This story contains one-sided MangaQuest shipping, a bit of DarkStone shipping, WildSide shipping. And a lot of friendshippy feels. BEWARE ;D also, this is going to be a twoshot:)
Dedicated to my BFF Ryo Isami, the Princess of Heartbreak and also the Princess of Friendzone.
(every time you call me a friend, I die a little more inside.)
They met when they were five.
Crystal was watching other kids playing in the sunshine, while she sat silently on a swing, her tiny fingers curled around the metal chains holding the swing up. She rocked gently back and forth, her hands gripping harder on the chains as she tried to gain speed.
To her surprise, a boy from her playgroup was standing in front of her, wearing a smile so big that she was beginning to wonder if his cheeks hurt.
Before she could answer, he was behind her, his hands on the supporting chains. She glanced up at him in terror, her hands gripping the chains so tightly that her knuckles had gone white.
With what little strength a five year old boy had, he began to push her, and as the swing picked up speed, she felt a smile breaking out on her face ― something she hadn't experienced in a long time.
A bubble of laughter escaped her, and Crystal turned to look at the boy.
He looked anxious at first, but after seeing her joyful expression, he grinned and pushed the swing even harder.
Sadly, his energy reached his limits and the swing slowed to a reluctant stop. Crystal adjusted her skirt carefully and prepared to hop off, only to see the boy extend a hand out to her.
His hand reached out for hers, and for a moment, she hesitated, but accepted his gesture and grabbed his outstretched hand.
He seemed to be stunned for a moment. His face was slightly flushed and when her fingers curled around his, his face turned a darker shade of red and he seemed to freeze and have trouble breathing.
"What's your name?" Crystal asked softly, not wanting to scare the boy. At the sound of her voice, he seemed to snap out of his trance, and smiled at her.
"Gold," he replied quietly, his amber eyes sparkling as he gazed up at her. "What about you?"
"I'm Crystal," she replied, hopping off the swing. "And thank you, for pushing the swing."
"It was nothing," Gold stuttered, his face flushing as he scratched the back of his head.
As the two of them caught each other's eyes, they unknowingly realized that this was the start of a long friendship.
They were seven when he first saw her cry.
Since the day they had met, they had pestered their parents to take them to the playground every single day so that they could see each other.
Gold was a reckless kid, he was always running about, sliding down the slides head first and bashing his head when he fell, but before their parents could rush to his aid, he would jump to his feet and run back up to the top of the slide again.
Crystal was more careful. She would play with him, but backed out of the dangerous stunts that the boy always suggested. Still, despite all the warnings that the seven year old girl gave him, Gold still continued with his crazy stunts.
It wasn't because he wanted to impress his parents or that he wanted to be the coolest kid who could slide down a slide head first and not give himself a concussion while doing so.
It was because every time he got hurt, Crystal was there to help him up. Sometimes, he feigned pain just so he could feel her hands wrapping around his arm, or feel her soft skin brush against his.
Sometimes he could even feel her heart beating if she hugged him hard enough.
It didn't bother him if he went home with another scraped knee or with a new bruise. He just loved having the feeling of her hugging him, knowing that she cared.
But when he first saw her with tears trickling down her cheeks, the pain of seeing her so upset hurt him more than any other injury he had ever gotten.
It happened on a summer evening. Crystal was on her favourite swing ― the one that Gold had first pushed her on.
Over the years, she had learned to swing on her own, and she was kicking her legs with more force, hoping to swing higher and higher. Unfortunately, she had lost grip on the swing in her excitement, and tumbled down.
Naturally, Gold ran towards her, not caring that his head was throbbing from going head first down the slide, and not bothering about the sting in his knees from yesterday's accident.
When he finally approached her, he could see that she was struggling not to cry. Her hands were balled into fists and she was staring at her knees, avoiding Gold's concerned stare. To his relief, her knees were only scraped slightly, and there were a few scratches on her hands.
"It's just a scratch," she mumbled through clenched teeth. "It's nothing to worry about."
But he could see her looking away, blinking rapidly to prevent her tears from falling. She wasn't lying ― her injuries weren't serious and she'll be alright in a day or so. But seeing her huddled up into a ball, her eyes glazed with unshed tears, made him wish that it was him suffering instead of her.
