Rated PG-13 for profanity and adult themes / Contains shoujo-ai, yuri content
The idea came up to do a ShootsDownShipping (Nozomi/Kengo) fic for whatever reason, and I came up with an idea I really loved, so I decided to roll with it. The chapters are going to be pretty short and sweet, and I'm planning for it to be a more lighthearted story--not really fluffy, just, fun. The main pairings are Nozomi and Kengo (duh), AppealShipping (Nozomi and Hikari), and PenguinShipping (Hikari and Kengo).
The title is derived from the awesome song You Give Love A Bad Name, and, even though this isn't really based around the song, it is sort of influenced by that and shares a lot of the same themes.
So, without further ado, enjoy, and remember feedback is love.
"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." - Katharine Hepburn
Chapter The First: Weather Girls
The cobalt hair cascaded down her gracefully arched back, the streams of unruly curls tumbling over each other and glinting sensuously in the summer sun. She mopped her brow--completely blemish-free--and turned her face and shining eyes skyward, as though entreating the sun for mercy. She apparently murmured a few words, but they did not register with her observer.The said voyeur felt sweat beading heavily on his forehead- and not just because of the unforgiving heat.
He was biting down more than a little strongly on his lower lip as he became aware of how weakly her yellow bikini bottom was clinging to her skin, how loose the tie at the back of her top was...
"Kengo?" He immediately lost any inkling of composure and tumbled over so that his shoulders were pressed into the gravelly sand and he was looking straight up at the figure towering over him.
"What's up?" Hyouta asked in a mockingly conversational tone.
"Just...um...b-birdwatching." Kengo felt his mouth go completely dry, now, at the worst possible moment. It didn't help that he was sprawled out on his back, the sand chaffing him and getting all up in his hair in a most unseemly fashion.
"Thanks, but I've also seen Back to the Future," Hyouta responded dryly. "Anyway, I'm sorry to bother you, it's just that some young ladies were concerned that you looked a tad suspicious..."
"I wasn't doing anything!" Kengo interjected, then turned red and attempted to backtrack as he realized how unwise it was to blow up at someone as rockhard as Hyouta. "It's just...I wasn't hurting, or, like, harassing anyone, and you can't prove I broke any rules or anything--!"
Hyouta put his hands up, palms forward, in an effort to smooth things over. "Look, man, I'm not accusing you of anything, it's just, as a lifeguard, it's my duty to clear the beach of any harm, including potential predators..."
"...So, um, could you leave the beach? Just for the day, not, you know, permanently..."
Kengo felt his face flaming with humiliation as he quickly gathered up his bag and sunblock from underneath the bush where he'd been hiding and stumbled away from Hyouta and ran down the sidewalk. Everything seemed to get blurry and jumbled from that point on, like he'd just taken a swig of some drink made of vodka mixed with extract of mortification.
He wandered around the streets of the coastal market district, hardly hearing the jeers and cheers of the street vendors as the tried desperately to get the attention--and, more importantly, cash--of any passersby.
The waves and embarrassment and dizziness had subsided somewhat, and he heaved a deep sigh as he plopped himself down on the nearest vacant bench.
"What a way to screw up," he muttered to himself, kicking up the dirt underneath his feet in frustration. "It would've been a really nice to spend at the beach, and I go all stupid and hide under that bush, and--"
"Kengo, that you?" Oh God, deja vu.
He didn't want to turn around and see who was talking at him...what if it was Hyouta again? Dear lord, forget the beach, he was probably going to be asked to leave the whole freaking coastal district!--
"Hey, dude, answer me!" He felt the intruder's knuckles tap the back of his-hard-and turned around, trying to glare as fiercely as his soft eyes would allow, which, much to his chagrin, was not a whole lot.
"Oh, hi, Satoshi." Kengo's shoulders, which had been notably scrunched up, relaxed as he felt relief surge throughout himself.
"Nice to see you," Satoshi grinned. Kengo couldn't help but wince slightly when he saw a piece of broccoli or spinach or something caught between his temporary companion's teeth.
So, not only does he fail to brush his hair, he doesn't floss, either?
"What are you doing here?" Satoshi inquired, forcing Kengo out of his oral hygiene musings. "I mean, it's only, like, eleven, and you're wearing swain trunks, so it seems like you should be at the beach."
Kengo shrugged and glanced down at his orange trunks and white T-shirt.They were still covered in sand.
"I was at the beach," he replied, continuing to look down at his feet. "But I got kicked off."
This surprised Satoshi, evidently, as his eyes widened and he leaned over the back of the bench, uncomfortably close to Kengo's head, and began optimistically digging for gossip-worthy details.
"Oh, really? What did you do? I mean, they're so lax there, I'd think you'd have to set off a bomb or something to get kicked out..."
Kengo's face was red again, and he was looking ever more intently at his feet.
