she had the stars in her hair

("Summer is the season for change," she says in between a lucid nightmare, and a wicked daydream.)

He listened to her with easy calm, rolling his eyes and interjecting whenever he found something that contradicted his views, or whenever he felt she was feigning innocence. Their arguments were short lived, but when they pierced the commonplace silence of their conversations, they shook the earth and split the air with frenetic convictions and almost heretical claims.

Today, it's different. Driftveil City takes on a completely new demeanor: icy and irrational winds whip it into something subdued and cautionary, signs warn of pitfalls and snowstorms that were sure to trap unprepared travelers. They had been traveling together for months now, on the hunt for an ex-criminal, each with own agendas and game plans. Touya grimaced at the directory in front of him, the bulletin board separated them from the city limits and Route 5.

"This storm is ridiculous, for goddsake. It's summer." Touko growled through clenched teeth, slender hands rubbed bare sides in a lame attempt to keep whatever minimal body heat she had left from dissipating into the atmosphere. "I swear to god, if it's N's doing, I'm going to kick his scrawny pale ass into next Wednesday."

Touya refrained from commenting on how she acquired this knowledge, and continued scanning the electronic board for any news alerts, or important notices.

"I think we can make it to the pokemon center by nightfall. Just get your shit together, White." The brunet offered his companion what he hoped was a charming smile. She responded to the nickname, and to his attempt at suaveness with a swift punch to the shoulder, and a hmph!, as she grabbed her bags, and led the way into the city.

Besides being cold as absolute fuck, Driftveil was quiet. The usual bustle of bodies and pokemon is long gone, comrades and friends were tucked away in their homes, hiding under cashmere sweaters and thick wool blankets. Touko tensed, her legs stretch and flex as if unsure whether to run or stay. He takes a hold of her free hand, and squeezes.

"Don't worry about it, Touko. It's all gonna be okay."

She shakes her head, but doesn't let go of his hand.

They walk in silence, even after checking into their room at the center—one room, one bed. She paces the perimeter like a caged luxray, fingers tapping against her sides, chestnut hair well past her waist, pink and white hat long discarded in the hallway. He lounges on a rickety old love seat, composed of a bamboo base and a ripped cushion. His gaze never wavers, or falters, he stays focused on the anxious girl. He wants to ask what was wrong, and press a comforting hand against a freckled shoulder, but she's a hummingbird—constantly moving, daintily sidestepping any and all attempts at conversation.

So he tries again, and again.

"Touko, do you want to talk about what happened?"


She fidgets in her black socks. They are wrinkled, and uneven. She runs a hand through her brown waves, and plops down on the bed. Touko curls up like a child, wraps her arms around her knees, and stares into the distance.

Her blue eyes grow misty.

Touya feels a surge of pity. She whispers denials of wrongness, and affirms her "okayness".

He is almost a hundred percent sure that is not a word.

He looks it up anyway.

"I'm scared, you know." Her mumbles creak against the folds of his black shirt, her lips moved against his tan neck. He leaves her be, leaves her tangled with him, limbs interlocked, arms around each others torsos.


He asks, despite knowing the answer. Touko smiles his favorite smile. It's sad, and grim, and hides her yellowed teeth.

"What if I fall in love with him, again?"

There is a plethora of questions and answers, she is truly terrified. In his arms, under the moonlight streaking through grimy windows, her face is stained glass, and her eyes are bitter seas.

He kisses her forehead, and prays to god she doesn't. He prays, and prays for her fidelity.

She is Touko, and he is stupid for believing in her fidelity. He does the second best thing.

"Don't worry about it. It's going to be all right."

He lies.

Tomorrow they were to find their criminal.

They leave the center with pale faces and sunken gazes.

She wears her brightest lipstick, an intoxicating red. He brushes his hair for once in his life.

They kiss before flying to Dragonspiral Tower.

note: repost from tumblr. written last year.