If OthelloShipping is my media crossover never met OTP, then UroborusShipping must be my gameverse nevermet OTP… God, I love crack shippings. :)
Summary: You never forget your first, no matter how much time passes… (Game!RedxHilda/Touko)
Disclaimer: I don't own the Pokémon series, only this fic!
At least once every year, their family visited Granny in Kanto. For her mom, it was a chance to visit her lonely mother and her late father's grave. For Hilbert, it was a chance to play with Granny's Growlithe. For Hilda, it was a chance to see the quiet boy who lived next to Granny.
The first time she saw him, she was only three. She and Hilbert were playing a game of Hide-and-Seek with Granny's Growlithe and while he searched the back of the house, she looked at the front. Hilda had wandered down the dirt road, thinking that Growlithe was being smart and hiding near some other house. And she was right. He was hiding in a hole he had dug in the yard of the house next door.
"You think you're so smart, don't you? But not smarter than me!" Hilda says with a grin as she pulls the fire type Puppy out of the hole. But as soon as a shadow overcast her, she realized that someone was behind her. Maybe the person who lived here was angry at Growlithe for digging a hole. Little Hilda turned and felt her fear decline when she saw who it was. Just a boy, a few years older than she was, with red eyes.
This was the point of her life where she was young, friendly, and completely naive to the fact that there were people she shouldn't befriend and didn't want her for a friend—like a bigger, obviously older boy who probably didn't have the time of day for little three year olds. But she's always looking for more friends so who cared if people were annoyed by her?
"Hello! My name is Hilda and my granny lives next to you! What's your name?" He doesn't say anything. He only stares at her apathetically, like he's bored of her without even having talked to her. "Hello? I asked what's your name?" He continued to stare at her. Or so she thought. It took her a while to realize that he was staring at the hole Growlithe made. "Um… Sorry." The boy continued to stare at her mutely. "…SAY SOMETHING!" She shouted loudly, making the red-eyed kid jump. Instead, he just walked out of the yard and ran down the road.
She didn't see him for the rest of the summer, but she became intrigued by him right then and there.
The next year Hilda came over, she was four. She was walking to the store with her mother and brother when she noticed the red-eyed boy in his yard, wrestling with another little boy. She managed to slip her hand out of her mother's grip without her notice, allowing Hilda to sneak over to them. She stood on her toes to peer over the fence and watched as the red-eyed boy was pinned to the ground. He panted slowly, staring up at the other boy until his gaze fell on Hilda.
She smiled. "Hi there! I'm back!"
"Beat it, kid! Can't ya see we're busy?" The brunette boy said, shooing her away while he kept the red-eyed boy pinned with one arm.
Hilda puffed up her cheeks slightly. "I was talking to him, not you, jerk!"
"…You wanna talk? To Red?" The kid laughed. "Oh, yeah! 'Cuz he's such a chatty guy! Hahaha!"
She smiled. "So, your name's Red?" She asked the red-eyed boy. "Is it because of your eyes?" He stared at her blankly.
"Didn't you hear me? He's not gonna speak to you!"
"You be quiet when people are talking!"
"You're the only one who's talking, dumb kid!"
Before she could counter, Hilda felt someone grab hold of her arm and pull her away from the fence. "Now, Hilda, you can play with your little friends after we get back from the store," her mother tells her.
So she returns to his house as soon as she can when the shopping is done. He isn't in the yard, so she quite politely goes up to their front door and knocks on the door. It opens up to show a dark-haired woman in a house dress. "Excuse me, is Red home?"
"…You're here? For Red?" She asked, sounding slightly surprised. The woman then smiled and asked, "And who might you be, hm? Red never told me about being friends with any little girls."
"I'm Hilda Gray. I'm visiting my granny next door for the summer," the girl said, pointing in the direction of her grandmother's house.
"Oh, so you're Miss Camille's granddaughter, are you? Hold on a second." Red's mother walked back inside, leaving the door open. Seconds later, she came back with Red in front of her. "See, Red? This girl wants to play with you."
The red-eyed boy stared at her blankly, his mouth fixed into a frown. "…"
Hilda imitated his expression. "Can't you speak or something? You shy?"
"Oh, Red's only quiet. He won't speak up unless he absolutely needs something," Red's mother explained, making him scuff his foot in porch floor from embarrassment.
