Author's-Note-No-Jutsu.


Until the Beginning

The landscape around him is wide, vast fields of shapeless green squished under the heavy weight of grey clouds hanging low above the horizon, and he lets himself fall. He hasn't seen a soul in days.

He feels the grass's fingers embracing him, supporting him and shifting his body into a comfortable position. He smells the approaching thunderstorm, the first stronger winds blowing at his hair, tugging him upward, away, away.

There were times where he nearly thought it might work. And it would have been so easy, too. Should have. Should have been easy. After all, opposites are supposed to attract, right? The only problem was, so they had to find out, they weren't really opposites at all. That was the ironic part. The stupidest part, perhaps.

They were both searching. For something, someone, or even for the sole sake of searching. But it wasn't each other. She was on the rebound and he was bored out of his skull, and while these may not be the worst conditions, the two of them certainly were not searching for each other. He was sure they weren't. They aren't.

Somewhere above the horizon, the first rumble of thunder sounds. The storm is rolling directly toward him.

She took him here once, and taught him how to anticipate the joy and excitement of an approaching violent thunderstorm. He can feel it now, feel what he could not back then, but it doesn't make up for the emptiness gnawing at his chest. Sitting up, he tries to blink away any remains of her in his mind, like the lingering memories of the nights they spent together or the sensation of wanting to set her and himself on fire whenever they fought. It only makes things worse. He remembers the early years of his teens, the years he passed in blissful ignorance while pining over her at the same time. He recalls occasions when he happened to be in the same town on the same floor of the same pokémon centre as she, and she informed him that she knew about his crush on her and that she would not have mutual feelings for him, ever. Then he would scoff at her, for such assumptions were stupid and frivolous and very much wrong.

A droplet lands on his face, right beneath his left eye, and he can't help but cringe at the cold wetness. The next follow. One, two, three, four. Drip, drip, drip, drip. More thunder, paired with intoxicating flashes of lightning, make their way through the flat land.

When the insane spaz of a boy dumped her for a journey to Kanto, she was in Veilstone, and he somehow ended up making out with her on a dirty park bench that smelt of something suspiciously close to urine. Afterwards they both came to the agreement that this would be of no significance in the future. She left. He stayed, waiting, although he did not know why. Three weeks passed. One sunny morning, she stood on his doorstep.

It's above him now, hovering like an unspoken verdict. He's soaked with rain, his clothes cling to his body as if suddenly scared of everything but him.

He isn't thinking regret, and neither is he thinking despair. He isn't even thinking her. He's not thinking at all. He just watches the tempest crash over him, and listens to a wall of imaginary clocks, listens how he runs out of time.

Every scream, every tear destroyed him. She killed him, strangled and dismembered him, over and over until she was finished. Then she patched him up again. This routine continued and repeated itself, and suddenly he was not the boy he used to be. He was tall, almost lanky, and all roughed up. His edges were sharp, like the shards of a broken bottle, and pierced themselves into her skin.

Two years later she left him once more. Funny, how the sun shone the whole day. When it finally descended and disappeared behind the forest of Veilstone's arcades, it was like she had taken a part of him with her as a souvenir, or as a trophy.

She returned. Whenever it suited her she knocked on his door, and he was there to welcome her back.

She said she needed space, she wasn't ready for commitment yet, and relationships were so narrow and stuffy. Distance was good. He stayed away and paid attention not to get close. It was harder than he'd thought — hadn't he been distant to everything for all his life? — and it was never enough. So he pushed and pulled and tried to find the right place for her in his life, but she was always gone before he finally did.

For hours he sits on this one spot of grass. Only when the rain stops and the storm has moved, he stands up and collects what is left of him. This has become a sort of ritual for him over the years of knowing her and almost being with her but not quite. He doesn't know where he's going with this or if he even has a destination at all. It doesn't matter, he had the choice and now it's too late. His flat is waiting for him and he's got a feeling, a sense of mild foreshadowing, that it's time again.

Through the heavy veils of the large cumulus clouds that are towering above the field now, the sun's rays squeeze with little effort, and it feels like Dawn, guiding him back home.