~*Color Drain*~

He made her content to see monochrome skies and grayscale rainbows…

It was a fine autumn day, and normally, White wouldn't be sitting still. She'd be hiking, battling, walking, playing, doing something besides lying flat on her back and watching ivory clouds sail by. They were being whipped and bent into interesting shapes, like castle spires and forts, and she smiled to herself, remembering how many hours she had spent with Black just looking up.

Frowning, she tugged at her hat and moved her eyes elsewhere. Black wasn't here today, he was off with his mother on an errand, not scheduled to come back until evening. That meant she had a whole day to herself, probably doing nothing. The trees rattled and rustled as invisible fingers brushed their branches, encouraging their leaves to change shades and fall to the ground. The forlorn bodies were being crunched underfoot by her sassy Tsutarja, his orange gaze bright as he stomped back and forth across the small meadow, just to hear the crackling.

Fall in Isshu was breathtaking, but she heard it was far prettier in Johto.

Well, screw them and their autumn, she yawned. The rumors don't know what they're talking about.

So long as she and Tsutarja were quiet and unobtrusive, the wild Pokémon left them alone. She, for once, decided that some peace and quiet wasn't as bad as she had previously imagined. Lowering her hat's brim, White closed her eyes and tried to pass that foggy, distant point of being asleep and being awake.

Tsutarja's pattering came to a halt five minutes later, his forked tongue slipping out to lick the breeze. For a moment, he did nothing. Then, as if appalled, he started yelping. He sprang up into the nearest tree and settled there on a low limb, growling deep in his scaly green throat.

White sat up quickly, almost slipping as the slightly damp leaves slid from underneath her as she scrambled to her feet. "What is it, Tsutarja? What's wrong?" She demanded.

The Grass-type spat in disgust at something, hunching over and hissing louder.

Swiftly, his Trainer dashed to the tree and pressed her back against the reassuringly firm bark. Her gaze darted everywhere, and she called, "Whoever it is freaking out my Pokémon, come out and stop skulking in the shadows!"

A figure promptly moved across from her, and she caught the gleam of eyes near the bottom of the forest floor. Just then, a young man strode from the woods with a grin, and two heartbeats later, a Pokabu followed at his heels. In stark contrast to the newcomer's lively face, the pig-like Fire-type appeared to be utterly emotionless.

"Oh great," White groaned. "I'm not battling. I don't care if we made eye contact. Go the heck away."

The male had long green hair drawn back in a ponytail, a black and white cap on his head. Scarlet eyes like colored coals burned brightly, locking onto hers with a force that was hard to break away from. He had a shirt the same shade as the clouds above, a black undershirt, and dark tan slacks. Golden ringlets glittered on one wrist and a shiny yellow puzzle cube swung from his waist. A dark blue necklace shaped kind of like Saturn shone in the sunlight, almost as vividly as his teeth.

"Oh no, you have it all wrong," he replied in a voice like smooth jazz. "I've not the slightest interest in fighting you."

"Well, what do you want?" White thought to herself that she had never met someone with such a compelling gaze, as if his eyes were capable of hypnotism. She found herself unable to look away.

"Your name will do just fine for now." He had stepped closer, his Pokabu moving with him, like he was connected to his Trainer by a short, unseen pole.

Tsutarja's growling became noisier, and she knew that it was always wise to trust her Pokémon. But this guy didn't seem dangerous…"White. You?"

"Gray, at your service ma'am." He bowed low, and she rolled her eyes, unimpressed.

"I'm not quite old enough to be a 'ma'am'," White scoffed.

Straightening, and with a very serious expression, Gray answered with, "Then I'm yours to do with as you wish, my lady, for nothing would bring me greater joy than by giving you yours."

It took her a moment to sort out his odd speech, and then she turned away, blushing furiously. Tsutarja even paused in his angry hysterics for a few seconds to appreciate the comment before continuing where he had left off.

If Gray was fazed by Tsutarja's various sounds of fury, he didn't display it, and neither did his stoic Pokabu. "Why are you here all alone?" One eyebrow arched up.

"Waiting for a friend of mine."


"Black." White shrugged. "What do you care?"

A shadow flitted through his crimson gaze. "Someone like you shouldn't have to wait alone. Say, do you know how much a male Ursaring weighs?"

The question caught her off guard. "Um, pardon?"

"Just enough to break the ice." He grinned wider and winked at her, and White laughed despite herself.

"Okay, so you've got some clever remarks and a bunch of flattering stuff to say, but what do you do?" She challenged.

Gray inclined his head modestly. "I am a Pokémon Trainer, like you, though we are resting this weekend, my team and I."

"Oh…well, okay then."

The resulting silence would have been awkward, had it not been for her Tsutarja, whom plummeted down to land on White's head and crouched there, his expression annoyed.

