I have been working on this One Shot for ages, even before the Roses and Chocolates Contest, and later wanted to enter it for said contest. However me being me, I didn’t get it finished on time. So I promised myself that I’d get it out on Valentines Day.
And I did. It might not still be Valentines where you live, but it is here, and the fact that I got it done and am posting it at any point today is good enough for me.
This is the first time I have ever written anything in the romance genre, and I have no idea how well I did. Criticism, opinions, all of it is welcome and encouraged, and I’d like to know how well I pulled it off. Any comments are much appreciated, as I would love to hear your opinions on this piece which I have been working on for somewhere around six months.
Why Can’t the World Stop?
The Pokémon Center was quiet that night. Though the white lamps still flooded the building with light, there was still a tired, wary air within the fine wooden walls. A single woman with long pink hair tied in pigtails wearing a nurse’s apron sat at the front desk, watching the door for any trainer that needed the Center’s facilities late at night. Tonight, however, was a very clear, peaceful night, and it seemed that most trainers would be spending it outdoors under the stars, which were clearly visible in the cloudless sky. So Nurse Joy was left with nothing to do but drum her fingers on the reception desk in boredom as her eyelids grew heavy and she started dozing off.
A few Chansey hurried along the halls, padded pink feet barely making a sound as they waddled along. Their round, light pink bodies bobbed about, some carrying trays laden with foods, medications and all sorts of things in their short, stubby arms.
All the couches and seats in the lobby were empty- any passing trainers who were staying in the Pokémon Center overnight had all booked rooms located in the back of the Center, far from the normally busy lobby.
In one such room at the end of a hallway full of others just like it, a young girl was sleeping fitfully. Though only her pale complexion and brown hair tied in a ponytail could be seen, it was easy to tell that she was in her teenage years from the size of the lump under the white sheets which moved up and down rhythmically with her breathing. The girl slept peacefully, never once snoring or grunting, nor did she toss and turn; tonight, her mind was devoid of dreams.
Draped over a chair at the other end of the room was a neatly-folded pink blouse and a jean miniskirt; the clothing she would no doubt put on the next day. A pair of black shoes lay by the chair’s wooden legs, ready for use. On the hardwood desk near the chair lay a belt, on which were strapped multiple red and white balls which glinted in the light of the sliver of moon coming from a large window in the room.
All was peaceful, and not a soul stirred in the silence of the night.
Then out of nowhere, one of the spheres on the belt began to wobble, though nothing appeared to be touching it. The wind could have been to blame, but the one window in the room wasn’t open enough to let in a breeze, making this a curious sight. After further wobbling and a slight pause, the Pokéball suddenly burst open in a flash of white light. The beam emerging from it took on a cat-like shape of a creature about three feet tall, standing on four long, elegant legs. The light faded away to reveal that she, for the creature was indeed female, was covered in fine, cream-colored fur. Her head looked delicate sitting atop a thin neck, a large pair of light purple ears that curled slightly upwards making her facial features look too small for her face. A dark purple collar of fur wrapped around her neck, and a tuff of the same colored fur resembling a tulip rested at the end of her long, thin tail which swayed slowly back and forth behind her.
She surveyed the room with sharp black eyes, sniffing the air carefully and checking that it was safe. Tense and alert, she fixed her gaze on the still form of the human, watching her sleep for a moment. The creature remained silent as she watched, looking hesitant, nervous and even somewhat regretful. The girl didn’t seem to notice the creature’s presence and she slept on, still oblivious.
Sighing in relief, the creature made her way over to the window, which was slightly open to let the air in the room circulate, stepping lightly so as not to wake anyone. The view that the low window provided was nothing amazing; there was a grassy area where trainers sometimes played with their Pokémon, which was evident from the flattened-down grass in the shapes of footprints, large and small. Not far off the trees began- huge things that loomed high overhead, branches reaching for the star-spotted heavens. Peaceful, quiet.
She looked up at the pane of glass, the only thing separating her from the world. She nuzzled the sliding window open a bit more experimentally, noting thankfully that it didn’t creak as she moved it. She worked carefully and quietly, and after what felt like ages of pushing and prodding, there was a space large enough for her to squeeze through between the glass and the frame. She glanced one last time at the human’s sleeping form, her eyes soft and shining in both apology and eagerness. Part of her told her to stay with the girl, but the other part urged her to leave, and for a moment she closed her eyes as the loyal and rebellious parts of her mind wrestled with one another. But finally, as she took in a breath of the fresh air, she could resist no more, and jumped through the window, sprinting across the grassy area and into the woods, until not even her tail swishing behind her could be seen anymore.
She trotted quickly through the woods, her paws lifting high above the ground with each step so as to avoid the rocks and twigs that poked at the bottoms of her paws. She slowed her trot when she caught sight of a more clear area in front of her, the light from the stars and moon shining onto the leaf-strewn ground and illuminating the scene. She stopped here, looking around with quick, sharp snaps of her head, but there was only silence, save the buzzing of filmy bug wings from far off. She breathed heavily but quickly, alert and on her guard, though she doubted there was any threat in this place, not on this night.
