Uh. Yeah... Well, I'm kinda pleased with how this turned out...
Disclaimer: I don't own it. Any of it.
The last contest was a blast! It was such a fierce competition with so many top coordi—
The voice of her younger brother brought Haruka out of her concentration for the letter.
"What is it, Masato? I need to finish up this letter…" Haruka groaned out tiredly. She'd been thinking of what to say to her mother, and it really hadn't been easy. If there had been any chance to ditch the letter whole, she'd have jumped on it… but since getting updates were just so important to her mom, so much that her mom had made sure Haruka and Masato promised to write at least once a month… Haruka was stuck with it. Plus, they had pushed it off.
"Do you know what time it is?"
That's nice to know.
"You've been working on that letter for two hours!"
Oh, time flies fast.
"I need to write, too, you know."
She sighed and stopped doodling on the side of her letter. Standing up, and slightly stretching, Haruka opened the door to her pokėcenter room. Masato looked slightly ticked—whether from the letter or making him have a conversation with the door, she wasn't sure.
Haruka let out a sigh again and crossed her arms, leaning against the door, effectively blocking the doorway. Her brother mirrored her, folding his arms. Man, she really didn't need this right now. Stress had just been piling on her from the Grand Festival approaching… and then this whole thing with her mom… and then Shuu.
At first, Shuu had been a rival… and a friend, to some extent. Then time went by, and… really, she had no idea what happened. He only mocked her, made a fool out of her, diminished her being. Every now and then, though, he'd give out compliments. To her pokėmon, yes, but it had brought her joy, no less. Even more often than that, he'd give her a rose. These small actions had made her… like him more. And then all of his rudeness, all of his arrogance, it completed him just as it complete her love for him. Over a span of a year, this oblivious boy managed to do all of this. Now she was in uncharted waters with only one thing certain… something so certain it sunk her ship: Shuu didn't love her back. She doubted he even liked her. Hadn't he expressed this fact clearly enough? It was worse that she had figured this all out a few days back. Although it took a long time to get the concept, when she did, all of it hit her with full force. This pain… she never expected that something could hurt so much.
Haruka sighed once more, before saying, "Look. I'll give it to you when I'm done, okay? I just need to think of what to write. I promise I'll be done soon, okay?" The weariness of her voice didn't go unnoticed by Masato. This was the only thing that made him back off.
"Fine… but please get done by 8. We need to mail it by tonight." He spoke in a softer voice than before. Haruka nodded and watched Masato's retreating figure into his own room before going back to her desk.
Now… where was she…
It was such a fierce competition with so many top coordinators! This'll definitely be in my memories forev—
Haruka let out a small yelp as she saw her scribbles on the side. A couple smiles, hearts, and…
Shuu. SHUU. Shuu! Shuuuuuu… Shuu! Shuu! Shuu! SHUUU S-H-U-U…
All in different fonts, different scripts. She put her head down into her hands and let out a groan. It couldn't get any worse than this…
A knock on the door. Not moving, Haruka let out a gruff, "Come in." The door opened quietly and a tad hesitantly.
"Did you have a fight with your brother?"
"Naw, we're cool. Thanks for asking, Satoshi."
"Oh, it's no big deal." he replied, grinning, relieved. "You know, dinner is going to be served in a little bit."
Back to doodling. "Mhmm?"
"Yeah. It should be good. Are you gonna come down soon?"
"Oh! I saw this book before!" He had picked up a book off of her bed.
"Yeah! My mom was reading it and—"
"Oh! Satoshi, I'm really sorry, but I need to finish my part in this letter." Haruka finally turned around from her desk to face him. There, Satoshi stood, having not noticed Haruka's lack of response at all.
He let out a sheepish grin and said cheerfully, "Okay. Come down to dinner, alright? There are a lot of people here tonight, and you might miss someone we know." She let out a tired smile and nodded. He left, shutting the door quietly behind him.
Back on task now.
This'll definitely be in my memories forever. Mom, we're fine, so don't worry. I hope you ha—
Dang it. Haruka stared at the piece of paper in front of her.
Bubble letters. Block letters. Cursive. In dots. Hell, there was even a small rose next to all the Shuus written. It was all across the top of the paper.
This was unbelievable. Well… it was fun to write his name…
As she thought that, she unconsciously scrawled his name again.
I hope you haven't spent too much time worrying about us. Really, we're great. I miss you to—
The third time that night, she was interrupted from the letter, although this time it was from her pokėnav rather than an actual physical being.
