Chapter 1: Phone Call
Yellow hummed a tune as she placed her newly toasted bread onto a plate. She shimmied across the kitchen, preparing her breakfast, and laughed as Chuchu ran between and around her legs before jumping and landing on her shoulder. Yellow stopped moving to nuzzle the pikachu affectionately with her cheek.
"Good morning, Chuchu!" she said cheerfully.
The small beast squeaked happily in response before settling comfortably upon Yellow's shoulder. The golden-haired girl continued her soft humming as she moved through the kitchen, slathering some butter on her toast. There were poffins in the oven and fruits in the refrigerator. Outside, her pokemon played peacefully in the morning sun.
From her vantage point in the kitchen, Yellow could clearly see into her living room. There wasn't much to see; just a sofa and a coffee table and a PC she sometimes used to contact her friends, but recently, it hadn't seen much use. In reality, Yellow could have thrown it out a long time ago, but it took up space in her home and made her living room seem a little less lonely.
A long time ago, she had thought to buy more decorative pieces to liven up the place a bit, but decided there wasn't much use. She barely ever came home anyway.
Her eyes wandered over to the mantel over the fireplace. There were pictures mounted there; all memories she kept dear to her heart. The biggest picture stood proudly in the center. It was when she was barely five years old with Uncle Wilton behind her, holding up a magikarp nearly half of her size. It was so big, the five-year-old Yellow could barely lift it up, but with Uncle there, it hadn't seemed so heavy at all.
Tears stung at her eyes and she quickly moved to wipe them away, laughing silently at herself. Chuchu cooed at her from her shoulder, concerned.
Yellow just laughed, reaching up to pet her beloved pikachu gently between her ears. "Sorry, Chuchu. I was just remembering Uncle, that's all."
Chuchu purred softly at her, nuzzling her cheek in understanding.
It had been three years already, since he passed away, but the sadness she felt in her heart was as potent now as it was all those years ago. This was the home they shared. She spent her whole childhood in this place, only steps away from the Viridian Forest.
It was in this living room where she took her first waddling steps as an infant. Uncle had caught her before she could fall on the floor. It was in this kitchen when she cooked her first disastrous meal. Uncle had eaten it with such gusto, she didn't know he was faking it until she had eaten some herself.
It was upon that sofa where Uncle Wilton had held her gently in his arms the first time she heard those voices in her head, voices that spoke of secrets so ancient she was too young to understand. Neither of them had known what she was hearing or why, but he never once ostracized her or thought she was strange. He simply held her, comforted her, until she stopped shaking and drifted slowly to sleep.
Uncle Wilton was her family; her father and mother when she had none. She was left abandoned at the foot of his door, and he had taken her in.
Yellow smiled as she recalled the story Uncle told to her many times since she was a child.
Uncle was a somewhat unsuccessful fisherman, succeeding in his trade just enough to barely scrape by. Beaten by countless trainers, his fiancée dumped him just days before, unable to cope with the hardships of being a fisherman's wife.
Heartbroken and poor, he wasted an entire week, barely going out to fish. He locked himself in this very home drowning his failures away under a haze of alcohol and regret. It was pouring rain outside and the lightning was fierce as thunder rumbled over the forest. To anyone else, it would have been a frightening night, but to him, under the influence of booze and depression, he thought it was a perfect opportunity to end it all. No one would dare traverse this dangerous night to come to his home; it would be at least day before anyone decided to check on him.
He had released all his pokemon back into the forest and had settled all of his debts the day before. He held his pistol in his hand, contemplating his life, reliving every single one of his failures, when he heard a knock on the door. He jumped; who in their right mind would be walking around in this weather? Confused and angry, he marched to the door, wondering why now? Now that he had made the decision to leave it all behind.
Opening his front door so fiercely, it shook the frame of his home, he was surprised to find…no one. He looked left, he looked right, blinking furiously against the rain and wind. Seeing nothing, he was about to close the door when he happened to look down and saw a little cardboard box, covered by a blanket. Confused, he reached down and peaked inside.
