koyuki: (pokemon 」 make my heart doki doki)
/人◕‿‿◕人\ ([personal profile] koyuki) wrote in [community profile] southofreality2010-12-12 12:24 am

the words, they're everything and nothing (Red/Leaf, one-shot)

Title: the words, they're everything and nothing
Rating: G
Word Count: 990
Genre: Angst/Romance
Series: Pokémon
Pairings: Red/Leaf
Warnings: none
Summary: A love story, in reverse.
A/N: For [livejournal.com profile] wanderlark's birthday~ Posting early because I have an exam on that day. She requested: Red/Leaf, to the song Recessional by Vienna Teng. Highly recommended by both of us~ ♥

Hope you enjoy, Larky! Happy (early) birthday!


the words, they're everything and nothing


She wasn't coming today. She hadn't come for a long time, but it was the first time he was certain she would never come again.

How long ago had it been? One month - almost two, since she had last trekked up the snowy mountainside and pressed the dainty pink envelope into his hand.

"Red, I'm getting married," she said so lightly, her voice like bells. "I'm getting married in a few weeks. I hope you will come."

Come and do what? But there had been such hope in her eyes that he merely tucked it in his jacket, neither denying nor accepting her request. Afterwards, she had held him, and he let himself pretend for a moment that it meant more than it actually did.

He thumbed at the unopened invitation in his pocket, the edges soft and worn from repeated touch. He never opened it - what was the point? After all, they had crossed that bridge long ago.

That was when she had stopped coming. She had never come frequently even before, but it was regular enough that he had known when to expect her. He never stopped waiting, though, even then, even after she had pulled him away in the middle of the night and told him they couldn't do this anymore.

Pragmatism, she had said in a way that he couldn't hold it against her. It was nothing personal. "It doesn't have to be now," she explained. "I need a when, not an if. I can't wait forever."

It was clear from her tone that there was no negotiation, and he didn't try to convince her out of it. He had learned long ago, early in his childhood, not to argue with her when she made up her mind, something that had taken Green years to figure out.

She had pressed her lips together, more resigned than impatient, as she waited for his answer. He wondered if there had been a choice, at any point. Somehow, intuitively, they both knew there never really had.

Afterwards, she didn't cry, though he would never have known after she left. "Of course we're still friends," she'd said, holding onto his hands with her gloved ones, and left it at that. Pragmatism, they'd both agreed - in the end, it was for the best.

So maybe they were still friends, but he knew pragmatism wasn't the only reason she never came back.

When he watched her walk back down the mountain through the snow, it was almost normal, like they weren't leaving a piece of themselves behind.

So he waited for her.

Still, even now.

He took the envelope out and ran his fingers again across her writing. Dewford Town, Hoenn. Dewford Hall, 12 o'clock noon, it announced proudly before giving the date. Today.

He could still make it, he thought, if he really tried. He could call out Charizard, be in Hoenn in a flash - not that it mattered. Even accounting for time zones, even if they had an extra-long ceremony, the one putting a ring on her finger was not him.

Instead he let out a puff of breath that quickly dissipated into the cold air. Snow flurries in the form of diamond dust twinkled around him, and he held his hand out to catch some. It was ironic, he thought, that the only way he could realize it was snowing now was when it was barely snowing at all. Somehow, it was fitting. The mountain had always been an apt metaphor for his life.

There had been only flurries the first time she had come visit him, too, and she had laughed to him that night, good-naturedly poking fun of Green's warnings about the hail. "I always knew he was a wimp," she'd said. "If he thinks this bit of snow is a blizzard, then he must think that it floods every time it rains!"

Red hadn't bothered to correct her, all too content with the way her laughter filled the echoing silence in the caves.

She'd found out the truth quickly enough, the next time and the times after that, slowly growing morose and solemn over it. She hid it well, though, but he could tell, even through stolen warmth under blankets and the soft kisses in the icy night.

In the end, she left. The world shifted back to equilibrium, and it was for the best. After all, she wasn't someone who could bloom in snow.

There had never been diamond dust again when she'd visited. It seemed appropriate now that Mt. Silver, too, was acknowledging an end.

Some of the ice crystals gathered on the envelope, and he brushed them off. He paused, tracing over her neat characters. Why would she need to write the time and place on the outside if there was an invitation inside...?

He ripped the top open, edges rugged in the tear's aftermath. He stopped. A note fell out.

Thank you.
- Leaf

He bent down and picked up the note, shaking slightly. His thumb ran over the red ink, all his emotions stuck at the hollow of his throat.

He wondered, for a moment, on what she would've done if he'd opened it back then. But he didn't; she had known he wouldn't. It was a dance they both knew well.

There was no hidden meaning, he knew. She had always liked red pens. Twenty years of friendship and hope and love distilled into two words - it meant everything and nothing all at the same time.

A swift wind blew past, and the note slipped out of his grasp. He didn't bother chasing after it. The red ink on white paper fluttered aimlessly in the wind before it disappeared into the landscape.

Red closed his eyes and let the falling snow flurries caress his face, like all the soft kisses Leaf had left on his cheeks.

When he opened his eyes, the snow was gone.

--

Oh, words, like rain, how sweet the sound.
"Well anyway," she says, "I'll see you around..."
- Vienna Teng, Recessional

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