World – GAME
Characters –Kouki, Hikari, Jun
Pairings – Hikari/Jun (Twinleafshipping), implications of Fortuneshipping.
Genres – Friendship, Drama, Romance
Note(s) – (Request #9) So I was planning to write this for the last four months, but never got around to doing it until now. Oops. And this is loosely based off the fact that Kouki camps diligently outside Rowan's lab in the DPPt games. And there's more Kouki than Jun in this. But the Twinleaf is strong here, I think.
Disclaimer – Pokémon and anything else related - not mine.
ChannelHe wore his beret after combing his hair down, folded his scarf habitually around his neck and adjusted it briefly so it would be neither loose nor tight when hanging off his broadening shoulders. He brushed his vest once and slipped his socked feet into the comfy pair of running shoes his father had awarded him with when he first started his duty as the professor's assistant. He unzipped his bag and quickly accounted for the necessities, striking the items: Pokédex, Pokéradar and an assortment of Pokéballs, off the mental list he had carved into the back of his skull. As the teenager closed his bag and hefted it onto his shoulders, he glanced at the blue Pokétch snug on his right wrist.
He was thankfully on time. It would do him good to get up earlier the next day, though.
The boy rubbed a gentle hand on the bowed head of his young sister, currently nestled and camping in front of the glowing screen of the television. Her eyes remained fixated on the entertainment program as she waved an absent hand at him. The assistant grinned sheepishly before bolting out of the house and down the street. The sun peaked over the horizon looming behind Sandgem Town, spreading rivers of dawn throughout the expanse of the area. The air was fresh, and the breeze, generous. As he walked briskly through the familiar streets, he narrowed his eyes and tried to think of a new piece of information to share with her today.
He adored teaching new things and explaining concepts not known to others, it was instinctively part of his nature. And Hikari, being sweet, kind and absent-minded, knew close to nothing about the technical aspects of being a Pokémon trainer. Granted, she was now the champion of the region, but still – it was no grand surprise to learn that she did not understand how to operate a Pokéradar. The boy chuckled at the memory of the girl shaking the device experimentally in her hands, as well as the time when she attempted to use it while balancing on her bicycle.
As he came to a gradual stop in front of the lab, he glanced at the open door and windows – evidence that his parents were already hard at work. The boy looked expectantly towards the west route that lead out of the town and back towards the lake. If it was a particularly friendly day, every so often, Hikari would come to visit him and the professor. But only when she decided to evade her training schedule at the Battle Park or her job to catch Pokémon. He tapped his sneakers on the ground and circumvented the area, deciding what to impart to Hikari, should the girl come by in the morning. He fished out a riceball his grandfather had wrapped for him and began to chew diligently on it, standing in the middle of the street and waving to passing acquaintances and cheeky children rushing off to elementary school.
The boy turned away from the kids and produced a full smile as he saw a female with long, black hair tamed by an odd white hat. Hikari's face was pictured with genuine spirit and building eagerness as she bounded up to his side and greeted him with a wave. When was the last time she had dropped by? Two weeks? The assistant was mildly startled, but that was because he had yet to come up with something informative to tell her. Maybe he could repeat the functions of the Pokéradar, she probably wouldn't notice if he did so anyway.
He chanced a look at the half-eaten riceball in his left hand, then at the grinning face of the girl. The assistant proceeded to extend the spherical food out to her in a polite gesture of offering.
Hikari raised one eyebrow and started to chuckle softly. He scrunched his brow and asked her 'what was the matter' and what was so funny about the riceball. The boy turned the food with his hand, trying to discover which part of it indicated at something humorous. Hikari shook her head and made a flapping gesture with one hand to show that it was a small misunderstanding.
"I just thought that Jun would never be so nice, he hardly shares good food with me," the girl said, her cheeks rosy and glowing.
Oh, right. Jun – the boy with the short attention span. He hadn't meant for the thought to come out in an insulting tone, but the blonde just couldn't prioritize things properly, really. He had failed to obtain his own Pokédex because of his hasty mannerisms. Granted, Jun was still recognized to be a capable trainer and a friend. What gnawed at the assistant, though, was the fact that Hikari and Jun were so tightly knitted. No, he wasn't jealous, per say, he was more... boggled.
Because, how could two so contrasting personalities ever blend well together?
