I hope you like it! Here's wishing the New Year is a great one!
.: Flutter About :.
~ Dance around and hope you'll land on target ~
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She sighed for the umpteenth time and Ruby casually, if not secretly, looked from the corner of his eye. Sapphire was lying flat on her stomach on top of the Torchic beanie lining one side of the secret base. Normally, Sapphire was brimming with life and nagging him when she felt compiled to do so, but not today. She was completely lethargic—something the girl should never
be since it was out of character and that caused Ruby to worry (though he wouldn’t admit that).
Once Sapphire inadvertently shifted positions, sighing again,
the male Trainer dropped his sewing project on his lap, removed his glasses, and turned in the girl’s direction with a slight frown. “I can’t concentrate with you acting so gloomy. What in the world are you sighing about, Sapphire?”
She looked over her shoulder before turning back to face the wall. “Nothing.”
“That’s hardly believable,” Ruby retorted, tucking his glasses in his pockets. “You are a bad liar.”
Sapphire glared. “It’s nothing,
so leave me alone.”
If that was true, Ruby would’ve continued sewing Kiki a new scarf; but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Sapphire was bothered by something and he was going to uproot the problem. Standing from his seat at the round table in the center of the base, Ruby ascended the short staircase leading to Sapphire and skillfully spun her beanie around so she was facing him. She looked up in shock while Ruby placed his hands on his hips. “It’s hard to ignore you when you sigh loudly. What’s the matter?”
“N…Nothing…” Oh? She was clenching something close to her chest when she averted her eyes; a book perhaps? “I don’t have to tell ya if I don’t want to. It’s not important.”
He made no response before crouching down in front of her, pointing out of the cave with convincing panic, Ruby believed an acting career was plausible. “Sapphire, a Salamence!”
“What!?” Sapphire pushed herself up in alarm, preparing to grab one of her Poké Balls. She stopped short, however, when realization dawned on her. “Hey, wait a minute: Salamence habitats aren’t—Ruby!”
Quickly jumping out of her reach, Ruby victoriously flipped through the book Sapphire was attempting to hide. It was a picture book (well, a research book with plenty of pictures) on the numerous Pokémon habitats found throughout Hoenn and various other regions. They all ranged from wetlands, deserts, and mountain summits, but Ruby noticed a particular, dog-earred page and he immediately flipped to it, finding a two-page picture on the snowy environments in the Sinnoh region. It wasn’t a particularly interesting picture considering everything was covered in white and the description was cumbersome at best, so Ruby couldn’t understand why this page seemed interesting.
“Give that back!” Engrossed with his thoughts, Sapphire was able to swipe the book back; her cheeks filled with color and Ruby blinked in mild surprise. Hugging the book again, Sapphire snapped. “What’s the big idea invading my private space!?”
“I’d say it’s hardly private if we’re sharing this tiny, little cave. Not enough room for personal bubbles, you know?” Ruby shrugged with a teasing smirk. He interrupted Sapphire’s incoming bark by pointing at the back. “Why are you looking at Pokémon habitats? Are you helping your father with his research again?”
How odd and suspicious… Ruby continued his interrogation. “They why did you mark one of the pages? You seem particularly interested with landscapes covered in snow.” Ruby walked back to the round table, picking up where he left off in sewing. “Just so you know: snow makes everything cold, wet, and once it begins to melt, snow creates mud. Not very good for perfectly groomed Pokémon I say. Back in Goldenrod City, sometimes it snowed for the sake of snowing; and it wasn’t even winter! Luckily, winters don’t last long in Johto, but that didn’t mean it was easy walking around outside. So much mud…it was disgusting!”
Sapphire blinked. “I don’t think snow is like that. It looks like cotton and shaved ice in books.”
“Books are only half the experience, Sapphire.” Ruby brushed off with a wave of his hand; chuckling. “Then again, I don’t expect you to really know
about snow considering you lived in Hoenn all your life—”
Suddenly the Pokémon Coordinator froze; nearly pricking his finger with the sewing needle. Adding up the facts he gathered moments earlier, Ruby discovered something new (and positively terrifying).
