I read this thing like five times looking for typos (and then somebody told me that I accidentally posted the story twice holy shit thank you maybe I'll write you something sometime), I hope I caught 'em all. I don't own Pokémon. Matis is Surge's name in the Japanese version so I made it his first name.

I really hate the document manager, let me just say...






"Hey, Volkner. Are you awake?"

Volkner was. "No."

"Well wake up, I need to talk to you."

He groaned. "Flint-"

"No, seriously, I just realized I have to go do something."

"So go do it."

"You have to go with me. You have to be there."

With another groan, Volkner pulled himself off the pillow and looked over at Flint. "What?"

"We have to go to Vermillion City. I have to go talk to your dad."

A pause as Volkner thought about what he could mean by this. "About what?" he asked. What could Flint and his father possibly have to talk about?


"No," Volkner said flatly, then fell back down and faced away from Flint to go back to sleep.

"Yes," Flint insisted. Volkner felt him scoot up behind him.


"Why not?"

"Um, because my parents think we're just bros and are happy thinking that and Matis was in the U.S. Army and he's got his own sex life anyway so why should I care what he thinks about mine?" said Volkner. "They don't even let people like you into the U.S. Army, that should tell you why your idea is bad."

"Yeah, I know all that, but what if I can make him okay with it?"


Flint took a moment to think of another reason for them to go all the way to Vermillion City. "What about your mom? You like your mom. You use her maiden name. Don't you think she'd be okay with it?"

His mother probably already knew, Volkner thought. She was a woman. They usually knew stuff like that. "I use her name because Volkner Surge makes me sound like a douche and because everybody already hates me for being half. Those fucking racists." His tone was dry; nobody actually cared that Volkner was half.

"So let's go talk to your parents. Or your mom at least."

"But by my parents, or my mom at least, you actually mean my father."



"Come on, Volkner, you have to tell them eventually. What do you want to do, go the rest of your parents' lives as a confirmed bachelor? What'll you do when your mom starts trying to set you up with girls?"

"What do you want to do? Ask my father's permission to court me or some shit?" Volkner could have taken Flint's lack of response as a disturbing indication that he might actually intend to do that. "You don't need my dad's permission to get in my pants. I'm a grown man. I control both my destiny and my pants. But yeah basically that's what I want us to do. Never tell them."

Flint turned onto his back. "I don't get what you're worried about." Volkner turned onto his back too. "It's not like I don't have a job. I have a great job. I come from an alright family. No diseases, no crazy exes, no-"

"Hey, you know what else you don't have?" Volkner asked. "Tits."

"Maybe if I dressed up like a girl..."

"No, Flint. Just no."

"Why not?" He sounded amused by his newest idea, like he thought this one was good too.

"Because no."

"You're such a jerk, Volkner," he grinned. It was dark and Volkner wasn't looking at him, but he could just about hear him grinning. "Gosh. I'll just go to Kanto by myself and tell Lieutenant Surge what his son and I did in the Old Chateau that one time."

Volkner rolled his eyes. It was dark and Flint wasn't looking at him, but he was sure Flint could just about hear him rolling them. "No you won't. You don't have the stones to tell him that."

"I'm sure he'd be happy for a visit from a member of Sinnoh's Elite Four, any Gym Leader-"

"I bet you couldn't even tell me with a straight face and I was there."

Flint chuckled. "I could tell him about how you screamed and clung to me when that Haunter jumped out at us."

That did it. He brought up the Haunter. He brought up screaming. There was a line there and Flint crossed it. "Yeah, well I could tell him about how you screamed and clung to me when I stuck my-"

"So you'd be okay with telling him about it, then?" They turned and looked at each other. Volkner could barely make out that Flint was, indeed, grinning.

Volkner glared back at him. "I'll go with you," he said. Somehow this conversation had convinced him to agree to Flint's stupid, stupid plan. He shouldn't care about his parents (mostly his father) learning what he did behind closed doors (even the haunted ones) and he knew that Flint would never actually tell anyone about the details of their sex life (because that would mean he wouldn't get to have one anymore), yet for some reason... "But don't you dare say anything about...that."

