Fantasies with the Past
So, yeah. I couldn't think of a better title. Sue me.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I decided to gather all romantic info in my head and press it into one diamondshippy fic. And yeah, I'm pretty sure Giovanni is slightly out-of-character, but I don't want him to slap every woman that he sees like a gangster. That's not him. (Sadly.) Italicized phrases are thoughts, btw.
(Sixteen years ago...)
A very decorated ball-room, it is. Chandeliers hang daintily from the ceiling. The lights glimmer with warmth and hope. A grand staircase seems to flow through the floor, and people dance with ease.
Me, I'm sitting on one of the wooden benches, smoothing out the wrinkles from my dress. It's not very fancy, compared to all the silks and suedes I see fastened to all of the other ladies. Just a plain white cotton down to my knees, with slippers of the same color to match. I just can't help but stare at all of the wealth that has got to be in the room, and wonder why I'm even here.
Of course, I have to say, it is my fault. I could have made something of myself, marry a rich husband, but I didn't. I told myself that I would not become one of them - a snooty, lazy, worthless woman, and I keep my promises.
People dance. Chatter. It makes me sad inside. It makes me long for someone to talk to about things. It makes me long to hear giddy chatter. All I ever hear is, " Delia, you really need to get out your head out of the clouds and change out of that green plaid overjacket. "
But I can't. That's just me. I've always been a drifter. Papa always told me so, and Mom always got aggravated by it. I know I would never stop dreaming. After all, am I not in a fantasy already, being invited to a graceful ball instead of having to clean its floors ? All I need now is a carriage made of a ripe pumpkin and talking mice to complete it.
I sigh. That would be divine, but of course wouldn't come true. At least, not for me, anyway. I'm too poor, as everyone else says. I can't even afford the electric bill if I don't work very hard. I'm just thankful I have a house over my head.
Still, at least I could watch. Everyone's having such a fun time, so of course they wouldn't remember to pop up in my face and greet a warm, " Hi. " A waltz lightly plays and patters through the clean floors as shoes dance to its vibrations. Even if nobody wants to dance with scum like me, I imagine myself as the happiest person here, dancing with a dashing prince, and , oh, yes, I do believe I am the happiest person here, though without a companion.
Sweet melodies play. Shiny things sparkle as reflections of this sunny July day. If only...if only someone could just come, and take this poor seventeen year old maiden out to dance.
I see one man, of twenty-two, walk around the room, an amused expression in his eyes. Gelled brown hair, a tall figure, hearty dark brown eyes. I've seen him before, walking around Viridian. We've met. He even held a quick five-minute conversation with me once before running to his destination. Of course, he wouldn't remember my name, since we only met paths briefly. But I know his, and every time I see him, his name flutters through my brain like wind chimes.
I shouldn't feel this, though. He is from one of the richest families in Kanto. All of us know. No one knows how they're so successful. I heard a rumor around saying that it involves a pokemon blackmarket, but who could trust any gossip in this day and age ? Nobody seems to care , either. All I know is that all the ladies that I know want so badly to have him. And so do I.
But I'm no match for him. Not at all. We're from two entirely different backgrounds, and if I even asked him out, he would probably laugh at me and say I'm not his class. I get that a lot. Like with Spencer. He broke my heart just when I finally loved him truly.
So I just look at him, creating fantasies in my mind. A very handsome face, and muscular built near the chest. I'm better off with the chubby mailman that's been delivering my mail for three years now. Not him.
I sigh again and pick at my nails. It is so lonely sitting on this bench all by myself, but I look at the bright side. At least I'm here, and slowly being accepted in the social circle of life.
He talks with other people. Mostly men. Actually, all men. Probably about business, I guess. A lovely dark blue suit on him, with expensive loafers on his feet. Wait. Why am I looking at his feet ? I shouldn't be looking him at all. It's not right.
He comes closer. Maybe I should move somewhere else. I don't know. Part of me is saying, " Go and see what he's up to, Deli. " , but I can't. I'm not.
And he passes me. Damn it ! I wish so badly just to touch his lips ! Maybe I'll get to in my dreams. I'll need a lot of caffeine for that.
" Delia, is that you ? How nice to see you again ! "
I turn around, and there he is, grinning like a Linoone. I start to blush. " Oh, Giovanni. I-I didn't know you were going to be here ! " I quickly say.
