notes – aka an excuse for me to write gold+crystal+silver friendship, because the three of them are adorable! We have the awkward/trusting/platonic relationship between Silver and Crys, the grrrfriends Silver and Gold, and the lovey-dovey couple that is Gold and Crys. A lot of people have been asking me to write mangaquest, so I hope this delivers (:
He picks up on it during the clash at the Battle Frontier. Once the rock crumbles, he feels the wind on his skin again and that weird, unplaced experience you get when two of your friends suddenly assault you with overwhelming hugs. He thanks them with a hoarse mumble when he should be doing so much more, but Crystal and Gold are satisfied just looking at his red hair and blinking eyes. For once in the longest time, Silver is genuinely happy.
When Archie's army of water pokémon engulfs the floor with an ocean's worth of water, he sees how Crystal holds Gold's hand tight like a lifeline, never even thinking about letting go. In contrast, when she grabs onto Silver to pull him out of harm's way and her hand lingers afterwards, there's a polite embarrassment behind her smile.
And he thinks: Okay, I'm cool with that. It doesn't concern him in any way. This might even be a good thing; Gold could use some training and house-keeping.
Except – it actually does and it's actually not. Nothing is when it concerns Gold.
Crystal's mouth twists in pain and Silver's hands jump and Gold yells, "Be careful!"
"I know," the redhead snaps, not even trying to hide his vexation. He ignores Gold's muffled comeback, instead bringing his attention onto Crystal's foot. After carefully examining the growing lump just above her ankle, he moves her socked foot from side to side. Crystal bites her lip and clenches the gravel on the ground, and Silver knows why she's trying to look fine even though she's really scared.
"I think it's just a sprain," he guesses, "as long as it's not a fracture, you'll be fine. You don't have to worry about it affecting your capturing if you keep off it for a week or so." Crystal relaxes her shoulders and breathes a sigh of relief, leaning back on the boulder behind her. It's comical how she can look completely healthy and content with so few words in spite of the sprained ankle and being lost in the middle of Mount Mortar.
Professor Elm had sent them here for some field studies, confident that they could take care of each other. Of course, they weren't expecting to stumble across a pride of tyranitar after wandering around for hours, having strayed off the marked paths. It probably happened when Gold chased after an odd-coloured zubat, anxious to catch it.
Crystal lost her footing when the three of them pushed each other forward through the tunnels, their pokémon fending off the tyranitar, which were joined by graveler at one point. By the time they managed to take down and outrun the sharp claws and thrown rocks, their pokémon and Crys were all worse for wear.
He finishes wrapping and clipping down the cloth around her ankle.
"You shouldn't walk," Silver tells the girl, getting up from his knee and looking around them to see who remained out of their pokéball. Weavile is standing guard on the top of the boulder, his eyes focused on the darkness shrouding the tail of the rocky stretch. Gold's typlosion, while exhausted, continues to keep his necklace of fire alight. And all Crystal has left is her cubone, who's cuddling up on her side and glad that she's alright. This isn't looking good.
"Explotaro can't carry her like that." Gold jerks his thumb towards his pokémon, who suddenly looks incredibly guilty. "Don't worry, buddy!" his trainer reassures him, patting the portion of pelt that isn't scalding hot. The typlosion simmers, but tiptoes over to lick Crystal's cheek anyway.
"I don't have any other pokémon left," Silver informs them, a hand on the back of his head, flustered by their predicament.
"Make way!" Gold proclaims, stepping over and spreading his arms wide open, his hand bumping into Silver's shoulder. "Let the man do his job!" He takes Crystal's hand without pleasantries.
"I'll just carry you!"
"No way!" Crystal replies almost immediately, her cheeks obviously pink, even under the dim lighting of Typlosion's flames.
"I'm going to have to agree with him for once," Silver says.
Crystal and Gold look shocked, both staring at him with wide gazes and raised eyebrows.
