Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon, which belongs to: Nintendo; the Pokémon Company; Creatures; GAME FREAK; TV Tokyo; ShoPro; Jr. Kikaku; Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd.; Satoshi Tajiri; and Ken Sugimori. These companies and the creators rightfully own the franchise. Please note that I don't write this story to infringe on copyrights or to earn money; this is merely to entertain individuals who share my interests.
2:9 – Summer and Autumn Kisses
All in all, Mewtwo's integration into Senninso Academy went smoothly, despite having the headmistress as his introducer. Since this was something of a novelty, the curiosity of the others had – at least during the first month – led many to stalk him both physically and psychically, with seeming no end to the students and pokémon who turned up at the door to his quarters. Yet as the weeks passed by, these callers contented themselves with the knowledge that this newcomer, who called himself "Yuè," was a particularly talented ex-recluse…and someone who happened to have enough charisma to charm their leader.
For a time, this ability to intrigue the Witch of the Mists fed the rumor mill a steady supply of tales of scandal and suspected romance. But after a while, the onlookers resumed their training and schoolwork, leaving the vagabond to his own devices. But insuring that the rumor mill never quite went out of service, one individual continued to visit "Yuè" in his home – and that person was, of course, that woman who'd "discovered" him in the first place.
At first Natsume's visits had been professional enough: she'd helped him move into his apartment, even going so far as to provide him with furnishings, since he seemingly had no possessions of his own. She'd provided him with the basic Academy calendar (marking the days of the festivals, exhibits, performances, and ceremonies) and a schedule of the classes he would be teaching, the most prominent of which was Advanced Aural Shielding. She'd also given him a tour of the facilities, showing him the dining options and classrooms; had reassured him, when asked, that their toadstool mascot was definitely not advocating the use of psilocybin mushrooms; and even ate with him on occasion. Yet as the weeks went on, her visits grew increasingly casual. They often meditated and sparred together, with the latter demonstrations awing of their students and capturing the interest of her previously oblivious parents.
When the older Kurosawas learned that the two were working together, they started keeping a discreet eye on them. They noticed that Natsume and "Yuè" would explore the town together on the weekends, and that their daughter often asked him to help her with things which didn't really require assistance. At one point, they overheard her say, "Stranger, could you help me stalk down our resident poltergeist?" – which everyone knew was haunting her apartment – and snickered when he replied, "As you wish."
While they doubted he'd watched many Western movies, and was thus unaware of the possible Princess Bride reference, they nonetheless joked that he moved fast, and grew more and more amused with the two as the summer slipped by. They both understood that the stranger interested their Natsume, but like most young men, he seemed somewhat oblivious to the looks she sent his way. That wasn't to say he didn't appreciate her attention; by a mew's fluffy paws, he did!
That said, romantic relationships rarely developed without a hitch or ten, and theirs was no exception. One snag came in the form of a fair-haired, golden-skinned man from the Orange Islands, who just so happened to be on a tour of the Kanto region. Upon encountering Saffron's dark and noble lady, he abandoned the tour bus and began wooing Natsume in earnest. Initially, the woman was amused, then flattered, and then intrigued. It wasn't often a man overlooked her past and personality to romance her like this, and the romantic in her found she quite enjoyed it.
That Mewtwo seemed oblivious to her interest only convinced her to give the foreigner a chance. So instead of turning him down, she humored the man and joined him for a fancy dinner or two. Her parents - her mother in particular - were not pleased. They'd grown rather fond of "Yuè," if merely from the fond words of their daughter. That his students also gave him rave reviews only added to his allure: he might be aloof, they said, but he was knowledgeable and protective of his flock. While they hadn't actually met him yet, Mr. and Mrs. Kurosawa thought that what they'd heard sounded promising. He seemed like a good catch for their daughter, and yet….
And yet Natsume was of legal age, and since they didn't know what was actually going on between her and "Yuè," they could hardly go making suggestions. Their little girl simply wasn't a little girl anymore. Even so, they didn't miss the rumor that was spreading through the school: Sensei Yuè was colder than usual lately. Whenever their headmistress' name was said - which, naturally, occurred quite often – he grew even more sullen. Soon her name and that of, in his own words, the "golden pea-cock" (he always added a dash, an audible pause, between the "pea" and the "cock"), became taboo in his classroom.
Whether they called the sunny bird in question a strutting git or not didn't matter. What mattered was that everyone learned to shield their thoughts that much faster, because if their headmistress "overheard" them cursing out her Islander suitor for the trouble he was causing, she'd probably expel them on the charge of "bashing a resident's private life."
But eventually the situation resolved itself in perhaps the only way it could (that is, without causalities): the snag was wretched free and cast aside. Quite literally, actually. In a fit of fury, the golden man was uprooted and tossed – with minimal clothing - from her apartment via her telekinesis. To the delight of the residents who were walking by at the time, they saw that Yuè's slur for the man was quite accurate. As for why the bird had been pushed from her nest…well, that didn't matter to them! What mattered was that the next day, Sensei Yuè was himself again, and was even a little chipper. To his students, this was a godsend.