"What, the Haunter? Don't worry man, I wouldn't do that to you," Flint reassured him. "I was just kidding. What happened in the Old Chateau, stays in the Old Chateau."

"No not the Haunter," Volkner said. "The other thing."

"Oh," said Flint. "Sex."

"And if you ask him for permission to court me I'll kick your ass."


And so it was decided that Flint was going to go and talk to Matis, which Volkner knew was a bad idea, and that Volkner was going to go with him so his father would have someone besides Flint to sling slurs at and so he could witness his courting privileges being asked for. The next day Volkner called them to tell his parents they were coming for a visit, like, right now, and the two of them boarded a boat bound for Vermillion Port.

Gosh darn those fast boats and their ability to transport people over great distances in short durations of time.


"Is there any particular reason why you're here, Volkner?" his mother said delicately after the small talk and most of dinner was out of the way.

Flint said "Yes," exactly as Volkner said "No." They briefly glanced at each other, then looked back at Volkner's parents. "Sort of," Volkner said.

"We have something to tell you," Flint said.

Gee thanks Flint, thought Volkner, how ever did you know I wanted to be actively involved in this awkward moment of revelation? "No, it's just you," he decided. "You have something to tell them, I'm just going to sit here."

"I have something to tell you, then," Flint repeated.

"So tell us," said Volkner's father the former commanding officer.

There was a long, uncomfortable (on Flint and Volkner's side of the table) pause while Flint thought, took a bite, chewed, and thought some more about how to word it. He swallowed. "I'm sure you must have noticed," he slowly began. "Even though you're all the way over here in Kanto, that Volkner and I spend a lot of time together. When you lived in Sinnoh, when we were growing up, we were training our Pokémon and hanging out pretty much every chance we got. In Sinnoh, we're known for double battling, which is something that plenty of perfectly respectable-"

Lieutenant Surge rolled his eyes and cut him off. "Dammit Volkner, I already know you're gay. Don't make your boyfriend tell me, it's painful to watch. Man up and tell me yourself. Oh, but Flint, good try, you got guts."

"Hey, thanks!" beamed Flint.

"But I'm not gay," Volkner reminded everyone. It was true, he wasn't gay, he just didn't have time to put up with bullshit from women and didn't like vaginas much. "It's him. He's the gay one."

"Pretty much," Flint nodded.

Mrs. Surge raised an eyebrow. "'Pretty much?' What is that supposed to mean?"

"Well I mean," Flint explained. "I've never really been with anybody but Volkner, so I don't know if I can really judge..."

"Oh." His mother sounded pleased. "He's never been with anyone but Volkner, Matis, did you hear that?"

"Huh," said the lieutenant. "That means he can't give him AIDS, right?"

"I think so," said his mother.

"Maybe I could be okay with this," his father mused. "But, Flint," he quickly added. "I'm still going to have to call you a faggot."

Flint nodded. "Fire at will."

"You're a faggot."

"Fair enough."

"I'm also going to have to challenge you to a Pokémon battle over this," he continued. "I'm sure you understand."


"Tonight. At sundown. We will fight as men, using only one Pokémon each, revealed at the same time when we release them into battle."

"I accept your terms," said Flint.

Matis looked at his wife and son. "You're both invited to watch."

Volkner answered by voicing his opinion. "This is stupid. Why fight about it? We're not asking you if we can go to the park or something, we're telling you we've been sleeping together."

"Actually," his mother reminded him gently. "You didn't tell us anything, Flint did."

"Yeah but-"

"I thought you didn't want to bring up sex in front of your parents," said Flint.

"You're not going to ask me to battle you over this, dad?" Volkner asked. "Nobody wants me to battle for my own...self?" He didn't actually have any idea what it was they were going to fight about, so he said self. "You guys aren't even going to make it doubles or something?"

"Nope," said his father.

"Why not?"

"Because I'm not a Trainer," said his mother. "We can't have a tag battle."

"There's your answer, son," said Matis. "Flint, I'll see you in Vermillion Gym at sundown." He waved as he turned and left.