Whipping his head in Sapphire’s direction—the girl flinching defensively—Ruby blurted out. “You haven’t seen snow
“N-No… Hoenn’s in the tropics. We don’t get
snow,” Sapphire deadpanned with a blank face.
That was not
an excuse! “You are telling me you’ve never stepped in snow, feel it against your boot, or wore
the amazing winter fashion that comes with the snowy season?”
“What the? You just complained about snow a few seconds ago!”
“I was complaining about the mud it makes—everything else about snow is fantastic and you’ve
never seen it!”
“Sapphire, this is a crisis. I assumed that since you practically lived in trees, snow wouldn’t seem brand new—”
“Ruby!” Sapphire yelled. The look on her face…he didn’t know how to categorize it. It was sad; it was angry; but most of all, it was full of embarrassment. Had he caused that? But Sapphire was always so stubborn that it prevented her from feeling
self-conscious. Her grip tightened around the book as she glared. “Sorry I’m so ignorant about snow.”
Ruby’s eyebrows knit together and he stood up once more. “I never said that.”
“Sure ya did: you like
making a fool outta me.” After saying her piece, Sapphire made a beeline for the cave’s entrance, alarming Ruby.
“Where are you—?”
“I don’t want to be around you right now,” she stubbornly insisted. If Ruby didn’t know any better, he would have missed the angry tears starting to form in Sapphire’s eyes. “Sometimes the things you say aren’t very comforting.”
Taking her words to heart, Ruby stood in complete silence, feeling the aftereffect of their argument (was it really?) suffocating him. Sighing, Ruby fell back in his seat and stared down at the unfinished scarf in his hands. He wasn’t saying all those things to be mean to her—that was the last thing he’d ever want to do—but Ruby had no idea Sapphire harbored such affections for snow. Ruby was just being his vivacious self to try and lightened the mood; get Sapphire to yell at him and forget about her gloominess.
“Maybe that’s just an excuse…” he muttered, crossing his arms and hanging his head to the side. Although he was
attuned to Sapphire mood swings, Ruby would admit that sometimes his methods of handling the situation was just wrong. So then…how was he going to fix this? Sapphire had become such an important character in his life that her absence was not something Ruby liked on most days. An apology was in order of course, but he wasn’t the kind of guy to simply apologize and be done with it (and he really doubted Sapphire would easily take his word).
Looking up at the rocky ceiling of the cave, he hummed. Ruby couldn’t do anything about the lack of winter-appropriate weather in Hoenn and decorating the cave in fake snow would probably lead to Sapphire feeling mocked… Sometimes that girl could be so dramatic.
If she wanted to see snow, all Sapphire had to do was observe Ice-type Pokémon in their natural habitat—
“Ah! We can do that!”
Ruby reached for one of the Poké Balls at his belt, praising his inner genius. Glancing down at one Poké Ball in particular, he smiled. “Feefee, I’m counting on you to master that new move we’ve been practicing.”
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
Sapphire Birch hasn’t seen that pretentious brat in a nearly a week and not once
has he apologized for his behaviour. He didn’t visit her once and if she spotted him, Ruby completely ignored her. Well…that wasn’t true; he would
greet her if they made eye contact, but Ruby acted as if their argument meant nothing and it was enough to make Sapphire’s blood boil. He was so stupid. She wasn’t going to care about him anymore; Ruby could be a stranger to her for all she cared.
…But she did
Exasperatedly dragging her hands down her face, Sapphire groaned. Why did she have complicated feelings towards Ruby? Nothing about him was definite and everything he did gave her mixed signals. He liked her enough as a friend and they got along great with only a minor disagreement or two, but what else? When the fate of the Hoenn region was literally in their hands just a few months ago, did Ruby really forget about their…mutual confession at Mirage Island?
…Just thinking about Ruby’s ‘amnesia’ and constant derailing of the topic added the icing to her anger-filled cake.
Grabbing one of the Poké Dolls on the shelf, Sapphire grudgingly threw it across the secret base. “Make sense already!”
