Lance was stupid, in Silver's opinion, for a multitude of reasons. Wearing that blasted cape of his was one—how in the hell, Silver constantly wondered, did Lance manage to pull that off? The jumpsuit-and-cape combination was enough to make the most fashion-minded people vomit, Lance's stance as the undisputed champion of the region notwithstanding. Yet Lance had seventy-five percent of the young female trainers in Johto hanging their panties on the front gate of the Indigo Plateau (much to Silver's disgust and Lance's mirth). Silver didn't have a clue—with his ridiculous getup, how Lance could seduce so effortlessly and so indirectly.

Not that Silver cared, anyway. He wasn't fashion-minded. If he was, he'd be gay.

Nope, Silver thought as he perused through the May issue of Pokegirl, thumbing especially quickly to find the partially nude spread Lance had done for the magazine. Definitely not gay.

Another quirk of Lance's that was a pet peeve of Silver's was that Lance believed that every problem—and by every problem, Silver truly meant EVERY problem—could be solved in one of three ways: Pokemon battling, sex, and food. Lance had a major hero complex; Silver had learned this early on, when Lance pranced away to foreign lands on his Dragonite to "save the world" or some quotable crap like that. In actuality, Silver knew that Lance was just jabbing his nose in business that wasn't his to be had. However, as Silver again learned early, that was merely a cover—Lance, in all honesty, was a sex-craving, clever loudmouth who liked disporting to private crowds and furtively boasting his confidence. Lance never pushed his boundaries, but sometimes, he did come pretty damn close.

Silver like battling Lance's Pokemon with his own, at least—and, admittedly, being eighteen, he kind of liked the sex too. But he had never been raised to appreciate food like Lance had. He ate when he was hungry and whatever was available, and stopped when he was full. Snacks were an exotic concept to him. Perhaps that was why he was so thin, but he justified his frail stature by comparing it to that of his best friend, Gold. Gold wasn't exactly… toned. Not fat, but not precisely a healthy weight, either. Frankly, Silver didn't mind that, since Gold was as blunt and obvious as a best friend could get, and you were supposed to accept friends for who they were.

Lance, conversely, was anything but chubby—he had the tall, strapping build of a man well into his twenties who worked out every day, nearly without fail. Training dragons wasn't a physically gentle task, Silver knew from watching the master's sessions with his Pokemon. Lance was ripped—and bore a hundred scars, from claws and burns and lightning bolts—simply from handling the Dragon Type. The few times that Silver had spotted (or willingly seen) Lance without a shirt, he had been in absolute awe at the shuddering muscle and deep, chasmal etches from either definition or damage.

And Silver did not find that attractive. At all.

Nope, he didn't. No way.

But apparently even men who believed their bodies were temples had to indulge every once in a while, because Lance had interrupted a training session one afternoon to answer the call of hunger, which was gnawing at his stomach with grumpy roars. Silver had heard and suggested they have ham sandwiches—a rare favorite of Silver's, for his mother had made them for him when he was a child. His father sometimes didn't send them money on a monthly basis, so she always kept ham and white bread around for economical weeks.

Lance had wrinkled his nose. "We've eaten ham sandwiches every day for lunch for, oh, about a week and a half. Don't you ever want to eat something else?"

Silver shook his head. He wasn't a gourmet like Lance. Honestly, as long as it was edible, Silver was grateful for any kind of food, even though that living with the champion of the Pokemon League had allowed nourishment in overabundance.

"Well, I'm bored of protein," Lance proclaimed. "Let's go crazy and have sundaes for lunch. How does that sound? You're fifteen. You must like ice cream."

Silver had frowned. Ice cream? He'd asked. Why ice cream? Wasn't that horribly fattening and artery-clogging? Ice cream was a dessert, not a lunch item. Sure, he enjoyed ice cream—but as an extraordinary treat. It was cheaper than frozen yogurt, albeit unhealthier, but his mother had stocked the freezer with some on occasion. Silver felt that something like ice cream should be consumed as a complement to a meal, not as a meal.

Lance had ignored his whinging and dragged Silver into the joint house that was shared by all the members of the Elite Four. Before Silver knew what was happening—he suspected date-rape drugs—he was standing at the smooth granite counter with Lance in the enormous cooking room that Silver had always believed could better accommodate a charity soup kitchen than four people and one kid who never ate. Lance had conjured whipped cream, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and bananas seemingly out of nowhere, as if he were a magician. Two exceptionally large sundae bowls sat before them, along with a few assorted utensils—an ice cream scoop, a butter knife for chopping the bananas (thankfully, Lance didn't seem to think that any other sharpness of knife existed), and a pair of spoons for consuming their treats. Gleefully rubbing his hands, Lance turned to grin at Silver, who returned the gesture with a sullen frown.

"Oh, don't be like that," Lance teased. "This'll be fun. And I'll eat anything you don't, so you won't have to worry about wasting anything."

