Chapter 52: Help in Strange Places

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And for now, we'll put the AU on rest until we catch up to the story again. Also, I will also maybe consider doing some mid chapter shenanigans that won't affect the main timeline (just assume they happen after everything is resolved) and maybe I'll start introducing some Paldea Pokémon into the mix (I am a Scarlet player). BTW, did anyone have better luck on General Vanrouge banner, cause I had to hit the guaranteed 100 SSR pull, and I still thought I failed because Ace's SSR dorm card was the first one on that last pull. Anyways, back to the main event.
Chapter 52: Wandering the Dream Realm

(Y/N) felt as though she were floating in an unending abyss, unable to grapple anything to pull herself out. In the haze, she distantly remembered a disaster, a disaster she had been powerless to stop. Then, from the pit came a sound that used to scare her to death as a child, but those old memories of fear were a line, a line to some sort of reality.
"Lightning and thunder?"
The trainer opened her eyes to see the Witch of Thorns in a gloomy throne room, glaring down on tiny gremlin-like henchmen.
"How absurd! Sixteen years, and still no sign of her! Have you really searched everywhere?"
"Yes, yes, we all did." One goon protested. "The mountains, the forest, every house, every cradle."
"You fools!" She shouted, green bolts of electricity crashing around her. "She is a 16-year old girl! Go and find her!"
The scene shifted to a young woman with golden hair standing in a cottage with three older women.
"You are already betrothed to Prince Phillip, dear." The green clad woman said.
The maiden looked at her, baffled. "But that's impossible. How could I marry a prince?"
"You're a princess." The blue woman explained as the red one nodded.
"Yes, you are."
Again, the dream changed, almost at a sickening pace. The maiden was now in a dress fit for a princess, but she looked dazed and lost as she robotically reached for a spinning wheel, the Witch of Thorns' voice egging her on.
"Touch the spindle, I say. Did you really think you could defeat me, the Mistress of all Evil?"
The dream went black as the trainer finally understood.
"We always said this was the villain school. Of course none of you were the good guys." Eventually, her declaration allowed her to truly open her eyes again, seeing a familiar room around her. "Where am I...? I remember Tsunotarou using his magic..."
(Y/N) shook her head as she remembered the almost desperate deranged expression on her friend's face. Malleus had been suffering in silence, and she had been so concerned with getting home, she hadn't noticed until it was far too late. She'd amend that. Sitting up, she saw that the room was very similar to her one in Ramshackle, but not quite. Everything had a more regal appearance, and there was no bed. She then felt something familiarly firm behind her and an unmistakable snore beside her.
"Swampert! Grim!"
The water type immediately stirred after hearing his trainer while Grim remained in dream land.
"Wow... It's raining tuna cans...A feast fit for me..." He mumbled even as (Y/N) shook him. "I can't eat another bite...I wish I could stay here forever... "
"Grim, get up!" The trainer said sternly, finally waking up the cat, who rubbed his eyes.
"Wha–!? What gives, (Y/N)!? Huh... Where's my mountain of tuna...? Wait, what? Was that all just a dream...? Aw, man! That's disappointing. When did we get back here though? I thought we were partying at Diasomnia. Oh, but Tsunotarou arrived, and then..." Grim leapt to his feet as he finally recalled what had happened. "He sent us all flying! And then he...Ah, shoot. The rest is a blur for me, yanno."
"Me too." The trainer admitted, standing up. "Where even are we?"
She let out a whistle, and at once, Noivern poked his head up from behind the couch, Crobat emerged from the abandoned fireplace, and Hydreigon and Absol emerged from some shadow or another.
"Thank Arceus, all of you are okay." (Y/N) said, holding Crobat close. "I hope everyone is safe. Grim, come on. We should start checking around.
The cat monster nodded before reaching for the doorknob, only to be stumped by it. "What!? The door's locked! Are the locks jammed again?"
(Y/N) tested it herself, with no luck."
"All right, let's try the window." Grim suggested before running over to them and screaming. "GWAAHH!! Th-th-there's something out there!! It's a ghost, a big one...!"
