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Starboy

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“What’s that?” Satoshi’s voice by his ear makes him shriek, jumping up into the air and fumbling with the items in his hands. Satoshi tumbles through the air in a way that still makes him want to snatch him out of the air and hold him, the floating boy curling around the diamond-bright crystal, uncurling once he’s sure he’s caught the thing that had worried Kaki so. Embarrassed and annoyed, he rubs the ear that had been briefly touched by Satoshi’s breath.

“We’ve discussed this,“ he reminds Satoshi, who pouts at him. “Wear the bell next time - I can’t be flying into the air every time you float around because you forget the bell.“ Satoshi pouts harder, sticking his lower lip out to adorably exaggerated levels. Kaki has to sigh, gently pinching the boy’s lip and plucking his prizes out of Satoshi’s hands when the boy squeaks at him, hands flashing up to protect his mouth.

“That was mean!” Satoshi pouts again, and Kaki gives him an absentminded ruffle of his hair, chuckling.

“I did warn you that I would pinch it if I saw it again.” He teases, using his hand to pull Satoshi into a gentle forehead tap, noses brushing as he conveys his apology to the excitable boy. Satoshi beams at him for the apology, and obligingly swoops back into the house to find the bell, jingling back and looking at him expectantly.

“So? What is it?” Satoshi asks again, hands planted upon his hips as he peers inquisitively at Kaki’s closed fist. “I wanna see!“ Kaki laughs at him, reaching out to ruffle his hair as the boy whines.

“After my morning chores.” He says firmly. “There will be plenty of time for fun later.” Satoshi whines harder, and Kaki pockets them before kneeling and picking up his first bag of soil. Satoshi, predictably, droops, but drapes himself over Kaki’s shoulder, a lightweight little bundle of joy. He has to roll his eyes, but there’s enough amusement in his expression that Satoshi knows it’s okay to stay there.

His chores are seemingly endless today - a constant littany of rinse and repeat, the boy lifting bag after bag of soil to supply the withering fields. More trainers than usual have been battling in the area, and they’re losing all their good topsoil. Satoshi watches from his position on Kaki’s shoulder, curiously asking questions all the while that he answers with as much patience as he can. Eventually, Satoshi leans in and pokes a bag.

“Last one?” He says hopefully, getting a laugh as the teenager shakes his head at Satoshi’s impatience.

“Saying ‘last one’ every time I pick up a bag is not going to make it go any faster Satoshi.” He tries to be firm, but his lips are twitching up into a smile as the teenager opens it. “But yes  this is the absolutely last one.” Satoshi gives a cheer, flipping off of Kaki’s shoulders in the way that made him want to drop the bag and catch him, the boy floating upside-down in a way that made his head hurt just looking at.

“Finally!” He’s joyful in the way only Satoshi can be, a smile curling over his mouth and a sparkle in his eyes as he bounces higher into the air, soft blue sparkles flickering around him. Kaki can’t help but smile, arms reaching to catch Satoshi as the boy fell into his arms, nuzzling his neck affectionately. Kaki’s cheeks redden slightly at his - as always - extremely contact-happy nature, fingers reaching up to carefully carry him, resisting the urge to ruffle Satoshi’s hair.

For now, at least.

The walk home takes him a little longer now that he’s carrying Satoshi, rather than the celestial boy floating an inch off of his shoulder, but he doesn’t mind it nearly as much as he should, and judging by the way the boy doesn’t squirm or ask him how much further it would be, instead happily burying himself into Kaki’s grip, melting happily and planting a kiss against his cheek.

Kaki would admit he didn’t actually remember much of the walk home, focused entirely on the warmth of Satoshi in his arms.

Arriving home is quiet, but when Kaki moves to put him down, Satoshi protests adorably, giving a sweet-natured, but childish whine when set gently into a comfortable spot on the porch railing.

“Can’t I stay there?” He puffs his cheeks out, Kaki reaching out to carefully press his cheeks together, making him squeak as he’s forced to release the air.

“Didn’t you want to see what I got?” Satoshi immediately lights up, all protest forgotten, and if Kaki hadn’t known Satoshi so well, he might have been offended. As it is, he gives a fond chuckle, shaking his head as he unveils the prized treasures given to him.

Your Grandfather was once the Island Kahuna. He’d be proud to see that both his Z-Ring and his first Z-Crystal made it to you. Olivia had told him that when she’d handed them both to him.

