From the Recollections of Different Leaves

A/N: This is the sequel (?) to Frozen Leaf, in Leaf's POV. The next one will be either Leaf as Red's sister or as an in-game bug. Whichever you prefer.

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon.

Chapter 2: Recollections of a Lost Leaf (Conflictingshipping)

In which Leaf is found.

~oOo~

I could feel the worry radiating off my precious partner, who was currently nibbling on a Pecha berry I had handed him. To reassure Pikachu, I gently patted his head. Doing that brought back memories of the first time I had ever done that. When was it? It's been a long time, that's for sure. I don't remember very well what actually happened, but I still know the same warmth as then.

"Chu," he squeaked, as he looked up at me with pleading eyes to give him another. Yes, he's the same as ever. And I find myself in relief at that fact.

For I'm afraid. I suppose many people would laugh if they knew that I, the Leaf Green of Pallet, or the Champion of Kanto, or the destroyer of Team Rocket (I don't really care what they call me), am afraid. But I am. I've tried to convince myself otherwise, many times, over the years, but it's the truth. I am afraid, afraid to change.

Picking myself up from the hard ground of the cave, I stretch and, after my trusty Pikachu hops on my shoulder, head out. The icy wind, mixed with snow and hail, blows relentlessly against me the instant I leave the safety of the cavern. My already tangled hair, which I don't know when I most recently took care of, becomes even more untidy as it whips my face.

I tug my hat down to keep the strands from flying into my vision, and then stare at the scene around me. It's always the same. Gray, and white, and blue, with occasional flashes of green. So blurry, and so cold.

Somewhere in the depths of my mind, I wonder about the last time the scenery had changed. I don't remember, much like I don't remember most everything else. How many years has it been, already? 2 years? 3?

I force myself to smile. There's nothing to be sad about, I tell myself. I've got Pikachu, and all my partners. I've got the Champion title. I've got everything there is to be proud about.

And still, I know that I'm forcing myself to smile.

I was going to train, but I just don't feel like it. I guess I could go back to the cave, then. Not like anything's going to change if I stand here like an idiot.

Nothing's going to change.

~o~

The girl never noticed that it was diamond dusting.

~o~

I ponder about the meaning of life. Why am I here? Why did I do the things that I did? Perhaps it's an odd topic for someone young, but I often think about it. After all, there's not much that can be done on Mount Silver.

I came here to look for strength. I almost laugh at myself. Honestly, what made me do this? No one else was stronger than I was, and I lost myself. I was used to constantly aiming for the top, and then I didn't know what to do when I reach it. I lost myself, in the darkness, that nobody could save me from.

Nobody.

Not even myself.

And I still am. I'm still lost. I just don't want to admit it.

I sigh, and watch the shadowy flames from the fire dance across the rocky walls. Warmth. Something to remind me that I'm still alive, when I feel like I've frozen in time.

Maybe I have. I certainly want it to be that way. I never wanted to change. I just wanted to live happily, with my mother, and my partners, and my friends, and everything that I loved. I never wanted to change.

This cave helps me feel like that. Out in the world, I know that everyone else – that everything else – is changing. But I'm not. I keep hoping, I keep hoping, that I'm still the same as the person I was. Because I'm afraid to change.

And somewhere, I also know that I'm hoping, hoping that someone will save me.

Even though I know that no one will.

~o~

And the flames were still dancing, dancing across the walls.

~o~

Sometime during my thinking, I must have fallen asleep. Noting that my partners are in a deep slumber, I carefully make my way over to the entrance of the cave, but Pikachu wakes up, for he's always noticed my actions. After he jumps onto my shoulder, we step outside. The wind had receded, and I gasp in awe at the sight. No matter how many times I see it, it's beautiful.

I've always loved seeing the moon, especially on Mount Silver. It shines softly on the newly fallen snow, making the world glimmer. It gives this calm, surreal look to a place that's normally bare and harsh.

It's one thing that I would never want to change.

But as all things do, this spell comes to an end. The wind picks up again. The moon trades places with the sun, which bears down mercilessly on everything. Now the snow is reflecting too much light, as it's nearly blinding. I need to shade my eyes to see.

And then I blink. I think I saw something odd, something that's usually not there.

And it's coming closer. The two specks become larger, and larger.

I want to run away, but I want to stay at the same time. My legs don't move, can't move. Yes, I cannot deny that I am afraid, afraid to change. And I fear that change is what those two specks will bring.

But I also want to know what they are. Who they are.

And they're coming closer.

One looks strangely familiar. The other, I don't know.

The familiar one looks just like him.

I heave a deep breath. Now I'm seeing things. I must have finally lost it. But if it's an illusion, why not enjoy it? For as long as it lasts?

But I'm still scared, and I turn away. Away from them, away from change.

But I can still tell that they're coming.

The two make it to the top. For one moment, everything is still.

And then he steps forward – I can simply tell – and shouts at me,

"You idiot!"

And I can't help but turn back toward them. I can't help but smile. It's just like him.

And then, I freeze.

It is him. It actually is. Because…because…the boy I know, wasn't so big, or so mature-looking, or…or…just so grown-up.

I must look like a Stantler in headlights, because he hesitantly puts one foot forward and extends an arm, an arm and a leg that are both longer than the ones I know.

I can't look at his face. Because if I do that, I know that everything that I've done up till now, everything, everything, will collapse on me. Everything that I've done to stop myself from changing. So instead, I glance at the person beside him.

The first thing I notice about her is the ridiculously large hat that could definitely camouflage itself in the snow. And then her face, and that…unique…clothing.

Why is she here with him? I suppose it's reasonable, though. I mean, I've always been curious as to why he's never had anyone with him in the past. He's not too bad-looking, and he's not too mean, and he's not too bad as a potential…friend.

Yet I still feel this uncomfortable thing in my heart, like…sucking in a lot of Smog, or something. I know that I don't like this girl. I just know. I may not know why, but I just do.

The girl speaks up, breaking the silence that had reigned for…I don't know how long.

And says a mere three words, which will change everything.

"I challenge you."

From those three words, I note that she is a good, confident, strong battler. And also, a trainer that cares.

Even though I don't like her, I want to battle her. And so, I accept.

I say no words, because I can't say any. Years of disuse have ruined my voice. Instead, I wordlessly nod and pull out a red-and-white ball from my small pouch (since somewhere way back, I had lost my bigger backpack), and then the girl mirrors my moves. And we begin.

~o~

The battle was exciting. Truly exciting. The last time I had felt so into the battle was…when I got my Champion title, from him. Him, who was just standing next to us.

And over the course of the battle, I find that I don't dislike the girl as much. She is pure at heart, and a true trainer. And then I find that I'm not lost, I'm not scared to change, anymore.

I'm not scared of giving up my title as the strongest in Kanto. Because she deserves it.

But more than that, I find that I'm not scared to look at him.

And so, I do.

The same spiky brown hair as before, but his piercing green eyes are somehow more… sharp. His jaw is more defined. He just looks…older.

And then, I realize, I realize that change is inevitable.

And I realize that I've changed, too.

And I find myself running, running, towards him, even forgetting about my Pikachu on my shoulder, and,

He hugs me.

~oOo~

Author's note: How did you like Recollections Chapter 2? I wrote "sequel," but the first half is just the same events, just in Leaf's POV. But the second half is the sequel.

Did I satisfy Conflictingshipping cravings? Because I know that none of my stories are very…romantic.

And…which would you like to read? Leaf as Red's sister, or as a glitch/bug?

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it!

Time Signature