There were a lot of things Gold found sexy in this world, and he wasn't sure if Ruby's hat was one of them. Gold was a lover of hats, though not in the sexual context—and most of his friends all enjoyed such articles of clothing themselves. Lyra wore a beret, Sapphire a headscarf, Black and White flaunted ballcaps, and Red enjoyed his signature military-style panama. Even Gold himself wore a hat—a black-and-dull-yellow cap, twisted backward to show his prominent forehead and split ebony hair. Silver was the only person that Gold knew that went hatless, yet Gold tended to find him sexier than anybody. Wait—Green didn't wear a hat, and neither did Lance. But Lance wasn't much of a friend. Their relationship was rocky at best.

But anybody who hung around Ruby long enough to question his sense of fashion and sexuality always wanted to know what the hell that thing was that covered his own head of black curls. When they first met, Gold told him rather candidly, "Don't move. There's a plastic bag eating your head. It must've blown in from the supermarket." It literally did look like that, as it was floppy and white and alluded to being able to contain more groceries than head room.

Of course, Ruby was pissed at him for criticizing his taste and didn't speak for several days to the Johto champion. Sapphire scolded Gold, but he didn't care. If Ruby was going to be butthurt about his hat, then Gold would have to interpret its existence himself.

He called Ruby on his Pokegear one evening. "Is it one of those bags that you sack raced in when you were in elementary school? Were you some kind of reigning champion and decided to take your legacy with you when you grew up?"

"Screw you." Ruby hung up.

The next morning, Gold called again, inquisitive once more. "Is it something you masturbate in?" He wanted to know. "Like, a portable fap collector? Do you bring it with you for self-pleasuring convenience and then wash it when you're done? Or do you rubber-band it to your dick when you have sex?"

"I'm going to block your number." Ruby hung up.

On the third day, Gold decided that he knew for sure what it was and patched yet another shadowy call to his Hoenn friend. Unfortunately, to Gold's dismay, he found that the phone immediately routed to a pre-recorded message after two rings. "The call could not be completed as dialed. Please hang up and try again." And try again he did—ten more times, until he realized that Ruby really had followed through with his threat and blocked him. However, to his delight, he found that text messaging was not off-limits, so he tapped a quick letter to Ruby.

It's a knapsack, isn't it? He typed. You keep trinkets and food in there, huh? He pressed "send" and waited patiently for a reply.

Oddly enough, he didn't have to be so calm, as he received an answer within a matter of seconds.

Dude, it's a hat. That's all it is. Leave it alone. This is your last warning,read Ruby's note.

Gold slowly smiled. He was striking a chord—and he liked it.

There has to be some sinister purpose behind it, Gold texted. No one in their right mind would wear the skin of an albino beaver on their head.

It's not a freaking beaver, Gold. It. Is. A. Hat. And I happen to like it.

Hey, man. I get it. It's sexy. But why would you wear something that ridiculous unless it has a second use? I mean, it's not exactly getting you laid.

How would you know?

You mean it is getting you laid?

Bro, it's not a magical device, a dead animal, a shitty excuse for a condom, a grocery tote bag, or a chick magnet. It's a hat.

Hats can be quite potent, you know.

Why don't you go have sex with Silver?

Did that already. He's asleep.


Not lying.

Yes, you are. You're sitting on your bed, and to my knowledge, there is no one sleeping in it currently.

How do you know?

Turn around.

Gold did, facing the oblong window that sat on the south wall of his tiny bedroom at home, the plastic blinds at half-mast like sleepy eyelids. He squinted, trying to see through the slits at what appeared to be a retreating shadow crunching away on the gravel bed that was right outside the glass pane. He slid off his bed and walked over, pulling down the blind with one crooked finger. Sitting on the musty stones was Ruby's hat, complete with its green band and floppy white hold.

Releasing the blinds, Gold texted Ruby back.

It's your cover as an international spy?

The response was a bit more leisurely this time. Nope.

As a professional stalker?


Gold smirked, ever the horny bastard. Does this mean we can have sex?


7:38 P.M.

7:39 A.M.