I walked through the darkness, my Manectric using its Flash to light the way. I cursed under my breath as I tripped over my cape. Why Champions had to wear them, I did not know, but Wallace had lectured me when I complained about the encumbering garment.
"It will help you exude grace!" he had said, with a flourish of his hand. "Something you are so desperately lacking in."
It wouldn't have been so bad had I not wanted to train in Meteor Falls. A new path made itself known to me and I badly wanted to explore it. I always thought this cave to be beautiful, with its waterfalls and lunar and solar shaped Pokemon.
So far, I met an elderly couple and a Dragon Trainer, but those seemed to be the only people I would encounter. Mud covered the cape, and I felt a bit successful, knowing it would peeve Wallace.
After a few minutes of going around in circles, I happened upon an entrance to another tunnel. From what I could see with Flash, it was long and branched off in two directions. I chose one route and walked through it, tripping over protruding stones and damning Wallace in my head.
At the end of the tunnel, I saw another light, and suspected it to be Flash. I stepped closer and smiled when I saw where it came from.
"I'm not surprised to see you here, Steven," I said.
Said man turned when he heard my voice and his features lightened. Next to him, and Aaron lit up to shine on the cave wall. Steven wore his usual suit, the purple stripes soiled by the dirt. "I'm surprised you found me here, May."
I walked up next to him and plopped down on my haunches, happy that I found him. The last time I saw him was when I went to face Juan. "What are you looking for?"
"Nothing in particular," he said, turning to me and looking at my cape. "I had to wear that thing, too. It was rather inconvenient, walking around with a cape on."
"You mean, you were Champion, too?" I asked, completely shocked. I had heard he was powerful, but I didn't expect this.
"You didn't know?"
"No, I didn't. I can't believe it!"
A blush settled on Steven's face and he rubbed the back of his head. I found I liked that blush. "Well, it was a long time ago…"
"Wait, don't tell me," I said, eying him suspiciously. "Wallace didn't beat you, did he?"
"How could you let him beat you?!"
"It was a poor type match-up."
I sighed, and thought about this information for a minute. Steven used to be the Champion. That meant he must be really strong.
"So how is being the Champion going for you?" He asked, changing the subject as he returned to his work of hacking away the wall.
"Other than the cape, pretty well," I replied. "I haven't had any challengers yet, but the Elite Four keep me preoccupied when they ask for rematches. The gym leaders, too."
"You must be getting pretty strong."
"Yep." I smiled with pride. "How about a battle to prove it?"
His lips quirked upward and he said," I prefer digging for rocks to training Pokemon. But, I'm willing to make an exception for you."
The prospect of a battle with him made my stomach do flip-flops. I only saw his Pokemon once, when we had fought together against Team Magma. I knew he liked Steel types, but that was about it.
"I want to show you how much Beldum has grown," I continued.
After meeting him in Mossdeep, he had given me a house key. "Any time you need to, come right on in, even if I'm not there," he told me, with that same smile on his face. "My home is your home now."
His kindness surprised me, and after I had defeated Wallace, I wanted to stop by and tell him. However, when I walked in, all I found were a short letter and a Pokeball holding the mysterious little Pokemon.
I trained the Beldum, thinking of Steven whenever I called it out. I thought of when I first met him, in the cave in Dewford, and how he helped me afterward in Fortree. I thought of when Team Magma and Team Aqua had summoned the destructive forces of the two ancient Pokemon and he first introduced me to Wallace.
He was always there, but then, after I defeated the Pokemon League, he disappeared from my life. Beldum was a constant reminder of Steven as it grew and evolved.
Now, I wanted to show Steven my Metagross, the Pokemon I knew he also possessed.
We stood in the small cave, calling out Pokemon that took up most of the space. As we said our attacks and came at each other with whatever we had, I knew he loved battling as much as I did. Sure, he said he liked hunting for rocks, but why would he have trained Pokemon and become Champion if he didn't like it?
When our Metagrosses faced off against each other, I saw his pride in me and it made my heart beat in strange ways. I realized I yearned for that pride, I looked up to him. In the end, it was a draw. But it didn't matter. I didn't care if I won or lost.
I just wanted to spend more time with him.
Steven sat down with a sigh, and smiled at me. "So that's why you're champion."
I kneeled in front of him, a bit pensive. "Why did you become Champion if you don't like training?"
He leaned forward, close to my face and I felt my body heat up. "Pokemon are a part of my life, no matter what I'm doing. I wanted to see if I could become Champion with the Pokemon that helped me dig tunnels and caves."
"And I reiterate: you let Wallace beat you?"
"I didn't let him beat me," Steven replied in a teasing tone. "He just so happened to train water types."
"Yeah, and he just so happened to beat you."
"You're not going to let this go, are you?"
We both laughed, and afterward, the quietness was welcome. We didn't need to speak to each other. Being with Steven again was enough for me.
"Are you finished your soul searching yet?" I asked after a while, looking up at the ceiling. "Because, I'd like to see you outside of a cave," I continued, a bit nervous. "Or, you know, at all."
"I think I'm done here," I heard him say. "Human interaction is nice, after all."
I returned my gaze to his face and he leaned in to kiss my forehead. The heat returned and my cheeks flamed up.
"So we'll meet again, right?" I asked.
This time, he pressed his lips to mine, and I felt his smile. When he drew back, he said," We always do."
"And you'll have a rematch with Wallace?"
"And you'll tell him to stop making me wear capes?"
Steven took a part of the white fabric in his hand and said," Let's not get hasty. Perhaps if it's the only thing you wear…"
Don't make this
(a/n) Tis fluff, I know, but I added something a bit naughty at the end. Nudge, nudge. Rarely do I write a story like this, but I had it on my mind for a while. Not one of my best, but I do love this pairing.