He wrapped an arm around her and hugged her tight, and silently, she allowed her tears fall.
He gave her her first valentine when they were ten.
It was a simple, stupid card, in his opinion. It was pink and in shape of a poorly cut out heart. He had drawn a chikorita inside, because he knew that it was her favourite pokemon, and had signed his name in gold at the bottom.
It was a far cry from what she had given him. Crystal had handed him a card cut out in the shape of a cyndaquil. Her handwriting is neat on the front, and when he opens the card, he's greeted with a multicolored splash of spirals and stars and smiley faces.
Crystal leaves a box of his favourite chocolates on his desk and skips away happily, returning back to her seat. The other boys in their class flock to her, handing her flowers and stammering out 'happy valentine's day to her. She smiles at each one of them, and leaves the pile of flowers at a corner of her desk.
However, Gold's just glad that at the end of the day, the other flowers were crammed into her blue backpack, and that the only flower in her hand was a small, almost-crushed daisy that he had given her that morning.
They're not always joined up at the hip.
Gold realizes this when they turn fourteen. They're still in the same school and have the same classes, but Crystal's starting to hang out with a group of girls with completely contrasting attitudes and personalities. He doesn't mind, because he enjoys hanging out with other guys from some of his classes, like Red and Emerald. Crystal still calls him her best friend, and that's enough for him.
Crystal's friends are really pretty and good looking. There's a tall brunette with bright blue eyes, a shy blonde with a sweet smile, a crazy athletic brunette and a studious girl who's never seen without a book.
Then of course, there's Crystal.
She seems to stand out from the others, he muses to himself, whenever he sits with the other guys. He ignores their small talk and focuses on the group of girls. Crystal isn't as gorgeous as the blue-eyed brunette or as pretty as the short blonde, but there's something about her that makes him smile inwardly (and stupidly on the outside, according to Silver).
Crystal laughs with her friends, giggling over something the athletic brunette says. When she looks over at his table, she catches his eye and smiles at him, and Gold thinks he can feel his insides melt.
And now, here they are, seventeen and clueless.
"Will you please focus?" Gold groans, staring at the white papers scribbled with formulas and whatnot spread across the coffee table. They're at his house and were in the midst of doing their homework when Crystal felt the need to stand up and twirl around his living room, squealing gleefully.
"I can't!" Crystal shrieks, her long white skirt is billowing out, and her actions reminds him of the ballerina in the music box that he had given her for Christmas the year before. "Did I tell you that last night was positively the best night of my life?"
"You did," he grunts, grabbing his soda can and resisting the urge to crush it. "Like, four hundred times."
She had gone out on a date with some guy from their Chemistry class. He had taken her out for a movie and dinner, and then a long walk at the beach. Gold reaches out for a pillow and hugged it to his chest, abandoning the soda can, trying to tame the anger and jealousy swirling within him.
He didn't deserve her. Although Gold had never met the guy before, he didn't care if Crystal's date was the nicest guy in the world. He was still an enemy in Gold's eyes, because...
There was a sudden crash and Gold jolted up, alarmed, when he saw Crystal sprawled on the floor, her long hair tousled and her skirt crumpled. He would have gone over and helped her up, but she was still giggling happily. Standing on shaking legs, she got to her feet, and stumbled over to him, crumpling to a heap once she reached his side. Her long hair tickled his neck, and Gold shifted away slightly, adjusting his position so he could look at her properly.
Crystal let out a sigh, folding her legs and resting her hands on her lap. She leans against him, her small frame resting against his larger one. He doesn't protest, because he can see her flawless features clearly from his position― her sparkling crystal-coloured eyes, her sweet smile, her flushed cheeks. She leans in closer to him, and rests her head on his shoulder ― he doesn't care if her hair is tickling again ― and inhales deeply.
"Last night was wonderful," she says, exhaling slowly as she does so. He nods mutely, and resists the urge to push away the strands of midnight blue hair that falls on her face.
He hates how she sighs over the jerk's name. This isn't the first time, she's gone on a date, but it's the first time she's gushing over one.
