(she stands in the room he abandoned.)

It's not a fierce battle that places her on the pedestal, a marble entity with carved symbols and a diamond dust finish.

She crosses her legs at the knee, the curvature of her kneecaps press against dark skin, if she leaned forward, she would be able to brush her index finger against the hollow indention. She doesn't. Instead, she pushes her back against the back of her throne, and stares up at the slanted ceiling. There are chandeliers hanging from ebony chains, maybe six or seven, tulle garland makes residence among the banisters, and everything is so bland, so gold, she finds herself yawning at the sight.

After all, she didn't belong here. Her violet gaze flickered toward the menacing door, the door she walked past an hour ago in search for a battle, the door that led her to her future. A metaphor gone horribly wrong, she traded time for space. The boy that previously occupied this very seat, the boy that looked into her eyes with the terror of ten thousand orphaned seels, the boy who clasped her hands and whispered a word of advice before disappearing into the inky night, ran rampant in her nightmares, her daydreams.

She remembers his name with an acidic taste in her mouth. Iris runs a hand through her black hair, brushed into a fancy updo she had no care for, and bites down on her lower lip. She tastes blood, and immediately stops. Her emotional status was that of a caged lion, and she hates it with a burning passion.

Because to be honest with herself, she hates it here. She hates it here in her fancy dress, she hates it here in this cold, friendless room, she hates it here, here, here.

Iris doesn't know what she dislikes most, but she knows she's angry. Fists clenched, she gets off of her stone dais, and walks the perimeter, mind preoccupied on the boy who left her this fate.

She stands inside the room he abandoned. She is the Champion of Unova, the Champion who received the title for mostly aesthetic appeal. Unchallenged, and untested, she was given the gift without objection, she was blessed with a position she never wanted. Well, maybe she did want it, but most definitely not like this, not as the replacement, not as the first loser, she was second class against his strength, his bond with pokemon was unfathomable, and and and -

The girl stops thinking. She takes a deep breath, and lets it out with another sigh. Carefully padding toward the entrance-exit of her new home, she lets her thoughts wander toward the boy who landed her in this predicament.

Black. His name is Black. The bittersweetness of the situation rises up in her throat, and she chokes it back. There was no need to get melancholic about him, not after she professed her dislike for him seconds ago. Her mind was a minefield, and she has no clue where it's headed.

So she tries again.

His name is Black. He was seventeen years old when he defeated the love of his life for the position of Champion. (It was written on his face, the way he looked at her. She remembers the day they met, all the way back in Castelia City. Black had stared, stared, and stared at a girl with brunette curls, and Iris thought it was just so heartbreaking.) She was a young girl then, with naivety emblazoned in her skin, and cheer painted on her lips. Not that she was any older now, but those are technicalities - she was talking about the boy right now. Black defeated White in a game of thrones, and she was just as shocked as the rest of Unova upon her defeat. The adolescents had looked at each other with identical looks of surprise, and weariness, as if the battle drained out everything they had.

It probably did. The girl left, and never came back. Black stayed. He stayed for days, and days, defeated challengers left and right, and battled with the ferocity of the sun. His passion was applauded, and the Elite Four held a high respect for him, but he never took the time to socialize, or contribute to universal entropy. He stayed alone, and she always wondered why, during her training with her grandfather in Opelucid.

She never realized, not until the night he left, the night he handed her his burden, what was ailing him.

He had a broken heart.

The frenetic shaking, the staring, the sprinting out into night, he was running away from the world, and running towards the previous champion, the heroine of Unova. Iris was never good with people, but the moment, the split second Black held on to her, she understood everything. His concern, his worry ran deeper than the prestige of being the strongest, the best. He was compassionate. He embodied that trait, despite his desperate objections to being a caring individual, and she admired him for that.

She still admires him for that.

Iris stands in front of the wooden door, its iron handle beckons for her to take it, and leave the room behind. It's enticing, it whispers promises of freedom from her unwanted role.

Her fingertips brush against the brass, and she lets her hand fall back to her side.

She reconsiders.

Note: I will be in Mexico in a couple of weeks. I hope to write more stories with Homika, because she's precious. Anyhow, thank you for reading! :)

- RV