Swampert and Absol ran over to growl at the intruder, only to stop. (Y/N) joined in and saw what had spooked Grim.
"Painted ghosts?" She asked no one. "Who would do that?"
"Someone who's got a weird taste for decoration?" Grim suggested. "Seriously, who graffitied our dorm!?"
"I don't think this is Ramshackle, Grim. Especially since I don't remember coming back."
The cat looked up to her, only to stumble. "Huh? Did I step on something...?"
Turning around, he saw the ottoman jump to life and begin barking at him. Grim yowled as the dog-like piece of furniture began to chase him. He immediately climbed up Noivern's back and clung to the dragon's head. The ottoman ran circles around her Pokemon, demanding Grim come back down, only for (Y/N) to snap her fingers and whistle.
"Ah! Leave it." The ottoman looked at her defiantly as she motioned for it to listen to her. "Sit." It did so and (Y/N) petted it. "Good boy. Now go."
The ottoman barked happily and ran off.
Grim sighed in relief. "Thanks, (Y/N). What was that thing doing in our dorm?"
"Like I said, I don't think this is our dorm. Come on, we need to look around."
A quick investigation revealed that the ottoman wasn't the only living item in the room, which included a living nutcracker that gave out nuts that changed one size as Grim unfortunately found out.
"Gah!" Grim shouted in frustration. "What's up with this room?"
(Y/N) placed her fingers to her lips to ponder the question.
"Living furniture and nicknacks. Where have I heard that before?" She glanced at the mirror. "Is this Mickey's room?"
Just then, the world began to spin and burl, though no one felt dizzy, it was more so the world seemed to be blurring. Grim latched onto (Y/N)'s leg as Swampert steadied them.
"What's going on now! WHOAAAAAA!"
"Who's there?" A familiar voice called out.
Grim buried his face in the trainer's leg. "Someone's coming!"
"Oh, it's you!"
(Y/N) smiled, relieved to see a familiar face, even though this was technically their first face-to-face meeting. "Mickey!"
The mouse smiled. "Whoa, is this real!? Is it really you, (Y/N)? This is amazing! I'm so glad we can finally meet in person! Let's high five to commemorate!"
The trainer obliged, high fiving before her Pokémon sniffed curiously at the mouse. Mickey took it in stride and even petted Absol.
"Wow! Friendly fellas, aren't ya? Are all of these monsters yours, (Y/N)?"
"Yup. Mickey, these are Swampert, Crobat, Absol, Noivern, and Hydreigon."
"Happy to meet ya!"
The Pokémon all let out friendly greetings as Grim perked up.
"OH! This is Mickey from the ghost camera, right?"
Mickey jumped back, shocked Grim could talk (for some reason). "Whoa! I didn't know you brought another friend with you. What's your name?
"I'm Grim!" He introduced. "I'm kinda like these guys' boss, yanno?"
The Pokémon all huffed in annoyance at him as Mickey nodded. "Grim? Oh, you mentioned having a roommate before. I'm always happy to make new friends. My name's Mickey, Mickey Mouse. It's nice to meet you, Grim!"
"You, too! Nyahaha! Looks like we're the first to solve the whole "Mickey Mystery" huh! Can't wait to rub it in the other guys' faces."
Mickey looked to the human curiously. "What's a "Mickey Mystery"?"
(Y/N) went on to explain Ortho theory about the mirror and how she had been trying to contact him. He seemed to understand, nodding.
"I'm able to talk to you through the mirror even though I don't belong to Twisted Wonderland. You thought that could be a hint to get you back home, huh. I see."
"Yup." Grim confirmed. "We'd like to hear your side of the story, too!"
The mouse nodded. "Of course! I'm always happy to help a friend out!"
(Y/N) once again had to send the ottoman dog away as it was bothering Absol. "Can you explain what's going on in this room first?"
"All the furniture and stuff in this room have a mind of their own. Some a lot friendlier than others. Just the other day, I had a fight with the cards."
"You mean, the ones drenched in ink over there?" Grim asked, motioning to the ruined playing set.
"Yes, they started throwing their hearts and spades at me! I used the fountain pen as a water gun to defend myself."