Haruka answered her pokėnav with one hand as her other hand twirled her pencil. Her dad's face appeared on the screen.
"Hi, dad." She was looking at the screen, but her pencil was back on the paper.
Haruka's father looked wary as he slightly glanced over his shoulder before speaking, "Hello, Haruka. I take it that you're faring well?" He gave no room for a response here. The question had only been out of courtesy, and Haruka knew it well. "Listen: your mother is worried sick about you and your brother. She's been a rather… tiring person to live with for the past few days. I just checked by to see when you're going to mail it."
"Don't worry, dad. Masato and I will mail it in tonight." Haruka spoke, trying to sound somewhat cheerful. Her dad was actually there with her mother's panic. Although she was going through a great deal of trouble to satisfy her mom's wish, she could not complain when her dad was suffering much more.
Senri let out a sigh of relief. "That's… good to hear. Well, I have to go now. Make sure you send it by tonight." With a nod and a wave from his daughter, Senri cut off the connection.
Intento numero quattuor.
I love you too. Oh! That reminds me: last c—
A small 'ding' went off in her room, signaling dinner was ready. As if planned, her stomach let out a growl at the same time. She gathered her papers—the extra Shuus that had not been present before her conversation with her dad going unnoticed—grabbed her pencil, and headed to the dining area.
Satoshi had been right; there were a lot of familiar faces in the room. Talking briefly to a few coordinators she vaguely remembered from some contest, Haruka then sat alone at a booth with a plate full of food and her letter in front of her. She took a few bites every now and then while writing.
That reminds me: last contest, I saw Shuu. He wasn't competing, but he was in the audience. Shuu is so arrogant! I can't stand it! Shuu probably just went there to criticize my skills (which he did after the contest ended). Man, Shuu—
"If it isn't Haruka."
Looking up at hearing her name, Haruka actually let out a real smile at seeing Saori. "Hey, Saori! What brings you here?"
Saori coolly shrugged and, with a slight smile, said, "I needed a place to stay and was nearby. Seems like that was the case for many people." Haruka nodded in response. She then glanced down at her letter and carefully put down her pencil as to not start writing Shuu's name again.
"So, how have your recent contests been?" Haruka asked, her eyes back on Saori's face.
"They've been great. It's a shame how we haven't seen each other much in contests, though."
"Uh, yeah. The last contest I went to, I was so sure I'd see you, but… yeah."
"I guess it's just a toss of fate. What is that you're writing?"
Writing? Haruka looked down and, lo and behold, her hand was back at its crime. She let out a small groan, and then tried to inconspicuously cover up all the Shuus. "Just writing to my mom. She's become extremely eager to get posts."
"Ah. I'm sorry to have disturbed you." Saori started walking to let Haruka resume her letter. She suddenly remembered, "Oh, and Haruka—" Haruka looked up once more, and Saori saw one of her scribbles and quickly changed what she was going to say, "Good luck on your next contest."
Haruka let out, "Thanks." She swore she saw Saori wearing a small smirk… but Saori was Saori and Saori didn't smirk, so she must've been wrong.
Man, Shuu is unbelievable. He does things like that, which are done to get on my nerves. I know that. But you know, mom? I think Shuu is—
She stopped writing. What was she going to write? How was she supposed to finish that? It would be incredibly awkward if her mom found out that she was in love with Shuu… if her mom didn't already know. In fact, she bet that her mom knew even before she had realized herself. It had taken four years, after all, even after he had captured her heart. And if her mom didn't know, Haruka definitely wasn't going to be the one telling her. Or writing it to her. Whatever.
"'Dear mom,'—you still write to your mom?"
The breath from the speaker brushed against her cheek. Haruka instantaneously reacted, grabbing her letter with both hands, holding it to her chest as she scuttled into the corner of the booth. Her pencil had been flung out of her hand and it clattered on the floor. Her heart pounded hard as she gasped out, "Shuu!"
Said boy straightened up and looked at her with a gaze of surprise and curiosity. He then smirked, flicking his hair, "The one and only." He then pointed to the piece of paper she was clinging for dear life and said, "What's that?"
Getting her composure back, Haruka huffed, "You already know, so why are you asking?" She had refused to let Saori look at it; there was no way she was going to let Shuu take even a peek. Not in her life.