“What are you doing!?”
Ruby shrieked and Sapphire blinked out of her thoughts. She was immediately aware that the boy in question was at the entrance, juggling with the task of catching the Poké Doll in a panic and holding on to a big, plastic bag. Once the doll was safe in his hands, he gave Sapphire a scolding. “I got this Clefairy doll in Johto and you just fling it across the room? Not only would this be hard to clean, but it’s still my stuff!”
“S-Sorry—” Ah, no wait! She was still mad at Ruby, right? Sapphire frowned, looking away with her retort. “Well, I didn’t ask you to decorate the base!”
“Oh come on. It adds a homely feel to an otherwise empty cave.” Ruby rolled his eyes after dusting the doll and replacing it back on the shelf. Once again, he was ignoring her despite being two feet away from her. Sapphire had half the mind to get up and leave again; maybe to be more obvious that she
was snubbing him—
“I hope I didn’t keep you waiting.”
“Who says I was waiting for you!?” Sapphire flabbergasted. She could feel heat rising to her cheeks, but not once would she acknowledge it! Just because she lounged around the base at this time every day this week, it did not
mean she wanted to see him! Besides, Ruby never stopped by since her little outburst so—Ack! Not the point; she wasn’t
waiting for him! “I like coming here around this time, alright?”
“Yes, yes. Anyways, let’s go!” He suddenly grabbed her hand and hurried out of the cave.
Sapphire nearly tripped over her feet and tried to keep up with his stride, but admittedly, his legs were just a little
bit longer than hers. “Ruby, slow down!”
“This can’t wait! Feefee accomplished a new feat and someone—besides me—needs to witness her moment of glory!” Ruby insisted with a bit of a hop in his step.
The most Sapphire could do was follow (honestly, she didn’t have much of a choice). She allowed him to guide her along until they reached an empty field on Route 101. It was a short departure from the secret base, but Sapphire was pretty sure she never came across this part of the route before… Actually, when she thought about it, the area looked like it was cleared just recently. Ruby loosened his grip around her hand and walked towards the center of the area after putting away his plastic bag; Sapphire disregarding him to thoroughly examine her surroundings. A few trees looked like they were knocked down and patches of grass were extremely flat and turning yellow; almost as if something big and heavy was snuffing them out. Was it a wild Pokémon?
“And now: for the moment of truth!” Ruby announced. She darted her blue eyes in his direction as Ruby spun a microphone in his left hand before giving a one million-watt smile. “Possessing a beauty that shines brilliantly with a Marvel Scale, this is the Pokémon, Milotic—Feefee take the stage!”
As if on cue, Ruby tossed Feefee’s Poké Ball into the air and the Tender Pokémon was released in a bright light. It let out a melodious cry before gracefully landing beside Ruby. Sapphire had a feeling Ruby was doing another one of those Contest things even before his flowery prose. It was a little irritating that he dragged her all the way out here just to show off his Pokémon (again
), but Sapphire couldn’t deny that Ruby only did so to be affectionate with his Pokémon. That, and Feefee was a sight to behold in her own right; she was beautiful.
“Wow, Feefee looks…uh…well-groomed?” Sapphire guessed if this was the important part of the show.
“That should be a given, but thank you for noticing.” Ruby puffed out his chest with pride before stretching out his hand and raising it to the sky. “However, she’s not done yet!”
The Tender Pokémon let out another cry as she raised body and Sapphire quickly felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end when the temperature around them dropped; flecks of white beginning to form around Feefee. The storm of white spiralled towards the sky and on Feefee’s command—when she swept her colorful tail from side to side—the storm gathered together before bursting in the air above, raining down in a shimmering array.
On her part, Sapphire was mesmerized. It was like fireworks in the middle of summer, but even better! Her eyes followed trails of the crystal specks as they fell, opening her palm and catching them on her glove. Sapphire wasn’t expecting these tiny crystals to have intricate designs; each one unique from the other. Wait…wasn’t this what people called snowflakes? Sapphire blinked. “Snow…?”
