Brand New

May. 30th, 2014 08:05 am
fluffybun: determined Pikachu (determined)
[personal profile] fluffybun
 Title: Brand New

Fandom: Pokemon Special
Prompt: Amnesia, in vino veritas
Medium: fic
Wordcount: 6,394
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Summary: Crystal gets amnesia and Gold seems to be the key to resolving it. Or the cause. Or both.
Other notes: Spoilers up to HGSS saga (Volume 43), Mangaquestshipping. Written for Trope Bingo Round 3.

Crystal wakes up to a dark-haired teen with a cap on his head, a… -is that a pool cue in his hand?-, with a devastating smile and golden eyes. “Hey, Super Serious Gal, you okay?” He moved to take her hand, but she shied away instinctively –but why, she wonders-, causing him to sigh. “Yare yare, I know I didn’t put it the best way last night, but…”

She shakes her terribly painful head, still maintaining the distance between them, wondering why her heart is pounding as she looks at this unfamiliar boy holding out his hand to her. “Excuse me, but who are you?”

***

“It’s amnesia,” said Daisy – the girl who had introduced herself as a Pokemon doctor, who had been the sister of one of the teens around, Green, she thinks. “Gold, you say that you found her next to a-“

“A lot of Pokeballs that had fallen out of a box, and you know Super Serious Gal, I mean, Crystal, always takes care of them. I think that she was reaching for them, then the box fell on her and hit her head.”

“There’s a slight concussion, and I think it’d be best if she’d rest for a while, but the problem will be her amnesia.”

“I don’t want to be a bother,” she said quickly, though her head was throbbing. “I can just go home and recover on my own.“ Wherever that is, she thinks sadly. Maybe one of them knows.

“Nonsense,” said a blonde girl, who was next to a blonde boy, both looking worried. “Crystal, you might not remember us, but we remember you, you’re our friend! And you’ve helped us lots of times, so now we’ll help you! I’m Yellow, by the way.”

“You’ve helped us all a lot, especially Gold,” flatly said the red haired boy, who had introduced himself as Silver.  The boy named Gold scratched his head sheepishly.

“What do you want to know?” carefully said the girl who had introduced herself properly as Platinum Berlitz first. “According to what I’ve read, if we help Senior Crystal by supplying her with information or bringing her to familiar places there is a chance her memories will come back faster.”

“I know my name is… Crystal,” she said, to the encouraging nods of the many teens in the room. “And that I… have Pokemon? Where are they?”

“They’re outside,” said Yellow as she took her hand. “I tried to explain to them the best I could, since Miss Daisy said that they might overwhelm you. They’re very worried though.”

“Okay,” she said softly, a fragment of thought solidifying in her head as she gazed into the friendly girl’s eyes, “and you are a… you understand Pokemon thoughts?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile. “We were all meeting here yesterday to meet the newest Pokedex Holders from Sinnoh, Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl.” She held out what must have been a Pokedex to her, a rectangular red object. “See, this is yours, all of us are Pokedex Holders. Does that sound familiar?”

“Yes.” She took the object from Yellow; it felt heavy in her hands. A fleeting thought crosses her mind of responsibility, the heavy weight of having one, and she feels her head ache.

“Crystal,” said the blonde haired boy, who clearly wanted to get closer, but seemed hesitant. “Do you remember me?”

She noted the sparkling green jewel on his head, a whisper in her brain, and a name came to her. “Emerald?”

The boy ran to her and hugged her the best he could, his eyes shining. “Crystal!”

The names of the others and some details about them seemed to come to her as the rest of the teens introduced themselves, though she realized that she had forgotten a lot about them if she had shared so much adventures with them as they said she had. Red, the boy with the red cap was the boy with the Pikachu and said to be the best battler of them all. Green, the Gym Leader. Blue, the beautiful girl with the Ditto, the Evolver. The three youngest, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, who all looked very sad at the turn of events. Ruby and Sapphire, who seemed so opposite to each other yet obviously cared about each other very much. Yellow, the Healer with the straw hat. Silver, the red-haired boy who was the same age as her, the boy she had some memories of fighting alongside. She was starting to remember things about them all, except for…

“Hi, Super Serious Gal.”

