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Phases of the Moon

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It's been a couple years since their last encounter on the Hau'oli beachfront.

Two years since she slipped the Alola Championship under her belt to join all the other Regional Championships she's won over the years since she was 11.

Two years since he's hung up his leadership of Team Skull and started the long, arduous journey to redemption and self-improvement.

"Who knows what the winds of Alola will bring?" he had said. More so to himself than her.

He finds himself remembering those words. And that friendly, yet somewhat blank smile of hers.

That familiar smile he's seen more times than he can count throughout his life plastered and broadcasted in print and on T.V.

The seemingly innocent curve of her lips that invites those around her to let down their guard and underestimate her strength.

It's that smile that's missing, he notes.

Staring at her from across the crackling bonfire, he sees a weariness he's never noticed before in her eyes. The dark circles beneath them that had been masked in makeup now washed away.

Her arms and legs are covered in yellowing bruises and scabbed over cuts, polish-chipped nails caked with dirt and sand from all the traveling she's done over rough terrain and breaking-in some newly acquired pokemon.

Her hair's grown out quite a bit since the last time he saw her, the salt water drying in the strands spilling down to her waist and around her shoulders cause the ends to curl ever so slightly.

This is the "real" woman behind the Champion's mask. Her true face. He's only seen part of it once, and that was only a fraction of what he's seeing now.

He likes what he sees. The wildness of her appearance. But then he reminds himself,

No idiot. This ain't the right time for that!

"... So… you gonna tell me the real reason you were out there?" he questions, an awkward silence hanging in the air as he tries to get her apathetic gaze to meet his.

He's seen that look before. It's been on the faces of his beloved grunts before he took them under his wing. He's seen it reflected back at him in the mirror everyday until he was given a second chance to better himself by Hala.

It's the look of someone at the end of their rope, someone longing for a purpose. Someone broken and lost.

He knows better than to overlook the obvious signs and there's no damn way he's believing her bullshit excuse.

A few minutes tick by at an agonizing crawl before he gets an answer.

"I'm just tired. That's all," she says softly, her dull eyes finally lock onto him and he feels something in his chest tighten.

He understands completely the meaning in between her simple response. Reads the pain carefully tucked underneath her tone. He doesn't ask for more details out of respect. It's enough for now.

Wordlessly, he gets up, not bothering to brush off the sand clinging to his still-damp sweats and crosses over the invisible barrier between them. The boundary separating both the physical and emotional.

He drops to his knees in front of her and envelopes her in his big arms, something he's always wanted to do, been dreaming of until now. It's not passionate or relatively sexual like the rare spur of the moment things they've engaged in sporadically before she disappeared and he went to walk a lighter path.

He's warm and comforting. Platonic, but loving.

She feels so small and fragile, he's almost afraid she'll shatter.

He wonders how she's been able to hold the weight of so many responsibilities and expectations for so long, being as tiny as she is.

Her body initially stiffens, but soon she's melting in his embrace, hungry for the touch and intimacy. Did she miss him too?

She buries her face into his shoulder, a sob breaking through the fortified dam she had spent years building to cage her emotions.

He now sees her fully as herself.

A weird flood of warmth both heavy and lifting fills his heart.

He's plucked the mythical flower from her mountaintop, something everyone had been chasing ever since her rise to fame. But as he holds her, he finally sees that she was just a simple dandelion hiding in the mist, the last of her seeds now blown away to leave nothing but an empty dead stem.

He can't help but think she's even more beautiful like this. Crushed and withering in his arms.

Truly, he is still destruction in human form-- it's something even redemption can't fix.

Finally, he's broken her. The trainer who's beaten him down multiple times and tossed him off his throne. The Champion everyone has been in love with since she crushed the Johto and Kanto Leagues in just under a year and a half of beginning her Pokemon Adventure.

But this wasn't in the way he had hoped.

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When she shows up at Malie Garden that fateful day, Guzma finds himself a little starstruck.

She's been a mere legend to him, a rising star giving the elusive Red a run for his money. Part of the inspiration for starting his Island Challenge all those years ago-- if a girl a year younger than him could become so powerful, why couldn't he? She's a storybook character come to life before his very eyes.

It takes all he has to reign in his inner fanboy. Just wouldn't be cool to bumrush her and demand an autograph.

Not when he's got his rep to uphold.

Guzma steels himself and throws on a cocky smile, shaking hands concealed in his pockets.

"I don't give a shit who you are, imma beat you down! Wanna see what destruction looks like? Here it is in human form-- it's ya boy, Guzma!"

She doesn't seem fazed. Never utters a single word and let's Kukui talk for her.

Even when they're locked in a heated battle, she's got that dumb smile on her face. He can't read the look in her eyes though. Can only tell that whatever it is, it doesn't match her smile.

It doesn't take long for him to lose.

She's using some leveled up local pokemon save for the breadwinner-- her original starter in its final form, body scarred and hardened from years of battle.

He's seen that same pokemon wipe out the Champion Lance's own in that deciding battle so long ago now it seems. But the hazy memory of that broadcasted battle can't hold a candle to the reality of this moment.