Gold's fist clench. He wants to track down the jerk, pummel him repeatedly, and make him swear to never, ever see Crystal. Heck, he's so angry and frustrated now he wouldn't even mind killing the damn bastard.
"Although it's our first date, I feel like I've known him forever," Crystal says, avoiding his gaze and tracing circles on his carpet. He grunts in reply, and looks away, trying to control his emotions, his feelings, everything.
"And do you know what?" Crystal asks, resting her hands on her lap again, her fingers now playing with her skirt. She's avoiding his gaze, and there's a slight flush on her cheeks.
Gold closes his eyes and grunts again, and waves a hand to get her to continue. His other hand remains by his side, still balled into a fist. He's still musing over the threats that he will no doubt enjoy carrying out when the time came.
Crystal wraps her arm around his and snuggles closer. All thoughts of beating the boy up screech to a halt as he relishes the close contact of his best friend. She's so close that he can he can hear her slow breathing, feel her heart beating, and enjoy the soft touch of her fingers as they curl around his arm.
"He kissed me," she says in a rush.
His world crumbles apart.
Gold's eyes snap open and he jerks his head so he can look at her. His jaw is clenched, his eyes wide and pleading, wishing all this wasn't real, wishing that he had heard wrong.
Wishing that all of this was just another horrible nightmare that he would soon wake up from.
But the reality hits much harder than how words can describe. Her eyes are closed and her cheeks have turned a dark shade of crimson.
At this, all threats of ripping the damned bastard apart fly out of the window, and he feels his fist unclench. There's no way he can beat up the guy. Even if Gold does emerge successful in getting his threats across, there is no point.
Because he's already lost her.
Crystal leans in closer to him, resting the top of her head against his neck, and he can't find the strength to push her away.
Gold looks at the smile on his best friend's face, and he swears that he can feel his heart shatter to pieces.
Gold expects them to break up after a week or so, but they go steady for a couple of months. It sickens him, how she gushes about him every day, every hour, every minute.
It's even worse when he passes the jerk in the hallways. He is a polite, calm boy, who smiles at him whenever Gold stomps past him. Gold never fails to stare daggers at him, but the bastard simply shrugs and goes on his way. He's tempted to swing a punch at him or slap that stupid smile off his face, but thankfully (and unfortunately), Red or Silver is always there to hold him back.
"Gold? Are you busy?"
"Yeah, I am. I'm in the middle of beating Silver in pool, and this is going to be my fifth straight win today. What's up? Are you alright?"
"Give me five minutes."
Gold bursts into Crystal's house with more force than necessary. He ignores the surprise on Crystal's mom's face, and the fact that her father had just dropped his glass of water in shock. His phone is buzzing with messages from his Red and Emerald, probably wondering why he just barged out of Red's house without saying anything.
He clicks his phone off and crushes it in his hand, letting the broken pieces litter the floor.
Gold thunders up the stairs and charges towards Crystal's room, ignoring the surprised calls from her parents. He realizes that Red's pool cue is still held tightly in his other hand, and he flings it onto the landing along with the remaining bits of his phone, not bothering to see where they land. He knocks on her door, and when there's no response, he simply kicks the door open and walks in.
She's a broken mess.
Crystal had crawled under her bed covers and now resembled a little cocoon, with only her head peeking out. Her blue hair is tousled and tangled, her makeup is a ruined mess and all traces of her smiles and happiness is gone. When he steps closer and sits on her bed, the tears in her eyes spill and roll down her pale cheeks, further ruining her already ruined makeup.
Gold reaches out for the tissue box lying on the floor next to her bed, and frowns when he finds it empty. He notices the little mountain of scrunched up tissues, and clamps his mouth shut.
Crystal lunges forward and buries her face in his chest, wrapping her arms around him and howling into his chest. He catches her brief gasps of "he left me" and "I thought we were meant to be together", and places a finger on her lips, silencing her. He instinctively puts his arms around her and holds her tight, resting his head on the top of hers and patting her back comfortingly, not caring if her mascara or tears ruin his new red hoodie.
They stay like this for a long time.