“Why do you call me that?”

The boy called Gold.

***

When Crystal, Daisy, Yellow, and Sapphire were safely deposited in the next room to reacquaint Crystal with her Pokemon, the others remained in the room to corner Gold.

“Clearly if Crystal is starting to remember things about all of us except Gold, obviously it means that something happened between them last night, or this morning before her  accident,” Silver said, shooting a very unhappy look at Gold, who was slightly blushing.

“Considering Crystal’s pattern of amnesia, it seems that what was on her mind when the accident occurred was the one that was subconsciously repressed, ergo, forgotten, and the chances of it involving Senior Gold seem very high,” said Platinum carefully.

“Hey, I didn’t cause the Pokeballs’ box to fall on her!”

“No one is accusing you of that,” said Green tiredly, “It’s just that what you and Crystal may have talked about yesterday by the billiards table may have been on her mind during the accident.”

“Yesterday?” Blue piped up cheerily from behind Green, who had a miniscule flinch that he tried to suppress. “Do tell, Gold!”

“Nothing happened, though I don’t know how you know that, Senior Green” said the boy, to which Green shrugged. “Are you even sure of that info, Rich Girl?” That remark was treated with a frown by the two boys next to her, Pearl and Diamond.

“Platinum reads a lot, has read a lot” said Diamond.

Pearl nodded. “Platinum isn’t wrong if it comes to things in books.”

“What are you, her boyfriends or something? Sheesh!” He laughed as the three most junior Dex Holders blushed and avoided looking at each other.

“Anyway,” said Silver, saving them from further embarrassment, “Gold, clearly you must have upset Crystal.”

“Ehh?” The others cried.

“Crystal told me that she had nothing else to do at the lab yesterday at least for the next few days, but then she went to the laboratory at an ungodly hour today while most of us were still asleep, with a note for me with Weavile asking if she could talk to me when I woke up, and that she’d be at the laboratory. And-” he trailed off, glaring at Gold, “we all know that Crystal tends to invent work for herself to do when she is trying to avoid something. Clearly, that is you, since I didn’t see her after she said she was going to look for you yesterday.”

Gold blanched, which didn’t do anything to help his case.

“What did you do to Crystal?” cried Emerald, only to be restrained by Ruby before he could jump on the Breeder.

“Maa, maa” said Red, patting Emerald on the head to quiet him. “We all know that Gold would never harm Crystal,” he said, ignoring the dark looks Silver and Emerald shared. “Right, Gold? After all, during our last training in Mt. Silver I remember you-”

“Ah, look at the time, I’ve gotta check in with my mother!” said Gold quickly, interrupting his senior. “And Senior Red, shouldn’t you be in there with the girls? Maybe showing Crystal Frenzy Plant might help jog her memory, since it’s the ultimate attack her Mega knows too!”

“Hmm, he has a good idea,” said Red, who immediately pulled out a Pokeball as he went into the next room, much to the consternation of everyone else.

After a moment, he poked his head out of the doorway, “C’mon, Emerald, maybe you can help too” he said, and the young boy followed, shooting Gold a dirty look as the Breeder scampered out of the room.

“And it was just getting good!” Blue said in frustration. “Ooh, if they had just talked somewhere else, perhaps-“

“You didn’t put secret cameras in my Grandfather’s living room again, did you Blue?” said Green in an exasperated voice. “I just finished removing the ones you put up last time!”

“I didn’t say anything! Besides, they didn’t get anything anyway!”

***

They had gone out to Route 1 the next day in hopes of getting Crystal to remember more about her life.

“You do a lot of work for Professor Oak, you know” said Red. “Green says that you’ve helped his grandfather a lot, from helping him correlate data to catching Pokemon for him.”

“Catching?”

