A/N: A reader pointed out to me that the last bit of last chapter with the sudden PoV shift was a bit disorienting. My apologies for that; I may go back and change that later. Also, a few things just to clear up: all the cities/forests here are made-up. I don't know the extent of the Pokemon world well enough to trust myself trying to imitate it. If I use a name that is actually in the manga, please inform me so I can switch it. Turns out this chapter is really just as short as the last one, like a page longer. This makes me kind of sad, but oh well. I did work up an outline for the rest of the story, so now I actually know what will happen. This should help with the next few chapters so I'm not just throwing things out there. It shouldn't be any longer than 22 chapters. Probably less. Lastly, I sincerely apologize for the late update. I've been taking wild advantage of the freedom of summer, going out a lot, and I've been spending a lot of time working up at a summer camp as well, so those delayed me from thinking about writing. Camp is over a week from today, however, and from that point I should be able to focus on this story more again.

Disclaimer: I own Pokemon about as much as I own my car. Someone else actually has the papers for it. I'm just using it. (Which is actually okay, because that way they should have to pay for the damages. ...Right?)

Warning: Will contain boylove. Nonexplicit. May include mild cussing, gay themes, possible mild violence, and may touch upon darker themes. Also bound to be chock-full of bad ideas. If you are disinclined to favor male male relationships, you may find it wise to abandon this story. However, the romance will not begin until later.

Romance/Humor, Rated T, Red/Green pairing.


Advantage

Chapter 3


Red felt uncomfortable.

He hadn't been really all that upset about this arrangement in the beginning. Sure, Blue was annoying, but it was kind of flattering that she was so persistent in her pursuit of him. It was kind of fun to come up with new ways to avoid her all the time, and most dates, if weird, weren't actually all that bad. Sometimes he would give in and do something nice, just because she was so cute.

But lately he just wasn't feeling it. He didn't know whether anything had changed or whether he was just getting tired or what, but he did know that Blue was stringing him along by the wrists right now through the streets of Violet City and he just plain didn't want to be there.

"Listen, Blue—" he tried to say, but she wasn't paying attention. Besides, he thought glumly, how do you break up with someone you're not even together with?

"We're here!" the cheerful girl announced a few minutes later. They had arrived in front of a building labeled Diner 45, whatever that meant. "Come on." She squeezed his hand, causing him to wince, and led him inside.

It was a decent diner, pretty similar to every other one he had seen. He sat down at the booth while Blue scurried off to the bathroom, burying his head in his hands. It had been a week and a half since the Team Rocket incident, and he hadn't seen Green since. He wondered how he was faring with Blue. Was she bothering Green as much as she was bothering him? He probably managed to shake her off. Red was horrible at that. He just hated turning down a girl, even if she was the most annoying thing on the planet.

No incidents had passed other than the trap, which made him wonder what the whole point was. But then, he had an inkling that perhaps the lack of Pokemon in Amethyst Wood was their work. What motivation could they possibly have for keeping him from completing his Pokedex? He groaned mentally, covering his eyes with his fingers.

Just as soon, a warm hand grabbed his wrist, tugging his hand away from his face.

Crap, Blue.

He looked up with a sheepish smile only to see a blur of a familiar face, hooded, before they promptly turned away, dragging him out of his seat by the wrist and whisking him along.

"Ehhhh?" Red stumbled along behind his kidnapper, following them into an alley behind the diner, where he was let go. He paused, then sat down on a crate in confusion. "Green?"

"Yeah," came the response, Green turning around as he took off his hood. "Hi."

"Er… Hi." Red blinked. "What are you doing here? Not that I mind or anything! Good to see you. Thanks again for saving me that one time, I was just wondering why you randomly kidnapped me in the middle of a date with Blue, not that that's unappreciated because I'm really getting sick of her and all that, not that that's her fault, because it's just like I don't know, it's been all not fun anymore and harder to avoid her too because I get really bored and stuff, and those nesting Pokemon were like the only ones I've added to my Pokedex, which by the way I am really grateful that you saved me from because their attack power is like—" Suddenly a hand was clamped over his mouth.

"Geez, do you ever shut up?" grumbled Green. "Stop freaking thanking me or I'll just send you right back."

"Thwr," was his muffled apology. Green rolled his eyes and removed his hand.

"Seriously though, what are you doing here?" asked Red.

