The day after Selene won the championship each Trial Captain and Kahuna had decided to close their trial in favor of planning a party for Selene. That gave Ilima the chance to relax for a day until it was time to go to Iki Town. Hala had taken over set up and refused help from everyone, including Ilima who happened to live just near by.
Ilima had decided to surprise Selene with a painting, along with his friend Kiawe. The painting for Selene had come along nicely, with all sorts of matching colors and smooth blends as was his usual tactic.
His paintings were often sought after for their amazing color blends and aesthetic eye. He usually took a grand selection of similar colors and began to slowly and methodically paint on a large canvas. He often lost himself in painting and wasted hours just moving a brush or staring at the colors.
The painting he had made for Selene was a mix of two different themes. On one end of the canvas were greens that bordered on even yellows to showcase her brightness of character and love for the outdoors. They slowly swirled down into darker greens and blues to create a theme that was part deep sea and part outer space.
His Smeargle jumped up onto one of his tables to admire the painting. He turned his head away from the entrancing colors to look at his pokemon and give it a soft smile. Smeargle jumped up slightly and clapped its hands after looking at the painting for a moment.
Ilima gave a soft laugh which caused him to cover his mouth with his hand. Smeargle was his ever enthusiastic art critic. Critic wasn’t really the right word considering Smeargle though everything Ilima painted was wonderful.
Ilima picked up the painting and moved it to the drying canvas closest to the wide windows on one side of his painting room. The room itself was rather large, with a set of large windows on one and and rows of smaller windows along the other walls. The painting stand was towards the right of the room and away from the large windows. Even further right of that was the table Smeargle and jumped up on which held all his art supplies.
Ilima took a blank canvas and positioned it where Selene’s painting had had been only a moment ago. He left quickly to wash off his brushes and palette. It also gave him time to think about what colors he was going to use for Kiawe’s painting.
While in the kitchen he cleaned his brushes and wondered what colors to use. Red would work, so would browns, oranges, and blacks. He considered adding a few yellows before deciding that was a bad idea.
Once he was done cleaning and moved back to his painting room he squired out all the colors he’d need. There was a collection of blacks and browns along with both dark and vibrant. He coated his brush in the darkest color and began to paint.
His plan was the use the dark colors and then swirl over them with the reds and oranges. But for that he needed a solid color base which was why he had picked out the browns and blacks. He lost himself in the colors for a moment.
In every brush stroke he saw Kiawe’s strong dark shoulders and his strong soul. Ilima liked people with strong personalities and solid soils. He painted the feelings he got when he looked at Kiawe and didn’t pay much attention to how the painting itself was turning out.
When he finished covering all of the white he took a step back to admire his work. He was shocked to see that his original plan of smooth colors and clean blends hadn’t come to be. Instead the colors in the background were startlingly separate with barely any blending at all.
He gasped when he realized that the painting was going to turn out terrible if he kept up with his plan. The dark colors would looks so blocky they wouldn’t blend with the water like lava he was going to blend. This looked nothing like the volcanic painting he had planned for Kiawe.
It was at that moment he realized something, his painting would never have looked like a Volcano if he had followed through with his original plan. In fact it would have looked more like water than a fire, and the two things were the exact opposite. He needed something bright, and carefree but not messy.
The only way to fix this was to do something radical and slightly drastic. He gritted his teeth, he didn’t much like going outside his normal style of painting. Kiawe often told him that he could be stronger if he branched outside his comfort zone.
“For Kiawe” he muttered as he lifted the painting up off the stand and placed it in a clear spot on the table.
He left the room to gather the supplies he would need for splatter painting. From his closet he grabbed an old tablecloth that he knew he would never be able to use again. He had experimented with splatter painting once before and had ruined his clothes that day. He looked at what he was wearing, which wasn’t really anything he was attached to, and decided he was ready.
He walked back to the room and turned Selene’s painting around so that when he started on Kiawe’s the paint wouldn’t ruin the finished piece. Then he took the tablecloth and spread it out on the floor.
He made his way back to the table where he picked up his tubes of yellow, orange, and red paint along with a few large brushes and his bowl of water. He set his tools down carefully around the table cloth and went back to get the painting.
