PMD: Midnight Explorers

A thieving Zoroark has decided to make a run from the police when he stumbles upon an amnesiac Braixen. After a chain of events, he ends up getting paired up with her in an Exploration Team to pay off his debts. However, he soon realises that he had more to worry about than unpaid debts as he gets mixed up in a battle of crumbling time and nightmares...

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1. Prologue

A/N: Alright, a few thing before this starts. First, this is an old fanfic that I did when I was still in secondary school and had given up on. But when I took a look at it again, nostalgia hit me so hard that I simply must continue this story! Basically it is a Pokémon/Undertale fanfic, with my concept of Pokémon demigods mixed in.

Secondly, this Midnight isn’t the same one from “Lost and Found”. She is the earlier concept of Midnight, back when she had brown hair and was not an asshole.

With that out of the way, I hope that you enjoy this prologue!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon nor Undertale. If I did, would I still be writing fanfic?

~0~

Midnight sat within the comforts of the shadows, her chin resting between her knees and her hair hanging limply by the sides of her head. She watched silently as the Gecko Pokémon packed their supplies at the Kangaskhan Rock, mumbling to himself all the while. Midnight wondered if he was worried about their mission in the slightest.

Midnight sighed softly and shook her head. No, of course he wasn't worried. Grovyle had already told her that he was fully prepared to sacrifice himself for the sake of the dark future, and Celebi was too. He'd said it with so much determination and confidence that it made her heart ache. Why must the good people, the ones who had put in so much effort to make a difference, disappear? Why couldn't they enjoy the fruits of their labour? Midnight had once asked Grovyle something like that, and he had simply shrugged, stating that the world wasn't fair.

She hated it. She hated the way he didn't seem to value his life. She hated that she couldn't do anything about it.

"Hey." Grovyle, who had finished up preparations while Midnight was zoning out, walked up to her. "Come on, we have to hurry, before they catch up to us."

She nodded silently. Both of them already knew what would happen if they caught up to them. Sliding off the rock she was perched on, she tugged up the hood of her sweater and accepted a brown leather pouch from Grovyle. "Thank you," she murmured, attaching it onto the belt loop.

Grovyle scowled at her, and Midnight hastily shifted her gaze to the tip of her boots. "What's wrong, partner?" he asked lowly. "Are you feeling alright? You look pale."

Midnight nodded a little too quickly, but Grovyle didn't seem convinced. He took hold of her chin and jerked her head up, so that her dark blue eyes met his golden ones.

"Midnight, you know I don't like it when you lie." He didn't yell at her. He hardly yelled at anyone, though to be honest, shouting in the dark future would be like holding a sign that said "Come kill me!". "What's wrong?"

Midnight struggled to find a convincing lie. "It's… Well… I'm scared," she said. Grovyle's scowl turned into an unreadable expression, and she flushed unhappily as she averted her gaze. "I-I'm not saying that I want to back out! It's just that… How will the Pokémon in the past react when we take the Time Gears?"

Grovyle blinked, and Midnight could've sworn that the corners of his mouth twitched upwards. "They'll be upset, of course, since the absence of the Time Gears will cause temporary paralysis to the world. But I assure you that they'll have to go through me before they can harm a single hair on your head." He let go of her chin, and Midnight stifled a sigh of relief. "Besides, if we run into any sort of trouble, I'm sure that you can fully defend yourself."

He shot a knowing look at Midnight, and she smiled sheepishly. "Glad to know someone's finding this funny." He hiked up the satchel on his shoulder. "Come on, let's hurry to the Passage of Time. Try to keep up with me, okay?" he said over his shoulder as he began to run headfirst into the shadowy forest.

"W-wait!" Midnight yelped, scrambling after him.

~0~

An "hour" later, the duo emerged from the other side of Dusk Forest. Grovyle looked hardly winded, but Midnight was bent over, wheezing and coughing, her hair plastered to her forehead with sweat.

"W… We're h-here…" Midnight panted, clutching her racing heart. "W-where is…she…"

"Celebi's waiting over there, at the Passage of Time," Grovyle said (Was that amusement in his voice?) just as a female voice called out, "Oh! There you two are!"