Satoshi wasn’t as awed as he expected, instead looking at the stone curiously rather than the reverence he expected. He’s annoyed at first, but then he remembers - Satoshi isn’t from here. Sometimes, it’s so hard to remember when it feels like he and Satoshi have shared their entire lives together, with how well he’s slotted into the empty space of his life.

“Looks familiar,” He says, a smile on his face, but still blank curiosity. “I’ve seen these before. At home…” Kaki looks up at Satoshi, knows how much he avoids speaking about his home in the stars. Without even thinking, he offers it - his most precious gift - to his most precious (maybe?) friend. Satoshi’s hands wrap around it, the ethereal glow from within spreading, bleeding out as the floating starboy.

It suffuses his skin like ink in water, blooming over his clasped hands, darting over freckled cheeks, swelling out from his chest like a fountain of sunburst and lava, glowing so brilliantly that if it had been night, Kaki would have feared for Satoshi’s safety.

Satoshi is more brilliant than any flame Kaki has spun, any attack he has ever seen, and his radiance - his light, is only matched by his smile.

The glow fades, and Satoshi gingerly hands it back, cheeks aglow with color and breathless with excitement.

That’s when he decides, right then.

He would gather every Z-stone to make Satoshi light up in all the colors of his skies from home. No matter how long it took.

His starboy deserved nothing less.

Chapter Text

Kaki has been born to the heat, but this was a little excessive. Find a fire type, train a fire type. But nobody said anything about the Fire type being able to spit acid - yeek!

He scrambles out of the way, swearing in a most unseemly fashion even as he tosses another pokeball at the hissing Salandit. Don’t break free don’t break free don’t break free please please please please… His prayers to the Tapu Lele are answered, and he slumps down, grabs the Pokeball and gives it a little shake, pointing an accusing finger at it.

“You were too much work to be worth it.” He grumbles, pocketing it and ignoring his howling Turtonator, who was rolling around on his back, legs kicking up in the air, trumpeting snorts following an irritated Kaki as he reached solid ground.

Only to get barreled into by one very excited starboy.

“That was amazing!” Satoshi immediately soothes his wounded pride, his expression full of innocent joy. “You were so cool, dodging it when it was hissing and spitting acid, and that jump you made when you threw the pokeball was so stylish -” He breaks off, wheeling into the air with blue sparkles bursting around him, the starboy only calming down when Kaki looks up at him in amusement.

Satoshi floats back down, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. “Uh… too much?” He’s blushing, and Kaki reaches out to run his hands through dark, silky hair, the trainer chuckling softly.

“Not at all. I appreciate the support. Especially since a certain someone isn’t doing their part.“ He frowns up at his still laughing partner, debates the merits of just leaving him there. Satoshi is beaming up at him, and he reaches out, hugs Kaki tightly, leaving the startled teenager to hug him back, a smile creeping over his face. “Thanks.“ He says, cheeks flushed at the affection. Satoshi doesn’t notice as usual, instead beaming at him with his megawatt smile, happy to have cheered up his usually serious friend. The starboy floats off, peering around curiously now that Kaki had finished his work.

“So, do we go back to the farm now?” Satoshi’s doing his best, but a dejected little slump gets through. Kaki watches him, knows how much Satoshi detests having to stay at the farm. He’s full of a star’s wanderlust, and part of him knows that Satoshi’s only staying for him. He swallows nervously. He doesn’t want Satoshi to leave, something in his heart twinging uncomfortably at the idea. He puts on a smile, reaches out to ruffle unruly strands of inky black, and when Satoshi looks at him, answers.

“Nah. I was thinking maybe a little change of pace - maybe eat out for once.” Satoshi’s expression, which had dimmed from the expected disappointment, immediately brightens and grace Kaki with his warmth. The boy immediately tackles him in a hug, Kaki briefly blinded by Satoshi’s sparkling figure. He pulls the starboy into his arms properly, overwhelmed by the repeated littany of ‘thank you’s and ‘you’re the best!‘ that Satoshi piled on him incessantly, petting down dark hair gently as he waits for the boy to stop giving off such bright light from his happiness.

“You really are the best Kaki,” Satoshi sighs against him, head resting on his shoulder. He smiles sheepishly. “I’m so glad you were the person I met first.” Kaki’s cheeks turn red, but he smiles.

“I’m glad I found you.” He replies, and for now, that’s enough. “C’mon now, you have to pick where we’re going to eat.” He says, graced again with Satoshi’s vivid smiles, the boy effortlessly launching himself into the air to float by his side as Kaki gathers his things, recalls his partner, and offers Satoshi his hand to guide the boy off the volcano. Satoshi happily holds onto it, beaming and giving off pretty sparkles of blue light as they make their way towards the city.

