notes : This contains incredibly miniscule hints of GreenBlue, GoldCrys, RuSa and Dia/PearlPlat. But, most importantly – the glorious bromance of the fire-type dex holders. I'm not sure if I want to try the same thing with the grass-type and water-type starter dex holders yet. I just feel that the 4 of them in particular really exemplify fire in its different forms.

I assure you guys, I'll return to writing more quality stuff soon. Just allow me to have some giggles and fun! You also have no idea how much time I spent opening and closing this fic in Microsoft Word because I both wanted and didn't want to write it. What a painful process.


Hide the Guns

Green stares at the words, focused on reading. With all the dumb antics and incessant people he's learned to endure with in his life, this shouldn't be a problem. Despite the logic behind this conclusion, the three other people exploring his living room now are quite possibly the three worst individuals to apply 'logic' to.

"I hereby commence this meeting!" Gold bangs a rolled up newspaper against the wall, dangerously near Green's expensive plasma TV.

"Are you sure this is going t'work?" Sapphire tilts her head as she makes herself comfy on the floor, leaning her head against his coffee table.

"And why here of all places?" Pearl sits back in the armchair, his scarf nearly tangling with the vase placed beside it.

Green had been careless to let them in. Honestly though, he hadn't done it willingly. When he first peered through the eyehole at his front door, Sapphire had been the only one standing there, her arms crossed behind her back, appearing innocent and trustworthy. But when he opened the door to ask what she was doing on his porch, Gold and Pearl popped out behind her and stormed into the house uninvited.

"Because this is the perfect place for the four of us to strategize," Gold explains, dropping onto the couch next to Green and propping his feet on the coffee table.

Green wonders if he can afford to move house.


"You can't betray your best friend for your girl." Gold points at Pearl. "You can't get the guy you like to like you." Sapphire. "I can't get the girl I like to like me." Himself. "And Green over here has the biggest problem – he's got Blue waiting for him, and he's not doing a thing! That's just a waste, really."

Green puts the book down in one rapid motion and glares at Gold.

"I'm just saying, man. You're probably the baddest at love out of all of us."


Green has to remind himself that Gold isn't irritating him on purpose, nor is his grammar perfect. He's a natural brat. Still, Green feels fully justified when he stands up, stalks over to the hallway, opens the front door, and jabs a finger outside.

"Woah? Already, Green?" Gold grins, very much misunderstanding Green's intentions. "I know you want to get under Blue's skirt, but hold on. We have to plan out what we're going to do first, or else we'll screw up." He unravels a large sheet of paper and Sapphire empties a pouch of pencils and erasers on the table. Pearl begins to scribble on the top of the blank paper.

'PROJECT: IGNITING THE FLAMES'

"Get it? Because we all have fire starter-pokémon!" Pearl says, apparently proud of the pun.

"I like it! I like it! Us fire dudes gotta' stick together!" Gold claps him on the back while Sapphire gives him a playful punch in the arm.

Green rests his forehead against the wall.


Plan A. Sapphire

Green is only here because he doesn't want Sapphire to get arrested, because he's the only sane man, because he has a conscience that chooses the worst times to make itself known. It obligates him to be responsible for the other three dex holders currently hiding in the bushes. He stares at them from the park bench he's sitting on, sparing glances at his wristwatch. Ruby is meeting Sapphire at the fountain at two, which gives him ten minutes to stop the trio from doing anything stupid.

"Why'm I the first one?" Sapphire hisses, stepping on twigs.

"Because you're the easiest! It's obvious Ruby has the hots for you, he's just being a huge sissy about it," Gold tells her with a strangely patient voice.

"Right, so you've got to make the first move! I'm sure your willpower will win him over," Pearl says with an encouraging voice.

"Alright, altogether now!" Gold throws a fist into the air, breaking through the cover of the bushes.

The three of them share a collective yell that sounds garbled and honestly terrifying. Green doesn't even want to discern the words they shout. They stop halfway and Gold pokes his head out of the leaves to stare at Green.

"Hey, senior! This isn't complete without you, you know!" He ushers Green over with a hand wave.

The gym leader checks the time. Seven minutes. He sighs and makes his way over to them. Green crouches near the bush and peers inside to see Sapphire, Pearl and Gold's fists melded together, knuckle to knuckle.

"Put your hand here!" Sapphire tells him happily.

"And then shout with all your might!" Pearl says.

