a/n: When I originally posted this, the whole piece didn't flow quite right. I added a few more scenes and rewrote a few sentences. Please note that I made May and her family hail from Kanto and I did make Norman and Maxie war veterans because, heck they look kind of old. (Island Wolf gave me the idea for that! Oh and, dear, this is for you. Hope you like it)
warning: insinuations of character death.
nightmares and dreams are all the same, darling
just learn to block them out and everything will be okay.
(Maxie / May)
Everything is full of darkness and the snow is falling but she's ripping petals off of flowers and staying all awake in her warm bed; it's night, almost ten o'clock, and the world is sleeping but she's hoping for a he loves me as she rips off the bud of a soft daisy (she likes to think it represents her virginal ways in romance) but really there is no he. May only likes the aspect of wishing on flowers for a love to become requited.
She can hear her mother humming downstairs, a random piano tune by Yiruma, and sighs. She should be out in the world by now, she should be whisking unknights away from the unprincesses to a world behind her eyes where the light never sleeps. Where no one has even heard of darkness.
May continues destroying her flower – her innocence – and watches as the snow washes away the light. She hopes for a falling star promise, one that would bring love and hope and all things nice into her life. (the things that are already there but she cannot see)
She holds on tightly to the last petal, which offers a he loves me not, and hopes for another dreamless sleep.
The start of everything comes with the flip of a switch and anxious breath. She tries to sit still, she really does, but waiting doesn't suit her. She just wants to stand up and dance and pretend her sneakers are Pointe toe slippers, but that's impossible. She has to stay calm, cool, and collected.
But her butterfly pulse is ramming against her wrist and her eyes are bright and wide like a lunchtime smile. She is just like stardust staying bottled up in a painted bottle, too lovely to be held in captive. So she feels the crackle of energy and pops up and her mother is asking whatareyoudoing and all the words rush together but she can hear exactly what she said.
She sits back down and life begins-
-and ends because the first person to walk on the stage to accept an award is… some random man. He has red hair, as heavy as a rising sun, and porcelain skin etched with skirting wrinkles. She likes wrinkles – she counts them as how many times a person has laughed, smiled – but this person… he does not seem like the laughing type.
So May sits still and watches as other war veterans' walk across the stage grinning and she feels the bright flashbulb of her mother's camera but she can't hear because the electricity is back and that man is walking past her grumbling things like moronic awards.
And she can't help but pop up and say I have to use the bathroom.
So she escapes and tries to stop the snap-crackle-pop that is of life, but it's impossible just like forgetting those dark eyes.
Brock was easy. So, so very easy, almost sinfully easy. He was like popping a cherry in your mouth, simple and sublime. And the win tasted so very sweet on her lips and the way he frowned and murmured congratulations, you've won the boulder badge made her smile etch upwards towards a grin. But of course there was some catch to it.
"Would you mind taking this to the museum for me? I found it recently and I'm almost certain that it's a moon stone… besides, you're going that way anyways."
And the stone was trusted in her hands, all glittery and hard, and she was pushed out of the gym by the guy saying he was going to make her a champion in no time, but really he couldn't help. Only she could do that.
She sighs and kicks rubble with her feet thinking, really May, all you've gotta do is rush in and then rush out, no big deal but it was a big deal. A very big deal. And once she stepped into the museum, the electricity decided to visit again.
Her heart is thudding and she's whispering things like dear god, why me? when really she's saying yes, thank god for being able to see him again. For a split second, as soon as she returned home, she was left hoping she'd meet the man again, no matter how harsh or mean he seemed to be. But now his back was turned to her and no matter what May tried to tell herself she wanted to see him. She really did; just like how children wanted ice cream. It was like an immoral need, no matter how cliché that sounds.
But the women at the front desk are so kind and sweet and they're saying won't you come in? and they're ushering her inside and by the time she's forcing the stone in their ragdoll hands, he's turned around and walking out.
Out of the door, right past her. The breeze she feels causes a snap and she feels sick so she voices this thought and runs out but all the time she's thinking I don't (do) want to see him again. I don't (do) want to see him again. Please, please don't (do) let me see him again.
And really that feeling that's in her heart makes her feel like a young teenager again but if she was just thirteen then surely what was going on would be illegal.
