[you can't keep the sky from falling.]

He is angry.

The colors are twisted and violent in his head, his corpus callosum refuses to work, the images are upside down and distorted, all he knows is the ivy strewn brick wall and the blood dripping from his fists.

She is staring at him in wry awe, with a devil's smile and wicked squint.

"It's not going to tumble, darling." she coos.

He punches it again.

They meet in battle, her serperior demolishes his entire team in a single sweep. She utters words like leaf blade, and frenzy plant like a laundry list, another simple annoyance before reaching the victory she is promised. He holds back dry screams, and chokes back tears that threaten to maim. His samurott tries and tries to land a hit, an aqua jet or a hydro cannon,for god's sake. Her team is faster, is crueler, they are world weary andexperienced. After the sand settles, and the referee stutters out the final score-Nuvema Town's Touko has won the battle! Challenger Nate from Aspertia City is defeated!-she laughs her smoker's laugh and her partner slithers back to her side. He clenches his teeth and thanks samurott for the battle. Lentimas Town is silent underneath the wracking winds and volcanic ash, a layer of dust falls on the common place people, the spectators of the battle. Their fishy mouths gape and mumble, fully under the brunette's atmospheric pull.

He realizes he hates her as she turns on her heel and heads to the local pokemon center.

They stay on the same floor, her room is right across his. She offers him a salacious wink before disappearing into the dark of her room, whatever he sees is blurred by bad vision and pale moonlight. Touko is the opposite of enigmatic, he thinks, as he stands in front of her door for what seems like several eternities.

Another boy asks him, almost politely, to step out of his way. Nate blinks and shuffles sluggishly to the side, gaze wandering from the door to the newcomer. He is a foot taller, sinewy and thin. His brown hair is tangled and matted. He looks defeated, tired, and Nate leaves him be.

It's not until he's back inside the safety of his own room, that he understands what the other boy was about to do.

He hears screams of ecstasy from under his pillow case, he groans and he fidgets. He tries to block out any image, any thought concerning her chestnut curls and pink face, flushed and tinted rouge. He does not think about her small, skinny frame under a stranger's lanky build, he does not think of hands caressing her chest, her thighs, her face. He does not think of her shallow gasps for air, squeals of delight, he does not think.

He doesn't think at all, as he palms himself through flimsy sheets and fabric.

He gets a phone call from his boyfriend the following day, he's still in his boxers, still under his thin wool blankets. Hugh is concerned more than anything, he questions his current status, asks about his day, and wonders when Nate's coming back home. Nate shakes his head over and over again, and whispers words of comfort and reassurance, but Hugh doesn't take any of his bullshit.

"What happened?" he demands.

"A girl. A girl happened."

He finds the brick wall on a Wednesday night. it practically beckons him to come closer.

it is covered in vines and twisted garlands. Nate pushes away the foliage and scrapes his fingernails against aged graffiti and chalky dust. He steps back to survey the mortar and plaster monstrosity, and smiles when he realizes just how expansive it is, it's miles long and probably reaches the starting point of Reversal Mountain.

Nate is pleased with his discovery, and smiles for the first time after his disastrous battle with the ex-Hero of Unova. He lets out a sigh, and stuff his hands into his beige bermudas pockets, and glances at his Xtransceiver. His time left in Lentimas Town is short, he's supposed to head back to Aspertia soon.

He isn't sure he wants to, but turns to leave anyways.

On his way back to the center, he catches a glimpse of porcelain skin and blood red lips.

Her room smells likes formaldehyde and absinthe.

He hates the odor, it clings to his clothes and his hair, he wouldn't dare walk out in public like this, he doesn't know how she does it. She's sprawled on a creaky chair, legs propped up on a dingy desk, the wood used to be white, Nate can tell from the ivory streaks left from years of use. Now, the panels are dirty brown, muddied by the black combat boots the girl wears like six inch red Prada stilettos. She holds a lit cigarette stub in between her thumb and index fingers, rolls the nub around, and burns herself, twisting and smashing the stub between her pale fingertips.

He wonders about her pokemon. Does she still battle? That was a stupid question, she defeated his team days earlier without breaking a sweat, or pausing to reapply her makeup. A better question would be are her pokemon happy with their trainer? Was this girl different before, before she became the incarnation of supernovae and diamond dust?

Why the hell was he even here?

