This is Post-SubSpace Emissary, yes. There's also a lot of reference to Pokemon, the games. So, for those that haven't played Pokemon, where the heck have you been? Some slight reference to Mother3 also, but no spoilers. I'm nice like that. It's also Red/Lucas, but remember that it's one-sided. I won't tell you from who's side though.
Much thanks to my sister Hasukerz and Kyle for beta-reading through this and correcting my petty mistakes and horrible tenses and grammar. I don't know where I would be without you guys. 8D
Anyway, enjoy guys! I spent the last four days doing this. 83
It was finally over. The threat that came in the form of a super-powered, blue humanoid by the name of Tabuu had been eradicated by the specially chosen group of heroes. Now that all the areas claimed by SubSpace have returned to their rightful places, everything was to go back to normal and the heroes can resume their previous lives.
"You did great, Lucas." Pokemon Trainer said to the young blond PSI user. He looked down at the boy who was still staring at the sun setting over the horizon.
The boy had not been the bravest hero during the beginning of the journey. Lucas told the trainer about the friend named Ness and how Lucas had abandoned him in a time of need due to his lack of courage. Over the time, Red saw the determination Lucas possessed when trying to rescue this friend. Lucas had found that courage over the short journey to the center of SubSpace. He didn't say it, but Red was really proud of Lucas, especially after he had saved him from the self-destructing Galleom.
"Lucas, ready to go?" Red asked again, this time putting a hand on the other's shoulder.
Lucas snapped out of the trance that the sunset had placed on him. He knew what was going to happen. He had been contemplating what he should do while the other fighters had been leaving. He looked at the hand on his shoulder, his gaze moved up the arm to the face of the trainer.
Red was quite startled to see such a forlorn expression on the PSI boy's features. Then he understood why Lucas was stalling the end to this already completed journey.
"Are you going to leave now?" Lucas questioned with big round eyes shimmering with sadness.
The trainer bit his lip and removed his hand from the shorter boy's shoulder. He knew the answer to that question but he didn't have the heart to say it. With the way Lucas was staring at him, Red was sure he was going to break if he told him "yes".
"You're leaving me." It was a statement. "Like how everyone else left me."
Red never knew what happened to Lucas. They never really shared histories past all the SubSpace events. The trainer figured Lucas must have gone through some tragic things to make him the way he was.
"Lucas, you know you don't have to take separating as never seeing each other again."
As a trainer, Red has traveled to many places, he had met many people. He had his shares of goodbyes and parting ways. Over time, it just started to hurt less, because he knew there was always a chance of meeting again.
"Think of it as a break before we meet again."
Lucas nodded, even though he was still reluctant on saying goodbye. Red nodded back.
"I'll see you later, Lucas."
"See you… later…"
Pokemon Trainer gave the young blond one last look before shouldering his backpack and turned to walk away. He was not even two steps away when he heard his name, followed by a rough embrace from behind.
"… … …" Lucas let go of the trainer and stepped back. "…Take care."
The brunette placed a hand on the wavy blond hair. "Take care, Lucas."
And then he was gone.
Trainer Red emerged from Mt. Silver. The sun was incredibly bright today, he thought. He was finally leaving this cave after spending four long years trying to find himself, or something. Seven years ago, Red set out from Kanto to become a Pokemon Master. In nearly a year and a half, he had defeated Kanto's Elite Four. He made his way to the Johto region, and conquered that league too. After defeating the champions of both leagues, Red found that there was not much else to do. He had already been granted the title of Pokemon Master for obtaining the strength to defeat Champion Blue and the great Dragon Master Lance. He had then discovered the pathway to Mt. Silver and made the cave his home for the next five years.
Red had no idea what he was looking for when he settled in the cave. There was absolutely nothing there, save for high leveled Misdreavus and Rapidash. While he was training his pokemon to immense levels, he heard that the Team Rocket incident he thought had been resolved in Kanto had made its way to Johto. At least that was what he had been told by a cheerful young girl with strange pigtails nearly a year ago. He received no news from the outside world since the Mt. Silver area blocked all reception to his PokeGear.
