I hereby declare this my first and last Pokemon fic. Normally I wouldn't do this, but I decided that given my username, I should contribute a little to the cause of Contestshipping. This was done in a day, so don't expect too much. Read, and if you wish to, review.
Rating: I think this should be PG since it's not exactly something you'd ever see in a Pokemon episode.
La Rousse is a place of routine, where no resident ever steps out of his or her line. It is perfect, boring and without feature. It is also the place where Drew calls home.
How their friendship came to be, he is not sure, though he ventures to make a few assumptions. He supposes he owes it to the isolation. He is, after all, her only neighbor in the outskirts of town.
He sees May once or twice a day. It is never long, normally a brief chat on the bus as he makes his way to work, before she gets off at the fifth stop – one stop before his.
Sometimes, she invites him over to her place for dinner, where she enthusiastically treats him to a detailed discussion of almost everything over a hot meal. He quite looks forward to these occasions, though he will never admit this aloud. However, he cannot help but think that their connection is based purely on circumstances, for there is no one else relatively nearby for her to converse with. He is, to put it simply, the chosen candidate.
Despite himself, Drew considers it rather fortunate.
He, like everyone else, prefers the quiet order of life. It is simple yet effective, and more importantly, there are no surprises. Drew is not fond of surprises; to him, they represent a challenge that he is unfamiliar to.
May, on the other hand, is the embodiment of spontaneity. True to her bubbly and lively nature, she favors making a big noise out of everything. Drew has seen her prance playfully around her warm living room for no apparent reason, her form swaying and her hair jingling.
He himself disapproves of her unpredictability. It is disruptive, he concludes.
When he is at her house, she initiates the bonding. Sometimes she watches a show with him. Sometimes she offers him some of her cooking. Sometimes she engages him in lively conversation. Or at least, she attempts to. He is not so much of an introvert, but his questions and answers tend to be rather curt and to the point.
‘Drew, I’ve been thinking – why’s the city so colorless?’ She asks, deep in thought.
‘The city, I can’t see any color in it – why is that?’
‘…the people in it don’t feel the need for color.’
Sometimes, they sit in silence.
In La Rousse, people rarely speak to one another. The most conversation is made in the many towering office buildings in the city centre. The great citadels of glass and stone are the exact image of the people who reside around them – they are transparent in their poise and indifferent in their manner.
He is intrigued by May, thus, for she does not belong in any way. He does not know why she moved here, nor does he care much. Still, he is curious so he asks her. It is one of the few conversations that he himself starts.
She tells him that she feels like moving.
Drew is confused as to why she would have such a lack of uniformity. To him, it makes no sense. Her path is so jagged, he thinks.
It is nothing like the smooth pavements.
Sometimes, he sees her cry when she is by herself.
He never mentions it to her, though.
She tells him about her friends in her hometown sometimes. He has heard enough of her animated chatter to recall a Misty, a Dawn and a Paul. The one he hears about the most, however, is a man named Ash.
Drew doesn’t like him much.
‘Why do you insist on color?’ He asks out of nowhere, over the humming sound of the bus.
‘Well…there wouldn’t be any hope and happiness if the world was black and white, would there?’
Drew does not answer. He feels obligated to accept the unbendable laws of life. He does not live on dreams nor does he have any sort of picture for the future. Drew simply resides in the present.
Out of the corner of his eye, he sees May bite her lower lip at the sight of his blank face, and she says nothing else to him for the rest of the ride. He pretends not to notice.
The city, Drew observes later that day, is composed of black, white and various shades of gray.
To his knowledge, she has no other companions despite her irregular schedule of excursions. Drew finds this quite normal. He is still not sure why he himself does not ignore her the way the rest of the city populace do with one another.
She asks him one day if he ever feels lonely, hands fumbling in her lap.
Drew looks at her vaguely for a long time. He has never considered this notion and it makes his insides squirm as he ponders the inherently obvious. He finds it uncomfortable.
Curt and precise, he asks her if it matters.
She shakes her head after a pause and looks away, smiling sadly.
Her cooking, he thinks, is quite enjoyable. May never has the same dish laid out, but whatever the food, it is always burnt, uncooked, or in some way imperfect.
Drew doesn’t mind.
Strangely though, later he personally rebukes his stomach for the disorder.
‘Do you feel lonely here then, May?’
‘A bit, yes…but you're here, aren't you?’ she whispers.
She sounds fearful, Drew notices.