“Yup!” said Sapphire cheerfully. “My father, Professor Birch, is really envious that Professor Oak has you to help him capture all the Pokemon in all the regions! And you do it so well too!”

She smiled at Sapphire’s enthusiasm. “So I catch Pokemon by…”

“Kicking the Pokeballs and aiming at their vital spots!” said Sapphire. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it at first, Senior Crystal! It’s awesome!”

She blushed lightly as she carefully took the Pokeball from Red, who had been the one to suggest going out to catch some Pokemon, in hopes of jogging her memory.

“Just try it,” said Red to her kindly. “It’ll come back to you, I think. How about that- whoa, why is there a Nidoran here in Route 1? And it’s-“

“Oh! It’s shiny!” cried Platinum. “The chances of seeing one is 1 in 8000, Dia, Pearl! It’s my first time seeing one!” Dia was able to keep the starry-eyed girl from going over to it, though he was also starry-eyed at the sight.

“It is cool,” said Pearl, also craning his head to see better. “I wonder what a shiny Luxray would look like.”

Black and yellow, she thinks, but she wonders how she can be so sure of that, so she doesn’t say anything. “Well, here goes,” she said as she released her Cubone from its Pokeball, “Bonee, False Swipe!” She carefully watched as the Cubone hit the Nidoran, who now seemed close to fainting.

“Pokeball, go!” She kicked the ball at the Nidoran’s… its vital point? She wondered how she knew just where to aim it. She watched as the Pokeball captured the Nidoran instantly.

“Wow!” cried Platinum. “That’s amazing!”

“I know, right?” Sapphire said cheerfully. “Senior Crystal is amazing!”

“That’s why you are the ‘Catcher’,” said Red gently, smiling at her.

“Though you know, there are two others who catch Pokemon differently too, though Senior Crystal is the best! Senior Yellow, with her fishing rod, and Gold-“ Sapphire trailed off, looking sorry as she looked at her.

“It’s okay, Sapphire,” she said softly. “I’d like to hear about Gold too.”

Everything seems to come back to him, after all.

***

It is two days after the incident, and many things have come back to Crystal except of what she knew of Gold and any adventures she had with him. Daisy had said not to worry, that the rest of her memories would surely come back soon since she was with friends, safe in Pallet Town.

She remembered what Red had said about him.

“When Green, Blue, Yellow, Silver, and I were petrified by Deoxys’ attack, you and Gold worked hard to master the ultimate attacks for your Meganium and Typlosion. You really supported each other then, then you rallied our juniors, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald and helped them bring us back. And from what Gold told me when we were training, you helped him a lot during the Mask of Ice saga also.”

Blue had chimed in then, “I remember that moment when we all thought that he was trapped in time, you and Silver were crying.”

Silver looked awkward as he added, “During our time with Arceus, we all helped each other, Crys, and you always thought of Gold, even when you and I were still finding our way to him.”

Emerald had reluctantly commented that Gold had helped Crystal, to the point that both of them had stalled for time by battling the enraged Pokemon at the Battle Frontier so that he, Ruby and Sapphire could master the ultimate moves in peace. “Even then I knew that you trusted him for many reasons, for as much as he was annoying.”

The man who introduced himself as Professor Oak, the man she works with, she thinks, had said, “Gold’s very rash and unpredictable, but he does help, and his talent as a Breeder is unparalleled. But Crystal, you always are able to get him on track; I think you’re the only one who can do that.”

So he is important to me, she realized. But why can’t I remember him? And why have I hardly seen him, since I lost my memories? And he doesn’t really seem to act like they say he does…

After a quick look around Professor Oak’s house, she sighed as she saw him slumped on the couch with his Pichu and Ambipom looking at him worriedly from afar. “Hey, you okay?”

He looked at her guardedly for a long moment before lowering his head. “It’s okay, Crys, I mean, Crystal.”

“You can call me Crys,” she said softly, her hand carefully patting his arm. “We are friends, right?”

“Yeah,” he said, though his head was still bowed. “But you don’t remember me.”

