Mt. Silver was more than just cold. There was a harshness in the air that extended to the land itself, something that kept away all but the hardiest of Pokemon. But that had been what he had wanted when he’d come here. A harsh environment isolated from the rest of Kanto. A place he could focus on bettering both himself and his Pokemon. Some place where his problems back in Kanto couldn’t touch him.
He brushed his thumb over the underside of his left wristband, right over the center of where his soulmark lay. It was a soothing motion he had taken up as a child, a way to remind himself what the mark meant, even though with the band covering his wrist, he couldn’t see or feel the counter underneath. Numbers zeroed out, just as they’d always been for as long as he could remember.
His mother had told him that when he was born, the numbers on his wrist that counted down to the day he’d meet his soulmate had only read a few months out, slowly ticking down to the day Green’s mother had come to visit, her infant son in tow. Red had wondered if the two had planned it that way, tying their sons to each other, or if it really was a coincidence that had been the moment both his and Green’s timers had gone off. Surely they had had some idea beforehand. Known what was going to happen.
Despite having spent his whole life knowing the identity of his soulmate, he and Green had rarely discussed the issue. As children, they had been the best of friends, the soulmark simply a sign of how their friendship was meant to last forever. Then once they were older and the implications had started to sink in, Green’s behavior had started to shift. He didn’t want to label it as bullying, since it never felt quite as extreme as that. But there was a bit of an edge there now. A rivalry where before there had only been warm affection. Green had avoided any mention of the soulmark in recent years, and he himself spoke such few words, why would he bring it up when Green clearly wished to avoid the subject.
But still, Red had never gotten the impression Green begrudged their connection. It was a bit like an unspoken promise between them. No matter the distance, no matter the time without contact, the mark on Red’s wrist proved they were still tied together. Friends forever, and forever what came after that as well.
There was a crunch from the entrance of the cave, Pikachu nudging his cheek from where he perched on his shoulder to let him know he’d heard something as well. He shifted a bit to get a better view, the image of a boy in a red jacket with a Typhlosion trailing behind him slowly becoming clearer as the two moved closer.
So another challenger then. And he got the impression this one might actually be worth his time, something in the air telling him this boy possessed a great strength. He ran his thumb along his wrist again before reaching for his first Pokeball, the unspoken challenge accepted as he met the boy’s eyes from across the snowfield.
In a town not so far below, another boy unknowingly mimicked the actions of his other half, thumb running along the underside of his left wrist. Ever since that Ethan kid had stormed through Kanto, he couldn’t help but think of Red more and more, the brat igniting an itch he had thought he’d buried down deep.
Maybe it was time to consider confronting whatever the thing between Red and him was. Actually address what the matching marks on their wrists meant.
Green scoffed to himself. “Yeah, maybe when he finally comes down from that damn mountain,” but despite his tone, there was a flicker of warmth in his heart. Maybe when Red did come down from Mt. Silver, they could discuss things. It’d give him a little more time to think things through, plan what he wanted to stay. It wasn’t like that Ethan kid stood a chance of actually beating Red and getting him to finally come back home.