It takes a single powerful move to put his precious Golisopod out of commission. With the last of his pokemon K.O'ed, he grips his hair in defeat.

"What is wrong with you, Guzma!?" he growls, feeling idiotic for going up against a Champ. It felt like she was playing around until she pulled out that pokemon and put him out of his misery. Why did he even bother to try?

When he's regained some of his composure, he stalks over to her and shoves the crumpled prize money into her expectant hands. Probably just chump change compared to what she's earned on a Champion's salary.

He's shaking again but somehow finds it in him to lean in close.

"I won't forget this. Don't think I ain't done with ya, Princess," he whispers harshly into her ear. He's so close, he can smell her perfume and it makes him dizzy. His heart hasn't stopped pounding since the start, but he pushes himself to keep up appearances.

He tries to unnerve her by brushing his rough fingers against hers before pulling away, and is satisfied with the way her breath hitches and her cheeks heat up. Her smile falters for a split second.

For a brief moment, she's becomes like any vulnerable young woman reacting to such contact.

He smirks.

Feeling like a winner, Guzma swaggers away, licking his dry lips and wondering if he can get her to look that adorable for him again.

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It's amazing how easy it is to bait her.

One stolen Yungoos later, and she's here in his room of all places, soaking wet and banged up from going around all the hastily erected barriers in Po Town while Tapu Bulu's wrath pours on.

He's got her where he wants her. Alone. On his turf. Away from the next phase in his plans.

Guzma just wishes this situation was happening under different circumstances.

It's both a cruel and delicious thing to see the lacy purple bra she's wearing through the damp fabric of her top. He never expected her to wear something so alluring but he figures it's always the quiet ones who turn out so damn naughty.

It looks good against her skin. Makes him wanna know if there's a matching pair of underwear under that skirt and if she'd be that much of a closet-freak to wear a thong or cheeky panties.

Guzma swears he's seen an identical lingerie set in a gravure magazine once.

He's open in his admiration, shamelessly letting his gaze undress her, partly to fuck with her but mostly because he just can't help himself.

This is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Something he'll savor and hope that he'd be lucky enough to experience again if there's ever a positive change in their relationship.

A man can only dream, right?

"Well, lookit what the Meowth dragged in! You've been a very bad girl, haven't ya? Sneakin' inta my domain at this time'a night… a man could get the wrong idea, heh. You're really askin' for a spankin', babygirl, and big, bad Guzma is all too happy to oblige!"

His chest puffs out when he sees her blush again. But there's something different in her eyes… a fire that's burning him from the inside out.

It's incredibly frightening and arousing at the same time. He doesn't know whether to throw her onto his bed or turn tail and run.

"I'm not here for you, pervert. You took something precious from a little girl and I'm not leaving until I get it back for her."

It's The Champion talking, he realizes. She's not smiling this time and her voice is eerily calm. This is probably the most she's said to him so far, the goody two-shoes in her seems to put words in her mouth.

"Ooh, whatcha gonna do Champ? Ya think you're gonna do the spankin' then?" Guzma cocks a suggestive eyebrow and grins but he's quivering a bit inside.

When her smile comes back, it hits him like a freight train.

It's sharp and cruel and edged with a certain twisted amusement. Almost on par with Lusamine… but there's something more disturbing seeing his idol's sweet face contort this way.

She giggles and it freezes the blood coursing through his veins, sending goosebumps skittering across his skin.

"I kicked your ass last time, and I can do it again just as easily. This isn't my first rodeo, y'know. I stopped Team Rocket's resurrection in Johto and destroyed all the other wannabe gangs licking at their ashes. What makes you think you're any different?"

Her voice is too saccharine and syrupy for his liking. Rubs him the wrong way. Makes him feel like a lil kid.

If she wants to get personal, then damn it, he could play that game too.

"Ya think you're a boss ass bitch, huh? Just because ya started off with all the fuckin' golden tickets to success don't mean shit against someone who's worked their fuckin' ass off from rock bottom to get this strong. The Dead Daddy Trust Fund can only take you so far, babe. Expensive Trainer academies don't teach you how the world works. How you have to bleed, starve and fuckin' suffer if you wanna survive! You want 'different'? I'll show you how I'm different!"

Guzma jumps up from his kingly throne, the anger over his past experiences fueling his actions.

For a moment she's quiet. But he can see the quaking of her hands as she takes a pokeball from her belt. The glimmer of hate swimming in the tears welling up in her beautiful optics. He's gotten under her skin and that makes him kinda proud.

"It's almost cute that you think regurgitating the trash tabloids shit out is enough proof of what I've been through. You think that I haven't bled or suffered? That what I endured was easy? You don't really know anything. Fuck my parents, fuck the Academy, and fuck you! I got where I am on my strength alone, and I'm not going to let some overgrown hood rat with a superiority complex educate me on my history!"

The battle is different this time around. She doesn't waste time toying with him and throws out her OG partner.

Guzma knows he won't win this time either, but he's gotta stall for time. Just a small sacrifice to hopefully pay off in the end. Lusamine promised him a place of power at her side and he's not gonna let a childhood crush on this spoiled bitch get in his way.

