verse: game, platinum
notes: for the pokanon kink meme on lj
prompt: "It is impossible to love and be wise."
If Only it was that Easy
"Oh, hi Jun!"
The boy's ears pricked up as he lifted his head to see the familiar childhood friend trotting over, her tote bag swinging to and fro at her side. The current winter air was not being so kind to her cheeks, red with windburn and her lips pathetically chapped. Tightening the pink coat around her shoulders, she happily gave a small wave before gripping the doorknob of the Battleground building and allowing herself to the warm inside.
A building he still hasn't been given permission to enter.
He gave a sigh and leaned back against the walls, his arms crossed.
A few hours later, when the girl emerged from the bar, Jun was still there. Just as always.
Hikari stood some feet away from him for a bit. She smiled to herself as she gave each of her pokéballs a small nuzzle, thanking them for their hard work, unaware of the golden stare she was receiving in her back.
After a few stiff moments of silence with Hikari doting on her pokémon and Jun awkwardly leaning against the side of the building, he blurted out, "So? Who'd you battle today?"
The girl turned her head over toward his, her smile broadening as she placed her last pokéball back in the shoulder-bag. "Four trainers today!"
Jun shifted uncomfortably on his feet, waiting for her more in-depth report.
"Let's see…first was Riley. I haven't seen him in a while, and his lucario's grown really strong!" she exclaimed, putting her hands together.
Her friend's expression only darkened in response. Riley. The smug little bastard who thinks he can take Hikari alone down a bunch of caves and then give her a pokémon egg. In some sort of messed up sense, he practically knocked her up and ditched her! Jun's fists began to ball up as he watched the girl completely ignore the fact that she had just battled the same jerk who threw an infant pokémon on to her case load.
"That battle was a little tough, but I won…" of course she did, if Jun can't beat her than it's obvious that no one else can, "…and then after that was Volkner," she recited, counting the trainers on the tips of her fingers, "His lanturn's always a pain…but, I'm really happy that he's continuing his duties as a Gym Leader."
Jun stiffened. This time it was Volkner – the man who, thanks to Hikari, only recently gained a new love for battling pokémon…and probably – more than likely – a new love for something else as well. Not to mention the fact that he's always been regarded the most handsome male Gym Leader as a closeted consensus. He was definitely a real obstacle – No, not obstacle, Jun slapped the afterthought away.
A third finger rose from Hikari's outstretched fist; "After that I battled Buck. My pokémon were getting a bit worn out by that time so our battle lasted some time longer than the first two. We still persevered in the end, though," she added, mist softly dissipating between her teeth through the broad grin.
The blond gave a soft smile in return, despite the fact that his thoughts were fuming in annoyance. Buck was the one who helped prevent Team Galactic from capturing the heatran, and saved Stark Mountain or the world or whatever that sorry excuse of a crime syndicate was after, right? Thinks he's hot stuff? That he's a smooth talker? That he can woo Hikari with fiery words?
Oblivious to Jun's rambling inner voice, the Sinnoh Champion held out one last finger before explaining, "And the last one for today was Byron."
Byron. The crazy rock-obsessed middle-aged man who – wait, Byron?
"He definitely put up a real fight, and our battle was the longest. It was actually a real close match! But in the end we all won. So I was able to defeat everyone today!" Hikari finally finished her recap of the day's work and clapped her hands together again. "I was really amazed at how far my pokémon came through; normally I have to take a trip or two to the PokéCenter before I'm done," she gave a chapped smile to the tote bag slung over her shoulder.
"…Congratulations, Hikari. You've really come a long way," said Jun, relaxing his curled fists. He gave her a soft look, wanting to smile, however held back by the thoughts racing in his head. She was always surrounded by other – better – guys who had hopeful eyes laid on her, and he was jealous of them. And on the other end of the spectrum, she was the strongest pokémon trainer in all of Sinnoh who could defeat absolutely anybody, and he was jealous of her.