"Ohhhh…" Nonetheless, Hilda smiled and held a hand out to the red-eyed boy. "Well, I'll make you need to say something then! I'm Hilda Gray, what's your name?" Red looked at her, then her hand, then back to her, his mouth still curved into a frown. "It's proper manners to tell me your name, too, first and last."
"Go on, Red. Don't be impolite," his mother gently prods him as she puts a hand on his shoulder.
"…Red Ketchum." His voice is small and quiet, so much so that Hilda almost thought he said 'Red Ketchup'.
Hilda smiled brightly, the way her mother told her to do when making new friends. "Wanna play?"
"No." And he immediately ran underneath his mother's arm and disappeared inside of his house.
"Red!" His mother snapped before looking down at Hilda apologetically. "He doesn't mean to be rude… He's just not good at making friends."
"But I wanna be his friend," little Hilda insists, making fists. She doesn't know why—call it the persistent nature she inherited from her father. Once she started something, she had to finish. And she wouldn't stop until she and Red were friends.
Red's mother smiled. "Really? That's nice… I'll tell you what: why don't you come over here tomorrow? I'm sure Red won't mind having someone other than Blue to play with—especially since they just had a fight…"
So she came to visit him for the rest of the summer to try and make friends. And while they played video games and watched cartoons together, she can't help but notice the distant look in his eyes…
Before she left, she learned that it was because Red and Blue weren't friends anymore.
The next summer, when Hilda was five, she learned that Red became something of a shut-in without Blue to play with. With no other friends, he spent his free time playing Pokémon games. And while she doesn't like what he's doing—because a video game can't replace a human friend—she's glad that they share a common interest.
"I like Pokémon games! I have all the games that have come out so far!" Hilda exclaimed one day in Red's room while the boy was playing a Gameboy Color. She held up her own Gameboy and a cable link. "Wanna battle?"
Red pauses his button pushing for a moment to stare at her. He isn't frowning, which is good, but he's not smiling, which she really has come to expect from Red in these few summers of knowing him.
"Are ya chicken?" Those are the magic words, because now Red is staring at her, but there's a glint in his eyes that she's never seen before. The first sign of an emotion that wasn't apathy. It made her feel happy to know she brought that out in him, whether or not he was just irritated by her insult.
For several minutes, they battled their virtual Pokémon. She found it surprisingly hard because his team was very balance and her own was chosen for no particular reason—nothing weak, but not as balanced as Red's team. In the end, she only had her Venusaur and he had Charizard. Needless to say the battle didn't turn out so well in her favor. Charizard decimates Venusaur with two Fire Blasts while its HP was only in the yellow. She felt like crying. She never lost, at least not against the game or her friends.
"…Good match." Hilda looked up and saw him staring at her. He had the same apathetic look and his mouth was fixed into a line as usual, but still she smiled. It was the first time she got a word out of him that didn't involve having his mother telling him to speak up.
For the rest of the summer, they have daily Pokémon matches and the occasional two-word sentence still made her happy.
The summer afterward, she was six and he was nine. She didn't know his age until his mother told her one day when he was reading a pamphlet about Pokémon journeys.
"Red's going to turn 10 next spring, and then he'll be going off on his own Pokémon journey across Kanto. Won't you, son?"
"Mm." Red just kept staring at the pamphlet showcasing the Kanto starting Pokémon: Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle.
"You won't see him again next summer because it'll take him a year, maybe more to finish."
Hilda pouted. "Oh. So, I won't see you next summer?"
She was upset for several reasons: one was envy, because she wouldn't be eligible to become a trainer for several more years. Another was worry, because he was so tight-lipped around people, he may not ask for help when he truly needed it. And lastly was sadness. Sadness because her friend was leaving. The friend she had really grown to like in a different way than the ones she had back home. Being the one who made Red smile faintly or say a few words, and rarely a sentence, made her happy. It made her cheeks heat up and her heart beat against her chest. She didn't know why…
"Silly girl! You have a crush on Red," Granny Camille chuckled as she sat on the front porch one afternoon in her rocking chair.
"A…crush…on Red?" Hilda gulped and shook her head. "No, no, no! I don't like him like that!"
"Why don't you give him a kiss on the lips then, sweetie? If you feel like you're walking on air, or see fireworks, or even feel your foot pop up on its own, then you like him like that."
"Mother! Don't go telling her to do things like that! She's only six!" Her mom exclaimed from behind the screen door.
"Age is only a number. Besides, she could consider it a goodbye kiss since she'll probably never see him again."
