A/N: Well this sure took it's time. SORRY! But I've been having the most horrible writer's block when it comes to writing stuff in English. Also, I realized how cheesy my ending was so I changed it and it took some time to figure out how exactly end this. Uh, not saying that this is any less cheesy now... I'm so sorry, I just can't write anymore, can't even make characters stay IC. :_: I think I'll just leave the writing to others, because this is just... Oh well, sorry for typos, I'm pretty sure they are lurking there, I've only proof read this twice after all. I just can't do English anymore. But yeah, hope you can still enjoy this story, as this is the last chapter. Thanks to everyone who's been reading this (and left lovely reviews!).
I guess it was going to be unavoidable at some point, but I hadn't guessed it was going to be this soon. Ash looked absolutely stunned, you know, with the stupid expression on his face that involved open mouth and wide eyes and everything. I mean, really, really, Ash? That guy worked across the street, there's no need to look so shocked when he actually steps in to the nearest cafe to order a cup of tea (seriously, what a faggot, you can't go call yourself a straight man if you order a fucking green tea). But apparently Ash had never thought the opinion of running into Drew in the cafe and now looked something between an over excited school boy and a terrified pikachu. Drew, on the other hand, didn't even notice him sitting there, beside the window. After ordering his health tea, the green-haired (okay, so now that I saw him from the near distance I guess I had to admit, that Drew wasn't that bad looking. But he still had this annoying aura on him. Different kind of annoying than what Ash had. He looked smug, and I hated smug people) guy went to sit on the table next to me. Yeah, much to my annoyance.
And Ash? I thought he was seriously battling with himself whether to run away from the cafe or move closer to Drew. Homos and their never-ending drama, I mentally shook my head. I knew, sooner or later I had to do something about the situation. There was something about Ash's gaze, when our eyes briefly met, that demanded it. But only if he had the nerve to come to the desk, to order something and actually stand next to Drew. Only then I'd maybe help him. Maybe. So I only grinned back to him, come here, or you're gonna have to deal this by yourself. Ash made a pouting face but after good five minutes (Drew was gonna finish his tea, if Ash was any more slower making these now or never -decisions) he finally stood up and walked to me. He tried to hide his face with his hand, so that Drew wouldn't recognize him and these were the exact moments when I didn't get Ash. Wasn't the whole point coming closer to Drew that he'd actually notice Ash and maybe start chatting with him (and where would that lead, I didn't want to even think about it).
"What am I going to do?" Ash squeaked quietly to me and when I finally got a good look at his face I noticed how red he was. Like really red. It would have made Ash look actually pretty cute if it didn't make him look like an absolute dork. I hadn't realized he was that nervous. Was Drew really that special after all...?
I only rolled my eyes, almost ignoring Ash's question. Almost.
"How about you actually go talk to him instead of just sweating there?" I offered a simple solution that hadn't crossed Ash's mind for a reason or two. Or maybe just for a reason that it was Ash who we're talking about. I felt like I was in a chick flick, helping some nerd to get the girl. With that sparkling green hair, Drew was pretty much closest things to a girl here anyway (my co-workers didn't count, they were no women, they were demons).
Ash shook his head quickly, eyes still wide open, "I can't just go talk to him! What if he doesn't remember me!" He hissed in panic and I kinda just wanted to slap him. Gently. So that he wouldn't make a scene. Again.
While we were arguing, Drew suddenly rose from his seat and it looked like he was finished with his tea and ready to head out. Ash almost knocked over couple of empty mugs in front of him while trying quickly to decide what to do. It's now or never, I told him with my gaze and maybe that finally got to him. Or the fact that Drew was right behind him, accidentally brushing his arm against Ash's back. Fucker. Both of them. If I hadn't wanted to see how this all was going to end and possibly how Ash was going to make a fool out of himself, I'd have gladly left off to a break.
Gulping one last time, Ash hastily turned around and maybe it was the swift movement that caught Drew's attention, because he didn't take another step, only lazily looked over Ash, who, I swear, was sweating bullets. Black haired young man made a weak attempt to raise his right arm to greet the other guy and I could see how his hand was trembling. Stupid love-sick fool.
"D-drew! Y-yo..." Ash actually managed to say or more like stutter. Drew's expression didn't change too much, maybe only his eyebrows narrowed a little more. There was a more than awkward five second silence between them and I was pretty sure Ash was going to faint any second now. But then Drew opened his mouth.
