Starglass

Author's Note: This will be a collection of unconnected one-shots about friendship/companions.

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon. All rights belong to Satoshi Tajiri.

Chapter 1: As I Think It Is

Main Character(s): May

Genre(s): Hurt/Comfort, Friendship

Warning(s): Very light contestshipping.

~oOo~

Far off in the distance, the decorations for the closing ceremony of the Johto Grand Festival lit up the navy night sky, outshining the dim stars as they faintly flickered every so often like frozen teardrops. As the broken girl stared longingly at the celebrations she could not – would not – take part in, the wind stirred up the loose sand beneath her bare feet and also caressed her chestnut brown hair so some strands would obscure her already blurring vision.

May realized the heat welling up in the corners of her eyes as well as the single wet streak that had unwittingly come to her cheeks, but she denied the fact that was all too obvious, the fact that she was crying.

"It's, it's…rain. It has to be, it has to be," she murmured insistently while cupping her face in her pale hands, not minding that they would become sticky from the saline fluid. Like a mantra, she mindlessly repeated to herself, "It's rain…it's rain."

However, seemingly as though Kyogre herself wanted to disprove May's desperate wish, the waves crashed onto the cliff on the opposing side with such a sound that the girl's mumbles became inaudible.

Hearing this, May tore her eyes away from the gaudy illuminations and fireworks above the Grand Festival and gazed at the now relatively calm ocean, as its turquoise waves with crests of pure white foam lapped softly at the seashore that she was now standing on. As she watched, the waves erased the traces that showed that others had stood there earlier in the day, and the breeze ruined those footprints too far for the tide to reach. The only actual footprints left on the sand, the girl realized, were her own, the ones right under her. And even then, the ocean tried to wash them away, a fact that she could tell from the shifting particles around her uncovered feet and ankles.

Alone. She felt alone. This came not from the fact that no one else shared the empty beach (which was, in fact, true) but from the reality that no one else was with her. Not caring where she ended up, she had dashed away from the crowd in the parties, stumbling all the while from the tears that clouded her eyes, and had eventually ended up at the seashore. Only after reaching the beach and putting her hand to her empty Pokeball belt to retrieve a companion had she noticed that she had left all her Pokemon behind with Nurse Joy to give them rest after the strenuous battles.

Perhaps her natural instinct had guided her there in some unforeseen way, telling her subconsciously that there, nobody would ridicule her or try to cheer her up when she needed to be alone. And now she did feel alone, but it was too alone. No cheerful conversation or bright laughter from her group of coordinator friends who definitely were inside, enjoying the festivities. The twelve-year-old shook her head vehemently, correcting her train of thought.

"No," she whispered. "I asked them to leave me alone. It's my fault, not anyone else's."

May had initially intended to be part of the celebrations, as she had been the runner-up for the coveted position of Top Coordinator this year in Johto, but her plans abruptly changed after a short conversation with this year's winner of the Ribbon Cup, her first and greatest rival, Drew.

Crouching down onto the sand and idly tracing patterns on the shore with her finger, she remembered the interaction which had taken place and had caused her to run out of the festival.

"Drew," May called brightly after his fans and the press had dispersed, "great job. If it wasn't me on that stage, I'm glad it's you. I mean, I lost, but I gave it my all, so I'm…fine? More like I understand."

She really had been happy for him, the girl thought as she wrote "Grand Festival" in the loose sand only to be reformed by the breeze, but that had quickly changed with his teasing, yet sharp reply.

"Well, June, I didn't think you could come up to the position of Runner-up. If I had battled you sooner, you definitely wouldn't have come up there. And besides, I can't imagine you with this Ribbon Cup in your hands," the chartreuse haired boy smirked.

All around them, their friends – Solidad, Dawn, Zoey, Harley (yes, Harley), and Kenny collectively gasped, but May did not hear. Her legs, arms, her whole body froze, and she felt as though she had been doused with icy cold water or an Ice Beam.

"Wh…what…do you mean, Drew?" she questioned with a quaking voice.

Looking back on the scene, probably his next phrase had made her run away. He had said triumphantly, "Exactly what you think it means."