If Kaki holds on a little tighter, well, Satoshi doesn’t say anything, too happy to be going places with him to notice.

Chapter Text

“What’s an arcade?”

Kaki’s gotten better. Really, he has. He’s not even jumping three feet into the air anymore! Just maybe a little flinch. And maybe a tiny, tiny scream. Just a small one.

“Bell.” He reminds through tightly gritted teeth, and Satoshi gives an apologetic look, swooping closer and hugging him gently.

“Sorry,” The boy sounds apologetic too, all earnest, pretty brown eyes, and adorable little pout. The boy picks up the bell, tying it to his shorts once more from where it had fallen from his belt in the first place. “But what is it? It’s a lot more lively than the rest of town.” He sounds apologetic, but Kaki has to concede. Aside from the Hotel, there next big city was Kahuna Olivia’s town, and that would mean explaining to her who Satoshi was - the nosy womanwould find him.

She was more embarrassing than his mother when she thought he had a crush, so he was hoping to avoid that conversation for at least another ten days - that was when she’d be visiting him and Hoshi. He’s snapped out of his thoughts by Satoshi floating into his vision, the boy landing on the floor before him.

“It’s uh… a place where you play games.” He says awkwardly. “Mostly video games, but some dancing games. If you’re good you can win prizes.” Satoshi’s head cocks to a side, his expression utterly mystified.

“Video games? Prizes?” Satoshi echos back, bemused. “Is this some sort of human thing?” Kaki has to remind himself, yet again, that Satoshi really wasn’t a normal person. Normal people didn’t fall out of the sky, and they definitely didn’t float all the time. But Satoshi felt like he belonged here - more than anything.

So it was always a surprise when Satoshi’s confusion over mortal customs and things returned. Explaining what a video game was took some doing, but when he was done, Satoshi beamed at him, throwing off sparkles of light like his own, private Island Trial party, and Kaki has to smile, ruffle glowing blue hair as the boy practically vibrates in delight of the concept.

“Can we play? Pleeeeeeeeease?“ He doesn’t break out the Poochyena eyes, but it’s close enough that Kaki has to sigh and look away.

“Only a couple. It costs money to play, but if we can, I’ll try and see if I can win you a prize.” The boy doesn’t quite yet get what a prize is - though he understands the concept of a gift and reward just fine - but he hugs Kaki all the same, sparkling blue showing his affection.

Of course, Satoshi is immediately enamored by the arcade, cooing over everything he sees with bright eyes and more than a few pats to the head. There’s also a few Team Skull goons, but one look at Kaki’s glare, and they slink off, unwilling to test him.

(He has a mean right hook he’s always happy to use on them, and they’ve been on the wrong end of it often enough to prefer that they didn’t see him again.)

It’s easier to explain prizes to Satoshi here when he has an example, but the way Satoshi gravitates towards one particular one makes him smile awkwardly, rub

“Look!“ He’s excited, pointing towards the large stuffed Pyukumuku he sees, though Kaki winces at the arcade ticket price. It’s a large price tag, but the way that Satoshi looked so in awe of it, brown eyes round as the pearls his father dug up from the ocean floor that he couldn’t bring himself to say no.

Curfew was in twenty minutes, and he had to find a way to win a million tickets to get it for Satoshi. But, glancing at Satoshi’s awe-struck face filled him with the determination to keep going. And to get Satoshi that one million ticket prize, there was only one way to win that many.

The Pokedream Dance Machine.

Kaki hates that thing. By every Tapu that existed did he hate it. But it was a ticket winner, and Satoshi would be so disappointed, and he hated disappointing Satoshi more than he hated that machine. So gently, Kaki ruffles Satoshi’s hair.

“I got this,” He promises, and Satoshi stares up at him, amazed.

(Even Hoshi’s admiration was nothing compared to the brilliance of Satoshi’s smile.)

A few people back up when they see him approach the machine with a serious tilt to his mouth, but the Skull Grunts are lounging around it - they’ve hogged this thing since it became popular. He stretches a little, crossing his arms as he brings himself to his full - andvery intimidating - height.

They shrink a little, but they’ve gained some spine in the few weeks since he’s been gone. “Gotta pay to play - this machine’s ours.” The Grunt’s voice wavers a little, but he’s holding his own.

Kaki doesn’t so much as flinch, instead calmly lifting a hand to inspect his nails. A few of the more attentive grunts twitch. He clamps his hand into a fist, punching it into his open palm in a harsh smack of noise. A few of the Grunts are slowly edging away.

