Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon.
Summary: She's gone when he wakes, leaving him a letter that says, "I'm sorry." FlintCandice, oneshot
Okay, so I really love these two. I guess I owe that to chandelure for really getting me to like this ship with just one fic. Anyway, I really hope that I do them justice, since not a lot of people write for them. I really enjoyed writing this, so I hope that everyone enjoys reading! Thanks so much!
"Would you like to go out sometime?"
A pause, then a laugh.
"Sure. Why not?"
They begin like one of the fires his Pokemon so easily start.
The whole thing feels completely natural - to him, at least. He can't shake the fact that Candice is his for once, and not his best friend's. There is something surreal about her, something that makes him feel that he might slip up and lose her for good if he does only the slightest thing wrong.
He tries not to think about it.
For a while, there is nothing wrong. He holds her when he feels like it - when she wants to be held. He makes jokes and she laughs and sometimes they battle for the fun of it. He lets her win, of course.
He thinks she's happy. That's the only thing he can ask for.
They are invited to Volkner and Jasmine's wedding.
He constantly asks her if it's okay for them to go - he's the best man, after all. Secretly, he's always known that she held a certain kind of affection for his best friend, but he has been able to let it slid for the longest time. Knowing that being in close proximity to her one-time-crush (or he thinks it's one-time, he cannot be absolutely sure) could hurt her, he feels guilt.
"No, no!" she exclaims, waving both hands in some sort of surrender. "It's completely fine, Flint. I don't have any problems with this."
The night before the wedding, however, he hears something that proves otherwise.
He gets up to retrieve a glass of water. Candice is still wrapped loosely in their sheets, her pale skin luminescent in the moonlight seeping from between barely parted curtains. She rolls over in her sleep. He's not used to this - being awake while she's not. Her strange morning ritual of leaving before he's awake never fails to surprise him.
Flint sits down gently on the edge of the bed and downs what is left of the water. The moment happens so quickly that he almost misses it, but even as he hears it, he almost spits out the water in shock, like some ghastly caricature.
The voice is faint, the name almost a whisper against her pillow, but it is there all the same.
He freezes, contemplates what must be happening, and then sighs.
He should have known, all along.
The wedding is beautiful, and he would expect nothing less.
Volkner looks very handsome, Flint has no problem admitting, in the black tux fitted perfectly to his body. His bright hair stands out like a beacon against the dark fabric. Flint tries not to feel jealous, tries not to wish that somehow he could influence Candice's feelings. He pretends nothing is wrong, since really he shouldn't have heard her say his name anyway.
Maybe it didn't mean anything.
Flint knows that's a foolish fever dream the moment the thought forms.
The music begins and everyone stands, turning in attention to the bride making her way down the aisle. And she is beautiful, of course. Jasmine has never been anything short of beautiful, Flint knows. He immediately looks over at Candice, whose eyes are impassive, her lips set in a smile he knows must be for audiences. Her jaw is set tightly and her hands are balled in small fists at her sides.
Candice looks up at him, standing next to his best friend, her eyes shimmering lightly with tears, but she quickly pulls herself together and gives him a beaming smile so bright that it almost hurts to look at her.
Especially because he knows it's fake.
The reception afterward is equally as stunning. The bride and groom dance for the first time, everyone awing at how graceful and perfect they seem. They whirl like a gentle summer breeze, their gazes never straying from one another. The whole thing makes Flint wish that someday he could have that - with the girl at his side.
But one look at her face shows him that that thought couldn't be further from her mind.
He can see her waiting. He tries to make conversation with her, only to get little answers here and there. She's trying to not watch them, but her attention is completely on them. Flint should feel insulted, but can't find it in him.
The married couple soon splits up to dance with the guests. Gardenia gets to Volkner before Candice does; Flint tries not to notice the moment of complete disappointment on her face.
Jasmine approaches him, nothing but a white dress and a serene smile. She takes his arm with her smaller ones and whirls him onto the dance floor. He misses the look Candice gives him, one that looks like her face is crumpling in on itself.
"You look handsome," Jasmine says, friendly and polite as always. Flint smiles toothily, his hands brushing awkwardly on her back.
"You too," he says, and then laughs awkwardly. "But, I mean, not with that word."
"I get what you're saying." She giggles and he turns her.
There's a moment in which he spots Candice, in the arms of Volkner, looking as pretty as anything he's ever seen in her ice blue dress, her dark hair free from its braids, waving down her back. She looks content, happy almost, as she leans against Volkner's shoulder. The shining, shocking star himself looks almost as if he's been electrocuted, but he doesn't let her see that.
Flint feels like he's suffocating.
He and Jasmine part as soon as the song changes to something faster. Volkner and Candice also part ways. The former meets him at the punch bowl.
"Flint," he says.
"Volkner," he replies.
Flint breaks into a grin and claps Volkner on the back. The blonde winces a bit at the contact, but shakes his head and downs a cup of punch in one gulp. "Congratulations."
"Thanks," he replies, smiling gently.
They both immediately look over to Jasmine and Candice, who are dancing to the up-tempo song, grinning and laughing. For a moment, Flint sees that Candice might even be over her past funk - though her eyes are still a bit dark, her smile shines.
"She tries her hardest," Flint mutters, slurping down his own drink.
Volkner looks at Flint, as if he can't even comprehend what he just admitted aloud.
Flint can't believe it, either.
Her mouth is on his, desperate, insistent, furious.
Flint doesn't have it in him to pull away - just then he realizes that this woman has a little too much leeway on him than is healthy. He doesn't focus on anything that happened at the wedding, anything that might have caused Candice to look as if she were on fire. He doesn't think of any of these things. The only thing in his thoughts is the woman latched onto him as if he were her only lifeline.
She twines her fingers through his, pulling him to the bedroom. Flint can do nothing else except comply.
"Flint," she murmurs against his lips, trailing hot fingertips down his arm.
Idly, Flint wonders if she'd rather be saying Volkner.
But the thought is just that - an idle one - and when they fall onto the bed, he can no longer think of anything else but her.
In the morning, she's gone.
He thinks for a moment that it is just another day, that she will come back as always. She never liked sleeping late - or, she might not have liked sleeping with him. Feeling guilty, he supposes now, adding all the glances at Volkner together.
He thinks it's just another day until he sees a note on her pillow, scrawled with her loopy, childish handwriting.
The letter reads, simply, "I'm sorry."
He is unsurprised.