"Let me take care of finding the way out," he ignores their overreaction, pointing to the crumpled map he's taken out of his pocket, "you two concentrate on not getting into anymore trouble."
"Hey!" they say with perfect synchronization.
"Gold, don't try anything funny," Silver warns him. Gold clicks his tongue and shakes his head. "Now, now, why would I do that?" he asks. He puts two fingers against his forehead, "What thoughts have you got up there, Silver?" Gold should really be pointing downwards, not up.
Silver snorts. He's not the one who wants to feel some 'girl parts'.
"Bags," Silver states, extending an open palm to Gold and Crystal.
"Your bags. I'm carrying them."
Gold looks surprised for a moment as he slowly slides the straps of his knapsack off his shoulders and throws it. Silver catches it before walking over to retrieve Crystal's, and the girl looks very apologetic as she lets him heave her bag over his shoulder.
"Sorry for all the trouble, you two," Crystal blushes.
"Nonsense! You save us all the time," Gold tells her, "we're doing the same now, aren't we?" He lowers himself into a squat and Silver helps the girl onto his back, holding her arm.
"This is what friends do!" Gold explains. Silver finds himself rolling his eyes, but then smiling a bit when Crystal gives a bashful nod, her face buried against Gold's collar. The dark-haired boy fixes his ankles and carefully stands up. Crystal squeaks and wraps her arms tight around his neck.
"Awesome!" he exclaims at the contact.
"Gold!" two angry voices echo throughout the caves.
Gold is a genius at being stupid.
It's just an observation Silver makes. He doesn't quite understand how Gold can do so many questionable things, but he's done them all with pride and thought – or lack thereof.
This time, he's sleeping with his head against Crystal's shoulder. After Silver and Gold agreed to become part-time aides to Elm and Crystal, they've been spending more and more time in the lab doing work. Silver had planned to go home, but upon hearing that Gold and Crystal were going to be staying late, he just couldn't leave Crystal alone. She had a hopeless defense mechanism when she was drawn too deep into books and numbers. And Gold knew it.
The pseudo-couple sleep on the couch located against the wall of the large study room, and once Silver is done filing the papers, he sits himself next to Gold and stares. He's waiting for the pivotal moment where Gold opens a beady eye, so that he can catch him faking his sleep.
Then, he realizes Gold is honestly fast asleep and so is Crystal. And soon, Silver notices that he's exhausted too.
When the sunlight peeks in through the window blinds and shines on his eyes, Silver wakes up. He smells Gold and feels something against his face and the sleepiness vanishes. Silver surges back to the extreme end of the sofa, mortified. Luckily, it seems that Gold isn't awake yet. Over the course of the night, somehow Crystal's head had ended up on his shoulder. Silver straightens the collar of his jacket, simply humbled by the fact that no living soul saw him sleeping against Gold.
"I know I'm comfy, y'don't need to feel bad," Gold yawns, cracking his knuckles over his head before bringing his right arm down over Crystal's shoulders.
Silver would be throttling Gold if not for the girl curled up next to him.
"Mantaro, don't show him any mercy!"
Ursaring takes the mantine out with one fierce swipe of his claws, the force sending the water pokémon tumbling onto its back on the grass of the open field. The look on Gold's face is very satisfying, and Silver punches Ursaring's paw to congratulate him for the easy win.
"That's two pokémon down for Gold, and one pokémon down for Silver!" Crystal informs them, umpiring from the sidelines of the makeshift arena.
"Aw, man," the black-haired boy grumbles, scrutinizing the four remaining pokéballs in his hands, desperately wanting to pick the right one. Battles like this are the only things Silver looks forward to when it comes to being acquainted with Gold. He gets to wipe that cocky smirk off his rival's face and beef up his pokémon, while Gold is reminded that he's not the battler, unlike Red, and that he's certainly not the most awesome person in existence; a perfect transaction.
It doesn't exactly stop Gold's endless supply of self-confidence, but Silver has learned to take what he can get.