"Do I know you?"
And I could see it. I could see his damn little innocent heart breaking into million pieces, because when the guy you've been stalking like the half of your life (almost anyway) didn't even recognize you... I almost pitied Ash. Sure he was a dork, but did he really deserve all this? On the other hand, this situation gave me odd satisfaction, but I wasn't going to tell him that, because that would have been a pretty jerk -thing to do, and I didn't really want to loose my (only) friend at the moment. For a moment I thought Ash was already mentally dead, but then he did answer after all.
"I-it's Ash! You know, May's friend back... back in Hoenn", Ash's voice was a bit less shaky now, but I still felt like he was fighting back tears or something. I was also pretty surprised he didn't mention anything about being champion. I was sure Drew would have remembered him after that. But I guess Ash wasn't bragging type, not even a one bit.
Drew stared at Ash for the longest time (or so it felt, I almost forgot I was working and not watching live action drama), before his eyes widened and s wide grin overtook his face,
"Ash!" He yelled when he finally seemed to remember the other boy. I didn't see Ash's face, but he let his shoulders fell so quickly he must have been relieved the other one finally recognized him.
"Yes, me! You remember!" He clasped his hand together grinning back, sounding a lot more happier than few seconds ago. Drew flipped his green hair like some sort of model shining in the spotlight. I was surprised there weren't any cameramen taking pictures of him.
"I didn't recognize you in a suit and without that cap of yours that you always wore", Drew explained, "and haven't been keeping touch with May like in years anymore."
Ash scratched his head, trying to think what to say next, "Yeah, I heard you guys kinda fell short, right?"
Drew nodded, "but it's not like it matters, we're just kids back then. Besides, Unova has a fine share of the ladies, so I'm just happy my hands are not tied, if you know what I mean", he winked to Ash and I couldn't stop myself for rolling my eyes. Yes, I was extremely sure Ash knew all about the ladies of Unova...
"Ahhah, y-yeah..." Ash was back to a stuttering himself and obviously couldn't bring himself telling Drew he preferred the other side of this region. He was about to say something else too, at least what I could make out from his shoulders tensing again, when Drew suddenly took a couple of steps forward, putting his jacket back on, "well, it was nice to see you around, but I really got to get going now, somebody's waiting for me already. Tell May I said hi, if you hear from her."
And with that, he quickly waved at Ash before stepping outside to the sunlight and disappearing from our view. For a moment, Ash just sit there frozen, possibly wondering what the hell had just happened and what exactly had went so wrong. Then he turned around slowly, avoiding my eyes, and slamming his forehead against the desk.
"I am an idiot. Never let me forget that", he sighed against the dark wood.
"With pleasure", I chuckled and when Ash didn't answer back or even move, I poured him a cup of black strong coffee, "it's on the house. I think you're going to need it."
Ash finally gathered enough strength to face me again and took the coffee mug in his hands, "thanks man", he tried to smile but it only made him look more heartbroken, "I mean, what was I even thinking. He didn't even remember me! Or ask my phone number or anything..."
I leaned forward and ruffled his hair, just because he looked so small and hurt and everything and I couldn't really deal with those kind of sad expressions. Not on his face, "I don't want to sound like a nag, but didn't I tell you he wasn't worth it."
"Yeah, but you were just some stupid jerk back then, meddling with my business", Ash played with the mug in his hands, pushing his head slightly forward, leaning against the touch of my hand.
Finally I drew my hand back so the others wouldn't get the wrong (right) idea about us, "I'm still a jerk meddling with your business", I reminded him silently. Ash didn't answer anymore, just gave me a half of a smile. He looked pretty miserable and not like his usual positive laughing self at all. I didn't really want to encourage him any more than this, but I guess I had to. I mean, it wasn't like I was jealous or anything, actually I didn't give a damn whether Ash and Drew ended up together (really, I didn't!) or not.
"So, are you going to try again?"
"Try what exactly? Embarrass myself again?" Ash muttered to his mug, making pouting faces. I only rolled my eyes, "so you're just giving up that easily? Some stalker you are..."
Ash looked at me angrily (or at least I think that's what he though he looked like, because the truth was a little closer to a sad teddiursa) and slammed his fist against the table (well, he didn't have any power left, so I wouldn't call it "slamming", more like, his hand just fell against the table).