Unsurprisingly, she beats him down again. But
Guzma doesn't foresee her continuing their battle in another way.

He grunts as she tackles him into his throne.

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What the fuck is she doing!?

He mentally screams as he's attempting to keep her clawing hands away from his face without hurting her.

There's a crazed look in her eye and he suspects he's opened Pandora's fucking box when he insulted and egged her on earlier.

But in all the chaos, Guzma is unable to control the painful bulge in his pants as she's straddling his hips. Her erratic movements don't help in the least.

When her crotch bumps against his hardness, she's caught off guard for a fleeting moment and blinks at him owlishly. Her already flushed face grows redder still and her lips part in a gasp.

He takes advantage of the slip up and traps both her wrists in one of his large hands. He locks an arm around her and uses the powerful momentum of his legs to throw him forward off the throne.

She's kicking and screaming at him as he half drags, half carries her to his monstrous bed.

Guzma wants to blame her for making him feel like this, but he knows that he shoulders some of that responsibility for riling her up in the first place.

He lays on top of her, immobilizing her with his weight but not enough to fully crush her into the mattress. Her hands are freed momentarily as he distracts himself with tearing open the damp buttoned blouse and latching onto her collarbone with his mouth.

She's pulling at his hair and raking her nails down his back, but her actions only serve to turn him on. Her shrill protests morph into heavy pants and throaty moans when he starts to bite and suck at her delicate skin.

Angry red and purple bruises bloom all over her chest and neck.

Guzma's hands are on autopilot, one roughly yanking the cups of her bra downwards to gain access to her breasts while the other seeks out the clothed mound between her legs.

She mewls and writhes like a cat in heat when the pads of his fingers pinpoint her clit through the thin dampening fabric. His teeth seek out a hardening nipple as he rubs her sweet spot in frantic circles, teasing more moisture to leak from her wanton pussy.

"Fuck!" She hisses, shivering and rutting against his hand.

"I knew you were a dirty girl… already so fucking wet and ready for me," he chuckles around her nipple, pulling her panties aside and testing her entrance with a curious digit.

It slides in easily and he groans as her walls tighten and clamp around him.

"Holy shit, baby, you're gonna feel so fucking good around my cock!" he exclaims, excited at the very prospect of being inside the woman who's been the subject of his private fantasies for a long time.

But before he can even think of dropping his pants, she pushes his body with her hands and knees using all of her strength. He's momentarily detached from her as she rolls on top of him.

Guzma can only stare up at her in awe.

She leans in close, her lips brushing against his as she growls,

"Shut up, Guzma. You talk too much."

There's that gleam in her eyes, the twist of her mouth that paints her as a vixen who knows exactly what she wants.

She's the kind of girl who could chew him up and spit him out if he isn't careful.

He gets a flash of Lusamine before the Champ reaches down between their bodies to tug at his sweats.

Guzma shuts up and lets his body talk for him.

There's a moment of fumbling hands and squirming hips. His pants are yanked to his shins and her panties are partially slid off to hook around one thigh as her other leg moves to trap his hips again. No time to undress any further.

She parts her labia with her fingers, other hand planted on his hard chest. She looks him square in the eye as her entrance hovers over his eager dick. Guzma raises a brow and smirks.

'You gonna be able to handle that?' is the teasing query communicated through his expression.

Her eyes hold no hesitation, saying 'watch me'.

She sinks down onto him, eliciting a shared sigh of pleasure between the both of them. He hits her cervix easily with his length.

They begin to fuck in a no-nonsense kind of way. Pent up aggression as fuel to the fire of their joining.

His fingernails bite into the supple skin of her ass while her small form bounces on top of him, pussy devouring and squeezing his thick cock. His pelvis bucks up into her each time she comes down to meet him. The sound of their fucking fills the room and echoes off the walls. All screeching mattress springs, rattling bed frame, slapping flesh and passionate cries. He's sure everyone in Shady House can hear them through every crack and broken floorboard, but the grunts know better than to bother the Boss "at work".

Guzma is enraptured by the sight of her fully debauched above him-- her flushed skin, jiggling breasts and erotic moans. He takes a mental picture of the hazy lust in her gaze, her perfect lips open in ecstasy. He'll remember this moment for a long time.

When he places a hand at the back of her neck and pulls her down to kiss her, she avoids it. Instead, she bites at his lower lip hard enough to draw blood and snakes her tongue out to tease his own when his mouth opens in pained surprise. A metallic tang rolls over his taste buds mixed with the sweetness of her saliva before she tears away from him to continue grinding down against him.

Frustration builds in Guzma's chest over being denied an actual kiss but he takes it out on her by shoving her roughly off of him.

The young woman lands on her back between his legs with a disgruntled cry.

"My turn," he snarls, jolting up to kneel before her.

Guzma grasps her toned calves and jerks her toward him, the tip of his dick stabbing above her clitoris. She recoils and tries to clamp her thighs together, but he wrenches her legs apart and impales her without warning.