"There is a lot of wasting that goes on in this house," Silver grumbled.

"You're pissy today," Lance observed. Rolling up his sleeves, he grabbed the ice cream scoop and struggled with grunts and his dragonlike might to open the chocolate flavor container. "We… are… oof!... going to make… banana splits!"

All of once had Silver eaten a banana split. He'd shared one with Gold at a café after Gold had lost a battle with him. Before the waitress had arrived, Gold had regaled him with the ingredients of the dish—single scoops of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream, topped with flavors that reiterated the flavors of each frozen dollop—except the vanilla; that was covered with pineapple. Then sometimes vendors would add additional crown jewels, such as brownie bites, fresh strawberries, and pineapple chunks. Whipped cream and one banana, sliced in half down the middle and cradling the ice cream glop in its belly sat on the side.

Gold had eaten most of it, but when Silver had taken a bite of whipped cream, banana, and chocolate all at one time, his mouth swirled with the flavors. Besides ham, it was the greatest thing he had ever tasted.

"Aren't banana splits supposed to be in flat dishes?" Silver pointed to the deep bowls Lance had set out. "And have pineapple?"

Lance stopped in mid-ladle. Sheepishly, he stared at Silver, surprise in his gaze. Then he threw back his head and emitted a loud bark of laughter that filled the room, bouncing off the ceilings with its buoyancy. "I was testing you!" He lied. Silver could tell it was obvious that Lance had no idea what he was doing. Interested, the champion leaned in very closely to Silver, the tips of their noses kissing softly. Silver shivered. Must be a draft. "So you've had a banana split before."

Smelling the peppermint on his breath made Silver's eyes go a little heavy, but he still swatted the man away in disgrace. "Yeah, with Gold a million years ago," he growled. "Do you need help or not?"

Smiling a wide-toothed smirk as white as wool, Lance removed the huge scoop of chocolate ice cream from the cylindrical cardboard jug and turned the object on its side above his bowl. The food fell in with a messy plop, so wet that Silver knew that indicated that it was melting. "Nope, got it," Lance said.

For several minutes, the two bustled away wordlessly, working with tireless effort on their sundaes. Lance was absolutely piling his—several scoops of ice cream, nonstop flows of syrup, and explosions of whipped cream. Silver was going about his diffidently, being careful about his portion size. When he reached over for a banana and began to peel the fruit so he could chop slices (he couldn't do the genuine banana-boat touch; he'd have to live with that), he paused. With a very slow smile, a devious idea eked its way into his usually chaste brain.

"You know what, Lance?" At the lilt of his name, Lance stole a glance at Silver. "You're right. I am pretty hungry. Maybe I should eat this banana to curb my appetite a little before we have our sundaes."

Silver wasn't looking at him, but he felt Lance's eyes go wide. Silver's intentions became known to him instantly. "Silver, don't you even think about it."

Pivoting on his heel, the banana perched in his spindly fingers, Silver faced Lance. He met Lance's broad and edgy—but elusively excited—golden gaze.

"You're thinking about it." Lance's voice quavered.

A tiny smile pirouetting on the corners of his lips, Silver lowered his head and—without once breaking eye contact—bobbed his mouth up and down on the succulent banana, drawing out the morsel as long as he possibly could. Lance sucked in a breath, hesitating to even blink as he watched. With a small clack of his teeth, Silver detached the chunk of banana that was floating in his mouth and withdrew it, chewing as he lifted his head. When he finished swallowing, Silver chuckled a bit. "Mmm," he said, exaggerated. "Delicious."

Lance's jaw had dropped nearly to the impeccable tile floor, his spoon hovering suspiciously in midair above his bowl, brandished in his left hand. A few seconds ticked by as Lance regained his senses and Silver relished in the silence, anticipating Lance's reaction. Gulping as he again began to move—robotically—Lance reached for the chocolate syrup bottle to his right.

Flipping the top, he promptly squirted some directly onto Silver's face.

Gasping, Silver flailed about for a moment, dropping the half-eaten banana and stepping on it, a brownish-yellow ooze seeping out from beneath his shoe like radioactive waste. Reaching up to his face, he wiped away the contents, chocolate dripping from his steaming face. Silver was scowling now, his teeth clenched in blatant anger as Lance began to cackle in maniacal triumph.

"You deserved it, you dirty boy!" He howled, beating on the counter as tears of mirth trickled from his tightly closed eyes.

Rage controlling his actions, Silver grabbed the aerosol can of whipped cream, as that was the most adjacent weapon. Pointing the cold object toward Lance with swift reflexes, he pressed down on the teat. White foam rushed from the can, knocking Lance straight in that stupid jumpsuit and cape of his. Immediately, Lance quit laughing and stared, aghast, at his ruined outfit. With a grimace of either anger or warped entertainment, Lance jerked the chocolate syrup bottle suddenly, and another splash landed on Silver's costly navy blue shirt. The stains were dark; Silver knew that they would be impossible to get out.