Green gives them his practiced and perfected 'are-you-serious' look.

"Suit yourself!" Gold scoffs. "You're here with us in spirit!"

And the three of them recommence their hot-blooded, vague victory cries for love.

When two p.m. comes and goes, Green doesn't step in to save the three of them from their ludicrous plan. He takes a seat back on the bench and allows himself to indulge, if only because he's braved through enough trouble and headaches already.

Sapphire is shoved out of the bushes, clutching a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. Gold's confident, and dubious, belief is that if Ruby doesn't want to initiate the wooing process, Sapphire should assume the role herself.

Green cranes his neck and watches Ruby waltz up the walkway in his usual outfit, blissfully unaware of the going-ons in the trimmed and well-kept bushes. Sapphire advances on him with Pearl and Gold's whispered encouragements. With the large and robotic steps she takes, it's like weights have been tied to her ankles. Green checks his watch and times how long it will take for Sapphire to realize what she's getting herself into and lose it.

It takes all of five seconds. A few feet away from meeting Ruby, the girl comes to a sudden halt and scowls at the flowers and chocolates. Green almost sees the cogs in her head turn.

Her face darkens with an intense red as she comes to her senses. Frozen in place, it's Ruby who bridges the distance between him and Sapphire, hands glued to his hips. Before he can open his mouth, Sapphire shoves the box of sweets into his mouth, flings the flowers into the air, and yells a colorful stream of words at the bushes behind her.

Sapphire dashes off in a mad escape, the falling tulips and daisies curtaining in her wake. She rips off her glove and whistles with her fingers, ignoring Ruby's yells of despair and ruin. Pearl and Gold tumble out of the bushes to catch up to her, but are reduced to scrambling around on the ground as Sapphire's tropius swoops in and hoists her up into the air.


They retreat back to their headquarters. Regrettably, it is Green's living room.

"Okay, so Plan A didn't work out so well," Gold acknowledges.

"It didn't work at all!" Sapphire seethes. She peels off her gloves once more and poises her hands, ready to attack. Pearl's only resort is to grab her shoulder to keep her from mauling Gold, an awkward smile spreading across his face.

"The chocolates were pretty expensive too," Gold continues, unhindered by the hostility, "good thing we've got a salary man here, huh!" He looks meaningfully at Green, and Green in turn looks absently at the newspaper on his lap.

"I'm not paying for any of the damages," the gym leader corrects him, sipping a mug of coffee to ail his throbbing head.

"I already told the store to put it on your tab," Gold states.

A small crack runs along the handle of Green's cup.


Plan B. Pearl

"For Pearl, the obstacle isn't the object of love, it's his best friend!" Gold explains, scrawling lines and bad sketches of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum on the same piece of paper. Diamond's beret is too lumpy, Pearl's striped shirt is somehow polka-dotted, and Platina's eyes are unnecessarily big and shiny.

"Right…" Pearl pretends to understand the awful drawings.

"So, you've just got to make sure that Diamond's really in love with her. You know, respect the bro code."

Sapphire cocks her head. "Bro code?" she asks. "I've only ever heard Ruby talk about the fashion code."

Gold gives her a pitying shake of the head. He sets an arm around her shoulders and proceeds to tell a completely baseless story of the origin of the bro code. Meanwhile, Green fixes a stripe of tape on his damaged coffee mug.


"It's rare for you to be treating me, Pearl," Diamond hums, more pleased than suspicious. "And at an expensive place like this! I'm sure Missy wouldn't mind eating with us if she were here."

"So, uh, Dia. No, I mean, Diamond." Pearl fingers his collar, a rare show of uncertainty snagged in his voice.

"Yes?" the boy says though he doesn't look up from the embellished plate of food in front of him.

"Do you have any spe– special feelings for Missy?" Pearl chokes halfway, but manages to barrel through the whole question.

Diamond doesn't respond immediately. He slices through his beef patty and very slowly, excruciatingly so, chews on it.

Gold studies the two boys over the top of the elaborately decorated menu with its golden border. Sapphire looks over her shoulder to the table behind theirs, her gaze wandering away every now and again to gaze at the glass chandelier and the plates of exquisite food passing them. Green figures that the only reason Diamond hasn't noticed their presence is because Pearl's seated him on the side of the booth facing away from them.

"Pearl…" Diamond places the greasy utensils on the napkin. "We're best friends aren't we?"

Pearl gulps and nods.

