"Although it doesn't matter, you and me got plenty of time..." Ruby hummed to himself as Nana's new garment materialized under his meticulous stitches. He found this summer quite bearable, now that Sapphire had simmered down and dozed on his shoulder, allowing him the uninterrupted concentration he craved for his sewing. Not that her company was bad, quite the contrary, but she rarely allowed him the luxury of completing his works, what with her insistence of his company on her expeditions to assist her father with fieldwork, such as the one they were on in Johto.

The boy held up the finished product, beaming brightly at his handiwork. His companion grunted in her sleep and pressed herself further into his side. Ruby glanced briefly around the room the ensure they were alone, then back at her. He would never share the extent of his feelings for her with any living soul, but he secretly enjoyed being with her in such a way. The hatted youth allowed an arm to encircle her lithe shoulders, finding a comfortable position against her sleeping form. He caught a muted umph from the girl as her arms hugged his torso firmly. Ruby's second arm, after placing his glasses and the masterpiece on his pack without a wrinkle, followed the suit of his first around her. Her pressure against him intensified, causing the two of them to plop onto the sofa. The boy's heart lurched as Sapphire stretched and her cheek pressed against his chest. Ruby noted the hardness of a fang through the fabric of his shirt as her lips parted slightly to release a tired moan. As suddenly as the blush on his face, the male's senses heightened; he took in her even breaths, her gentle ruffling of his nape, and the curve of her hips. Scarlet eyes widened with a sudden understanding of her femininity. 'T-this is insane. I've always known she was a girl, boyish mannerisms aside, so why is this such a surprise?' A hand at his nape began a slow decent to his pectorals, stopping above his heart. The brunette's sleeping face brightened at the throbbing beneath her fingers, again making Ruby wonder the meaning of air. He took the precaution of swallowing and slid a hand from it's resting place on her lower back up her spine. Her back arched as she sighed through her nose, unconscious grin widening.

With a second swallow, Ruby's namesake eyes riveted to the destination of his hand: her supple neck. His fingers alternately traced designs into and rubbed at her lightly scarred skin. His initial fear ebbed the longer he continued; her pleased groan and head against his hand calmed him, a meaningful smile spreading across his features. The boy's mind was so absorbed by touch that he did not register the opening of his comrade's eyes.

It took a gasp on her part to inform that he was being reviewed by wide, nervous, sapphire orbs. Ruby felt his face rapidly cool. '...Everything about our current position is compromising. And she sees I'm not wearing my glasses, that this wasn't COMPLETELY done thoughtlessly! Crap!' the two rose awkwardly from the furniture, quickly withdrawing limbs to break any remaining intimate contact.

"R-ruby? Whydja... Why wur ya... holdin' me... like tha'?" the boy in question tilted his head away, unable to meet the eyes he cared so much about.

"I.. Uh, um... N-no reason..." Ruby continued his half turn, hoping beyond hope that she would not step toward him and draw his attention back to her hips again. 'This is going to be so embarrassing...' he thought to himself. 'What can I say? "Oh Sapphire, I was hugging you like that because I like the look of your body now"? Well, there goes our friendship FOREVER...'

IT'SBORDERTIME

Sapphire felt heat sting her eyes as her fists clenched. 'He's STILL lyin' t' me? After all we've dun t'gether? Why duz he keep DOIN' that?' She glares at the back angled away from her, deciding to speak her mind.

"Ruby, why do ya keep LYIN' t' me, after all we've been thruh t'gether? We saved Hoenn TWICE fer cryin' out loud! Dontcha trust me?" The last part was more muted than her usual, boisterous voice.

She heard his slight shuffle and "Uh, Sapphire?" from across the carpet, but her hurt indignation caused the heat in her eyes the flare up and drown her in moisture. Ignoring the sudden rush of tears, she found one closing sentence to their newest "argument".

