NA: This is a part of a fictrade with the melacholy of r starvienna who is a brilliant writer, according to me. Check her out if you haven't. Now!
Still, I kind off like this one, I've always wanted to write one with this pairing and now I have :) I don't own pokémon, only this piece of literature. Sorry about the mistakes, English is not my main language.
Paint me with red
Let me see you. Let me draw you. — BurghElesa
It's almost like—he thinks—that she wants to be in the center of attention.
But at the same time it's a big nono to admit it to the crowd, to the people to the world. So she doesn't.
But every woman—even Elesa—need compliments, need warmth, need love and he is more than willing to give it to her.
But she doesn't let him.
"No," she sighs and blinks with her beautiful, turquoise eyes—eyes like portals, thick and there, ready to capture his own. It's not the first time they have this discussion and most likely—if he is the one to lead this dance—not the last. She thinks she's exchangeable, like he is content with anyone and she sure is blunter that he thought if she believes him to be so predictable.
"Yes, Elesa," he says and grins, moving closer to really drink in her appearance, the appearance no one else could match, not even close.
She is perfect and he doesn't want it to be any other way.
"Choose someone else to be your model," she huffs and crosses her thin, milky arms around her chest, eyelashes thick and shadowing her cheeks, hair brighter than the sun above.
He merges his thin lips into a grin and skips page in his drawing pad, looking at her again before she turns away, black cables dancing. Elesa will try but she cannot change anything—it's too late for that. He only wants to draw her.
She is alive and she is difficult and her features express arrogance and elegance like one of his bug pokémon.
And he doesn't really need to remind you that he likes bug pokémon, does he?
"Heh, Elesa, you know as well as I do that I only want to draw you," he tells her and runs a hand through brown dreads, following her as she moves closer to the lake of Castellia, the waves crashing at the edge, pouring over and covering her high heels. She clips with her eyes and bows down, running her finger through the ice-cold water.
She likes nature, Elesa, that's something she cannot hide from him.
"I fail to understand why," she mutters to the air, her white breath booming out through her thin, lipstick-patched lips, disappearing again.
He says nothing but his mind wanders, over the road ahead and cannot see the goal behind the mountains. She is so arrogant and it's so attractive—it's more real and salient than the color red, it strikes through him like a cat's thick claws and makes him see her.
See her. He doesn't need anyone else. Only her.
"Please. Let me draw you," he begs, annoyingly as only he can be and raises the dry pensile, touching her pale cheek with the tip.
She frowns. "No."
Elesa likes to be alone.
That's what she told him the first time they spoke at a meeting for Unova's gym-leaders and when it comes from her he could accept it, could see it, almost taste it. She was—and is—independent, an adult in a teenager's clothing and somehow he likes that she isn't one of those social craving idiots that cannot make decisions without a second hand.
She probably thinks friends would betray her.
She doesn't realize that you don't even dare to betray anyone like Elesa.
"Are you not going to complain?" she asked him and crossed her right leg over the other one, lifting the pink cup with black coffee up, the never ending music beating from her round headphones.
She shuddered and sipped on the liquid, the cream covering the tip of her nose. "People don't like lonely people."
"Yeah, but you are not lonely, you are independent."
She chose not to spin the thread further and that was when he learned that she didn't appreciate compliments.
He still cannot stop giving her them though.
Elesa loves music and when he asks her why she tells him that music allows her to stop thinking. The beat sends a shiver down her spine, her ears shrink and mind gets foggy and nothing is allowed to take form inside her head. It is an art, she says, and you, Burgh, should know what art is.
He doesn't tell her that art is impossible to define as such simple fact. Art is bigger than that. Everything—even a potato in carrot sauce—can be art if you want. It's up to the creator, not him. But he chooses to put an end on the topic, as Elesa probably doesn't find it amusing to discuss something abstract that doesn't interest her.
But as far as time goes—and longer he gets to know her—he starts to develop his own teory about Elesa's music. Somehow—and he cannot wave that thought away—he thinks it has to do with her ability to ignore other people, to push them away and deny the bad conscience such a behavior gives the user. She probably would never admit it, but he knows that her mind is more complex than most and one day in the future times—yes, one day—he will drill through her skull and see her. See the one she is behind the mask.
That will not be easy though.
But Burgh never says no to a challenge.
It is raining in his city today, a heavy rain falling through thick, black clouds like needles and even though he fails to see why rain seems to cover the town in a thick blanket and no motion can be seen outside.
The city sleeps. Otherwise, this is the city of business, making money, earning money and spending money and even in the middle of the night people run along the dirty street with mobile phones tightly clutched to ears and colorful prams pushed in front of them. But right now, it's empty.
