make things worse.  I…Frederick, do you know ANYONE who can take care of Kyle?"

Frederick nodded, "A walrein named Gregory.  He's lived his whole life in the sea.  If anyone can keep this little one on track, it'll be him."

"…okay."  Gareth shuddered, "Try to call him, could you?  See if he can get here by the time Kyle gets better."

"I will.  You two get back to focusing on Kayli now that you have this lead."

Gareth nodded and looked to Grathiam, "We'll probably have to go through lots of watery places.  Maybe we can find something for her that way."

"…why not get more phione dew?"

"They…they travel all over the place.  I had been searching like CRAZY to find them the first time, and they only gave me this stuff because I beat off someone trying to control them all…and besides, THAT place was nothing but water.  You wouldn't be able to follow me."

"…oh…"



A few days passed, and no luck.  Both were feeling down, and decided to go to the guild…check up on Kyle and see if anyone had found anything new.  Instead, they found EVERYONE crowding around three pokemon.  A lopunny, a gardevoir, and a medicham.  Grathiam frowned, "…something up?"  He walked up to Frederick, "Hey…who're those three?"

Alan cut off Frederick before he could shout in surprise, "They're Team Charm…a  Master Rank exploration Team.  They've got a one hundred percent success rating on EVERYTHING they've ever done.  The lopunny in the middle is Erika.  She's the team's leader…and always acts as cute as possible."

Gareth snorted, "She doesn't look that cool."

Alan sighed, "And the gardevoir beside her is Lace.  She's the intelligence for the team, and the medicham is the strength.  Her name is Lisa.  The only thing we're all wondering is why they're visiting HERE of all places.  They usually have grand adventures in dungeons and ruins no one else has ever SEEN.  Not hanging around a small town with barely a name to it."

Luke finally came out of his room with a smile, "HI!!!"

Erika turned away from the crowd around her to wave at Luke, "Hello, Pinky!  Long time no see!"

Lisa chuckled, "Yeah, Luke.  Who'd have thought you'd open up a GUILD of all things!  You never ONCE seemed like the settling type!"

Lace sighed slightly, "Did you ever meet back up with Xander?"

Luke smiled, shaking his head, "No.  Not yet.  I hope he's doing well…anyway, what brings you three here?"

Mike winced, "Wait a sec…long time…no see…that means that…that Luke actually…"

Jade was wide-eyed as well, "Guildmaster Luke KNOWS these three personally?"

Sean frowned, "Guildmaster Luke, how do you know these three?"

Lisa laughed, "Luke?  He was a GO-getter back in his day!  HEE-HEE!"  She ignored Sean's shocked look and went up to Luke, "So how ARE you, anyway?"

Erika sighed wistfully, "Back then, Luke was ABSOLUTELY something else.  Unbeatable.  The only reason we never lost to him was because he never explored against us."

Luke chuckled, scratching the back of his head and feeling slightly embarrassed, "Oh, you guys…"

Erika looked around at everyone, "Luke used to be part of our team, once upon a time.  He was with us during our first big find!"

As everyone stepped back in shock, Lace turned to Luke who had started chatting it up with Lisa, "Excuse me, Luke…we needed to talk to you about that key we found so long ago."

Luke frowned, "Uh…I have a BUNCH of keys by now.  Which one are you three talking about?"

Lisa sighed, "I KNEW he was going to be like this.  The one shaped like an unknown?  THAT key?  Remember?"

Luke just gave her a blank stare.  Lace chuckled, "You REALLY haven't changed at ALL, Pinky.  Erika?"

"I'm on it."  She placed a perfect apple in front of Luke, "This one is yours, free of charge, and you get another if you give us that key."

Luke's eyes brightened, "OH!  THAT key!  I remember now!  Just gimme a sec!"  He rushed back into his chambers, and everyone suddenly heard crashing and banging around, as well as Luke's voice, "Now WHERE did I put that bo—AHA!  Here we are!!!"  He came back out, but didn't give it to them, "This the key?  Why do you need it?"

Erika smiled, holding out her hand, "We found the dungeon it goes to, sweetie.  May we have it, please?  We're heading to Aegis Cave.  You want to come with us?  It'll be JUST like old times."

Luke didn't hear them.  He was too happy munching on his perfect apples.  Lace sighed, "You REALLy haven't changed."

Lisa grunted, "Well then, WE'RE going.  Maybe we'll see you later."

Gareth blinked.  This…this sounded perfect.  He needed to get his mind off of Kyle, ANYWAY.  He stepped forward as they started to leave, "Um…excuse me."

