koyuki: (pokemon 」 never could compete)
/人◕‿‿◕人\ ([personal profile] koyuki) wrote in [community profile] southofreality2011-04-26 02:18 am

everything that's right at the wrong time (Green/Red, one-shot)

Hey everyone! Just wanted to drop in and thank you all for 100 watchers. ^_^ No one's here for me, but I already wrote a fic, so what the heck.

Title: everything that's right at the wrong time
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 2450
Genre: Romance, Drama
Series: Pokémon
Pairings: Green/Red
Warnings: If it makes me embarrassed, it should probably make you embarrassed as well.
Summary: The ones where it goes right scare him more than the ones it doesn’t.
A/N: Loosely based on 25 Lives. This is so upsettingly saccharine that I don’t know what to do with myself. This is why I don’t usually write romance. I don’t like setting myself up for failure.

everything that's right at the wrong time

They have a fight.

It's a bad fight, it always is, and Green comes away from it unscathed but hurting in all the right places. He knows it's not the end of the world, it's really not, but that doesn't mean it can't feel that way.

When he comes home again later, he doesn't decorate their living room wall with a new hole, but certainly not for a lack of trying. His knuckles are bruised and torn, and Eevee mews at him worriedly, a roll of bandages at her feet. Green pats her on the head (with the hand he didn't try to beat up the wall with), and simply rolls onto their bed, and doesn't think about it. Not about how it's almost uncomfortably big or who's missing from it or his hand or how his wall doesn't have a dent (yet).

If he doesn't think about it, then it's not a problem. Because it's not a problem, and he's certainly too tired to deal with something that's not a problem right now.

Green falls into a light and uneasy sleep.


They're five.

Red's wet and soaking and still somehow manages to look close to tears because Green accidentally pushed him into the river while trying to look over his shoulder at the Magikarp.

"Stupid, it was an accident! Don't cry," Green says, offering a hand out to him from the bank. Red's knees are bruised and he sniffles, looking down and refusing to take Green's hand.

"Oh for heaven's sake—" Green jumps into the water. "There. Now we're even, okay?" Green crosses his arms, and water drips down from his soggy t-shirt sleeves.

Red stops sniffling. (Green's never felt more relieved.)

They're eleven.

Green's not quite tall but already very much awkward and doesn't know how to fit into his own skin. He's all bravado and big words - words sharp like icicles - tries to play it cool, but stumbles over pride that's too big for him to wear yet.

"Don't be a baby," Green mocks, and Red frowns, trying to reach for his Pikachu doll again. "Why play with this when I'm getting the real deal next week?"

It's not that Green is trying to push Red away, no, it's nothing like that. Rather, he wants Red to always look to him with admiration, to be the only thing worthwhile in Red's eyes.

In this world, though, this time around, Red doesn't go, doesn't follow after him. Instead, he stays in Pallet while Green makes his name known all throughout Kanto.

Green comes back home with a chest full of badges and a championship title, and whole town gathers for a party, every single person coming up to congratulate him on a job well done. Green doesn't hear any of it, though, mouth dry with a weak smile, and tries not to look at Red's hand in someone else's.

They're twenty-nine.

Green's retired and Red's retired, but neither of them are really retired except from being trainers because Green does research now, and Red's taking care of the ranch behind the lab.

"Do you miss traveling?" Green asks.

"Do you miss traveling?" Red replies, and Green makes a face.

"Don't be like that." Green punches him in the shoulder. Red's seen so many exotic places, lived in so many unbelievable places that he doesn't know. "Seriously."

Red shrugs. "I'm fine."

Green wants to say, That's not what I asked, but it comes out like a grunt instead. He's not sure he really even wants to know. Red hasn't left in weeks, months, years now, but Green might wake up tomorrow, and he could be gone again.

Green makes sure to make it worth his while to stay that night.

They're five again.

This time, they get lost in a forest, and it's Team Rocket who finds them. Team Rocket is bad, Green's grandpa had told them so many times; stay far, far, away. (They tried, they really tried, but...)

Oh, but how easy it is to change children's minds. It's not like they had any choice to be taken then, and it's not like they have any choice to leave now.

