Well, it's probably too late to get involved in the shipping awards, but here it is anyway- my first ever published fic (also an entry in the Roses and Chocolates romance one-shot contest)! I've tried my hardest to make this fic worth reading, as this is a wonderful ship that I feel has been sadly under-represented in the fandom and deserves at least this one chance to shine! Reviews and constructive criticism are both exceedingly welcome, and I hope you enjoy the story. ^^
Info: The pairing is Eggshipping, the rating is G. And also, if you dislike/hate the ship itself, or even this type of ship in general, I would appreciate if you would please refrain from flaming without justification. T_T
.:A Promise Lives:.
Happiness and sunlight often go together. Picture it: the warmth of the sun caressing a child, waking up to a sunrise and the promise of a new day, two lovers walking hand in hand under a crimson sunset- but unfortunately, not when the opponent is using a Chlorophyll-happy Grass type against your last pokemon, who happens to be a pure Water Politoed.
"Gloom, use your Razor Leaf!"
I cringed as the smelly plant dashed much faster than it normally could across the floating platforms and unleashed a flurry of sharp leaves at my pokemon before the already tired Politoed even had time to clap. I gasped as my pokemon swayed unsteadily for a moment, and then groaned as he toppled head over heels into the pool.
I grimaced on the inside as the opposite trainer, a young boy who looked maybe twelve cheered loudly with his Gloom, but put on a convincing smile and went to congratulate him on a good win. His eyes shone brightly as I presented him with one glimmering, crystal teardrop, the emblem of my Gym, but I just kept up my fake smile, quickly shook his hand, and sent him on his merry way. I sighed and put the dreaded "Closed" sign on the front door of the Gym as the boy ran off into the distance.
Terrific way to cap off the afternoon.
Observant as always of my annoyance, a couple of the pokemon who hadn't taken part in the battle and were sitting on the sidelines came up to console me, which I'd lately noticed was becoming a more common occurrence. There was only brief exchange, but I appreciated the gesture and felt a little better. I told them that their supper was being fixed in another room and sent them off, wanting a bit of time alone to gather my thoughts and assess what I did wrong.
Did I really say that? I rolled my eyes and smiled, wondering if a few years ago I would have even begun to consider that I, the girl who was going to be the world's best water pokemon trainer could possibly have failed, much less acknowledged it. Heh. All part of growing up, I guess. And all part of trying to be a better Gym Leader. The smile faded from my face as the thought made me slightly depressed, since recently, it was true I had been slipping up.
I sat down on a bench just outside the Gym, feeling uncertain and considering that if I was going to be the mature one, accepting anything learning from my mistakes… well, maybe I wasn't taking everything into account. But what was I missing?
That bright sunlight had ultimately been the doom of us, with Gloom putting its boosted speed to good use, but… I had seen Politoed standing there totally unsure of what to do next and looking to me for help I didn't give, and it sort of seemed that the opponent's tactics weren't the only problem.
Scooping up my shoulder bag and wandering away from the building, I considered this. Everyone who watched my battles lately had been commenting on their lack-luster state, but usually I just brushed them off, saying that as long as I won -even by a little- everything was fine.
It had been me who almost single-handedly gave the Gym it's good name back, and I had so far managed to consider that my greatest achievement without becoming too full of myself, but if I allowed a lot of worry to creep into my mind- well, what if this one loss could be the start of another downhill descent for the Gym? It wasn't that I lost to an inexperienced kid, but that I finally lost to an inexperienced kid. Everyone had predicted it, but I just kept ignoring it.
I groaned and got off the bench to stretch, running over the battle again and again but still coming to the same conclusion. According to my co-Gym Leaders, something "like, major" was bugging me lately. It hardly sounded like a professional diagnosis to me, but still fit pretty well.
Shaking my head, I slowly started to make my way downtown, where the Pokemon Center was located. It was a peaceful walk and good for thinking over problems, so I would just kill two birds with one stone and think as I went about doing my usual business. Some of my pokemon were already being healed, so I would just drop off the latest casualties of my botched battles and bring the others home where they belonged--
My eyes widened like a shot; I hadn't thought about that in weeks. Not significantly affecting my job, it hadn't really seemed all that important- just a less-than epic event of a few weeks past. I thought it had been put completely out of my mind, shoved it to one side like the piece of irrelevant history it was. That was what I had meant to do, and I really thought I had.
I groaned and berated myself for unwittingly bringing up one of the main reasons I'd decided to get involved in the first place- feeling sympathy for a wandering, homeless soul.
