A/N: howdy this is my second attempt doing this chapter ugh and for that internal frustration i deliver angst 'cause someone wanted background and what better place /pitiful laughing
Extra note: remember when I put Green's competitive, I'm-never-a-loser-ever attitude? I made room to incorporate the adventurer in Red ye
Special thanks: to Silueby Harmakido. no REALLY THANKS OMG like yall dont understand how much ive been texting her over stupid stuff like im easily amused and need to send it to someone (my others friends are in my city its no fun to send them stuff theyre already aware of sighs well except that n and colress thing i try not to let my friends see that side ahaha) and even with all my nonsense and texts spam she still got this chapter checked thanks you wicked witch of the west now heres something she left behind yay

A note from Silueby Harmakido: Thank you very much to the patient anonymous reviewer who reviewed on August 6th and motivated me to finish checking over this chapter, which the author sent to me more than two weeks ago;; (my only excuse is that I was playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf and cared more about getting a perfect rating for my town than editing this chapter) With Bell's permission, this chapter is dedicated to you and the other readers who have been kind enough to wait without complaining!

Disclaimer: I have no ownership of Pokemon, its characters, and so on and so forth. I have no ownership of Minecraft, Skype, or Xbox (but at this point, why would anyone really want connections now? battle cry go Sony).

At a bright, youthful age of six, Red discovered a fascination with sorting through all the picture books his parents bought him, focusing on the albums that painted vivid images, everything from running waterfalls to the rugged terrain of an imposing mountain trail that would, upon flipping to the next page, illustrate the snow-capped mountain peak in all its water-colored glory.

He would lie on his bed, one arm tucked beneath his pillow, his free hand turning past pages. Every so often, he would stop flipping past the pages, his gaze fixating on several pictures that captured his attention, be it inviting limestone caves that encouraged him to ask his parents if they could book a trip to Carlsbad Caverns, or the animal biographies that were set aside as their own category in his reference books.

Under his bed rested a battered cardboard box, the word 'Dreams' written with a gel pen on one of the side flaps, that possessed an assortment of treasures: an encased volcanic stone called obsidian, a small hourglass filled with sand from the Sahara Desert, unrefined precious gems like rubies and emeralds, several snow globes, foreign currency, a thin film of copper from a copper mine, and a vile of water from a freshwater spring. He could have easily collected more than he could have ever imagined, but his mother frequently refused his outright pleads, and when she assumed he had left for his room, he would overhear his mother as she scolded his father for potentially endangering their son's well-being with "stupid, dangerous ideas!"

His father would return to his bedroom by his bed time, a book tucked under his armpit, and close the door behind him with the heel of his slipper. He would then draw the seat from the corner of his son's room, clear his voice as he sat beside him, and assume a laudably gruff tone to narrate the storybook.

If it were a picture book, rather than an elementary school novel, he would sneak a book light with him to flash the bright beam on the pictures. A fond smile would grace his lips when Red excitedly reached out for the book, as if the small hands could delve inside the story to have an adventure of his very own.

His father would gently swat his hands away, "Now, now, champ, you have to wait for the adventure to come to you," and this was something he said every night during story time when he felt overly eager. Sometimes, it was difficult for Red to close his eyes and count sheep to fall asleep when his imagination had already taken off at a run, thinking that one day he too would venture into a big, open field with no direction in mind.

He favored his father's stories over the books: his father was quite the character who, even in the darkness, would act out most of his quest. By the end of his narration, Red would be tucked into his bed, then he would hug his son lovingly and tightly, though he always awkwardly shuffled out of the room, as if he wanted to say something but quit on the idea.

But one night, his father ended their story time ten minutes shorter than usual, heaving a heavy sigh as he straightened himself in the tiny seat, absently drumming his fingers against the book in his hand. He vocalized his concerns on the matter, fully aware of his wife being adamantly against the very notion of it, but he proposed an idea to Red that never left his mind for months: his father was drained, drained of being chained to the house, but willing to commit to his fated responsibilities as a parent.

He delved into a heavy-toned matter that Red never understood, terms he was never aware of, like "child support" and "shared custody." Yet Red only blinked, quietly listening to his father banter, until he returned to the main focus.

