Idly kicking the damp sand with one shoe, he shifts it around, carefully maintaining balance somehow on one leg. He sighs, and understands that he's in one of his self-confessed weird moods. He has them sometimes, and it'll be fine tomorrow, he just needs to not meet anyone today and he'll be right as rain tomorrow. But he doesn't like the rain, prefers the sun, particularly Sunyshore sunshine, and maybe a type of sun that doesn't come from a star at all... He shakes his head, focusing on stamping the disturbed sand down flat again with the sole of his shoe, hands in his pockets, eyebrows furrowed intensely as he concentrates on the task of remaining upright and sorting the grains around aimlessly; much easier than thinking properly.

Flint had fled the League, wishing for no interruptions. Yet, he didn't want to think, he just couldn't be bothered with anything today.

'You're very close to him, aren't you Flint..?'

The voice rings within his head. It might have been Bertha who said it, or Lucian, or...
"Fuck..." he whines, just desperate to simultaneously block everything out and do nothing. After all, it's not like Volkner even reciprocates his care, Flint is most likely just a good pick-up when Volk' is in one of his depressive no-one-is-good-enough moods, so it doesn't even matter, it just hurt then, more than usual, to think that.

Closing his eyes and subsequently losing his balance, Flint topples over backwards, but doesn't bother easing his fall. His back smacks the sand harshly, causing him to cough with the slight shock. When he reopens his eyes, all he sees is the vivid blue sky and he finds it a little disgusting at that moment, patronising his bad mood. Scrunching up his eyes, he lets a breath go that he hadn't really realised he'd taken.

It's not the sky's fault it is blue.
Or maybe it is. He can never remember whether the sky reflects the sea or vice versa. Perhaps they just reflect each other, but then where does the blue come from...

An entirely different type of blue sky overwhelms his vision, electric yellow hair sweeping down past a slightly confused expression, casting a shadow over the Elite Four member. Flint's eyes widen, but he can't hold that gaze, memory of everything going through his mind currently re-surfacing. Looking to one side, he hears Volkner sit on the sand, then freezes up as a comfortable pressure lands on his shoulder and settles after some shifting.

"Volk'." he murmurs, even though he feels like he's choking.
"Flint." The reply floats back without hesitance. Flint notes the ease of tone, which must mean that Volkner either was just defeated or had a good battle at least.
He's reminded of how it's been forever since the two of them battled, perhaps- no, he never usually thinks like this, now is not a perfectly good time to start. But a part of him wants to, whispering that he's not good enough, Volkner could beat him easy, and he isn't good enough for Volkner anyway, as a person. His heart sinks. It's hard suppressing thoughts like that when he's like this, all apathetic - and generally pathetic - so rarely. He's not used to it, doesn't have the right defences. Flint almost wishes Volkner hadn't arrived, in a way.

"Many challengers?" he speaks even through his strong desire to remain silent. He doesn't want conversation, or a reply, or anything, he really can't work out why he's speaking.

"No, but I had a decent one yesterday." Volkner lilts, voice reverberating through Flint's shoulder pleasantly - not pleasantly. He doesn't like it, at all, no way - he'd rather Volkner just moved.

But not really.
Flint just doesn't know anymore.

Humming rather than replying, he tries to focus more of the sensation of sand underneath him and the far-off lapping of waves at the shore than his human company. Some pokemon - a flock of buizel he spots - search the beach for food scraps, as it is, aside from them, devoid of trainers. Devoid of people. A weekday midday, Flint knew there wouldn't be many people here, which was exactly why he chose it.

Of course, 'not many people' appeared to exclude the Gym Leader who should, by all accounts, be in his gym, sorting... things. Not, by any account, using Flint's miserable shoulder as a pillow for some unknown reason. Now he thinks of it, Flint doesn't even know how or why Volkner is here. But he is, admittedly, not courageous enough to ask.

The sun tracks across the sky a bit, noticed and yet ignored by Flint.

He's about to tell Volkner to return to his gym because seriously, trainers do hate waiting for their battles. He's quite sure there aren't any waiting for him because there's Victory Road in between them and him. And half the trainers pale at the thought of entering the League.

Although currently he'd pale at the thought of returning there too.

"What's up?" Flint recognises it as the authoritative voice, the tone Volk' uses whenever Flint's being stupid and/or unreasonable. Or when he's in a weird mood. But today, Flint doesn't feel like it, not succumbing to the cut-the-bullshit-of-I'm-fine tone even though he and Volkner both know he is blatantly not fine.

"Nothing." He feels the pressure on his shoulder leaven, and gulps, eyes widening again. His thoughts are confirmed as Volkner turns onto his stomach and leans on Flint's chest, levelling a do-you-think-I'm-stupid glare.

"Bertha called me. Said you left in a sulk, and it might have been to do with me. What is up?"

It occurs to Flint that what they're having barely constitutes as a conversation.

"Nothing, Volk', I'm fine, it's got nothing to do with you." he whines, turning his head away. He feels Volkner sigh lightly.

"Flint, the way you're saying it says more than what you're saying." Volkner even sounds pleased, and the Elite Four member makes an unconvinced noise. Maybe that's it; Volkner knows him too well and finds him boring and predictable. Certainly, the Gym Leader could easily come up with a sizable list of odd quirks that Flint himself wasn't aware of.

He turns back, ready to rebuke this, this exchange with a reminder of Volkner's duties (and, indeed, his own that he so freely shirks) and instead finds sky blue eyes even closer than before. Volkner looks away briefly, long enough to dip his head to meet their lips clumsily, before rising up again. He doesn't even look embarrassed, just slightly uncomfortable - but Flint somehow knows that a lot of courage went into that.

Courage he's not sure he's worthy of returning.

"I'm not a girl."
Volkner laughs.
"I'm aware. You're not acting like a man though." Flint averts his grey eyes, squinting slightly as they pass the sun.

"Doesn't it bother you?"
"Why, should it?" Volkner breezily questions right back, remaining close to him, still leaning on his chest. Flint sighs anyway.

"I dunno, I just... I'm not... Not good for you, I guess..." He trails into a whisper, yet with the proximity, Volkner can hear him perfectly anyway. The Gym Leader smirks, visible even from the corner of Flint's vision.

"So that's the problem. I guessed. I already know you well, aren't we perfect?" Flint's heart shifts at the notion Volkner appears to be implying. "Why not?"

Flint almost laughs. Why not. Volkner seems to find his insurmountable problems so easy to solve, or at least knows how to put him to rights again. In fact, Flint is sure he himself wasn't aware of the root of the problem.

Maybe Volkner knows him too well.

But maybe that isn't a bad thing.


This is the product of writing late at night, sparked by the line used as the summary. You can decide why Flint's in a bad mood – maybe he got beaten by an arrogant trainer, or maybe Cynthia told him to man up and admit he liked Volkner. Sort of inspired by a comment on bulbapedia which essentially said 'if one is down, the other is up'. In that way, they seem to complement each other quite nicely, and yeah. I just like this pairing really.

Hope you enjoyed it!