Kaith: Hey guys! Been quite a while hasn't it? Now I know what you're thinking, another new story right? Well this is just little drabbels from the 30 day OTP challenge to try and get me back into the writing mood. I highly doubt that between my job and other various internet shenanigans I'll update this every day, but like I said, it's to get me into the writing mood again!
I've also been writing a far bit of fiction, so if you wanna check that out I'm also on Fictionpress with the same username.
Anyways, this is part one of the thirty day challenge. Day One: Holding hands.
"Good night Professor," Crystal called over her shoulder as she walked out of the lab.
"Are you certain you'll be alright?" Professor Oak called from the back of his lab. From behind on of his overstuffed shelves, the old professor leaned into view. His lab coat was stained with dirt from the research the two of them did earlier in the day. "It is getting pretty dark out."
Crystal smiled back at him, touched that he was actually fretting over her like a grandfather would. "I'll be fine. I've got my Pokémon with me."
The professor gave her a stern look for a moment longer before softening his expression. He waved a hand in goodbye and disappeared into his research notes again.
Crystal readjusted the strap on her backpack before finally leaving. The cool night air hit her skin and a sigh escaped her lips. It was a refreshing feeling, compared to being surrounded by the humid hum of the machines in the lab. She and Green had been trying for ages to get the old man to upgrade his equipment, but Professor Oak stubbornly clung to his old, overheating gadgets like life itself.
In the time she had spent here, Pallet Town had grown on Crystal. It was a small and peaceful town on the water's edge, far from the smog and crowds of cities like Goldenrod. Wild Pokémon frequented the town, friendlier than most others; this always presented great opportunities for fieldwork.
Inhaling the fresh air, Crystal closed her eyes and allowed herself to relax for a moment.
"Finally! I thought you were gonna be in there all night."
A flock of Pidgey took to the air at the newcomer's voice. A voice that immediately brought a half-frown to Crystal's face. She turned to the voice and found her golden eyed friend sitting up from a patch of grass.
Gold, the annoying boy she called her friend had been waiting for her. He was arrogant, stupid, and a bit of a smart-ass at time, but he had his moments. If anything Gold was loyal, always keeping his word. Including the stupid promise he had made to walk her back to Yellow's.
Crystal's annoyance almost melted away and turned her to laughter when she realized the boy had half a flower still stuck in his disheveled hair.
"What are you doing here?" Crystal asked him.
Gold jumped to his feet, a charming smile spread across his face. "I told you yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, and the one before that."
Crystal swatted the smart-ass on the head with the back of her hand. "Shut it smart-mouth."
Gold smiled as he batted her away with a wave of his hand. "Well in any case, I'm walking you to Yellow's place. The path to Viridian City can be a treacherous one."
Crystal rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I'm sure all the Rattata and Pidgey are just itching to attack poor little me after the sun sets."
"Exactly!" Gold laughed.
Crystal couldn't suppress corners of her lips curling up into a slight smile. "Whatever doofus."
She set the pace as they walked out of Pallet Town and onto Route 1, Gold matching her long strides easily. The sun had set beyond the tree line now, casting a dark orange across the sky and dying the clouds a purplish color. Tall grass tickled the exposed parts of Crystal's skin, and she once again wondered why she had chosen to wear a skirt today.
The two walked in silence, more stars decorating the sky with every footstep they took. Distractedly, Crystal glanced over at her escort. She had never really paid attention to Gold's hands before, but for now they sat restlessly at his sides. His fingers constantly flexed as if he were holding an invisible stress ball.
Gold glanced her way as well, catching her look. Crystal looked away quickly, but Gold spoke up. "Penny for your thoughts?"
"Hmm?" Crystal raised an eyebrow, casting another look his way.
"I'm wondering what's on your mind."
Crystal heard her heart thump loudly once in her chest and an idea reached her lips. "I was just wondering how your training with Green was coming. You look restless."
"Oh," Gold seemed to deflate slightly as he ran a hand though his black hair. "It's going…well." He stated hesitantly.
The usually arrogant boy that Crystal was used to seeing was gone now. As he sighed, the bags under his eyes became suddenly more apparently. It was like he had aged several years in the few seconds since Crystal had blinked.
"I'm beginning to think it was a mistake to accept Green's offer. I'm in no way mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a gym leader." Gold stuffed his hands into his pockets and fixed his gaze on the dirt he was kicking up.
Crystal rolled her eyes, "Idiot."
"No," Crystal stepped in front of her friend, cutting him off. "I meant you're an idiot for not seeing the truth."
Gold's eyebrows knit together. "I know I usually don't understand half of what you say, but now you're not making any sort of sense."
Crystal half-smiled. "Gold, you already acknowledge that you're not ready to take over a gym. That means you were able to take a step back and look at your short-comings with a critical eye. You see that you're not ready to fill the gap that Pryce left behind. That's why you're training with Green, isn't it?"
The stunned and surprised look on Gold's face was priceless. It almost made Crystal laugh and break the mood she had set, but Gold broke out in a sheepish grin first.
Embarrassed, he rubbed the backside of his head, eyes focused on the ground. "Geeze Crystal, I sound so, so…adult when you put it that way."
"You are an adult Gold," Crystal snorted. She turned to the darkening sky above, setting out ahead of her escort.
"I'm seventeen Crys," Gold protested, jogging to catch up with her.
"Funny, you certainly don't act like it."
Gold snickered. "Yeah, well who wants to be an adult anyways? It just means more responsibilities poured on top of what you already have."
Crystal cast Gold a smile, "And now you're back to the Gold I know."
Gold returned her smile, "Would you have it any other way?"
"No, I don't think I would."
In the darkening light, Gold's face lit up in color. "That's good cus…"
A curious look crossed Crystal's face. She noticed the slight color in Gold's cheeks, but noticed more the hesitance in Gold's voice. Not a moment since she had known him had Crystal ever seen Gold act bashful. "Because why?"
Gold seemed to find the ground very interesting at this moment, but his hand reached out half-hesitantly. "It's good because…I wouldn't have you any other way either."
Crystal stopped walking for a second, not having expected to hear those words out of Gold's mouth. Gold looked back at her, his face a mix of embarrassment and fear. "I-I mean, if you wanna change you can! I mean, you don't have to, I mean, shit…" Gold trailed off.
Crystal looked down at the ground, allowing a smile to reach across her face. Gold was actually sweet when he wanted to be, but he couldn't read the atmosphere to save his life. Taking the initiative, Crystal stepped up to Gold and slipped her hand into his. Gold's cheeks flushed up, and Crystal could feel her face heat up as well.
"It's getting cold," she said quietly. "Do you mind?"
Language lost to him, Gold shook his head quickly.
Crystal smiled up at him. "Well then, lead the way Mr. Escort."