He told Red there was no better knowledge gained than going to the source itself. Red could read about different cultures all his life, but the experience was more enriching when actually going to the country, the place itself. If Red felt, despite his young age, that he wanted to pursue a life of adventure wholeheartedly, "Then do you want to come with me, champ?"

Red nodded his head enthusiastically.

He grinned. "Alright, I won't go anywhere 'till you're right by my side!"

Red paused and asked what will become of his mother. His father had no response to give, only, "We'll…figure it out."

The only reassuring aspect of that conversation was the bear-hug his father offered him.

Several months later, his mother introduced the idea of school to him, a little building that would trap him for hours to learn about math, reading, and writing while taking tests on these subjects. He absolutely refused because he wanted to be like his father: he was going to see the world, and his father already intended on doing so. Red would just be accompanying him, at his father's request.

Red knew his mother and father loved each other dearly, he could feel a heated tension between them every now and then too, but his mother had disregarded the presence of her son to lash out at her husband with all her might. Her voice gradually became hoarse from screaming, and on the other side, there were some shouts of protest from her husband as well. Red quivered, unsure of how exactly he could have set off such an argument, but his attention was jostled as his mother shrilly ordered for him to return to his room: he was going to be a student, he was going to have a career, and he was going nowhere that could kill him. She paused to regain her composure, warm tears leaking out her eyes from frustration, and meekly asked her husband

to leave.

She was tired,

she had enough,

he couldn't do this to Red any longer, she said.

When she raised her voice again, his father's shoulders slumped and he mouthed an apology in Red's direction. It was only a matter of hours when Red was sitting in the living room, seeing his father reemerge from his room with two suitcases and a duffel bag strapped over his shoulder. In a frenzied panic, Red asked where his father was going, why did he look like he was leaving, wasn't he going to take him too? Weren't they going to adventure into the world together—

His father was out the door without a second glance, without another word spared, without one last hug.

—didn't he want his son?

His mother visited him in his room that night. Her presence left a lot to be desired, yet she kissed his forehead goodnight. She didn't bring the chair over to read him a story, nor did she any other night. She became busier, her appearance grew fatigued within the coming months, and the experiences she endured because of the children's startled looks at her precious, sensitive son left her paranoid at every turn.

Eventually, she made him wear non-prescription colored contacts during school so he could have a social life without being scrutinized. The day he removed his contacts during class time due to a mild, persisting irritation, he jumped when a girl in his group circle pointed a finger accusingly and, as he said to his mother, called him "mean words."

She was breaking, and he never noticed until he grew older. It was a challenge just to progress from her standstill and allow Red the opportunity to cease his homeschooling and return to school near the end of the eighth grade.

He was going to be a good boy for his mother, who deserved it. Just like she took the first step forward, Red searched under his bed one day, a deathly glare on the box, its artifacts collecting a thick layer of dust, the ink of 'Dreams' smudged.

It was tossed away, just like every single letter that stopped coming after his tenth birthday.

Red groaned, lifting his head from the uncomfortably stiff bench, blinking a few times to regain his focus on Silver, the blurred image hovering over him with a disinterested expression. The redhead huffed, mentioning something along the lines of Red possibly getting himself into trouble for sleeping inside the locker room, but Red was too dazed and drowsy to give his friend his full attention. Half of his face felt numb, and he didn't doubt it looked pink from sleeping on one side for too long, but he heaved himself forward, distractingly scratching the back of head, accompanied by a silent, prolonged yawn.

Silver shook his head in disapproval, reminding Red there was only an hour before their shifts would end. Red nodded, sluggishly following Silver as he resumed his duties at the register, while Silver busily occupied himself cleaning the tables, evidently avoiding human contact as much as possible. While preparing a customer's order, Red busied himself with his thoughts.

For the past week, it has been slow, he admitted to himself. Silver was serving his suspension without much dispute, and he paid little to no attention to his phone, which buzzed frequently during their shift with incoming messages—from Gold, Red assumed—although the redhead has been nothing but silent. He shared nothing with his coworker on the matter, but it's not like there was tension between himself and Silver. The first work day after the incident at school, Silver mumbled an apology, at which Red quirked his head in a bemused manner before dismissing the ordeal completely.

He still sported a bruise on his cheek, but life goes on.