The feminine trio turned toward him, "Yes, little totodile?"

Gareth nervously chuckled before he began, "I was wondering…could Grathiam and I come with you?"

Erika gave them a once over, "Hm…I don't know…"

Grathiam stepped in, "Please?  We can DEFINITELY hold our own.  We're team Dragon.  You hear of us?"

Erika's eyes widened at that, "Wait.  THE team dragon that saved TIME?"

"Yeah."

"Oh-HO…a CHALLENGE, girls!"  She and her two friends instantly huddled together, whispering frantically back and forth.  After a few moments, she nodded, "Very well!  We accept your challenge…but this means we need extra time to prepare.  See you at the cave entrance in a week."  And the trio left.

…a week?  But…that meant…oh great.  Well…Kyle would be better by then, at least.



The morning they were to go to the cave, Gareth and Grathiam brought Kyle down to the beach again.  He was running around, happy and healthy once more and none the wiser as to what was about to happen to him.  Frederick and his walrein friend were waiting there.  Gareth took Kyle aside, "Kyle?"

"Gareth?"  He smiled wide at him, making Gareth cringe.

Still, he went on.  He had to, "Kyle, listen very close.  I CARE about you a LOT.  Alright?  But…because of me, you got very sick a short while ago…and if I keep trying to keep you with me, you'll just get worse…so Mr. Gregory over there is going to take care of you until you're able to do things on your own.  When you can, come back and visit me, okay?  I'll be thinking of you."

"…Gareth?"

"Yeah?"  He wiped a tear away.

Kyle leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Gareth in a hug, then…whispering so softly that only Gareth could hear him, he said, "I'll be back.  Soon.  Promise.  Thank you."  And he went up to Gregory with a smile.

Gareth watched him go with WIDE eyes.  When they were gone, he turned to Grathiam, "…Kyle…Kyle can speak almost perfectly.  He…he knew exactly what I was saying and everything.  He…he might already have grown up enough to stay…"  Gareth shook his head, "No.  I…I'm being delirious.  I just…yeah.  Let's get to that cave before I REALLY start crying.



At the entrance of the cave, Erika smiled, "Hi there, you two!  Welcome to Aegis Cave!  Like the name we picked out?"

Gareth shrugged, "It IS a cool name.  Where'd you get the idea?"

"You just said it.  It sounded cool.  I thought it fit the place pretty well.  Anyway, listen up!  Beyond this point is stuff NO ONE has ever seen.  Isn't that incredible?"

Gareth smiled slowly.  He'd already seen a few places like that.  He motioned to a large pedestal, "So…what's this for?"

Erika sighed, "Not entirely sure.  I'm positive it has something to do with how we get farther into the cave, but I've tried closing my eyes and I guess I just don't have the proof."

"Proof?"  Gareth walked up to the rock and examined it slowly.  Part of it was written normally, but another part…a box, was written in that same lettering Kail had studied.  The pokemon unknown…and now that he had his memory fully functioning, HE could read it.  He smiled, "We are SO going to beat you three to this prize."

Lisa frowned, "…I think he knows something we don't."

Lace nodded, "Come on.  Let's hurry and figure this out, Erika."  The trio hurried forward.

Gareth turned to Grathiam smugly, "We find a way to spell the word ICE in unknown runes.  Let's head into the dungeon, partner.  This should be EASY."

Grathiam laughed, "Right behind you, partner.  Hey…why did you want to DO this, anyway?  I'm not complaining.  I like the idea of a big exploration…I just wonder."

Gareth sighed, "I'd hoped that they would have taken us THAT day so I could get my mind off of saying good bye to Kyle…but that didn't happen.  So yeah.  Let's figure this thing out and BEAT those perfectionists."

Grathiam smiled, "THAT'S the Gareth I became a partner with.  LET'S GO!"



It was…interesting.  When they got the three letters needed, the pedestal vanished to show a staircase beneath it…and…waiting in the room below was a pokemon made entirely of ice.  A regice that seemed intent on stopping them.  They made it through that easily enough, and continued on, finding another pedestal.  When the got the letters needed for that, the same sort of staircase appeared, and in the room below was a regirock.  That one was dealt with quickly…but the next room…they found out they were losing.  There was a NOTE on the ground from team Charm.  They'd already gotten the stuff they needed for the third pedestal.  Gareth and Grathiam RAN ahead to collect the stones they needed and hurried onwards.  A registeel waited for them…and…when they beat THAT?

Three smaller flashes of light happened, and Team Charm appeared in front of them, looking beaten down.  Erika groaned, "Ugh…oh, my head…what happened back there?"

