...Hey people. Apologies for lack of updates(*sigh* I always have to apologize, because I NEVER seem to update anymore ) As usual, the educational system is my enemy that will never die. So, I would like to apologize. But, thank you to all the kind people who reviewed; you guys are the best! As to your questions: To Shipperfag: Haha, yeah, I support Fatherlyshipping and it will probably come into play at some point. To im-a-tumor: Gracefulshipping is a very high possibility as well as more champions/gym leaders showing up. (As well as more minor ships between gym leaders and such.) As for Kotone...not sure yet. Sorry! Anyways, to everyone who was worried about Distantshipping, it will probably NOT be Platina's main ship (not going to tell you which one is, mwahaha), but there may be little bits of it thrown in here or there. That's it; onto the reading! Please review!

Disclaimer: Pokemon isn't mine! (Or else Crystal would be the heroine in HeartGold/SoulSilver!)

Ruby's P.O.V.

"Sheesh…coming out here is so much trouble…"

I stopped to wipe a bead of sweat trickling down my forehead with the back of my hand, while shifting the heavy load on my shoulder. Continuing onward I pulled the collar of my shirt away from my neck, trying desperately to get a breath of air. Finally, I reached the clearing.

Gratefully, I practically threw down my bag. The largest burden, however, I set down carefully with a grunt of pain, flexing my arm to get the feeling back into it.

"What's that?"

"Whoa!" I jumped back a few steps. Standing in front of me was Sapphire (in all her "natural" glory), pointing a sharp finger downward.

"Well, it's…" I squatted down, lifting the item up, "…a picnic basket."

"A picnic basket? ...As in food?!?" Sapphire's voice immediately changed to one of extreme happiness. She stretched out an eager hand toward said basket. Immediately I moved the basket away from her hand. She frowned. "Hey! What gives?"

"This isn't just any picnic basket. I'm going to use it to tutor you!"

"What? You're going to teach me how to eat?" Sapphire's voice was incredulous.

I rolled my eyes. "No. I'm going to teach you some etiquette."

Sapphire stared at me for exactly one minute. Then, "That's stupid."

Sighing, I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand. "And this is exactly why I need to teach you manners," I muttered.

Seeing how Sapphire was no longer protesting or trying to stop me, I set the basket down and began unpacking the picnic basket (after unrolling the blanket I'd also brought along). Finished, I rocked back on my heels and smiled up at Sapphire. "Done."

Cautiously she sat down on the blanket, looking amazed by the variety spread out over it. I could practically see the saliva dripping from her mouth as she greedily took in the sight of the massive feast. Then, she lunged for a piece of chicken…before I smacked her hand away.

"Ow! What the hell?!" she yelped.

I didn't answer, busy filling two plates; one for me and one for her. I turned back to Sapphire and handed her the plate.

"Eat," I said simply.

She narrowed her eyes; obviously she thought this was some kind of trap. Regardless, she snatched a piece of chicken and held it up to her mouth.



I immediately started to laugh. Sapphire's entire face was wet and little droplets of water were dripping downward as she glared at me. She growled loudly and I shut up immediately.

"Why do you have a spray bottle?" she asked, voice dangerously soft.

"Because you were eating like a rabid Pokemon, therefore, I'm going to treat you like a rabid Pokemon," I answered. "Starting with punishment in the form of this spray bottle."

Seeing Sapphire eye the bottle, I moved it closer to my body, gesturing at the same time for her to continue eating. Eventually (after more death glaring), she did.

"Fsst-!" "Sit up straight."

"Fsst-!" "Don't spread your legs out like that; it's not ladylike."

"Fsst-!" "Slow down! Sheesh, you eat like a wild Swinub…"

"Fsst-!" "Smaller bites."

With every squirt I could see Sapphire's expression growing angrier and the grip on her fork tightened, knuckles turning dangerously white. Still…I couldn't help but be amused. Who knew squirting people with a spray bottle could be so fun?

While I was thinking all this, Sapphire had taken the time to shove a handful of cookies into her mouth, chewing and swallowing in a matter of seconds.

"Fsst-!" "Don't shove it all in your mouth. And wipe your mouth. Here."

Leaning over, I carefully swiped at the crumbs surrounding Sapphire's mouth with a handkerchief. Immediately she pulled back with a huff.

"Don't do that!"

"What? Wipe your mouth?" I asked, folding the handkerchief. "Fine, here."

Sapphire peeked from the corner of her eye at the proffered piece of cloth and raised an eyebrow questioningly. I shook it once, indicating for her to take it. Reluctantly she did with a, "What the heck is this?"

"It's a handkerchief. Use it to wipe your mouth," I explained, gesturing at the corners of my own mouth.

Sapphire rolled her eyes, making a half-hearted sweep across her mouth before dropping the handkerchief back onto the blanket. Snatching it in mid-air, I frowned. "Keep it." I held out the handkerchief toward Sapphire.


