I haven't written pokemon fic since 2003, but I fell so in love with sunmoon that I just had to come back to playing around with the pokemon universe. so here I am, gaying it up~
"There you are!" Gladion calls out, stomping through the grass of the Poni Plains. Sun made himself scarce after becoming Champion, and it has taken too damn long to find him after their brief encounter in Aether Paradise. Sun is awkwardly crouched in front of a sign, digging through his backpack, and seemingly oblivious to the world around him. Gladion resists the urge to push him over and instead kicks the ground in front of him. "Hey! I was talking to you."
Gladion gets the sweet satisfaction of watching Sun fall over all on his own, and smirks down at him. Serves him right for hiding out in this stupid restricted training area; it's not like Silvally can't crush everything out here without a problem.
"Gladion?" Sun asks, blinking up at him. "Why are you here?"
He shrugs. "I was in the neighborhood."
"Uh. Well, it's good to see you," he says, pushing himself off the ground and dusting himself off. "Did you need anything else?"
"Since you're here, you should tell me how your Type: Null is doing," Gladion says, trying to play it cool. He was worried enough, trusting someone else with one of the Nulls, but Silvally thought it would be best to try with someone. Sun was the best choice.
Sun actually pulls a pokéball out and rolls it around in his palm. "I don't really know. They're a bit difficult to understand, and-"
"What are you talking about? You just have to listen carefully and be patient," Gladion snaps, interrupting him, and he digs his fingers into the soft flesh of his palms in frustration. It's keeping him from yelling louder. "I heard you were the best with your pokémon! Everyone said you knew how to be kind to them!"
"I- Yeah, I am being kind to Type: Null. I just wasn't sure what to do with the Memory drives you gave me," Sun tries to explain, and Gladion scoffs.
"Oh, those won't work right now. Didn't you read any of the files down in the secret labs? I heard you were skulking around down there anyway! They're part of the RKS System," he tells him, sighing. "They only activate once the helmet is removed."
"Should I remove-"
"I just-" Sun begins, and Gladion practically growls at him, digging his heels in by the sign.
"Do not remove the helmet!" he bellows, and a small flock of Trumbeak bursts out of a nearby tree, chirping angrily as they fly away. "God, you're so stupid. Why do I have to explain everything to you?"
Sun looks hopelessly lost, and Gladion kind of wants to punch him. "But yours doesn't have a helmet anymore, and you gave me these to use-"
"Silvally is very well trained," he says. "We've been together for years. You can't expect that level of trust without taking the time and energy to gain it."
Surprisingly, Sun actually seems to take it to heart, and nods. "I'd be happy to listen to some tips, since you seem to know best."
"Of course I know best. I have the only other one," Gladion tells him smugly. "There are some very specific things I've figured out that I guess I could share with you, since otherwise you'll probably mess it up terribly on your own."
"You have no faith in anyone," Sun says, shaking his head.
He chooses to ignore Sun, instead glancing around the field. "It's too busy out here. Too many pokémon all over the place," Gladion says, before grabbing Sun by the arm and dragging him along. He can see a more secluded area nestled on a wooded hill, and it looks like a quiet place to help him out.
"There's a flock of Oricorio over there," Sun tells him, and Gladion just shrugs. They shouldn't bother this Null.
They pass under a canopy of wisteria into a foggy meadow, dim and quiet, and he pulls Sun into a secluded corner. The sunlight is cool and almost purple as it shines through the thick flowery branches above them, and their subtly sweet scent gives the whole area a calmer feeling. There's space enough for Type: Null to move freely here, and the placid dance of the ghostly Oricorio doesn't threaten to spook it.
Gladion takes out a Poké Bean and a knife, and carefully cuts it into small sections. "So, this is how you should be feeding your Null," he explains. "The helmet's kind of unwieldy and big, so you won't be able to get the whole thing in without shredding it. But this size is perfect."
Sun takes a section, turning it over in his hands to inspect it. "Thank you," he finally says, before pulling out a pokéball and tossing it. There's the telltale flash of light and then his Type: Null is standing in front of them. Gladion hates to see it in a helmet, especially now with Silvally free of theirs, and there's a painful tightness in his chest. He can only hope that one day this one will be tame enough to be freed, too.