He may have received curious stares, fixed gazes, but even he stopped concerning himself over such looks long before this incident. This eye color was his, this personality was his, and now this bruise was his.

Life goes on.

Clocking out no less than one minute after nine, he bid farewell to Silver, stuffed his hands into the pocket of his hoodie, and trekked down the snowy trail, heading on his way home. Inside his mailbox should have his weekly letter from his father—no personal correspondence, just a check that he dedicates weekly, one for Red's casual spending, along with the usual money his mother collects from him for child support—and as predicted, when he flips down the metal flap, his allowance is inside, with more than he actually needs. He calculates how to spend the excess and decides to invest it solely in Pikachu, since he should buy some new winter clothing, with Ruby's help of course.

He frowned, kicking aside snow along his path, and spent a few minutes thinking about his best friend. For the past few days, Pikachu had looked ill, and Red was unsure of the cause of his rodent's sudden sickness. A veterinarian was nowhere near his neighborhood—give or take, it was a two and a half hour trip to the nearest pet clinic that accepts exotic pets—and his school work and actual work consumed too much of his time, including his upcoming involvement on basketball practice, so he couldn't make the drive without calling in sick to either. His mother could not run this errand while she was on vacation, so Red reasoned he should wait a few more days before risking taking time off to care for Pikachu. Sure, he might end up with an absence violation,

but Pikachu—

he wasn't a pet, an animal Red took care of so he wouldn't feel lonely. Pikachu was his best friend. Pikachu was the last present his father gave to him, and it's the only present he wants to keep, the only one that matters now.

A week later, on a Wednesday morning when snow swirled in the air so slowly it felt like fog, Red rummaged through the cabinets in his kitchen, displeased that his last chocolate bar was nowhere in sight—he faintly remembered eating half of it earlier, but he was unsure whether he returned it to its proper place or if it was now collecting dust beneath the coffee table.

Exhaling through his nose, Red prepared Pikachu's brunch in a small food bowl to leave inside his friend's cage—Pikachu rarely stays inside of it, but lately Pikachu's disposition was absolutely lethargic, its beady black eyes that usually glisten with energy have been half-lidded, and he's struggling against himself to stay awake instead of continuously napping the hours away—and bit his lower lip as he trailed up the stairs, the floorboards creaking beneath him.

He was terrified to peek in on his friend's cage, yet he steadied himself when he entered his room, as ready as he would ever be to face reality with all of its unfavorable might, he supposed. He carefully pushed the bowl of food through the bars, then stepped back a little, giving himself enough space to crouch to the cage's level and peek inside Pikachu's little den.

Immediately his eyes widened in distress, and he shook his head in complete denial, almost stumbling backward on his rear in his panic. He haphazardly threw his belongings off his bed: his pillows, sheets, and headphones fell with a heavy thump, landing all at once on the floor, and once they were gone, Red reared his attention to the cell phone resting atop the bare mattress.

Unlocking his phone—it took longer than it normally would have because of how much his hands shook—the pad of Red's finger hurriedly scrolled through his contacts to find Blue. He paid little mind to how many times he pressed the dial button; he cleared his throat and pressed his phone to his ear, a mantra running through his head.

'Please answer your phone, Blue.'

"Guys, just leave already," Green groaned, his palms pressing against his front door to slam it shut. His efforts to have peace and quiet in the house were failing, and his arms still shook from this morning's physical exertion, from the force he had to use against his sister. Daisy's maternal instincts were on the verge of a breakthrough, calling forth a once-repressed gorilla strength to push the door back just enough so she could poke her head through the open gap.

In the back of his mind, he acknowledged how dangerous it would be if he actually closed the door on her head—and here, he acknowledged he had also reached new levels of family morbidity. He leveled the playing field for the most mentally disturbed Oak by a staggering five percent,through his calculations; cursed with hearing all of their dark thoughts, he figured was the most qualified to come up with such a figure, not that his family would ever learn of his opinion on their collective sanity, or lack thereof—as she continued to utter words of caution: call her immediately if the situation calls for it, never open the door for strangers, keep the blinds closed, a new pair of tighty-whiteys was waiting for him in the living room—"Oh my fuck, Daisy," he cried in exasperation. His grandfather, watching as a bystander as his grandchildren had their moment, merely tutted sagely, "Language!" as a stern reminder to his grandson—and last but not least, a reminder to keep the toilet seat down.