"Look, Paul, I can't just... he's straight for Arceus's sake! You heard him and his 'fine share of Unova's ladies'. Now look at me. Despite of few cross-dressing times, I'm not a girl and I won't turn into one. Nor I can just make Drew magically like dic... well, you know, it's not going to happen, so why should I even try anymore..." the man in front of me fell into a silence, drinking black coffee from his cup, probably burning his tongue in process. He had a point, it wasn't like he could just force Drew to like him. And still, giving up like that, it wasn't like him at all.
"You're right, but I still think you're giving up way too easily for a Champion", I replied not caring about the other customer, who was trying to make an eye-contact with me so he could order something. This was more urgent business now.
"I was Champion a long time ago... when I still had Pikachu and others. Damn, they would know what to do..." Ash spoke more to himself than to me. I vaguely remembered him having a pikachu. Fierce little thing, not a normal pikachu at all. It might have looked weak, as I had insulted his Pokemon choice when watching that finale from TV, but it surely wasn't. That thunderbolt could have almost killed somebody, so no wonder Ash had gained the champion title to himself.
Sometimes I missed my old pokemon too (only sometimes), but there's no way they could have come with me (and I didn't even want them to come, my pokemon days were behind me already). Besides, there was no way a giant pokemon, like Torterra, would have been happy living in my tiny apartment. He would have stayed outside all the time, and this city didn't have too much parks or clean grass, like what we had back in Reggie's place.
"...I'm like my Sceptile, both losers in love..." Ash continued his sad rambling, not even caring if I was listening or not, "nobody can ever want me, I'm going to end up like those old women, with twenty purrloin in their homes."
I couldn't take it anymore, I leaned over the serving table to shook him from his shoulders, "listen to yourself, I know you're pathetic, but this is too much! You're a fucking Champion of Hoenn! If you want to get laid so badly, just use that title and you'll get plenty of ass! Is it so hard to do? I'm pretty sure even everyone in this cafe would want to do a champion."
Everyone wanted champions (or rather, everyone wanted to able to tell their friends they had made out with one), even if they were pathetic little creatures in lame suits, crying after some stupid straight men. If Ash wanted someone so badly, he only needed to tell them who the fuck he was and what he had done with his Pokemon (and making sure it didn't come out as creepy as what it had just sounded).
"What?", I asked when I noticed Ash staring at me.
"So", he began", it's that easy. I just need to tell them I'm a champion?" he asked like the possibility had never even crossed his little mind. I could only roll my eyes as the answer. It would work, well probably not for Drew, but for other people like... like other people. It wasn't like I was suddenly hoping for Ash to start hitting on everyone on the sight and announcing his title. But hey, if it was going to make him cheerful again, I could take it (besides, what did I care who he was hitting on. I didn't).
"What now?" I was starting to feel annoyed, when Ash kept staring at me (and sometimes his shoes). He was already standing, looking like he was ready to go home. Well, except he still stood there, looking at me. "You have something to say?" I asked tapping my fingers against the wooden table.
"I... just..." Ash stared at me, getting redder (was it really so warm in here, or had the coffee been too hot?) every second.
"Yeah? Out with it already, I don't have all day", I snapped at him.
"I.. I'm the Hoenn champion!" he coughed, almost tripping over his words. I could only blink my eyes.
"Yes, I know", I answered feeling a little uneasy, was there a point somewhere?
Ash kept staring at me, beef-red, "so?"
"So what?" I asked. I was probably missing something. But with Ash it wasn't anything new, his brains seemed to live in a world different from mine.
There was a strange noise that come out of Ash's mouth and then he just couldn't take the situation (what situation, did we have a situation going on?) anymore, "I'm so sorry I misunderstood!" he yelled, running out of our coffee shop making a mess and everything. I wasn't the only one staring after him. Just what the hell?
"Did you and your boyfriend break up?" one of my co-workers even dared to ask. I gave her a look that back in "good" old days had made my useless Chimchar shiver, but it seemed it had no effect on this lady what so ever. And she wasn't going to make me say the cheesy "he's not my boyfriend" -line. So I only showed her my beautiful middle finger and disappeared in the back room. I'd take a long break and let her deal with the customers for the next half an hour, served her just right anyway. Besides, I needed some time to think what had freaked Ash out so much just now. Probably there wasn't going to be an explanation, he was just like that sometimes. Moron.
