Chapter 13: Memories
“Mew, that was amazing,” Gary’s husky voice huffed out. A tender giggle reverberated through his chest and within his ear as a certain redheaded gym leader blinked up at the brunette cutely.
“Isn’t it always?” Misty asked equally as spent, twirling the fine hairs at the base of his neck between her fingers softly. The green eyed gym leader squeezed her tightly around the waist where his arms held her hostage and rolled them back and forth a few times. The sheet above their bodies got mangled in the mess, but that didn’t phase the laughing aqua eyed girl.
“Yes, but it doesn’t happen often enough for my taste,” he smirked into her exposed neck where feather light kisses followed, and the girl above him hummed in agreement. She now returned the gesture by kissing his ear and passing her tongue over it teasingly, completely at ease in his company. “Sometimes I wish we could just get away and be together and not worry,” he whispered with pleasant moans interspersed every time she nipped him.
“Hmm, that does sound nice, but then what would happen to the world without us?” she cooed, moving her pixie lips further down until she rested on his collarbone, an area of skin already vivid red from her previous abuse. He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly as he pulled her upward to him and pressed a sloppy, wet kiss to her cheek before looking into the depth of her eyes sincerely.
“I wouldn’t really care if Arceus decided to take over my gym and run it into the ground if it meant never leaving you,” he told her, releasing a single hand to cup her cheek in affection and bringing their faces closer together. The redhead smiled at his choice of scenarios, pecking him quickly in nonverbal agreement before resting her head on his toned and tan chest. The youngest Waterflower felt her lover sigh in content as muscles beneath her rose and fell more steadily than minutes before, the heat of his naked body seeping into her everywhere they were tangled together. She felt his fingers drawing small circles on her hip bones and happily returned the gesture as her fingers started rubbing up and down his body next to her face. From the bend of Gary’s sturdy neck, over the prominent collarbone she loved to bite, slowly down the protruding muscles of his pectorals until her fingers landed on a raised line of tissue just below his rib cage. Misty traced her fingers over the thick mark back and forth before her mouth spoke uncontrollably.
“Gary,” she hummed, “where did you get this scar?” In a moment, his breath hitched and his hands halted their ministrations as nothing but silence surrounded the two gym leaders for a few seconds. About to correct herself for making him uncomfortable and going into foreign territory, she was surprised when he kissed the top of her messy ginger locks and resumed his touching.
“That was from an accident I had when I was travelling during the start of my Pokemon Master travels.” Misty raised her unsure features to catch the youngest Oak’s, but his gaze was fixated on the Zapdos yellow ceiling of the redhead’s room.
“An accident?” Truthfully, the leader of Cerulean Gym knew very little concerning Gary’s life before becoming a gym leader and other than the stories from Ash. There was never any potential for Gary to have accidents in his youth that the water type expert could comprehend. She knew that the two of them, Ash and Gary, had collectively decided on being champions in their youth and followed through with many years of training. Perhaps a mishap here or there, but nothing in her adventures had caused their trio any real hazards, so she’d assumed the same for her boyfriend. Yet, while the green eyed trainer’s former rival wholeheartedly continued to pursue such a dream, he decided to engage in a different career after losing to Ash in the Pokemon League conference and turned to research. Where was the danger in that?
She was certain of his love and dedication for studying Pokemon, but it became quite obvious that the man with cinnamon colored spikes couldn’t avoid his battling nature for more than a few years. Aside from his Pokemons’ love for battle and his innate skills as a trainer, Gary also was a terrifyingly strategic and efficient combatant. So when Giovanni vacated his seat as Viridian’s gym leader and the Pokemon League needed a fitting candidate, there was no surprise when the youngest Oak accepted the position. Maybe this was the time for the injury? But being a gym leader also placed you in an informational system rank that would have informed Misty of any trouble brewing. The girl crossed that off her list of available instances for an accident. Plus, after that there were a few scuffles shared before Gary and Misty let sleeping Lillipups lie and reconciled to be friends and eventual lovers. The water type trainer knew all those details after their friendship and what he’d disclosed, but for as long as they’d been with each other, he’d never mentioned anything about the scar across his diaphragm or the couple running around his arms and back. The redhead had no idea what compelled her to ask, but she had let this particular thought loose.
“Yeah, an accident. Not one I’m proud of either.” Despite the fleeting curiosity, she was not one to pry, so the youngest Waterflower merely laid upon Gary’s chest again and listened to the quietness surrounding them. There was a good few minutes of utter silence in which Misty was falling asleep when the Oak’s tender, pained voice whispered above her,
“I almost died and took Umbreon out with me.” Her head shot up like a bullet in concern as he extended a sigh and closed his verdant eyes in attempt to not have to look at his girlfriend of many years. Whatever memory he’d conjured up, it was obviously painful. Not that Misty would doubt such a thing; Umbreon was probably one of Gary’s most precious Pokemon so anything he’d done that could have hurt her would have to be very upsetting.
