Enjoy :]

Title: Chasing Pavements
Author: Cate (on FF.net at marysuesuglybff)
Fandom: Pokemon
Pairings: Imageshipping (friendship), Contestshipping, Waterflowershipping, Pokeshipping (implied)
Rating: PG-13

“Haruka!”

Feet smacked aimlessly against the rain soaked pavement. The distant clapping of thunder and its twin, the twisting lightning, did little to make the girl slow in her pursuit of freedom.

It wasn’t fair, she thought, not bothering to wipe the rouge tears away from her blue eyes. Life wasn’t fair, wasn’t right.

Unbalanced.

“Haruka!” the feminine voice called again, and this time the brunette caught a trace of a sob in between the “ha” and “ka.” Still, she did not stop, didn’t let her predator catch up with her.

Kasumi couldn’t win in this game, too. Haruka wouldn’t let her; she’d protect herself until the last. Until death.

“Come on,” a tiny voice cooed inside of her head. “Kasumi loves you, and you love her. She’s your best friend. She wouldn’t ever hurt you like this.”

Then why did she steal his heart? Why did she show absolutely no consideration in her pursuit of… him? It simply didn’t add up. It didn’t. And Haruka, regardless of the tears streaming down her face, knew this.

“Haruka, stop!”

And she just wanted to keep running, but she knew that eventually her athletic pursuer would catch up. She always did.

In every little aspect of their lives, Kasumi caught up and sped past her. In beauty, in pokemon training… and even though she’d only performed in a contest once, Kasumi had done remarkably well.

“I studied you and Shuu, Haru-chan,” she had demurred after winning the ribbon. “I mean, if you guys had been in the ring, I would have been destroyed.” Kasumi was always so humble.

It would have been nice, Haruka thought, to have been in that contest. She couldn’t begin to guess if Kasumi was at all right from watching the redhead in just one contest.
“Haru-chan! Please wait!” Kasumi gasped, employing the nickname that they’d used since becoming so close. Of course, just as the gym leader had planned—Haruka knew she was ever such a scheming girl—the brunette really couldn’t handle this usage.
Kasumi wouldn’t hurt her. Not intentionally, anyway.

She came to a stop and fell to the pavement, her knees quivering from the extensive sprint. It wasn’t fair… she always won.

Haruka heard the footsteps stop a moment later and felt the wet arms of the tall girl around her.

“You have to listen, Haru-chan,” Kasumi whispered into Haruka’s wet hair, her voice rough from screaming. “I told Shuu no. I just never thought he’d bring it up at the dinner like this…

“He came to me two weeks ago… said that he loved you but that you’d been so… distant lately. We talked for hours, I guess, because Satoshi was in Masara visiting Hanako-mama, and so we had no one to remind us of the time.” Haruka stared at the water glittering on the road. The reflections of the street lights twinkled as rain drops interrupted their peace.

“But what happened tonight, I just didn’t foresee. But I promise you, he loves you so much… and I am nothing.”

Arms lifted away from the broken young woman, leaving Haruka without a shield once more. Kasumi knelt in front of her, and Haruka caught a glimpse of the red blue eyes staring imploringly at her.

They held so many lies. Kasumi never lost. She simply coated things over, shrouding the truth with her kindness.

“I want to believe you, Kasu. But…”

The redhead’s glance darted to her ring finger. “If you don’t, then take a look at this. It was a promise I made not only to my husband five years ago, but to every other woman in this world. And I never break my promises.”

Kasumi never lost, the coordinator thought. She never broke. Never. And that meant in her vows, too. A hand stretched out and wiped Haruka’s cheek ever so maternally.
“Shuu loves you, Haruka. I promise. So stop crying, for the love of Arceus.”

Perhaps she was right. Haruka didn’t want to argue, especially not whilst sitting on the rain soaked pavement. She leapt into Kasumi’s lap and threw her arms around the older woman’s neck.

“I love you, Kasu.”

“I know,” she replied, giggling into the top of her head before pulling the younger one into her arms.

And in the storm, in their lives, that was all they needed to be fine.