"Hikari, would you mind my asking of how you and Jun manage to stay friends?" he inquired innocently, his brain searching for answers – thirsting and anxious and adventurous, as it usually was whenever he was faced with a nagging problem.
In response, the girl blinked and placed a finger on her chin. Her brow crumpled as she too, struggled to piece together a decent answer. The boy took a tentative bite out of his riceball, before deciding to list out the many reasons for his question – that was what usually helped him plan out answers and explain deductions, as taught by his parents.
"Because, as the saying goes, Pidgey of a feather flock together," he started to explain. As Hikari nodded distractedly, he became urged to continue.
"Jun is always in a rush, whereas you take situations with a calm and steady mind," the boy pointed out.
"He jumps to convulsions easily, while you take longer to make decisions," he informed her.
The small valley forming on the girl's forehead seemed to deepen with intense thoughts. And a frown crossed her face. She brought her hand down from her chin and started pulling and tugging at her fingers, as if suffering from apprehension and anxiety. He tilted his head to the side, wondering what was the problem.
"And I've noticed that he never waits for you before running off," the assistant frowned, "should friends not accompany each other?"
At the statement, a grimace etched itself firmly on Hikari's faltering face.
"He hardly listens to your advice too," the boy whistled contemplatively, he was on a roll here – the more reasons to point out about their odd friendship, the higher the chance that he would be able to elicit a well-explained conculsion. It really was satisfying, exploring new fields and attaining new knowledge, it was one of the many perks of working as an assistant for a renowned professor. Hikari was probably contented with her job under professor Rowan too, it was a lucky offer and position to hold, and –
Wait, she was crying.
"W-what's the matter?! Did I say something wrong?" He chewed his lip and touched her arm lightly.
The girl remained unresponsive, allowing a small number of tears to frame her face silently. She wasn't hysterical or bawling, she was just blinking out the salty water from her eyes – it wasn't a flood, but it was still a sign of her discomfort and sorrow. She stared sadly at him with large, glistening eyes and wet lashes, her mouth upturned in a broken frown.
"… It was more like you said the truth," she wheezed.
He gritted his teeth in exasperation, and before he could say anything more in a hopeless effort to save the girl from her unexplained tears. He heard a flurry of pounding footsteps coming up from behind and shoving him away from Hikari as their owner jumped, concerned and restless, to the girl's side. As the third party wound an arm around the girl's shoulders, the assistant overcame his shock and felt the previous uneasiness dissipating slowly as Hikari twisted in surprise. Yes – wasn't he supposed to be at Stark Mountain? Why was he here? Had he heard her crying from all those miles away? It was physically impossible.
"Kari! What's wrong?" Jun asked her urgently, tossing a stabbing glare at him every so often.
"N-Nothing, it isn't what it looks like," the girl sniffed.
"Really? Cause you know, I'll do whatever it takes to make things right again." The blonde further asserted his point by shaking a demented fist at the stunned assistant.
"It isn't Kouki's fault, I was just – something got into my eye, and it hurt," Hikari hurriedly patched the situation together, her voice regaining stability and composure. The girl wiped her eyes with the heel of her hand, before blinking up at Jun and bearing a weak smile towards him. The rival cocked an eyebrow suspiciously, his hand continuing to rest on her shoulder as he surveyed her, as if to make sure everything was alright. The dark-haired boy standing before the couple fell back into reassuring silence, knowing that now probably wasn't the best time to talk. The probability of Jun flaring up and charging madly at him suddenly became increasingly high.
"Good, I was afraid I'd have to punch you," the blonde told him casually after ensuring Hikari's wellbeing.
He shuddered inwardly.
And as the girl held onto Jun's open palm and smiled gently at his relieved face, the assistant straightened his shoulders and stiffened his back. He nibbled cautiously at the remainder of his riceball, observing how Jun's strength counteracted with Hikari's weakness, and how Hikari's composure prevented Jun's temper from launching out of control. It was the way that her small, petite fingers fitted snugly and protectively into the blonde's large, rough hand that gave him further solid evidence to draw and evaluate from. Hikari's lightening gaze flickered to him for a moment, and she shrugged her shoulders before falling back into conversation with Jun.
He saw them, realised something, and smiled sheepishly in response. He would have to apologise to Hikari later.
Perhaps, he was being too technical with his previous assumption.