Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon or Every Little Thing You Do by Westlife.
Every little thing you do make me fall in love with you.
For it to be silent on the night after a Grand Festival, it was strange. After Grand Festivals, there would usually be a party, which would go on for who-knows-how-long. In some regions apparently, there was no after-party. Instead, some regions held a Ball the night following the Grand Festival. It was strangely quiet for Coordinators who were used to the Contest scenes in regions like Hoenn and Johto, almost to the point of eerily silent.
May Maple sat on a bench at a park nearby the Pokemon Centre. The sapphire-eyed girl was clad in only a night gown, for it was rather warm that evening. She sat sideways, with one shoulder leaning on the backrest of the park bench, and her back against the bench's armrest. Her knees were brought up close to her chest, and her hands wrapped behind her thighs. A soft breeze passed by, moving May's brown hair along. It was late and all the stars had been out for already a few hours.
May didn't mind the silence. Not at all. In fact, she savoured the silence. In such a fast-paced world, it was rare that she was left alone in silence to her own thoughts.
"I won again, May. Youngest Back-to-Back Grand Festival Champion. And I must say, I like it." There goes the silence.
There it was again. That arrogant voice that belonged to the one and only Drew Hayden, youngest two-time Ribbon Cup holder, Heartthrob from Hoenn, La Rousse's Finest, Prince of Coordinating, and number three of the Twenty-five Under Twenty-five list, just after Ash Ketchum and Gary Oak.
Whenever Drew came into the picture, regardless of whether May saw him in person, or the mere mention of his name, or she saw one of his Pokemon's species lingering about, that was probably the first word that came into May's mind. Arrogant.
While so many other people would have thought around the lines of 'amazing,' 'sexy,' 'alluring,' or other synonyms, 'arrogant' was the word May would use.
'Oh, you know Drew Hayden? The arrogant jerk? Yeah I know him.'
'I don't get why you're still not dating Drew. You've known each other for practically half your life.'
'I met him at ten. I've known him for eight years. That's not half my life. And besides, why would I want to date that arrogant guy?'
'Face it, May. I'm better than you.'
'Why do you have to be so arrogant?'
See? Arrogant. Arrogant. Arrogant. It popped up so often, one would think she'd grown tired of the word.
A hand, unmistakably Drew's slightly calloused hand, went around May's neck, although not in a malicious manner, and gently tilted her head to look up and into his eyes. From where he stood behind May, she could see that he was just in a white singlet and footy shorts. It was obvious that he, like her, tried and failed to fall asleep.
"What do you think of that, Princess?" Drew continued, using her Princess of Hoenn title in a mocking nickname.
May rolled her eyes elegantly. "I think I'm going to steal that title away from your arrogant, overconfident a–"
"I never thought you'd be one to curse, May."
"… butt." Drew smirked at May's pout as he strutted over and tapped on May's exposed shins, causing the brunette to shift her legs to give Drew some space to sit down. To May, the guy was too close for comfort, and she was suddenly made aware of how little clothing each of the two young adults had on. "Annoying, overconfident, green person," May muttered before pouting at her rival-slash-friend.
That was another word she closely associated with him. Overconfident. From the way he walks – no, struts – to the way he talks, stands, smirks and flicks that mop of green he calls hair, overconfidence was written all over him. He was the epitome of arrogance and overconfidence. Ash had told May before of his friend called Gary, who was, when the male pair were kids, worse than Drew. May, however, didn't believe anyone could be.
May blinked twice at Drew's figure. His chest moved up and down according to his breathing. His hair, like hers, moved with the wind. As if he felt her eyes boring into him, Drew turned his head slightly in the most adorable way to stare back at May.
She was lost in thought. Arrogance and overconfidence. Those were the two standout words when asked to describe Drew. Although she hated the fact that he was as the words described him to be, May couldn't imagine a humble and timid Drew. It was part of his personality, which, quite frankly, she had gotten used to over the past eight years.
It sometimes made her wonder whether those two words were tied. Drew could be overconfident because he was arrogant. Maybe arrogant because he was overconfident. Either one of the two. After minutes of mental debate, she came to a conclusion. Drew was, according to May, overconfident because he was arrogant.
His arrogance gave him confidence.
After watching all those appeals Drew made and battles they shared, as well as information given by others, it wasn't hard to see that his arrogance gave him confidence. May knew oh so well that Drew made himself sound and appear superior to others, especially her. It was only in recent years that she realised he did that to make himself feel superior.