"Ah! You fucker!" She shrieks at him, albeit a little breathlessly as he sets a brutal pace. He gives her a shit-eating grin when she shoots him a glare.

"That's me, doll. Don't you forget it," he laughs and abuses her clit with a calloused thumb.

Soon he has her reduced to a quivering, babbling mess as her orgasms hit her in quick succession. Guzma counts them all proudly with each pulse of her vagina. He gives a few more powerful thrusts, taking him to the very edge of his own climax before hastily pulling out to paint her mons and lower belly with cum, her skirt inevitably being ruined further.

"Holy fuck," he gasps, flopping back onto the bed with a lazy smile. He wrestles the clothes from his sweaty body, balling them up and tossing them in the general direction of his hamper before laying down again.

The girl lays there in silence.

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Just as Guzma raises his head to check on her, she rolls off the bed and stands.

He can't see her face with her back turned to him. But he watches her discard the panties still stuck around her leg. Briefly, he realizes he was sort of right about the matching set. They're the same color as her bra, and though the material is rolled, he can tell she'd been wearing a cheeky pair.

She wipes off his cold, partially dried seed from her body with the panties and throws them behind her in a wad. It lands at Guzma's feet and he sits up fully with a frown.

"And where do ya think you're going, sweetheart?" he demands, miffed that she's not even acknowledging his presence as she throws off her clothes and digs through her bag that had been tossed by his throne.

"What do you expect? Cuddling and pillow talk? Nothing's changed just because we fucked." she scoffs, pulling out another outfit to put on.

Guzma's face reddens and he crosses his arms, heart aching. "F..fuck off. I still can't let you leave," he says, rising from the bed.

She finishes dressing and grabs the stolen pokeball with Yungoos from the treasure chest spilling with Buginium Z. She stops to think for a moment before inserting one of the crystals into an empty slot on her Z-Ring.

When she turns, she's met with Guzma's towering form. She doesn't blink.

"If you're stalling me, it's not going to work. Your Golisopod is still out of commission while my pokemon still have the energy to overpower you and break me outta here."

"... You're not leaving."

There's a pregnant pause as they stare each other down before she shrugs.

"What're you gonna do to stop me?" she challenges as her hand moves to grasp one of her pokeballs.

Guzma reaches out to snatch her wrist, forcing her body towards him.

"I'll break your legs if I have to, princess. Don't fucking underestimate me." He squeezes the delicate bones and she hisses.

"Fine. Asshole." She grinds out and steps back to rub her sore wrist when he lets go. "Since you're keeping me prisoner, where's the bathroom? I gotta take a piss… maybe a shower too. Unless you want me to just pee in the corner like an animal?"

"Not very ladylike, are you? Leave your bag and all of your pokemon here, then I'll show you," Guzma says with a shake of his head. He may be an asshole but he isn't that inhumane.

"...Demanding, aren't you?" She deadpans before tossing her bag and belt onto the bed, eyes locked on Guzma. He feels sort of bad treating her like this so soon after they… well, fucked. But he needed her to stay out of what was happening outside of Po-Town.

He counts the balls on her belt before leading her to the bathroom door.

"We're keeping this open, ya got me? No fucking around. Go pee, take a shower, and get out."

"Wow, such a gentleman. Whatever you say, Your Majesty." She curtsies at him bitterly and goes about her business without an ounce of shame.

Guzma pulls out his phone, unable to watch her sit on the toilet despite keeping the door open. He has to contact Plumes, then Lusamine.Occasionally he glances up to check on her. He's satisfied with seeing her be so obedient as she turns on the shower and gets in, but she shuts the curtain as forcefully as possible when they meet eyes.

He smirks and looks back at his phone. Lusamine is calling.

Right when he answers the phone, he hears a loud popping sound and something streaks from the bathroom to tackle him. His phone flies out of his hand and he cries out when sharp teeth sink into his shoulder.

"What the shit!?" He screams, realizing it was the fucking Yungoos she had picked up earlier. He'd forgotten all about it! She must have stashed it in her bra or something. Dammit, he should've been smarter about this!

As he's struggling with the vicious pokemon, the Champion is running out of the bathroom still naked and wet, grabbing her stuff off the bed.

"Stop, bitch!" He roars, ripping the Yungoos from his shoulder and throwing it against the wall with all his might. It whimpers, but twists back up, shaking off the pain and scampering toward the girl. Guzma scrambles to his feet, but as he lunges at her, there's a blinding light and her long time partner emerges from its pokeball to give him the same treatment as he did to Yungoos.

The air is knocked out of his lungs as he collides with the shelf full of bottles, glass and splintered wood breaking his fall to the floor.

He looks up, vision slightly blurred as blood runs into his eye. He sees the pokemon take off with its owner in its arms, crashing through the bedroom door. Guzma curses, hearing the window at the end of the hall shatter .

Lusamine is still on the phone screaming for him to answer her, demanding his report before her voice cuts out.

Guzma shuts his eyes and grins, a hand moving up to touch his tender shoulder. He feels the warm wetness of the injury. Doesn't even want to know what the hell his back looks like when he can feel it all.

"Fucking bitches…," he snickers darkly.

