A/N: Yes, this story contains TF. Yes, it is safe for work. Yes, the warm, fuzzy feeling at the end was intentional. Yes, I'm working on a much meatier commission; this was a welcome breather. Credit goes to Dsarvess for making me feel hearts and rainbows inside.
A salty sea breeze greeted Stephen as he left the damp, cold air of Victory Road. It was quickly followed by the refreshing scent of wildflowers. He did not need to see the sign that said what was up ahead. The shadow of the building ahead was enough to let him know he had reached his destination.
Stephen looked up at the massive building before him. After earning all eight badges in the Hoenn region and trekking through the tirelessly long cave of Victory Road, he had finally made it to Ever Grande City - the island home of Hoenn's Pokemon League.
"We made it, boy," he said. One would have thought he was off in the head had the air not started shimmering at that very moment.
As if by magic, a strange Pokemon appeared in midair. It had a long, feathered neck like a giant gray swan. Its head was a feathery dewdrop with a blue shield sporting an elliptical mark. Two tufts of slate-gray feathers stuck up above its head like strange ears. Between its head shield and its mouth was a pair of almond-shaped, dark eyes. Its body was like an armored, blue egg with tatters for feet, narrow, fast wings like a jet plane, and a red triangle stamped where its heart would be. Most people would struggle to describe it with words, either because it was a legend in certain parts of Hoenn or because it was simply bizarre. The PokeDex called it "Latios."
Steve smiled. He had met that Latios in the house of Mr. Briney, Hoenn's finest sea captain. The strange Pokemon had come to the young Stephen in the form of a blue-colored egg decorated with red triangles. Stephen gawked as Briney explained how the egg had come into his possession.
"This weird egg washed up on the shores of Lilycove City," he said. "I only need Peeko here to keep me company, so you can have it."
"What's inside it?" ten-year-old Stephen asked.
"I don't know," Briney admitted. "All I know is that it came from the sea."
The egg took half a year to hatch. When it finally did, the baby Latios - unable to fly and covered in a layer of fluffy down - looked at the human before him in confusion.
"La?" he asked, tilting his head.
"Hello," Stephen had said. "My name is Stephen...welcome to the world."
The Latios remained bewildered until Stephen let out his other Pokemon: a Torchic, a Zigzagoon, a Taillow, and a Seedot. Stephen's Torchic was more than a little excited to have a new playmate. The poor baby Latios was almost bowled over by how much energy his future best friend had.
Stephen's PokeDex correctly identified the small Pokemon as Latios, one of the two Eon Pokemon that wandered Hoenn. He was a rare find, and once he shed his baby feathers, he quickly became one of the strongest Pokemon on Stephen's team. Latios and Blaziken frequently "bro-fisted" each other after long or double battles.
It had taken Steven over three years total to reach the building atop Ever Grande Island. Not only was the building magnificent to look at, but its position on a cliff gave trainers a view of most of Hoenn.
"Take a good long look," Stephen said. "We've worked so hard to get here, Latios, and our first reward is an amazing view."
Latios looked over the sea with his trainer. Memories began to flash before both of their eyes: there was Littleroot Town, the place where Stephen's journey had started; sparkling off in the distance was Dewford City, where he had learned the hard way that Latios was weak to Dark and Ghost attacks; over there was Slateport City, where he had had some of the best cotton candy he had ever tasted.
He sighed. His Latios looked at him worriedly.
"If we beat the League...it'll all be over. No more traveling the world. No more meeting new people. I'd be amazed if anyone would even be up for a sparring match with us after the League," Stephen said.
"La..." the dragon-esque Pokemon hung his head. Even when he got hurt, he loved battling alongside his trainer and the Pokemon he had come to see as his family.
"Still...we better go in there. Time to get you guys healed up."
The Latios's eyes sparkled with excitement. He gave his trainer an assault of kisses that made Bullet Seed look short.
"H-hey, bro," Stephen said. "It's good that you're excited, but that's enough."
The kisses had done more than show the Latios's affection. Stephen felt his body getting hot. A tinge of red rose in his cheeks, but the rush of heat did not stop there. What started as a rush became an itch that covered his entire body like the worst spores from a Breloom's cap.