He watches Sun approach, careful but not nervous, and Gladion breathes out, some of the tightness loosening. At least he isn't afraid of Type: Null. That's the important part. He follows, one step behind, and gestures at the helmet. "Yeah, see, there's a small hinge on the side. You should be able to open it just enough to feed it, without risking any sort of...retaliation."
Type: Null nearly snaps Sun's fingers when it goes for the bean sliver, and Gladion chuckles. "Well, as long as you don't get too close. Here, give it the rest of these," he says, passing over the rest of the Poké Bean. Sun doesn't back off from trying to feed his Null though, and Gladion can at least respect that. He supposes. Silvally should be proud.
Sun cautiously pats Type: Null on the head when it's done eating, and it shakes its head.
"Go for its mane," Gladion tells him. "Patting its head like that isn't all that comfortable."
"Got it," he says, and lightly pets its mane instead. There's some muffled trilling from inside the helmet, and Gladion can feel himself smiling.
"That's more like it," he says, and Sun smiles too. Alright. This isn't completely terrible, even if Gladion sort of still wants to punch Sun in the face for his existence. "You should pet its neck more anyway, since that will help keep it groomed. Because of the helmet, they can't really groom themselves, so it's up to you to help out. See how dull its coat looks? You have to work some of the natural oils from its skin down its mane and through the rest of its fur."
"Ah, that makes sense," Sun says, nodding along. He cuts up another bean and checks it with Gladion first, before feeding Type: Null some more. It's a surprisingly comfortable silence, which means it's his cue to get out of here before it turns awkward.
"Anyway, I've got more important things to do than sit around and teach you how to do everything, so-" he begins, and Sun cuts him off.
"Leaving already? We could train together. You know, instead of just fighting all the time."
Gladion stares at him. What the hell is he talking about? Battling pokémon is training them; what kind of moron doesn't know that? "Whatever. I thought we were already doing that, but I guess we can do something else another time. You'll probably have some more basic questions about Type: Null."
Sun nods. "I might."
"Of course you will," Gladion says, putting a hand to his forehead and sighing. "I'm still getting out of here for now."
And before Sun can interrupt him again, Gladion turns on his heel and strides off.
"Uggghhh," Gladion groans loudly, dragging his hands down his face. In the safety of his hotel room, it's easier to think about how ridiculously embarrassing the whole day was. It's quiet and secluded, still impersonal compared to his last room, but enough his that he can relax. He wastes no time in calling out Silvally, and they trill happily at being released.
"Hey, hey, calm down!" Gladion says, laughing as Silvally tries to chew on his head and lick him. "I've got some dinner for you in the bag. You don't have to eat me!"
Silvally trills again and goes for his bag, trying to fit their snout in and get at the treats inside. Gladion just pats their head and ruffles the soft mane, skritching under their chin before pulling out some patterned beans. Silvally is all too happy for them, gently nipping at his fingers as he devours them, and Gladion feels the last of the stress of the day leave him. This is something he can do. Silvally just understands him; there's no guessing games and having to try to explain himself.
He puts a few more Poké Beans in a bowl for Silvally and toes his shoes off, leaving them by the doorway for tomorrow, before trying to figure out some dinner for himself. He's pretty sure he's still got some packaged malasada that Hau forced on him as some sort of strange friendship ritual, and it reheats...decently, if a little weird. It's pure sugar but he's not really up to anything more complicated than microwaved simplicity.
Gladion digs the malasadas out of the tiny room fridge and pops two of them in the microwave. Maybe between food and being alone he can figure out what to do about Sun. Silvally comes up to him while he's waiting and softly nuzzles his shoulder until the microwave dings.
He takes the plate out, cursing when he nearly burns his fingers on it, and considers his options. He could sit at the small combination desk/table, in his bed, or maybe on the floor.
"Look, Silvally," he begins, and their ears twitch towards him. "I want to sit on the floor with you, but you have to promise not to eat these, okay? I want some food, too."
Silvally nods enthusiastically and settles on the floor. It's a familiar position, Silvally stretched out with the perfect space for Gladion to curl up against their neck and belly ruff. And true to their word, Silvally lets him eat his malasada in peace, the warm, sticky dough and creamy filling revitalizing him.
"I should remember to thank Hau for these," Gladion says, and Silvally trills in agreement. "Oh, you think so, too? Yeah, I'll try then. They're pretty good."
Silvally softly bumps their snout against one of his hands, and Gladion nods. "You were good, so yeah, go ahead."