When I finally got back home just before eight, I did something I hadn't done for a while now; called Reggie. Of course he answered like after the 3th ring, holding his youngest son in his arm, greeting me with a huge grin I hated (not really).
"Paul! Long time no hearing from you! How is it going there, behind the sea? You haven't called me in ages, or answered to my calls.." There was a hint of blaming on Reggie's voice. I know I had ignored a lot of his calls lately, but I was trying to avoid the unavoidable; Reggie trying to get me visit him and the...kids. I didn't like kids, I really didn't want to be close to them or worst of all, play with them all. And I doubt my visit would be anything else than that, and I really didn't want to hang out with Maylene either, we weren't exactly best friends or anything. I liked things continuing like this, occasionally talking to Reggie, but not really interacting with the rest of his family.
"Yeah, I've been busy with..." with what? Ash? Hah, like I was going to tell that to Reggie anyway. "...with work." I finally said. There was something in Reggie's smiling gaze that suggested he was not happy with my reply, but that was his problem, I wasn't going to let him know the details of my private life.
"And you're not now?" Reggie mocked my little white lies, which kinda got me pissed off. I did like my brother, but sometimes he was a real fucker.
"I needed to ask you something." I replied him, not playing any games anymore, "do you remember a boy called Ash ever visiting you? With pikachu I think, black hair, moron attitude."
Reggie seemed to think it for a while. His son was drooling all over his shirt, but my brother didn't seem to mind. Actually, when I took a closer look I could see why, his shirt was already pretty much covered in food and dry drool. Another reason why it was best to stay at least fifty meters away from kids.
"You know, the former Hoenn League Champion", I finally added when Reggie still hadn't given me any answers. Maybe the bitter tone of my voice finally made him remember Ash, as Reggie's gaze was no full of memories.
"Oh yeah! I remember now, he did stay in our house for a night or two. Nice kid, really nice, and he had strong Pokemon too. Especially that pikachu"
"So, oh yeah, is all you have to say? Never cared to call me when you had the fucking champion visiting you?" I poked the screen trying to punch Reggie with my finger. He only dared to smile wider.
"I was going to call you, but I thought, since you were such a huge fanboy of his, you probably would have flied back here from Unova that instant. Just to meet him."
"I wasn't his fanboy!" I yelled, my face heating up a little. Reggie's son was making faces at me, mocking me like his dad. "Yeah right", both of their smiles said, and I hated them.
"But how do you know this now? I never did tell you it, did I? I mean, I totally forgot to say anything after couple of months when you finally called", Reggie scratched his chin. It seemed he was trying to grow a beard but it just wasn't happening. I almost felt myself blushing, why on earth did I call me brother again?
"I met him here", I stated, hoping he wouldn't read anything into that. Besides, that was the truth, nothing had happened, and nothing would happen. Reggie gave me a suspicious side-eye "and the first thing he told you was meeting me?" he snorted in disbelief.
I rolled my eyes, "so we might have talked a few times, he's been... well coming to the cafe I'm working in. You know the place, Sonata."
Reggie gave me this stupid suggestive grin I knew he was going to give, "aren't you happy then, being close to your idol and stuff?"
"He's not my idol, why don't you start getting it already!" I grunted in anger. Okay, so there might have been a time, when I kinda looked up to him, Just a little, though. But that had been brief, and it had been years ago, before I knew what kind of moron Ash was. Pathetic one.
"Yeah, right, and you totally didn't have a huge crush on him. Nor you started traveling again because you wanted to beat his pretty ass. Or have you already? How close you two are actually? Have you alrea-"
"Go fuck yourself, Reggie", I growled in anger, interrupting my big brother, slamming down the phone forcefully. I wasn't going to call him any time soon, or answer any of his calls. It seemed he'd missed me, since my brother was being all jerk, like me. He was usually nice, but not seeing your little brother apparently brought out new personality traits out of you. And I fucking hadn't had any stupid crushes on Ash. Ever.
It wasn't until the fifth day I was getting a bit worried. Ash hadn't showed his face around at all. Drew was still there, behind the window, but his obsessed stalker was nowhere to be found. It wasn't like I felt lonely without him, no, I had been just fine before him and I would be fine even if I never saw him again. It was only a little boring, there was no one to mock (or to laugh with). Sure I could have mocked my co-workers, but they never had humor in them, and I don't think they liked me very much. Which was okay; I didn't like them very much either. And I wasn't saying that Ash liked me either (well I didn't know, I hadn't asked. I wouldn't ask) but at least he tolerated me better. Must be because of his "I believe in pokemon and people bullshit" he was always so into.