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"... So where have you been all this time?" Guzma asks the Champion, tentative with his prying. His voice is softened by the pain he feels from their disjointed relationship.

They've at least grown comfortable with one another again, now seated next to each other on a blanket by the fire in nothing but their underwear. Though she's covered herself in her sleeping bag as if she's hiding from the Bug trainer. Their only set of clothes are drying on a large piece of driftwood safely placed away from the flames, yet close enough to dry in the radiating heat.

She must have really intended to disappear forever if she only brought one set of clothes.

Guzma shifts uncomfortably.

His discomfort is only added to when she laughs.

"Oh, around," she replies simply, occupying herself with rifling through her bag.

"Well, no shit, Sherlock. Gimme a better answer than that. You really worried everyone when you ghosted. Kukui's been up my ass wanting to know where you were. Obviously, I didn't know either. Now, I wanna know. I think I deserve to know."

The ex-Skull Boss tilts his head, trying to catch her eye past the makeshift cloak surrounding her form, her head shrouded in the material. He frowns when she fails to notice.

"Hm," she smirks, "Do you now?" The young woman pulls out a small plastic tube resembling a pill bottle and pops open the secure cap. There are bright warning stickers all over the thing screaming: "KEEP OUT OF REACH FROM CHILDREN!"

A familiar earthy stench hits Guzma's nostrils and he wrinkles his nose.

He watches her pluck something like a cigarette from the container but he knows there's no tobacco in it. It's the only one in there as far as he can tell.

"You got a light? My dumbass left my lighter in my pocket when I went for a swim."

She's completely nonchalant, sticking the joint between her chapped lips and looking at him expectantly, palm outstretched.

Guzma's jaw drops, appalled.

"...The fuck? Excuse the fuck out of you; I'm trying to have a damn conversation with you, woman!" He snatches the joint from her and holds it between his calloused fingertips.

His steely eyes examine the neatly rolled product before taking another whiff. He recoils.

"Shit, this is potent stuff! The hell you doing with this?"

By smell alone he can tell this isn't weak shit. Not like the dubious grass he would pick up from a dealer skulking around in grimy alleys past midnight. In those days, it was hard to find weed that wasn't laced with certain non-herbal 'supplements'. After that, he tried his hand at growing his own, but it could never compare to this. This is pure, medical-grade grass.

Guzma feels like an angry parent holding the stick gingerly between thumb and forefinger while giving her The Stare. Complete with furrowed brow and a disappointed turn of his mouth.

"Uh, smoking it? Duh," she rolls her eyes, "Now, give it back, cocksucker, I need it."

"Like a hole in your head or water in your lungs," he retorts, ducking away from her predictable lunge toward him. Her face flares beet red.

"Doctor's orders, fuckhead! I have a Green Card!" She makes another grab and misses, falling into his lap.

"Yeah, Dr. Feelgood doesn't count, sweetheart. And calling me shitty names ain't gonna make me give this back!"

He wants to show her how angry he is. Guzma has half a mind to chuck it into the sea. There are so many damn questions swirling around his head, it's giving him a migraine. How can she be so cool about this when she almost… almost….

He can't wrap his head around the idea. But it's still fresh in his memory like an open wound in his brain.

But with how pathetically desperate she is, climbing on top of him and clawing for her medication like an animal as his long arms keep it from her reach, a bark of laughter slips past his stern lips. The idea of this tiny woman trying to overpower a big lug like him is just too ridiculous to comprehend.

His shoulders are quaking now, torso vibrating with the laughter he's holding back. Though he's sober enough to keep the joint away from her.

She stops, perplexed.

"I don't see what's so funny," she pouts, sitting back and crossing her arms like a petulant child. The sight of her actions while still wrapped up in her sleeping bag pulls the mirth from his throat.

It takes a couple minutes for Guzma to compose himself again. He wipes the tears from his eyes and shakes his head.

"You're too fuckin' cute, y'know?" He wheezes and she sucks in a breath, at a loss for words. Her face burns underneath her 'hood'.

"And you're a fucking weirdo! Can I have my joint back?" Her voice is trembling, anger simmering in her tone but unable to cover her sheepishness.

"Sure, right after you tell me where you've been," he deadpans.

The Champion watches with wide eyes as he has the audacity to light the stick with his beat-up zippo and take a drag from it.

"Hey!" Her fingers pass through empty air as he leans away.

"Whoo, this is good!" A wispy cloud of dank smoke is expelled from Guzma's mouth, drifting upward before dissolving into the night like an evanescent apparition. A short cough follows after. "If you tell me, I might consider sharing," he teases.

He missed this taste. The heat and smoldering in his throat and lungs.

While Hala never did tell him to quit smoking, Guzma made the choice to keep a clear head throughout his training. His anger slowly ebbed away on its own through meditation and investing his energy into giving back to the community instead of seeking the warm blanket of a high or the haze of booze to keep it at bay for a few hours.

Moderation, he figured, wouldn't outright kill him.

She's quiet while he takes another puff. Her lips are pursed and a shadow crosses over her face as she fights an inner battle.