With all this said and promised to be done, or not done, Daisy convinced her younger sibling to say the magic words before she finally left him at home alone, and with much reluctance, Green stopped pressing forcefully against the door.

His hands rejoined his side and slipped into the pockets of his pajama pants—even though he was forced to stay within the confines of his home for his suspension, Daisy did not allow him to freely roam the household without wearing actual pants and a failed to understand why he should have to look like a civilized human being if he would not be spending time with them—and his voice, hushed to an audible whisper and laced with a grumpy, defeated resignation, groaned out a "Love you."

Whoa, it sounds so foreign coming from me, like, when was the last time I said it? Throwbacks, he thought.

His sister eagerly responded with mutual sentiments, then she honored her promise, leaving through the door while quipping at her grandfather to hurry to the car. Green shrugged his shoulders and turned his back to her retreating figure, kicking the door with the heel of his foot, perking a modest grin as he trekked quickly down the halls to reach his room.

His booming footsteps drew the attention of his pet, who followed behind him with its four thin, stubby legs. Eevee pranced in its stride, yipping occasionally, diving head first to bite at the hem of his pants when he wanted to stop him. Chipper as usual, he chuckled.

Although he should have been angrier, now that he had one of the worst marks on his student profile, he felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulder: his headaches would only be a minor issue, with only two people around who never gave him much of a headache even when they were there, and he could eat without waiting for an unreasonable amount hours! And as for sleep, he's going to gain it all back soon, as much as he wants! Forget waking up at the asscrack of the morning; this suspension is the best thing that's happened to him since high school started! No school life is the free life!

Just remove the occasional bouts of boredom, a lack of cell phone—god bless his grandfather. When it comes to grounding, only his phone was confiscated, and his video game privileges were still allowed!—and actual human contact with others of his age.

It wasn't all too painful when he really thought about it, and in his hype, he scooped his friend off the floor and cheered, "We're stuck with each other, Eves!" He made a quick grab for the bag of treats that rested atop the counter of a decorative table in the hallway. "And what better way to kick off this Wednesday with Daisy and Gramps leaving for the next town over? I think they're gonna be back late, who the fuck knows, and more importantly—"

He pushed the gap of his bedroom door, opening it all the way, and carefully launched Eevee onto his bed while he set aside the snacks and readied himself on his beanbag chair with an ungraceful plop.

"—who gives two shits right now? Not me, that's for damn sure, not until they get back. You and I, Eves, we've got to keep each other company for the next six days."

Lazily he leaned over to power on his Xbox, situating himself comfortably before launching Minecraft on his screen. Green kept his attention on Eevee and the game as the hours ebbed away, and at one point he directed his focus toward his windows and acknowledged the heavy snow falling outside, as per usual in February. Eevee obediently listened to his nonsensical rambling—Green swore he would freeze to death if he tried to take a step in this weather, which makes his suspension even better, since he does not have to trek through this blizzard going to and from school—and yipped excitedly when given a treat, prompting a "Whoa, Creeper danger. Get the fuck away from me!" from Green panicking to escape the green, blocky creature.

He continued playing for two hours, patiently waiting for the message to appear that would indicate when Gold entered the game. It was a snow day, and Green assumed that Gold's mother was still paranoid about allowing her precious baby to leave the house after what happened with Silver in school. And since it was a long-held tradition for them to dick around in Minecraft like nobody's business, he made sure the laptop beside him was secured to the nearest outlet and waited for time to pass, sending via Skype—knowing Gold, he forgot to renew his Live account—an invitation to his friend to start a video chat.

At the exact moment when Green felt bored enough to call it quits and take a well-deserved nap after playing Minecraft all day, Gold accepted his invitation. The two did not speak for some time before creating a portal to the Nether, avoiding incoming projectiles coming their way. Aloud, Green made a comment about his player running short on food, and Gold's character stared at him for a few seconds—and he was given a cooked pork chop. Gold was giving him a pork chop rather than letting him die in the Nether, and if that wasn't an invitation to break the ice, then he had no clue what was.

"Uh, thanks."

"No problem."