She exhaled slowly before sitting down next to him. “Yes, but I’ve heard a lot from you from everyone. Maybe it’d be better to hear it from you.”

He raised his eyes, those golden eyes of his to look at her, and Crystal was reminded again of how handsome Gold was. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, Gold.”

It was his turn to exhale slowly. “Okay.”

***

She furrowed her brow as she processed what Gold had just told her. “You found me passed out in a boat?”

“That was the first time I met you,” he said with a grin. “Silver wrecked my cool entrance, though, when I was surfing to save a pretty girl.”

She fought down a blush as she laughed. “I’m sure Silver rationally came into the situation, unlike you.”

“Ah, nothing ruffles that guy” he agreed, “then we both investigated the League, during the Gym Leaders’ Competition, then we found out that Pryce was the Mask of Ice...”

***

“You know, you looked really pretty in your new clothes back then, during our adventure with Arceus” he said, “though for some reason you hardly let me compliment you after everything.”

“Mou, Gold,” she said embarrassedly, wondering if even before Gold’s effect on her was this heart-pounding. “You must say that to all the girls.”

“Nah,” he said lowly, “I don’t, not seriously anymore anyway. Not after you.”

“Ehh?” She swears she could count his eyelashes, he’s that close to her now.

“Gold, Crystal! Lunch is ready!” Dia cried, causing her to back away quickly, an inexplicable feeling of disappointment running through her. Gold sighed as he stood up, holding out a hand to her.

“Let’s go, Crystal.”

The moment is lost for both of them, and the rest of the day Crystal buries herself in rereading her notes while trying to figure out what had happened earlier. She doesn’t know where Gold goes.

***

It is a new day and Silver looks unhappy when he finds her preparing the coffeemaker, her research notes at the table. “Seriously, Crystal, you should rest more. Didn’t Professor Oak say you could take a break while you still don’t have all your memories?”

“I’m going crazy with nothing to do, Silver” she pleaded. “Besides, it’s just reading what I’ve written before. Nothing like fieldwork.”

“Fine,” he said, “if you give me some of the coffee.”

“Deal,” she said as she turns it on.

“So how’s everything with Gold?”

“We talked, but there’s this odd feeling I get when I talk to him…” She blushes as she thinks about how his hair had fallen in front of those golden eyes yesterday, how maybe, maybe he had almost kissed her before they had been interrupted. Don’t flatter yourself, Crystal. Maybe he was just about to tease me, she thinks to herself, from all reports he teased me a lot anyway, so why would that instance be any different?

He nodded, though he looked slightly uncomfortable at her words. “You’ll understand when you get your memories back,” he said decisively after a moment.

“I really want to remember, though it seems so far away and my head hurts when I think about it…”

“It’ll come back,” Silver said. “Don’t worry too much about it. You’re stressing out too much over it.”

She sighed as she waited for the coffeemaker to finish its work. “I know, but what if I don’t remember?” she asked Silver.

“Then we’ll make new memories together, and we’ll share what we already have with you” said Gold firmly, his confident voice causing her to jump out of her place. “Right, Emerald?”

Surprised, the younger boy who was with him could only nod.

“You just said something profound,” said Silver, shocked.

“Heh,” said Gold, “if I can surprise Silver, then it’s a good day! Ne, Crys, what’s for breakfast?”

She smiles.

***

“So why do you call me Super Serious Gal?”

He laughs at her question, making her remember again how handsome he was. Damn, maybe she shouldn’t have asked.

“Ah, because you were always the one to remind me about what next to do, when we were working together. You hardly let me slack off, though I wanted to.”

“I-“

“Nah, it’s okay,” he said quickly, “I’m just glad you were there, else I might not have been able to do what I had to, you know?”

“Really?”

“It was just the two of us, you know, and a mad old lady with the ultimate skill bangles,” he said. “Took me a month to master it, like you. But it was easier, with you there.”

“Easier?”

