Pokemon Shipping Drabble Collection:
Sublimation. CafeMochaShipping – Ash/Cilan.
Cilan watched with a look that flickered between bemusement, admiration, and genuine unease as Ash shoveled an entire tray of deviled eggs into his mouth. He only seemed to be chewing this batch at all in order to make room for several fork-speared green olives that he was already pushing toward his gullet.
"My goodness, Ash, you must really be starving," Cilan commented.
Ash swallowed forcefully and patted his stomach. "Gotta keep my strength up for Pokemon battles," he announced merrily.
Sometimes it seemed like most of Ash's life buffeted between battle-time and meal-time. Sure, there would be breaks in between to help people out or enjoy the sights, but food and conflict made up most of Ash's appetites. The more Cilan was with him, the more extreme this ravenous desire for battles and food became to him. It was unusual.
After all, he and Iris both enjoyed a good battle as well, but even they could stop to think of other things, or get sick of fighting and want a break to engage in other activities—unlike Ash who never tired of it. And Iris was a pretty big eater as well, though she'd hate to hear him make that judgment, but her hunger paled in comparison to Ash's bottomless stomach. …Unless of course the subject of love came up, in which case she could beat any competitive eater easily. But Cilan was pretty sure that that was just a case of…
He blinked thoughtfully and looked at Ash, tearing into a cheeseburger with his teeth.
"Ash…" he tried carefully, "have you ever heard of sublimation?"
Ash swilled down some lemonade, more to lubricate his throat to allow the food to go down faster than out of thirst. "Is that some kind of Pokemon move?" he asked thickly.
Cilan shook his head. "No… not really," he said, picking at the bowl of carrot sticks. He was starting to feel rather unusually hungry himself.
Trust. GreySkyShipping – Nate/Hugh.
Hugh broke his staring contest with the campfire and turned to Nate, who was eyeing him deliberately. In the darkness, Hugh could only see the light cast from the fire on him, outlining sections and edges and leaving the rest in shadow. A sliver of light against the side of his hand flexed in the shadows as though he was clenching and unclenching his hand—grappling against a thought or a fear or a daunting task.
Hugh blinked, his eyes clouded with distortion from his extended flame-watching. "Sorry, I zoned out there for a minute," he apologized. "What did you want to say?"
"I just wanted to ask you about something," Nate said carefully. "Do you remember when you told me that you trusted me?"
Hugh jerked himself into a more upright sitting position. Where had that come from? Yes, he'd said it but it had been just a quick moment… "Yeah," he said, deciding for a conservative response.
"…Did you mean it?" Nate asked.
"Of course I did," Hugh said, adopting the position that it was best to be casual about this in the face of Nate's serious deliberation on the subject. "I don't say things if I don't mean them."
For a moment neither of them said anything. The kindling they'd collected earlier that day crackled as the fire ate into it, leaving ash to settle in its wake. Darker shapes passed over the dark sky—perhaps a Swoobat on the hunt for its evening meal—and a scritchy scurry of wings followed the moment.
Finally, Nate broke into a smile. "I'm glad," he said. "It means a lot, you know? To have someone who really trusts you, I mean."
Kids and Grown-ups. NegaiShipping – Ash/Iris.
A kid. That's all she saw him as.
And it was… more than a little grating. He wanted to deny it, even though he couldn't say with certainty that it wasn't true.
Who would he be kidding anyway if he pretended to be a grown-up? He was ten. He didn't own a house, he wasn't paying bills, couldn't cook for himself and his chin was defiantly stubble-free. He was a kid. Was there supposed to be something wrong with that?
But he knew she meant something bad by it—or at least mocking. It was the tone she used and the way she called Cilan a gentlemen or marveled that others they met along the way were more mature than she perceived him to be.
It… it really came down to the high-handed barrier that word put between them. When she called him a kid, she was saying that she herself was not a kid. That she was something above him.
His dislike of the term, he realized, had less to do with its implication and more to do with the fact that he wanted the two of them to be on the same level.
Needed them to be on the same level.
And so he was determined to prove to Iris that she was a kid as well—someone like him. And if that proved impossible, then he realized with some trepidation that he'd have to do something even more challenging than becoming the Pokemon master he'd always dreamed of being in order to right this wrong.
…He'd have to grow up.
Infuriatingly Elegant. OriginShipping – Steven/Wallace.
