Perhaps it was madness, but the truth was, whenever he thought of her his heart grew three sizes and he felt the sudden and inexplicable urge to smile. And not the cocky grin, deemed fit for an Elite, as he pummeled into a trainer’s Pokémon without mercy. No, a grin of lighthearted happiness, as he seemed to soar like a flock of Swellows, and his feet didn’t touch the ground, like he levitated like a Magnemite. It was unbecoming of a dark type trainer such as himself, and worse, it was ridiculous too!
When Sidney had taken the position he had understood that, along with the prestige, being recognised for what a great trainer he was, the position came with a stigma. An obvious part to play. And yet it was hard to keep himself composed, and seem like the cool guy. Tough but fair. He had always put Offense over defense any day, and so to be on the defensive, as those weird feelings crashed into him like a wave from his Sharpedo...well it wasn’t like him.
Such feelings poured into his head as he battled another trainer. Normally the match would be a breeze, aided by the fact that he had the type matchup advantage. All it would take would be two or three strong hits, and he would have won.
His Pokémon, however seemed to have picked up on his distraction, Sharpedo staring at him through half glazed eyes as if worried. Sidney wasn’t worried that he’d lose, not really, he had pushed his team into being into the peak of shape. Truly champions (if you ignored Steven, the real champion), but the look that his Pokémon was giving him seemed to nudge him away from the wandering of his thought, as he finally got serious enough to defeat the trainer.
That just couldn’t be, though, even if he didn’t want to admit it to himself, those weird, kooky feelings were starting to affect his ability to battle. And battling was his livelihood, or were he not an Elite.
Using his old Mantras that “Offense is the best Defense”, Sidney realised, that he had to take care of this issue sooner rather than later.
As it turned out Sidney did not have to wait long before he had the chance to do so. It got boring in Ever Grande, just waiting on challengers which could very well be defeated before arriving at him. And he knew that Phoebe felt the same way, with the way he dispelled most of them. So when a chance for the Elite to make a public appearance came, he accepted gladly, before realising that Phoebe, of course, would want to go to. And despite his gulp, as a trainer he had given his word, and his word was amongst the most important things to him, so he didn’t back down.
His tuffs of hair were combed into a half decent shape, but that was nothing on the preparations that Phoebe made. Sidney understood why, a chance for a night out, especially with cameras all around to capture them. It asked for composure, but he couldn’t help himself but let out a single “whoah”, as he saw them.
Phoebe had dropped the baring of the midriff and went for a dress that clearly hadn’t seen much use. It was black, and gloomy, with what seemingly appeared to be spider webs on the shoulders. The white dropped in little threads, like fog, into along the dress. If Sidney didn’t know better he’d say it was an old Halloween costume repurposed, but he didn’t laugh. It suited her, somehow. She looked drop dead gorgeous.
Phoebe must have listened to his little sigh of amazement as when she passed by him she rolled her eyes. Sidney could, however, detect a small smirk on her face, which he took as a good sign.
Though Sidney had expected a fun night out, with drinks, and chances to interact with trainers, it was anything but. He should have expected so, of course, this wasn’t the first he had come to one of those events, but he still couldn’t help but hope. The appetizers, little Miltank milk cheese cubes, did nothing to satiate his hunger, even when he put three or four of them in a row in his mouth. Some of the Gym leaders were there, and while Wallace seemed to be totally at ease, and Flannery was a bag of nerves, they still weren’t enough to dispel how bored he was. It was in the middle of Norman’s fourth story about the Johto ways that he realised that he just couldn’t handle it anymore.
Excusing himself from the conversation, with a shaky excuse that really wouldn’t hold up if examined, he left to get some air. The Lilycove air had the wonderful smell of sea water and the soft breeze blowing by allowed Sidney to smell it. He wasn’t exactly one to wax poetics, but he had to admit, he really, really enjoyed this kind of scene, just him, alone, looking at the sea down by the cliffs below, it was almost iconic. Like he thought he had seen a painting like that before.
“Leaving early?”, the voice scared Sidney half to death, as evidenced by the way he jumped about half a meter in the air. He quickly glanced around to see Phoebe, who had a knowing grin on her face.
The sight of Phoebe set him into overdrive. Where had she come from? How long had she been there? Had she seen him smiling at the waves like a dork? What did she think of it?
But Sidney was an Elite, he knew when to reveal what he was feeling, the anxiety, the worries, those he could keep to himself, so he simply let out a “Nope”
“You aren’t very talkative today, that’s a first for you, what’s the matter?”, Once again Sidney was surprised by how close she had moved. It was like she melted into the shadows. Like a ghost. The dress had been fitting, as its dark colors allowed her to move undisturbed.
It was only about twenty seconds later that he realised she had asked him a question, when he was around Phoebe words tended to take a while to materialise their meaning.
“Oh, nothing! Not anything, really!”, God, he must have sounded like the worse idiot on the face of the planet. Reminding himself of his saying about offense, he decided to go on the attack.
“What about you?”, He turned to where he thought she was, but she had already disappeared from there, he briefly turned around, confused, until he spotted her sitting down.
“Your dress -”, He pointed out, only to be met with a shrug. “Ain’t harder to remove than grave dirt. That’s for sure.”, he supposed Phoebe had a point, he wouldn’t know, being close to Phoebe was the closest he would ever want to be to a cemetery,
“So, did you also decide to leave the party?”, it was no big deal, it was just some big shot salesman who wanted them all in for the marketing and the group photo. It had been stuffy, formal, nothing like he wanted it to be. But why would Phoebe have left?
“Yeah, wasn’t fun anyway.”,Phoebe bit her lip, and Sidney could tell there was something she wanted to ask. He decided she might as well.
“You can ask, I know what it is! Why are your numbers down? Why are more trainers passing towards me? What’s wrong”, he glanced at her, she who seemingly seemed to have gained a touch of shyness as she hid her eyes from him. “Well it’s complicated!”
“Lot’s of things are. Aren’t they? I just want to make sure that you don’t have any regrets. The amount of people I saw visiting at grandma’s - they didn’t get the chance to do what they wanted with their loved ones - even if they were, you know, Pokémon.”, that kind of ruined how serious the moment was, but Sidney couldn’t help but think she was right. Deciding to take the offensive once more, he went for it.
“There’s this girl and - You know what, it’s super weird to just be sitting here on the wet grass, talking about her, with you of all people.”
Phoebe raised an eyebrow, wondering what that meant.
“I mean, it’s nothing bad, it’s just! Herm, just…”, damn it! Sidney never lost his words, not ever, except when he was near Phoebe, he cursed her ability to make him forget how to speak.
Phoebe put out a hand to his. Though he had been expecting them to be cold, like ones of ghouls, they were surprisingly arm. He noticed that she had surprisingly nice nails, she must have worked on them before coming there.
“Something like this perhaps?”,the wicked grin on her face made the blood drain from Sidney’s face. She was toying with him.
“Y...yeah”, that was bad, not only was she toying with him, but he was falling for him, bad.
Phoebe let out a laugh, a pristine thing that rang all around them and seemed to get stuck in Sidney’s ears.
“Be confident, girls dig the confidence”. She got closer to him, touching his shoulder with her head. “Besides, what are you afraid of? Ghost and Dark can’t really hurt one another, can they?”
She pushed her head up to his, their lips got closer, just as they were about to close the distance, someone shouted for them.
“Guys? Hum, Steven sent for you, they’re about to take the picture and -”
Cursing heavily Sidney untangled himself from the awkward position.
“Talk to you in Ever Grande”, he said, pushing dirt out of his outfit with his hands.
And he was sure they would..