Author's Notes: For Falsetta-Arias, because friendship is the best ship! I'm sorry that this kind of deviated from the original prompts and if the characterization isn't really up to par since portraying White and Black this way was different for me, but I hope you like it anyway. ;u;
Story Notes: A bit character study esque and scene-shifty, but hopefully it doesn't deter from the story too much? Takes place in a somewhat darker/slightly more dangerous Unova.
you are a dream; your beauty is a dream.
I used to think that I was living a dream, but my love is real and this is all the better.
They hold each other at gunpoint—her ocean-blue eyes cold and unwavering, his dark chocolate gaze calm and unflinching. They are dead still, not the merest hint of shaking arms, locked in an intense staring contest as tension crystallizes the air.
When gym leader Burgh comes to break it up, time seems to move again as the two young trainers lower their white pistols, stowing them in their holsters next to two other weapons of similar coloring after deciding that there is no threat. The sight alone of the two carrying weapons at all is quite amazing, for only those who have defeated and have been chosen by the League are allowed the privilege to do so alongside the League themselves, as well as the gym leaders.
Burgh makes them introduce themselves to each other; the girl's name is White, the boy's is Black. Burgh laughs, reassuring the crowd that nothing dangerous is about to take place before ushering the both of them to his gym.
Along the way, White and Black glance at each other and smile, amused that this is where and how their partnership starts.
What pretty eyes.
Burgh explains to Black that Elesa sent White down so that the two might meet; the two gym leaders expected their meeting to turn out the way it did given both their personalities, so Burgh was ready to intervene.
"But really, that was quite dramatic for a first meeting," Burgh says, laughing again as he sets down two cups of tea for them.
"She looked suspicious and you asked me to apprehend any suspicious personnel," Black responds with a shrug of his shoulders. Of course, he realized (and she must have, too) that the girl probably wasn't a threat after they drew their weapons, given that she was trusted enough to be given the white pistol. Of course, it only shot rubber bullets (the others in their repertoire were a tranquillizer gun and a weak stun-gun) as those capable of doing lethal damage were outlawed eons ago, but it made for a useful threat, anyway.
"What he said," White replies with a smile as she picks up her cup of tea.
Burgh laughs again, apparently quite amused at the tension it had caused amidst the city; he's never seen a street in Castelia that still before. Regardless, he begins to brief the two on a message from the League.
Black and White listen attentively, but not before glancing at each other before he begins. What they haven't said is that neither of them backed down for two reasons: one, because neither of them backed down from a challenge, and two, because Black had been enraptured by her dreamlike intensity while White was mesmerized by his sophisticated calmness.
And I was caught.
They end up living together as a request from the League. Burgh explained that because both of them had been so involved with the arrest of members of Team Plasma, the pokemon smuggling/trafficking ring, the League was officially requesting their assistance in the 'mission' for formalities' sake. They assumed that it would be easier if the two had their own headquarters to pool information; one house was in Nimbasa, while the other was in Opelucid.
Black and White agreed because they had nothing to lose in devoting themselves to the assignment, seeing as there wasn't much to do after defeating Alder and reaching the dream that every trainer strived for.
There was somewhat of an awkward wall during the first couple days, but what they come to realize is that both of them share similar experiences that no one else would understand.
"Why didn't you stay as Champion?" Black asks her at dinner on the third day, staring at the small array of white firearms on her belt before hovering a hand over his own out of habit.
White hesitates before speaking. "I just…didn't want to," she says, frowning at the vagueness of her own reasoning. "I mean, if they called I'd go back—it's part of my responsibility and I love everyone in the League—but…it's just…" she trails off, unsure of how to continue. Black knows what she means, nonetheless.
"Me too," he says quietly, staring at his food. He opens his mouth to continue, perhaps elaborate, but he shuts his mouth and repeats his words, at loss of what to say.