Of course, Crystal's parents tiptoe into the room, to see what the ruckus was about. Their eyes widen when they see their beloved daughter sleeping on her best friend's shoulder, her face tear stained, and her arms wrapped around said best friend's body.
Gold is half-sitting, half-lying down, one arm wrapped around Crystal to give her support. It's a pain to maintain the position, but Gold doesn't complain.
Crystal's parents step forward, worry evident in their eyes, but Gold waves them away.
They only comply when they see the angry glint in his amber eyes.
There's a huge crowd of students gathered around him.
Gold doesn't notice them. He's too busy trying to keep his anger under control. His hands are balled into fists, both already covered with blood. He ignores the cries and shouts of his fellow schoolmates, only registering the one currently sprawled on the floor. The damned heartbreaker has a broken nose, a couple of bruises, and is pleading for him to please goddamn stop.
He can hear Red yelling at him to snap out of it, and he can feel Emerald and Silver tugging his arms, screaming at him to stop.
Gold shakes them away, slamming Silver in the chest when the redhead steps in to intervene. Instead, he picks up the jerk from the front of his shirt and hauls him to eye level before letting go of him. He ignores the shrieks from the girls and the yells from the guys surrounding them.
He punches the guy in the face, and feels a smile creep up his face when he hears a sickening crack.
He doesn't care. He doesn't care. He doesn't care.
There's a loud shriek and a flash of blue and suddenly he's thrown off balance.
"Don't hurt him anymore," she begs, clinging on to his shirt.
When he sees the tears in her crystal-coloured eyes, he feels himself nod and unclenches his fists.
The teachers lead him away, forcing him to walk away from the scene. The students are beginning to disperse too, and some help to bring the injured bastard to the nurse's office.
When he turns back, he realizes that Crystal is the only one standing in the middle of the deserted hallway, staring after him.
He gets suspended for a month.
"You're too reckless."
Gold winces as Crystal spreads some sort of ointment across his knuckles, and shrugs. "He broke your heart."
"You don't have to protect me," Crystal protests, leaning back and folding her arms. Gold's pleased that she falls back into her old self rather quickly, despite the harsh breakup.
"If I don't, then who will?" At this question, he looks straight at her, his amber eyes burning into her crystal orbs.
Crystal holds his gaze, and for once, she doesn't argue back.
Before they know it, they turn eighteen.
Gold has gone on dates throughout the year. He's quite a catch, according to the hushed whispers that echo down the corridor, the gossip circling the lunch rooms, and the admiring glances cast his way. And of course, after beating up a student in front of a huge crowd, he was successfully branded as the school's bad boy. The girls flock to him the second he had stepped back into the school after his suspension, and after futile attempts of trying to get them to leave, Gold simply lets them hang around, trying not to acknowledge their presence. Unfortunately, this enhanced his bad boy personality and causes more girls to throw themselves at him.
Gold dates the shy girls who come up to him, whispering how they've liked him since he met and would he care to go on a date?
He accepts, of course. A few choice girls at random, and the dates last a few weeks. Nothing serious. Emerald and Ruby complain about him treating his little fan club with such little interest, but he ignores them. The excuse he gives out is because they don't catch his eye, or that they don't appear that attractive to him.
But of course, the real reason is that they can never, and will never, hold a candle to Crystal.
Unlike him, Crystal doesn't date anyone after the whole fiasco from the year ago. She didn't really want to get serious with anyone for some time, she whispers to him when they're alone. They're huddled together in his bed, sharing his blanket and eating sweets. He nods and quickly shoved a tub of ice-cream in her hands when she had shown signs of crumbling down.
Crystal laughs softly, all traces of tears vanishing, as she digs into her ice-cream. Gold's glad that she had snuck out from the guest room that his mom had offered to her, and had crept into his room with a sheepish grin. When Gold's parents had gone to bed, the two of them headed downstairs and took all the dessert they could find, before taking their haul back to his room.
They spend a few hours laughing and telling stories, stealing each other's ice-cream and sharing chocolates. They whisper secrets, chuck pokedolls at each other, and fall in a giggling heap, wrapped in each other's embrace.
Gold wishes that he can freeze time.