Besides, he didn't seem to be the type who would get overly depressed over a tiny rejection (he had it coming a long time ago, since Drew didn't like dicks). Hell, it made me a little depressed too! I mean, that guy, Drew, he was a douche, playboy, something like that. And probably the worst person for Ash anyway, even I'd better, and that was a lot to say. I'd always (well, as long as I'd known him) pictured Ash more of a type that overcame his obstacles after first failing and not sulking about it too long. So who knows, maybe he was just busy making a new plan for... Drew.
Great, now I was going to start sulking. If they ever dared to come here together being all lovey-dovey, I'd personally punch a few lives out of them (even if it costs my job). Not because I was jealous or over protective friend, no. I just didn't deal well with 'cute' stuff. Disgusting stuff. So it had nothing to do with jealousy, nothing.
But I guess I could still send him a text asking if he was alive. Wouldn't want any dead ex-champions' bodies lying around nobody caring about them. I took the cash, customer was offering, gave him the change and then texted Ash (first time doing so, he was usually the one texting me and I was only replying or ignoring his texts) asking whether he still on the earth with the rest of us or not.
Alive. He replied me back two minutes later. Shortest text I've gotten from him since... since I told him to stop replying "ok" and wasting his money on useless replies when I already knew it was okay (and then he had replied ok).
Ok, I replied him (yes, oh the irony).
What do you even care, he texted me. How rude, like I was some cold-hearted bastard who didn't give two damns about anyone (pretty much the truth though, but it didn't need to be rubbed against my face all the time anyway). And I did, sort of, care him. I mean, you know, I cared for my brother (even when he was being annoyingly cheerful sometimes) too, so it wasn't like my care for Ash was anything special or anything.
You're right, I don't. I answered, if he wanted me to be douche, then I'd be like one. An easy role to act.
Jerk. I'm coming for coffee. Better make it free. Oh, so I'd always wondered why Ash befriended me in the first place, but of course, free coffee! Clever move. I was definitely charging him the double price when he would finally show up his face here.
And he did it too, half an hour later. Not in his normal business suit thought. I guess this was his free-time wear then, t-shirt and jeans. And cap, yeah, he actually had the cap. And it looked pretty old too, a pokeball symbol on it. Maybe it was the same he had worn in Hoenn, I couldn't be sure. Because he had never been my idol (no matter what Reggie might have suggested, it was bullshit, I had no idols. Well, expect Reggie himself once, but that was in another life really) and hadn't really cared back then which clothes the newest young league winner had been wearing (a little lie, but fortunately I really didn't remember anymore).
His cheerful (more cheerful than usually) clothes didn't really match the expression on Ash's face. He looked just plain depressed. I guessed the thing with Drew had hit him harder than I'd expected. Shame really. Maybe I should give him the free coffee after all. So it would be less painful to mock him for being such a sore loser about rejection from a real douche.
"Hi, Paul", he smiled at me little awkwardly. For a moment Ash looked like he had something else to say but then he just smiled pathetically to himself and ordered a black coffee, taking out the cash. So things were really pretty bad, since it was black and he didn't even really want it free. A small part of me (and we are talking about a really small part here) wanted to ask him if he was okay. But the bigger part part knew it was a pointless question, since clearly he wasn't and besides, what did I care (oh, but I did).
Ash stretched his arms awkwardly, while, for some reason, avoiding eye-contact with me. I only raised my eyebrow for the situation, since I don't think he really had a proper reason to be all shy around me now. Or was Ash worried I was going to start mocking him right away, when the last time he was here, he had kinda ran out of the cafe before I had proper chance. I poured him the coffee and gave him the hot cup. He tried to take it, still looking anywhere but me, but I wasn't exactly letting go of the mug.
"Why are you avoiding me like some wild patrat?" I had never been good at being subtle and this was getting annoying. Ash forced himself to look at me smiling uneasy.
"I just thought things would be awkward, but I guess that's not the case then, huh?" he seemed to ask me. I didn't quite follow though. Why would things be any more awkward than what they had been before. I still held on to that mug (and definitely not because Ash was holding it too and our fingers were more of less touching each others) and watched Ash. He looked pretty uncomfortable, looking at me, but just below the neck so he wouldn't have to meet my gaze.
