beyond the sea

beyond the sea lyrics © jack lawrence, 1946

o-o-o-o

somewhere, beyond the sea

somewhere, waiting for me

my lover stands on golden sand

and watches the ships that go sailing

o-o-o-o

She's kept this tiny slip of ivory paper for years now. She must have been only six or seven when she wrote it; the handwriting is large and careful. What it is, is just small piece of stationary that, she's promised herself, she'll glance at before she reads it to someone special.

Anyone special.

The S.S. Aqua's deep cry bellows across the shore as sailors wave to their young damsels waving handkerchiefs from dock. She drops down onto the hot sand and cries.

o-o-o-o

Waves away, the cool eastern breezes make his vibrant jacket billow in the breeze. He smiles into the headwinds and turns the steel wheel of the boat. He watches as ocean fauna leap and play in the breakers, happy and careless. He envies that easy lifestyle.

Behind him, a luxray yawns and stretches and purrs up at his trainer. He squats down and scratches him just behind his ear.

"I'd do anything to have life as easy as you."

But then, he thinks about it, and realizes he probably wouldn't be satisfied with that, either.

He stands back up and steers the boat around, back to the docks. Behind him, the noon horizon sparkles in a way that makes him think of a queen's jewelry spilled across a teal rug. But he hates thinking of jewelry; it leads him to rings, to weddings, and to Flint (and his mother) asking when in the world are you going to settle down? You can't be happy, being so lonely.

And it's not like that helps any.

o-o-o-o

Waves away, a fragile girl picks herself off the sand and dusts off her white dress. She reaches down into her dress, pulling the tiny card from where she keeps it against her heart. She unfolds it and whispers it aloud. The beach is empty now, and she's glad that no one has to hear her, this pitiful lonely girl with her cue cards. She sighs and glances back at the evening waters. She tucks the card back into her dress and begins the short walk from the beach to her gym, where she'll call for her steelix and, as cold as his skin may be, she'll find comfort in resting her head against him.

The same way that she always had, for years.

o-o-o-o

He hops from the deck of the watercraft to the dock, dropping the anchor and tying the boat against the designated poles. He clicks his tongue, calling the luxray from the boat to follow him home. The walk would be nice, but he finds himself inadvertently noticing all the happy people. When he looks down, he catches his Pokémon watching him with concern in his eyes.

"Not you too," he chides, putting on an unconvincing half-smile.

The monster rubs his head against the boy's leg, causing him to stumble a bit. Out of frustration, he recalls the monster to its Poke Ball.

Near him the sounds of laughter and petty chatter filter through the glass doors of the Sunyshore Tower. Usually he finds himself humored by tourists and their excitement over simple things, but today he finds himself angry with them and jealous of them. For once, some small part of him wants to be a part of something, rather than trying to deviate from the regular. Instead of going up to his apartment, he turns and leaves, hoping to find some distractions waiting for him at the gym.

What he hopes for is a new, incredible, powerful trainer ready to blow him away. But he knows he might never meet a trainer as passionate as Dawn. That bothers him, too, so he finally decides that he'll just sit on the beach, maybe take off his boots and jacket and finally relax. He eases down on the warm sand and reclines, folding his hands behind his head. Being alone, here on this empty beach, feels much less painful than being alone on a crowded street, and he smiles when he thinks he should just live out here, if it would make him feel this good all the time.

It only takes a few minutes for him to fall asleep.

o-o-o-o

She's dreaming of magical, incredible things: faraway gardens and icy mountains and hot, stormy deserts. Dreams such as these make her crave adventure, but she's sure she'll probably never leave her seaside town. It feels like home to her, like lonely, boring home.

But in these dreams, she finds that one thing remains constant. In all her dream-travels, through these gardens and these mountains and this desert, she finds herself not feeling isolated and empty, but as if she's being followed. And not, exactly, in an awkward and uncomfortable way, but in a way as if it were planned, or destined. And every time she turns to address her pursuer, she's confronted by something more like a shadow or silhouette than a true person. Nevertheless he (or rather it) continues to be a companion to her on these travels. Hours from now, when she wakes up, she'll wonder if this symbolized anything, if it was some piece of a puzzle she's yet to solve, but for now, she sleeps on, curled against the stiff metal of her steelix's body.