To Natsume, this was very, very annoying!
That night, she rapped her knuckles on his door, which he unlocked and swung open after a moment's hesitation. As she glared up at him, she saw that he'd shifted into his natural form, which was something of a nightly ritual for him. Her scowl deepening, she brushed past him and stepped over his tail. Taking off her coat and tossing it onto the table, she spun around and waited until he'd closed to front door.
Once he had, she began to hiss, "So let me see if I understand this correctly. I hint that I'm interested in you for months. I go just shy of holding up a sign that says, 'Mewtwo, take me, I'm yours!' and you refuse to look my way. But when I show interest in another man, you scowl and snap at everyone around you, and then act like a giddy schoolboy when I reject him! So which is it? Do you find me-," she fumbled for the word, then spat, "-interesting or not?"
He blinked at her, his tail flicking behind him. "I should think the answer to that is obvious. I find you very interesting, likable, attractive, or whichever term for it you prefer."
Irritation flashed over her face. "So why have you been so-?"
"While I was aware of your hints, I questioned your logic in offering them. I ultimately decided not to act for your sake."
Her frustration gave way to reproach. "Come again?"
He sighed and sat in one of the armchairs she'd given him. Peering up at her, his fingertips flexing against the black fabric, he said, "If you have not already realized this, you are, in fact, a rather beautiful woman, while I am, in fact, a rather unsightly pokémon. While I can take on human form, that doesn't change the moral codes of our societies, which dictate that like should pair with like - and physically, you and I are as different as two people can be."
She crossed her arms, not seeming satisfied with that answer. "Physically, maybe. But in all other ways-."
"This is not La Belle et la Bête, Natsume. We would not be accepted as a couple, but ridiculed if we-."
She bristled at that, and then growled at him in a manner reminiscent of a black panther. "What does it matter what anyone else might think? Our private lives are none of their concern! You're interested in me and I'm interested in you, so what is the problem, Mewtwo?"
"Well, you rhymed, and that is never a positive–." The couch cushions suddenly flew at him, two of which hit him in the chest and face. Flailing his arms and tail out in front of him, he cursed, "-Damn it, woman, would you refrain from throwing cushions at me? While they do not hurt, they make it hard to con - agh!"
"'Conagh'? Are you trying to learn a foreign language in your spare time? I would have thought Japanese and English would serve you well enough!" she taunted, her eyes glowing azure as she sent another cushion at his head.
He ducked with a groan. "Natsume, stop that! I am merely trying to reason with-."
But the Witch of the Mists refused to listen to him anymore. In one fluid movement, she leaned over him, placed her hands on his shoulders, and covered his mouth with hers. The kiss that followed was jarring, in large part due to the different shapes of their mouths, but it was successful in its aim: it made Mewtwo's train of thought leap off its tracks and crash to a halt. For a moment they both savored the warmth of that touch, savored the flavor of cherry lip balm, savored how time slowed down and their heart rates sped up.
Then Natsume drew back with a sigh, and seeing the shocked look on Mewtwo's face, she said, "As much as I appreciate reason, I also know that repressing your desires can have dangerous consequences. So I plan to pursue you, Mewtwo, and whether you pursue me back is entirely up to you. But I hope you do. I prefer not having to do all the work."
She turned away from him then and went to fetch her coat. She slipped it on and headed to the door (perhaps a bit too quickly), seeming perfectly willing to leave him there, stunned in his seat. Staring after her, the clone licked his chops, mentally shook himself, and called out, "Is that why you turned him down? Because he was not making enough of an effort?"
She paused and inclined her head slightly. "Actually, he had the opposite problem. He was trying to push too much too fast, rushing things I prefer to take slowly. I couldn't have that, now could I? Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a more the ideal pace and succeed where he failed."
For a moment, he didn't respond…but then his eyes gleamed and he murmured, "If that is within my power, then I will most certainly attempt to. That, as it were, is a desire of mine."
He meant that, and as she opened the door and peered into the night, she smiled. "Good to know."
Then she walked out into the autumn night. The shadows undulated and rose to meet her, and he watched her melt away into the murk. After she faded completely, he waved the door shut and breathed in deep: she'd left the waning scent of jasmine in her wake.
Thank You: Meriah and Mai-danishgirl for reviewing the last chapter! I appreciated your feedback, and hope you and others will leave a review for this chapter as well. As always, thank you for reading!
Author's Note: So I'm releasing this later than expected, and suffice to say the delay is due to extreme busyness offset with an extreme lack of motivation. However, Kayasuri-n's recent one-shot, "Bittersweet" – a gorgeous psishipping piece which I shamelessly begged for her to write – has infused me with fresh zeal for this couple, which made me turn back to this series (because there are maybe five people, tops, who actually write this pairing). In any case, I haven't been idle this past month as far as writing goes. Plans for my original fiction work continue to progress, and the special project a friend and I are working on for this couple is underway. I'm afraid I can't share much about either work, since I don't want to spoil anything, so just know that I'm very excited right now! At any rate, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Have a nice day, everyone!