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II. There’s No Shaymin Trying, Is There?

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“Right! So, let’s start with the main floor, then,” Aaron croaks out, gesturing with his hand for Carson to step in front of him. He watches the man walk in front of him, taking time to appreciate the view of the man from behind. Carson seems to glance around, as if finally seeing everything in the room. “This room is usually for starting new trainers out on their journey. It’s where they get their pokémon and pokédex and such.” Aaron leads them through the main entry space, letting his voice carry across the empty room. Carson hums and nods in all the right places, asking questions when something confuses him.

They move through the door Garchomp exited out of before, into a long hallway with floor to ceiling windows and a glass double door on one side. The windows look out to a large pasture, with plenty of pokémon sleeping in the grass or playing with each other. Aaron walks up to the window. “Obviously this is the pasture where all the pokémon are let out to during the day. Usually there’s more than this because all of the employee’s pokémon usually come out too, but since I’m the only one here today there isn’t quite as many.”

“Ah. And why exactly are you the only one here today?” Carson questions as he comes to stand by Aaron. He glances towards him, before turning his observing eyes back out to the pasture.

Aaron ducks his head, smiling. “I uh, wanted to get ahead on our research. So I came in today to see if I could make any more progress. The lab is usually shut down when Professor Sycamore isn’t here.” Which is about always, Aaron thinks to himself.

Carson turns back to look at him, meeting his eyes briefly before smiling. “It’s never a bad thing to want to get ahead, Aaron.” And oh.

That’s the first time Carson has spoken his name, and it feels right. Like that’s the way it was always meant to be said. Aaron immediately shoves his hands into the pockets of his lab coat and blushes, shaking his head. He can’t think that about a man he just met.

Turning back towards Carson, he bites his bottom lip. “Y-yes, well, when your boss is the definition of easily distracted and nonchalant, it turns from getting ahead into actually trying to get something done for once,” he replies in a stiff voice, shaking his head. Carson gives him a curious look, like he’s trying to decide if Aaron’s telling the truth. Or maybe he’s surprised that Aaron could say negative things about the Professor.

He lets out a small chuckle, “Well I’m not surprised in the least. Who let a man like him be in charge of the careers and paths of hundreds of new trainers?” Aaron shrugs towards him, smiling.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell everyone. Let’s move on to the upstairs?” Aaron leads him towards the other end of the hallway, occupied by only the elevator and some decorative plants. They take it up to the second floor and Aaron immediately guides him towards a large table in the middle.

The table takes up most of the middle space. It’s littered with several large multi colored stones, several tinier green stones, and pieces of black jewelry with the smaller stones inside them. There are notes scribbled down next to the large stones, pokémon names with question marks written on them. Aaron picks up one of the small green stones.

“This,” he says, showing Carson the stone, “is a KeyStone. It connects with the Mega Stones, which are the large multi colored ones. A trainer keeps the KeyStone, and the pokémon takes the MegaStone. The two can react if there is a strong bond between the trainer and pokémon.”

Carson takes the tiny KeyStone from his hand, running it between his fingers. “So, this is how pokémon can mega evolve, then?”

“Supposedly, yes. We, uh, haven’t been able to get any of our pokémon here at lab to do it yet, unfortunately. Although the gym leader Korrina’s Lucario can.” Aaron frowns towards the table, letting out a breathe. It’s not like he hasn’t been trying for weeks and weeks to get his Garchomp to mega evolve.

Carson places the KeyStone back down on the table. “You seem, really passionate.” Aaron looks back over at Carson, whose face has gone pink again. “I mean, about the-uhm,” he gestures towards the table.

Aaron grins widely at him. “Well, I mean. I do kind of run the Mega evolution research. Sycamore is usually too busy dealing with new trainers or, something.” He runs a hand through his spiky black hair, trying to hide his grin.

Carson places a hand on the table to lean on, body facing towards Aaron. “Well, maybe I should be interviewing you then, huh? You at least seem to show up.” He huffs, obviously still angry about Sycamore’s absent.

“You should. I mean—,” Aaron lets out a breathe, “You could. Interview me.” The man looks surprised, like he didn’t consider his idea could be a reality. His eyes lock with Aaron’s, blue and bright with curiosity.

Carson offers him a smile. “Oh? And why would I do that? What would make it worth my time?”

Aaron maintains eye contact, letting his eyes glow with mischievous. “A date with me, afterwards. Dinner?” His heart hammers inside his chest as he watches Carson’s face. A look of surprise flits across it briefly, and then it shifts to interest. Carson slowly looks him up and down, causing Aaron to shiver. He can feel his cheeks fill with color from Carson’s appreciative stare.

Carson grins. “Yeah, I think that might be worth it.”