Hey guys! I'm making this very short series that will probably consist of eight chapters, all of it focusing on a psychological term 'defense mechanism'. Each chapter portrays Shinji's attempt to mask his growing attraction/affection towards a certain blue-haired female coordinator. I am not a psychology major and I know that there are many more defense mechanisms, but I will simply focus on the ones that I will find easier to write, as well as the ones I am very much familiar with.

With that said, please enjoy this mini series!

Disclaimers: I do not own Pokémon.

Defense Mechanism

Chapter 1: Projection

Passing to someone what you truly think, feel or do that is unacceptable to you.

"Why are you even here?"

Shinji was currently in Kissaki City that day, particularly in the Pokémon Center, waiting for lodging. Joi-san, the Pokémon Nurse, had informed him that if he wanted to have a room, he was to wait for a bit before they could give him one. They had to clean it up first so the next trainer would be able to stay there. The purple-haired trainer had settled himself in the lobby near the fire place so he could warm up there, and before he knew it, his rival had gone inside the Pokémon Center, still looking cheerful, though now, his black coat had some snow on the shoulder part. That brought out his demanding question as to what Satoshi was doing in Kissaki.

"The Gym Battle, of course!" the Pikachu trainer said gleefully.

Shinji sneered. "Are YOU even up for the challenge?"

Before the Pokémon League cap wearer could even retaliate, the Pokémon Breeder in their group tapped his friend's shoulder. "Worry about Shinji later. We need to get a room." he said, brushing some of the snow off his brown-colored winter clothes. "Hikari is sick, remember?" Takeshi reminded him.

A cough followed the statement, and the female Coordinator who was wearing a light pink coat walked over to where Satoshi is. "Yeah… continue your argument with him later." Another cough. "I need to go to some place warm… and…" a violent coughing fit continued.

A look of concern flashed in the spiky-haired trainer's face. "Daijoubu ka, Hikari?" he asked immediately.

She nodded. "Hai. Don't go near me so much. You might get infected." She suddenly sneezed and immediately got a handkerchief to wipe her nose. "Damn. I hate getting sick…"

"Now, why don't you sit down in that couch and let me and Takeshi handle this one." He guided his female companion on the couch opposite of Shinji's and smiled. "Go on. Just sit down and we'll take care of the rest."

She nodded absent-mindedly and leaned her head against the arm rest of the couch, sniffing. The two were about to head to the front desk when Shinji remarked loudly, "Please refrain from doing public display of affections with your girlfriend." he gestured at the sick girl in front of him, who, in turn, was glaring at him.

Satoshi was puzzled. "Huh? Hikari isn't my girlfriend!" he said.

"Right. I believe you."

"But she's not my girlfriend!" he insisted once more.

"Satoshi, just ignore him. Let him believe what he wants." Hikari's voice interrupted the two boys arguing once more. "Just… get us all a room." she suddenly shivered and started coughing once more.

"Listen to your girlfriend for once, loser." Shinji said bitingly.

Takeshi raised an eyebrow at the remark while Satoshi looked very much confused. Apparently, his rival was very much pissed for some odd reason he could never fathom. He found it very, very weird. "Uh, right. Let's go, Takeshi." He told the older boy and the two went off to the front desk. Minutes later, both came back looking dejected.

"No rooms available? Why do you think I'm here right now in the lobby?" Shinji mocked.

"Oh, shut up, Shinji. You're giving me a bad headache." Hikari grumbled, coughing once more and glaring at him once more as best as she could in her current state.

"Why don't you just take care of your girlfriend so she can stop her whining already?"

"Can you please stop calling me Satoshi's girlfriend?" Hikari demanded angrily.

"Why should I? Stop denying that fact. It is quite obvious that that loser is so much into you." He looked at his rival, who still had a very puzzled look on his face. "You like her, don't you? Admit it already. I bet she's crushed because you're in denial."

Before either Satoshi or Hikari could reply, Takeshi spoke up. "Shinji, why are so worked up over this? Don't tell me you're jealous?"

For once, Shinji was shocked that the other friend of the loser was able to figure him out. Masking his shock, he hoped that this one would not press him further. "Whatever. Say what you want. It is not true." He replied as calmly as he could, but deep inside him, he felt embarrassment for once.

Apparently, the former Gym Leader of Kanto wasn't convinced with his reasoning. "Okay. If you say so." He suddenly looked very smug, for some reason.

Shinji knew that it was not good…

Fortunately for him, Joi-san walked over towards them. "Excuse me, but your room is ready." She told the purple-haired male. She then glanced at trio and gave an apologetic smile. "I'm very sorry, but if you could wait for just a few more minutes…"

"Its fine, Joi-san. I can still take the cold." Hikari gave out a weak smile then sneezed suddenly.

Before Shinji was about to walk off to his room, he gave one final glance at the three. "If you really want her to get better, why don't you just lend her your coat? Use your common sense for once." With that, he went off.

Satoshi was puzzled.

Hikari was fuming mad.

Takeshi, however, knew that something was up.

'Defense mechanism, huh?'

Please do leave a review and tell me what you think! :D