Something I wrote on a whim a while back. A bit of fair warning: Dawn is out of character. VERY out of character. However, she is acting completely... well, not normal, but certainly not out of the ballpark for a confused and naive girl her age. Rated PG - 13 for mild romance and implied disturbing themes.
Tell me what you think.
"Dawn!" I called. My voice echoed across the dark buildings and through the shrouded alleyways, but I heard no reply. It was no use. I doubted I could ever find her in a city like this. She probably didn't want to be found, anyway, and that would without a doubt make it much harder to track her.
I didn't know exactly what had happened back at the Pokemon Center, but from the way she ran off crying, I could tell it wasn't good. I had an idea, of course. She normally didn't get so upset about anything, so it would have had to have been something pretty major, considering her intense fury and sorrow. And the way she had been acting around him ever since we met made it pretty obvious...
"DAWN!" I called again. No matter how difficult it would be to find her, I knew I had to. Big cities were dangerous this time of night, and Sunyshore was no different, despite their "Earth-friendly" ideas and attitude.
As I was about to call out again, I heard a sniffle and the pitter-patter of boots splashing through puddles off to the right. Sure enough, I turned towards the sound, and I could make out her signature hat and red scarf trailing behind her as she ran off further into the alleyway.
With a sigh of relief, I followed her. She didn't make it easy; whenever possible, she ducked into an adjacent street or alternate alley. Whatever was wrong, she really didn't want to be found.
Soon I reached a crossroads, and there was no sign of her. I contemplated which way to go. I had to choose carefully; the wrong choice would only take me further away from her and almost guarantee her being hurt somehow, be it being picked up by a stranger or tripping and breaking her arm with no one around to help. Choices, choices...
Directly in front of me, I heard a sniffle and a small sob. "Dawn?" I asked.
"...Over here," she replied weakly. I walked slowly towards her, since I didn't want to scare her away. People are prone to acting like simple animals and following their instincts when they are upset or frightened.
I still couldn't see her, but this was the direction her voice had come from. I rounded the corner of a trash dumpster, and there she was, nestled up in the corner of the dumpster and the building it belonged to, her knees drawn up to her chin, encircled by her arms. I sat down next to her with my legs crossed.
"Dawn, what's wrong?" I asked, my voice smooth and soothing, even to my own ears. She turned away from me as much as she could, which wasn't much. She was rather limited by her position and could only turn her head. When she did, her hat caught on the dumpster and fell off, but she made no attempt to reclaim it.
"What do you care?" was her reply. It hurt, honestly. We had only known each other for a month, but I still cared deeply for her.
"Dawn, it's okay; you can talk to me about anything. We're friends," I said, almost assuring myself that indeed we were, we were just friends. She turned back to me, a sparkle in her eye. It was saddening, the way she looked at me. It was like I was the rising sun on the darkest of nights. Her lips trembled, and I knew what was coming next. She threw herself into my open arms, resting her head on my chest. Then, the tears came. They came hard and they came wet. I just sat there, stroking her hair and embracing her as she let all of her sorrows out in my arms.
As she began to pull herself together, I heard her mumble something. "What was that?" I asked, my voice still as soft as freshly-spun cotton yarn.
She spoke louder this time, but it made her pain all the more obvious. "It's... it's Ash."
"What about Ash?" She sat up further and laid her head on my shoulder. I still held her in my arms and she continued to let me stroke her hair.
"It's... it's just... I-I don't know, it's stupid."
"It can't be very stupid if it left you so broken," I said, chuckling lightly. She looked up at me.
"Broken? I'm not... I'm not broken!" she protested.
I sighed, and patted her head lightly. "Dawn, look at yourself. Look at us, even. We're sitting behind a dumpster in some back-washed alleyway deep in the heart of Sunyshore City, and just a moment ago, you were crying your eyes out." She sniffed again.
"Yeah, look at us..." her voice trailed off. Us. There it was again. I didn't like the way she said 'us.' No, actually, that was a lie. I did like the way she said 'us,' it just wasn't something I could deal with right now.
"Well, maybe you aren't broken, but something is obviously wrong. Tell me, what happened with you and Ash?" She took a moment to reply, and when she did, her voice cracked with sadness.
"Nothing happened with me and Ash, and that's the problem! We've been traveling together for almost a year now; I thought by now he would at least feel a little like I do!" My heart sunk, and that bothered me. It shouldn't have, she wasn't the one I wanted! Or was she?
