"So you're sleeping with Lance, I hear."

I visibly winced, holding the Pokegear a few inches away from my ear as if Gold had either said something incredibly loud that deafened me or something viably disgusting. My vulgar, cocksure best friend never raised his voice—so it was the latter. "You called to inquire about that?" I asked grimly. "Why is there not a 'Hello, Silver, how are you doing, my macho bro?' or 'I have gas because of the nachos I ate last night'?"

I heard Gold sniff. "I hate you because I actually do have gas. What, can you smell it through the Pokegear?"

"No, I'm just deducting from our earlier conversations. No, I am not sleeping with Lance. Why do you need to know?"

"I'm pretty sure you are." Gold sounded so damn sure of himself that it made me want to travel miles just to throttle him to death. "There's a rumor going around, you know. You and Lance haven't exactly been ignored in public. Lance used to be a loner, but now his fangirls have spied you with him and speculation is rising like an ugly zit that can't be popped. According to society, you're Lance's gay lover. And strangely enough, nobody is complaining about that." Pause. "Sans me."

I was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the special, golden-laden interior chamber that was reserved specifically for the Pokemon Champion to battle challengers. When Lance was away on business or out getting a pack of cigarettes and nine-dollar wine at the convenience store somewhere near Ekruteak, I enjoyed spending time in here—whether it was to train or just meander about, studying the intricacy of this room's architecture. It was quite easy to be dumbfounded by the engraved swirls of zephyrs and how consummately your face reflected back at you in the precious walls. It was like having a carbon copy of yourself, staring back across universes thousands of light years removed. If you so desired, you could reach out and touch that delicate duplicate, replacing the feeling of soft flesh beneath your fingertips with gelid gemstone—except Lance hated it when I did that, because then I smudged the shimmering metal.

I liked to do that sometimes. It humbled me; reminded me that maybe there is more than one Silver in this world.

Scoffing frigidly at Gold's words, I said, "And what, precisely, bothers you about this erroneous notion that I am copulating with the Pokemon Champion?"

"For starters, the fact that you used the term 'copulating' irks me,"Gold began.

"Instead of your mendacious, eloquent way of putting perverted things, why don't you just say, 'I'm having sex with Lance'?"

"See, I might say it like that. There is something wrong with that particular manner, though."

"What's that?"

"I'm not having sex with Lance," I said bluntly. Leaning forward moderately, I started to doodle in the dust with my pointer finger.

"Everyone else thinks you are. The male trainers are disgusted. They no longer want to get within ten feet of Lance," Gold stated. "Me included. I thought Lance was a fine, upstanding Pokemon Master and a skilled handler of dragons. Now I realize that he's feeling up my best friend at night in the pitch blackness of his bedroom."

I blushed. "That is absolutely not true," I lied. I couldn't tell a convincing fib even if my life depended on it (and it had a few times, but I managed to weasel my way out of those situations using other means). In reality, Lance was utterly entertained by playing with me, his sin embodied—pinching my sallow ivory skin, running his fingers through my greasy locks of auburn hair, and planting his lips on every viable square inch of my body.

And by every square inch, I—honestly—meant every square inch.

"… Dude. Stop. That's horrifying. I barfed in my mouth a little."

"What? Why?"

"Uh, you just totally confessed to me what Lance did to you in aforementioned pitch blackness of his aforementioned bedroom." If the wrinkling of one's nose was audible, I believe I would have heard Gold's at that moment. "Lance likes to pinch you? Are you serious? Are you a masochist? Or is he a sadist? Or are you two both?"

I coughed. "Er, I thought that was a mental monologue."

"Then your frontal lobe must not inhibit your speech very well. You have massive word diarrhea," Gold observed. "And based on that confessional puke, I'm going to guess that you are lying and that I was right all along and that indeed, I, Gold of New Bark Town, was correct. You are sleeping with Lance."

The elementary art that I was sketching absentmindedly in the ground—a stick-figure-centric dramatic saga that involved Lance, myself, and Gold being hung morbidly by a noose—disappeared as I rubbed my hand furiously over the dirt in pure aversion to my art abilities. I swear upon his ass that I will someday kill Gold. And I will never, ever regret doing it."I. Am. Not Sleeping. With Lance." I hissed through gritted teeth. "Get that through your thick skull now. We have not even reached third base yet, and I doubt we will in the near future."

Gold's silence skipped a beat. That made me a little uneasy. "… Yeah, I know. I'm just messing with you, man. I know… I know you haven't done anything serious," he sighed. Unfortunately, he sounded genuinely apologetic, making me instantly feel remorseful about wanting to murder him. "I get a kick out bugging you. I'm a jerk, bro. Forget about it."

Dammit. Why was it that every time I became cross with Gold, he always did something to atone for his stupidity? He was so good eliciting sympathy that I wasn't sure if he was truly as naïve as he put on. "Look, you're a dork, but I love you anyway," I promised. "I'm not mad at you. Annoyed and ready to resort to bloodshed, maybe. But not pissed. You should know that by now, I'm no stranger to your penchant for being an idiot."

"I figured as much." I could hear the smile in his voice. "And I'm used to you being an antisocial recluse that cold-shoulders everyone he meets."

"Touchè."

"Silver?" Gold made a small noise, as if he were hesitating. "Can I ask you a question?"

His reticence confused me. "Go ahead."

He took a deep breath. "Are… are you and Lance like… committed? In a relationship? Or is it… just fooling around?"

I snorted. As if. Lance did not stray from our companionship, and neither did I—but we definitely were not "official," if you could call our midnight make-outs grounds for a relationship, which they certainly were not. We did not hold hands in public or go on dates or give each other fond pecks on the cheek. We were merely… together. I hardly had a better name for the way we treated each other. I suppose it could be classified as a very lewd master/student connection. The type you saw in soft pornography films, maybe.

"… Your relationship is like softcore porn?"

I really needed to staple my mouth shut.

"No," I said quickly before I could spit out anything else potentially reputation-ruining. "We aren't. At all. Not even a little. We're lovers, not boyfriends."

"Okay. Thanks for the delayed answer, Silver," Gold said. "Knowing that leads me to my second inquiry—if you aren't sleeping with him, then do you want to sleep with me?"

I slammed my Pokegear shut without a goodbye.

"In your dreams," I snarled to the proverbial elephant in the room that Gold has just brought up so unwisely. I had been with Lance for a month—any other advances that I received at the time (though very few and far between and usually from girls) I immediately shot down. Lance made me feel—sexually and physically, anyway—pleasure that I had never encountered before. I wasn't sure if I was in love with that or not. Lance drove me insane with lust and desire—as well he should, with his (according to him) "dashingly good looks." His muscular build, his half-baked but somehow arousing sense of fashion, the way his gaze turn to dark, liquid sensuality whenever I dared to lick my lips around him—it was addicting. Amazing. And that was one thing I had managed not to tell Gold, at least.

Gold.

"If you aren't sleeping with him, then do you want to sleep with me?"

Yes. Gold, I have always wanted that.

I have always wanted you.

And I will always love you.

TEXT MESSAGE FROM: GOLD
TO: SILVER
9:32 P.M. ON 4/9/12
I love you so much, Silver. I need you by my side. In my arms. I'm in love with you. When we met by Professor Elm's lab, back when we were just eleven… four years ago, Silver, and I'm still in love with you. Every day without you kills me. And to think that you're in Lance's embrace every night, it just…
… It just makes me want to cry.
Love me, Silver.
Please.
STATUS: DELETED. MESSAGE NOT SENT