What he saw would change his life forever.
Sleeping soundly underneath a pile of blankets was a child. Bewildered, he took her and the box that held her inside his home where he placed her atop his coffee table, right next to his pistol. Taking off the blanket, he stared at the sleeping child abandoned so carelessly at his doorstep. It was ironic, almost: a child and a gun, right next to each other. He wanted to cry, but he was too sober for that.
The infant had a head full of bright sunshine hair and cheeks so chubby even he, in his depressive state, wanted nothing more than to pinch them. He reached out a finger and poked its cheek experimentally and couldn't help but smile when the skin bounced like a spring.
It was then he realized his mistake because the child began to stir from the contact. Its eyes opened and blinked owlishly at him, revealing bright greenish-yellow eyes. For a moment, all was still as Wilton braced himself for the onslaught of crying he was sure to encounter at the infant's awakening, but it never came. Instead, the child opened its small mouth wide, revealing toothless gums in what he thought looked like a big grin. He had taken her in his arms right then, where she let out a sound that might have been a gurgle, but seemed almost like a laugh. The pistol was left forgotten.
"I fell in love with you right at that moment," he had told her countless times. "You were just like me, abandoned and unwanted. But unlike me, you managed to smile despite it all.
"I named you Yellow for your hair. Hair like the bright sunshine, reminding me that even in the midst of a storm, the sun was still out there, waiting right around the corner."
He'd wink at her, eyes full of affection. "In your case, it was waiting on my doorstep."
Again, Yellow wiped away the tears that were gathering in her eyes. Taking in a deep breath, she let it out forcefully before smiling crookedly at her friend crouched atop her shoulder. "Well, that's enough reminiscing," she stated. "I think it's time to eat with everyone, don't you think?"
Chuchu let out a victorious squeak in affirmation.
Yellow giggled. "You got that right!"
The sun had just barely risen over the mountains, but the summer heat was already beginning to penetrate the cool of the morning. Outside, her pokemon gathered around her as she laid the poffins and fruit on the grass. Immediately, her pokemon began eating.
She laid on the grass, taking occasional bites from her buttered toast as she closed her eyes against the brightness of the morning sky. Her pokemon surrounded her like a layer of comfort as the Viridian Forest trees swayed invitingly overhead.
In her dress pocket, her pokegear went off.
"Red, get back here!"
The Champion of Kanto ignored the calls behind him as he sprinted through the streets of Saffron, weaving through the dense crowds. Barely two steps behind him, Pika danced between and around legs and feet, squeaking gleefully.
"Come on, Pika," Red said between pants, "I don't know how, but Davy's fast. We gotta get moving!" Raising his voice, he warned the people ahead of him. "Excuse me! Sorry, but I really have to get through!"
"Pika pi!" his pikachu shouted gleefully behind him.
Screams of surprise and shouts of anger followed him as he barreled through the crowded street. He accidentally knocked down two people, then pushed between an unsuspecting couple before jumping over someone else. He and Pika ducked, wove, spun, and slid around everyone who happened to get in his way.
"Red, damn it! Stop it right now!"
Glancing behind him, Red clicked his tongue at the bald man chasing after him relentlessly. Red contemplated entering one of the many stores lining the streets to hide in their bathrooms, but immediately threw that thought away; his manager would surely find him, sooner or later. That man was irritatingly persistent, even more so than Blue and that was really saying something.
Shit, did his voice just sound closer than it was before? A quick look behind him confirmed his fears. Red began to pick up his pace and Pika followed close behind.
"Oof!" he exclaimed. He bumped into and knocked to the ground what looked to be a businessman with a very fancy suit. Red spun on his heel to regain his balance. Pika jumped and bounced off the disgruntled man's head, accidentally sending his toupee flying off his scalp. Red cringed from the second hand embarrassment. He shouted over his shoulder as sincerely as he could, "Sorry, friend!"