She's thinking that men who are all muscles and brawn are sore losers; Lt. Surge isn't really helping that cause. So she stands still, energy bubbling in her core, and whistles a fine weathered tune. He continues yelling things like why did I lose to a crummy teenager? and May resists saying that she's not a teenager, she's an adult because of course anyone who has neon blue nails has to be mature, but she is twenty two and she needs to learn to act her age.
But, while the blonde egomaniac is looking for a lost badge, she feels the wind brush the back of her throat as the door opens. She wants to believe that this is all some sick joke played on her just for fun but she just can't believe that, at least not after what she hears.
"Surge, I need to borrow something."
And the wishes waltz upon her face and she hopes please don't (do) be him because the electricity is all too much for her to handle; all too much for a girl of her stature, all petite and small and full of dreaming forever's.
But it is and she balls her hands into fists that say stay away from me, maniac but he obviously can't hear because he's coming closer and closer and clos-
-she stumbles and falls on his shoulder.
He doesn't even notice as he's all too busy walking away with those nicotine rich glares and demands. He is mean, so mean and vile and everything not nice but May can't help but think that maybe that one little brush – a switchblade cut of glimmering hope – was sweet. But he doesn't even respond because he's too busy demanding for something that flies or has wheels or can get to Hoenn faster than you can say .
Then he leaves with a pidgey – he's lucky he even got that – muttering something about damn dingbats with their weak pokémon and the door opens and he's gone forever.
And she thinks maybe that was my imagination but a touch like that couldn't even be made up.
She can't beat Lance and she can't beat Blue and she just can't beat anyone anymore, so she is sitting quietly on a metal bird hoping that Hoenn will offer something more. And it does, believe her, it does but that burning doesn't go away, even as she's visiting her grandmother in Littleroot Town who's asking oh dear did you run into anything interesting today?
Why, yes, grandma, I did. I almost got killed by the maniac who still believes in super villains. Bet you don't believe me, huh?
She doesn't say that though, so she leans back in her seat and sips her earl gray tea and murmurs, "No, just a few pokémon. They sure do look stronger in this region—"
And she feels like Hansel from the fairytale stories because of how meek she sounds but she was almost killed it gives her a right to act like that. That man – maniac – was a modern enemy to the world, what with his bright red villain (hero because with a touch like that he had to be good) uniform and crazed expression, but May keeps quiet because she accidentally bumped into him and oh my lord it felt amazing and grandmas shouldn't know details like that.
The sparks had dazzled and the worlds united but he still muttered get out of my way, child. And she obeyed but the electricity caused her to run after him and to tug on his long sleeve.
But he practically darted away with a very furry pokémon – she doesn't know its name, there are too many pokémon now to even count - by his side, so May just sips and smiles and puts up a happy façade which is sure to please.
And yet, that feeling never fades.
Rocks and metal and steel are all things she hates so the gym battle was hard for her, even with a new ready-to-evolve mudkip, but really it was hard. Almost like trying to step on fire and knowing that you'll be burned, but it's necessary, and my god she doesn't get burned. She's frozen with victory, so much that the only thing she can even mutter is thanks while Roxanne is thrusting the badge into her hands.
But then she's turning around she sees a man with silver hair. At first she's thinking he's old but then the closer she gets, the more his face becomes defined. There is no sagging or wrinkling, nor any muscle deformities so he must be in his twenties or early thirties at least. And strangely, May thinks she's going to like this person because he's beautiful and he seems nice, everything that man was not.
So she says hello and he says hi and really there are no other things to say but then she's walking away and he's calling, "What is your name?"
"May Maple, yours?"
And really she's left smiling from the semi-grin on his face but really all she's thinking is that he's just going to be the same as Roxanne, cold and hard and in love with steel.
Steven Stone is a sex magnet, she realizes. He has girls dripping off his sleeves and women dropping at his feet so of course she knows he's a busy man, of course she does, but when he asks she is still surprised.
"May, I realize that you do have talent, I saw it with you in Roxanne's gym, but I really do need your help."
And so of course, just like the other oh-so-dazzling fangirls, she asks quietly with what?
"Would you consider sneaking into the Magma hideout-"
-the façade breaks and she feels a burn in her chest. She will not step foot near that man-that maniac. She has learned what he was and who he dealt with and all the bad things he did, but that touch was still in her mind—but oh lord she needed to stop thinking about it.