Another rolling silence seemed ready to fall into place between them, signaling Green to take his cue. "Sorry."

"Quit being a little bitchass motherfucker," the junior chuckled wholeheartedly, flashing a wicked grin at his webcam, and that was their first moment today of looking at directly at one another via video chat. They both exited the Nether, enthralled by their own antics, whether they were killing or being killed, being chased by wolves or being health-assaulted by spiders and nasty skeletons coming at them left and right. Their truce began at one point in their game when they decided to venture in the fields for the second time, and Gold took a hilarious plummet to his death when he thought he spotted a gold ore in the distance only to dig up a spot of lava by mistake and tumble to the deep pit beside his character. Oh man, once they enter safer grounds, they would mine every inch of the place and fight each other to the death over who got more gold, it's going to be gre—

The chime of his doorbell rang consecutively, almost frantically if Green could word it as such, and he hiked an eyebrow at the time indicated in the corner of his laptop screen. Sure enough, the clock was smoothly running; it was nearing two in the afternoon, and he didn't expect his relatives for another few hours minimum, nor did they call the house number to assure him they were returning early. Green was living out his important self-motto of ignoring the persistent ringing: just because I'm home does not mean I'll go out of my way to answer the damn door. Nobody is going to stand between him and fixing the rough patches reestablishing his broship to its fullest extent—

"Ayo, answer the door already, it's becoming mad annoying hearing your doorbell. I'll make sure you won't die, a'ight?"

Figuring he wasn't lying, Green proceeded to flip Gold's Skype face the middle finger before calling on Eevee to follow him. Although he was still a great distance from the front door, he yelled across the hall, "I'm not interested in whatever you're selling! My grandpa doesn't want your electric company's service either! And we love our Internet and cable just fine!"

The ringing continued, and it left Green stumped, since it's usually one of the three badgering his family with door-to-door salesmanship. Okay, what the fuck, no need to bang on the door, he thought moodily. The brunet took his sweet time fumbling with the locks, unhinging the chain lock from its socket, and even shooting a shrug in response to Eevee's curious head quirking over the stranger on the other side of the door.

Admittedly he had to blink several times to ensure his eyes weren't screwing his head over, because there's no way in heaven or hell Red would be right there, in the flesh, wheezing as if he ran here like his life depended on it. Scratch that, he would never willingly be anywhere near Green under any circumstance, even now when he was serving a two week-long suspension because silent-boy-wonder flaked out on him when Yellow was running her trap – everything could have been a lot easier if she chose not to intervene, he would have never gotten angry and spoken out of line and wouldn't have a ten day school suspension – so what in god's name does Red want from him before he gets angry all over again

and at Green's house, there's no school administration, or friend, or anyone else to back Red up.

No, he'll choose to be a collected, responsible individual to avoid further conflicts that his sister or grandfather will surely find out about. Green Oak was not going to get into deeper shit than need be already; his record was the only valuable aspect he had left in his humdrum school life.

Exhaling sharply, Green cleared away any malicious-sounding undertones to threaten Red with a sweetener-sounding warning: "I'm going to give you approximately three minutes to get away from me before I sic the authorities on your ass for trespassing on private property." Nailed it.

Once again, he was met with difficulties in warding off people from walking into his house. When he tried to close the door, rather than someone challenging him to a battle of worthlessly-spent strength, Red wedged his snow-covered converse in the gap between the door and its frame, preventing a clean close once again.

"What do you think you're doing?" Green growled, giving the door another push to see if Red would relent and leave like he was supposed to because no way will Red be sticking around so it's about time he left already. His last resort would be to pry Red off his door with force if he had to, which is becoming the likelier option and is about to happen.

'Just give me a few seconds to explain,' Red pleaded, his throat dry and tight as he attempted to formulate a proper sentence, yet he managed to gather his remaining strength to make Green stumble backward, leaving the entrance to his house wide open for Red and the rest of the world. Green caught himself, flailing his arms to recover his posture, yet the sudden impact forced him to land unceremoniously on his rear. Eevee yipped softly, evidently concerned as he joined his owner's side, reassuringly licking Green's finger to appease his boiling anger, which was quickly expressing itself on the teen's features.