He laughs as he slicks back his hair. " I told you a week ago, sweetie. Don't you remember ? "
" Nooooo... "
A lie. It was the whole reason why I even came. And he knows it. " Well, I've been looking for you all night ! I didn't expect you not to have your dancing shoes on, though. "
" Oh. Well, I haven't been very talkative. Everyone's so busy. "
He stands over me, that grin still in place. " Not me. I gulped down a few glasses of water, actually went to another room to watch CNN. Dancing bores me. Too old-fashioned. "
" But, Giovanni. You're a very high-class person. Shouldn't you be learning these kinds of things, like the others ? "
" Already learned it. What about you ? Shouldn't you be learning how to mop floors with a broom ? "
A gentle retort. I gave a small grin. " I'll learn that later on. But still, you are kind, and you really should be dancing, especially with your appearance and your dancing shoes. "
" I should ? Well then, I'll ask the pretty delicate maiden to dance with me, then. "
I nod. " Yep. I'm sure you two will be a perfect couple. "
His grin turns even broader. " Me too. "
But he doesn't even attempt to move. He just stands next to me, making me feel so embarrassed. Somebody notices him, and walks over to him. " Hey, Giovanni. What are you doing next to this piece of filth ? " the person asks.
" Piece of filth ? I see none, " he says, with a bit of chill in his voice.
The person scoffs and points at me. " You know. The Russian maid. Her. "
Giovanni takes a glance at me before gazing back at his friend. " Nope. She's not filth. "
" Whaddya mean ? We all know she only got invited 'cause Spencer pitied her ! "
That stings, but of course, it's the truth.
" It's nice seeing her, though. "
" Well, why don't you come with me ? I'm sure I can fix you up with someone to dance with ! Like, an actual lady. A pretty lady. "
" A delicate maiden ? " Giovanni inquires.
" Uh, yeah. "
" Well, Abe, I don't know where you're looking, but the maiden that I'd like to dance with is sitting on that bench. "
What bench ? What bench is he talking about ? I don't see any other bench ! Must be on the other side !
" You've got to be kidding me ! Krostner is definitely no maiden ! "
Oh, my God. Me ?! No ! They can't be talking about me ! No, no, NO !
" You must be seeing wrong, then, Abe. Look at her. "
So he does. Abe walks right in front of me and gawks at my face before sneering. " Nope. I'm seeing clearly. "
" Hmm...well, I guess you're the one who's wrong. "
Abe pales and shakes his head. " Fine, then. Go have your fun with her. But when you want to get rid of her, just let me know, okay ? "
" Sure. "
He leaves. I turn to Giovanni. " Uh, you know, you can end this joke anytime you want. "
" Oh, it's not a joke, " he says.
" Stop it ! "
" I'm telling you, Delia, it's not a joke ! "
I feel my cheeks flaring. " But, I'm nothing more than a poor, pale, meek- "
" Pretty, kind maiden that I would like to dance with, " he finishes abruptly.
" I-I-I-...okay. "
He takes my hand in his and standing up, we begin to dance, my left hand gently placed on his waist, my other hand gripped in his. I see women glaring at me with jealousy and envy. He softly chuckles. " Looks like they're jealous, " he murmurs.
" Yeah. I think they're jealous because of my dancing skills. I can't be sure. "
He starts into a hearty laugh. " You're such a modest lady. Do you want to upset the other even more ? "
" I really shouldn't...but...I guess so. "
" Okay. Release your grip on my hand and place it on my shoulder. "
" What ?! That's ridiculous ! "
" No, it's not. Just trust me - it will work. "
" Fine. "
I do just that, and I even place my left hand on his other shoulder for good measure. His grip tightens, and the next thing I know, I'm touching his chest with my own. About a dozen women shriek at this, and here I am, blushing wildly, with the man of my dreams.
His grin flashes like a beacon again. " I didn't know you were so lightweight ! It's like holding a pillow. "
" I'd like something from you, you know. "
" Uh, I don't have much money on me. I can't pay you. "
" No, nothing like that. I'd like to kiss you. "
Holy crap ! Did he really ask that ?!
I softly nod. He softly chuckles as he starts to kiss my neck softly. I'm sure my heart is skipping a beat. I'm sure I'm dreaming, but I'm not. His lips slowly climb the ladder before he smiles at me and leans over for the trophy. His lips are firm. Damp. My own lips, chapped and soft, are comfortable with his touch. Is this really how a kiss feels like ? Is a kiss really this pleasurable ? If so, I don't ever want to let go.
And he doesn't seem to, either. In fact, his grip on me tightens, until it seems like we're one.
When we finally break, he hugs me and I rest my head on his shoulder. " I'd like to see you home, Deli, " he whispers.