"You're helping Pokemon, making them stronger," they're told over and over again until becomes their truth. "Team Rocket only wants the best for the world. You're doing the right thing."

"We're right we're right we're right," Green chants at the end, in between the kisses he's trailing down Red's neck. "We were right all along." They're at the top of it all now, having stolen Team Rocket from right under Giovanni's grasp, and there's nowhere to go but down.

The Elite Four and Kanto police are outside, all the experimental Pokemon have escaped from the gym's underground lab, but Green doesn't stop pressing kisses even as the building burns down around them.

Then, one time, they're twenty-two.

Green's a singer, a superstar, and can have anyone he wants, anyone at all, but it's not like that at all. There're thousands out in the crowd, all shouting and cheering for him, but he doesn't need that, want that.

He catches someone in the eye. A connection. Such an unusual red, he thinks.

His heart skips a beat, and he stumbles over the line of song and choreography. He hears a few shocked gasps and sees a few flashes of camera, preserving that moment for eternity.

Green doesn't mind. Maybe he'll even want to remember it someday, the exact moment he fell. For now, though, he plasters on a smile, his best fake smile, and presses on through the rest of the concert.

Later, at the autograph signing, the same pair of curious red eyes.

Green grabs one of his autograph cards, scribbles something down before looking up with his most charming smile. "Hi," he says. His stranger stares back. "Who am I making this out to?" Maybe his tone is a little forward or worse, maybe it's too subtle, but then maybe it's not when his stranger shifts slightly, head cocked, almost interested.

Then he blinks once, as if realizing what he's doing, and conflict rises in his eyes.

He hesitates for a moment. "Misty," he mutters, somewhat unwillingly, and Green raises an eyebrow. "It's... I'm here for my, um, girlfriend," he explains quietly.

Green feels like someone's just tried to drown his lungs in a gallon of ice water.

"Of course," he says, breathing out sharp and painful. He doesn't let his smile waver, though. His stranger almost looks like he wants to stop him, but stops just short.

Green scratches out the phone number he'd written on the back of the card.

And then, once, when they're fifteen, Green's climbing all the way up that damn mountain again, through the snow.

"Come home, come home," Green breathes like it's a prayer into the cold night, and they're pressed up against each under until the blue quilt Green had dragged along.

"Mmmh." Red hums sleepily into Green's shoulder. "...okay..." It's so quiet it almost gets drowned by the howling storm outside, and Green almost - almost believes it, but not quite. Still, he wishes his heart would stop beating so loudly, Red asleep against his shoulder.

The next morning, though, he still leaves boyfriendless and one blanket shorter, like he always does.

There's this time when he's eighteen, a field medic, and caught between two sides in this war.

Maybe he's already seen too many deaths, feels like he's the one who's died so many times, but then somehow he still finds this boy just out of the battlefield, body dumped next to a pile of dead Sentrets. Bloody and battered and without a uniform or any ID. And when he wakes up, without a memory or a name either.

It's not pity, Green convinces himself, or even being noble. He's been doing his job too long to be that stupid, but not long enough to suppress his stupid curiosity sometimes.

If it's a solider from his side, he saves a life; a spy from Johto, he saves someone and gets intel (or really, any clue even as to what's going on). Not that he cares about sides. He's only a doctor after all, and it's a win for him either way.

Or maybe it's more than that too, Green admits, between the stolen kisses and the tension that's too right but not the right kind.

Green fails to account for the third possibility, though, the one that involves him walking into his clinic one day and getting shot straight through the heart. Maybe it's a surprise, then maybe it's not, and even though it's stupid, he can't wonder if the pain is because of the bullet or something else. But as he's straining out his last few breaths, looking up at sad eyes as red as his own blood, somehow, he can't find it in himself to consider it a loss.

(After all, Green much prefers it to the times where he fails - where he finds Red too late, where he just can't save him out on that battlefield, or where he never finds him at all.)

Then, there are the lives where they leave, or aren't born in the same place. Somehow, they still manage to find each other, despite the odds. But if Green were honest, finding each other is never the hard part, but what comes afterwards. Not just the right place at the right time, but the right circumstance.

