Writer's Notes: Just a quick one-shot that I wrote in about 30 minutes! I was hoping to get some inspiration, so I decided on something short and sweet to try to spur a bit of creativity. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon.
There was no way.
There was no way!
It wasn't possible. It just wasn't. No one had seen her in two years – closer to two and a half, really. It was a mirage; only a mirage. She was a mirage (always had been, really – that type of manic energy doesn't just happen). It had to be.
Or so I thought.
Five-thirty am on a Monday morning, the sunlit horizon just beginning to dance over the tops of the dock on the southern tip of the town, and me – nothing special, in my insomnious state, just slightly cold from leaving my jacket at home… but then there was her.
Perhaps two or three inches taller, and with chocolate-colored hair that hung longer than ever to her lower back, pulled back and partially hidden under a dirt-streaked cap, and her world-weary eyes.
"Touko." The sound of my own voice stunned me – slight and tentative; the timid whine of an adolescent, not a twenty-year-old.
And then we were still.
"I've missed you, Touya." The exhausted lilt of her voice just barely betrayed her calm façade as she tried and failed to keep her tonality even. Those tired cerulean eyes and the verbal quaver were enough to break me inside. Did she come up behind me while I was watching the sun come up over the sea? Had she come looking for me? Was it her intention to track me down first? Or had she simply wandered down the path back home and, much to her convenience, I had been outside? Questions, questions, why was I asking these questions? She was my best friend; my other half, my irreplaceable partner, and she had vanished without a word. Did she think of me at all? Had she missed me the way I missed her?
"Where were you?" The words escaped my lips before I could think twice, and I froze, stunned by the harshness of my own voice and the question I had just demanded of her.
"Why did you go?"
"Why did you leave without saying goodbye?"
"Touya, stop and listen to me."
"Are you going to give me an answer, Touko, or are you just going to vanish again?"
Ever the warrior, she didn't hesitate to draw up her own defenses.
"You know I had to go. You know I had to look for him. He wasn't as capable as we are."
"You vanished for two years, Touko. I don't know what you call that, but to Cheren and Bianca and I, it was not unlike being abandoned."
"Yes, but when you find yourself absolutely sick inside because your search ended and you've managed to rectify one relationship, you tend to realize that you need to come back to everyone you love and clean up those messes, too."
I froze again, trying to comprehend her words. So she had found N. But the rest…
"It wasn't fair to any of us."
I'd spent months rehearsing our reunion in my mind; rewinding it and playing it over and over until it was written exactly the way I hoped it would happen, coloring in the scenery and the emotions and the fragrance of the air. This wasn't anything like what I'd pictured, nor was my reaction to her arrival. Did I just lash out at her…? It certainly wasn't what I'd intended to do.
"That's it? Two years and that's all you can muster?"
"You don't need to accept my apology, you know."
Still valiantly defending her own actions. She was persistent; I had to give her that. I hesitated; my eyes traveling from her face to the sunrise to my shoes to anywhere else that could possibly provide a distraction from the feeling of not being able to form a coherent sentence.
I was going to forgive her; I knew I'd forgive her no matter how long she was gone.
"I…" I was just about to reply when I found her tiny frame in my arms, silently pulling me into the hug. No tears, no begging for forgiveness, no overdramatic rationalization of her actions; just her small figure attempting to embrace my taller one, and the faint trace of her lavender and vanilla fragrance. I didn't have time to think of a response before I instinctively locked her into the hug. She whispered my name again, but I couldn't seem to find any profound replies in the confines of my mind.
"We'll discuss it later. For now, let's just get you home."
I wrapped my arm around her shoulder and led her down the path back to the center of town.
Some things are better when they don't go exactly the way you plan.