May thought back to the time Soledad described Drew's first contest. He cried. He was the newbie at that time. He was, to put if quite bluntly, a loser. The inferior one.
And now, he felt superior compared to other coordinators. It gave him confidence to know that he can and he will win against these people.
It made sense, really. His arrogance was a psychological thing. He practically needed to be arrogant. It would be like May's bandanna giving her a sense of security. The girl looked down at that thought and saw her old and almost faded red bandanna tied on her wrist. She allowed a fond smile.
"Earth to May."
May was pulled out of her train of thoughts and saw Drew waving his hand in front of her face. She blinked a few times, but gave no response to announce that she was back on Earth. Drew moved his hand and gently flicked May's forehead.
Arrogant and overconfident. Drew wasn't just those words. May was well aware of the fact that Drew was a nice guy.
"You might want to stop thinking too much. Your mind will just spontaneously combust, and I don't want to be the one cleaning all your brain juices – if you have any."
That, as May found out a few years ago, was Drew's way of saying 'tell me what you're thinking of.' It was indirect and insulting, but at the same time, concerned. It was confusing. Like him.
Drew was vague. He was indirect. Ask him a question, he'd answer with another question, which the interrogator wouldn't have any other question to retort with. Either that or he'd answer with a… blurry type of answer. Maybe just a 'yes' or 'no' if one was silly enough to ask a 'yes or no' question and expected a whole explanation.
'Do you think you'll win the next contest?'
'Where do you live?'
'Why would you know where I want to live?'
'The fans are interested.'
'Sorry, but I don't give personal information to people I don't know personally.'
'If you were a Pokemon, who would you be?'
Interviews and random questions would go like that. His answers were blunt but vague at the same time. Sure, the interviewer gets a straight answer but no explanation as to why that was the given answer.
Insulting. May's ten-year-old self would describe Drew as such, but almost a decade later, it wasn't really a word May would use to talk about Drew. Sure he insulted her from time to time, and sure she got insulted and blew up at him, but she knew those were just playful. Actually, though she wouldn't admit it out loud, she was thankful for all his insults. Unlike him, she didn't need arrogance for her to do well. She needed criticism, and that was what Drew gave her.
'If you used Water Gun instead of Rapid Spin, then you could have won against her. But you didn't think of that quick enough did you, July?'
'That is the worst dress I have ever seen. Do you seriously expect the judges to think you look appealing in that?'
And contrary to what everyone else thought, Drew could actually be concerned about something when he wanted to be. He'd see something in need of help, and feel concern for it. And if he could do something to help, he'd help. He wasn't a snob like many peg him out to be. He was, as much as he'd disagree, caring.
May held a chuckle in as she thought of Drew as being caring. But he was. He cared for her as much as any of her friends cared for her. Maybe he cared even more. For some reason, he was always there to keep her from falling flat on her face. He was there to make sure she didn't cry. He was there fixing her, patching her back up.
Drew frowned. "What's wrong?" There. Care. Concern.
"Nothing's wrong," May replied in a whisper. Drew didn't look so convinced, but let the topic go.
"So why are you out here?" Drew threw an arm over the bench's backrest, his fingers brushing against May's shoulder. It sent shivers down her spine.
May shrugged deliberately, making the two surfaces of skin meet. "I couldn't sleep," was May's reply. "It was boring in my room, so I thought I'd take a walk." She met Drew's eyes. "You?"
"Couldn't sleep either, but that's obvious, or else I wouldn't be here." May rolled her eyes at the 'duh' tone Drew used. "I came out here for the scent of flowers, but found you in a vulnerable state sitting all alone. You should at least have Blaziken out here with you if ever you decide to take walks at night wearing just that." He gave her a once over with a wolfish grin plastered on his face.
"You're really not one to talk with what you're wearing," May retorted while giving him a light kick. The male chuckled, but said nothing. "The scent of flowers?" she asked in full curiosity.
Drew nodded in response. "It calms me down," he muttered, answering May's unasked question.
"Why would you need to calm down?" It intrigued her that Drew needed to calm down. That meant he was lost control of something. Drew Hayden does not lose control of anything.
"Why bother asking? You know that I'd most likely not tell you anyway."