And Steven's eyes are melting from stone to puddles and she couldn't say no. So she was off to see the not-so-wonderful maniac of Hoenn, but on the way up towards Lilycove she couldn't help but think is this even real?
She rolls up her Magma uniform – Steven had provided it and she still wonders how he got it – and hesitantly swims into the hideout which isn't quite hidden anymore.
Her eyes are sleepy and her mind is closed but she can't help but wonder why would anyone want this? Who in their right mind would want to cover the beautiful seas – filled with dust and silk and all things in between – with land? Was someone really that selfish? Was the maniac just a little boy in a grown man's body? She just shakes her head and sees two grunts and they automatically question her and she just smiles and nods because really it can't be too hard getting into a criminal organization.
And they let her in because her outfit looks so real and her lipstick is so red that it makes them careen back to Maxie that they have the loveliest member ever but he doesn't seem to care. He isn't into the frivolity of young men who are still into girly and sweet and all things that make his stomach go nauseous. But he is curious, no doubt about it, and he walks through one of the halls and hopes to see whoever this person is just to stop thinking about it and—
-it's that girl.
He scowls and goes to yell at her but she is staring at the metal walls and she seems so brave just walking into his domain so he doesn't say anything. He wants to see how this little heroine does in an anti-hero place.
So she glances towards the side after a split second and the electricity is so much that she just murmurs hello. She's hoping for a way to get out of that place, even as he turns his back on her.
(but in a way, she wants to stay. She wants to find a room and settle down metaphorically and meet this man. She wants to tell him all about the unnice things in her life and she doesn't even know why.)
And then his inquiring voice enters the room, "What is your name?"
She can't help but answer with a sincere May Maple and she darts away.
Weeks have passed and she doesn't know why but she's happy. She has found liveliness in the members who she thought to be oh-so horrible and dreadful and she found rescue in just staring at the walls and trying to remember what life used to be like.
May has seen the leader so many times now that it's too hard to count on her stubby little fingers. She has talked to him in a manner that wasn't so polite and in another way which erupted a blush on her tiny-Tim cheeks. She doesn't know why but she's attracted to that man and damn it, she finds heat and electricity mixed together to be too tantalizing to resist.
She has not kissed or hugged, nor slept with anyone before and my god she's so nervous and anxious and-
-she stops thinking and breathes.
It can't be too hard, but he is an older man with experience and muscles and a scariness that sometimes makes her want to crawl back to Neverland, and she has never made a move on anyone but now of all times she wants to.
She wants to be held and kissed and loved so badly that it makes her cry at night and she hopes for another prince charming and not this devious king that makes her heart go boom and her mind go ah.
She wants to forget about the electricity and the heat and my god it's so hard and it makes her irritated to know that he can just sit there with a smirk on his grimy little face. So she picks up her spoon and sips on her soup and ignores Tabitha's remarks saying it's made out of torchics' fiery breath.
But he is standing up randomly and leaving and May doesn't feel like staying anymore so she says that she's off to bed. Some people snicker – she is still too showy of her emotions – and make snide comments but she is already in the metal hallways that remind her too much of home.
Her neon blue nail polish is chipped but she still thinks she's an adult who can quite frankly express her feelings so she walks patiently down the hallway and knocks on his door with a free reign that probably wasn't probable in another world. And then she realizes that she's made a mistake and tries to run but he's just opened the door and she just couldn't leave after that—
"I need to talk to you."
And she is staring up at him like he is Goliath and she is David and she wants to think that this will all work out but she knows it won't but he's pulling her inside and that electricity is just so much and her thoughts are exploding.
The door shuts with a light thud and he asks, almost expectantly, "What did you want to tell me, Miss Maple?"
She is mute now but her eyes scan the room and she finds everything red and hot and she notices that his shirt is off and muscles like that can't be legal. But they have to be because they are scarred and ripped with scratches that look like they hurt like family ties being severed. So she takes a step back and her legs knock on the door and she feels so tiny and abolished and this really can't be happening.
But it is and he is just staring at her, wondering, peacefully wondering.
And that's all it takes for her eyes to glimmer with wetness and her heart to break because she knows that love just isn't real; her parents don't even sleep in the same room, her grandmother divorced her grandfather, and her brother has just broken up with his girlfriend so she just doesn't want to believe that this feeling is real. It just isn't applicable to her anymore.