“Gary, I’m sorry. You don’t have-”
“No, I think you should know. I wasn’t as smart as I always made myself out to be. I’m surprised you’ve never asked me before, honestly.” His eyes were still closed as the hands that were holding their chests and bellies skin-to-skin moved out to catch hold of both her hands and lace their fingers together. Gripping back in understanding, the cerulean eyed girl returned to tucking herself beneath his chin and felt Gary’s throat vibrate as he spoke to her.
“I’d just come back from a difficult training stint with Chuck - you know Cianwood Island’s Chuck?- , so I was feeling good, too good.” Misty could tell from the darkening tone that this story wasn’t leading anywhere happy. “So good that when an angry looking Tyranitar decided to cross my path as I was heading back home through Johto, I wouldn’t let it go before me.”
The leader of Cerulean Gym couldn’t help the gasp that escaped her; Tyranitar was one of those Pokemon you didn’t want to upset if you could help it. What was he thinking?
“Yeah, stupid, I know. But I pissed it off and he didn’t take too kindly to me. Big old me though, I’d just took out Chuck of all people, so what was a little Tyranitar to me? I decided to handle it with Umbreon, still an Eevee at the time, but I was way out of my league. He knocked her out before I even had a chance to order an organized attack. Back then, I also wasn’t as quick or as built as I am now,” he flexed his pecs and Misty snorted but never lost focus from his smooth voice. “So one swoop and I had a nasty gash across my stomach. I’m sure it meant to kill me slowly for being so impudent, and if not for Umbreon, I probably would have lost my life.”
The way with which he revered Umbreon’s name was telling; his dark type obviously committed an act of love that protected her trainer somehow.
“Umbreon, just a precious ball of brown fluff, came to from her knock out and took one look at me before she’d Quick Attacked that monster like her life depended on it.” There was regret coloring Gary’s words now. “I shouldn’t have expected much, but she fought and fought, took an eye out before he finally brought her down. And I don’t know what I said, but I just remember yelling for her to run away, that’d I’d figure this out and protect her. And then she evolved.” Gary’s husky tone shook just the slightest and he gulped to clear his throat.
“She evolved without reason?” Misty asked in a quiet voice. She knew that he was reliving every second of this terrible memory and despite feeling terrible for bringing it up, she was most intrigued by his statement. For a Pokemon to evolve under such strenuous conditions . . .
“I don’t think it was without reason. I think she was so emotionally distressed about my bloodied state that she used her love for me to force herself to evolve. Just to protect me. And boy did she protect me alright.” Here, a touch of Gary’s pridefully nature returned as he began describing his beloved moonlight Pokemon’s astounding achievements.
“She was unbelievable; he’d landed such blows unto her and she still got up and attacked him fiercely until he wept in pain and ran off. And then she was strong enough to keep going and smart enough to run for help.” As Misty listened carefully to his words, she decided that it wasn’t his egotism shining through as he spoke. The youngest Oak was genuinely proud of his Pokemon and respected her for not only being devoted, but also intelligent and resourceful.
“We both spent a week in the hospital and Pokemon Center. This scar is the marker of proof I have and every time I undress, I’m reminded of what an idiot I was and how I could have had Umbreon killed too.” The air took on another brief silence as the brunette sighed repeatedly while filtering through his thoughts. When he seemed to find a good enough commentary, the confession continued.
“It was during that time I realized I had to change myself if I ever wanted to be anything worth living for. I needed to be smarter, more careful, better prepared and a greater person than I clearly was.” His self reflection left her with a swell of her own pride budding in her chest.
“Well, you certainly have become such a person in my eyes.” There was no truer a statement that could be said. The aqua eyed gym leader felt that since meeting him in childhood, there had been an overhaul of character for the better. Gone was the snooty boy who mocked lesser people just because the opportunity arose. No longer was everything about quantity versus quality with him. Forgotten was the hollow, cold child that was more selfish than all three of her siblings combined at a holiday sale. Misty could say without regret that Gary was a person whom she’d come to love wholeheartedly after seeing he was more than a name with a spoiled personality. After he willingly grew up into more than that.
“I guess that’s all that really matters then. If I can convince you, then I have to be a good person.” He released a genuine, throaty laugh and the ginger haired girl chuckled along with him as she tickled his ribs in retaliation for that underhanded remark. The brunette decided that this wouldn't do, so with his strength built up from years of training, Gary flipped his girlfriend over so she no longer had the upper hand above him.
“So, ready for another go?” he cooed silkily, staring down at the curvy, pale girl beneath him hungrily. She responded with a smirk as her hands smoothed over his hips, up his abs, and stopped at the scar that pressed him to guilt. Her fingers tapped the protruding skin there lightly as she teased.
“If you can handle me.” Gary attacked her lips as she giggled into his animalistic growl and they pressed their bodies together enticingly, their previously sobering conversation far from their minds.