Red was highly thankful to also hear that Team Rocket had also been dispelled thanks to the same girl. Apparently she had also won the two leagues he had four years ago and she was here to challenge him. It wasn't for any title, she told him; being a Pokemon Master is a matter of what one feels and has accomplished. She just wanted to test her strength. Red agreed to the challenge. He lost.
After the battle, the girl had made it a weekly habit to come up to Mt. Silver and talk to him about random pokemon nonsense and current events. After four years alone in a cave, Red realized what he was missing. He was lonely. Red thanked the girl and asked her to never come back to Mt. Silver.
He knew it was a stupid decision, especially because she was a great companion. But he didn't need the unnecessary feelings since he knew that neither of them wanted anything more than friendship. However, his heart was still telling him that a cave full of Misdreavus was not going to keep him happy forever. Also, just because he realized then that he wanted a significant other; it didn't necessarily mean that he would pursue the first person he encountered.
"Maybe I should stop being anti-social." He laughed.
Finally leaving the Mt. Silver area, Red wasn't sure where he should be heading. He wondered if he should have called his mom after disappearing for five years. Then he decided against it since she probably gave up hope and thought he was dead anyway.
His PokeGear was hidden in his back pocket; he didn't need his map. He continued walking to wherever his legs brought him; he didn't care where he went.
The sun was nearly setting when he decided to rest. Red watched the giant star go down from the grassy hill he stationed himself. A small memory of a young blond boy came up from the back of his mind but he was not entirely sure who it was.
"Who… was that?" He asked as he wracked his brain for a name to put on the face.
The barking of a Growlithe drew his attention away from contemplation. The noise came from the bottom of the hill where he saw a furry brown creature running and jumping with who he assumed to be its owner.
"Boney! Wait up!"
From where he stood, Red could tell the owner had wavy blond hair and was dressed in a loose fitting light blue t-shirt under a darker blue vest with baggy pants. He watched the brown Growlithe tackle the teenage boy, knocking the blond onto the grass. The teen was laughing and playfully scratching his furry friend's head.
With much curiosity, the ex-Pokemon Master slung his backpack over his left shoulder, brought out his Pokedex and pointed it at the brown colored Growlithe.
"No data on this Pokemon found."
"No data huh?" He muttered. Maybe he needed to get his Pokedex upgraded.
The beeping of his Pokedex drew the attention of the brown colored Growlithe. It started to bark at the brunette, making Red a little nervous when the owner also looked up over towards his direction. The moment his dark hazelnut eyes connected with those light cerulean eyes of the blond something in his mind clicked. All the memories of Subspace, fighting Primids and befriending a small boy with PSI powers came flooding back to him. Red didn't realize the blond was coming towards him until he felt something brushing up against his knees. The strange looking Growlithe was running circles around him perhaps curious about this new friend he has yet to meet.
"Well, maybe it is a small world after all." The blond spoke while standing nearly an arm's length away from the trainer.
Without warning, Red found himself in the arms of the other teen.
"Nice to see you again, Red."
"It's been a long time… Lucas."
"Eh? Growlithe?" Lucas looked over to the dog he had been petting ever since the two decided to set up camp together.
The blond laughed as Red tried to explain himself and was quite embarrassed for having to admit to spying on the two.
"Boney's not a Pokemon, don't worry about it." The PSI user assured him, still giggling.
Red swallowed nervously. His face was slightly flushed, still ashamed about the whole Boney incident but also because Lucas was sitting way too close to him. It has been a long time since he has had close personal contact with other humans. The girl that had spent time visiting him a year ago always sat across from him when they were talking. And the closest he had gotten in touching her was the handshake she received when she defeated him. Somehow, Lucas managed to break through his personal bubble twice in one night.
"So what have you been up to for the past five years?" Lucas asked, filling up a bowl of soup for him, Boney and then himself.
The ex-master hesitated to tell the blond that he had been holed up in a secluded area away from civilization for almost four years. He coughed into his fist and told his friend that he had been training for another league.
"Oh really? Where is that located?" Lucas asked, genuinely interested. Even Boney picked up his head from his meal to hear Red's answer.