His harness held him well away from gravity's needy attentions, but in a light grip—one that suggested that Steven should not lose his hold on the sharp, slippery wall of rock. Expertly tied in or not, he was only a rope slip away from climbing completely unprotected. The water of the fall streamed into his face, nearly drowning him five hundred feet above the level of the sea. It cloaked his jacket in mountain tears and clouded his vision. This was no place to find oneself suddenly without a safety line.
Wallace stood on the ground and watched. As gritty, sweaty and sometimes even bloody as climbing could be, he had to admit there was something elegant about it. There was the man: fighting the powers of nature to reach new heights. The glass-like river flowed over Steven, making him a part of the watery free-fall, but yet he strove against the flow. As the sun glimmered from beyond the clouds and into the valley, a rainbow appeared in the misty, refracted air around the fall.
It was breathtaking. It was elegant. It was infuriatingly elegant.
…But why infuriating? Surely there could be nothing but praise and admiration for this act of determination and bravery. It wasn't as though Wallace could profess to any desire to match Steven's achievements. This was no battle that he had been bested in. So why did the scene prickle something within his pride—within his heart.
Perhaps it was because the thing Steven was so single-mindedly seeking was not him.
Gary's Admirers. PalletShipping – Ash/Gary.
Gary Oak had had throngs of attractive women following him around since he was ten years old. Back then he'd been a minor celebrity—the grandson of the famous Professor Oak and a rising star of a Pokemon trainer in his own right.
Ash reflected as he sat in Gary's lab in a chair that he'd pulled around backwards, that it had all seemed so unfair back then. But, then again, everything about Gary had seemed unfair when he was just starting his Pokemon journey. The oohing and ahhing of his fanbase had always struck a particularly bitter note, though.
It hadn't taken this many years for Ash to recognize what he'd felt back then was jealousy. After all, he'd trained hard as a Pokemon trainer and pulled off some impressive victories, but a mob of adoring fans hadn't followed him around. Why had Gary deserved that more than he had?
But now that explanation seemed slightly unsatisfying. Sure, Gary had cast off the life of a Pokemon trainer and as he'd delved into his calling as a researcher, his ego had calmed and he'd matured as a person. Of course, the female attention hadn't stopped just due to a career move. Even then in the lab several pretty assistants were peeking up at him over their notes and sighing and chitchatting with one another. Someone with exquisite, manicured nails brought him coffee every morning and a scrap of paper with a phone number and a few scrawled hearts sat on his desk.
Ash watched, feeling slightly sullen, as one of his fellow scientists, one with exceptionally beautiful auburn hair, flirted comfortably with him. Yet, the bad mood that this attention stirred up in Ash couldn't be as easily explained as the feeling from his youth. The fact of the matter was: he now knew Gary deserved this attention.
How could he not? Brains, charisma, confidence that had been refined from its childish brashness into a mature sort of assurance. He had vision, he had a quick mind, he was a great conversationalist. And he had that hair. Chicks dug the hair.
But that bitter jealousy was still with Ash.
He knew he could try to tell himself that this just reminded him of old times—times when their rivalry had hurt their friendship and Ash desperately needed to prove himself to him in any way possible.
That wasn't it, though. This was jealousy, sure. He knew the feeling. But it wasn't quite that.
"…And so I was thinking we could get some dinner and see a movie," asked the scientist whose name Ash had deliberately not bothered to learn. "You gotta have some fun, right? It can't be all research."
The feeling of being excluded washed over Ash. But it wasn't being excluded from Gary's admirers that bothered him, it was being excluded from…
"Sorry, but I can't Melinda," Gary said, putting his hands in the starched white pockets of his coat. "My best friend's come for a visit and I wouldn't miss hanging out with him for the world."
Ash straightened up. The feeling of being excluded receded.
Dissatisfied. PokeShipping – Ash/Misty.
Misty sat up in bed, glancing down at the figure next to her who was already letting out heavy snores. Even after ten years he still had the same perpetual bed-head and dirty face. He'd grown up in all the superficial ways, but he was still so much that oblivious kid that had once wrecked her bike.
She pulled her nightshirt closed with a sigh. She really didn't know what she could've been expecting. After all, romantic or not, she'd always known that Ash was a fighter, not a lover.
…Was it selfish of her to want more? She loved him and now he finally knew—finally could understand enough to reciprocate. Wasn't that enough?
It wasn't the way she'd imagined this encounter going all those years minding the gym and thinking about him, off adventuring in some distant region. Now it all seemed so silly to put an elegant dream upon that awkward boy who had become an awkward man.