"So, you like him, then?"
"I'm sorry." She lapsed back into tears, clutching onto me with a death-grip. Time seemed to pass slowly, as if the rivulets of her tears were somehow mixing with the sands of time, weighing them down. Seconds became minutes... minutes became hours... hours became days... days became weeks... weeks turned to months... and months became years that we sat there, holding on to each other for dear life. Her thoughts were known to me, but she still was unaware of my true feelings, the ones I tried to repress, because I didn't want her, I wanted May. Maybe, just maybe, I wanted them both. But... I couldn't have them both. So which one did I want more?
Her tears ended, and we sat there for a few more minutes, as she regained her composure. Finally, I stood up, and extended an arm. She grasped it, smiling at me, and I pulled her up. She again pulled me into an embrace. It was almost too much. I could barely take it anymore.
"You know, Ty, you've been a great friend to me."
"Well, what are friends for?"
She chuckled. I didn't like this. It sounded... different. A note played through her voice, something I had never heard from her before. "No, I mean, a really good friend, when you didn't even have to."
"Well, I-" I never got to finish my sentence. She reached up and pulled my head down, joining our lips. I was surprised at first, shocked even, but... I couldn't hold back. I lost myself to her touch, clutching her lithe form tightly to my own. It was heaven. I would have sold my own soul to stay like this forever, but I knew it couldn't last. Too soon, I pulled myself away, severing the contact that had fulfilled my every want and need.
It took her a moment to realize what had happened. She stood there still, her eyes shut dreamily and her mouth twisted, as if she was kissing the air. When she came to, she immediately pulled away from my grasp and turned around, thoroughly embarrassed. "I-I don't know what to say," she muttered, stuttering throughout.
"It's okay, Dawn," I said, and hugged her from behind, resting my chin on her shoulder. "You don't need to be embarrassed. I mean, I can see why you are, but..." I trailed off. It was hard to maintain my falsely cheery attitude. I turned her around. "You're confused, and understandably so, after what happened earlier. Let's just let this rest for now, and we'll talk about it in a few days, when we're both ready."
She looked surprised and confused. "But, Ty, I love you!"
"No. No you don't. Maybe you have a bit of a crush on me, but you don't love me. Just a few minutes ago, you were wailing because Ash didn't return your feelings. You can't have forgotten all about that already." I paused, and her expression sank. "Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea about all of this. I like you too, but I can't do this right now. There are some... things I need to deal with before I can do anything like this. So I'm sorry, but if you'll just wait, we can see what happens."
She sighed in acceptance, then pushed past me to head for the road.
"Woah, hey, where are you going?" I called after her.
"No need to worry, I just need a few things from the store. I'll be back before you guys even miss me!" I ran up to her.
"Okay, but here," I removed a Pokeball from my belt and placed it in her open palm. "Take Hitmontop with you, in case you run into trouble."
She smiled widely at me and thanked me for my concern, again telling me not to worry, but she pocketed the ball anyway.
Whenever she tells me not to worry is when I worry the most.
Back at the Pokemon Center, I made my way up to the room we had reserved for the four of us: Ash, Brock, Dawn, and I. I inserted the key-card and heard the familiar click that signaled the door was unlocked, and pushed it open. Everything inside was pretty simple; Brock sat at the desk, typing something up on his laptop, and Ash sat on top of one of the bunk beds, Pikachu sitting on his shoulder.
"Hey, Ty," he greeted me. He looked behind me as I entered, trying to spot some sign that Dawn had returned with me. Of course, he found none. "Hey, wait, where's Dawn?"
"She wanted to get a couple things at the store, so I let her go." They both began to object, but I eased their worries when I explained that I'd let her borrow Hitmontop and showed them my belt, which was missing a ball. That eased their worries. Afterwards, though, I turned to Ash and pointed a finger at him accusingly.
"But you!" I paused, trying to gather my thoughts and assemble them into a coherent sentence. "I-I-I- I don't even know that to say to you! I'm going to bed!" I unbuckled my belt and hung it over the foot of my bed, before climbing between the sheets, not bothering to remove my dirtied clothes.
"One can of shaving cream, and one pack of disposable razors. That will be 650 PokeDollars, please." Dawn handed the cashier a short stack of bills in exchange for her bag. The cashier thanked her and bid her a good day. He didn't even know.
The shaving cream was a cover-up. She had come for the razors.