It brings about in her the most warm and happy feeling she's felt in a while. Her Pokémon notices, and he glows.

o-o-o-o

In a different dream state, fierce battles rage, battles like he's never before felt or experienced. These are battles against faceless trainers, people that don't really matter. Around him are blank walls, and as these battles draw to a close, the walls dissolve away, or rather turn to blackness. He finds himself lost in the center of it, alone. But in this blackness are tiny windows, maybe the size of pocket change, but nothing more. He steps through the darkness to one of the windows. Through it he sees a couple, happy, laughing. He doesn't recognize their location and at first does not recognize the stars of the tiny motion picture. That is, until, one glances behind himself and he realizes, surprised, that this is him. He finds his features so strange, this grin and those sparkling eyes. He backs away.

There are other portholes into this, presumably imaginary, world. But he finds himself shying away from them. He isn't sure if it's from fear or from some small desire to wake up so he can find this place (but he's pretty doubtful about it being the latter).

When he does wake up, it's twilight. The wingulls and pellipers have already nested in their rocky alcoves. Tourists and townsfolk have vacated the beach, and the only sounds left are those of the breaking waves. He sits up, stretches, and slowly brings himself to his feet. He reaches down to gather his boots and jacket, making the long, slow walk back to his apartment. In his mind, he runs through the dream and finds himself curious as to what was through the other peepholes. He wonders if maybe they were clips of his future and past. Then he scoffs; it was just a dream. Dreams don't mean anything, anyway.

o-o-o-o

Somewhere beyond the sea

She's there, watching for me

If I could fly like birds on high

Then straight to her arms, I'd go sailing

o-o-o-o

She wakes up early that morning and the first thing she does is pull that little bit of stationary from the place against her breast. She doesn't unfold this time, just runs her tiny finger along the scalloped edge. From behind her comes a quiet roar and she turns to meet the cheek of her dear steelix; she kisses it. Holding it so that the both of them can see, she unfolds the slip and reads it aloud.

"I."

She looks at her Pokémon, who nudges her shoulder with its broad, silver head. She takes a deep breath and turns her eyes back to the childish writing.

"I love you."

o-o-o-o

He feels like he heard something, but when he glances around his room, he only sees his luxray snoozing in its place, and he shrugs and guess it was just a snore. He doesn't want to get up, not now. He loves the way the sheets feel cool against his bare chest and the way his mattress wraps around him, like a sweet, plush embrace. The glowing alarm clock beside his bed tells him is long past nine in the morning, and he should be a responsible adult and get out bed, go about his day. But today he feels like staying here, not moving. He thinks about it, and decides he wouldn't care if he never moved from this spot. Of course, that's a silly, pretentious idea, and finally, after much mental arguing, he crawls from the serenity of his sheets.

He bypasses the closet and instead heads to the bathroom for a long, hot shower. He needs something to clear his head. The steam from the shower, he feels, will do exactly that. The water pours over his golden hair, plastering it to the top of his head. He closes his eyes and soaks in this warmth and feeling of clean, but it seems more like the water is keeping the dream in his head, rather than washing it out. He finds himself, through his mind's eye, looking through that small tear in whatever room's wall, looking at himself being happy and at this girl that he's never before seen.

Here, he finally decides it. He'll have to find her, if just to prove she exists. He knows that if he doesn't, he'll forever be bothered by it, at times like this. If he finds her, he decides, he'll take back what he said about dreams meaning nothing. Of course he's hoping it won't be a wasted trip. He cuts off the shower, dries off, and steps into the cool, steamy bathroom.

He clears a spot on the mirror and says to his reflection, "She's there." He knows he's saying this to try and convince himself. Call him crazy, but he isn't the type to run off, chasing dreams that he once believed were just images with no meaning. He tells himself that this time is different, this time maybe it isn't so much a dream as, say, a vision. Call him crazy, but when he turns to leave, his feet don't move. He just stands there, looking at the door.

Call him crazy, but he's not exactly sure this is something that he wants to do. But he feels like he has to.

