The process of waking up is different from person to person, but anyone can testify that you can't really remember the exact moment you leave your dreams and enter reality. Usually, when you first open your eyes you are a bit confused, until you can put the pieces back together. Especially if you on the night before drank alcohol.

This type of waking up was something Volkner experienced. He awoke slowly, but found himself unable to stretch or yawn. The bed as well as his body was warmer than usual, and he felt something hard on the back of his neck. His arms were also pressed against something similarly firm, but he couldn't really put his finger to what the warm hard things could be. He could, however, come to the conclusion that he did not dislike his position one bit. He actually felt quite secure and good about himself, in his groggy, still half awake and confused state.

The room was bright as the morning sun shone through the window upon the bed. It took some time for his eyes to adjust to the light, but when they did, he was also awake enough to recognize the warm and hard things that surrounded him as another person with their strong arm around him.

It came as a shock, but he felt hung-over as well, so that explained some of the things, though he wasn't prone to sleeping with strangers.

He looked to his left, where he saw someone he was not expecting; his close friend Flint. Flint was still asleep, and strangely not snoring despite his open mouth. He was breathing hard though, making Volkner wonder how it took him so long to realize he was in bed with another person. Then he frowned. It wasn't just any other person; it was Flint.

By now, Volkner was freaking out in the most silent of ways. While his hangover distracted his thoughts a bit, he could not ignore his situation. His most urgent question was; had they had sex? The alcohol still in his system dulled his unknown pain, and he couldn't tell since the mood was so bizarrely calm and normal, even though he was clueless and had no idea of what to do.

His frustration grew; how come he couldn't remember the night before? He didn't remember having that much to drink, even if he did have an awful hangover, with his head pounding angrily and spiting him.

Maybe, he reasoned, Flint and he had just fallen asleep in the same bed.

Then another question arose; did Flint remember anything?

Volkner was mad at himself for having so much to drink. Lately, with his gym challenges being far too few and far too weak, he had been having more drinks than enough. He should have known it would only be a matter of time before something like this happened; waking up in bed with a stranger- no, that was wrong. This was not a stranger; this was Flint.

Flint had come over the other day to cheer him up, that much Volkner remembered. He also remembered Flint running around Sunyshore City to find a strong trainer to no success. Then they had argued about… everything. Then Flint had left, disappointed and mad, and Volkner had gone to drink away his anger and bad conscious. And then… it was all a blur.

Suddenly, Flint snored loud enough to make himself wake up. Volkner felt the grip around him tightening and again looked to the left where Flint now was smiling sleepily at him.

Before Volkner could free himself, ask him anything, complain, blush, get annoyed or try to defend himself, Flint leaned in and gave him a quick peck on his mouth. This served as a very effective way to open Volkner's eyes completely as he froze like never before. Flint withdrew and studied him curiously, before his eyes turned disappointed and regretful.

"Sorry…" he said. Volkner only blinked as Flint released him from the embrace and sat up on the bed, obviously being way more of a morning person than Volkner could ever be.

"… last night", Volkner started carefully, not comprehending Flint's mood. This was not something he could turn into a silly arguing; this was serious.

"You were really drunk", Flint said with his back against Volkner. "That's all you need to know." He got up to gather his clothes, which were scattered on the floor along with Volkner's. It was first now that Volkner realized they were both naked.

It was in silence that Flint got dressed, and he seemed to just want to get out of there. His face was still turned away from Volkner, who tried to sit up in his bed.

"Did we have sex?" Volkner asked before Flint left. It wasn't enough that he had the most boring life a gym leader could have, was "slightly" alcoholic, but he had to fuck with his (only) friend as well?

Flint stopped in the doorway, which was answer enough in itself.

"Yeah", Flint replied and scratched his head.

Losing Flint would be worse than anything, Volkner realized. In many ways they were a terrible duo; usually they only managed to have a sane conversation for twenty minutes before bickering, and due to Flint's status as an Elite Four they were also levels apart in terms of strength, causing for an unbalance not meant for friends. But even if Flint couldn't bring him out of his depression he tried, and he was always there when Volkner needed him to be. And even during Volkner's worse days Flint managed to make them somewhat brighter, be it through weird sense of humour or extreme enthusiasm about even silly things.

Flint did not leave. He stood still in the doorway, maybe waiting for Volkner to say something more; or he just couldn't bring himself to go.

"Why?" Volkner asked. He hoped Flint would not feel embarrassed or insulted, but he needed to know. There needed to be a reason other than alcohol.

Volkner could see Flint clenching his fist as he heard a frustrated sigh. Then Flint turned, his usually fiery and excited eyes having a saddened depth to them.

"I was waiting by the docks for the ferry when you showed up, drunk as hell", Flint said. He talked faster than usually, and his voice was very forced. "You told me not to leave, you said sorry, and I couldn't leave you there. So I took you here."

There was a long, almost artistic pause, though it was most likely due to the difficulty with which Flint relayed the story. As he described the night, Volkner could almost see it; the dock, himself having trouble walking straight, and Flint helping him on his legs. He also knew that Flint had not been drunk; he hadn't even had a drink. As out of character it sounded, had Flint taken advantage over him…?

"Did you-" Volkner started asking, trying not to sound to accusing, even if he felt insulted.

"Then you said that you loved me and you kissed me", Flint said, very quickly but also very clearly. He had an excellent chance of running then, because Volkner was dumbfounded. But he stayed and observed his friend instead.

Volkner hid his face in his hands as it all came back to him, and he remembered their first kiss as clearly as-

"Then you said you loved me", Volkner said. Flint was taken aback but he also nodded.

"I thought… No, I hoped that it was not only the alcohol talking", Flint confessed. "So you see why I look like a moron now, on top of scum, which is why I'm leaving. I'm sorry. See you." Flint hurried out the room and through the hall. Volkner was still in his bed when he heard his apartment door slamming shut.

Had he been in a better mood maybe he would have yelled something after him. But Volkner felt down, and with Flint leaving he felt even worse. He crawled down under the blanket again, but he could not sleep. His mind was full of the feeling of Flint's mouth against his own, hearing "I love you too" and then Flint moving inside of him…

When sober, Volkner had never thought of Flint in anyway other than as a friend. He'd had one or two awkward yet wonderful dreams about him, but he had brushed them off. Once or twice, or maybe thrice, he had thought of Flint when he was drunk, he couldn't really remember. But he had never recognized his thoughts as… love. Had it been the alcohol talking, or had it been his subconscious…?

All he knew for certain was that now, the bed felt empty, and he felt cold.