White offers him a small smile to show that she understands, and an awkward silence washes over the two of them. Eventually both of them become preoccupied with their own thoughts, although several unspoken topics lie between them and they wish that it wasn't so hard to pour out the secrets that they've kept for so long.
May I have this dance?
The wall breaks down once they witness each other's battle styles and meet the other's team of pokemon. Several trainers have toughened up their pokemon to challenge the not-Champions again, and they are happy to comply.
Black's team is like him—calm, collected, intelligent, and graceful. Of course, they all have their individual differences, but they are just as beautiful as they are powerful in their own way. It is evident that he is an exceptional trainer just by looking as his team; they all adore him and are deeply loyal, and considering their strength, he has obviously trained them well.
White's team is drastically different. It mainly consists of those that are considered hard to train, dangerous, or have volatile personalities. However, they have all decided to come together under her, perhaps attracted by her gentle kindness, and while they are still volatile or dangerous by definition they are tamed under her presence.
Afterwards, White is introduced to Black's team, and they all greet her with enthusiasm. His leavanny is particularly friendly, and the nurturing pokemon smiles as she observes the female trainer, brushing her soft leaves over the girl's skin.
I like her style, she says, she's a lovely girl, don't you agree, Samurott?
I guess, the larger pokemon replies, yawning. Black trusts her, and I trust whoever he does.
White smiles at the exchange, although she pretends not to hear.
When Black meets White's team, her hydreigon sizes him up with a dangerous gleam in his voidlike eyes.
Come near me and I will tear you apart with all three of my heads, he hisses viciously, opening his six wings in all their threatening glory.
Her chandelure also floats nearby. Let me consume his soul first, she says, rather cheerfully.
Black takes a step back at the hostility, but White glances at the dragon, putting a hand on his main head, and directs her words to the chandelier pokemon as well.
"Don't do that, I like him," she says, patting Hydreigon's blue hide. The dragon grumbles and lowers its wings, allowing the male trainer to step closer to observe him, and the ghost pokemon lets out an awww, okay, before spinning away to play with White's munsharna. Black does not try to touch the brutal pokemon, although he glances at White, strangely pleased by her words.
"You speak to pokemon too, don't you?" he says, and the girl's eyes widen as she realizes that he can talk to them, as well.
"Yes," she says, after she recovers from her surprise, putting her arms around her hydreigon's neck in an unconscious defense mechanism. It's a little bit uncomfortable talking about such a thing because she's never told anyone for fear of what they might think or what people might make her do. "For as long as I can remember. I think it's the reason why my team stays with me," she admits.
They all turn to look at her, slightly annoyed at her words, but Black speaks for them instead. "I'm sure they appreciate the fact that you can, but they evidently stay with you because they like you and think you're an excellent trainer."
White raises an eyebrow at his certainty when he hasn't spoken with her pokemon; Black shrugs.
"You are an excellent trainer, regardless. Look at your lilligant. I'm sure you know how hard it is to make their flowers bloom—and it's even harder to maintain their overall health. But one look at her and you can tell she's happy."
The lilligant in question lets out a pretty little song in confirmation. Communication alone doesn't make us thrive, she adds with a smile.
"Besides…I'm sure you're the only person that your hydreigon will consent to be touched by," Black says, eying the dragon warily. It grins at him a little maliciously in return. White laughs, letting go of its neck to walk over to his own pokemon.
"I can't take all the praise," she smiles, bending down to his leavanny. "Your team glows more than mine. It's beautiful." She puts out her hand to the nurturing pokemon, which it takes. "Thank you for the compliment earlier. I'm sorry I ignored it—I've never let someone know that I can speak to pokemon."
She's polite, too, Leavanny calls back to the rest of her comrades, isn't she just perfect? I think she'll make a wonderful wife. Besides, she's so much better than all those other floozy girls.
White laughs, turning back to the other trainer. "Why've been hanging around floozy girls, Black?" she teases, and he splutters a little before putting his hands up in defense.