“Do I need to rehash our conversation from last time?” Kaki’s voice is firm, but his voice is raised in faint challenge, almost daring the particularly hapless goon to try and challenge him again. “I see that Owen isn’t here - skipped out on seeing me?” He asked, getting the pleasure of seeing the grunt flinch. “And what’s his name? Ekewaka? How’s his ribs?” His point is made, and he gets the added pleasure of seeing the goon pale even more. He grins, all feral savagery, punching his fist into his palm again.

“Looking forward to being lucky number three?” He’s grinning in a distinctly predatory way, but he’s got less than fifteen minutes to get Satoshi his plush toy, and he’s not going to disappoint. This goon is smarter than the last two, scooting away as fast as he dares.

“You won’t get away with this - one day the boss is gonna come for you, and then we’ll see who’s laughing!” He threatens, slinking off with his pals. He’s still irritated, so Kaki lets his grin widen, cracking his knuckles as he takes a step forward.

“I’ll punch his face in too, just watch me.” He grins, utterly unrepentant, but it’s enough to make them scurry off even faster, terrified. He sighs, rubbing his knuckles as he glances back to see Satoshi. To his surprise, Satoshi still looked to be in absolute awe, unabashed despite his violent attitude. It wasn’t one he particularly liked showing to people, but Satoshi seemed even more impressed by him, and he couldn’t help the faint blush that came to his cheeks.

Now. Time for this accursed machine. He slips the required number of coins in for the jackpot attempt, and steps onto the stage.

Dancing in public is not something Kaki enjoys, and the pressure is on to get enough for Satoshi’s prize, so most of the dance off against the AI is a genuine blur. He follows the dance the way he always does at first, but every time he catches sight of Satoshi’s bright eyes, he gets a little more creative, tosses in a tiny bit of flair. (He knows all the traditional dances - of course he does he’s a firedancer - and yet this seems more important)

He wants to see Satoshi’s megawatt smile when he can hand the toy over to him. He wants tosee Satoshi burst into his favorite blue sparkles at the gift. So every move is plotted, dances taken against the AI with maximum effect, uncaring and even unaware of the growing crowd until the screen changes from blue to the bright gold of the Hot Streak. He’s still not quite paying attention, and the screen shifts into red, and abruptly back to blue. He stops, bemused.

And then he sees it. It’s the holy grail of any arcade in Akala Island. It’s the gold ticket. Carefully, he pulls it free, staring at it reverently. This ticket is only given to Akala Islandrecordbreakers. The kind that shatter all the high scores on this exact machine from the lastdecade.

He steps off of the stage, dazed, and as always, Satoshi barrels into him, sparkling blue and so in awe of him, that Kaki can barely pull him into a hug, his ever excitable starboy clinging to him and babbling about how cool he is.

Kaki’s never won a gold ticket.

Screw the one million. He could buy Satoshi five of them with this.

“And the dancing was almost cooler than the Pokemon fight you were in last week!“ Satoshi’s gushing brings him back to reality, and he smiles down at Satoshi, listens as the boy rambles while he guides them both to the counter. The Pyukumuku is gone - Satoshi’s bright beam dims a little with disappointment, and Kaki feels a little slighted - he’d worked hard to get Satoshi the perfect toy.

But then he spots it. It’s larger, softer, and much cuter, he thinks, and unthinkingly hands over the ticket, points towards the soft plush.

“That one.“ He says it with such conviction that Satoshi looks over, curious in spite of himself. He’s mystified, but he sidles up to Kaki loyally.

“Kaki?“ He asked hopefully, the taller boy looking down at the boy who practically swims in his jacket, blue light being thrown off of his lashes with every blink. It’s impulse to lean down, kiss the top of a soft head and ruffle it, even as his cheeks turn pink. Satoshi blushes a cute blue hue, he discovers, before covering the boy’s eyes.

“You’ll love it. I promise,” He says it with conviction, and Satoshi nods, squirming a little under Kaki’s hand shielding his eyes. The toy is deposited into Satoshi’s arms by the attendant, and he doesn’t even wait to take the ticket back, swooping Satoshi off with a hand over his eyes until they’re out of view. Lifting his hand,  he watches Satoshi blink at him, before looking down at the toy in his arms.

(He’s totally home after curfew, but Satoshi’s delighted shriek and subsequent tackle hug make every minute of his punishment worth it.)