Had she been wrong all along?
She looked at him—breathing contentedly and hugging the pillow close to him, a smudge on each cheek and a wild amber flame hiding beneath each eyelid. His spirit had drawn her to him even back before she'd known much of anything worth knowing about life or love.
She reached out tentatively and patted the top of his head where the hair had been smoothed out permanently from a lifetime of hat-wearing. "…We'll work on it," she said.
By the Beautiful Sea. RockSmashShipping – Brawly/Roxanne.
(Author's Note: This was written as a dare and the person who asked for the drabble specified that it should take place in Victorian times.)
Roxanne twirled her parasol idly and suppressed a smile as she took in the splendor and gaiety of the stands assembled along the pier. All around there were jugglers and jesters and those ready to perform a show for the gawping little boys in their knickerbocker suits who looked on in wonder. The delicate scent of foreign spices wafted in from merchant's stalls, but the prevailing scent, as was always the case in Dewford, was the salty aroma of the sea.
She turned to steal a glance at Brawly, walking a predetermined distance away from her. He too seemed taken by the sea, but instead of looking at it with a fond smile as she had, he looked wistful, regretful even.
She wanted to place a gentle hand in his—to say nothing, but to let him know that, whatever his worry, she was there with him and it would all be alright. This wouldn't do, though, she knew. Her chaperone Mr. Marc, an employee of the Rustboro Gym, was no doubt watching them over his newspaper as he followed a few steps behind him. And she knew he would intervene if he saw such inappropriate contact.
Chaperone or not chaperone, Roxanne was not the kind of girl to make a breach of etiquette in any case. So, instead of actions, her words would have to suffice.
"Whatever is the matter, Mr. Brawly?" she asked as diplomatically as she could.
He turned to look at her, rather embarrassed that she'd caught his attention drifting away from her. "I was just thinking about going swimming," he said, rather uneasy that he couldn't match her refined manners.
"Wading?" she corrected. "Then shall we each hire bathing machines?" she asked, gesturing to the horse drawn carriages that lined the beach with small, makeshift houses to allow for modest and private wading into the water and to shield the men and women from view of each other.
"No… I don't think so," he said, looking longingly at the waves. A piece of driftwood floating in the shallows rode the current in a way that stirred something in him—it was something he only felt when in the midst of a Pokemon battle or a particularly challenging boxing match—it was the sense that inner peace was only just out of his reach. He knew in his heart that what he was after couldn't be captured by some light wading and splashing into the sea wearing an awkward, black and white striped suit.
Roxanne looked at him critically. She wasn't sure what it was he was after, but she knew that she couldn't help him figure it out with Mr. Marc's eye on them. Still, it wouldn't be right for them to leave his company, which was there for both of their protection. Meeting alone would be simply unseemly.
She looked at his downcast face and sighed. She spied a slightly protruding plank along the pier ahead of them and stepped purposefully towards it.
"Whoops!" she cried as she feigned losing her balance for a moment and let her parasol drop. It caught the wind and went rolling away through people's feet.
Her chaperone bowed and said, "Allow me to get that for you, Miss Roxanne."
"Oh, thank you, Mr. Marc. That was rather clumsy of me," she said.
As the portly man bent to pick up the parasol, Roxanne whipped swiftly over to Brawly. "Run," she mouthed. He didn't need to be told twice.
"Ah, there we are," the chaperone said, parasol in hand. As he straightened up to his full height he saw the two figures running down the pier, hand-in-hand. "Now where the devil do you think you two are going?!" he called after them.
So Cool. SommelierShipping – Cilan/Burgundy.
Burgundy threw back a swig of the red, sugary liquid in her glass. The violent movement was more about anger than thirst. She set down the half-empty glass on the bar. "That Cilan just thinks he's so cool, doesn't he?" she railed bitterly.
Georgia raised an eyebrow and took a sip of her own beverage. To put it mildly, she found Burgundy's behavior a little melodramatic. First of all, they were at a juice bar. No need to toss back grape juice like it's something alcoholic. Next thing she knew Burgundy would probably trick herself into thinking she was drunk…
But that oenophile-envy wasn't the end of the ridiculousness. "Does he even?" Georgia countered sharply.
"Tu plaisantes!" Burgundy scoffed, breaking out the French for no reason that Georgia could see other than ego. "Of course he does!"
"Nah," Burgundy said, shaking her head and taking another sip, glad at least that Burgundy was paying for drinks, "it seems more like you're the one who thinks that."