I finally let go of the mug, because my fingers were starting to burn. But before I let Ash escape, I asked him, why he had thought things would be awkward.
He laughed this little laugh that sounded sad and desperate. It worried me a little since Ash usually never laughed like that. "I was a fool, I'm sorry."
I didn't understand, "you're always a fool. Don't you think I'm already used to it?" That was no reason to be all fidgety around me.
Ash stared the black liquid like it could tell him his fortune and maybe something he could say next. "I know I am. I just thought, when you said the champion things would work on anyone... I though... I thought you implied it."
"But hey, I've never been good at reading people. If it was a pokemon battle, that's a different story. But with these things I tend to fail", Ash continued, gazing at the cafe, maybe looking for free tables (I guess he was done with usual stalking table then). Before he could run away, I grabbed his arm over the desk, maybe a little too forcefully, but I wanted him to look at me.
"Implied what?" I stared at his brown eyes. They tried to look elsewhere but couldn't escape the intensity of my gaze.
For a few seconds, Ash looked really embarrassed, turning red again and opening his mouth a few times, without actually saying anything. Then a new kind of determination seemed to fill him as he pulled his hand free from my grip not caring if his coffee was spilled all over the floor because of the sudden movement.
"Implied that you wanted to sleep with me", he confessed, shortly but strongly, turning then to another worker, maybe asking something about the take away opinions, I couldn't tell for sure, since my ears were ringing, and those words echoed in my mind.
...sleep with me.
I knew I looked stupid, gaping like a magicarp on dry land my hand still in the air, gripping others non-existent arm, eyes wide open. But, just... what the actual fuck?
I'd probably heard wrong, or it was a joke (in which case I was making an extreme fool out of myself right now) or maybe this was all dream (I was tempted to call it a nightmare even when it was clearly the opposite). I mean there's no way, no way, Ash could have ever said anything like that. Oh and of course there's no freaking way I'd have implied anything like that at all! That boy had some screws loose in his head, which was nothing new really, but still! Besides, when I said anyone would want champion I meant.. I meant..
Guess I had implied it after all.
No wonder he had ran out. Getting rejected twice in a short time is pretty embarrassing, even for Ash. Uh, not that I rejected him knowingly. Argh, not that I meant not-to reject him!
Not that I wanted to sleep with him!
Okay, maybe just little.
But only because he's the ex-champion and okay maybe I idolized him once when I was younger, because not every champion is your age and that cute.
Or maybe just because he's Ash and he doesn't need to be a champion to get me.
I was glad someone was tapping my shoulder with their fingers since my thoughts were really getting out of hand. The contact burst the little bubble that had surrounded my head and brought me back to the earth. Turning around revealed those fingers belonging to one of my co-workers. To that annoying woman that always smirked knowingly when Ash was around and I was not pleased to probably have to talk with her.
"What", I groaned seeing her smirk once more (seriously, women...).
"Not gonna run after your boyfriend?" She asked with the kind of tone that revealed her hearing our previous conversation with Ash. I was not happy about it either. Instead of answering her I gazed at the spot Ash had just been, but he was nowhere to be seen (how long had I been that little brain coma anyway?). The door was already closed so I guess it had been some time since he had stepped out.
That annoying woman seemed to think it was okay to talk to me again, "you really should go".
"Shut up", I grunted. I knew I should. Because there was a misunderstanding between us and they were never good when you left them unsolved for too long. But I was not going to be like some desperate woman, running after him and everything. No, I needed to think some kind of strategy...
"Soon you're not going to catch up with him anymore", that woman stated again like this was her fucking business anyway.
"Shut up, damn woman. I know", I snapped at her. And then I left, out of the door after him, like some woman, running and pushing people out of the way, but whatever. Maybe this was worth it.
At first I didn't see him anywhere so I kept running towards the one bus stop I usually left him when we were done drinking. People were staring at me, I knew that. I was a fucking waiter running on the street, I even had my apron still on. But it didn't matter, because there was the stupid red cap and that stupid black hair and the whole stupid person making his way to the other side of the street. Holding a take away -cup because apparently he thought I didn't need him in the cafe anymore and it was now okay to drink the coffee in his stupid apartment.
I almost got hit by a taxi when running over the street while the very visible red light was one and I could hear how the driver cursed after me. I showed him the finger because there was no way I was stopping now, when Ash was only five meters away.