"Keep it," I repeated. "I made it for you, okay?"

Slowly, Sapphire reached out and took the small piece of cloth from my hand. "You made this for me…?" Her voice had changed to a quieter and more surprised tone.

"Er…yeah…" Suddenly unable to meet Sapphire's eyes I rummaged through the picnic basket aimlessly. "I had a bit of spare cloth and some time so I just decided to make you a handkerchief. Every lady should have one you know," I added quickly, feeling the back of my neck growing hot.

Sapphire didn't answer; her face oddly expressionless as her thumb brushed over her name that I had carefully embroidered onto the handkerchief. Feeling intrusive for staring at her for so long I looked elsewhere for a distraction, finding it in the form of Sapphire's plate.

"Cross your silverware when you're done," I said, reaching for the squirt bottle….

Only to have Sapphire snatch it right before my hand reached it. With a "pop-!" she pulled off the top (with the spray nozzle) and unceremoniously dumped the rest of the water on me.

"Ble-h!" I coughed out in surprise as the ice cold liquid splashed my face. "What was that for?!?"

Sapphire smirked triumphantly (and evilly I noted dryly). "That's payback for squirting all that water on me!" She continued to watch with a wide grin as I wiped my face on my sleeves. I frowned; the school uniform material was obviously not meant to absorb this much liquid (which made me wonder, how did that small bottle hold that much water anyways?).

"Here, you missed a spot." Leaning over, Sapphire dabbed the side of my face, still smiling. Immediately I froze. Sapphire, not noticing how tense I was, finished wiping and sat back. "I'm hungry," she commented, grabbing a cookie in each hand and stuffing her face.

This time I let her off. Staring at the wild girl in front of me who was eating like her life depended on it made me wonder if what had just occurred was just a figment of my imagination. As though she had read my mind, Sapphire looked up.


"Nothing." I shook my head as she shrugged, chugging down a glass of lemonade in no time flat. I sighed. At least she had used her handkerchief…

Crystal's P.O.V.

"Hello? Anyone here?"

I slid the classroom door further open, stepping into the room and sliding it shut. As I had assumed, the classroom was empty. Unsurprising, really, since I had asked Professor Elm if I could borrow his room after school for tutoring. …That is, if my pupil decided to show up.

Glancing at the Pikachu clock on the wall, I quickly set up the materials necessary for the lesson planned. Fifteen minutes later, Gold was still nowhere to be found. Without warning, a sudden rumbling noise startled me.

"Wha-?" More rumbling. Looking down, realized it was my stomach. I sweatdropped. "When was the last time I ate…?"

Thinking back about it, I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast (which had been one measly slice of toast). I had been too busy rushing back and forth, helping the professor finish some reports during lunch and perfecting an English paper during snack.

"No wonder my stomach's growling…" I mumbled. Luckily, I always planned ahead. (With my mother's tendency to easily forget things, I learned early on to plan ahead.) Shifting through my spare pencils, extra erasers, and additional school supplies, I pulled out my emergency snack. "It'll have to do," I sighed.


"Not for you," I snapped, instinctively moving the box of Pocky away from Gold's grabbing hands. He frowned.

"Geez, I thought they taught you how to share in kindergarten Super Serious Gal."

I didn't answer, too occupied with opening the pink box and ripping open the silver package. The sweet aroma of the snack filled the air. I breathed in deeply before grabbing one and taking a bite. I smiled; I hadn't eaten strawberry Pocky for a long time.

Turning around, I saw Gold staring at me with pleading eyes. "What?" I asked.

"I'm huuuuungry…" he whined.


"Just one."





I relented; he sounded like a dying Pidgeot. "Fine, but only one!"

With the speed of a starving Arcanine who smelt a juicy steak, Gold stuffed his hand into the box and pulled out two sticks of Pocky.

"Hey! I said you could only have one!" I protested. "Give one back!"

Instead of doing as I asked (or demanded), Gold clamped down on both sticks at once, holding them with his teeth so that about three-quarters of the Pocky stuck out. In other words, he looked like a Walrein.

"'Oo 'ant it?" he mumbled through his mouthful of Pocky. ""ome an' 'et it." (Translation: You want it? Come and get it.)

"No, gross!" I snapped. "Keep it."

He smirked (looking like some freaky vampire due to the Pocky) and quickly polished off both sticks. Then, he reached out a hopeful hand.

"I don't think so," I said. "We're going to start on math today."

"But that's so boring…" Gold moaned.

"Too bad," I said unsympathetically. "You're going to have to do this math homework whether you like it or not!"

With that, I marched towards the desks I had set up. Gold followed reluctantly, grumbling under his breath.