Volkner's mother rose from her seat. "I should go with him, but, before I go, boys, he really is okay with you two. He's had plenty of time to adjust to it. He figured it out when you told him about trading with each other to evolve your Magmar and Electabuzz on the anniversary of the day you first met, that was very...romantic...and obvious..."

"My idea," Flint told her. Volkner had been more taken with the idea than he let on at the time. Generally, he was more taken with most things like that and having matching teams than he let on.

"That was very sweet of you, Flint," she said. "One day he saw you having a double battle on the T.V. and said, 'oh Hell, it's worse than I thought, they've got gay matching teams, my son's half of one of those annoying matching gay couples' but really, he's..." She smiled and nodded knowingly. "Anyway, I'll go after him now."

"Bye Mrs. Surge!" said Flint. "See you later!"

"Bye mom," Volkner sulked.

"Bye Volkner, bye Flint, see you soon!"

Once she was gone, Volkner looked at Flint with the cold, critical gaze he'd perfected over years of rivalry and romance. "You don't expect me to go watch, do you? What are you battling about, anyway?"

"I'm not sure," said Flint. "I think it's his honor. I don't think it actually has anything to do with you. Maybe he's taking it as a threat to his masculinity or something. You could tell him you're not the bitch at some point, he'd like that. I mean tell him you're not the bitch socially, as opposed to not sexually the bitch. That would be misleading." Volkner would have felt no guilt misleading his father, as he did his best to mislead everyone else who knew about him and Flint, into thinking that Flint was always the bitch in every aspect of their relationship one hundred percent of the time. Unfortunately his father could smell lies from a mile away. "It might be your honor, though. He might care about your honor. Pretty sure it's honor either way, though."

"I'm pretty sure it's stupid either way," Volkner grumbled. "I mean, what does he think is going to happen? He's the third Gym Leader of a region, you're the third member of the Sinnoh Elite Four. What is the point in having this battle?"

"But you are gonna come watch me, right?"

"Of course."

"...can I have a kiss before the battle?"


"Aw, come on, man!"

"Go decide which Pokémon you're going to use."

"I'm using Infernape," said Flint. "What else would I use?"

"Oh, you've decided already?" Volkner almost smiled. "But I don't want to kiss you before the battle. What if you lose? Then where will I be?"

"I won't lose!" Especially not now that he had motivation.

"Okay," he said. "I'll kiss you after you don't lose."


"I promise."

"Can we cuddle before the battle, maybe?"

"No, Flint. We can't."


Volkner's mother had a cheery voice that was perfect for a referee.

"This battle will be conducted with each Trainer using one Pokémon each! And no substitutions! Obviously! Begin!" She sat down next to her son and smiled. "I'm so glad you decided to join us, Volkner, it means a lot to both of them."

Flint and Lieutenant Surge silently held up the Pokéballs containing Infernape and (Volkner assumed) Raichu respectively and saw that they were each ready to throw them, no switching and countering at the last minute involved. One, went the inaudible count between them. Two. Three. Go.

"Infernape!" Flint called. "Let's go!"

"Electrode!" shouted Matis. "Ten-hut!"

"So he isn't using Raichu," Volkner observed.

"Yes, I see that, dear," said his mother. "Just watch."

"Don't let him set up," Volkner muttered, too quiet for Flint to hear. He knew his father and his Pokémon, and he knew what the famously careful Lieutenant Surge was going to do. He also knew his best friend and his best friend's Pokémon, and hopefully Flint wouldn't go with his usual strategy of defending until he saw the opponent's weak point. "Don't let him set up, don't let him set up..."

"So you're pulling for Flint?" his mother smiled.

"...no, of course not. This battle is pointless, and I don't care who wins."

"Electrode! Use Double Team, let's go!"

"...dammit Flint," he sighed. But one Double Team wouldn't make a huge difference anyway. Flint was still in the Elite Four, and there was a reason for that.

Not that Volkner was rooting for one or the other of them or anything. Volkner wasn't there to pick sides.

"Quick, Infernape! Mach Punch!"