"It is on!" Lance bellowed, snatching the strawberry syrup before Silver could react. Acrobatics kicked in as Lance dodged to the side of another affront of whipped cream by Silver and shot the flavored, sugary goo out of the bottles simultaneously, like a double-shooter in the Wild West. Silver armed himself with the remaining bananas and threw one at Lance's face, but Silver overshot and the curved fruit accidentally ended up stuck in Lance's tall magenta hair, unmovable by any means due to the copious amounts of hairspray Lance used in the morning.

"Hah!" Silver cried. "I win!"

Lance hissed. "Not by a long shot!" And again, the syrup flew.

The two dueled epically in the kitchen. Ice cream was hurled from containers like artillery shells; syrup shot with the speed of a machine gun. The hid behind cabinets and in the pantry, mercilessly attacking each other with the sundae materials. When Silver ran out of whipped cream, he relied on the bananas instead, peeling them and breaking off little bits to toss at Lance, hoping the stickiness of the whipped cream would work in his favor. Lance used every means he could—tripping Silver on the slippery mess that was now coating the floor, which was now an abhorrent mixture of red, brown and white, a disastrous candy cane cheesecake. They even resorted to banana peels, covering them with the hot syrup-and-ice-cream glop on the ground before pelting them at each other.

Finally, fifteen minutes later, they collapsed against the back of the counter that they had begun at originally, willingly gluing themselves on their seats. They panted in exhaustion, turning their heads to eyeball each other, as if either one of them were going to make another move. Intently, they sat motionless, just exchanging glances and catching their second wind. When their respiration slowed, they were quiet. Abruptly, laughter began to bubble in both their throats until they couldn't hold it back anymore. They burst out into hysterical fits, tumbling over each other as they did so. The banana in Lance's hair had long been discarded somewhere in the battle, lying aimlessly in the corner, as Silver ran his hands through Lance's goopy hair.

"I owned you," Silver said first.

"Nope, it was the other way around, I believe," Lance smiled.

"Whatever," Silver huffed. "Prove it."

Momentarily distracted, Lance stated, "You have syrup all over your neck."

"So wha—UH."

Lance had planted his lips on Silver, suckling gently as he drew the syrup in his mouth, licking as he inched gradually downward. Silver was paralyzed—partly in fact of the state of the floor, and also somewhat because he couldn't breathe. Undoing the first two snaps on Silver's shirt, Lance exposed nude, waiflike skin that had been blocked by the shirt the entire time and was perfectly untainted by the battle "scars." Nibbling just below Silver's collarbone, Lance lifted Silver into his lap and kissed him, Frenching with sensual desire. Silver eagerly reciprocated, letting out a mute moan into Lance's mouth as Lance's hands travelled under his shirt and rubbed ovals into the small of his back with his thumb.

Pulling back, Lance's eyes glittered with lust. "You were pretty good with that banana, you know," he murmured, the words emitting from the base of his throat, almost like he was a rumbling beast.

"The one that I threw in your hair?" Silver asked. His breath was labored again, but it wasn't because of their fight.

Lance smirked. "You know which one I mean." He lower down, his hands going even further up Silver's clothing, sliding from his back to his chest as he kissed—


Like they'd been shocked, Lance and Silver separated themselves and shot their vision toward the doorway, where Karen was standing with a clenched fist and an empty glass of iced tea in her open hand. She was seething—her face, bright red with rage, was causing her eyes to go bloodshot. Her periwinkle hair, thrown over one shoulder, was quivering with her as she shook in her assessment of the devastated kitchen.

Lance and Silver didn't reply. They just sat there, Silver in a partial state of undress and Lance gaping openly at her.

Jabbing a finger toward them, she ordered in a raucous tone, "CLEAN THIS UP RIGHT NOW!"

"Aw, Karen, don't be a blowhard," Lance said. "We were just hungry."


Lance looked at Silver candidly. "Want to get out of here?"

Silver nodded. "Indefinitely."

Once the two escaped Karen's livid clutches ran out of the Indigo Plateau with the Dark trainer hot on their heels, they lost her in the small forest surrounding the Pokemon League building. When they were certain that she had stormed off, Lance suggested they go out for lunch. Silver acquiesced and they ended up at a steakhouse that served trainers that intended to challenge the Elite Four. No one batted an eyelash when the two of them stumbled in, completely slatternly in their appearance, with ice cream residue lingering on their fingertips and whipped cream rather evident in Lance's shoes. They sat down and flagged down a waiter, who took down their orders calmly and retreated without a single comment. Silver figured that they'd probably gotten worse-looking customers off Victory Road. But the fact that it was Lance, the champion, was sitting there in destroyed attire didn't even seem to bother the staff, which surprised Silver.

Lance was perusing the menu again after the waiter had left when he exclaimed, "Hey, Silver! They have banana splits here! We should get one."

Silver rejected that. He'd ordered a ham sandwich, just in case.