He often uses these opportunities to stroll around town in his lonesome. Burgh cannot be seen as a loner, he likes socializing, especially to strangers (and Elesa) but even he needs his time alone. Everyone does, more and less. Maybe that's why he isn't surprised when he finds out than he isn't the only one that uses rain for strolling.
However he has to admit he is surprised that she hasn't left his town yet. Maybe she likes him more than he thought. That's something only the stars know, she will never—if that's the case—admit anything like that to anyone like him.
She walks there under a bright umbrella—yellow like the rest of her—and headphones tightly against her ears, screaming out music and her heels hit the ground with a splashing sound. She looks like someone that appreciates rain, rain makes her relax and it mixes well with her melancholy eyes. The rain drips down the umbrella, making it looks like she is standing under a fountain.
Dammit, as farther this goes he seems to sound more and more like a lovesick fool.
He isn't. He cannot love her—in a romantic sense—before he knows her.
But when he does he probably will. He doesn't mind that.
"Hi," he greets her as he hurries his shoes and stops in front of her, casually and friendly, the way she seems to like the most. Or despite the least.
She smiles a little and removes her headphones and places them around her throat. "Hello."
"Do you enjoy this nightly stroll?"
Elesa's smile grows a little wider, only slightly but still noticeable. "Are you?"
"You cannot answer my questions with a question."
She looks at him behind the blonde fringe, moving the umbrella closer to her head. "Usually, you ask me many questions. I thought it was time for revenge."
He pouts. "Can't you find anything more interesting to ask me?"
His brown hair slicks his skull now and he curses slightly mentally because he knows by now that he looks awful with wet hair.
And you don't want to look awful in front of a model.
"Can I ask you something?" he lets the question out through chattering teeth—standing in the rain does that to you and she looks back, still with the smile.
Elesa doesn't smile often but when she does—it eliminates his defenses, his army and he can only stand there, exposed. He likes that.
"Is this about drawing me again?" she says, almost sounding like it was a joke and that's also something not common with her. At least she doesn't seem to relax much in his presence. Maybe that's why he is a man and she is a woman and that makes a relation more intense than is often should be.
Although there is nothing intense about them.
"Do I ask that so often?"
"Sorry. There is something else I want to ask you."
It is an innocent question that follows by more and to his extreme surprise—and delight—he removes her shield, piece by piece, until he is able to touch her. She is not open, she is not vulnerable and there's still much she hides but he moves closer, he sees her with other eyes and that's more than enough for now.
"Sometimes," she says calmly as they stroll down the street together, lightened by the lights from the windows above, "I wonder why our personalities differ so much. I have a friend in Mistraton, Skyla, and she's the exact opposite of me. She is so enthusiastic about everything and I am not and we still get along so well. It's… strange."
He nods, knows that when Elesa is philosophic about something then it's important. The problem is, though, that Burgh and Elesa are so different from each other too that his opinion may not be suited for her. "Well, yes, but isn't that something admirable, something that we want to hold? If you'd been over-social and childish then it wouldn't be you, would it?"
"Probably not," she agrees. "Do you think I lack enthusiasm?"
He answers before thinking. "No. However, I think you hide secrets inside you that you don't even know about yourself."
"Maybe," she says and he doesn't like her doubt, it's not like her and he has warmed up to her cold personality and doesn't want it to be a bland delusion, a blunt lie hidden behind the thick fog.
He says nothing more and she simply looks back. "Yes?"
She doesn't like human contact, she's someone that keeps her hidden in the thick sphere but today—or rather tonight—he ignores it and gently places his hand around hers, that soft, pale hand with painted nails.
She is silent but doesn't pull away, lets him touch her hand, feel the soft skin.
He sees that as a good sign.
A week later she is still in town, and to his surprise she seems to grow used more and more to his presence, like she is forming to him like mud after his hands.
The Shining Beauty may be far away to reach but she is still reachable, somehow.
They sit on a bench in the park, colorful leaves dance down the sky, resting in the soft soil. She still has her headphones on, her gaze at the horizon and he takes the chance and asks her what she's listening to.
With no words she removes them and gives them to him.
The song leaves him rather dumbfounded, to say the least.
"It's called two breaths walking," she tells him and that says absolutely nothing.
"Where did you find this?"
She shudders and lets out a short laugh. "I don't know but I like it. Do you?"
"I… I don't know."
"That usually means no in polite language, doesn't it?"
"Maybe. But I like Japanese; I wish I spoke that language."
"Sometimes I wish I did too," she says and takes back her headphones.
Elesa is filled with surprises. Surprises he wants to discover.
And he will.
"Hey, Burgh, I sent the challenger to the pokémon center," one of his fellow comrades in the gym tells him while walking his feet through sticky honey. "Happy?"
"Yeah," he answers, totally focused on the newest painting and when he is focused he doesn't really notice anything.
But the next thing the trainer says makes him lift the brush from the warm, red patch and look up in the ceiling, to the air.