What follows this is a heavy, almost cold silence. Diamond doesn't talk and Green can't see his face, left to stare curiously at the back of his head. Whatever is happening, Pearl seems to be shaken by his friend's expression. He sinks further and further down in his seat, until all that's left of him above the tabletop is a tuft of blond hair.

Diamond slides out of the booth when he's cleared his plate, pats Pearl's head and says thank you for the meal, before turning around. Gold ducks under the table, his forehead banging hard against Green's knee. Sapphire, thankfully, just hunches her shoulders and tries to make herself smaller. Green sits there and shakes his cup of iced water, using the other hand to push at Gold's intrusive face.

"Hi, seniors! What are you all doing here?" Diamond asks, the honest surprise in his voice coaxing Gold out from under the table. The calm serenity in Diamond's eyes eliminates the possibility of him being angry at Pearl only moments before – so, what was it that made Pearl feel so guilty for asking that dumb question?

"Ehh– " Sapphire smiles, having nothing else to say.

"Green here is treating us! We heard that this was a good joint for chow!" Gold sings out, much to Green's muted horror.

Diamond grins, as if happy to know that they share his love for the food here. "This is a popular place. I guess it was just a coincidence we met." He raises an arm to get the waiter's attention for them and Green wants to tackle him onto the floor and sever that hand but he can't. He's in his gym leader attire. He has a title to uphold –

"Waiter! We'll have this and this and this, and a glass of that and this." Gold flips open the menu he's holding and prods at random dishes.

– and a wallet that's gradually thinning.

"Ah, great choices!" Diamond approves before saying a polite goodbye and making his way out, his munchlax waddling behind him.


"Pearl? Pearl? Dude, you okay?" Gold pokes at a shoulder while Sapphire sniffs experimentally near the other.

Pearl starts to shiver. He mumbles with his head ducked in his elbow, "I'm a terrible friend."

Sapphire rubs his arm with uncharacteristic delicacy while Gold laughs his usual obnoxious laugh. "Relax, you're thinking waaaay too much!"

"I'm a terrible best friend!" Pearl springs up, this time shouting.

Green lowers his eyes when heads turn to look at their table.

"No big deal, let's drown your sorrows in some good food!"

Gold reaches a hand out for the menu, cast away in his own idealistic world where Crystal must be some queen and his kingly word is law. Green is faster, darting out to swipe the golden, sparkling thing, and hit Gold over the head with it.


"I'm hungry!" Sapphire exclaims, blinking her eyes. She bolts upright from the floor and searches for food even though this is a living room.

"After all that? You and Dia could go at it in an eating contest," Pearl groans, lying on the couch, one hand on his stomach.

"Now that'd be cool," Gold grins as he says, using the remote to flick through all the channels on the television.

Green takes off his reading glasses and goes to the kitchen to grab an apple for Sapphire and medicine for Pearl's stomachache. Gold trails after him to adventure through the kitchen and Green lets him, though tempted to lock the kitchen door.


Plan C. Green

"You've been a wet blanket throughout this whole operation, Green," Gold says.

"But now, I'll make it a personal mission to wipe that frown off your face! Aren't I great?" Gold thumps his chest. Sapphire hides a laugh under her hand and Pearl jots down something in a small notepad – is he basing his new double act off of Gold?

"This is permanent," Green replies, frowning even more to demonstrate.

"Now, now, trust me," Gold says as he hand-waves the logic and rationale away, "since you don't have the balls to get together with Blue, leave everything to us!"

Sapphire and Pearl nod vigorously. The three of them slam their fists together but Green manages to seize Gold's cap off his head and toss it out of the window to prevent them from shouting.


Green is on his way to the bank to withdraw money when he feels someone lurking behind him.

"Bing! Now, who do we have here?"

He turns and he wants, so so badly, to say that he's surprised to see Blue standing there.

"I'm joking, I'd recognize that bu– that hair anywhere. Long time no see, Green!" she says with a winning smile. She's in her usual clothes; the ones Silver had given her a long time ago. Her blue legwarmers are worn and covered in a fine layer of dirt from walking with her so much.

"It hasn't been that long," he mutters. Four months, six months tops. He's been busy with his job.

He lifts his eyes off the pavement to scan the surroundings. The three of them must be hiding somewhere nearby. There are a pile of trashcans not too far off – but they wouldn't, would they?