Gone Fishing. TransceiverShipping – Nate/Yancy.
"I can't believe you've never been fishing before," Nate's cheery voice commented as he helped her into the row boat.
"Is it really so hard to believe?" Yancy asked with a flush of uncertainty as her sandaled foot touched down on the wood interior of the boat. She struggled not to lose her footing on the drifting little vessel. She didn't want to make a fool of herself if fishing was really as common a pastime as Nate made it sound.
"I just meant because you've traveled to so many places," Nate sitting down easily on one of the sturdy wooden slats that made up the boat's skeleton. He moved as though it was easy—natural. There was no clumsiness or disorientation about him. Perhaps that was one of the things Yancy admired most about him amidst the chaotic business of her own life. There was Nate: strong, stoic and calm.
"I guess I never had the time," she managed to say, sitting beside him.
He grinned, rowing them away from the shore. "That's the nice thing about fishing," he said after some thought, "all you have is time."
She let him neglect his own fishing rod to place his hands on her arms in what she hoped was not a purely instructional act. She fought back a blush. "Just like I showed you before," he said, helping her send the flying line out to a spot in the calm waters in which colorful shapes hinted at underwater activity. Her lure, an adorable thing shaped like a pink bow that she'd picked out when they'd gone to buy bait and gear, drifted with the movement of the water.
She let out a sigh, relieved that she hadn't messed up as he cast off his own line from the opposite side of the boat.
They sat in silence for several minutes, but their silences couldn't have been more different. Nate's was peaceful and quietly content; Yancy's was tense and hesitant.
Finally, she managed to ask what was on her mind. "A-am I doing this wrong?" she asked. "Nothing's happening."
He reached back to give her hand that wasn't holding the rod a companionable squeeze. "That's fishing for you," he said fondly.
"Oh," Yancy said.
And then they lapsed into it again: the silence. Nothing but some light chirping from the bug Pokemon hovering around the banks and the lapping of the waves against the boat. Their lures surfed the waves in a motion that was almost hypnotic. She felt Nate's back reassuringly leaned against hers. There were no pressing tasks to get to—no loud demands or stresses or people to please. There was nothing but the lake, the two of them, and time.
"I think I could get used to this," Yancy said with a soft smile.
Two Roads. VisorShipping – Nate/Rosa.
She placed down the tube of lipstick, carelessly letting it roll across the vanity. She didn't bother to watch its path across the polished wooden surface. Her eyes were on the figure reflected behind hers in the light-ringed mirror.
"You came," she breathed in an accent that wasn't hers. She had to stay in character, though, for when she was called in front of the camera. "I thought you'd be too busy… being champion and all."
Nate adjusted the brim of his cap. "Things are pretty hectic, but I didn't want to miss your screening, Rosa. I hear this part might be your chance at an Oscar." He smiled warmly. "Though, then again, most people say it's just a matter of time until you get one." He put a hand on the top rail of the chair she was sitting on. "Sometimes you just have to make time for the important things."
"I wish I could," she said in that put-on southern accent. She smoothed out her expansive skirt speculatively. "I used to think there'd be time enough for everything. Time enough for Pokemon battles; time enough to be in the movies." She shook her head. "There isn't. These are careers you have to give your everything to… and before I knew it I was knee-deep in hackney scripts and silly costumes. I realized then that I'd already made my decision."
"Rosa…" Nate began.
"I was good," Rosa insisted, with an audible lump in her throat. "When we first met we were on par as trainers. I had potential back then. Now I'll never know if it could've taken me all the way through the league."
"But you've achieved so much as an actress," Nate reminded her.
Rosa waved a lace gloved hand. "I wanted to be a trainer first, but I let this life distract me. You didn't make that mistake. You starred in the first Brycen Man movie, but that was enough for you. You didn't lose your focus on your quest and just quietly let them replace you for the sequels as you traveled on. That's why you're the champion and I just read lines in front of a green screen." She turned around, for the first time addressing him directly and not through the mirror. "Do you understand how it feels to know that you've settled?" she asked, her false accent melting away into something that was pure Rosa.
"Of course I do, Rosa," he practically whispered.
"Really?" she asked, reaching up and putting a hand on his arm.
"Yes," he said, quietly taking her hand. "Because… I've lost count of the times I've woken up in the middle of the night wondering what I could've accomplished if I hadn't quit back then. If I'd had the guts to really try to make it as an actor the way you did."