Done for the Drabble Challenge; A Little Piece of Heaven forum.
Final word count: 459.
Feedback greatly appreciated!
Lucas rolled his eyes when he picked himself off his feet. Of course it was Barry that he'd run into, who else knocked him over? Even the one time he'd trod on Fantina's dress by accident neither one of them fell over. But Barry. Every time—boom!—and the two were on the ground.
"Hey, why don't you watch where you're going—Lucas?"
Barry's voice cracks at the end like breakwater as he jumps to his feet, pointing dramatically at his friend. Lucas knows what's coming next, a challenge, but he puts his hand up and stops Barry in his tracks.
"Hey, Barry, can we…talk first? Before we battle?" His voice cracks a little bit, but neither one of them acknowledges this. He coughs a little out of nervousness and sticks his hands in his pockets.
Barry's orange eyes are confused, but he nods. "Yeah, okay. What's up, Lucas? How've you been?"
The next time they run into each other Lucas again asks to talk before the battle. And despite his completely impatient friend's ways, he relents, and they wind up swapping stories for a few hours in the café attached to the Pokémon Center in Pastoria. One of them glances down at their Pokétch and realizes that it's nearly dusk—how did it get so late?—and Barry darts out of his chair like he'd been shot.
"I…wow, how'd it get so late?" Lucas blinks as he notices the time. Barry shrugs but he's already wrapping his scarf around his neck and swinging his bag on his shoulder.
"I dunno, Lucas, but if we're going to get our battle in, we'd better get a move on, or else I'm fining you a million dollars!" Barry shouted, finishing the sentence with his trademark threat. To Lucas' knowledge, no one's actually ever been fined, but Barry keeps up with it anyway.
"You know, sometimes I wonder why we're doing this," Lucas comments as they pay and exit the diner, "because there's got to be more than this. Isn't there?"
Barry gives him a hard look at Lucas—what are you talking about?—and sighs. In the warm night of Pastoria the Mothim and Dustox are already crowding around the lampposts. He glances up, tugging impatiently at his scarf. Then he looks back at Lucas.
"There isn't anything more than to go on a journey." Barry replies in a stroke of brilliant commentary. "There isn't anything better than choosing a partner and going out in the world, and being the best. You think that it might not be enough, or that it's not good enough. You think that it couldn't be. But it is. Being the Champ, Lucas, that's what it's about. I'm satisfied."
And in his heart, Lucas was, too.