"I've been thinking," replied Green cryptically, leaning against the opposing fence. "And I've realized that the answer to all our problems lies in physics."

Red blinked. He hated math and science and stuff. "Can we find a different answer? I don't like… physics."

"No, it's simple physics, stupid. It goes like this: one person cannot be in two places at the same time. Get it? It's like math."

Red blinked a few more times, not sure what the connection was. "Yeah… okay… I get that…"

Green nodded, as though his explanation was complete. "See? The solution is simple."

"Um… what was that solution again?" Red asked helplessly. He really didn't get it at all.

Green rubbed his temples, heaving an exasperated sigh, which annoyed Red. It wasn't like he was a rocket scientist or something, jeez. "The only reason Blue can keep up this… stalking… is because we're close enough that she can alternate between the two of us," he explained.

Stalking. That reminded him. "How did you know where I was, anyway?"

Green frowned slightly. "I followed you," he said matter-of-factly.

Uh-huh. Stalker. "Continue."

"So if we're both far enough away, she can't stalk both of us."

Oh. It kind of was beginning to make sense. Red nodded. "Okay, yeah. Go on."

Green blinked at him. "So we get far enough away. That's it."

Red thought this over for a second. "Ohhhhhh."

"Yeah."

"Wait, how far away?"

Green groaned. "I don't know, somewhere farther than a week's distance. I can go up north to the coast and you can go further southwest. I know there are a few places neither of us have explored yet."

"What about Amethyst Wood?"

Green looked grim. "It's clearly not providing as it should. Forget about it. Come back later."

Red was silent for a moment. It was one thing to come up with an idea, another to abandon the original plan altogether. "…Okay, so, when will this 'parting of ways' occur?"

"Now," said Green. He lifted his cloak to reveal a satchel slung over his shoulder. "Your things are in the ceiling above the last stall in the diner restroom."

"Really…?" Red asked. Something about this plan just seemed very wrong to him. "I'm just going to leave her in the middle of our lunch date?"

Green raised an eyebrow. "You're worried about Blue?"

"Well…" Red wrung his hands. "I dunno. I mean, lying to get out of a date is one thing. Avoiding someone is one thing. But altogether ditching them is kind of… mean."

Green paused, then shrugged, wearing an indiscernible expression. "If you like her, stay. It'll make my job easier."

"I don't." Red frowned, remaining silent for a second or two. "Did you really mean it when you said I was your friend?"

"When did I say that?" asked Green.

Ouch. "The week before last when you left after the whole trap thing."

"Oh." He shrugged. "I say a lot of things."

"Oh." Well in that case, it was no problem at all for him to run off, Red decided. It wasn't like they had been traveling together in the first place or anything. They were rivals. They were competitors. They should be looking in separate places anyway.

"I did, though," Green interrupted his thoughts. "Mean it."

"Oh," said Red again, slightly mollified. Weird, that he should think of him as a friend when they were in a contest against one another.

Even weirder that he had thought so before Green even said anything.

"Anyway, I'm leaving. Do what you want. She'll try and follow one of us, probably. I'm making sure it won't be me."

"Right."

"And I'm still going to beat you."

"Right—wait, no! No you are not." Red grinned, energy revived slightly. "Like hell. I'll kick your ass."

Green allowed a small twitch of a smirk, then turned and left.


Red snuck back in the restaurant carefully, crossing his fingers that Blue hadn't gotten back to the table yet. No such luck. He cursed as he peered around the corner from the kitchen door. She was sitting at the table, swinging her legs and looking around with a frown.

Crap. His stomach melted something, losing the nerve to run away. After a sigh and a well-chosen curse on his own chivalry, he scuffled to the booth once more, attempting to look innocent.

"Haha—oh, there you are!" he said, laughing nervously.

"Yes…" said Blue, narrowing her eyes at him. "And you were…?"

"Uhh… lost," blurted Red. Ooh, that was good, she'll believe that. "I, uh, left the table and got lost."

"And you left… why?"

"To get… napkins."

Blue eyed the two napkins with silverware already on the table, raising an eyebrow.

"Because… I spilt my water."

Blue sighed. "You're hopeless."

Red grinned sheepishly and sat down across from her, tucking his hands under his legs so she couldn't grab one.

"Well I already ordered while you weren't here," continued Blue, "so I just got you some sushi, okay?"

