.

.

It's like the way that hair grows – never changing noticeably from day to day. You look a year later, though, and it's down past your knees.

"Bianca?" Cheren looks surprised. His battle stance relaxes. "Do you have a message for me from the professor?" Tetchy, he adds, "No need to come all the way up here. You could have called."

Cheren's been champion for the last two years. Bianca's been seeing the world.

She shakes her head and takes out a pokeball. For a moment, Cheren stares at it, confused. "Are you challenging me to a battle?" In his agitation, his voice goes high. "Did you beat the Elite Four?!"

"Yes," Bianca says, "and yes."

She wonders what his face will look like, when he loses.