Satoshi was pressing closer against him with ever delayed second, and his overly drawn-out breaths were irritating Kengo's neck, so, in hopes that the trainer would back off, he curtly answered, "I was hiding under a bush and then Hikari walked by and I started spying on her." He forced himself to turn around, look up and glare at Satoshi. "Now will you stop mouth-breathing down my neck?"
Satoshi rolled his eyes, but he did take a few steps backward before continuing, "Well, whatever. That was kind of stupid to do."
Thank you so much for your insightfulness...
"It sucks you can't hang out at the beach, though. By the way," after saying this, he grinned somewhat sheepishly and more than a tad mischievously. "Where can I find Hikari at the beach? She's in a bikini, right--"
His mouth clamped shut when he saw Kengo stand up, his mouth stretched into an improbably thin line, and his patience clearly at an end.
"Um, guess I'll see you later," Satoshi's smile changed from suggestive to nervous. "I was just messing arou-"
"Good bye," Kengo bade him shortly. Satoshi nodded his head, waved, and walked away swiftly if not steadily.
Kengo sank back down to his seat and exhaled heavily, leaning his neck over the back of the bench so he could see the beams of bright, midday sun. The clouds were beginning to congregate in large, grey patches. It was entirely possible that it would start raining withing a few short hours. He smiled a bit and felt strangely pleased as he thought, It seems as if Hyouta and his spray-on tan will get washed out...
It was not easy being Hikari. There was no way it was. Really, the average person could not comprehend just how difficult it was to keep your hair at the perfect balance between matte and glossy, to keep it smooth and frizz-free, yet coquettishly wavy at the same time. Not to mention maintaining a clear, glowing complexion and an absolutely aloof attitude, as well as trying to look natural as possible while wearing her signature "Fuck me pumps"--and that SQUEAL...perfecting that shrill sound was an art.
Nozomi shook her hand, feeling oddly as if she should scold herself for her sardonic thoughts regarding her old friend...friend, how loosely she used that word.
Here she was, a twenty-three-year-old, sitting in the middle of a park where bums and stoners were considered regulars, being all lovelorn over someone to whom she hadn't spoken in person for years. Sure, they sometimes saw each other, exchanged pleasantries, chatted on the phone and wrote five-page e-mails, but it had been so long since they'd actually talked. She was being too...too dark, too harsh. She had had lovely times with Hikari, and Hikari seemed to be fond of her, she was just busy. Nozomi twisted a piece of hair on her finger, and smiled a bit, in spite of herself. Memories of the blue-haired siren began flooding back. Iris had begun playing on her iPod, which perhaps triggered her bittersweet aura. The sky managed to complete the feeling, what with the fuzzy blanket encasing any bit of brightness and casting a sickly, yellowish-grey tint on every surface.
It was reminiscent pf the last time she and that irresistible little imp had spoken face-to-face. They had been in Celestic Town for some reason she couldn't recall, and they were both somewhat depressed, as the contest season was now over, and Satoshi's Sinnoh journey had ended, so they both had to move on to other places. She and Hikari ended up sitting at a picnic table made of old, decaying wood, in the shadow of several dark-wooded, sinister looking trees and an impending storm. Nozomi had thought it very romantic, but Hikari did not share the sentiment, apparently. Even though the little park located strategically near the famous ruins was quite placid and rather safe, Hikari's nerves were all on end, and she kept fidgeting and complaining audibly. Nozomi felt herself growing more and more annoyed, as she knew this would be their last chance to get together for awhile, and she didn't want it to be ruined by Hikari's ill-at-ease attitude.
"We're going out different ways," she began, but, much to her perturbation, Hikari cut her off by waving a hand in her face.
"Can we stop talking about this unimportant stuff?" Hikari asked, resting her chin on the back of her free hand. "If I have to sit in this abysmal place, I may as well actually be interested."
"You don't think our futures our important?" Nozomi tried not to sound as frustrated as she felt, since she didn't want to end her last discussion with Hikari on a sour note. She took a deep, yoga-esque breath, and, when she was certain Hikari wouldn't interrupt her a second time, she continued, "It's just, both of us are done coordinating in Sinnoh, and I'm going back to Johto to get ready for college, and you're off to the Orange Islands--"
"They're called the Sevii Islands now," Hikari corrected her.
Nozomi frowned and ignored the amendment.
"...And you're going there to enter contests, so I don't know when, or if, we'll see each other again. I..." Here she began to falter a bit and looked down at the tabletop rather than at Hikari. "...I just want you to know, our time together has really meant a lot to me..."
Hikari's face softened, and she beamed sympathetically at Nozomi. "It's meant to me, too! I mean, you helped me so much with my outfits and hair stuff..."
Is that all I am to her? A stylist?
"And you're, like, the coolest person I know!"
Oh, so a HIP stylist...
"I'll miss you more than anyone else...I wish I was old enough to apply to college, or that my mom would let me go as far as Johto." She seemed genuinely saddened, and Nozomi felt her cool exterior melt away, and her heart flutter in a most clichéd manner.