That was true. He was like a lot of other guys. He kept his problems and thoughts to himself. It was a wonder he still hadn't exploded with so many things going on in his mind. Then again, May knew that although he didn't like talking, Drew had his own way of venting. Of escapism.
Pokemon training. That's what it was. That's why the appeals and attacks of all his Pokemon were perfect. If he needed to cool his head off, Drew went for training.
"Did you know that curiosity killed the Skitty?"
He was evasive. Not just indirect and vague. He was highly evasive, which didn't help in interrogations like this.
"So you flat out won't tell me?"
"May, you'd think you'd know me by now. I'm a listener, not a talker."
May pouted. "If I told you what I was thinking about, will you tell me why you needed calming down?"
Drew deliberated. "Why are you so curious?"
"Because the fact that you lost control and needed calming down is intriguing." Drew had to smile at that.
Drew rolled his eyes in a slow and deliberate manner. He knew she wouldn't back down. "Fine. You tell, I'll tell."
May grinned and the grimaced when she realised that Drew would get cocky on her if he found out she was thinking of him. Drew nudged May on the leg, signaling her to start talking. "I was making a list of words to describe you." Drew perked an eyebrow.
"Let's hear it then," he said, gesturing for her to speak.
"You're arrogant," May said bluntly, causing Drew to scoff. She continued on as if he didn't interrupt. "Arrogant, overconfident, vague, indirect, insulting, evasive, you're a feeling bottler-upper – "
"The last one isn't a legitimate word," Drew pointed out with an amused smirk playing on his face. "Is that really what you think of me? Why so negative?"
May grinned. "It means you bottle up your feelings. I'm waiting for the day you explode because they're all bottled up, actually." She gave him a small kick again on the thigh before resting both her legs on his. "There's more on the list. Do you want to hear them?"
"Do you want me to hear them?"
Of course, May expected that. "You're caring. And considerate. You're there when I need someone to talk to. You're mature enough to know what to say when I feel down." She ended with an almost whisper.
Drew smiled and played with strands of May's hair with the arms still draped over the backrest. "How come I didn't hear the words 'hot' or 'sexy' in that? I know you think of me like that."
The brunette rolled her eyes but didn't say anything to deny his statement. "And you think you're so suave that girls practically get swept off their feet when they see you?"
May rolled her eyes and blushed. She made sure not to meet his eyes straight-on. "I wouldn't be a girl if I said I didn't have a crush on you before."
"Before?" Drew prodded with a teasing smirk. "What about now?"
Giving Drew a glare, May said, "So, that's enough of you embarrassing me tonight. I've told. Your turn."
Drew shrugged carelessly and played with the spaghetti strap of May's attire. The brunette swallowed nervously. "This girl's been getting in my head so much, and I can't think right with her in it. It's getting crazy."
"Is that so?" Drew nodded to May's question.
Drew's hand travelled down May's arm until it reached her hand. "I wanted to tell her off for distracting me, but I didn't know how to before. Now I do though. Apparently she falls for my suave ways." Unexpectedly, Drew grabbed May's hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles. "May, get out of my mind."
Their hands dropped down on May's legs. She examined her hand, keeping her now flushed face down. She looked up suddenly, her eyes bright. "In addition to what was already on the list, I found something else out today."
"And what is that?"
May knelt up and leaned in close to Drew, before poking one of his dimples. Drew had those dimples that showed even with the slightest movements in his face. "You're such a hopeless romantic," she whispered in his ear before jumping off the bench and walking back to her room at the Pokemon Center.
"May," Drew called out. The said female turned back to look at Drew. "You're my date for the Grand Festival Ball tomorrow." He said it as a statement.
"What makes you so sure I'll go with you? You haven't even asked me properly." She pouted then grinned slyly. "I already have a date, you know?"
"If you did, I know you'd leave him for me," Drew said smugly, knowing that May did not have a date yet, but it was still fun to play around.
"What makes you so sure of that?"
"I have some suave tricks up my sleeve," Drew said again with teasing eyes.
"Shut up and go to bed, Drew." With that and a red face, May continued her trek back to her room.
"I'm picking you up at 7 o'clock, sharp," Drew called. "Wear something worth my suave."
That was Drew Hayden. The one person who can be so confident and nervous at the same time. The one who can insult but applaud at the same time. The one who can simultaneously be caring yet inconsiderate. And altogether the most confusing yet perfect person to walk on the planet.