"It's… in a far away island… called H-Hoenn." Red managed to sputter, then took giant spoonfuls of soup in hopes that Lucas wouldn't ask him anymore about this far away region.
"Same Red is the same, pokemon always on the mind." The teen smiled brightly.
The trainer's lip twitched upwards. He's right, I suppose, that's all I ever really think about. He managed to swallow his soup to ask about Lucas's life.
"After the whole Subspace deal, I went back home. My dad told me that I shouldn't keep myself in the village since I'm a growing boy. So I left home, because a small part of me thought that I might be able to meet up with you again. I planned on taking the trip alone but Boney followed me. It's been the two of us ever since. But I'm glad I met up with you. I have to be honest; I almost gave up hope of ever seeing you again."
Red felt more than a little uncomfortable hearing that Lucas never forgot about him. He couldn't believe he completely blocked out his whole memory of the Subspace adventure. What has he been doing with his time? What new memories did he make that was more important than that? Isolation in a cave for nearly half a decade was no excuse at all.
"Say, how are your pokemon? Do you still have Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard?"
Oh right, he nearly forgot to introduce them. Wow, four years in a cave really rots your social skills. Red picked up his six pokeballs and let out his winning team.
"Oh wow, is that a Pikachu?"
Mildly surprised that Lucas even knew what a Pikachu was, Red laughed for the first time since meeting up with the blond boy.
Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise recognized Lucas immediately and cheered happily at the familiar friend. The blond teen patted the fire type on the head recognizing him first.
"Eh?! Squirtle, you've gotten so big! I can't lift you anymore! And you've gotten such adorable ears!"
The shellfish pokemon rubbed his nose against Lucas's cheek. Red realized then how much Lucas had grown physically. The PSI user was almost as tall as Blastoise, perhaps even a few inches taller due to his wavy hair. At most, Red stood a few inches under his water type.
Red watched Lucas compliment Venusaur's bloomed flower and how it compared to when he was still an Ivysaur. The grass/poison type chimed happily, shaking hands with the blond using an outstretched vine. His Snorlax decided he was next for introductions and tackle-glomped the blond, despite never having have met the teen before. Red's Snorlax was always very cheerful, with a Jolly nature, even though Snorlax were most known for their lethargy.
Even more surprising to Red was when Lucas simply laughed at the Sleeping pokemon while giving it a hug in return. Normally, Red would be on the ground by now, but Lucas managed to hold up a glomp from a thousand pound Snorlax. This made him wonder just how much growing up Lucas had done. Thinking about it, Lucas was probably everything Red wasn't.
He had not realized he was staring until Boney barked at him. He looked down at the "dog" (that's what Lucas had called Boney), who barked at him again. The dog gestured at where his owner was picking up his Pikachu. If Red hadn't known any better, he would have thought Boney was telling him something about Lucas's growths. He simply placed a hand on Boney's head and scratched it like he would do to his own pokemon.
Espeon had been cautiously circling the tall blond. Lucas finally noticed the amethyst shaded creature and put down the Bashful Pikachu to give the Sun pokemon his full attention.
"Hi there, what's your name?"
"Why, hello there, Espeon!"
Lucas held out a hand, which the purple cat-like pokemon place his own paw on. Lucas wrapped his fingers around the tiny purple paw and shook it up and down as if it were human. He smiled a little sadly at the psychic type.
"You're… a lot like me."
The Espeon looked up at him. The two stared at one another as if they were trading ideas and searching the other's thoughts. After a while, the psychic type leaped into Lucas's shoulder to nuzzle his check affectionately.
Red had no idea what had taken place between the two, but he could see that his Espeon had already grown quite attached to the PSI user. Boney woofed at him again, as if telling him he was going to sleep. Lucas's dog brushed past his owner as the teen came back to sit next to the trainer.
"Good night, Boney." The blond called to the dog curling up by a tree. He then directed his attention back to Red. "Your pokemon are amazing! They're all so friendly and healthy! I can also tell they like you a lot."