His captivating scarlet gaze seared into hers, and she felt as if the rest of the world was dull and uninteresting compared to the strength of those ruby eyes. She would be more than content to just sit and stare at him until…

"Huh, I wonder…" Gray's brows furrowed thoughtfully, and his Pokabu snorted, snuffling around near his master's sneakers.

White took her Tsutarja into her arms, soothingly stroking him from his head down to his leafy tail until the snakelike Pokémon started to calm down, though he was still wary. "What's up?" She inquired absently.

"What's it feel like, to be the most beautiful girl in Isshu?"

Despite what you might think, she was rather unused to people hitting on her—at least, so obviously. Usually Black was there to sarcastically inform her that some "wishful thinker" was having thoughts about her, but right now, her intellectual friend wasn't anywhere nearby.

"Well, I wouldn't know." White replied at last.

Gray ambled casually closer, brushing a strand of her brown hair behind her ears, his fingers lingering. "Why's that?" He inquired smoothly.

"I'm not anywhere near being the most beautiful," she fought off a stammer, leaning even farther into the tree and away from him. Her Tsutarja arched his back again, his scales becoming rumpled, but the Pokabu snorted, embers flashing from his snout, and the lizard Pokémon recoiled slightly.

Nonchalantly, easy as you please, he placed one arm on the side of the trunk and leaned a little closer. White wasn't even capable of blinking as he smiled, revealing a small stone the same shade of red as his eyes embedded in his top left canine.

It was then that the unusually shy and uneasy White realized something. She looked down at her Tsutarja, practically cowering in her embrace, intimidated by the presence of the undeniably strong Fire-type at Gray's feet. Likewise, she was completely at the mercy of the aforementioned pig Pokémon's owner just because he was blinking at her with his entrancing eyes.

Black would be proud of me, she thought sardonically. I figured this flirt out so fast after all.


"Yes?" He said in that purring voice of his.

"Tsutarja, do whatever you want to him." She invited.

The Grass-type needed no more urging, and he pounced with a hiss, swiping his nails across Gray's face. The teen stumbled back with a cry, and White snatched her Pokémon, drawing Tsutarja into her arms just in time to save him from a blast of the Pokabu's fire. The flames instead singed Gray.

"I've already got a boyfriend," White lied, walking away swiftly. "I don't need another."

She didn't even bother to look over her shoulder to see if Gray was okay—she was White, after all.

It was dusk, and gray wings spread slowly across the horizon. Soon they would become as dark as a Mightyena's pelt, but for now, it melted and twisted with the last remnants of the day, forming a delicate twilight. The clouds were painted extraordinary colors, and White couldn't help but pause in her impatient pacing to survey the sky.

Then, she heard a familiar squeak and she turned to see Black striding towards her, one hand gripping the strap of his pack, his Mijumaru bouncing at his heels. The otter-like Pokémon greeted Tsutarja with a cheery squeal, and the lizard leaned forward and affectionately bumped noses with the Water-type.

"Hey!" White threw her arms around her friend, hugging him warmly. "You're back! Great to see you!"

"It's only been a few hours," he complained, stepping away. He flashed one of his seldom seen smiles at her anyway, fixing his hat.

"So, how was your trip?" She asked. "See anything interesting?"

"It was fine. We just went shopping, after all. However, I'm quite pleased to say that I saw a boy with a Venusaur of all things. It was rather impressive." Black's eyes glinted as he replayed the memory.

"Hah, you didn't miss me at all?" White teased, falling into step beside her companion as they headed for her house.

A blink. "Of course I did," he remarked slowly. "But I wasn't gone for long. How about you? I hope you weren't dying of boredom too fast."

She lifted her gaze to the heavens again and saw an astonishingly pretty shade of crimson there, just like…

"Same old, same old. But you know I love it when it's just us and no one else." She added the last part softly without even thinking.

Black studied her with that unfathomable expression of his. "Me too, of course. We've been friends forever."

White let the conversation lapse into silence. This time she devoted her attention to her Tsutarja and Mijumaru. Her Pokémon seemed very happy and playful again in the presence of the Water-type instead of being frightened and angry, like with Gray's Pokabu.

Trust your Pokémon.

"Maybe you know something I don't…" She murmured to Tsutarja pensively.

The snakelike Pokémon simply smirked with his trademarked smugness.

Author's Note: Written at 3 AM because I wanted to. XD Inspired by RawkstarVienna's epic Pokémon: Black and White stories, and thus this is dedicated to her. Now go read her stories for something actually worth remembering.

"Gray" is the name I gave to "N", as he seems to be known. Since this is quite obviously AU from the game series...don't look at it like that, okay?

Reviews are love. This is a sort of prequel to Checkmate I guess.