As we finally reach my house, he leans over and kisses me again before grinning. " Let's go out sometime, okay, sweetie ? " he asks.
" Of course. "
And he nods before walking back to his own home. I sigh with pleasure as I lean against the door. Maybe things will work out, after all. I don't know.
" Mom ? Mom, did you pass out with your eyes open ? "
I look up and see Ash, scratching his head nervously. He notices my teary eyes and frowns. " Did something upset you, Mom ? "
I shake my head. " Oh, no. I'm just thinking. Where are your friends at ? Didn't you invite them over ? "
" Yeah. They've been in the living room for twenty minutes already. "
" Oh...right. Well, listen. I'm going to take a walk to Viridian. Don't destroy anything, okay, sweetie ? "
" Sure thing, Mom. You can count on Tracey and Misty and Gary to keep an eagle eye on me ! "
I giggle. " Okay, then. I'll be back. "
I walk out the door and my smile fades. Things changed over the years. A lot. I married and divorced. I had Ash, and lost any chance of famous status, but I didn't care. He's such a good boy that I don't have any trouble with him, despite that he's fourteen already, yikes ! As far as my ex-husband is concerned, that rumor about the blackmarket was indeed true, and we started to fight a lot in years after we married. All I know now is that his eyes are no longer hearty - only bitter. He grew up, and so did I, but I knew when I divorced him that he no longer would be the same.
And I've accepted that. I've been accepting that. We grew into separate personalities, walked separate paths. The point is, it doesn't matter now.
I stroll through the sidewalks of Viridian. People are so happy. I wonder...am I truly happy, or do I just fake it ? I just don't know anymore.
Finally I reach where I want to be - the Viridian Gym, which was formally the place where that one dance was at, sixteen long years ago. I walk in, not caring who the hell the gym leader was anymore. Last I heard from Ash, old Agatha was the leader, but things change.
Still Roman architecture, both inside and outside of the walls. I have to snort to stifle my laughter. A broom lays neatly on the floor, and I pick it up before bowing low to it like a lady does a gent.
I slowly do a waltz with the stick. I think back to all those years ago, to that very day, and I pretend everybody who was there then is there now, watching the two of us dance, smiling and cheering us on. And I am truly the happiest person there, dancing gracefully with my date, who's the broom. I even hear the alluring melodies again. All those painful memories of my classmates and other people taunting, jeering, snapping at me - they've turn into just memories, as I slide through the floor, my slippers pattering lightly, the broom acting like a pleasant prince.
Soon I can't help if anybody else is watching me. My sheepish grin turns into a broad smile, and I start to laugh and giggle because I'm so filled with happiness and bubbling warmth, just dancing there. I feel the aromas of colognes and perfumes wavering over me. I could faintly smell them. Everything is glowing. It's a wonderful afternoon, and I'm laughing out loudly now. I hum the tune from the waltz. Even the broom seems to beam like a beacon.
As we finish our imaginary dance, I slip to the ground, kneeling on it, breathless and in high spirits. I hold the broom close to me, and everyone seems to be applauding. Another tune starts to play. Beethoven hovers over us, blaring like it's from a radio.
No, wait ! I don't even know how Beethoven's pieces go ! Is it the broom ? Is it not Beethoven, but something I just made up ? Is it that radio sitting on that little wooden stand ? Wait ! How did that get there ?
" Hey, this isn't a freeloading place ! If you're not here for a badge, then get out of here ! " a voice barks.
My answer. The gym leader. Not looking at him, I shrug. " Well, it used to be a dancing hall, back in my time. "
" I know that. I got dragged here every week when I was kid, but it doesn't matter. Are you here for a badge or not ?! "
" Nope, " I said simply.
" Well, the dancing hall is two streets over, lady. Not here. And what are you doing with that broom ? "
I look at the broom for a few seconds before shrugging again. " Fantasizing, of course. I'm off from work for the day. "
" Well, go fantasize somewhere else ! I have no time for these kinds of things ! "
That voice. So familiar, it's on the tip on my tongue. I shake my head. " What do you think of dancing ? " I inquire.
" Pointless. I've told people time and time again that it's a waste of time and too old-fashioned. "
" Dancing bores me. Too old-fashioned. "
Could it be ? No...I heard he resigned three years ago after the gym blew up into pieces. Still...I wonder.
" Uh, how long have you been working here, Mr. Gym Leader ? "
" A few months now- "
So, it can't be !
