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Good Things Take Time

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Bede tugged up the zipper on his purple coat. Opal may not like it, but it’s been with him through thick and thin, the only thing he can trust in this cold world. He stands up with a sigh, intending to just relax after the most stressful evening of his life, when he hears a sob. It was so silent he might have not heard it if he moved or breathed then. Bede went rigid and just listened, having nothing better to do. Another sob sounded out, then a slap, as if someone were punching their fists together. Bede decided he had enough of waiting, and creaked open the door.

It was Hop. Hop, of all the people on this planet. The person who held his affections for so long, since before the fourth gym, actually. Bede was feeling more stuck up than usual back then, and teased the boy mercilessly about his abilities in battle. Well, teased was an understatement. Hop challenged him to a battle, all starry- eyed and eager, so Bede took him on. He won, obviously, but something shattered in Hop. Something so crucial to his personality that even Bede felt some guilt for what he’d done. As a week went by, he checked into a hotel in Hammerlocke, to be close by the Wild Area while he trained. Time and time again, he found himself thinking tenderly of the boy with purple locks and a wide smile. He would think of his hands, how coarse they would be from the biting cold of Galar. Of his lips, and how soft and plush they looked under the city lights. Of course, this made no logical sense! He has had no interest in anybody for the entirety of his life, so why now, for a boy he knew only through bullying him. But, as Bede soon grew to find, love isn’t logical, which just served to mellow him out. That ‘mellowing out’ grew stronger during his time in Ballonlea, along with his feelings. Still, even with all that, he sure as hell hadn’t considered this!

He supposed it made sense for Hop to be here, since his battle with Gloria happened just a while ago. Bede was present for it, for Hop’s catastrophic defeat as Gloria pushed on to become champion. But shouldn’t Hop be out there, celebrating with the new Champion, instead of sulking down in the changing rooms. Bede’s curiosity piqued, and he pushed the door completely ajar, and stepped out

“Hey Hop,” a voice rang out from behind him.

Arceus dang it, he thought he was alone. Worst of all, he could tell who that voice belonged to, even though it lacked the usual bite.

“What do you want Bede, if you’re here to-”

“I know why you’re crying,” he blurts out, and his eyes seem almost apologetic about it! His nerve, to come here and poke at Hop in his lowest!

“I don’t really have time for your meaningless insults right now, so take your fairy arse and leave,” he sighs.

“It’s not meaningless! I-” he stuttered. Since when does Bede stutter! “Listen, I went into that battle with Gloria sort of knowing I wouldn’t win. Yes, the sting of losing was still there, but I was kind of braced for it from the beginning. I’ve still got the Ballonlea gym to lean on,”

“And what exactly am I supposed to glean from your wisdom, oh master Bede?” Hop rolled his eyes.

“W-well, I just wanted to tell you that, maybe, if battling isn’t your strongest suit, maybe you should start thinking of a different career option. You don’t have to be like your brother, you know. You’re your own person,”

Hop was stunned. He couldn’t get his mouth working, no matter how much he tried. He remembered the Bede from Stow-on-side, the arrogant little brat who bombed the mural. But, he also remembered his face when Chairman Rose reprimanded him. A look of absolute betrayal, then another of desperation to Oleana. His dream, one he worked so hard on, Hop realized, crumbling right in front of him by the very people who gave him that dream in the first place. It makes Hop angry now, but before it filled him with mirth. How ironic, the one who called everyone a disappointment, is now the one who disappointed everyone who believed in him. So, Hop laughed at him. It felt so good to do the same thing that was done to him, a sort of revenge. He wanted so badly to give Bede a taste of his own medicine, that he went out of his way to prod at him. He probably pushed too hard.

But now, today, when Hop saw him on that pitch, smiling a mysterious, soft smile, instead of a harsh smirk, he realized that Bede maybe just took his words to heart and acted on them. The way he moved, so elegantly on the battlefield, like a true Fae, was mesmerizing. Hop had never, ever seen him like that. It was strange, and intriguing.

“Hello, Hop! Are you even listening to me?!” Bede was waving his hands around Hop’s head, who spaced out for what seemed like hours. Bede was feeling ignored, and he would not stand for that!

“What… Oh yeah, so what do you suggest, then?” Hop snapped out of his daze, and looked and Bede with softer eyes, which made him nearly melt. He hadn’t actually thought that through, and hesitated.

“Well, I don’t know, are you passionate about anything else apart from battling?”
Hop was silent for a while, and Bede started to suspect he spaced out again, until he spoke up.

“I mean, I haven’t ever really thought about it, but thanks for the heads up! Didn’t know you had gone soft,” he smirked mischievously.

Crap. Crap, crap, crap, crap. He forgot.
Racking his brain for some excuse he stood up and backed towards the exit, stumbling.

“Uh, I’ve got this, this gym appointment that requires my presence this exact moment. I didn’t mean to hang out with a weakling like you for so long. I will be on my way now!” the blushing mess bolted for the door.

In his wake, a stunned Hop smiled to himself. Maybe Bede wasn’t perfect, maybe he was still awfully rude. But he would try, for his and Bede’s sake, to give him a final chance. Oh, and he’d still have to think of the reality check Bede presented, but he’d worry about that later. Right now, he’s got a party to rock, and in the back of his mind, he hoped that a wooloo- haired head would be found in the mob of people attending.