So the stars leak out of her eyes and he waits for a while as she mutters I just don't know what to do anymore and her heart is breaking and his heart is burning and everything is just a big jumbled mess. But then she hears the rain falling on the left wall committed to windows and she sobers up because she is a big girl and big girls don't cry.
Then his hand is beside her head and he's asking her to grow up in that soft snide tone but she can't hear because her body is bubbling up with the same feeling she felt a year ago and she can't resist and-
-her lips meet his and they gap and they open and they are scratched by glass and faint whiskers but she doesn't care anymore.
And she rips herself away, almost gasping and he's just looking at her like she's crazy and she asks, "Do you believe in fairytales?"
"When they're ethical, but no, I don't believe in silly old Cinderella, Miss Maple. That's for the pi—"
That's all she needs to place a ragdoll palm on his skin and he stops talking and the world feels like its spinning again and she's walking towards him while he's walking backwards and soon he makes contact with the wall. And then she asks, "Do you believe in love?"
He is quiet so she takes that as a yes and, even though the fear is quite seeable on her skin, she leans in once more and her lips hover over his-
And it's all she needs to whisk herself into a world she's never seen before, but my god, it's full of electricity and fire and everything that feels nice and lovely.
But then, things start to fall apart and worlds are crashed with torrents of fire and flames and it makes her remember her reason for going to Team Magma in the first place:
to eliminate the problem.
(but she has fallen for the fire and the electricity and it's just so damn hard)
I thought you were going to try and stop the situation, May. That's why I asked you to go to their hideout in the first place.
She snaps her pokenav and hangs up on Steven. She doesn't have time for his nurturing or his help or anything that comes from him because she knows that he's too busy searching for dumb rocks and taking women to different worlds and she just doesn't want his help. This has all come back to her, every damn thing, and the rains and fire are torrential, and Sootopolis is flooding with red hate, and she just doesn't know what to do.
So she releases her blastoise, her first partner, and tries to quell everything but it's too damn hard. Groudon is strong and the people are weak and they're staring at her with such a newfound hope that it's killing her on the inside. She has just recently learned that Maxie, Courtney, and Tabitha had left to take care of the damn legendary monster, but she hadn't known that everything would come down to this.
And they're just staring at her, thinking we didn't know it would come to this. and she wants to cry and yell and run away but she can't because she is all they have to depend on. She tries to save everyone, but she's just twenty three and, my god, she's supposed to be living out her life and not worrying about the ending of other people. She wants to be a hero-
-but she can't even save herself.
But now the minutes have passed and all of her pokémon are fainted and she is just standing there with that terrible expression on her face when the monster erupts with another callus roar. People are running to their homes and all hope is lost and damn it, Courtney's crying and Tabitha is hushing her while Maxie just stares at groudon.
He is murmuring things like I never thought this would happen… and May is regretting ever falling for him.
She could have saved people, lives, and she could be happily back at home but no, she isn't. She is just a ghost in a corpse, incapable of moving, breathing.
And then the pokémon lets out a fiery breath that roasts the gym and its coming closer to her and closer and-
-she is running away from her problems and she looks back and sees him pushing Courtney into the water and then Tabitha and then…
Everything is changing colors and houses are disappearing and she can't see him anymore and the tears are leaking out of her. She's wishing that she had never met him before but then her eyes close and she's whisked away to another world; to another reality.
Her scream wakes up the entire house.
She is sweating in her bed, the daisy on the floor, and the window is wide open and snow is rushing in. May looks from left to right and sees her mom run in asking is everything ok? and all she can do is nod and say yes but on the inside she is dying and she's thinking that dreams shouldn't have that effect on a person.
And then everyone leaves and she's left alone again. The tears are let loose and she's yelling into her pillow and the snow is coating her body but she isn't cold. She is encased in a heat that reminds her of the monster that destroyed her happily ever after. And then she remembers that he saved them and not her.
She is murmuring to herself that everything will be okay (which is a lie) and she knows in the back of her mind that it wasn't real. It never will be so she snaps up and throws the pillow at the door and grabs the daisy.
And she's walking towards the window where new beginnings are etched and the panes are a little broken but she can't see as the daisy is whisking itself away in the pale moonlight. She is not innocent anymore.
She knows romance in some faint, twisted form and she knows that love isn't real.
(but that doesn't stop her from hoping it is)