Yay, Microsoft Word works!

The title of this fic is "Cuanto, Cuando" It's made up of two Spanish question words. The first is 'how much', as in price, when you're trying to buy something. The second is 'When'.

Disclaimer: Pokemon belongs to Nintendo and Shogakukan Comics. This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction belongs to me under international copyright laws and taking it is plagiarism. Thank you. Phantomness bows

Notes: for telepathy, for thoughts, italics if a pokemon talks

Pairings: Championshipping (Lance x Ash), mentions of others probably, including AAMRN

Wataru is Lance's Japanese name

Chapter 1

The pill bottle in his hands is shaking. He watches the pills inside rattle. They're a pale silvery-white color, and his hands are shaking as he fumbles open the bottle cap and lets two of them roll out. They sit in the middle of his palm, like two little tears dried up and crystallized.

He knows what this will mean, but at the same time, he doesn't care.

The world is safe.

He is safe.

That is all that matters.

He swallows, falls, and doesn't remember anyone catching him.

Seven years later…

"Wataru-sensei!"

"Yes?" He smiles as he looks down at the girl. She's rather cute, for a brat, like the rest of his class. He's not quite sure why he even chose to become an elementary school teacher, but he likes the school part. He hates the teaching part.

In any case, even the worst brats he only has for a year, so it all works out.

Amy flushes, and pulls at her hair nervously, and then she asks if she can talk to him privately

He raises an eyebrow, since they're the only two people left in the room, but just to humor her, he closes the window blinds and the door.

Amy looks at him with all the seriousness that a six year old can muster, and says clearly, "Wataru-sensei, are you mad at me?"

He blinks. "No, why?"

She colors. "Because I'm the person who put the dead worm in your desk."

Ah, that would explain it…

He'd wondered about that, but he smiles fondly now at her.

She bursts into noisy tears, and between the blubbering, he finds out that two of the rougher boys, Dick and Tom, put her up to it and they wouldn't give her back her Pikachu doll unless she did, and now they still haven't given the doll back and they said they'd kill her if she tattled but she's too scared!

Interesting…

In any case, he gives her a lollipop from the tin on his desk and tells her not to worry, he'll deal with them, and she runs off cheerfully.

After she leaves though, he feels his hands clench into fists, even though it's irrational, because kids are all little brats and of course there are some bad ones, but…

But he keeps feeling like something's missing.

He sighs and goes to his desk where he keeps his pills. His psychiatrist prescribed them so he could deal with his anger, and he swallows two of them, as per usual, with a grimace. They go down smoothly enough, but…

He keeps feeling as though he's missing something.

His cell phone rings a few minutes later, and he picks up, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that it's his father. It's like the man's psychic or something!

"Are you all right?" His father's voice drifts down, and he sighs.

"I lost my temper after school…"

"I know, child. I felt it."

So the psychic bit isn't that far off. Apparently his family is psychic on his father's side, but he didn't inherit the psychic power his ancestors did. He wonders if that's a bad thing or not.

He is glad that he isn't empathic, however. He hates dealing with people, and having to feel their emotions through everything would be absolute hell.

He thinks something horrible must have happened, because he woke up shivering in his father's arms outside a smoking ruin, and his father held him and whispered that there had been a fire and his mother hadn't survived…

He does wish though, that he remembered what his mother looked like, because his dark red hair doesn't come from his father, and neither do his odd gold eyes.

However, those moments are few and far between, and really, his father is a nice man, and he's glad he has at least one parent left alive, even if everything does feel horribly wrong.

His father teleports in almost immediately, and he lets himself cry, though he can't for the life of himself remember what he's crying for, and the attack passes.

"It's getting worse, isn't it?" His father sighs, as he finally stops crying, feeling horribly embarrassed. He shouldn't cry, he has no reason to, and if he's crying for lost memories, well, he's weaker than he thought he was. He knows he's a good trainer – was a good trainer. He's seen his pokemon, and they're all sleek and healthy and high level and rare pokemon at that, but after he woke up, he couldn't train anymore, because he couldn't remember, and so he let his father take care of them.

It would be like cheating otherwise.

Still, he's more than ready to call it a day, and school's over, so he gathers up his papers and into the briefcase they go, and then he lets his father teleport him home, because he's afraid of large crowds for a reason he can't fathom, and cars are too noisy, and really, why should he bother wasting money on public transport if he doesn't have to?

His father just shakes his head and tells him to get some sleep. He agrees.

Maybe then, he'll quit being so damned emotional.

In his dreams, he dreams of things he has forgotten. The thrill of flying through the air on silver wings, the clash of arms in battle, the smile of a newborn Dratini…

He forgets him

Was it worth it?

In his dreams, he sighs, and nods.

It was.

If he doesn't love, he can't hurt. If he forgets, he can't love. If he gives up everything, he can forget. It's a fair trade. Right?

But the tears prove otherwise.

End Chapter

Completed 3/6/06

Heh. Angst. Yep, Lance went the memory erasure route. Makes ya wonder what Ash did to him, ne?

Ash: I'm such a villain!

Phantomness: You're just stupid and naïve, mostly... that's where a lot of the trouble comes from. And you don't have the same uber devotion to duty that the other two guardians have, which is a pity…

Lance: And I tend to go the passive-aggressive route when dealing with situations…