Black and white in an orderly fashion – for Drew, that is all the distinction he sees. Everything is predictable and clear-cut. A yes is a yes. A no is a no. Drew knows what he sees and hears. He knows that her individuality fascinates him; he also knows that he himself harbors no positive feelings for the Ash character.
He also knows that, to May, he is a tender mercy in a sea of stone, and in an inexplicable way, he is the one feeling somewhat gratified instead.
Drew sits down on his front porch, his head high, and watches intently as the sun slowly begins its retreat. It is a magnificent sight to behold, the air shimmering and the faint beams of light showering the city.
As much as he tries, Drew cannot see the colors.
Often, he sees her returning at dusk from his window. As she treads over the gray streets, she breathes heavily, and as she steps up to her own house and unlocks the door, she exhales in regret. Drew can tell that the city scares her in its own intimidating sense, even though he himself cannot fully understand her reasoning. He does not, however, think it foolish.
After all, nothing else colorful lives in La Rousse.
‘You’re always full of surprises, it seems. Why is that, May?’
‘…I guess I just wouldn’t want to do the same thing over and over again…it’ll be boring then, and…mm…this is good,’ she says, licking the ice cream off a thin silver spoon. ‘Why aren’t you, then?’ She adds as an afterthought.
Drew pauses. He mulls over this for a while. Impossibly, he is unsure of himself. Why indeed.
He sees her finishing the last mouthful and she visibly savors the taste, rolling it around with her tongue, as it fades away. Suddenly, he wonders what flavor it is. He cannot tell by its look.
He sees her from his bedroom. She is simply sitting in front of the television. It is not switched on, even. She is simply staring into the cold emptiness.
She presses her petite form against him. She is, he can see, exhausted from the choking atmosphere of the city. Contrary to her usual confidence, she shivers, small and helpless. Her fingers twitch slightly, as if she is clinging on to threads.
‘I am so very tired, Drew. I want to leave.’
He has never before clapped her on her back, patted her on her shoulders or in any way touched her. He hesitates – then he comes to a decision.
He gathers his arms around her and at the bodily movement she clings even tighter to him. He gently ruffles her hair and comforts her softly, though he keeps his head up and does not look at her. Slowly, she cries herself to sleep.
Drew splashes the icy water over his face. It is refreshing to his depressive mood.
Sadness is something he has no experience of, until then. La Rousse is hollow, and so are the people who dwell within its boundaries. He is not supposed to feel elated, nor is he supposed to feel unhappy. He is not, in a literal meaning, meant to deviate from the quiet order. For the first time in his existence, Drew feels that he is an anomaly in the mass of nothingness.
He looks up and glances into the mirror.
He stumbles in shock at what he sees.
The man with bright green hair opposite him does the same, astonishment etched upon his pallid face.
In the morning, he is by her bedside, looking at the hair that is a gentle shade of brown tumble over her face. The gentle shade of brown that he has never before registered, or seen.
His mouth twitches into what may have been a fond smile.
She fidgets around in her sleep, muttering darkly, and Drew curses that which plagues her. He brushes a stray hair from her nose – and she wakes.
‘I think,’ she says in a weary tone, ‘I think that I would like to go back to my hometown.’
The difference between them, Drew believes, is that May is in free rein of her path. She does not need to abide by any rules of a divine order because they do not bind her to them. Her world is a colorful world full of choices and freedom – she herself chooses her consequences; she herself creates those very choices.
Drew’s world, alongside the other residents’, is bound by self-inflicted law. He can not choose because he has pressed it upon himself not to. He cannot see beyond black and white because he has laid upon himself the definite sense of routine. His road is ever-uniform, ever-predictable.
He never feels because nothing is ever his doing.
Yet now, as she begins packing her belongings, Drew grows more and more conscious of the sadness that he is wallowing in.
He sees the men hefting the last of the furniture into the truck, and he turns his gaze to her. Standing there, for a while she says nothing. In truth, he does not know what to say either.
He doesn’t move when she slowly leans forward – the kiss she gives him runs through his body like fire and he sees blurs of colors flash vividly before his eyes.
At last, he understands what she meant.
Drew has never known loneliness because he has never truly been conscious of it. Now that she has left him, he feels detached. An unexplainable void.
Right on schedule at six, he walks towards the bathroom for his shower, a towel slung over his shoulder. He puts his hand on the doorknob and turns it.
The imperfect, chipped road not taken, he recalls. May.
The bath can wait, he tells himself, and he turns away, shifting his attention towards the pink light shining elegantly in the far horizon.
Standing on the smooth stone pavements of La Rousse, Drew bows his head.
And that's it. Sorry about the quality, though.