"Ah! What're you doing, Latios?" Steven asked. The birdlike dragon had gone from kissing him to hugging him. The itching got worse when the two made contact. Although Stephen could not see the quills that had started coming out of his body, he got a very good look at his nails, which had started growing into claws.
"What in the name of Rayquaza?!" Steven asked. In a matter of seconds, his hands had gone from flexible digits to short claws covered by a shell-like, red shield. His palms had toughened into scaly scutes akin to those found on the undersides of snakes.
Or certain dragons.
"Laaa~!" Latios cooed. He continued nuzzling Stephen affectionately. His trainer's reaction was a bit less enthusiastic as his jeans began slipping off.
"No way..." Stephen said. Along his journey, he had heard of Latios having a female counterpart. Latias was smaller, cuter, and red where Latios was blue. She was said to be extremely devoted to her brother. As Stephen's pants fell onto the ground, he got a good look at his new finlike, vestigial feet; like his hand-shields, they were deep red. He gulped.
"L-Latios... Stiap..." he tried to say. He quickly clapped a claw-hand over his mouth. If this kept up, he would not be able to say another word for as long as he lived. Even as he felt his shirt tightening, he tried to walk - no, float - away from the clinging Latios. It was an exercise in futility.
"Lati- aaaah!" Stephen cried. A pair of stiff, narrow wings pierced his shirt into thirds. The shirt fluttered off in shreds as Stephen (or was it Stephanie, now?) flailed about, adjusting to his new limbs. Even so, Latios did not let go of him.
"La-Latiiios, why?" Stephanie asked. Her flat chest rounded out into a red, armored, egglike shape. A blue triangle was in the center of the main piece.
Latios was clinging ever closer to his former trainer. He began preening the sheaths of the near-Latias's white feathers off of her neck and body. As the sheaths fell to the earth, Stephanie heard strange cracks in the back of her skull. Her neck was stretching into a white, swanlike curve.
"Latios...as..." Stephanie remained flushed as her face began to push out into a small, rounded muzzle. Downy feathers sprouted like sped up flowers from her new jaws. A tuft of longer feathers resembling forked ears sprouted on either side of her head. Her forehead and the top of her new snout became covered with a red and white shield similar to Latios's blue and grey pattern.
The new Latias felt dizzy as if she had just been spun around by a Machamp's Seismic Toss. This was a new body for her. She had to get used to not having feet or long fingers. There was a shell-shocked look in her yellow eyes as she tried to set herself straight. Latios would not give her a break and snuggled his new playmate enthusiastically.
"Yay!" the now-wild Latios said. She could understand Latios clearly, now. "Now we can continue our journey forever, mommy!"
"'Mommy?'" the Latias repeated. Suddenly, it all made sense: All this time, Latios had seen Stephen as his mother. He figured he should have seen it coming. Baby Psyducks imprinted on the first things they saw when they hatched, after all.
"Yep!" The blue footless Pokemon nodded toward the sparkling sea beneath Ever Grande. The Latias's new eyes could see every Tentacool and Luvdisc swimming beneath its sparkling surface.
"You seemed upset that we wouldn't be traveling anymore," Latios said. "Soooo I thought this would be the easiest way to fix that!"
The Latias jolted a little. Turning him into a Pokemon was the easiest way to get them to travel together? "Wait, you mean-"
Latios smiled with his eyes. "You acted like you never wanted this adventure to end....so let's keep traveling without limits!"
The blue dragon nodded for his new partner to follow him before he plummeted straight down the sheer cliffs of Ever Grande City. Latias hurried after him. She gulped; it was a very steep drop. She would never have done this as a human.
The Latias looked at her Poke Balls, which had been left on the path for some fortunate trainer to find, then the sea below. Surely, a little flight over and under the ocean would help the former trainer get over losing his manhood. She followed her old friend over the edge.
"Laaaaaa!" she yelled. It was like being on the world's most lethal roller coaster ride. At least, she thought, she could see Latios right beside her.
There was no thrill like flying straight off of the cliff with her best friend by her side. The Latias was leaving behind the land she had grown up on. Everything she had seen until this point started as crystal clear images. Then, as she began to fall, things began to blur into a stream of streaking rainbows. Soon, she could not see any of her old life clearly anymore. The only thing she could see was sparkling blue and Pokemon ahead of her. That would be her new life as soon as she hit the waves.
What she had seen before was the past. There was no way to go but forward.