"... I moved back to Johto for a while," she admits after a heavy silence, "I jumped around before settling in Goldenrod with my cousin. I became the Champion again to make more money. It's surprising how fast it went after--"

She halts mid-sentence, startled like she hadn't meant to let that slip.

"After what?" Guzma lowers the joint and props his wrist on his knee, his gray irises growing stormy with suspicion.

"I told you what you wanted. Now let me smoke in peace!" His distraction allows her to snatch the weed from him. She inhales the smoke greedily until she coughs it all out, ugly and pained.

"Why can't you just tell me?" Guzma asks once she's recovered, her skin flushed and eyes bloodshot as she takes another drag. "I've waited for you to come back, y'know. I ain't been with another woman since you left."

Snippets of that time on the Hau'oli Beachfront flashed through his mind. Their relationship was on again, lasting for over a couple months. A milestone. He thought they were good. He was living with her in a cozy little apartment in the city. They smoked tough, drank like fish and had the best sex in their entire history together.

Occasionally, they would go down to a secluded section of the beach-- their Spot-- to do all those things and shoot the shit afterward in a daze of inebriation. He'd even given her his prized possession, a Dawn Stone, and she wore it on a silk cord around her neck proudly.

But one day, it all stopped.

She shut him out. Packed up her bag and was leaving before he challenged her to a battle. If he won, she'd stay. If she won… she could leave.

And so, she left.

Presently, he reaches out to push the sleeping bag from her head, cupping her cheek once she's exposed and turning her to him. The smoke curls around her head before dissipating. She has no choice but to look into his wet eyes, to face the hurt in his expression.

She winces at his suffering and that's all he needs to confirm she's real and not some robotic clone. She feels something for him still and he'll hold onto that until he turns to dust.

"I can't. Just… just let it go!" She's crumbling before his eyes again. Her teeth sink into her lip, gnawing angrily as moisture wells up along the rims of her eyes.

"Quit it," he commands, rubbing his thumb over her lip to dislodge it. She sniffles.

He can feel the THC working its magic, a tingling warmth starting at the base of his skull and creeping its way upward to encase his head like a fuzzy helmet. Boy, she really did pick up some quality grass.

He'd like to blame his next actions on it, but the pang in his heart as he pulls her in for a kiss covers up the lie.

Their mouths mold to one another's like old friends coming together in an embrace after an extended period of absence. Guzma kisses her like he'll never get that chance again, consuming and savoring her flavor. So familiar she was, yet so different.

Her sweetness is dampened by the acrid scorch of marijuana. But she's still there, that inexplicable umami that has him craving for more.

Her body is rigid at first, even when her lips are moving with fervor. Her palms press into his bare, broad shoulders stiff as boards. The joint lies forgotten in the sand, strands of smoke still billowing from the cherry.

Guzma reels in his enthusiasm, keeping his hands at her cheeks, thumbs rubbing gentle circles into the apples. He doesn't want her running away again, but he won't force himself on her like that first time.

He feels wetness on his skin and breaks away to see her crying.

"Too much? Sorry," he murmurs, wiping away her tears. He sucks in a few breaths to replenish his oxygen.

"Don't do that…," she croaks, her throat aching from the emotion balling up inside.

"Don't do what?"

"Stop being so nice, I don't deserve it." Her whispers turn into sobs and Guzma feels helpless trying to gather up all of her pieces shattered before him.

"The hell you talkin' 'bout? I've done worse than you, but that never stopped Hala and the others from seeing my worth. Everyone deserves kindness. Especially you." He looks her dead in the eye, no trace of deceit anywhere.

His sincerity is blinding and the young woman forces herself to avert her eyes.

"No I don't," she argues, "I'm trash! A walking, talking, human dumpster fire!"

Frustration bubbles in Guzma's chest, but he takes a deep breath and pushes it down.

"Okay, so convince me you're trash. What makes you think I should treat you like shit?" His words are even, patient.

For a moment, the Champion admires how much he's matured in just two years while she feels much of her own growth was stunted in that time.

But once again, she's arrived at the point where spilling the whole truth could bring disastrous results. Yes, inwardly she admitted he deserved to know. Though the anxiety over the subject fought with her moral compass.

Several more minutes of uncomfortable silence pass.

Then, she digs out her scuffed Pokegear and turns it on to show him the answer.

Chapter Text

"Y'all are stupid!"

Guzma jumps down from the rock formation he had been posting on to stand before the Champ and her young tag-along.

She crosses her arms, smile borderlining a smirk as she stares at him. He's still a little worse for wear. Bruised and scabbed over from their encounter at the Shady house now nearly three days ago. The bandage peeking out from below his collar where the Yungoos bit him could use a changing, and his lower lip is split open again from speaking.

The darker part of her is satisfied with how banged up he is. He deserved it for forcing himself on her. But...

There's something different about him though, she notices. His eyes are wild, filled with a fear she never thought she'd see. He's smudged head to toe with the foreign soil and new bruises resembling thick ropes ring his arms and throat.