"So, what brings you to my dark, and evil lair?" she lilts, drawing out the eeeeee in evil, she liked how it sounded on her tongue.

"You invited me, remember?"

He decides not to add a hushed whisper of "crazy bitch" to his already snippy comment.

Her eyes widen, and she coughs loudly, he's scared she'll choke out a lung, and he would have to be all responsible-like for the goddamn gray organ on her hotel room floor, would he have to pick it up with his fingers—god he should've invested in some gloves like Hugh did—or would he send out his trusty and probably new not biggest fan levanny? Oh, she would be absolutely disgusted by the piece of soft muscle tissue and veiny flesh no no no thank you, she would chirp before flying out of a window.

"Oh, that I did."

She says this after her maladroit fit, and spits into a nearby waste basket. Her willowy limbs hunch in on themselves, and she is suddenly up up and up from her lounging chair, towering over his five foot seven frame.

She is tall. so, so very tall. A more narcissistic side of Nate prays it's just the boots, and that she really isn't taller than him. Her hand is on his chin, nails tilt his head toward her, they lock gazes, blue to brown and brown to blue.

They are a bruise.

"So, what do you have planned for us on this fine, fine evening?" she mimics his Aspertia City drawl with frightening accuracy. Something flickers in her eyes.

"How old are you, anyway?"

He thinks about lying, smoothing over her worries with a nice lie about how he was so, so old, and most definitely not sixteen years old.

"Seventeen." His voice is smoother than her painted lips.

Her lips turn into the most feral of gestures.

It's too late when he realizes he doesn't want her.

He doesn't want her when she slips off her vest, pulls off her white shirt. He doesn't want her when she's in her black bra and daisy dukes, and—holy shit she is touching him, pulling and yanking and stroking and touching touching touching

Before he knows it, he is bare-chested and yielding.

She drags her teeth across his chest, he whimpers in reply, holding onto her hips like salvation.

There is blood on his parted lips, his fingertips dab the red on the tippy tops of her eyelids, the color is wine, the color is cheap Mascato in a cloudy, dirty glass vial. She smells like sweat and stale perfume, a concoction composed of bottled stardust, and pressed birds of paradise and burnt magnolias. He hates it, it smells of fraud and conmen—the stench irritates him, makes him angry, and distracted, and he just hates it so much

She swats at his hands when they stop groping her ass.

"All your attention should be on me," her livid rasp orders, and he complies, thrusting into her, his fingers bruise her ivory flesh, her thighs would have the imprints of his hands for weeks after. Her fingers scratch at his scalp, with no regard to his burnt sienna hair, she yanks and pulls at her hearts content, screams into the crook of his neck when his tongue brushes against the dark brown on her breast, nipple in between his crooked teeth, she marks his back with bloodlines. He wonders if this was supposed to be painful, was she always this cruel? Her nails tug at his waistband too eagerly, he bucks up to let her pull his pants down. The brunette hisses when the zipper gets stuck, she yanks the piece of metal down, and her fingers get to work on his erect dick, each stroke makes him shudder, choke back shrieks.

"I want you to say my name, Nate."

This is the first time she's ever said his.

She spits out her order in between heavy breaths and shallow intakes for air. She is lowering herself, spreading her legs—Touko, for the fucking love of god, Touko Touko Touko—and it's symbiotic, it's parasitic, it's antibiotic, he is in her, she in him.

Nate shatters.

She laughs.

He is empty.

Alone, broken, melancholic to a fault in his room, smoking a used cigarette, he watches the smoke disappear into the atmosphere with a glassy stare. His back is propped against the center issued headboard, his legs bent at the knee at an awkward angle.

He has won nothing.

She has taken everything.

The brick wall beckons him, and he heeds to the siren's song. He dresses himself in a flurry of monotonous movement and results.

He is gone.

Nate punches the wall again and again and again. Carmine drips onto the broken asphalt below.

Touko strolls in with a limoncello in hand, and a bright eyed smirk. Her waist length hair is tamed by a wide brim straw hat. She is wearing her equivalent of a nun's uniform, a knee-length white sundress.

She sips and titters and he tries not to rip her head off.

Touko leaves Lentimas Town later that day.

He tries to hide his glee, but he has reached his personal zenith.

Nate makes a few phone calls and stays in Lentimas Town for one more week.

Hugh calls him twice, Rosa thrice.

But he only answers one phone call with a blistering "fuck you."

The reply is expected:

"I'm booked for next week."