"She's exaggerating," he replies, "Besides, I believe that's a rude way of putting it. Nimbasa and Castelia just have some—colorful people."
White and Leavanny both have a good chuckle over Black's flustered expression; his gothitelle then wanders over, putting both her little pink hands on White's cheeks.
I approve of you as well, she smiles, I believe you'll have a splendid, long life. You don't have to bear the burden alone.
White blinks at the words, aware of gothitelles' immense psychic powers. When the astral body pokemon removes her hands, the female trainer smiles again and thanks her for the reading, although she knows from her smile that there are things that the pokemon isn't telling her and she feels slightly unsettled that the gothitelle knows.
What's also interesting is that her serperior and his samurott turn out to be familiar with each other, apparently having been raised in the same lab. They are close friends, and wonder what happened to the third member of their group—a tepig back then, and most likely an emboar now.
Their other pokemon slowly start to mingle; Hydreigon remains somewhat of a loner, but he seems to be fairly civil with Black's mienshao and krookodile who aren't afraid of him despite his threats. Lilligant and Leavanny become fast friends, given both of their friendly natures; White's munsharna and chandelure bond with Gothitelle. The flying types (White's braviary and Black's acheops) take to the sky, racing each other in the air and forming a friendly rivalry.
Their trainers watch this all with content expressions, White most of all.
"It's been a long time since they've made other friends," she smiles, watching Hydreigon especially. Gothitelle and Munsharna both seem to be keeping Chandelure's mischievousness in check, although she is more often than not well-behaved.
"It's been a long time since I've made a friend, too," Black quietly muses to himself, twirling a stalk of leaves in between his fingers. White hears him anyway.
"Same here," she whispers, startling Black slightly. They both hesitate for a moment before tentatively entering a conversation—and the feeling of finally talking to someone who understands is liberating. Anyone else would consider becoming the Champion an honor and talking to pokemon a privilege, amongst other things—but what others don't realize is that with those comes a burden.
And finally, these two have someone to share those with.
Take my hand.
The both of them have fluctuating sleep schedules, but most of the time they are both early risers—a habit from their pre-Champion trainer days, when they'd be excited to start each new day bright and early so that they wouldn't waste any time getting closer to their dream.
White loves the mornings, taking to opening the windows in the living room to let in the chilly air of autumn. She grabs a shawl and a cup of tea or hot chocolate and props herself up on the windowsill, watching the sun rise and the listening for the morning songs of pidoves or tranquills. The first time Black witnessed this, he thought she was a dream; she has a softer beauty in the morning in comparison to her strong afternoon liveliness—an ephemeral sort of glow. The smile she gave him then made his heart stop before he coaxed her down from the window to join him for breakfast.
Black likes to read in the morning, anything from novels to newspapers to magazines to journals; White loves the subtle emotions that flicker across his face when he reads. During battles he's collected and after them he gives boyish grins to celebrate his victory—but otherwise he's a fairly serious person and other emotions are hard to elicit from him. When he reads, though, she witnesses those—sometimes there is anger, or sorrow, or confusion—but what truly makes her breath hitch in her throat is the way he watches her, with what she knows is affection, or even love, but she doesn't dare confirm it.
But he watches her because he wants to know her; he wants to unravel the mysteries that she is made of. She wants so dearly to hold onto him, but she's always danced around people instead of with them; she's been told she's like a plume of smoke, visible at first but gone in a few seconds, and she doesn't want to wound this boy that she'd grown fond of when (if) she disappears.
He falls in love with her, regardless, because he loves all the complex characteristics that make up a girl whose name is like cream on his tongue.
Smile for me.
Nearly everyone mistakes them for a couple, given the way that they have become so close. Their pokemon are quite friendly which each other as well, which only strengthens the misconception.