"Explotaro, it's up to you!" the boy shouts once he's decided, launching the pokéball into the fray.
The typlosion emerges out from the red light with flames bursting from its body, craning his neck and bearing his sharp teeth. Ursaring seems pleased, grunting and nodding at his opponent. The fire-type pokémon rears up on two legs, prepared for the battle.
"You can do it, Silver!" Crystal encourages with one wave of her hand.
"Hey! Wait a minute!" Gold gasps. "Why're you cheering for him instead of me?"
"Well, he's got a better chance at winning," she explains.
Silver grins and decides to attack while Gold is distracted by the sword stabbing his heart.
When Silver arrives at the lab one day, he doesn't expect to see the sad expression paling Crystal's face. He walks up to where she's sitting, a wide table strewn with research papers, and asks her in his quietest voice: 'what's the matter?'.
"Nothing," she harrumphs, "I just got into another fight with Gold." The girl's voice certainly doesn't indicate that the fight had been 'nothing', but Silver decides to dismiss the problem. It's natural for them to get mad at Gold – it's almost like a predetermined cycle. First Silver fights with Gold then Gold argues with Crystal then both Silver and Crystal team up to disagree with Gold. Gold pretends that nothing happens at the end of it all. That's just how the three of them work.
The boy notices her shoulders shaking, and a feeling of immense terror creeps up his spine.
Crystal suddenly bursts out crying. Silver panics on the spot.
He can't deal with girls or tears, and now that he has to handle both at once, the boy is stumped. He opens his mouth, then closes it, reaches a hand to touch her, before retracting it. The last thing he wants to do is something that will make her feel worse. Silver watches Crystal blubber over the counter, her head in her arms and her sadness blotting up some of the documents, cringing at the sight. He digs into his pocket and is relieved to find his handkerchief, the one with his name embroidered near the corner. He inches up to her side and very slowly slides the handkerchief so that it prods Crystal's elbow. The girl lifts her head, and Silver chews his lip when he sees the tracks of tears on her cheeks.
"I – sorry, Silver," she mumbles, bowing her head and accepting the handkerchief. She sniffs and swallows and suddenly it's like she's sucked the tears up. Crystal is strong like that. "Sometimes, I don't know why I'm so hard on Gold," she says while wiping her cheeks and dabbing at her eyes, "he's irresponsible and rash, but that doesn't mean he's not a good person."
Silver begs to differ, but he manages to nod his head silently and smother his disagreement with a quick cough.
"I wonder if he doesn't like me, sometimes," Crystal sighs in a depressing way, and it sounds like she's actually concerned about Gold. Silver can't help but arch a doubtful eyebrow at her.
"Trust me, Gold isn't that kind of person," he reassures his friend. He can't even count the number of times the idiot had yanked him aside to ask for relationship advice and hold a detailed, one-sided discussion on how pretty Crystal looked in her labcoat. Silver had heard enough of Crystal's shiny hair and long legs. Gold doesn't mention her chest because Silver usually punches and/or strangles him before he can start on those.
"And," he continues, "it's hard not to like you."
"Oh, Silver…" Crystal's smile is interrupted when pain explodes on the side of his head.
The boy falls over on the tiled floor with a loud thump, gripping himself and looking up to find the culprit. And of course it's Gold. He's the only one with the decency to kick one of his few friends in the skull. Figures.
"Gold! That could have seriously hurt him!" Crystal is already on her feet, shouting.
"Well, he made you cry, so of course he's going to pay!" the boy returns, a grim frown on his face.
"Gold! You, I just– " Crystal stares at him, lifting her hand to massage the knot between her brows.
Silver decides to just pretend he's been knocked unconscious for the time being. Anything is better than being roped into a fight with them.
Silver walks in on them.
'Them', meaning Crystal straddling Gold, who's lying with his back on the floor, looking very proud of himself. Well, at least they're wearing clothes.
"It's not what it looks like!" she tells him in a shrill voice, cheeks burning.