"Also, leader, you have a visitor."
And there she stands, Elesa, clashing with the environment but still looking like she can melt through the wall.
It doesn't matter where she is—she still looks like she belongs there.
Burgh is someone that isn't nervous about much—why would he be nervous about anything he can't foretell?—but with Elesa here, without warning, without a call or a message or anything, he is nothing but nervous.
It's not like he associates her with a messy gym filled with sticky, orange honey.
"Hello," she smiles and twirls a thin cable around her pointy finger. "I guess I wanted to see where you worked."
He nudges on the end of the pensile, resting one sneaker on the brown wall, not looking her straight in the eye. This is his home but he doesn't feel at home—she has the ball now.
"Something wrong?" She tilts her head and places her heels on the ground, echoing in the cramped building.
He nuzzles his hair. "Eh? No, I mean, gah, come inside and take a look around."
She does and at one time she lets her slender fingertip through the thick honey on her right side, wrinkles her nose slightly, blinks. "This is rather different from my gym."
"Well, you more for electric, raw power, is you?" he asks, remembering one article in the newpaper he skipped through when he was bored one day.
She nods. "I guess."
Sometimes he thinks she is more shy with him than with strangers. He wonders why.
He would never hurt her. If—and he means if—he would get the chance to open her like a locked book he would treasure it as much as his bug pokémon—no, nearly even more. She is a part of his world now and nothing can change that, it is ignoring the obvious denying her worth and he doesn't have time for petty, pathetic lies.
"Elesa," he says again, lets the letters roll from his tongue. The name is her. Much more than his will ever be.
She removes her hand from the wall and the honey glues her back in thin, sticky threads. "Hm?"
Her eyes are so pretty. She is a model, but she is also more than that; she is alive and nothing can take that away from her.
And he can't live with himself if he does.
But he knows that inside she is still a girl and there is a reason why she is a model—she wants to be seen—and someone has to take care of her, see her for what she is and don't blame her for what she has become.
Is it his fault that he wants to be that 'someone'?
"Burgh, is it somethi—" The last letter dies when he catches her in his arms, tightly, close and warmly. At first she stiffs, as a rail pointing out from the ground, but then she melts, not much, but enough to form her body after his and rest her chin on his right shoulder.
He wonders when it was the last time someone embraced her.
Probably too long.
He pulls away and places his palms on her shoulder, looking. A faint blush—he swears he is the only one that sees it—crawls forward on her cheeks and she looks at a painting at the wall, eyelashes moving up and down.
"I'm sorry," he says, even though he isn't sorry for anything.
She looks back again. "Don't be. Thank you."
She stays for a month. He guesses he should be happy that he could have her for so long.
Elesa is like this, she doesn't remain in one place and doesn't keep her friends close to heart every day, every second, and that's okay because he is the same.
She just doesn't know it yet.
Years can pass and she can catch them again like nothing happened. It's reasonable and looking at the world through clear glasses and he admires her for it, he really does.
But he still misses her.
He doesn't know what they are and what they will become but he does now this; he isn't going to let her slip away through his fingers now. This has become something too big for him to throw away. She might have wings and wants to fly away when life hangs around her legs like heavy weights, but he always knows where she is.
That's why he knows that she is sitting on a bench in Nimbasa City with a newspaper in hand, her Emolga resting on her right shoulder.
He can smell her through the air and he doesn't care the slightest about how corny that sounds.
She even smiles—slightly—when she spots her.
He stops. Thinks. He just can't resist her.
Inside he knows that he wants her but also that they can never become one in the normal sense.
And he is perfectly fine with that. She is not just a girl that he can kiss and then leave—he wants more from her and she wants more from him too.
"I missed you," he says anyway and slips down to get a seat on her right side.
"I think I did too."
And that's big coming from her.
There is something calm about sitting on a bench, watching the high buildings and the grass outside, pretty flowers, but there is nothing calm about sitting on a bench with her.
She seems to hesitate, swallows once, forming her hands to fists. "T-t-there is something I'd like to do for you."
His lips separate a little and he drowns in those blue orbs. A stuttering Elesa is like a patrat with a trunk, it doesn't happen, or shouldn't happen. "Yes?"
She forces a smile. "You can draw me."
The air stops.
He grins from ear to ear and kisses her passionately on the lips before thinking. Yes, he didn't see that coming, he just acted.
She looks at him with a chocked appearance as he pulls away again. "I think I take that back."
"Too late," he tells her and strokes her cheek gently with his thumb.
The sun runs down to the horizon and paints the heaven red and he moves the coal over the thick paper, forming the shapes of her golden curls.
"How's it going?" she asks from her chair, the red crawling on her right cheek, sending her a glow no one else can match, not even close.
"Fine," he says, licking his lips. "But the result can never be as stunning as you are."