"Ah thought we didn't hafta lie t' each other anymore!" With that, she pelted from the room, taking no notice of Ruby's rotation to face her, or his shocked expression. Once past the kitchen and out of the house, the brunette parked behind a corner to sulk and reflect on the tender way he held her for those few precious seconds. Seemingly at random, she recalled a suggestion one of her senior Dex Holders gave her with a wink regarding boys: "Try being spontaneously dramatic, but don't overdo it too much. Cry a little, spill something off your heart. That oughta do the trick!" Sapphire smiled in the midst of her continuing tears. 'Heh, ah follughed yer advice, Blue-sempai. Lessee wut Ruby'll do now."

OHIT'SBORDERTIMEAGAIN

Tears. His heart stopped, then thudded into his shoes. She was crying. Because of him. AGAIN. The Salamence incident flashed before him and the scar beneath his hat tingled at the recalled events. 'No, not again. Sapphire!' her name kickstarted his heart as he dashed out of the house after her. 'Never again!'

He paused after shutting the door, reviewing the forest close by. The crazed energy in his veins dipped in power at the possibility that her flight propelled her farther than he could search, making him feel suddenly small. A quiet sniffing from behind the house dispelled his fear, replacing it with relief and concern. He snuck over to her hunched form, unsure how to progress. Noticing her continued tears, protective instinct took over. He wrapped her in a tight hug, stroking her back soothingly. The male felt the shoulders in his grip rapidly untense as her wet cheeks pressed into his neck. Adrenalin pushed him to kiss the exposed skin, earning him a girlish grunt and a shy bob of her shoulder. Her head turned to face him, mouth slightly ajar to say something, when their eyes locked. He missed her swallow her words and and close her mouth, as his attention remained on endless, lake-hued spheres. He knew he was drowning, but thought less of the fact. His heart jumped when their noses suddenly met, and knew hers did too. 'We're...so close?' her heartbeat throbbed beneath his fingers as her eyes glinted in a way he had never experienced before. Two pairs of shoulders relaxed further as four eyes began to blink frequently. Two heads tilted a fraction as conscious thought migrated from two minds.

"Hey Juniors! Have yuh seen my... Oh hey guys. Don't stop on my account! I'll find it by myself! 'Bye!" Sapphire leapt up, charging with homicidal intentions after the senior Dex Holder who dared to interrupt her first kiss. The goggled teenager jumped and fled back into the house, a growling brunette hot on his heels.

Ruby sighed, calming his heart from the sudden release of tension, and followed the two into the house. Entering, he caught a glimpse of a flustered bluenette trying to call for Gold when the goggled youth burst into the same room and slam the door in Sapphire's angry face. The previously mentioned door was forcibly locked, with the strident complaints and sounds of furniture informing Ruby and Sapphire that the door was being barricaded from the inside. The scarlet-eyed male chuckled quietly, slipping quietly back into the living room to escape any awkwardness with Sapphire to start another clothing project, satisfied that their previous crisis was over. Settling back into the sofa donned on his glasses with a roll of cloth in his hand, Ruby was faintly surprised to hear nervous footsteps entering the room. Knowing who they belonged to, he raised his gaze and gave a small smile to the entering figure. Sapphire froze, an obvious blush coating her face, but she shook off the majority of her embarrassment and continued her slow advance, her gaze dropping to the floor, to sit beside the boy in his signature white hat. He playfully copied her lowered gaze, but his smile faded when he found her fiddling with her fingers. Ruby cleared his throat nervously.

"You... really don't mind watching me sew?" She glanced up at him and shook her head.

"Nah," she murmured, creeping closer. "As long as ahm with ya..." The girl started when her companion rose and sat on her other side. Not looking at her, he extended his elbow and continued his careful stitching. Her mouth formed a grin of infatuation as she entwined the offered arm with her own, resting against his shoulder again, but this time, to her excitement, his cheek pressed into her hair and bandana. Both young people sighed, vaguely musing on whether this episode would change anything between them, and hoping not much would.