I cringed at this, but while it may have sounded sappy, I really did. Back then, at least. The 'issue' I was skirting was more involving than I cared for anymore, and I would rather just forget it now. I increased my pace slightly, just to get a little wind going and hopefully clear my mind a bit. Unfortunately, exactly what I didn't want to think about came rushing in to fill the cleared space.
Naturally, I argued, all my reasons had been perfectly believable then, how could they have possibly not been? Anyone would have done the same. But now, weeks after everything was said and done… I decide to start questioning it? Why? Although… if there were going to be problems with my battling performance then of course there was reason to worry. I shuffled uncomfortably, truly wishing to just drop the problem and leave it.
Had I made a mistake just by giving one person a little hope? That didn't sound right at all, but what if it was? I dropped my head into my hands and groaned quietly, wishing I could just sit down and sort this all out. Sadly, the Pokemon Center was closing early so I had to keep walking, but still I dug around for the memories I was currently wishing didn't have to be disturbed.
~ ~ ~
He had been slowly making his way down a muddy path, arms loaded down with what I later discovered were berries from the nearby Viridian Forest when I first saw him. Of course, I didn't assume they were berries- that would have been too low-key and legal for him. No, I automatically figured it to be stolen goods or a crucial component to yet another scheme. Out of habit, I decided I wasn't going to let him get away with whatever it was he had in mind and let Corsola do the rest. She made short work of the battle, but… well, then I found out about the berries.
I'll admit, that one threw me for a loop. What would he, a member of Team Rocket, want with such common berries? They weren't worth anything market-wise, and couldn't even be used for cheap PokeBlock. But there he was, sitting on the ground, bag overflowing with berries, stubbornly crossing his arms and refusing to tell me anything as his fur became increasingly coated with mud. But I admit, it did make me wonder. It wasn't like anything I'd known Meowth to do, not being directly related to profits, and sadly, curiosity got the best of me. So I let down my guard for a short while and, well, pried a little bit.
Yeah, sad stories usually get to me. A chick flick can turn my mood entirely around, and I've met people now and then who have had a really hard time of it, and always felt some sort of compassion. But what I had never expected was that this messy, bedraggled, former enemy could move me that way- at first I wondered if he was kidding. But the more he told, the more it seemed that he was -however reluctant to admit it- glad to have someone to vent some excess feelings onto. And as much as I hated to admit it, I felt really, really bad for him.
Turns out he only wanted to EAT the berries. Imagine that. Like I said, they were only fit for starving nidoran, not usually the pickiest eaters, but Meowth seemed pleased enough to have them. And that was only one thing that stood out. He was rambling on and on about a fairly miserable sounding life, and while I did figure that he deserved most of it, there was a slightly lopsided feeling. Sort of like not everything that was wrong was punished, and not everything he was punished for was, I guess, worth it. And I knew he wasn't kidding, because, well, I had been there on the other side for a good part of his story, and knew what he was talking about.
It sounded pretty different from another point of view. And there was that newfound maturity affecting my judgement again.
It was a strange, new experience for both of us, I think. Sincerity wasn't an emotion I hadn't often noticed coming from the scratch-cat, but for some reason, at that moment I was able to- and I could see something a little deeper than what I was used to. It was… well, a little weird. There's no other word for it. But, without knowing why, it was odd in a good way.
And so I helped him. I willingly helped him. What was I supposed to do? It just seemed like the right thing to do. That's why I took him home, because he didn't have one.
Doesn't have one.
Obviously, at first I expected a trick. I'm not stupid, it was exactly the sort of thing he'd do and I knew it. But he didn't. And I was surprised as anything, too. Sure, the circumstances were very different, and I'd made it clear that if he so much as looked at my pokemon the wrong way there would be, to drive a point home, trouble, but that had never exactly been a threat to him before. It was definitely a pleasant change.
As rehab slash punishment, I let him watch battles, help out around the Gym, and take care of the pokemon during his stay. And if that sounds like a ridiculous way to 'help' someone, is wasn't. The more time he spent doing something productive, the more it was obvious that he was actually GOOD at it, and I wondered why he didn't just do real work to begin with.
That week and a half was easily one of the strangest times I've spent at the Gym. We two were together practically the entire time, something I could never have anticipated before, and in all honesty, even though I keep calling it strange, I truthfully did enjoy it.
I loved watching him try to figure out how to accomplish all these new tasks; the way he would tackle something much larger than he could handle, but still keep at it so stubbornly was actually a pretty useful trait when put to good use, and of course I had no problem giving him a hand when he just couldn't do it. What surprised me about this was the way he seemed to appreciate the help.