Two meters away...
He shrieked loudly when I grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. Ash looked like ready to hit the person touching him; maybe he thought I was some kind of robber going for his wallet. Once looking at me, his muscles relaxed though, but he still looked surprised. Maybe because of me, or maybe because I was out of breath and still holding the middle finger for that driver.
"P-paul? What are you doing here?" Ash stuttered sounding confused.
"I..." I began. Wait, why was I here indeed? To make some moving speech about how... how...oh Arceus. What was I? An idiot? Some gay guy from women's romance novels? There was no way I could just... I didn't even... This was humiliating in more than one way. I hadn't really been thinking back in cafe, had I? Why the fuck did I run after him?
It wasn't like I was going to confess my (non-existe... oh why am I even trying anymore) love for him or anything. I liked him (fine, fine, I admit it now) but there was still a line I wasn't crossing and a few things that were unclear to me. It was time to start solving them. Quietly. Because there were lot of people around us.
I should have stopped him somewhere else than the most crowed street in Castelia.
"So", I started, biting my lower lip. A nervous habit I thought I was already forgotten.
"So?" Ash repeated now looking a little less stunned but a bit more red-faced.
"So, you were trying to... hit on me back then?" I finally concluded my messy thoughts out loud. The question got results I wanted to see, Ash reddening, looking embarrassed (it was cute, I liked seeing him like that) about what had happened five days ago. He muttered something sounding awfully similar to yes, so I kept going on, "didn't you like Drew? So what, he rejects you and I just happen to be there ready to comfort you or something." This part I didn't like. I didn't want to be some kind of rebound to life for him. Heck, I wouldn't have minded if it was just sex, but there was... maybe something else what I sought in this.
Upon hearing my accusations, Ash seemed to become uneasy once more. He stared at the spilled coffee on the ground (what was with him always staring at the coffee he must have really liked that stuff). He sifted his weight from one leg to another and the movement made me realize I was still holding him from the shoulder.
I let go.
"It wasn't like that", Ash explained, "Drew wasn't... he wasn't until after you."
"What?" I was now the one confused. Like so many times before.
"The coffee shop, I... you remember how I told you that I accidentally saw Drew here and started stalking him from the coffee shop, right?" he asked me, pulling me with him next to the buildings, out of people's way. Or maybe he just didn't want them to hear us.
"I remember", I confessed.
"Well, it was from the coffee shop I first saw him. Wouldn't have probably noticed him but I came there everyday..." Ash continued his little story. I wasn't sure where all this was going though.
"You must really like coffee, ours isn't exactly the cheapest", I replied him. The place seemed a bit too fancy for Ash anyway. Usually Cafe Sonata was type for rich kids and socialites. Ash didn't always fit the place. Not with his cap and t-shirt anyway.
Ash snorted at my words, "you guys had this good looking waiter. I saw him put on the sign one day. And... well, I guess I wanted to flirt with him, since he was like really good looking. But he ignored me completely, being all jerk. So I came again, and again. But no, didn't get even one look. Polite as ever, but jerk, not noticing me at all. So I told to myself, I'd keep visiting the shop, until I got noticed by him."
Oh, so there was another person in this story. But wait...
"All my co-workers are female. I thought you said him?"
Ash looked at me, staring me like I had done something strange, "and you tell me that I'm the stupid one?"
I blinked maybe a one or two time too much, because Ash got all frustrated and slammed his head against the wall, "dammit, Paul. I'm talking about you! I thought you were handsome, and I wanted to flirt with you but you kept ignoring my attempts to have conversation. So I kept coming, noticed Drew, started looking at him when you weren't looking at me. Kept looking at him when you were looking at me, because in the end I was so damn nervous when you actually started to hang around me, cleaning those windows, making sure the tables next to me were spotless. By that time I had already given up trying to talk to you, because the words just wouldn't come out anymore. And when you finally noticed me, I started talking about Drew because I didn't want to scare you away thinking I was all gay for you. And in the end, I tried to hit Drew because I thought you weren't just into me... but then you implied..." he choked up rest of the words, like he was ashamed of everything he just revealed.
I was stunned by the whole confession. He had first stalked me? I had no memories of him, until the day I finally noticed someone was always sitting next to the window.
"So you... like me?" I just wanted to make sure, feeling a bit red myself too, because I wasn't usually the one asking these type of questions. And this was getting pretty cheesy, no matter which road I tried to take.