Infernape became for a second no more than a blur and hit Electrode hard enough that it skidded rather than rolled a few meters before using Double Team. Its afterimage flickered where it had been, or perhaps still was, and more phantom Electrodes appeared around the arena. Earthquake, idiot, thought Volkner. Why didn't you use Earthquake?

"Use Double Team again, Electrode!"

Volkner saw Flint bite his lip and think for a second. "Hit it with an Earthquake!"

Unfortunately for Flint, this time Electrode moved first, and when Volkner tried to follow which one was real his head started to swim. The punch Infernape directed at the dirt floor (Lieutenant Surge's philosophy was that anything else was unsafe; the floor of Volkner's own gym was insulated with rubber) shook it, but somehow Electrode avoided the attack. None of the images appeared hurt, so the real one had not been hit.

"Now use Thunderbolt!"

"Use Mach Punch again, Infernape!"

Electricity sparked around one of the many Electrode, and Infernape took the chance when he saw it, socking it with another hard right. The others flickered and vanished, but as it flew back the sparks grew and a Thunderbolt went flying at Infernape and hit him dead on. This battle wouldn't last much longer. Neither Infernape nor Electrode were Pokémon known for their stamina, and from the look of it they were both at the end of their rope...Infernape might have been paralyzed, or perhaps the attack was just that harsh...it could have been Electrode's Static, or an effect of the Thunderbolt...

This match was shaping up more interesting than Volkner thought it would. Flint and Matis stared at each other, trying to read each other's next move. Infernape and Electrode stared at each other, trying to pull themselves together in the lull of a few seconds. Volkner couldn't tell who spoke first, but there was no indication that either of them were going to.

"Flare Blitz!"


Volkner leaned forward. "What."

"Oh, look at that," said his mother. "What a surprise."

Flames billowed around Infernape and he rushed at the Electrode zooming towards him. One reckless punch connected with Electrode, and with a flash of white light and a loud boom the battle was over, a draw. Nobody there had been dumb enough to look directly into the explosion, so none of then could say if the two Pokémon were defeated by their opponent's move or by their own recoil damage.

"Both Electrode and Infernape are unable to battle!" Volkner's mother announced. "This battle is a draw!"

"...what," Volkner said again. Flint and his father were recalling their Pokémon and telling them what a good job they had done. Then they were walking to meet each other on the sidelines and shaking hands, smiling at each other. Volkner's mother went to tell the man in her life what a great thing he had just done, and Volkner went to ask what the Hell that thing was, exactly.

"You're okay, kid," Matis was saying when they got there. "Like I said, you got guts."

"Thanks, man," Flint said in reply.

"Flint," said Volkner. His father ushered his mother away from them, presumably to give them a moment alone. He heard her ask something he couldn't make out, then heard Matis say something that sounded like didn't want him to lose in front of Volkner.

"Volkner!" said Flint.

"What just happened?"

Flint grinned and shrugged. "Well...it was like...I didn't want the guy to lose in front of his wife and kid, y'know what I mean? I'd have to be a real jerk to do that. But I didn't lose either, so it's no big. I didn't want to diss your dad like that."


"But uh. Volkner. I didn't lose. Even though I didn't win, I still didn't lose."

He looked at Volkner. Volkner looked back. It took him a second, but then he remembered. "And I suppose now you want your kiss."

"You did promise. And we are, as you said earlier, sleeping together."

"You didn't win. You don't get a kiss," said Volkner, walking past him and towards the front door of the Gym.

He could hear Flint jogging after him, as usual. "Come on! You said if I didn't lose, not if I won!"

"Well, okay then." Volkner turned around. Flint was surprised enough at this that he couldn't appreciate the resulting peck at all, and by the time he figured out what was happening and tried to pull Volkner in he was already walking away again.


"Let's go the beach," Volkner called over his shoulder. "Vermillion's beach isn't like Sunyshore's. And then when it gets boring or cold or they tell us to stop loitering or whatever we'll head back here and...who knows?"

But of course Volkner knew exactly what was going to happen after that. Considering how close he started walking and the fact that his hand somehow ended up in Volkner's back pocket, Flint probably had some idea too.