"Stop that man!" his manager was yelling behind him. "Stop him right now!"
Growing a little irritated, Red couldn't help but shout at his manager, "Stop chasing me! I'll be back after a few hours!"
"We don't have a few hours, idiot! The commercial's set to air tomorrow—argh!"
The old man tripped and fell and Red let out a bright whoop of triumph.
"Catch ya later, Davy!" he called at the disgruntled man just barely picking himself up from off the concrete ground. "I promise I'll be back soon!"
"Pi pika-chu!" Pika squealed after him.
Red turned a hard right, into a narrow alleyway between a café and a bookstore. He lifted himself onto the closed dumpster at the end of the path and launched himself over the wire fence, landing safely on his feet. Checking for a brief second if Pika was still with him, the two dashed off further into the alley, turning a right, left, then another right until they broke through the sketchy path and found themselves back into the streets.
The two skidded into a halt, panting heavily. Passersby glanced curiously at them occasionally, but the Champion and his partner paid them no mind.
Red bent over, his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. He couldn't believe it! He was the undefeated Champion of Kanto, a holder of that title for nearly nine years, and his manager was just an overweight middle-aged madman. How in Arceus's hell was he able to keep up with him for so long?
Oh, well, Red thought. The Trainer flapped the front of his shirt in an attempt to cool himself down as he grinned at his partner beside him. "We got away, buddy!"
Pika squeaked happily in response.
"Man, that took way more effort than I thought it would! I'm beat!"
The two started walking away, much more casually now that they weren't being chased. Pika jumped onto Red's shoulder; his usual perch. Red knocked his head affectionately against the pokemon's cheek in response. They worked their way through the crowds until they found themselves in the little-known alleyway behind the Department Store.
There, Red sat down upon some empty cardboard boxes. He leaned against the grimy wall, and closed his eyes as Pika jumped from his shoulder to his lap to curl up comfortably for a nap.
After the tournament he managed to win in Kalos last year, Davy had been moving him from place to place, keeping him constantly busy with exhibition matches, commercials, and modeling advertisements, he barely had any time for himself and his pokemon. It had gotten to the point where Red had decided to leave his pokemon at Professor Oak's lab, with the exception of Pika so that they could have some rest and peace of mind, without the constant presence of cameras and nagging managers.
The constant attention was fun at first, especially after the three years Red spent training on Mt. Silver after the events in Hoenn's Battle Frontier. Feeling as if he could finally go back out into the limelight, he had entered a tournament in Kalos and completely decimated the competition, despite fighting pokemon he had never seen before. The experience reignited his desire for travel and adventure, which is why he agreed to all those business deals Davy had suggested, but after a few months of constant traveling, it had begun to wear him down.
Now that it's been nearly a year since he agreed to Davy being his manager, all he wanted was to go back home to Pallet Town. He had told this to Davy over and over again, but his manager insisted they maintain their contract of a full year before Red goes back home.
One month. Just one more month, Red repeated to himself as he closed his eyes to rest.
Almost automatically, Yellow's face appeared in his mind's eye and Red couldn't help the smile that pulled at his lips at the thought of her. He wondered how she was doing. Last he saw of her was her birthday a few months back. He almost chuckled at the memory. He had fought nearly tooth and nail for an entire week so he could have the few days off he needed to go to Viridian and celebrate her birthday, but Davy had been so against it. Eventually, Red took it upon himself to sneak out in the middle of the night, call Oak to send him his aerodactyl so he could dash off at the speed of sound to Yellow's side.
He will never forget the smile on her face when she saw him standing at her doorstep. The sun was nearly set and her birthday was almost over, but he smiled sheepishly at her when he saw her. He held out the poorly wrapped present he had picked out for her months in advance. She ignored the present and threw her arms enthusiastically around his neck, squealing his name.