"Is that all you have to say to me after so long?" Blue crosses her arms and pouts. Green is used to all of this – and whatever Gold has in store for him won't change a thing between him and Blue. He continues down the road and Blue has to break into a jog to keep up with him.

"Hold on, hold on," she insists, catching him by his wrist.

"I'm busy, pesky woman. You should go and find Red first. We can catch up next week if you really want," he sighs.

"You sure you're going anywhere without this?"

Blue holds up his wallet, snatching it away from him when he reaches a hand out to take it back.

"Gold told me this was important," Blue says, juggling it in between her hands, "I mean, I've never thought of taking something from you, since you're no fun, but he was very persuasive."

Before he can steal it back from her, Blue tugs her collar out and proceeds to drop the wallet down the front of her shirt. Great.

"I need that." Green stops and puts his hands in his pockets. He doesn't even have any spare change left.

"And you'll have it back," Blue assures him.

"Only after you take me on a date, though."

Green attempts to gather his bearings and his pride. He kicks the trashcan beside him for good measure.


"Hi, Green!"

"So how'd it go?"

"Anything to report?"

Green stares at the three teenagers lounging in his living room as he closes the door behind him. Sapphire is sitting upside-down on the couch, her head on the floor and her feet over the back of the sofa. Pearl is watching a comedy show on the TV. Gold peruses through some CDs and magazines Green had thought he'd hidden well.

When had he given any of them the key? He hangs his coat up and walks straight into the kitchen to throw together a salad, hungry from his unfinished dinner.

Halfway through their date, Blue had gotten offended by the fact that he was spending time with her simply to get his money and credit card back. Green hadn't been able to see the problem behind that, since he'd made it clear that those were the only conditions that forced him to sit with her in the diner.

"You're serious? Nothing else? No other reason? At all?" Blue had asked, the chirp in her voice faltering, turning into something like agitation.

"Right."

Okay, so maybe Green hadn't phrased himself well enough.


In his yard, Typlosion, Infernape, Charizard and Blaziken are duking it out, fists flying, claws flashing and flames bursting between them. The pokémon look content as they play-fight, yipping and growling so loud he can hear them through the closed window. They chew on one another's limbs, frolick in the intense heat, tumble around the grass and char everything in their aftermath.

What Green would give to throw himself in the middle of their combusting fire.


It's late when Green comes out of his study and finds his juniors still in his house. When it had grown quiet earlier in the night, he'd assumed that they had shown themselves out. Instead, he finds them asleep where he last saw them.

He sighs as he sidesteps an array of limbs to slot his book back to its place on the shelf in the living room. When he's done with that, he turns and looks at the three scattered bodies on the floor. Pearl is already on the sofa, so he drapes a spare blanket over him. Gold seems happy with his head resting on the cold, hard table, so he leaves him like that. For Sapphire, he prods her a little to get her into a half-awake state, takes her by the arm up to the guest room and makes sure she collapses onto the mattress and falls back to sleep, closing the door lightly.

Then, he goes back to put a pillow and a blanket near Gold.

He flicks the light off.


Plan D. Gold

Green finds it a scary thought to comprehend, but he's grown used to having three other people in his house.

Today's the last day they'll ever be here though. He experiences a conflicting sense of euphoria and nonchalance as he watches the three pokémon trainers huddle around his coffee table and strategize for the final plan of action. Gold's.

"So Crystal doesn't think you can be a gentleman," Pearl says, scratching his head.

"If ya' take her out on a proper date, I'm sure she'll change her mind," Sapphire tells Gold, clamping a supportive hand on his shoulder.

"And don't you worry," she continues, "me and Pearl have seen enough contests to know how to dress you up right."

"And you can't talk to her like you usually do," Pearl says. He writes a few sentences down in his notepad, tapping his pencil against his chin. Then he passes it over to Gold, who reads the words aloud, raising an eyebrow every now and then.

"You sure about this?" he asks.

Pearl nods, folding his hands.

"Just leave it to us!" Sapphire says, already taking off Gold's cap and goggles.

Green closes his eyes and tries to sleep in his armchair. He'll feel tired after this all ends.


Miraculously, Pearl and Sapphire's makeover of Gold is a success. He looks presentable in the suit Pearl lends him, his hair combed down so it retains a scarce hint of its explosive style. When he goes to pick Crystal up for the dinner date, Pearl and Sapphire haul Green along. Eventually, when Green resigns to his fate, the boy and girl let go of him and beam. They are young and childish and easily amused. Green doesn't think he can ever relate to them – he was young before, but never childish, never easily amused. He didn't know how to be, couldn't afford to be like that.