" But I used to be the gym leader here before resigning. Those idiot assistants of mine managed to destroy the gym, along with their challenger. "
Oh, crap. I can't let him see me. He'll probably curse me out for being a waste of time and kick me out. I better make my escape quietly, or I'll never hear the end of it !
" Uh, are you spacing out or something ? I told you, get off the floor and go away ! "
Wow. He really has grown bitter over the years. He's turn into a grouch. I never expected his kind demeanor would go downhill ! His attitude seems even worse than that one time when I burnt that plate of pork chops.
" Are you going to walk out willingly or do I have to get the police to drag you out of here ?! "
Oops. I spaced out. " No, no, " I croak. " I'll go. "
I stand up, drop the broom, and head for the exit. Oh, well. It's better not to be noticed. Wouldn't want to go to jail.
" Wait a second. Oh, God. Delia ? "
Well, I blew my cover. " Oh, hi, Giovanni... "
" I didn't know you could stoop so low as to dance with a broom. "
I put my hands on my hips. " It's called an imagination, Gio, which, in your case, you don't seem to have. "
" Hmph. Are you still being a meek country hillbilly ? "
" Yes. Yes, I am. "
" Good. Wouldn't want you to change, now, would we ? "
" We ? "
" Me and your companion, the broom, of course. "
I look at the abandoned broom and shrugged. " Fine, then. "
He smirks at me as he slicks his hair back. " So, what brings you here to the gym ? "
" Thinking. "
" About ? "
" Wild ponies and deep-fried tacoes, as you must know ! " I reply sarcastically.
" You can tell the truth, you know. "
" Can you handle the truth ? "
" Of course I can. I can handle anything that you throw at me. "
" Well, I was just thinking about long ago. "
" What, when microwaves were only a few years from being invented ? "
" No, when that one dance was held. How everything seemed to fit perfectly together in place, except for one thing. "
" What's that ? "
" Do I have to say it ? " I inquire with a hint of bitterness in my voice.
" No. Not at all. "
" Anyway, it doesn't matter. I was just dancing with the broom. "
" He's not the best person to dance with... "
" Well, nobody else is here, and the broom does have a nice personalit- "
He sweeps me into his arms and breathes on my neck. Scents of lasagna and red wine touch my skin. Personally, I'm speechless. " Yes, but he's a weakling, " he murmurs. " A thin weakling. I could never allow you to dance with someone like that, Delia, darling. You deserve better. Wouldn't you like to dance with someone who could hold you with strong arms, instead of a lanky handle ? "
Uh...not sure anymore.
I give a swift nod. He leads in a Beethoven concerto, and I feel his heart beating. The dance isn't passionate, though. I don't feel the same. Once upon a time, I would greet the opportunity with open arms, but...I can't. Not anymore.
He sees me not very enthusiastic. " Delia, what's wrong ? Don't you want to dance ? "
" I do. It's just...you're not the same. Not anymore. I'm...I'm sorry, but I can't do this. "
" So, it is me, then. You think I can't be the man I once was, right ? "
" Well...yes. I can't lie. "
His gaze lowers down to the ground and he grunts angrily. " No, damn it ! It can't end this way ! It just can't. "
I wonder - what's exactly on his mind ? Is he going through some nervous breakdown ? Has he lost someone special ? I don't know. I've never been too inquisitive. I clear my throat. " What's...what's wrong ? "
My back feels the wall as we stop. He strokes my face with the back of his hand. So firm. I think he wants me to go, so I try, but he holds me tight, like a teddy bear (or a grizzly bear), and he leans over and kisses me. His touch is unnerving, frigid, but his lips are the same as long ago. Firm. Damp.
And I kiss him back, letting him hold me, letting him do what he wants. Nothing matters this second. It's like floating on a cloud, and we both fall gently to a place where not even his job could intervene.
Part of me laughs at this revelation, this fantasy. He chuckles and continues the passion. Oh, I know Professor Oak would bawl his eyes out when he hears of this, but we've never been that way, anyway (well, at least, I haven't.) This embrace is still the same, and it shows me that even if you did change, some things will never be different.
Finally we stop. He can't grin broadly like he used to, but he still attempts the tiniest smile. " Come back here anytime, " he whispers. " You're welcome to dance like a goose. "
" No problem. "
He lets go of me and I walk towards the exit. He puts his hands behind his back and curtly nods. " Goodbye, Delia. "
" Bye until we meet again ! " I chime.
And so I leave back to Pallet, with a true smile on my face and hope for the future. Maybe things do change, but I will know his true personality is somewhere deep in a place called the heart. Now I know I could live. Live with honest bliss.