Though really, it's not quite a mistake. White is hesitant and unsure; Black avoids talking about it because he knows it makes her uncomfortable, but the way that she entwines her fingers with his and the way he holds her hand is unmistakable.
It's delicate for now, but Black doesn't mind because White is happy just the way they are.
I will give you the night sky.
It scares her, sometimes, how much she likes him.
They eat breakfast together every morning; sometimes one of them cooks something for the both of them, and other times they cook their own meals if they have a different preference that day.
This particular morning, Black is eating waffles when White comes down, hair still fluffy with bed-head. She takes a seat across from him and stares at his food. He raises an eyebrow, forking another piece into his mouth.
"You said you were going to make eggs for breakfast last night," he says.
"I know," she replies, not taking her eyes off his plate, "but those look really good."
She watches him stab another piece, and he looks at her pointedly.
"You are not touching my waffles," he tells her, very seriously, as he stares into her clear eyes, no longer glazed with drowsiness. She stares back at him, a slow smile forming on her lips.
"Oh, really?" she drawls, propping her chin up on her hand, her face deceptively innocent.
I will not be seduced, Black tells himself as he glares at her, slowly edging the plate away from her with his left hand. He doesn't have time to eat the piece in his right.
A number of seconds tick by when White suddenly lunges—Black leans back as far as he can, both of them beginning to laugh. White eventually manages to snag the piece on his fork, chewing and swallowing it triumphantly.
It's only afterwards that the two of them realize how close they are in proximity. She could kiss him if she wanted to, White realizes, staring into his eyes. (oh Arceus, why did she have to choose his eyes of all things?) Likewise, Black could just as easily close the distance between them, but he can read the uneasiness in her eyes and he knows that giving into temptation will shatter the delicate, tentative relationship between them.
They stare at each other for a number of heartbeats before Black finally smiles.
"You aren't getting the rest of them," he tells her teasingly, "Make your own breakfast."
She blinks, and grabs onto the exit that he so kindly hands to her. She forces herself to grin back, pushing herself away from him and walking over to the stove.
"I couldn't taste the waffle anyway since you drowned it in all that syrup," she tells him. Black scoffs.
"Says the person who adds way too much salt in her eggs," he replies.
The crisis having been averted, the atmosphere returns to its normal friendly vibe. But for a long time after that, White mentally berates herself for not doing what her heart told her to do. What she really does appreciate most of all though is how he lets her dance around him, how he respects her boundaries. He doesn't try to catch her and cage her—and really, this is both why she loves and fears him.
Let's watch the sun rise…
They duck into the shadows, peeking out from the corners of the building. It doesn't take long to infiltrate the Team Plasma base; they are too concerned with other things to notice fleeting shadows in the background. Musharna's abilities tend to be helpful for when the more perceptive ones tend to get suspicious, though.
They aren't quite prepared for what they see. There are hundreds of pokemon underground, forced into hard labor, slaving away under the cruelty of those in pale blue uniforms. The whipcracks and harsh shouts echo off of the walls, the cries of the abused pokemon forming an eerie chorus. The sharp iron scent of blood mingles with the musty smell of earth.
Black grips White's hand in attempt to give her some comfort in order to stop the trembling that is wracking her body. Her eyes are full of both fear and anger and it looks like the latter wins the inner battle—when she rips herself from his grasp, he can only run after her, shouting her name even though she is beyond listening as he watches her tear the earth asunder in her rage.
She screams for Hydreigon who bursts forth from his pokeball and lets out an earsplitting roar, causing everyone within the cavern to cover their ears. Black grits his teeth and throws out Krookodile and Mienshao, who both register the situation immediately and begin to make tunnels and holes to the outside. Leavanny and Gothitelle come out to direct the enslaved pokemon to safety.