When Pearl and Sapphire smile at him, Green feels something inside him ease. He doesn't know what it is. Maybe it's the child that has never been allowed to come out to play.


Gold religiously keeps to Sapphire and Pearl's instructions throughout his time with Crystal, holding the door open for her and helping her into her seat. Crystal, who looks beautiful in a casual dress with stars printed on it, seems both glad and doubtful concerning his behaviour.

"Since when did you become a gentleman?" she asks, playing with the straw in her glass.

"When you really want something, change isn't that hard," he recites. Pearl mutters the exact same sentence in time with Gold under his breath, nodding proudly. They sit near the two in the café, hidden behind a pillar. Green orders a few plates of snacks and glasses of water.

Crystal looks flattered. She smiles and enjoys the candlelit dinner. Afterwards, Gold takes her to watch fireworks on the Vermillion Bay and for a walk along its docks. When everything comes to an end a couple of hours later, Gold and Crystal stroll through the streets of the city.

"I had a wonderful date, Gold," Crystal admits with a faint smile, her classic earrings catching the light of a lamppost.

"Enough to go on a second one with me?" Gold asks, all charming and brave. Just like Pearl had told him to be.

"Enough, maybe for more," the girl laughs, letting him hold her hand.

Gold clenches his empty hand into a fist and punches the air. "Guys, I got her!" he looks away from Crystal and flashes a thumbs-up at them.

"Yeah Gold, ya' did it!" Sapphire whoops, getting up from the hiding place in the alley and rushing over to congratulate him. Pearl follows at her heels, clapping his hands and celebrating with her. Green stares at this and starts to massage the knot between his eyes.

"Wha– what is this? Why were you all there?" Crystal starts asking, the delight in her voice draining away, cheeks reddening.

"Gold, don't tell me you– ! You all planned this?" She frowns as she pieces everything together, releasing her hand from his. Sapphire and Pearl screech to a stop in their tracks, registering the fact that Crystal probably wouldn't be happy knowing about 'Project: Igniting the Flames'. They immediately turn around and scurry back to Green's side.

"Yeah so? What's the big deal?" Gold asks, feeling no sense of shame.

His answer is a skillful punt in the gut, amongst other places Green doesn't want to name. He notices that Crystal is wearing heels and can't help but feel sympathetic.


The next day, instead of staying in his living room, the four of them move outside to the backyard. Green brings a fruit knife and a bowl of fresh apples with him when he overhears Sapphire saying that she's hungry.

"Have we resolved anything at all?" Pearl laments, a hand on his head. He buries his face into Typlosion's dark pelt and the two of them lie there on the grass.

"Not really," Sapphire says. She blows at a strand of hair that falls over her eyes and continues to spar with Infernape, throwing kicks at him as he uses his arms to block them. "We mighta' even made things worse now."

"They're just minor setbacks, minor setbacks!" And Gold is fascinated with Charizard, using his hands to stretch out those massive wings.

Charizard sniffs, indignant and bothered. He looks at Green for approval, and when Green gives him a curt nod, the dragon flicks his wings up and folds them, catapulting Gold back onto the grass in the process.

"Ow!"

"Serves ya' right!" Sapphire snickers. She ducks under Infernape's leg and sweeps her foot under him, knocking him off balance. Pearl applauds the both of them, laughing as he says: "Sorry Chimhiko, I can only predict pokémon attacks."

Green looks up at Blaziken, who has perched herself regally on the branch of the tree he's sitting under, eyeing everything from her height. He throws an apple up to her, and the pokémon gladly takes it.

"You know what guys? There's always tomorrow!" Gold says as he gets onto his feet.

Green aims an apple at his head but misses by a fair margin. Charizard catches it in his jaws and crunches down hard on it.

"Green! Are you trying to kill me?"


Despite everything, he smiles.


extra notes –
- noooo what was thissss, where is my everything. Gold, Sapphire, Pearl and Green must have stolen it from me, sorry guys.
-
Sapphire: the warmth/compassion of fire, Pearl: the playful/cleverness of fire, Gold: the destructive quality of fire, Green: the calm/consistent quality of fire.
- approx. ages: Green (21), Gold (19), Sapphire (17), Pearl (16/17)
- happy new year to everyone! here's hoping that 2012 will be great!