Sitting down, I opened the book to the spot I had carefully bookmarked, quickly skimming it. I pushed the book towards Gold and pointed at an equation, "x=16, when y=2…" I explained the problem as best I could, not looking up from the book until I was done…only to find a half-sleeping Gold.

"Wake up!" I slammed the book shut.


"Don't you dare go to sleep on me!" I snapped, losing my patience. I was getting tired of Gold's lazy attitude toward academics (which I valued most). Plus, no one had ever fallen asleep when I was teaching. Needless to say, I took this as a rather personal offense. "I'm giving up the time I could be doing reports or other more important things to try and teach you!"

Gold simply looked amused. My glare deepened at his wide smirk. "Well, it's hard to focus. I told you, that stuff is boring," he said.

"Boring or not, it's for your own good."

Gold raised an eyebrow. "What'd you do? Eat a book for breakfast or something? You sound like Professor Oak."

I reddened. "Keep your pointless comments to yourself." Opening the book, I rapped the page. "Now do number one." Gold sighed, but pulled out a pencil and piece of paper and began writing. I breathed my own sigh (of relief).


I was surprised. He had finished in about 45 seconds. Looking at the messy scrawl across the top of the paper, I realized why.

"It's not even remotely correct," I said. "Did you even try?"

Gold scratched his head, trying (and failing) to look apologetic. "It's hard. And…" I glared at him, daring him to say it. He shut his mouth quickly.

"I mean, there's no motivation for me to do this crap!"

"Motivation?" I pondered over Gold's curious answer. As I thought, I reached into the box of Pocky. Gold perked up at the slight rustle the bag made.

"I want one!"

"No, you can't have…" I drifted off, staring down at the bright pink box, an idea already forming. I smiled. "Never mind. You can have one…" Gold grinned, reaching for the box. Quickly, I moved it away. "…if you can do one problem."


"That's the rule," I stated firmly, wondering if this was going to work. With a sigh and a quick glance at the box of Pocky, Gold grudgingly picked up the pencil.

Watching from the corner of my eye, I couldn't help but smile a little. Gold was scratching the back of his head, staring hard at the numbers in front of him; the tip of his tongue poked out in concentration. As I stared at Gold, I felt a strange urge to reach over and brush away the strand of hair that covered his eyes…

"Done!" Gold half-yelled happily. I jumped, startled; but recovered quickly.

"Let me see." I reached over to take the paper, looking over his work and answer. Though it was still quite messy, the work was done correctly and the answer was right. "Fine, you can have one."

This time, I handed Gold the stick of Pocky, not trusting that he would only take one. Of course he finished it quickly and pouted. "One more," he pleaded.

"Do another problem," I retorted.

Sighing in defeat, Gold again grabbed the pencil and began to do the next problem, earning another stick of Pocky. Then he did another problem. And another…and another…and another…until he had finished them all.

"There, I'm finally done with all of them!" Gold said, throwing down the pencil in relief.

Scanning over the final problem, I saw it was correct and handed Gold his reward stick of Pocky. Surprisingly as Gold had done his math homework I realized he honestly wasn't stupid, he actually knew what he was doing. (I suspected his lack of attention span and tendency to not look over his answers as the cause of his low grades.)

"That took forever," Gold grunted, standing up and stretching. Glancing at the clock, I saw two hours had flown by. Outside, the sun was already setting, painting the sky in hues of dark orange and golden yellow.

"Not really," I answered, quickly packing up all the books and pushing the desks back in place. Looking into the Pocky box, I saw there was only one stick of Pocky left.

Pulling it out, I was about to bite into it, when Gold spoke up. "I want it!"

"No way," I said. "You ate nearly the entire box just doing your math homework. I only had one when I opened the box."

With that, I stuck part of the Pocky into my mouth. In a flash, Gold leapt forward and caught the other end of the Pocky in his mouth. Immediately, I jerked backward in surprise, snapping the Pocky neatly in half.

"Why'd you do that for?!?" I yelped. I could feel my cheeks heating up as I remembered how Gold's face had only been a few inches away from my own.

"I told you, I'm hungry." Gold grinned maniacally, crunching up the rest of the Pocky. "Anyway, thanks for the Pocky." Grabbing his backpack, he slung it over one shoulder and walked to the door, opening it. Then he half-turned to look at me. "By the way, that last one was the tastiest one." Immediately I flushed and his grin widened as he shut the door.

I stood there for a second, staring at the closed door. Then, I picked up the empty Pocky box, looking down at it and shaking my head. I sighed, a small smile creeping up on my face. "What an idiot…"

A/N: Whoo...that was kinda hard to write. Hope you guys enjoyed it anyways and sorry for the lack of updates! An important note: I will begin to do some time skipping soon (as in skipping a couple of days/weeks) in the story to get the plot moving quicker. Just to warn you guys ahead of time. Well, that's it for this chapter; please review!