"Well, I do spend most of my time with them…" Red muttered as he stared into the flame. Glancing behind the fire, he saw Charizard playfully batting the affectionate Snorlax away. Pikachu was falling asleep, so Venusaur picked it up and placed it beside him. Blastoise was bored and looked a little tired too. A small smile crept up on his lips. These were his best friends; of course he'd dedicate most of his life to them.
"Espeeeon!" Lucas scratched Espeon's chin, much to the psychic type's delight.
Red was staring again. Had Lucas always been this charming? SubSpace had only happened in a span of a day or two. He had gotten acquainted with the PSI user, but he never really got to know him.
"Is there something wrong?"
The trainer shook his head. What was he thinking? This is Lucas. He's just an old friend. Don't forget that he was the shy little boy you rescued.
Out of the corner of his eye, Red saw the concerned look on Lucas's face. Lucas's more defined and mature face. The trainer shook himself again, mentally this time.
"It's nothing. Say, have you learned any new PSI moves?" Red asked, hoping to change the topic.
The two then continued a conversation that lead from one topic to another. They spoke long and detailed about what went on during the years they separated. Red spent most of his conversation stretching out certain details to cover up the majority of the Mt. Silver stay. Neither of them realized the sun was coming up, or that the fire had died away long ago. Red's pokemon were all soundly asleep as was Boney.
"Don't you ever get… lonely?" Red asked as a response to another comment. When he realized what he had just asked, he immediately wished to take it back. He didn't want Lucas to think that Red was tired of his pokemon, or that he wanted anything from Lucas. I swear I don't, Red thought.
But Lucas didn't think anything more of the question and answered it honestly.
"Well, traveling by myself gets a little boring. I mean, I know Boney is there for a good conversation, even though we bicker sometimes." He laughed. "Then there's meeting new people whenever you stop at a new place. Even with all the friendly faces, you never really feel like you're at home."
Red nodded. He did understand what the PSI user was saying and he agreed indefinitely. However, the trainer was stilling thinking about another type of loneliness.
Lucas yawned. "Wow, time went by incredibly fast." He said, noting the sun. "Should we go to bed now and wake up in an hour or not sleep at all?"
Red laughed. There were several nights where he would break night but didn't know about it since he was inside Mt. Silver. After all, no sun light comes through in a cave.
"Well, if we're going to be on a move, I think we'll be needing some rest."
"I suppose." The blond yawned again.
Red felt his heart leap to his throat when Lucas leaned down and rested his head against his shoulder without any warning. The blond must have noticed how stiff the trainer had become because he apologized immediately and straightened himself.
"Sorry, I wanted to rest my eyes a bit but I didn't want to get up and wake up this guy."
Lucas ended his sentence, gesturing to the Espeon who had made himself comfortable on the blond's lap.
"I-it's okay. You can rest on me; I was just a bit surprised, that's all." Red managed to voice. To be honest, he rather liked it. The thought of someone having to lean on you, it made him feel wanted.
"Are you sure? I don't want to make you uncomfortable."
"No really, it's fine. You can lean on me." To emphasize his point, Red inched a little closer to Lucas.
That was totally uncharacteristic of you, Red thought to himself.
As soon as the blond was replaced back on his shoulder, Red's heart started to race. He could hear the blood flowing through the back of his ears. He swore it was so loud that even Lucas might have heard it.
"I'll wake you up in an hour?" The trainer asked smoothly even though his brain was running all over the place at the moment.
He felt the teen nod against his shoulder and mumble a tired "Sure."
The trainer watched as Sand Man claimed another party member to the land of slumber. Apparently Lucas had been a lot more tired than he looked because he was unconscious in less than a few minutes. Red looked down at the blond sleeping on his right shoulder. He looks so peaceful, Red thought. The following thought wanted to say, like an angel, but Red forced himself not to think of incredibly cheesy and clichéd lines.
Even while sleeping, Lucas had a smile on his face. Red vaguely wondered what the blond was dreaming of. The tips of long blond hair brushed softly against the trainer's face, tickling his cheeks and nose. The brunette was somewhat tempted to lean in and take a whiff of the soft yellow hair. Well, that's not creepy at all, Red thought sarcastically as he rolled his eyes. Just because your friend is sleeping, it does not give you the right to think weird thoughts about him. Especially not if you think you might have a crush on him.
