I had the hardest time in the world thinking of a Ship for this chapter. But then I remembered the infamous definition of insanity that I always heard growing up, and thought about Homura's dilemma from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. So continuous time travel it is!
…But I still couldn't think of a pairing.
The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
"Crystal, I really like you!"
Crystal stopped picking flowers to glance at Emerald. His cheeks were dark red and he was fidgeting nervously with the sleeve of his shirt.
"O-oh," Crystal gasped in surprise. She stared at Emerald for a moment, then patted him on the head. "That's really sweet, Emerald."
"Will you go out with me?" Emerald asked. Crystal wanted to frown, but she kept her composure.
"I'm sorry, Emerald," she said. "I'm not interested in anyone right now. I'm really busy with helping out Professor Oak. But we're still friends."
Emerald clenched his fists and ran off. Crystal called out to him, but he ignored her. He tried to hold his tears back, but it was proving useless.
She'll never want to date me! She must think I'm just a little kid!
He ran through the trees in the forest to a specific location, looking for a giant oak tree. When he spotted it, he reached up with his extended arms to a small grove in the tree, which contained a brown whistle.
"Pffweet!" he blew it and waited for a moment. He glanced around in anticipation until a small green Pokémon emerged from the trees.
"Celebi!" Emerald hugged the tiny forest Pokémon. "Hello!"
"'Bi!" the Time Travel Pokémon cried out in happiness. The young boy and the Pokémon had become good friends recently. Emerald had kept this a secret from his other friends.
"Celebi, I need your help," Emerald held out the Pokémon to talk to it face to face. "I need to go back in time. Can you do it for me?"
"'Bi?" the Celebi looked confused.
"Please? Just to a few hours ago?" Emerald pleaded. The Celebi smiled and flew out of his arms. It spun around a few times and a small portal appeared in front of Emerald.
"Thank you, Celebi," he grinned. "I'll see you later!" He waved to his Pokémon friend before jumping and disappearing into the portal.
"Crystal!" Emerald stopped Crystal before she walked over to the garden to pick flowers.
"Yes, Emerald?" she paused and turned to face him.
"Can we go down by the river? I wanna tell you something," Emerald stepped closer to her. She gazed at him in confusion before smiling.
"Oh, all right."
Emerald and Crystal made their way to the river not too far away. A few Butterfree were flying around them and Emerald grinned. Since he had already told the previous Crystal that he liked her, he wasn't as nervous this time. And he hoped that things would go a little differently this time if maybe he changed the location.
"Okay," Emerald stopped and spun around. "There's been something that I've been wanting to tell you for awhile, Crystal."
"Hmm?" Crystal wasn't sure what to expect. "What is it?"
"Crystal…" Emerald took a deep breath. "I like you a lot!"
Crystal blinked at him. "O-oh…" she fiddled with her fingers and pulled her mouth into a grin. "That's really sweet, Emerald."
W-what? Emerald stared at her in disbelief. She just said the exact same thing…
"Um, would you, uh…" Emerald was afraid to ask her again, knowing that she was probably going to reject him again. "Would you go out with me?"
"I'm sorry, Emerald. I'm not interested in anyone right now. I'm really busy with helping out Professor Oak. But we're still friends." She lightly kicked a rock with her foot and put on a bright smile.
But Emerald couldn't return it. He just looked down at the ground and sped off again. He could hear Crystal shouting to him, but he continued running anyway.
What the hell? Emerald thought in frustration. Maybe instead of changing the location, maybe I should do something different…
"Celebi!" he called out before he reached the giant oak tree again, hoping maybe Celebi was nearby so he wouldn't have to blow the whistle. Sure enough, the forest Pokémon emerged from the trees.
"'Bi!" the Celebi looked happy, hoping that maybe Emerald had used the time travel to his advantage.
"Celebi, I screwed up again!" Emerald said. "But I think I know what to do now! Can you help me one more time!"
The Celebi nodded before creating another portal. Emerald crossed his fingers and hoped for the best.
"Thanks a lot, Celebi!" Emerald charged into the portal and disappeared once more.
He stared at Crystal for a moment as she picked flowers. If he was going to do this, now would be as good a time as any.
He stepped closer to her, standing right behind her.
"Yes, Emeral—?" she turned her head and was shocked when she found Emerald's lips against her own. Emerald quickly pulled back, embarrassed beyond belief that he had even just done that. He held his hand over his mouth as Crystal stared at him.
"C-Crystal, I-I really like you!" he managed to say. Maybe Crystal would finally understand how serious he was.
"O-oh," Crystal slowly raised a hand to her lips before smiling. "That's really sweet, Emerald…"
Her tone sounded a little more diminished, but they were the exact same words. Emerald gritted his teeth.
"C-Crystal…" he sounded desperate. Couldn't Crystal comprehend his strong feelings for her. "Y-You won't go out with me, will you?"
"I'm sorry, Emerald," she frowned. She seemed worse than the first two times. "I'm not interested in anyone right now. I'm really busy with helping out Professor Oak. But we're still friends."
Emerald shook his head. "No! I don't want to be just friends! WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!" Emerald shouted as he ran off. He covered his ears so that he couldn't hear Crystal shouting to him.
Why, why, why? Emerald cried. Does it matter what I do? Will she always reject me?
Emerald didn't want to give up. Crystal meant everything to him and he just wanted her to know that, not just brush him off as if it was nothing.
I was originally thinking of doing MangaQuest for this since Gold is already familiar with Celebi, but there were a few problems: Gold's too cocky to be upset with Crystal rejecting him and I wanted this to be reminiscent to Homura's problem (meaning this chapter would have been funny rather than sad). I also already had a Theme for MangaQuest that would have been better than this chapter.