One. The Kiss That Started It All.
May couldn't sleep.
Tomorrow was the day of the Ecruteak Contest and she had to win it. She was already slightly behind on ribbons at three, and there weren't too many contests left to compete in before the Johto Grand Festival. She'd recently returned from Sinnoh, where she had entered the Wallace Cup with the hope of obtaining the Aqua Ribbon and catching up, but her close friend Dawn had bested her in the final round.
She had spent the evening running possible strategies and combinations through her head, wanting desperately to perform to the best of her abilities in tomorrow's contest and earn herself that fourth ribbon. She had even already decided which Pokémon she was going to use: Blaziken for her appeal, Glaceon for her battles. May knew, however, she wouldn't be able to put on a good show tomorrow if she was tired.
Frustrated, May threw the sheets off of her and sat up, rubbing her eyes. It wasn't doing her any good to be sitting wide-awake in bed, so she thought she might as well head downstairs and warm herself by the fireplace in the Pokémon Center's lobby. Perhaps there would even be some milk in the cafeteria that she could heat up and drink. She'd heard warm milk was supposed to make you sleepy.
May ran her fingers through her hair before slipping out the door of her room and trotting down the stairs. Once on the first floor, she was surprised to see she wasn't alone in the lobby; someone else was hanging out near the fireplace. Upon closer examination, May realized this person was her long-time rival, Drew Hayden.
"Drew?" she inquired in surprise. She almost immediately regretted speaking up after a further moment's thought; she was still in her pajamas, her hair was an absolute mess, and she probably had horribly dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep. She was practically asking to be teased. The male coordinator turned his head to look at her.
"Well, hello, May," he said with a smirk.
"What are you doing down here?" May asked.
"I suppose I could ask you the same question."
May folded her arms and shifted her weight to her left hip before saying, "I asked first, so you answer first." Drew shrugged.
"What? Can't I enjoy the fire?" he replied with a grand gesture toward the flickering flames.
"Whoops, sorry, you've already used your question of the day. Try again later." May rolled her eyes, but nevertheless meandered to the front of the sofa and plopped down next to her rival.
"What about you?" he asked after she joined him.
"Hm?" she intoned.
"Why are you up?"
"Oh! Um... can't sleep," May replied, though there was slight hesitation in her voice. Drew smirked again and flicked his hair.
"Nervous about tomorrow's contest?"
"I would be if I were you, since you might end up facing me." May huffed.
"I presume that means you're entering, too?"
"Obviously. I'm looking to complete my collection of Johto ribbons," he replied haughtily. May's face fell; so that meant he was gunning for his fifth ribbon, which would gain him entry into the Grand Festival. Her fists clenched, feeling a sort of jealousy bubble under her skin. She hated how Drew always managed to be at least one step ahead of her.
"And how far behind are you?" Drew asked, feigning a cordial tone.
"I'm not that far behind," May retorted.
"Thus the appropriate question, how far behind are you?" May's lips tightened.
"After I win tomorrow's contest, I'll have four ribbons," she said curtly. Drew paused, straightening up slightly.
"Huh," he said after a long moment. May raised an eyebrow.
"What?" she asked.
"It's just, you're not as far behind as I thought you'd be," Drew began, folding his arms, "considering that you were desperate enough to travel all the way to Sinnoh to compete in the Wallace Cup. I was under the impression you only had two ribbons, or less." May shot him a rather peevish look.
"I- wait, how do you know I competed in the Wallace Cup?" she asked, tilting her head. Drew mentally stumbled, and it showed. May couldn't resist a smile; for once, the ball was actually in his court rather than hers.
"It's..." he began, racking his brain for the best excuse, "... It's a famous competition, of course. I watched it and you just happened to show up in the appeals round." That was a lie, and they both knew it. She wasn't exactly sure how he figured out that she had entered the contest, but she could tell from the way he reacted that he had purposely tuned in to watch her compete. Still, she had to give him some credit: that was a pretty smooth recovery. Even so, May was touched that he apparently cared enough to check out her performance. It meant that he still, to some degree, viewed her as a worthy rival whom he needed to keep tabs on.
"So..." she drawled. "How do you think I did?"
"Well, you lost."
"I meant aside from that." Drew's expression visibly softened in the dim lighting, which May knew meant his next statement was going to be sincere, rather than dipped in his usual sarcasm.
"You were pretty good," he said frankly. "Your appeal with Wartortle was spot-on. And I noticed that you evolved your Eevee into Glaceon. He was excellent in the final battle round, it's a shame you lost. I think you've raised him very well. Will you be using him in tomorrow's contest?"
"That's for me to know, and for you to find out," May replied, though she was having trouble concealing her elation. Drew had just paid her and her Pokémon very high compliments, which was a rarity in their relationship. Drew then looked at her and smiled—not smirked, but genuinely smiled, which was an even greater rarity. May's breath temporarily hitched in her throat.
"I look forward to it."
Silence fell, and all that could be heard was the crackle of the dying fire in front of them. May wasn't sure what came over her; maybe it was the ambient, intimate atmosphere the fireplace had created or the way his stunning green eyes were looking into hers, but five seconds of vulnerability and stupidity were all it took for her to make the dumbest (or perhaps the best) decision of her life. She dipped her head slightly beneath his chin before coming up and introducing her lips to his.
Hello there, Drew's lips. I'm May's lips. It's nice to meet you. Gosh, you taste delicious. I have a feeling you and I are going to get along just dandy. Wait. Oh-
May knew she'd made a terrible mistake the moment it happened. Reality, however, became fuzzy when he actually kissed her back. For a couple of brief seconds, she was able to enjoy the warmth that simmered at the bottom of her belly, as well as the comfortable, fleshy feel of his mouth against hers. Once those few seconds were up, however, life hit her with a cold slap in the face.
"Oh Arceus," she suddenly gasped, jerking away from him. She was blushing furiously, and even he seemed a little flustered. May stood up and backed away, accidentally bumping into the coffee table as she did.
"I-I'm so sorry, I..." she stammered, trying to find the right words, "I don't know ... why I..." She turned away from him rigidly, planning to head straight back up stairs and wallow in her humiliation alone in her room. Before she could, however, Drew stopped her.
"May, wait." The female coordinator stopped and mechanically turned to face him again, her eyes wide. He reached into his bag and pulled out a small medicinal bottle of some sort. He then slowly rose to his feet and approached her. May swallowed nervously, unsure of what he was doing. He grabbed her wrist and placed the bottle in the palm of her hand.
"Take this," he said, firmly closing her fingers around the cylindrical object. "It's Butterfree Sleep Powder. Sprinkle a little bit into a glass of water and you'll sleep just fine." May seemed to relax, even if just a little bit.
"Thank you," she said. Drew nodded, dropping her hand.
"Good luck in tomorrow's contest. You'll need it." Adjusting his bag over his left shoulder, he then headed up the stairs to his own bedroom. May lingered where he had left her for a bit longer, stuck in a sort of shock.
She shook her head. She wasn't sure any amount of Sleep Powder would help her find rest after tonight's events.
A/N: Expect the next chapter next Wednesday and (hopefully) weekly updates from then on! Reviews are, as always, greatly appreciated.