"Hikari," she murmured, but her heartthrob put a finger gingerly to her lips and batted her eyes.
"Wha--" Nozomi never finished the syllable, as Hikari gripped her shoulders and pulled her torso closer to her own.
"Don't tell me," Hikari whispered with a grin. Nozomi wasn't quite sure what this was supposed to mean, except that Hikari had been listening to the mixtape she'd made her.
Without a moment of hesitation, Hikari pulled in Nozomi forcefully and kissed her, her pouty lips perfectly curled, her glittering eyes clamped shut. Nozomi was taken aback for a moment, but quickly warmed up to the idea and placed her hands around Hikari's waist and kissed back with as much force as that with which Hikari had started. It was slightly awkward embracing each other and kissing over the top of an old picnic table, but, nevertheless, the kiss lasted all of eleven seconds--Nozomi had checked her pokétch--before Hikari withdrew and sat back down, bashfully placing her hands in her lap.
"Sorry, it just freaked me out that HE was watching," she explained, gesturing to a nearby ancient statue of a fearsome looking Ursaring.
Nozomi leaned over the table, and looked into Hikari's eyes, their faces so close that Nozomi's bangs tickled Hikari's forehead.
"Then maybe we should find someplace a little more private..."
Suddenly and without warning, a voice exploded from behind them, "Hikari? Good, I'm SO-O-O glad I found you!"
Nozomi spun around at the sound of this intrusion, her face growing crimson as her irritation intensified.
"What is it?!" she snapped, before her brain had fully processed who the third party was.
"I just needed to see Hikari!" the said third party hollered back. Nozomi half-stepped, half-stumbled backward when she realized it was Kengo. Kengo, that annoying little braggart, that stupid excuse of a coordinator who had a knack for showing up and ruining a wonderful moment...the childhood friend who'd fallen just as hard for Hikari as Nozomi had.
"Can it wait?" she queried, trying to sound softer, knowing the situation had to be handled delicately. Not that she actually cared about Kengo's feelings, but if she was too discourteous toward him, Hikari might well hold her in contempt, something she couldn't risk.
"I don't think so," Kengo returned, openly glowering at her. "The shuttle to Sandgem's pier is about to leave, and Hikari and I both need to be on it."
Nozomi couldn't stop her eyes from widening in shock.
"A-are you going to the Sevii Islands together?" she croaked.
"No," Kengo sighed, obviously disappointed that that wasn't the case. "My parents want me back in the Sandgem-Twinleaf area so I can go to school there." By this time, Hikari had come over to them and was standing at Nozomi's side.
"Kengo!" Hikari exclaimed, furthering Nozomi's exasperation. "I can't believe they're making you stay in Twinleaf! Why won't they let you keep traveling?!"
Kengo shrugged and blushed a bit, clearly flustered by Hikari's overreaction.
"Uh, it's just they thought two years away from home was enough," he stammered out. "When I took the academic exams this year, I barely passedI barely passed, so they want me back in school for a few years...I guess I can start traveling again once I get my grades up."
"I'm so sorry! I'll miss you SO much!" Hikari wailed, causing Nozomi to roll her eyes and sneer at Kengo.
She then cut Hikari short by uttering, "Yeah, it's a damned shame. Now, Kengo, could you go awa-"
Kengo shot her a dirty look and went on, "We need to get over to the shuttle NOW...I don't know how much longer it'll be here."
Hikari grasped Nozomi's arm and looked forlornly at her before stepping away and saying, "I'm so sorry, Nozomi, but if I don't leave now, I might not make it in time to my ship...I'll be sure to stay in touch! I really will!" Nozomi smugly noted that the sorry directed at her sounded much more sincere than the one hikari had given Kengo.
"Good luck," she called softly as Hikari walked away with Kengo. She briefly admired the view from behind Hikari, when Kengo turned around and stuck his tongue out at her. Nozomi promptly gave him the finger.
She was abruptly snapped out of her reminiscing when someone--presumably a jogger or a drunk or some sort of combination of the two--had the nerve to nearly crash into her. She folded the copy of the Jubilife Times she had been reading and crossed her legs, trying to look as irked as possible. Couldn't a person just sit on a crusty old bench at a shady park and read her newspaper and listen to pop-punk-whatever-the-hell-it-was-rock on her iPod without being disturbed?--
"I'm really, really sorry," she heard the as-of-yet unidentified klutz pant. Apparently, they were a most tired out klutz. "I was just trying to get back to my apartment, and I kind of slipped..."
The person unexpectedly stopped talking, and, to her ever-increasing annoyance, Nozomi was forced to look up from her MP3 player to see just what the issue was. She had to stifle a cynical laugh when she recognized the face before her.
"Oh, joy," she drawled. "If it isn't my best buddy, Kengo."