"Yeah, sure," said Red. Mmm. Maybe he would stick around—but no, he shook his head mentally. He couldn't take this stalker-clinginess. He was a stud, a champion, a winner, and the best Pokemon trainer in the world. He should be allowed to play the field! No attachments! He needed to be able to entertain the ladies! Yeah, they would definitely be disappointed were he to attach himself. No way could he do that to his fans. That was just cruel. Nope, Red of Pallet Town was no one's man.

"What are you thinking?" asked Blue with an amused smile.

"Huh?" Red blinked back to reality.

"You just had a really funny series of expressions cross your face," she informed him.

"Oh." Red flushed lightly. "Nothing."

I was totally not just hearing a mob of swooning fangirls or anything. Not at all. Psh.

"Um… your food's here…" interjected the waitress, looking from one to the other awkwardly. "Hey, aren't you…?"

Red beamed before she could finish the sentence. "Why yes. Yes I am."


"Really?"

Red jumped, whirling around in the darkness, hand at his Pokeball. "Huh?"

The voice sighed. "Over here, doofus." Red turned towards the voice, squinting at the silhouette. "I'm asking, really? You think letting her think everything's fine and then leaving without a word is better than just leaving mid-date?"

Oh. It's you. Pft. "Yes," whispered Red defensively. "Yes, I do."

"Why are you whispering?"

"Because it's dark."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

Red thought about this for a moment, realizing that it didn't, because no one was around. "Because that's just what people do. When it's dark, you whisper. Okay? Jeez."

"Touchy, touchy."

Red stuck his tongue out, even though he knew Green probably couldn't see. "Well, what are you still doing here? Aren't you supposed to be off in the glaciers or something?"

"I was curious as to what you'd do. Now that I know, I'm off."

"Wha—Jeez! What was the point of talking to me then?"

"To point out that you're dumb, and therefore, I will win this competition of ours."

"Well gee, thanks for the heads up," he grumbled. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to completely demolish any competition you present. I'm gonna be the very best, you know. Like no one ever was."

"Sure you are."

"I am," insisted Red. "Who won the Pokeleague Tournament, hm? Because I seem to recall it wasn't you."

He smirked smugly for a moment before noticing the lack of response. He squinted at where the shadow had been, then sighed, realizing he was gone. "Well jeez," he muttered. "Wouldn't have killed you to say good-bye."


Green headed steadily towards the ferry in the opposite direction. He hadn't told Red, but 'simple physics' wasn't the only reason he wanted to get away from here. He was convinced that Blue had something to do with the lack of contact he'd had from his grandfather, who had promised to check in with the both of them on their journey. His cell had been completely quiet. That, coupled with the mysterious lack of new Pokemon, raised his suspicions. The timing was too coincidental.

What worried him was that he had never considered Blue so apt as to be able to accomplish such a thing. Either she had help, or he had underestimated her. Both ideas were troubling.

He adjusted his satchel as he kept to the side of the road, moving swiftly away from the sprawling town.

If she had help, who was it, and why?

If she was so capable, how had he not realized it before?

And still, why?

Green frowned deeply as he navigated by the light of the moon. Her motivation bothered him the most. Did she really just want them both? Was she psychotic, or just greedy? Did she feel entitled? Did she have some different motivation altogether? How did any of the lack of communication or Pokemon relate to her romantic advances? Did they? Was he wrong?

Green hated being wrong.

But right now, he reminded himself, he had more important things to do. If Blue was the problem, removal from the situation was a solution. He would contact Professor Oak and search for more Pokemon. So long as he did so faster and better than Red (which he would), he would finish the Pokedex in no time.


A/N: Fin. Read and review please. I actually know what I'm going to write next chapter, which is good. Feedback, however, is even better, so that I know I'm not just fishing in a bucket with this story. (Is that an accurate metaphor? I just threw one in there at random.) I managed to reply to many of the reviews I got for this story, which was nice, and I was very pleased with the responses. I can't promise I'll get to you if you review, but I definitely will if you leave me something long and thorough. It doesn't even have to be nice! Just legit. Thanks muches for reading; the next chapter will hopefully not take so long!

EDIT: I am putting this story on hiatus because I feel blocked. I'm not very in touch with the characters at the moment because I haven't been reading the manga for so long. I will start reading it again, and once my juices get flowing once more, I'll be right back at it-I promise. Thanks a lot for the support, dears. Do still review!