Even now, Red could remember very clearly how she felt in his arms, pressed snugly against his body, small and warm and inviting. She smelled like leaves and Viridian flowers, which made sense, considering how often she wandered the Forest.
When she pulled away from him, still grinning widely, Red immediately felt her absence, missing her warmth. She invited him inside and the two talked on her sofa for hours, all the way until morning, where they fell asleep snuggled so close they were nearly hugging. When they woke up, Yellow had blushed so deeply, Red couldn't help but tease her.
They had spent the rest of the day together, a time that Red could remember as blissful. He hadn't felt that much peace or contentment in a long time. Throughout the day, there was this feeling that crept up on him, a feeling he hadn't realized or recognized he had until it was too obvious to ignore. He wasn't even sure when it started. Maybe it started when they had breakfast together, or when they walked the Forest together. Maybe it was when he took a nap on her lap, her slender fingers running through his hair. Maybe it was at lunch or when he helped her with her groceries when they went to town. Maybe it was when they played with the local kids, mock battles and healed pokemon and an entire afternoon spent in laughter.
Or maybe it was when he saw her stagger on their way back to her house (exhausted, perhaps, from the energy it took to heal their pokemon) and he swept her up in his arms and carried her all the way back. She had been so cute, wriggling in his arms in protest, her face flushed in embarrassment.
But there was something there, that creeping feeling that made him feel restless and uncertain, yet undeniably happy. It stayed with him throughout dinner and all night, as he drifted to sleep upon her couch, wondering what it was.
The next morning, he woke up to the smell of berries and pancakes and the sight of Yellow humming cheerfully in the kitchen.
At that moment, it hit him like a ton of bricks. A realization so strong, he could almost taste it.
It was the first time he ever felt he was home.
He stayed another three days and throughout those three days, Davy called him so incessantly, he turned his pokegear off in annoyance. On the third day, Yellow had to shoo him off because,
"The poor man is probably pulling all of his hair out by now. You shouldn't do that to him."
Red had scoffed. "He'll just make me do another commercial or model for another product."
Her smile was as serene as the forest. "But that's his job. He's just doing his best in what he loves." Her smile turned a little more impish, and his heart nearly dropped into his stomach. "Sounds familiar, right?"
Red had never before that moment wanted so badly to kiss anything like he wanted to kiss Yellow then, but he immediately turned away from the thought, shoving it forcefully into a dark corner in his mind, where he would not touch or even go near it until he was alone.
He had to choke out his response. "Guess you're right."
He felt her arms wrap around his stomach and her muffled voice say, "Come back soon, okay?"
He didn't say anything, just closed his eyes and leaned into the touch and smell of Yellow, as a strange and overwhelming sensation overtook him. When she stepped away, he sent out Aero and mounted him. He glanced back at the girl who had changed his life more than once and realized with a jolt that she wasn't a girl anymore.
She was a woman. Her dress no longer hid the swell of her chest, or the soft curve of her hip. Her slender shoulders swooped gently into the curve of her neck. The soft look in her green-yellow eyes invited him forward and he had to fight off the overwhelming urge to press his lips to the smooth skin of her forehead.
Red's heart hitched in his throat. "I'll come home soon, Yellow."
Then, he dashed off, mentally kicking himself for the slip of tongue.
Red smiled at the memory and wondered if she wouldn't mind a call from him. He'd been so busy the past few months, he's only been able to call her once or twice since her birthday. Feeling a little guilty, he reached into his pocket, disturbing his resting pokemon. Pika blinked away and looked up at his master curiously.
Red grinned at his partner as he turned on his pokegear. "Wanna see how Yellow's doing?"
Pika immediately perked up, squealing in excitement.
Red rubbed him affectionately between his ears. "Thought so."
He didn't have to look at his pokegear to dial her number; she was one of the few people he had on speed dial.