'Oh no, oh no, oh no. I just pissed him off, this isn't going to help his case, he's not going to get help at all. What do you want me to say, do you want me to apologize, do you want to me to go on my knees and beg—'

"Get out," Green hissed, his eyebrows knitting together. He was getting a headache, he was angry, Red was just as much as of a mental panic case as Gold.

'I just want help, I just want to help my best friend—'

"Did I stutter? Get out! What part of 'get out—'" he hissed venomously, exhaling a sharp huff as he hoisted himself back up to regain the little dignity he had left before he came close to lashing out at Red with all he had. He was not going to be held accountable for injuries inflicted on someone else when that someone refused to vacate the goddamn premises, even when asked, and remains an obtuse, quiet dickrod regardless. "—don't you understand?! I'm not here to hassle you, I wasn't even looking for a fight, and if you think for even a second I'm about to help," he paused thoughtfully to give a glance-over of Red's raggedy disposition, a look of anguish riddling his normally stoic face, "you of all people, then holy shit do you got another thing comin'."

Yet everything he mentioned went through one ear out the other, because Red willingly went along with his tangent, his own concerns, completely ignoring any negative remarks from Green. "Punch me," Red croaked, and upon receiving silence he said it again, although more forcefully to match the tone of an order. "Punch me! I…I deserve it, right? Do it, go ahead." 'Beat me senseless if that satisfies you, as long as you help him! Laugh, make fun of me, I don't care.'

Put off by the demand, Green shook his head. "Or, better yet, get out of my face. I'm not…I'm not punching you, but believe me, it's really tempting. I'm not helping you with anything, if that's why you're here—oh, fuck me sideways, no."

Red blinked suddenly, looked up at the sky, before taking a deep breath and squishing his fingers into his eyes. His entire body was quaking, and although it could be mistaken as a tremendous shiver, Green knew it was almost impossible for the senior to feel any form of cold, as far as he knew. How does he deal with this situation rationally and less—as Daisy would put it—douchebaggy?

There was no in-between when he talked with Red, since it was either tolerating him when he came across as distant and self-reliant or very mellow, if not just as difficult to share a conversation. Upset was probably within the range of the spectrum, but not distraught to the point of spilling the faintest sight of tears—

oh no, this isn't good at all.

Tears weren't his thing,

handling tears wasn't his thing.

The last time he dealt with a case of the waterworks was with Blue. At some point, the tizzy of her emotions spiked to its peak, and she became a teary mess of bleeding mascara and garbled gibberish that he couldn't decipher to save his life. The memory was clouded deep within the recesses of his mind, but he could recall every single moment where he played the whole thing off with one smooth line: "Uhh, c'mon now, Blue, you look gross when you cry, so smile, okay?"

She then proceeded to regard him with the most deadpan expression, which did eventually stop her excessive sobbing, but she pounced on him and dug her nails into his neck without a single qualm as he was beating the floor with his arm in a desperate attempt to convey can't breathe, oh my god, get off me, you demonic she-witch.

Green bashfully scratched the back of his neck, humming thoughtfully to formulate the right sentence this time and not mess anything up, even though he shouldn't have the slightest trace of concern because this wasn't. His. Business.

"Dude, chill, we're not even friends, so you can't expect me to know how to react to all of this. Ugh, fuck it, come inside, but take off your shoes and socks or whatever. It's enough that the snow you have on your clothes is going to melt and wet my sofa." Green Oak, smooth talker extraordinaire, to the rescue of yet another crying teenager.

Red lowered his gaze to the ground, drew his hood forward to tuck his fringes further from his eyes, and peeled off his soaked footwear near the entrance. Almost immediately, he stuffed his hands into the pocket of his hoodie, his fingers visibly poking around within the fabric, and in his head he cooed, 'You're going to be okay, buddy. You're going to feel great again.'

He stopped thumbing the object in his pocket while Green half-observed. It wasn't entirely too baffling to assume which critter was with Red at the moment, but he'd have to play dumb as usual, waiting for Red to fill in the blanks as they go along.

'I don't like this as much as you will, but you're going to be okay.'

Green frowned. "Rude."

Red awkwardly shuffled at the complaint, which seemed to snap him out of his daze, yet his obscured eyes did not help in determining the conflicting feelings that Green could have pinpointed. They both disregarded the retort as Green whistled for Eevee to remain noiseless and follow while he guided Red to the living room where they could discuss


whatever needs to be discussed so he can rejoin his session of Minecraft already.