"Nyahaha! Paper can't beat water, huh."
Mickey nodded. "Exactly. They're still a bit wet and droopy"
"Sounds very Heartslabyul." (Y/N) noted.
"I was dancing with the Queen card, and the King got jealous. I didn't mean to intrude on their date, you know? But he ordered the card soldiers to come after me. We cleared our misunderstanding, but I feel bad about what I did to them."
Grim tilted his head. "I thought it was your magic that was making them move, yanno? But if the card soldiers attacked you, then I guess it isn't."
"Magic?" Mickey repeated. "Oh boy, it'd be wonderful if I could use magic. Haha! Sorry, but I'm not a wizard or anything."
The cat's eyes went wide. "Really...? Then whose magic is making all this possible?"
"Hmm..." Mickey shrugged. "I'm not really sure either. At first, I thought that both this room and (Y/N) were just things I dreamed up. But they weren't. You're not just fragments of my imagination, are you...?" The girl shook her head. "It's all very strange, isn't it?"
"How did you get here, Mickey?" Grim asked. "The door's not working, and the windows are locked. We all woke up here, but we have no clue how we even got here.
"My "other self" goes here on his own whenever I go to sleep." The mouse explained.
"Kinda like... astral projecting?" (Y/N) suggested.
"Exactly! I end up in this room when I pass through the big mirror hanging by my fireplace."
"Using mirrors as a gate, huh." Grim hummed. "Sounds like Night Raven College."
"I tried doing it again when I woke up, but it didn't work. It seems like I can only visit this room when I'm asleep."
"Wait a second... Does this mean you're sleeping right now?"
The mouse nodded. "Yup. "I" am awake here, but my body's sound asleep."
(Y/N) snapped her fingers. "Of course! I remember now. Malleus knocked everyone out after we could stop him. We must be asleep!"
"WHAT!?" Grim screamed. "Where's my body right now!? Are we still sound asleep in Diasomnia!?"
"Probably. Still, astral projection aside, I have a very bad feeling about this. If we ended up here, then where's everyone else?"
"Wait, your other friends didn't come here with you?" Mickey asked as the girl shook her head. "That's worrying... They might be nearby, so let's go outside and check."
"The door's not working." Grim reminded.
"You can't give up after just one try! Asking your friends for help might just get you out of a sticky situation."
Suddenly, an obnoxious ringing filled the room, angering the Pokémon as Crobat flew around trying to find the source of the sound.
"Oh, no!" Mickey said as he began to fade away. "Oh, no...! It must be morning already! My body's... waking up...wanted to... help... more... too..."
"MICKEY!" (Y/N) shouted as he disappeared.
"He's gone..." Grim stamped his paw. "We were making good progress, too!"
The room lurched and began to rumble, making (Y/N) very concerned.
"An earthquake?!"
Black puddles began to seep up from the floor, growing at an ominous rate.
"WHOA!" Grim shouted climbing onto (Y/N)'s shoulder. "Something black and gloopy's coming through!"
"Ink?" (Y/N) said concerned. "We can't get touched by that! Swampert! Absol! Return!" She pulled out their Pokeballs and attempted to return them, only to realize they weren't working. "What!?"
The ink began to creep closer and the trainer thought face, tossing Grim to Noivern and forcing Absol onto Hydreigon's back. As the flyers hovered in the air, (Y/N) and Swampert climbed onto the couch. From this relative safety, everyone began to try to force the ink back, but to no avail.
"There's no end to them!" Grim shouted.
"We have no choice! Keep trying!" Just then, the ink coated the floor and (Y/N) wrapped her arms around Swampert, closing her eyes. "Brace yourself, buddy!"
"SOMEONE HELP!" Grim pleaded.
"(Y/N)! GRIM!"
In a flash, Silver appeared, his magic momentarily driving back the ink.
Grim blinked in confusion. "You're from Diasomnia...!
"I'll explain later! All of you, grab on! Now!" Everyone reached out to the boy as he began to chant. "To those I've met before, and to those I'll meet hereafter...Meet in a Dream."
At the last second, the two vanished.

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