Crystal's curled up next to him on his bed, her arms wrapped around his torso, her hair spread out across his pillow. Once again, he can feel the steady beat of her heart near his. Her head is resting gently on his chest, her slow, steady breathing like music to his ears.
He doesn't want the night to ever end.
Gold runs his fingers through her hair, combing her silky hair back. She shifts a little, eyelashes fluttering slightly, and he freezes, but then she lets out a soft sigh, and relaxes against him.
He leans down and kisses her softly on her forehead, before lying back and closing his eyes, hoping that that wouldn't rouse her from her sleep.
He just barely catches the small smile that lights up on her face, before sleep takes over him completely.
The years pass. They're twenty.
"When was the last time you've gone on a date?" Crystal asks.
They're at the swings from the playground where they first met. He's thankful that whoever designed the swings had the brains to make them be able to suit both children and teenagers alike. He blows at his bangs and thinks about how to answer her question.
After realizing that his mini fan club are just, quite frankly, shallow girls who just want him because of his looks, he had ditched them, much to the dismay of Red and Ruby. The last time he's gone out with one of them was probably a year ago.
Anyway, Crystal had tried setting him up with some of her friends too. He briefly remembers an awkward, quiet date with the studious girl ― Platinum, he guesses ― and a disastrous date with Crystal's friend Sapphire that resulted him in getting a black eye.
"It was probably months ago. Maybe a year," he ends up saying, rubbing a finger across his nose.
"There are at least hundreds of girls out there dying for your attention," Crystal says, reaching over the punch him lightly on the arm. "Mr Heartbreaker."
"King of Heartbreak, if I do say so myself," Gold declares, and stands up to give a mock bow. She laughs, and Gold doesn't bother stopping the growing grin on his face. He walks over to her, his grin turning into a smirk. Quickly, he steps behind her and starts pushing her swing. Crystal lets out a shriek, but doesn't attempt to stop him, and he picks up speed and lets her swing out even higher. Then, he heads back to his own swing and swings back and forth at a leisurely pace.
Laughter escapes from her lips, a sweet, chiming sound that echoes around the empty playground. Her dark blue hair cascades down her back, and the star earrings that he had bought for her sparkles in the late afternoon light. Her eyes are closed, her eyelashes dark against her flushed face.
Later, they lie on their backs in the flower fields in Cherrygrove City, side by side. Gold's simply looking at the clouds that float by, frowning slightly as he tries to make shapes out of the white, puffy objects that drift by lazily. Crystal's making a daisy chain, her fingers expertly weaving the stems of the fragile white flowers together.
"Why haven't you dated anyone else after so long?" Crystal suddenly asks, tilting her head slightly so she can look at him. He mimics her action, and instantly regrets it because he's instantly struck by the way the late afternoon sun caresses the contours of her face. The light catches the bright spark in her eyes, brings out the deeper blue strands of her hair, and gives her a sun-kissed, flushed face, that leaves him speechless for a long moment.
Gold shrugs, because if he speaks, he's pretty sure his voice is going to come out as a stammer.
"There must be a reason, right?" Crystal asks, scooting over much closer so that their shoulders are touching. He inhales sharply, and shakes his head, avoiding her gaze.
"Perhaps there's another girl?" Crystal presses on. "Someone you've admired for a long time?"
Gold weighed the pros and cons about revealing his secret to her. That he's been in love with her ever since he saw her across the playground fifteen years ago. That every single time she looked into his eyes, his heart skipped a beat.
"Yeah, there is a girl."
"And you never told me?" Crystal asks indignantly, tossing the half-finished daisy chain at him. He laughs, but it's a nervous one, and Crystal looks at him, curious.
"Who is she?"
Gold moves closer and rests his forehead against hers. His amber eyes stare into her crystal ones, and just like fifteen years ago, time just seemed to stop.
It was now or never.
Happy late Valentines' Day to everyone! This is going to be a twoshot.. hehe. There's going to be a happy ending for these two. I swear. Anyway I am still suffering from all the friendshippy feels ;_; *weeps* Of course, I'm sure everyone can relate to this, no? *hugs everyone in the friendzone*
Second part coming soon!