Chapter Text

Kaki forgets, sometimes (most of the time, don’t kid yourself) that Satoshi is not of this world. That he is from a land far away, at home in the stars, where the dark was an ever present specter. He forgets that Satoshi can be as dangerous as any Tapu.

So when he wakes, split lip and throbbing head, his first thought is not panic, or worry about what Satoshi will do. Instead, he is angry with them, with the Grunts who took him away, because he thinks Satoshi will likely go mad with worry. He doesn’t realize that the ringing is not all in his head until he manages to free himself, rubbing at reddened wrists. That’s when he can hear it, the dull roar of a storm, the yelling of voices in battle, Pokemon fainting against a superior foe.

He thinks Olivia has come to get him. That Nanu has put his foot down. There are tussles in the hall, Kaki punches them once and they go down. He has to hunt down his Z-ring and his Z-stone in one room, punches any goon that looks at him funny until he finds his pokeballs holding his Salandit and Turtonator. He’s ready for battle.

But when he bursts upon the scene, the sight takes his breath away. He’s seen how his starboy can manipulate the Z-stones, how Satoshi can create lights and pretty colors.

But they are wreaths of destruction now, the stones circling around him in a halo of death and rage, his skin shifting colors from one to the next, glowing ink in a transparent body thatboils with all the fury of the scorching son. There is no place safe from his wrath as Satoshi darts in, fury and protectiveness in his bones.

Grunts flee from him, terrified. There is no protocol that equates the dangers of boys that put Deoxys to shame. The few that have Z moves are finding that they are being overpowered by Satoshi’s pure energy, seeking to destroy his enemies for taking Kaki. The last conscious grunt falls before him, and Kaki doesn’t think.

He flings himself before Satoshi, cutting him off from his pursuit of vengeance. He’s practically blinded, but he can’t let his sweet starboy hurt them. He knows to his bones that Satoshi will never forgive himself if he truly killed them - sweet, soft, protective starboy, who would take the heaven’s wrath as a sword and shield to save him.

Satoshi is no damsel in distress and neither is Kaki, and that is what makes him step closer to the hissing and crackling flesh of his beautiful, gorgeous boy. He is more devastating than the Wela Volcano in full eruption, the glow of his veins a beating testament to how he feels, every Z-move connected to him. His Z-ring reacts, vibrates intensely through the bond, almost brings him to his knees. Satoshi is a boy more powerful than any legendary on this island - more powerful than any god.

But Satoshi is still a kind, sweet boy who cries when Kaki has to kill spiders.

He will not let this become his nightmare. His skin crackles with pain, but he doesn’t stop moving, pulls Satoshi down into his arms.

It hurts. Like holding on to a sunburst, his skin is starting to redden. Satoshi is too far gone for him to be cognizant of what he is doing. Nothing he does is getting through.

So he reaches up, cradling Satoshi’s head in his larger hands, and pulls him down to gently, sweetly, press his lips against his starboy’s own. Satoshi tastes like Carambola and Lilikoi, sweet as sugar and the faintest hint of starlight. He hums, low and deep into the kiss, and he feels the scorching heat and light fade slowly away, his arms filled with the sugar-sweet love of a boy made of pure energy. He shifts his grasp to cradle the boy in his arms, feels Satoshi’s arms slip around his neck, slim legs wrapping around his waist.

He barely pulls away to see Satoshi’s face when his legs go weak and he finds himself sitting down hard. Satoshi is so very cute, blue blush over his skin and awkward little smile on his face.

“Hi.“ He says to Satoshi, still running high from the exhilaration of finally tasting the sweetness of Satoshi’s lips. Satoshi’s blushing the most adorable shade of blue, his pleasure visible by the brilliant sparkling lights around him.

“Hi.” He says back, curling his arms and legs around him. “I missed you,” He said sheepishly. “I was really worried,” He whispers, burying his head into Kaki’s neck, but he has the urge to kiss him, so he pulls Satoshi’s head up and kisses him even more sweetly. Satoshi’s cheeks burn brightly again, but he responds enthusiastically.

“Let’s go home,” He says softly. “And maybe I’ll kiss you some more.” Satoshi beams at him brightly, as Kaki picks Satoshi up and carries him out of the ruins of Po Town.

Satoshi was his sweet little starboy, but Kaki had learned his lesson. He carried his little supernova home so that he could get some rest - glad to know that he was so loved that Satoshi would burn the world to save him.

Halfway home, Satoshi falls asleep, and he kisses the top of Satoshi’s head.

“Sweet little supernova.” He sighs against him. “How I love you.”