We had sappy Senirasu, now it's time for Moss!

Uh, beware the OOC bits!


Roark had managed to escape again, going to Eterna Forest - he couldn't help it that the rock was special to him already. Of course, he had to turn around every now and then to make sure his Pokemon weren't following him…

"Finally," he said, seeing the rock in the distance. But he froze when he saw Gardenia, training her Turtwig.

She saw him, too. "I never knew you were a forest person, Roark."

"It's the rock, really."

Gardenia nodded. "I guess I can see why, then," she said, some of her cheeriness gone. She called Turtwig back into his ball, and instead of leaving, she admired the rock with him. Roark didn't know if it was a good thing or bad thing.

"Roark, I'm sorry for anything I might have done and will do to you in the future," she said all in a rush. "Unless something happens to be a good thing, then I don't regret it at all."

Roark stared.

Gardenia sighed. "Your father told me something I didn't know."

Roark guessed what that could be.

"Then I started having second thoughts about…well, me and Volkner. Two of my friends were upset about it."

Friend? Well, it was better than nothing.

"Candice said she was still my friend no matter how upset she was, which was good, I guess, but I want to know you forgive me."

Roark spoke his mind for once, instead of thinking through his words first. "I shouldn't be so quick to, but…" He was cut off as Gardenia hugged him. A friendly hug, that's all it was, but still.

"So, do you know your way around the forest?" Gardenia asked upon letting go of him.

"I only know the way to the rock and back," Roark admitted.

Gardenia laughed. "Well, I can show you around if you want. Where do you want to go?"

Roark, though wanting to stay at the rock, also wanted to spend as much time with her as he could before this dream sequence ended. "We could…check out the forest mansion, I guess…"

Gardenia shook her head so violently, she was dizzy when she held it upright again. "Anywhere but there! I hate that place." She threw her thoughts around, and then sighed. "I could stay and worship the rock with you," she offered.

"I don't worship-" Roark began, but was silenced as Gardenia stood and admired the rock herself.

"I never noticed before…it's so pretty," she said, feeling the moss.

"Yeah," said Roark, starting to blush. "I-It's really nice."

Gardenia noticed. "Roark, you're like a Cheri berry!"

"Well, maybe if you left," he mumbled, turning redder. He nearly slapped himself, of COURSE he wanted her to stay.

Good thing she had turned her attention back to the rock, then. She hadn't heard him.

"Roark, there's something I have to say."

Don't make eye contact, she'll only compare you to a walking stop sign… Roark thought, but of course he did anyway.

"I know I've been an idiot, and you're probably just my friend, but I think…KNOW I've somehow fallen in love with you," she said, all in a rush.

Hello, Roark's brain is unable to answer right now, please leave a message after the beep.

"Roark?" Gardenia said, waving her hand in front of his face. "Aren't you going to give me the Let's-just-be-friends speech? Honestly, I can take it. You don't have to worry about letting me down gently."

"Why would I worry about letting you down gently?" Roark seemed genuinely confused, so Gardenia looked up. "I wouldn't let you down at all."

The next scene was so sweet, it gave the author cavities, so she decided not to include it.

Suddenly, it was like the first four chapters of this story had taken a different turn. It was as though his heart had never been broken: Gardenia was like a superglue, piecing it back together when Roark, as hard as he tried, couldn't, until there was not a crack left.

"This is a news story waiting to happen," said Gardenia, lying back on the forest floor.

Roark couldn't help himself. "The rock says we should remember the Gym Leader Code." He laughed slightly when speaking.

"Right, the code," said Gardenia, remembering. The code was that no Gym Leader should have more publicity than necessary, despite the fact that they were semi-famous Trainers. Wattson from Hoenn created it when there was a whole story in the Mauville Times about him becoming depressed after losing to Ash Ketchum, and the code been in every region since. No news story, the press covered Gym Leaders, Elite, or Champion, so they all decided to not give them anything to write about.

"Geodude," Roark said, staring into the forest. "You followed me anyway?"

A barely-detected movement, but Gardenia caught sight of a gray, lumpy arm, which suddenly glowed red as Roark returned it.

"He's been keeping an eye on me," Roark explained.

"What for?" Gardenia asked, and by his reluctant silence, she could guess. "Oh. Sorry about that."

"It wasn't really your fault," said Roark, and at Gardenia's Don't-try-to-tell-me-otherwise look, he was quick to say, "I just took it kind of hard, and he got a bit worried."

Gardenia stood up. "I think we should go. Serious violation of the Wattson Law if anyone saw us."

"Not to mention the fact that I have to explain to my other Pokemon why I've got leaves stuck to my shirt again."