Finally he moves.

o-o-o-o

Today she finds herself on the beach again, this time with her trusty monster-partner. Lately she finds herself wanting to watch the waves and the boats and the flying-types rather than the cold, grey walls of her gym. Besides, she knows that if some new trainer shows up at her gym, Mr. Sato, of the Olivine Café, will find her here and let her know. She knows that, grudgingly, she'll stand up and make her way to the gym, tell the trainer a little story about loving and caring for one's Pokémon, and even recount the tale of Gold from almost four years ago. Then, she'll challenge them, maybe give them a badge, and she'll be right back here.

Her steelix barks at her and she just scratches his oversized head. "I know," she says. "I know."

o-o-o-o

Sunyshore's naturally cool weather provided fog, and though it is late in the morning, the mist still hovers above the water. He hurries to the docks, carefully pads along the creaky, ever-damp boards, and finally finds his boat. Chinchou II, it reads across the back. He climbs over the starboard side and slides in behind the cool metal wheel. He hears a rush of hurried pawsteps and when he peers over the craft's edge, he's greeted by his luxray, leaping into his boat and growling at him, a warning, he decides, to never leave home without the monster.

He brings the engine to life and slowly eases it out of its place at the docks. He doesn't know where he's going, but he knows, if he tries hard enough, he'll find it.

Every time he thinks back on the dream (vision, memory, whatever), he notices something different. When he thinks about it now, he sees the background—a beach. Not Sunyshore's by any means. The sand is a golden yellow color, the water is much bluer than what he's used to. He assumes it's warmer; he'll have to go south. But he would, anyway, because everything is south of Sinnoh. He tries to notice other things in the background. There's a city, not a big one, and a beach of course, and a lighthouse. He knows that Hoenn's Slateport is much too large to even be considered for this, and he doesn't actually remember seeing the lighthouse there. He can't really remember if Vermillion City has a lighthouse, either, but he's sure it isn't Vermillion. The only other lighthouse he can think of is Glitter, in Olivine, but it's so tiny. He has to try, at least. So that he can say he did.

o-o-o-o

It's far beyond the stars

It's near beyond the moon

I know beyond a doubt

My heart will lead me there soon

o-o-o-o

Nights on the ocean are his favorite thing about sailing. The way the air is thick and warm, like a great, humid blanket, and the way it's so lonely. He doesn't mind the gentle lullaby of the waves, either. He removes his outerwear and lies on the deck, feeling the sea's wet air over his naked skin. His luxray curls up against him, and it is only a few minutes before he feels the monster's breathing become slow and even, and he knows it's asleep.

He lifts his arm into the sky and pinches the moon with his thumb and forefinger. Now it seems silly, but he remembers sitting out on the beach as a child, doing the same thing. It made him feel big, powerful; it made him feel like somebody. He loved it. The moon's full tonight, making everything bright and gorgeous. He folds his arms behind his head and relaxes. He almost hopes to go back to the black dream room, maybe to gaze through a few more of those windows.

His dreams tonight, however, are silent.

o-o-o-o

Her stomach feels topsy-turvy like it did when her father took her sailing years ago. She rests in an easy chair in the apartment above her gym, laying her head back and pinching the bridge of her nose. Curious magnemite float around her, beeping and buzzing, and she doesn't have the heart to recall them to their Poke Balls. Instead, she reaches into a candy dish on a table beside her and pulls from it two small, blue poffins. Both of the electric critters float to her hand and nibble on their respective snack and she finds solace in their happy munching.

It feels hot and stuffy in the room, so she carefully eases out of the chair and tiptoes toward the window, sliding it open. She notes the children playing on the sidewalks and the couples, young and old, strolling along leisurely. She finds it all quite adorable, but in almost the same instant she finds herself in the lavatory, vomiting. She can hear the magnemite buzzing at the door, watching her with only two curious eyes between them. When she feels able, she stands again, brushes her teeth and then flashes the Pokémon a great smile.

"I feel fine."

They blink and rub their cool, steel bodies against her arms and she embraces them. "You guys are sweet," she says. They roll out of her grasp and do tiny somersaults in the air; she laughs at them and feels better. At least, she thinks, if she can't have human love, she'll always have the love of her Pokémon.

o-o-o-o

"Hey, how's the weather feeling?"

Luxray stretches and purrs, looking around. When the monster looks back to his trainer, still purring, he takes that as a sign of good weather—for which he is thankful; even the most experienced sailors (not something he would classify himself as) can run out of luck in a storm. He tries to will time by faster, but it only makes it slower, and when he can no longer bear to stand behind the wheel, he throws up the sails and lets the boat coast.

