Title: Long Way Home
Summary: Because after everything, it was only natural that he'd be the one to bring her home.
Pairings: JunHikari (Twinleafshipping)
Notes: Shoutout to my fantastic, completely OCD, nitpicking Beta (I do so love her, though).
WARNING: fluff factor of 100. I could open a chocolate factory with all this sugar and cotton candy.
Really, I just needed to crank out a story to get back in the swing of writing, because it's been a year since I wrote anything! And after picking up my Platinum for the first time in at least 100 years, I remembered how much I love love love JunHikari. Everybody should love this ship.
Disclaimer: If I owned Pokemon, there would be a lot more canon and a lot less wishing and hoping.
Her breathing was uneven and shallow, her voice raspy. She closed her eyes involuntarily as the familiar sense of draining adrenaline brought her almost instantly back to her first battle and the incredulous look on the boy she beat. Cynthia's face was much less emotional though, as her Milotic fell to the floor with a resonant crash and one final cry.
Hikari fell unceremoniously to her already scraped knees, letting out a breath she didn't know she was holding, her battered-but-standing Infernape at her side in an instant. She turned, eyes softening, to the partner who had stood by her from the very beginning, sharing her tears and turmoil and distress, but more importantly reveling in her victories. He looped one strong arm around her waist, and she lifted her face to Cynthia's own expectant one.
She tossed perfect blonde hair over her shoulder as if she hadn't been in the middle of a battle of wits, brute strength and determination, and returned Milotic silently before making her way through the destroyed remnants of what used to be her stage as Champion. She didn't seem too bothered by the mess, sidestepping the rubble easily, and was in front of the girl in only a few moments. But it wasn't like it was hers anymore, anyways.
Hikari let out another breath, lifting an arm to wipe her face of dirt and perspiration. A smile bloomed sweetly and then widened on her face, although thoughtful applause from the doorway distracted her before she could reply.
She turned, surprise rearranging her features, to the Professor's once-intimidating expression (which she found increasingly less so after she discovered the stash of sweets in the fridge of his lab) before a bubble of laughter escaped her, and she carefully made her way over to him. She let him clasp her hands and speak his congratulations while she tried to pay attention with the euphoria that was spreading over her.
"...and it's only fitting that one of my children earns the title of Champion, Cynthia was one, too, after all, and of course Kouki and Jun will be delighted..."
It wasn't until after her entrance into the Hall of Fame that the sliding doors to the front of the building finally opened, revealing her weary but beaming smile. And after a promise to be back in a week to assume her duties as Champion, she stepped out into the crisp autumn air, breathing deeply and closing her eyes. She was alone, having concluded that her team deserved some rest after five consecutive battles that shook her abilities and boundaries as a trainer more than a few times. She grimaced at her less than stellar appearance before taking a step forward, ready to amble her way back to Twinleaf.
And then she was shoved roughly to the ground, letting out an indignant cry and a warm body crashed on top of hers (she was familiar enough with the sensation that she didn't bother trying to avoid it anymore), strong arms wrapping themselves around her quickly. Hikari felt her eyes widen and then droop as she instinctively clutched the striped orange shirt, blonde hair tickling her nose. The familiar warmth of the other one who had been with her through it all, all fifteen times he had crashed into her, every time they had conveniently run into each other along their respective journeys. He pulled away, keeping his hands on her shoulders to inspect every inch of her scraped appearance. His own face was scratched and bruised slightly, his hair completely wild, and it was glorious. He gave her an unabashed smile when she raised an eyebrow.
"Hi," she said, quieter than she meant to.
"Hi," he breathed, his grin widening as he stood up and lifted her to her feet.
Why wasn't he at the Battle Frontier visiting his father? The question entered her mind and then disappeared when he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and leaned into her rather intimately. She idly wondered when he had gotten so much taller and broader than the small boy who bit and clenched his fists at his first loss to her, so many months before.
"Turns out that Dad's duties as a Frontier Brain isn't nearly as interesting as my best friend becoming Sinnoh Champion." He read her mind and started leading her to the path through Victory Road, his large, rough hands lacing with her delicate fingers experimentally.
"And did he get mad about that?" The girl asked flatly, half-joking, her face flushing from either the cold or Jun's sudden affection.
Jun watched her examine his face a moment before letting out a bark of laughter, his expression proud. "Of course not, Pokemon League security just doesn't appreciate spectators. Unless you're the Pokemon professor, I mean."
"What about Kouki?"
She watched his face contort unpleasantly at the thought of Kouki, and she wondered how anyone could think so poorly of the Professor's sweet assistant. She made a note to ask him about it later, when his close proximity wasn't so distracting.
"He sends his congrats." He said flatly.
Hikari raised her eyebrows in surprise to his tone, but then her face softened when she caught him look away sheepishly. He still hasn't let go of her hand.
"Anyways," his eyes regained their shine after a moment. "Let's get you home."
She let herself lean back against him as he steered his Staraptor through the cloudless skies that were already turning pink. Finally giving in to her physical exhaustion, she let out a sigh and slumped against him completely, ignoring the chuckle that vibrated through her and fluttered in her stomach.
"How did you know I was at the League?" She asked softly, her eyes closing involuntarily.
"Hika, you're my best friend and I knew you'd beat Volkner. When Dad and that stuffy castle lady were talking about how they had just heard the news of a new champion, I knew there was no way it wasn't you." His arm was slowly winding it's way around her waist to pull her into his lap, his shoulders slouching and arms wrapping around her comfortably.
"Thanks for coming."
He rested his chin on her hat, and she knew he was grinning. "It's only natural that I'd be the one to bring you home, right?"
And the night conveniently hid her flushed cheeks and pounding heartbeat. She really needed to get more girl friends.