“At least someone else knew what was really going on,” he said. “Our seniors, who usually took the lead when they were around, and Silver were turned into stone, and you were the only one who understood what we had to do, that we were the only ones who could do it.” He laughs. “Us and the showy boy, the wild girl, and the boy with the croissant hairdo, anyway.”

“Gold!” she cries, though she is laughing at his nicknames for their juniors.

“It’s good to hear you laugh, Crys” he says, though his smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes. She decides to call him out on it, but then Professor Oak calls her for something and she is kept busy the rest of the afternoon.

***

That night, she has trouble sleeping, so she decides to heat up some milk in hopes that it would help. On the way to the kitchen, though, her eyes widen as she hears Silver and Gold in the next room, their voices kept low to not wake anyone. Immediately she flattened herself against the wall, careful not to make any noise as she listened to them.

“Why don’t you tell her? It might be the key to her getting her memories of you back, Gold.”

“I’d rather she not remember,” he said quietly.

“Gold,” Silver says lowly. “She wants to remember everything. And I think you want her to remember too.”

“It might be for the best,” Gold says, his head bowed. “I don’t want her to remember; when it happened, she ran away from me.”

“You’re afraid she might run from you again,” said Silver bluntly. “And you’re afraid you can’t hold back anymore, even if you think she’d run.”

“Yeah,” he said with a dry laugh. “Laugh at me,” he said, “I’m pathetic.”

“No,” said Silver, “I won’t. Besides, she’ll find her way back to you, I’m sure.”

She finds the strength to leave then, a hundred questions in her head as she forces a pillow over her head.

What does Gold not want me to remember? Why doesn’t he want me to remember whatever happened between us? She blushed as some possibilities flashed in her head, all she deemed impossible.

I must like Gold a lot, even before, she thought, but there’s no way he could like someone he calls Super Serious Gal. It's the worst nickname of the lot.

***

“I think it’d be good to look at pictures,” said Emerald the next day as he pulls out an album from Crystal’s desk while she looked on bemusedly, her notes ignored for the moment.

He opened it, turning to the end of the album to show her some pictures. “See, this album’s about my journey in the Battle Frontier, but there are some pictures of the Tournament we joined, the one on the final day.”

“You lost to Green then,” said Gold very cheekily as he pointed out a picture of her Meganium facing down his Charizard, his tone of voice now more suited to him than the serious tone he had last night.

She laughed. “Well, it would have been an honor to lose to Green, from all your stories of him. But if Emerald won the tournament, to whom did you lose to, Gold?”

“Me,” said Silver, smirking as he leaned over and pointed to a picture of him smirking at Gold as said boy floundered for something to say, but failed.

“It was a good match,” Sapphire assured her cheerfully. “Senior Gold beat me handily, but then their match was almost a draw.”

“Almost,” said Silver with yet another smirk. “I bet now it’ll be much easier to beat him though.”

“Oh yeah? Let’s go have a match right now, Silver! Crys, don’t believe this guy! I trained with Senior Red, after all!”

She smiled as she followed the two of them outside, Emerald and Sapphire following. Their bickering seemed familiar, even comforting in these days she wondered if she would remember everything ever again.

She wished she could remember what Gold really meant to her, at least. She felt everything else would follow, if she could only remember what this boy meant to her, more than just a fellow Dex Holder.

If only he’d let her in.

***

The next day she confronts him, after asking around about his whereabouts.

She finds him lying down in one of the grassy meadows near Pallet Town. “Is this where you’ve been disappearing to?”

He looked up at her, surprised. “How did you find me?”

“Senior Red said you liked to train here, when the Dex Holders were in Pallet Town.”

“Aa, he trained me, you know?” he said. “I didn’t really have any goal, to be honest, when I went out with Explotaro when he was still a Cyndaquil, except to fight Silver. But after meeting you, and getting mixed up with the whole Mask of Ice thing, well, I’ve wanted always to get stronger. Not just me, but my Pokemon. I wanted to get stronger with them.”

“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?”

