It wasn't long before Ethan realized, with a sudden and painful face-meet-palm, that he'd forgotten to even ask about the red haired jerk. Shit, shit, shit. He glanced at Abra with a thinly veiled scowl. "Sorry, bud. Violet City." The Pokémon took one last bite from its treat before teleporting effortlessly, following the request. Tamaki would be about there, if she was moving at the pace he expected. Ethan smiled at Abra apologetically before withdrawing it.

She was almost in Violet City, as he'd thought. She was glancing back at Eva when he saw her, her face glowing with something like a mix of excitement and anxiety. A smile tugged at his lips. He stepped out a little more, and when she looked forward her eyes widened.

"Hey!" Tamaki called, quite obviously not expecting to see him this early into her adventure. Again. He knew he needed to stop doing this.

"Hey yourself," He said, "Forgot to ask you something."

"Shoot." She replied, blinking in confusion. He raised his eyebrows.

"Redhead, harassment… ring a bell?"

"Oh God, don't remind me." She growled. Her fingers twitched at her sides, like she was resisting the urge to punch somebody in the face. Ethan tried to stay as relaxed as possible as he wondered who in the world could piss her off so bad.

"What happened, anyways?" He urged carefully, casting his eyes downward so she didn't notice the irritation raging in them.

"So, like," She began quite informally, "When I was picking up Eva from Elm, I was early—yeah, I know, I'm an idiot sometimes," He smiled a little at that, remembering earlier. "This guy was standing outside his lab like a creeper. I tried to talk to him, and he shoves me away. Tells me "not to mess with him". Because being nice is a crime now. So later, I'm walking back from 's house, and I see him again,"

He glanced at her face before looking down again. She was turning red at this point, which made her look like a furious kitten. Wait, no, "furious kitten" sounds fucking retarded, she just looked really angry. Ethan wondered where he'd got that simile from.

"…He challenges me to a battle. I kicked his ass, by the way. He drops his trainer card - that's how I saw his name - and started freaking out and pushed me again. And then ran off." She glared at the ground now, clenching her fists. Her anger stunned him for a second; she was incredibly angry, and even though he was almost equally so, it was still… odd to watch her get so annoyed at the two meetings. It just fueled his anger a little more, though.

"I… I hate that douche." She hissed loudly, and he gazed at her for a long moment. "…Sorry."

For a second longer he just stared, before laughing loudly. And, well, falsely.

"I've never seen you that angry!" He smiled at her, "Understandably so, though." After all, he was damn annoyed too.

"He's just… awful!" She insisted, and if she were another girl perhaps she'd have stamped her foot. "Totally, completely, utterly awful. If I never see him again, it'll be too soon. Too bad he's got it out for me. I mean, he hates me as much as I hate him." That… wasn't a good thing, Ethan noted. He could easily get dangerous if he disliked her so much. His eyes narrowed for a moment before he shook his head, smiling wider.

"Jeez, that's awful. Hope he'll stay out of your hair- or, should I say, pigtails." He poked one of them in an attempt to ease the situation. It worked by way of a hesitant smile.

"…Thanks for giving me a person to rant to." They stood there for a second, just smiling at each other. He stared into her eyes as he replied.

"No problem."

"Hey, you seem to be showing up every 5 minutes recently," Tamaki said, trading her half-smile for a teasing grin , "When am I seeing you next?"

He smiled at her, realizing now how apologetic he'd had to be with people today. "Probably not for a while." He briefly hoped her visible deflation meant she'd miss him as much as he'd miss her, then regretted wishing such a sad feeling on her. Instead her countered it by hoping she wouldn't miss him near as much and that she'd have so much fun without him … She cut into his rambling thoughts with parting words.

"I should get going… got a date with the gym leader, and it's almost night time." It hit Ethan then that he had something relevant to deliver before she escaped.

"Ah!" He fumbled for the device in his pocket, "Almost forgot, came here to give you this." He dropped it into her hand casually, not even freezing when their fingers touched for the slightest second. It wasn't like he wanted to hold her hand again or anything. Really.

"And this is?" She examined it with a look of confusion.

"A VS recorder."

"…. And what does it do?"

Hell if he knew, he was just told to give it to her. Not like he could say that, though…

"No clue, sorry." He grinned when she laughed, tucking it away.
"You are no help. At all," Her eyes shot to the clock. "…Uh-oh. I think the sun just set. Gotta go!" She bolted, and he stood there for a moment staring after her. Now what would he do…

His entire life had revolved around her, sans a good twelve to thirteen years. Keeping her happy, teaching her lessons that would one day help her become what she was meant to be, everything. It wasn't in any way an exaggeration; when they were apart, he was doing nothing. Eating, maybe, or just watching the sky atop a building nearby. He would train with Ben during the night, whenever Tamaki slept. Usually on how to do his job better, to be quicker when he was needed. Though they did train Pokémon together, there was no real need to. Others did that most often. In fact, all of his Pokémon were trained by someone else, excluding Marill.

He was the one that only Ethan was allowed to train.

Marill was almost as important to Ethan as Tamaki, really. He scratched behind the ears of his pal absentmindedly, staring blankly at the slow sunrise that was crossing the quiet sky. Marill looked at him curiously for a second, then went back to playing with his tail.

The light was flooding in around him, oranges and yellows wrapping him in a blanket of color. The shadows cast by the buildings made everything seem surreal, contrasting so harshly with the brightening rays releasing from the sun. It was almost up completely, and if he looked farther upward the sky had already faded from violet to a dusty-tipped blue. The… positivity of it all made him scowl, wishing it was instead pouring rain. It would fit his mood better.

He fell backwards onto the hard roof and closed his eyes. The day would go so slow… And what would he do? Lie around with his thumb up his ass until she got to the daycare duo? There weren't that many people he cared to talk to. If it all came down to it, there was always Dana… He pushed that thought away immediately as his mind flashed to Tamaki. Eh… no.

Ethan had never considered any of this. He always thought, when the time came, he'd be able to just stand back and let her do what she was meant to do. He'd never even considered the raging feelings he was feeling now, tumbling over him rapidly. The overwhelming loneliness of it all was crashing on him like a tidal wave.


He placed his hands over his face. He'd just have to sleep, for now. He'd deal with the rest of the day later.

After letting his mind fall blank, darkness enveloped him.

Welp, really sorry this one is so short, guys. Next chapter will be long to make up for it. After this we spend less time with Tamaki and more time with Ethan doing... things. You'll see.