When a few hours pass and he checks the view through his binoculars, he spies the island of Cinnabar and the rocky walls that surround what he's sure is Lavender Town. Within a few more hours, he knows he'll be there. He doesn't know what it is, but something inside him cannot wait to step onto the warm sands of Olivine.

o-o-o-o

When she finally decides that she feels good enough to leave the home, she heads out to the shore, leaving her tiny metal monsters in the cool of her apartment. It is a beautiful day—warm, bright, full of laughter and life. As she heads to the ocean, she can almost see all the way to Cianwood and she can certainly see all the swimmers, tubers, and aquatic Pokémon in between. She kicks off her sandals and takes off her cardigan, tying it around her shoulders so it doesn't have to spend the day collecting scratchy grains of sand. Native birds fly overhead and kids pushing ice-cream carts shout things like, "Made with milk from local miltanks," and "Sixteen flavors—just one Pokeyen a piece!"

She takes a seat under a shady palm and watches the beachcombers, drinks in their smiling faces and the sound of their laughter. It makes her feel happy; to know they are all so happy in her tiny little town. If that's all Olivine ever offers her, she will take it.

o-o-o-o

We'll meet, I know we'll meet, beyond the shore

We'll kiss, just as before

Happy we'll be beyond the sea

And never again I'll go sailing

o-o-o-o

Her keen eyes are focused on a foreign object that seems to be barreling toward the shoreline. At first, from this distance, she mistakes it for some sort of large sea creature, but the closer it comes, the clearer it becomes, until she's able to tell that it's a man on a boat. This almost immediately frustrates her because this is a public beach and no boats are allowed this close to the water. She pushes herself off the ground and tip-toes across the hot sand, careful not to stand too long in one spot. When the frothy tide touches her feet, she soaks in that feeling, long enough to cool her down. The watercraft comes closer still and decides she should say something.

The boat continues closer to the shore and she's probably within shouting distance (whether her words would be understandable or not is entirely up to how well this man on this boat is listening). Something stops her, though, and she just stands in the ankle-deep water. The boat is so close now, the ripples sent forth from the motor lap against her lightly toasted skin. The white bottom of the vessel catches on a rise in the sand and the man kills the engine. He climbs down from the boat and as he does so, she watches him. She stares at him, actually, and all the things her mother said about staring being rude blow out of her mind, into the sea breeze.

She admires his wild, interesting hairstyle, and the golden sun color of it. She takes in the bright blue and yellow of his foreign jacket, and the way the water makes the bottom portion of his black pants even darker.

She's startled, though, as he hurries toward her, his eyes wide (they're such a lovely blue, she notes) with… recognition? It's a look she's seen before on the face of people who identify her in a large crowd, one that says, "I overlooked you, but now I know exactly who you are." But she doesn't know this man from the boat, and this makes her uncomfortable.

It's slightly more uncomfortable when he takes her in his arms and kisses her, on the lips, out here in front of God and everybody. As she blushes, beachcombers behind her clap and cheer. Tomorrow, maybe, she'll ask herself why she didn't fight against his grip or close her mouth before he reached her, but right now, nothing of that sort is even relevant, not when this feels so right.

When he finally stops, he tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear and whispers, "I finally found you. I… just knew you'd be here."

She blinks up at him, stares into the endless pools of his eyes. "W-who are you?"

He says, "It's me," in a way that sounds more like he's begging her to know him, rather than telling her who he is.

She thinks about a dream she had some weeks ago, about how she felt, knowing she wasn't alone. Suddenly she realizes how that felt exactly how this feels, and she does know who he is. She doesn't know his name, sure, but this is destiny, or something, and she loves it.

Love.

She reaches into her dress and pulls out the card, takes one look at it, and throws it into the ocean. That doesn't matter now, anyway. Not in a situation where the feeling is already mutual.

o-o-o-o

No more sailing

So long sailing

Bye-bye sailing

o-o-o-o

A.N.: This ending is so fluffy! Also, note that I don't capitalize the names of Pokémon for the same reason I don't capitalize words like 'zebra' and 'cat'. It's just this thing. Thanks for reading!