The remaining days her family had left in Kanto Hilda spent with Red. She wanted to remember every physical feature, every little quirk, everything so when he left, she'd never forget such an easily forgettable person. Those days were mostly spent in silence between the two of them, although Red often gave her looks of confusion. Eventually…
"You're being quiet," he commented as he stopped reading a tourist guidebook to the Kanto region. He's so busy preparing even though he's not leaving for half a year, but that didn't mean he couldn't notice her uncharacteristic behavior.
"Are you gonna miss me when you go away?" She asked, tracing her finger in the fabric of the carpet they sat on.
"…Yeah. I guess."
"'Cuz I'll miss you. Hey, what're you gonna do when you become a Pokémon Trainer? I wanna become the League Champion!" Of the Unova League, of course. Becoming the Champion of a foreign league wouldn't be quite as nice.
"…Me too." For the Indigo League, of course.
"Hey, we should battle when we're both champions! That'd be better than any game!" She wanted anything to assure they would see each other again. She couldn't stand the thought of never seeing a friend again. Especially Red.
Hilda smiled as Red gave one of his rare smiles. And then she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips like Granny told her to. She didn't feel like she was on a cloud, or see fireworks, or feel her leg pop up on its own, but she felt a warm, fluttering feeling in her chest, like Butterfree and Volcarona were flitting about inside her. It felt good, even if it only lasted a few seconds.
When she stopped, Red was staring at her with wide eyes. And Hilda started to feel embarrassed. She said a quick 'bye' before running out of his house, trying to ignore the amused look on his mom's face. She stayed away from him for the rest of the summer…or so she wanted, but he popped up on her family's last day in Kanto and kissed her back before running off even quicker than she did.
Coincidentally, it was summer when she came to Kanto. She was 16 and the recent former Champ of the Unova League—she quit because it was boring not being able to challenge anyone she pleased—and he was 19, she thinks—he was always three years older than her physically and more than that mentally. Even though she wasn't the Champion like she promised him she'd be when they would battle, she still wanted to challenge him, to see the sort of Pokémon trainer he'd become and to see an old friend/childhood crush. She could only hope that after nine years, he would remember her and their promise.
But just like her, she learns that Red discarded the title of Champion and had gone off to train somewhere reclusive. It was murder trying to get answers on his whereabouts until she ran into a guy named Ethan. Apparently, Red was training at the top of Mt. Silver, but one could only get up there if they won sixteen badges—not eight but sixteen from the Kanto and Johto gyms combined! Then they would be given permission to travel to the mountain and challenge Red to a battle. With that goal in mind, she went right to work, sweeping through the leagues a bit too easily for her tastes—the only challenge was Red's former friend Blue, now a Gym leader, but still she defeated him. She defeated them all, and her reward was standing at the top of Mt. Silver.
On the way through the mountain, Hilda felt nervous. Not about the battle, but about the trainer himself. Would he remember that annoying little girl who forced him to be her friend? Would he remember their promise? Would he remember the kiss she gave him and he gave her? Her thoughts invaded her mind so much that she didn't notice she was at the top of Mt. Silver until she tripped over a stone and landed on her knees in the cold, wet snow. Hilda looked up and she saw him a distance away, like some apparition dressed in red. She can make out the red eyes that entranced her, sticking out in the shadows caused by the visor of his cap, the serious expression as he held a Poké Ball in his hand. Whether or not he remembered her, Red was ready for battle first and foremost, and Hilda didn't want to disappoint him.
Hilda couldn't remember how long it took for their battle to finish, but it ended in her favor. Just barely. If his Pikachu hadn't fainted as a result of her Serperior's Dragon Tail landed a critical blow, he'd have knocked out her last Pokémon with a Volt Tackle like he had intended and Red would have won. She watches as he scoops the unconscious electric mouse Pokémon in his arms and walks back into the cave situated at the top of the mountain.
Was that it? Was that all there was? She felt angered and stomped into the cave after him. There he was, only a few inches away, standing with his back turned to her as he returned his Pikachu to its Poké Ball and picked up his bag. Hilda clenched her teeth, stomped her foot, and shouted, "SAY SOMETHING!"
Like a delayed reaction, it takes a few seconds for him to turn around and face her. He stares down at her coolly, and before she knows it, he's hugging her and planting a kiss on her lips.
"…What took you so long?"
A stupid ending, I know, but crack is crack, jack! And I've seen weirder and worse ways to get together in some FerriswheelShipping fics. Just remember to review!