“Aa, maybe we’ll always have grand adventures, you know, Crys, because we are Dex Holders. That’s what Old Man Oak said, though he didn’t say it that way exactly.”

“I wish I could remember,” she said softly. “I don’t really feel like a Pokedex Holder if I can’t remember much of the adventures I had as one, other than what you guys have told me.”

“But you are,” he said firmly. “Even without your memories, you’re still the Super Serious Gal I met all those years ago.”

“Really?”

“Well, Crys with her memories wouldn’t probably be asking me for advice, but this is a special case, you know. But yeah, you’re still the same. And if you can’t remember, then there will be new adventures to remember anyway. Out with the old, in with the new, I always say!”

She laughed at his cheerful manner. “Though I still do wish I have my memories.”

He got a somber look in his eyes as he turned away from her slightly. “I’m sure you’ll find them.”

“Will you help me?”

“Of course,” he said with a sigh.

***

It’s not like Crys expected him to say anything remotely related to what he and Silver could have talked about that night, but she feels the mood between them is much better in the next few days as Gold makes good on his promise to show Crys the familiar sites in nearby Viridian City and in Pallet Town, and in telling her about most everything she asks, though she admits to herself that she is still too afraid to ask about that night before she lost her memories. Even the other Dex Holders pick up on it, commenting on Gold’s somehow being more responsible and Crystal’s looking less stressed. Yellow tells her that it was very odd the first few days, with “you and Gold not, um, arguing with each other half the time”, but that the mood between them seems much better now.

“Did we really argue with each other a lot?”

The older girl smiles. “More of like you scolding him and him cowering with fear,” she replies. “But you two were close, Crys, really close. I can’t imagine what you two had felt while working hard with Kimberly those two months knowing that we were turned into stone, with only such a slim chance of restoring us to normal. I’m glad you had each other that time,” she finished.

I’m glad too, she thinks. If only I could remember.

***

Two days later, she says a lot of goodbyes.

She felt guilty staying when everyone was going off to investigate the rumors of the presence of an evil organization in Hoenn, even though everyone had told her to rest up and just concentrate on remembering the rest of her memories and to follow once she was better. Everyone had voted Gold to be the one to stay behind with her, since “he’s the one you can’t remember well anyway, so staying around him might help, besides, he’s the Dex Holder you’ve spent the most time with, other than Silver anyway” Green said flatly, and Yellow’s softly spoken opinion that “he’d worry too much about you if we took him with us.” Even Emerald, who had protested violently, wanting to be the one to stay with her, had been voted down in the end, and he had left with the other two Hoenn Pokedex Holders with a “Call me if that guy does anything, and I’ll get back here on Mantine to kill him.”

Gold himself had accepted the Dex Holders’ decision without protest, something that caused everyone to look at the two of them with knowing eyes, not that Crystal exactly understood what they “knew.”

Red had then delivered the coup de grace before he left, patting both of them on their heads: “Back then, both of you worked to save us, who couldn’t do anything, even rallying our juniors. This time, you two rest, and follow when you’re better, Crystal. It’s okay.”

Silver was the last to say goodbye.

“I’m glad you two are talking more now,” said Silver off-handedly. “I could stay a little longer, if you want.”

“It’s okay,” she reassured him, “We’ll be fine, you said I had spent two months mostly with him, you know, and by all reports we didn’t kill each other, certainly I can do it again and I don’t think it’ll be that long. “ They both laughed, before she continued. “Besides, you have to go track down Team Rocket’s latest activity, right? With Blue?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Everyone has their leads and different organizations to investigate, but I have a feeling it’ll be what Blue and I will find that will pan out. After all,” he said wryly, “I know best how their leader thinks; it’s probably high time for him to try something again.”

“I hope it’s nothing at all, though” she said softly. He smiles back at her.

“Just rest up, Crystal” he said, “and call if Gold messes up again,” he added while glaring at the boy who was preparing their lunch, though she could tell he was half-kidding.

“I will,” she said with a smile.