He took the canvas off the table and brought it over to the tablecloth. Once he had positioned it how he wanted to he grabbed one of the brushes and dipped it in the red paint. He stood up to his full height, which wasn’t very tall, and looked over the canvas. He was hesitant to start painting, as he’d only splatter painted once before and that hadn’t come out very well.
His brush wasn’t about to let him hesitate however as a glob of paint hit his shoe and splattered over his socks. He sighed and readjusted his grip before flicking his wrist and letting the paint splatter.
Satisfied with his first stroke he stalked around the painting and continued to splatter the red paint across the canvas. Every once and awhile he would have to go back to the red paint and coat his brush in it, but besides that he finished the red part with no interruption.
He set down the red brush and examined his work. He had gotten both his room and his clothes messy but the painting itself was starting to look good. The sharp contrast between the brown colors which were deliberate in their placement and the unruly red looked like a volcano had exploded on the canvas.
He coated one of the other brushes in orange paint and began the second layer. He continued to layer and splatter paint for quite a while. He went from red to orange and then to yellow before deciding that there was too much yellow and making up for it with the darker colors.
In the end he stepped back from his last coat of red to see his painting, which had come out looking wonderful. He smiled at himself, and then at his idea of what Kiawe would think of it. If he had done it right then Kiawe was sure to be excited by the painting.
He left the room to go change his clothes and make himself a quick bite to eat. There was just enough time for the painting to dry before the party but he had skipped lunch while painting Selene’s gift.
His stomach rumbled as he walked from his painting room to his kitchen. The shoe he had dripped paint over was causing a wet red smear on his floor but he didn’t much care. While he tried to keep his messes in the painting room he hardly had a piece of clothing that didn’t have some sort of stain on it. Besides he could always clean the floor later.
He was proud of himself for going outside his comfort zone and painting something so spectacular. Of course it was nothing compared to his regular paintings but for a second try it had come out rather wonderful.
He decided that a nice sandwich and a cup of tea would be a prize for his hard work and set about making them. As he cooked and enjoyed his time to himself, including getting caught up in one of his favorite books, he forgot to change.
He sat on the side of the couch in his living room reading “A Tale Of Two Cities” when his pokegear buzzed. It lay next to his finished cup of tea and half eaten sandwich on the maple coffee table. He looked up from his book and grabbed it, wondering if the message was about the party.
It was a simple message from Mallow, asking a question he dreaded the moment he read it.
“You coming? The party’s about to start and you’re the only trial captain not here!”
He gasped, and checked the time to see that he was almost late. He had been so caught up in reading his book he had forgotten the time. In a rush he put his favorite jigglypuff bookmark in his book and ran to his painting room with pokegear in hand.
He grabbed Selene’s painting and then the one he had painted for Kiawe. He shoved his Pokegear into his pocket and made a dash for his door. He hated being late and it would be terrible if he showed up after Selene did.
He left his house in a rush, but not without forgetting to lock it. After that he whistled and only a moment later his tauros ran into view. It stopped just in front of him and pawed at the ground. He smiled kindly at it and mounted the creature.
“Take us to Iki town please” he told tauros and in a moment they were off. He held on tightly to the reigns with one hand and with the other kept both paintings close to his chest. They were rather large however they were no bigger than three feet by three feet.
Tauros was a fast creature and delivered him to Iki town in no time flat. It stopped right in the middle of town, next to the Kahuna’s battled platform.
“Thank you”, Ilima spoke softly before dismounting. He patted the bull’s head to which it snorted in gratitude.
“You can go now.” He dismissed it, with another snort it padded the ground and was running off again. He looked around to see that the whole center of town was being decorated by his fellow trail captains.
Acerola was helping Lana put up what seemed to be the last of the banners. Olivia was testing Mallow’s cooking, giving her a thumbs up as she tasted the green haired girl’s latest experiment. Sophocles was typing something in on his pokegear and smiling at whatever results had come about.
“Hey! Ilima!” Came a bellowing voice from behind him. Ilima swirled around to see Kiawe smiling at him. He blushed slightly and moved to go meet up with the fire captain.