Fingers brushing as Red hands him the book on Pokemon caretaking to buy from Green's bookstore. Passing by each other through the door to drop off their Pokemon at the daycare. Handing off thank-you gifts from his grandfather to his grandfather's data collector. In a challenge rotation at the Battle Tower.

There are also the times when it goes right too. Researchers side-by-side in the field of Pokemon mythology, in a world where Pokemon don't actually exist. Washed ashore on the same island after a storm, waiting to be found. Partner detectives, working together on Pokemon abduction cases.

Then there's the one where they live in the same tiny apartment for years and years, and don't move out even though it's cramped and Green always complains. He'll be the one to cook while Red cleans, and they'll have stupid, pointless fights, but somehow, it will still work out. They'll have each other and Pikachu and Eevee, and they'll be content, and it's enough. And before they know it, Eevee'll be gone and Pikachu shortly afterwards, because even Pokemon don't live forever, but they'll have had all those years behind them, they're strong, they'll make it through.

And when they visit the graves, they'll stand there in silence, awkward, like they always are. But when they part, they'll walk hand-in-hand all the way back, like it's something new to cherish, even after all these years.

That's the one that scares him the most.

It's not that Green is a romantic or that he believes in soulmates. It's not even that he's in love because, really, he's not. (Green has never been a good liar.)

Whatever they have between them, Green concludes, is just simple mathematics. Maybe the universe or Arceus or whatever is actually a lot less imaginative than everyone believes and there are only a limited number of permutations and possibilities. So maybe it's inevitable - but not because it's destiny or magnetism or any romantic garbage like that, but because the probability of them not meeting at all simply outweighs it happening at least once.

If Green is honest, though (and even though he is a terrible liar, he's not good at that either), he prefers the ones where it works out. Maybe it's because he's a boring person, he thinks, and he just likes what's familiar and comfortable. Or maybe - and he won't admit this one out loud - it's because he doesn't quite know what to do otherwise.

And no matter what it takes - ten, fifteen, twenty-five, or a thousand lives, he’ll keep looking until he finds the one where everything’s right.

(Green's not scared because it's something he doesn't want. He's scared because it's too good to be true, and there’s nothing more frightening than actually getting everything you’ve ever wanted.)

Then, this one time:

They're seventeen.

They're stupid and young and in love because they're too stupid and young to know how not to be. But they hurt each other too, with words and actions and then all the things they don't do or say.

Sharp words, careless remarks, things they don't really mean, or silence and apathy that leaves ugly scars over the things they do.

The're too stupid and young to know how to compromise still (even after they've already given up so much), and Green storms out in a huff. When he comes back later though, everything is where it should be, except Red.

Red is gone.

Green doesn't look for him, because why should he always have to be the one to apologize. But then, days turn into weeks turn into months, just like Green's greatest fear all those years ago. Red is gone and doesn't comes back, and Green lies awake every night for the rest of his life wondering about all the things he could've had if he didn’t let it go wrong.


Green wakes up on the floor next to the bed, tangled in his bed sheets. A sense of urgency traps itself between his throat and heart, though he's not sure why or about what. It pushes him to get up quickly, but Green only ends up being dragged down again by the covers again, and afterwards, it takes Eevee a good five minutes to help him out of them.

He rushes through his morning routine, skipping a few steps like breakfast. After finally managing to make himself look reasonably decent, he's ready to rush out.

When he opens the door though, Red is already standing there outside, looking unsure.

Green blinks. They stare at each other for a long moment. Can I come back? Red doesn't quite ask.

"What are you doing, stupid?" Green snaps. He grabs Red's elbow and tries to drag him inside. "You live here too; you have a key. Why would you need my permission?"

Red tugs his arm out of his grasp. Green's heart stops. He was certain he hadn't read Red wrong, but now he's not so sure.

Red hesitates. "Are you busy?" he asks.

He pauses. "I, uh, have to go to the gym later-" he sputters, not quite sure what Red's looking for.

"Yes, but are you busy," Red asks again.

Green stops. It takes him a moment. Oh. "No," he says, smiling. "I'm not."

Red smiles back. "So," he asks, "then what are you doing the rest of your life?"

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