Red immediately slapped his face with his free palm.
At that moment, Lucas stirred in his sleep. His left arm looped around Red's right arm. Seeing how close their hands were, the trainer brought his fingers a little closer to the other's digits. In a hesitant and deliberate pace, Red managed to cup his palm in Lucas's while their fingers entwined. This is nice, he thought as warm fuzziness drowned in his chest. And then he decided that he definitely didn't want just anybody in his life. He wanted Lucas.
By the time the PSI user woke up, Red had already unattached their conjoined hands. Lucas felt something on his lap stir. He saw Espeon blinking his eyes and stretching out his back like a cat. The blond blinked his own eyes to adjust to the sunlight that was quickly settling over the forest clearing.
"Good morning. How did you sleep?"
Lucas removed his head from its resting place.
"Fine, thanks for letting me borrow your shoulder."
"It's no problem." Red mumbled, rolling his stiff shoulder backwards in circular motions, then forward.
"Sorry, does it hurt too much?" Lucas asked with concern.
"Nah, it's just a little…" Red stopped when the blond placed a hand on the said shoulder. A soft blue glow appeared under the hand. The stiffness in his muscles slowly faded away along with the light.
"T-thanks." Red uttered in a baffled tone.
Lucas nodded and flashed him a grin telling him it was no problem.
"Ready to go?" Lucas asked, everything already stuffed into a small backpack that he slung over his left arm.
"Mhm." Red had returned all his pokemon into their proper pokeballs after feeding them. His items were all packed after that.
Boney also barked out a response.
"Okay then, let's go!"
The two friends and dog crunched through various pebbles and twigs to get out of the clearing. As they trekked up a hill, Lucas asked the brunette where he was headed for.
"I'm… not really headed for a certain destination. I'll go wherever I go. Though I sometimes wonder when I'll be getting home." Red chuckled nervously. "I haven't been home in a long time. I wonder if Mom even knows I'm still alive."
He didn't realize Lucas had completely stopped walking until Boney tugged on his jeans to make him turn around. The blond had such a blank stare in his blue eyes that it worried the trainer might have said something to offend the other.
"You're going home."
"You. Are going home. Immediately."
Red blinked. What the heck was that supposed to mean? He didn't want to go home. No, he was definitely not going home. After spending five years in a cave then coming out of it with nothing, Red was sure that there was not much else to do. But then the PK boy stepped back into his life and now he had a reason. He finally found a reason to start over, and he was determined to not let go of it. He had to find some way to convince Lucas to let him journey with him.
"I don't understand, Lucas."
Lucas grabbed Red by the shoulders. The trainer saw then how tall he was compared to the other teen. It was sad to say that he was almost half a foot shorter than him.
"Your mother has not heard from you in a long time. She must be worried sick about you. You need to tell her that you're still alive and well."
"Can't I just… call her?" Red chuckled sheepishly. Perhaps lightening the mood would change Lucas's mind.
However, with the look that Lucas was giving him, it was very hard to convince himself that what he wanted was more important. It was a pained expression. Red saw in those blue eyes a deep sadness, a little anger and something he thought might be jealousy. He didn't understand why the blond wanted him to go home so badly.
"Are… are you asking me to leave?" Red whispered.
Lucas looked startled. "N-no! I never meant it like that. It's just… it's just…" He looked down at his dirty worn out red sneakers. "Red, you have a mother who cares about you. The least you can do is reassure her and tell her that her son is still alive. I'm sure that's what she would want." All the while he spoke; his eyes seemed to be looking back into a different time.
"…Fine. I'll go home." Red whispered painfully.
The sign on the forked road pointed to the west and to the east. The left sign read "Hollow Town" while the right read "Kanto."
Red gave the sign such a forlorn look, as if his stare would make the right side of the sign drop into the ground and disappear.
"Well then, I guess… this is goodbye…"
At that moment, something in Red crumbled. No, please don't say this is goodbye. He had to do something quick or his life would be walking away from him, possibly forever.
"Can't you come home with me?" The trainer pleaded.
Lucas looked at the brunette. "…Red, after we separated for the first time, my thoughts have always gone back to you.