Being the strong one, the Gym Leader, the pokemon battler with all the experience was a fairly new experience for me, and I admit, I gave in and bragged a little now and then. But hanging around with him, awkward as it was occasionally, being former antagonists, gave me a unique chance to show off my skills to an unbiased person who was neither a relative, friend, nor a challenger.
And yes, I did come to think of him as a person.
However, after a little while he admitted that he didn't want to stay away from his friends forever -which I could definitely relate to- and just decided to move on, to go back to the way things were before.
It did affect me… a little. But I quickly reasoned that I probably didn't have that much to care about after all, and moved on myself.
I sighed lightly, turning my attention back to the present. There was no point in forgetting this, because it's silly to believe that an incident, a memory, as crazy as that could have any impact on the present. It was nuts to begin with and hardly worth worrying about now. The past shouldn't bother you- shouldn't bother me!
But… maybe it was.
Turning onto the main road that ran in front of the Center, I headed down the sidewalk, scraping the heels of my sneakers along the ground in annoyance.
Apparently there was something else to address here.
Another sigh escaped me.
~ ~ ~
I knew there was no way he'd remember what he said. What he said solemnly and wide-eyed, without a trace of deceitfulness but definitely some worry. What he said despite strong inhibitions and with more than a little coaxing. But I didn't honestly expect him to; I knew him better than that. He may have meant it, but really, keeping a promise like that was way too much to expect.
…I had, in fact, spoken with Ash recently, and he proudly reaffirmed my suspicions with an excited retelling of yet another 'battle' won. Not that I would tell him and spoil his good mood, but that single story managed to depress me.
Yes, Ash, it's wonderful your pokemon weren't stolen. I'm so proud that you handily beat the weakest thieves ever. I sighed heavily. Don't get me wrong, I am glad he wasn't robbed, but it didn't really strike me as a big accomplishment. Did it ever occur to him that maybe there are other ways to handle the problem? A more permanent solution, perhaps?
Something more effective than what I tried.
As I approached the Pokemon Center and strode inside, I noted the scattered beginning trainers and tried to make sure to keep apparent that air of strength and authority I'd learned Gym Leader should always command- even when it feels like a lie to display. I reached the desk where Nurse Joy sat smiling as happily as always, and after a brief exchange she went to get my newly-healed pokemon, leaving me alone with my thoughts. As per custom in the building of Pokemon Centers, there was a row of plastic cubicles lining one wall, each housing a top-of-the-line video phone, another free service for all trainers.
I briefly pondered calling up Brock and telling him of my thoughts. I wondered if maybe it had occurred to him, too, that Ash's methods of keeping his pokemon from being stolen were… ah, ineffectual. In the long run, I mean. I know he can beat them at any individual time, but doesn't he ever get tired of it? I'm sure somebody could think of a more decent way of keeping them at bay forever- maybe I could even help them think up a good way…
But why should I?
I stopped that train of thought dead fast. Why was I even thinking this? It had never occurred to me once during my travels with Ash, and that was because it didn't make sense. I was going to stop this before it started. They don't deserve any help, that's all there was too it. What was there to consider? It was ridiculous.
I ran a hand through my short hair and exhaled loudly, attempting to let a little frustration out. Was there a decision to be made here? Maybe so, or maybe the whole stupid business isn't really a problem at all, and I'm just overanalyzing. I considered cursing with irritation, but remembered the kids milling behind me.
Why can't anything ever be laid out plainly for you? Everything always has to be figured out somehow, and this time I just don't know how.
Nurse Joy suddenly interrupted my musings with a friendly tap on the shoulder, and I whirled just a little too quickly around to face her, still wearing a fierce grimace to her obvious surprise. I stared angrily at her for an awkward moment, until her startled uncertainty at my bad mood finally registered and I slowly cooled off- resolving then and there to put the whole affair completely out of my mind.
I stared a millisecond longer, until her often gratingly familiar face began to oddly seem like the most comforting thing in the world. We talked for a minute, the usual chipper formalities, and then she handed me six pokeballs. I thanked her graciously, put the spheres in their proper places on my belt, and walked calmly out the sliding door, nodding pleasantly at the other trainers.
Nice and normal, just the way things should be.
I meandered slowly down the peaceful road, leaving behind any silly idea about bothering Brock for a half-baked reason like helping Team Rocket. Eww. Nope, I would leave it up to those involved to sort everything out themselves. Nodding resolvedly, I firmly fixed a smile on my face and attempted to smother the angry protest welling up in my stomach.
