Alfred cracked his knuckles, staring up at the bright, florescent blue GYM sign above the door with a grin. Yeah, it had taken a bit more time than he anticipated to get here, but together with Arthur's superior navigation skills, and his insistence that they not stop every five freaking minutes for a tea break, they managed to make it before dark.
"And we can't wait until morning to do this why?" Arthur grumbled, picking a twig out of his hair with distaste and flicking it away. "The gym will be here in the morning, I promise."
"Aren't you always telling me not to put stuff off?" Alfred chuckled. "Besides! If I don't go in and win now, I'll be talking and worrying about it all night, and I'll make you listen and comfort me and—"
"I get it, I get it! Please, lead the way!"
Alfred did just that, running up the stairs two at a time. With one last deep breath, he gabbed the handle and pulled.
"What the hell?" he asked, trying again just in case.
Arthur sniffed arrogantly, finally reaching the top of the steps. "I told you it was too bloody late."
Alfred pouted. "They can't be closed!" he moaned. "Since when do gyms close?"
"Since Gym Leaders became human and needed sleep?" Arthur scoffed. "Honestly, Alfred. Just grab your things, we'll go to the Pokemon Center, get some sleep, and come back in the morning."
"I guess you're right," Alfred said with a sigh. He stared longingly at door for a moment more, before turning back to Arthur-
And coming face to face with a rather flamboyant French guy instead.
"Dude! Where the hell did you come from?" Alfred gasped.
The French guy smiled, flipping his long, blond hair over his shoulder, and gesturing to the GYM sign with flourish. "I was leaving for home when I saw you standing here trying to force your way into my gym," he said, airily, without a hint of real accusation. "I figured I would come over and see what it was you were doing."
Alfred scratched the back of his head, chuckling a little in slight embarrassment. "Yeah, sorry bro, we just got in, and I was hope- wait did you say your gym?" he asked hopefully. The French guy grinned.
"Oui. I am the leader of this gym." He held out his hand for Alfred to shake. "Francis Bonnefoy, at your service."
"Sweet!" Alfred exclaimed, shaking his hand enthusiastically. "Alfred Jones! Dude, you don't think..."
Francis raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow in amusement. "You want to battle for a badge tonight?"
"I suppose it can be arranged..." he said with a smile, pulling a shiny key from his pocket and letting it swing playfully on his finger.
Alfred pumped his fist into the air with a whoop of joy. "Yes!"
"Brilliant," Arthur sighed, speaking up for the first time since the Frenchman arrived. "Let's get this nonsense over with so I can get some sleep tonight."
Francis paused in unlocking the door and directed his attention to Arthur, who was standing in the corner with arms crossed, and a sour look on his face. He blinked a few times in surprise, before a grin crept it's way over his lips. "Well, well, well, what do we have here?" he sang, pocketing the key and crossing across the landing. "I do not believe I have had the plaisir."
Arthur furrowed his eyebrows, extending his hand for an uneasy handshake. "Arthur Kirkland, Coordinator," he replied curtly, jumping in surprise when, rather than shaking it, Francis bowed and kissed his hand delicately. "What the devil are you doing?" he exclaimed, his face flushing.
"It is unusual to find such a beau creature on my doorstep," he said smoothly, winking at Arthur flirtatiously. "And is that a Hoenn accent I am detecting? It is so nice to find someone from my home region here in Kanto."
"Y-yes, Mossdeep," Arthur stuttered, wiggling his hand away from Francis's.
"Ah," he purred. "I am from Lilycove. We are practically neighbors!"
"That's nice and all," Alfred grumbled, not enjoying being ignored, and enjoying the way that Francis was talking to Arthur even less, "but I believe you promised me a battle."
Unfortunately for him, Francis didn't appear to notice anything that wasn't Arthur. "Surely you have been to the Contest Hall in Lilycove!" he gasped. "It is one of the most famous in the world!"
"I haven't," Arthur replied. "Registration was closed by the time I arrived, so I wasn't able to compete."
"Sacre bleu! This is a tragedy! Cher, you let me know the next time you are home, and I will ensure that you are entered!"
"O-oh, no, I couldn't-"
"J'insiste! Talent should never be hidden from the world by a silly time limit!"
Alfred tapped his fingers impatiently on his bicep, his arms crossed across his chest in irritation. Who did this guy think he was, anyway? Sure he was like, a gym leader and stuff, but he was totally pompous! Why the heck did Arthur give him such a hard time about being a little confident in himself, while this guy had an ego the size of a Wailord, and he was eating it all up!
It was when Francis started suggesting giving Arthur a tour of gym grounds that Alfred finally had enough.
"And after that, we'll have my battle, right?" he snapped, probably a little more sharply than he intended. Francis and Arthur seemed to jump in surprise, as if realizing for the first time that Alfred was still there.
And that really pissed him off.
"Ah, Monsieur Jones, I almost forgot. I will have to, how you say, take a rain check for tonight," Francis said with a not even remotely apologetic smile. "Something has suddenly come up."
Alfred gaped. "What? What could've possibly come up? We were with you this whole time!"
"Well, that depends on Arthur," Francis replied. Arthur blinked owlishly.
"Oui. How would you like to join me for dinner tonight?"
Alfred scoffed. "Pfft, yeah right. Artie doesn't wanna go to dinner with you."
"Alfred!" Arthur snapped with a glare.
"What?" he exclaimed. "You always tell me you hate people from Lilycove! You call them frog-faces and snail breath!"
Arthur's mouth hung open for a few moments. He snapped it shut finally, his face a brilliant red, and his green eyes flaring with haughty, angry, stubbornness. "Actually, Alfred, I would love to go to dinner with Francis! Unless, of course, there is something else about myself you would like to inform me!"
Alfred inwardly winced, but was determined not to let his companion know how much that comment stung, so he glared back with just as much force. "Only that you're a pain in my ass, but I'm sure you know that one already!"
Arthur grit his teeth, but calmed himself down by sticking his nose into the air with a huff. "Come, Francis. I'm sure you know the best places in town to eat," he sang, the bitterness practically dripping from his words as he turned on his heels and walked off.
Francis looked from Alfred to Arthur in surprise and, unless Alfred was imagining it, a little bit of cheeky understanding and noticing something they were both trying to hide, before nodding and following the coordinator down the stairs.
Alfred stomped in the direction of the Pokemon Center, refusing to look back at where the others walked off together.
Pokemon AU's are a total guilty pleasure of mine XD
This will be 2 parts, and hopefully the 2nd part will be up before next Thursday, because I'm going to visit the family in Chicago, and my parents don't have internet. XD XD
Hope you enjoy! Oh, and if any of you old Pokemon fans are getting Misty Meets Her Match feels from this, you are totally right, I'm totally kinda going off of that glorious episode. XD XD