"Says the idiot who ran into a wormhole chasing after a crazy bitch," she says, making sure to cover Lillie's virgin ears at the last word before letting her go. "You shouldn't have gone in your condition."

Guzma snorts, amusement mixing into his panic. For having a sharp tongue and a volatile attitude, the Champion still looked out for the children. He had to at least add a point of respect to her in that aspect.

But just one.

"No thanks to you! You're just as idiotic coming out here! How in the world did you even get to this place? I've got no idea how you did it, but here you are." He looks almost impressed with her, but it doesn't replace his nervousness.

"It pays being friends with a Legendary extra dimensional being," she shrugs, still smiling.

"You're fuckin' insane, yo! It's all dark here... I've got no clue what's going on, but there's beasts everywhere... I tried to catch one of those things," Guzma's eyes go blank and his hands open and close, grasping the empty air before throwing them up in a panic, "but it possessed me! And that's when it happened! My body, my mind... They started running wild, and I couldn't do anything about it!"

"It was like I became somebody else, and I finally felt what fear feels like! It was terrifying!" He pulls at his hair before sighing, "I may be the Team Skull boss, and I've never been scared of nothing or nobody, but… that lady...she's on another level! She's way far gone! She lost her mind over these Ultra Beasts. There's no talking to her, no reasoning with her... She's just gone..."

Lillie shakes her head with a determined face.

"That doesn't change anything! I have to go!"

She runs ahead, leaving Guzma with her companion.

The young woman exhales and looks up at him.

"You better sit this one out, Bug Boy. This calls for a Champion's touch." She reaches up to pat him on the cheek briefly, the taps rough enough for him to feel the sting, but there's an underlying gentleness to it strangely enough. If it wasn't so dark, he could've sworn there's some glint of caring in those eyes.

"Hey, how are your pokemon?" she asks, serious.

The question catches him off-guard.

"Huh?" He rubs his cheek where she tapped him. "Oh! Uh… I kept them in their balls. I didn't want 'em getting possessed. But they're still fucked up from when we last battled." Certainly he feels bad about it, but he had no choice. He didn't bring any healing items either…

"Here. Use these. You gotta be more mindful of your Pokemon, dumbass. Next time you decide to run into a wormhole with no way out, bring some Potions or some shit. Or better yet, leave your Pokemon behind." She's genuinely irritated at him, but any of the venom she's launched at him in the past seems to have gone for now.

It's weird.

She digs into her bag for a minute and thrusts thousands of Poke Dollars worth of Revives and Full Restores into his arms. She then adds a healthy pile of Leppa Berries and a few Poke Beans in the mix as an afterthought.

Guzma's eyes nearly bulge out of their sockets.

"What.. wait! Don't you need these? You can't just--!"

"Well guess what, I just did. Heal your fucking Pokemon, bonehead. I have bigger fish to fry

Before Guzma can properly process the generous act, she turns on her heel and follows Lillie without another glance at him. He lingers behind, tailing after her like a lonely shadow, not wanting to get too close to that nutjob he had been blindly following for the last few years.

Lusamine's betrayal had hit him hard. She had manipulated him into believing he was worthy in her eyes, that he had a place beside her in the grand scheme of things… that he was wanted.

But it was all a lie. And he was thrown away like yesterday's trash. Fuckin' psycho cunt.

Guzma sits on a low stone tier and to watch the confrontation between the three females from a safe distance.

He looks around to make sure there aren't any Nihilego before releasing his Pokemon to heal them.

It's all up to the Champ now.

He knows she can make things right again like always.

She stays quiet as Lillie tries to convince her mother to come back. Part of this is a family matter and she can respect that. But the longer they talk, the more manic Lusamine becomes. Her words become sharpened barbs and her gestures grow more violent as her daughter continues to 'defy' her.

When the Aether Prez starts blaming Lillie's behavior on the Champion, that's when the young woman decides to step in.

There really is no reasoning with her.

She puts a warm hand on Lillie's shoulder and draws her behind in a protective, motherly fashion.

"It's okay, sweetie. I got this. Turn around and cover your ears for a second, 'kay? No peeking either."

Lillie puffs out her cheeks but obediently follows her directions with a nod. Once the older girl sees that she's clamped her hands over her ears and facing the other way, her false smile fades as she finally turns to Lusamine.

"So, brainwashed my daughter, have you? I'm going to--aughh!"

The Champion's fist cuts into her threat.

There is an audible crack as her knuckles meet the President's perfect jawline in a mean right hook.

The stunned woman falls to the ground with a shrill scream.

A faint calling of "Daaamn!" echoes from somewhere in the background where Guzma is seated. The girl's mouth quirks upward.

"Y-you hit me!! You little bitch, how DARE you!?" She spits, blood running down her chin as she holds a hand to the swelling area. Lusamine's green eyes are slit like a pissed off feline.

"Shut the fuck up, you old bag. I'm tired of listening to your endless bullshit monologue," the younger woman says with a roll of her eyes. "Whew! That actually felt pretty damn good I'm not gonna lie!" she takes a moment to chuckle darkly and flex her sore fingers.