Lace frowned, "I…I was…"  She shuddered, "We lost the fight and then there was this light and I…oh!"  She smiled at Gareth, "Team Dragon!  Have you fought the registeel yet?"

Grathiam nodded, "Yeah.  And beat it."

Lisa winced, "…Team Dragon just saved our butts.  We…we LOST…"  She sighed, "There goes our perfect record."

Erika gave Lisa a look, "Who says?  This was a friendly contest.  We've ALWAYS succeeded in finding our dungeons and getting through them one way or another.  Gareth?  Grathiam?  We'll keep going ahead.  When we find the main room, we won't do ANYTHING until you get there.  I have a feeling we'll be facing at least one more opponent before this dungeon is through with…and when that point comes, maybe we'll get to back YOU up."

Grathiam smiled, "Hey.  It was fun."

"And humiliating."  Lisa added softly.

Gareth smiled at her, "Hey, you guys did your best, right?  No harm, no foul.  And it's cool to explore with you guys.  Let's forget about the whole contest and just find out what's at the end of this cave."

Erika's eyes brightened, "Oh I LIKE him.  You've got a deal, Gareth!"  She turned to her friends, "Alright girls.  Let's find the main room and wait for Team Dragon to get there."  They went on ahead.

Gareth smiled and folded his arms, watching them go, "You know something, partner?  There's something very therapeutic about going through these places.  Whenever we're in a dungeon together, it's like the outside world doesn't exist."

Grathiam nodded, "Treasure the feeling while it lasts?"

"Absolutely.  Come on.  This place can't have much more to it."



Gareth smiled as they entered a GIANT chamber.  It was filled with statues of hitmonlee and bronzing…as well as one HUGE pokemon in the center.  A regigigas.  They walked toward the statues with team Charm following close, and suddenly heard a voice, "Those who seek treasure, prove your worth.  Show your power and claim the secret of this cave!"  EVERY statue suddenly came to life.

Lisa's eyes were wide and she had a huge grin on her face, "Finally, a REAL fight!  You all READY for this?!"  Team Charm gave a hollar and got ready to fight.

Team Dragon?  They got ready as well, and Gareth kept his eye on the MASSIVE pokemon in the room.  That one would be the worst of them.  He'd focus on that while everyone took out the rest.

…and it was a good thing he did.  It took a few minutes, but that particular pokemon was suddenly smashing everything in sight.  It was STRONG, too.  Almost impossible to land a HIT on.  Gareth managed to get it to swallow a seed to make it sleep, and once it was, EVERYONE focused on getting rid of the regular pokemon…and with all of them gone, the five of them focused on the regigigas.  It reared up suddenly, shouted out, then…fell back.  A MASSIVE red pillar flashed into being with an inscription on it.."Close your eyes and let your aura flow into the ground."  Gareth frowned, "…o…kay…"  He closed his eyes and placed a hand on the pillar, wondering what to do.  He could see the flashing through his eyes lids, and it got faster and brighter every second.  His hand suddenly locked onto the stone, and he couldn't open his eyes.  He heard a loud growl…and assuming by everyone's gasps, the regigigas had gotten back up.  It roared, and then there was a loud sound as its fist struck the ground to cause a massive quake.  That quake freed Gareth's hand, and they all rushed out of the cave.

Outside, Lace huffed, "Is…is everyone…alright?"

Grathiam nodded, "Yeah.  I think so.  You okay, partner?"

Gareth nodded, dropping to the ground, "I…I swear I…I felt something HUGE moving in the ground.  More than just a quake."

Lisa frowned, "I didn't feel anything like that.  Anyway…we're all here at least."

Erika nodded with a smile, "That was fun!  We should team up more often, you two!"

Lisa got up and dusted herself off.  She sighed and looked around, "So much for trea…sure…ho…guys?"  She pointed in the distance, "LOOK."  There was a massive hole in a cliff very close to them that hadn't been there before.

Erika smiled wider, "Looks like the treasure is all in there.  It's a shame we didn't win ourselves.  Team Dragon was in charge of that by the end, so the new cave is THEIRS to explore."  She smiled at the two, "See you later, guys!  Maybe we'll cross paths again!  Come on girls!  We have more places to discover!"  The trio left in good spirits, and Gareth looked at Grathiam with a HUGE smile.  Both were thinking the same thing.

…by the end of the day, the two had thoroughly explored the new cave…Concealed Ruins…and had a LOT of treasures to show for it.
Everything you see is based off the game, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon-Explorers of Sky. I don't own any of it except the names I gave the characters. ^__^
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