“Feefee’s Blizzard actually,” Ruby corrected. Looking up, the Coordinator was standing beside her with a knowing smile. He tucked the microphone back into the confines of his jacket pocket. “It only took a week and a half to master, but I never doubted she couldn’t do something amazing! It’s brilliant, isn’t it? I captured everything on camera the first time, but I couldn’t resist doing so again. Oh, Feefee, you make me so proud!”
As Ruby continued praising his Milotic with overt affection, Sapphire could only stared wide-eyed; mouth falling agape. “That…That was Blizzard?”
“Of course! It may be one of the most devastating Ice-type moves in battle, but if manipulated properly, Blizzard becomes nothing more than beautiful, gentle snowfall—a perfect move for my Feefee if I do say so myself!” Ruby explained, recalling the Milotic back to her Poké Ball.
Sapphire nodded slowly, but she still couldn’t comprehend why Ruby would show her
of all people a Contest technique. Yes, it was impressive, but wouldn’t the demonstration work much better in an actual Contest? Shrugging, the girl continued to marvel at the sight of falling snow, dancing and melting on her nose, skin, and shoulders. Snow…it was even better than she thought it would be.
Suddenly, she felt a hand on her crown, brushing down the top of her bandana and breaking Sapphire from her trance. Ruby was standing directly in front of her (really close too) and it caused her face to burn a bright red. That nonchalant way he carried himself was unnerving. “Snow’s piled up on your head.”
“I-I got it.” She stepped back to put space between them (and to hide the fact that she was blushing), but the crunching sound under her shoe caught her attention immediately. Looking down, Sapphire gasped in amazement.
Taking in the bigger picture, the empty field was entirely white now; covered in a thin layer of snow! It wasn’t an exact replication of the fields she’d seen in books, but the scenery was still enough to take her breath away. Stepping in snow…Sapphire had no idea how exhilarating it was! This was nothing like stepping on cotton; the sensation was wet, soft, and way better!
She was laughing now like a child in a candy store.
“This is amazing!” Sapphire took a few more steps around the field. “Snow is so
“I know, right?” Ruby agreed. “Not only is it a pretty winter picture, but you can make snowmen, go on sleigh rides, and after a snow day, you can drink hot cocoa around the fireplace!”
Sapphire added to her excitement. “You can also go tobogganing, build snow fortresses, and have snowball fights too, right?”
“…If you're into that kind of thing,” Ruby hesitated with a shrug. Clearing his throat, the Coordinator asked. “So are you satisfied now?”
“With what?”’ Sapphire blinked.
“With this!” Gesturing to the snow-covered field, Ruby clarified. “I know it’s not a natural snow environment, but the overall idea is pretty much the same in any snowy area.”
She blinked once, then twice. A third time before shyly looking down and holding her hands politely together. Sapphire felt sheepish, but this time, she didn’t seem to care if Ruby noticed as she mumbled. “You…did this all for me?”
“Hmm? How do you mean?”
“Feefee and I have been practicing her Blizzard technique for a while now. Having a battle-oriented person like you finding awe in it makes me feel confident that it’ll move the judges’ hearts during the next Pokémon Contest of course,” Ruby yammered confidently. He hummed a bit before smiling again. “Ah, but I’m still not at Master Wallace’s level of appeals yet. I wonder how he would move audiences with Blizzard…”
Shock was the only thing she was overcome with. So Sapphire was just test fodder? Again?
Why was she always caught up in his pace of doing things? The least Ruby could do was not
give her mixed signals—again!
An aggravated sigh slipped through her lips as Sapphire pressed a finger to her forehead, easing a tiny, growing headache. Well, at least she finally got to see what snow was like in an open environment, even if it was ‘synthetically’ made by a Pokémon and the Trainer was just showing off.
“Hey, Sapphire, if I were to go to the Sinnoh region, would you come with me?” he suddenly asked.
“Ha? What brought this on?” If Sapphire knew one thing about Sinnoh, then it was that the region was way up north. It would take days to get there by ship! What could Ruby possibly want to do up there?