"It's totally what it looks like ," Gold beams.
Silver closes the door and decides to go and visit Blue instead.
Just as Crystal tries to fix on her left earring, she lets out a tiny sneeze, and the star falls out of her hand. The sound it makes when it lands on the floor is amplified by the quiet atmosphere of the lab. Gold is sitting behind an empty desk with his cue balancing on one finger, thinking to himself and behaving reasonably for once.
Silver continues adding the numbers to the data he's helping Professor Elm calculate, only looking up when he hears Gold's stool creaking against the floor. He watches from the side as the boy and the girl move to pick up the earring at the same time. Gold deliberately touches Crystal's hand when they reach for the earring lying innocently in between their shoes. The girl raises her eyes off the floor to look at Gold, wary and questioning. The boy grins and picks up the earring, deciding to help her put it on and – god, Silver can't take any more of this, the romance is suffocating him. He slides out of his chair with the papers and the calculator, and stalks into the Professor's office.
Silver releases his grip on Honchkrow's foot and lands in Gold's front yard. He'd been called urgently to meet the guy, and a part of him dares to think that maybe they need to save the world again. He tucks his hands in the pockets of his black jacket after ringing the doorbell. Gold's mother recognizes him and ushers him in with a perfect smile and a full voice. Silver can't help but smile at her instinctive kindness.
"Gold's been in his room for the whole morning," she tells him, a hand on her chin. "But when he got back home yesterday night, I thought he was acting rather weird."
Silver nods and thanks her before ascending the stairs, a feeling sparking in the pit of his stomach – god forbids it is worry. He opens the door to Gold's bedroom and finds him slumped over his bed still in his pajamas, fingers punching the buttons on the handheld console in his hands. He sits up when he realizes Silver's presence, flinging the gameboy off to some questionable nook of his room. Silver doesn't know where it lands – probably somewhere deep in the absurd mess of clothes and comic books.
"I kissed her!" Gold grins like he's discovered the meaning of life.
Yeah. The feeling had been worry – worry that Gold would do something ridiculous to him again.
"…. " Silver can't put a finger on his feelings – cheated, bored, nonchalant, mostly angry that he let himself believe that Gold had been serious. He's been anticipating The Kiss since Gold had stopped flirting with anything remotely female, and Crystal had started wearing a light sprit of perfume. Still, he can't help but feel a little dubious.
"Just had to tell you," the boy says, bulldozing the pillows and sheets on his bed.
"What?" Silver raises his voice very intentionally. "I thought it was something important, you made it sound so serious – and it turns out to be this?" He steps on the packets of half-eaten biscuits scattered on the floor as he stomps around the room.
"Are you crazy? This is important!" Gold makes a big circle with his hands to illustrate. Silver still doesn't find it significant in any way. He glares at the boy, turning away to flip through a magazine on the cluttered desk. Silver shuts it abruptly when he realizes its contents.
"It was like those movies, y'know?" Gold carries on saying even though Silver doesn't express any interest. "Except there weren't any cheap effects and no sunset– but, still!" he falls back on his bed, his feet on his pillow and his head on the other end.
Silver hates to admit it, but he kind of understands what Gold is referring to. Blue makes him sit through chick flicks all the time, always playing the 'no one else wants to watch with me and I can always rely on you' card. Silver gives in because Blue's Blue, and because the movies are sort-of-sometimes-interesting. He doesn't tell this to anyone.
He hears footsteps on the hallway outside. A knock on the closed door and a polite "Gold?" and Crystal appears, one hand on the doorknob and the other carrying a stack of folded garbage bags.
"Didn't we say we were going to clean your room today?" she asks him, her eyes leaving the boy basking on the bed and finding Silver, who'd been standing at one corner of the room. She jumps on the spot before asking, "Silver! Hi! Why are you here?"
"Contemplating homicide," he replies.
"I told him about last night!" Gold whoops from his stationary position on the bed.