Now feeling slightly better (or at least she didn't feel like emptying her insides anymore), Midnight straightened herself hastily, nearly knocking Celebi out of the air in the process.

"Oh, be careful!" the Shiny Pokémon giggled. "You know, you'd think that you'd get used to running with my dear Grovyle after all that time that you've spent with him!" As she said that, the soothing sound of a bell filled the dead silent air, and strength flowed through her veins as her heart slowed down. The stitch in her ribs disappeared, and Midnight shot Celebi a grateful look.

"Thanks, Celebi," she said.

"No problem, Midnight!"

Grovyle cleared his throat. "I'm afraid that we don't have time for chit-chat," he said firmly, and Celebi's giggling desisted. "We need you to activate the Passage of Time, Celebi. Quickly."

Midnight's eyes widened. The Passage of Time! This would be the first time she'd be going through one, or even seeing one. Excited, her eyes drifted from Celebi and settled on what she took to be the Passage of Time. There were three rings extending from the ground, standing at about ten feet tall, and they were as gray as the rest of the world. Beyond them was the rocky face of the towering cliff.

Vaguely, Midnight listened to the conversation going on between Grovyle and Celebi, although her mind was still wondering how time traveling through a portal would feel like. "Really, Grovyle! You need to stop being so hasty all the time, you know. I barely get to spend time with you," she protested, pouting a little.

"Yes, Celebi. Primal Dialga and his lackeys are hunting us, intent on killing us, and you're worried about me being in a rush all the time," Grovyle deadpanned. Midnight giggled.

"Alright, I get it!" she sighed. A second later, a bright flash of light suddenly filled the area. Taken by surprise, Midnight yelped and leapt backwards, her arms flying up to shield her vulnerable eyes from the intense light. "But you really need to slow down sometimes, my dear Grovyle."

"Gyah!"

"Oh, I forgot! This is your first time seeing a Passage of Time, right?" Celebi asked. Midnight nodded mutely, her mouth dry. "Well, I can tell you that time traveling in here isn't the same like time traveling your way. Just hold onto Grovyle and you'll be fine!"

Midnight didn't respond. She was too busy admiring the now active Passage of Time, blinking the spots out of her vision. The three rings leading to the portal were now glowing bright blue, and pure white energy pulsated in the middle of them. She had a feeling that if she were to stick her hand inside, she'd be instantly sucked in.

"Come on, we don't have anymore time." A clawed hand grabbed her wrist and tugged her forward, dragging her nearer to the Passage of Time. But the moment she stepped through the first ring, Midnight jerked back into reality, and she remembered. "Wait! What about Corny? He's not here yet!"

"I'll send him along when I see him," Celebi reassured, her tiny hands pushing her along. "But Grovyle's right; Dusknoir might be here any minute, and we can't afford the mission to fail. So don't worry!"

Midnight chewed her bottom lip nervously. While she still wanted to wait for Corny to arrive safely, more for the peace of mind than anything else, she also knew that they both had a point. If they screwed this up, the world would be plunged into darkness yet again, and no amount of Resets would save it. She had to steel her nerves for this. Closing her eyes, Midnight breathed deeply and stepped forward-

"I'd stop there if I were you.”

Those words hit her heart like a bucket of ice. She heard Celebi gasp and Grovyle growl out "Dusknoir!", and Midnight whirled around to find the Gripper Pokémon himself on the other side with the Sableyes with him, their eyes glinting menacingly and their claws twitching erratically. Dusknoir himself was smirking widely, which was a feat considering that he didn't have a mouth in the first place.

But there was somebody else… Someone was standing behind Dusknoir, smiling at her. As Midnight watched, she slowly lifted a hand with one finger extended and pointed at her feet. Frowning, she looked down and saw what she was gesturing at: a single, golden light was shining invitingly beside her feet, bathing her pants leg in its gentle glow. Automatically, Midnight bent her knees and dipped her hand into the light; the warmth filled her fingers and traveled upwards, and the humming of the Passage of Time behind filled her with a feeling she knew well: determination. She realized that no matter what, they could- No, they will stop the world's paralysis, even if they die doing it.