"You know, I left home just so I could find you again. After a while, my goal to look for you changed. What was going to happen when I found you again? I wanted to be someone you can be proud of and not the lonely little boy you last met. I wanted to be so much like you. I really admired you. I think I might have actually been in love with you."
The blond didn't give any time for Red to react, he continued talking.
"I decided to become stronger. I've learned a lot of things on the way. I learned not to rely on others so much. I still need my friends, but I've grown more independent. I learned to think for myself."
Lucas never left his gaze off the trainer. He smiled bitterly, making Red's heart sink even further.
"Red, you're strong. You really don't need me to go with you."
Red step forward but the blond placed a hand on the other's shoulder, pushing him back slightly.
"Go home, Red. It's not like we're never going to see each other again, right? Think of it as a break before we meet again."
Of course, he was right. Red remembered those words. They were his words. It didn't really help the ache in his heart though.
"So I'll see you later?"
"See you… later…" The trainer muttered with an empty tone.
Lucas waved a hand then turned to walk away. A hand reached out to grab the fabric of his shirt sleeve. Without turning around, Lucas placed a hand over the hand on his shoulder.
"Take care, Red."
The blond pulled away from the hold on him. Boney whimpered to his owner as the two walked away from the pokemon trainer.
"…Take… care…" Red muttered, pulling down the rim of his cap to shade his eyes.
And then he was gone.
Did I really just do that? Did I really just deny Red of any love? Did I really just write some Red/Lucas? Did I really make Lucas seem like an ass? Oh dear, I hope not for the last one. I didn't mean to make him mean. D8 Lucas wasn't trying to get back at Red for breaking his heart all those years, no. Lucas was just lightly rejecting Red by telling him that he only sees Red as a friend now, because he obviously knows that Red might be thinking of something more. Lucas is genuine about everything he said, there's no alternative meaning behind his words in this fic.
I also hope it didn't seem too sudden for Lucas to force Red into going home. I mean, it sounds silly, but I think Lucas would be a little mad at Red for not appreciating his mother like that. Though I don't know if Lucas would actually force a friend into doing something he doesn't want. Maybe it's the mother thing. I also needed a good excuse to separate them…
More things to explain, where to start…
Side note, when Lucas tells Espeon that they're alike, I was thinking about how Eevees usually come in singles in a game, usually given to you by a technical machine-like person. (But I don't mean TMs.) Where did those Eevees come from? I'm just saying the Eevees had no family or were separated from their families to be given to trainers at level 25/10/5 and that Lucas might be able to relate.
Also about the Espeon, I totally didn't realize they changed Red's team in HGSS until I did a little research later about natures. (Hence, Jolly nature Snorlax, Serious nature Espeon and Bashful nature Pikachu, hur hur.) Well… I'm basing it off retro!Red's team, so…
And the girl with pigtails, you can interpret that as whoever you want. I was thinking Crystal, because I love her, but I match remakes with remakes, so technically it should be Soul. Hmph.
I hope Red's attraction towards Lucas wasn't rushed and awkward and clichéd and stupid. D8 That would have made me really sad.
And, uh, I still don't really support Red/Lucas. Or Lucas/Red. They're adorable, I love Red and I love Lucas, but I don't love them together. Mainly, I wanted to write older!Lucas after a doodle that I did in my planner. Ahaha. It was a bit difficult to make the transition from SSE!Lucas to MOTHER3!Lucas since I don't know if SSE!Lucas even went through chapter 4 of MOTHER3 yet.
AND! Don't blame Red for forgetting everything that happened in SubSpace and Lucas. I mean, it's been like, 4 years. I don't even remember the name of my High School teachers. (Not really anyway.) There are some things that you just can't remember. And the whole Mt. Silver thing must have rotted his brain cells too. Ahaha…
Since he just came out of the cave, Red has no idea of any new pokemon, region or anything. So the whole "training for Hoenn" was all made up, and he just had an uncanny luck to name a correct region.
And, that's all the side notes I can think of. Any other unexplained things you can ask me. In a review. Like, you know, leave me a comment. Hehe.