“Well, the Pokémon Contests up in Sinnoh are impressive—if not more so—over there and I’ve decided to win the Sinnoh Contests ribbons! To be dubbed ‘Super Contests’, there must
be a reason why Pokémon Contests in that region are so grand!”
…Ah, that made sense. Pokémon Contests…of course…
The idea of going to a new region just for that
was a little off-putting, but Sapphire remembered her father’s curiosity of the Pokémon habitats in cooler climates. If she decided to go with Ruby (whenever this trip was ever to be planned on his part), Sapphire didn’t think was a bad idea to tag along; she could kill two birds with one stone. Making up her mind with a decided hum, she replied. “I guess… I’ve never been there before.”
“Good!” Suddenly, Ruby turned to the plastic bag he brought with him, pulling out a jacket—a long, pale red coat to be exact. It looked way too hot to wear in Hoenn’s weather! Sapphire furrowed her eyebrows as Ruby habitually shoved the jacket in her arms. “You’re going to need this when we go to Sinnoh! Be thankful that I spent all of this week making you a winter coat!”
“A winter coat?” That’s
the reason she hadn’t seen him all week? Teaching Feefee Blizzard sounded like a more logical excuse! Staring at the intricately sown jacket before looking at the Coordinator again, who was in the process of making plans in his head, Sapphire asked. “Is it really that cold up in Sinnoh?”
“Not everywhere from what I researched, but Snowpoint City in particular is cold and it would make sense since it’s covered in snow year-round,” Ruby replied in a thinking gesture. “It’s only proper you wear a winter coat since the majority of our stay will be in Snowpoint City after I tackle the Super Contests.”
Sapphire only imagined the miles upon miles of snow and her eyes lit up. Hugging the jacket to her chest, she gaped. “We’ll be…surrounded by snow?”
Ruby stared at her quietly, making the girl grasp how dense she sounded. Of course there would be snow in Snow
point City. Turning bright red and looking at her feet, Sapphire wished the ground would open up and eat her whole. Soon enough, Ruby started chuckling. Should she be embarrassed, angry-embarrassed, or embarrassed-
embarrassed? She continued to ponder the thought before the Coordinator sighed in amusement. “Yes, snow will be everywhere. I thought you’d like it.”
It was official: she was redder than Chic’s feathered body! Ruby, however, only continued beaming. Not with overconfidence or vanity, but just an honest smile. Sapphire felt warm inside; Ruby was being sincere with her. “Geez, you really were overreacting.”
“Me? How so?” He was honestly confused and Sapphire bit back the grin that wanted to form on her face.
Laughing, Sapphire teased. “I’m a Hoenn girl. It’s not news that I’ve never seen snow before and you’re
going out of your way to show me everything good about snow.”
“Obviously!” Ruby huffed, diving into another, long-winded explanation. “Snow is a beautiful thing and it irks me that you’ve never experienced it! Feefee’s Blizzard is one thing, but seeing snow in all its glory is worth it. Oh! And don’t worry; I’ll have you covered in the winter wear department when we go to Sinnoh. Shorts and sleeveless shirts just don’t cut it in cold temperatures; people will just think you’re crazy. Hmm, and I guess I could do something for your Pokémon too; even they can look fabulous wearing winter accessories…”
As Ruby started making many gestures with his hands—talking to himself too—Sapphire watched with an affectionate gaze. Yes, Ruby made a big deal out of things, especially when they concerned her, but Sapphire honestly wouldn’t change a thing about it. Ruby just wouldn’t be ‘Ruby’ if he wasn’t exaggerating even the tiniest of things. Besides…she had a feeling this was Ruby’s way of apologizing for earlier this week—how showy of him.
Quietly approaching, Sapphire slipped her hand in Ruby’s when he wasn’t frantically waving his arms. The contact caught him off-guard and he quickly turned to face her. Sapphire’s gaze lingered for a few seconds before she squeezed his hand. “Thank you, Ruby…”
It took him a moment to react, but soon enough, she felt him return the gesture. “Any time, Sapphire.”
.: End :.