Midnight shot a discreet glance at her friend. She gave back an approving grin and drifted lazily towards her. Of course, nobody saw her. Nobody but Midnight ever saw her.

Thanks, Caly, she thought privately, and the side of her neck itched.

"What are you doing? Get up!" Grovyle hissed , yanking Midnight to her feet. She barely noticed the newly founded pain in her shoulder though; she was far too busy keeping a careful eye on Dusknoir. If he had found her earlier actions odd, he didn't show it; he seemed far too enraptured with the fact that he had found them. But what was he so happy about? The portal was active, they could simply jump in before he could react. They were so close to escaping his grasp. So what was he thinking…?

"I'm afraid that this is the end for you lot," Dusknoir declared, glee and triumph evident in his voice. "Surrender now, and your deaths will be swift."

Grovyle snorted. "Have you gone blind, Dusknoir? We are right in front of an activated Passage of Time. What makes you think that you can bring us in?"

He spread his arms out. "Grovyle, we both know that I'll simply follow you to the past to hunt you down. Whatever caused you to think that I'd apprehend you at this every moment? But since you desire to make this difficult for yourselves, then so be it. You have forgone your chance for a quick and painless death."

At this point, his gaze focused on Midnight, causing her stomach to twist itself into a knot in fear. Grovyle shoved her behind him. "Midnight, do you really still wish to carry on with this…this fool's errand? At the cost of your existence? Do you even realize what you are trying to do?"

Something in his voice made her hesitate. Was he…pleading? "I… We're trying to stop the world's paralysis," she answered carefully.

"Precisely! You will erase everyone from the face of the Earth when you do that. What's the point in that? What is the point in bringing light to the dark future when you are not around to enjoy it?" he responded agitatedly. "Please, you know as well as I do that it is nigh impossible to kill you permanently, so Master Dialga has proposed to offer you amnesty if you come back with us peacefully."

"And you expect us to believe that?" Grovyle scoffed.

Dusknoir stared coldly at him. "I believe I was talking to Midnight."

But Midnight didn't answer, she was in shock. Primal Dialga had offered her amnesty? Safety? He had decided to spare her? But that couldn't be… For all the time she had spent with Grovyle, she had thought of him as a ruthless, heartless creature of the dark, and now… For one moment, she felt briefly tempted by this. And then she felt horrible.

What was she thinking? She knew how terrible it was to live in such claustrophobic darkness that had drove many insane or to death. Why was she even considering his offer? No, she had to see this mission to its end!

"Th-there is a point to this!" Midnight blurted out. Calypso gave her a sidelong glance that practically screamed "What are you doing?", but she didn't care. It unnerved her greatly that she had once thought of the same words that Dusknoir was now uttering, and had the sudden urge to dissociate herself from it. "This place will have colour, wind, sound, life, everything! Everyone will be happy and f-free from the darkness! We just have to change the past! Y-you're being selfish!"

She paused, panting lightly. Dusknoir looked like he had been hit in the face with something heavy while Celebi and Grovyle looked heartened by her response. Calypso simply rolled her eyes and muttered, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard you say."

Even in the darkness, she could see that something in Dusknoir's eyes had hardened. "Fine. Let it be on your own head, then," he said darkly. "But know this; I will do whatever it takes to prevent your mission from succeeding, and by the time I'm done, no amount of Resetting can save you."

Calypso made a sound akin to an angry Meowth, and Grovyle's hand tightened around her wrist so much that it made Midnight wince.

"Now." That word made Midnight's heart skip a beat. It was so full of venom, and it actually made her feel relieved that she had Saved earlier. "This ends."

Everything happened at once. A shadow of Dusknoir and the Sableyes came flying towards them, and Midnight and Grovyle immediately turned heel towards the Passage of Time as Celebi yelled, "I'll hold them off!" Glowing leaves appeared out of thin air and shot towards the charging enemies like bullets, and she was pleased to hear them hit their marks.