“You shouldn’t have come.” She spun around, looking for the source of the soft, masculine voice. There, stepping out of the shadows of the trees was a creature not unlike her. His body, not much larger than her own, was covered in deep blue fur with a sleek sheen. He stood confidently on four strong legs, tuffs of long, yellow fur on the paws of his forelegs. Larger, thicker tuffs of the same fur were on the tops of his hindlegs, between which stuck out a long, stiff blue tail. The fur around his neck gave way from blue to light yellow, working all the way up to the pointed top of his head, like one large, thick horn. He looked like he was wearing some kind of helmet, only revealing a few of his facial features: alert, sharp orange eyes and a long snout curled in a slight grimace.
“I know,” she said heavily, speaking in a serious tone, “But I had to see you again.” She took an eager step forward, eyes wide with sincerity. “I can’t stand being away from you.”
His eyes softened at her words and a small smile played across his lips. “Nor I you.” he said gently, taking a step closer to her. In reaction to the motion she moved eagerly towards him, and the two walked to meet each other in the middle. They pressed their bodies against one another, comforted to feel the others’ fur against their own. She purred as he nuzzled her face with his cool black nose while she rubbed her cheek along the surface of his skull, remembering every inch of him. Their eyes were closed in pleasure, the mere thought of being reunited bringing them joy and the knowledge that they could hear the other’s heartbeat reassuring them. Thankfulness overwhelmed them, and they were content in simply being together, bathing in the time they had been graced with to spend with each other.
“It isn’t fair,” she murmured suddenly, pulling slightly away and catching his eyes. “That I can’t see you. It isn’t right. We…we shouldn’t have to hide this.”
He looked at her as if from afar, eyes soft and full of sorrow. “No. But such are the ways of the world, and though it may not seem just, it can not be changed.”
She sighed, a touch of bitterness in her voice. “I wish it didn’t have to be like this. That we didn’t have to meet in secret for fear of what others think.”
“It is because they don’t understand,” he said quietly, moving closer to her comfortingly. “Few can ever understand what we have- some fear love, and some even hate it. They choose not to embrace it.” He spoke with wisdom, but she wished his words weren’t the truth.
She smiled weakly up at him, and he smiled in return. Her breathing was shallow, as if her lungs wouldn’t fill to their capacity, leaving her short of breath. “Yes. Yes, it is a shame, that the world is like this. But I wish…I wish my Trainer could understand. If…if she knew I was seeing you…” She looked up into his eyes pleadingly. “This is not wise, for us to be together. She doesn’t want me to see you. If only…it wasn’t for her! If not for my Trainer, we would be together in peace, we wouldn’t have to meet in secret and hide this…”
“Do not speak ill of her. She only wants the best for you, you know that. She cares deeply for you, and wishes you no harm.” he said softly, nuzzling her so as to bring her comfort.
She hesitated, knowing that he spoke the truth. “Yes…I know. But it’s still so, so…frustrating! My loyalty for her runs deep, but my love for you runs deeper still. You are my One, and the mere thought of being away from you frightens me.” A tear rolled down her cheek, and she hung her head in despair. The words she knew she had to say next pained her, but she forced them out nonetheless, feeling an overwhelming sadness as she did.
“Tomorrow we are leaving, and…I shall never see you again.” She said, choking, her voice heavy. The weight of this truth squeezed her heart painfully.
He lifted her head with his snout, catching her black eyes with her orange ones and holding her gaze firmly. “Never say never.” he said softly, moving his forepaw and placing it over hers protectively. Her paw looked tiny and delicate under his own, the underside being rough and firm from many years of travel.
He then looked up to stare into the face of the moon hanging high overhead, its pale light reflecting in his sharp eyes. She followed his gaze, fondly admiring the many starts that kept the moon company. “As long as the moon floats in the sky, anything can happen.” He said, smiling to himself and not taking his eyes off the great orb. He then looked back at her, eyes still shining. “And as long as the stars remain with the moon, so my love will be with you wherever you go.”
Her heart melted at his words, and a small smile graced her lips. His face softened, having spoke the words with all his heart, and he smiled back. For a while they took the time to just look at each other, engraving the memory of each other’s faces deep in their minds. The serenity of the scene would make any passer-by’s heart ache, but the two creatures were on their own, the moon and stars their only witnesses.
After this long moment, the two turned their gazes to the very things that seemed to keep watch over them, allowing the distant light to shine onto their faces. The stars and moon, even after having seen many things in their lives, felt for the two below them, bringing them strength and hope. She wrapped her tail around his as they sat together, and for one brief moment, the laws of the world were unable to affect them, and time stopped for the two lovers. They were alone, but were content, because all they ever wanted, all they would ever need, was each other.