The cavern begins to shake as deep cracks begin to split the ground open; the members of Team Plasma scramble to get outside as Hydreigon roars again, chunks of rock falling from the ceiling and breaking into smaller obstacles. All the Plasma members make it out, probably due to numerous secret entrances and exits, as do the pokemon; Black screams for White before the cavern collapses alltogether but she is too trapped in her own mind to hear him. Her braviary lets himself out of his pokeball, trying to grab the back of her shirt to carry her out. She wrenches herself out of his grip and the fabric tears in his claws; Black's eyes widen as he sees the healed scars etched into her skin.
Hydreigon, get a hold of yourself! Braviary screams sharply as White kneels to the ground, I don't care how attuned you are to her emotions, if you get us all killed I swear I will make Chandelure burn up your soul!
The brutal pokemon ceases his frenzied rampage, adjusting it to more of a growl as he sorts out the situation. He hovers over his trainer for a few seconds before nudging her onto his back; Braviary swoops over to Black, who mounts the valiant bird's back after ascertaining White's safety. As the cavern begins to crumble, they fly out from the holes in the ceiling.
When they stumble into their house in Opelucid, White seems to have come to her senses. She walks into the kitchen, shaking, the light brightening the room as she flicks up the switch. She takes a deep breath, steadying her body before she turns to him, hiding her mutilated back, and smiles.
"I…I'm really sorry. Thank you…for saving everyone. I just…I remembered something I'd rather not. It…won't happen again."
Her smile breaks his heart.
"White," he says, almost pleadingly, stepping towards her. She takes a step back.
"Don't," she whispers, her voice shaking but her tone cold. "Don't look at me. I never wanted…anyone to find out, least of all, you. You can't help me, if that's what you're thinking. You can't fix me." She glares at him, and he puts on one of his best emotionless faces. "Isn't it laughable, that the little champion girl is just a broken little toy? I just…" she swallows, unsure of why she feels so cornered, or betrayed, or whatever it is she's feeling, glancing to the side. "Just don't…look at me."
They tell her that she's a dream, but all she is a twisted nightmare. They think that they can help her, with all her physical and emotional scars carved into her back and heart—but they can't, they can't do anything and they just break her down and twist the knife in a little deeper when they do.
Black holds her gaze for a moment, and White cannot fathom what he is thinking underneath that straight face of his.
He sighs, turning his back to her, and White begins to tremble again once she's sure he's not looking because everything is falling from its place as she watches him walk away; the dream is ending.
Then the lights suddenly turn off, she's utterly confused. When her eyes begin to adjust to the darkness, she can see his faint outline—just enough to know that he is there.
"What…are you doing?" she whispers, too upset to raise her voice any louder.
"I'm not looking at you," is his reply as he steps a little closer. "So come here. Don't run away from me."
Her breath hitches in her throat and she rams into him, knocking him off balance. She grips his shoulders and cries—cries like she wants to drown them both, like the world needs another ocean. She cries because of her past but also because this boy loves her enough to do this—this boy simply loves her and that is enough.
I love you.
She breathes out, watching the whiteness of her breath fade into the air. She smiles, adjusting the scarf around her neck as she snuggles into it.
Black watches her with a smile of his own, reaching out a gloved hand which she takes.
"I used to think you were a dream," he says, kissing her hand.
White smiles again underneath her scarf, moving closer to him to share his warmth. "I used to think I was living a dream…different kinds of dreams," she replies, correcting herself. She remembers being a simple trainer, aiming for the League. She remembers right after the ceremony, being handed the white-colored firearms and feeling as though she were on top of the world.
She also remembers nightmares and monsters, writhing in the darkness.
Black kisses the top of her head and she blinks up at him. She remembers falling in love.
"…But my love is real and this is all the better," she says, breathing out a contented sigh.
Black smiles, gripping her hand tighter. She's happy, because he's the light in a world of phantasmagoria—he is a reality she can hold onto, a reality that will not disappear once she reaches for it.
She used to be a girl who lived in a world of dreams and nightmares, but this boy, her reality, her partner…this life is all the better and all the more beautiful.
I love you too.