Becoming best friends with Hop was the last thing Bede expected to do in his life.
Though it wasn't exactly the pinnacle of absurdity in Bede's life, because then he found himself in love with Hop. No matter how hard he strived to deny the Butterfrees or the way his heart jumped at the sight of Hop, there was no avoiding it.
However, all Bede could do was stay friends with Hop. He wasn't an idiot. He knew his stupid feelings would never be reciprocated, and it was better to let them pass before he acted on them. It was his secret, that he'd sworn to never tell anyone.
Bede had to give himself some credit, though. Out of all the people to fall in love with, he managed to fall for one of the most upbeat, positive and kindest people in the entire world. Hop was quick to forgive, which surprised Bede at first, given their history.
Now, to anyone who had only seen the rough patches of their relationship, they would find it very hard to believe that he and Hop were now on a call late at night, talking about anything that managed to come to their minds. Whether it be why the sky is blue, how dynamaxing became possible, or if there really is a meaning to it all.
Bede loved it. He loved how Hop's voice dropped his usual happy tone and became more real and sincere, and he felt it was a gift from Arceus that he could hear it.
Not to mention Hop preferred video calls, so Bede could see the ruffled hair and tired eyes of the boy he once called a rival. He also noticed how Hop was always hugging one of his pillows close to himself at night. It was an endearing quality, and Bede found himself mirroring his actions once he'd hung up.
"It's weird! In the Pokédex, it's stated that Hatterene hates emotions, and I think that's false if you ask me. Do you have any idea how many times she should've attacked me by now! I haven't been hurt once," Bede said.
"You have emotion?" Hop asked sarcastically, his tired voice deep and gravelly. His camera showed barely any light, but he was obviously in a comfortable sleeping position. "Nah, I'm kidding. But seriously, I think it's cause she's domesticated."
"You really think so?"
"Wasn't she gifted to you?"
"Well, yeah, but–"
"Then she's probably trained to not violently attack her trainer if it feels anything."
Bede made a noise to acknowledge that Hop was probably right. Silence fell over the two as they searched for something else to talk about. It's not like it was an awkward silence. It was comfortable. The pleasure of just knowing someone was there, even if not in person.
Bede liked knowing Hop was on the other line. He couldn't resist the huge thought that was barging into his peaceful relaxation, and it was just screaming at him how badly he wanted Hop to be with him, in his room, in his arms. Or vice versa. He didn't mind.
To satisfy what he wanted, he just brought a pillow to his arms as Hop always has done. It wasn't the same as having someone to hold, and he knew that even if he's never been intimate with someone before. But he still knew it would suffice.
Hop's normal breathing had slowed down to a more relaxed state. The moonlight streaming through Hop's room showed Bede his figure, delicately rising and falling. A few of his facial features were illuminated, and Bede took his time to stare.
"Hop?" he asked. No response. His closed eyes told Bede that he was sound asleep, the pillow he held still tightly trapped in his arms. How Bede wished he could be a substitute for it.
He went to hang up, but as he kept watching Hop and listening to him lightly snore, his arm fell away from his phone. Bede closed his eyes as well, and fell asleep listening to the peaceful sounds of the mystical town around him, accompanied by the steady, slow breathing of his best friend.
Someday, he thought.
Someday, he would be listening to the beautiful sounds of Ballonlea with Hop as they dozed off together.