***

Professor Oak and Daisy are busy, thus Gold and Crystal spend the day together outside after a mostly silent lunch. It is while they are lying down and counting the clouds together at Gold’s training spot that Crystal asks her question.

“Do you wish you could go now?”

Gold isn’t stupid, she knows even if allegedly she scolds him half the time, and he answers her immediately. “Hell yes,” he said, “but regaining your memories is important too, Crys.”

“But…”

“No buts,” he says, scratching his nose. “I chose to stay, Crys. Besides, it’s just gathering data, and you know, I suck at being a spy anyway. Old man Oak says you’re the only one who keeps me from getting out of hand, after all, so I’d need you better when I, I mean, we go.”

She feels a little better now, especially when his hand moves close to hers, brushing his fingers lightly over hers before he points at a cloud overhead. “Doesn’t that look like Silver being constipated? Wish I had a camera!”

“Gold,” she cries, but she laughs along with him.

***

It is the day after the Dex Holders have left; Gold was training outside as usual and she was looking through her inventory notes. She realized that they had run out of Cheri Berries; if she remembered right, there were some near the cliff at the eastern edge of Professor Oak’s land. She mentioned her plan to Professor Oak, who nodded with an absent, “Just be careful.”

“Found it,” she said softly, as she carefully placed them in her bag, looking at the cliff she was very near to. “Huh, this area feels different from what I remember of it…”

The next thing she knew, she felt the ground give way, and she realized that Xatee was not with her, and she was going to fall.

The last thing she could remember was Gold running towards her, tossing away his cue and catching her, pulling her close to him before they fell down the cliff.

***

She saw images as they crashed, as she fell into unconsciousness.

It had been late that night at the party when Crystal had found Gold, with some beer bottles around him as he had beaten the juniors in billiards handily. He had that handsome smirk of his on his face, she noted, though it was good that the juniors didn’t seem put out at all by Gold’s arrogance as he bragged about his (admittedly impressive, not that she would ever tell him that) skills on the billiards table.

She wondered why she was so aware of Gold, his habits, his smirks. Maybe it was those two months she had to spend with him training with Kimberly, though she knew that wasn’t really the whole reason.

“So there are angles and so many techniques for aiming at the balls,” said Platinum brightly, “Pearl, Dia, let’s practice!”

“Sure,” said Pearl fondly, yet watchful of Gold’s hands even though they were clearly many feet away from Platinum’s body. Clearly he had heard from Silver about Gold’s wandering hands, though through the years he had been less perverted, or at least, better at keeping his perverted thoughts to himself.

“I want to eat first though,” said Dia, cheerful as ever, “and Senior Ruby wanted me to share tips about Poffin making, since he’s serious about Contests and all and wants to go to Sinnoh!”

The two watched the juniors walk off happily, a sigh escaping Crystal’s mouth.

“What is it, Super Serious Gal?”

“Ah, Gold, I was just thinking that we were young like them once.”

“We’re still young, Crys” he said gamely as he fixed the billiards table, “well, I am, though you, on the other hand have always been-“

“Don’t finish that sentence,” she said as she bopped him on the head rather fondly.

“Ah, Crys, you know I love you.”

She blinked, then blushed suddenly at this proclamation, feeling that she now resembled a tomato. “Ehh? Gold, what-”

“Crap, I said that, didn’t I?” Gold said, his frown not masking his blush. “Must have been the beer, making that slip out, even though I’m not drunk.”

“Gold! You stink! Did you drink all these?“ She gestured to the beer bottles nearby, one, two, four of them next to his cue.

“I admit two of those are mine, but I’m still sober, Crys; look in my eyes and tell me otherwise.”

She looked, and wished she didn’t. His eyes were alert, focused on hers. Gold didn’t at all look drunk, even though he smelled like one.

“Ah, when I teased that showy boy about wild gal, he accidentally on purpose doused me with some beer he found lying around. Must have been Blue’s leftovers.”

“Gold!”