Wasn't that… abandoning him? No, of course not. I'm sure he could figure this out. Hopefully.
~ ~ ~
The glaring afternoon sunshine had long since begun to diminish into a dull sunset, with a few glum purple clouds trudging their way across the horizon and making the barely noticeable sun rays seem even more futile. As I dragged my feet into the paved courtyard, the brightly colored Cerulean City Gym greeted me with its circus-tent décor and ridiculously huge Dewgong statue leering from over the door. I growled exasperatedly; the blasted place only made me feel worse with its festive imagery jarring me like an electric guitar in a cathedral, and I wished for once that the Gym wasn't my responsibility and that I had someplace normal to go home to.
At least YOU have somewhere decent to live at all.
I mentally cursed that little voice inside me as I stomped into the terribly perky building
My sisters weren't around, not that it mattered; as I wandered through the wide hallways I could almost hear their annoying voices loudly wanting to know where I've been and why the Gym was closed. So the emptiness was a little unsettling, but not much.
I ignored the bulletins they'd left for me to see and headed straight upstairs to my bedroom with a million better things I could be doing and not a drop of motivation to do them. I slumped into a high-backed wooden chair that faced out the window and just sat there, unmoving, trying to keep any emotion from my face. With any luck everything would be sorted out in a little while and turn out to be totally unrelated. I'd have wasted some time worrying, but otherwise I'm sure it'll be perfect.
Why can't you just deal with the problem?
Because I've decided that it's none of my business, that's why.
Yes, it is. It was YOU who started this, you WANTED to help him, wanted to show some compassion. You could have left him alone, let him continue on the way he was, but no. You chose to give him another chance, and he accepted it.
Then that's all there is to it. There's no follow up, it's all in the past. It's done, that's fine, life goes on. No big deal.
Ha. Yeah right. You want to know why he didn't care. . . . Maybe he really did.
I staunchly refused to think about it anymore, and tried to fight the urge by picking up a pencil and vaguely scratching on a notepad on the nearby desk. I killed a few minutes with the pencil and pad and found it was actually pretty therapeutic. Drawing had never been a strong suit of mine, but I quickly found myself immersed in the tiny, monochrome world. The lazy swoops and swirls without any definite shape gradually became little stick figures, which were then fit into semi-detailed backgrounds and sky, which were soon filled with little pokemon.
Hey, this was kinda fun.
With pencil firmly in hand I scribbled out a few more Magikarp and Goldeen, then tore off the now full page and started again, getting more and more into the drawing until I suddenly found myself scrawling furiously on the yellow paper, rapidly churning out more lopsided Poliwhirls and wild-eyed humans- then tearing off the page; pouring my emotion into enraged Gyarados and rotten smelling Gloom- then tearing off the next page. Creating with the thin yellow stick an entire school of Goldeen, a handful of full bodied humans, an enormous crashing wave and a-- a…
I screeched to a stop with the pencil point, now dull and listless, hovering just above the table and my wrist coated with dark smudges, simply staring at the messy piece of paper. Amid the grossly anatomically incorrect fish and the laughably top-heavy humans, one image seemed to look straight back at me with wide eyes, his graphite fur and whiskers un-realistically portrayed but still quite distinguishable, and one gold coin resting on the forehead. He was positioned next to a stick girl with a single ponytail on the side of her head, and both of them appeared smiling, happy, and perfectly content.
I hadn't meant to draw that.
I dropped the pencil and pushed angrily away from the desk, feeling somewhere between very sick and very confused. Or both.
It seems I had lied to myself earlier; there was a little more to the problem than I wanted to admit.
~ ~ ~
It had really been one crazy week- several strong new challengers coming in, a couple of tough rematches with locals, the main pool having to be drained and thoroughly scrubbed, and all on top of the usual chores that come with keeping a Pokemon Gym running smoothly. But eventually, the weekend had rolled around as usual and we were enjoying some welcome downtime.
I'd fixed a couple of Apicot and Magost smoothies, one of which was then topped with some disgusting smelling little fish, and we sat on the roof to drink them and watch the afternoon sky. I sat down cross-legged next to him and passed the strong smelling cup over, then settled back to relax for a minute as he happily tore into it. I chuckled quietly; despite now having plenty of food to eat, he never failed to attack anything edible I gave him voraciously and often overate. I laughed again, but the mirth quickly slipped away as I stirred my drink slowly and reflected again on a feeling that had been bothering me all week.