There's a small happy bark, and Silvally is carefully licking the crumbs from his hands, long tongue cleaning sweet stickiness off his fingers. Silvally cares for him without words or questions; he doesn't need to explain himself. The quiet closeness calms Gladion enough that he can think about putting his feelings into words.
"I kind of want to punch Sun whenever I see him," Gladion finally says, head tucked under Silvally's chin, half cuddled on the floor. It's more comfortable than lying on the single bed, and he feels safe this way. "I don't know. I either want to punch him or kiss him, and I'm not quite sure which.
"I mean, I think I want to kiss him, but seriously, are punch and kiss the same emotions? Because with Sun it feels like it." Gladion sighs and curls deeper into the thick fur of Silvally's neck. "I don't like how stupid wanting to kiss him makes me feel. It pisses me off!"
Silvally growls quietly and it rumbles in their chest, deep and protective. Gladion pats them reassuringly. "No, he's not actively trying to hurt me or anything. I just- Feelings can be really complicated, okay? And- I- I'm not good with people."
They softly nuzzle Gladion's cheek before licking his ear. He laughs and shoves at Silvally a bit, and then settles back against them. "Yeah, you'll always come first. Of course you will. With you it's- Easy, now. I'm never confused. But even though this thing with Sun is complicated, I think I want to figure it out."
Gladion nods. Okay. He's got a goal, and some direction, and Silvally's support. He'll sort this shit out.
Having a goal and actually putting the plan into motion are two different things, and Gladion eventually gives up on anything too elaborate and settles for tracking Sun down so they can talk. This once again proves harder than it should be; Gladion is beginning to think that Sun is hiding from his popularity. What a wimp.
He finally finds Sun outside Paniola Town, messing around with his Rotomdex by the ranch and seemingly oblivious to the world around him. Perfect. He'll be able to make a proper entrance this time.
"I think I want to kiss you. Or maybe punch you, but I'm pretty sure it's kiss," Gladion declares, trying to dramatically stare down Sun.
"Are you going to punch me if you're wrong?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
"No!" Gladion snaps, and then pauses to think about it. "Okay, maybe. But I'll try not to."
Sun shrugs. "That's better than I was expecting."
"Hey, don't be a dick!" Gladion grinds his heel into the ground and narrowly resists shaking Sun in frustration. "Do you want me to kiss you or not?"
"I thought we'd already decided on that," Sun says. "With the punching."
"You didn't say yes!"
"I asked if you were gonna punch me if kissing didn't work," he explains, getting up to stare Gladion in the eyes with a small smile.
"Oh. Well. How was I supposed to know that meant kiss me?" Gladion asks, shifting awkwardly. This still leaves the issue of when he's supposed to kiss Sun. Now? Or should they go on some sort of date first? Why does he have to make everything so complicated? He kind of wants to run off and just sit with Silvally in their hotel room: nothing complicated, just the two of them together, like it's been since they left Aether Paradise. But this- he wants it. And running will only get you so far.
Sun's saying something, but Gladion has stopped listening. He's just going for it, for better or worse. Gladion steps forward and grabs Sun's hand, tugging him close enough to kiss. It cuts him off mid sentence and there's almost hesitation before Sun kisses him back firmly. There's a moment of shifting to avoid bashing their noses together and he swears he feels Sun laughing against his mouth, but it's soft and nice and close, and Gladion doesn't quite want it to end.
Sun pulls back first, breathing in deeply, and Gladion can't help but grin. He could hold out longer, apparently. He's finally beaten Sun at something.
He lightly punches Sun in the shoulder. "Yeah, I think that was the right choice."
Sun laughs a little. "You still punched me. I thought you'd picked kissing."
Gladion shrugs and smiles. "So? I wanted to be extra sure."
"Why are you so weird?"
"It's endearing," Gladion insists, hoping that it really was meant fondly and not as some sort of "you're such a freak" insult. "But if you're not doing anything later, we should go get dinner. Together."
Sun raises an eyebrow again, and Gladion is starting to find that endearing in its own way. "Now you ask me out?"
"Maybe I wanted to be sure before I wasted my money taking you out to eat!"
Sun grins at him. "Yeah, that's fine. And yes. I'd love to do dinner."
Gladion can feel his cheeks warming and he tries to hide it with a hand. "Good. Yeah. You better!"