He had thought that that the darkness was going to knock him out for a long while, but Mark Antony blinked the world back into focus only a breath later. Death stared at him from high up in the air, his body and the two scythes he held absolutely colossal. Mark Antony picked himself up, and when four hands helped him up instead of two, he knew what had happened.
“Was a warning too much for you to say?” Mark Antony acidly remarked. His antennae quivered as he realized the words he had just spoke weren’t in English. Blue eyes widened, and he muttered a few words to himself in fascination.
“You might have hesitated if you were told, and the soul would have slipped your grasp,” the grim reaper simply explained. The glare he was given was not lessened. When Mark Antony settled for just shooting him a dirty look, he elaborated, “When a body no longer senses its soul anywhere near, it will suck in the nearest soul in a last ditch effort to survive. ”
“How selfish,” Mark Antony quipped as he turned around and inspected the four-foot-body he now occupied.
“No soul can occupy an empty body; it will end with the destruction of both the soul and the vessel. Your scythe, though,” he held it up, the blue light in the orb casting his face in shadow, “imbues you with the power that allows you to fully control the body with no side effects.”
“I’d hate to be destroyed after you just convinced Mew and Celebi not to wipe me off the map.” He had been about to say, “let me live,” but his mind automatically corrected it before the words were out of his mouth. Now that he had a real body again, that creeping feeling he had been feeling since he saw his pale skin and colorless eyes manifested itself into a heart that painfully ached. The sensation of breathing once again made him realize how much he had missed it. Even if the air provided by the atmosphere of Purgatory was thin and stale, Mark Antony thought it was the most refreshing thing ever.
“I’m fine,” he insisted when he saw Death’s stomach contorted in a concerned frown. The expression became blurry as tears brimmed and spilled down his face. Frustration boiled when he couldn’t stop the flow of tears, and the wings on his back spread open and buzzed madly. “I just need a breather.” There was a moment of silence. “It’s funny,” Mark Antony started to say, his wings lying flat on his back and his antennae drooping. “I had said to Cassius I was prepared to die, and now I’m here wishing that this Ledian’s body was my own.”
“Nobody is truly prepared to die,” the Dusknoir told him as he traced Mark Antony’s scythe; he knew such a proud man did not want to be looked down upon right now. “It’s human nature to always strive to be better and fulfill everything and anything. No matter how long you live, you will always feel that life was cut too short.”
Mark Antony inclined his head towards his teacher, each heartstring pull taught with the strange feeling that it was the end of the world for him. He didn’t know what was worst: never being able to live again, to travel, sleep, to know that the next day would be another chance to make something of himself or knowing that he would never be there when Johto was savaged by Kanto. Each realization was as depressing as the other. “Am I going to get used to this?”
“Think of it this way.” Death ignored the scythe he was expecting to wave a hand to the window and the bleak scenery that was forever present. “Yes, those souls down there live in ignorant bliss, but they, until their Judgment centuries from now, will never be able to live on after death. Each day will be filled with repetitiveness of their every day lives, and they do not have the power to do more. You, on the other hand, will have the chance to experience new things, to evolve, and see the world change. It’s your choice, however, whether you want to move on or not.”
Silence reigned for a few minutes. A sigh was then heard, and Mark Antony faced Death again. It was hard to tell which emotion was prominent in those wide eyes, but his half smile was less vague. It wobbled on his face, threatening to give away to the ache of the heart that wasn’t even his, but his stubborn, determined demeanor made it stay in place. “I’m sure as Hell not going to sit here and mope. I’ve never been one to do that, and I am not going to start now.” He heaved another sigh to calm his fluttering heartbeat. “Now what more do I need to learn?”
“Exactly what I wanted to hear,” Death remarked, beaming. “All you have left to learn is how to use the Pokémon’s abilities. Concentrate on finding that part of your mind that holds the Pokémon instincts. Right now, your soul is subconsciously suppressing them.”
Mark Antony nodded with one last wipe at the remaining tears on his face. He was silent once again, but this time, he was racking his mind for something he had never felt before. When after a few minutes passed without nothing jumping out at him, Mark Antony tried a more practical approach.
I want to fly,
he mentally declared, raising a brow and awaiting some kind of sign. How do I go about doing that?
Some muscles on his shoulder blades itched, and he instinctively spread his wings out. Buzzing soon thrummed the air when Mark Antony let his mind show him all the other wing muscles he was unfamiliar with. He then let his train of thought wander and ask the questions while he jumped and hovered in the air. His own human instincts were holding him back, so why not let them take a backseat?
“Seems like you got the hang of it,” Death observed with a look up. Mark Antony flew above him, his two upper fists vanishing and reappearing as he let loose a Mach Punch at an invisible foe. “Make sure you don’t completely mask your human self. Your knowledge and skills are sharp and will serve you well. Just learn to have an even balance of both types of instincts.”
“Right,” his assistant agreed distractedly.
“Time for your first mission then.”
Mark Antony flew back in surprise. “Huh?!”
Death just grinned and motioned for him to land. When the Ledian touched the floor, Death suddenly thrust his intangible hand into Mark Antony and dragged his soul out by the scarf. The assistant rolled to the floor and barked in his normal tongue, “Will you quit
“No time for apologies,” the grim reaper told him, and with one flick of his wrist, Ledian’s soul was sent back into its fallen body. The Pokémon began to stir, and Mark Antony’s scythe was forced back into his hands. “We have to head out, so you can get started. Time is of the essence.”
“Exactly where are we going?” Mark Antony asked, mad but disoriented enough to hold back a glare. Standing up, he propped himself with his scythe and ignored how the room still spun.
“Lavender Town, Kanto.”
Death sent him a warning look, but Mark Antony waved it off with a gritted, “I know. I have to protect everybody equally.” He then remarked as they were pulled into the grim reaper’s newly opened portal, “It doesn’t mean I have to like it."
A/N: What do you do when you can't pick up Soul Silver on Sunday? You finish a chapter. What do you do when you get Soul Silver on Monday? Procrastinate on proofreading said chapter. xD
Yesh, finally, Mark Antony gets his scythe (and his strange outfit that I've grown to love). And for anybody who's reading, you finally know why I titled this fic "My Guardian Angel." It all makes sense now, huh? Again, a lot of this chapter was completely written on the fly, especially the training bit. Turned out well, I think.
What's in store for Chapter Eight? Mark Antony gets thrown into his least-favorite region and is forced to protect a kid who seems to seek out trouble rather than avoid it.
BUT, I'll be writing Mark Antony's special chapter next. It's all about the backstory I scrapped months after I thought of this fic, and it gets to feature a region I know next to nothing about
: Orre! Yep, that's going to be fun. :D