"You– what!" Crystal balks, her face going red and the garbage bags scattering all over the already-chaotic floor. She swivels to Silver and marches up to him. It's almost funny how a sixteen-year old girl can shift from humiliated to intimidating in seconds flat, but not really.
"What did he tell you?" she interrogates him. Gold laughs up a storm in the background.
The only thing going through Silver's mind is that he does not want to get kicked by those legs.
Crystal has nice hair.
She rarely lets it down, but on the rare instances that Gold catches her hair falling freely, he makes inappropriate use of the time to touch it and ask her to ditch her pigtails more often. Silver is a quiet observer, but he concedes to the fact that Crystal does look pretty sometimes, when she isn't angry or rushing for a deadline or nagging, but just being a normal girl.
"I can't do that. My hair would get in the way of work," Crystal explains, brushing it down after her shower.
"Sure you can! Look at Silver! His hair's as long as yours and he doesn't have a problem with it!" Gold comments casually, throwing a lazy finger to his direction.
It takes only four steps and Silver already has a handful of Gold's collar in one hand, the other balled into an irritated fist. Crystal sputters half-hearted 'sorry' in between her laughs.
Silver settles down on in his apartment on a Saturday morning, ready to spend the day drinking tea, reading through a pile of good books he's set aside for weeks and figuring out what to get Blue for her birthday. Feraligatr wanders in and out of the rooms, placating his restlessness by cleaning up after his trainer, arranging the crooked books on the shelf. He organizes them as expertly as one with claws as sharp as those could.
The biggest mistake Silver's ever made in his life – other than telling Gold his name – is giving Gold his address. He stays in Viridian with his father now, but even the distance between Kanto and Johto is not enough of a deterrent at times. This is one of those days.
The anxious, impatient knocking on his door already gives Silver a bad premonition. He looks through the peephole – and, of course – he sees Gold standing there, his own eye pressed up against the hole. Gods of Singlehood, do you even exist?
"Silver! Silver! You there?" he yells. Silver can hear Crystal at one side trying to shush him.
"What?" he asks as he opens his door. Now that he can see them clearly, Gold is wearing an old shirt and red swimming trunks, hoisting a doughnut float on his shoulder. Crystal has a small tanktop that doesn't hide the neck of swimsuit she's put on underneath and a pair of casual shorts. Silver has a bad feeling about this.
"Beach trip!" Gold celebrates. "We decided to go to Vermillion today since Olivine's always packed."
"You decided," Crystal corrects him. She crosses her arms and woah Silver definitely doesn't need to see the cleavage over there.
"No," he replies without much hesitation.
Gold and Crystal give him varying looks of disappointment. "You're no fun!" Gold says, reaching into his bag pack to pull out a pair of black trunks. "I got these for you just in case!" He waves them around like a flag.
"I'd really feel much better if you came along," Crystal mutters, stepping in between him and Gold.
"W- Why me? You two should just go on a date," Silver says, staring down at his gloves because there's nowhere else to look. It's either breasts or a stupid face – stalemate of the century.
"No!" Crystal rejects quite passionately. Gold makes wild gestures behind her back, shaking his head and slicing his hand against his neck.
"She won't go if it's a date," he whispers loudly. Silver doesn't even want to comprehend the two of them and their roundabout flirting. Denying it's a date doesn't make it any less of one, honestly.
"And," Crystal continues, "you're our friend, and friends do things together, don't they?"
Silver looks at them, half-excited and half-calm and a whole lot of awkward and just so messy pieced side by side. He turns around to look at his coffee table, realiznig he hasn't begun making the tea. Feraligatr is sulking on the floorboards near the small television.
He could easily decline them, just as easily as he could agree. Crystal would probably be uncomfortable with Gold and his doughnut, and Gold would probably get bored if Crystal was the only one with him at the beach.
The boy sighs.
Gold throws the trunks at him. He catches them in his arms.
"Just this once."