Dusknoir's Shadow Sneak extended from the gravelly ground, arms outstretched, and Midnight ducked as it lunged for empty air. They were a mere foot away from the entrance now. "Get in, quick!" Grovyle barked, leaping into the Passage of Time.

"Wait!" Midnight made to jump through the entrance, but suddenly, a piercing pain penetrated her shin as razor sharp claws dug deep into her flesh. Stars flashing in her vision, panic seized her as her knee buckled from the burning sensation running up her muscles. The Sableye tightened its grip on her leg, and her mind went into overdrive as she instantly constructed various scenarios of Dusknoir torturing her to break her spirit before finishing her off, and then-

Suddenly, Midnight felt a tug on her arm, and for a split second, she heard Dusknoir's howl of outrage before she was swept away into the Passage of Time.

It was nothing like she had envisioned. Everywhere was a shimmering, mystical blue, like she had been sucked into a sea of eternity. Midnight tried to voice her surprise and awe, but no sound came out of her mouth. Her chest felt constricted, and her hair whipped around wildly from the speed they were traveling at as an unintelligible mess of sounds and voices whistled in her ears.

"Partner, what happened to your leg?" Grovyle asked sharply, and with a start, Midnight remembered that he was by her side, and that he had let go of her wrist to take her had instead. "Was it one of the Sableyes?"

Midnight looked down at her leg, and she suddenly found it hard to talk. There were three very distinct claw marks running down her shin to her ankle, and blood was still flowing freely from under her tattered pants leg. The ragged flesh underneath was very much visible. "U-um, yeah… But 'm… 'M fine…" Her head felt like it was inflated with helium, but she didn't understand why. She had withstood injuries worse than this before. Was it because of the blood loss? Or simply her inexperience in time traveling in this fashion?

She felt him squeeze her sweaty palm gently. "We're going to be there soon. Just hang on for a little longer, alright?"

Midnight nodded sluggishly. Then, in her foggy state of mind, she realized Calypso hadn't said anything about her leg. In fact, she wasn't saying anything at all. Was she not with them? Could spirits even enter the Passage of Time? Or will she simply appear on the other side? Thinking about it simply gave her a bigger headache.

"Calypso…?"

Then she saw it. As she turned to look for Calypso, she saw a glimpse of what seemed to be a black streak hurtling towards Grovyle, and despite her sluggish state, every nerve in her body immediately screamed "Danger!", so she did the first thing that came to her mind.

Gathering what little strength she had left, Midnight grabbed his arm and spun him around, using her own body to shield him. The last thing she saw was Grovyle's confusion before the attack slammed into her back.

The only time she remembered feeling this much agony was when she was struck with a powered up Thunderbolt from Charles. Whatever hit her racked her body with excruciating pain, and her limbs started going into convulsions… Her mouth opened, and an unearthly wail of pain issued from it… But it couldn't be her voice…

Everywhere around them started to rumble and shake violently, and white flashes of light invaded her line of vision. The earlier pain was replaced by a burning sensation, like everything in her had erupted in flames. Between that and the turbulence and her increasingly strong sense of light-headedness, it was all they could do to hold on to each other.

"Midnight, hang on! You're going to make it, I promise!" Grovyle hollered over the thunderous noise, his paling face in stark contrast with his words. "Just hold on!"

Midnight barely registered his words of encouragement; she was too busy clinging onto Grovyle's claws for dear life. The burning feeling in her body was rapidly climbing its way up her throat and into her head like a deranged parasite, and black started to eat away the edges of her vision. "I… I can't…!" she cried out weakly, shaking her head feebly.

Her fingers slipped out of his hand by an inch.

"Yes, you can!" he countered furiously. "We're nearly there! Come on, stay awake!"

"I… I…"

A particularly violent shock shook the Passage of Time, and it was the last straw for Midnight. They were ripped apart from each other's grasp, and Midnight hurtled away from Grovyle.

The last thing Midnight heard was her own shrill screaming and Grovyle's furious "NO!" before her world blacked out.

~0~

A/N: Please leave a comment telling me if this is worth continuing!

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