It Wasn't Me [539 words; Belle & Cheren]

There's a lot of speculation on my part in writing this, but I hope you like it. Er, spoilers for the games Pokemon Black and White. Sorry about that..

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She's already at the League doors when he finally stumbles into the safe vicinity. Belle by no means looks particularly tired or worn, just a few scrapes and dirt stains on her face, her hands and her clothes. Cheren opens his mouth to comment that he's obviously surprised to see her, since Belle was always kinda ditzy and he never really expected her to actually meet her goal of coming to the Isshu League but Belle notices him and smiles at him.

"Hey Cheren!" her smile and her eyes are warm on him. Cheren can't help but smile a little back. Belle continues to speak. "I knew you'd get here eventually," she says. Cheren nods curtly and utters, "Of course I made it! But I'm surprised to see you here too." Belle looks momentarily surprised but it flees from her features followed by a nanosecond uncharacteristic smirk which Cheren barely catches- what was that?- that is replaced by a smile that is so familiar to him that Cheren dismisses that incredibly brief lapse in character.

"I know," she giggles, obviously delighted. "Amazing, isn't it?" Cheren nods again while Belle gestures to the doors.
"Shall we go inside, then? I have to get my Pokémon healed." She says. Cheren takes a step forward, "Me too."

Belle decides to rest after her Pokémon have been healed and begins to feed them but Cheren is ready. His Pokémon are ready. He was going to become the Pokémon League Champion! So he charges ahead, prepared for hard battles and victory.

And Cheren, the boy could cry, does become the Pokémon Champion and his name is recorded in the Hall of Fame along with his tired but very proud Pokémon. His Pokémon are healed and Cheren is eager to tell the world, his parents and friends that he, Cheren, is the Pokémon League Champion. But he never gets a proper chance to, when Belle comes along, armed with a smile and an impenetrable will to win.

Her smile is bright and kind and stop smiling Belle when he falls to his knees as his last Pokémon faints from exhaustion. Cheren's glasses are askew on his face but Belle crosses the battle field to bend down and fix them for him, her friend. Absently he calls back his Pokémon and gapes at the sweet, ditzy girl he thought he knew.

"I've won," her voice is soft, eyes kind and if that is pity I'll deck you girl or not, Belle. Cheren gulps and nods because there is no denying her victory over him and that his reign as Champion has come to an unceremoniously abrupt halt. And so Belle is crowned the new victor, the new Champion and Cheren stands numbly on the sideline as he watches her go through a procedure he'd gone through just a moment ago. But when she turns to smile at him, he isn't there. He has made his silent, quick getaway.

It is months later that he hears that someone finally defeated Belle. And if irony would have it, it was their friend that they made a promise to train hard to come to the Pokémon league but Cheren knows that Belle probably has no regrets about her loss.