Red trudged along, his eyes still staring at the floor, and followed the sound of Green's footsteps, turning with him through the hall. When Green settled on a sofa in his living room, Red sat down on the sofa across from Green, situating himself carefully so he wouldn't press his weight on the pocket.

Casually, Green hunched over, folding his hands together as he cleared his throat. "So, spill it. No cryptic bullshit either, man; I don't have time for that. I've got a game to get back to."

'Should I start with just asking for his grandfather's help, or…'

He rolled his eyes. "And just in case you're wondering, Gramps ain't here. He should be coming back here…probably in a couple of hours? Yeah, that sounds about right."

Red squirmed in his seat, as if hesitating to pursue help from the Oak residents for his dilemma, but he yielded soon enough, breathing a defeated sigh as he stuffed his hand in his pocket again. Cautiously, he retrieved his friend and sat him atop the coffee table shortly after removing him from the hoodie, hoping Green would examine him. And maybe, if he's lucky—

"So I finally get to meet him, look at that. A reunion for everyone. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, though: my Gramps isn't a miracle worker, y'hear? He's a researcher, a professor; he's not a veterinarian." Green leaned back in his seat, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Everybody seems to confuse his profession for some reason. From the way I see it, yeah, your friend here has something wrong with him, but he's also old. I think he's finally feeling his age weigh him down. It's about time you start thinking, hey, maybe it's about time to make arrang—"

In a swift, fluid motion that seemed all but a red blur to the brunet, Red leaned across the table, his hands shooting forward as they balled up the fabric of Green's cotton shirt in his fists. The damp fringes of his black hair split apart to reveal creases of sleep deprivation that marred Red's already sickly face, his red irises glossy from the thin film of moisture, his pink-tinted cheeks streaked with the dry, flaking remnants of his earlier breakdown at the door. 'I'm not giving up on my best friend; I would never give up on Pikachu. Don't tell me there's not a single thing you can do, for once, and only this once. I know you can save my Pikachu. Please, please, please, Pikachu is the only one I really have left.'

Red lessened the strength of his grip, realizing what he did with a mingled look of anxiety and horror. His mouth parted for a moment, waiting for words to come out, but they constricted his throat; he ducked his head, ashamed of being incapable of pleading for his friend's sake.

Green latched onto the other's wrist, disregarding Red's startled flinch at the physical contact that he honestly wasn't expecting, despite the circumstances. "I said chill, Red, chill the fuck out and breathe, 'cause if you haven't noticed it by now, you're freaking me out. That was a bad move saying that, jesus, I'm sorry. I'm going to help and so will my grandpa. Pikachu is going to be fine – look! He's just resting for now!"

'Pikachu is going back to his usual self; he's not going to die—he won't leave me alone—he's going to be fine—'

Green gently pushed Red back onto the sofa and patted him reassuringly on the shoulder. "I'm not a heartless sack of dicks, ya got that? I'd flip out if Eves was sick too; heck, I always have when he got sick and gross. Look, if it makes you feel better, I promise, by the end of this whole fiasco, Pikachu is going to be back to normal."

Commence his dignity level hitting the negatives; he had to use the accursed p-word to ease the tension between them. God, it left such a weird taste in his mouth.

But he didn't regret it. Red seemed a lot more relaxed, much less of a nervous wreck than he was when he arrived at the door step, out of breath and out of options, with no one else to help him with his best friend.

'Pikachu is the only one I really have left.'

Green shook his head, clearing Red's earlier words from his mind; there were thoughts running through the other's head again, he should really focus on those. He could think about Red when they weren't sitting in the same room. Or not, he hastily corrected, since after this prat left, he could go back to mining for ore with Gold.

'You're going to be fine.' Red nodded at the Oak's vow, his focus redirected toward his sleeping friend. 'We've both…we've both been promised.'

A/N: for the love of everything holy if some of you can come off anon thatd be great because even with a sentence or two that you guys leave behind id like to reply to and stuff but i cant reply sighs but toodles guys im off

the image cover for this fic has been updated to a quote and danielle if you dont see it yet im going to very disappointed