“Anyway,” he said as he took her hand, carefully avoiding her eyes. “Crys, I meant that, you know.”

“Gold, what do-“

“I know you’re smart, not just like that Rich Girl, but real smart not only with the books, especially after traveling with you for so long. You know what I mean. And I just want an answer.”

“An answer?”

“I’ve loved you for a while now,” he said rashly, looking up at her “and I want you to be my girl, Crys” before he leaned in and kissed her.

She faintly registers the sour taste of beer with the press of his lips to hers, how he smells of beer and slightly of freshly mown grass and her mind catches up with her heart, her pounding heart, and she pushes him away and runs.

He doesn’t run after her, and she is glad; if he did she would wonder if her heart would pound so much more than it was currently pounding against her ribcage before she forces herself to sleep in the girls’ room, hours before the other girls would creep in.

The next morning, she wakes up to find all the girls asleep in their bedroom. She doesn’t know what to do about what she remembers, because who would she talk to? Senior Yellow, while sweet and would listen, would likely blush to death from embarrassment from the topic. Senior Blue… well, she’d know what to do, but she’d rather not tell her something this embarrassing. She would rather not ask for advice from the juniors, who she’d rather not know about her teenage insecurities, especially since they seemed to have better love lives than her.

She hated to admit it, but the best person she could think of to tell would be Silver, who knew them best, and at least would know not to tell Gold about their talk. But Silver was probably still out cold, considering Blue had made it her personal mission to make sure that he could drink most anyone under the table yesterday.

She decided to leave a message with his Weavile, well-trained and courteously taking the note she had written, before tiptoeing out to the lab.

***

She regained consciousness to find herself in Gold’s arms, her head nestled against his chest, his eyes still closed. They had landed in what seemed to be a grassy meadow, with some Sentret far away.

Gold, she thought fondly as she tried her best to dislodge herself from his arms, I think I found my answer, even if it took running away from you after you kissed me and being knocked out by a box of Pokeballs and losing my memory to get it.

I think I’ve found all the important memories now, but if I haven’t, I’m sure you’ll remind me of them, she thinks.

She saw him open his eyes, one hand reaching up to rub his head and the other tightening around her waist to steady her, hindering her progress. “Ita-itai-itai, that hurt. I told Old man Oak that he should have placed signs like you said by that weak part near the cliff, but he said that everyone in the lab knew about it and knew to stay away. Good thing he remembered in time to tell me that you might have forgotten and gone there, that’s how I got to you in time, though I left Mantaro and Togetaro behind in my rush, my bad. You okay, Crystal?”

“Yeah, but-“

“You sure?” He carefully examined her. “How many fingers am I holding up?”

She rolled her eyes, though she was touched at his concern as he carefully kept her in his lap as he sat up. “Three. Gold, I remember. About that night.”

It took a while before he suddenly flushed, his mouth opening and closing awkwardly, causing her to giggle. “Say what? Really?”

She flushed also, also thinking about what had happened before she had lost her memories. “Yes.”

Still blushing, his hand reached up to cup her chin. “So, your answer? Without the running away part after the really awesome part?”

“Okay,” she said softly, wishing she could hide her blushing cheeks in his chest.

“Good.”

This time he doesn’t taste of beer - just of chocolate which he must have been eating while training earlier, and she feels him smile as he kisses her.

***

“Are you sure you really remember everything now?” Daisy said as she cheerfully gave Crystal back her Pokemon.

“Aa, besides Gold will remind me of what I can’t remember, right Gold? Like that time when he wet the-”

A blushing Gold quickly took her bag from her, hefting it on Explotaro. “Hey, hey, can’t we just remember the cool stuff?”

“No, Gold” she said with a fond smile, hitting him on the head. “There’d be nothing to remember then. Anyway, we better go, everyone’s waiting for us!”

“Glad to have you back, Super Serious Gal,” he said as he waved goodbye to Daisy. “My Super Serious Gal, ne?”

She blushed as he took her hand.

And everything seemed brand new in that one moment.

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