Yellow was enjoying the morning sunshine when her pokegear went off in her dress. She lazily looked at the contact and, when she saw, she sat up, startling her pokemon slightly. She answered immediately.
"Hey, Yellow!" Red's familiar drawl came through the speakers and wrapped her up in warmth that could rival the sun. Immediately, her cheeks began to heat a little.
"Y-you're calling me!" she stuttered. She kicked herself a little for her lack of articulation, but she was so surprised. He almost never calls her.
"Is it that surprising?"
Yellow blushed, although she knew he couldn't see. "Um. A little."
He sighed on the other end. In her mind's eye she could see the rise and fall of his chest as he sighed and his sideways, crooked smile as he said, "Damn. I should call you more often, then."
She smiled into the receiver, cradling her pokegear to her ear. "I'd like that."
A pause. "Really?" He sounded genuinely and pleasantly surprised. She could almost hear his smile stretching across his face with that dimple he had on his right cheek. The thought made her smile, too. "Great! 'Cause honestly, Yellow…I've really been missing you."
At that, Yellow really blushed and Pisuke bumped up against her arm in concern. Yellow shook her head and smiled reassuringly at her butterfree before going back to the conversation. "I miss you, too, Red," she said, feeling like she was glowing.
"By the way," he said suddenly. "Pika wants to say hi!" There was some movement on the other end as Red held the pokegear towards his pikachu. Yellow grinned as she heard Pika's squeaks on the other end.
"Hi, Pika! Oh! Let me put Chuchu on the line!" Fumbling a little with her pokegear, Yellow held it to her pikachu. "Here, Chuchu!"
"Chuuu~!" her mouse partner squeaked cheerfully into the pokegear.
Red laughed on the other end. "Thanks, Yellow. Pika's real happy. He's happy to know you're doing well, too."
"Same with Chuchu! She hasn't seen Pika in a while, so she's ecstatic to hear he's okay." She paused as she watched Chuchu dance happily at hearing her mate's voice. "So," she continued, "when will you be able to visit?"
"Well," he started, stretching out the word as though hesitant to answer, "My contract ends in a month."
"A month?" Yellow bit her lip. That felt so long.
Red sighed again. "It seems really long, huh? These past few months after seeing you for your birthday has been like hell."
Yellow frowned. He sounded really tired. He would have bags under his eyes. Maybe his eyes would be a little red. She imagined his gloved hand covering his eyes in fatigue. "Is Davy overworking you again?"
His voice surged in energy once more. "He's like a gengar, Yellow! I swear he feeds on my fear!"
Yellow giggled at his sudden burst of energy.
"Ah… It's so good to hear you laugh," he breathed.
She froze, surprised at the gentle timbre of his voice. She could feel the heat on her cheeks spread to her neck and chest. "Wha? Uh. I?" she sputtered. His silence on the other end, however, sobered her. She narrowed her eyes. Wait a minute… "A-are you teasing me?" she stuttered indignantly.
He burst out in laughter.
Yellow stamped her foot on the grass, still sitting. "You are!"
"No!" he said between chuckles. "I really wasn't teasing, I swear! It was your reaction!"
Yellow didn't say anything and pouted.
"Aw," his voice came through the speakers of her pokegear, "are you pouting?"
She was, but she wasn't about to admit it. "I'm not!"
"You are pouting!"
"I said I wasn't!"
"I can hear you pouting, Yellow."
"You are such a liar, Red."
"I'm not lying. I just know you're pouting."
Yellow's pout turned into a frown.
"Aw, don't frown, Yellow!" Red exclaimed.
She nearly sputtered. "H-how did you…?"
"How did I know?" he interrupted. She could almost see his impish grin spread across his face. The same grin he gives when he knows he's outsmarted his opponent and his foe had just begun to realize it. Mischievous and a little proud, but mesmerizing. "I just do."
His voice was uncharacteristically gentle. It made her stomach turn somersaults. "Liar," she mumbled, pouting again. She kicked half-heartedly at a nearby tuft of grass.