He paused mid-slurp with a fish in one paw, gazing questioningly up at me. I swallowed uncomfortably; it was sort of a difficult task asking a person to change something as drastic as this. I'd been letting on slowly what I thought the entire week, subtly suggesting and coaxing him earnestly, but with as much tact as I could muster. And now I felt completely awkward.
"Well, you know… er, you know that you've been doing a good job around here, right?"
"Uh, yeah- If you say so."
He always seemed to act less pleased about a compliment then his body language gave away. I smiled and shook my head.
"No, really. I think you've been a terrific help! "
"Oh. Hey, thanks!"
We both smiled, and I took the moment to regain my composure. It felt like a bad moment to spoil; the afternoon was a beautiful one, with the blue sky stretched out perfectly overhead and crowds of people out enjoying Cerulean City. But I also felt that just getting it over with would be the best thing to do.
"And well, I've been thinking pretty hard. And, uh… Oh, I don't know, why you don't try acting like this all of the time?"
"Um… ya lost me."
Ergh. Okay, if it was going to be like that, then I may as well raise my voice.
"You know, like NOT stealing and, uh, being a criminal, and acting like a delinquent stray cat. You could actually have a chance for something better that way, y'know!"
In retrospect it seemed that tact would have indeed been a better idea, but I wasn't backtracking now. If progress was ever going to be made, it was NOW. I sat up straight and put my hands on my hips, doing my best to look both caring and imposing. I didn't really feel like intimidating him, but if it got the job done…
His eyes widened slightly and darted from side to side, as if instinctively looking for a way to escape facing a decision such as this, but I firmly held his gaze and managed to get an answer.
"You really think so?"
My face softened and I nodded slowly. "Really. You just need to give yourself a decent chance."
He appeared thoughtful, rubbing his head with one paw and gazing away over the edge.
"…Hmm. Ya know…" He murmured, " I- we, I think, really, we always sort of wondered about that. Never really seriously, y'know, but kinda. Not out loud or to each other, either. Maybe we could do something, but it just never seemed like da sort of thing 'dat could really be true for us." He shrugged nonchalantly, but seemed unsure. I set down my drink and knelt in front of him.
"Don't be too hard on yourself. Yeah, you might have been, well, pretty terrible at a lot of things, but maybe you just weren't trying the right things. "
I laid a hand on his tiny shoulders and put on a small but confident smile, doing my best to convince him that what I could see was true.
"Do you think you could promise to at least try to make something of yourself? I really do know you could.".
Again he didn't seem at all sure, but eventually, slowly, he nodded his whiskered head and looked at me.
"Yeah… I 'tink I could do that."
That curved smile of his reappeared and we both sat down again, picking up our drinks and making joking comments on his taste in smoothie toppings.
~ ~ ~
"-No… " I uncertainly declared, "No, Meowth could never really keep a promise like that…"
A sudden knock on the door made me jump unexpectedly, and the sheet of paper fluttered to the ground. I quickly shouted to whoever was outside that it was unlocked as I rummaged frantically around on the floor to retrieve the drawing. The door swung open and my pink-haired older sister poked her head in.
"Hey, Misty, Daisy told me to tell you that there's, like, mail for you downstairs. Some kind of package or something. "
I stared blankly. Couldn't she have possibly brought it upstairs for me? I sighed.
"Thanks, Lily. I'll be right there. And don't let anyone open, it alright!" She was already halfway down the hall, but shouted back what I hoped was a confirmation. Last time I got a package nosy busybodies had opened it before I even found whom it was from. I shoved the piece of paper into my shorts pocket, crumpling it up to avoid suspicion, and stepped downstairs.
Violet was standing in the kitchen flipping through a stack of envelopes with a can of cola in one hand. She pointed briefly to the counter then went back to her drink as I nodded thanks and picked up the package. It was an odd shape, vaguely like an apple, and clumsily wrapped in brown paper that looked and smelled like something had been eaten out of it. The paper had been bound tightly with bits of mismatched string carefully arranged to insure that not a single shred could fall out of place. Very curious.
I glanced at Violet to make sure that she wasn't sneaking peeks over her soda can to find out who would be sending me a package, but she continued calmly sipping while reading a letter of her own. But far from breathing a sigh of relief, despite definitely welcoming the privacy, a peculiar feeling that was both a sinking and lifting sensation at the same time had settled in my stomach and only grew worse as I picked at the frustratingly tight knots holding the contents inside.
