Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon.

Summary: Steven stands at the base of Mt. Chimney, the ashes melding into his slate-colored hair as the words 'not yours' ring painfully through Cynthia's mind. StevenCynthia, oneshot

My first Pokemon fic of 2012! It's a rather new pairing for me to write, but there are just so many awesome writers of this pairing out there that I just really wanted to write a StevenCynthia. I hope that everyone enjoys this! I'd love to hear your opinions and everything! Thanks for reading!

Iron Fist

She hasn't been to Hoenn in ages, it seems.

Only for the lure of Skarmory, Cynthia claims. She doesn't like the heat, much prefers the cooler climate of Sinnoh to the raging, blistering sun of Hoenn. She knows her way around Sinnoh, is less likely to get lost. She knows the people of Sinnoh, knows their accents and their familiarity and their kindness. She's the Champion there, she's important and revered and shown on television shows and on merchandise, lauded by children as their hero…

But not here.

Sure, she is treated with a certain kindness, a certain sort of respect, but not the friendliness with which she is treated in Sinnoh. People know who she is, just how they know the general information of the Champions of Johto, Kanto, and Unova.

However…all that never really bothered her before.

She believes the problem lies deeper, in a place in which she doesn't dare to look. In an unfortunate chain of events, she feels her heart skip a traitorous beat when she discovers that the very reason she might hate Hoenn is standing right across the plain from her.

Standing with all the confidence she expects of him - subdued and yet overt - he returns his Metagross before looking at the Pokeball in his hands, gazing at it with deep, interested eyes.

He notices her before she can leave.

Steven Stone stands at the base of Mount Chimney, the ashes melding into his slate-colored hair as the words 'not yours' ring painfully through Cynthia's mind. The ashes float around him like snow, settling in his hair, floating in front of his eyes. The moment seems suspended in time, one that she would like to study forever, trying to learn all there is to know before it is all ripped away.

She sees his lips part, a single word - a single name, comes from his throat, "Cynthia."

Too far to be able to hear his voice, she subconsciously takes a step towards him as if she could catch the lingering waves of sound, as if she could absorb his voice and make it part of her. It is almost like his voice is a string, and she is the helpless puppet being strung forward.

She despises how weak he makes her feel.

Cynthia steps forward, walking with the calm and natural confidence that she has become known for. She finds herself looking at him straight in the eyes as she approaches him, braver than she'd thought she'd be. She isn't sure what pulls her to him, but it's different than anything she's ever experienced.

As soon as she's close enough, she says, simply, "Steven."

He looks as if his very name is an condemnation, yet it was anything but. However, Cynthia might like to believe it is.

"Are you doing well?" he asks, his voice smooth and unchanged. He has always been talented at that.

"Fine," she replies, clipped, businesslike. "And you?"


Cynthia wants to say more. She wants to say, "You were more than fine last time I saw you." But she isn't petty. She isn't one to claw across wounds that hadn't yet a chance to heal - but she can still feel his lips on hers, can still feel the heat of his breath and hear the weight of her name in his throat as their bodies fitted together.

She smiles, though, one of her cold and calculating ones, just to let him know that the wheels in her head are churning away, thinking those things that she would never voice aloud, especially with more than one frail heart in the mix.

"How is she?"

"Who?" he replies with a question, one that he damn well knows the answer to. She decides to humor him.

"Your fire girl."

He tenses at that, looking at her as if she's lost her mind, but her face is perfectly smooth and serene and that confuses him.

"She's fine," he finally says, though it is almost like she's had to force it from him.

"We're all fine, aren't we?" Cynthia muses humorlessly.

Steven moves past her, obviously tiring of this conversation. Cynthia knows the feeling, she can feel it in her bones. Even though the words are simple, the pretense is one that she hates to keep up. He's headed into town, to see his girl - the one with the fiery hair and the Camerupt and the laugh that sounds sandpaper-rough. The innocent one. The one that couldn't hurt a Beautifly, not even if she tried.

"I suppose you've always liked red, haven't you?" she calls, unable to resist. There's something perversely amusing about the way his back straightens, the way that his fists clench and unclench at his sides. The double meaning to her words hangs in between them, filling the space with its headiness.

Though he surprises her at that last moment, the moment before he heads off to meet the naïve, innocent girl that has obviously wormed her way into some semblance of importance to him, and says, "I prefer yellow."

Taken off guard, she cannot render a comment to lash back at him. The very statement confuses her more than the confrontation had. She watches him walk away, his gait liquid and confident, carrying him to his gym leader.

Cynthia finds that her fingers have found purchase on a strand of her hair, long and blonde and taunting.

Scoffing at her girlishness, she flips her hair over her shoulder with a sense of finality and releases her newly captured Skarmory before flying off to a destination unknown.

And, even then, she can't help but compare the Skarmory's feathers to the ashes around Mount Chimney - and to the color of Steven's gray, gray eyes.