She couldn't see, but his face was turned toward the sky, his eyes closed as he concentrated every ounce of his energy to the sound of her voice. He wanted to memorize everything about the way she sounded, from her tone to her timbre, to every stutter, every quiver. He wanted to plant it so deep in his heart that it became a part of him and he would carry her everywhere he went. And he would never have to feel lonely and he would always feel at home.
In his mind's eye, he could see her pouting: a cute wrinkle in her brow, her lovely pink lips set in a shaky line, her chin jutting outward. The image was so vivid in his mind he didn't even realize it when he said aloud, "I want to kiss you."
Yellow was silent on the other end as he realized exactly what he just slipped from his mouth. "Uh, w-wait. I didn't… I mean, I. I? U-uh. Crap, Yellow, I didn't—"
Her voice was small when she finally said something, but it shook his whole world. "I…wouldn't mind…"
Red's eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets. "Seriously?"
A million and one thoughts and emotions were flying through his head, but he finally decided on one. He let out a frustrated groan, flinging his head back to bang it lightly on the concrete wall behind him. "Damn it," he said softly. "I didn't want it to be like this."
"Wh-what do you mean?" On the other end, Yellow sounded alarmed.
"No! Don't get me wrong!" Red immediately said, feeling a really annoying misunderstanding begin to form. For the first time in his life, he felt thankful for those girly comics Blue forced him to read.
"For research!" she had replied in what was not an explanation, regardless of what she said to convince him otherwise. "When you finally decide to get with Yellow, you'll know what's annoying and what's not annoying to do."
"Don't get me wrong," he repeated, a little less frantically. This was definitely something that was not annoying to do. "I want to do this right." He swallowed against his drying mouth. Damn, why was this so nerve-wracking? "I don't want to say it over the phone."
"O-oh," she breathed. And he almost sighed in relief.
"Wait for me," he said, more firmly. "I'll be able to come back in one month. So wait until then, okay?"
It wasn't as certain as he wanted it to be, but he'll take it.
"Well, I really gotta go now. I promised Davy I'd be back and I don't want him to lose any more hair. He's bald enough."
Red frowned. She was uncharacteristically monosyllabic, but it was probably because she didn't know how to react to everything that just happened.
"And, Yels?" he tried one more time, this time using the special nickname he had just for her.
Red paused, unsure. There were a million things he could and wanted to say, but none of them felt like the right timing. So, he decided with, "I'm really glad you're a part of my life."
Before she could answer him, he said. "Remember: One month!"
Then, he hung up.
A/N: Geez, I don't know what's wrong with me the past few weeks. I didn't think I'd ever write for Pokémon ever again and yet here I am. And with a fluff piece, no less! And worse, my first multi-chapter! That's a shameless fluff piece! -dies-
Anyway, despite my embarrassment for putting this up, I hope to add another piece of Specialshipping to the overflowing repertoire that's already out there. Those two are seriously the cutest. After being a fan of them for so long, how can I ever take myself seriously if I don't pay homage to them?
I don't know how long this is going to be. It's meant to be a slice-of-life, minimal drama, superbly shameless, multi-chapter fluff fest that will be as big as I have the time to make it. I have a few plot bunnies that might span multiple chapters, but meh. I'll get to it when I get to it.
Also: Red and Yellow (and subsequently everyone else) are meant to be on the older teenage to young adult side, but I won't put an exact age because the timeline for this piece is all kinds of screwed up. Just assume that all the events of RBG, Yellow, Emerald, and HGSS chapters have already happened and a few years have passed and we'll leave it at that.
Please forgive my really long author's note (I'm breaking a lot of personal conventions by posting this up) but one last thing: if in any way you find yourself doubting the interactions between the two mains (and everyone else), please let me know. My interpretations of them may be different to what one might be used to.
As always, I hope you all have a great day!