"If it's just a letter to your mom, why are you trying to keep it out of my grasp so desperately?" Haruka blinked at him. He had read the beginning of her letter; was he so oblivious as to miss her doodles? "I think I saw my name on it. What were you writing about me?" Ah… he was oblivious to all the Shuus written to the side, but he did see the ones written in her actual script.
"Your eyes were deceiving you. Did you really think I'd write about you for anything?" she lied, faking a small laugh. She missed the slightest narrowing of Shuu's eyes. Shuu slid into the same seat as she was sitting in.
He closed his eyes and changed the topic, "I saw Satoshi here earlier. You guys traveling together again?"
After the small shock of him sitting with her passed, she replied, "I wish, but no. We're just having a small get-together."
Had his eyes been open, she would've seen the sheer jealousy that he managed to keep out of his voice, "You wish?"
Getting into her memories, she smiled, "Yeah. It was loads of fun traveling with him. Lately, I've been traveling with my brother."
"Ah. I," Shuu suddenly snatched her letter from her loosened grip, "see." His eyes quickly started scanning the paper as Haruka was frozen from not expecting it.
As he read the last line she had written, along with all her scrawls, she cried out, "No!" and attempted to snatch it back (yet failed because Shuu held it above her reach).
"Do you like writing my name that much?" he teased. Haruka stopped flailing around as her face and neck turned bright red. His teasing tone went down a notch as he asked, "Do you like my name that much?" She could see where this was headed as she attempted to sink into the wall behind her. No luck. "Do you like me that much?" Shuu looked at her seriously, "'I think Shuu is,' what?"
Haruka blurt out, "It's not what you think!" She turned her face to the wall. She didn't see Shuu raise an eyebrow as a small glint of panic passed through his eyes.
"Then what is it? How were you going to finish that sentence?"
She blinked. That's what she'd been thinking before he came. She opened her mouth, and, before she realized what she was saying, she screamed out, "I was going to say you are the biggest, most arrogant prick that has ever existed in this world!" She had turned around to give the full effect of her words. Haruka gasped. That wasn't what she'd meant to say. She'd had no idea what she was going to say, but she had definitely not meant to say something so hurtful.
Shuu paled. The paper fell onto the table. That wasn't… what he expected. Her words… each and every word brought a blow to his heart. "I—" His voice was shaking. Clearing his throat, he started again, "I'm sorry I bothered you." He clenched his jaw, as well as his fists, moving to stand up. Shuu jammed his hands into his pockets, his whole body slightly shaking.
Haruka should've cried out to him. She should've said, 'Wait!' or 'I didn't meant it!' Yet, she was frozen, staring at his retreating back. The pain in his eyes from her words. His whole figure shaking. His question.
There was no way, yet… No. He couldn't possibly… It was impossible. It was impossible. It was—
"I knew I shouldn't have fallen in love with her."
He had been muttering to himself, but she had heard him loud and clear. A smile broke out on her face. Shuu loved her!
Scrambling, she rushed out of the booth and grabbed Shuu's arm. Haruka dragged him back into the booth with her, the plate of food that had been forgotten and left cold pushed to the side. Shuu looked at her strangely and watched assertively as she grabbed her paper and pencil. He read as she wrote:
I think Shuu is the most amazing person I've ever met. Haruka loves Shuu.
She looked at Shuu hesitantly. Shuu had a smile and took the pencil from her.
Shuu loves Haruka.
Sharing a secret smile, they leaned more into one another. All of a sudden, there was applause from around them. Startled, they pulled back and glanced around. Neither of them had realized that people had been listening in once Haruka had yelled. A blush quickly formed on Haruka's face. Shuu played it cool though, flicking his hair, smirking as he said, "Can't handle a little attention?"
Haruka stuck her tongue out at him, scribbled something on her letter, and then kissed him on the cheek, sliding out of the booth. "Sure I can. See you later, love!" she snickered out at his blush.
She hurried off to find Masato and found him after about five minutes of searching. She pushed the letter into his arms and said, "Here, Masato! Sorry it took so long!"
Masato looked incredulously at his sister. "Thanks… What's up with the huge grin and blush?" In his response, there was a giggle then her rushing off to her room. "Sisters…" he sighed.
X x X x X
"Honey! The letter's here!" Senri called out to his wife, relieved. His children sure took their sweet time.
Mitsuko, thrilled, rushed out and took the letter from him. She opened it, and, as soon as the letter was unfolded, her husband asked:
"Who the hell is Shuu?!"