A.N. Hey, I'm back with another repeat of a shipping done not long ago… but I was digging through my old school notebook earlier, and found this unfinished piece. So I thought I'd slap on an ending and show it to ya guys. And… it's not his birthday (though it is mine soon!). Like I said, this was written quite some time ago. I don't really have time at the moment to write anything new, that's why I did this piece already partially finished. But I promise that I'll be back with greatness soo. Promise.

He over looked the bustling streets of Rustboro, mahogany eyes aimlessly wondering over nameless faces. He hummed a hollow "Happy Birthday", but the tune was not of festive enjoyment.

She was still twenty-one. But the image of when he last saw here was forever printed in his mind, immortally seventeen in his thoughts with crystalline eyes like saltwater pools.

It had been so long. How had five years melted into the mundane? Yet her presence, or rather lack thereof, was never ordinarily comfortable. His one room-one bedroom apartment was a lonely one. Sure, Cocoa and Nana and Zuzu often snoozed in the living room floor, but even their warm bodies couldn't offer him the searing fire that her wicked smirks spread through his veins.

Ruby often thought of her.

She dropped a five dollar bill into the little wooden box on her bedside table. Days and days of working at Petalburg's café had led her to a chest full of meager tips. Hopefully not far away would be the days were she could leave Hoenn's mainland and travel to a residential location on Dewford. Tiny Dewford where she could spend every day with the sound of waves crashing on the shore, ringing through the morning air.

It was his birthday today.

She couldn't help but think about his face, young and foolish. Those namesake eyes burned like fire and her memories caressed his teenaged face. He was no longer twenty-one, certainly not seventeen like the last time she saw him. No, now he was twenty-two. Perhaps like her, alone with nothing to do, plagued each night by insomnia.

But, by golly, this was Ruby of all people and he was certainly no at home by his lonesome. Rustboro was a busy place and certainly he would and had found a way to entertain himself.

Petalburg, on the contrary, wasn't for living by the sun, the sand, and the sea.

For now, she lived alone.

She almost dropped the phone.

She hadn't heard that molasses-smooth voice in practically five years. And yet, there was no denying who it belonged to.

"Sapphire. How close are you to obtaining your goal?" Right to the point, blunt with no beating around the bush. Sapphire couldn't help but think that their personalities had been swapped.

"I'm about one thousand short." she croaked, the exact amount of money in her box memorized.

"Grand." He paused and an awkward silence settled on both ends of the conversation. "Just remember… I owe you…" he trailed off, as if choosing his proceeding words carefully. "… and nothing more."

The phone went dead and slipped out of Sapphire's grip, her azure eyes widened in shock, utter disbelief, and pure confusion.

The summer sun bathed Ruby's face with docile rays as he looked over the city's streets.

She had bright, cyan eyes. But her tresses her a honey color.

That girl had cocoa brown hair, but it was much too long.

Another's sharp canine sunk into her bottom lip, but the stranger was sporting a frilly summer dress the color of cotton candy, something Sapphire wouldn't be caught dead in.

It was a peculiar game he played, seeking out attributes of the girl he loved in total strangers. One that only hurt his fragile heart.

So why did he keep playing?

If Ruby was being honest with himself, he'd find that it was fear eclipsing his heart. But he had denied the wondrous love itself, so what was the truth to him?

The warm breeze pulled sea air into Rustboro from the west, tangy with salt and broken promises. Ruby closed his eyes and wished to dissolve with the gale.

"It'll be great! We'll live near Winona, so you can continue training. And we'll be close enough to Lilycove, but not near enough to have all the noises and city-goers annoying you!" Ruby beamed, sliding a large box into the back of a moving truck. He frowned slightly, remembering doing this when he had moved to Hoenn all those years ago. But today was about him and Sapphire, and bitter memories of his father were not going to sadden him.

"Are… are you sure that we're not too young for this?" Sapphire inquired, an uncharacteristic doubt resigning in her trembling voice.

"Sapph. Trust me! It's gonna be great. You'll love living in a tree-house, just in between the earth and the starts." Ruby chuckled, closing the sliding back of the truck before turning to his love. "Let's just grow up, and not be the last."

Doubt and fear were etched in her namesake eyes, but she nodded. "Okay."

Ruby sighed, brushing his fingertips across the mirror's surface, his reflection meeting his touch. For a split second, he couldn't sworn it was Sapphire staring back at him, not merely his reflection. He fought back tears, clenching his fist tight until his knuckles paled white.

He recalled their endeavors together as foolish teenagers, living together near Fortree. He cursed himself, remembering all the fights and bickers.

And the tears finally came, disobedient to Ruby's protests, as he remembered her angered face, tears staining her cheeks, as she stormed out the door. Ruby was sure she would come back, he was sure. But she never did… and they avoided all contact for five years following his stupid mistake.

She was right. They were too young, too imprudent, too stupid. But it was his carelessness, and his fault that had ruined what could've been perfection.

Sapphire unloaded the last of her things from the boat, bringing them into the little cottage resting on the Dewford beach. She held back a sigh. This was what she was waiting for, wasn't it? Why wasn't she happy? Why couldn't she just be glad?

But she knew why. Despite her protests that it had nothing to do with the Coordinator she had left nearly half a decade ago. It had nothing to do with that pansy.

And yet, she couldn't help but see his young smiling face as she stared blankly at the crystal ocean.

She shook her head, returning to her cottage. This was it. This was the solitude she had been questing for. But an ache pained her heart as she realized that it was only that, lonely solitude.

"Ruby?" The teenage girl questioned, nuzzling her head into his neck. He held back a chuckle, tightening his grip on the girl, their bodies sinking into the plush couch. The wooden walls created a source of security for both of them, as they looked down at the treetops. It was astounding to be living so high up, away from the rest of the world.

"Hm?" He hummed, burying his nose into her hair. Seventeen was such a young age to be on their own, but Ruby didn't care.

"I don't…." she paused, and laughed awkwardly. "I don't ever want to live alone."

A.N. HEY. So… this was a song-fic, but I won't say for which song because…


….and the song used here is part of the competition, so I won't say it. Mkay? But seriously. Please go check it out!