"You remind me too much of my mom, maybe that's why. Of course, I've never hit her. But you... Treating your kids like little dolls and projecting your fucked up delusions onto them… hurting other people and pokemon for no good reason but for your 'perfect world'? You're so full of shit, your eyes are brown, lady!

I've ran into way too many maniacs who want to bring in a 'new world order', and frankly, I'm fucking done. You had your chance to turn around, but now I see we're going to have to do this my way. We're going back, and I'll have Solgaleo/Lunala drag you kicking and screaming back through that wormhole if I have to!"

The disgruntled young adult sends out her Pokemon to restrain Lusamine.

But the minute it appears, the horde of Nihilego flickers back into existence, circling all of them. Their creepy screeching giggles grate against the Champ's ears like nails on a chalkboard.

Lusamine takes the opportunity to stand and swipe the blood from her mouth, tossing her Beast Ball into the air.

Lillie whips back around just in time to see her mother be swallowed by the freed Nihilego.


The Champion grabs the girl as she rushes toward Lusamine.

"You need to get back! It's not safe, Lillie!" she cries out, her arms tight around the youth's thin body.

The Nihilego has fused with the President, turning her into a disgusting abomination begging to be killed by fire. Unfortunately, they needed to find a way to bring her back alive sans ultra beast.

One of the monster's clawed tentacles takes a swipe at them. The Champ turns so that her back is protecting Lillie from the blow and braces herself.

It never touches her.

Her powerful Pokemon blocks the hit and holds back the appendage, struggling against the beast's strength with a strained roar.

Another Nihilego appears behind to attack but there's a flash of silver and a slash of glowing blue light sends the ultra beast flying back.

She looks up to see Guzma smiling at her as Golisopod begins its battle with the other beasts, repelling them from the trainers with Razor Shell.

"Looks like you need a hand, Champ! I'll look out for the little princess while you kick this chick's ass! My team's looking for a little redemption anyway, heh."

She stares at him in disbelief but releases Lillie once she realizes he's serious.

"...Thanks," she whispers, the word foreign to her tongue. It takes both of them by surprise. She bites her lip and the gang boss rubs at his undercut with nervous digits.

"Ay, no biggie! Better turn that sweet ass around now before your 'Mon gets whooped!" Guzma wears a blush identical to hers before moving away with Lillie in tow. "Beat that bitch down!" He calls, covering the girl's ears at the last second.

The Champion actually laughs as she turns her focus back to Lusamine. The sound goes right to his heart, setting it on fire.

He can do this.

She can do this.

They'll see this through to the end. Together.

Chapter Text

He's numb.

Guzma's eyes lose focus, turning the Pokegear's screen into a blurred mess of light and color.

The image of her home screen is burned into his retinas.

It had her hair, the same contours of her face and her Champion's stance.

His crooked smile, his smoky slate eyes staring back at him, his Dawn Stone around that bird-like neck….

What the fuck.




If there was a table, he'd be flipping it.

Guzma sits in stunned silence, his fists shaking in his lap.

This can't be real.

That cannot be real.

"... You're fuckin' kidding me," he rasps, his mouth dry. All the moisture in him is beading at the back of his neck and running down his spine in a cold sweat.

She's taken aback from his hushed tone, shrinking away from him.

"Tell me you're kidding!" He shouts, fists slamming onto his knees. His chest is heaving, rapid heartbeat thundering in his ears and drowning out all rational thought, washing away his training. The numbness turns into a surging wave of fire in his veins.

She flinches. She's never seen him like this, not even during their heated arguments in the past.

"...I'm not," she whispers, and Guzma let's out a roar of anguish.

Chapter Text

Hello dear readers! I'm so sorry this isn't a new chapter but I thought it fair to give some insight into why there hasn't been one and to give you some hope. This note might be deleted later when I rework some things here.

I fell into that phase where I just quit writing. For a while, I even considered stopping all together. I'm about to enter a new venture in which I will be starting a business selling my art. I plan to work on it full time. I'll probably still write on the side because I do still love writing. And I need a venue where I can express my love for certain fictional characters so I'm not wallowing in it lol. But my business will come first unfortunately.

Now, I haven't given up on this story or my other ones. I have chapters for Phases that are in the works but aren't finished. And I've been so hung up on how to proceed. I've reread what I posted here and there are details I'd like to fix.The prologue and the tone and timeline of some of the chapters don't quite match up and feel like (at least to me) that they have two different characterizations of the protagonist. I will be working on fixing these things. I won't have to alter much, so the posted chapters won't be so different, but they will be tweaked.

I've also noticed some of you have been confused between the scenes from the past and scenes from the present. I didn't really make an effort to distinguish the two. Generally, I like to write a chapter about Guzma/reader's past interactions before switching to the 'present' the next chapter. The present being them on the beach after Guzma pulls the protag from the ocean in the prologue. I'll be sure to note which time period the chapters will be in next time.

So anyway, TLDR: I'm going to rewrite some details in the story and try to continue writing for Phases. Thank you for those who are still reading, I'm sorry for my flakiness. I hope to bring you all new content to enjoy, but there will be a little more waiting.

Thanks for understanding,