“Good Afternoon Kiawe! Is there anything I could help with?”
Kiawe looked around the area to see that most of the decorating and cooking had already been taken care of. Ilima sighed at Kiawe’s lack of an answer.
“I figured. I got a little carried away reading and forgot the time entirely.” He chuckled slightly, “I even forgot to-”
Ilima’s cheeks burned bright red as he tried to resist the urge to look down at his feet. Change, he had forgotten to change. He was standing in front of his crush and ready for a grand party for Selene. He stuttered in complete modification but was left without anything to say.
“Ilima? You still on earth or have you blasted into orbit like volcanic dust!” Kiawe exclaimed and made a motion of pointing dramatically up into the darkening sky.
“Change” Ilima muttered to himself. Kiawe stood in front of him confused for a moment before something clicked and his eyes widened in recognition. He didn’t panic or try to quick fix Ilima’s lack of presentation, instead he came up with a very Kiawe answer.
“You don’t need to change! You look like a real artist! When I dance i often get covered in dust and dirt but it adds to my look!!”
Kiawe flexed and struck a pose on his last word, standing there for a moment looking to get a reaction out of Ilima. Ilima somehow turned another shade redder at Kiawe’s words and wonderfully muscled arms.
“I-” Ilima started before shutting his mouth. He wanted to show Kiawe the painting but what if the man didn’t like it. Maybe he would paint him something else, something he was good at. Then Kiawe might really like it.
He was really hoping that Kiawe would mistake his words for simple stuttering and ignore them; however he was not that lucky.
“What is it?” Kiawe boomed, drawing some attention to their little conversation. It was loud enough and at the right moment for Mallow to turn from Olivia and see Ilima. She grinned and rushed towards him, inviting him over to taste some of her cooking.
He didn’t want to be rude so he didn’t refuse being pulled along by her to where Olivia was sipping something that seemed tasty. He looked longingly back over at Kiawe who had turned to Hala. The two seemed to be having a very dramatic conversation, however everything Kiawe did was enthusiastic and rather dramatic.
“So! I’m glad you could make it!” Mallow cheered as she stirred whatever was in the big pot. The pot was suspended above a small fire around which were different large logs where one could sit. Olivia was relaxing on one and taking small sips of Mallow’s brew. She didn’t look up when Ilima came over, instead she stayed fixated on her bowl.
“I got a little carried away reading and ended up forgetting the time. I also” He sighed softly and gestured to his clothes with his one hand that was not holding the paintings “forgot to change”. Mallow let out laugh and examined Ilima’s clothes.
“With all the red it looks like you just escaped and ax murderer!” Ilima blushed and looked down. Olivia’s face was also slightly red, however her’s seemed to have more to do with Mallow and her cooking than it did with Ilima.
“I have this painting I made for Selene! That’s where the mess is from!” Ilima spoke up, “Where can I put it?”
Mallow tapped her chin and then pointed to Acerola. The purple haired girl was dancing around a table of presents, arranging certain things so that the each gift was perfectly placed.
“You can go over there and give your gift to Acerola. She’s claimed the job of making it look fantastic!”
Ilima nodded in thanks and quickly left the two girls to their own devices. Acerola didn’t even stop her rearranging to look up at Ilima but she did address Ilima.
“I’ll take that gift! Two paintings and unwrapped, nice gift but you need to work on your presentation if you want to give a better gift than Olivia.”
She stopped moving around table and turned to Ilima with her hands out. Ilima, slightly shocked her her bluntness, handed over one of the paintings.
“This other one is for Kiawe I’d like to thank him for something.”
Acerola clicked her tongue as she admired the painting. She moved to position it behind a strangely shaped present wrapped in blue paper.
“It’s good, such a shame you’re giving away such a pretty painting. We used to have paintings like this, you know when Nanu and I lived in Po town.”
Acerola got a dreamy look in her eye, as if she was back in a memory of her youth. This dreamy moment was cut short by a loud holler from behind the two of them.
“It’s the Champion and he crew!” Came Hau’s loud cheer as he and Lillie posed to make Selene the center of attention. Both held stood with their feet spread apart and leaned over to gesture with both hands.
