The word of the day is: weenie.

Edited 19 Feb 2015

Noise: In communication, anything that can influence the interpretation of the message; includes physical, biological, psychological, and semantic noise.

Being social wasn't one of Solidad's strong points. While she was friendly by nature, the coordinator found herself more content when she was alone, usually training her Pokemon and shaping her appeals—a behavior that only strengthened with her title as Top Coordinator. She didn't mind (it was much less of a hassle).

She could count her true friends on one hand. There was Harley, first of all; and though their relationship was a little more . . . complex than meets the eye, she found that she didn't want to live a life without him around. One part flamboyant and two parts cunning, the man was completely unorthodox—and she wouldn't have it any other way. (Yeah, she really liked him.)

Drew held a special place in her heart because she had overseen his growth as a coordinator. They had a strong, familial bond, one of brother and sister—though, admittedly, she sometimes thought of herself as his second mother—and she had made it a point to keep tabs on his achievements, his whereabouts, and (most importantly) his interests in other people. (He was a shrewd child, able to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of other coordinators easily; chatting with him whenever they met up doubled as a strategy meeting.)

So, of course, she had taken an interest in "May" long before she had ever met her—after all Drew could never stop talking about her. "May this! May that! May! May! May! May! May!" He had it bad for her, though at the time Solidad was certain he was clueless about his own romantic attraction. But it was because of his sudden change in attitude that she was a little more than excited to meet the girl who had stolen little Drew's heart.

When Solidad met May, she was convinced that there was no other girl in the world who was as sweet, nor as passionate. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that she didn't swing that way, Solidad might have had her heart stolen, too. There was just something so enchanting about the sweet and spicy attitude she had, something about the way she carried herself that captivated everyone she came into contact with. Not to mention that she was just a bundle of potential waiting to be unleashed! Solidad decided, then and there, that she was going to mentor May.

Over time, especially as they traveled together through Johto, May had become the sister Solidad never had. The older coordinator had a serious soft spot for her, and any trouble the girl faced was a trouble in her heart, as well.

"So there's definitely something wrong here," she murmured to herself, slipping into the booth, shielding her face with the restaurant's menu. May sat in the booth in front of her, gaze vacant and food untouched. Untouched—if there was any travesty more horrifying, it was that May wasn't eating.

"Cheer up, May," came a low, concerned voice. Drew?

Solidad strained her ears, using the technique Harley had taught her to catch the conversation between the two of them.

"It's just another loss you have to take," he continued. "Your Pokemon were in top shape, but you were going up against Robert. It's hard to beat him at his level, especially because he's a Top Coordinator, like Solidad."

Of course, Solidad reasoned. May had lost today's contest. She must be worried about not making it to the Grand Festival—

She could hear a low, muffled voice—Drew's, she assumed—telling May to cheer up. Of course; May had lost to Robert in the semifinals of today's contest. While Drew, Harley, and Solidad herself had already earned their five ribbons already, May still only had four; there weren't many contests left before the Grand Festival, so it was understandable that she was worried.

But May hadn't been too bummed when she met the three of them in the waiting room after.

"Robert's Milotic is so beautiful!" she had crooned, her blue eyes shining. "I really want to catch a Feebas!"

"With your Pokeblock making skills," she remembered Drew retort, "your Feebas will stay a Feebas all its life."

Maybe she was sick. That would explain the feverish look on her face (her cheeks were looking rather pink). But that couldn't be the problem—May's appetite grew, not diminished, whenever she had a fever. So what was it? The girl was an open book, and Solidad felt that the answer to her question was on the tip of her tongue—

"—excuse me?" Solidad jumped, startled by May's sudden outburst. "You want to say that again, Drew?"

"I'm just saying you look like a Pokemon who can't decide what food to eat first."

"Are you calling me a Munchlax?" There was a growl. "Are you calling me fat?"

"You said it, not me," the boy responded. "Though I would have said 'Snorlax.'"

"Drew, you weenie!" There was a clattering of utensils. Solidad peeked over the top and saw May, red and angry, glaring at the always-collected Drew, silver fork in her hand.

"Clever insult, May."

"You—you—ugh!" she let out an angry, high-pitched noise as she threw the fork to the table. "You really don't care about my feelings, huh? You're just a—a super weenie!"

Drew put a hand to his heart. "You hurt me with your words."

At this, the expression on May's face dropped completely, and her eyes clouded over with tears. "So . . . you really don't care . . ."

Drew stood, his eyes wide in panic. "No, May—I do care! I just—"

"Just what?" she asked, frowning. "What do you think of me? Do you think I'm stupid? Tell me what you really feel about me!"

"I, uh—I, to you . . ." Drew's mouth flapped open and shut as gibberish spilled from his mouth. His cheeks quickly darkened, matching May's bandana. Eventually he ceased to speak, instead turning away, unable to meet her gaze.

Solidad clearly saw May narrow her eyes at him—she looked a little . . . disappointed?—before sighing. "I'm not hungry anymore. If you need me, I'll be in the room." She fished out money from her bag and placed it on the table. Drew could only watch as she briskly walked away. When she was out of sight he sat back down in his seat and hung his head.

He must be shocked, Solidad reasoned. May certainly had never reacted like that before. Sure, her temperament was prone to arguments (especially because Drew seemed to like starting them), but what had just transpired was definitely not one.