It took a few minutes, but finally I got those annoying strings off and tugged gently at the paper underneath. Without its bonds the packaging fell easily away, and an almost-spherical aqua colored fruit rolled onto my sweaty palm, its thick skin glistening prettily even in the florescent lighting.
…And I wondered.
It was a berry, a rare and expensive berry. I knew this particular strain from a recent article in "The Pokemon Friend" magazine, and apparently it only grew in a few select cities in the country- at a cost that sent most trainers running scared. I stared for a moment, then turned it pensively around in my hand, thinking hard and desperately running ideas through my head, but after a moment I sighed defeatedly.
Obviously he couldn't afford it. Stealing was a specialty of theirs. That really didn't leave much room for speculation as to how he got produce of that caliber. Upon realising this, sudden anger threatened to flare up and I felt like lashing out at something, but I quickly got myself under control, sadly figuring it wasn't worth the emotion anyway.
It looked like Ash was right in his thinking after all- there really wasn't much that could be done for my unlikely friend.
The sick sensation started to swell up again, and I set the package, wrapping, fruit, and all, down. I leaned on the table for a minute, mulling over that, until a thought all of a sudden occurred to me. Something just wasn't clicking here- what would he be sending away a berry worth that much? Surely not to gloat? Or maybe it wasn't real…
I examined the fruit again but found nothing peculiar; it still appeared to be that unmistakable species of spicy berry, as opposed to a common berry in paint or anything. I set it back down next to the paper, slightly disappointed in my find, but then on a hunch I scooped up the paper itself.
I looked around under the string and found the address scribbled in a barely legible hand (or paw, rather) in the lone spot that hadn't been smothered in twine, but as I turned it over, two thin white slips fell out and landed on the table near the fruit. Unconsciously I reached out and scooped them into my hand, examining the pieces of paper carefully.
The first was a receipt. I honestly couldn't believe it- my fingers were almost shaking as I read the numbers printed on the strip of paper; first of all, if that was actually paid for-and THAT was what he paid… I shook my head, unable to fathom this and turning instead to the next piece of paper. This one was slightly larger but still pretty small, and had a message hand-written in ballpoint pen on it. I had to squint to make it out, but once I could make out the words, it seemed worth a few minutes of straining.
--Misty, I took your advice and one day got a job. It didn’t last very long but went otherwise good. Most of the money went to the team and they were very, very excited but I still wanted to get you something so I saved a little bit. I'm real sorry I didn't do what I promised. Maybe I still will sometime. Thanks. -Meowth.
Without warning, a small giggle escaped me and burst the poignant hush. I finished re-reading it again and then folded it carefully, smoothing out the clawmarks left in the penning of it along side the creases. Smiling gently, I ignored Violet's excited questions about what I got in the mail and slowly walked upstairs, entering the room quietly and heading to the window.
The budding evening was warm and still, and I pulled up the glass pane to enjoy it fully. I held my head up and smiled at the wind that gently tugged my hair, enjoying a brief moment in time when everything seemed to make sense when in reality nothing was solved. My fingers toyed playfully with the fruit, running over the grooves and ridges and delighting in the sensation of its cool skin, though my palms were quickly transferring their heat to the flesh and warming it. But even this felt perfectly alright, and I clutched the fruit tighter and held it to the light, admiring the color. This type of berry would practically keep forever, so I didn't have to worry about making it into Pokemon food anytime soon.
I turned to the desk and set it regally alongside the framed pictures of me with my friends and a plush Togepi, then fished around in my pocket for the crumpled picture. Two thumbtacks were sitting on the desk, so I picked them up and pinned both the doodle and the note to the desk, smiling at the slightly ridiculous air they gave the otherwise average teenager's desk. I laughed again and gazed out the window, wishing the sun would set already so that I could see the moon.
"I guess I could have guessed the ending to this, Togepi." I said, speaking to the tiny plush as I often did in lieu of a real pokemon, "Meowth is Meowth and needs to act it. But you know what? I believe it was worth it. I actually do. Because… I would have never really known him otherwise. And who knows- maybe someday, as long as the idea is there, he really will do what he said. Hope springs eternal, right?" I grew quieter and scanned the desk again, "And I do have his promise. Yeah, I know it may not count for much, but… I can afford to spare a little faith now and then."
Alright, alright, I know it wasn't very romantic (how could I possibly forget after the contest? XD ), but I tried to fix the problems pointed out to me by the contest juges, -most likely I'll tweak a little more tomorrow when I'm not about to fall asleep- and hopefully it was a decent relationship story anyway. ...besides, I have something else planned for this couple fic-wise anyway