"Thank you, Jun!" said Hikari, closing her eyes and beaming as more mist puffed out from her mouth. "Well, we really worked hard today, so I think I'll go have everyone healed up now – " she began to pivot on the balls of her feet when suddenly something had grasped her forearm. She turned around, eyebrows curved upward in confusion at the unexpected gesture. "…Jun?"
He kept his gaze steady on the wrinkled sleeve he had a grip on…as he suddenly demanded, "Battle me. Right now."
"W-wha – rightnow?" she responded, her blue eyes slightly widening at the sudden confrontation. "But I – I just…"
She felt him tighten his grip on her sleeve. "…What? It's not like I'm any challenge to you anymore," he spat, the truth like venom against his tongue, "you can just take a minute to stomp me into a curb with already weakened pokémon and be on your merry little way, just like always, right?" Jun raised his stare into Hikari's, his expression frustrated and longing, although the poor girl probably wasn't able to pick up on the latter.
Honestly, he wouldn't blame her if she wrung her arm out of his grip and stomped away, confused and irritated at her childhood friend behaving so strangely. Instead he watched as her face relaxed and then gave a small smile. "No," she said, shaking her head, "that's not what…Yes, I'll battle you," abandoning whatever previous thought she was about to convey, the corner of her mouth gave a twitch. "But," she raised an index finger to his eye level, "let me heal my team first. We're going to fight fairly," she said sternly, intolerant of any unspoken retorts.
Jun opened his mouth once, twice; then closed his eyes and chuckled after releasing his friend's arm from his grip. "Alright, Hikari. We'll do things your way this time. But!" he also shouted, pumping his fist into the air after the girl turned around to leave, "you have to be back here in no more than five minutes flat! I mean it, or it's a ten billion fine!"
Hikari only whipped her head around to give a closed-eyes grin before making a jog over to the PokéCenter.
"…Good job, Heracross, you did great," the boy mumbled to the pokéball in his hands, before placing it back inside his bag and looking up to Hikari. The girl was currently nuzzling against the gargantuan penguin he watched her pick up all those months ago, when her eyes were filled to the brim with opportunities and wonder. Now though, they were filled with experience and wisdom. She won. Of course she won. Of course she won.
"That was the longest battle I've had yet today, Jun!" the champion exclaimed after her empoleon was safely withdrawn back into its ball, "You're really a tough challenge!"
Jun couldn't help but feel like she was exaggerating.
After a few quiet moments of the boy gazing to the snow-laden ground and the girl trying to meet said gaze, Hikari drew in a sharp breath and swung her tote bag over to her back. "Well," she started, "I've had quite a number of battles today…I think we'll go have a bit of rest for a while, go relax at the villa…" her words drifted off when Jun made no hints at responding. Her shoulder slightly dropped, and her face fell – was she too hard on him?
"Well," she said again, "…um…see you around…"
But right after Hikari turned on her feet; her forearm suddenly felt a familiar grip wrap itself around her fragile wrist. Tighter than the first time – not out of anger, but…
"J…Jun?" she twisted her neck and looked at him quizzically, her heart gaining one or two beats per minute. He was still concentrating on their shoes, deep in thought.
Then, he lifted his head up and fixed his eyes to Hikari's. For a second his face remained serious, but then it slowly eased into a smile. The hand that was wrapped around her wrist slowly loosened, allowing his palm to slide down to her hand and he slipped his fingers in between the girl's knuckles.
He gave a squeeze. "Next weekend. I'll be here again next weekend. Battle me again then."
"If you don't, there'll be a fine."
It took a moment before the words registered in her head, and then she raised her eyebrows and beamed at her childhood friend. Hoping that her wind burnt cheeks were able to hide the rising blush, she squeezed his hand in return. "Okay!"
He just has to keep making a fool out of himself time and time again, doesn't he? He can't just swallow down the intense hatred he feels for any other man with eyes for her. And he can't just be overjoyed knowing that she's a much better trainer than him. He can't just be a composed and coolheaded pokémon trainer.
Honestly, life would be so much easier if he weren't so head-over-heels for her.