"Yes", Ash hung his head, like liking me was a bad thing to do, "but I hope we can still be friends."
"I'm pretty sure we can still be that", I took a step closer to him. Trying to hide him between the tile wall and myself. Ash raised his head upon hearing my answer, looking relieved. He didn't even seem to notice I had gotten closer.
"I'm glad. I really like your company. Even if you are a jerk", he smiled and the smile was normal once again, wide and energetic.
"I just have to make one things clear", I rested my right hand against the wall, next to his head. Maybe there was something scary in my voice but Ash suddenly looked nervous. Or maybe I looked threatening, blocking his view with my body.
"Y-yeah?" Ash stuttered.
"I wasn't implying anything back then", I informed him. Knowingly anyway.
I saw the hurt in Ash's eyes and I was sorry for it. "Yeah, I know", he managed to say in quiet voice. He looked so broken I couldn't help it, I stroked his left cheek with my hand. Something I was going to feel embarrassed afterward, but now it was okay, because I had hurt him and his cheek was so soft, almost like baby skin. Surprised by my tender action, Ash's mouth was left hung open while his eyes were furiously trying to study my face for a clue for what on earth I was doing.
"Still", I kept going on, "I wouldn't mind sleeping with the champion."
His eyes went all wide and cheeks red. He did look surprised and maybe little pleased but I also saw how he was trying to debate with himself whether to accept or not. Because it was his only chance.
Or so Ash thought.
"Or... with just you."There now it was said and I felt how all the blood was rushing to my face. I heard Ash gasping in front of me, but I couldn't really look at him so I ended up staring the logo on his shirt. What a fascinating pikachu picture it was indeed.
"So you-" he started after emotionally calming down a little.
"Yes," I interrupted him, not letting him ask any embarrassing questions, because I couldn't take it, this situation was bad enough, without having to deal more about how I felt. And besides, I was fucking blushing! I was glad Reggie, and everyone I knew, were hundreds of miles away, or they wouldn't probably ever stop laughing if they saw me now.
For some time, we both just stood there, trying to figure out what to say, what to do, how to feel. I was still half pinning him against the wall and now that I thought about, what an embarrassing thing to do. So I freed him, took a step backwards, maybe two more letting there be enough space between us, so people wouldn't think we're some kind of weird couple doing stuff in broad daylight.
Speaking of the daylight, my shift was still on and I was supposed to be back at the cafe. I took a quick look at Ash, who was looking at me, ears bright red. I could feel my ears getting hotter too. I was glad my purple hair somehow still covered them.
"I should get back to work", I admitted, my head was still spinning a little because of everything I had done in the past half an hour and damn if it wasn't anything like me at all. I guessed I would see Ash again. Like he could stay away from the cafe anyway. Whatever the reason was, coffee, or Drew or... me.
When I was about to vanish from his sight, I felt Ash grabbing my elbow, "you're free tonight, right?"
"Yeah, why?" I asked, even when I could guess the answer. I felt Ash's grip grow stronger, "please don't make me say out loud I wanna have sex with you tonight", he muttered and wasn't even trying to be quiet. Or maybe he just forgot there was other people around us too. I could feel their eyes on us. Dammit, Ash.
"..." I glared at him and it seemed to work, since he realized what he had just said and quickly slapped his hand to cover his mouth, muttering silent "oops".
"I am free", I answered him, hoping he would let go of me already because the touch was really burning and it made my heart beat really fast. Or maybe it was because of all the thoughts I was currently having.
"Good, I'll... I'll call you" and then the hand holding me was gone so I got to move again. Two steps, ten steps, twenty. Looking back I saw him, still standing there, red-faced and this stupid grin on his stupid face, squeezing his take away -cup like he was the happiest moron on the earth. And dammit, it wasn't the kind of face you could just easily ignore, because I tried. I tried to walk away, just back to the shop, because there was still tonight, but no.
So I ran back to him, grabbed his stupid happy face between my hands and kissed him hard on the lips. They tasted like coffee, which wasn't really a surprise anymore. I didn't even care that he was still too stunned to even kiss back and when he was finally about to do so, I let go.
"This is better be worth it, then", I warned him, trying to sound serious, because he was looking too happy again, smile spreading across his beautiful face.
But those were empty words.
Because I already knew this was going to be worth it.