Selene stood at the center of their spectacle and rubbed the back of her neck rather awkwardly. Hau kept up his pose and his bright grin for a rather long moment while Lillie’s stance started to falter. She gave a shaky smile to try and cover up her messy pose.
The three did not stand that way for long however as everyone crowded around them to hug and congratulate all of them for finishing the island challenge. Hala was hugging Hau rather hard while Acerola and Hapu chatted with Lillie.
Everyone else was cluttered around Selene, complimenting her and cheering her on. Ilima managed to get a few words to her through the chaos.
“You did really well! When I first saw you I knew from the fire in your eyes that your were going to do something big!”Selene smiled at him and thanked him for his words.
“Honestly, you were my first fight and got me used to this whole Island Challenge thing!”
After Ilima had gotten his words in he moved out of the center and decided that he’d let everyone say what they need to say to Selene.
He stood back and watched as Kiawe and Sophocles talked to Selene. Sophocles was blabbering on about how he knew that she could do it and now that she was the strongest trainer in Alola she was going to need some new tech.
Ilima couldn’t quite make out what Kiawe was saying but by the way he was posing and gesturing he was probably saying something inspiring.
The party was beginning to drift away from Selene and into groups of friends. Mallow and Olivia were serving food while Selene and Lillie stood together talking. Everyone was with their friends which gave Kiawe the chance to talk to Ilima alone.
Ilima was so sweet and kind Kiawe wondered if he didn’t fall in love with the normal type trainer the moment he saw him. That wasn’t when Kiawe had fallen in love however, he could pinpoint that moment he had fallen in love with Ilima.
It had been the first time he had seen Ilima fight had been when he had fallen in love. Ilima had gotten a fire in his eyes, one that ended up spreading across his face and his heart. Kiawe made his way over to Ilima who was leaning against a tree and watching the party.
“Hey Kiawe”, Ilima greeted him. “How are you liking the party?”
“It’s great! Mallow really put her heart and spirit into the food! It’s got me fired up!” He punched the air a few times.
“Selene totally kicked ass during the championship! Hala wasn’t even ashamed of how quickly she beat him! That’s what I call a great trainer! Someone who puts their heart into every move!!”
“I agree”, Ilima added on, “What makes a true trainer is not what they achieve but how they fight. If they truly care for the spirit of the fight and their pokemon then they’re surely the best of us. Your are one of those people Kiawe, you put your heart not just into battles but into everything you do.”
Kiawe smiled brightly at what Ilima had said.
“They way you fight and work you are a skilled and true trainer Ilima! Whenever you commit to something I see a fire in your eyes!! One that’ll never go out as long as you’re alive!!” Ilima blushed and looked to the ground in hopes to hide his red cheeks from Kiawe.
“You r-really don’t have to say that”, Ilima muttered. He hunched his shoulders up a little to block his face.
“No need to be ashamed of talent!” Kiawe offered, while still being loud he had lowered his tone slightly. He gave Ilima one of his biggest and brightest smiles which almost made Ilima’s heart beat out of his chest.
He looked back to fully face Kiawe and was struck with a moment of courage. His eyes flashed with fire as he stared down his crush as if he was about to start a battle.
“Got something fierce in your eyes there! Like a tauros staring down the red cape!!” Kiawe psyched both of them up with that exclamation.
“For you”, Ilima offered and handed over the painting to Kiawe front down. Kiawe turned the canvas around to see Ilima’s painting. At that moment he could not hold in a whoop of joy and excitement.
“AMAZING!” Kiawe exclaimed and posed with the painting. He spread his legs and lifted the canvas above his head. He stayed in that position for a moment before lowering it down to look at the painting some more.
“You like it then?” Ilima asked tentatively, smiling and blushing the whole time.
Ilima chuckled at Kiawe’s loudly proclaimed statement. Kiawe spent about half a minute mesmerized before looking up from the painting.
“How are you so good at this? As if you’ve been practicing this certain style of painting all your life like I have with dance!!”
“Well” Ilima admitted, looking down at Kiawe’s shoes, “While I was painting I thought of you!”