"Tell me what you really feel about me!" Is that what she was so worried about? What could possibly be bothering her so much that she just had to know Drew's feelings—


Solidad felt a grin stretch itself out on her face. Of course: it was love, and Drew—Mr. Rose himself—hadn't picked up on it. She slipped out of her booth, quickly occupying the chair May had just vacated, beaming her sly grin at the forlorn boy.

"You were spying, weren't you?" he grunted, glowering.

"I prefer the term observe," she responded nonchalantly. "That went so well for you, didn't it. May just loves the jerk shtick."

Drew gave her a nonplussed look before saying, "Stop hanging out with Harley. He's contaminating you."

"That's not important right now," she responded, waving him off. "Why didn't you just tell her that you like her? It would have saved you from this mess."

"I just don't get what's going on in that head of hers," he grumbled. "Of all the things that she could ask me—she asks that?"

"You're not answering my question."

"I tried!" he exclaimed. "You saw me! But every time I get the courage to say it, the thing that comes out of my mouth ends up being the exact opposite!" He slumped forward. "I might as well write it down on a piece of paper and just throw it at her!"

Solidad giggled, as a flustered Drew was a rare sight. "Then why don't you? Go and write down all the things you like about her."

"If she doesn't get the red roses I highly doubt she'll understand the motive behind the letter."

Solidad sighed. "Go write the girl a love letter, Drew. We can't rely on your mouth to get her to fall in love with you."

"Well I'm sorry I'm so sarcastic."

Solidad peeked into the room she and May shared. The girl lay on her bed, holding one of the roses Drew had given her up to the light, glaring at it.

"Stupid Drew," she muttered, tearing off one of the petals. "Stupid, poorly-dressed weenie." She pulled off another petal.

"He loves me."

"He loves me not."

"He loves me."

"He loves me not."


"Hey May!" Solidad flung the door opening, giving the girl a bright smile as she strode into the room. Startled, the girl sat up, throwing the rose to the floor and brushing the fallen petals aside with her foot.

"S-Solidad!" she squeaked. "Nothing! I'm not doing anything suspicious!"

"Did I ask?" Solidad grinned, cocking an eyebrow. "Though I do think that Drew will be appalled to see that you mangled one of his roses."

"He deserved it," May muttered. "You saw, didn't you? The stupid weenie couldn't be straightforward with me. Oh, he thinks he's so suave, tossing all these red roses left and right like I don't know what they mean—who does he think I am, Ash?—but he can't say three words to my face!"

Solidad stared at her, eyes wide in shock. "You knew?"

May nodded. "Okay, so maybe I thought he was actually giving my Beautifly roses for a little bit, but after I moved past that phase in my life it was so obvious." She bent down and picked up the rose from the floor. "Where does he get all of these, anyways?"

"Beats me," Solidad answered. "But what about you? How do you feel about him?"

"You probably wouldn't be surprised if I said that I realized my feelings only recently," the girl chuckled. "I was so absorbed in the contest world that I wasn't even thinking about romance. I didn't even consider the possibility of liking Drew until someone pointed it out to me."

May gazed at the rose with a smile and ran her fingers across its stem. "But when the four of us started traveling together it just felt so natural to be with him, you know? I guess by the time I realized it, I was already a goner for that stupid weenie."

Solidad couldn't hide her wide grin. "That's wonderful, May!"

"Is it really?" May asked, laughing. "Sometimes I feel like there's no going back—that I'll be in love with him for the rest of my life. It would be a little more bearable if he just had the courage to admit that he feels the same way."

"So the roses aren't enough of a confession?"

May let out a little snort. "He needs to stop using flowers and start using his mouth."

"Well, I don't know what you'll think of this, then," Solidad chuckled, handing Drew's letter to May. The girl quickly opened it, her eyes scanning the contents with a feverish speed. When she finished she placed the paper on her lap, and turned to Solidad.

"Do you have a piece of paper?"

"So, how did it go?" Drew leaned forward, eagerly awaiting Solidad's response. She held back a snicker, then handed him May's response.

"Why don't you read it for yourself?" she said, watching him unfold the paper with shaky hands. "And may I say that it's so endearing to see you so nervous? It's like watching you at your first contest all over again."

He glared. "Be quiet, Solidad." Drew scanned the first line of the letter, immediately frowning. "She called me a weenie. Again."

"Just keep reading," she urged. He did, finishing quickly—May hadn't written quite as much as he had. When done he dropped the letter on the table, his mouth turned down in an irritated frown.

"Really?" he asked. "I waited an hour for that?"

Solidad shrugged. "That's what she wants."

"Oh, I'll give her what she wants," the boy muttered under his breath. He rose and strode out of the room, muttering to himself as he left. Solidad quickly followed, trailing him into the Pokemon Center lobby and hiding behind one of the pillars.

May had been lounging on one of the couches, and when she spied Drew she stood, beckoning him over with an innocent smile. In response the boy quickened his pace, almost jogging over to her, stopping right in front of her. She opened her mouth to speak; at the same time, Drew took her face in his hands, bent down, and pressed his lips against her in a fierce kiss.

"Oh my," Solidad murmured, watching them with wide eyes. "It's too bad that Harley missed this."

When he finally let her go May tottered backwards in shock, lost her balance, and fell back onto the couch in shock. She placed a hand over her mouth as she stared up at Drew, whose triumphant smirk—though attractive—was very irritating.

"D-Drew!" she exclaimed, her face a vibrant shade of red. "Y-you—"

"I what?" he asked nonchalantly, flicking at his fringe. "You were the one who told me to, and I quote, 'use my mouth.'"

"I didn't mean it like that!"