To give credit to Drew, he had not meant to say something so hurtful to May. He had only wanted to give her some constructive criticism (and a rose, although he would say to her Glaceon), but his pride could not help making that comment. He did not think those sentences would impact her so much, but the fact was that they did.

May created a picture of a Ribbon Cup in the wet sand, mentally replaying how she had staggered away from the group, crying "Leave me alone," as soon as the shock lessened enough for her to move away. She was too caught up in herself to hear her friends call her name and ask her to come back.

Having finished her reminiscing, the coordinator stood up and flicked away the sand covering her kneecaps and shins. Then she looked up at the softly shining moon, where at least the lunar goddess, Cresselia, would be watching her, and wailed, "Nothing is as I think it is!"

Nothing…nothing...

The cliffs echoed her despairing cries, surrounding her in faint reverberations of "nothing." They washed over her, deepening her depression that she had been wrong in the assumption that she had ever been seen as a proper rival from Drew, that it had always been a one-way thing…The girl did not notice the slight rose-colored feelings inside her rivalry, but either way they had been crushed.

May had never felt more alone than she did now, enveloped in a dark sky and an equally dark sea, even the sands shadowed by the clouds now covering the moon. The Grand Festival felt far, far beyond her reach. The tears, which had stopped for a short while, ran down her pale cheeks unstoppably and into the waves, making a soft, soft plop each time one fell. Her vision became fuzzy as she kept yelling, "Why, why?" as though it was the only thing she knew how to say.

But then a single ray of moonshine escaped the clouds, illuminating a patch of sand between May and the Festival. When she glanced over there, she heard footsteps and familiar voices calling her name, and saw her comrades running over to where she stood, not minding the sand that came into their shoes (Harley being the exception).

Drew reached her first, panting, for he had come at his fastest pace. Reaching into his pocket for his signature red rose, he gasped, "May, I'm sorry."

May could not believe her ears, but here he was, apologizing? Her doubt must have shown on her face, for her other friends who soon caught up started frantically explaining.

"Listen, May," started Dawn. "It's not that we were enjoying the party while you weren't there…and Harley, you be quiet. It's just, it's just…"

Solidad picked up from where she trailed off. "The press noticed the little 'scene' and started crowding around us. You didn't notice because you ran off before they came around, but they started bombarding us with questions, and –"

Harley cut in, "May-May, how could you push all that on us? It was a real hassle, having to answer all of those questions like, 'What happened between May and Drew?' and 'Is May jealous of Drew's win in the final battle?' and things like that. Hun, we couldn't get to you because there were just too many people. The fans came, and then the passers-by came too, because they noticed me."

"Harley…" panned the others. Drew continued, "I said too much. You're a great rival." Saying so, he pulled out the flower from his back and pressed it into a stunned May's hand, turning his face to the night sky to hide his slight blushing.

All the others made a circle around the two and nodded vigorously, telling May that she was a wonderful coordinator and an even better friend. However, noticing that she herself had not uttered a word, they waited for her to say something.

The brunette finally opened her mouth, and questioned, "Really…?"

Her friends laughed and smiled not at, but with her. May felt a tingling warmth tug at her heartstrings for her friends that had done so much for her.

"…you," the girl murmured. "Thank you." As the words came into being, May could not help that last tear from falling on the sand.

Zoey patted the other girl's back as she pulled her shoes back on and chuckled, "Don't cry. You're going to pull me in too. Laugh!"

As the group of friends ushered May back to the bright celebrations, she glanced back just once to the seashore. She smiled softly when she saw that neither the waves nor the winds had ruined the heart she had drawn in the sand.

After they had all gone away, the stars above the place the friends had stood twinkled faintly like –

Frozen teardrops.

~oOo~

Author's Note: Starglass will be a collection of unconnected one-shots.

I will accept requests for the following genres: angst, family, friendship, hurt/comfort, poetry, and tragedy.

You may add character (human or Pokémon) names and/or scenarios in your requests. For characters, please choose anime, manga, or normal game (not PMD or Rangers, etc.) characters.

This was my first published fanfiction. I hope you enjoyed it!

Time Signature